The Disney Wonder sailed from Miami Florida to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal on Monday, May 6, 2013 . This repositioning cruise was our first cruise on Disney. Overall we had an excellent cruising experience on the Wonder and would cruise with Disney again. I am hopeful this review has usable information for first time Disney cruisers.
We paid (GTY VGT) rates. This meant that we paid a lower rate and that our rate had restrictions. For example we paid in full at the time of booking, no room assigned until one week prior to departure, no refund, etc. However, we gave our agent with Vacations to Go our preferences and we were extremely pleased with our room assignment.
As our cruise was a repositioning cruise that was a 14 day cruise there was less than 250 children on board. With the adult only pool, coffee lounge, bar and entertainment venues, we saw few children. I think they hid them in Vibe.
The ship was spotless and well maintained. DCL is fanatical about hand washing. You wash hands prior to boarding and upon entering each restaurant each time you dine. They provide hand lotion in your stateroom along with shampoo and conditioner so your skin does not dry out from al that hand washing. No nora virus on DCL. Our stateroom was cleaned at various times. Sort of annoying not knowing when the room was to be cleaned.
Disney allows you to bring on your own alcohol on board. However you must consume it in your stateroom. You may also bring your own sodas an bottled water. The ship does have a self service soda fountain and coffee/tea/hot chocolate station. They do not sell soda cards, soda is included in the price. They have Coke products. They use the Nutra sweet brand of Splenda. Same chemical, just not Splenda. The teas are Twinning brand except for Palo and Triton restaurants. The organic Tealeaves brand is served in those restaurants. I do not know the brand of coffee served.
We were in stateroom 7526 located starboard towards the bow with a veranda. It is close to the forward elevators. The veranda railings are covered with glass so air movement was restricted and we could not rest our feet up on the railing. The room was spotless, very comfortable bedding, with a tiny sitting area. The stateroom can sleep 4. Bring an extension cord if you want to read using an electronic device while sitting on the sofa or bed. There are few outlets. The staterooms are equipped with portable "wave" phones which allow you to stay in contact with each other if desired while in different parts of the ship. They do not work off the ship.
On deck seven starboard side there is a laundry. The machines are stacked with washer on the bottom and dryer on top. It is a dollar to wash and a dollar to dry. There is a vending machine for detergents. There are also two ironing boards and irons for guest use.
There is no library on the ship with reference materials. You may want to bring or download an atlas.
The food is very very good. Dishes ranged from pheasant, to duck, to bass, conch, crab lobster, scallops, steak, chicken, snapper, shrimp, burgers, and the popular Mickey bars (ice cream bars). You wont go hungry but you will have to search out the snacks. Offered at certain times in certain lounges such as Diversions.
The crew were very personable and extremely pleasant. Never a harsh word between crew members. Very respectful of each other and the guests. If you have an issue they will work at a solution. For example our dinner companions complained about a noisy stateroom, they were given a second stateroom to use. They ended up with two staterooms. My husband had new silk socks missing from luggage, they reimbursed him for socks. He had a steamer they confiscated (after telling him it was okay to bring) , however, their laundry service steamed his clothes with no charge. We were happy with guest services.
We mailed postcards from Cartagena and Panama. We have been home 4 days and no postcards yet. Not a DCL issue, it is a host country issue. Mail service speed may be of interest.
The entertainment was very very professional. However after 14 days we were pretty Disneyed out. The adult entertainment started at 10:30 p.m. We would prefer a 9:30 start time. Also a little jazzier entertainment. We did not like Buckets and Boards, not witty enough, too much bathroom caliber humor.
We liked very much the band, Higher Ground, and duo Sonic Groove. We loved our dance lessons with Chris and Natalie.