4nt Disney Wonder Review
Thank you for taking the time to read my review of the Disney Wonder. First, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jennifer and I sailed the 4nt Disney cruise with my DH. We are both in our mid- 20’s and sailed this cruise without any children. I consider myself to be a somewhat experienced cruiser as this was my 5th cruise, but my first Disney cruise. Previously, I have sailed on NCL, NCLA, and Carnival.
My DH and I drove to the cruise port and parked our car at the terminal. The fee to port authority was $60 for the 4nt cruise ($15 per day, $8 per half day). Parking is was not in a covered garage for those of you that were wondering in previous posts.
Embarkation was a rather quick process. Disney works on a first come first serve basis so get to the port early. I believe they start check in at 10 or 10:30 and start boarding at noon. My DH is not a morning person so we didn’t arrive at the terminal until noon (much later than I planned). We got through the line relatively quickly and boarded the ship. For that Disney difference, there were characters in the port taking pictures and as always when you boarded the ship crew members where there to welcome you home. We were told our room would be ready in 10 minutes that we were welcome to go up to Beach Blankets (the buffet) on deck 9 for lunch. I will discuss the food more in depth later, but I was very impressed that we were able to accommodate so many people for lunch right away. My DH and I had no problems finding a table and eating before going to our room.
Debarkation was even simpler. Breakfast was served in the dining room you ate in the previous night for dinner (or you could go to the buffet at Beach Blanket.) My husband unfortunately had to be at work early so we ate at the buffet so we could get off the ship earlier. As soon as we got off the ship, porters greeted up. We gave them our room number and they were able to tell us exactly which row our luggage was in. Disney had the luggage in color sections; however, they put the luggage in room number order. It was VERY easy to find out luggage and the porter brought it and placed it right in our car. I have to say my DH and I were able to get to our car and through customs in about 10 minutes. This was much simpler then the experience we’ve had on other cruise lines. Don’t forget to tip the porters. They really do earn it. ($1 or $2 per bag)
The entertainment on this cruise was incredible. My advice is not to miss any shows. The Wonder just started their new show “Toy Story The Musical.” All of the shows were phenomenal. While we were on board we saw- Michael Harrison (all three shows), The Golden Mickies, Toy Story, and Disney Dreams. Michael Harrison several comedy and ventriloquism shows throughout the duration of the cruise. He was very funny and a genuinely nice guy. My DH and I had the pleasure of talking to him after the cruise at one of the night clubs. All of his shows are slightly different so it’s worth seeing him more than once. (And make sure to see the Adult Show) Unfortunately, Michael Harrison will not be on the ship much longer as he is going to be on Americas Got Talent this summer (vote for him!).
Although, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the shows on this ship and thought they were probably the best shows I’ve seen on a cruise. I did feel they did lack some variety in the types of shows that were offered. Also, they charge you for snacks at the theatre. Snacks from by the pool work great to bring in and they are free. They even have bags of potato chips, by the pool. (And don’t forget about the free soda on by the pool)
As with most cruise lines, there was constant entertainment and it’s impossible to do everything. They had karaoke, pool games, drawing lessons, drinking clinics, EVERYTHING. I also felt Disney did a great job helping to separate those that weren’t traveling with kids. They had three pools: kids, family, and adult only. In the navigator (activity newsletter), different activities for different age levels were always listed. My DH and I stuck to the family and adult activities. Although, I can’t really comment on the kids and teen clubs, I wanted to note… One night I heard a parent ask his son if he wanted to stay with him or go back to the oceaners club. The little kid said….. Oceaners Club. So they must be doing a good job over there.
My DH and I enjoyed dressing up like pirates for the Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party on Tuesday night. Disney is the only line to have fireworks off the ship and they do a great show doing this party. It is well attended so get their early to get your spots. I was a little bothered by the amount of people that stood in front and refused to dance, when people like my DH and I wanted to dance and had to stay in the back. We made the best of it and Disney has a huge tv screen out by the pool which the played the party on. Even if you were in the back, you could see what was going on in the front.
If you want to see characters, they are everywhere. You will know when and where the characters will be as they are noted on your Navigator. However, on the last night at 10:00pm in the atrium almost all of the characters come out. My DH got pictures with almost all of them on that one night rather then wait on lines throughout the cruise.
My DH and I were skeptical about the traditional dining as we are used to NCL’s freestyle dining. However, I think Disney does an AWESOME job blending traditional and freestyle dining.
On board you will be given a set dining time and will eat with the same people and have the same server throughout the cruise. However, each night you will rotate restaurants. So although you don’t get to eat whenever wherever, you still get to see all the restaurants. Great concept!! And of course, you don’t have to eat in the dining room. You can choose to go to the buffet, order room service, eat by the pool, or go to Palo’s (the adult only, $15 cover restaurant).
The food was excellent and I found that their was a nice variety each night.
Ports of Call
I had been to Nassau once before and none of the excursions were thrilling me. My DH and I decided to book the ATV Tour through Nassau. This excursion started off with a rocky start. When we got off the ship it was pouring and we ran through the rain looking for the fountain, which was our meeting spot. I had requested a 10:00 start time and off course we docked late so it was already after 10:00. We found the fountain and the ATV people weren’t there. After we called we were told that they pushed us to 1:00 because of the rain. After that the excursion was great. They were promptly there to pick us up at 1:00 and we drove through the streets on an ATV. It was very simple to drive and saw many points of interest such as Fort Charlotte and the caves. The tour was $90 for single riders $80 for double.
On the first day of the cruise my DH and I attended the shopping talk. Dustin was so much fun and gave out lots of free prizes. Make sure you sit in the very front-scream, shout and cheer and you will get lots of prizes. We won a rum cake and nail polish. Also I paid $25 for a shopping card for Nassau. Since my tour was pushed back, I had 2 hours to shop. With the card I received a number of free gifts that I went to the different shops collecting. Was is worth the $25? I don’t know… For me it was. I really liked the free pendant and charm bracelet I received. I also loved the free bag and lanyard I got from Del Sol.
As others have stated there were many people doing independent tours in Nassau. You don’t have to book through the ship. I also have a walking tour of Nassau from Frommers if anyone is interested I will post it. Make sure you do the Rum Cake factory. They give out free samples. Also I didn’t have time, but I have an ad for a Pirate Wax museum that seemed like fun.
In this port, I wouldn’t recommend renting scooters. They drive pretty crazy in Nassau. I felt safe with a guide leading us through traffic, but would not do alone.
This was a beautiful island. Other cruise lines claim to have their own island and when you get there you see other cruise ships on different parts. Disney really have their own island. They have about 20 people that actually live there to keep it beautiful for us.
I can’t say enough wonderful things. They have plenty going on. The highlight for me was seeing the Flying Dutchmen in port. If you would like to take pictures don’t take the 1st tram you see or you’ll pass it.
My husband and I went to Serenity Bay the adult only beach. It was quiet and beautiful and we burnt like lobster, but had a great time. We walked to this beach, but it took us like 30 minutes. I suggest taking the second tram here, or biking it. It’s a bit far. Also bring your own snorkels, save some money.
The food here was wonderful.
Disney is the only cruise line (at least that I know of) that allows you to bring your own alcohol aboard. Prior to departure my DH and I bought a bottle of mudslide mix and a bottle of rum from the liquor store. We didn't even have to worry about the bottles breaking because we found plastic bottles.
I packed my little bullet blender and we enjoyed mudslides by the pool. Or dropped some rum in our free coke (from the drink station on deck 9 aft.) Of course we still bought drinks here and there, but it cut down our drinking bill a bit.
Also, the more you get involved the more free drinks you will earn. Disney gives out lots of free drinks throughout the cruise, especially at the parties. Every night at the dance parties they gave out free shots to crazy dancers. During the One Hit Wonders party they played a song and gave a shot out to the first person to name it. During Krazy Karaoke, they gave out a free drink to anyone that sang. On the sea day, they gave out a free drink to the winning team during the pool games.
I thought the free drinks were a nice added bonus. It made playing a little more fun and it wasn't that hard to win them. Also during the parties at Wavebands they give out free trips to the spa. They are good for the rainforest package, which they normally charge $15 for. I won one of those as well. It wasn't for me, but it was nice for my DH and I to see what it was about without paying.