Disney Wonder Cruise Review by ericgraphicart: Disney Wonder - tips for a great cruise
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Disney Wonder - tips for a great cruise
Most reviews you read are about what that person thought and I never find those very informative as we all have different likes and dislikes. I enjoy the reviews where I get inside info and tips about the cruise that I may not have known/discovered otherwise, so my review I intend to give some tips and advice that may or may not help you out if planning a Disney Cruise on the Wonder, rather than my personal opinions on everything.
First thing we dealt with on doing the cruise was a car seat with our 4 year old son. To use one for the taxis/transportation or not? To check it both ways on the airline would have cost us $50. We decided not to take one and none of the taxis we used required us to use one when we used their services. We just sat him in the back next to one of us using the seat belt in the vehicle. Again, personal choice, but letting you know that nobody we used was enforcing the use of one while in their vehicle.
If you are flying into your cruise More destination, you will need transportation from the airport to the terminal. Disney offered bus service for the 5 of us at $150. We took our chances and just found a taxi (van style) and were charged $50 for the ride (Seattle airport to dock). Plenty of taxis when you leave the dock back to the airport also.
Check in at terminal was fast and efficient. Please note there is no food or beverages available at the terminal (Seattle) so bring your own unless you can wait to get on the ship. We arrived around 11am and they let us in. What took the longest was signing both our kids (age 11 and 4) up for the Oceaneers Club/Lab and The Edge. It took maybe 20 minutes (including in line). They were issued wristband (trackers) that must stay on their arms the entire cruise. About as big as a watch and waterproof of course. My 4 year old didn't like it at first but soon forgot about it that same day. The line did get longer as more and more people arrived so plan on probably 30 min to an hour if you want to check your kids in before getting on the ship. I don't think you have to do this in the terminal, as I think you can check them in once on board also, but I would ask one of them. It may be easier and less line to do it on the ship at some point when you are onboard.
PICTURES: Once inside the terminal, you can take pictures with a couple of the characters - they take professional pics and allow you to use your camera. Just so you know, they take a lot of professional pics of you and your family on this cruise and many of them come out very nice. You can buy the pics individual prints at "Shutters" on the ship or you can purchase a CD with the pics on them. The CD can be purchased with 10 pics for $150, 20 pics for $250 or ALL of them for $350. I know the 350 sounds like a lot but you can really take advantage of this as they do professional pics with all the characters, at formal night, at pirate night, with captain, with picture of ship behind you, outside on deck with glacier in background, at palo (fancy restaurant adults only), and even did family/individual pics in front of plain white background if you wanted. The photographers are always willing to take pics of you and your family so I actually recommend buying the 350 package with all pics for great memories - you can preview all your pics in advance before choosing a package to purchase also. Just budget this in ahead of time so you don't get "sticker shock" like the rest of us did who didn't know. There is no obligation to buy any photos.
PAYING/TIPPING: You will probably put a credit card on your room so your room key actually becomes your on ship credit card to use for all purchases. THEY DO NOT TAKE CASH FOR ANYTHING ON THE SHIP! Be aware that every time you pay for something with your card, an AUTOMATIC 15% TIP is added to the bill - there is a space for "additional tip". I didn't realize this until half way through, so now I know why everyone was so happy every time I added additional tip to the bill - oh well, it was great service the entire cruise! Also note that your tips for your server, asst server, head waiter and cabin steward are automatically charged ($84 total per person on 7 day cruise) to your credit card at the end of the cruise - you will get a receipt along with envelopes in case you want to give them additional tips.
WATER: There is NO FREE bottled water on the ship, you have to pay for it at $2 a bottle plus automatic tip. The first day, they have stations set up offering 24 bottles of water for 40 bucks that they drop off at your room for you. We bought it then and stocked our refrigerator in our room for the week which worked well. All soda, tea, hot chocolate are free on upper decks of course.
BREAKFAST ROOM SERVICE: Check your desk drawer for Breakfast Room Service menus you can fill out and hang on your door the night before you want breakfast room service. We didn't discover these until the 5th day into the cruise. We thought they didn't have breakfast room service because it isn't listed in the book they leave on top of the desk when you look up the room service menu in that book - it only lists lunch/dinner items. Don't know why they don't have breakfast listed but they do offer it.
SIT DOWN MEALS: The sit down meals they serve you are not really that big which was great for me because I don't like that overstuffed feeling. But, be aware that if you want an extra appetizer or main meal portion or dessert, just ask your water for it and you shall receive!! Some of us were giving our appetizers away to others at the table and our waiter was like, um if you guys want more, just tell me and I'll get it for you. FOR THE KIDS: They have plenty of extra selections (chicken fingers, pizza, mac and cheese, burgers) every night. My 4 year old is picky but he wanted strawberries one night but it wasn't on the menu. We simply asked our waiter (Tumi) and he showed up with a bowl of strawberries for us! Every night after there was always a bowl of strawberries waiting for him at dinner. Don't be afraid to ask for anything, we never heard the word "no" from any staff member for our requests! ONE MORE NOTE: The dinners can run long (1 to 2 hours) so we allowed our 4 year old to play on his Nintendo DS game which we never allow at meals but made an exception in this case to keep him patient through the long dinner service - just an idea for you and your little ones.
TV: Every room has TV and great selection in room 24 hours day. Kids cartoons, Disney movies and some adult type movies playing constantly. We brought portable DVD player and movies for our 4 year old but never needed it as he was happy with selection on ship tv.
All in all, there was plenty to do on the cruise for the kids and adults. Some people have said not enough for the adults but we didn't experience that as we tried many things that were offered and had fun with most of them. Just be willing to try something new! Make sure you take in the shows every night - they are fantastic and our 4 year old sat through most of them but did use his game a couple times at a couple of the shows.
MORNING OF EXITING THE SHIP: If you have early dinner service on the ship, you will have early breakfast service at 7:15 am! If late dinner service, you will have 8:30 breakfast on the day you leave the ship. Yes, you will pack the night before and leave suitcases in hallway by 10pm. All you will have morning of departure is carry on stuff that you must take with you to breakfast. After your breakfast service, you will leave the ship immediately - you cannot go back to your room or other areas on the ship. They usher you off, into the terminal where you will find your luggage and then through customs and out the door. Again, there is nothing to do at the terminal and they want you to get in a taxi and leave so they can be ready for the next wave of guests on the next cruise. It is very efficient and fast and had we known this, we would have had an earlier flight out of Seattle. We left the ship at 8:15 am after breakfast and were at the airport a little after 9am!! So don't worry about booking an 11am or noon flight depending on your breakfast time that morning.
Wow, this was a really long "review/tips" I wrote. I could go on even more but hopefully some of the stuff helps you out on your cruise on the Disney Wonder. It was really a great family vacation! Less
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Cabin review: 9A2622
The only complaint about our cabin was the sound of "banging" pipes from above in the evening and early morning hours. We think it had something to do with the fact that our cabin was below Parrot Cay kitchen. Overall, it wasn't that bad as we were up early most mornings anyways. Storage area was fantastic with plenty of places to put all of our stuff! Beds were really nice also. Split bathroom is genius with toilet/sink in one and sink/shower/tub in other. Giant porthole was also great especially near the glacier!