DINKS Cruise Disney – The Beginning
DINKS Cruise Disney – Pre Planning (Mickey and Minnie Called, Pirate Night Prep)
DINKS Cruise Disney – Time to Go
DINKS Cruise Disney – Onboard (Multiple Posts Throughout: Initial Thoughts, Around Disney Fantasy, Answering Reader Questions)
DINKS Cruise Disney – Parting Thoughts
Cruise Review – Parts One, Two, and Three
A little background – I did not visit Disney World until the occasion of my 40th birthday. I don’t want to imply that I did not have shoes as a child, but suffice it to say that trips to Disney World were not in the family budget. My thoughts on Disney World? I loved it, but…I was 40. When MrsMJ and I received an invitation to join some friends of ours and their family for a spring break cruise aboard Disney Fantasy, I did not hesitate to say yes. A bad cruise beats a good day at work in my book, and knowing what I knew about Disney, I was fairly certain the cruise would be good.
Disney did not win any curbside to cocktail awards this cruise. That’s not to say boarding was a disaster, it wasn’t, but it seemed to be challenging. Of course, there are larger numbers of families with small children than the cruises I’m most accustomed to. Couple that with what felt like a larger than average number of first time cruisers, and there were bottlenecks. There’s an initial document check outside the terminal, then security, then check in. Check in, as far as I could tell was divided two ways – cruised with Disney before, and have not cruised with Disney before. We were in that latter group and based on an eyeball headcount, so were the majority of passengers in the terminal.
We progressed through the queue and made our way to the desk. The process from there on was efficient enough. They take your photo at initial check in which is a good thing. We had done online check in weeks prior to the cruise, had our documents ready, and were on our way in no time at all. In addition to our “Key to the World” cards, we were given a paper card with our boarding group number, 10. They were already on group 13, so we headed for the boarding queue and were onboard the ship in just a few minutes. One little thing – they introduce you to the ship as you cross the gangway…. “ladies and gentlemen…the MJ on Travel family!” Not my thing, but I can see kids loving it so more power to Disney.
Food – fantastic, and we haven’t yet hit the specialty restaurants Palo and Remy. Seriously, the dining has been surprisingly good. Love our dining room service team! Buffet food strikes me as a cut above your standard mass market line too.
The ship – It’s nice. Like The Cove, and the surrounding adults only area. Europa is a place where we spend a lot of time in the evenings. So far, SkyLine is my favorite lounge, but we have more crawling to do. The general pool deck is ok, but the pools seem small to me.
Our stateroom – Our oceanview balcony stateroom is comfortable and well-designed. I’ve heard so many comments about the larger staterooms on Disney, but I don’t get a sense that they are any larger than a similar category stateroom on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity with the exception of the bathroom setup which is split into a shower/sink room and separate toilet/sink room. Not that big of a deal for us, but I can see that being quite handy for families. There are other little touches I’ll cover in my full review.
The Bottom Line
Really enjoying our Disney cruise. Not so much that this frequent floater will be defecting from Royal Caribbean anytime soon….but that’s not to say we aren’t having a great time. More to come. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
-MJ, March 17, 2014