I'm back with more of what the Fantasy Disney Cruise is made of. A few weeks ago we were able to attend a press trip where we got to try it all out. If you missed the first post, you can read all about the ship, the sleeping arrangements and the illustrious Aqua Duck here.
The Private Island - Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay is Disney's very own private island. I think they have about 100 staff members who actually stay on the island but the entire island itself is your dedicated vacation spot.
This is one of those day stops that you literally don't have to worry about anything. Your food is included, the life jacket rentals etc. are free, and additional activities are minimal a expense.
Some of our favorite things:
Dude. There is a water slide - in the middle of the ocean. That. is. awesome.
There are several beach options available on Castaway Cay depending on who you are cruising with. The "Pelican Beach" (the family beach) has 2 children's water features/play areas and the made of awesome water slide featured above., "The Hideout" is a beach for teens and "Serenity Bay" is an adults only beach with private cabanas. You can even book a private cabana for a massage right there on the beach!
We rented bikes and cruised around the island. I think bike rentals were something like $6-$8 (I blame my children for my spotty memory). Again, in the spirit of "private island" there are no cars on the roads - just plenty of open (SAFE) riding space for families. This made bike riding with an 8 and 9 year old worry free.
There were also water stations spread out throughout the paths.
The toddler fell asleep in the child seat on the bike and she looked like the spawn of "Weekend at Bernie's" constantly flopping around on the back of the bike.
As I mentioned, the food was included on the day at Castaway Cay. I wish I would have kept track of how many soft serve ice cream cones my husband got. I stopped counting at 7.
The Food on the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship
Speaking of the things included with your cruise . . . an endless supply of food. This is why, if you are not careful (and really, why should you be?) you will come off the boat with a food baby (or in my case, food baby twins).
So if you've ever wanted to ask your mom how food babies are made, let me break it down:
This is your spot for something quick (burgers, sandwhiches, fruit etc.)
The Animators Palate
All of the dining options were great, but this was my favorite. The Animator's Palate is obviously themed around animation. There were movie screens throughout the restaurant playing montage's of the Disney movie's over the years. Of course "Be Our Guest" was playing when we got there.
The coolest thing is that you are given this little placemat project while you wait for your food. You have instructions to stay within the blue lines of the body you see outlined below. Before dinner comes, your server comes and takes them away.
About half way through your meal, on the big screens on the wall near your table, that little person you designed comes to life in full animation and dances around in a parade with the other characters created in your dining area.
Even a little body made of scribbles dances and moves in succession with the other animated people. Everyone was laughing at the variety of little people parading across the screens. The technology and organization behind it is amazing. I wish I had a better picture of it, but my camera just gave me super blurry shots. Bottom line: this too was made of extreme awesome.
Tip: If you have a child who is a perfectionist, don't let them waste their time with do-overs or they will miss their chance to have their little creature animated. Remember that even the simplest illustrations look awesome on the screen.
Other Dining Options on The Disney Fantasy Cruise
The Enchanted Garden and The Royal Court are also themed family dining experiences. Everything was well done and the food was always good. You get the same servers each night as you rotate through the different dining options, which the kids love.
One of the main reasons for your food baby is Cabanas. This is the buffet that is open for most of the day. At night it turns into table service dining. (This is a good option if you missed your seating at one of the restaurants I outlined above that you rotate through each night).
For Grown Ups
If you want a "date night" you can drop the kids off at the kids program and head up top to the swanky Palo or Remy (you know, Remy from Ratatouille! It's a French restaurant - loved the theme of it!). There is an additional charge. We went to for a brunch Palo and the food was great.
Dealing With Allergies on a Disney Cruise
My family is full of them. As always, Disney is over the top ON IT when it comes to allergies. The chef will come and talk with you, they are all over special requests, they are so careful -- and that is a big deal. I have a gluten allergy, my daughter has nut and dairy allergies, between the two of us we were always full of special requests.
Are you hungry yet? I'm reviewing my post and find it kind of ridiculous that I just dedicated this much of it to food. But you know . . . I like food.
I've got one more post coming your way! That's the post full of info on making a cruise affordable (best time to book etc.) and safety patrol information: hurricanes, tsunamis and the things that go bump in the night.
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