We just got back from the Disney Fantasy Cruise and we had a wonderful time.
I thought I would share in detail exactly what we did and some great hacks.
I am well aware the anything Disney is not on a dime, however our trip was 25% off which was a $2,000 savings.
I am also listing some ways to save money on board your cruise.
We booked a group trip through Click The Mouse. They were so amazing and helpful! They made sure my week was going to run smoothly!
Here is what my family did …
FRIDAY, JANUARY 18, 2019
We flew into Orlando and checked into the Disney Dolphin hotel. After we settled in, we took a ferry boat from the hotel into Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park.
I think it this park would be better for older kids (6+). There is Toy Story Land, but the other rides are more thrill rides.
We ate a quick lunch at The Backlot Express. I highly recommend the Drive-in Restaurant. It was so cool, but we didn’t know about it until later. My kids did the Tower of Terror and The Star Wars tour ride. Darren and I really enjoyed how the park was a replica of a mini Hollywood.
We scarfed down funnel cakes and ice-cream and took in the Indiana Jones stunt show before hopping on the ferry boat and going back to the hotel.
DISNEY DOLPHIN HOTEL
•Has a complimentary ferry that takes you into Hollywood Studios and Epcot theme parks
•Has a complimentary shuttle bus that takes you to any of the Disney Parks
•Has a kids club for $10 per hour
•Has a few outdoor pools, jacuzzis, and a water slide
•Has a beach with a park, and complimentary swan paddle boats
•There is no free shuttle from the airport
•This Resort does not offer a dining plan
DISNEY HOLLYWOOD THEME PARK
•4 Thrill rides
•Great live shows
•Small and easy to navigate
•Limited rides for small kids, BUT there are lots of shows and meet and greets,
See my video from Hollywood Studios HERE …
SATURDAY, JANUARY 19, 2019
After a few hours of enjoying our pool at the Disney Dolphin hotel, we headed to Port Canaveral to get onto the Fantasy cruise ship.
We arrived for 1:15pm at Port Canaveral and thankfully we barely had to wait to board the ship. We were greeted with a warm welcome when we entered the ship. The cruise staff announce your last name and clap when you enter the ship.
The first thing we did was drop off our luggage at our room and hit the buffet for lunch. The buffet has everything under the sun for both adults and kids. My kids loved the mac and cheese on the boat.
The ship has some AMAZING amenities. They have two waterslides on board. The best slide was the Aqua Duck! Two can ride on a raft on this clear tube slide. The slide takes you around the whole ship. At night, the slide lights up. It was by far our favourite thing to do on board.
There is an awesome sports deck with a mini golf course, a basketball court, and a sports simulator.
There was a ship mystery on board. The kids would get cards and run to different stations on the boat. Then they would find a still photo that the kids can activate with their cards. The photo turns into animation and gives them clues to solve the mystery.
Before the safety drill, I gave out the gifts from myself and Click The Mouse on the pool deck.
The ship was so large, I didn’t get to see all of the families throughout the week. That was my only regret. Next time a big group goes from Entertain Kids, I’m going to make sure families can chat before the cruise and plan meet ups if they would like. I’m hoping everyone who came from Entertain Kids had as much fun as we did.
That evening, we ate at a restaurant called Royal Court.
We were seated for the week at a table with a lovely family from Minnesota. Their names were Dave and Lisa and they had a 6 year old daughter Caitlyn and an 8 year old son Carson. They quickly became our friends. Our sons were inseparable. We were so happy that we were put at a table with strangers.
My daughter was in heaven at the restaurant because they let her eat a filet minion steak off the adult menu.
After dinner we saw The John Cassidy Show. He used a lot of balloon twisting in his act and involved the kids from the audience. He was fun to watch.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 20, 2019
We woke up, ate breakfast, and went to explore the ship.
We had a sit down breakfast and I had my favourite Eggs Benedict.
It was a rainy day out on the seas. Luckily, we were on a boat with TONS of things to do with scheduled indoor family activities, and a kids club.
In the evening we ate at the Animators Palate. It is the best restaurant on the ship! I’m not going to go into details about this place because you need to be surprised. It’s part of the magic 🌟
We missed the evening show that night because my little guy got sea sick. We gave him some gravol and he felt better and we all got a good night sleep.
MONDAY, JANUARY 21, 2019
PORT DAY #1: COZUMEL, MEXICO
I was so excited to stop at Cozumel, because we had plans to do a Dolphin Encounter. We went to a place called Dolphinaris, which is 5 minutes away from where the ship docks. We got to pet a dolphin, dance with it, high five it, and kiss it. It was fantastic. My kids told me it was “worth it.”
There was a great store on the bottom floor of the outdoor mall across from the Port called Grafficoz. We had matching trucker hats made with our names in the outline of Mickey’s Face. It took 20 minutes and cost us $15 per hat.
That evening we had pirate night on the ship. The ship provides you with bandanas. They had a big dance party on the deck with fire works.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2019
PORT DAY #2: GRAND CAYMAN ISLANDS
When we arrived at the port at Grand Cayman, we asked the cab driver to take us to a hotel. We went to the Marriott to have lunch and it was amazing. We spent the afternoon on the beach there. The beaches are so beautiful in the Cayman Islands.
The beach you want to go to is the Seven Mile Beach. We had a very relaxing day.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2019
PORT DAY #3: FALMOUTH JAMAICA
The tides were really high when we arrived in Jamaica. We booked an excursion to go to a private beach club that had an inflatable water park. The water was so rough that we could not use the equipment. We had a choice to go back to the ship or stay. We decided to stay and make the most of it. We played in the beach and in the pool. My kids still had a great time. Disney was kind enough to refund us half of our money for this excursion which we really appreciated.
We saw the play Aladdin that night. It was sooo good. It was like watching a broadway show.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2019
SAIL DAY: STAR WARS DAY AT SEA
I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this day is. Disney goes above and beyond for this special event.
They changed the ship’s horn to the Star Wars theme song. The Captain came on and said the ship had been taken over by spies. The Storm Troopers would march by at random times of the day. There were meet and greets with Chewbacca, C3PO, R2D2, and Darth Vader.
The best part was the night show on the pool deck. It was a big show with all of the Star Wars characters. My family wore matching Darth Vader T-shirt’s that night. I got them at sale for $4 at Party City a few days after Halloween! Score!
We did cave on board and bought the kids each lightsabers.
My husband likes Star Wars and I’ve never seen the movies. I was still able to enjoy the festivities.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2019
PORT DAY #4: CASTAWAY CAY, BAHAMAS
In my opinion, Castaway Cay is better then the Disney Parks. It is the private island for the Disney Cruise Ships located in the Bahamas. I wish they built a hotel on the island because I would happily stay there.
Castaway is so amazing because it is a beautiful island that is branded Disney.
The beach is breathtaking with turquoise water and the sand is smooth. There are waterslides and a climbing structure in the ocean, an in-land splash pad, and plenty of activities to do on this island.
You can take a water bike out, rent a tube, or rent snorkelling gear. There are Disney Character meet and greets and family activities on the island.
Our new friends from Minnesota should be called “The Basketball Family.” The dad Dave and his kids Carson and Caitlyn each got trophies for finishing first in the free throw competition.
We enjoyed a complimentary bbq lunch and there was lots of icecream!
When we got back to the ship, the kids and I did one last ride on the Aqua Duck waterslide.
For the nightly entertainment, we saw a play about a father who wanted to believe in magic to connect with his young daughter. They had musical numbers from The Lion King, Aladdin, Mary Poppins, Pochohontas and more! It was really good.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2019
We left the cruise ship and headed into the Port Canaveral terminal. We took a cab to the Orlando Airport and flew home.
My son was crying the whole night that missed the boat. He’s having cruise withdrawal.
The service was top notch on board. If you like to cruise, you will not be disappointed with Disney.
BEST CRUISE TIPS
A lot of the items mentioned below can be purchased at a Dollar Store.
•If it is your first cruise, purchase lanyards with card holders for your family. You put your room cards in them.
•Buy magnetic hooks to put on the doors in your room. You can use these hooks to hang up items in your room.
•Purchase a fold-able Pop Up Hamper to put your dirty clothes in. I also recommend getting clear garbage bags to line inside your hamper. When your hamper fills up, tie the bag and place it in your suitcase under your bed.
•Buy an over the door Shoe Bag. You can put in items (like a hair brush, sunscreen, makeup) to keep you organized.
•In order turn the power on in your stateroom, you are supposed to put your key card in the slot on the wall. Take an old gift card to leave in the door at all times to substitute the key.
•Pack extra clothes and swim suits in your carry-on bags, because it takes a few hours for your luggage to arrive at your state room.
•My daughter loves foods like steak and lobster. They let her eat of the adult menu. Can’t decide on your appetizer or desert? You just need to ask for more than one option and they will give it to you.
•Bring travel size laundry detergent. There’s a laundry mat on board. It will cost you $4 to wash and dry your clothes.
•If you are a first time cruiser, I recommend bringing the essentials to prevent and help sea sickness. Gravol for kids and adults and sea bands bracelets. If you know you get motion sickness, purchase the patch here to use on the ship.
•Put your phone on “airplane mode” while on the ship. There is a Cruise app to use that allows you to chat with your family or friends while on board.
SAVING MONEY TIPS ON BOARD
•A lot of families go on Etsy to get their magnets made for the front of their cabin door. You can make them at home on construction paper using markers. Cut them out and stick magnets to the back of them.
•The food and beverages sold at the nightly shows (next to the theatre) cost money.
On your first night, Purchase a reusable bucket of popcorn. Each night you can refill your bucket for a VERY small price.
On the pool deck, there is complimentary tea, coffee, hot chocolate and soft drinks. Before the show, head over there and fill up drinks to take with you. We also bring back drinks from the deck to our state room before bed.
•Find out in advance about the theme days on board. I knew we had pirate night and Star Wars day at sea. I got pirate costumes at Walmart during Halloween and I got Darth Vader tees for my whole family on sale after Halloween. Purchasing costumes on the ship will run you up a hefty bill.
•Port excursions are very expensive. I recommend doing your homework before booking one.
If you want to do something fancy like swim with dolphins, then I recommend going with the excursion. If you are just looking for shopping or a beach, I would investigate. A lot of ports have the shops right when you get off the ship. Look up safe and clean public beaches in the area and find a cab driver outside the ship to take you there.
Another recommendation is to eat lunch before or after you come back from the port since it’s free on the ship.
HERE IS A VIDEO OF HOME VIDEO CLIPS FROM OUR TRIP!