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On board the Disney Fantasy, Part 1

Fantasy dumbo ABOARD THE DISNEY FANTASY – We’ve been through the lifeboat drill, and Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship is making ready to pull out of Port Canaveral. There’s cheering up on the pool deck, the thump of dance music and the clink of glasses. The engines are rumbling.

The first official cruise by the Disney Fantasy isn’t until March 31, but this is a cruise for travel agents and news media, to acquaint us with the fourth ship in the Disney fleet: 130,000 gross tons, 1,115 feet long, a beam of 121 feet, 1,250 staterooms with a capacity of 4,000 guests.

Fantasy minnie Fantasy atrium

The ship’s godmother is Mariah Carey, who sang at the inauguration ceremony early this month, but the real matriarch is Disney’s First Lady, Minnie Mouse, elegantly posed in a statue in the three-story Art Nouveau-inspired atrium at the center of the ship. Dumbo hangs from the stern of the ship.

Those of us too old to play in the Oceaneer Club and Lab got our only chance to tour the youth clubs today before sailing. The centerpiece is an interactive play floor, but the kids were elsewhere this afternoon, with a lone girl climbing on a green dinosaur and a boy checking out the one-eyed monster’s lair.

Fantasy dino Fantasy monster

Tonight: dinner in Animator’s Palate, where the guests’ drawings are brought to life. I’ll tell you all about it later. I’ve got to run out to the verandah – we’re moving, and people on the pier along the breakwater are waving and cheering us on.