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4 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Galveston

4 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Galveston

Disney Wonder (Photo: Disney)
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Disney Wonder

Disney Wonder - Disney Cruise Line


Only ship in the fleet with "Frozen, a Musical Spectacular" and Tiana's Place restaurant


Most activities need to be booked in advance, leaving those who didn't out of luck

Bottom Line

Most notable for its unique kids club spaces, modern adult areas and Alaska itineraries

Cruise Reviews

Summary of our trip: If you ever traveled on one of the larger Disney boats, the Dream or Fantasy, you will be somewhat disappointed on the Wonder. We traveled with our adult children and their children ages 8, 6, 2-1/2 and a 10 month ... Read More
Summary of our trip: If you ever traveled on one of the larger Disney boats, the Dream or Fantasy, you will be somewhat disappointed on the Wonder. We traveled with our adult children and their children ages 8, 6, 2-1/2 and a 10 month old. My husband and I had connecting rooms with my daughter who has two babies. The connecting rooms helped with the small cabin size as we freely went back and forth. We had all their junk in our cabin so they could accommodate the pack and play comfortably. I don't know how they could have managed with all their kid stuff....stroller, diapers, formula, diaper genie, etc...if they had only their cabin space. Embarkation was fine. We arrived at the Port of San Diego about 10:45 and people were already checking in. We were number 21 for boarding and that happened about 12:45. We headed for the Triton sit down restaurant, but it was already full and there was a 30 minute wait. So off to the food court, Cabanas, we went. What a mad house as everyone was there since the cabins were not ready. Your first impression is ....holy cow....how crowded is this small ship. It took some ingenuity to find a table for nine. Once we could go to our cabin at 1:30, we received our bags about 45 minutes later. The first night of dining was at the Animator's Palace, early seating. They had a cute show on the walls and Mickey makes an appearance in Fantasmic fashion. Our servers were Jen from the United Kingdom assisted by Angelina from Poland. They could have not been more helpful especially since we had two kids in high chairs making a mess every night. Out of the many cruises that we have been on, the food delivery was the quickest that we have experienced. Tonight's show was the Golden Mickeys in the Walt Disney Theater. Note that this theater is only on one level....versus the larger ships that have a balcony. Go early if you want a decent up front seat. We never arrived after 8 for a 8:30 show. (First dining at 5:45, shows start at 8:30) We spent some time the next day in the Oceaniere Lab during the open house....the only time the toddlers could be in the Lab. The two year old thought it was fun, but the 8 and 6 year old loved it. We did not get off the ship in Enceneda....others felt the same was as it was full of people for a shore day. Pirate dinner in Tiana's Place. Servers walked around in pirate gear. It was pirate night and here is where the difference between a large ship and a small old ship is highlighted. On the Dream last year, there was a detailed pirate show that lasted a full 15 minutes with about 30 actors. On the Wonder, it's basically a dance party for pirate night. Mickey and a pirate go down the zip line, but there is no show to speak of. What a disappointment. Fireworks at sea lasted for about 90 seconds. It was not worth keeping toddlers up to past 10:15 when the fireworks happened. Before the pirate and firework event, there was a magician in the WD theater. We saw half of the show then left to save seats on the pool deck for the non existent pirate show. Day three was a sea day. Our impressions....the food at Cabanas is fine. Nothing special but it is convenient if you want to be at the pool area. There is also an average burger and pizza spot. Daisy's food area has salads and sandwiches and fruit, so we enjoyed that area. We went to Triton's for a sit down lunch most days....nice to be out of the crowded pool area. Speaking of pools....the pool area compared to the Dream is about half its size, which is also a disappointment. BTW. Kids must be potty trained...swim diapers not allowed. A kid pooped in the baby pool and it had to be closed for three hours. If not potty trained, there is a very small splash pad area....again, half the size of the Dream. Not worth the hassle with the toddlers. We played bingo with the kids....$40 for the cards. Dinner again at Tiana's Place where she made an appearance and they had a New Orleans style parade around the restaurant. The show was Frozen. Fabulous production. The actor playing Elsa is amazing with a really solid voice. Again, if you want center, up close seats, get in line early....for this show, earlier than 8 pm. Next day was Cabo. There are tenders in Cabo....a royal pain with kids in strollers. We went to the Dolphin area where the older kids swam with the dolphins. They enjoyed themselves...they should for the price of this excursion. Cabo by the port is very touristy...bars and tee shirt shops. Next time, I won't get off the ship. Dinner at Triton's Place...the most boring restaurant of all. Forgot to mention that the cabin stewart, Omar, made sure his services did not interfer with nap time. He was great dealing with that dreaded diaper genie. Thanks, Omar! The highlight for the 8 and 6 year old granddaughters happened on the last full day. The Princess Royal Tea. Very expensive for the girls, but well worth it. It is done so well. The girls were showered with gifts only available at this tea....a doll, jewelry box, charms, crown etc. The Princesses came to each table and spent time talking to the girls. A cute show with the hostess and baker....two very good actors from the ensemble. I can't recommend this tea more....worth every penny if you have girls that love the Princesses. The show tonight was Believe which was fabulous. It's snippets of many Disney movies. Don't miss. Back to Animator's Palace. No show by the servers. Disembarkation was chaos. We had breakfast in Animator's Palace....they rush you through. We had first seating at dinner....so first seating for the last breakfast at 7:15. They servers make it very apparent that they want you out for the next group. You get off the ship on level 3 and the elevator spills out to the area where those waiting for Tiana's Place are lined up. It was gridlock. Plus, most people are with all their luggage ignoring the night before drop off. There is luggage everywhere, wall to wall people on level 3 and no where to go. I'm so surprised that Disney has not figured out a solution to this problem. Getting off was easy if you do not need an elevator in the port building. We carried down the stroller or we would have had a 20 minute wait for an elevator. Customs was a breeze and cabs were plentiful. Again our total impression....we will not cruise on the Wonder or Magic, the smaller ships, again. Just too crowded, not as technically advanced, more of a wall to wall people feeling. Give us a newer, larger ship any day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Kids age 16 and 17. We had never cruised before and never been to Alaska. We love Disney so this seemed like a good fit. Spent a day in Vancouver both before and after the cruise. Took a guided tour, wonderful city. Embarkation was ... Read More
Kids age 16 and 17. We had never cruised before and never been to Alaska. We love Disney so this seemed like a good fit. Spent a day in Vancouver both before and after the cruise. Took a guided tour, wonderful city. Embarkation was straightforward, we boarded with no waiting around 12:30pm. The ship is pristine, you would never guess it's 20 years old. Everything literally looks brand new. Cabin had a queen bed and a sofa bunk bed. Small but fine, we were never there except to sleep or change. No window, and we didn't miss it really. The nightly shows truly were spectacular. Great talent and sophisticated technical aspects like sound, special effects, props, and sets. Food was the center of the experience. The rotation dining is fun and the dedicated wait staff of three give you a nice consistency. Food quality was truly excellent. The ship constantly had activities going on, from nature talks to trivia contests. It was all fun, mostly because the cruise activity staff is fun. Cruise Director Natalie is super high energy. We arranged our own port call activities. The kids spent a lot of time in the Teen Club "Vibe" and loved it. We felt safe letting them run around the ship and they were fine. Overall we consider this the best vacation we've ever taken. Highly recommended!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We previously sailed on the Disney Dream during a Bahamas cruise and loved the experience. When we decided to try Alaska this year, Disney was a no-brainer for our family. The Wonder, however, is a smaller ship than the Dream, as it is one ... Read More
We previously sailed on the Disney Dream during a Bahamas cruise and loved the experience. When we decided to try Alaska this year, Disney was a no-brainer for our family. The Wonder, however, is a smaller ship than the Dream, as it is one of the two classic ships in Disney's fleet. Regardless, the Wonder was incredible, and we had an amazing time. SHIP - OVERALL The Wonder is a beautiful ship. For her age, she is in exceptionally great shape. The crew keeps her spotless. She is instantly recognizable in port with her white and navy color scheme. The interior is what a Disney fan would expect. Disney characters and art can be found throughout the ship, but it isn't overdone. Also, plenty of familiar Disney tunes are played in the common areas. The Wonder is on the luxury side of things in appearance and atmosphere. EMBARKATION Embarkation was really pretty easy from Canada Place in Vancouver. We hired a car to drop us off. Once we got there, it was easy getting our luggage to the porters, checked in, and on the ship. It is a bit noisy in there, so just come with a little patience. Don't forget your passport! DINING As with any ship in Disney's fleet, rotational dining is featured and included in the cruise fare. We had two nights at Triton's, two nights at Tiana's Place, and three nights at Animator's Palate. Of the three, Tiana's Place was our favorite. The food was the best on average, and the Mardi Gras party on our last night was just a lot of fun. In addition, Tiana's Place featured the Crawfish Crooners, and they were a very fun band that put a jazz spin on plenty of Disney classics. After Tiana's Place, we next enjoyed Animator's Palate the most. Our Frozen evening was there, and while that was fun, the night we got to create our own artwork that was animated as part of the evening's entertainment was the most fun we had during a dining experience. Triton's was fine, but we were seated in a corner near the kitchen. Our meals there were a little loud and it was on the warmer side. As with any Disney cruise, your wait staff follows you from restaurant to restaurant. Our servers, Nyoman and Jack, were amazing. They got to know us and our preferences. They knew what kind of recommendations to make when it came to food and drink at every meal. Typically, we had breakfast at Cabana's up on deck nine. This buffet style restaurant was wonderful. Each morning, everyone in my family was able to find plenty of options to choose from. I preferred the Mickey waffles with strawberry syrup, but my wife typically choose fresh fruit, oatmeal, and coffee. Our kids enjoyed the waffles, bacon, eggs, and other bakery items. For snacks, we typically went to Pinocchio's Pizza for a slice after returning from our shore excursions. Also located on deck nine, it is near the pool. My wife enjoyed Daisy's Delites, and the kids frequently got self-serve, soft serve ice cream when I would get a Dole Whip from Eye Scream Treats (the ice cream was included in the fare, the Dole Whip was extra). Boiler Bites, located near Pinocchio's, has some good burgers if that is what you are in the mood for. In short, there is always plenty to eat and it is easily accessible and almost always no extra charge. LOUNGES Even though the Disney Wonder is a family ship, it does cater to adults as well. After 5 p.m., the aft section of deck three becomes an adults only area. Many of the performers would have additional shows in this area that were a little more tailored for an adult audience. I typically hung out at Crown & Fin pub at the end of the evening. I'd usually buy a beer or cider, enjoy the complimentary nuts and mini-buffet, and watch Sports Center. A lot of others would gather there for cards and other games. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Cove Cafe. Although they serve alcohol there in the evenings, we enjoyed it for the coffee. You can, of course, get plenty of coffee for free on the ship. However, if you want a mocha, latte, or other concoction outside of your meal time, you will want to head to the Cove Cafe. The coffee drinks there are for an additional charge, but they are worth it. Plus, they have a machine that will make designs in the foam of your latte. They had everything from Disney to Marvel and Star Wars characters. I highly recommend it. CABIN Our cabin was just right for us. We probably could have used the extra space with a Deluxe Family Verandah room as our kids are 12 and 15. But, it worked out for us. We spent plenty of time on the balcony. Honestly, a balcony is the way to go for Alaska. There is so much great scenery to see as you sail, and a balcony helps you get the most of it. Our first full day at sea featured plenty of time on the balcony just taking in the sights. Definitely worth it. We appreciated that the bathroom in the cabin was split into two parts. The shower and tub were in one part. That room also had a sink. The other half of the bathroom had its own sink and the toilet. With two boys, and four people total needing to take showers, that was essential. Our guestroom host was exceptional. He kept our room tidy and well supplied throughout the cruise. We didn't have too many occasions to make special requests, but he was on top of things. STORAGE SPACE AND LAUNDRY Storage space was plentiful. TIP: store your suitcases under the bed. The bed sits a little higher, and there is plenty of room. The closet had more than enough space to hang up our suits for formal night and my wife's dress. Around the desk and the closet there were plenty of drawers as well. We had enough room for all our clothes. I would mention that we brought about four days of clothes and we spent a few days in Vancouver prior to the cruise. So, we did do laundry a few times. It was fairly affordable, but there was a laundry service available. Also, the laundry machines will send a message to your phone through the Disney Cruise app when your laundry is done. ENTERTAINMENT - THE MAIN STAGE A number of productions were held in the main theater, which is known as the Walt Disney Theater. These were all included in the fare for your voyage. We didn't catch everything there, but we saw the production of Frozen and Disney Dreams. Both shows were innovative and fun. They are described as Broadway caliber shows, and for the most part that is true. The only real difference is the length of the shows (about an hour) and the understandable absence of an in-house orchestra. The Walt Disney Theater also hosted performances by comedians and magicians. We saw one of the comedians, and he was entertaining, but not a can't miss. The magician, however, was a must do. Shawn Farquhar is a two time World Champion. We saw him in the Disney Theater one evening, and then we made sure to catch his performances in Azure later in the week. ENTERTAINMENT - THE BUENA VISTA THEATER The Wonder played several movies every day. Everything was under the Disney umbrella. For instance, the live action Aladdin was out recently, and that was available in the theater most days. So was Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel. Endgame was presented in 3D in a few instances as well. The theaters have a concession stand outside. The popcorn, candy, and drinks are for an extra charge. TIP: buy a popcorn bucket. You may not want to keep it, but the refills are only $1.50. Also, you can bring in food from any of the restaurants on deck nine. Nobody will stop you. We also attended a presentation on the bears of Alaska in the Buena Vista Theater, and that was informative and entertaining. ENTERTAINMENT - OTHER Beyond the theaters, the Wonder has plenty of other entertainment opportunities. The Disney characters have regular meet and greets throughout the day. Mickey, Donald, Minnie, Daisy, Pluto, Goofy, Stitch, and others are regularly available. Also, Spider-Man and Thor made appearances for the Marvel fans. The D Lounge and the Promenade Lounger are also a good places for families to go for game shows. We regularly attended "The Wheel" (a take off on Wheel of Fortune), Who Wants to Be a Mousketeer?, and So You Think You Know Your Family? All were a good time and family appropriate. Plus, there were always servers available to bring drinks and refreshment if you so needed. There are three kids clubs on the ship. My boys are more introverted, and they didn't really enjoy them. That said, I saw countless kids that did. The counselors we met were very friendly. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS The ports and excursions on this cruise were phenomenal. Alaska is just beautiful, and there aren't any real exceptions. Our first day was a sea day. Day two was to Dawes Glacier. We took the tour with Allen Marine Tours. They brought a boat up to the Wonder, and we boarded. They then explored the fjords and got us up close to berglets, cascades, and some of the wildlife. We got to within a mile of Dawes Glacier compared to the three miles the Wonder got. The following day was Skagway. It is a small town. Our excursion was the White Pass & Yukon Route. This was a train ride from Skagway through the mountains into British Columbia. We then took the bus back. This is another great way to see some scenery and wildlife. Make sure to bring your passport! The next port was Juneau. This was our favorite day of the cruise. We booked the excursion that took us whale watching and then to the Mendenhall Glacier. Again, this was with Allen Marine Tours. We saw plenty of whales and glaciers during the tour. The real highlight was Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls. The bus dropped us off near the visitor's center, and we walked the two mile round trip trail to get closer. Very worth it. The sights are breath taking. The last port was Ketchikan. We took a canoe tour of a nearby lake. It was a fun alternative to our earlier tours. That was also the only port where it rained on us. It was good, but not a must do. Be prepared for physical exercise as you do the rowing on the canoe trip. CONCLUSION Alaska on the Disney Wonder is a fantastic experience. We would consider doing it again. Our kids really enjoyed it. There are plenty of options for dining and excursions that you could do this cruise more than once and have very different experiences. Of course, with Disney, you are paying for the brand. So, if Disney is not important to you, consider an alternate cruise line to save some money. Disney fans, however, should love this. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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