Sailing on the brand-new Disney Fantasy cruise ship inaugural sailing reminded managers and agents in Travel Leaders Leisure Group why they became travel agents in the first place.
Here is their take on what makes the ship and experience a true fantasy vacation.
Fun for Kids and Adults Too
“It really does fulfill people’s dreams and no one does that better than Disney,” divulged Jan VanderPloeg, operations manager for Travel Leader’s company-owned Holland, Michigan storefront agency. “It is not only a great ship and experience for families with children, but there’s an entire floor dedicated to entertaining the adults.”
“Wow, I can’t say enough about the ship. Disney doesn’t just strive for excellence, they go above and beyond,” said Heather VanderPloeg, a travel specialist at the Holland Travel Leaders agency. Our 10 year-old grandson couldn’t get enough of the thrilling AquaDuck waterslide, and our four year-old granddaughter’s favorite part of the cruise was playing in Nemo’s water area.”
CruiseDeals.com’s vice president Kevin Weisner agrees that there is something for everyone in your group. “What struck me most about the Fantasy was the amount of “footprint” the ship has dedicated to the adult guest—a great plus for the honeymooner, empty nester and of course, moms and dads wanting some alone time. I was not expecting an adult outdoor complex to go up three stories, nor the amount of lounge space and restaurants that truly cater to a discerning grown up.”
Special Experiences Onboard
“The shows were amazing with the Disney details in every production,” described Carrie Daines, a travel specialist at All Aboard Travel. “The Fireworks at Sea production was over the top with the Pirates of the Caribbean storyline leading up to the final Aerial spectacle. The three main dining rooms, The Animators Palate, The Enchanted Garden and The Royal Court offered something for everyone in the way of food and ambiance and the fact that the wait staff switched venues along with the guests made the experience even more special.”
“We loved the Animators Palate dining room,” reiterates Jan VanderPloeg. “Each guest is given a placemat with the outline of a person on it. You channel your inner artist and complete the drawing inside the outline and they take it away. Before the end of the meal, they’ve put together a short animated show with your drawings (dancing, bicycling, etc) on the wall – it is incredible. And then they roll the credits and your names are listed.”
Every Bit a Premium Cruise
The Travel Leaders Leisure Group team members were all very impressed with the luxurious look and feel of the ship.
“The fit, finish, décor and attention to detail on the ship is extraordinary. If there is a physical space on the ship in which a feeling can be conveyed, Disney doesn’t miss any of it,” expresses Weisner. “The Fantasy is less a collection of public spaces, and more an entire experience that all feels cut from the same high quality cloth. From the grandness of the entrance foyer, to the minute details found in the staterooms, the sense of completeness is evident. Of particular note was our stateroom—comfortable enough for a family of five, thanks to great berth arrangements, generous space and the best shower I’ve had at sea. High quality linens and soft goods contributed to the premium feel as well.”
Click on Disney Fantasy Photos below to enlarge:
Is Disney Fantasy Worth the Money?
Tom Baumann, president of Travel Leaders Leisure Group is the first to admit that a Disney cruise costs a bit more than your average cruise, but says that it’s worth every single penny. “Not only was the ship as amazing as what you would expect from Disney, but everything about it including the staff, the service, and activities offered onboard was extremely well done in true Disney style.”
“So often we hear, ‘Why is a Disney Cruise so expensive?’ but I think that comment demonstrates where we need to do a better job with customers,” explains Weisner. “I think it comes from people comparing prices between contemporary cruise lines doing a similar itinerary, and not really understanding that on Disney, it’s first and foremost about the Disney experience and the cruise ship just happens to be the venue.”
Daines agrees, “For those traveling onboard with children, the activities, programs, experiences and memories that are afforded to them are worth every penny invested in such a magical vacation. From the time you step onboard to the fairy-tale like ‘See You Real Soon’ farewell, the special activities, visits with Disney characters, and overall experience onboard is just outstanding. For those of us traveling without children, well, we were able to channel our inner child and enjoy every moment right along with the real ones – maybe some of us even more so.”[fblike]