Disney Fantasy Sets Sail For New York

BREMERHAVEN, Germany - The brand new cruise ship Disney Fantasy set sail Thursday for New York with a fireworks salute on its first voyage after sea trials in January.

The Fantasy was built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenberg, Germany, the second of two new ships for the Disney Cruise Line, to be based in Port Canaveral, Fla. The 130,000-ton liner has a capacity of 4,200 passengers, a crew of 1,450 and will make its inaugural voyage from Port Canaveral to the Caribbean on March 31. The Fantasy will make 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from Florida year round.

This voyage is a shakedown for the crew with invited guests only. Finishing touches on some areas of the ship are still underway, though the vessel is mechanically complete. The Fantasy is a sister ship to Disney Dream, lauched a year ago.

The Fantasy, like the Dream, is built for family crusing. The spacious staterooms can sleep up to five people and the bathrooms are divived into two separate rooms, each with a sink. Balcony cabins have a large sitting area with full-size couch that can be curtained off from the sleeping area. Inside cabins have a unique HD display that shows the outside view, with a few Disney twists like characters floating by.

The ship has 1,250 staterooms, 88 percent of which have ouside views with 909 of them verandah.

Of course kids will be entranced with features like the aquaduck water ride and some of the largest childrens' only areas at sea, not to mention the Disney characters. But fhe Fantasy was also designed for adults, with major areas of the ship set aside for adults, including sophisticated bars and lounges. There's a premium French restaurant on board plus an elaborate spa.

The Fantasy decor is reminiscent of the ships of old with art deco clean lines, generous public spaces and the look of a true ocean-going vessel, not a floating apartment block that is the trend in many newer megaships.

Stay tuned to this space in the coming weeks for more on the Fantasy, plus tips on how to snag cruise deals and more.

The writer is an editor for ABCNews.com, which is also owned by The Walt Disney Co. The opinions expressed are his own.