Disney Wonder Cruise Review by GatorpilotJim: Alaska with the Wonder
Overall Member Rating
Alaska with the Wonder
This was our 9th cruise with Disney, but our first without the little (now all grown up) children.
This was a trip with highs (many) and lows (just a couple). We arrived a day prior into Vancouver because I a): Am Paranoid about being late to the party and b): Love to see a bit of other cities. Our first low (but very minor) occurred about 2 months prior to arrival when we were notified the ship would be embarking at Ballantyne Pier vice Canada Place (Which, conveniently (we thought) was where we had booked our "night before" hotel). I don't think this was Disney's choice, because there were 3 other ships docked at CP that day. The first "high" was that Disney had arranged free (yes, that's right, you read it here first -> FREE) shuttle transportation to Ballantyne. They took our luggage at the Pan Pacific, put it on a truck and bussed us to Ballantyne without having to mess with the bags anymore (score!!).
Embarkation was well handled (but announced very More quietly). The only issue was that they did not seem to give one whit about the "port time" on your cruise papers. You could show up anytime without worry, so embarkation passenger level was probably heaviest in the morning instead of steady throughout the day.
We Were initially assigned room 51XX (don't remember the exact #). Aaaaand it was, uh, broken. 1st - the phone did not work. 2nd - the wave phones did not work (& the charger was broken). 3rd - the veranda was microscopically small. Could not even face the chairs outward. This would not have been an issue if we had chosen the room, but it was assigned by DVC when we booked. 4th - (& the biggie) the shower had little to no water flow. So little we had to shower in the fitness center. Additionally,the staff seemed to be somewhat slow to address the issues. We finally went to guest services the next morning to address the issues, and (long story short) they gave us a free 1 category upgrade and moved us to a deck 8 room.. Btw, if you sail the Wonder, the guest services manager (Szylvia) is an absolute gem! She bent over sideways to make sure our problems were resolved and checked with us periodically throughout to see how we were doing. Even gave us a bottle of wine. My wife and I are definitely not high maintenance people, so that was a bit overboard to us, but we appreciated the effort.
Staff was amazing! Adult entertainment people were well prepared, very active and a ton of fun. Entertainment shows were the normal Disney superb. Even got to see "Maleficent" while on board. Twice. Our wait staff (Roy (head), Henry (table) & Rose (assistant table) were great. We even had the good fortune to have table mates that we got along fabulously with! Weather was good. For Alaska. I think. Definitely NOT a bikini and sunscreen cruise though.......... Cool to cold, mostly overcast, but practically no rain. All in all a great trip.....
However. IMO, the Wonder is just a bit "rough" around the edges. Not talking carpet, chairs, furniture or the like, but a fair amount of corrosion is present in spaces. This boat needs the "Magic Update", but due to the ducktail addition to the hull, it can't be done until the Panama Canal expansion is complete or Disney is locked out of the Pacific. The ship just fits now. Add 20' and it won't. Less
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