Thanks for following along with me through my Disney Fantasy series! I had an incredible time sailing with Disney Cruise Line, and I can’t recommend it enough.
The eighth and final day of my cruise was short but sweet. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to such a fantastic vacation, but we were all given a satisfying sendoff with one last sit-down breakfast and a beautiful Florida sunrise to welcome us back onto U.S. soil.
Wake-up announcements began at 7:15, which seemed later than most cruises and was a nice change.
I got one last chance to bask in the sun’s warmth on the verandah…
Enjoy the view from the window and watch the other ships unload across from us…
And take in the smell of the gingerbread house, which cast members were working around the clock to finish. I’m sure by the next week it was a full-fledged gingerbread paradise!
Unlike other cruises, Disney ones provide guests with a table-service breakfast before they leave the ship. This was so wonderful and appreciated! Instead of scurrying around packed buffet lines with suitcases and hurriedly scarfing down cold cereal, we were treated to a sit-down breakfast that was both relaxing and tasty. No cold cereal for Disney guests!
Our luggage had already been picked up by cast members the night before, so we didn’t have to carry anything with us (except purses or small bags that we had our few overnight essentials stowed in), and that resulted in a very leisurely breakfast that continued the pattern we’d come to know and appreciate all week.
Disney just does everything so much better!
Our assigned breakfast location was Animator’s Palate. Guests return to the restaurant they dined at the previous night, so guests were evenly divided among the three locations. All offered the same “See Ya Real Soon” menu, and, just like during dinner, our faithful servers followed us in our rotation one last time.
There were a handful of meals to choose from–ones that were not too heavy, and not too light.
While we waited, Oppie came to the rescue with a tray of pastries.
I tried the chocolate croissant. It was just like the ones at all the Disney parks and hotels–a little light on the chocolate for me, but still a classic. I loved that we got to use the cute little paintbrush spreaders one last time!
Nelson faithfully filled and refilled all our beverages, too.
Oppie and Nelson, we’ll miss you! Our service was top-notch the entire time.
I ordered the muesli with a side of fruit. After seeing the size of the muesli, I was glad I’d asked for the fruit, too. It was the perfect amount to fuel me up for the journey off the ship, through customs, back to the airport, and all the way home again.
After breakfast, we went straight into a long line that wound around the ship’s atrium. It took about an hour to get off the ship. We probably could have gotten off more quickly if we’d eaten our breakfast in a hurry, but I’m not sure there was any getting around the line, regardless.
From there, the Magical Express took us on a 45-minute drive back to Orlando, providing the same Disney entertainment videos the whole way, and I took off on a plane for chilly Minnesota! You always know it’s been a great vacation when you don’t want to go home, right? :)
I had the best trip, and I would encourage you to book your own if you’re interested at all. This cruise surpassed my expectations (which were admittedly rather high in the first place) and was unquestionably the most relaxing trip I’ve ever taken. I was entertained, well-fed, and catered to the entire time. I don’t have a single complaint, and every person I traveled with agreed unanimously that the Disney Fantasy was worth every penny!
Some tips I offer if you go on a Disney cruise:
1) Download the app. This gem was SO helpful. It only works onboard the ship and is the only thing you can use for free without paying for Wi-fi. The app allows you to look up menus, activity schedules, maps, itineraries, locations, descriptions…pretty much anything you could possibly want or need to know on your trip. I used this constantly, both on my Android phone and my iPod. It was a lifesaver!
2) Take advantage of the Personal Navigators. The “Personal Navigators” are the brochures delivered to your stateroom each night that fill you in on the next day’s schedule and everything that will be happening. They list every detail, from the dress code for dinner to the movies that will be showing on TV. The app offers most of this information, but the Personal Navigators go into more detail, and they’re especially helpful for people who might not be as tech-savvy.
3) Take the stairs. This one’s for the healthy ones! With all the buffets and unlimited ice cream, it’s hard not to worry about all staying in shape on your cruise. I found that skipping the elevators and taking the stairs provided a pretty good workout, especially if you were going up and down several flights. My stateroom was in the middle of the ship in an area that required a lot of walking, and I constantly ran up and down the stairs instead of taking an elevator. (This also saved time waiting!) There were workout classes available if you wanted a scheduled activity, but walking up and down flights of stairs is a simple way to get your exercise to and from places you’re already visiting.
4) Book a room with a view! From what I’m told, every Disney stateroom comes with a view–even if that means seeing Ariel swimming around from a virtual “window.” I loved having a verandah, though, and I’m so glad we got one. If you can afford to splurge, that’s what I’d recommend putting the money toward! We never felt crowded with four people in a room whatsoever, but the verandah was one of the reasons we were able to spread out so much.
5) Take advantage of all the On Demand programs. I was so excited to discover that almost every Disney movie ever made was available at the push of a button, all at no extra cost! It took me a while to figure out that these were listed under “On Demand” and not the regular TV channels, but I could have spent days catching up on all the classic and obscure Disney films the ship had to offer.
6) Relax and enjoy your vacation like a child would! This is Disney. It’s made for kids at heart, and the cast members are truly there to serve you. This is the time to laugh, let go, and eat an extra Mickey bar for dessert. Pack your DisneyBound outfits! Whistle along to “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”! Live it up!
If you have any questions about my experience, comment below and I’ll give my honest thoughts. In sum: book a trip! :)
Disney Cruise Line, I will most definitely “Sea Ya Real Soon!” :)
Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this review. I went on a Disney cruise on my own and loved every second of it! If you ever get a chance, GO!