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Old 02-20-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
monica9
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Dream or Fantasy?...more inside

Looking to do a cruise and wdw on same trip. Right now we are looking at Disney dream for 4 nights out of port canaveral and 3 nights at beach club. Then I ask my husband if he would rather do the magic, same length $400 cheaper but smaller ship,etc. He then says he wants to go on the newest, best one they have. I then look at fantasy and they only have 7 nights for the time we are going. Now I would LOVE to do a western carribean cruise but we have been on many cruises before (never disney) and find if we are going on a longer cruise, we would want to go with other people. No one wants to go on vacation when we are going. So its just us me, DH and DD5. We also know that our daughter loves the rides and I love the resorts so I feel a trip wouldnt be complete without getting at least 2 full days at wdw. So question is,

is the fantasy that much better than the dream?
Is the dream that much better than the magic?
Would you do a 7 nighter with just one child( she will have to make friends in club and she's shy so takes a while to warm up) and then do 1 night at wdw?
or go on dream for 4 nights and do 3 nights 4 full days at wdw? (my pick but only if its close to as good as the fantasy)

Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:26 PM   #2
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Yes, the Fantasy is newest and the Dream is just over a year older. Both are pretty much the same though there are a few changes. The Magic and Wonder are also very similar, though there are a few differences. But I think each ship has her "better" aspects when compared to another; I wouldn't say one is "best."

As to a 4-night vs a 7-night - I'd definitely go for the longer cruise and save WDW for another time. But if you have been on that itinerary before and aren't thrilled at the aspect of doing it again, sail on the Dream for a 4-night and do a few days at WDW before. We also have an "only" and she always enjoys the Club, though she tends to amuse herself well regardless of making friends with others.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:33 PM   #3
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I feel the kids clubs on the Magic and Wonder are less chaotic then on the Dream and Fantasy. There are less people on those ships and the clubs are set up differently. So if you want you young child to enjoy the clubs I vote for the Magic.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
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Hi Monica,

We just got back from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise, our families 1st cruise ever. Before we left, I found the link for our specific trip on these boards and asked if anyone had a child who would be willing to write to my son via e-mail prior to the voyage. Well, the boys became fast friends so when they walked onboard, they knew at least one other person who was going to be cruising with us. It was a life saver for us and even though your daughter is younger, maybe you and another mother would be willing to type what the kids have to say to each other. Just food for thought.

As far as doing both the park and the cruise, I'm an avid park fan and love to try to do everything when we're there. I can't begin to tell you how enjoyable the cruise was for us. While there's not the rides on-board, there's entertainment, Oceaneers Club & Lab, pools, a sports deck and many many opportunities to interact with the characters. I was worried about having down time & not knowing what to do but that never happened!

If you intend to try and do both, I'd definately suggest doing the parks first, then capping off with the cruise. I saw many people on our voyage with sunburns and thinking about having to strap into a ride with burnt skin like that doesn't even sound like fun.

Good luck with your decision. I was amazed at how fast 5 nights went!

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:50 PM   #5
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I suppose the first question to be asked is, how much vacation time are you looking to spend? The Fantasy is the newest ship and only sails 7-night itineraries. In my humble opinion, however, 7 nights is a very good length for a cruise. The shorter 3-night and 4-night cruises are over too quickly (especially the 3-nighters.)

The Dream and Fantasy are sister ships, but they are not identical. There are a few trouble spots on the Dream that don't really come into play until you're on a longer cruise (adult areas are lacking, for one, and there are some traffic control issues), and the Fantasy was modified to take these shortcomings into account. They're similar ships, but not identical. From everything I've heard, the Fantasy is superior to the Dream, but not necessarily the Magic. The Magic is smaller and doesn't offer as many amenities, and it's a little bit more dated, but it's also less crowded and gives a bit more of an intimate feeling.

If it were me, I'd go with the 7-night Fantasy cruise. If the parks are important, I'd probably do a 4-night Dream. The big caveat with the Magic is that you'd be sailing out of Miami rather than Port Canaveral, and that means you'd have to figure out how to get from Miami to Orlando. There are regular transfer shuttles that run between WDW and Port Canaveral.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:54 PM   #6
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We have been on both the Magic for a West. Carib. 7 night back in 2009 and on the Dream for the Bahamas 4 nights in Oct. 2011. we are booked on the Fantasy for 2014.

We loved both, that being said the kids clubs, mini-golf, Nemo's splash play area and Aquaduck on the Dream my kids loved much more than the pools and such on the Magic.

Everything else we felt was simliar...as far as shows and dining. Surprisingly we did not find the Dream to feel that much larger than the Magic. I thought for sure we'd get lost and have issues but we did not. If you can afford the Dream or Fantasy I say go for it! You will def. not be bored on any of the Disney ships as there is always tons of stuff going on that you can participate in!
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May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!

Last edited by loveysbydesign; 02-20-2013 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:02 PM   #7
monica9
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Thanks everyone. Still not sure what we will be doing. I for one will feel cheated if Icant get a couple nights in at Wdw. Theres just something about the monerails, resorts and parks. We have been on many cruises so Im not sure the 4 night "won't be enough" for us as long as we get a few days in at wdw. On the other hand, we've always wanted to go on a western carribean.....hmmm decisions decisions...I might start calculating the price differences. I think magic might be out b/c like a pp said, the dream has more water activities that I think my daughter will enjoy.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:02 PM   #8
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Newer does not equal better. The different ship classes offer different experiences for different kids of guests. I prefer the smaller ships for less crowds, larger staterooms, less inflated prices, more personalized service, less "amusement park at sea" mentality. Other people prioritize the bells and whistles and will gladly trade the money and space to have them.

But newer does not unequivocally equal better.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:05 PM   #9
monica9
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BTW, If we were to do a land and sea vacation, will disney give us free magical express from airport to cruise ship and also free transportation from cruise ship to wdw and back to airport? Or are we paying from cruise to parks?
Also, do they do free dining promotions on packages that are 3 nights 4 days?
And are there character meals on disney cruises? There was on the nickalodeon cruise we went on.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:08 PM   #10
loveysbydesign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monica9 View Post
BTW, If we were to do a land and sea vacation, will disney give us free magical express from airport to cruise ship and also free transportation from cruise ship to wdw and back to airport? Or are we paying from cruise to parks?
Also, do they do free dining promotions on packages that are 3 nights 4 days?
And are there character meals on disney cruises? There was on the nickalodeon cruise we went on.
They have a character breakfast on the 7 nights sailings(at least they did) on the Magic, we did not have it on the 4 night. When we did the 4 night it went so fast I wanted to cry when it was over Nice thing about 7 nights too, is if they miss CC for some reason you have more nights to play with to try redocking there.
We loved the West. Caribben. Cozumel and GC were awesome.
I also agree with pp about doing the parks first.
What month are you thinking of cruising?
__________________

May 2006-1st family trip to WDW! Loved Windsor Hills! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$1800
Nov. 13-22 2007-2nd trip to WDW with Baby Hartley #3-it's a boy!!! Total cost including airfare, condo. rental at WH, park tix and rental car =$2200
May 2009- 3 nights in a 2 bedroom at SSR and then our 1st Disney cruise on the Magic! Total cost for 2 Cat. 12's -upgraded to Cat. 10's=$2900

June 11-20 2010- Our super cheap, surprising the kids, 1st time driving, celebrating Ryan's 3rd birthday trip! Total cost=$950
Nov.12-22, 2010 Took our in-laws along for their 1st trip ever! Stayed at Indian Creek and had a blast!
Oct.10-15, 2011 Crazy Columbus Crowds(did YES program) & cruised on the Dream Oct. 16-20
Oct. 19-29, 2012 Our trip re-do w/the in-laws, swam w/ the manatees & drove home through Sandy!
June 21-30, 2013 Celebrating our 17th anniversary!

Last edited by loveysbydesign; 02-20-2013 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monica9 View Post
BTW, If we were to do a land and sea vacation, will disney give us free magical express from airport to cruise ship and also free transportation from cruise ship to wdw and back to airport? Or are we paying from cruise to parks?
Also, do they do free dining promotions on packages that are 3 nights 4 days?
And are there character meals on disney cruises? There was on the nickalodeon cruise we went on.
Transportation to and from the ship, either airport or WDW, is booked through DCL and is $70 per person one-way. Magical Express is an entirely different thing and is only for airport-WDW transfers and vice versa.

I know nothing about free dining in the parks. Food on the cruise is included in your fare except Palo, Remy, pre-packaged snacks, and some drinks.

There is a Character Breakfast on cruises with 2.5 or more sea days ONLY on the Wonder or Magic. The Dream and Fantasy have no character meals.
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Last edited by Meghatron; 02-20-2013 at 03:13 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reimero View Post
I suppose the first question to be asked is, how much vacation time are you looking to spend? The Fantasy is the newest ship and only sails 7-night itineraries. In my humble opinion, however, 7 nights is a very good length for a cruise. The shorter 3-night and 4-night cruises are over too quickly (especially the 3-nighters.)

The Dream and Fantasy are sister ships, but they are not identical. There are a few trouble spots on the Dream that don't really come into play until you're on a longer cruise (adult areas are lacking, for one, and there are some traffic control issues), and the Fantasy was modified to take these shortcomings into account. They're similar ships, but not identical. From everything I've heard, the Fantasy is superior to the Dream, but not necessarily the Magic. The Magic is smaller and doesn't offer as many amenities, and it's a little bit more dated, but it's also less crowded and gives a bit more of an intimate feeling.

If it were me, I'd go with the 7-night Fantasy cruise. If the parks are important, I'd probably do a 4-night Dream. The big caveat with the Magic is that you'd be sailing out of Miami rather than Port Canaveral, and that means you'd have to figure out how to get from Miami to Orlando. There are regular transfer shuttles that run between WDW and Port Canaveral.

The Magic will be sailing out of Port Canaveral January - May of 2014. The Wonder is sailing out of Miami February - May of 2013 and January - May of 2014
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:22 PM   #13
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We are looking to go Jan 2014 if not then Feb 2014. Interesting about the $70 charge for transportation. Its also interesting that the dream and fantasy don't have character meals. I wonder why? I feel I will be more sad if we didn't get to the parks for a few days more than getting upset that we are not on the ship for longer. I say that now but not sure how I will feel once im actually on the ship and the western carribean is looking nicer and nicer the more I research. My husband would care either way and not sure about my daughter.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:38 PM   #14
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I thought transportation was $70/pp round trip?
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monica9
Its also interesting that the dream and fantasy don't have character meals. I wonder why?
Bigger ship, bigger dining rooms, no more character meals or dinner shows/parades because the staff can't adequately entertain the entire space. Yet another trade off because of more crowds.
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