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75 Disney Los Angeles Cruise Reviews

Just got back from our trip. In the overall, it was a good experience. We were excited to be back on Disney Wonder but Mexico - we can live without and honestly, it's a waste of time to go there. The embarkation was great, only ... Read More
Just got back from our trip. In the overall, it was a good experience. We were excited to be back on Disney Wonder but Mexico - we can live without and honestly, it's a waste of time to go there. The embarkation was great, only waited an hour to get on the ship. The LA port is about 30 min drive from LAX and the cost to get there is about $60 by taxi. Once on the ship here are my points of view.The best thing - the theater, Buena Vista. The 3D movies are very high quality, I just wish they would show more of those and not repeat them over and over again. The production shows were very good, great dancers, great shows! The firework was breathtaking but the midnight buffet right after is a waste of time, long lines and nothing special to eat especially that the food is available almost 24 hours a day. The cabins are good, just like on any ship, although we love two bathrooms in one room, very convenient. The room service is 24-hour but very limited selection and sometimes not a great quality. Note, they tend to run out of Mickey Ice Cream and fruit so get those at the beginning of your cruise. The characters show up everywhere and there are plenty of opportunity to take pictures with them. But the photographs are costly, $20 for 8x10. The pool was good on a port day, almost empty, but you better stay out of it on the sea day, it's a zoo! Also lots of people got stomach virus (including us) but they tried to hide the epidemic. As far as port stops: to summarize them all, if you've never been outside of US you will love Cabo, like Puerto Vallarta and will probably not like Manzanillo. If you have been to great beaches like South of France, Hawaii, Caribbean - don't even bother with Mexico. Cabo beach had huge waves, the water was about 65 degrees (end of April) and people there - stay away. Puerto Vallarta - not great, just go swimming with dolphins or something, you will enjoy the activities more than the beach. and I am not even going to mention Manzanillo, why would anyone go there? The overall food was good, although kids complained that their menu hasn't changed from day one, chicken fingers, mac and cheese and pizza. The disembarkation was flawless! It took us 5 minutes to get off the ship, but we did carry our own bags. They made the announcement at 8am, we were off the ship near customs at 8:03, they didn't even check our passports (we were like 3rd off the ship) and we were in our taxi by 8:05. No agriculture control, no dogs, NOTHING. Would I do Disney cruise again? YES, but on a newer ship, this one is getting old. Would I go to Mexico? NO! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We were so excited to go with our kids and family to a Disney Cruise as we had heard good things about it. However, we were extremely disappointed. First, the cabin smelled like sewage, particularly the toilet. Disney Wonder is a ... Read More
We were so excited to go with our kids and family to a Disney Cruise as we had heard good things about it. However, we were extremely disappointed. First, the cabin smelled like sewage, particularly the toilet. Disney Wonder is a relatively old ship, so I was not that surprised. However, one or two hours after entering the cruise, our entire floor started to smell like diesel fuel. It was pretty bad and I called reception. They said that this is normal and will go away. Luckily, it did go away, but I did have a headache for a few hours. Our room was a inside standard room, so pretty small. We had our two kids with us, so that made it worse. My recommendation is that you get at least a Deluxe room if you want to fit 4 people in it (2 adults and 2 kids). I don't know if it was because of spring break, but the ship was extremely crowded. There was even a wait list for the buffet (which is by the way not a 24 hour buffet, like many other cruises). You even had to wait in line to get to your assigned/reserved table. The food selection overall was mediocre. I think you'll find it difficult to find something good to eat, unless you like burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and cold sandwiches. The kid pool was also too crowded, I was afraid my kid would get trampled over as she didn't know how to swim. The slide was kind of nice, but you typically had to wait 15-20 minutes until it was your turn. Also, they have no life guards, so you have to watch your kids all the time. But here comes the worst part. After the second day, one by one, every member in my family got a nasty stomach flu. It's not fun having everybody sick, including your little 2 and 5 year old ones at the same time. I guess they don't clean the rooms that well as we saw others who had stomach flu as well. The medical staff was not that helpful. All they did was "confine" you to the room for several days due to government regulations. This was the worst part of the entire cruise, it just ruined everything. We also "lost" a few things. My wife forgot her purse in the hallway for about 10 minutes. We went to find it and it was gone! Stolen! We never got it back. Also, at the end, my newly bought perfume was stolen from my luggage! I'm not sure who took it, but I suspect it was the room cleaner. After all the mess we made, may be he wanted to have some extra "tip". The best part of the cruise is their younger kids activity room. They had a friendly staff that kept my 5 year old entertained all day. One time she stayed there until 10PM! She didn't want to leave. They also have a babysitting room for Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We were on the March 11, 2011 sailing to the Mexican Riviera. We have been on 7 cruises prior to this. NCL 2x, Carnival, Princess, Royal, Costa, and MSC. It was my husband, our two girls (12 and 7) and I. We also had 3 other ... Read More
We were on the March 11, 2011 sailing to the Mexican Riviera. We have been on 7 cruises prior to this. NCL 2x, Carnival, Princess, Royal, Costa, and MSC. It was my husband, our two girls (12 and 7) and I. We also had 3 other families with us. We enjoyed this cruise. Like most cruises there was some good and some bad. I had always wanted to try a Disney cruise but they were always double the price or more. Kids sailed free on this cruise, so we decided to give it a shot!Prior to the cruise we stayed in San Pedro at the Crowne Plaza. We used Priceline and got it for a winning bid of $65 plus tax. Overall I felt the hotel was a great price and rooms were nice. We rented a car from Hertz at LAX. Then returned it the next day and took execucar back to our hotel. We really enjoyed walking down by the port. We even walked to a Mexican restaurant called Acapulco. Very good, it is right down there on the water.Embarkation: We took the shuttle from the hotel to the port. It took maybe 5 minutes to get to the port. We arrived at 10:15 to the port. We were given boarding number 6. We did not register the kids in the terminal because it was a madhouse, the line was so long and their computers weren't working right. We boarded the ship around noon. It was pretty special how they announce your name when you are getting on the ship. I got a little teary eyed because I thought this was going to be the best cruise yet.Once onboard we went to Beach Blanket Buffet. I found the food to be very boring here and went in search of the grill. Here I enjoyed some yummy chicken tenders. The buffet just had too much seafood on it. I don't eat seafood and am not a big meat eater.CABINS: We were able to go to our cabin around 2pm. We had an inside cabin on deck 2. We enjoyed the split bath. Beds fairly comfy! The wave phones were quite handy also. Storage was adequate. Room steward wonderful! The one complaint I have about the cabin was that the cabin creaked constantly, never heard so much of that before. We were actually awakened several times to such loud popping we thought something broke.Pools: My girls did the Mickey slide a couple of times. The lines were long and they had height restrictions. The water in both the Mickey and Goofy pools were cloudy and really weren't inviting. I can't comment on the Quiet cove pool because I never got to visit it (more on the reasoning later). Deck chairs were hard to come by. There weren't many lounge chairs, mostly tables with chairs. Movie on the pool deck was nice.Entertainment-The shows were one of the highlights of the ship. My favorite show was Dreams. There wasn't a bad seat in the house. They also had a comedy act called Alfred and Seymour, they were great and I don't usually like comedy.Character Happenings- We enjoyed these. The lines could get quite long but usually could be avoided because characters were all over the ship walking around throughout the cruise. The Princesses had the longest lines. The Mexican Fiesta show was a great spot to get pictures of Mickey, Minnie etc. It was not very crowed. Dining- Animator's Palace was our first restaurant. We were a party of 14. Our table was back in a corner. Not enjoyable at all. They only had the lights changing colors on the first visit to the dining room. When it was not changing colors I found the room a bit dull. The food started out good, Baked potato soup, Caesar salad, the entrees were not to my likings (lots of seafood again), dessert was good, apple cobbler. The spotlights in that dining room made you very hot. Parrot Cay was our favorite dining room. It was tropical and made you feel like you were on vacation. I know many people have said this is there least favorite, not sure why. We were in Parrot Cay on formal night and enjoyed it. Tritons was the last dining room, it was nice but along the lines of a hotel banquet room. The mural on the wall was nice though. I was disappointed because the always available was only chicken breast or baked salmon. Other cruise lines have had more always available choices. My favorites: Onion soup (yummy), Potato and Leek soup, banana bread, any of the sundaes, chicken crusted parmesan and fettuccini. The grill was usually my staple at lunch. Daughters of course liked the Krispy Kreme doughnuts. They ran out of these towards the end of the sailing. Pizza was not good at all. The crusts were already premade unlike Carnival's wonderful pizza. I love pizza so this was upsetting. Ice cream on the pool deck was good. Our wait staff was very friendly and nice. My only really complaint was that dinner was usually 2 hours, which doesn't really bother me but we missed most of the Pirates party due to still being in the dining room. We made it out just in time to see the fireworks! Activities: Sail away party-so crowded you couldn't see much! Pirates of the Caribbean Deck party-missed most of it because of dinner taking so long. The fireworks were neat to see over the ocean though. We did go to wine tasting. It was okay but we joked about trying 5 wines. We could have bought several full glasses of wine for the price it cost us to have 5 tiny samples. Oceaneer club, lab and Edge: What can I say but disappointing! Within 15minutes of going in they paged me saying that my daughter wanted to leave. When I picked her up she said that it was boring and the staff was mean. On NCL I could barely get my girls out of the kids club. I think the staff was overwhelmed with kids. The age group was too broad. One time when the girls went it said they would be having a PJ party for the 3-10yo group. This consisted of reading a story aloud for quite a long time(not fun for the older kids in that age group), playing freeze dance for a few minutes and handing out pillowcases to color later on, on the way out the door. My 7yo said why we didn't get to color or decorate the pillowcases while we were there. That was the main reason the kids wanted to go. They had pj parties before and always decorated the cases before they left, but nope not on Disney. The lab also had cooking school where they made chocolate chip cookies. This apparently didn't go well either as the kids didn't get their own cookies back but some premade ones. This wasn't noticed by the young kids but the 10yo's definitely commented on it. They also had scheduled slide time, really? My guess is that the kids clubs were better before they group all the kids from 3-10 in the same age group. The Edge was okay, but way overcrowded for the space. Needless to say after going 3 or 4 times to the clubs was enough. The kids in our group never lasted more than 30 minutes or so. And to think this was one of the reasons we came on Disney!Ports-Cabo San Lucas- We took a water taxi around the arches and then over to Medano Beach. We really enjoyed this. Beach was very nice. We got lounge chairs at the Mango deck. We arrived fairly early so there was hardly anyone there when we arrived. Drinks were by one get one free. The water was very cool. By the time we left it had definitely become a spring break crowd. On our second day we came back to the beach by Taxi. This time we didn't purchase anything just put our towels in the sand and hung out enjoying the quiet beach at 8:30. Be warned that there are many people trying to sell you everything from pottery to sunglasses. Puerto Vallarta- Los Veranos Canopy Tour- Awesome! We really enjoyed this. We had done zip lining before but felt this one was superior. The restaurant and stream were great. The food and drinks were really good. I even got to hold a monkey. We were supposed to go to Mazatlan but in its place was Cabo.Overall: We had fun! Room was good, characters were good, ports were nice and shows were fantastic! Would I go on Disney again? Yes, if the price was comparable to NCL. Good thing kids were free on this sailing otherwise I would feel cheated as my kids HATED the kids club. We can have fun anywhere, when we are with our friends! This cruise did not live up to my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
I am writing this now because I only just discovered cruise critic. We are preparing for our second cruise this March aboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis. Last March we reserved the Roy Disney Suite for our first cruise. My husband and I ... Read More
I am writing this now because I only just discovered cruise critic. We are preparing for our second cruise this March aboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis. Last March we reserved the Roy Disney Suite for our first cruise. My husband and I were traveling with our son (5 at the time) and my mother. The reason we chose such a large suite was because we knew we would be spending a great deal of our evenings in the cabin. Our son usually tires out around 7PM and I am not one to throw him in the kids club just so I can have free time for myself. The suite was very large and spacious, but that's where the luxury stops. It was old, drab and dingy; definitely in need of an overhaul. The master tub was gross and dirty. The sink drains kept clogging and worst of all the built in wall units creaked so loudly we didn't sleep all week. They were pulling away from the bolts on the walls and because the seas were pretty rough it was bang, bang, bang all night. Mike, our concierge felt terrible, but there was nothing they could do to fix it until the ship went in for service. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention at 6am, they started dragging the deck furniture on the deck right above us. Having a private concierge was nice. Mike was exceptional and arranged for us to have a private bridge tour with the captain. All that being said, everything else was nice. The food, entertainment, service all up to par. I am not sure if I'll try a Disney cruise again, but if I do, I'm not waisting the extra money and just going with a standard cabin. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We are avid Royal Caribbean cruisers...but I sooo love Disney that we decided to try one when it came to this side of the world. We went on board, expecting a lot of Disney to be the decor and theme of the ship, but it was limited. Also, ... Read More
We are avid Royal Caribbean cruisers...but I sooo love Disney that we decided to try one when it came to this side of the world. We went on board, expecting a lot of Disney to be the decor and theme of the ship, but it was limited. Also, the Disney Wonder looked and felt like an old ship. We were disappointed with the upkeep - lots of items in and around the ship were in need of repair. No wonder it is going into dry dock the end of the Alaska run.The shows were spectacular, the food as good as other cruises, the staff were just as friendly, but I must admit - too many kids...I know, what does one expect on a Disney ship, but other ships you hardly see the kids as they are all in their adventure clubs...but it seems like the kids did not stay in the clubs on the Wonder.Music was below par - one overall kind of music - rock and roll- was prevalent...Lots of Mickey Mouse and the characters. Animator's Palette restaurant was amazing.I enjoyed the cruise - after all it was a cruise- but I would not sail with Disney again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
First-time cruiser here, so I don't have any other reference points. This was a family cruise with my wife and two kids, which is why this Disney Cruise was of particular interest. Plus, this specific cruise was part of the Kids ... Read More
First-time cruiser here, so I don't have any other reference points. This was a family cruise with my wife and two kids, which is why this Disney Cruise was of particular interest. Plus, this specific cruise was part of the Kids Sail free promotion, so we saved quite a bit of money over the cruise we had originally booked (also on Disney). We left from the Port of Los Angeles and set sail for a 7-day trip along the Mexican Riviera. Ports of call included 1 day in Puerto Vallarta and 2 days in Cabo San Lucus. Mazatlan was originally scheduled, but canceled by Disney recently due to conditions deemed unsafe.Overall, we had a great time, despite some minor issues. Frankly, I set my expectations a little low based on the feedback from other members here. Yes, this cruise is geared more for kids. The facilities, activities, and entertainment are definitely set-up with kids and families in mind. I did see some couples-only around the decks and during meals, but the vast majority of the passengers are families with multiple kids. Of course, that doesn't mean adults can't have a good time too. The ship has some adult-only sections such as the adults-only pool, Palo (the ship's high-end, adults-only restaurant), the spa, and a few of the lounges. The spa was very nice and relaxing. My wife had a few treatments there and she said the service was exceptional. We both used a day-pass at the "rain-forest" room which is an area with one dry-sauna and two steam-saunas. The adult-lounges are comfortable and a nice escape from the general public areas. We didn't use the adults-only pool, since we spent most of the time with the kids, but it didn't seem overly-crowded or noisy.The overall service was excellent. All the crew were very good to excellent. Guests are assigned the same servers throughout regular meal service for the whole week. Our servers during meal service were particularly attentive, accommodating, and even entertaining. I could order multiple appetizers, entrees, and desserts without hesitation. After diner, the assistant server would entertain the kids with some magic tricks at the table. Our room hostess was not particularly great, but did a good job keeping our room tidy and clean without being too obvious. The youth counselors manning the Ocean Lab and Kid's Club do a great job taking care of the kids. We never had a serious concern about our kids safety while in the custody of the Disney crew. Of course, all of the Disney characters did their usual Disney-best to keep the kids entertained and in awe. The food quality was somewhat mixed. I wasn't expecting great food going into it, and that's how I left the ship. While the service was excellent, the food is OK. In general, the food was overcooked and didn't offer a great variety of choices, however given that the chefs are typically cooking for more than 1000 people at a time, on a ship with limited on-board resources for fresh ingredients, I think they did a good job. Even Palo, the high-end, adults-only restaurant aboard ship, was just good, but not great. My meat was good and cooked to perfection, but the lobster tasted frozen. Oddly enough, the lobster at the regular dining service (the next night) was actually better than the one at Palo. The entertainment was good, but pretty much all geared for kids. The Walt Disney theater on board is a very nice and spacious theater where the crew can produce some full-blown musical productions. The shows are comparable to some of the stages shows at the Disney theme parks. The ship also puts on numerous photo opportunities with all the Disney characters as well as for family portraits. The pics are a little pricey, but considering there's no sitting fee and the photo quality is generally excellent, it's not a bad deal.I think the big plus to this cruise was the ability to leave the kids in one of the kid's play areas at any time in confidence, while enjoying some adult-time in other parts of the ship. The kids areas are open until midnight (I think) and there's even a service called Dine-and-play where you can have your kid's dinner service started earlier during the dinner service and a Disney crew-member will escort your kid from the dining table straight into the kid's play area.Some of the minor issues - the kid's pools are crowded and they did seem down for maintenance quite a bit. Yes, I think there was at least one shut-down of a pool because some kid lost his lunch in one of them, but the crew do a seemingly thorough job maintaining the pools at all times. They do constantly scrub down and drain the pools regularly. As I mentioned, there are a lot of families around - it's a Disney cruise after all, so if you don't particularly like kids, you'll likely be confined to a relatively small portion of the ship. My biggest gripe (making me feel a little short-changed) is that the second day in Cabo was way too short. The last tender to return to the ship was 12:30 - barely enough time to do anything on land on the second day. I ended up staying on board. I would have preferred more time on land, and less time on the ship. Lastly, the ship was fairly rocky at times as the seas were rough out of LA and once we got back from Mexico. My wife, who was not prone to motion sickness got sick, while I, who am prone to motion sickness, did not get sick - go figure! Can't blame Disney for the weather however.Hate to end on a particularly sad note, but this cruise was the Disney cruise where one crew member was apparently lost at sea. They are still trying to determine what happened to her after missing her shift a few days into the cruise. Despite this horrific loss, the Disney crew were still able to perform their jobs well, put on a happy-face, and make all their guests feel special throughout. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
I wouldn't suggest going on this ship unless you have infants or toddlers in your party because this is what the whole cruise is geared for, families with very young children. We just got off the old tub & my ears are still ... Read More
I wouldn't suggest going on this ship unless you have infants or toddlers in your party because this is what the whole cruise is geared for, families with very young children. We just got off the old tub & my ears are still ringing from kids & babies crying. We took our children & grandchildren on this cruise. We were all so excited to go & came away so disappointed. We arrived at the ship around 1 PM & it took us about 20 minutes for check in, excellent, but then we got the royal cheesy greeting of announcing our name & told that we could wait around the pool deck with our carry on bags until 2:30 PM for our room to be ready. The food they served in the buffets were school cafeteria quality, yuck. When we got to our room we were pleased because the rooms are bigger than most cruise lines. Getting to are room was another matter because their staff seemed to be new & wasn't familiar with the ship either & they had no maps. Once you are familiar with the ship it is easy to navigate because it is a very small ship that stuffs in a lot of passengers. The best thing about the cruise was the production shows & Disney movies they played, also I really enjoyed the fitness center with flat screens to watch Disney movies while you exercise. The food in the dinning rooms were Sizzler like quality. The waiters had the biggest smile & were really sweet but they had no idea how to serve. The first table we were at, the WAITER CONSTANTLY GOT OUR ORDER WRONG & THEN TOLD US JUST TO EAT THAT BECAUSE HE MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO GET WHAT WE WANTED. the assistant WAITER WOULD BRING THE syrup a half hour after he severed the pancakes so the pancakes were stone cold. We spoke to the dinning room captain & he changed our table to a very nice waiter who did magic tricks for my grandchildren. My grandchildren are ages 8 & 9 & have been on many cruises before. They usually love going to the kids club, but on this cruise they didn't really want to go because they just had them play computer games most of the time. We like going on family cruises because we get to play & experience what our grand kids like, but on this cruise we couldn't do it. They have a nice place for adults to sit by the pool called the Cove & they are really strict in not letting kids go there. They have a family section, but it was so nosy & dirty we couldn't get our selves to go over to that side. They had a place designated to play games but the room was very dark & smelled of mold & cigarettes, in fact most of the ship smelled of fried food or something. To sum up our Disney cruise experience I would say that all the services were mickey mouse with a big cheesy smile. I hope you read this before booking your cruise. I don't know who or why this ship would get a 5 rating. I would rate them a 2.5 Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
I would not consider this cruise a good value for the money. We paid twice as much as our last 7 day Princess cruise, and it wasn't nearly as good. My 9 year-old daughter agrees. The dining hours were terrible. The buffet was closed ... Read More
I would not consider this cruise a good value for the money. We paid twice as much as our last 7 day Princess cruise, and it wasn't nearly as good. My 9 year-old daughter agrees. The dining hours were terrible. The buffet was closed almost every time I went for food. The three times I did manage to get in, food was school cafeteria quality. The dining room's food was not much better. The service was nothing to write home about either. There were too many children. They had to close the pool almost every day because some kid pooped in there; and, once there was even a closure due to vomit. Gross! The kids club was so crowded and poorly organized that my daughter almost never wanted to go because it was crazy in there. There were few activities in there, and they were of very poor quality. Princess at least has some nice crafts that kids would want to take home and save as a souvenir like tee shirt design, but Disney had nothing like this. Plus, having so many kids made the ship noisy and difficult to relax in. There's an adult section, but I couldn't go there because I had my little girl with me. I got virtually no alone time with my hubby on this ship. On Princess I couldn't tear my little one away from the Kid's Club. None of the 3 nice little girls we met on the ship were particularly keen to go to the kids club either. They all complained that it was boring and too noisy. There were few movies or crafts for adults. There were few classes of any kind for the adults. There was no casino. The satellite was out for the entire cruise, so the only thing to watch on TV was the same 5 or 6 kids movies that they kept playing over and over again. I think I now know every line from The Golden Compass and Shrek 4. The room was bigger than on some of the other ships, but the couch bed was tortuously uncomfortable for my daughter even with an egg-crate topper. It was so bad, she wanted to sleep with us, which she usually detests. I will never do another Disney Cruise and I appreciate Princess, Norwegian, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean much more now that I've experienced Disney. It's a shame because we were very excited about this cruise. We were extremely disappointed. But, if you have loud obnoxious children who run wild and like to or cannot prevent themselves from defiling public swimming pools by releasing their bowels or throwing up in them, I would definitely encourage you to give all of your patronage to Disney Cruise Line, because A. you'll fit right in and B. I will be on some other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
This cruise was such a disappointment. The family areas are so loud and rambunctious, that you never want to spend time there, and the adult sections are nice, but your kids can't go in them. The kids club has so many kids, and the ... Read More
This cruise was such a disappointment. The family areas are so loud and rambunctious, that you never want to spend time there, and the adult sections are nice, but your kids can't go in them. The kids club has so many kids, and the projects and activities are cheap, disorganized and extremely chaotic--great for super outgoing children that like a raucous time, but for normal kids--it's a turn off and hard to meet others, because there are just so many kids, you don't see the kid you met the last time again--therefore, they don't meet friends and don't want to go to the kids club. Plus checking them in and out of the kids club feels like you are checking them in and out of prison. The kids staff was a bit rude and cold. You had to scan them in and out, and they had to wear some kind of tag the whole time. The food was inferior to Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian and Celebrity, but on par with Carnival. Seeing the Disney Characters was cool, but they rush past you so quickly that it's not worth it--buy your own Mickey costume take it on a RCCL cruise and save the money. We went with extended family(10 people), but none of the adults(like my parents) ever spent time with us, because they didn't want to venture into the family sections. The cruise cost twice as much as Princess or other quality lines for half the quality of food and services. The staff were so-so on the Disney line, but the shows were cool. We had some really poor waiters, and some okay assistant waiters. The room was bigger on Disney, than on other ships. Pros: Big rooms, good shows, Disney characters Cons: Expensive, noisy, obnoxious kids and passengers were everywhere, mediocre service from crew, ridiculously small library, really shoddy kids club, second rate food, inconvenient buffet hours(This killed us, it was closed every time we wanted to eat + it seemed dirty, dingy, and worse than Sizzler in appearance, selection and food quality) Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Our Trip on the Disney Wonder I am not a Disney person, I like the parks, but do not make special trips to go there. I have no vinyl Disney decals on my car. So take this review with that in mind. We are pretty veteran cruises ... Read More
Our Trip on the Disney Wonder I am not a Disney person, I like the parks, but do not make special trips to go there. I have no vinyl Disney decals on my car. So take this review with that in mind. We are pretty veteran cruises though, this being our 9th. We decided to jump on the "Kids Sale Free" (KSF) promo that Disney was running for the Mexican Riviera (MR) cruises on the Wonder. Our whole family: DH, DS16, DS12 decided to go. Our DS16 is profoundly autistic, but does enjoy Disney movies and Disneyland. We cruise quite often, but have never brought him before. We figured this would be the best for him and the cheapest way to try it out. Do to the nature of his autism, we brought along his two helpers. So DH and DS12 were with me in one room, the nannies and DS16 in the other. We drove from Utah the day before and stayed at the Vagabond Inn in San Pedro. Definitely not the Ritz, but for $125 it included transfers to the port (but not back, weird), parking for the week, and donuts and coffee on Sunday morning. The room was a typical motel, but the seemed to have good security and it was clean. Sunday morning we took a shuttle to the port at about 11:00am. Holy Monkees it was crowded. There were people everywhere no chairs to be had. Make sure you pre register online AND print out the page. That will save you a lot of hassle. We were able to board in group #1 due to DS16 disability, which was nice. The rest of our party was #17 and they were on about an hour later. Rooms were not available until 2:00 which was typical for any cruise line. We had an inside cabin for four. It had a queen bed, sofa bed and one Pullman bed above the couch. While spacious for a cruise, it still is pretty tight with the coffee table next to the sofa. There is not tons of drawer space, and there is this weird thing with the closets. They width of the hangers is just a little too wide for the width of the closet. So when slide the sliding door all the way to one side, the hangers get mashed and it makes opening and closing them difficult. The shoulder of my favorite dress got caught and now has a hole in it. Our Nannies room had a much better layout as it was a side facing inside room for three. Even though it is the same size I am sure, it just felt larger. I did like having the little tub, even if I did not use it. It felt larger than a typical cruise shower and much cleaner with less water on the floor. The fridge did not get cold, but cool, and you had to go through 3 doors to get to the fridge. The beds were comfortable, the linens nice. I did not care for the shampoo and conditioner they provided, but that is a personal thing. The Wonder is a very pretty boat, not flashy, but quietly elegant. I enjoyed all the art on the walls. The boat is showing some wear here and there, but that is to be expected for a boat of this age. Most of the public spaces are very nice, but a lot are underused. I had hoped there would be a more adult activities held in these areas during the day, but no. We particularly liked the Outlook Cafe which is above the Cove Cafe. It is on deck 11, for adults and is a nice way to relax with a drink and look out at the ocean. Go for the "adult" coffees! They pack a punch! You can also get a punch pass for the Cove Cafe where you buy 5, get one free (that does include the "adult" coffees). We spent the first couple of days at sea getting the layout down of our temporary home. I was very worried about the amount of children on board (over 700) but Disney seems to manage it very well. There were no hoards of crazy teenagers running amok or evil elevator trolls. Since my children were in the older groups, I cannot comment on the Oceaneer's Lab and such. My niece and nephew seemed to enjoy it, but the large bracelets that had to wear were annoying. The tween and teen groups had a lot of different activities. I thought it was very well done. Since this was our first Disney cruise, I was very interested in the rotational dining. I have to say I enjoyed it. I think my favorite restaurant was Parrot Cay. I did enjoy Tritons, but we ate there a lot as we don't usually eat in the buffet. Animator's Palette was not so hot, the food was fine, but I was expecting more of the "show". In general I found the food good, not great. There was nothing that blew my skirt up, but then there was nothing that was truly horrible either. We only did the buffet a couple of times as we like the pace better at the dining room. It would have been nice to have more late night choice of food. Most things seemed to close at 9:30pm. I would like to point out some good food points. #1 the lobster tails. They were BY FAR the largest I have ever seen on a cruise, even in the pay restaurants! The tomato & basil soup, very yummy! Also a happy surprise was the pastas! Most were very tasty. My DH enjoyed the braised short ribs as well as the chicken strips and Pluto's Doghouse. Low points were pretty much most of the desserts and most of the fish dishes, which were overcooked and dry. The times I went to the buffet I was underwhelmed, so I just did not go back. Since we were traveling with our handicapped son we decided not to do a lot in port. In Puerto Vallarta I just stopped by Wal-Mart for some socks that I forgot and some tequila and vanilla. It was very cheap! Use your credit card for the best exchange rate. Due to the cancelation of Mazatlan, we were in Cabo for two days although one was very short. I went shopping the first day at the outdoor market they have and while there was a lot of stuff, it was stuff we had seen before, so not interested. On the second day we decided to have a beach break and took a water taxi to Lover's Beach. It was $5 per person round trip. This is not a great swimming beach as the waves are hard and the undertow is strong. The sand is also pretty grainy. But to just play and relax, it was perfect. We even had a local come by with some cold beer for $5 a bottle and he took the empties. The rocks here are pretty spectacular so bring your camera. Also there is NO bathroom or facilities so bring bottle water. The Pirate night was a lot of fun and I was surprised to see how many people dressed up. I felt a little underdressed. I did not go to the show, but enjoyed the fireworks. They have the Disneyland turkey legs at the buffet after the show. All in all I felt it was a good cruise. The cost with the KSF was about the same as any other MR cruise in an inside cabin. If we were to pay for the kids, I would have not gone. The free soda is a huge benefit, as well as bringing on your own liquor. I felt the service was good, but I was expecting a little bit more since it was Disney. We have had much worse service on Norwegian but better on Celebrity. The waiters seemed to be overwhelmed and I hated to keep asking for water and drink refills, but they do a good job. Our stateroom host was very good. I really appreciated the adult only areas, they really police that. The adult pool is truly wonderful. The Goofy and the Mickey Pool were pretty busy all the time. If you love Disney you will love this cruise. If you love to cruise, you will like this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
After reading some of the previous reviews I have to say that the cruise depends a lot on your attitude. ANY cruise, not just the Disney cruise have great things, good things and bad things, it's what you focus on that determines your ... Read More
After reading some of the previous reviews I have to say that the cruise depends a lot on your attitude. ANY cruise, not just the Disney cruise have great things, good things and bad things, it's what you focus on that determines your vacation. I want to start with a couple of little tips I thought might be helpful for the next cruiser.My first question was what time should we arrive at the port? I've been on cruises were they won't let you in early and some the earlier you get there the better..on this Disney cruise I say WAIT!! It seemed the majority of passengers (including us) arrived around 11/11:30, so the line to get the kids checked-in was over an hour and once you are on the ship your room isn't even ready until 2pm anyway. I noticed after our wait that the line for the check in was significantly shorter and even the line for food on the boat was shorter after 2pm. It really makes lot of sense to wait if you can, showing up early only means you will wait more. We thought the food was fine. Nothing real exciting but not awful either. My kids are very picky and loved the chicken strips (even my husband liked them). My 8 year old son ate them every night. For me the fish dishes were really bad...overcooked and dry. I would stay away from the fish, but the salads and meat were good, and if something isn't right have your waiter take it back and get something else! I did that and they were very nice about it. The desserts were fine also...I'm a real sweet eater and felt like there was a huge shortage in this department. Honestly my favorite dessert was my sons Mickey Ice Cream Bar -yummy! The service however was FANTASTIC! Our waitress and asst. waiter were so kind to my kids, I think they actually like kids on this ship! Speaking of kids...of course there are a ton of kids on this cruise. It's a Disney cruise after all, but I didn't feel like I heard tons of screaming or running into kids everywhere. Really the only time I noticed lots of kids was at the Mickey Pool - Holy Smokes are there a lot of kids in that pool, but the parents seemed more bothered by the amount of kids then the kids did. After I got over MY dislike of the crowd I realized it didn't matter one bit to the kids having fun in the pool! We had the late seating at dinner, so there were far fewer kids in the dining room, which was nice! Plus they offer a great eat and play for late diners where the "club" counselors come and pick up your kids after 45 minutes - awesome. As for the lab and club, I was sure my 4 year old daughter would love it, but it was a bit too "crazy" for her. But my 8 year old son loved it! He never wanted to leave. He made cookies, flubber, found Stitch experiments and loved all the computer games. The wrist bands were annoying and drove both kids crazy but we were able to slip them on and off. Be ready for lines to get pictures and photos with the characters, but we only waited a long time for the princesses (get there early - they do close the line!!), everyone else was about 15 - 20 minutes. All in all my group of six, two grandparents, two parents and two kids, had a really enjoyable time. We loved the ports (just wish we stayed longer at Cabo on the second date) HIGHLY recommend the dolphin adventure in Puerto Vallarta and parasailing in Cabo. Thought the food was fine and loved the Disney shows (don't miss a one!!!) and movies. The staff was above and beyond, always had smiles and made the kids feel special. Our room was awesome, loved the veranda with navigator window, felt like there was amble storage for a cruise room and liked the two room bathroom, very handy. Oh and one last note(from the husband) very few men wear tuxs. On the formal and semi-formal night just about all men are in suits, the women got pretty fancy and all the little girls looked like princesses. Plus don't forget about Pirate Night - wish I had brought stuff to dress my kids and the adults. I hope you make your cruise and enjoyable time! We did!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We had a great cruise with absolutely no complaints!!! This was our second Disney cruise and once again they proved that this is truly a family friendly ship. It is amazing how well the children are received and respected by the cast ... Read More
We had a great cruise with absolutely no complaints!!! This was our second Disney cruise and once again they proved that this is truly a family friendly ship. It is amazing how well the children are received and respected by the cast and crew. They were always given a lot of attention and whenever possible addressed by name. Most other cruise lines treat kids like they are second class citizens and try to hide them away in a kids program. Our kids have never been interested in the Oceaneer Club or Lab, they went a couple of times but it really isn't their cup of tea. After reading a few of the negative reviews I would not recommend a Disney cruise for the following people. -If you plan on dumping your kids into the kids program you could be in for a disappointment if they are like my kids and don't enjoy being in daycare, besides if you want time away from your kids maybe they should be left at home. -If you don't like a million screaming kids running around ship maybe you should cruise with Princess. -If you are on a tight budget find another cruise line because this one isn't cheap. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
This was our 9th cruise, first time on Disney. We've always wanted to try Disney Cruising, as we love everything else Disney, but felt it was too expensive. So when they came to the West Coast, we decided to capitalize on the fact ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise, first time on Disney. We've always wanted to try Disney Cruising, as we love everything else Disney, but felt it was too expensive. So when they came to the West Coast, we decided to capitalize on the fact that we did not need to purchase air. Boy are we glad we made that choice! The mexican riviera is not our destination of choice, so our focus was relaxing and enjoying the ship. We also do not have kids (but we do like them!), so we wondered how we were going to do on what could have been a kid focused cruise. Fortunately, we never felt "over run" by kids. Looking at the Navigator you see that they have AMAZING programs for kids. I see now why at the late seating, when the kid's programs showed up to collect the kids they went running to the front of the dining room. Embarkation was great. The terminal in San Pedro is absolutely beautiful. One of the nicest we've experienced. Very organized and easy to follow. Extra kudos go to Michael, an embarkation coordinator, for helping us that morning and making us feel like a VIP! Great job. The extra perk of each family being announced as you board the ship (while it may sound cheesy) made you feel special and started off the ship at the high note it would remain at! The service onboard the Wonder is top notch. At every turn we felt genuine attention and friendliness - from the Guest Services desk to Pedro at the Excursions desk. Our oceanview stateroom had great storage options and as everyone's noted, the split bathroom design is genius. The wavephones (on board cell phones) are another genius move. I hope that all cruise lines jump on that bandwagon. It was so much easier than scribbling notes to eachother all week. On the downside - the hairdryers are horrible. So make sure you bring your own. Historically, on land, we've never felt that Disney has had amazing food options. I mean, there are some super stars (Napa Rose, Le Cellier), but for your everyday needs, it's usually ok. Unfortunately (since I'm focused on losing weight right now), We Were Wrong! The food was amazing. 6 out of th 7 nights the food was absolutely delicious. The portion sizes were great. And we haven't even started on Palo yet. I do not usually book the fee dining options, but wanted to try the champagne brunch. WOW! I anticipated the food being pretty good, so I did a Spin class in the gym that morning. Well, it was soooo great, that I ran a 5K that afternoon to try and put a dent in some of the calorie damage. Which leads us to the Spa/Gym information. The gym was great. Good amount of equipment. The view of course, like most ships, very nice. Pulling into port in Cabo San Lucas while on the bikes was amazing. They had a wide variety of classes - spin, yoga, pilates and boot camp and they are free! Not like other cruise lines where you pay a $10 fee. We bought a 3 day pass to the Rainforest Room. I have to say that was too much. Maybe a 1 day...but even then, not what we expected. The Thermal Suite on RCCL is better. However, the spa staff was very friendly and we wish it was in the budget to arrange for one of the Spa Villas - beautiful. The Adults only areas are great. The Cove pool was relaxing and Alan and Tibor at the Signals bar adjacent to the pool were friendly and a highlight of each day. Another nice surprise was the shopping guide Melanie. We don't usually interact with the guide, but she had hours in a lounge one night so we stopped by (had a complimentary cocktail - nice!) and talked to her about some of the stores in the ports. She has a lot of good info and pointers. Not to mention her special touches - we were going to pick up something on day 2 in Cabo that we had purchased and it was being worked on - she brought it back to the ship and then down to our table at Dinner - Brava! Now for the ports. Puerto Vallarta has gone downhill as a city. But we did walk over to the Krystal resort from the port where they allow you to lounge by the pool if you are purchasing food and drinks. We went into town later that day and walked the Malecon, but weren't drawn in to do much more. The itinerary had been adjusted to 2 days in Cabo. We had never been, so were anxious to check it out. On Day 1, we went to Modano beach - your basic party beach. Decent swimming at the beach and touristy prices. In the afternoon we took a trip to Diamonds International, a block from the pier. We had amazing service from (pronounced) Eree from Isreal. So if you're in the area stop and say Hi from Steve and Heidi. He was one of the most accomodating salespeople we've ever encountered in the jewelry world. Unassuming and very kind. A rarity. Disembarkation day went pretty smoothly. They have continental breakfast in the buffet area. However, they also have assigned dining times in the dining rooms as well. So we went to our assigned dining at 9 AM (I think) and were off of the ship around 10 AM. Seemed to go pretty smoothly. Good thing we had already booked the Disney Dream or I would be crying right now hoping for another Disney cruise! Can't wait until September! Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We have taken 3 other cruises before this one, each one on different cruise lines, and we've enjoyed each one. We have been huge Disney fans all of our lives. This was our first cruise on DCL, and was going to serve as an assessment ... Read More
We have taken 3 other cruises before this one, each one on different cruise lines, and we've enjoyed each one. We have been huge Disney fans all of our lives. This was our first cruise on DCL, and was going to serve as an assessment of sorts to see if we would like to take a longer cruise with them in the future. The things that we enjoyed about the cruise: The food was good throughout the ship. Our dinners were in the Animator's Palate and the service and food was good (more on this below). The ship was clean and well-maintained. Our stateroom attendant did an excellent job of maintaining our cabin and was very friendly and courteous. We had an outside stateroom and liked the split bathroom with sink and toilet in one and the bathtub/shower and sink in the other. The sail-away party was fun for all. We loved the "When You Wish Upon a Star" ship's horn. The evening shows were outstanding and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing "Tangled" in 3D in the theatre. Things that we were disappointed with or in our opinion, and are in need of improvements: The check-in process was the worst we have ever experienced. It appeared that DCL may have used this cruise to train new people and the line moved very slowly. The person we checked in with was not by any means cheerful or of the expected Disney-like personality that we would have expected and seemed confused on every aspect of check-in and needed to keep checking with a supervisor for each task. After check-in, I thought we were ready to board as on other cruise lines. Not so. We were issued a number of "10" and put into a "staging area" to wait for our number to be called for boarding. At that point, they were on number "2". This took another 30-45 minutes after already waiting in our check-in line for that long. During this, my adult daughter took advantage of the wait to check-in our grandchildren for the on-board activities. This was another very slow moving line and arduous process. We were pleased that our dining preference was moved to the earlier time as we had requested and very pleased that our dining was in the Animator's Palate. Now, from everything I have read, other than the food, the most exciting part of eating in this dining area is the fascinating changing of colors of the entire restaurant. We ate there both nights with great anticipation, telling the children to keep their eyes on the walls. Nothing! Both nights everything remained black and white throughout the entire dinner! We asked the wait staff, and they claimed to know nothing about that part of the dining experience! Seemed they were only interested in the food process and serving. I think that soft serve ice cream or yogurt stations on cruises that have them, are one of the most popular of the food attractions and usually need more attention than what they get. DCL was no exception. The vanilla soft serve was watery and unappealing on both days. We took our grandson, who is almost 4, into the Oceaneer's Club only to find that one of the main play areas, which resembles a pirate ship with slides and climbing areas, was closed off and unavailable for some undisclosed reason. There weren't as many activities as I expected, especially for the children, and I've seen much more on other cruise lines. On the day of our departure, the power went out twice in the morning and when we went to our nearest elevators, they didn't work. We had to take the stairs from deck 2 to deck 9 to eat breakfast. We were told that there were generator problems. As stated previously, we liked the layout of our stateroom, but it was on Deck 2 and noisy due to a bar area above us. Again, we've been Disney fans all our lives, we've been to Disneyland and Disney World many, many times and our house has Disney art and decorations throughout. We just weren't impressed with this ship and probably won't book another cruise with DCL in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We got on the ship within 20 minutes of arriving at the terminal but it went downhill from there. As you enter the ship they announce your name like you are royalty & then tell you to take your carry ons to the buffet. The cruise line ... Read More
We got on the ship within 20 minutes of arriving at the terminal but it went downhill from there. As you enter the ship they announce your name like you are royalty & then tell you to take your carry ons to the buffet. The cruise line tells you to arrive around noon & then you have to wait 2 hours before being able to go to your room. The deck was full of loud screaming kids running all around with dripping wet bathing suites dripping over your luggage. The luncheon fare was of the worst type Park food, greasy, cold & tasteless. At 2 PM we grabbed our luggage & went to find our cabin. The cruise staff seemed new because they didn't know how to direct us where our cabin was. I asked if there was a map some where & they told me they only had a list of the public areas on each floor. The ship is not so big so it just took some exploration on the 5th floor to find our cabin I am not prone to headaches but I was getting one we were pulling our carry-ons & we had been in the hot sun for an hour with screaming kids. We found our cabin & was happy about the size & layout, though it was kind of dark & the decoration was a bit dated. After getting situated in our room we toured the ship, we found the public areas to be very dark & it had a musky damp smell, in fact the room where they offered board games to play my grandchildren couldn't even near because they said it smelled like smoke. Eating in the dining room was like eating in daycare, it was noisy & our waiter always seemed to bring us the wrong orders & the food was either lukewarm or cold. My 8 year old grandson even said they don't know what fine dining is. The buffet's floor was so tacky when you walked on it your shoes stuck to the floor. The tables always seemed tacky & was spotted with gray residue & pieces of food. The children's pool & family pool areas were full to the brim. They had to close down the pool because of children vomiting or pooping in the pool a few times. The good things on the cruise were the fitness center was clean & you could watch movies while you exercised. The production shows were very good & they had 1st run Disney movies in 3D, but I don't think these things are worth the premium you pay to take the Disney cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Wow, I am almost weeping as I write this. We just got off our first Disney cruise (2n to "nowhere", the first cruise out of LA). We just could NOT wait to get on this ship! We are big Disney fans (almost 1000 DVC points, lots of ... Read More
Wow, I am almost weeping as I write this. We just got off our first Disney cruise (2n to "nowhere", the first cruise out of LA). We just could NOT wait to get on this ship! We are big Disney fans (almost 1000 DVC points, lots of visits to the parks, etc) but had never gotten around to flying 3000 miles to go on a Disney cruise. Living in San Diego, we love the Port of LA and have sailed Princess and Royal Caribbean at least once a year (3x last year) for the last 10 years. So I guess we are young but seasoned cruisers. We have 6 and 11 year old girls. But enough about us... We arrived at the port at 11:30. We stood in line for 1 1/2 hours just to check in. However, we attribute this to the very first cruise out of LA so we didn't make much of it. Once we boarded, we were struck by 2 things. 1) relatively small atrium that's pretty uninspired 2) TINY and very claustrophobic elevators that barely fit 5 or 6 people and have no ventillation. Wow. Anyway, we get to our cabin on the 7th floor (balcony room) and find it okay. No cute Disney touches. 2 little Disney prints on the walls. Otherwise an ok balcony room that could be on any ship. As the ship gets on it's way though, we find that everything is creaking in the room even though the seas are calm. Also, we can hear the people walking above us (deck 8 is still cabins, not the pool area, thank goodness). Every conversation in the hallways can be heard through paperthin walls as well as those in the rooms next to us. Sigh. I haven't experienced such bad sound insulation since our cruises in the mid 90s on ships that have long since been retired. But we keep an open mind as we change and head up to the pool (yes, it's 78 degrees in port). I quickly realize that there are only 22 lounge chairs on the left of the pool and 20 on the right. Not quite enough for the 2400 passengers who are ALL up on the pool deck swimming. Hannah Montana music is BLARING out of the giant TV screen and children are wall to wall in the pools and spas. Sigh. But hey, it's the first day. Maybe people will mellow tomorrow? The pool deck is strange in that the sides are completely enclosed in glass and basically there is no air circulation unless you are standing in the center of the pool, by the water, where all the kids are trying to swim and race around. The heat in the unventillated areas under the glass is pretty unpleasant (think sitting under a giant magnifying glass) so most people are now concentrated by the crowded pool. Strangely claustrophobic feeling, like those elevators. Perhaps the biggest disappointment is that the buffet is practically nonexistent on this ship. It's on the 9th deck by the pool and is just TINY. The salad area has 6 ingredients (I counted) with only 2 dressings (ranch and vinagrette). There are about 10 other dishes (overcooked fish that looks a day old, some corn salsa, and a green bean dish dripping in butter, sliced roast beef, chili). Anyway, that would all be ok except the buffet closes at 3:30!!! And it never opens again that day. It just says "closed for cleaning" all afternoon and night. I took a picture of the sign.... The next day, the buffet is open for LITERALLY 2 HOURS!! What???? I have never been on a ship with such a tiny little buffet and certainly NEVER on one that had a 2 hour buffet only! Now I am not a huge foodie or even a huge eater, but I can tell you that buffets are KEY when you have young children and they do not want to sit down for a meal. Or teens who need to refuel every 2-3 hours. So basically with the pathetic buffet hours, the food choices for the kids after 2pm are 1) greasy fried food (DH and I called this "park food" since it's identical to what you buy when you are walking around at Disneyland or WDW). That is deep fried chicken strips and fish sandwitches, hot dogs, brots and cheeseburgers plus greasy, soggy FFs. The other food choice is the sit down meal during your assigned dining time (8:30 for us). So for us that was Parrot Cay. Unfortunately, Parrot's Cay has 0 atmosphere and it is the LOUDEST "restaurant" we've ever been in. The acoustics are amazingly bad in there. The whitewash 80s furniture adds nothing to the college cafeteria feel it has. Tables are too long and the chairs are too short. It's just so badly in need of a major makeover. The morning breakfast trays are still in the middle of the room (minus the food) so you are looking at nice big empty silver food trays as you sit and try to eat your meal with a bunch of cranky kids who would rather be elsewhere. I mean it, 0 atmosphere. Worst "restaurant" I have seen at sea. That said, the food was okay. Not fantastic but not bad. On the bright side, the service was excellent and the waiters work really hard to make the best of what they have. Late night food choice is room service with the same manu as at the pool bar: greasy deep fried stuff! BLECH. DH jokingly tells me today as we drive home from LA that he had to go all the way to the spa yesterday afternoon to find ANY fresh fruit! He brought me a banana and I was thrilled. All I can say is that I very sincerely hope Disney is reading these reviews and realizing that perhaps the CA crowd has a different desire for healthy, fresh, non-greasy fried food than those in the Caribbean? Or, that they realize that while people are willing to eat the "park food" for a short 3n cruise, you simply cannot stomach the horrible, calorie filled junk food that they are serving on a 7 night cruise to MX or Alaska. They better get that buffet opened up at least the majority of the afternoon and evening and start thinking about better choices for food for kids and adults alike. Anyway, aside from the creaky and loud rooms and horrible food choices, we spent a LOT of time in large crowds. Maybe on a longer cruise people will dissipate but public spaces ALWAYS had people in line trying to get character autographs or trying to talk to guest services or trying to get into the buffet before it closes or trying to muscle their way into the pool or into the overfilled amphitheater. It just felt crowded. Remember the tiny elevators. Forget it. It was downright claustrophobic to be in them so we took the stairs. Easy for us young folks to do - harder for people who have mobility limitations or need to get a stroller from one floor to another. I really felt everyone who was on the ship, unlike the Sapphire Princess at Thanksgiving, where there were 2800 people on board with 800 children and yet we never had to wait in line for anything, ever. On the bright side, the 2 shows we saw (Golden Mickey and Dreams) were both the best shows we have ever seen at sea. They were an hour each and I noticed both adults and children really getting into the shows. I loved them both. Also, the 2 little stores they had by the theater had a wonderful selection of Disney clothes, toys and those cute little Dooney and Burke bags. Shopping was fun for all! I also want to mention that the service on the ship was excellent and despite my gripes above, I found the staff willing to go out of their way to please. Our room stewart was friendly and efficient. The kids club was more elaborate than any other ship I have been on and the kids enjoyed the activities there. Also, we watched Toy Story 3 and Tron in 3D in their little movie theater, which was pretty cool. Overall though, I found this little cruise a real disappointment and more importantly, I think the Wonder is just well past its prime. Even a 3 week drydock won't bring this ship up to modern day standards unless they strip it down to the hull and rebuild it. And get a grip about the 1000 calorie plates of greasy hot dogs and FF they are feeding the children from 2pm on every day of the cruise. I can't express how sad I am about this, as LA is wonderfully easy port for us to sail out of and with 2 children who love Disney, I was prepared to book Disney a LOT. Sadly, DH and I decided tonight to cancel our 8n Holiday cruise this December because we simply can't imagine being on this ship for 8 nights.... Sadly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Embarking on the Wonder has to be described as painful. We arrived about 11 am and spent the next 1+ hr standing in lines, the longest for the mandatory wrist band for my son to attend the Oceaneer Club. The port facility was crowded ... Read More
Embarking on the Wonder has to be described as painful. We arrived about 11 am and spent the next 1+ hr standing in lines, the longest for the mandatory wrist band for my son to attend the Oceaneer Club. The port facility was crowded and there were not enough chairs so many people were sitting on the floor. The ship itself is somewhat dated, the elevators are very small and you are sometimes uncomfortably crowded in them. The ship does not have stabilizers and tends to rock and roll considerably compared to the Carnival ship we were on years before. The cabin was decent size and we had a wonderful 4' round window with a great view, although the outside of the window had not been cleaned in some time and detracted from the experience. The split bath setup is great for families and the mini refrigerator is a great feature. The room was well designed and functioned well even if was showing some age. The only real complaints we had with the cabin was the dirty window, and the roof which made creaking, and snapping noises in correlation with the rocking of the ship. The first night is was loud enough to wake me several times. Food is one of the big draws on a cruise, and Disney needs some improvement in this area. Dinners were good but not really in the same league as what we had on our previous Carnival cruise. Both breakfast and lunches could best be described as cafeteria food. Children's menu is small and the same choices every night. The pizza is just plain bad. It is a little hard to understand why a children's oriented cruise puts so little effort in having good tasting food for the kids, it is hard enough to get kids to eat as it is. It is really no harder to make good pizza as to make bad pizza. The hot dogs and hamburgers at Pluto's Dog house were some of the best tasting food we could find. The service of both the dining room staff and the room hostess was excellent and was definitely the highlight of the cruise. Entertainment quality on the Wonder is excellent, but there is just not enough of it. The movies and theater productions are great, as are the character appearances which the small kids really get a thrill from. The lounges usually have nothing going on during the day except people reading or playing board games. 4K is a lot of money to spend to be stuck playing board games. There were times we just walked the decks looking for something to do, and really could not find anything. We often resorted to watching TV in the cabin. It really would not be that hard to have a little live music, or something going on. Especially on sea days. The Oceaneer Club was a hit with my 5yr old, I must admit I am not sure why, but he loved it and you cannot argue with success. I especially appreciated Disney's alcohol policy and would not consider going on any cruise which enforced a strict policy on bringing your own alcohol on board. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
we knew it was Disney..... but there were so many kids! Pacific was quite rough - roughest water of any of our cruises. don't arrive until 12:30PM - can't get on the ship before that this ship is getting old - creaks a ... Read More
we knew it was Disney..... but there were so many kids! Pacific was quite rough - roughest water of any of our cruises. don't arrive until 12:30PM - can't get on the ship before that this ship is getting old - creaks a lot, buffet line very inefficient, etc. food and shows only fair time in port is very brief - like only 5 hours? really? good things: 1. exercise room fine and not crowded 2. free soft drinks with cup with lid and straw 3. outlook cafe and quiet cove pool - outlook cafe good for during day and for drinks 4. changing restaurants 5. disney films and disney animation explanations, etc 6. free on-board cell phones for keeping up with each other not so good things: 1. split bath made each area very small 2. storage area in cabin only barely adequate 3. had to ask for ice in room 4. room often not made up until early/mid afternoon 5. service in restaurants where you order very slow - tritan's for breakfast or brunch 6. elevators entirely too small 7. beach buffet way too crowded first lunch - tables and chairs too close together all of the time 8. beach blanket is not a buffet at night - need a buffet dinner area at night 9. no breakfast offered after 10:30am 10. nothing going on at night for young adults - totally dead 11. our head waiter wanted to shake each of our hands 3 times at dinner - not hygienic 12. wait staff hovered way too much, even in Palo 13. had to wait to be seated everywhere and it took too long, way too long 14. need standard items on the menu that you can have any night - shrimp cocktail, caesar salad, etc. 15. we did not get our wake up call the day of departure - 16. buffet in beach blanket very outdated and inefficient 17. cabo sort of a yukky port town to walk around - take an excursion 18. water too cold this time of year - week of jan 31 - not able to enjoy scuba or snorkling - Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was my 2nd Disney cruise and 5th overall cruise. 2 summers ago, my wife and I took our then 3 year old son on a 3 day Disney cruise out of Florida. We had so much fun and such a great experience with our son that we really wanted to ... Read More
This was my 2nd Disney cruise and 5th overall cruise. 2 summers ago, my wife and I took our then 3 year old son on a 3 day Disney cruise out of Florida. We had so much fun and such a great experience with our son that we really wanted to take him again when he got older. With my son's 5th birthday on January 25th and Disney coming back to LA in 2011, this was the perfect opportunity to book this cruise. Embarkation was fairly normal. We got to the port in San Pedro at around 11:30am. We checked in pretty quickly and got our pictures taken and our key to the world cards within about 15 minutes. We received a number (12?) and waited in the big waiting area. I took this time to go stand in line to get my son checked in and to get his wristband. The line took forever. They started boarding the ship at around 12:30. They hadn't even started boarding when I stood in line to get the wristband so I figured that at my group, I would be done in plenty of time. Think again...my number was called as I went to the front of the line. By then I had invested 1+ hours in line so I just waited and boarded with the number after me. The energy in the waiting room was pretty good though and you can sense the excitement in the air. Mickey showed up for a little while to take some pictures. Once on the ship, they did the whole thing where they announce the family boarding. We were directed to have lunch in Parrot Cay or up on deck 9 at beach blanket buffet. We decided to head up to beach blanket. We just figured there would be less people up there and more room to get a nice table, etc. We were right. We had a nice lunch and then I went down to Wave Bands to try to get a Palo reservation. I was lazy and didn't make a reservation online. I got to Wave Bands and there was another line. It took me about 30 minutes of waiting but I got to speak to the reservation guy and he was able to make a reservation for me on Wednesday night at 8pm. I had the early seating and wanted a late reservation so that I can still have dinner with my son and then head up to Palo. Turned out Wednesday at Pirate night. After my reservation, I went to my room because it was ready. The rooms are nice and had been renovated a bit since my last stay on the Disney Wonder about 1.5 years ago. The TV is now a flat panel LCD type TV instead of the tube. The rooms come with 2 wave phones which are basically like cell phones that you can use on the ship to sent text messages to each other, call each other, etc. There was no need for my walkie talkies. I quickly got settled in...put my luggage under the bed, plugged in my surge protector so that I have enough outlets, etc. Since this is a 7 day cruise, you eat at all of the dining rooms twice...and the 1st dining room 3 times (in my case, Animator's Palate). Our server Marko (from Montenegro) was great. Our assistant server Lenka (from the Czech Republic) was also pretty good. On the first night at Animator's Palate someone spilled some water on the marble floors near our table. Marko fell while carrying 2 dishes. He was able to save the dishes though when he fell. Our head waiter was Thomas (from Austria). I rarely saw him. The sail away party was great. They handed out big cardboard hands to wave to everyone on shore. Entertainment on the ship was top notch. Disney definitely brings in some good talent. Their own shows were awesome. Golden Mickeys, Toy Story, and Dreams were great for the whole family. They also had a beat boxing juggler, ventriloquist who played the keyboard, etc. The kids section was cool. My son spent all of his time in Oceaneer Lab playing video games. He spent a little bit of time at the Oceaneer Club as well but just liked the lab much more. We took him to the lab about 2-3 hours/day. The staff is great. The kids area do get pretty busy early in the cruise but towards the end, they emptied out a lot more. The adult area (route 66) is pretty fun. There's a nice lounge (Cadillac Lounge), a cool pub (Diversions), and a night club (Wave Bands). I spent most of my nights at Wave Bands. Wave Bands usually had an adult show (comedy, ventriloquist, etc.). These shows weren't really "adult" but they just didn't let kids in during that time. The comedian Don Friesen was freaking hilarious. If he's on your ship, I highly recommend him. The band is called the All Stars and they do a decent job playing the hits. My only gripe with Wave Bands was that the place was just sort of dead the whole time. I would go to a show at around 10:30 where it would be packed. At 11, the band would start playing and everyone would leave. A few random people would dance for 1-2 songs and then leave for the night. By around 11:30, the place was pretty much a ghost town. By 12:30, you'd pretty much be the only one in there. I didn't expect Disney cruises to be a party atmosphere but I was hoping for a little more. Maybe next time I'll bring some of my party friends along...:) We had most of our breakfasts and lunches in the buffet or the outside casual dining areas. Goofy's galley servers up some pretty good bratwurst, hot dogs, burgers, fish burgers, chicken tenders, fries, etc. Pinocchio's Pizza servers up pretty decent...pizza. For dinner, there was one night where they served lobster tail. I usually ask for 2 tails and Marko had no problem with that. What I didn't expect was the size of these lobster tails. I was stuffed after eating 2 of these. At 11pm-midnight, they lay out a small dessert table on deck 3 in front of the Promenade Lounge as well as in route 66. It was usually decent. There was one night when I got there at 11:55 after watching a movie but they had already cleared it out. I was a bit disappointed but probably for the better anyway. Ronald (a head waiter) was reprimanding the staff for closing it out early. Ronald seemed like a good head waiter. Disney cruises are awesome because of the great movies that they play. Last time, I watched Up a few days before the actual theatrical release. This time we watch a lot of great movies such as Tangled 3D, Tron 3D, Toy Story 3D, Secretariat, Prince of Persia, Alice in Wonderland 3D, etc. The cruise director is Christian Abbott. I believe he was the cruise director the last time I was on the ship and he's great. The fitness room is also great. It was pretty crowded in the mornings at around 8am but if you avoided the 8am-9am slot you'd be ok. They have yoga, spin, pilates, etc...for free but there isn't a lot of space. It was a little weird running on the treadmill and having someone doing yoga at the bottom (if I pulled a biggest loser slip and fall off my treadmill, the lady would have been crushed by my weight...). The ports were Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas (twice). This is my 3rd Mexican Riviera cruise so I didn't really care too much about the ports. We got off at Cabo and walked the pier and the downtown area a little bit and came back. We went to Wal Mart in Puerto Vallarta. We stayed on the ship the second time we went to Cabo. Soda is free 24 hours a day up on deck 9. Awesome. I don't drink much soda but I drank some this trip. Deck 10 has wide world of sports...a nice basketball court and soccer goals. Deck 4 has shuffleboard which is kind of fun. I only play on cruise ships. The swimming pools are nice. My son likes the small mickey pool. The adult pool is nice and peaceful. The sun lounges have cushions so that's always nice. The area is also pretty empty so there's no need to fight for chairs like other cruises. Even on sea days there were plenty of chairs and tables to go around. Of course that didn't stop this one family from grabbing the best table at the mickey pool on the last sea day, putting their stuff on the table, then leaving for 4 hours....only to come back to play for an hours...and leave again for 2 hours. The staff should enforce the rules a bit more and just cleared out their stuff. The room steward was great. His name was Sam from the Philippines and he made towel animals every day and kept our room clean. I brought 2 bottles of wine on board and got a corkscrew from room service. I like Disney's alcohol policy. The character pictures were very popular but we didn't really participate. My son doesn't seem to care too much about that stuff. There was a character breakfast where they all come in and walk around the table for pictures. That was a fun breakfast. The ice carving demo was also a lot of fun. The sculptor was good. Disney Dreams is still the best show on any cruise ship. Watch it. Toy Story is also a don't miss kind of show. Palo dining was nice. I actually preferred the dining restaurant Sabatini's on the Sapphire Princess because that was more of a tasting menu where you got to try everything on the menu. Palo is great but it's just a regular menu so to get to try many of the items you need a large group of people. We had 4 people in our party so we were able to mix and match a lot of the dishes but we still had a few that we would have liked to try but weren't able to. There is a $15 charge with an additional option for gratuity. I know about all of the regular cruise gratuities but didn't really know about the additional optional gratuity for Palo so I wasn't sure how much to put. For 4 of us, it was $60 ($15 surcharge * 4) so I gave the waiter $10 tip but I don't really know if that was enough or not enough. Our dining companions were ok. We had 5 in our group and we were seated at a table for 8 with another family of 4 so they added 1 chair so it was a little awkward. The first day we sort of sat across from each other (4 of us on one side, 4 of them on the other side, 1 of us at the head) but that was kind of weird. So after that, we tried to sit where we had us 5 on one side and left 4 seats on the other side for them. But sometimes they would get to the dining room before us and they would take the head so one of us would sit on their side, etc. It was all a bit awkward but worked out I guess. I've always had good experiences with our table companions in previous cruises and this family was pretty nice and cool but we just didn't really click in terms of conversation, etc. One night was the Gala dessert buffet. It was very pretty but I was so stuffed from dinner that I didn't eat much of it. It was nice to look at though. The pirate's party is one of the highlights of the trip. It's a really fun time so I encourage everyone to go. Overall, it was a fun trip packed with fun, mixed with relaxation, and sprinkled with the magic pixie dust that is Disney. I plan to cruise Disney exclusively while I have young kids. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
The Disney Cruise Experience I always wanted to experience the Disney Cruise product (I have done over 50 cruises). Having grown up in the Los Angeles area, our family went to Disneyland at least once a year and I enjoyed the ... Read More
The Disney Cruise Experience I always wanted to experience the Disney Cruise product (I have done over 50 cruises). Having grown up in the Los Angeles area, our family went to Disneyland at least once a year and I enjoyed the magic. As an adult, I still enjoy going to Disney Parks. I still feel the magic. Nobody has done it better. In the cruise industry, Disney has no competition really. Their branding, characters, attention to detail, and service are unparallel. Also, because they have had only had two ships for the past 12 years, they have basically been less affected by the economy than other lines. There has always been a demand for the Disney Cruise product. When shopping, I found their prices always seemed higher than the others - always starting at well over $100 per day for any of their sailings. Add to that the cost of an airline ticket and a hotel room in Florida, the night before the cruise, and the budget increased considerably. With the introduction of a new Disney ship in Florida in January 2011 (the Disney Dream), they decided to base one of their older ships on the West Coast. The Wonder would spend the winter in LA doing the Mexican Riviera and then head to Alaska for the summer. Unbeknownst to me, the Disney Magic had been to California twice previously (2005 & 2008). When I learned that the Wonder was coming to LA, I thought this would be the perfect time to try them! I opted for the Wonder's inaugural sailing out of LA, with an Inside Guarantee Cabin. I booked it in December 2009, over a year from sail date. We got our cabin assignment in December 2010 and it was a great location on deck 6, close to the forward elevators. Every review I had read said that there were lots of kids, but the ships were also built for adults. Even though I felt comfortable booking the cruise, I still had a nightmare the night before sailing! First Impressions There were MANY families with kids in the terminal but it did not seem to bother me. When I arrived at 1:00 boarding had already commenced. The terminal and boarding process was different than any sailing I had been on. Disney freshly painted the LA terminal and had banners everywhere. There was Disney Music and announcements (in that familiar theme park voice) as to what numbered groups were boarding. There seemed to be less confusion. As you step on board the ship, they announce your name in the three-story Atrium/Lobby and have staff there welcoming and cheering you on. They offer to escort you to your cabin if you desire. There was music from different Disney Animation Films playing in the public corridors thru out the sailing. Cabin Our Inside Cabin was comfortable and large enough for two, with plenty of closet space. Though the bathroom seemed small, and had just a shelf, rather than storage space, it had a large shower/bath tub combination which was impressive. Most inside cabins on other ships have just a small shower, so this was a pleasant change. There was a flat screen TV and a complimentary pair of "cell phones" so you could text or call a member of your party while on the ship. Restaurants and Food The innovative dining experience on Disney is their Dining Room Rotation. You have the same table mates and wait staff all week who rotate with you to the various (3) dining venues. Parrot Cay - The most casual of the three main dining rooms with a Caribbean atmosphere and menu. Open for buffet breakfast and lunch on most days. Triton's - The most "formal" of the dining rooms. We enjoyed lunch there one day as well as breakfast on another. We did not make it to brunch. Animator's Palate - The dining room with entertainment as part of your dinner! You enter a room of mostly white with black accents. You finish your meal in a riot of color and animation! In addition to these three main dining rooms, there is also the Beach Blanket Buffet. Because this is an older ship, it has on older buffet design, which means longer lines. They have helped this by having the same food in Parrot Cay for breakfast and some lunches. Most newer ships have food stations which help alleviate lines. I am curious what the new Disney Dream will be like as far as changes. One feature we both enjoyed on this ship was a back patio to enjoy breakfast or lunch alfresco! Other than the first and last nights, the buffet area was open for dinner with waiter service (offering many of the items from Triton's menu), in addition to a self serve salad bar. The evenings offerings were available for visual appeal as you are escorted to your table. We found this venue for dinner to be pleasantly quiet and enjoyable! Other eating areas are Goofy's Galley - This place had the most healthy of the fast food places. Pluto's Dog House - Typical burgers and fries, hot dogs, and the best (real) chicken tenders we have had anywhere. They came highly recommended by one of the Officers - and she was correct! My only complaint about this place was that there always seemed to be a line there anytime I wanted to try it. Even when there were just one or two people in line, the service seems excruciatingly slow to me. When I finally decided I was going to wait in line to try the highly recommended chicken tenders (real chicken breast meat and not compressed product) I had to laugh at myself. I came to realize that this was the only place and time on the ship that I did not feel in control of getting away from the masses. The line was right next to the kiddies pool with all the noise and energy that ensues. I felt like I was dropped in the middle of suburbia and it was a bit frightening. I walked away laughing with that realization, and enjoyed my meal! Pinocchio's Pizzaria - I was not impressed with Disney's pizza though I saw the kids loving it with their large plates of fries. Palo - Adults only up-charge ($15) Italian Restaurant. Service and food were superior to the other venues. We were surprised how bright the lighting was for all the restaurants, including Palo. Some of them felt like a Denny's, which I have not been to in decades. I assume that most chain restaurants have this type of lighting but I do not eat in those establishments. There were also late night snacks in two lounges most evenings from 11:00 - midnight. In addition, there was a "Pirate Buffet" on the pool deck the night of the big "Pirates in the Caribbean" celebration. Our first luncheon upon boarding was in the buffet. The selection seemed much smaller to me than I am use to on other cruise lines. I found this to be true thru out the week for both breakfast and lunch - adequate, but with a smaller variety. I was impressed that our first lunch included a huge display of large prawns on ice, with a cocktail sauce that had the proper amount of horseradish! The rest of the buffet was fine, but unmemorable. I found the food everywhere to be average. Some items stood out as far as exceptional - the Wild Mushroom Risotto appetizer on the second night was amazing, as well as the Butternut Squash Soup! Also the desserts that night were far superior than the others. I got the feeling that Disney caters to their clientele - "Middle America" - typical suburban families who frequent fast food drive-ins and chain restaurants. They like their deep fried food and comfort food: Macaroni & cheese, spaghetti & meatballs, chicken fingers, pizza, burgers & fries, sodas, and plenty of soft-serve ice cream for the kids. The adult fare was better with more variety. I found the meats to be tender and tasty and the fish dishes to be adequate, some even better. The presentations were visually appealing. There was a 24 hour free beverage station offering coffee, tea, ice tea, and sodas. I am sure the free sodas are an attraction for families! There was also room service available but we did not try it. Service, Staff, Officers and Crew There was much more staff/crew than I have experienced on any of the other mass market lines (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, and Norwegian), especially in these economically depressed times of the past 3 years. I have never seen so many servers in the dining rooms or the buffet areas. I never saw a dirty table for more than two minutes. I never saw so much staff repairing, painting or cleaning the ship as much as I did on this one. Where normally I would see two or three crew members doing a job on other lines, I witnessed 6 or more working together on Disney! Our dining room staff was efficient and friendly, though the service was sometimes inconsistent. We could never understand why the assistant waiter would pull our bread plates and basket at the end of the salad course when it was clearly not standard procedure by the looks of the tables around us. We both got the feeling that there was a good number of new employees in the dining room as Disney had to pull about 20-25% of it's staff to go to the new Disney Dream. Our cabin steward (female) was brand new to the cruise industry. She was very good, though when I thought I had made it clear that all we really needed was fresh ice twice a day, I always had to ask for it. That was very confusing to me. We don't require much service and are very neat compared to some guests. Many days I just told her (as I do most cabin attendants) that all we would need, if anything, are a fresh towel or two and ice. Every night many of the Officers availed themselves for questions or conversation in the Atrium, including the Cruise Director. All the Officers we chatted with were sincerely interested in how we were enjoying ourselves and wanted to know if there was anything they could do to make it more enjoyable. We truly felt that they appreciated their adult guests just as much as their family guests. Public Spaces I always thought it would be fun to be on a ship that was designed and felt like an Grand Old Ocean Liner. The closest I have felt to that experience was the Celebrity Mercury. Certain public rooms on that ship (especially the dining room) have a very Deco Style them that lend themselves to that feeling. The other spaces have a more eclectic and modern feel to them and the overall style and feel of that ship is like all the other ships I have been on. They all have different themes for each lounge or public space but no real consistency to them all as a whole - except the Disney Wonder. The Grand Old Ocean Liner theme is more consistently found thru out the Wonder - for the most part. Disney is superb at details and a certain feeling. There are a few inconsistencies that do not fit into the Grand theme for me. The major one is the chandelier in the main Lobby. It is a modern design by Dale Chihuly, the famous glass artist. Not only does this piece of art not fit into the Grand Ocean Liner, Art Deco Style, but it is not even glass (it's plastic)! The cabins are a mix of ocean liner meets Disney seaside resort. The other areas that deviate from the Ocean Liner theme are the adult lounge areas, which have their own theme going on (1950's Route 66), the kids areas which have a very modern/futuristic feel to them, the restaurants and dining rooms (each with their own themes), and the spa and pool areas - all modern designs. Lounges / Adult Areas /Kids Areas The adult area was called "Route 66" and consisted of three lounges. One of them, Wavelegths (as in radio waves), was mostly used for family events and also served as a disco, though I never saw any dancing going on there other than for families. Another was tucked into the back corner of the ship and could have been overlooked if you were not looking for it. 'Diversions' was sort of a sports bar, or pub, and allowed smoking at times - therefore it had an unpleasant odor. We spent very little time in there as a result. The one we liked the best was called the 'Cadillac Lounge' and it was more of a piano/cocktail lounge with a pianist most every evening. The decor was cleverly done using Cadillac designs of the late 50's and it had an intimate feel to it. Even the seats were made of real leather from the Cadillac factory. On the other end of the ship was the 'Promenade Lounge', used for multipurpose functions for kids and adults,(games, trivia, music, crafts, dancing, etc). I never saw dancing in there, though I doubt it was ballroom. Another venue, Studio Sea was mainly used for more family activities, family karaoke, and lectures or cooking demonstrations. So really, there were only two lounges for just adults. There was also "Outlook Cafe" - a coffee cafe for adults with a bar and "help yourself" small sandwich snacks and cookies/desserts. It proved to be the best place to view the ocean, out of the wind and cold, on the top deck. There were 1,200 kids on this sailing. They basically had their own areas, mostly on deck 5, in age appropriate areas. They all seemed content and busy all thru the week. We never felt bothered by them and we were impressed with their manners. There were three pools: Adults only - quiet and serene, family pool - with the large movie screen, and the kiddie pool with a water slide and two wadding pools. Theaters, Entertainment and Shows The biggest surprise to me was the Buena Vista Movie Theater. It was designed like an old movie palace of the thirties. It was the largest movie theater I have seen at sea with a huge screen and great sound system. First run, newly released Disney movies, as well as classic animation feature films, were shown there constantly. On our sailing we saw Tron as well as Tangled, both in 3-D. It was impressive. The main show theater was the Walt Disney Theater. It was even more impressive than the movie theater. Again, it was done in the style of an old stage or movie palace of the thirties. We saw three great Disney production shows that incorporated most of the Disney animation characters from famous films. It was pure Disney at it's best, complete with snow, confetti, and fireworks! In addition, there was a large movie screen out by the family pool. All week there were Disney Movies at different times all day and night. It was fun to see some of the old classics on the big screen again. One night they had the "Pirates in the Caribbean Party" out on deck and used the giant screen for part of the festivities. They covered the pool with a decking so as to hold all the guests who wanted to be part of the party. The usual Disney characters were there in pirate costumes. Although it was fun and fairly exciting, with cannons and fireworks, we were both expecting a bit more of a show using the characters and pirate action (think of the old Pirate Show at the Treasure Island Resort in Vegas, or the Pirate Show portion of Fantasmic at Disneyland, and you'll get the idea of what we were expecting). We did not stay for the buffet, but chose to get away from the crowds. I found most of the evening entertainment to be geared towards families or family interaction. Dancing was usually a family affair that only lasted an hour and then the venue was used for something else. I was surprised there was no ballroom dancing, nor an orchestra. Fortunately I was too busy to miss it much. I was also in bed much earlier than on other cruise lines for lack of much night life that interested me. Spa and Gym The spa was one of the nicest I have been in. It had a very Zen like, calming quality to it. A few years ago it was expanded by taking over part of the gym (the stretching area, unfortunately, I presume). The new area consists of two or three private massage rooms with outdoor Jacuzzi tubs. The men's and women's locker areas consist of lockers, showers and a good size sauna in addition to four comfortable loungers for relaxing (I fell asleep in one as it was very comfortable with soft ambient music in the background). There was also a coed area that included a couple of aromatic steam rooms, heated benches, heated tile lounge chairs, and a couple of "rain forest" showers. The fee for the coed area was $99 for the week. I felt the heated loungers and benches were luke warm and there was no aroma in any of the steam rooms - cutbacks I have seen in all Steiner Spas on the ships I have been on. It's been my experience the only time you smell aroma in the spas is boarding day. The gym was adequate. It offered machines and free weights, as well as the usual assortment of cardio machines. One nice touch was fresh slices of oranges, lemons, or limes to add to your glass of water. Alcohol policy No other mass market line that I know of allows you to bring your own wine, beer, or alcohol on board. You can even purchase it in port and bring it back on board to your cabin. I am not sure why that policy is in place, but I understand it has been there from the beginning. I am sure it cuts down on some passenger's bar tabs. Surprises and Observations All the Disney Characters were out at numerous times each day and evening for photo opportunities. You could use either the ship's photographers or your own camera. Mickey & Minnie, Chip & Dale, Donald & Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Captain Hook, Jack Sparrow, and all the Princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, etc.) were all there. I was surprised how entertaining it was to see young kids interacting with their favorite life-size characters. Lots of kids were in costumes thru out the week. It became a big part of the entertainment for us. I knew that there would be no Casino, but it also meant fewer smokers, so I was content. Like Princess, there is self serve laundry and ironing available. That came in handy to iron my shirts that I usually send out to be pressed on the first night. Knowing this would be a mostly family cruise experience, we each brought only one pair of long pants - jeans. This was going to be a casual cruise for us. The second night was Formal Night and I was surprised how many people dressed up. I saw many more long, formal gowns than on other cruise lines. Not too many tuxedos on the men but definitely it was a dressy occasion with an air of 'Disney Princesses at the Ball'. Most of the young girls were in their favorite Princess Costumes and the young boys were in their "seldom worn" jackets and ties. There were many family "portraits" taken with everyone dressed up. I had visions of all the Christmas cards to be sent out in December. On a couple of days there was a guided tour called "Art of the Theme Ship Tour". We found it unique and fascinating to learn of the creative thought behind the cohesiveness of the overall ship design. We were made aware of many of the details that go unnoticed by the casual observer. One of the best features I found on this ship is that each elevator bank not only has signs for what deck you are on, but also if you were in the Forward, Mid, or Aft elevator bank. In regards to elevators, we thought these were the smallest elevators we have seen on a ship. You might be able to fit 6 in if they are small and it would still be a tight fit! Needless to say we rarely use elevators on a ship and the times that we did we had them to ourselves - that was a surprise! Another pleasant surprise we found was two-ply toilet paper! Compared to other cruise lines in recent years, it felt like a luxury! The ship has two large "smoke stacks" resembling those of the old ocean liners. One is functional while the other serves as a lounge for the teens - I was envious as it looked very cool! Another feature I have never seen on any other ship were signs in the Rest Rooms requesting us (for sanitary reasons) to use a paper towel to open the door as we leave and to deposit it in the trash can provided for such. Also, the paper towel dispenser was at a height to thwart youngsters from taking a handful and thus wasting them. This ecology/budget measure was also evident in the fast food areas regarding paper napkins. They were available upon request only, rather than having them to grab and waste. Smart of Disney in my estimation. The ship has a complete promenade around the whole ship for lounging, strolling, or jogging. Although it is enclosed at the bow and the stern, it is complete and allows you to see the forward anchor and many the thick ropes for docking - very interesting. On our last night we had dinner in Palo, Disney's Specialty Restaurant. We had heard after we boarded that jeans were not allowed, so we informed them, the day before our dinner, that was all we brought. They took our waist & inseam sizes and pants were waiting for us when we arrived. The food and service were both exceptional and our waiter, Alex, from Russia was most professional. We loved the ship and talked about how great it would be to do an all adult charter. If you are not a Disney fan, this cruise could be a nightmare. It is very DISNEY focused. We enjoyed our voyage, and will probably do another, but it is not for everyone. I would consider doing a longer voyage (fewer kids), or on one of their new ships (Disney Dream, or Disney Fantasy - out in 2012). Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We sailed on the Disney Magic on August 3, 2008 for seven nights. There were a total of four of us in our group. Myself, 37, my wife, 39, son, 14, son's friend, 15. My wife has been on two previous cruises, one with Carnival and one ... Read More
We sailed on the Disney Magic on August 3, 2008 for seven nights. There were a total of four of us in our group. Myself, 37, my wife, 39, son, 14, son's friend, 15. My wife has been on two previous cruises, one with Carnival and one with NCL. My son and I have sailed once before on NCL, and this was his friend's first cruise All in all, we had a very good time, and had no real complaints other than the breakfast buffet. I won't go into great detail, but just try to hit the highlights. SHIP You would never guess this ship just celebrated its 10th birthday. It is in very good shape. I saw very little evidence that it need to go into dry dock in a couple of weeks. Very clean and very well maintained. CABIN We were in a Cat 10 Deluxe Inside Cabin. We had some initial concerns about booking this cabin with four people, but all in all, it was a nice room, with plenty of room and storage space. FOOD The breakfast buffet at topsiders is really bad, but other than that, we found the food to be pretty good. Palo is very nice, but I did not feel that it was so much better than the other dining rooms that it was worth an extra $15 per person. We did both brunch and dinner, and would not spend the money to do them again. ACTIVITIES There are many activities for both the kids and adults on board at all hours. My son and his friend really enjoyed the teen club, The Stack. Most nights they came rolling in around 2am. My wife and I had no problems finding this for us to do. We did beer tasting one day, and tequila tasting another. If you are looking for something to do, you really can't be bored. EXCURSIONS All four of us only did one excursion, and that was in Cabo. We did the Lands End Cruise that took you out to the Arch Rock. That was pretty fun, and not to expensive. My son and his friend did the Teen Cruise in Puerto Vallarta, they had a very good time on it. Overall We all had a very good time. Mazatlan is a complete waste of time, but it was nice to finally get to Cabo, AND Puerto Vallarta was nice. Mazatlan is very dirty, and the water is gross. We had a great time, but would not do Disney again. We booked this cruise with great hesitation because of the high cost versus any other cruise line that does this same exact cruise. Other than the cabin being larger than our last cruise on NCL, we saw no difference of any kind in the quality of food or service that we got on NCL. I went on board with an open mind, but I never saw this amazing "Disney" this that makes it worth paying the prices that they charge. Again, we all had a very good time, but in no way did we feel that we got our money's worth. We had Royal's Vision of the Sea's following us the entire week, and we could have gone on that ship, in a balcony, for about $2500 less than we paid for Disney. If you have young children under 10 or 11, I do think that Disney would be worth it, but for us, although I am glad we finally did it, I do not feel it was worth the money we paid. We hated having an assigned dining time. We like Freestyle much better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
So you are searching for a special cruise and notice that Disney is very expensive. This was our first cruise and it was tremendous. Email for details but I can tell you that there are spa specials throughout the week and excursions are ... Read More
So you are searching for a special cruise and notice that Disney is very expensive. This was our first cruise and it was tremendous. Email for details but I can tell you that there are spa specials throughout the week and excursions are less in some cases after you debark and don't think that they are sold out by any means. We went to the Dolphin excursion in Cabo San Lucas and there was plenty of room. Our kids 3 and 7 didn't want to leave the clubs they were in and they are available from 8am till 12am. We had a lot of time to ourselves. Do watch the price tags on souvenirs. I found 3 prices on one item and 2 on another. The clerks only scan the tags. If you aren't paying attention you will automatically pay the higher price. Although our cruise was sold out there are times that the decks on the Magic are empty. We asked servers and other employees about other cruise ships they worked on they said hands down Disney is the best. I told them is that because the Mouse has big ears and may hear you they said absolutely not! Workers want to work on the Disney line. They are happy to be there and they know that we are there to relax and enjoy. There was another cruise line traveling next to us. Without mentioning the name of the line let's just say God Save the Queen. While in port Disney sets up several pop up canopies and cold water and lemonade. There was a server walking through the line passing them out. The other cruise line had 1 pop up and a construction type Igloo with paper cups for their consumption. Before all meals Disney passes out sanitary hand wipes. I can't say that the environment is germ free but Disney does all it can to help reduce germs. The ship is in constant maintenance. We noticed that they were staining the deck, painting, replacing carpet areas that were stained and cleaning the pools. Speaking of pools, their pools are emptied and cleaned at least once per week. They do not allow kids that aren't potty trained in the bigger pools. Even if they are wearing the swimming diapers. There is a separate pool for those little cruisers. Things to do and avoid. Although they offer first run movies in the Buena Vista Theatre DON'T GO! The seats are uncomfortable, the sound is horrific and people are very noisy. To avoid long lines get to ALL activities 15 minutes early. This includes dinner. 15 minute rule will get you to the front and the best seating. Don't worry about formal night. Men, pack some Docker type pants and you'll be fine. I think they ask for formal so they can take more pictures of you so you will buy them later. Budget $200.00 for photos. You may roll your eyes right now but you're going to spend it. Also budget $300.00 for tipping, I was reluctant to give the same dollar amount for a tip from my 3 year old but if you do the math it's the right thing to do. This was a magical cruise! Well worth the money and we are planning to go again when the new ships come out in 2011 & 2012. Email me for questions. I couldn't find too much help with general questions. I'll help you PLUS I kept the spa price list. tcbperez@sbcglobal.net Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
My wife, 6 year old daughter and I sailed on the Disney Magic from Los Angeles to Florida on the Eastbound 2008 Panama Canal 15 day voyage. We had a great time, detailed below. Embarkation- LA was not as smooth as Disney's port ... Read More
My wife, 6 year old daughter and I sailed on the Disney Magic from Los Angeles to Florida on the Eastbound 2008 Panama Canal 15 day voyage. We had a great time, detailed below. Embarkation- LA was not as smooth as Disney's port Canaveral terminal. Different officials gave conflicting information, and boarding was quite slow, but we were on the ship by about 1:15pm, having arrived about 11am. On board Service- Polite, efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly without exception. What more could you ask for? Anyone that didn't like this crew is impossible to please. Food-main restaurants were good, with appetizers & salads better than entrees. There were occasionally disappointments, especially beef dishes. Fish and chicken dishes were always better. I heard several people say that the food wasn't as good as it used to be but I found it to be about the same as our last cruise on DCL 2 ½ years ago. Disney really sweats the details, and made sure that our assigned dining seat mates had children of similar age to our daughter, and we enjoyed their company very much. At Palo, the reservations only restaurant, the food was outstanding. I had hoped that on a 2 week cruise we could snag a 2nd Palo dinner reservation, but we were too far down the wait list. We did get brunch there, however. I don't care for Topsider's buffet. At the price we pay for DCL, I have no desire to carry around a cafeteria tray looking for a place to sit in this cramped space. Parrot Cay restaurant also has a breakfast buffet most days, but a host takes you to a table and it is much less crowded and less cafeteria-like than Topsiders, so it's a better option. Children's activities- Still a top notch program in terms of staff, but there was a small glitch for us. On our first DCL cruise our daughter was 4 and loved the program so much she asked to go. Now at 6 ½, she wasn't so thrilled and only went when we needed her to. The problem is this: There is a very well set up space called the Oceaneers Club that is perfect for the 3&4 year olds. There is another space called the Oceaneers Lab, with computers and more sophisticated gadgets, for the 8 to 10 year olds. Our daughter's group, the 5 to 7 year olds, split their time between these two spaces. As a result, our daughter only wanted to go if the activities were scheduled for the Lab, as she felt the Club was for babies. The difference between 3-4 year olds and 5-7 year olds is like night and day, so the 5 to 7 year olds need their own turf. I hope the new ships take this into account. . (There are also spaces for pre-teens and teenagers.) Ship's condition and design: Our veranda stateroom and most public interiors were in excellent condition, and very clean. However the pool deck is showing its age, with visible rust stains, chipped tile and worn finishes. I understand the upcoming drydock (September 08) will involve a major re-working of the adult pool, with new cushioned deck chairs and waterfalls from the whirlpools into the pool. The kid's Mickey pool will get a new water play area similar to the one already added to the Disney Wonder. For the crowds they get, the main "Goofy" pool needs to be larger but this can't really be changed. Topsiders buffet is also very worn, but everywhere else it still felt like a first class ship. During drydock the cabins are also slated to get flat screen TVs and I believe new bedding. The Art Deco interiors are timeless, and aren't looking dated like flashier interiors on other ships. Spa and fitness-This area is in excellent condition, good equipment, rarely crowded. The rainforest room (steam/sauna/heated lounges and showers, an extra fee required) is a pleasant retreat. I paid for a pass for the length of the cruise but felt like a bit of a sucker for doing so, as there is no attendant so no one checks to see if the people in here paid for it. Anyone could walk right in. Entertainment: Still first rate, with excellent shows every night with high quality performances and special effects in a well designed theater. Two exceptions: The magician (Darrin Romeo) was an over the top Vegas style singer/magician that just did nothing for me, and the previously excellent show "Twice Charmed" had problems. Several props and sound effects didn't work, and it seemed to throw the cast's timing off. It was actually kind of funny. In one scene, the bed was supposed to spin around while Cinderella cries out; but the bed just sat there while she cried out for no apparent reason! There are many performers in several venues each night, so you are bound to find something you like. It's not all Disney characters. Wine tasting seminars by Michael Jordan (not that Michael Jordan...) were excellent. There was a concert by Disney stars Allie and AJ which I didn't attend (I'm showing my age by admitting I had never heard of them). My wife took our daughter, and said the kids in the audience loved it and were screaming for more. The crowd: This was the only down side, of course not DCL's fault. Any ship has a handful of selfish types who save lounge chairs at the pool or push in line at the buffet, but since this was a 15 day special itinerary with over 80% repeat DCL cruisers, there were a lot of what I will politely call "Disney-philes". These are primarily middle aged moms who would steal candy from a baby if it was in the shape of Mickey Mouse. Their pushy, aggressive, entitled attitude was off-putting to say the least. At one point there was a deck party for kids, and they were offering spray-on fake tattoos of Mickey, the kind kids love. My daughter wanted one but was pushed out of line by a horde of Disney-philes, who just had to have one, not for their kids, but for themselves...yes that's right, grown adults pushing aside the kids for fake tattoos. Sad. One of the children's program staffers noticed my daughter's disappointment and gave her some small toys that were left over prizes from the games they had for the party. Like I said, there isn't a bad employee on this ship. The Disney-philes also loved to save 10 or 20 prime seats in the Theater despite constant announcements saying seat saving was forbidden. They were starting to get to me, but my wife reminded me that I could choose to be bothered, or just relax and remember that we were fortunate enough to have two weeks on a great ship, with a terrific crew and amazing sights to see. After that wise advice, I just viewed the Disney-philes with amusement the way one views zoo animals, watching them push and herd from event to event, and imagined them chanting "mine...mine...mine..." like those dead-eyed seagulls in the movie "Finding Nemo". These creatures couldn't have had much fun, always worrying about being first, getting more. Itinerary: Since this is a rare itinerary for DCL, It isn't too useful to get detailed about each port, but I would rate Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta as pleasant, and Acapulco as forgettable. To be fair, we only hade half a day in Acapulco and it was raining. We did a dolphin encounter in Puerto Vallarta, which allows you to get in the water and touch the dolphins, and learn about them. The Dolphin swim had been sold out, but it wasn't much different except that they get to go around the pool once holding on to a dolphin's fin. The photos taken by the park's staff were a stunning $17 a piece so we passed on them but very much enjoyed the experience. The passage through the Panama Canal was fascinating, the highlight of the trip, and they narrated the voyage and had great seminars beforehand by a retired Panama Canal Ship's pilot. If you ever go through the canal, don't worry too much about snagging a space up top at the bow (crowded and reserved at 5am by the previously mentioned pushy Disney-philes anyway). You see more from the side of the ship, watching the locomotives and operations as the ship is moved through the locks. The promenade deck was an excellent viewing position, and if you have a veranda cabin that works well too. Aft decks were less crowded than the bow and offered a fine view. People on shore and on freighters watched and waved to us too, as the Disney Magic is a striking ship that grabs attention. We also stopped at Cartegena, Columbia. It looked like an interesting city but we made a poor choice of excursions, taking a Mangroves boat tour. Lots of waiting around, a brief paddle through the mangroves and then sitting out on a lake for an eternity. There was no narration by the boat operator, and some boats were taking on water and had to be continuously bailed out! We should have just walked around Cartegena's old town, and skipped the cheesy tour. We also stopped in Aruba, which was much nicer than I expected, and everyone I talked to liked it. Here, we went on a tour to DePalm Island, a beach/water activity park that was clean and very well run. The price included beach access, snorkel gear, a water slide complex, and lunch. There was excellent beginner Snorkeling with large Parrot Fish and calm, warm water. The water slide complex was a lot of fun. Finally it was off to Castaway Cay, which is still a great spot, written about in many other DCL reviews. Our timing was perfect, as we were too far south when Hurricane Gustav passed and too far west for the approaching Hurricane Hannah. On the Caribbean, the water was almost glass-smooth. I had heard the Pacific could be rough but we had no problems. Disembarkation: We signed up for on-board airline check in. If you have purchased Disney bus transportation to the Orlando airport, this service is offered at no extra charge. You register at the beginning of the cruise, and then you get your airline boarding passes and baggage tags delivered to your stateroom the night before the end of the cruise. Your checked bags are taken from stateroom to airport for you so you don't see them until you get to your home airport. Once the ship was cleared, we walked through customs, got on the bus, then at the airport we skipped the hassle of ticketing and baggage drop off. It worked perfectly and I recommend it. Your departure flight needs to be leaving after 1 PM to participate in this program, and not all airlines participate, so ask at cruise check in. To sum it up, DCL once again did a great job and gave us an easy, worry free time with plenty to do. I have no hesitation in recommending it as a terrific family vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
My wife, daughter and I just got off the Disney Magic yesterday. Here is my blunt review of the ship. First if you have kids, they will love the ship. Out of the 9 cruises I have been on the Disney Magic has the best childrens program of ... Read More
My wife, daughter and I just got off the Disney Magic yesterday. Here is my blunt review of the ship. First if you have kids, they will love the ship. Out of the 9 cruises I have been on the Disney Magic has the best childrens program of any of the cruiselines. My daughter did not want to leave the kids club most of the nights when we went to pick her up. But lets be honest. The Disney Cruises are not up to par with Royal or Princess even thought they are more costly. Our room was small, even by cruise standards, and we got the family room with veranda. The room creaked at night, and the temperature never got that much above freezing, no matter how we adjusted the thermostat. The bed was too low to the floor to fit luggage under so in a small room we were dealing with moving around three bags. The room had paint chips coming off, and just appeared to be in need of general repair. We had rough seas the last day on the ship. My wife actual got sea sick. Now we have had much worse seas on the Grand Princess and the Navigator of the sea, as we were getting close to hurricanes, but we cold feel the seas very much on the Disney ship. The dinners were good, and I guess compare very well with Princess, even if they can not get the meats cooked properly. Medium Rare is not the same as well done, and if you are like me and like pink in you Wellington, give up on it. The Breakfasts were the worst I have ever had on a cruise ship. Tough Pancakes? Come on, pancakes are not that hard to cook. Basically it appeared that no one cared to get the breakfasts or lunches up to a decent standard. This is in both the Topsider and the Sit down dinning. The most frustrating thing was the complimentary Beverage Station on deck 10. It never worked well. Water was not working in any of the four stations. To get a Diet Coke you actually had to use two stations, the one that put out beverage with no carbonation, and the one with no syrup. Face panels were broken, and even thought I complained about it the first day, nothing was ever done. The staff was most unfriendly. Ask them a question, and you would get a short answer. Not all the staff, as we did have a few we commend, like the entire Palo Staff, Arian (the girl who handled the characters for photo's) and everyone in the Oceaneer's club. But But the vast majority were just rude. The dinning rooms are not open all the time, nor is the Buffet, so plan your eating accordingly, as you may be stuck with horrible pizza's and Hamburgers on deck 9. The Diversions bar, one of the few places for adults, was the worst. Order a drink and you get it Basically thrown at you. During the Belmont stakes, right before the race, we were told we would have to move because they needed to set up for tequila taste testing. By the time we got reseated, the race was on. I guess the extra 2 minutes for the race would have thrown them off. After the race, we left, but our friend sat and was finishing his drink, when the waiter came up and took the drink and told him he would have to leave, as the were going to do the Taste Test. We actual were told by our Head Waiter, that Disney is not trying to be a Five Star Cruise Line and therefore they do not hire the best. At least we got Honesty for Zan. I can guarantee we paid 1 and a half times our highest previous cruise rate, and got the worst cruise we have ever taken. I can guarantee you will never see me on the Disney Cruiseline again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
OK - 1st off, I was skeptical on what was so "Magical" about a Disney Cruise and went with a "Okay, don't tell me; show me!" - after all, this was costing 3 times as much as the VOS I did 2 months ago in a suite! ... Read More
OK - 1st off, I was skeptical on what was so "Magical" about a Disney Cruise and went with a "Okay, don't tell me; show me!" - after all, this was costing 3 times as much as the VOS I did 2 months ago in a suite! We were a party of 7 with 4 adults and 3 children (ages 4-almost 8) in 2 cabins. We had a balcony room and a navigators balcony room on the 6th floor. I did a lot of research before hand to make sure I "got my money's worth" so I knew to try and get to the dock around 10 ish so I would get an early boarding #. It worked and we were in group 4 to board. San Pedro Port did a great job in exciting the group with a live band, the Disney Channel on TV and lots of cast members around to answer questions. After standing in line of for 30 minutes, the kids club counter opened up and we checked in the kids and got our beepers. Right after that our # was called and we went through security, got the obligatory embarkation shot and boarded the ship! What a surprise to have our names announced as we entered the atrium! Went straight to Parrot's Cay for a buffet lunch. You could also go to the buffet at Topsiders but Parrot's Cay had waiters to seat you instead of you trying to find a table by yourself with all your carry on luggage. After lunch, headed over to Beat Street to get our Palo Brunch, Tea and Dinner reservations. We had tried to do it on line but none was available. Had no problem on board to get what we wanted! By the time we finished with lunch (DELICIOUS), our rooms were ready. Loved the split bath and there was more than enough room for the 4 our us. Our luggage arrived soon after and we had everything put away before Muster drill at 3p! I won't go into daily detail but want to make sure that whoever is reading this understands that we LOVED the ship and cruise and would not hesitate to book a Disney Cruise again soon! DINING AND SHOWS: The rotational dining was "scary" to me since I had never experienced it before. By the end of the cruise, I loved it! Most cruise lines have an early and late seating so half of the passengers are herded in early and the other half late. With the rotational dining, there is also the early and late seating but each "half" is broken into 3 dining rooms with staggered start times so there is rarely a wait to get into your assigned dining room. It made for a much more intimate dining experience and most tables were for smaller parties so for those who don't like to eat with strangers, you usually ate with your family. I also loved the timing of the FANTASTIC shows on board. There is usually an early afternoon matinee and then the other 2 times that coincide with the early and late diners. The shows lived up to the hype and then some! I wish I had gone to more matinees. We usually went to the earlier show (we had late seating which was great) and then wished I could have seen the show again ~ yes, they were that good!! I would sit in the 3rd row from the front. There are special effects and may scare some younger kids and the smoke/fog from the shows can be a bit heavy. SHOPPING: The 2 main shops were fine! Lots of stuff you can buy at Disneyland but also some great stuff you can only get on the cruise line. There is a liquor and cigar shop but it's near the adult show areas so the little ones aren't subjected to it! Also, if you're into pin trading, there are some pins you can only buy on the cruiseline. Here's a tip; if you have small children, take them to the kids club and then do your shopping or they'll end up spending their college fund in there! ROOMS: Like I said, perfectly fine. The split bath with the 2 sinks make getting ready very easy and fast! Lots of room to put stuff away and stow your bags under the beds! The cooler was fine and kept our drinks cold. CHILDRENS CLUBS: OMG! This is the BEST for the kids. Loved the idea that whenever the kids are taken out of the Oceanear's Club or Lab and to lunch or the Wild World of Sports or any other venue, that venue is closed off to the rest of the cruisers. Parents are told where they can find their children and the castmembers carry Laptops so you can check in or check out your child. The clubs stay open to midnight, minimum with no extra charge past 10p like some cruiselines. Even on sea days, your child can stay there for lunch and dinner and the activities are beyond compare! Do Si Do with Snow White, Tea with Alice and the Madhatter, Storytime with Belle, etc. Way too much to list. CONCLUSION: I could go on and on but in a nutshell, not one complaint about anything! Shore excursions were fine and adequate but Disney makes sure you are escorted all the way and even had a castmember on one of our tours to check for quality control. Our Dining attendants, Roberto from the Philippines and his asst. from Trinidad were the BEST ever! I cannot remember the last time I felt so pampered! Yes, this was an expensive cruise compared to the other 5 I've been on. It was also the lowest category cabin I've ever stayed in but...this was by far the best cruise line I have ever been on. I'm not much on Mexico but I will sail on DCL again in a heartbeat. It was worth every penny and then some! If you can do it, go for it but be warned, it may turn you off to any other line you've been on. I went on a skeptic but came out a true believer in the Magic! Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
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