By Christine Tibbetts
CNHI News Service
Children not required for a grand vacation on a Disney cruise.
Really. I tried it.
Alone, all by my grown-up self. Totally pleased with the results.
“Very Disney but very adult.”
That’s what Joe Lanzisero says about Disney Cruise Line’s brand-new ship christened the Fantasy.
He should know since he’s in charge of imagination engineering for all ages for the four ships in this fleet. Vice President, Creative is his real title.
“We raised the bar a little more on the Fantasy,” he said in March, the month of her inaugural sailings, “to have something for everyone.”
They wrapped abundant experiences on this 14-deck ship into the glamour of ocean liners crossing the Atlantic decades ago, the age of Art Nouveau and steamer trunks.
I crossed the pond on one of those years ago, the fabled QE II. Elegant but stuffy was my take.
This brand-new version of ocean liner elegance is ever so much more fun. Chic and sophisticated with whimsy discretely involved.
My QE II deck mates fretted about their feather boas and ball gowns. Truly. My Disney Fantasy shipmates rode the sky-high AquaDuck water coaster, sipped elegant cocktails under a Barcelona skyline and shared yoga on the beach.
Sure I recalled cruises and Disney holidays with the children I raised, and sure I imagined myself sharing fun with the current generation of little Tibbetts on the Disney Fantasy, but here’s my full disclosure: images of enjoying spaces and places on this ship with adults popped into my head the most.
Europa is the ship’s entertainment district and I imagined myself to be clubbing in Europe. Sexy champagne bar. Irish pub. 18th century French boudoir.
Details like a Vespa with sidecar to sit in and sip limoncello, grappa or sparkling Prosecco since this is La Piazza, designed like an Italian plaza.
Next door is Ooh La La with Louis XIV chaise lounges, a trio of chairs with artistic fluted backs specifically created for the Fantasy by a Swedish designer using recyclables, velvet-tufted walls, ornate mirrors and Taittinger private label champagne.
O’Gills pours pints, and red-lager draft, Irish whiskey and Irish cream. Easy to believe I was in Ireland again, in a classic pub, except this one has flat screen televisions with sports to watch.
Disney technology turns the Skyline bar into seven cities as tall windows display changing views. Feels like sitting in a penthouse overlooking Barcelona.
But that view changes to St. Petersburg, and then to London, Budapest, Athens, Florence and Paris. Disney magic applied to National Geographic photos, Mike Davie said.
This ship of 14 decks hold 4,000 passengers yet feels like a yacht. Classic cruise design with sleek lines.
Nine out of 10 staterooms face outside, and that means windows and balconies. Might consider booking an inside cabin on purpose for the price and the porthole magic.
My delight was strong enough I didn’t notice a classic cruise element missing from this ship: the casino.
Guess it doesn’t reflect the Disney family philosophy.
Journeys on the Fantasy fill seven days, sailing from Port Canaveral, alternating the Eastern and Western Caribbean ports and including full days at sea and a play day on the private Castaway Cay island.
Could book back-to-back, I suppose, and hold the magic for two weeks. Rates for one week start at $959.
Christine Tibbetts is a travel writer for The Tifton (Ga.) Gazette. Contact her at email@example.com