The Disney Wonder 5 night cruise from Miami to Mexico is fabulous. Disney does it right. There was a long line when we pulled up to drop off our luggage, however as we got closer we realized that it was not our ship with the line. In fact, our ship had no line. Imagine the company that runs the theme parks running a ship. Yes, it works, and it works well. A company with incredible customer service at it's standard? Yes, it works and it works well. Boarding was fast and easy. Entertaining kids, while adults have alone time....you guessed it, Disney, yes, it works and it works well. We booked the cruise with another family member, during the week of spring break out of the port of Miami, with a Florida residents rate, 5 night cruise. It was our first cruise as a family and it was out of this world wonderful. Disney dreamed it, and did it.
ONce on board, we had lunch on deck at the buffet and enjoyed the skyline of Miami as we left port. We took a bag each as hand baggage with bathing suits and sunscreen so we could change and enjoy the pool as bags were taken to room. By the time we were done with the sun, it was late afternoon and we arrived at our state room (on a lower deck) with our luggage and a welcome note from the cruiseline awaiting.
For our party of seven, we were introduced our first evening to our crew. On the Disney cruises, guests rotate restaurants with the staff, so you really get a chance to know your team, and they treat you like family from day one. Pierre, Pierre, Pierre, what can we say other than you run an amazing crew in your restaurants, you are truly the James Bond of cruise ship dining. We saw you each and every night of our cruise no matter what seating or location, and you were always kind, and made the kids feel incredibly special. Thank you. Mahmet, the same. Always working and always with a smile and time for everyone. Vishal and Gerta, the kids LOVED you too. Vishal, I do not believe we have ever been taken care of at a restaurant in the manner in which you took care of us. Our favorite family dining restaurant was the Animators palace. Menu options were perfect.
Adult only spots of note, Cadillac lounge and the sports bar Diversions. The entire crew at Cadillac is amazing as well as the entertainment. Being remembered by first name by day two is quite a task, and the staff at Cadillac is amazing. Highly recommend the tastings on board. We were introduced to the Cadillac lounge due to the tequila tasting, and found it a great place to hang out late night or after dinner for some great live music with Clara at the piano taking requests. Early afternoon on a rainy day, look for Vedran in the Diversions. A quick snack of chips and salsa, wings or a hot dog, and great service and conversation with Vedran.
Pools are clean and deck is very well kept throughout the day. There are photographers on board however, we didn't take advantage of them as we could have, so the dvd photo purchase wasn't for us, as we only had photos from arrival and meals. There is ample opportunity to have your photo taken at Castaway Cay, and on board at the various meet and greets with characters throughout the voyage. As always, photo cd's are expensive, but even though I only had 10 photos, I regret not purchasing them, as the photographers are amazing.
The dolphin discovery excursion on Cozumel is highly recommended! Staff is bilingual friendly and well informed. We did the "push and pull" dolphin experience. I had been to a dolphin swim in Orlando at a theme park, but this was much more than that. This was incredible. The park and natural setting, staff and beach, snorkeling, swimming etc. Highly recommended.
Our only glitch on board was a cancellation of an excursion we booked at Castaway Cay. The catamaran snorkel. This was the 2nd Disney cruise for our co-travelers and the same excursion was cancelled on their cruise the last time, coincidence? We were told "I'm sorry, this was an outside company and there is nothing we can do" What? Was I at the customer service desk on a Disney Cruise, or lost in a time warp.....My only complaint was how this was handled when I asked. I would expect Disney to say "I'm sorry for the cancellation. It is an third party company that we cannot control. Let me see if there is another excursion that we might find for you." That was easy....and would have made us feel better taken care of and not ....this was the "customer service" desk.....It did leave a bad impression. Phrasing is everything. There wasn't even a line of customers waiting. The best part was that we were able to spend time on the beach at Castaway Cay, so we enjoyed the day at this beautiful spot. The water was cloudy and snorkeling just less than okay, but it was fun to swim out and see the sunken mickey and minnie.
The Jet Ski adventure on Castaway was also great. Full throttle over jolly rancher blue water was so much fun, it left a lasting impression. We were the only ship on the island, and the island never seemed crowded.
At night, the kids ages 9, 10 and 11 would spend the entire night in the kids club.
We had two days at sea, one with bad weather. Disney added two screenings of OZ, their newest in cinema film.
All in all, this was an amazing experience and I can't wait to find the time to do it again!!!