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33 Disney Los Angeles Cruise Reviews

In terms of family experience - I was extremely impressed. We sailed with a set of three year old boy-girl twins and the children's programs were excellent. Another thing that I really liked was the fact that I didn't have to ... Read More
In terms of family experience - I was extremely impressed. We sailed with a set of three year old boy-girl twins and the children's programs were excellent. Another thing that I really liked was the fact that I didn't have to worry about the children being exposed to age-inappropriate entertainment. And in fact when our son took off on us and got away we went to find a crewmember for help after searching for about 2 minutes. The guy then made a phone call and told us that he had not only been found - he was already in the Oceaneer Club (the area set aside for children 2-4 years old). I was extremely impressed at the proactive approach they take to lost children. The food was very good (my previous cruises were on Holland America and Disney came close to but did not match HA's food). The service was above excellent however. We kept the same servers for the entire cruise and after a couple of days our preferred drinks were waiting for us on the table when we showed up for our dinner. The 24 hour a day free soda, coffee, milk, and ice cream was also something they deserve 5 stars for. The character meets were also impressive as Disney uses their entertainment staff to represent the characters. This meant that the people dressed up as the characters were trained stage actors instead of some random person stuffed into a mickey suit. As a result the characters displayed the same mannerisms as we saw in the movies. The kids loved the character meets and couldn't get enough of them. Another pleasant surprise was the ships stores. I was expecting the prices to be jacked up but discovered that the prices on the ship were the same as in the Disney store in the Mall near my home. (Leading to overstuffed suitcases on our flight home.) Our room was large (214 sq feet) with an excellent layout. The split bathrooms were very helpful in terms of getting everybody showered pottyed and dressed in the mornings. Disney classic movies played on both Funnelvision and the shipboard cable system. My only recommendation for improvement is that the channel guide on the cable be modified to show the start times for the movies. Can't really comment on value for the money because we qualified for the military discount and essentially got the cruise for half-price. In summary - we loved it and are definitely going to sail on Disney again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We flew into LAX and had no trouble finding our Disney Rep. and onto the bus for our cruise. Check in was relatively simple because we were returning cruisers....all of our information was already there! Do not remember having it like that ... Read More
We flew into LAX and had no trouble finding our Disney Rep. and onto the bus for our cruise. Check in was relatively simple because we were returning cruisers....all of our information was already there! Do not remember having it like that with other cruise lines. . Buffet luncheon....food fairly good....to excited to eat much. Muster drill was in Parrott Key.....not outside in the heat....really nice. For our late dining we had 3 other couples and it was a match made in heaven. We looked forward each day to our evening meal.....usually sat with the same people for our pre dinner show. E-Harmony couldn't have matched us any better. I will only say the food was ok.....I don't eat a lot of steak but that was about the only thing I liked for 2 or 3 days in a row. I'm usually the one who likes to try new things but not much of their "new" was up to what I liked. We had a day at sea and the first stop was Cabo San Lucas. We booked our own boat tour of the area for $15 a person and then did some shopping. The second was Puerto Vallarta....raining and for a change of pace it rained some more. We did a bit of shopping and back to the boat....we had been to both of these stops before. Three days at sea....lots of things to do on a Disney ship besides the characters....a broadway actress shared her adventures on the stage, a former canel p[ilot shared lots of inside knowledge concerning the canel, first run movies and the pool. Then we went through the Panama Canal. This is an experience not to be forgotten. We are not early risers.....we woke, looked out our window and we were deep inside the canal....We watched for a bit, went to 10 and then to 9....back to our room because the view was so much better. Day 9 of the cruise found us in Cartagena Columbia. We had never been to this city and set out to explore. Another couple from our dining table joined us with 2 more couples in hiring a mini van for 5 1/2 hours. The charge was $15 a person and we had a FULL tour of this beautiful, historic city. We saw the Convent, the Fortress, walked all over old town, drove thru new town with it's wonderful beaches and came back to the ship tired but happy cruiserswe. We had a dessert extravaganza one night and a pirates party with fireworks another night. Disney works hard to ensure all ages are happy on their cruise. The entertainment was fantastic......Golden Mickeys, Disney Dreams, Beatles Tribute, Grant Norman and a magician and a comedian. They had the flaming Baked Alaska where other cruise lines told us it wasn't to be anymore because of the maritime laws. 2 more sea days and then Cozumel where we shopped and drank margauritas till sailing time. Another sea day and we arrived in Galveston. This was a very confusing experience and I'm not exactly sure who is to blame. First we were told late dining would dine in the same dining room that we had dined in the evening before and at 8:30. The last bus to Houston left at 9:30 and they told us we would be better off in the buffet....we wern't pleased.....hoped to dine with our friends one last time BUT, we would not want to miss the bus. By 8 we were waiting in the lounge and did NOT get in line to go to customs til 9.....they assured us they were holding the busses. Took forever to get our luggage and into a line for customs. Customs was relatively quick.......our bust left at 10:30. Most of the hold up seemed to be the Galveston people. Many comments were made that they would not go to the Galveston port again. This was our second Disney Cruise and I would recommend them highly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was our second DCL cruise and we traveled with another couple - all without children. From an adult perspective, this cruise has a lot to offer even if it seems to be very much pointed towards families with kids. We found the small ... Read More
This was our second DCL cruise and we traveled with another couple - all without children. From an adult perspective, this cruise has a lot to offer even if it seems to be very much pointed towards families with kids. We found the small number of children on this cruise to actually be kind of sad - since we love watching them get so excited about Mickey and all the activities to do onboard. Embarkation was fast and efficient. I can't say enough about the superlative customer service experience on this ship from start to finish. Our friends noted that this is the first cruise they have taken, where on disembarkation, they felt just as loved as the first day. Usually, there's a rush to just get you off the ship. They also enjoyed the less 'nickel and dime' feel you end up paying for on other cruise lines. Entertainment was top notch - can't say enough about it. Yes, it was mostly PG, but we come to appreciate that more in this current world. We even laughed when we were watching one of the adult movies one night, and someone actually cursed - it was jarring to hear that again. Dining was delicious. 14 days on a ship can become very tedious if you eat in the same dining room the whole time, so the rotational dining concept really made things more fun. We enjoyed two dinners and one brunch in Palo - and it was worth it. We ate the brunch while transiting through the canal locks - so imagine our happiness to sail through Gatun lake while drinking champagne in air conditioning! We felt bad for everyone else who was outside. I wouldn't venture to say that all the meals were 5 stars - nothing ever is perfect. I would say there were a few misses - but they were the exception to what was consistently a very tasty menu. Listen to the staff recommendations - they tried to steer me in the right direction and I should have listened to them. If you don't look happy with your meal - never fear, it takes them about 10 seconds to notice and they immediately descend upon you like a SWAT team to bring another dish out. Now that's impressive! Pirate night was something very special, and even though this cruise was more heavily adult laden - it was fun to see everyone festive and quite a few people in pirate gear! We forced our friends to bring costumes, and they ended up enjoying the fact they had. Because the ship had such few children, they opened up their kids areas for adult exclusives - how often do you get to paint Disney animation cels in the Oceaneer Lab? One last word on the rooms - we opted with an inside standard cabin this time. I worried it would be too small, but it was quite comfy. Our friends thought it was actually spacious compared to other lines. if you are a kid at heart, or just want some exceptional customer service dusted with tinkerbell - this is the cruise for you. One third of the ship is adults only and we spent more time with unruly children on the air flight then the entire cruise. Plus, the kids are quite fun. So is the fact you can bring whatever alcohol you like onboard - it's not an issue. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My wife and I are veteran cruisers ( mostly Holland America) but this was first time on Disney with daughter, son-in-law, and 2 grand-daughters.So many positives--shows were a much higher quality than I expected, rotational dining was ... Read More
My wife and I are veteran cruisers ( mostly Holland America) but this was first time on Disney with daughter, son-in-law, and 2 grand-daughters.So many positives--shows were a much higher quality than I expected, rotational dining was wonderful--my grand-daughters were charmed by Anthony, our server.Our 5 year old grand-daughter loved the character breakfast, the princess tea--she loved it all. Our 2 year-old was a bit overwhelmed by the characters.Food was fine--not up to Holland America standards but certainly acceptable. We dined one night in Palo--excellent--worth the $20 charge.Getting information from Customer Service before the cruise was sometimes difficult. This was a re-positioning cruise for the Wonder from LA to Vancouver where it will be doing Alaska cruises for the summer. Alaska does not permit fireworks so we were mistakenly informed there were no fireworks on our cruise--there were fireworks.Unfortunately, we hit cold and windy weather from day 2---since the Wonder has no provision for covering the pool areas, we really couldn't enjoy that feature.Don't want this to sound overly negative---we really did have a fabulous time and probably will look forward to a warmer climate in 2-3 years. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This was our first experience with Disney Cruise Lines and we loved it! We took a trip on the Carnival Victory in September to the southern Caribbean and enjoyed the time together but the ship, crew, food, entertainment, etc., didn't ... Read More
This was our first experience with Disney Cruise Lines and we loved it! We took a trip on the Carnival Victory in September to the southern Caribbean and enjoyed the time together but the ship, crew, food, entertainment, etc., didn't come anywhere close to the Disney Wonder! Our Disney cabin with an outside view was much larger, better appointed and more comfortable than our balcony cabin on Carnival. We loved the seating area next to the window, the split bath with tub, and the significantly larger storage areas. The quality of the bedding was really nice and comfortable. Everyone we met with the crew on the Disney Wonder was so friendly and guest-focused. We were regularly greeted by all levels of crew members and asked about our experience, where we were from, etc. Clearly we felt welcome and like we were honored guests. What a difference it made in our overall view of the Wonder compared to the Victory. Our dining experiences on both ships was very good but we felt a completely different, very personal experience on Disney. We saw our servers throughout the ship virtually every day and they greeted us by name. We were made to feel like we had new friends! Disney has a dining rotation that lets us experience every dining room about four to five times during the two weeks. We had the same serving crew but the change in venues was really nice and kept us from being bored. The food choices were extremely varied and even the regular breakfast and lunch buffets were really nice. One day at lunch we had two types of shrimp, crawfish, snow crab legs, fish, beef tenderloin, chicken, and pork. We really never got tired of the food! Entertainment on Disney was really over the top! Imagine Disney caliber entertainment instead of "cruise ship" entertainment. It was great every night! The acts created by Disney were great and the entertainers brought on the ship were as well. For several days we were treated to absolutely terrific presentations on the Panama Canal by Captain Kenneth Puckett, retired Panama Canal Pilot. His programs were extremely entertaining and educational. We didn't and wouldn't miss a single one! What a great touch! The ports of call were OK but no where near the highlight of this trip. The time on the ship, the endless high quality movies, many in 3D and some first run, the entertainment, etc., made the Wonder a true destination to us. Overall, this was the best cruise experience we have ever had. We are retired and loved the children on board. The way Disney treats them is so refreshing and touching. I think we are now sold on Disney Cruise Line and it will be very tough to enjoy another cruise company because I just don't think they can hold a candle to Disney. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We have just recently returned from the 14-day Panama Canal repositioning cruise aboard the 'Disney Wonder', and all we can say is "WOW!!!". Our first cruise experience was a 7-day Alaska/Glacier Bay/Inside Passage ... Read More
We have just recently returned from the 14-day Panama Canal repositioning cruise aboard the 'Disney Wonder', and all we can say is "WOW!!!". Our first cruise experience was a 7-day Alaska/Glacier Bay/Inside Passage cruise aboard a much-smaller predecessor of Holland America's 'Westerdam', 13 years ago. While we had high expectations for a 'Disney' cruise, we were simply blown-away at how far cruising -- and particularly cruising with children -- has advanced in the past decade. The 'Disney Wonder' is simply a lovely ship inside and out. What brings this to our full attention is that it is the staff that makes the ship lovely -- and not just from the constant scrubbing, cleaning, polishing, and painting -- but from how the entire crew -- from the most senior officer down to the most junior deckhand -- stops whatever they're busy doing to smile and say "Good morning", "Good afternoon", or "Good Evening". The minor complaints and observations offered here are vastly outweighed by the superior/exceptional/always 'above and beyond' customer service and friendliness expressed by every crew and cast member at every opportunity. We found our experience so superb that we booked a 7-day Alaska/Glacier Bay/Inside Passage cruise aboard the 'Disney Wonder', leaving August 19, 2013. We were simply unable and unwilling to get off the ship without a firm commitment to a return date! The minor concerns: - It appeared that the oval "coffee table" in our stateroom is supposed to raise and lower, theoretically making it easier for kids to use it as a dining table. The adjustment feature on our table was broken. This presented little inconvenience to us, but as the cruise went on, such a minor issue seemed out of character considering the otherwise excellent condition of the ship and her furnishings. We gained a little insight as to what the furnishings might suffer after watching a surprisingly large amount of broken furniture and fixtures being offloaded at the dock in Cartagena! - Staterooms need more electrical outlets -- particularly in the desk area - for recharging electronic equipment such as cameras, video cameras, tablets, e-readers, laptops, etc. The chargers for these units often take up an entire outlet, and the switch for the desk lights built in to the electrical outlet prevents plugging a charger into one of the outlets, further limiting recharging options. Next time, we're bringing an extension cord/power strip for recharging batteries. - We're from the Pacific Northwest, which is to beer what France is to wine. The micro-brew/craft brewing market thrives in our area. All of the draft beers located in the most popular and accessible bars (i.e. deck 9) were lagers. It was only on the last day of the cruise that we discovered 'Diversions' on deck 3 had a Kona Brewing Company Pale Ale on tap. It is our hope that a Northwest/Alaska cruise will feature at least one Northwest craft ale. There are myriad excellent craft breweries in Vancouver, B.C., and in every port of call on the Alaska cruise itinerary. Surely the boat can procure fine beer in the same way it procures fine wine. With a selection of draft craft pale and amber ales available, we would have spent a lot more on adult beverages than we did. - The 'Oceaneer's Lab' had far too many "Open House" periods, where the lab was unsecured. This required unattended kids to go to the 'Oceaneer's Club', which is oriented towards younger children and was considered far-inferior to the "Lab" by our 7 year-old son. It seemed that whenever we had some down-time, or the adults wanted to do something our son found uninteresting, and it otherwise would have been a perfect opportunity for our son to go hang out in the "Lab", there was a conflicting "Open House" requiring rearranging schedules. This is our biggest complaint/observation/issue with the entire cruise, and obviously it isn't that big of a deal. - "Goofy's Pool" is too small. We don't expect this to be an issue on an Alaska cruise, but on a warm-weather cruise, there simply isn't enough room for everyone to find a lounge chair and a space in the pool - particularly when "Mickey's Pool" is closed for cleaning (which happened at least every other day). We realize DCL can't remedy this situation overnight, but we also understand that DCL keeps customer concerns in mind when considering changes to vessels when vessels are periodically updated in dry-dock. - While we're on the subject, a water slide adults can share with their kids would be a huge improvement. It doesn't have to be as elaborate as what is on the 'Dream' and 'Fantasy', but something that lets adults have some fun with their kids is needed. The major compliments: - The superb staff at the 'Guest Services' desk was always able to provide and answer and/or a resolution to any question or problem that arose (except to those aboard complaining how stressful it was to them that we would be docked on the Yucatan Peninsula on 12-21-12, the last day of the Mayan calendar. Umm - check the itinerary before booking the cruise if you don't want to climb Mayan temples on 12-21-12.) - The crew members in `Mickey's Mates' were very helpful with getting fragile items purchased aboard safely packaged for transport home. None of the fragile Christmas ornaments and other items suffered any damage from our long journey home from Miami to Seattle! - 'Cesar', a housekeeping crew member who was often seen keeping the restrooms on deck 9 spotless in spite of the onslaught of dripping-wet/covered in sunscreen passengers parading through the facilities, had a particularly friendly and outgoing personality that deserves recognition. He took time to get to know us as people, not passengers, and we got an opportunity to learn about him and his background and culture. We observe that we learned just as much about the cultures represented by the staff with whom we interacted as we did the cultures of the countries we visited! It all adds up to create a fantastic experience for seven year-old boys and forty-something parents alike! - Michele, our server in Palo, could not have been more charming, friendly, nor possess a more encyclopedic knowledge of the food, wine, and culture of Northern Italy -- precisely what you'd want in your server for an evening at Palo! We were so impressed with Michele -- and with Palo -- that we brought our mothers to brunch at Palo later on in the cruise. We specifically requested Michele as our brunch server, and he did not disappoint! - Clare was a member of the photography crew who always went the extra mile to make us feel comfortable and relaxed as she took stunning photos of us in the chaotic environment that defines a 'Character Appearance'. We were ecstatic to discover she was the photographer assigned to the family portrait area when we arrived to have ours done, and the resulting photos are exquisite! Her personality endeared her to us, and thus our son was totally comfortable as she walked him though the poses -- and the results speak volumes! - Faydella, our 'Stateroom Hostess', was simply amazing! Whatever we needed, whenever we needed it -- sometimes even before we knew we needed it -- somehow magically appeared in our stateroom. Her bright smile and sunny disposition meant our entire passageway was filled with smiles and good cheer. - Finally, our two dining room servers must have come from Disney's central casting. Dan (from Romania) and Anthony (from France) were a comical "Odd Couple" who had us laughing through every meal. We looked forward to finding them doing their other jobs aboard ship, and they went the extra mile to serve us whenever they were working another restaurant or helping out on deck. Much like our stateroom hostess, they provided us with whatever we needed, whenever we needed it -- often before we even knew we even needed it - or wanted it! Their impeccable service, good humor, wit and camaraderie was an invaluable addition to our experience. Their extra-special treatment of our precocious seven year-old son will be remembered by him and by us forever. I was especially impressed with the patience, service, respect, and love they provided to a young special-needs passenger and our table-mate. They both worked incredibly hard, apparently effortlessly and graciously. One had to look hard to find the beads of sweat running down their faces as they strived to provide a personalized fine-dining experience to a demanding clientele in a chaotic environment. We're hard-pressed to come up with anything we would have done differently on the December 9-23 Panama Canal cruise, or that we'll do differently on our August 19-26 Alaska cruise. We'll certainly do a better job of decorating our cabin door next time, and we'll bring that extension cord for charging camera batteries, but our Panama Canal cruise aboard the 'Disney Wonder' is an experience we'll treasure for the rest of our lives! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
How your vacation turns out depends on 2 things: how you plan it, and what YOU make of it. If you do your proper planning/research, and put a little (I mean a LITTLE [it is Disney after all]) effort into having an enjoyable time, you ... Read More
How your vacation turns out depends on 2 things: how you plan it, and what YOU make of it. If you do your proper planning/research, and put a little (I mean a LITTLE [it is Disney after all]) effort into having an enjoyable time, you will. Now for my review: We were scheduled to arrive at the terminal @ 11AM. Our shuttle from the hotel down the street got us there at about 10:15AM. I expected that we would have to wait outside until 11AM. We walked right in, no waiting. Tons of Disney customer service people to direct you where to go. Oh and the porters unloaded our luggage and took it. I tipped him but I saw him give it to a little girl later. (cool gesture I guess, but I probably won't tip again because of it) we didn't see our luggage until around 5PM on the ship. We went upstairs to get in line for registration. We had our docs ready (completed online) so we got in line. There are 2 lines 1 for returning Disney cruisers (us next time) and 1 for 1st time Disney cruisers. We were early enough there was nobody in either line. We walked right up to the counter and were registered within minutes. We were assigned boarding number 5. I asked how many boarding numbers there would be they said "usually around 40". We were one of the first on the ship! We then (at the advice of other review writers) went immediately to register our kids in the kids programs (Oceaneers Club & Lab). No line there either. Wow can't get easier. When they started calling boarding numbers our number was called within 10 minutes. Pretty quick in my opinion. Experience on the ship: I won't bore you with a travel log as some people do. Our experience was fantastic on the ship. Yes, we did feel the boat move. My daughter described it well within an hour of leaving the Port of LA when she said "it feels like I'm on an elevator". Yes it does. At first this is a little disconcerting, but once we figured out what it was we dealt with it. I don't think that I ever "got used to it", but we were able to ignore it in most cases. None of us ever got stomach upset (if you know what I mean) sick, just a little dizzy at times. We tried to experience everything we could aboard the ship, and did get to most of it lol. SPA: The spa however was a major disappointment. The massages were nice, but nothing different than what you can get at any massage place (i.e. Massage Envy). The couples massage (both my wife and I in the same room) was more than 2x the cost of 2 single massages added together. I thought maybe it was because they offered something different like a bottle of cider or wine? NOPE? Then afterword (while you are still only in a robe) they pitch you their other services? I told my wife that was the first time I ever had a sales pitch when I was naked. Tisk Tisk Spa people (sub contractor NOT Disney). SHOWS: The shows were all better than we expected. Go Disney, great job. In Disney Dreams the actor who played Peter Pan had an accident near the end of the show. He got cut on the face. He did excellent ignoring it. My suggestion would be to show up early (theater doors open half hour before performance) and get seating on the isle or in front. Lounges/clubs (Route 66) "Adult" shows were good too. We were hesitant to do these as we are somewhat conservative. Disney regulates this too. They were adult without being trashy. They call it "Disney Dirty" my wife and I had a blast. We also tried to play "Who wants to be a Mouseketeer". We didn't get picked, but was fun to watch. FOOD: First thing I want to say is that EVERYONE is scheduled a Character Breakfast. No one said anything about this on any of the reviews. Your ticket includes this and you are assigned a day and restaurant. See your welcome packet in your room when you get there (cool surprise for us). We choose the second seating (early show was more important to us). Disney did a wonderful job paring our family with another family of 4. We hit it off the first night and ended up spending a lot of time with them (They were our neighbors so good thing). Many people describe the food as average. That is all it is in my opinion, Average. Our servers Noel & Adela were awesome. Interact with your servers (don't be stuffy). They want to have fun too and they will treat you better! when ordering dinner, order as many things that you want. If it comes to you wrong don't be scared to get another one! The rest of the food on the ship was above average. I liked "Pluto's Dog house" I tried everything they served there I liked it all (I loved the fries and chicken fingers) except the Brats. I'm from the midwest and know a brat, those were not brats. We got advise from a friend to bring our own cups for the self-serve soda station (choices limited to Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, HI-C fruit punch/lemonade). Best advice we got. We bought screw on lid-tumblers. Several other people told us that they wished they had done that too. There is a self-serve ice cream station too. I suggest going to the soda station first to get a cup, then put the ice cream in the cup. (You get more than doing the cone thing wink). Characters: There were plenty of opportunities to get whatever pictures that you wanted. Our kids got what they wanted then were disinterested in trying to get more. Lots of opportunities if that is what you are into. No Evil Witch (from Snow White) or Cruella (sp?). Bummer! Port Adventures: We went on 2. One in Puerto Vallarta (we scheduled this ourselves) and one in Cabo (thru Disney) we enjoyed both. We had originally scheduled one for the second day in Cabo, but we canceled it. I'm glad we did. We ended up just walking around Cabo and found our own way to the Beach for free. Port Adventures are hard to come by if you have children under 8. Disney does have them but there aren't many to choose from. Odd & Ends: Tipping: everyone that complains on here talks about the tips! I would hate to serve you if that is how it is. The service is phenomenal and is not part of the cruise price. These people will bend over backward for you if you ask! You should tip and Yes 24 hour customer service for 7 days is expensive. (around $340 family of 4). But you know ahead of time (if you plan correctly) so it shouldn't be a surprise. We felt that some of the people we had deserved more than the suggested tip amount and we tipped accordingly. If your experience is different, go to guest services and change it! (I'm getting off my soap box now) Buena Vista Theater: way cramped. I am not really that tall 6'2", and I was sore after each movie that we watched there. Disney would do well to take a few seats out and give more room. Rotational Dinning: Great concept (different restaurants on different nights same servers), however we got stuck on a bad rotation. We were able to go to all 3 restaurants at least 2 times. Unfortunately, we were assigned Parrot Cay 3 nights (2 times in the first 3 nights). Above that we were told (kind of herded) to go there for lunch on embarkation day, and we were also assigned there for our character breakfast. It left us liking the other 2 restaurants more. We ended up skipping dinner the third night there and ordered room service. Room service was good, but limited in variety. Pools: Kids loved them. Wife and I enjoyed sitting on the deck relaxing while the kids played. If you ask them they would tell you it was a highlight of their trip. Family pool was too small to try in our (my wife & I) opinion. Adults Only area "Quiet Cove": We did not feel the need to search this out. We found other ways to enjoy ourselves when the kids were in the kid programs without having to go there. We went there a couple of times. Kid commotion can be avoided anywhere on the ship, not just in the "Quiet Cove" area. It was definitely quiet and secluded from Kids. There wasn't a whole lot of traffic there even among adults, but there where those who seemed to be there all the time. Oceaneers Lab/Club: These areas are very adequate. Our kids loved going there. The Lab is designed more for kids ages 6-10, and the club was more for 3-6 crowd. The kids (with councilor escort) are free to go between both these programs. The ship has scheduled times designated as "Open House" times were parents are allowed to go in with the kids and participate/watch. Secure check-in (child without parent) is not allowed during this time, but "Open House" only happens at either the Club or Lab. Never both at the same time. If your child is checked into the Lab, then the Lab goes to "Open House" they escort them to the Club during that time and vice versa. Overall, we had a great time. My wife and I were scared that we might be "STUCK" on a boat with everyones bratty childern. We were surprised at the end of the trip that we were not bothered by the number of childern on the ship. In fact the ship only felt crowed on the "Sail Away Party" and the "Pirate" nights when everyone was on deck 9 & 10. I hope this review is helpful to you. Again your vacation is just that YOURS. It will be what you make of it. I wish you the best. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
While this was my second Disney cruise, it was the first for my wife and kids, along with some friends. All total, it was my family of 4, my parents, our friends' family of 4, one set of their parents and a brother for a total of 13. ... Read More
While this was my second Disney cruise, it was the first for my wife and kids, along with some friends. All total, it was my family of 4, my parents, our friends' family of 4, one set of their parents and a brother for a total of 13. Kids were aged 2-5. This cruise on the Disney Wonder started in San Pedro (Los Angeles Port), had a couple days at sea, then a day in Puerto Vallarta, a day and a half in Cabo San Lucas, finishing with a day at sea before returning to Los Angeles. Overall, it was a fabulous cruise. We took up 3 outside view cabins and one inside at the front of the ship. The Good: Service and crowd control. The ship never really felt crowded. Even the really popular events weren't too crowded. Service everywhere was fantastic. I particularly liked how far they went to keep the ship clean. Our servers were adequate. No real complaints, but they didn't particularly stand out either. The assistant server did entertain the kids on occasion, but we never felt any particular special care. I'm a firm believer of set dining times because I like having the same servers. This allows them to recognize my habits. For example, I always have a Coke at my meals. On my other cruises, the servers, after a couple of days or so, figure that out and learn to just have a Coke ready for me when I arrive so I don't have to wait. That's about the minimum I expect in order to rate them outstanding. Never happened here. They were very polite and attentive, just didn't go above the bare minimum that I expect. Our room steward was fantastic though. He would give us special sheets. Some days, it would be Princess sheets for my daughter. Other days, he would use Cars sheets for my son. These special sheets were noticeably softer than the standard bedding too. I also caught him cleaning our room one day. He used a cleaning solution and was wiping down EVERY hard surface you could touch. Places I didn't expect, like the walls, sides of desks, etc. Made me feel really comfortable that I wouldn't catch norovirus. Food was absolutely excellent. My parents had just got back from a 12 Day Celebrity cruise to the Mediterranean (Italy, Greek Islands, Turkey, etc). Celebrity is supposed to be a higher end line, but they said the service and food was far inferior to Disney. My only complaint is that after dinner, your food options basically end. The hot dog and pizzeria shut down around 10 or 11, which is basically when the late seating ends. One night, they did have something from 11 to midnite, but it was a small table about 4' x 2' with leftovers. Even the Pirate Night buffet was just 45 minutes long and ended at 11:15. So, if you're a late night snacker, room service is about your only option. Finally, all the ice cream desserts were amazing. I'm lactose intolerant but still ordered the ice cream sundae dessert with every meal. I tried the others too of course (typically the trio in order to sample more), but they could be hit or miss. The ship itself is starting to feel its age. At night, you can really hear the ship creaking. Also, our toilets only worked about half the time. They were trying to repair something outside of our cabins, but it caused them to constantly shut off the toilets. It bothered our friends' parents more than it did us though. We just closed the lid and when they turned it back on, it would auto flush. We found the front of the ship to be a bit inconvenient. It tended to be far away from most things (only the Disney Theater was close). Next time, I'll pick something midship or at least aft. Still, a big warning: we noticed that around cabin 2590, it was SUPER noisy from the engine or something mechanical. I've fallen asleep in the Tiki Room at Disneyland next to a speaker, but I don't think I could last a week in the cabins around 2590. Other than that, I thought the ship was still beautiful and in pretty good shape. Some of the screen in Animator's Palate were a little off, but still ok overall. We were the first week with the Christmas decorations and it was fabulous. As for the ports themselves, I don't think it's a big deal that Disney is going to stop cruising down the Mexican Riviera. My main complaint is that the cruise ports aren't anywhere near anything. No matter what you want to do, even if it's just shopping, you're going to have to pay someone to drive you out to your desired destination. Puerto Vallarta - Walmart my be seen from the ship, but you have to cross what looks like a freeway to get there. In that heat and humidity? No thank you. Also, the place is pretty run down. Think Tijuana, but a little more run down. We did hire someone to give us a tour of Puerto, and while the beach is pretty nice and the water temperature just about perfect, the place badly needs some sprucing up. A lot of the buildings look like they're about to collapse any second. However, the people there are wonderfully nice. Just some really nice, nice people. I didn't mind having to pay to get anywhere because they were so nice, from our tour guides to the shop people we ran into. Cabo San Lucas - just a constant gauntlet of people pestering you to take a tour or buy something from the second you step off the ship (have to tender in). Not the nicest about it either. Tourist trap all over it. The only way I could ever recommend Cabo to someone is if they stayed at one of those all inclusive resorts and never left the resort. I really dislike this place, despite it being very, very beautiful. Lover's Beach was wonderful. The weather and water temperature literally were perfect. When you got out of the ocean, you didn't notice the water because the air and water were basically the same temperature. The sand was very fine and soft and there are huge rock formations providing a ton of shade if you want it. Also, there's sea life you can see around the smaller rocks, like crabs and sea snails. Our last day, we were apparently racing to get back to port. There were also two storm front colliding on us. Since the Wonder is a smaller ship (80,000 tons or so), we were tossed like a little toy boat. We were fine until this day, in which we needed the patches and still felt queasy. People were throwing up in the aisles during the show. Oh, I forgot to mention the shows. Fantastic. You can clearly tell that Disney hired experienced Broadway people to help develop these shows. I don't think I've been on another line with a better collection of shows. I was worried my kids wouldn't like them because they're a bit young, but they absolutely loved them. The Walt Disney theater, which usually hosts the live shows, can also show 3D movies (Wreck It Ralph on ours). The Buena Vista Theater is where the movies are typically shown. Disney gives you the nice 3D glasses too. If you have little kids, you can ask the ushers for the green ones, which are more kid sized. All in all, a wonderful cruise that met my already high expectations (my first Disney cruise was my favorite). If I ever did this again, I'd likely just stay on the ship except for maybe a few hours at Lover's Beach in Cabo. My son is already asking when we can go on another cruise. Next time, it'll be on the Fantasy or the Dream. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This was our first Disney Cruise and it won't be our last. We sailed up the California coast from LA to San Fransisco, down to San Diego and Ensenada Mexico and back to LA. We loved the cruise....staff was superb, food excellent and ... Read More
This was our first Disney Cruise and it won't be our last. We sailed up the California coast from LA to San Fransisco, down to San Diego and Ensenada Mexico and back to LA. We loved the cruise....staff was superb, food excellent and the entertainment was over the top. The boat has signs all around to tell you how to get there. I was amazed since I'm directionally challenged and it takes til day 7 for me to realize where I am and where I'm going. Embarkation was fast and painless and so was debarkation. If I ask for something, I got it, i.e., there are no robes supplied and we wear them to and from the pool and hot tub...got them within 45 minutes. Ice was in our room twice a day after it was requested once. Meals were fun as well as delicious. We had no children with us and found plenty to do for adults. The only time we really saw a lot of children was at embarkation and debarkation. We only found one draw back. The bathrooms...there were two. One had a tub shower combo and a sink. The other had a sink and commode. I was continually going from one to another getting something...if I were designing it I would have left out the tub, combined both rooms and had 2 sinks. The tub was so small I couldn't have lain in it and I'm 5' 1".....seemed made for a child or baby. I would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We had an absolutely amazing time. The service was outstanding - I kept having to tell the waiter not to cut up my children's food. The kids kept begging to go back to the kids club because they were having so much fun. They mostly ... Read More
We had an absolutely amazing time. The service was outstanding - I kept having to tell the waiter not to cut up my children's food. The kids kept begging to go back to the kids club because they were having so much fun. They mostly went to the oceaneer club (awesome slide/treehouse play area) but went to the oceaneer lab if there were any particular events they wanted to do there. My daughter (age 3) loved seeing the princesses - make sure to sign up early at guest services for the princess tea (free) if you want to go - tickets run out fast but some people got in on standby as well for no-shows. Several times we were walking around the ship and we would turn a corner and randomly run into a character. If you are on the ship on a port day, take advantage of the mostly empty ship to see characters if they are available - there was virtually no lines to see the princesses on the day we were in Victoria - the princesses were wandering around trying to find kids to talk to. They had a great show at the end where the kids got up on stage and sang and danced with mickey and minnie for the parents. The weather wasn't great so we only used the pools on the first day in port in LA. I get motion sick easily but only got sick once on the one really rough day at sea. After the first day we didn't really notice the motion of the boat. We got first seating (watch out if you are booking online - it automatically puts you in the second seating so you have to change it if you want the first), which was nice since it was closer to the kids' normal dinner time, but irrelevant for bedtimes since the show is afterwards (vice versa for second seating). We never had any real problems getting seats for the shows (which were fantastic and the kids loved them - they put the shows live on the stateroom TVs if you can't make it to one, but it really doesn't compare to going). We didn't usually arrive until right before showtime but there were always seats left near the front left - an angled view, but it was close up for the kids to see and we were close enough to have the glitter/streamers/bubbles/snow fall on us. If you have mobility issues, make sure to go through Cadillac lounge to get to the show - my mom sprained her replaced knee right before the trip and was in a wheelchair then used a cane but we didn't know about the secret entry until the last show (you can't use it with a wheelchair but if you can walk down a short hallway then they will take you though the door near the stage). We didn't do much for excursions. My husband and son rode the cable cars in San Fransisco, we skipped Victoria and we met up with friends to go to the Vancouver Aquarium (not an advertised excursion so few people knew about it but it is only a 10 minute cab ride from port). We had a great time - we did a week in Disneyland first and actually enjoyed the cruise even more than Disneyland. We can't wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was our first cruise. We traveled beginning April 1st-8th! We were expecting to have fun....but Disney exceeded our expectations! We have two children ages 7 and 8 and they loved it!!! The positives were the itinerary that was ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We traveled beginning April 1st-8th! We were expecting to have fun....but Disney exceeded our expectations! We have two children ages 7 and 8 and they loved it!!! The positives were the itinerary that was filled with dozens of activities for the whole family, the entertainment, and the service. Our dinner experience was fabulous, as your servers (all three!) follow you from restaurant to restaurant! You visit one of three each night (which all host a different theme). Our servers were amazing, as we have a child with a food allergy. They made him special food, and remembered our drinks each night. My soda was on the table before I even sat down.... The entertainment was Disney Magic all the way! Fireworks and all! The celebration as you leave the Port of Los Angeles is amazing! You really feel like you are going on vacation. Disney is about having a fabulous experience. The shows were truly good enough to be on Broadway. The kids had a million things to choose from--and the movies were fantastic as well! The service was wonderful--from our servers at dinner, to our stateroom host that cleaned our room twice a day! My kids loved to come and see what towel animal he made each night. There is an ice cream machine and ALL the free soda you can drink day and night! My kids probably had 30 ice cream cones this week! The deck parties were the best ever!! Don't miss a single show or a single deck party--it really adds to the experience. Additionally--the characters were so accessible all week--Tiana, Belle, Snow White and Cinderella are the princesses on this cruise--Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy,Pluto, Chip and Dale, and Captain Hook are readily available for photos and signatures....way easier than Disneyland for sure! My husband and 8 year old son enjoyed playing basketball and soccer each night before bed, and my daughter and I loved the princess tea (which you have to sign up for the first day at guest services or you won't get in!) Oh and get to the ship early because while you are waiting to board Mickey and Minnie are there to take photos with your family and you can sign your kids up for the kids club before you even board the ship! It makes the waiting fun. When you board the ship they welcome you by name over the loudspeaker! It's a fun way to start your trip. As with any good thing there are some negatives (though I'd do this cruise a dozen times even with the negatives). The stateroom we had was noisy, noisy, noisy....there was a constant clatter in the ceiling that woke us up several times a night. We traveled with several other families and they ALL had the same experience--and we were on different floors in different stateroom levels as well. This was very annoying considering we had a hard time staying asleep because it was REALLY noisy. Some other minor negatives were: The food in the evening was just o.k. The selection was very good, but it didn't taste great. The Beach Blanket Buffet was great though--both in variety and in taste. The final negative were the pools. They were crowded and kind of small for such a big ship. My kids still had fun, but they could have been a little larger. But, the noisy stateroom was by far the most difficult part of the trip! It was the worst when it was windy! Even with the negatives it was the best family vacation ever and we go on quite a few different kinds of vacations! Hope you have fun on your adventure..... Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Did 7 day Mexican Riviera on the Wonder departed 8April2012. Activities are incredible for the kids and decent for adults. Was in a deluxe stateroom which has plenty of room for my wife and 2 kids, age 5 and 7. No need for extra storage ... Read More
Did 7 day Mexican Riviera on the Wonder departed 8April2012. Activities are incredible for the kids and decent for adults. Was in a deluxe stateroom which has plenty of room for my wife and 2 kids, age 5 and 7. No need for extra storage at all - talk of over the door shoe hangars for storage seems overblown - we didn't use anywhere near all the drawers or hangars provided. Food was just so-so. Pretty much what I expected - kids loved all the free pizza and ice cream but for adults it's pretty mediocre. You can bring alcohol on board easily - they didn't check bags or really pay attention to the size of the rollaboard. I wish we had brought some beer since the room has a fridge. Wine charge of $20 to bring your own wine. Laundry is available using your key card - no need to bring quarters. No ATM on board so get some cash ahead of time. One thing I wish we would have done is the Princess Tea Party - there are only two times and they fill up fast on the first day. If you get on board after 3pm you have no chance (we live local and didn't come on board until 330 and they were all filled). Otherwise no need to sign up for anything ahead of time. Spa was not good, wife had one service and it was pretty bad. They do offer specials during in port days but the spa is right below the basketball and sports courts so it's noisy all the time and the services are just not good. Overall tho a wonderful experience. Room 1032 was a good room except for the noise on day 2 in Cabo when they pull in to port very early and set up for tenders around 630am. Entire cruise boat is extremely clean. mickey pool was never closed during our entire cruise - no idea what this talk of poop in the pool is all about. Last day, cruising north to LA is typically cool, as ours was, and outside pools are too useful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My husband and I are both teachers so our only time to cruise is during winter, spring or summer breaks. As we live in the Northwest, by the time January hits, our theme for the past three years has been... "Okay, where should we ... Read More
My husband and I are both teachers so our only time to cruise is during winter, spring or summer breaks. As we live in the Northwest, by the time January hits, our theme for the past three years has been... "Okay, where should we cruise for spring break?" The year before we sailed the Mexican Riviera on Holland America and had an experience that nearly kept us from cruising for good. However, I had been on a Disney cruise ten years prior and had an amazing experience with my family, so once 2012 started, my DH and I decided to give cruising a go one more time. If we hated our experience with Disney, we vowed we'd never be back. A lot of people gave us raised eyebrows when we said that we would be sailing on a Disney cruise during spring break (especially since we are around kids all the time with our jobs but we don't have kids ourselves). However, Disney did such a great job of intentionally creating specific areas for kids, teens and even babies to be during the day so adults could have their own time. Quite frankly, being around families warmed my heart because it showed my DH and I what our future vacations may possibly look like some day. Disney's productions at sea are out of this world. Twice I found myself tearing up because they were so beautiful and really communicated that special Disney magic. Our service was phenomenal and we loved our servers each night as we rotated through various dining rooms (a nice Disney touch). We also appreciated being paired at a table with three other couples in our same age/life demographics-- no kids at the table! We have stayed very close friends with a couple we met at our table and have even planned upcoming vacations with them and joined them recently on a trip to Disneyland. Friendships on this cruise are definitely encouraged! One of the highlights of our cruise was eating at Palo. We ate there for an incredible dinner and a mind-blowing brunch. We definitely rolled out of there and had to nap afterwards-- the food was beyond our expectations! I would definitely eat there as much as I could in the future. We had a wonderful room in a great location. We loved drinking wine and reading on our patio at night. We also thought all of the food on the ship was great (except breakfast-- we never could find a good breakfast. Oh well.). The ONLY thing I would complain about with Disney is the price. It's Disney-- what would you expect? You pay for the Disney experience and because the experience is so good, it keeps families coming back for me. I would absolutely do another Disney cruise in the future, especially when we have kids, however, we have found better cruise deals on some other really strong cruise lines and have decided to give them a shot so we don't feel like we have to penny pinch on our cruise like we did with Disney. We are getting a comparable room, cruise and itinerary for about $1,000 less. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Just returned back to cold old Canada after spending 7 nights aboard the awesome Disney Wonder. Just to start off with, the following review is our own personal family review of what we as a family of 3 thought about our experience. Your ... Read More
Just returned back to cold old Canada after spending 7 nights aboard the awesome Disney Wonder. Just to start off with, the following review is our own personal family review of what we as a family of 3 thought about our experience. Your experience will be the same, better, worse....whatever it is it is your experience as this was ours.....so take this for what it is worth. We are a small family originally from Australia but now living in Canada. We booked a 7 night MR cruise on the Disney Wonder, Feb 5th-12th out of San Pedro, CA. This was our daughters 8th birthday celebration and we booked through the Disney cruise line website. The booking was seamless and Disney was awesome. Our trip was truly one of the most exciting, wonderful, enjoying and fulfilling vacations we have experienced. The check in and boarding was easy, smooth and without fuss. The ship is truly magnificent and as this was our first time on a Disney ship we were awestruck (have cruised to Alaska with NCL in 2009) No amount of reviews and forums could prepare us for the unbridled service that we experienced. We were treated like royalty the entire trip, from guest services to food servers to room attendants to character interactions....if you are looking for an experience not to be forgotten then a Disney cruise is it. Make no mistake we are not hard people to please but Disney truly exceeded anything we could imagine. The food was truly stupendous. I have read lots of reviews and took most of it with a grain of salt (no pun intended) we loved the food and truly were completely done by the end! Menus/options/buffet/fine dining/room service the Wonder had it all. Great shows, awesome pools, wonderful kids club, great port adventures....Puerto Vallarta was just OK....but Cabo San Lucas was awesome. We saw whales, dolphins, seals....and actually took photos of blue whales from our navigators verandah. Our daughter loved being sung happy birthday by our serving team (who were truly awesome) she also loved the kids activities/pools/character interactions/pirate party/ and the fireworks...but most of all she loved the towel animals our room steward made every night for her. We made new lifelong friends, were treated like royalty and would do this again in a heartbeat....we cannot speak highly enough of this trip.....do yourself and your family a favor..get rid of your phone, your stressful job, crappy weather and take advantage of a Disney cruise and just go with it! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
First off, I have to say that before we went on our cruise this past February, I came on this site numerous times and read the reviews for the Mexican Riveria cruise on the Disney Wonder that we were going to take. I was petrified after ... Read More
First off, I have to say that before we went on our cruise this past February, I came on this site numerous times and read the reviews for the Mexican Riveria cruise on the Disney Wonder that we were going to take. I was petrified after reading all of the negatives and talked with my husband about the possibility of canceling but we had a great deal and decided to do it and chalk it up to a learning experience. I don't know what these people are reviewing or what they are expecting but we had a wonderful time and didn't see ANY of the negatives that these people have claimed "ruined" their vacation. Embarkation is a nightmare but it is probably that way for every cruise line. With that many people getting on a ship, you're going to have some chaos. Our travel agent really didn't tell me that I needed to choose a time to embark so I was a bit late on that one and got the 1:00-1:30 time but even with that time, we didn't get on the ship for another hour. Our kids are older (10 and 12) so this delay wasn't a big deal. They just sat down and played with their DS. I think with younger kids it would be a bit harder but just keep in mind, that it will be some time before you get on the ship and there is not enough seating for everyone so many people sat on the floor. You could definitely tell who had better attitudes than others from that alone but I digress. I wasn't expecting much from the ship since quite a few reviewers were indicating that it is old and run-down. After being on the ship myself for 7 nights, I honestly have no idea what these people are talking about. I never saw anything broken and nothing looked old. There were employees cleaning the ship constantly--in the halls by the rooms, by the elevators, etc. The pools are a joke but we knew that before going on the cruise since we have talked with many friends who have cruised (on all different cruise lines) and they all told us the same thing--you don't go on a cruise to swim. If you want to swim, book an excursion that allows you to do so. They are very small pools and once my son and I walked by and he said, "Mom, can I go swimming?" I looked over at the pool and saw about 30 people just standing in the pool, packed like sardines. Didn't look like much fun to me so needless to say, he didn't go swimming. He is scuba-certified though and I knew that he and my husband had booked excursions to scuba in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo so I wasn't really concerned about him not being able to swim on the ship. We thought the food was just fine. Our kids are picky eaters and they seemed to have no trouble finding stuff to eat. The cruise motto was "If you see it, eat it!" We had room service, which was fast and yummy, as well as free, except for the tip. I had a Palo reservation but it was for the night of the pirate party so I canceled before we left for the cruise. The menu choices at dinner are amazing. They have something for everyone--vegetarian, seafood, pasta, beef and so on. Some nights I was in the mood for a steak and others I was in the mood for something lighter, like a salad. We also really liked the 3 other places we could eat other than the restaurants and the buffet. I think they were Pluto's, Pinocchio's, and something else. The one that I can't remember the name opened early and had pastries, yogurt, etc. It was a nice place to grab something quick before early morning excursions or just to take a morning walk around the ship. They were very quick in giving food to everyone so there was hardly any waiting at these places. The ice cream was so yummy and my kids loved the soft drink area. We had wonderful service here. I'm not naive. There were a few people that were not very friendly but our room steward and all of the other ones on our deck were so friendly. Every time we walked by, they always smiled and said hello. Our personal steward was great and I was very happy with her. The room was cleaned twice a day and if we were in our room longer, she would make sure to clean after we had left so it made her day probably a bit longer. Even with that, she still came in at night and turned down the room and made the towel animals, which my kids loved and took pics of every night. I was doing laundry and noticed that there was no more laundry soap in the dispenser. I called Housekeeping via the phone in the laundry room, told them, and someone ran up with soap for me and refilled the dispenser. I was amazed at how fast they fixed that issue. We loved our assistant waiter or whatever they are called. He was friendly and funny. The kids thought he was great! The head waiter was also very good but a bit shy as she was very new. We thought she was very kind and she took good care of us. The head guy (I don't remember what he is called) was nice but honestly we hardly saw him so it was a bit strange to tip him at the end of the cruise. Our 10-year old loved the Oceaneer Lab but he seemed to spend a lot of time on the Wii and the computer there but he does that at home, so we didn't much care. Plus he's on vacation! He made quite a few friends that all did the same thing so it was good for him. I was impressed by the security at the kids' clubs and how the workers there are very good about making sure we were our son's parents even though they had seen us numerous times. I wouldn't say the people that worked at the Oceaneer Lab were the most friendliest but I think their job is probably one of the hardest on the ship so I don't fault them for that. As long as they keep my kid safe, I'm happy. Our daughter spent quite a bit of time at The Edge and the workers there seemed like more fun but they probably have a more laidback job since the kids just come and go from there. They played dodgeball at the gym, had a scavenger hunt, made cookies, made their own pizzas, had movie nights, etc. There is so much to do on the ship! We would all look at the Navigator (Disney's daily newsletter) the night before and choose all of the things we wanted to do the next day. The plays are awesome! Disney just knows how to entertain like no one else. We had a ventriloquist on the ship who was hilarious and a comedian/magician who was so funny and perfect entertainment for adults and kids. They do fun family game shows and other things as well all throughout the cruise to keep everyone entertained. They played War Horse, the new Muppet movie, African Cats, and some other movies all day long, each day. They also had first-run movies on the TV in our stateroom all day. Those were Moneyball, the last Harry Potter movie, Puss in Boots, etc. These were movies that we hadn't been able to even rent yet. The excursions were fun. We put a lot of thought into it before we left and read reviews on other travel sites. We did the zip line in Cabo (loved it sooo much!). Our kids are still talking about it! We also did the Cabo Dolphins and that was a great experience. We took a walk on the pier in Cabo and although there are quite a few peddlers there, we just smiled and told them 'No thanks.' We had the best guacamole and chips, as well as wood-fired pizzas in Cabo at the pier at a place called Captain Tony's. I want to go back to Cabo just for that! In Puerto Vallarta we chose the Paradise Beach excursion and that was fun. The pool area was great and although it was overcast, we had a great time. Unlimited drinks, a nice lunch buffet, and an air-conditioned bus ride to and from plus a pool for us to swim in. :) We thought the people at the Port Adventures desk were awesome. I had booked an excursion online before the cruise but needed to make a change in the time and she was able to change that for us, no problem. Even if she hadn't been able to do it, it wouldn't have been her fault and I would have made it work. Oh! Don't forget to decorate your ship door but remember you can only use magnets, not tape. That was an easy way for us to see our door. Our neighbors tied a ribbon on their doorknob and that was a good idea too. Decorating was fun though, especially since we went over Valentine's Day. Also people do dress up for the formal and semi-formal night. Some people dressed up for the pirate night as well. We just wore the bandanas that they gave us at dinner. I was worried a bit before sailing about getting sick on the ship. For one thing, we had just heard that 2 cruise ships (not Disney) had just returned to port because so many people were sick. Like I said earlier, I saw employees wiping down the staircases all the time and the employees were also handing out hand wipes before eating at the buffet or the restaurants. I don't know if this is a change from earlier Disney cruises, but this one had 2 employees at both the ice cream place and the soda place. We would tell them what we wanted to drink or what flavor ice cream and they'd get it for us. I didn't mind it and actually started to prefer it being done this way since I know these places can be germ festivals. This was an amazing vacation for us and we've taken quite a few great vacations but never have cruised before. Yes, the room is small but you're not in the room very often. In fact, we really only came back to the room to sleep and change for dinner. The view from our large porthole was great. We faced the Arches in Cabo and it was awesome to see! The photographers took great pics but you're under no pressure to buy any as we did not buy a one. Every family gets a character breakfast and it was fun! I didn't go to the spa just because I didn't want to waste any time doing that when I could be enjoying the other things the ship offers and the port excursions. We loved this cruise so much that we booked another for next year! They offer a $200 onboard credit for your next cruise, a 10% discount in price, and 10% down if you book another cruise while on the current cruise--or at least that was the deal they were offering on our cruise. I am so glad that I didn't listen to those cruisers that had such negative experiences and cancel our cruise. Maybe it is just attitude for some people or maybe there really were some bad things they experienced but I didn't experience anything like that. You get what you give. If you're having a bad attitude, then everyone you see is going to seem to be dissing you in some way. Get over yourself and enjoy the vacation! Would you rather be at work??? Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
We had a wonderful time on our family vacation. There was 4 of us in total. 2 adults, and 2 children ages 5 and 18 months. Embarkation was painless. There was a bit of a delay in embarking but the wait was not too long. As you enter the ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our family vacation. There was 4 of us in total. 2 adults, and 2 children ages 5 and 18 months. Embarkation was painless. There was a bit of a delay in embarking but the wait was not too long. As you enter the ship, they welcome you by asking your surname and announce "Please welcome the Smith family!" This was a very nice touch and you immediately feel at home. Once we boarded, we went straight to Guest Services to reserve for the Princess Tea Party. If you have a young daughter who loves Princesses, this is a must see & do! Space is limited so best to reserve as soon as you get in the ship. Disney Wonder is a beautiful ship. Our cabin was a category 6A, very spacious and we loved how much storage there was. The sofa converts into a bunk bed. It is an older ship but you don't really notice it, except perhaps the washroom doors inside our room needs to get re-painted -- which is very minor. The sail away party was a blast. I do have to say that it is quite cold sailing from LA, in the Pacific Ocean so bring a sweater. During Pirate Night, a lot of people dressed up which was fun to see. You get to take pictures with Captain Hook, Minnie & Mickey dressed up in their pirate gear! Even the servers were dressed up. The deck party was fun but COLD. A few of us were sceptical that the fireworks show would go on since it was so windy up on the deck. Only complaint is that the fireworks show did not start until 10:30 pm or even a bit later than that. You can tell that some of the kids were getting cranky and sleepy. Needless to say, we did not get a chance to look at what they had to offer for the Midnight Buffet since both of our kids were tired. Puerto Vallarta was nice. We did the Paradise Beach Excursion. The weather was a mix of rain, clouds and sun. The nice thing about Puerto was if it rains, it only rains for a few minutes, then the sun comes out. The rain doesn't linger too long. The beach was beautiful and there are a few vendors selling some trinkets and beach cover-ups although not a lot of them. The food they served was pretty good, buffet style. Cabo San Lucas was breathtaking. We lucked out with 2 beautiful days in Cabo. We had the best Mexican Food at a couple of the restaurants near the pier. We did a port adventure called Harbour Scenic Tour and that was relaxing and WINDY! ? The entertainment on the Wonder was top notch. My daughter especially had a great time watching the shows. My son went to Flounder's Reef a couple of times and enjoyed his stay there. The staff there are wonderful . One of them, Angela stood out and she was just very helpful and professional. It make it easier to leave my son and not worry about him too much. I brought my runners to go for a run, and I did that on deck 4 seeing that the gym was packed at 7 am -- believe it or not!!! The Disney characters are everywhere. You'll get a chance to take photos with them -- Mickey/Minnie/Pluto/Goofy/Chip/Dale at the Character Breakfast. If not, they are always in the ship somewhere. The princesses arrived later that week. Warning -- the line ups are huge, so best to be in line AT LEAST half an hour before they are scheduled to take pictures -- this especially goes for the princesses. I'd say they are the most popular ones. To give you an idea, I was there an hour early and I was probably the 20th person in line! Food ranged from average to being very good. I highly recommend Palo. We had brunch and dinner there. It is well worth the 20 dollars a person they are charging. Service was impeccable and food selection was just impressive. I read somewhere someone comparing the food to Denny's and that's nto my experience at all -- this is coming from someone who appreciates good food! ? What's great about the cruise is they have these phones that work on the cruise ship so if you and your spouse do different things, you can easily get in touch with them by calling or texting them on the phone -- and it's free of charge. Photos -- If you plan to buy the CD , it's 250 bucks. Might as well, take as many photographs as you can whenever there is a photo op -- all the pictures will be in the CD. The only thing is the borders are not included in the CD. I decided to order the CD on our last day. There was a huge line up the next day to get your CD. The only downside to this trip is twice they forgot to print some of the photos that we have ordered and paid for, so it was a mad rush to wait and retrieve them from the Shutters (photo place) again on the last day. Check your CD's -- they had forgotten to include 3photos of my daughter. I've contacted DCL and hope to hear from them soon. Spa -- We booked the Rainforest treatment, and you get to use the steam rooms and showers. It is quite expensive for what you get but it offers some peace and relaxation for adults wishing to have some quiet time. The ship is big on cleanliness and hygiene. Everywhere you go, anti-bacterial wipes are available. They give it to you before having dinner, before coming back to the cruise ship, before going in the Oceaneer's Club and such. This cruise really caters to families and kids. They call little girls "princess" everywhere. Tips: You can decorate your room door using magnets. I'm sure if you google, you'll get an idea of how some people have decorated their room door Bring a sweater with you -- it can be cold! Order your CD (photos) earlier to avoid the huge line up on the last day Make sure you bring your camera everywhere you go -- you'll never know when you bump into the characters (they usually come out of Shutters ). To those who are leaving to go on this cruise -- have a wonderful time. I sure wish I'm still basking under the sun and relaxing in the Disney Wonder! Enjoy ? Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Folks it all starts and ends with great Guest Services and how they handles any potential problems. And I hope you don't have any on your cruise. But if you do they should be handled professionally and quickly with a great solution. ... Read More
Folks it all starts and ends with great Guest Services and how they handles any potential problems. And I hope you don't have any on your cruise. But if you do they should be handled professionally and quickly with a great solution. The Emerald Princess by far has the worst Guest Services is my travels by far. I was celebrating four years cancer free and when I went to guest services I was rudley told by a young girl young enough to be my daughter that "We dont do that here" and then she shared it with the rest of guest services and they had a nice chuckle about it. It was only after 5-6 days of me nagging the desk and following up on my own to find out they had a Susan K Komen "Walk The Deck For The Cure" and then I was bought off with a dinner at Sabatinis and a bottle of red wine. Again after 5-6 days and about 4-5 people before speaking to management. Will never cruise with Princess again. Carnival just as bad when me and my family was blocked from getting on board ship after an 18 hour drive by photographers who insisted on taking our pictures. Complained to desk they said sorry and that was the end of that. Wrote a letter and then was offered a 12.95 plate of Chocolate covered strawberries on our next Carnival cruise. Talk about adding insult to injury. No more cruises with Carnival. And trust me I share this story with people and blogs everywhere. Well lets spray some magic pixie dust over this bad stuff and go on to the great review of the Disney Wonder. We were celebrating my wife's 60 birthday and have never cruised the Pacific Coast before. We have cruised Disney before going on the Disney Dream's Inaugural Cruise. Another great cruise. Disney is very well organized about getting you on the ship and the entire process took about 1/2 hour before we were on board ship. Rooms were ready at 2 and the Beach Blanket Buffet was lay ed out well with lots of great food choices. Muster drill was painless and very well done. With Disney safety is always first. You can always be assured your little ones are well taken care of here. Then the Sail Away Party. There is no other cruise line that does a Sail Away Party to speak of and nobody and I do mean NOBODY does it like Disney. They put the E in excitement and make sure you leave all your troubles behind. You really feel like you are on vacation. Just a mention on our room. We had an inside stateroom. Our inside stateroom on the Oasis of the Seas sailing was 182 sg feet with veranda. Our inside stateroom was 184 sg ft and Disney has tubs as well even in the inside staterooms. The biggest bathrooms at seas. We are return Castaway Members after just one cruise. Did we have a cheesy discount book waiting for us with the usual 10% off the usual purchase in the shop stuff? Nope we got a great canvas beach bag with two huge rice krispy treats that looked like sandals, two very nice metal water bottles and a keep sake key chain. After only 1 cruise Room steward was great with great towel animals and chocolates at bedtimes. Something the other cruise line (some of them) have stopped doing. Its the little things though that make the difference. How much do you really save on a little bit of chocolate and how is it reflected in a cruise fare? First night was at Palo's for my wife's birthday. Here was the only stumble. I had let them know it was my wife's birthday and dinner was good but it was not as good and presentation was not as grand as we had on the Emerald Princess and Sabatinis. Disney could learn here. Plus there were only 4 tables and the Maitre D never stopped by to wish my wife a happy birthday. Instead he choose to visit a table of past cruisers he knew and visit with them. Our waiter did however write a beautiful Happy Birthday wish on an empty plate for my wife. No singing nothing else. ??? I went to Guest Services the next day just to make sure that at dinner that evening perhaps the waiters in the rotational dining schedule could sing to my wife. Jennifer in Guest Services immediately took control of the situation explaining they do not sing in Palos because of the ambiance ?? Ok But they would at night on the 16 and that was my wife's actual birthday anyway. And it went great. We also came to out room that night to find a very nice bottle of wine and a towel birthday cake and a card waiting for my wife. Also there were little gifts and cards left the rest of the week by both our friends Jennifer and Colin at Guest Services. Yes I said friends because Guest Services at Disney will treat you like friends and family. New Cruise director Jimmy London also did a fine job with all the fine shows and all the entertainment. How could you tell? Walk by any club or bar and they were packed day and night with laughing families and adults having a blast. And Jimmies staffs attention were on the guests not each other in the hallways and on deck. Fireworks at sea,Pirates, Captain Jack Sparrow, Rotational dining between three great colorful restaurants with great food in each.(the food was very good and plate presentation was gourmet with real Baked Alaska served and done in parade fashion) Waiters on parade cutting food for the kids and making sure everyone's favorite drinks were waiting for them. Every dinner was a show onto itself plus the Maitre D was kind and all over the place. And have you ever seen the bartenders do tricks and dance on all those great promo videos you see from cruise lines? They guys on Disney actually do it WOW. Every show was done in the professional manner we know and love with the execution of excellence Disney is know for around the world We also did the All Day RainForest Pass in the spa which gives you all day in great showers and different steam rooms and thermal beds for some great chill time. The only downer about this is its positioned under the basketball court (big opps). Go early or late in the day or on a port day for relaxing time hint hint. Plus the beautiful and safe ports of Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. What more could you ask for? I was so blown away we are doing this all over again April 22 in a couple months. Hey I love Disney and a Shout out to our friends Jennifer,Colin, Mitch,Clair (Main stage members) and Jimmy London and staff You made us feel like family and we love you for that. Im gonna tell your boss. See some of you soon I hope. Folks if you want a great cruise I would wonder why you wouldn't choose The Wonder? Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
This review is well overdue... We sailed on 1/22/12 from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera with two small children ages 5 and 3. We were reluctant to go on a 7 day cruise with such small children who had never gone on a cruise before. The ... Read More
This review is well overdue... We sailed on 1/22/12 from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera with two small children ages 5 and 3. We were reluctant to go on a 7 day cruise with such small children who had never gone on a cruise before. The only reference we point we have in terms of cruises were Carnival Cruises. We were able to sign up for a "kids sail free" promotion and paid for a Category 6 stateroom. I knew that they were out of this selection, including staterooms in the category 5 when I signed up, so I was told by Disney Cruiselines that I would likely get upgraded. Sure enough, we were upgraded to a much larger category 4 stateroom which is a little bigger than the others (304 square feet). The whole process with this cruiseline was just so well organized. Living in Orange County California and only minutes from Disneyland, we are very familiar with how the Disney Experience is. From the moment we got to the Los Angeles cruise terminal, the "Disney Magic" was clearly setting this experience a part from our other cruise experiences. Thole embarkataion process was so organized and so effortless. We were able to check in and do most of our paperwork online. When we got on the ship, they announced every family by name and welcomed you aboard. They had lunch ready to go for us at the restaurants and had plenty of activities to start enjoying. The pools were open, the unlimited soft drink station was ready to go and we were able to get into our staterooms by 2:00PM. When we got into our room, we were surprised at how much room there was. We were on deck 8 and closer to aft than midship, which was a perfect location for us since we were close to the pools and quick dining options. It was a short walk to the theaters and also close to Animators Palate and Parrot Cay restaurants. We didn't enjoy Parrot Cay as much, however, the food was ok. We enjoyed Animators Palate and Triton's restaurant the most. We saw plenty of characters and had plenty of impromptu and scheduled character photo opportunities. They are walking everywhere and roaming around. If you go to a scheduled photo shoot, take the time to look at who's going to be scheduled and get there during the 15 interval or they'll close the line. Also, if you want a good seat, be sure to get to the shows about 10-15 minutes early. People save seats, even though they aren't allowed to. Be sure to read and comb through your daily Navigator so you can see what's scheduled and what specials you can take advantage of - such as buy one get one cocktails, spa packages etc. We used the Oceaneers Club several times. The staff was great and by the middle of the week, they knew our children by name. We did not leave our kids in the Club for as long as we thought we would originally since there were so many family activities to do. We would drop them off an hour or two at a time based on what activities they had scheduled (daily activities found in Navigator). One of the best parts of the cruise was that during the second seating dinner, they would have the children's food served between 8:45PM and 9:00PM and the youth counselors would come down and pick up the kids to play while we finished our dinner and had a cocktail in Route 66. This was a great experience for our family and I am glad we were able to do it before they repositioned the cruise back to the east coast. We did the port adventures but they can get pricey. Well worth it to not have to worry about navigating through Mexico yourself. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
This was my family's first cruise with Disney Cruise Lines. We have been on about 15 other cruises over several years, mostly on NCL, one on Carnival, and one on Princess. We decided to try Disney this time, as they were dong a ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise with Disney Cruise Lines. We have been on about 15 other cruises over several years, mostly on NCL, one on Carnival, and one on Princess. We decided to try Disney this time, as they were dong a "kids sail free" promo to the Mexican Riviera. We have pretty much been around the world on cruise ships, but the Mexican Riviera was a new destination for us. The embarkation involved passing through security at the port, then sitting in a large waiting area until the ship was ready to be boarded. It had plenty of seating, as well as a big screen TV playing Disney Channel. We were there quite early (due to coming from our home in Alaska). It was very loud, with tons of kids of various ages running all over. There was no food/drink available besides two vending machines, so make sure you get food before you arrive. They boarded the ship using numbers, based on when you arrived and got through security. This part of the process was very well done, as, once it was actually time to board, you got right on the ship, and they sent you to a specific restaurant to get something to eat. We were sent to Parrot Cay, where there was an excellent buffet and wait staff. At about 3pm, we were allowed to go to our cabins. We were greeted by the cabin stewards, and the room was ready for us. We had a deluxe ocean view verandah cabin (5A), number 6532. It was near the stairs, forward, sixth deck. The cabin was in great shape, nothing broken. It contained a spit bathroom, with a toilet and sink in one room, the shower and a second sink in the other. There was a large closet in the room, and plenty of drawer space. The cabin had a flat screen TV with 20+ channels (not all Disney). The setup is similar to other cruise lines' balcony or family suites, with a queen bed, good size couch, and desk area. The balcony had a great view. The restaurants were excellent. We rotated (with the same wait staff) between Parrot Cay, Animator's Palate (amazing dining room that cost over 4 million $$), and Triton's (the most formal). We had an early seating, and ate with a family similar in makeup to ours (two teenage children). The menu was different every night, and there was a different "theme" each night as well. The food was excellent, as was the wait staff service. The Animator's Palate has a multimedia show that is a must see. The tipping is traditional, with suggested rates for the head server, your individual waiter, the assistant waiter, and your cabin steward. They were all well worth the gratuities we left. I would say that the single best part of the cruise was the quality of the service. The shows each night were different every day. Some had pyrotechnics that were tremendous. There were a number of Disney-themed musicals, a first run film that was still in theaters (Muppets), and a hypnotist/comedian (family friendly). There was also a movie theater that showed both 3D and 2D movies, all day long. There was a good variety between Disney stuff and other movies. There were also a decent number of "adult only" events in the evenings. Our younger son is 13 and was in the "Edge" program, and our 16 year old was in the "Vibe" program. Both programs ran until after midnight daily, and were drop-in variety. The Vibe program was on the pool deck in a smoke stack, and it was so cool, I even wanted to stay there...The Vibe program was on the 2nd deck, and had a large variety of activities, as well as pretty much every video game system available. They also had large plasma TV's. comfy bean bag chairs, and computer stations. All the staff were excellent, very helpful, and the kids loved them. There are three pool areas. One has a huge outdoor movie screen that plays all day/night with a variety of shows and movies. The other pools are a kiddie pool area with waterside and an adults only pool, with two hot tubs and a nearby coffee shop. They really did enforce the "no kids" thing, too. The ports (see other section) were excellent. There was a lot to do, and it was safe. The tender boats were run efficiently. There were character greetings and photos everywhere, some with quite long lines and cranky kiddos. The only real issue we had with the ship was the huge number of kids everywhere, and some of them unsupervised or just plain ill mannered. We did kind of expect the huge number of kids, given that it was a Disney Ship and there was a "kids sail free" promotion. It did make things pretty chaotic sometimes. I would just advise that when you go on a Disney cruise, keep in mind that there most certainly will be a large number of kids of all ages, and it won't likely be the most peaceful cruise you've ever been on. Just be ready for a manic level of activity and tons of Disney positive energy and you'll be all set!! Debarkation was pretty chaotic. There were adults and kids everyplace, with not much organization. The cabin stewards chase you out of your cabin as soon as they can (although they are polite about it). We tried to get to our assigned breakfast, but because of the chaos, we just went to LAX instead. This would be a definite area they could improve upon. Overall, this was a great cruise. Disney service was unbeatable as always. This cruise would be best suited to families with children of any age. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Our family of 3 took our first ever cruise on The Disney Wonder Christmas cruise, and we're so glad we did! This was truly the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on, and had something for everyone. First let me say that the ... Read More
Our family of 3 took our first ever cruise on The Disney Wonder Christmas cruise, and we're so glad we did! This was truly the most relaxing vacation I have ever been on, and had something for everyone. First let me say that the embarkation process in San Pedro was a breeze. We anxiously arrived hours earlier than our scheduled check in time, but were allowed to check in as soon as we got there. We enjoyed conversations with our fellow cruisers until we were allowed to board at noon. They announce each family by name as you enter onto the ship, which was a nice touch. After having lunch and exploring the ship, the cabins were ready at around 2:00. I was worried that I would be disappointed in our ocean view deck 2 cabin, but I loved it so much that I've already rebooked it and this cruise for February.It had a huge round porthole window that was about 15 feet above the water line, and was located midship. We loved staring out at out water view everyday. There was plenty of space on deck four if I wanted to sit in a lounger and watch the view, so I don't feel we missed out by saving money by not booking a veranda. The room was plenty big enough with lots of storage and was easy to get to everywhere on the ship from. The only disappointment on the ship was the food, it ranged from fair to good, but nothing great. The service, on the other hand, made up for it. Our dining servers made our dinner so enjoyable each night that the quality of the food didn't seem like such a big deal. Lots of character experiences, though you usually had to be willing to put up with anywhere from 10-30 minutes waiting for your photo opportunity. We're used to this from the parks. The ship itself was completely booked for the holiday, but never felt crowded. I can't recommend this cruise highly enough if you are a Disney fan and/or are travelling with kids. We rebooked immediately, and can't ait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Over all, we had a great time. And my kids especially enjoyed it; they have fantastic kids' programs for all ages (both oldest son and youngest son ended up with the 11-13 year olds all week). So bottom line, if you have ... Read More
Over all, we had a great time. And my kids especially enjoyed it; they have fantastic kids' programs for all ages (both oldest son and youngest son ended up with the 11-13 year olds all week). So bottom line, if you have children or grand children, this is a fantastic cruise! Lots and lots of activities for the kids, lots of family type events, etc. They do have adult only sections so once you drop the kids off at their activity (youngest son and oldest son came and went on their own since it was the 11-13 year olds), then you can find some quiet areas. Also, after 9:00 p.m., a lot of the lounges that were open for kids were now off limits. Not an issue normally but we really wanted to do some family game nights and we never found a place to do that after 9:00 p.m. That was kind of a bummer for us. The food was just OK. Some dishes that were supposed to be hot were cold, others had little flavor while other dishes were fabulous! I guess we were spoiled by the Regent Seven Seas Mariner but now that I look at their current prices, I really cannot compare them to Disney. It's like comparing a Four Seasons hotel to a Best Western or Holiday Inn Express (we love BW and HI). Apples and oranges. But for the value, it was excellent. We spent about $1200 per person and we had 2 seperate staterooms. The same 2 staterooms on the Regent Mariner would be a lot more! Also, you do have to tip and pay for all alcoholic drinks on the Disney Cruise. On the Mariner, it's ALL included. On the Disney Cruise, we had to pay for just about everything including internet. It does add up but not what we would pay on the Mariner! (We paid an additional $1500 for shore excursion, internet access, surcharge for the adult only restaurant, alcohol, club sodas, lava flows for the kids and laundry). The noise level was over the top. I guess I should have expected this since it was a holiday cruise and the ship was full. Lots and lots of small children. Even some of the 11-13 year olds were allowed (by their parents) to run wild. Not my kids' style, thankfully! When we walked into the dining room the first night (and this was after watching the kids run up and down the hallway), it was quite loud. All hard surfaces and many of the parents ignored their children as they banged their spoons and forks on their plates. It did settle down a bit as the cruise went on and we changed dining rooms each night (rotation dining). We ate a peaceful and quiet dinner on the 2nd night in their very casual restaurant since none of us felt like dressing up (formal night). On the 3rd night, my husband and I went to the adults only restaurant (an extra $20 surcharge per person) and it was a lot more like what we experienced all over the Mariner. It was very quiet (except for some large adult parties) and the food was outstanding. We cancelled our reservations for Saturday night to have dinner with the kids; I kind of wished we had not done that and enjoyed yet another great meal at that restaurant (called Palo on the Disney Wonder). I asked my husband to move to the later seating but he really wanted to eat at the main seating (he gets up early to workout since he is a triathlete). So I told him to get ear plugs! I was told by our server and main server that the second seating has a lot less kids and is somewhat quieter. I was very impressed with the service! On the 1st night, I guess they could tell my husband was a bit annoyed (mostly at the 4 year old, curly haired blonde boy that played the drums on his plate all evening while his mother at the other end of the table completely ignored him), the Head Server asked us there was anything he could do for us. Well, the bok choy with oldest son's meal was outstanding! And my husband was hoping for some green vegetable. So he came back in a few minutes with a huge bowl of the bok choy and a 2nd bowl of steamed broccoli. Also, whenever we went to the Outlook Cafe and Lounge (an adults only place), "Vendy", our server from the Czech Republic) automatically brought me a class of La Crema Chardonnay and a club soda with lime. This so impressed this other family on the 5th night when I sat down to say hi! The bar tender at Diversions was equally responsive to our needs. My husband and I had some difficulty finding activities we liked. The trivia games were fun. I'm not a big fan of Bingo but that seemed to be a big hit with a lot of other folks. The live entertainment was very "Disney" and more suitable for smaller children and total Disney freaks (there were a lot of these on the ship!). They had a great movie theatre and showed first run movies. Unfortunately, I missed Cars 2 and I do not want to see The Help until I finish the book (which I read on the cruise). They also showed the new Muppets movie the morning it opened (at 12:01 a.m.). We liked most of the lounges and enjoyed meeting other parents with kids our age. The adult only lounge at the bow of the ship was a popular place to get an after dinner drink after the kids took off for their kids club. Very quiet, adult's playing cards and we met quite a few folks there. It also had a killer view! There was no Bridge playing on the ship. But a lot of grandparents. I was surprised that this was not an activity like it was on the last cruises we took (the 1st being NCL with my mom in 2000 and again on the Mariner to Alaska, all had Bridge time). The kids clubs were fantastic and I think this is what would bring me back to a Disney cruise. They had 5 different areas: The Vibe for ages 14-18 just for teens (and they did not allow anyone younger), The Edge for ages 11-13 and the kids could come and go as they pleased, The Oceaneers' Lab for ages 8-10 and Oceaneer's Club, ages 3-10 with some younger activities. Kids could come and go as they please at the Lab but ONLY with parents permission (they had to wear an electronic bracelet). Unfortunately, the activities were a bit "babyish" for youngest son and he did not have very much fun. But then on the 2nd day, we met a family with the same aged children and she told me that her almost 10 year old was going to The Edge. Since they never checked the kids, I thought I would just let youngest son go in. He loved it and fit right in! My youngest son hangs out with his big brother's friends (all in 7th grade) all of the time. They also had a Nursery, play room for the babies and toddlers. We never went in there :). My kids spent most of their time in The Edge with all of their activities including Xbox 360 games, Wii, card games, scavenger hunts, t-shirt painting, Dodge Ball, or on the Sports Court playing soccer or basketball. We also discovered that we all love Foosball! Looks like Santa may be delivering one of those this Christmas. We often hung out at the Outlook Cafe or in loungers near the bow while they played. On Saturday, it was too windy on the Sports Court (we were heading back up Baja at this time), so my husband set up a server (he bought a router at the Wal-Mart in Puerto Vallarta) and they had a Quake Fest in the Diversions Lounge with 4 college aged kids. It was quite the site to see the 7 of them playing Quake! I relaxed and read. So if you thinking about this cruise with your grandkids, it was fabulous. Disney does a great job with the kids and the adult areas were extremely nice. Don't expect the food to be "Cafe Firenze" but it was OK. Also, if you absolutely LOVE Disney and enjoy all that Disney offers in shows, characters (my husband got to ride the elevator with Donald Duck), than it's also fun. The Disney Vacation Club members were all over this cruise and they eat, breath and live Disney. ;) With no kids, stay in the adult area sections, eat at the late seating (8:45 p.m.) and hang out in the lounges. So my friends asked me to be honest about the noise. It bothered both my husband and me and we have kids! So maybe another cruise line geared towards adults might be a better choice if you are sensitive to the noise level generated by children unless you want to try my suggestions. They were very strict about not letting children in the adult only sections. They had a fabulous Cadillac Lounge in the Route 66 area (yes, an entire area devoted to Route 66) and the piano bar was great. I told them they needed to add a picture of the Cadillac Ranch in Texas to be complete! Also, the carpet had the entire Route 66 map from Santa Monica to Chicago. But for some reason, it stopped at Santa Rosa, NM and resumed at St Louis. I gave them a real hard time about skipping Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas especially since the National Route 66 museum is in Oklahoma! The location of our staterooms was key. Mid-ship (minimum movement), on the same level and right around the corner as The Edge, only one deck from the main dining and lounges. We also had easy access to the elevators, stairs and laundry room! I guess my biggest disappointment was the quality of food (which would explain why I actually lost weight!). The pool areas that were open to the children were zoo like on sea days (again, the ship was full because of the holiday). Neither one of my children opted to swim on the ship; just too hectic! But the younger kids seem to enjoy it quite a lot. A comment on loungers in the pool area. I noticed a lot of people dropping off their stuff to save their place and then take off. The Disney pool staff was well aware of this practice and if they saw this happening, they would take the towels off the loungers to free it up for someone who would actually use it. Of course, if you went into the pool for a little while, they would not do this. But some "campers" were obvious. For instance, my youngest son and I wanted a place to sit and eat lunch. We had a table but not chairs. I borrowed two chairs from a table behind me just long enough to eat. I thought I would wait until they came back and return their chairs. They never came back. The Disney staff also did a great job with getting more chairs, etc. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
I told my lovely wife that no matter what we were going to do something big for our 25th wedding anniversary. After much research and prompting from my boss who is hooked on cruises I decided we would go on a Disney Cruise. I decided on ... Read More
I told my lovely wife that no matter what we were going to do something big for our 25th wedding anniversary. After much research and prompting from my boss who is hooked on cruises I decided we would go on a Disney Cruise. I decided on Disney because I enjoy Disneyland and appreciate the quality that they deliver in their resorts and hotels. I figured that since I do not drink or smoke or gamble that it would be nice to go on a cruise line that didn't focus on these activities. Also as parents of 6 children we love kids and aren't disturbed by having them around. We were concerned about several factors. 1) What if we got seasick? 2) What about security when we were in the ports? 3)Would we enjoy being on the ship for 7 days? and, I admit now in hindsight that this is really silly, 4) Would it be miserable to sit at dinner with 3 other couples that I have never met before and have to socialize with? First off, we NEVER got even queasy let alone seasick. There was one lady at our table that struggled with seasickness but it seemed to be rare. We didn't take any medication and really enjoyed the best sleep I've had in a long time. Port Security- Wow! what a surprise, felt very safe and the people we met were wonderful. Then again we didn't go out of our way to be victimized; we weren't drunk, didn't try to find vice, and we stayed in public areas. Shipboard activities- We loved the shows, movies, cooking classes, quizzes, and presentations that were available. We also liked looking at the ocean, walking the deck and sitting in a lounge with a virgin drink or just spending some alone time. We never felt like we were on a "kiddie cruise" and now for the dining. I am not the most social of people but I really liked the three other couples at our table and looked forward to talking to them each evening. One couple was fairly well to do, frequent cruisers and wine connoisseurs, another couple were middle class and on their second cruise and finally there was a single lady with her young daughter. We loved them all and I was amazed at how quickly we became almost like family. The highlight of the trip was snorkeling in Puerto vallarta and scuba in Cabo. I was afraid the shore excursions might be very slip-shod operations but they were state of the art and very professional. We went with Vallarta Adventures and Cabo Adventures. I will have to say that the last day sailing was shy on shipboard activities, it was raining and cold so swimming was out, walking wasn't pleasant and I was about to feel bored when I saw that Toy Story was just starting on the jumbo tron so I grabbed a free soda, a plate of fruit, cheese and sandwiches, sat at a table out of the rain and had a nice afternoon of 10-15 foot waves. I can't wait to go on another cruise, I just wonder if Disney has spoiled me and I won't be happy now on any other ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
I was so excited when I booked the 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise aboard the Mega-ship Disney Wonder. My 5 year old grandson would be my only guest. Finally, the time had come when he was at the age of being able to fully enjoy vacationing ... Read More
I was so excited when I booked the 7-night Mexican Riviera cruise aboard the Mega-ship Disney Wonder. My 5 year old grandson would be my only guest. Finally, the time had come when he was at the age of being able to fully enjoy vacationing with Grandma. Checking in at the Port of San Pedro was a breeze, no waiting no long lines...we were on board the ship within 15 minutes of my arrival. Upon arrival we were greeted by the Disney hosts with a mic in hand to announce that the Weaver family had arrived. I booked the Deluxe Inside Stateroom, wanting to see how the split bathrooms were set up. We boarded at 11:30 am, however, our staterooms would not be ready until 1:30 pm. With that, we decided to visit the Parrot Cay restaurant, which was set up as a lunch buffet. I loved the tropical décor and yes, as soon as you enter the restaurant, you do hear the calls of birds chirping overhead. There was a large selection that included chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese for the longer guests on board. After lunch it was definitely time to tour the ship. We started on Deck 9 where I found 3 pools, one of them being The Quiet Cove, located in the adult-only section. The middle pool, Goofy's Family Pool(4ft), was for all ages and this was where the outside large theatrical screen was located for watching on deck movies and presentations. This was also the area where Disney hosts all of their deck parties such as Pirate Night and other on board participation. The final pool was Mickey's pool for young children (1 ft). My grandson totally loved the water slide, and jumping in and out of the pool. I must say that I enjoyed hanging out in Mickey's area while monitoring my grandson (Disney advises not to leave any young children alone in the pool area). On Deck 8, we found the Beach Blanket buffet that is only opened for limited hours serving both breakfast and lunch. We also had the choice of the soft served, self service ice cream station near the Goofy's Galley (here you would get your fresh fruits, salads and hot/cold sandwiches). Also, across the way, we found Pluto's Doghouse that offered hot sandwiches such as fish, hamburger's, hot dogs, fries, and chicken fingers. I later found that I enjoyed the chicken fingers and fish burgers more than the food offered in the Beach Blanket Buffet. We also found a self service drink station off to the side that offered soda (Coca Cola products, not Pepsi), coffee, tea, fountain water (bottled water at a charge), milk and hot chocolate. This section is available for 24 hours (Note: if you order soda from a waiter anywhere else on the ship, you will be charged). It's best to pack a to-go bottle which can be filled as much as you like. Everyday there was a variety of different pizza slices available at Pinocchio's Pizzeria. Finally our rooms were ready and I was anxious to show my grandson his "bunk bed". The very first thing that I noticed was the stateroom size....huge in comparison to other cruises that I have sailed on. We had so much storage space that with 2 full suitcases and a backpack, I still had plenty of left-over space, therefore families of four will definitely have enough storage for everyone. We also had the mini fridge and ample closet space and hangers for hanging up all of our clothes. I had one bed, instead of 2 twins. I could swear that I was sleeping in a king size bed...it was so much bigger than the beds that I previously slept in on other cruise ships. And the SOFA SLEEPER, I can't say enough about it; gone are the days of have to remove cushions and "pulling" out your bed. The sofa sleeper was the length of a twin bed, and all you had to do was lower the back of the sofa into a fully made up twin bed for your third and fourth guests in your stateroom. I wanted my grandson to sleep in the bunk bed though for the experience. He loved climbing his stairs at bedtime. We kept the bunk bed down for the entire cruise and never was it in the way or an eye sore. I loved it!!! There was also a flat screen television and desk. Now for what I did not like about the stateroom. The split bathroom was very small. I can only imagine how uncomfortable this would be for a larger guest and I am 5'9". In one bathroom, we had a bathtub (yes in an DELUXE inside stateroom) and a sink. On the other side, you also had a sink and toilet. I had to turn sideways walking in the door every time I had to use the bathroom. I could only imagine how I would have felt if I weighed more or was taller. However, I did enjoy the shower head and bathroom amenities from H20 (lotion, shampoo and conditioner). The only request that I had for my room "host" was to have a daily supply of bath amenities and I got just what I asked for. It would have also been nice to have a coffee maker. All rooms are non-smoking and are subject to a fine of $250 if caught..........mmmmmmmm if caught. I could not take a chance. Being a smoker, I headed either to Deck 4 between the hours of 6:00 pm and 6:00 am or to a small section on Deck 9 to smoke. Room service was great. I ordered the same thing several times and never ran into any problems. If you order soft drinks from the room service menu, there will be a charge. I loved all 3 of the dining venues. I inspected the Palo Italian restaurant onboard, however, I did not dine there ($20 per person). I liked the way the venue was set up...top deck with ocean views to die for. I did not like, however, the process of having to rotate from restaurant to restaurant. I thought that Triton's was more popular than the Parrot Cay or Animator's Palate, and later found that the menus basically remained the same for each restaurant, with slight changes throughout the week. For instance, on my other cruises, I would always "view" the dinner menu to determine where I would dine that night. Unlike other cruise lines, Disney has it set up where your choices would be to have dinner in your assigned (for the day) dining/formal venue or to order room service or pizza and hamburgers on Deck 9. There are no buffets offered at dinner. We really did enjoy the Character Breakfast where we met all of the Disney celebrities. Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and others visited with each table for photos and autographs. This feature is included in your cruise fare and happens several times a week. The food was okay...nothing to really run home about, which was surprising. I had some items that I enjoyed and others that I sent back. However, the service was excellent! I noticed that one family did complain to the head waiter that they had to wait for over an hour for a special prepared meal, but other than that I did not notice any other complaints. Every night my grandson had water and chocolate milk waiting for his arrival. The kid's meals also pretty much remained the same with a choice between chicken fingers, macaroni and cheese, pizza or ham/cheeseburger. One night, steak and shrimp were offered, which my grandson basically played with. He loved running to his assigned table and finding his chocolate milk. Now let's talk about what makes Disney stand out from all of the others. #1, it's Disney plain and simple. Disney characters were always available for photos and there were scheduled autograph signings. Sometimes lines for the autographs were longer than others, however they went by quickly. My grandson had a choice of staying in Disney's Oceaneer Club or Oceaneer Lab to play in. On our 4th day, I allowed him to check himself in. Each child is given a wristband monitor that they wear during your entire cruise. On your last night aboard the Disney Wonder, Disney hosts will remove it (there is a $50 fee if monitor becomes damaged). There are also phones located in each stateroom where friends and family can receive calls or texts from each other without any additional charges. Family members must use a password to "check" their little ones out. I did visit the teens club and found it to be very impressive as well. Each night I could always hear the teens laughing and having a good time as I walked to and from my stateroom. Customer Service: Excellent Food: Good Entertainment: How could we not enjoy the countless hours of entertainment abroad the Disney Wonder, starting with their Broadway shows to the fireworks under the stars. My grandson was thrilled to see Mickey zip line across the deck with Goofy and Minnie dressed in all of their pirate gear. Since this was a Halloween celebration, we were able to "trick or treat" in several locations onboard the ship, afterward partying hardy on Deck 9. Pirate's Night was held on a different night with Pirates of the Caribbean (Johnny Depp, of course) showing in both theaters onboard. Speaking of theaters, the Buena Vista Theater was awesome as well, with most movies being shown in 3D. My grandson and I usually ended our nights with cups of hot chocolate and a movie, which began promptly at 10:30 each night. Disney's Golden Awards was one of my favorites, especially when my grandson was selected to "play" one of snow white's dwarfs during one of their live productions. I was so proud, that he got his Buzz Lightyear toy that very night. Another favorite was Toy Story. I really thought that these were productions that I would buy a ticket to see if they were ever on Broadway. Overall, the most important thing that Disney stressed throughout this cruise was living our dreams for all guests onboard. I found myself going back to my childhood, when running to Disneyland was always an exciting treat. I still remember having my coupon book with e-tickets for rides like the Space Mountain and the Matterhorn. I also found myself uplifted and motivated to continue to live out my dreams. I could go on and on, however, there is nothing quite like experiencing a Disney cruise yourself. Definitely something worth putting on your bucket list of things to do. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We just got back from the cruise, and we enjoyed it so much we talked about scheduling the next cruise while on the ship. The main positive about the Disney cruise was the staff. Every single "cast member" was exemplary. The ... Read More
We just got back from the cruise, and we enjoyed it so much we talked about scheduling the next cruise while on the ship. The main positive about the Disney cruise was the staff. Every single "cast member" was exemplary. The person in charge of our stateroom was always available (he may live in the hallway...) and constantly provided fresh towels (including towel monkeys with chocolate doubloon eyes), advice, and endless kindness to our barely manageable three year old. Our food servers were excellent, and very attentive. The rotational dining around the many restaurants was also charming, since it gave you a lot of variety, and you could decide where to go for lunch based upon the formality / menus. The menus changed every day. The entrees were great - especially the beef tenderloin, the cornish game hen, and the fish options. Food was available nearly around the clock - but do yourself a favor and make it to Parrot Cay buffet rather than Beach Blanket buffet. The food was better and there are actual servers, versus a clean-up crew. The best restaurant in my opinion was the Animator's Palate. The walls change colors while you dine, and the kitchen did the best job of the bunch. The one slight food complaint is the chocolate. The ganache is great, the mousse is great, the souffle in Palo is great, all the cakes are awful. The desserts in general are just okay. I would lean heavily towards the scooped ice creams at the restaurants. Luckily I brought Ghirardelli with me in case of chocolate emergency. We also dined at Palo twice during the cruise. The atmosphere was better early in the cruise due to the crowd later in the cruise being more cranky. Our server was awesome and full of advice on dessert orders, intricacies of the menu, etc. Well worth $20 a person, plus corkage fee of $20. (We also brought six bottles of wine (and scotch) onboard in our carry-ons to cut down on alcohol costs.) Even when our charming kid called during dinner and we had to pack the entrees and chocolate souffles to go, it was totally worth it. Our daughter was only in the oceaneers club with us, plus three hours on her own in two separate visits. That was her fault, not the staff. She is a bossy little kid, and as soon as she figured out she could call mom and dad and they would have to leave dinner to come play with her, she abused the privilege. Meanwhile all the other kids were playing duck duck goose with the counselors, and having fun riding on the giant tree slide, and reading books with the counselors, or playing on the computers or watching movies or television cartoons. We spent no time in the Lab portion nor the nursery, since she is too young / old for those areas. Both areas looked really nice and had plenty of staff. The pools were great fun and available for every single age group. The adult only options were very nice - we walked through to view rather than staying, but the Cove cafe was pleasant and perfect for book reading / ocean watching. The adult pool looked nice and quiet and even a lil romantic. Needless to say we saw it from a distance while running after our kid. The gym was nice, but we were too tall for the equipment in the window row, and whacked our heads on occasion due to the dropped ceiling. The character opportunities were plentiful, and some were unexpected. We ran into characters several times in the halls, and they each time bent down to kiss our little "shy" princess and blow kisses before moving on. A very special experience for a little girl who really believes in all the Disney magic. I am embarrassed to admit we spent $150 on pictures with the characters, but the photographers they have on the ship did a better job of getting our kid to smile and captured the moments better than I did with my more than decent camera. As for the ports - we did one excursion through Disney in Puerto Vallarta - the Tequila tasting and town visits. The tequila tasting was great at Leyva distillery's shop front. The town visits were TERRIBLE. The two little towns we were taken to were not ready for an influx of forty tourists at a time, nor were these towns pretty / remarkable in any way. I hate to discourage people to get off the boat and have a cultural experience, but really these sites were BAD. I have been to ten states in Mexico, 20-30 colonial towns with tons of charm. Personally, I would take a taxi directly to Leyva tequila, do a tasting, then taxi back to Puerto Vallarta's main cathedral, walk the shops to Rio Cuale and back to the cathedral, walk downhill through the town square (plaza), walk along the beach to see the statues downhill from the cathedral, and taxi back to port. The lunch that was included was nice, but not unique in any way. The port area is a Walmart and not much else. Get away to the real town asap. In Cabo San Lucas, I chose to scuba dive through Sunshine Scuba separate from Disney - they were awesome and didn't expect a dive log updated in the last year (I stopped keeping a dive log when I was a teen - shortsighted I guess). Again, the marina where you are dropped off is clean but not representative of the city of Cabo San Lucas. There are tons of vendors trying to sell whatever experience - when I was walking to the scuba place I was offered a fishing trip, snorkeling, water taxi, food, beer and trinkets. My husband (when he was by himself - but he is honest to a fault) was offered marijuana, cocaine and/or a prostitute. Again, get away from the port and into the town asap. Read Frommers / Lonely Planet and get a real idea of the area so you can see beyond the marinas please. We never felt unsafe if that is a concern of yours. Even though our ports were only so-so, and Manzanillo was cancelled off our schedule (dang) we would go back next week just for the experience on the ship. Some people have written that the Disney Wonder is past its prime. We had no such concerns. Our toilet stopped working once, and it was fixed in a few minutes. The balcony had tape around one wooden area that had just been restained - so really the staff is on top of every detail. Donald and Huey, Dewey and Louie are on the outside of the ship painting at all times, and when you are in port, there are other real painters helping them. Maybe it isn't the new Fantasea ship, but it was very well cared for. The pools were sparkling, etc. We saw no condition issues (except one chair that needed reupholstering in Studio Sea). Our stateroom was similar but more spacious than the one we had on Celebrity. The tv was superior, and the split bath made a big difference. The curtain room separator came in handy too. I have to say I thought all in all it was worth every dime we spent. I bet we will be on the Wonder to Alaska or Hawaii in the next year. Perhaps the four-year-old-to-be will be kept further away from the ice cream machine onboard and will spend more time in the Oceaneers club. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This is by far the BEST cruise to go on with kids. I have been twice and this time my kids had just turned 5 and 13. Disney does everything great. We do not drink so we only spent $23 on the boat. My kids never asked for anything. ALL ... Read More
This is by far the BEST cruise to go on with kids. I have been twice and this time my kids had just turned 5 and 13. Disney does everything great. We do not drink so we only spent $23 on the boat. My kids never asked for anything. ALL was included!!! The kids clubs were great. Thankfully there are port stops or I might have never seen my 13 year old. Your kids are so loved and taken care of that it gives you a chance to be a couple again. And I'm not good at leaving my kids places and my little daughter who doesn't like to be left anywhere kept asking to go. They really made such efforts with the kids. The adult dinning is worth it. It cost us $20 a person. So romantic. They feed your kids while your there. The 3 BIG shows were like Disney on Broadway. My little girl loved them. I cried a few times at just the lovely time our family was having. There was no window in our cabin and this was hard the first night, then after made no difference. WE were on deck 2 and got to everything easy. The first day bring a small bag for suits and head to the pools. Eat out on the deck and watch the kids use the slide while you eat. Skip where there directing you and just go to the pool. So fun. Good idea is to bring a head of time princess dress for your girls and an autograph book. There are so many chances to see the characters. On the Alaska cruise the boat was HOT. Wish I had brought sandles and more short sleeves for the boat. I would book Disney over and over again with kids!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
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