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Sail Date: February 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
1 Helpful Vote
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: January 2012
This was my first cruise. I traveled with my husband, daughter (1) and son (10). What I have to say is similar to the other reviews here but I thought I would add my opinion to anyone considering going. What Was Good: Everyone smiled ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I traveled with my husband, daughter (1) and son (10). What I have to say is similar to the other reviews here but I thought I would add my opinion to anyone considering going. What Was Good: Everyone smiled at us, no matter where we were. There was always a friendly face and someone to greet us. When I was trying to push a stroller and carry a tray, there was always a worker ready to lend a hand and help. There were a lot of good shows and they try to keep your kids entertained. Guest services was very polite and willing to accommodate. One night we missed our time for dinner and I asked if my family would be able to sit at the later dinner. They arranged everything for us. What Was Bad: The food. I hate to talk about it but my husband got food poisoning the second to last night. What was supposed to be an awesome vacation for us turned out to be awful for him. Ever been vomiting on a boat rocking back and forth? Not good. I felt so bad for him. It was a small room as well. He said his chicken tasted bad and sure enough he got sick that night. Besides the food poisoning, the food itself is about the same you would get in a school cafeteria. In fact, it brought back school memories for me! The food at sit down dinner was slightly better. I would equate it to a cheap buffet. It was really that bad and I'm not particular at all. There is no food 24 hours a day except room service. As you can imagine that food wasn't good either. After you eat dinner, essentially all the food closes except for the pizza place. When it was time to give my daughter her bedtime snack, I hated the idea of pizza or fried chicken. I gave her fruit but she spit it out. It was not fresh. Besides the food (which is unforgivable to get sick on a cruise), the kids club was just okay for my son. He had fun but mostly he said he was bored. For his age range I am not sure they cater as much. He made friends with one other boy, the same age. My daughter was too little to enjoy it. The lines for each character were so long that by the time we would get to a character she would be too tired and cranky to get a picture taken. We put her in the Flounders Reef but as someone else mentioned, you don't know when activities are going on around the ship. The times she went in my husband and I circled and circled and circled the decks with nothing to do. The only adult thing planned for that block of hours was "DJ at the pool." We went and there was no DJ, just some radio tunes playing by the adult pool and about 100 parents crammed in a small space. The staff in the daycare is wonderful though and was very accommodating to my daughter who tends to be shy. I know it sounds strange but there is not nearly as much going on as most other cruises (so I hear). We found there were large blocks of time there wasn't really anything happening. Then when a show would be going on, nearly everyone on the ship crams to see it. Dreams was the name of a show they put on and it was really nice. However, everyone else on the ship wanted to see it was well so my son and I had to sit on the floor in the back of the auditorium...not so much fun. I live in the LA area and got a really good deal on this cruise. If it wasn't for that I would feel totally robbed of my hard earned money. My husband is still a little sick and we don't feel a bit more relaxed or at ease after this vacation. As sad as it may seem, my husband and I started talking about how we need a vacation from this vacation! One other thing I wanted to mention. If you cruise with a 2 or under child you will find there is nothing for them to do. We had hoped for at least an indoor playground or open space she could play in. Alas, we were stuck walking her in the stroller around and around and around. Two things that are simply unacceptable on this cruise was the food (and food poising) and the waiter we had. My son is a vegetarian and EACH and EVERY night at dinner the waiter said, "Why don't you get the steak? C'mon!" I had to remind him that my son has dietary issues. He also pressured my husband to get the steak each night. He said, "Why don't you eat meat!? C'mon!!" My husband does not eat meat. These were arrangements we made with Disney ahead of time. We felt not listened to and pressured. Believe it or not...we just wanted to avoid dinner, food, and our server by the end of the cruise. I certainly hope others have a better experience. I do not plan on taking another cruise and certainly will not be going on any more Disney cruises. I do love Disney and Disneyland, and will stick to that. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
I have been on multiple Carnival Cruises and have also experienced RCCL. Although my sons and I enjoy Carnival, I have always been intrigued by Disney Cruise Lines. We planned a 6 day cruise January 2012. My sons and I had a nice ... Read More
I have been on multiple Carnival Cruises and have also experienced RCCL. Although my sons and I enjoy Carnival, I have always been intrigued by Disney Cruise Lines. We planned a 6 day cruise January 2012. My sons and I had a nice vacation. The ship was lovely. Our stateroom was very large, clean and nicely decorated. The service was excellent. It was easy to find our way around the ship. A note on the cabin. We were in 7620 which was listed as a 7a (Navigator's Verandah). This cabin actually has a plexiglass rail and not a port hole. On some boards I read that this is what is referred to as a "secret balcony". It was nice as we paid the price of a less expensive balcony but got such a nice one. The highlight would have to be the nightly shows. They were spectacular! I have never seen entertainment this amazing on a ship before. The children's facilities were very nice. My boys had fun there. One of the positive things about the children's clubs were that my 7 and 9 year old got to be together. On Carnival they would have been in separate groups. Also, they could just have free time in the clubs verses joining in on the group activities. They enjoyed that. Security wasn't the greatest in the children's facilities. My 9 year old had permission to check himself out. My 7 year old could only with his 9 year old brother. They never checked the security on the computer and my 7 year old would just leave when he wanted. My son found being on a Carnival a bit more personable as the leaders in Camp Carnival knew the children by names. I can see how this is not possible on Disney due to the amount of children...but he missed that. Unfortunately there were many negatives. Disney has always been so expensive compared to Carnival. I expected so much more from this cruise or at least equivalent to Carnival. A few of their shortcomings were with the photographers and most importantly the food. They are always taking our photo on Carnival. I love going every night to find our photos and the Carnival photographers are amazing. I always joked that they must follow us around the whole week as they get so many good shots of my sons. On Disney they took 2 photos of us. Once at embarkation and once at dinner. All other photos were taken if you waited in VERY LONG character lines. The 2 photos they took were disappointing. A good photographer wouldn't have waited until my sons were smiling. They didn't smile in either photo and not worth the money. I looked at other photos to see if they got many good ones of other families and I wouldn't have paid for the others either. Typically, I never complain about food. I am glad that someone else cooked it and cleaned up after. Honestly, the food on this cruise was AWEFUL! There was not one meal or appetizer in the main dining rooms that I enjoyed. The presentation was terrible as well. I tried the fish, the chicken and the beef. One night I ordered the steak. It was a very thin but big piece of beef. It was tough and slathered in gravy. The gravy was so salty and it tasted like it came from a can. The steak was accompanied by corn on the cob. The corn looked like it was cooked yesterday and reheated. I do not like to complain to the waiters. I know they are working very hard. Plus, I didn't want to make our tablemates feel uncomfortable by me complaining. I just ate what I could and smiled. All the meals were bad. I am sure that the waiter would have brought me something else but by the time I got my meal, my kids were ready to leave. These restaurants were not nice (except for Triton's), they had the atmosphere of Denny's except Denny's food is actually better. The kids meals were not great either. Another aspect I found frustrating was that as soon as we ordered they would bring my sons' meals. They arrived way before my appetizer. My main meal arrived 45 minutes after my sons were served and I only ordered one appetizer. As we had the late dining time it was 9:30 by the time I was done and did not want to stay longer to order a dessert. The buffet was worse. We went twice and then simply avoided. Carnival has elegant, beautifully presented, delicious meals. Carnival has prime rib, lobster and a much better selection. There was no lobster at all on this cruise. I think if I would have paid the same price as Carnival, I wouldn't be nearly as disappointed. The fact that I paid almost double for this cruise makes me sad that I chose Disney. I really felt ripped off. Clearly there are people who think Disney is fantastic. There was a line up at the desk to book the next cruise. I was not in that line up. In the end my boys and I had a nice vacation but three of us can have fun in a motel in the middle of nowhere. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
I really wanted to love this cruise. I have cruised 15 times previously (albeit without children, whereas this time we had a 6 month old and a 4 year old), I love cruises and I love Disneyland. Alas, it was not what I expected. To be ... Read More
I really wanted to love this cruise. I have cruised 15 times previously (albeit without children, whereas this time we had a 6 month old and a 4 year old), I love cruises and I love Disneyland. Alas, it was not what I expected. To be fair, it was not horrible. The service in regard to our waitstaff and the kids' activities was excellent. But there were too many negatives that overall I would not recommend DCL, at least with young kids. I began encountering problems even before we boarded, which in hindsight should have been a red flag. When I went to check in our family on-line a few days before the cruise, I discovered that I had to pick an arrival time at the port (because we were using a shuttle and not DCL's transfers). The only one left was 3-330pm. Given the fact that our shuttle was to drop us off at 1230, and that I had two young kids including an infant that I had no idea how I would keep entertained in the terminal for 3 hours, I called DCL for help. The first time, I got a rude lady who told me there was nothing she could do because it was a Port of Los Angeles issue and not something DCL caused. I later found that to be an out-right lie. So my husband called back, not getting much further, with a different rep who told us it was our fault for checking in so late, despite the fact that when I had tried weeks before the system would not let me and despite the fact that DCL had not given us a heads' up about it since I have never had to pick an arrival time with any other line before. Finally, on the third call, with a supervisor, we got some assistance. I found this same strange-for-Disney inability to help when I went to the Guest Services desk two hours after boarding. I was trying to sign my daughter up for this special princess tea they have on board. I was told it was already booked and that it "usually books in the first hour after people board". Um....ok? Shouldn't this be a signal to you then that you need more than ONE??? Disney shoves all this princess crap down our girls' throats...of course all the little girls are going to want to go. I would think they would be better prepared for this contingency. We were ultimately waitlisted, and, despite only 4 parties being ahead of me, were never called. I had a similar problem with the adult-only restaurant, Palo. We did get our one night there (I think everyone is allowed one night) and it was pretty good. But apparently the place has brunches and teas which I tried to book months prior to the cruise but could never get in. Again, I was waitlisted, and heard nothing more. Since we had a child under three, we booked nursery time. You are only allowed 18 hours when you book. I was able to get a little more when I pestered them the first day. The service in the nursery was excellent and they were wonderful with my son. The problem is that because DCL doesnt give you any kind of idea when things will be scheduled, you are basically booking the nursery hours blind. What that translated into was that when my husband and I did get time alone, no adult activities were happening. (Except the occasional cigar club and martini tasting, which we have no interest in). I really wanted to go to the trivia and games, but we had the baby during these times. I asked if we could still go and was told no. I think Disney should either A) give you more time; B) give you the schedule in advance so you know when you will need the nursery time; C) offer babysitting; or D) let you take the infant with you. The food was pretty good in the dining rooms, but the buffet, when it was open, was kind of mediocre. I say when it was open because it had limited hours and if you did not get there by a certain time, you were kind of screwed food wise. My husband and daughter had that problem at least twice. Our cabin was alright, but we barely fit. Yes, there is a tub in the bathroom but it is half-sized. That didn't bother me although I could never get anything but scalding hot water to come out which is kind of a problem when you have young kids. It was also very noisy...when the tenders were being taken in and out it sounded like a major construction site outside our window. Frankly, given the weird placement of the cabins (we were on deck one) I don't think they were initially intended as passenger cabins anyways. Our cabin steward was nice, but sometimes slow on the cleaning. I know we were hard to pin down in the morning but we were always at dinner 545-7pm and we would come back to put the baby to sleep and the cabin still wasn't turned down for the night. At least twice I told him to not worry about it and just had him hand me extra towels because we were already heading to bed. Room service was fine and prompt except no one ever collected trays. They would line the hallway up and down for hours. It was actually kind of gross. I don't expect them to be taken away in a second but I would leave our cabin and see dirty trays outside the door and then return FIVE hours later seeing these exact same trays had yet to be cleaned. The adult activities, as I hinted above, are limited, unless you like alcohol tasting. They also had a couple presentations (mostly to buy spa crap or their vacation club) but not much else. The kids' club was very nice and had lots of activities. I think my husband would have rather played there. My daughter had a great time, so that was a plus. OVERALL: Not a horrible experience, but not great either, especially given the fact that you pay that extra Disney mark-up to travel on the Disney Cruise Line. I just don't think it is worth what you pay for it. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
This was our second Disney Cruise. The first on the Magic 4 years ago (Western Caribbean 7 Night) Our girls were 6 and 8 then. My 8 year old literally fell asleep at the dinner table one night (think face plant on the table) on that ... Read More
This was our second Disney Cruise. The first on the Magic 4 years ago (Western Caribbean 7 Night) Our girls were 6 and 8 then. My 8 year old literally fell asleep at the dinner table one night (think face plant on the table) on that cruise and missed the pirate party on deck and the fireworks. I have become really good at scouring websites and cruise booking engines and know how to find the deals. I stumbled upon kids sail free promo in October and didn't have to ask twice to book this trip. My oldest daughter was finally going to get her pirate party! This trip our girls were one and two months shy of 11 and 13. We flew into LAX the morning of our cruise and arrived at 11am. We hired a private shuttle service for under $70 total including tip and arrived at the cruise terminal at 12:15. We were on the ship by 1:00. Our ocean view stateroom was fine. Cabins are small on all cruise ships. Bathrooms are tight. If that's not what you are looking for...don't cruise. We've had inside, outside and balcony cabins on cruises and feel that for the amount of time you spend in your cabin go for the best value price wise when booking. Yes a balcony is nice to sit on, but it can double your cruise price. Our family would rather have more money to spend in ports and activities. This time booking an ocean view was less expensive than the inside room! Our girls enjoyed the sail away party again. Disney does a great job with this. Dining was typical cruise ship. Disney is great with the unlimited soda/beverage choice on the pool deck and at the buffet. It would be nice if the drink station was located in the middle of the ship versus the back. I wouldn't say the food was horrible nor would I say 5 star all the time. We had some really great things- some mediocre and a few things that were not good at all. If you don't like it don't eat it. Find something else to eat. There are options available. I would say the steak and lobster were fabulous. One steak was overcooked. I asked for another. If the menu isn't to your liking- talk to your waitstaff- they can suggest or modify what is on the menu. Don't be afraid to order 2 entrees if you can't decide or are unsure about something. I've been cruising for 12 years and yes- dining/food has declined across the board on all cruise lines over the years. If you are looking for off the chart fabulous meals and accommodations- you should be booking with a luxury cruise line. Disney is not in that category. Also for a change of pace- make sure you visit one of the sit down lunches. Check the kids into kids club and enjoy a leisurely lunch instead of buffeting it everyday. Kids club- The staff at the Edge was great! We were able to get our almost 11 year old into this club space and the girls had a ball. The wave phones on this ship were a godsend and our girls enjoyed total freedom the entire cruise. We also enjoyed many hours of kid free time as they were busy with the many friends they met on the boat. I am almost embarrassed to say that we usually returned to our cabin by 11 or so each night and our girls stayed at the Edge until Midnight. They stuck together and along with the other 6 girls they met, had a fantastic time. No complaints here! Adult Activities/Entertainment- this is one area I think Disney can improve on. There are movies showing. A few geared toward adults. We saw "The Help" on our way to Puerto Vallarta on a sea day and were looking forward to seeing "War Horse" on our last sea day. For some reason they changed the showing the last day to "Pirates of the Caribbean". We had a piece of literature in our room the first day of our cruise that had all movies listed and purposely saved "War Horse" for the last sea day for a time filler. When our navigator arrived, it had been changed. I went to Guest Services to inquire. They had the week long list we had so the gal was confused as well. She went to investigate and came back and said yes- it had been changed. Sorry.... not the kind of remedy I would expect from Disney- they could have easily have shown the movie that was supposed to have played after Pirates and made everyone happy. I give Disney an F here. There are lots of alcohol tasting seminars, the Quiet Cove pool area, the spa. I feel there could be a few more activities offered during the day while at sea. I do have to say it was fabulous to lay by the pool in the Quiet Cove- no loud music or screaming kids. Just the occasional buzz of my wave phone when the girls were checking in with us. Very Relaxing! Other cruise lines should take lesson from Disney here. Our last Disney Cruise we lounged at the Mickey pool while the girls rode down the water slide all day long. Nightly Entertainment- the shows are a must. I do have to say that they are the exact same shows we saw 4 years ago. It was long enough ago that I didn't remember everything, but also feel that Disney should get into a 2 year rotation to keep guests wanting to come back. Our girls loved to dance and do Karaoke each night too. On sea days, why don't they have Karaoke during the day? The pirate party was fun- fireworks are fun too- we ate at second seating so couldn't even think about eating again at the party. Staff- Of all cruise lines- Disney staff is overall most friendly- willing to help- and do what they can to make your trip enjoyable. I do have to say that the attention to detail was down a notch from the last Disney cruise. The princesses in the lobby are great- if this is on your list to do- make sure you arrive a bit ahead of time and be prepared to wait. Even my girls at 11 and 13 had a few pics taken. One last huge shout out to Disney- thanks for letting us bring our own liquor on board! a bucket of beer is $30 and most drinks are over $7. A glass of wine at dinner each night- it can get pretty costly. We brought 4 bottles of wine and my husband walked to Walmart in Puerto Vallarta and purchased a 12 pack of Corona. Each night we enjoyed a glass of wine poured in our cabin. We enjoyed it all the way to the dining room and then only had to order a glass during dinner. I enjoyed the ports, but do have to say that I much more enjoy the crystal clear water of the Caribbean and the warmth of the water. I also really missed the private island. A must if you are paying full price for a Disney cruise. In Puerto Vallarta we opted to take a taxi into town- see the cathedral and then walk thru shops and the beach. There are the typical port shops, restaurants etc. In Cabo we enjoyed a stroll thru the marina and ended up on the beach for the day- day 2 we hired a water taxi from booth A-7 to take us around the arch and for time on lovers beach for $35 for the 4 of us. I heard from others who used this booth that para sailing was just $40 per person. **the dolphin adventure in cabo is literally within walking distance of the tender drop- book that independently- not thru Disney and you will save quite a bit of money** In summary- a vacation is what you make of it- if you want to find something to complain about- there will always be something. When the trip is over- ask yourself- do the good points outweigh the bad? Most of the time it will. Secondly- most people who write reviews only do so if they have a bad experience. Future Disney cruisers... this is not an awful cruise- I admit a few things slipped thru the cracks- but I also had a great week and my kids had the opportunity to take a second Disney cruise. There is a reason why Disney is offering kids sail free and the prices are a bit lower on this destination. keep that in mind when you book and you will enjoy your trip. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Folks it all starts and ends with great Guest Services and how they handles any potential problems. And I hope you don't have any on your cruise. But if you do they should be handled professionally and quickly with a great solution. The ... 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: December 2011
Traveling for me is a favorite hobby for me. Now that I have a 3 year old daughter I am traveling "Kid Style" now in full force. No more adult type vacations for me for awhile. So, I am trying to find that vacation WOW for my family to ... Read More
Traveling for me is a favorite hobby for me. Now that I have a 3 year old daughter I am traveling "Kid Style" now in full force. No more adult type vacations for me for awhile. So, I am trying to find that vacation WOW for my family to enjoy. Needed my daughter to potty over the past Summer. Came up with a passport idea. When she filled her book up that is when I booked what I thought was going to be the ideal REWARD/Christmas gift of a lifetime for a 3 year old! Oops...shame on me for believing in Disney. I do love Mr. Disney park's, but the seven sea's are not for a mouse and his cheese! I believe Mr. Disney would of saved AMTRAK with his name over a cruise ship any day. That being said it is time to be very real with my pro's and LOT's of con's..... Pro: L.A. is my city and how nice to be able to cruise out of it. It's MICKEY MOUSE and Friends Nice staff and some of the staff really shined like Tinkle Bell AMAZING Broadway style show's that I believe save this cruise 100% Great lounge singers fitting the stereo type. Con: The FOOD is so BAD that I was in utter shock! My kid and I got sick on the chicken strips. Should of known better since it was from Pluto's dog bowl. You can use your imagination on what kind of sickness we had. After recovering I went after the forbidden fruit of trying the other food. Sound's fancy on the menu and looks fancy on the plate in the dining room. The minute you fork up your mouth is in a over load of what SCHOOL LUNCHES taste like. I understand the whole cooking for a Army. If Carnival is better, Disney watch out! How do you serve up that food with a smile? Loved that the last day and night this ship went over board with razzle dazzle we really can cook up a yummy storm for you to forget about 6 days of blah tasteless lukewarm "food". I knew from my other cruises on different liners that food was the calling card. Since this is a park playing in a cruise ship maybe the FOOD memo got lost with Nemo. Breakfast buffet was a runny egg greasy fatty bacon with no meat dried out cheeses cubes with stale bread. When plain oatmeal is the better tasting food item over bacon and eggs that is a REAL problem in my book. Did I mention that was plain oatmeal. Pizza on any cruise should be banned. On the WONDER Pinocchio really lied about get it while it's hot. Thick cardboard crust with no flavored sauce or meaty pieces on top. Did the pineapple from breakfast get sliced on to the pizza with little specks of ham dust? Pass on those high calories. I so do not even want to know what is REALLY in the hot dog that my kid begged to eat over everything except that nasty goob of mac & cheese. The fries looked and tasted a day old. Who serves brown soggy fries? Palo is overpriced! Ps. Palo food makes it way down to the buffet the next day. Save your money. If your a foodie DO NOT cruise on Wonder. You have been warned. No Ice Sculptors or Midnight buffet on this ship. My room 8564 needs to be fixed up. Wish I could post the photo's on here. Don't tell me it's the older boat. I get that, but fix the broken things, switch out the nasty toilet seat, clean the stained walls and carpet. No mop was ever used on the bathroom floor. I actually took a towel and did it myself. I like CLEAN bathrooms. The public women's bathroom always had a floating guest around. Does anyone clean the public bathrooms on this ship. Bad enough seeing dirty cups lined in the hallways all over the place. Disney has a BIG STANDARD of clean living in the parks! Why not on the ship? The ship did not have that shine/buff clean look to it at all. Mickey pool for my daughter was perfect until the black tar like silicone on Mickey's ear's rubbed on to my daughters face and arms making it hard to clean off. Why is that stuff rubbing off on the little kids? It's toxic, Disney! The family pool is tiny and the adult pool is the only decent pool on board with the best loungers that are nicely cushioned. Spa was nice with no high pressure sales after treatment. No robes or slippers in the lockers was a bummer. Had to stay in my clothes before a message is not so comfy when you have to wait in a relaxing area. Prices are still criminal for the average service. Port days are cheaper as always. The reason I was on Disney Wonder was for the KIDS entertainment. LONG lines to snap that picture with a Princess or the Mouse with friends. Give me a break! The website makes it seem like Snow White is laughing with your daughter, Cinderella is coming by your table or whatever character you can think of is bouncing all around to delight your child or your freaky Disney infatuation . If I wanted my 3 year old in front of a t.v. I could of kept her home. The Oceaneer club for her age group was a total bust from the 2nd day. Not enough Princess dress's to go around, not a lot of interactive role playing or character playing in this clubhouse. Oh, I am sorry the last day at sea to impress everyone is the full day of fun with Belle coming to read, making a Belle rose petal in a paper cup, stage show with all the kids ready to perform for you and tons of things to make a kid happy (finally). The staff is super nice and kind. I just think the imagination is gone to know how to entertain a kid without a tv or computer screen. I will say the BEST age group for this Disney cruise is 6-10. Not great for under 6 or over 11. The teens were zombies on this ship. You would just see them walking around all the time looking like a suicide watch should take place. I felt bad for those teen girls and guys. This is NO MILF cruiser. Lot's of Overweight or burned out parents on this voyage. Well, I did see 2 mom's with floatation devices, ink on the lower back above the bikini bottom and trying hard to look like the teen daughter. Just a lot of people stuffing the face with soft serve it yourself ice cream looks of boredom at the Mickey/Family pool with sound blasting LOUD over the speakers for the movie of the day. Volume control anyone? Geez... If you think this is a relaxing cruise for you with a kid. No Such thing! Kids can't stand the oceaneer's club after an hour. Check it out and you'll see the melt downs. Parents rushing in with the text message cell phone from 1998 era. I had to bribe my kid to be good all day to give me and the hubby a little break with a Pricey reward from the gift shop. $17.99 for a plastic silver tiara that lights up. Give me a break, Disney. Really, $18 for a head piece that breaks so fast? UGH! Smart to not buy into that cheap made item. Found some things under $15 to bribe with. The t.v. in your room is on a HEAVY loop of the same cartoons, movies, ABC channel or cruise channel over and over. We all know that could be changed, right? How hard is it to update the tv tape machine player? Over all the food, characters and kid club was the BIGGEST disappointment for us. Do have to say Captain Fabian was handsome and very friendly to my husband and I asking if everything was fine. Really nice man that cares. Disney won with having him! I just feel like Wonder is the lost child in a big family that everyone has forgotten about since the focus is so FANTASY driven right now for Disney. Think it's time to put away this ship for good. Really show's no one cares for her anymore. Very sad considering you're paying a lot for that Disney Wonder of being free with your dreams coming true on the sea. Save your hard earn money for FANTASY! That I hear from Captain Fabian is going to be AWESOME!!!!! Read Less
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