I have previously taken 6 Disney Wonder/Magic cruises when my kids were younger. We took a 4 year break and tried RCCL, NCL and Carnival. They are now 12, 17 and 19. I was so excited to try the "newer" ship even though it would be my first Disney cruise without a little one.. I went in already knowing the pools were way too small and crowded, so I was prepared for that and not let down. It's true! The designer needs a slap on the wrist. However, it's still a Disney cruise!
EMBARKATION: There are so many things I just love about Disney cruises. My kids grew up taking this sort of vacation so it's also nostalgic. When we first arrived there were hiccups at embarkation. We had 3 rooms and the reservation was all mixed up. Disney gave us the wrong luggage tags and room numbers. It took a while to straighten out and they had the wrong people listed in the wrong rooms, but Disney being Disney was extremely polite and let us board early for our inconvenience. There were other hiccups along the way but the staff was always on top of things with a quick fix. One of the greatest things about Disney is the customer service.
FIRST IMPRESSION: The ship is beautiful. My fiancee had only sailed on Rccl Jewel of the Seas, so this was a huge step up. The nightclub area was great. The restaurants are beautiful. My only complaint is the adult only area. They should take a lesson from RCCL Alure/Oasis. Even Carnival Dream has a bigger and better adult area. And obviously the small pool and lack of hot tubs, but I already knew about this. Our cabin was very nice. There is a serious lack of storage so unpack creatively! But the cabin was immaculate and I love having the split bathroom and bath tub,
FOOD/DINING: This was a little bit of a letdown only because the food on Magic/Wonder a few years back was so outstanding.. I guess they are feeding the masses. The quality isn't what it used to be. That said, it was still very good and the servers are the best out there. The buffet for breakfast and lunch was very good. The main dining room was hit or miss. I did not like the BBQ lunch on Castaway Cay! The burgers used to be great quality. Now they taste like cafeteria style. Palo was very good.
PORTS: CASTAWAY CAY! The greatest place on earth! It will always be the highlight. I absolutely love this place and will always cruise on DLC for this reason alone!!!! In fact, I'm getting married on Castaway Cay in August!!! The staff is from the ship and always serve with a smile. The beach is immaculate and I can't say enough positive things about it!
Nassau, been there a dozen times. I know why people hate it, but if you know where to go, the beach is awesome. How can you go wrong with that beach and ocean! My son and his dad stayed on the ship but it was packed. I'm glad me and my daughters got off and went to the beach.
ENTERTAINMENT: Excellent! The singers and dancers in the Disney shows were all fantastic. The entertainment team was energetic and did a great job. There were plenty of activities but gotta say, the baby races were the absolute cutest, most adorable funniest thing I ever saw!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: I have to say, I like the older ships better simply because of the pool decks and less crowds. Dream is prettier, even though they are both beautiful. Food went down a bit in quality but compared to NCL and Carnival, its still head and shoulders above them. I think RCCL has them edged out in the food. But Disney has castaway cay! 'Nuff said!!! The ship is immaculate, staff is fantastic, servers are exceptional and it is a fantastic family vacation. My complaints are only nit picks. This is a great cruise ship!