Year Started: 1996
Ships in Fleet: 4
Summary: Everything Disney; great entertainment, Disney characters, movies and live theater. Interactive fun for all ages. Only four ships, two older, two newer.
Good for: Children`s Programs. Teens. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Mediterranean Western, Transatlantic
Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.
Regions:Alaska, Bahamas, Caribbean Western, Mexico
Good for: Families. Teens. Children`s Programs.
This was my first Disney cruise, but fourth overall. I have also cruised with NCL twice, and Royal Caribbean. This cruise was overpriced, when you compare it with similar styled cruise lines
The food quality was substandard at best. Most of our meals came out lukewarm, heavily sauced, and over salted. This was consistent throughout the cruise. It's almost as Disney felt that since they were creating the Disney "magical" experience with the characters, that the adults and children wouldn't notice the lack of variety in food, fresh fruit or appetizing meals. I know that children's palates aren't as developed as adults, but please, there is just some much mac n' cheese (made with what seemed like velveeta), pizza and chicken fingers that a child can eat over the duration of a 7 day cruise. The orange and apple juice was only available during meal hours, so if you didn't plan ahead and bottle some for your stateroom, your child was drinking milk or from the soda station
We had a family deluxe oceanview. Our stateroom attendant was polite and did a great job of keeping our room clean, tidy, and well stocked withfresh towels, etc.
The Disney meet and greets were fantastic for the children. You have alot of opportunities during the cruise to meet with the different characters. If your little ones are looking at getting some autographs and pictures, you will want to get the majority of them as early on in the cruise as possible. Disney runs their ship lean, which means closer to the end of the cruise, you have less opportunity to meet the characters as many of them double for the evening entertainment. Also, for those families that didn't get their quota of photos earlier on in the cruise, they are now scrambling to get as many photos as they can before the end of the cruise. Picture taking is scheduled, and random all at the same time. Since there always seems to be a character(s) walking around on the ship, you often end up taking unplanned pictures causing you to miss other onboard activities. Due to the lineups sometimes taking a 1/2hr or more for photo taking, kids often end up getting cranky. If you can take turns with lineup duties, and have your little ones join you just before their photo is to be taken, you will make your life alot easier.
All three swimming pool areas for the younger babies, children and adults were extremely small and insufficient for the number of people onboard.
The evening (Broadway type) entertainment was also fantastic, and is definitely a higher calibre to what I've seen on other ships. The shows were done "Disney" style, and they didn't disappoint. The pirate party was also fantastic, with the fireworks show at the end - Awesome!
We did our own excursions and we were quite happy with the price and activities we were able to do on our own. I've always found that the excursions offered by cruise lines were higher than what you can get if you plan it yourself, but make sure you do your research beforehand, so you're not wasting time at port. If planning ahead isn't for you, then go with a pre-packaged excursion since there's bound to be at least one which, will interest you and your family.
If you want to see as many Disney characters as possible - than this is the cruise for you. If you are looking for the best quality cruise experience for your dollar, I would recommend a similar styled cruise which offers some character events and children programs.
Reading this review you might think that this cruise wasn't that bad, but please take into account that this itinerary only goes to 3 ports of call. Leaving alot of time spent using the amenities and onboard activities. Overall, this cruise was disappointing due to the cost, poor amenities, and the lack of quality food.
Fellow Travelers... A six cabin /w outside verandahs purchase for Thanksgiving '99 resulted in an almost $l7,000 fiasco...a special occasion, with the family..3-=4" of water on the verandas(took three days to remove)..no scuttleholes..totally inedible food the first nite, resulted in the chef apologizing..advising his job depended on it..careless waiters and busboys who brought cold , incorrect orders..neglected to remove dishes..begging the hotel director aboard to help..resulted in a non effort.Britework (varnished wood)peeling...'THE DISNEY WONDER..WENT IN TO SERVICE AUG.'99..this was November'99.
A Disney Disaster for us, resulted in three poor,expensive days...FORGOT TO MENTION THE FACT WE WERE "DEAD IN THE WATER" DURING THE NIGHT FOR MANY HOURS.. All of the above resulted in fax's to the CEO and related personnel...months later..received a letter from PR dept.."they were sorry for our not enjoying the dinner..and would offer a 25% discount on a future trip.." Letters echoing our personal adventure to numerous papers in the country, resulted in "0"..they must be big advertisers...
CAVEAT EMPTOR...let the buyer beware
P.S. The travel manager did good..when Philadelphia travelers had a tough time..and they managed, with super human effort to get them on board.
When I read online about the Disney Wonder cruise I was really worried about how it would be. Most of the reviews were quite negative. My dealings with the business office by email and by phone were not pleasant. It took three emails before they would even answer the question I asked with other than their form letters that did not fit the situation. Since we could not fit my daughter's vacation into the calendar of the Disney Magic we decided to do a 3 and a 4 day on the Wonder to add up to the seven day cruise. I asked my travel agent and emailed a request to customer service at Disney to please be allowed to occupy the same cabin on both cruises. I talked to others on the cruise that had been granted this request, but we were made to pack up and change cabins after the 4 day cruise. The replies from Disney indicated that this was something they could not do. When I asked at the guest relations desk, they said that it could easily have been done, the person making the room assignmentsjust did not want to take a bit of extra trouble to do it. On the positive side, the cabin for the four day cruise was a very nice upgrade. The one for the three day was over the engines and under the disco so it vibrated a lot when starting or stopping and was noisy until late at night. I do not recommend number 2652, but number 2550 in the same category was very comfortable and much quieter.
Once we got on the ship the cruise was wonderful. I wrote a review of the Disney Magic several years ago. The Wonder is just as nice. The food has improved, but is still not a strong point of the cruise. The children's program and the private island, Castaway Cay, are the best features of the cruise. Our 2 ½ year old went happily to the nursery where the staff was friendly and competent. We were allowed to take him to the 3-5 year old area where it was quite dimly lit as several reviewers have said. Our eyes adjusted quickly and he did not mind; the staff members were friendly there also. We had to stay with him, but he played and participated in the program happily until time for us to leave.
One advantage of taking the back to back cruises was that we got two days at the island and two evenings at Palo. The second day on the island we left our toddler in the nursery and went to the adults only area of the beach. The BBQ was much better than the one served in the family area with rib eye steaks and a nicer area in which to eat. Dinner in Palo was a special treat both times although the lobster ravioli which was so delicious the first time, was too salty to eat the second time. Our server, Kim, gave us excellent service both evenings.
Embarkation and debarkation for both cruises was quick and easy. Packing for this cruise is no problem. One dressy outfit and a few casual outfits plus your bathing suit and you are good to go. I even had room in the suitcase for my snorkel gear and plane toys for Charlie.
We took the annual family vacation on a 7 Day Land & Sea package with Disney on the Wonder. This was our first Disney Cruise experience and we are already looking forward to 2011 when the Disney Dream is launched for sailing.
Our package was for 3 days in the parks and 4 days on the ship and if I had it to do over I would not combine them because neither is enough time to fully enjoy what is offered. Our cabin was an outside Superior Stateroom with balcony which is one below the Family cabins though I could never tell what the actual difference was since they both will sleep 4 to 5 depending on the size of the individuals (kids).
Port Canaveral was a breeze and is very true to the reviews on this site and others. Our girls were 8 and 3 at time of sailing and they had no problems with the process, of course they were to excited to worry about anything but getting on and getting started. They announce each guest separately as you come across the gangway onto the ship which is prettydarn cool. They had the standard fare for a first day of the cruise buffet and over all the food was pretty good and pleanty of choices for the kids.
The cabin was the largest we have seen for a non-suite cabin on any of the cruises we have been on. The two separate bathrooms are very nice (tub/shower and sink in one and toilet/sink in the other) it made getting ready much quicker and the bath tub had enough room for our 3 yr old to take a bath in. Queen size bed for the wife and myself while the sofa fliped into a single and the other pulled down from the ceiling which of course the kids loved. There was pleanty of storage under the bed and in the trunk that is like a book shelf. The tip to bring an over the door shoe organizer worked great as well for shoes/toiletries and other assundries. The balcony was great to have which made the room feel even bigger, they have a curtain that pretty much splits the room in two for some privacy when the kiddo's go to sleep.
As far as the shipboard entertainment goes, it's Disney and you really can't go wrong, there is something to do everyday and the characters are constantly found throughout the ship. The kids programs put anything out on the high seas to shame no matter what age your children may be. They give you and your children an armband that stays on the entire lenght of your stay and they also issue you a beeper to notify you if your child would like to be picked up or in case of an emergency and they do not let anyone else that does not have a wristband check the child out.
Nassau and Castaway Cay were the only two stops we made and since we had been to Nassau several times we decided to stay aboard the ship. Castaway Cay is great with to many things to do in one day and the BBQ that they have was pretty good as well and at no extra charge it is priced just right. There is an area for everyone of all ages here and we found the family beach to be just right. I will say other reviews I have read say that it doesn't really matter what time of the year you go the water never really gets Hawaii warm but one you have been in it for a few minutes it is fine.
Disembarkation was just as easy as getting on the ship, you just wait until your bag tag is called and off you go, no fuss no muss. Overall we were very happy with the total Disney experience and the Wonder.
My mother and I went on a three-day cruise aboard the Disney Wonder to Nassau and Castaway Cay for my 19th birthday, and the tenth anniversary of sailing with Disney Cruise Line, last August. We embarked the ship rather early (some four or so hours pre-departure) and had lunch in time at the Beach Blanket Buffet. The food was scrumptious, with the fruit nice and sweet, picked at the peak of its ripeness. (Blame the magic of Disney on their originating soils.)
The shows were more enjoyable, especially my favorite (besides Disney Dreams), Toy Story the Musical! Note that the shows don't use show bands, just not to detract theatergoers from the magic on stage.
The deck parties (Adventures Away and Pirates IN the Caribbean, with pyrotechnics on the ship) topped the bill, with Disney characters on hand to rule the roost. Speaking of which, a lot of them are virtually EVERYWHERE! One day, I saw Lilo and Stich while taking pictures in the spa and I saw Donald, Captain Hook, and Mr. Smee on our way to the fitness center (with LCD TV screens on their ellipticals, which was brilliant). Despite thefact that guests under 18 are not allowed in the area, I think the characters were exceptional! I met Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy (while exploring the ship before viewing The Golden Mickeys), among some others, while onboard.
Despite skinning my right knee on Nassau and being set back a tad bit due to inclement weather in Castaway Cay, I still had payloads of fun in the shore excursions. The tours of the zoo, city, and Fort Fincastle in the latter port of call were excellent!
My mother and I also dined a Palo's at the last night of the cruise, since I just turned 19 nearly two months before the cruise (you must be 18 to dine there) and we were iffy of dining in our least favorite restaurant, Parrot Cay, again. My northern Italian experience was relatively placid, with no sight or sound of screaming kids or seat-heeling brats.
I truly recommend sailing with Disney, even if itineraries are as short (sometimes lacking a day at sea, just like ours) as the Disney Wonder's! Excellent service and food aren't the only things I enjoy about this aforementioned cruise. For families who either don't condone gambling or worry about their kids inhaling secondhand smoke, they'll flip over the lack of casinos and the stringent smoking policy! Because of the ounces of magic Disney tosses at you each day onboard, I give this five stars!
My husband and I set sail on the Disney Wonder for a three-day cruise to the Bahamas and Castaway Cay. Boarding was quick and although we could not go to our rooms until 1:30 we decided to eat at Parrot Cay for lunch. The food was good and the desserts were enjoyable.
After we ate we were allowed in our rooms. The room was an inside handicapped and somewhat larger then usual. One problem was that my husband has a scooter and it was very difficult to get in and out of the room because it was at an angle. It was not set up very well for a handicapped guest.
Castaway Cay was nice. We could have spent two days there instead of one. The characters were there which made it enjoyable for the kids.
Palo's was very nice for dining. The food was great and Sean was a great server. Should have ate there all three days.
Leaving the ship was quick and organized. Would I choose Disney again? I don't think so. A specific crew member was very rude to my husband because he was on a scooter. Wewent to guest relations and they took the info. We never heard anything after that conversation. An apology would have been nice.
My family and I sailed the Disney Wonder on 11/8 for a 3 night cruise stopping in Nassau and Castaway Cay. It was the occasion of my husband's 40th birthday. We have never been on a cruise, but it has been something my husband always wanted to do, so this birthday seemed to be a good time. We knew our son would be a bit young to really absorb the experience, but we also knew we would not feel out of place on a Disney cruise with a 2 year old child in tow.
We spent the night in Orlando at the Homewood Suites hotel on International Blvd. Very nice facility, clean, comfortable with a great breakfast. We drove to Port Canaveral (approx. 1 hour) and parked at the port. As we expected with everything Disney, the service was wonderful and the check-in was seamless. We were in our stateroom by 2:30 p.m. after arriving at the port at 1:45 p.m.
Our son proceeded to take a long overdue nap while we acquainted ourselves with the room (6578). Over the course of the course, we were just amazed at howsoundproof the cabins are. We could not hear the folks on either side of us nor the folks above us. Occasionally, we would hear kids running in the hall outside. We did the mandatory evacuation drill at 4:00 p.m.(our son was not happy about being awakened for that!) and we attended the send off show on Deck 4.
We dined at Triton's, Animator's Palette and Parrot Cay. The food was fine, but nothing was exceptional. I would suggest that parents of young toddlers bring snacks (e.g. cut apple wedges, crackers, etc.) as the food delivery time is fine for adults who are relaxing and talking, but it is a bit long for a hungry toddler. Our servers were great; they were very patient with our son and after the first night, they began delivering his food even before the appetizers for the rest of the table arrived. They also remembered his preference for broccoli cooked really well and aversion to desserts. We were confused on the morning of disembarkation about when we were scheduled for breakfast, but we were accommodated very easily. Outside of the scheduled dining rooms, we loved the room service available as we would order wine with crackers, cheese and fruit every evening after our son went to sleep (around 9 p.m) and then we would sit on the verandah talking about our day and just things in general (what a luxury to have uninterrupted conversations when you have a toddler!). We also ordered our breakfast to be delivered every morning. Fruit plate, muffins, cereal and GREAT coffee! The delivery was always within the time we requested. Our stateroom steward kept the room spotless. I will admit I was a bit put off by the constant mention of gratuities, but these folks work hard and they really put great effort into it. I actually ended up tipping higher than the amounts recommended.
Nassau was OK. It is what it is and that is a port town with day trippers out to spend money. We walked around for about an hour and half and then went back to the boat for lunch and his nap. We spent the remaining afternoon in the Mickey wade pool, which he enjoyed, but not as much as he could have. The pool is supposed to be for toddlers only, but there were a lot of bigger kids (5-9 years old) who just couldn't seem to stay away from that area, even after the Disney life guard shooed them back to the pool for the bigger kids.
Castaway Cay is AWESOME and I wish the cruise had skipped Nassau and spent two nights at CC. We spent an hour at the Family Beach, which is rocking with kids, but there was still plenty of chairs and loungers. We snagged an area under a shady palm tree right off the bat; it came in handy later for our son's nap. After the beach, we rented bikes and took a self guided tour of the island; this was my best experience! Our son loved the bike ride and it felt great to get a bit of exercise in such beautiful surroundings. After the bike ride, we ate lunch at Cookie's BBQ. The lunch was excellent, much better than what we had on board. After lunch, we put our son in a hammock and he slept for 1.5 hours while swinging in the breeze under the shady palm tree. Meanwhile, my husband and I took advantage of the two for one drinks the local bar was offering. My only suggestion would be to offer more options for families with really young children; not everyone with a young child wants to send them off to a nursery just b/c it is vacation, although for some I am sure this is a very welcome respite. I would suggest a small library with board books and a sand box on board. On CC, I would suggest a jungle gym with bucket swings and a slide, again, for the toddlers. Another tip for toddler parents: bring your own plastic shovel and bucket, it is worth it.
As we normally had our son in bed by 9 p.m., we did not see many of the shows. However, we did stay up to watch the Disney Dreams show on the last night and it was top notch. As good as any we have seen in NYC. We also did not take our son to the Flounder's Reef Nursery.
Disembarkation was a complete breeze; 15 minutes from the time we walked off the boat to the time we got in our car. We were on the road by 9 a.m. We will definitely be doing this again and are looking forward to our son being of an age where he will enjoy it as much as we did!
All I can say is WOW! I have been on over 60 cruises, and all I can say is once you've done a Disney cruise, all other cruises pale in comparison.
I was hesitant to go on this cruise. I was going with a girlfriend. We had no children with us. So what were we doing on a Disney cruise? It was a gift.
We arrived the day before and stayed at the Radisson Hotel in Port Canaveral. Fabulous value, fabulous hotel.
The next day we took the Radisson shuttle to the ship. We got there around noon and we figured there would be long lines. WRONG. Disney is so efficient that we were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. And what a welcome we got. They ask your name when boarding the ship, they announce your arrival and all of a sudden there is clapping for you. Then one crew member is assigned to you to advise you when the staterooms would be available and directed you to the lunch buffet being served.
When we finally got to our stateroom, all I could say was WOW -- it washuge! The bathroom design is fabulous. The rooms are good sized. My biggest complaint is the toilet paper (sand paper).
Changing dining rooms every night was so much fun. You got a different room every night, but the same servers. Excellent idea. The food (which I expected to be the quality of the Disney park food) was to die for (well -- I gained 5 pounds eating it -- does that tell you anything?)
The service on the ship was impeccable. From our cabin steward (Edgar) to our dining room servers (Lloyd, Amanda and Ali the head waiter) were eager to please and wonderful to deal with. Ali even brought me recipes for the some of the dishes I enjoyed.
Nassau is Nassau -- it's a port I can do without. However, Castaway Keys is unbelievable. Once again, Disney has outdone themselves. The Island is beautiful. The adult's only beach is so peaceful. The tram system works wonderfully. The BBQ they had was delicious.
I can usually nitpick at a cruise. I feel I've done enough cruises to be able to do so. However, the only thing I could find wrong with this cruise was the toilet paper. The shows, the fireworks at sea, Mickey on a Zipline -- I guess as an adult without kids I could complain that I had to shove all the little ones out of the way so I could get my one on one time with Mickey :)
This cruise makes you a kid again. People without children should not hesitate to take this cruise. Family oriented or not, it was a blast!
This is my sixth Disney cruise, and I wanted to give a thumbs up to the newly reconditioned Magic. The entertainment broadway style shows were fantastic, and the new Disney Dreams really were great.
However, the comedian really was quite bad, and to be quite frank, a lot of folks walked out on her.
As for excursions, if you go to St Marteen, stay on the boat. The water is too choppy for snorkeling and the reefs are nasty. The island is littered with plastic bags and tires -- a lot like the bad parts of New Jersey.
The Dolphin encounter on St. Marteen is a total waste and should be avoided as the service staff there does not care about the customer. I made Disney aware of this and they are looking into it.
Let me end on a very positive note -- the staff on the Magic are amazing. They truly cater to your every need and define service.
Overall it was a great experience and one we will definitely consider doing again.
We took the 3 day cruise to Nassau and Disney's private island Castaway Cay. Our party included 6 kids--ages 20 mos.-8 years old and 7 adults. All of us were extremely satisfied with the overall experience even with a few disappointments.
We arrived at the Port around 12:30 and check-in and boarding were a snap. We had done the online checkin and that saved time, but they had many available stations. We got on the ship just after 1pm and sat down and had a nice buffet lunch. Part of our group didn't arrive until about 2:30 and they took much longer to check in so I would advise arriving around noon-1.
Before we left we had to perform the mandatory evacuation drill was went smoothly. After that we headed up to the top deck for the sail away party--which was nice--and the kids seemed to love it.
We had a 5:45 dinner seating b/c we had so many young kids. The dinners were all great and the servers went out of their way to make sure everyone washaving fun and enjoyed their meals.
On Friday we did the beach trip at Atlantis--this was our only hiccup of the day. Our transfer driver was clueless and eventually we just made him stop the bus and let us out as we could see the resort. Once there, we had issues with where we could and couldn't go at the resort. We eventually paid more $$ to upgrade to use the pools and slides, but other folks onboard said they were allowed to use everything---keep in mind this was an Atlantis issue, not Disney. Though it would be nice in this package just to buy access to everything even if it would cost more. It was a nice day trip.
On Saturday, we spent the day on Castaway Cay--the private island. It was great--beautiful island and water. Our little guy loved playing in the water. My wife got a massage and loved it. I didn't make it to the private beach, but she said it was great and was very quiet--the family beach was obviously crowded. The best place was at the far end of the family beach--almost at the teen beach as that appeared to be the least crowded place. Lunch on the island is included and was very good.
We didn't get to take advantage of the shows at night because our guy needed to go to bed, but we heard good things. They also have good movies running on your TV the entire time if you get stuck in your room.
We had a deluxe family stateroom which was very nice. It had an open verandah with 2 chairs and a small table.
My only other complaint would be that the characters didn't just walk around as much as I thought they would--instead they mostly made appearances at planned times for photo shoots. I'd like to just see them interacting more if possible--perhaps though that would create too many logjams.
Overall, great experience and would definitely do it again.