This was our third Disney Wonder cruise with grandchildren. Last year we were on this ship to the Mexican Riviera and the kids loved the Edge and Oceaneer counselors and activities. Since the Disney cruise was much more expensive than other cruises to Alaska we felt it was worth it after our previous experience with the Disney difference on two other cruises. The kids were so excited to be on this ship again but were very disappointed to find new personnel that did not seem to engage them at all. They were so sad that there were very few scheduled events this year. Last year the kids couldn't wait to join the other kids and particularly were looking forward to the pirate show, the midnight dessert buffet and the passenger talent show. One of our kids had practiced and rehearsed in advance, brought the equipment she needed and then found out there was no talent show. Sadly the pirate show was at 10:30 p.m. so most of the kids were either in bed or close to meltdown. There also was no midnight dessert buffet. On past Disney cruises we noticed the kids congregated either in the pools or in the clubs, but this time most of the tweens just wandered around in groups and said there was nothing going on in the Edge.
As previous Disney guests, there was a welcome back backpack and some small crackers but no special party that most cruise lines do to encourage repeat business.
The positives of this Disney cruise were: clean, well maintained stateroom; fabulous shows; food that was kid friendly and healthy; soda and coffee anytime; easy to manage buffets with good food and delicious desserts. Room service was punctual and accurate and the delivery people politely appreciated the tips.
Another issue we had was that our table in each dining room was in front of or next to the serving stations and doors leading to the kitchen. Due to the noise level, we were unable to even talk to each other much less the other table mates. We were surprised to learn that we all had booked through Costco, so maybe that is why we all had such a bad experience? I have never used Costco travel before, so I do not know if this is typical. Our waiter and assistant waiter were very disorganized and unfriendly to all at our table as well as each other. Not once did either of them ask our names and the waiter did not socialize with us at all, except to say that the delays and problems were due to the assistant. They also did not clear our table or help when there was a spill on the table requiring all of our napkins to soak up the soda. They did not replace the napkins or attempt to dry the table. The first couple of days we thought it would get better, but when it didn't we finally decided to skip dinner in the dining room and went to the buffet. We know our experience was not typical since we had excellent service in the dining room one day for lunch. When I mentioned the poor service to Guest relations,I was told that many of the people were new hires and the experienced Disney employees had been relocated to the new ships.
Ports of call: Skagway was about a 10 minute walk from the ship or $2 per person for the shuttle each way. In Juneau the town was too far away to walk and was located in an industrial area. Ketchikan was easy since the ship docked right at the entrance to town. We arrived late in Victoria and only had a couple of hours. After waiting in line for the shuttle bus, we were able to walk the around the town for about an hour and a half before waiting in another line for about 30 minutes for the return shuttle. (Be sure to bring an umbrella!) There was no time to go to the dining room for dinner that night, but the buffet time was extended.