We greatly enjoyed our recent cruise on the Disney Wonder traveling to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.
A bit about me: I am in my early 20s. I travelled with my husband, mother, and teenage brother. No children in our party. We all love Disney! This was my first Disney cruise, previously we have cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
We will start with the not-so-good
-Food-the food was just okay. It was better than what we eat at home, but the food often came overcooked & really didn't impress us much at all. There are also very limited choices in venue & variety out of the dining room compared to other cruise lines. Room service choices were very limited. The iced tea is also a no-go.
-Entertainment-generally in the "good" section other than Toy story, the musical, which was truly terrible. Everyone in our group agreed that they took the least interesting & funny parts of the story and wrote mediocre songs about it. I was very impressed by the sets and costumes for about 5 minutes, then literally fell asleep.
-Communication-It was very difficult to figure out any information on our specific cruise prior to boarding the ship. When we arrived, it was difficult to discover what was going on each day. Their activities page "The Navigator" isn't in your room the first afternoon. You have to go to guest services to get it. When you do receive it on all of the subsequent evenings, it is disorganized & has unclear or no description of what particular activities are.
-Lack of shops-I am shocked that I am saying this about a disney venue, but I wanted to buy a few disney souvenirs and I felt that I had incredibly limited options in their only 2 shops!
-Shore excursions-We take "duck tours" as a family every place we visit, however I do not recommend the tour of Grand Cayman that we scheduled through Disney. There was very little interesting or historical information on this particular tour especially for the prices that they charge. We had much more fun doing excursions through the vendors on shore. We primarily used the same companies that serve Disney, however for much lower costs than booking through the cruise ship.
-Layout of the ship-Usually by the 2nd day, I know how to get anywhere I want to go on a ship, however I just couldn't get the hang of this layout for some reason. It is odd, because it is the smallest ship that I have ever sailed on!
-Characters-we wanted to get a picture with Mickey & waited in line 45 minutes to see him. It would have been faster to drive down to Disneyland!
Now for the good and great!
-Service-this is where Disney truly is exemplary, going above and beyond in every way. Every single staff member in every department went that extra mile, which would truly make a difference when you have young children. For example, our dining room server pre-ordered the desserts that we liked even though they weren't on the menu, the merchandise team searched high and low in their back room to obtain products we wanted, and when we complained of construction noise in our room, the guest services team's attention to the situation verged on annoying. In every not-so-good mentioned above, a cast member did more than expected to make it right.
-Music-there wasn't as much live music as we would have liked, but what we did see was exceptional.
-Palo-I wasn't sure if it was worth the extra cost myself, but during dinner, my husband said "I would pay $100 to eat this steak again." So he was impressed enough for both of us.
-Entertainment-the broadway-style shows were almost all exceptional & the comedians & other entertainers were family-friendly even in the adult shows, which I enjoyed.
-The ports-we spent the maximum hours on shore! In Grand Cayman, we snorkeled off the shore, simply renting the equipment for $18 from a little place walking distance from the tender called "Paradise." In Cozumel, we visited the mayan ruins & walked around shopping at little markets & bartering a bit. If you enjoy history, the mayan ruins are a must!
-The regular coffee was actually much better than I had expected.
-Seeing current disney movies on a cruise ship-yes please! Just be prepared for a crowded & noisy theater of small children. With every song from Frozen, there were at least a half dozen little ones singing along (which I found to be completely adorable).
-Adult areas-very nice. Not as overly-crowded as other cruise ships seemed to be.
-Decoration and overall feel of this ship, including stateroom =)
Summary-We enjoyed ourselves completely! I would definitely consider a Disney cruise again when we have young children. I think that simply the service of the staff would make all the difference in the world! Until then, we just would not justify the rising cost of Disney in comparison to other cruise lines & will most likely return to Royal Caribbean & Carnival.