Disney Cruises have resumed sailing and now is a GREAT time to experience one!
We sailed on the Disney Fantasy from October 24th–30th in a Deluxe Verandah room. Our sailing was a Western Caribbean cruise including two full days at sea plus stops at Cozumel; Costa Maya; and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.
The Disney Fantasy normally sails with up to 4,000 passengers. Our sailing only had 1,269 total passengers and 1,300 crew members aboard. That’s one crew member for every guest! The ship felt so empty at all times.
Let’s talk health policies and boarding procedures.
All passengers ages 12 and up are required to provide proof of full COVID vaccination. That will be changing on January 13, 2022. Beginning on that day and going forward, all passengers age 5 and up must be fully vaccinated in order to sail. You are required to upload your vaccine proof card to a website prior to sailing.
Before boarding, all passengers regardless of vaccination status must be tested for COVID-19.
This process was very simple and went extremely smoothly.
We took Disney transportation to the port from the airport and we were taken directly to the testing tent. The swab was very shallow into the nostrils, not deep at all.
Afterwards we were taken into another tent where we sat and waited for the results. Results took about 30 minutes to receive. There’s a television in this tent that displays everyone’s reservation number and whether you should advance to the terminal or see someone at the desk. If anyone in your party tests positive, no one in your party is permitted to board the ship.
As soon as we were cleared, we headed through security and up into the terminal for boarding!
Onboard the ship, things were slightly different but still really amazing.
Masks are required indoors only and you can remove them for eating/drinking and any photos taken by the photographers onboard (even with the characters).
They announced us as we boarded and took us straight to a spot in the atrium to watch Captain Mickey & Captain Minnie in their welcome show. There is no sail away party taking place.
From there we needed to show proof that we had been to our muster drill station. The crew is very helpful in finding your station. Once you arrive there, you simply take a picture with the app to prove you were there and that’s it! The muster drill is over for you! (This was probably my favorite change of all haha!)
Then we headed up to Cabana’s which is the lunch buffet. The buffet is still there but the workers will fill your plate for you and then hand it to you so you just tell them what you want and you can enjoy once you grab a table indoors or outdoors.
The food was delicious as ever!
Activities for Everyone!
There were so many things to do each day. Some of the activities included animation classes, crafting, trivia, game shows and more. Some of the venues would reach capacity early on and not allow anymore passengers in for that particular activity. Bingo was one that always reached capacity so we made sure to get there early.
There are SOOOO many character meets… if you’ve missed this in the parks, you will get your share and then some on the cruises!
The Oceaneer’s Club and Lab were open for kids that are potty trained (ages 3-12). You could reserve a time block ahead on the app before boarding and then once you board, they would work with you to reserve more times. There were plenty of time slots available.
Each time slot would allow 10-15 kids per counselor per session. Each time slot is 1.5-2.5 hours long and they would work with you if you had a special dinner planned or something so that you wouldn’t have to leave mid-meal to come and get your kid(s). They are not currently serving meals so you would need to make sure your child is fed before. They are still using the “magic band” so kids can tap into the club.
The nursery is currently closed so childcare for children under 3 is not an option right now.
Edge (for ages 12-15) and Vibe (for ages 16-18) are both open and I was able to tour both. They have a ton of fun activities in each of these exclusive clubs and to be honest, I wanted to stay there to play haha!
Something else that’s not available in the parks but is on the ships – Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! Yes, it’s open for guests to book!
The pools are open and there are capacity limits for them but we never once saw a line to get in. The splash pad area and Aqua Duck are also open to guests.
As for dining, everything is the same as before. There are quick service windows on the pool deck, all you can eat ice cream (the crew will make your cone for you), Cabana’s buffet for breakfast & lunch, dining rooms available as well, room service and the dining rooms for dinner. You rotate between three different dining rooms and keep the same waitstaff with you so they get to know you and your favorite (and not so favorite) foods.
If you ordered an alcoholic drink or room service, all gratuity was handled through the app so you could just add on each time. It was so convenient.
Your dining rotation is no longer listed on your key card. You can now find it in the app. Everything is in the app from the schedule (Navigator) to menus and even a place where you can chat with a crew member. They can answer almost anything for you. It was so convenient.
When we disembarked in Cozumel and Castaway Cay, we needed to join a virtual queue which was done through the app. Both times we were able to disembark almost immediately after clicking the button. It was very quick and efficient.
Our Castaway Cay day was a bit of a wash but everything on the island is pretty normal. You do have to wear a mask when going through the buffet at Cookie’s/Cookie’s Too or when you enter the store/bathroom. They do still offer the 5K on the island but it is self led instead of everyone starting at the same time.
Our sailing was a Halloween on the High Seas sailing so there were Halloween events and special characters in their costumes. They had a stage show up on the top deck a couple of times throughout the cruise to give everyone a chance to see it. Everyone stood on a designated spot to watch the show.
Fireworks did take place (2 nights) as well and they used the spots to keep parties separated. It was really nice not having so many people up on the top decks crowding everyone. The fireworks were Disney Ever After themed, not pirate. They do still have a pirate themed day but no late night buffet and no fireworks.
The Walt Disney Theater hosted three different shows on this sailing. They did all of the shows two nights in a row and twice each night so it gave everyone plenty of time to see each of the shows. Our shows were Aladdin, Frozen & Believe. Each party was seated every other row with 3 seats in between parties. There was no popcorn being sold for the shows and no food was allowed to be brought into the theaters.
As for extra things we decided to book a couples massage which ended up being moved to the ship since our Castaway Cay day was a little stormy. I also dined at both Palo and Remy for brunch. Palo no longer offers the buffet style brunch but they have included those items on the menu so you can order as much as you want there. I also took part in a wine tasting which was fantastic.
Are you ready for the best cruise ever?!
All in all, this was quite possibly the best cruise we’ve ever taken. The crew’s attention was amazing. We truly felt every single detail was taken care of and we had the best time ever! I made sure to book a placeholder to take advantage of that 10% off.
Disney Cruise Line has itineraries available through May of 2023 right now on ALL FIVE ships! The brand new Disney Wish will begin sailing in 2022 and it looks absolutely stunning!
Contact one of our A Time to Treasure Travel agents today to book your dream vacation for only 20% down!