Disney Fantasy’s May 20th Return to Port Canaveral Delayed Due to Unexpected Mechanical Issue

During the final evening of the Disney Fantasy’s first cruise, a 3-Night Bahamian, following dry dock, an “unexpected mechanical issue” during the second dinner seating that resulted in the Fantasy sailing a less than full speed. According to an email from a passenger as well as the number of tweets I received, Commodore Tom informed passengers of the issue and that this would delay their return to Port Canaveral to approximately 10:00-11:00 AM Eastern.


The aforementioned email from Mark (withholding last name) provides a little more detail.

Hi Scott,
We are currently on the Disney Fantasy returning to Port Canaveral. They just announced “due to an unexpected mechanical issue,” we are arriving late tomorrow morning into Port Canaveral. They’re saying at this point they expect 10am alongside the dock with first passengers being able to debark at 11:00am.  DCL is working with those people who booked flights thru Disney to reschedule, and said anyone who booked on their own should go to guest services. I expect this will mean chaos in the terminal/luggage area tomorrow. I feel for those who have planned flights.

During our 2nd seating dinner at Animators Palette tonight we felt a lot of vibrations from the engine room below us. It lasted a couple minutes. When I checked recently we were only doing 9 kts and Commodore Tom told us this afternoon before we left Castaway Cay that we would average 20 kts coming home. At that time he also warned it would be rougher sailing overnight due to crossing the Gulf Stream. Hopefully sailing at half speed won’t make that worse.


The warning about rougher sailing from Castaway Cay to Port Canaveral over the Gulf Stream is nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve heard it countless time and I see this as the Captain managing expectations – quite often it is not even close to being rough sailing.

After reading Mark’s email, I looked at the sailing history of the Fantasy and as you will see in the following video the timing does match up with a significant slow down while sailing south of Freeport. In some promising news, it appears the Fantasy was able to pick up a little more speed overnight (max reported overnight speed of 17knt) and last reported at 14knt.

As a result, DCL is working with passengers with flights booked through Disney affected by this delay. Passengers with flights booked on their own were told to visit guest services. It is unknown, at this time, how this will impact the May 20th 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise other than obvious, a delayed embarkation and departure.

This post will be updated with any new details as we get them through the day.

8:00 am UPDATE 

9:00 am UPDATE 

9:15 am UPDATE – Guest Email from DCL RE: 5/20 sailing


We are contacting you with important information related to your sailing today (May 20).

Due to an unexpected mechanical issue, the Disney Fantasy will have a delayed arrival into Port Canaveral today. Once the ship arrives, the onboard Guests will need to complete the debarkation process before boarding can begin for your sailing this afternoon.

As a result of this unexpected delay, we are asking Guests to postpone their arrival to the terminal building by at least 3 hours after your selected port arrival time, but no later than 5:30pm today. We encourage you to enjoy lunch on your own, and we will provide a $25 onboard credit per Guest.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will send updates as needed. For the most up-to-date information, Guests are invited to call 1-866-325-4243.

We appreciate your understanding during this unexpected delay and look forward to welcoming you onboard.


The Cast and Crew
Disney Cruise Line

DCL 20170520 Fantasy Delay Embark Email

Appears the ships is sailing with just one prop.

10:30 AM UPDATE – Fantasy Arriving with Tug Boat Assist 

3:00 PM Update – Potential Itinerary Revision

Disney Fantasy Potential Revised 2017 05 20 Itinerary

6:00 PM Update – Disney Fantasy May 20, 2017 Itinerary Officially Changed

As previously, discussed, the decision has been made to revise the May 20th sailing to a 7-Night Easter Caribbean with the following port order which is the old itinerary B:

Port Canaveral, FL • At Sea • At Sea • St. Thomas (w. St. John excursions) • San Juan, Puerto Rico • At Sea • Disney’s Castaway Cay
  1. Saturday May 20, 2017 | Port Canaveral
  2. Sunday May 21, 2017 | At Sea
  3. Monday May 22, 2017 | At Sea
  4. Tuesday May 23, 2017  | St. Thomas (St. John)
  5. Wednesday May 24, 2017 | San Juan
  6. Thursday May 25, 2017 | At Sea
  7. Friday May 26, 2017 | Castaway Cay

Commodore Tom told passenger this “maintenance delay should fix all issues”.

Additional reports suggest a part is being flown from the Bahamas to Florida this evening to resolve the issue.

11:30 PM Update – Disney Fantasy Leaves Port Canaveral 

Just after 11 PM there were signs of a departure or more specifically radio chatter.

Shortly before 11:30 PM, the Disney Fantasy dropped lines and departed Port Canaveral.

31 Replies to “Disney Fantasy’s May 20th Return to Port Canaveral Delayed Due to Unexpected Mechanical Issue”

    1. Cindy Alford

      us too. fingers and eyes crossed… please don’t cancel! However, I would love 3 days at sea vs. 2… just sayin’

  1. steven

    We’re here at the port for Thunder at Cocoa beach and they have signs showing delayed boarding for Disney, we will see if she leaves on time tonight. I would hate to be the person that overlooked a repair on her engines or drive system…

  2. Matthew Taylor

    They are fixing what they can in port today. They are shipping parts to San Juan to complete the repairs.

    1. Chris

      She has lights on now. I can see the DCL insignias on the funnels lit up and I can see lights behind the lifeboats on deck 4 among other places. It might have been too bright to see at 730.

    2. beth

      At that point she was in full silhouette from the sun, so the lights either might not have been turned on yet because of the amount of light outside OR they may not have been visible as it was pretty pure silhouette for a while. As soon as the sun was fully behind her and details could be seen, you could see lights.

  3. steven

    We’re at the waterfront and she looks good. Only thing is the red paint on the funnels looks faded due to the sun damage. Just waiting on her to sail out. I’m sorry for all the bad luck that she is having but it’s mechanical and will have issues like all stuff. Relax and enjoy your on a Disney cruise!!!!

  4. steven

    Well it’s almost 9:15pm and she is still at the dock. Must not be good but they will get her running soon. All lights are on and she looks good.

  5. DJ

    Wow! This is a ridiculous question, but I wonder if they did a sail away party earlier in the day.

    Scott, as always, thanks for the scoop! You stayed up late for us!

    1. ProsperityAndCalamities

      Last May, I was on the Panama Canal cruise that left late because of the norovirus on the cruise before us and they did the sail away party around the regular time (maybe an hour later because we got on late) but we didn’t actually sail away until like 8:45pm.

  6. steven

    I’m curious if they made it to there port of call or if they changed it again because they left so late… also if they were running on both screws or just 1 screw (prop).

  7. steven

    People are posting on Facebook showing pictures of a tug boat pushing the fantasy, Think about the size of her and the small tug doesn’t have enough horse power to push her.they are just using the tug as inscurance because she might not be able to move as nimble with 1 screw out of service. Scott if you can find out what went on that would be awesome !!

    1. Chris

      Those tugs have more power then you think. The 1 tug behind was acting like a brake if needed or to swing her stern as needs. There was a 2nd tug in the turn basin to help turn her around.

  8. Travis

    Update if a fix was complete or the extra check in San Juan. We leave Saturday and hoping all well.


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