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75 Disney Los Angeles Cruise Reviews

We had a wonderful time on our family vacation. There was 4 of us in total. 2 adults, and 2 children ages 5 and 18 months. Embarkation was painless. There was a bit of a delay in embarking but the wait was not too long. As you enter the ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our family vacation. There was 4 of us in total. 2 adults, and 2 children ages 5 and 18 months. Embarkation was painless. There was a bit of a delay in embarking but the wait was not too long. As you enter the ship, they welcome you by asking your surname and announce "Please welcome the Smith family!" This was a very nice touch and you immediately feel at home. Once we boarded, we went straight to Guest Services to reserve for the Princess Tea Party. If you have a young daughter who loves Princesses, this is a must see & do! Space is limited so best to reserve as soon as you get in the ship. Disney Wonder is a beautiful ship. Our cabin was a category 6A, very spacious and we loved how much storage there was. The sofa converts into a bunk bed. It is an older ship but you don't really notice it, except perhaps the washroom doors inside our room needs to get re-painted -- which is very minor. The sail away party was a blast. I do have to say that it is quite cold sailing from LA, in the Pacific Ocean so bring a sweater. During Pirate Night, a lot of people dressed up which was fun to see. You get to take pictures with Captain Hook, Minnie & Mickey dressed up in their pirate gear! Even the servers were dressed up. The deck party was fun but COLD. A few of us were sceptical that the fireworks show would go on since it was so windy up on the deck. Only complaint is that the fireworks show did not start until 10:30 pm or even a bit later than that. You can tell that some of the kids were getting cranky and sleepy. Needless to say, we did not get a chance to look at what they had to offer for the Midnight Buffet since both of our kids were tired. Puerto Vallarta was nice. We did the Paradise Beach Excursion. The weather was a mix of rain, clouds and sun. The nice thing about Puerto was if it rains, it only rains for a few minutes, then the sun comes out. The rain doesn't linger too long. The beach was beautiful and there are a few vendors selling some trinkets and beach cover-ups although not a lot of them. The food they served was pretty good, buffet style. Cabo San Lucas was breathtaking. We lucked out with 2 beautiful days in Cabo. We had the best Mexican Food at a couple of the restaurants near the pier. We did a port adventure called Harbour Scenic Tour and that was relaxing and WINDY! ? The entertainment on the Wonder was top notch. My daughter especially had a great time watching the shows. My son went to Flounder's Reef a couple of times and enjoyed his stay there. The staff there are wonderful . One of them, Angela stood out and she was just very helpful and professional. It make it easier to leave my son and not worry about him too much. I brought my runners to go for a run, and I did that on deck 4 seeing that the gym was packed at 7 am -- believe it or not!!! The Disney characters are everywhere. You'll get a chance to take photos with them -- Mickey/Minnie/Pluto/Goofy/Chip/Dale at the Character Breakfast. If not, they are always in the ship somewhere. The princesses arrived later that week. Warning -- the line ups are huge, so best to be in line AT LEAST half an hour before they are scheduled to take pictures -- this especially goes for the princesses. I'd say they are the most popular ones. To give you an idea, I was there an hour early and I was probably the 20th person in line! Food ranged from average to being very good. I highly recommend Palo. We had brunch and dinner there. It is well worth the 20 dollars a person they are charging. Service was impeccable and food selection was just impressive. I read somewhere someone comparing the food to Denny's and that's nto my experience at all -- this is coming from someone who appreciates good food! ? What's great about the cruise is they have these phones that work on the cruise ship so if you and your spouse do different things, you can easily get in touch with them by calling or texting them on the phone -- and it's free of charge. Photos -- If you plan to buy the CD , it's 250 bucks. Might as well, take as many photographs as you can whenever there is a photo op -- all the pictures will be in the CD. The only thing is the borders are not included in the CD. I decided to order the CD on our last day. There was a huge line up the next day to get your CD. The only downside to this trip is twice they forgot to print some of the photos that we have ordered and paid for, so it was a mad rush to wait and retrieve them from the Shutters (photo place) again on the last day. Check your CD's -- they had forgotten to include 3photos of my daughter. I've contacted DCL and hope to hear from them soon. Spa -- We booked the Rainforest treatment, and you get to use the steam rooms and showers. It is quite expensive for what you get but it offers some peace and relaxation for adults wishing to have some quiet time. The ship is big on cleanliness and hygiene. Everywhere you go, anti-bacterial wipes are available. They give it to you before having dinner, before coming back to the cruise ship, before going in the Oceaneer's Club and such. This cruise really caters to families and kids. They call little girls "princess" everywhere. Tips: You can decorate your room door using magnets. I'm sure if you google, you'll get an idea of how some people have decorated their room door Bring a sweater with you -- it can be cold! Order your CD (photos) earlier to avoid the huge line up on the last day Make sure you bring your camera everywhere you go -- you'll never know when you bump into the characters (they usually come out of Shutters ). To those who are leaving to go on this cruise -- have a wonderful time. I sure wish I'm still basking under the sun and relaxing in the Disney Wonder! Enjoy ? Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
This was my first cruise. I traveled with my husband, daughter (1) and son (10). What I have to say is similar to the other reviews here but I thought I would add my opinion to anyone considering going. What Was Good: Everyone smiled ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I traveled with my husband, daughter (1) and son (10). What I have to say is similar to the other reviews here but I thought I would add my opinion to anyone considering going. What Was Good: Everyone smiled at us, no matter where we were. There was always a friendly face and someone to greet us. When I was trying to push a stroller and carry a tray, there was always a worker ready to lend a hand and help. There were a lot of good shows and they try to keep your kids entertained. Guest services was very polite and willing to accommodate. One night we missed our time for dinner and I asked if my family would be able to sit at the later dinner. They arranged everything for us. What Was Bad: The food. I hate to talk about it but my husband got food poisoning the second to last night. What was supposed to be an awesome vacation for us turned out to be awful for him. Ever been vomiting on a boat rocking back and forth? Not good. I felt so bad for him. It was a small room as well. He said his chicken tasted bad and sure enough he got sick that night. Besides the food poisoning, the food itself is about the same you would get in a school cafeteria. In fact, it brought back school memories for me! The food at sit down dinner was slightly better. I would equate it to a cheap buffet. It was really that bad and I'm not particular at all. There is no food 24 hours a day except room service. As you can imagine that food wasn't good either. After you eat dinner, essentially all the food closes except for the pizza place. When it was time to give my daughter her bedtime snack, I hated the idea of pizza or fried chicken. I gave her fruit but she spit it out. It was not fresh. Besides the food (which is unforgivable to get sick on a cruise), the kids club was just okay for my son. He had fun but mostly he said he was bored. For his age range I am not sure they cater as much. He made friends with one other boy, the same age. My daughter was too little to enjoy it. The lines for each character were so long that by the time we would get to a character she would be too tired and cranky to get a picture taken. We put her in the Flounders Reef but as someone else mentioned, you don't know when activities are going on around the ship. The times she went in my husband and I circled and circled and circled the decks with nothing to do. The only adult thing planned for that block of hours was "DJ at the pool." We went and there was no DJ, just some radio tunes playing by the adult pool and about 100 parents crammed in a small space. The staff in the daycare is wonderful though and was very accommodating to my daughter who tends to be shy. I know it sounds strange but there is not nearly as much going on as most other cruises (so I hear). We found there were large blocks of time there wasn't really anything happening. Then when a show would be going on, nearly everyone on the ship crams to see it. Dreams was the name of a show they put on and it was really nice. However, everyone else on the ship wanted to see it was well so my son and I had to sit on the floor in the back of the auditorium...not so much fun. I live in the LA area and got a really good deal on this cruise. If it wasn't for that I would feel totally robbed of my hard earned money. My husband is still a little sick and we don't feel a bit more relaxed or at ease after this vacation. As sad as it may seem, my husband and I started talking about how we need a vacation from this vacation! One other thing I wanted to mention. If you cruise with a 2 or under child you will find there is nothing for them to do. We had hoped for at least an indoor playground or open space she could play in. Alas, we were stuck walking her in the stroller around and around and around. Two things that are simply unacceptable on this cruise was the food (and food poising) and the waiter we had. My son is a vegetarian and EACH and EVERY night at dinner the waiter said, "Why don't you get the steak? C'mon!" I had to remind him that my son has dietary issues. He also pressured my husband to get the steak each night. He said, "Why don't you eat meat!? C'mon!!" My husband does not eat meat. These were arrangements we made with Disney ahead of time. We felt not listened to and pressured. Believe it or not...we just wanted to avoid dinner, food, and our server by the end of the cruise. I certainly hope others have a better experience. I do not plan on taking another cruise and certainly will not be going on any more Disney cruises. I do love Disney and Disneyland, and will stick to that. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
I have been on multiple Carnival Cruises and have also experienced RCCL. Although my sons and I enjoy Carnival, I have always been intrigued by Disney Cruise Lines. We planned a 6 day cruise January 2012. My sons and I had a nice ... Read More
I have been on multiple Carnival Cruises and have also experienced RCCL. Although my sons and I enjoy Carnival, I have always been intrigued by Disney Cruise Lines. We planned a 6 day cruise January 2012. My sons and I had a nice vacation. The ship was lovely. Our stateroom was very large, clean and nicely decorated. The service was excellent. It was easy to find our way around the ship. A note on the cabin. We were in 7620 which was listed as a 7a (Navigator's Verandah). This cabin actually has a plexiglass rail and not a port hole. On some boards I read that this is what is referred to as a "secret balcony". It was nice as we paid the price of a less expensive balcony but got such a nice one. The highlight would have to be the nightly shows. They were spectacular! I have never seen entertainment this amazing on a ship before. The children's facilities were very nice. My boys had fun there. One of the positive things about the children's clubs were that my 7 and 9 year old got to be together. On Carnival they would have been in separate groups. Also, they could just have free time in the clubs verses joining in on the group activities. They enjoyed that. Security wasn't the greatest in the children's facilities. My 9 year old had permission to check himself out. My 7 year old could only with his 9 year old brother. They never checked the security on the computer and my 7 year old would just leave when he wanted. My son found being on a Carnival a bit more personable as the leaders in Camp Carnival knew the children by names. I can see how this is not possible on Disney due to the amount of children...but he missed that. Unfortunately there were many negatives. Disney has always been so expensive compared to Carnival. I expected so much more from this cruise or at least equivalent to Carnival. A few of their shortcomings were with the photographers and most importantly the food. They are always taking our photo on Carnival. I love going every night to find our photos and the Carnival photographers are amazing. I always joked that they must follow us around the whole week as they get so many good shots of my sons. On Disney they took 2 photos of us. Once at embarkation and once at dinner. All other photos were taken if you waited in VERY LONG character lines. The 2 photos they took were disappointing. A good photographer wouldn't have waited until my sons were smiling. They didn't smile in either photo and not worth the money. I looked at other photos to see if they got many good ones of other families and I wouldn't have paid for the others either. Typically, I never complain about food. I am glad that someone else cooked it and cleaned up after. Honestly, the food on this cruise was AWEFUL! There was not one meal or appetizer in the main dining rooms that I enjoyed. The presentation was terrible as well. I tried the fish, the chicken and the beef. One night I ordered the steak. It was a very thin but big piece of beef. It was tough and slathered in gravy. The gravy was so salty and it tasted like it came from a can. The steak was accompanied by corn on the cob. The corn looked like it was cooked yesterday and reheated. I do not like to complain to the waiters. I know they are working very hard. Plus, I didn't want to make our tablemates feel uncomfortable by me complaining. I just ate what I could and smiled. All the meals were bad. I am sure that the waiter would have brought me something else but by the time I got my meal, my kids were ready to leave. These restaurants were not nice (except for Triton's), they had the atmosphere of Denny's except Denny's food is actually better. The kids meals were not great either. Another aspect I found frustrating was that as soon as we ordered they would bring my sons' meals. They arrived way before my appetizer. My main meal arrived 45 minutes after my sons were served and I only ordered one appetizer. As we had the late dining time it was 9:30 by the time I was done and did not want to stay longer to order a dessert. The buffet was worse. We went twice and then simply avoided. Carnival has elegant, beautifully presented, delicious meals. Carnival has prime rib, lobster and a much better selection. There was no lobster at all on this cruise. I think if I would have paid the same price as Carnival, I wouldn't be nearly as disappointed. The fact that I paid almost double for this cruise makes me sad that I chose Disney. I really felt ripped off. Clearly there are people who think Disney is fantastic. There was a line up at the desk to book the next cruise. I was not in that line up. In the end my boys and I had a nice vacation but three of us can have fun in a motel in the middle of nowhere. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
I really wanted to love this cruise. I have cruised 15 times previously (albeit without children, whereas this time we had a 6 month old and a 4 year old), I love cruises and I love Disneyland. Alas, it was not what I expected. To be ... Read More
I really wanted to love this cruise. I have cruised 15 times previously (albeit without children, whereas this time we had a 6 month old and a 4 year old), I love cruises and I love Disneyland. Alas, it was not what I expected. To be fair, it was not horrible. The service in regard to our waitstaff and the kids' activities was excellent. But there were too many negatives that overall I would not recommend DCL, at least with young kids. I began encountering problems even before we boarded, which in hindsight should have been a red flag. When I went to check in our family on-line a few days before the cruise, I discovered that I had to pick an arrival time at the port (because we were using a shuttle and not DCL's transfers). The only one left was 3-330pm. Given the fact that our shuttle was to drop us off at 1230, and that I had two young kids including an infant that I had no idea how I would keep entertained in the terminal for 3 hours, I called DCL for help. The first time, I got a rude lady who told me there was nothing she could do because it was a Port of Los Angeles issue and not something DCL caused. I later found that to be an out-right lie. So my husband called back, not getting much further, with a different rep who told us it was our fault for checking in so late, despite the fact that when I had tried weeks before the system would not let me and despite the fact that DCL had not given us a heads' up about it since I have never had to pick an arrival time with any other line before. Finally, on the third call, with a supervisor, we got some assistance. I found this same strange-for-Disney inability to help when I went to the Guest Services desk two hours after boarding. I was trying to sign my daughter up for this special princess tea they have on board. I was told it was already booked and that it "usually books in the first hour after people board". Um....ok? Shouldn't this be a signal to you then that you need more than ONE??? Disney shoves all this princess crap down our girls' throats...of course all the little girls are going to want to go. I would think they would be better prepared for this contingency. We were ultimately waitlisted, and, despite only 4 parties being ahead of me, were never called. I had a similar problem with the adult-only restaurant, Palo. We did get our one night there (I think everyone is allowed one night) and it was pretty good. But apparently the place has brunches and teas which I tried to book months prior to the cruise but could never get in. Again, I was waitlisted, and heard nothing more. Since we had a child under three, we booked nursery time. You are only allowed 18 hours when you book. I was able to get a little more when I pestered them the first day. The service in the nursery was excellent and they were wonderful with my son. The problem is that because DCL doesnt give you any kind of idea when things will be scheduled, you are basically booking the nursery hours blind. What that translated into was that when my husband and I did get time alone, no adult activities were happening. (Except the occasional cigar club and martini tasting, which we have no interest in). I really wanted to go to the trivia and games, but we had the baby during these times. I asked if we could still go and was told no. I think Disney should either A) give you more time; B) give you the schedule in advance so you know when you will need the nursery time; C) offer babysitting; or D) let you take the infant with you. The food was pretty good in the dining rooms, but the buffet, when it was open, was kind of mediocre. I say when it was open because it had limited hours and if you did not get there by a certain time, you were kind of screwed food wise. My husband and daughter had that problem at least twice. Our cabin was alright, but we barely fit. Yes, there is a tub in the bathroom but it is half-sized. That didn't bother me although I could never get anything but scalding hot water to come out which is kind of a problem when you have young kids. It was also very noisy...when the tenders were being taken in and out it sounded like a major construction site outside our window. Frankly, given the weird placement of the cabins (we were on deck one) I don't think they were initially intended as passenger cabins anyways. Our cabin steward was nice, but sometimes slow on the cleaning. I know we were hard to pin down in the morning but we were always at dinner 545-7pm and we would come back to put the baby to sleep and the cabin still wasn't turned down for the night. At least twice I told him to not worry about it and just had him hand me extra towels because we were already heading to bed. Room service was fine and prompt except no one ever collected trays. They would line the hallway up and down for hours. It was actually kind of gross. I don't expect them to be taken away in a second but I would leave our cabin and see dirty trays outside the door and then return FIVE hours later seeing these exact same trays had yet to be cleaned. The adult activities, as I hinted above, are limited, unless you like alcohol tasting. They also had a couple presentations (mostly to buy spa crap or their vacation club) but not much else. The kids' club was very nice and had lots of activities. I think my husband would have rather played there. My daughter had a great time, so that was a plus. OVERALL: Not a horrible experience, but not great either, especially given the fact that you pay that extra Disney mark-up to travel on the Disney Cruise Line. I just don't think it is worth what you pay for it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
This was our second Disney Cruise. The first on the Magic 4 years ago (Western Caribbean 7 Night) Our girls were 6 and 8 then. My 8 year old literally fell asleep at the dinner table one night (think face plant on the table) on that ... Read More
This was our second Disney Cruise. The first on the Magic 4 years ago (Western Caribbean 7 Night) Our girls were 6 and 8 then. My 8 year old literally fell asleep at the dinner table one night (think face plant on the table) on that cruise and missed the pirate party on deck and the fireworks. I have become really good at scouring websites and cruise booking engines and know how to find the deals. I stumbled upon kids sail free promo in October and didn't have to ask twice to book this trip. My oldest daughter was finally going to get her pirate party! This trip our girls were one and two months shy of 11 and 13. We flew into LAX the morning of our cruise and arrived at 11am. We hired a private shuttle service for under $70 total including tip and arrived at the cruise terminal at 12:15. We were on the ship by 1:00. Our ocean view stateroom was fine. Cabins are small on all cruise ships. Bathrooms are tight. If that's not what you are looking for...don't cruise. We've had inside, outside and balcony cabins on cruises and feel that for the amount of time you spend in your cabin go for the best value price wise when booking. Yes a balcony is nice to sit on, but it can double your cruise price. Our family would rather have more money to spend in ports and activities. This time booking an ocean view was less expensive than the inside room! Our girls enjoyed the sail away party again. Disney does a great job with this. Dining was typical cruise ship. Disney is great with the unlimited soda/beverage choice on the pool deck and at the buffet. It would be nice if the drink station was located in the middle of the ship versus the back. I wouldn't say the food was horrible nor would I say 5 star all the time. We had some really great things- some mediocre and a few things that were not good at all. If you don't like it don't eat it. Find something else to eat. There are options available. I would say the steak and lobster were fabulous. One steak was overcooked. I asked for another. If the menu isn't to your liking- talk to your waitstaff- they can suggest or modify what is on the menu. Don't be afraid to order 2 entrees if you can't decide or are unsure about something. I've been cruising for 12 years and yes- dining/food has declined across the board on all cruise lines over the years. If you are looking for off the chart fabulous meals and accommodations- you should be booking with a luxury cruise line. Disney is not in that category. Also for a change of pace- make sure you visit one of the sit down lunches. Check the kids into kids club and enjoy a leisurely lunch instead of buffeting it everyday. Kids club- The staff at the Edge was great! We were able to get our almost 11 year old into this club space and the girls had a ball. The wave phones on this ship were a godsend and our girls enjoyed total freedom the entire cruise. We also enjoyed many hours of kid free time as they were busy with the many friends they met on the boat. I am almost embarrassed to say that we usually returned to our cabin by 11 or so each night and our girls stayed at the Edge until Midnight. They stuck together and along with the other 6 girls they met, had a fantastic time. No complaints here! Adult Activities/Entertainment- this is one area I think Disney can improve on. There are movies showing. A few geared toward adults. We saw "The Help" on our way to Puerto Vallarta on a sea day and were looking forward to seeing "War Horse" on our last sea day. For some reason they changed the showing the last day to "Pirates of the Caribbean". We had a piece of literature in our room the first day of our cruise that had all movies listed and purposely saved "War Horse" for the last sea day for a time filler. When our navigator arrived, it had been changed. I went to Guest Services to inquire. They had the week long list we had so the gal was confused as well. She went to investigate and came back and said yes- it had been changed. Sorry.... not the kind of remedy I would expect from Disney- they could have easily have shown the movie that was supposed to have played after Pirates and made everyone happy. I give Disney an F here. There are lots of alcohol tasting seminars, the Quiet Cove pool area, the spa. I feel there could be a few more activities offered during the day while at sea. I do have to say it was fabulous to lay by the pool in the Quiet Cove- no loud music or screaming kids. Just the occasional buzz of my wave phone when the girls were checking in with us. Very Relaxing! Other cruise lines should take lesson from Disney here. Our last Disney Cruise we lounged at the Mickey pool while the girls rode down the water slide all day long. Nightly Entertainment- the shows are a must. I do have to say that they are the exact same shows we saw 4 years ago. It was long enough ago that I didn't remember everything, but also feel that Disney should get into a 2 year rotation to keep guests wanting to come back. Our girls loved to dance and do Karaoke each night too. On sea days, why don't they have Karaoke during the day? The pirate party was fun- fireworks are fun too- we ate at second seating so couldn't even think about eating again at the party. Staff- Of all cruise lines- Disney staff is overall most friendly- willing to help- and do what they can to make your trip enjoyable. I do have to say that the attention to detail was down a notch from the last Disney cruise. The princesses in the lobby are great- if this is on your list to do- make sure you arrive a bit ahead of time and be prepared to wait. Even my girls at 11 and 13 had a few pics taken. One last huge shout out to Disney- thanks for letting us bring our own liquor on board! a bucket of beer is $30 and most drinks are over $7. A glass of wine at dinner each night- it can get pretty costly. We brought 4 bottles of wine and my husband walked to Walmart in Puerto Vallarta and purchased a 12 pack of Corona. Each night we enjoyed a glass of wine poured in our cabin. We enjoyed it all the way to the dining room and then only had to order a glass during dinner. I enjoyed the ports, but do have to say that I much more enjoy the crystal clear water of the Caribbean and the warmth of the water. I also really missed the private island. A must if you are paying full price for a Disney cruise. In Puerto Vallarta we opted to take a taxi into town- see the cathedral and then walk thru shops and the beach. There are the typical port shops, restaurants etc. In Cabo we enjoyed a stroll thru the marina and ended up on the beach for the day- day 2 we hired a water taxi from booth A-7 to take us around the arch and for time on lovers beach for $35 for the 4 of us. I heard from others who used this booth that para sailing was just $40 per person. **the dolphin adventure in cabo is literally within walking distance of the tender drop- book that independently- not thru Disney and you will save quite a bit of money** In summary- a vacation is what you make of it- if you want to find something to complain about- there will always be something. When the trip is over- ask yourself- do the good points outweigh the bad? Most of the time it will. Secondly- most people who write reviews only do so if they have a bad experience. Future Disney cruisers... this is not an awful cruise- I admit a few things slipped thru the cracks- but I also had a great week and my kids had the opportunity to take a second Disney cruise. There is a reason why Disney is offering kids sail free and the prices are a bit lower on this destination. keep that in mind when you book and you will enjoy your trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Folks it all starts and ends with great Guest Services and how they handles any potential problems. And I hope you don't have any on your cruise. But if you do they should be handled professionally and quickly with a great solution. ... Read More
Folks it all starts and ends with great Guest Services and how they handles any potential problems. And I hope you don't have any on your cruise. But if you do they should be handled professionally and quickly with a great solution. The Emerald Princess by far has the worst Guest Services is my travels by far. I was celebrating four years cancer free and when I went to guest services I was rudley told by a young girl young enough to be my daughter that "We dont do that here" and then she shared it with the rest of guest services and they had a nice chuckle about it. It was only after 5-6 days of me nagging the desk and following up on my own to find out they had a Susan K Komen "Walk The Deck For The Cure" and then I was bought off with a dinner at Sabatinis and a bottle of red wine. Again after 5-6 days and about 4-5 people before speaking to management. Will never cruise with Princess again. Carnival just as bad when me and my family was blocked from getting on board ship after an 18 hour drive by photographers who insisted on taking our pictures. Complained to desk they said sorry and that was the end of that. Wrote a letter and then was offered a 12.95 plate of Chocolate covered strawberries on our next Carnival cruise. Talk about adding insult to injury. No more cruises with Carnival. And trust me I share this story with people and blogs everywhere. Well lets spray some magic pixie dust over this bad stuff and go on to the great review of the Disney Wonder. We were celebrating my wife's 60 birthday and have never cruised the Pacific Coast before. We have cruised Disney before going on the Disney Dream's Inaugural Cruise. Another great cruise. Disney is very well organized about getting you on the ship and the entire process took about 1/2 hour before we were on board ship. Rooms were ready at 2 and the Beach Blanket Buffet was lay ed out well with lots of great food choices. Muster drill was painless and very well done. With Disney safety is always first. You can always be assured your little ones are well taken care of here. Then the Sail Away Party. There is no other cruise line that does a Sail Away Party to speak of and nobody and I do mean NOBODY does it like Disney. They put the E in excitement and make sure you leave all your troubles behind. You really feel like you are on vacation. Just a mention on our room. We had an inside stateroom. Our inside stateroom on the Oasis of the Seas sailing was 182 sg feet with veranda. Our inside stateroom was 184 sg ft and Disney has tubs as well even in the inside staterooms. The biggest bathrooms at seas. We are return Castaway Members after just one cruise. Did we have a cheesy discount book waiting for us with the usual 10% off the usual purchase in the shop stuff? Nope we got a great canvas beach bag with two huge rice krispy treats that looked like sandals, two very nice metal water bottles and a keep sake key chain. After only 1 cruise Room steward was great with great towel animals and chocolates at bedtimes. Something the other cruise line (some of them) have stopped doing. Its the little things though that make the difference. How much do you really save on a little bit of chocolate and how is it reflected in a cruise fare? First night was at Palo's for my wife's birthday. Here was the only stumble. I had let them know it was my wife's birthday and dinner was good but it was not as good and presentation was not as grand as we had on the Emerald Princess and Sabatinis. Disney could learn here. Plus there were only 4 tables and the Maitre D never stopped by to wish my wife a happy birthday. Instead he choose to visit a table of past cruisers he knew and visit with them. Our waiter did however write a beautiful Happy Birthday wish on an empty plate for my wife. No singing nothing else. ??? I went to Guest Services the next day just to make sure that at dinner that evening perhaps the waiters in the rotational dining schedule could sing to my wife. Jennifer in Guest Services immediately took control of the situation explaining they do not sing in Palos because of the ambiance ?? Ok But they would at night on the 16 and that was my wife's actual birthday anyway. And it went great. We also came to out room that night to find a very nice bottle of wine and a towel birthday cake and a card waiting for my wife. Also there were little gifts and cards left the rest of the week by both our friends Jennifer and Colin at Guest Services. Yes I said friends because Guest Services at Disney will treat you like friends and family. New Cruise director Jimmy London also did a fine job with all the fine shows and all the entertainment. How could you tell? Walk by any club or bar and they were packed day and night with laughing families and adults having a blast. And Jimmies staffs attention were on the guests not each other in the hallways and on deck. Fireworks at sea,Pirates, Captain Jack Sparrow, Rotational dining between three great colorful restaurants with great food in each.(the food was very good and plate presentation was gourmet with real Baked Alaska served and done in parade fashion) Waiters on parade cutting food for the kids and making sure everyone's favorite drinks were waiting for them. Every dinner was a show onto itself plus the Maitre D was kind and all over the place. And have you ever seen the bartenders do tricks and dance on all those great promo videos you see from cruise lines? They guys on Disney actually do it WOW. Every show was done in the professional manner we know and love with the execution of excellence Disney is know for around the world We also did the All Day RainForest Pass in the spa which gives you all day in great showers and different steam rooms and thermal beds for some great chill time. The only downer about this is its positioned under the basketball court (big opps). Go early or late in the day or on a port day for relaxing time hint hint. Plus the beautiful and safe ports of Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. What more could you ask for? I was so blown away we are doing this all over again April 22 in a couple months. Hey I love Disney and a Shout out to our friends Jennifer,Colin, Mitch,Clair (Main stage members) and Jimmy London and staff You made us feel like family and we love you for that. Im gonna tell your boss. See some of you soon I hope. Folks if you want a great cruise I would wonder why you wouldn't choose The Wonder? Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
This review is well overdue... We sailed on 1/22/12 from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera with two small children ages 5 and 3. We were reluctant to go on a 7 day cruise with such small children who had never gone on a cruise before. The ... Read More
This review is well overdue... We sailed on 1/22/12 from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera with two small children ages 5 and 3. We were reluctant to go on a 7 day cruise with such small children who had never gone on a cruise before. The only reference we point we have in terms of cruises were Carnival Cruises. We were able to sign up for a "kids sail free" promotion and paid for a Category 6 stateroom. I knew that they were out of this selection, including staterooms in the category 5 when I signed up, so I was told by Disney Cruiselines that I would likely get upgraded. Sure enough, we were upgraded to a much larger category 4 stateroom which is a little bigger than the others (304 square feet). The whole process with this cruiseline was just so well organized. Living in Orange County California and only minutes from Disneyland, we are very familiar with how the Disney Experience is. From the moment we got to the Los Angeles cruise terminal, the "Disney Magic" was clearly setting this experience a part from our other cruise experiences. Thole embarkataion process was so organized and so effortless. We were able to check in and do most of our paperwork online. When we got on the ship, they announced every family by name and welcomed you aboard. They had lunch ready to go for us at the restaurants and had plenty of activities to start enjoying. The pools were open, the unlimited soft drink station was ready to go and we were able to get into our staterooms by 2:00PM. When we got into our room, we were surprised at how much room there was. We were on deck 8 and closer to aft than midship, which was a perfect location for us since we were close to the pools and quick dining options. It was a short walk to the theaters and also close to Animators Palate and Parrot Cay restaurants. We didn't enjoy Parrot Cay as much, however, the food was ok. We enjoyed Animators Palate and Triton's restaurant the most. We saw plenty of characters and had plenty of impromptu and scheduled character photo opportunities. They are walking everywhere and roaming around. If you go to a scheduled photo shoot, take the time to look at who's going to be scheduled and get there during the 15 interval or they'll close the line. Also, if you want a good seat, be sure to get to the shows about 10-15 minutes early. People save seats, even though they aren't allowed to. Be sure to read and comb through your daily Navigator so you can see what's scheduled and what specials you can take advantage of - such as buy one get one cocktails, spa packages etc. We used the Oceaneers Club several times. The staff was great and by the middle of the week, they knew our children by name. We did not leave our kids in the Club for as long as we thought we would originally since there were so many family activities to do. We would drop them off an hour or two at a time based on what activities they had scheduled (daily activities found in Navigator). One of the best parts of the cruise was that during the second seating dinner, they would have the children's food served between 8:45PM and 9:00PM and the youth counselors would come down and pick up the kids to play while we finished our dinner and had a cocktail in Route 66. This was a great experience for our family and I am glad we were able to do it before they repositioned the cruise back to the east coast. We did the port adventures but they can get pricey. Well worth it to not have to worry about navigating through Mexico yourself. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Traveling for me is a favorite hobby for me. Now that I have a 3 year old daughter I am traveling "Kid Style" now in full force. No more adult type vacations for me for awhile. So, I am trying to find that vacation WOW for my ... Read More
Traveling for me is a favorite hobby for me. Now that I have a 3 year old daughter I am traveling "Kid Style" now in full force. No more adult type vacations for me for awhile. So, I am trying to find that vacation WOW for my family to enjoy. Needed my daughter to potty over the past Summer. Came up with a passport idea. When she filled her book up that is when I booked what I thought was going to be the ideal REWARD/Christmas gift of a lifetime for a 3 year old! Oops...shame on me for believing in Disney. I do love Mr. Disney park's, but the seven sea's are not for a mouse and his cheese! I believe Mr. Disney would of saved AMTRAK with his name over a cruise ship any day. That being said it is time to be very real with my pro's and LOT's of con's..... Pro: L.A. is my city and how nice to be able to cruise out of it. It's MICKEY MOUSE and Friends Nice staff and some of the staff really shined like Tinkle Bell AMAZING Broadway style show's that I believe save this cruise 100% Great lounge singers fitting the stereo type. Con: The FOOD is so BAD that I was in utter shock! My kid and I got sick on the chicken strips. Should of known better since it was from Pluto's dog bowl. You can use your imagination on what kind of sickness we had. After recovering I went after the forbidden fruit of trying the other food. Sound's fancy on the menu and looks fancy on the plate in the dining room. The minute you fork up your mouth is in a over load of what SCHOOL LUNCHES taste like. I understand the whole cooking for a Army. If Carnival is better, Disney watch out! How do you serve up that food with a smile? Loved that the last day and night this ship went over board with razzle dazzle we really can cook up a yummy storm for you to forget about 6 days of blah tasteless lukewarm "food". I knew from my other cruises on different liners that food was the calling card. Since this is a park playing in a cruise ship maybe the FOOD memo got lost with Nemo. Breakfast buffet was a runny egg greasy fatty bacon with no meat dried out cheeses cubes with stale bread. When plain oatmeal is the better tasting food item over bacon and eggs that is a REAL problem in my book. Did I mention that was plain oatmeal. Pizza on any cruise should be banned. On the WONDER Pinocchio really lied about get it while it's hot. Thick cardboard crust with no flavored sauce or meaty pieces on top. Did the pineapple from breakfast get sliced on to the pizza with little specks of ham dust? Pass on those high calories. I so do not even want to know what is REALLY in the hot dog that my kid begged to eat over everything except that nasty goob of mac & cheese. The fries looked and tasted a day old. Who serves brown soggy fries? Palo is overpriced! Ps. Palo food makes it way down to the buffet the next day. Save your money. If your a foodie DO NOT cruise on Wonder. You have been warned. No Ice Sculptors or Midnight buffet on this ship. My room 8564 needs to be fixed up. Wish I could post the photo's on here. Don't tell me it's the older boat. I get that, but fix the broken things, switch out the nasty toilet seat, clean the stained walls and carpet. No mop was ever used on the bathroom floor. I actually took a towel and did it myself. I like CLEAN bathrooms. The public women's bathroom always had a floating guest around. Does anyone clean the public bathrooms on this ship. Bad enough seeing dirty cups lined in the hallways all over the place. Disney has a BIG STANDARD of clean living in the parks! Why not on the ship? The ship did not have that shine/buff clean look to it at all. Mickey pool for my daughter was perfect until the black tar like silicone on Mickey's ear's rubbed on to my daughters face and arms making it hard to clean off. Why is that stuff rubbing off on the little kids? It's toxic, Disney! The family pool is tiny and the adult pool is the only decent pool on board with the best loungers that are nicely cushioned. Spa was nice with no high pressure sales after treatment. No robes or slippers in the lockers was a bummer. Had to stay in my clothes before a message is not so comfy when you have to wait in a relaxing area. Prices are still criminal for the average service. Port days are cheaper as always. The reason I was on Disney Wonder was for the KIDS entertainment. LONG lines to snap that picture with a Princess or the Mouse with friends. Give me a break! The website makes it seem like Snow White is laughing with your daughter, Cinderella is coming by your table or whatever character you can think of is bouncing all around to delight your child or your freaky Disney infatuation . If I wanted my 3 year old in front of a t.v. I could of kept her home. The Oceaneer club for her age group was a total bust from the 2nd day. Not enough Princess dress's to go around, not a lot of interactive role playing or character playing in this clubhouse. Oh, I am sorry the last day at sea to impress everyone is the full day of fun with Belle coming to read, making a Belle rose petal in a paper cup, stage show with all the kids ready to perform for you and tons of things to make a kid happy (finally). The staff is super nice and kind. I just think the imagination is gone to know how to entertain a kid without a tv or computer screen. I will say the BEST age group for this Disney cruise is 6-10. Not great for under 6 or over 11. The teens were zombies on this ship. You would just see them walking around all the time looking like a suicide watch should take place. I felt bad for those teen girls and guys. This is NO MILF cruiser. Lot's of Overweight or burned out parents on this voyage. Well, I did see 2 mom's with floatation devices, ink on the lower back above the bikini bottom and trying hard to look like the teen daughter. Just a lot of people stuffing the face with soft serve it yourself ice cream looks of boredom at the Mickey/Family pool with sound blasting LOUD over the speakers for the movie of the day. Volume control anyone? Geez... If you think this is a relaxing cruise for you with a kid. No Such thing! Kids can't stand the oceaneer's club after an hour. Check it out and you'll see the melt downs. Parents rushing in with the text message cell phone from 1998 era. I had to bribe my kid to be good all day to give me and the hubby a little break with a Pricey reward from the gift shop. $17.99 for a plastic silver tiara that lights up. Give me a break, Disney. Really, $18 for a head piece that breaks so fast? UGH! Smart to not buy into that cheap made item. Found some things under $15 to bribe with. The t.v. in your room is on a HEAVY loop of the same cartoons, movies, ABC channel or cruise channel over and over. We all know that could be changed, right? How hard is it to update the tv tape machine player? Over all the food, characters and kid club was the BIGGEST disappointment for us. Do have to say Captain Fabian was handsome and very friendly to my husband and I asking if everything was fine. Really nice man that cares. Disney won with having him! I just feel like Wonder is the lost child in a big family that everyone has forgotten about since the focus is so FANTASY driven right now for Disney. Think it's time to put away this ship for good. Really show's no one cares for her anymore. Very sad considering you're paying a lot for that Disney Wonder of being free with your dreams coming true on the sea. Save your hard earn money for FANTASY! That I hear from Captain Fabian is going to be AWESOME!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
First, a little background. DH and are in our early 40s and have sailed about 7 or 8 times before, previously on RCCL and Princess. We did the 2 night cruise to "nowhere" on Disney's Wonder in February 2011, and it was a ... Read More
First, a little background. DH and are in our early 40s and have sailed about 7 or 8 times before, previously on RCCL and Princess. We did the 2 night cruise to "nowhere" on Disney's Wonder in February 2011, and it was a disaster. BUT, we had this special 8n holiday cruise to the MR booked already (some 2 years ago) and we decided to keep the reservation and see what a full cruise would be like on the Wonder. Our 2 DD's are almost 12 and 7 and have been on 3 other cruises with us. First the great things about the ship: it's smaller, which means much less walking from place to place. Our suite was located forward of the midship elevators and there is a reason why the most expensive suites are there. The forward elevators are the quietest and have the best access to the theater, the lounges and other frequently visited places on the ship. The midship elevators are very busy but take you just about everywhere including the kids clubs, the theater, the shops, and Tritons. Midship is also the most stable on the ship as far as movement, which was key for my younger DD, who sometimes gets a little seasick in rough waters. Our cabin, the Walt Disney suite, was beautiful in its appearance with whitewashed wood everywhere. Tons of storage space too. The layout was very clever with a separate bedroom for the kids (sleeps 4 with 2 pull downs) and a dining room that easily sits 6, plus a living room area that we hung out in a lot. The "reading room" has 2 huge chairs to sit in, which I used often to stare out the huge bay windows into the deep blue sea. There is a large murphy bed in that room too that the stewart lowered for my older DD every night. Then there is the master bedroom and bathroom, which are not huge but very comfortable. It's the best use of about 1200 square feet I have ever seen, and I think you can easily fit 6 people into the room at least without being on top of eachother. The suite had the wonderful gift of having free Palo delivered to your room every night if you wished. Our room stewart (the same one each night we ordered) was superb and set up a white linen tablecloth and all the dishes, etc about 30 minutes before our food was to be delivered. Sometimes we ordered in as a 3 course meal, sometimes we had them deliver everything all at once if we were in a hurry to do something. It was the best part of the whole cruise. We also had brunch at Palo (not free and not in our room) and it was FABULOUS. The views from the top deck are to die for. I would recommend brunch over dinner, actually! The seafood spread was amazing and absolutely delicious. Worth every penny. The entertainment on the ship, for both adults and kids, was incredible. We are talking broadway quality shows for Disney such at Toy Story (basically the first movie acted out), Dreams (princesses) and Golden Mickeys. The talent and sheer imagination that goes into these shows is beyond any other cruise line's. The kids and adults all enjoyed the entertainmnet. We also had a wonderful comedian/ventrilaquist on board as well as a magician. They made stops in the kids clubs before going to perform in the huge theater, so the children got a more intimate "show" each time. At night, around 9:30, the houseband (Speakerbox) played a set for about 45 minutes, followed by 45 minutes of either adult comedy or 80s theme night or 70s name that tune or whatever. Then Speakerbox came on and played again till around midnight. It was a wonderful way for adults to enjoy the evening after late seating dinner. The weather and ports were great (Cabo, Cabo, PV and Manzanillo) and we did all Disney excursions for the convenience (and safety). The family enjoyed every single one. In Cabo, we did the dolphin swim on D1 and a snorkeling excursion to Santa Maria on D2. The waters were cold so be prepared (we had 1/2 wetsuits). In PV we did the Paradise Beach getaway and it was the best excursion we've done in the MR ever (in 5 cruises!). In Manzanillo, Elephant Rock snorkeling was a huge hit with totally calm and warm waters, lots of fish and great coral. Now the bad. Disney does NOTHING for adult entertainment during the day, either in port or during sea days. On the Navigator it may look like there are "lots" of activities but they are all sales pitches (DVC presentations, how to get a flatter stomach by eating a lot (buy spa products), how to relieve all your pain through acupuncture (at the spa), etc,). OR, you can pay money and do just about any alcohol tasting. Beer tasting, margarita tasting, wine tasting, tequilla tasting, etc etc. They all cost money and they all try to sell you stuff. There would be about 3 of these alcohol tasting events on the navigator every day! Otherwise, there were literally NO events of any kind. No Bingo, no trivia, no educational talks about animation like I had hoped, nothing. Princess and RCCL do a way better job in daytime activities for adults! The kids clubs were "Open House" during port hours too. You know what that means? That means a parent must stay with the child at all times as it's all unsupervised. So basically you get to use the club to babysit your children. Talk about cheap! THis would go on for almost 6 hours a day! Most other cruise lines still offer some childcare if you don't want to take your kid to port or just need a break. Can't believe Disney does this. Our cabin was also unbelievably loud. Talk about snap, crack and pop constantly, and we had the most calm seas I have ever sailed on the Pacific! I think here the Wonder really shows her age. Soundproofing is aweful and you can hear people walking above you and in the hallways all conversations filter right in. Just be prepared and bring earplugs. The noise in the Disney suite with all that wood was just crazy! We called it the Rice Crispy Suite. SPeaking of motion, this ship is also I think a bit dated when it comes to stabilizers. Even in the completely calm waters we sailed in all 8 days, the ship swayed back and forth. Now I love being at sea and I don't mind, but quite a few others remarked on the constant swaying sideways and uncomfortable. More modern ships we've been on have somehow managed to eliminated this sway, even in more turbulent waters. Our family didn't mind but if this is your first cruise, consider it. Last gripe (and a big one) is one I had on the 2n cruise too. The food is just not good! Think of your local sit down chain restaurant (Red Robin, Denny's, etc) and then take it down 2 notches. That's the food in the main dining rooms. Tritons somehow was better than AP and PC but really, all 3 were bad! Everything is preplated so unless you ask for special things 24h ahead, they literally cannot give you a plate of steamed veggies on the side or a sundae without nuts! They cannot make anything special in the kitchen at the time of your meal. You have to review the menu ahead of time and ask for it the day before! Good grief. Now Palo is of course and exception and having the Walt suite saved the day for us because 4 nights out of the 8 we ate in our room and avoided the dining rooms entirely. We had awesome, made to order food there and it was all included in the pricy suite! Only the top 3 suites allow this though, not all, so check which they are. Also, the buffet has the most limited hours of any ship I have ever been on. It closed every day at 2pm. At 2:05, the serving spoons disappear from the buffet so even if you are wanting seconds, you are out of luck. One day we returned from an excursion at around 1:50 and about 100+ people raced up to the buffet to try to catch lunch. They literally turned away about 1/2 of the guests, saying it was too late and they couldn't eat! Unebelievable. So then your only choice is lousy, soggy and fattening hamburgers or hotdogs at the grill or soggy wraps that the kids just don't eat. Or, you can order room service, which serves the same hamburgers/hotdogs/wraps, just to your room! You basically are out of luck until your sit down mealtime at 5:30 or 8:30. Try explaining that to your starved preteen after a long day of swimming at the pool! I have literally never sailed on a ship with less buffet hours in my life. Very cheap of Disney to not have a 5-8pm time for the buffet or something like that. Most cruise lines go from 6am to midnight, if not 24 hours! So while we had a great time on this holiday cruise thanks to the wonderful activities, shows and excursions, we just can't see sailing Disney again. The prices are outrageous, almost 2x that of Princess and almost 3x that of Carnival, with simply not enough things going for the ship or the food or the activities to justify this cost. If Disney truly was so far above and beyond that of other lines, I could understand paying more. But they really aren't. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This is my first and probably the last experience with Disney Cruise Line. I have cruised with Princess, MSC and HAL before. Disney Wonder is a distant fourth place in almost all areas. Pluses: + entertainment. The shows and the ... Read More
This is my first and probably the last experience with Disney Cruise Line. I have cruised with Princess, MSC and HAL before. Disney Wonder is a distant fourth place in almost all areas. Pluses: + entertainment. The shows and the movie theater is a top class. All the shows are well designed and performed. Great selection of movies and even 3D movies titles available. + upbeat and friendly staff. About 70% of the staff were well trained and showing bright attitudes towards guests. + wave phone! Having a portable phone throughout the ship is an excellent idea. + port of calls. Manzanillo was a meh, but Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas were just excellent. We had great time off the ship snorkling, riding ATV, and just strolling about. + wine selection was excellent, and priced very reasonably. + cabin space. The cabin was old, but very spacious. Having a bathtub is really nice when travelling with kids. Minuses: - food. Food was just terrible. I've had better food at Denny's diner. Most everything was extremely salty, including risotto, soup, and even the steak. The last night featured lobster, and it was the worst lobster I have ever eaten. - ship. ship is too old with faded carpets, doors that don't stay open or closed, leaky faucet, and just looked plain old. Cabin reminds me of Holiday Inn. - untrained inexperienced staff. About 30% of the staff were basically clueless. Wine steward recommended "Captain's Choice Mondavi Kendall Jackson Cabernet". I ordered a Mondavi Cabernet, he brought a Merlot, and the bill showed Kendall Jackson Chardonnay. Our main waiter at the main diner was trying hard, but obviously very inexperienced and untrained. Assistant waiter was also inexperienced, and never bothered with the empty water glasses all night. Room steward was friendly, but left hairs on the bathroom wall. - price. Disney Cruise is typically 50%-100% more expensive than comparable non-Disney cruises. I have mixed feeling about the kids program. On the outside it looks well structured, with four different programs depending on age group (14 and up, 11-13, 10 and under, infants). However vast majority of kids on the ship are 10 and under. The Oceaneer's Lab, the main kids room for 10 and under, was always very crowded. I feel that Princess or even HAL where there are much fewer number of kids provide more personal and intimate programs for kids. If you are a Disney fan, then this cruise may work for you. Otherwise Princess or HAL will be a much better value. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We cruised with NCL and Royal Caribbean pre-children and loved it. I was so excited when i discovered Disney did cruises and we could take the girls! Did the Disney Magic around Europe last August and I thought it was great (food was a ... Read More
We cruised with NCL and Royal Caribbean pre-children and loved it. I was so excited when i discovered Disney did cruises and we could take the girls! Did the Disney Magic around Europe last August and I thought it was great (food was a little underwhelming but on the whole great service and great entertainment too). I recommended Disney cruises to my family and so for Christmas my parents spent over £20,000 taking the whole family on the Mexican Riveria cruise on 26 December. My parents had a cabin with 2 little portholes on deck 1 - so noisy as it was next to the engine room. All 4 cabins were on different decks (1, 2, 6 & 7) - we were originally on different tables at dinner. Service in the restaurant was interesting to say the least. Our waiter was lovely but rarely got anyones order correct. At the character breakfast not one breakfast order was correct - in fact she then turned up with plates full of bacon, sausage etc. and turned it into a buffet (which is not what we wanted!!). The assistant waiter was so sweet but obviously very nervous - shaking hands, sweating a lot (in fact this dripped on my brother -in - law!!). My bill included 7 wrong drinks orders - he often made us sign the receipts the next day as he couldn't work them out on the night. It wasn't very complicated as we only had one or two drinks each!! it wasn't just the waiting staff though. it took 2 calls to guest services and 2 further phone calls to finally get my safe fixed (day 5 of the cruise). Thought PV was awful, Cabo San Lucas was nice though. When I asked the morning of the PV port stop if there was a public beach nearby, I was told not to go to the public beach as there was no lifeguard and that I should have booked the beach excursion. I then answered that wasn't it a little late to book it - the response was 'it's full anyway!!" completely pointless conversation! By the way the public beach was very good - and there was a lifeguard Disney!! We did have a lovely cruise but I was disappointed and embarrassed that this wasn't the experience we'd had last year. Also disappointed that 3 of the shows were exactly the same as last year, another show was a hypnotist (of no interest to a 5 year old) and then they showed The Muppets movie in the theatre one night - that's just plain lazy! I have booked to go on the Fantasy next September and to be honest I wouldn't have booked it if i'd have been on this cruise first. Disney - sort out your service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was my family's first cruise with Disney Cruise Lines. We have been on about 15 other cruises over several years, mostly on NCL, one on Carnival, and one on Princess. We decided to try Disney this time, as they were dong a ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise with Disney Cruise Lines. We have been on about 15 other cruises over several years, mostly on NCL, one on Carnival, and one on Princess. We decided to try Disney this time, as they were dong a "kids sail free" promo to the Mexican Riviera. We have pretty much been around the world on cruise ships, but the Mexican Riviera was a new destination for us. The embarkation involved passing through security at the port, then sitting in a large waiting area until the ship was ready to be boarded. It had plenty of seating, as well as a big screen TV playing Disney Channel. We were there quite early (due to coming from our home in Alaska). It was very loud, with tons of kids of various ages running all over. There was no food/drink available besides two vending machines, so make sure you get food before you arrive. They boarded the ship using numbers, based on when you arrived and got through security. This part of the process was very well done, as, once it was actually time to board, you got right on the ship, and they sent you to a specific restaurant to get something to eat. We were sent to Parrot Cay, where there was an excellent buffet and wait staff. At about 3pm, we were allowed to go to our cabins. We were greeted by the cabin stewards, and the room was ready for us. We had a deluxe ocean view verandah cabin (5A), number 6532. It was near the stairs, forward, sixth deck. The cabin was in great shape, nothing broken. It contained a spit bathroom, with a toilet and sink in one room, the shower and a second sink in the other. There was a large closet in the room, and plenty of drawer space. The cabin had a flat screen TV with 20+ channels (not all Disney). The setup is similar to other cruise lines' balcony or family suites, with a queen bed, good size couch, and desk area. The balcony had a great view. The restaurants were excellent. We rotated (with the same wait staff) between Parrot Cay, Animator's Palate (amazing dining room that cost over 4 million $$), and Triton's (the most formal). We had an early seating, and ate with a family similar in makeup to ours (two teenage children). The menu was different every night, and there was a different "theme" each night as well. The food was excellent, as was the wait staff service. The Animator's Palate has a multimedia show that is a must see. The tipping is traditional, with suggested rates for the head server, your individual waiter, the assistant waiter, and your cabin steward. They were all well worth the gratuities we left. I would say that the single best part of the cruise was the quality of the service. The shows each night were different every day. Some had pyrotechnics that were tremendous. There were a number of Disney-themed musicals, a first run film that was still in theaters (Muppets), and a hypnotist/comedian (family friendly). There was also a movie theater that showed both 3D and 2D movies, all day long. There was a good variety between Disney stuff and other movies. There were also a decent number of "adult only" events in the evenings. Our younger son is 13 and was in the "Edge" program, and our 16 year old was in the "Vibe" program. Both programs ran until after midnight daily, and were drop-in variety. The Vibe program was on the pool deck in a smoke stack, and it was so cool, I even wanted to stay there...The Vibe program was on the 2nd deck, and had a large variety of activities, as well as pretty much every video game system available. They also had large plasma TV's. comfy bean bag chairs, and computer stations. All the staff were excellent, very helpful, and the kids loved them. There are three pool areas. One has a huge outdoor movie screen that plays all day/night with a variety of shows and movies. The other pools are a kiddie pool area with waterside and an adults only pool, with two hot tubs and a nearby coffee shop. They really did enforce the "no kids" thing, too. The ports (see other section) were excellent. There was a lot to do, and it was safe. The tender boats were run efficiently. There were character greetings and photos everywhere, some with quite long lines and cranky kiddos. The only real issue we had with the ship was the huge number of kids everywhere, and some of them unsupervised or just plain ill mannered. We did kind of expect the huge number of kids, given that it was a Disney Ship and there was a "kids sail free" promotion. It did make things pretty chaotic sometimes. I would just advise that when you go on a Disney cruise, keep in mind that there most certainly will be a large number of kids of all ages, and it won't likely be the most peaceful cruise you've ever been on. Just be ready for a manic level of activity and tons of Disney positive energy and you'll be all set!! Debarkation was pretty chaotic. There were adults and kids everyplace, with not much organization. The cabin stewards chase you out of your cabin as soon as they can (although they are polite about it). We tried to get to our assigned breakfast, but because of the chaos, we just went to LAX instead. This would be a definite area they could improve upon. Overall, this was a great cruise. Disney service was unbeatable as always. This cruise would be best suited to families with children of any age. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Our family of 3 took our first ever cruise on The Disney Wonder Christmas cruise, and we're so glad we did! This was truly the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on, and had something for everyone. First let me say that the ... Read More
Our family of 3 took our first ever cruise on The Disney Wonder Christmas cruise, and we're so glad we did! This was truly the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on, and had something for everyone. First let me say that the embarkation process in San Pedro was a breeze. We anxiously arrived hours earlier than our scheduled check in time, but were allowed to check in as soon as we got there. We enjoyed conversations with our fellow cruisers until we were allowed to board at noon. They announce each family by name as you enter onto the ship, which was a nice touch. After having lunch and exploring the ship, the cabins were ready at around 2:00. I was worried that I would be disappointed in our ocean view deck 2 cabin, but I loved it so much that I've already rebooked it and this cruise for February.It had a huge round porthole window that was about 15 feet above the water line, and was located midship. We loved staring out at out water view everyday. There was plenty of space on deck four if I wanted to sit in a lounger and watch the view, so I don't feel we missed out by saving money by not booking a veranda. The room was plenty big enough with lots of storage and was easy to get to everywhere on the ship from. The only disappointment on the ship was the food, it ranged from fair to good, but nothing great. The service, on the other hand, made up for it. Our dining servers made our dinner so enjoyable each night that the quality of the food didn't seem like such a big deal. Lots of character experiences, though you usually had to be willing to put up with anywhere from 10-30 minutes waiting for your photo opportunity. We're used to this from the parks. The ship itself was completely booked for the holiday, but never felt crowded. I can't recommend this cruise highly enough if you are a Disney fan and/or are travelling with kids. We rebooked immediately, and can't ait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was my 5th cruise but first time on Disney. All the other 4 times were on Carnival ships. While I would not go on Disney without kids, it was great for people that are cruising with kids. We brought our 4 year old and he had a ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise but first time on Disney. All the other 4 times were on Carnival ships. While I would not go on Disney without kids, it was great for people that are cruising with kids. We brought our 4 year old and he had a great time. The service was world class and they do cater to children but still take care of the adults too. The food was average for a cruise, some of the best things were the chicken strips for the kids and the beef tenderloin for the adults. The only thing that we didn't even finish was the turkey in the Triton restaurant.. it was dry and chewy... like rubber. Our son's favorite was the self service ice cream machine on deck 9. Our son went to the kids club about 6 times and he had a great time. There is a small on-board arcade called Quarter Masters that our son liked to play in but it is small and some of the games were too big for him like many of the driving games, he couldn't reach the pedals. Also, on the last day of the cruise about 1/3 to 1/2 of the games were broken. As far as the ports, we stayed in the popular areas and off the small side streets knowing that Mexico has some problems right now. But we did visit Senor Frogs in both ports and did some shopping. We also took a water taxi to Lover's Beach on Cabo San Lucas so that our son could swim. It was the cleanest, clearest water I have ever seen and he had a great time. The weather was great. Each day was sunny and warm (75 to 85) and we didn't hit rain until we returned to Los Angeles. If I was to compare Carnival to Disney, I would say that Disney is much better for kids. Carnival is better for the adults who like a party cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Over all, we had a great time. And my kids especially enjoyed it; they have fantastic kids' programs for all ages (both oldest son and youngest son ended up with the 11-13 year olds all week). So bottom line, if you have ... Read More
Over all, we had a great time. And my kids especially enjoyed it; they have fantastic kids' programs for all ages (both oldest son and youngest son ended up with the 11-13 year olds all week). So bottom line, if you have children or grand children, this is a fantastic cruise! Lots and lots of activities for the kids, lots of family type events, etc. They do have adult only sections so once you drop the kids off at their activity (youngest son and oldest son came and went on their own since it was the 11-13 year olds), then you can find some quiet areas. Also, after 9:00 p.m., a lot of the lounges that were open for kids were now off limits. Not an issue normally but we really wanted to do some family game nights and we never found a place to do that after 9:00 p.m. That was kind of a bummer for us. The food was just OK. Some dishes that were supposed to be hot were cold, others had little flavor while other dishes were fabulous! I guess we were spoiled by the Regent Seven Seas Mariner but now that I look at their current prices, I really cannot compare them to Disney. It's like comparing a Four Seasons hotel to a Best Western or Holiday Inn Express (we love BW and HI). Apples and oranges. But for the value, it was excellent. We spent about $1200 per person and we had 2 seperate staterooms. The same 2 staterooms on the Regent Mariner would be a lot more! Also, you do have to tip and pay for all alcoholic drinks on the Disney Cruise. On the Mariner, it's ALL included. On the Disney Cruise, we had to pay for just about everything including internet. It does add up but not what we would pay on the Mariner! (We paid an additional $1500 for shore excursion, internet access, surcharge for the adult only restaurant, alcohol, club sodas, lava flows for the kids and laundry). The noise level was over the top. I guess I should have expected this since it was a holiday cruise and the ship was full. Lots and lots of small children. Even some of the 11-13 year olds were allowed (by their parents) to run wild. Not my kids' style, thankfully! When we walked into the dining room the first night (and this was after watching the kids run up and down the hallway), it was quite loud. All hard surfaces and many of the parents ignored their children as they banged their spoons and forks on their plates. It did settle down a bit as the cruise went on and we changed dining rooms each night (rotation dining). We ate a peaceful and quiet dinner on the 2nd night in their very casual restaurant since none of us felt like dressing up (formal night). On the 3rd night, my husband and I went to the adults only restaurant (an extra $20 surcharge per person) and it was a lot more like what we experienced all over the Mariner. It was very quiet (except for some large adult parties) and the food was outstanding. We cancelled our reservations for Saturday night to have dinner with the kids; I kind of wished we had not done that and enjoyed yet another great meal at that restaurant (called Palo on the Disney Wonder). I asked my husband to move to the later seating but he really wanted to eat at the main seating (he gets up early to workout since he is a triathlete). So I told him to get ear plugs! I was told by our server and main server that the second seating has a lot less kids and is somewhat quieter. I was very impressed with the service! On the 1st night, I guess they could tell my husband was a bit annoyed (mostly at the 4 year old, curly haired blonde boy that played the drums on his plate all evening while his mother at the other end of the table completely ignored him), the Head Server asked us there was anything he could do for us. Well, the bok choy with oldest son's meal was outstanding! And my husband was hoping for some green vegetable. So he came back in a few minutes with a huge bowl of the bok choy and a 2nd bowl of steamed broccoli. Also, whenever we went to the Outlook Cafe and Lounge (an adults only place), "Vendy", our server from the Czech Republic) automatically brought me a class of La Crema Chardonnay and a club soda with lime. This so impressed this other family on the 5th night when I sat down to say hi! The bar tender at Diversions was equally responsive to our needs. My husband and I had some difficulty finding activities we liked. The trivia games were fun. I'm not a big fan of Bingo but that seemed to be a big hit with a lot of other folks. The live entertainment was very "Disney" and more suitable for smaller children and total Disney freaks (there were a lot of these on the ship!). They had a great movie theatre and showed first run movies. Unfortunately, I missed Cars 2 and I do not want to see The Help until I finish the book (which I read on the cruise). They also showed the new Muppets movie the morning it opened (at 12:01 a.m.). We liked most of the lounges and enjoyed meeting other parents with kids our age. The adult only lounge at the bow of the ship was a popular place to get an after dinner drink after the kids took off for their kids club. Very quiet, adult's playing cards and we met quite a few folks there. It also had a killer view! There was no Bridge playing on the ship. But a lot of grandparents. I was surprised that this was not an activity like it was on the last cruises we took (the 1st being NCL with my mom in 2000 and again on the Mariner to Alaska, all had Bridge time). The kids clubs were fantastic and I think this is what would bring me back to a Disney cruise. They had 5 different areas: The Vibe for ages 14-18 just for teens (and they did not allow anyone younger), The Edge for ages 11-13 and the kids could come and go as they pleased, The Oceaneers' Lab for ages 8-10 and Oceaneer's Club, ages 3-10 with some younger activities. Kids could come and go as they please at the Lab but ONLY with parents permission (they had to wear an electronic bracelet). Unfortunately, the activities were a bit "babyish" for youngest son and he did not have very much fun. But then on the 2nd day, we met a family with the same aged children and she told me that her almost 10 year old was going to The Edge. Since they never checked the kids, I thought I would just let youngest son go in. He loved it and fit right in! My youngest son hangs out with his big brother's friends (all in 7th grade) all of the time. They also had a Nursery, play room for the babies and toddlers. We never went in there :). My kids spent most of their time in The Edge with all of their activities including Xbox 360 games, Wii, card games, scavenger hunts, t-shirt painting, Dodge Ball, or on the Sports Court playing soccer or basketball. We also discovered that we all love Foosball! Looks like Santa may be delivering one of those this Christmas. We often hung out at the Outlook Cafe or in loungers near the bow while they played. On Saturday, it was too windy on the Sports Court (we were heading back up Baja at this time), so my husband set up a server (he bought a router at the Wal-Mart in Puerto Vallarta) and they had a Quake Fest in the Diversions Lounge with 4 college aged kids. It was quite the site to see the 7 of them playing Quake! I relaxed and read. So if you thinking about this cruise with your grandkids, it was fabulous. Disney does a great job with the kids and the adult areas were extremely nice. Don't expect the food to be "Cafe Firenze" but it was OK. Also, if you absolutely LOVE Disney and enjoy all that Disney offers in shows, characters (my husband got to ride the elevator with Donald Duck), than it's also fun. The Disney Vacation Club members were all over this cruise and they eat, breath and live Disney. ;) With no kids, stay in the adult area sections, eat at the late seating (8:45 p.m.) and hang out in the lounges. So my friends asked me to be honest about the noise. It bothered both my husband and me and we have kids! So maybe another cruise line geared towards adults might be a better choice if you are sensitive to the noise level generated by children unless you want to try my suggestions. They were very strict about not letting children in the adult only sections. They had a fabulous Cadillac Lounge in the Route 66 area (yes, an entire area devoted to Route 66) and the piano bar was great. I told them they needed to add a picture of the Cadillac Ranch in Texas to be complete! Also, the carpet had the entire Route 66 map from Santa Monica to Chicago. But for some reason, it stopped at Santa Rosa, NM and resumed at St Louis. I gave them a real hard time about skipping Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas especially since the National Route 66 museum is in Oklahoma! The location of our staterooms was key. Mid-ship (minimum movement), on the same level and right around the corner as The Edge, only one deck from the main dining and lounges. We also had easy access to the elevators, stairs and laundry room! I guess my biggest disappointment was the quality of food (which would explain why I actually lost weight!). The pool areas that were open to the children were zoo like on sea days (again, the ship was full because of the holiday). Neither one of my children opted to swim on the ship; just too hectic! But the younger kids seem to enjoy it quite a lot. A comment on loungers in the pool area. I noticed a lot of people dropping off their stuff to save their place and then take off. The Disney pool staff was well aware of this practice and if they saw this happening, they would take the towels off the loungers to free it up for someone who would actually use it. Of course, if you went into the pool for a little while, they would not do this. But some "campers" were obvious. For instance, my youngest son and I wanted a place to sit and eat lunch. We had a table but not chairs. I borrowed two chairs from a table behind me just long enough to eat. I thought I would wait until they came back and return their chairs. They never came back. The Disney staff also did a great job with getting more chairs, etc. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
I told my lovely wife that no matter what we were going to do something big for our 25th wedding anniversary. After much research and prompting from my boss who is hooked on cruises I decided we would go on a Disney Cruise. I decided on ... Read More
I told my lovely wife that no matter what we were going to do something big for our 25th wedding anniversary. After much research and prompting from my boss who is hooked on cruises I decided we would go on a Disney Cruise. I decided on Disney because I enjoy Disneyland and appreciate the quality that they deliver in their resorts and hotels. I figured that since I do not drink or smoke or gamble that it would be nice to go on a cruise line that didn't focus on these activities. Also as parents of 6 children we love kids and aren't disturbed by having them around. We were concerned about several factors. 1) What if we got seasick? 2) What about security when we were in the ports? 3)Would we enjoy being on the ship for 7 days? and, I admit now in hindsight that this is really silly, 4) Would it be miserable to sit at dinner with 3 other couples that I have never met before and have to socialize with? First off, we NEVER got even queasy let alone seasick. There was one lady at our table that struggled with seasickness but it seemed to be rare. We didn't take any medication and really enjoyed the best sleep I've had in a long time. Port Security- Wow! what a surprise, felt very safe and the people we met were wonderful. Then again we didn't go out of our way to be victimized; we weren't drunk, didn't try to find vice, and we stayed in public areas. Shipboard activities- We loved the shows, movies, cooking classes, quizzes, and presentations that were available. We also liked looking at the ocean, walking the deck and sitting in a lounge with a virgin drink or just spending some alone time. We never felt like we were on a "kiddie cruise" and now for the dining. I am not the most social of people but I really liked the three other couples at our table and looked forward to talking to them each evening. One couple was fairly well to do, frequent cruisers and wine connoisseurs, another couple were middle class and on their second cruise and finally there was a single lady with her young daughter. We loved them all and I was amazed at how quickly we became almost like family. The highlight of the trip was snorkeling in Puerto vallarta and scuba in Cabo. I was afraid the shore excursions might be very slip-shod operations but they were state of the art and very professional. We went with Vallarta Adventures and Cabo Adventures. I will have to say that the last day sailing was shy on shipboard activities, it was raining and cold so swimming was out, walking wasn't pleasant and I was about to feel bored when I saw that Toy Story was just starting on the jumbo tron so I grabbed a free soda, a plate of fruit, cheese and sandwiches, sat at a table out of the rain and had a nice afternoon of 10-15 foot waves. I can't wait to go on another cruise, I just wonder if Disney has spoiled me and I won't be happy now on any other ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We chose this cruise because we wanted a different cruise route and so that we could visit Disneyland in CA first. I'd done my research and knew about the troubles happening in Mexico and knew that Mazatlan had been dropped because ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a different cruise route and so that we could visit Disneyland in CA first. I'd done my research and knew about the troubles happening in Mexico and knew that Mazatlan had been dropped because of it, but I have to say that after being there, I would not recommend it right now, based on what we saw. People have different levels of comfort with these things, but when I vacation, I am not a fan of uneasy feelings. I really hoped to love this Disney cruise-but, I did not. I traveled with seven other family members, two of which, were kids. I'll start with IF this had been my first cruise, I would have been much more impressed. My husband and I have sailed on other cruise lines, and we've been to Disneyworld enough times that I've lost count. I honestly think that I set myself up to be blown away with a Disney cruise, because every visit to Disneyworld has exceeded my wildest dreams. Each visit just gets better thant he last. I expected over the top WOW from the Disney Wonder, but that is not what I experienced. The ship is clean and nice. Having been on other ships, the one thing that I noticed repeatedly on the Wonder is how poor the traffic flow is in restaurants, buffets and shows. The food was just okay-typical chain restaurant type stuff. Having dined in some of the park restaurants in Florida, we expected that type of dining experience. We did not go to Palo because the times just did not work for our schedule, so I can't speak to that. Triton's was probably the better of the three venues. The wait staff were fabulous-Emma and Claudius rocked! The fast food areas were probably a bit better-the kids chicken fingers were probably the BEST quality food of the week. (unreal, huh?) The sandwich area near the ice cream machine was good, IF it's freshly made. A lot of the time, the wraps had been sitting and were soggy. The entertainment was okay-again, not really Disney-ish like at the parks. The Dreams show was nice, and the fireworks at sea were a fun experience. The daily activities left a bit to be desired-the offerings were either feast or famine-unless you want to watch a movie or listen to a DVC presentation, not much was offered. Luckily, I like to sit in the sun. I had hoped for a ship tour, a galley tour, some cooking classes, some good aerobic or zumba classes, etc. Nothing. There is a ship tour-but it shows the hidden Mickey stuff. We used Disney for shore excursions-see port review for those details. I used the spa services for a massage-nice, not pushy sales like on other trips. The gym was okay-small, but never really crowded. I did notice that it was in an odd spot. You actually have to go through the spa to get to the gym. There's no private entrance. I realize that comparing ships really isn't fair, however, I just went into this expecting that Disney would top it off and that I'd never want to sail on any other cruise line. We did have a nice family trip, but we all agreed that it really was not what we'd hoped for. I guess the bright side is that I can now cruise on another line and it'll be like getting a two for one sale!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We sailed out of Long Beach, CA and it was a breeze to park and get to the ship. We asked about a suite upgrade and were directed to a supervisor who offered us a suite at about 1/3 of the price that was quoted to my son, who had upgraded ... Read More
We sailed out of Long Beach, CA and it was a breeze to park and get to the ship. We asked about a suite upgrade and were directed to a supervisor who offered us a suite at about 1/3 of the price that was quoted to my son, who had upgraded a few weeks before. We didn't take it because it was near an elevator. We had 12-12:30 check-in time (which you get when you register online) and our cabins were ready very shortly thereafter. We had a very nice family "suite" with verandah--the "suite" simply means you have two areas separated by a lightweight curtain (which doesn't really block out light from the other half of the room). The nice thing, though, is that there's a top bunk bed that pulls down from the ceiling. The couch in that area pulls out to a single-size bed. The two beds slept our grandchildren (ages 3 and 6) nicely. The two "bathrooms" were convenient but each is quite small. There is plenty of storage room so don't worry about that. The two kids clubs were great, especially the "lab" where both children spent lots of time. The lab, as v. the "club" had more interesting things to do and the staff seemed more interested in dealing with the children. Despite the age recommendations, our 3-year old spent most of his time in the lab. My son and his wife had the 11-month old in their suite-which was a nice two room cabin with about 2 1/2 baths. He was in cabin 8046. The food was fairly average except for a couple of times when it was very good, such as lobster night-on the Friday-and the buffet lunch at Triton (our fav. restaurant in the rotation). The service in the restaurants was fabulous. Our waitstaff followed us to each of the three restaurants, knew the children's names and even cut up their food-without asking! Needless to say, the children are now spoiled. Our 6-year old ordered off the adult menu several times. The three restaurants were fine-but Triton was a step above the other two for whatever reason. It's a very nice setting and is more fancy than the other two. We ate brunch at Palo's one time--it was not crowded at all but we did have reservations. I did not see the big deal about it and thought that our lobster meal at Triton's was just as good, if not better. We didn't feel any need to go back to Palo's for dinner. Unfortunately we really could have used more sleep on the cruise. I had researched our cabin locations and understood that it would be quiet. That didn't turn out to be accurate. The widescreen movie was next to one of the pools on the deck slightly above ours and the noise blared from morning til late at night. That combined with the loud footsteps and chairs scraping made sleeping at a reasonable hour to be impossible. One night my son said the 11-month old was awakened at 2pm when the sound was so loud the cabin shook. He was about five cabins down from us. We finally spoke with Lisa, the Guest Services Manager about the situation. She, of course, apologized and the noise for the next two nights was much less. It's a mystery why the most expensive cabins are below the busiest and noisiest areas.... The shows were great-very professional and loved by the children. We had early dining so went to the 8:30 shows, which made a late evening for the children, but they loved them. All in all, Disney put out a great product-characters, facilities, are first-rate. I'm sorry we didn't book a cheaper and lower cabin but there's always a next time.....P.S. We didn't get off the ship in either of the two ports-Mexico didn't seem as appealing as the happenings on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
I was so excited when I booked the 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise aboard the Mega-ship Disney Wonder. My 5 year old grandson would be my only guest. Finally, the time had come when he was at the age of being able to fully enjoy vacationing ... Read More
I was so excited when I booked the 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise aboard the Mega-ship Disney Wonder. My 5 year old grandson would be my only guest. Finally, the time had come when he was at the age of being able to fully enjoy vacationing with Grandma. Checking in at the Port of San Pedro was a breeze, no waiting no long lines...we were on board the ship within 15 minutes of my arrival. Upon arrival we were greeted by the Disney hosts with a mic in hand to announce that the Weaver family had arrived. I booked the Deluxe Inside Stateroom, wanting to see how the split bathrooms were set up. We boarded at 11:30 am, however, our staterooms would not be ready until 1:30 pm. With that, we decided to visit the Parrot Cay restaurant, which was set up as a lunch buffet. I loved the tropical décor and yes, as soon as you enter the restaurant, you do hear the calls of birds chirping overhead. There was a large selection that included chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese for the longer guests on board. After lunch it was definitely time to tour the ship. We started on Deck 9 where I found 3 pools, one of them being The Quiet Cove, located in the adult-only section. The middle pool, Goofy's Family Pool(4ft), was for all ages and this was where the outside large theatrical screen was located for watching on deck movies and presentations. This was also the area where Disney hosts all of their deck parties such as Pirate Night and other on board participation. The final pool was Mickey's pool for young children (1 ft). My grandson totally loved the water slide, and jumping in and out of the pool. I must say that I enjoyed hanging out in Mickey's area while monitoring my grandson (Disney advises not to leave any young children alone in the pool area). On Deck 8, we found the Beach Blanket buffet that is only opened for limited hours serving both breakfast and lunch. We also had the choice of the soft served, self service ice cream station near the Goofy's Galley (here you would get your fresh fruits, salads and hot/cold sandwiches). Also, across the way, we found Pluto's Doghouse that offered hot sandwiches such as fish, hamburger's, hot dogs, fries, and chicken fingers. I later found that I enjoyed the chicken fingers and fish burgers more than the food offered in the Beach Blanket Buffet. We also found a self service drink station off to the side that offered soda (Coca Cola products, not Pepsi), coffee, tea, fountain water (bottled water at a charge), milk and hot chocolate. This section is available for 24 hours (Note: if you order soda from a waiter anywhere else on the ship, you will be charged). It's best to pack a to-go bottle which can be filled as much as you like. Everyday there was a variety of different pizza slices available at Pinocchio's Pizzeria. Finally our rooms were ready and I was anxious to show my grandson his "bunk bed". The very first thing that I noticed was the stateroom size....huge in comparison to other cruises that I have sailed on. We had so much storage space that with 2 full suitcases and a backpack, I still had plenty of left-over space, therefore families of four will definitely have enough storage for everyone. We also had the mini fridge and ample closet space and hangers for hanging up all of our clothes. I had one bed, instead of 2 twins. I could swear that I was sleeping in a king size bed...it was so much bigger than the beds that I previously slept in on other cruise ships. And the SOFA SLEEPER, I can't say enough about it; gone are the days of have to remove cushions and "pulling" out your bed. The sofa sleeper was the length of a twin bed, and all you had to do was lower the back of the sofa into a fully made up twin bed for your third and fourth guests in your stateroom. I wanted my grandson to sleep in the bunk bed though for the experience. He loved climbing his stairs at bedtime. We kept the bunk bed down for the entire cruise and never was it in the way or an eye sore. I loved it!!! There was also a flat screen television and desk. Now for what I did not like about the stateroom. The split bathroom was very small. I can only imagine how uncomfortable this would be for a larger guest and I am 5'9". In one bathroom, we had a bathtub (yes in an DELUXE inside stateroom) and a sink. On the other side, you also had a sink and toilet. I had to turn sideways walking in the door every time I had to use the bathroom. I could only imagine how I would have felt if I weighed more or was taller. However, I did enjoy the shower head and bathroom amenities from H20 (lotion, shampoo and conditioner). The only request that I had for my room "host" was to have a daily supply of bath amenities and I got just what I asked for. It would have also been nice to have a coffee maker. All rooms are non-smoking and are subject to a fine of $250 if caught..........mmmmmmmm if caught. I could not take a chance. Being a smoker, I headed either to Deck 4 between the hours of 6:00 pm and 6:00 am or to a small section on Deck 9 to smoke. Room service was great. I ordered the same thing several times and never ran into any problems. If you order soft drinks from the room service menu, there will be a charge. I loved all 3 of the dining venues. I inspected the Palo Italian restaurant onboard, however, I did not dine there ($20 per person). I liked the way the venue was set up...top deck with ocean views to die for. I did not like, however, the process of having to rotate from restaurant to restaurant. I thought that Triton's was more popular than the Parrot Cay or Animator's Palate, and later found that the menus basically remained the same for each restaurant, with slight changes throughout the week. For instance, on my other cruises, I would always "view" the dinner menu to determine where I would dine that night. Unlike other cruise lines, Disney has it set up where your choices would be to have dinner in your assigned (for the day) dining/formal venue or to order room service or pizza and hamburgers on Deck 9. There are no buffets offered at dinner. We really did enjoy the Character Breakfast where we met all of the Disney celebrities. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and others visited with each table for photos and autographs. This feature is included in your cruise fare and happens several times a week. The food was okay...nothing to really run home about, which was surprising. I had some items that I enjoyed and others that I sent back. However, the service was excellent! I noticed that one family did complain to the head waiter that they had to wait for over an hour for a special prepared meal, but other than that I did not notice any other complaints. Every night my grandson had water and chocolate milk waiting for his arrival. The kid's meals also pretty much remained the same with a choice between chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, pizza or ham/cheeseburger. One night, steak and shrimp were offered, which my grandson basically played with. He loved running to his assigned table and finding his chocolate milk. Now let's talk about what makes Disney stand out from all of the others. #1, it's Disney plain and simple. Disney characters were always available for photos and there were scheduled autograph signings. Sometimes lines for the autographs were longer than others, however they went by quickly. My grandson had a choice of staying in Disney's Oceaneer Club or Oceaneer Lab to play in. On our 4th day, I allowed him to check himself in. Each child is given a wristband monitor that they wear during your entire cruise. On your last night aboard the Disney Wonder, Disney hosts will remove it (there is a $50 fee if monitor becomes damaged). There are also phones located in each stateroom where friends and family can receive calls or texts from each other without any additional charges. Family members must use a password to "check" their little ones out. I did visit the teens club and found it to be very impressive as well. Each night I could always hear the teens laughing and having a good time as I walked to and from my stateroom. Customer Service: Excellent Food: Good Entertainment: How could we not enjoy the countless hours of entertainment abroad the Disney Wonder, starting with their Broadway shows to the fireworks under the stars. My grandson was thrilled to see Mickey zip line across the deck with Goofy and Minnie dressed in all of their pirate gear. Since this was a Halloween celebration, we were able to "trick or treat" in several locations onboard the ship, afterward partying hardy on Deck 9. Pirate's Night was held on a different night with Pirates of the Caribbean (Johnny Depp, of course) showing in both theaters onboard. Speaking of theaters, the Buena Vista Theater was awesome as well, with most movies being shown in 3D. My grandson and I usually ended our nights with cups of hot chocolate and a movie, which began promptly at 10:30 each night. Disney's Golden Awards was one of my favorites, especially when my grandson was selected to "play" one of snow white's dwarfs during one of their live productions. I was so proud, that he got his Buzz Lightyear toy that very night. Another favorite was Toy Story. I really thought that these were productions that I would buy a ticket to see if they were ever on Broadway. Overall, the most important thing that Disney stressed throughout this cruise was living our dreams for all guests onboard. I found myself going back to my childhood, when running to Disneyland was always an exciting treat. I still remember having my coupon book with e-tickets for rides like the Space Mountain and the Matterhorn. I also found myself uplifted and motivated to continue to live out my dreams. I could go on and on, however, there is nothing quite like experiencing a Disney cruise yourself. Definitely something worth putting on your bucket list of things to do. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Finishing the summer off with a bang! September 2011 we headed out on a family Vacation. We went to the Mexican Riviera on the Disney Wonder and I must say the experience and family time we had was amazing. Disney really knows how to do ... Read More
Finishing the summer off with a bang! September 2011 we headed out on a family Vacation. We went to the Mexican Riviera on the Disney Wonder and I must say the experience and family time we had was amazing. Disney really knows how to do Magical trips, and I hope that through this film I can show a little of that magic and preserve our memories of a lifetime. Don't forget to watch the second part which concludes our time on the Disney Wonder!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2QkeLqh9W4 Let me know what you think, and I hope this excites you for your next trip! Bon Voyage Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We just got back from the cruise, and we enjoyed it so much we talked about scheduling the next cruise while on the ship. The main positive about the Disney cruise was the staff. Every single "cast member" was exemplary. The ... Read More
We just got back from the cruise, and we enjoyed it so much we talked about scheduling the next cruise while on the ship. The main positive about the Disney cruise was the staff. Every single "cast member" was exemplary. The person in charge of our stateroom was always available (he may live in the hallway...) and constantly provided fresh towels (including towel monkeys with chocolate doubloon eyes), advice, and endless kindness to our barely manageable three year old. Our food servers were excellent, and very attentive. The rotational dining around the many restaurants was also charming, since it gave you a lot of variety, and you could decide where to go for lunch based upon the formality / menus. The menus changed every day. The entrees were great - especially the beef tenderloin, the cornish game hen, and the fish options. Food was available nearly around the clock - but do yourself a favor and make it to Parrot Cay buffet rather than Beach Blanket buffet. The food was better and there are actual servers, versus a clean-up crew. The best restaurant in my opinion was the Animator's Palate. The walls change colors while you dine, and the kitchen did the best job of the bunch. The one slight food complaint is the chocolate. The ganache is great, the mousse is great, the souffle in Palo is great, all the cakes are awful. The desserts in general are just okay. I would lean heavily towards the scooped ice creams at the restaurants. Luckily I brought Ghirardelli with me in case of chocolate emergency. We also dined at Palo twice during the cruise. The atmosphere was better early in the cruise due to the crowd later in the cruise being more cranky. Our server was awesome and full of advice on dessert orders, intricacies of the menu, etc. Well worth $20 a person, plus corkage fee of $20. (We also brought six bottles of wine (and scotch) onboard in our carry-ons to cut down on alcohol costs.) Even when our charming kid called during dinner and we had to pack the entrees and chocolate souffles to go, it was totally worth it. Our daughter was only in the oceaneers club with us, plus three hours on her own in two separate visits. That was her fault, not the staff. She is a bossy little kid, and as soon as she figured out she could call mom and dad and they would have to leave dinner to come play with her, she abused the privilege. Meanwhile all the other kids were playing duck duck goose with the counselors, and having fun riding on the giant tree slide, and reading books with the counselors, or playing on the computers or watching movies or television cartoons. We spent no time in the Lab portion nor the nursery, since she is too young / old for those areas. Both areas looked really nice and had plenty of staff. The pools were great fun and available for every single age group. The adult only options were very nice - we walked through to view rather than staying, but the Cove cafe was pleasant and perfect for book reading / ocean watching. The adult pool looked nice and quiet and even a lil romantic. Needless to say we saw it from a distance while running after our kid. The gym was nice, but we were too tall for the equipment in the window row, and whacked our heads on occasion due to the dropped ceiling. The character opportunities were plentiful, and some were unexpected. We ran into characters several times in the halls, and they each time bent down to kiss our little "shy" princess and blow kisses before moving on. A very special experience for a little girl who really believes in all the Disney magic. I am embarrassed to admit we spent $150 on pictures with the characters, but the photographers they have on the ship did a better job of getting our kid to smile and captured the moments better than I did with my more than decent camera. As for the ports - we did one excursion through Disney in Puerto Vallarta - the Tequila tasting and town visits. The tequila tasting was great at Leyva distillery's shop front. The town visits were TERRIBLE. The two little towns we were taken to were not ready for an influx of forty tourists at a time, nor were these towns pretty / remarkable in any way. I hate to discourage people to get off the boat and have a cultural experience, but really these sites were BAD. I have been to ten states in Mexico, 20-30 colonial towns with tons of charm. Personally, I would take a taxi directly to Leyva tequila, do a tasting, then taxi back to Puerto Vallarta's main cathedral, walk the shops to Rio Cuale and back to the cathedral, walk downhill through the town square (plaza), walk along the beach to see the statues downhill from the cathedral, and taxi back to port. The lunch that was included was nice, but not unique in any way. The port area is a Walmart and not much else. Get away to the real town asap. In Cabo San Lucas, I chose to scuba dive through Sunshine Scuba separate from Disney - they were awesome and didn't expect a dive log updated in the last year (I stopped keeping a dive log when I was a teen - shortsighted I guess). Again, the marina where you are dropped off is clean but not representative of the city of Cabo San Lucas. There are tons of vendors trying to sell whatever experience - when I was walking to the scuba place I was offered a fishing trip, snorkeling, water taxi, food, beer and trinkets. My husband (when he was by himself - but he is honest to a fault) was offered marijuana, cocaine and/or a prostitute. Again, get away from the port and into the town asap. Read Frommers / Lonely Planet and get a real idea of the area so you can see beyond the marinas please. We never felt unsafe if that is a concern of yours. Even though our ports were only so-so, and Manzanillo was cancelled off our schedule (dang) we would go back next week just for the experience on the ship. Some people have written that the Disney Wonder is past its prime. We had no such concerns. Our toilet stopped working once, and it was fixed in a few minutes. The balcony had tape around one wooden area that had just been restained - so really the staff is on top of every detail. Donald and Huey, Dewey and Louie are on the outside of the ship painting at all times, and when you are in port, there are other real painters helping them. Maybe it isn't the new Fantasea ship, but it was very well cared for. The pools were sparkling, etc. We saw no condition issues (except one chair that needed reupholstering in Studio Sea). Our stateroom was similar but more spacious than the one we had on Celebrity. The tv was superior, and the split bath made a big difference. The curtain room separator came in handy too. I have to say I thought all in all it was worth every dime we spent. I bet we will be on the Wonder to Alaska or Hawaii in the next year. Perhaps the four-year-old-to-be will be kept further away from the ice cream machine onboard and will spend more time in the Oceaneers club. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This is by far the BEST cruise to go on with kids. I have been twice and this time my kids had just turned 5 and 13. Disney does everything great. We do not drink so we only spent $23 on the boat. My kids never asked for anything. ALL ... Read More
This is by far the BEST cruise to go on with kids. I have been twice and this time my kids had just turned 5 and 13. Disney does everything great. We do not drink so we only spent $23 on the boat. My kids never asked for anything. ALL was included!!! The kids clubs were great. Thankfully there are port stops or I might have never seen my 13 year old. Your kids are so loved and taken care of that it gives you a chance to be a couple again. And I'm not good at leaving my kids places and my little daughter who doesn't like to be left anywhere kept asking to go. They really made such efforts with the kids. The adult dinning is worth it. It cost us $20 a person. So romantic. They feed your kids while your there. The 3 BIG shows were like Disney on Broadway. My little girl loved them. I cried a few times at just the lovely time our family was having. There was no window in our cabin and this was hard the first night, then after made no difference. WE were on deck 2 and got to everything easy. The first day bring a small bag for suits and head to the pools. Eat out on the deck and watch the kids use the slide while you eat. Skip where there directing you and just go to the pool. So fun. Good idea is to bring a head of time princess dress for your girls and an autograph book. There are so many chances to see the characters. On the Alaska cruise the boat was HOT. Wish I had brought sandles and more short sleeves for the boat. I would book Disney over and over again with kids!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was not our family's 1st Disney Cruise. We took a Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic in 2009. That cruise was exceptional. We had come to expect high standards with Disney's high price tag. (That is an objective ... Read More
This was not our family's 1st Disney Cruise. We took a Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Magic in 2009. That cruise was exceptional. We had come to expect high standards with Disney's high price tag. (That is an objective statement. Comparative cruises on Royal Caribbean & Carnival cost less.)The Good - Our stateroom 1032 cat. 9D was very nice. It was roomy with a nice daylight view out of the the 2 portholes. Our stateroom host as well as our dining room servers were all competent & pleasant, but by no means exceptional. We did find exceptional service in the Vista Salon from Kellen. She was a lovely Jamaican lady who did my daughter's nails on my daughter's birthday. Entertainment from ventriloquist Michael Harrison was hysterically funny. The stage shows were well done, and the movies on board were enjoyable.The Bad -Lines...Long lines to see the characters, Lines... at Beach Blanket buffet where the food was cafeteria at best, the Family pool was closed some days because some mommy let her little one contaminate the pool, the shore excursion in San Francisco ran way over time and the guide wouldn't listen to the people on the bus.The worst:Embarkation - The problems begin! Los Angeles was a mess. We arrived later to port than desired. We stayed a night at the DCL arranged hotel. The bus could not get out of the parking lot because nobody could figure out how to open the gate. The terminal was worse. Guests stood, hot & hungry, in line with cranky children while the computers kept crashing. Announcements were made 'thanking us for our patience and telling us to please continue to enjoy the cruise terminal'. We failed to enjoy a spartan building. DCL was quick to say they were sorry. No refreshments or snacks were offered. Nothing was done to show they were sorry.Customer service has declined. Our phone did not work in our stateroom. The wave phone was broken. It took 2 days to get repaired. We were told 'we are sorry' with no results.The Youth Program - Disney's biggest failing yet. In recent years, Disney changed the structure of the youth program. The past program was age appropriate for ages 3-4,5-7, & 8-10. Disney likely caved to whiny parents whose special younger children wanted to do what the older children do. Of course younger children WANT what the older children have. That's natural, but younger children lack the social & motor skills to do the older activities. The current program permits ages 3-10 to do whatever they want. The end result is that Disney's Oceaneer Club & Lab are a loud, chaotic, mess. Little children were crying for Mommy while older children ran about in crowded spaces. The staff spent more time checking monkeys in & out of the zoo rather than interacting with the children. The past age-appropriate activities were better structured & organized. Our only salvation came from the fact that my daughter actually turned 11 on the cruise and aged into 'The Edge' program. This particular cruise did not have a ton of 11-13 year olds, as that program's space is quite small, so it worked out well. The tween program seemed much better run.Debarkation - This was also a mess. We were instructed to go to a particular lounge and await further instructions. The group we were assigned to had the earlier flights. An announcement came for those who had their luggage with them to disembark. Confused, several in our group asked a DCL representative what we were supposed to do. The clueless girl called somebody, and told us to go to the lobby. We were then stopped in the lobby for 30 minutes by another DCL cruise staff who said we should not have been directed there.While on board, we rebooked with Disney for the yet-to-be-launched Fantasy. We are considering canceling. I send DCL a polite letter expressing my concerns. I received a response back with typical boilerplate language expressing heartfelt apologies. We were offered no real explanation as to why we had such troubles in the first place. Despite the wording of the response, I'm not convinced Disney took the feedback seriously.Disney's letter to us closed with, "We look forward to welcoming you aboard the Disney Fantasy next year." At this point, our family is beginning to think Royal Caribbean might be a better fit for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This was our third Disney cruise. Our daughter is 9 years old and we have done a 3 day sailing and a 7 night sailing before. We really wanted to like this cruise but there were some issues we had. First, most people cruise Disney for the ... Read More
This was our third Disney cruise. Our daughter is 9 years old and we have done a 3 day sailing and a 7 night sailing before. We really wanted to like this cruise but there were some issues we had. First, most people cruise Disney for the character interaction. What was, two years ago, a somewhat personable experience on Disney has now turned into a deli counter. Basically you are hoarded into lines ( you actually get passes now ) and it is a literally 1 minute interaction with the character and "SMILE" for the $15.95 photo and on to the next!! It felt very much like an assembly line and very impersonal.Next we have the laundry facilities. There were 2700 people on the boat and a total of 17 washing / drying machines. I have to wonder who did the math on that one but finding a washer / dryer was next to impossible, never mind the fact that these are 1980's style washers. We would lug our laundry down ( or up ) 5 floor and across the ship and nope, no facilities available. Very frustrating.The pools ( as others have said ) are lacking. It's like taking a bath with 20 (and that's if your lucky, it's usually more like 50) strangers. And inevitably, someone's kid poops or vomits in the pool, shutting it down. The worst part was the art auctions. We went to three of them. We bought a number of pieces of art and were charged accordingly. After a month, I called and asked where my art was only to be told that Disney cancelled their contract with their art vendor ( West End) effective May 1 so we were basically out of luck. Hmm. Our art was purchased in APRIL. That would be BEFORE the contract ended. I could not get a straight answer out of anyone there as to why they would not honor the auction prices. Worse yet, we bought a piece for $125. They said that they could not fill the order but they could sell it to us for $350. Uh thanks??? My daughter won a painting at the auction and they said we were just out of luck on that $500 painting. But the best part was that they wouldn't refund our money! They said that it was a manual process to refund and it would take at least 8 weeks to refund ( while it accrues interest on my AMEX card) They had the nerve to tell me to call my credit card company to see if they could waive the interest charges for their mistake!! I ended up having to file a claim with my AMEX card to get the money back. It was RIDICULOUS! They also don't have a post cruise concern phone number. Oh nooo, you have to email them. I sent FIVE emails asking for a manager to call me back regarding this issue and when I finally got one call back, the manager was very snooty and unhelpful. Not the service I expect when I pay double on Disney vs. another cruise line.We went to a few excursions. We went to Las Hadas resort. Disney wanted $125 for adults and $90 for kids for the day. They were sold out so I called the hotel. They sell day passes for $40 ( yes, $40 ) and get this, kids are FREE! Kind of felt that Disney was trying to rip me off on that one but anyhow. Oh, and the $40 that you pay for the day pass is exchanged for food / drink vouches, so essentially, it was free. We were going to make a reservation on the new ship but honestly, I can't see paying more for this level of service. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We traveled with a group of (9)on the Disney Wonder. We've travelled on Royal Caribbean about 12 times in the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera.Kid's Club - Extremely disappointed. Prior to our cruise, our friends and other Disney ... Read More
We traveled with a group of (9)on the Disney Wonder. We've travelled on Royal Caribbean about 12 times in the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera.Kid's Club - Extremely disappointed. Prior to our cruise, our friends and other Disney cruisers told us that their children did not like the Oceaneer Club. At first, I thought maybe their children were the exception. The three children traveling in our group did not like the kid's club either. Ages 5, 4, and 3.The children asked not to go to Oceaneer Club, or when we dropped them off, a counselor would page us an hour later saying that our children were ready to leave. I sat in one morning to see why this was the case. There is little structure in the activities, the counselors are overwhelmed, and it is a zoo in there. Compared to the kid's club on Royal Caribbean, our children loved the RC's kids' club and did not want to leave.Food: The food and variety was better than Royal Caribbean, but not much better. We ate dinner in three different dining rooms, which was nice and made for a nice change of scenery Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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