Ship Review by Matt Roseboom, August 2009
A cruise on the Disney Wonder is like a visit to a Disney theme park without the rides or crowds. If that sounds fun to you, then you’ll definitely enjoy sailing with Disney cruise line.
Entertainment is the highlight of the Wonder. Three different production shows are performed, each with a Disney theme. Unlike on other cruise lines, there’s no orchestra. But you don’t really miss it. The acting, singing and costumes are outstanding and the soundtracks include the Disney songs you’re familiar with. The stand out show was “Toy Story The Musical”. The Wonder is the only place to see this production which includes six original songs. Other entertainment includes first-run movies, some in 3D, in the Buena Vista Theatre. Also, don’t miss the Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party, complete with fireworks.
The kids (and some adults) will love all of the character interactions. For most of the day and night, you’ll find Mickey, Goofy and the gang meeting fans in the lobby or pool-side. And unlike at the parks, it’s less crowded so you can spend more time with each character. The kids and teens have supervised areas just for them. Flounder’s Reef Nursery will watch the littlest ones for an extra fee, but Oceaneer Club (ages 3 to 7), Oceaneer Lab (ages 8 to 12) and Aloft (teens) are free of charge and are open from early morning to late night.
While the kids are away having fun, adults can enjoy their own private pool, one of the many adults-only lounges or the relaxing Vista Spa & Salon. There’s also an adults-only dining room called Palo. This upscale restaurant charges an extra fee of $15 per person, but that’s a small price to pay for a romantic dinner away from the kids.
Dining on the Wonder is an experience in itself. Of course there’s the usual Beach Blanket Buffet for a quick meal, but for dinner, your dining room changes each night. (Your waiter and assistant waiter move with you.) You may start out at Triton’s the first night, then be scheduled for Parrot Cay the next night. But the night to look forward to is your night in Animator’s Palate. This unique restaurant starts out with a black and white decor, but gets progressively more colorful as the meal proceeds. It’s a cool experience.
Each cruise includes a stop at their private island, Castaway Cay. Like the ship, this beautiful island features supervised activities for the kids, character greetings, an adults-only area, many bars and restaurants, and water and island activities. Castaway Cay is one of the best private islands of any cruise line.
The Wonder alternates three and four night Bahamian itineraries for the rest of 2009, and will switch to four and five nights in 2010.
– Our recent cruise on the Wonder was part of the Disney Channel Summer at Sea. See below for photos and videos of some Disney Channel stars on-board.
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