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hurricane18

Just off Fantasy 11 Night Southern- Any questions?

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Posted (edited)

Just got off the Fantasy's 11 night Southern Caribbean sailing last week. If anyone has any questions, I am happy to answer! 

 

Here are a few big things I noticed: 

 

1) Wifi, Free iMessage and Messaging in Navigator App

- This was a welcome addition and made communication much easier. I saw families using walkie talkies on the first day but never again after they must have figured out the iMessage thing. This free perk is NOT advertised or talked about very much, so make sure to take advantage of it. I guess the next question is-- When will DCL expand free iMessage to other ships? Hopefully it hits the magic in time for our trip next summer! However, DCL unfortunately still uses the awful megabyte based wifi program. We cruised a different line last year and it was cheaper for a full day of unlimited access than it was for the Small package on DCL. 

 

2) AFT Vibration and Movement

- Our room was Midship-Aft (Deck 10) and we really felt the shaking, rattling, and rolling of the ship, as mentioned by others on this forum and DISboards. We felt major vibration almost every night (we went full speed, or close to full speed for the first 4 days, and then the last 3 days).  We were also woken up at 6:00 every morning by rolling carts above us in Cabanas/pool deck. I know 2 sailings before ours there were issues with the 'shaft' and people were speculating the shaking issue may have gotten better since then. I heard there were issues on the 3 night cruise after ours-- When will DCL fix this issue once and for all? My family will now avoid all Fantasy sailings unless we are in the FWD section or Concierge because of this. Made sleeping very hard. 

 

3) High Castaway Club concentration and unwelcoming atmosphere from other passengers 

- A Crew member told me that of the roughly 4000 passengers, about 3,300 were returning castaway club members on this sailing. And of that, more than half were gold or platinum. This is obviously great for Disney, but it created somewhat of an unwelcoming and uninviting atmosphere for silver members and first time cruisers. Most of the good excursions were taken by the time our window opened up, and many of the 'experienced' cruisers we felt were snobs and didn't want anything to do with us lowly silvers. Luckily, we already have our gold sailing booked for next year

 

4) Great Itinerary and Great ship-- but we like the Magic/Wonder better. 

- We loved most of the islands and loved the itinerary. However, I think there's a lot to be said about being on the SMALLER ships, especially for a long sailing. We sailed the 12 night Med a few years back on the Magic and loved every minute of it. The ship was too big to navigate for 11 days, and is great for shorter voyages, but that more intimate and smaller feel fits my family's needs in a better way for longer trips. 

 

5) I think we've found our cruise line home 

- I think this sailing (despite some of the negative comments above) confirmed our preference to Disney over other cruise lines. If we take more cruises in the future, they will 99% chance be on Disney. Our family does NOT go to the parks, we are not DVC members, and we are not crazy about the characters. We like Disney because they are clean, there is stuff to do for everyone, their rooms are nice, the service is excellent, and they clearly care about the guest. We have cruised on two other lines recently and while we liked those trips also, theres nothing like Disney. 

 

Sorry if most of these points come across as negative, just some of the overarching things I noticed! Food was decent, but got much better as the voyage progressed. Kids had a ball at Edge and Vibe. We thought the cruise staff team was excellent. Great staff and service in all departments, as usual. We contacted guest services about the rolling and vibration in our room and they sent gifts to our room and checked up on us every day. Very nice considering it was something mostly out of their control. 

 

 

Edited by hurricane18

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Thank you for your review. we're on the Fantasy in October for an 8-day and our cruise group has over 700 members. Same concerns about how disadvantaged the silver and  first timers are, but I'd like to think us gold and platinum are being more welcoming. Sorry to hear that about your cruise.

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Thanks for the review. I think these unique longer itineraries tend to attract a higher percentage repeat passengers. We did the 1 off 9 night Alaska this summer and notice the same thing with tons of gold and platinum passengers. Doesn't bother me as I never wear my lanyard anyway so nobody would know how many cruises I have done, lol. Didn't really notice anybody beign treated differently, but that's too bad that would happen.

 

We had free iMessage on the Wonder. Hoepfully you will have it for your Magic cruise. Agree that they don't advertise it at all, but there were several questions about it in the post cruise survey.

 

Totally agree about the smaller ships. We much prefer them as well.

 

Did you feel that 11 nights was too much Disney? Our 9 night cruise itself wasn't too long (we've done longer), but but by the last couple nights we had kind of had our fill of Disney.

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On 8/18/2019 at 3:16 PM, c-cruise said:

Thanks for the review. I think these unique longer itineraries tend to attract a higher percentage repeat passengers. We did the 1 off 9 night Alaska this summer and notice the same thing with tons of gold and platinum passengers. Doesn't bother me as I never wear my lanyard anyway so nobody would know how many cruises I have done, lol. Didn't really notice anybody beign treated differently, but that's too bad that would happen.

 

We had free iMessage on the Wonder. Hoepfully you will have it for your Magic cruise. Agree that they don't advertise it at all, but there were several questions about it in the post cruise survey.

 

Totally agree about the smaller ships. We much prefer them as well.

 

Did you feel that 11 nights was too much Disney? Our 9 night cruise itself wasn't too long (we've done longer), but but by the last couple nights we had kind of had our fill of Disney.

 

Yes and No. The adults in our group did tend to spend a lot of their time in the adults area, specifically satellite falls (my happy place) so those areas the Disney touches are very understated. We did 1 night each in Palo and Remy, but otherwise we really do enjoy the main dining room experience. We only cruise once a year (or even once every two years) so the Disney touches in the main guest areas do not bother us because thats when we get our 'fill' since we do not go to the parks. We book cruises for itinerary, we would never repeat the same Disney cruise as we like seeing new places so that was our thought process with this cruise. 

 

We did the 12 night Magic cruise a few years back in the Mediterranean and didn't feel overwhelmed only because the itinerary was so port intensive. 

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On 8/14/2019 at 10:25 AM, gometros said:

Thank you for your review. we're on the Fantasy in October for an 8-day and our cruise group has over 700 members. Same concerns about how disadvantaged the silver and  first timers are, but I'd like to think us gold and platinum are being more welcoming. Sorry to hear that about your cruise.

We had a great cruise! Maybe I should have focused less on the negative aspects and more on the positive ones.

 

I just felt a lot of people were trying to use their status as 'leverage' when waiting in lines and at guest services if that makes sense. silvers and first timers are also at a severe disadvantage when it comes to port adventures. 

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10 hours ago, hurricane18 said:

We had a great cruise! Maybe I should have focused less on the negative aspects and more on the positive ones.

 

I just felt a lot of people were trying to use their status as 'leverage' when waiting in lines and at guest services if that makes sense. silvers and first timers are also at a severe disadvantage when it comes to port adventures. 

 

I found your review very balanced and fully understood why you included the comment amount the veteran cruisers. Sadly, there are always a small minority that feel the need to be entitled.

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I believe that the only advantage of being a Platinum or Gold member allows earlier booking of port adventures and reservations in Palo and Remys without payment. They shouldn't have any increased privileges going ahead of a line  though there is a dedicated line for check in for Platinum members.

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We were on the 11-night Southern in 2018 and it was our favorite cruise ever.  I agree with the high percentage of Gold and Platinum members (we are Platinum and we try to be friendly and helpful to everyone).  It does make it hard for Silver and new cruisers to get some of the more desired reservations/port adventures.  I think Palo brunch sold out during Gold and also some of the princess things (which we don't do).  They do hold back some reservations for on-board booking.

 

I still wanted a longer cruise after 11 days!  I love the Fantasy but I understand your comment about the Magic/Wonder being more intimate.  We like to cruise the Magic to Canada out of NYC.  Satellite Falls, Remy, Meridian and Oh La La are favorites for us, so we tend to stick with  the Fantasy otherwise.

 

Thanks for the review - I think it was very balanced and didn't come across as negative at all.

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