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Disney Wonder Review

Editor Rating: 4.5
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Why Choose Disney Wonder?
  • Magical deck parties with Disney characters
  • Separate pools for kids, families & adults
  • Rotational dining scheme -- new venue nightly, same waiters

Disney Wonder Overview

When Disney executives set out to enter the cruise business, they did so in typical Disney style: fashioning a ship that resembled the luxurious, and oft admired, ocean liners of the 1920's with a slate of spaces and activities that would be worthy of the Disney name. Disney Wonder is one sleek vessel, with its elongated black hull, two matching red funnels and the yellow insignias encircling the ship. The inside features an elegant art nouveau decor with plenty of subtle nods to the mouse that started it all, from the etched-in-pewter characters in the atrium railings to the hidden micro-mini Mickeys in Palo's china pattern. Perhaps what this ship does best though is prove that "elegance" and "family friendly" don't have to be mutually exclusive.

The family offerings are what set this ship apart from the pack. While many cruise lines offer excellent children's programs, Disney offers all that plus plenty of options suitable for a family to enjoy together, from kite-making workshops to game shows and evening stage revues.

At least that's what we thought the first time we sailed the Wonder, in 2005, with the family. In 2007, we sailed the ship again, with a pal, to explore the adults-only areas that I spent little time in before. While families are the primary focus of Disney Wonder, grownups have numerous places to call their own here, and since there are so many kids onboard (and adults watching them), the Quiet Cove Pool, Cove Cafe, Outlook Cafe, Vista Spa and Route 66 entertainment district are rarely crowded.

We've recently returned with the kids to explore Alaska onboard Wonder. The ship had traversed the Caribbean, but in 2011 it relocated to the West Coast, bringing Disney to Alaska for the first time. The ship cruises the Inside Passage from May to September, then heads down to Los Angeles for a season of Mexican Riviera voyages. In between seasons, Wonder sails a Hawaii cruise (spring) and a pair of Pacific Coastal voyages (spring, fall).

Disney Wonder Fellow Passengers

The vast majority of fellow passengers are families and multigenerational reunions due to the extensive children, teen and family programming. However, you'll also find a sprinkling of honeymooners and folks without children who appreciate the oversized staterooms, underutilized adult-only areas and Disney details.

Disney Wonder Dress Code

Resort casual is the dress of the day in all areas of the ship. Cruise casual is the code for most nights (i.e., no shorts, jeans or tank tops). Recently, though, the cruise line tweaked its definition of resort casual to include shorts, which means passengers may wear shorts in the main dining rooms in the evening (while jeans are allowed in Palo, shorts are not). A formal night and semi-formal Captain's Reception give passengers a chance to glam it up, but it's not mandatory; we were surprised to see most passengers didn't participate in formal night. One night of each cruise is designated "pirate night," and you'll see many people dressed in pirate attire, even if it's just a hat. If you don't happen to have pirate attire -- and would like to -- stop by Mickey's mates for something to wear.

Disney Wonder Gratuity

On Disney Wonder, the recommended gratuities are $4 per day for the dining room server, $3 per day for the assistant server, $1 per day for the head server, and $4 per day for the room steward. Passengers can pre-pay gratuities or do so onboard. All bar drinks and deck service areas have a 15 percent gratuity added to the bill.
Next:  Disney Wonder Cabins
By Christine Koubek, Cruise Critic Contributor; updated by Lissa Poirot, Cruise Critic Contributor

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Disney Wonder Editor Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    3.9
    4.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.5
    4.0
  • Cabins
    4.3
    4.0
  • Entertainment
    4.5
    4.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    4.2
    4.0
  • Family & Children
    3.8
    5.0
  • Shore Excursions
    4.0
    4.0
  • Enrichment
    3.9
    3.0
  • Service
    4.6
    4.0
  • Value-for-Money
    3.7
    3.0

Ship Facts

Ship Stats
Crew:  950
Launched:  1999
Decks:  11
Tonnage:  83,000
Passengers:  1,754
Registry:  Bahamas
CDC Score:  99
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456 Disney Wonder Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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OhioLair
Member Since 2009
1 review
139 forum posts
1 helpful vote
Don't be fooled by the Disney Hype, it's not a Wonderful World of Disney aboard Disney Cruise Lines. My mother-in-law took the whole family (15 of us, 10 adults, 5 kids, 5 cabins) to Alaska aboard the Disney Wonder (June 2016). We are ... Read more
dina and nikki
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
4 helpful votes
On our first Disney cruise, following many other cruises on different lines, we were curious to see how it would compare. I travelled with my 23 year old daughter and her friend...3 to a room, and it was adequately spacious for the three ... Read more
mcookie39
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
This is my 4th Disney Cruise and I must say it was probably my favorite so far. I've been on all the other Disney ships, and the Wonder is by far an older ship, but well kept and very clean. You definitely still experience the Disney ... Read more

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