This was our second time on Disney Wonder but our sixth cruise with Disney Cruise Line. We had been on the Wonder in April 2008 for a 3-night to the Bahamas and were wondering how the Wonder crew was adjusting to the longer itineraries now that she's moved to the west coast.
We sailed from Vancouver having booked air, pre-cruise hotel, and transfers through the cruise line. Everything went smoothly for getting us to Vancouver and housed for a few nights before heading across the street to Canada Place for embarking on our cruise. Check-in at the port was easy and whatever kinks they had in the process in the first couple of sailings seemed to have been worked out.
Upon boarding, we were directed to Parrot Cay for the Welcome Aboard buffet. This was a welcome change from the seat-yourself buffet on Deck 9 because we were seated and then we didn't have to juggle daybags, etc., while balancing plates and such. We had dining changes that needed to be made, so we took care of those after lunch, and then only had a few moments before our cabin was ready. We chose the same cabin (6116 - just forward of aft on the port side) that we had when we sailed before and also always get on the Wonder's sister ship the Magic. The location is ideal. Our cabin was in good repair and our cabin steward was attentive to our needs.
We got our teenagers situated with their youth programs. They were both in the Vibe which is for the 14-17 year olds and has two to three counselors whenever they are open... usually at noon on port days, at 10 a.m. on sea days. We were happy with the youth program for the teens as we had been when they were younger. The first night, the teens that want to participate get together and plan the week's activities so each week is different based on the interests of the teens.
We dined in the formal dining rooms for four of the seven nights and in Beach Blanket Buffet on the other nights (formal night was one and then the two nights we were in the port til 7:30). The port nights had buffet-style in BBB while formal night was table service from a limited menu. We found the food to be about the same as it's been - nothing special to write home about, but any meal we're not cooking and isn't hamburger or chicken fingers works. The service in both the dining rooms and at the buffet was good.
The entertainment was good as we have come to expect. We have seen the stage shows multiple times so we chose to attend the variety acts, both the ones aimed towards families and those for adults. We participated in various game shows, trivia, and such, and we watched four movies in the Buena Vista Theater and one in the Walt Disney Theater.
As this cruise was going through portions of Alaska with regulations about noise, the day we were in Tracy Arm was awesome. There were times that the naturalist could come on the loudspeaker on the outside decks to describe what we were seeing and talk about Alaskan nature. They broadcast this on the stateroom televisions as well. In the past, if you sit on your verandah, you can't really hear the television because of all the outside noise; in this case, because there wasn't music and lots of noise from the outside decks, we could enjoy the view from the verandah AND hear what the naturalist was saying.
Although it was chilly, we saw many children using the Mickey pool but not so many people in the Goofy pool nor the one in the Quiet Cove. Most people seemed content to sit and read or enjoy their time in the Outlook Cafe drinking expensive coffee drinks. The rest of us used the free hot chocolate machine (which was a nice addition rather than the packets of powdered mix we've had before).
We used the self-service laundry room on the ship a couple of times as we had been in Vancouver for a few days pre-cruise and specifically planned to do laundry.
All in all, we had a great time and the cruise lived up to our expectations.