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23 Disney Miami Cruise Reviews

Embarkation in Miami a bit rocky, the check in was not well staffed in addition to enormous amount of first time cruisers, everyone confused & slow, slow, slow. Stateroom needed much attention lots of patchwork, shower loose and ... Read More
Embarkation in Miami a bit rocky, the check in was not well staffed in addition to enormous amount of first time cruisers, everyone confused & slow, slow, slow. Stateroom needed much attention lots of patchwork, shower loose and sprayed water from neck, missing caulking to messy over caulked area's and the noise, you could not get away from it on the 8th deck, do not book an stateroom with a connecting door and stay away from deck 8. Chair dragging, running, jumping quiet about 0100hrs. The ship is showing her age, deck 4 very narrow for running track. Dining same as the Dream class yet no one dressed for dinner on this ship but a handful of us. Minimum activities, everything everywhere trivia! Our stateroom host was on his phone almost always, left trash bins ajar never refilled soap, had to ask for it and shampoo etc. He smiled and always apologized, just off putting & we are neat freaks so he never had much to do. The movie theater had zero leg room, it was very uncomfortable if you are over 5'6". The sail away party was awful, I can go hear a DJ anywhere, if you have a choice skip this one. (Unless you enjoy really small elevators packed with people and stairs that are so narrow they are hard to navigate especially when there are children running up & down them with no parents in sight. No Magic on the Magic in our opinion, pretty bad when you are Okay with disembarkation day! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Traveled with family group of 8 (4 adults, 4 kids aged 5-9). Same group traveled to Disney World last October. No issues with embarking from Port of Miami. Cabin rooms were fine, as we knew we would not be spending much time in the ... Read More
Traveled with family group of 8 (4 adults, 4 kids aged 5-9). Same group traveled to Disney World last October. No issues with embarking from Port of Miami. Cabin rooms were fine, as we knew we would not be spending much time in the rooms. Statesroom attendant (Calvin) was fantastic. Super-friendly - the kids loved the towel creatures he created each day. He also rotated the sheets on the kids beds, when we informed him they would be sharing bottom/top bunk duties. Bought the beer package with cooler bag upon boarding. For 80$ (including tax, tip, delivery to room), got 12 beers and the good sized cooler bag. Would recommend this, if you don't have a chance to buy beers prior to boarding. Note - Disney will confiscate 16oz beers - the 12oz size is a strict rule. they will confiscate magnum sized wine bottles as well. Drinks of the day all ran on the sweet side, but this is where you get the bang for your buck. Dining - started great at Lumieres on the 1st night, but then it went downhill after that. Our food / beverage servers were not in synch. we were constantly served food, prior to beverages - in some cases, we finished our desserts before the coffee ever arrived. We were pretty predictable with our orders, yet everything seemed to surprise our servers. Most troubling was the fact that members in our party had nut/shellfish allergies which were declared prior to boarding. But, each evening we had to ask our server which meals to avoid, and every night, he had to go ask the head server, and kitchen staff. Kids menu was not impressive - typical choices. Animators palate was ok at best, Rapunzels table was very good. Palo was great, but the reservation racket that Disney operates boggles the mind. We almost had to pay for a cancellation at Palo, then were put on a waiting list. When we did dine at Palo, there were empty tables throughout the restaurant! Why are there so many empty tables, if there is a waiting list? Very antiquated ordering system in the restaurants. If you have food service industry experience, you would quickly notice a lot of inefficiencies. Cabanas for breakfast/lunch was solid. Daisy Delights was the best option on the pool deck as there was actually healthy food choices. Room Service - small, limited menu, but timely delivery. The infamous cheese was plate was comical. Don't understand why items like powerade is a premium charge on room service, but unlimited at Cabanas. Popcorn at the movie theater was also a charged item. I can get as many steaks as I want in the restaurant, but Disney charges for popcorn? Pool Deck - Pools were smaller than expected. The kids enjoyed the slides, but with only 2 of them, the lines got long...40 minutes at times. Extremely windy on the deck during the days at sea - made impossible to play basketball. younger kids enjoyed the Discovery club, especially when characters visited. The older girls weren't too impressed. Was hoping not to see iPads, but its Disney - they invented screen-time!! Again, don't understand why the kids wristbands are a charge - 14$. Yes, they refund upon return, but if they break upon return, Disney chucks them in the garbage. Got some pictures with characters - however, the length of the lines got crazy at times. you are better off grabbing a pic with them after the scheduled event is over. Marvel Day was cool. It balanced the "princess culture" of Disney, allowing the boys to enjoy something geared toward them. The Pirate show on the deck was fun, nothing exceptional. Supposedly Disney is the only cruise line allowed to launch fireworks. adult activities were on the cheesy side. tequila tasting was great - would recommend going to those type of events. The majority of activities for adults, were more along the lines of trivia, name that song, bingo, etc. Wives got massages in the Spa - they were irked that they were pushed to buy products. musicians playing in the lounges, bars were very good. Michael Harrison, a ventriloquist, was fantastic - kids loved him. he also did an adult show later in the trip. The theater productions of Charmed, Cinderella were excellent. Dr. Strange show was ok. Cozumel port day was great- went swimming with dolphins. it was good to get off of the ship. Castaway day was probably the best day. Kids loved the beach. However, we don't understand why we have to pay to rent snorkel and raft gear on an island that Disney operates. Getting off the boat was fine - recommend the luggage pick up the night before. beats dragging all of your stuff to breakfast. the picture package was extremely overpriced. worse, they shut down the kiosks early, giving you little time to order before disembarking. no issues getting luggage. wouldn't go again. kids had a good time, but they preferred the Disney parks. Disney Magic unfortunately is a little dated, and small. would try an all-inclusive family resort in mexico next time. I didn't see the value. would consider a newer, larger boat. we were moored next to the NCL Breakaway in Cozumel - that ship looked fun. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We wanted our grand kids to be immersed in Disney, meet their characters, and experience a first cruise with this atmosphere. Upon signing up, and of course it is expensive, many limitations (cancellation, per Disney, is not lenient) , it ... Read More
We wanted our grand kids to be immersed in Disney, meet their characters, and experience a first cruise with this atmosphere. Upon signing up, and of course it is expensive, many limitations (cancellation, per Disney, is not lenient) , it was essentially impossible, from the get go, to obtain tickets for the kids to see characters at 'meet and greet' (aka, a total overkill to obtain profit ). Wife tried within hours of availability, and many were sold out. To begin with, in my opinion, the characters should be mingling with the kids, freely available, and every effort should be made to make sure every kid can see every character they desire, at some time. One character, Dr. Strange (appropriate) was greeting kids at an impromptu meet (they did have these) , and we were in line, 4 of us left, - he up and just left - never even looked at us. Unbelievable. The food was good, better at the buffet on Deck 9 really, as much of the food in the dining rooms was disappointing really. Tough steaks, lobster that did not even taste like lobster, and just many dishes that were not the quality it used to be. Most of the staff were very, very kind and helpful. If you have an issue however, don't expect it to be addressed well. You'll get all kinds of apologies, typical, and of course the wish for a 'magical day', but not much is done. Sorry, sorry, sorry. We saw a lot of throwing up, and one of our grand kids got it too, last day thankfully. They do try to prevent it, and I personally think something needs to change with how buffets are done -as many people, kids and adults, contaminate the food one way or the other - I don't know the solution, but it absolutely happens frequently. Overall, we had a good time, good cruise. I wish they would skip Grand Cayman, the visit is so short, what can you do ,especially with little kids, and their private island, Castaway Cay, is wonderful. I wish they would just take us there, spend two days or whatever they can there. Far better. That was a good stop. It is expensive, the shows were very good, but again, most things are very competitive to see or get, and so many things you have to get tickets for, sign up in advance - not for me. We have cruised many times over the years, and this seems to be the trend - but I don't like it. I like to be able to go to whatever show, event, as I can. Disney just seems to be becoming more and more commercial, business and profit oriented , and the 'magic' is becoming harder and harder to fine. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I have cruised with Disney once before, and that experience was a 10 out of 10. But now, 5 years later its a very different experience. We took our cruise during an interesting time, during our trip DCL was hosting some Disney bloggers ... Read More
I have cruised with Disney once before, and that experience was a 10 out of 10. But now, 5 years later its a very different experience. We took our cruise during an interesting time, during our trip DCL was hosting some Disney bloggers and those bloggers soured this trip for us. My fiance and I wouldn't normally take a Disney cruise as a solo get away, but due to inheriting some DVC points after a family members pass we were in a use them or lose this situation so the DVC agent noted our soon to expire points would cover a Disney Cruise, we booked and this was the only one available. I want to start with our embarkation, we left from Miami. I know the common complaint about DCL is the staff during embarkation and disembarkation. For us, our embarkation process was pleasant.. I am originally from Miami so I didn't need to explore the area. We ended up being in boarding group 3, so at that point the staff were all in pretty good moods. The check in process on the other hand is a whole other story. Upon checking it our room wasn't ready yet (1:30pm is the time rooms are usually ready), which was fine, aside from the fact the only way to kill time was to eat, we were told we to come back to the check in desk around 1:00 for our room assignment as there was some system errors. This is where the big issue came, at 1:00 we went for our room assignment. We booked for a Veranda room, well apparently thats what Disney PR had put the bloggers in and they had actually overbooked our room, therefore because it was a corporate room we lost the right to stay. We were placed in an interior instead. Look, I am not trying to complain, AT ALL, but when you pay and reserve a room and then get moved and placed in a substantially cheaper one because the bloggers come first, you're bound to be angry. Needless to say this didn't go over well with us and I was heated. After speaking with a manager I was told that they could move us to an Oceanview and comp us for a meal at Palo. I was fine with that as aside from the balcony the rooms are similar. After our debacle we attempted to settle in to our room, unfortunately we didn't end up getting our luggage until 9pm. One of the biggest drawbacks is on this ship almost all the dinner spots were character dining, which isn't always what you want to do. According to some staff the Tangled dining experience is more of a show and is more enjoyable. The food is a grade above Walt Disney World food but not as good as Disneyland food. The flavors are bland and the food is just unmemorable. During our first full day we were at sea, and this was the highlight of the whole cruise, the spa. We purchased the the Couples Choice package and we are still raving about it. Its the perfect escapism on this cruise. If you do this you will be pleased. I have learned that I can receive similar treatments at the spa in Grand Floridian. Now for the part of this review that showcases why this is my final Disney Cruise. I understand its Disney, but there NEEDS to be more adult only options. On our final night we dined at Palo. Palo is wonderful, the staff is lovely and the food was the best on the ship. But the atmosphere is what killed it for us. Upon reserving a table we were told through the Disney travel agent it was upscale where "elevated business casual is required", obviously that isn't the case anymore. My fiance was in slacks, a button down and dress shoes, and I was in a maxi dress and heels. The table next to us were in shorts and sweatshirts. I just think that is ridiculous. This also shows why I was desperate for some more adult only activities because Palo had screaming children and rambunctious kids. For the size and capacity of the ship the pools are just so small and the lounge areas are tightly packed. Normal events and experiences on the ship where either closed or limited as the blogger hosting took precedent. At one point the ship advertised a show in the theatre but when we arrived we were told "the show was cancelled due to the blogger event as they were having an education seminar. I wish DCL would really promote some child free activities. As for the day at Grand Cayman, its not the best destination to be honest, we went to seven mile beach which was great but getting from the ship to the island is about 45 minutes long. The excursions were pretty standard offerings. Nothing new or innovative. Castaway Cay is a great little thing, for us, the adults only beach made it great. As for the staff and service, there is reason these cast member don't work directly in the parks. That's all I have to say. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Everyone was telling us how incredible the Disney cruises were, so we paid a premium price to take our daughter (7r old) and took off. It was a good cruise. But nothing to write home about. We've been on Princess twice and those ships ... Read More
Everyone was telling us how incredible the Disney cruises were, so we paid a premium price to take our daughter (7r old) and took off. It was a good cruise. But nothing to write home about. We've been on Princess twice and those ships were better. Customer Service on the ship and cleanliness are what stands out for Disney. The biggest issue was the pools are ship, layout are small and terrible. And then get this, the waters were slightly rocky so the captain decided not to visit one of our ports - Grand Cayman! Seriously?? They could have at least tried to compensate us in some way but refused (visit another island, voucher, etc). When I called customer service after the cruise, she flatly said no they wouldnt do anything to make up for this. I was annoyed. Also the food was lukewarm during dinners because they've expanded their restaurants to hold more pple. Great decor but mediocre food. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
OK. Coming out with anything but A++++ reviews of anything Disney can subject you to a backlash that makes coming out as a Trump supporter pale in comparison. We have many friends who are Disney addicts and have been on numerous DCL ... Read More
OK. Coming out with anything but A++++ reviews of anything Disney can subject you to a backlash that makes coming out as a Trump supporter pale in comparison. We have many friends who are Disney addicts and have been on numerous DCL cruises as well as numerous annual trips to the parks. Yeah, we aren't "those" people. Don't get me wrong, we LOVE Disney, but it isn't like air and water is to life with us. Taking a DCL cruise was a bucket list item for us and with the kids getting older, now was the time. Found a good rate (for a Disney cruise "good rate" is kinda subjective) over 2 school holidays and we went ahead and booked it. Arrived the night before and stayed at the Hampton Inn Brickell in downtown Miami and it was awesome. Perfect pre or post cruise hotel. 15 min drive to the port and 35 minutes later we were on the boat. Now is Disney can just figure out a way to get the park lines to move that fast! Once on the boat, we immediately went to the pool decks to let the kids start swimming and once we saw the pools, our hearts sunk. We knew the kids swim areas were small on the ship, but we didn't realize they were THIS small. Kiddie pool was maybe 15 ft across and at any given time there would be 20-30 kids running around screaming, splashing, fall on eachother, elbowing each other, etc. It was like a kiddie Thunderdome and watching my 7 year old autistic son try to survive that environment was more stressful than Id have liked. The main pool wasn't much better. VERY small and at any given time packed with tons of kids to the point where you could hardly see the water for all the kids and life jackets. This is what I don't understand. Disney has more money than most small countries and can afford to build whatever they want. They build a boat to hold 2700 people, of which an easy 1500 will be kids, and make the pools smaller than what you'd find in a run down apartment complex. On the "at sea" day, it was truly a nightmare with every child on the boat in and around the small pools. Im sure Disney has some sort of reasoning behind this, and Id love to know what it was. The 2 water slides were ok but always packed too. Ultimately, we were VERY disappointed in that. As far as the room and the rest of the ship, it was very nice. The room was by the aft elevators and was in the perfect spot. Easy walk up or down a cpl floors to get to all the restaurants and the pool decks since they were all in the aft part of the ship. The room was very nice and clean. Beds were amazing. Split bathrooms was a genius idea and having the balcony was a welcome escape of the madness every now and then. Food was BY FAR the best Ive ever eaten. ANYWHERE. Heard DCL does their food up well, but never expected this. They could take the lunch buffet to any casino in Vegas and serve it for dinner and charge $100 per person all night long. And that was lunch!! Dinner was even better. Cabanas was just amazing. Every type of food you could possibly want. Dishes from all over the world made it an adventure every time we went to eat. I got to try alot of dishes Id never had before. Asian, Indian, Mediterranean, you name it. Plus piles of fresh shrimp and stone crab claws and snow crab legs at each meal. Absolutely beyond compare. The sit down restaurants were great too. Lumiere's and Animator's Palate were as promised. Especially AP. We knew it would be fun, but seeing it in person made it even better. Having the wait staff rotate with you nightly to different restaurants was a great idea. They knew what the kids wanted and didn't want and treated us like old friends. This was a smart move by Disney. Ice cream and pizza was the one area where we came out ahead. Kids easily ate 40 ice cream cones over 4 days and we kept the pizza place in business. Not the best pizza, but it filled a void when you were hungry. Room service was good. the BLT was a big hit with us. The steak panini was great too. Would have liked to have a few more choices, but what we had was good. As for drinks in the room, bring your own soft drinks or be prepared to pay for them with room service. Knowing the kids would inevitably want a soft drink while in the room and knowing I wouldn't want to walk up to the pool desk to the soda fountain, we brought a pack of 8 oz pepsi bottles with us. Was definitely a smart move. As for the ship, incredibly clean and well kept. Never saw garbage or anything dirty. Public areas were as clean as your stateroom. After a cpl of days, the Disney themed music kinda begins to wear on you. For the first day or 2 its fun, but after hearing songs from Mary Poppins 500 times while walking around the ship, jumping off becomes a viable option. I didn't go on a Disney cruise expecting to hear hard rock or even most pop music around the pool because most of it isn't really what Id call kid friendly, and Im ok with that. Instead Disney has a playlist of about 25 songs that are palatable to families and plays it on a loop. Over and over and over again. I am a huge U2 fan, but you can only hear "Beautiful Day" so many times before you wished Bono never wrote that song. Again, small things, but when you can't get in the pools and are relegated to sitting on a chair watching the kids, pool music was all we had. The entertainment. Disney really stresses and PR's their kids clubs. They looked very fun and there were always kids in there, but my 12 year old daughter had no desire to go in one by herself and they aren't really set up to take special needs kids, so as a result we didn't use them. As a result, we felt like there wasn't much else to do activity wise. At night after dinner we literally wandered around the ship to pass the time while we waited for our stateroom to be turned down for the night. We did go to 2 of the live shows in the theater and the kids really enjoyed them. Very much Disney on Ice type shows...without the ice. We did get treated to many showings of Black Panther since it opened while we were on the cruise, but since Im really not amped about the movie to begin with, we didn't go. They had movies playing frequently in 2 theaters and for some, that's a great option but if you didn't really care for Marvel and Star Wars movies (my wife and daughter could care less) your options were thin movie wise. Character appearances seemed pretty regular, but we skipped out on them. We have plenty of character photos from our times in the parks. Alcohol. This is a big thing for me. Not because I want to get drunk, but I like to have a few drinks, especially when Im on vacation. Drink prices were pretty good and they had several packages for beer or wine. We bought a beer pkg the first day which came with 24 16oz beers of my choice, and a DCL cooler for $130. Yeah, thats alot of money, but if you stop and do the math and consider the convenience of not having to flag down a waiter or go to the bar for every drink (and pay another service charge each trip), it was worth it. Plus all the beers fit in the room fridge and our steward regularly brought us ice for the cooler. it was a very nice fabric soft sided cooler too, so having that by the pool and on Castaway Cay was great. DCL lets you bring on beer or wine and I brought a cpl of bottles of wine and my wife and I enjoyed them in the evenings on the balcony. We'd order a cheese plate from room service and it made a nice pre dinner snack with the wine. Castaway Cay. Very well laid out island with alot of potential. Packing 2700 people on the beaches they have makes for some very congested areas. We were able to find a place a little away from the crowds, which made it better. Water was pretty cold (didn't stop the kids though) and the amount of rocks in the sand and water wasn't what we'd have liked to have seen, but it is what it is. Guess when they dredged up all that sand for the beaches they couldn't sift the rocks out. Id like to see them expand the area and give that many people a little more elbow room. The lunch on the island was just so so . Like I said, the island has a ton of potential and Id like to see them expand a little bit more. Nassau is Nassau. Nothing special there. My daughter got to experience her first foreign city and that was fun, but after a cpl of hours t shirt shopping with her, we got back on the ship. The other BIG thumbs down on DCl was the internet. It is sold in packages and unlike other cruise lines, its sold in MB packages, not GB packages. I don't go on a cruise to spend my time on social media, but having an almost teenage daughter, wifi connectivity is a matter of life and death to her. Logging on the first day, DCL offers you a free 50MB pkg to try to the system. Not really knowing how many MB it would take to use any of the apps on my phone, I logged on to the DCL Navigator app literally to see what the prices were for the other packages. I clicked to 2 pages on the app and poof, nothing. I had already gone through the 50 MB in 2 pages. After hours of begging from my daughter, I allowed her to access her Snapchat for 5 minutes the next day using the wifi, knowing we could find free wi fi in Nassau the following day. 5 minutes on Snapchat cost me $19.99. Unreal. This was incredibly chintzy and disappointing. Im guessing DCL wants families to spend time together on the ship and not on their phones, which I 100% agree with, but for those of us who have to stay connected for work, on top of the teenagers wifi addictions, it made for a bit of a headache. For me it was a welcome escape when I sent my boss a screenshot of the internet prices and told him unless he wanted to pay for them, Id read all work emails when we got back to Miami! As for wifi in Nassau, we found a weak signal in a Burger King and it was just enough for my daughter to reconnect to her friends for a bit. Lots of other places around town offer free wi fi, so just pick one and save your $ on the ship. My wife, who is by far the big Disney person in our family, summed up the whole trip on the sea day as we were watching 30 kids fight to the death in the kiddie pool. "Im waiting for that aha moment. That moment where it hits us and we say Disney was worth the extra cost and effort. I never got it". For her to say that, it said something. We completely get the Disney thing and would never discourage people from taking a DCL cruise. On the other hand, we won't be taking another one ourselves. There is no doubt that our kids will have a better time on another cruise line with more activities (bigger pools, water activities, etc) and we will pay alot less for it and we will leave our Disney experiences to the parks. If you aren't a true Disney fanatic, I can't help but think you will probably be a little disappointed in your overall experience. The food and staff in my opinion really saved the trip for us. Disney got those things down pat and were the highlight of our cruise. Just know what you are getting for your $$ and you will be ok. Understand there is no escaping the Mouse when you are on a ship with him like you can when you are at the parks!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
First, I want to commend Andy (from Germany) and Michelle (from UK) on impeccable service and hospitality as the concierge hosts. They give everything of themselves every day and are great with children and guests and this is NOT a ... Read More
First, I want to commend Andy (from Germany) and Michelle (from UK) on impeccable service and hospitality as the concierge hosts. They give everything of themselves every day and are great with children and guests and this is NOT a reflection on them or any other ship staff/cast members for that matter. But the concierge rooms at $8,500 for 5 days, or 4-5X what others pay, is a complete rip-off. Even if you account for them being 2x the size of ordinary state rooms, they are still 2-3X as much money on an apples-to-apples basis, and despite the 22 "suites" on the Magic (or approximately 2% of total state rooms) comprising ~20% of Disney's ship revenue, you get incredibly little for that money. 1. No dining privileges - you eat in the same restaurants, at the same times, and the same food as the other guests. Its not like other ships where you get free meals at specialty restaurants that others have to pay for. (note: you do get free room service, but tipping is expected) 2. NO RESERVED SEATING for the 3 marquee shows. We showed up 15 minutes before "Tangled" (the new show on the ship that the crew and online is raving about) and found it to be standing room only -- had to leave the auditorium without a seat. Either not enough seats in the theatre, or people were going to see it twice (or not at their designated time) or both. Its unfathomable to me that people that pay $2,000+ per night for a room do not have reserved seating 3. No fast passes to ship's slides (this weekend was ~40 minute waits everywhere), no reserved pool chairs (leaving Key West and the one-day at sea... good luck, its a zoo on the pool deck as only two small pools for children as a third pool is designated adults only.. and its Disney so during holidays 90% of the customers are families with children) 4. You do get priority access for Cabanas - but its an additional $590 charge. Because $2,000 per night isnt enough. 5. You do get concierge greeting on embarkation, but in typical Disney fashion the greeters onland in Miami dont do anything but check your paperwork - still have to go to guest services for kids activities, and unlike other cruise lines, no one walks you to your suite/state room after being admitted onto the ship 6. Yes having your own (super helpful and great) concierge team was a huge plus - but you find out asking a few questions that Disney doesnt pay these folks from your excessive room charges for the hospitality. So you can not tip them if you like, or you can do the right thing and tip them a few hundred each... so basically add $500 to your total charges for that hospitality. Only recently they started serving (average) wine and liquor in the small concierge lounge from 1 hour previously to 5 hours (from 5-10pm) which is a start... you get cold finger food and sodas/OJ/coffee anytime you want... but how much is that really worth? Certainly NOT an extra $4,000 versus getting two connecting rooms. Positives: Disney knows how to show kids a good time. That's what most of us are here for, the childrens activities. The staff was great (mostly foreigners that rely on tips to survive - its shameful what Disney is paying them), the private island Cay Castaway is fantastic, and the two shows we were actually able to see by obtaining seats were fun. But this was more than offset by a truly lousy economic deal for Concierge guests which simply do not get close to enough amenities for what is being charged. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Let me start off by saying that for what this vacation was targeted for, it was good. It was targeted for children and in that regard, it was a pretty good cruise. This was intended for the kids, not for the adults. This was a family ... Read More
Let me start off by saying that for what this vacation was targeted for, it was good. It was targeted for children and in that regard, it was a pretty good cruise. This was intended for the kids, not for the adults. This was a family cruise with a party of 17. That being said, there was nothing that really stood out above the other cruises that I've been on. Food was good, however the selection for the sit-down dinner was not. Seafood lovers paradise. Almost all seafood except children's menu. Mussels and scallops mostly. Only two family pools, both are small and always crowded. All "food areas", with exception of room service, close at 11PM. The whole cruise was basically a family-style party boat. Pirate night was loud and very much in your face about it. Character meet-n-greets have very long lines and the princess meet-n-greets requires advanced reservations. Children's activities were well thought out and plenty to do if you have kids, if you have the energy to do everything. Room service was 24/7 which is always a nice touch. Buffets for breakfast and lunch were quite tasty. Something for everyone. There is a very nice children's play area, called the Oceaneer's lab/club, where you can drop off your kids at no charge. With exception of the adult's only pool/spa though, there is nothing to do. There is however a fantastic adult's only restaurant I would HIGHLY recommend. There is an additional charge of $30 per person,(plus tip), but if you can, do it. It is the best Italian food I've ever tasted. I would also highly recommend getting the beer mug for the $15, as it only costs you $6 to fill each time. Good deal if you are a beer drinker. I will say however, that the crew will bend over backwards for you. I know they get paid to, but they go above and beyond to make you feel special. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Two older women on a Disney Cruise with no children was a recipe for disappointment. First, boarding in Miami was our first mistake. What a disaster! From the chaos at MIA to the ridiculously absurd directions to the port, to the end ... Read More
Two older women on a Disney Cruise with no children was a recipe for disappointment. First, boarding in Miami was our first mistake. What a disaster! From the chaos at MIA to the ridiculously absurd directions to the port, to the end of the trip and waiting 7 hours in MIA for a plane because we had to be off the ship by 9:30 am, we were very aware that whoever operates this cruise, has never been to the Disney training center where you learn how to move people quickly and efficiently. I actually felt sorry for the parents traveling with children, who had to put up with the incompetence. There were lines everywhere. We waited to get on the ship (at 1:30 in the afternoon), we waited to get something to eat, we waited to get a chair to sit near the pool, we waited in the bar for a drink, it just went on and on. The Disney Wonder is an older ship that should really be retired or have a major makeover. When we arrived in our veranda stateroom, we had an unusual veranda that was like a little room covered in wood with a window. Not only were we disappointed but there were vinyl covered pads on the seats and they were ripped with all the stuffing coming out and soaking wet. This was the first time we realized there was only one bed. I had been on 7 prior cruises and thought the bed could be separated. Nope. We either had to sleep together or one person would have to sleep on the couch. This is a $2100 cabin???? Our room was far aft which meant a ton of walking to get to an elevator or a dining venue. I guess for some that would be good. For us, not so much. We immediately made our way to guest services to ask for mercy. Unfortunately, the ship was completely booked and there was no way we could be promised a cabin change, but our guest services rep would do what she could. Stay in our room was the suggestion and she would call...which she did and we received a much better cabin in a better location. Thank you! We had asked for a table for two because we are both hard of hearing which makes dinner conversation with others a bit difficult. Well, imagine 100's of noisy kids, with parents who saw this cruise as an opportunity to let their children run wild, scream, yell and irritate the waiters and other guests. Not only could we not hear ourselves talk, we could not hear when the waiters offered evening menus. It was chaos. We thought the Disney characters would be walking around on this cruise to visit with the kids, but not so. There were only certain times and locations they would be available and only for very short periods of time. Guess what...lines. In all fairness, we were not the typical Disney cruisers and our expectations were skewed. But we thought we would "preview" for our grandchildren. If they had fun, then we would? We were wrong, I think. I was surprised by how many non Americans were on the ship and how many non-English speaking guests (and crew). I was under the wrong impression that a Disney ship would have all-American Disney crew members. I forgot, this is a cruise ship, which generally means crew members from all over the world. Of course their service was wonderful. The food was fantastic! Of all the cruises I have been on, I believe this food was the best. Very nice selections and prepared beautifully. Palo, the specialty restaurant was outstanding from antipasto to the delicious chocolate souffle. Don't miss it! We were wakened almost nightly with strange machine noises and blasting power washers cleaning the verandas...at 3 am??? Come on. Thank goodness I downloaded the Disney navigator app so we could find out what was happening and navigate the ship. I found the information provided in the daily newsletter to be sadly lacking. The app is great and gives you an overview of activities and deck layout. Castaway Cay is lovely and has absolutely gorgeous beaches. The Bahamas are sadly lacking and a ripoff. Key West was actually fun and had some cute stores and bars. Would I go again? No. But, one thing I know for sure..all those 100's of kids had a blast! So, if you have children, don't hesitate...just take along a lot money and patience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We have traveled on four different cruise lines and have been reluctant to book a Disney cruise since we have no young children. I have always wanted to visit Key West so when we found this cruise, thought we would give it a try. We are ... Read More
We have traveled on four different cruise lines and have been reluctant to book a Disney cruise since we have no young children. I have always wanted to visit Key West so when we found this cruise, thought we would give it a try. We are DVC members and enjoy the Disney parKs. My husband and my 22 year old daughter joined me. It was a four day cruise to Castaway Cay, Nassau and Key West. Embarkation was easy and went quickly and we were on the ship by 1 PM. They announced every family when you entered the ship. It is a modest lobby as it was one of the smaller ships. Rooms were available about 1:30 PM so we grabbed lunch. The rooms are larger by cruise standards. We were on Deck 7 with a verandah. The bed was close to king size and a nice sitting area with a couch which became my daughter's bed. She said it was comfortable. The cabins have a two room bathroom, one with a toilet and sink and another with a Tub/shower combo and sink which was vey handy when we needed to get dressed at the same time. The veranda was a nice size which easily fit two chairs and a table. The rooms also have two wave phones which can be used on the cruise ship and cadtaway cay. This avoids the roaming charges on your cell phone. There is limited things to do as an adult. In the adult section of the boat, there was an adult only pool but since there was a strong breeze, it was uncomfortable to sit and relax or read. They did have a great cafe serving various coffee, tea and hot chocolate drinks as well as a nice bar area. In the evening, they had trivia in one of lounges which served appetizers of buffalo wings, hot dogs and chips and salsa. Very tasty with a nice bar menu. This worked well since we had the late seating and this was usually before dinner. The adult entertainment after dinner was a bit kitchy so we only went once. The shows were mostly aimed at the kids with the Disney characters but had a comedian/ventriloquist one night who was quite good. Disney rotates you to three dining rooms for dinner and unfotunately the food was disappointing. We ate at Parrot Cay the first night and everything was over salted. The other two dining rooms had mixed results depending on what you ate. Very disappointing. The staff were great - friendly, attentive and easy to have conversations. In particular, the matre-d, Simone, was very good. We had an issue in that we were seated with another family of three the first night and they were not very sociable and obviously annoyed to share a table. Disney should provide people an option to choose a private rable versus a group table as other cruises ask, when you choose your dining options. We met another couple at lunch at Castaway Cay who were traveling with their son and they had a similar experience in which they were seated with a family of 5 who wanted a table on their own. we found we had the same seating and rotation and Simone was able to seat us together which made a very enjoyable dining experience. Simone was transferred to the Fantasy on our return and they now have a great staff person. We had an unfortunate experience that my daughter signed up for the scuba trip in Nassau and when we went to the Activities desk on the first day to get her forms, they said she was the only one signed up and it might be canceled but provided no alternative. The scuba trip was the second day in port so they said to check the next day. We did and the women at the desk said it was going to be canceled but when we asked if she can refer us to private operators, she said you can check when you get off the boat. Not very helpful. After getting off the ship the first day on Castawat Cay, my husband saw the cruise director, Natalie, and explained our dilemma for our daughters scuba trip. My daughter was running the 5K at this time. Natalie took our wave phone number and said she would get back to us. Within two hours all was sorted out and my daughter had a wonderful scuba trip the next day. Thank you Natalie, the activities people can learn from you. Castaway Cay was nice but because of the breeze and cold water, it limited your activities. Nassau was a waste of time and Key West was great. We took the bike tour in Key West and enjoyed ourselves. We definitely will go back to Key West. Will we take another Disney cruise? We had very mixed reactions as the food and ports were the priimary attractions for adults and the food was so so and ports were mixed. It would depend on pricing and ports but we would not go back on the Wonder. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I was very excited to sail with Disney on the Wonder. As a Disney Vacation Club member for almost 25 years, I had visited their parks numerous times. As a cruise lover, with almost 20 cruises under my belt, I was very interested in ... Read More
I was very excited to sail with Disney on the Wonder. As a Disney Vacation Club member for almost 25 years, I had visited their parks numerous times. As a cruise lover, with almost 20 cruises under my belt, I was very interested in checking out the accessibility features of the Disney ships (knowing that Disney sets the standard for accessibility and comfort for the disabled at their parks). I must say, I wasn't super-impressed (sorry, Disney, I still love you). Our room was beautiful (Deluxe Verandah Stateroom, #7636) and spacious, but I had an issue with our roll-in shower. Could have been the angle of our cabin, due to the all the way forward location, the shape was of a triangle. I require the use of a built in shower seat, which was provided, but due to size and shape of shower, it was placed on the same wall as a grab bar. The grab bar impeded into the space of the 7 inch deep shower seat, a good 3 inches, only allowing 4 inches of seat for me to use. I'm an average sized person, 145lbs, but was too big for the seat allowance. Had to ask housekeeping for an additional shower seat (portable) that I had to use during the entirety of cruise (uncomfortable and not safe..one slip, and...). Other areas I found lacking were the doorways leading to the pool and upper decks. They were either automatic with a huge lip to get over (popping a wheelie required each time, impossible for a scooter-user), or if the transition was flat/ramped, the door wasn't automatic...not possible without help each time. The elevators are VERY small on this ship, only holding 4 passengers comfortably. Spent a LOT of time waiting for an empty elevator to fit in. Enjoyed the decor on board immensely, and definitely got my love for Disney flowing...seeing the characters was a lot of fun, enjoying fireworks one evening was a special treat, too. As adults without kids, we were happy to enjoy the adults-only pool area and adult entertainment district. Had fun playing movie quotes trivia with the ever-energetic host Brett and the various mixology, beer-tasting and Mojito-making events on board. Loved loved loved the day at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. Was happy they had a wheelchair accessible tram to get around the large island as there was a lot to see and do. Was disappointed with the stop in Nassau, however. Of the thirty-plus excursions offered by DCL, not one was wheelchair-friendly. I know and understand that Nassau is not the US so isn't required to offer anything for disabled guests, yet, I was surprised Disney didn't or hadn't tried to find at least one option. Our visit to Nassau lasted 20 minutes...off the ship, through the masses of vendors offering tours and activities, into town, which was a difficult trek in a chair, to find nothing but tee shirt shops and the regular Diamond International stores known in cruise ports. We quickly returned to the ship. Key West was a lot more comfortable stop, shops, restaurants right outside the cruise port. Our dining experience was average. It was fun to rotate restaurants throughout the cruise while keeping the same table mates and service staff. Our server, Jose, was always super enthusiastic and efficient. The food was just okay, I must admit, and I would definitely NOT classify myself as a 'foodie', I'm pretty easy to please. I found the selections were minimal and I wasn't very impressed with the quality. The push at the end of our stay to provide a good review of the service (so that our waiter could earn a much desired day off) was a little off-putting as well. Lastly, I find it necessary to include, the strange vibrations and shaking our cabin endured several times throughout the cruise. I assume the location of our cabin is to blame. Whenever we would pull into port, our cabin would shake and vibrate, sometimes violently, for several minutes. This also occurred all the way from Nassau to Key West. Instead of the nice rolling motion of the ocean, we rattled and shook...not exactly relaxing. Because of this, I wouldn't recommend a cabin towards the front of the ship (our table mates, in a similar location, but two decks down from us, experienced the same thing). In closing, loved the Disney touches and decor, did not appreciate the lack of wheelchair accessibility on board. My understanding is that the Wonder will be undergoing enhancements later this year, I hope to contact Disney to ask them to address my concerns and advise of my experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We did our first Disney Cruise and expectation were high but it actually turned out to be an average cruise. In my opinion it was overpriced for what was provided. The only advantage of Disney is having the Characters on the boat and if ... Read More
We did our first Disney Cruise and expectation were high but it actually turned out to be an average cruise. In my opinion it was overpriced for what was provided. The only advantage of Disney is having the Characters on the boat and if your children are into that than I guess it maybe worth the additional hundreds of dollars. The boat is one of the oldest in the fleet but it was recently renovated. The pools and pool areas were small and very crowded. The kids were literally on top of one another. The food service around the boat was average withe the breakfast and lunch being ok. The dinner was very good the food and service were good and the atmosphere was very family oriented. In conclusion I would probably not go on another Disney Cruise. There are other cruise lines that offer the same luxuries for a lot less money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
First let me say that overall we definetly enjoyed the cruise. We were on the Disney Magic, which is approx 17 years old, and this is obvious when you board. Perhaps some of the let down was on me, as I set my expectations based on the ... Read More
First let me say that overall we definetly enjoyed the cruise. We were on the Disney Magic, which is approx 17 years old, and this is obvious when you board. Perhaps some of the let down was on me, as I set my expectations based on the Disney brand, hype, and increased costs compared to competitor lines with the same itinerary (allbeit not Castaway Kay but rather their own private island). My expectations were much higher than what was provided. We paid much more than the other cruise line options and when I booked, I justified this by noting that we were paying for the Disney experience, i.e. Exceptional service, unique entertainment focused on Disney Characters, amazing food, and a "magical" environment. Unfortunately, none of these proved true. In general, the food was good (though nothing was fantastic or stood out, other than the daily lunch buffet which was excellent). Making this worse, our wait staff, while friendly, was terribly slow, missed at least one thing each night (did not bring everyone's appetizer/soup/etc.), we were lucky to have at least one glass of water or soda and almost never received a refill despite multiple requests, and on multiple occasions had only part of our party's dinner arrive, having to wait as long as an additional 9 minutes (timed it as by this point I was beyond frustrated) for the missing plate. The "head server" was 10 feet away looking at us, saw we were upset, and simply walked the other way, only coming by twice throughout our trip to say hello. In regards to the ship itself, you can definetly tell it was 17+ years old. There was no grand entrance, the elevators were so small, and overall there was little in the way of places to go and sit or shop. I have been on Royal Caribean and Celebrity, and these were not only less expensive (not to mention for 7 nights) they were so much nicer and had much more in the way of options and locations to spend time during your trip (I.e. Library, computer stations/business center, arcade, more shops, etc.) The Magic essentially had two stores (there is also a kiosk on the pool deck and what is essentially a kiosk for Star Wars merchandise hidden by a bar), which was surprising given Disney's ability to market and take advantage of their brand. In regards to the Disney "magic", this was probably my biggest disappointment, the only time there were characters were for pictures which were only three to four 15-30min sessions throughout the day, with absolutely no other option to meet Mickey or his friends (I do believe you could meet some of the princesses in the boutique, but not sure of the details as I have two boys that were not keen on the princesses.) In summary, average cruise though above average costs with below average Disney "magic". Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Pros Overall food was excellent.The breakfast and Lunch Buffets are the best, the sit down at night was satisfying. Though I did not like eating at the Parrot restaurant two nights in a row. Our server was very nice,she gave us free ... Read More
Pros Overall food was excellent.The breakfast and Lunch Buffets are the best, the sit down at night was satisfying. Though I did not like eating at the Parrot restaurant two nights in a row. Our server was very nice,she gave us free samples to try and was very helpful and caring with out kids.Portions were small so I recommend ordering multiple items. The shows were first class, kids did not fall a sleep and kept interested, we went 3 of the 4 nights. We did not go to the magic and illusion show because where here to see Disney show not a magic show. So, we stayed at the Pirate deck party and went to bed early. Took the scenic Trolly Tour on Key West, We paid the vendor on the island and was cheaper then going through Disney. Through the vendor kids were free. self serve Drink station and Ice cream Grant at the pool was awesome If your on board the wonder say hi to Kershek the Indian bathroom attendant near the Gift shops Castaway Cay was the best, nice beaches and private owned island seems lot secured. stateroom was clean and well attended to everyday. Cons Embarkation was poorly done. waited twenty minutes for our group to be called. When I asked the lady how long it would be she said ok its 25 now your 31 so 26 27 28 etc. and so on. She talk to me like I was stupid. Finally we got on after that things were ok that day Youth club for kids were terrible. The staff needs better training.We dropped our two kids off at the lab and they were their for 1 and 1/2 hours. We left them their so they could see the magic show. When we came back we waited in line to pick them up before dinner. Come to find out they were not in the lab but moved to the club section without our consent. When we went over there we had to wait in another line. Finally when I went to get my kids one was crying and breathing heavy. He said that he missed us the other said she did not know where she was going, had she known she would not have moved. When we asked the staff why were they moved without consent they said we asked the kids if they wanted to go over there. They said yes, I couldn't believe that Disney moves 4 and 5 years old kids without consent of parents. Sure we talked to them but they were uncaring and quoting policy. Another kid was crying and his parent was upset as well. Finally we talked to someone higher up who apologized but rejected when we requested some compensation. all they did was give a bag full of inexpensive goodies. Twice staff handed us the wrong room key after the character photo sessions. First time was on the island. When I notified them they just said go to customer service. Next was on the ship we could not open our door and then we realized we were given wrong key. To prevent others from opening our room or charging things to our bill Disney should be more careful. Our room was too cold we had to call Engineering to fix Popcorn is dirt cheap why do you have to pay for it Whats the purpose of a magic and Illusion show...boring seemed like a filler We got tickets to see Elsa and Anna, Anna did not show they said she was visiting her grand Papi hello they couldn't get staff to dress up as her. lame excuses don't advertise this if its not going to be. My daughter dressed up for nothing. last day should be just be a buffet not scheduled breakfast . forcing kids to get up early is unacceptable. Id rather have a day at sea then take the kids to Nassau,poor choice for a kids cruise.Not a safe place and they even say it. Should not have to pay for 300 to get all your pictures...it should be like Disney World where you can view and download online. Some character renditions looked sad,but to kids it doesn't matter Movies are scheduled at odd times or when things are going on like dinner or show. you have to pay for root beer Wheres Darth Vader? I guess on the more expensive cruises Final Thoughts save your money and go on the newer Disney ships or stay on land it would be better. If it wasn't for the Food and Shows it would have been terrible. Disney should train their staff better in customer service skills. sometimes I felt they do not not care about our problems. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I really wanted to like this cruise. I had heard from so many people and read so many reviews that suggested that Dsiney cruises were awesome and worth the high price tag. Well, I just returned and I couldn't wait to get off that ... Read More
I really wanted to like this cruise. I had heard from so many people and read so many reviews that suggested that Dsiney cruises were awesome and worth the high price tag. Well, I just returned and I couldn't wait to get off that ship. It was exhausting- too many people, pools so crowded they were standing room only, awful food, and almost nothing for adults to do. Here is my summary of the various aspects of this cruise- Ship- smaller than many of the mega-ships, but clean and modern inside. Shopping for adults is very minimal. Loses of Disney clutter to buy in the kids store. They play Disney music constantly which got in my nerves after a while. Kids Club- this is the place where I thought Disney really excelled. Wonderful children's programs. My 7 yo had a blast and the staff were top notch. Check in/check out could be a bit chaotic at times so be sure to come early if you are trying to make your showtime or dinner. Entertainment- excellent, and clearly kid- oriented. Magicians were wonderful and we all enjoyed Toy Story. Disney Dreams showwas on the last night and by that time I was so sick of everything Disney I thought it was a bit much. But my 7 yo loved it. Food- really, really bad. Buffet was small and chaotic and the food choices were very limited. Reminded me of an elementary school cafeteria (you actually get trays for your food). Really basic items like eggs, donuts, bacon, sausage,cereals. Limited fruit. I sent back cold eggs Benedict in Tritons restaurant and ended up just having cappuccino and pastry at Cove Cafe (which was lovely and became my morning routine). Lunch was equally awful. My husband had a basil, tomato and mozzarella panini and he couldn't even eat it- terrible. We don't even think it was actually made with cheese but rather some gelatinous mystery substance. Salads were pre-made at the outside sandwich area and were very sad- wilted iceburg lettuce and one slice of tomato. Vegetables were hard to come by- peas and carrots and steamed broccoli, and cauliflower were all I could find and they were only available a few times despite asking the servers. Never saw a salad bar!!!! We only ate in the main dining room once, because the food was also terrible and the noise level was so unpleasant- just too many people and lots of kids. Palo restaurant was the only edible food in my opinion. I know food is a matter of personal preference but for this price point I expected a lot better (at least a salad bar!). Castaway Cay was beautiful- could have spent 2 days there. Cozumel was- meh. embark and debark were a breeze and staff were very friendly and professional throughout the cruise. I'm glad I went on this cruise to see what Disney has to offer. My 7yo old loved it- DH and me, not so much. This review just reflects our opinions. Once was enough for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Let me make this review nice and simple: 1. You miss your dinner: YOU ARE OUT OF LUCK! No buffet for you (thing is when you have kids chances are you will miss stuff, especially on this ship with so much to do, I mean, I get it, ... Read More
Let me make this review nice and simple: 1. You miss your dinner: YOU ARE OUT OF LUCK! No buffet for you (thing is when you have kids chances are you will miss stuff, especially on this ship with so much to do, I mean, I get it, consistency is key for kids, but really, I mean, Really!!!) 2. You want to wake up maybe, at least, 10 minutes late on the day of arrival back at port.....?: WHAT!!! What are you crazy!! Out of luck. These people will make sure your are out of your stateroom by 8am latest. There will be constructions going on outside, workers moving beds and what not, plastic wrapinc floors. I felt like I was robbing a bank and trying to get away as soon as possible on this ship. As much as I dislike Carnival, I got to give it to them on this one, they let you chill on the last day. 3. You want to have breakfast on the last day?: OK, but you need a reservation, and you better show up on time (usually at 8am) or you don't get food. This is if you got a ticket from your server the night before at the same restaurant. But I don't image the buffet was much of a difference. Disney wasnts you out! ASAP! 4. You want friendly kids?: Think again, I'm not rich, nor do I even come close, but the rate was good so I went with my super friendly daughter, well guess what, some kid pushed her against the wall in the pool. I asked where his parents were and he said he didn't know. Really? In my opinion, the kids on this cruise were not very nice. 5. My property is safe right?: What!!!! My daughter got her pirate sword stolen in like 5 seconds, the moment it droped on the floor, it was gone. I could not believe it! My water bottle went missing. I was left thinking, "wait, these people have money right, so why is there stealing going on?" I did not get that one bit. 6. My stateroom attendant is going to be great: Yeah he was fine, but when I told him it was ok, that he didn't have to clean that morning, it was like he had won the lottery, he also took a long time to do our room, and I was thinking because I'm hispanic, then he thought I was a poor tipper (stereotype given to Hispanics and African Americans) so he didn't have to try hard, but after I left him the tips, he tried to be nice, I kind of knew. That's just messed up. Then I realized how much nicer he was to the other guests and they probably didn't tip as much as I did. Just sad. 7. My daughter is gonna have a blast!: Well she did, but not in the club (Disney Oceaneer Club), the one where I was supposed to leave her for a couple of hours while I went and worked out, or meditated, or just relaxed. No! My daughter needs a bit of warming up, so I asked the attendant at the club if I could stay with her for 5 minutes and on two separate occasions I was told no. So we just stopped going, and I never got to work out at the "club." I'm a single parent so if no one else wants my baby, I am stuck with her, gladly, but of course I'm paying for all this, so it seems a bit unfair. You know?   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We have sailed previously in the Disney Fantasy but this time my family went sailing on the Disney Wonder on january 2015. Save money and wait for the Disney Fantasy experience. The Wonder ship overall is decent, but not wonderful, just ... Read More
We have sailed previously in the Disney Fantasy but this time my family went sailing on the Disney Wonder on january 2015. Save money and wait for the Disney Fantasy experience. The Wonder ship overall is decent, but not wonderful, just ok. Service was good also, only that the joyful spirit experienced at the Fantasy cannot be compared at all with the Wonder. Food menu and variation is for mediocres.... totally unflavored, cold and super limited. Theaters and pools were extremely crowded since they are small size compared to the amount of people sailing. I won't say we did not have good times as a family but I was expecting way much more. Our visit to Castaway Cay was a mess: we could not get off the ship until almost midday, water was super cold, cold winds as if there was a hurricane and all port adventures cancelled except for swimming with stingrays in the freezing water as safety measures. There was nothing exceptional that I could point out other than the room movies, fruits, vanilla ice cream, chicken tenders and pirate night fireworks. We also had a really bad experience at the Quiet Cove with a group of people trying to dump me (25 years old) and my sister (20 years old) from the place literally harassing us alleging that we were lying about our ages and the right to enjoy of the adults jacuzzi. I mean we could have seemed to be younger but that does not mean that people can commit to dump others out just because they feel they are not the right age. Security did came and asked for all of our information to checked our ages in the system but that did not make up for the disrespect and the bad time that we experienced for almost 45 minutes. On the other hand, my husband and I went sailing on the Disney Fantasy on april 2014. There were by far more ups than downs. The Fantasy ship overall is really gorgeous, spacious and super neat... including the cabins and bathrooms all around. The service goes above and beyond and the spirit is wonderful. Not great are the food and the value for the money but plates are sincerely beautiful and the variety in the buffet is very good although most of the times the food do not have flavor at all. We had a wonderful time but the money spent is worth of consideration. This time our visit to Castaway Cay was very good except for the water's temperature which was really coooold. I must say we had a blast in the Watercraft Ski Adventure. Best things are cleanliness, spirit, Aqua-duck, pirate night fireworks, free variety of cold drinks, beautiful ship, comfort, Palo dining, Remi dining, Chankanaab Park at Cozumel and Watercraft Ski at Castaway Cay.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Party of 4 adults, 2 of which are young adults with developmental disabilities. Embarkation in Miami was what we expect from Miami with an arrival around 1 pm, with hardly any lines or waiting. there was a Make-A-Wish family in front of us ... Read More
Party of 4 adults, 2 of which are young adults with developmental disabilities. Embarkation in Miami was what we expect from Miami with an arrival around 1 pm, with hardly any lines or waiting. there was a Make-A-Wish family in front of us waiting in line, but they were waiting in line, which should not happen with a Make-A-Wish family, in my opinion. In the Disney Parks, all Make-A-Wish families get front of the line access. This small thing should have given us a clue as to how our cruise was going to go. Room was ready when we got on the ship. We have a wheelchair, but when we booked 9 months in advance there were no accessible staterooms available and we were put on a waitlist. Nothing came through so we had a regular oceanview cabin. Since the overall square footage is close to the 220sq. ft. of Carnival's I expected we would be able to fit. Well, the configuration of the bed being set up first in the room before the sofa gave us little room to maneuver the wheelchair, even when folded up. The bed was also very close to the floor, and our average size suitcases would not fit under except for the carry-ons. So, we had various suitcases taking up floor space. The overall storage in closet and drawer space was less than on Carnival and I had to keep all of my things in the suitcase as there was no room after the other 3 people's suitcases were empty. The split bath concept is nice, however, we are a tall family and could not sit on the toilet without banging our knees into the wall and could not stand up straight in the shower and actually shower without hitting our head and arms on the ceiling. You also cannot go to the bathroom and take a shower in the same room. You have to go to the bathroom to use the toilet, then go to the other bathroom to take a shower. The room steward was very good throughout our trip. there was a flood in a stateroom a couple of doors down from us and it spilled out into the hallway. Well, 3 days later they were still trying to dry out the carpet in the hall with blowers and it smelled very musty. Dining staff was good and the rotational dining rooms were unique. but, we felt the food was lacking something and over relied on coconut flavoring. We tend to be meat and potatoes kind of people and the attempt at gourmet foods fell flat for us. We also checked the children's menu to see if something appealed to us and there were not many choices. The buffet food for breakfast and lunch were fine, but again seemed to be gourmet based (risotto for lunch) and lacked flavor. I love the made to order omelets on Carnival in the am, and all Disney had were pre-made omelets with limited choices (cheese, western, plain). The buffet area had limited seating and trying to get a wheelchair through it was near impossible. The shows as would be expected were great. Character meet and greets were plentiful, but this is where it went wrong. Due to the extra holiday programming added to the Navigator schedule, there were lots of additional activities. Screaming kids running around, yelling parents, music that was much too loud and not needed in the atrium lead us to lose some of our hearing. I don't think that any of the 1000 kids on the cruise ever used the kids club. There were long lines for everything. We had picked an off-season cruise so there wouldn't be so many children on the cruise, but it seems like people take their children out of school all the time now. We were unable to ever find a lounge chair to sit on in the adult only cove area. Night activities for adults were non-existent unless you wanted to sit in a bar, which closed at midnight. We are Disney fans and have been to Disney World many times and expected to be treated by the staff the same way we are treated at Disney World. We just didn't feel that Disney magic coming from the staff on board other than our room steward and dining staff. Nobody ever said hello or good morning if you met them in the hall, etc. In fact, we went to Disney World for a week after our cruise and felt the magic as soon as we arrived at our resort. Castaway Cay was the bright spot on our trip. What a fabulous private island! They had beach wheelchair which made it easy to navigate for our son and the staff there was awesome. Food was good and the bar service on Serenity Bay was great. Nassau was Nassau, need I say more? Key West was wonderful after we finally got off the ship. What a fiasco immigration is in Key West. Our person in the wheelchair and one pusher had to go to the Cadillac lounge to go through immigration while the other 2 of us had to go through the horrendous line that snaked around the 4th floor. So, an hour and a half later, we met up and got off the ship. For a wheelchair user, this ship is not friendly at all. The expansion joints are too high throughout the ship and we kept getting stuck on them. To get out on deck through any door we found had very high lips that we kept getting stuck on. A wheelchair user without a pusher would have a difficult time to get out on deck. The hallways are very narrow. The elevators are too small for more than 4 people to begin with, but add in a wheelchair and we had to split up all the time to get to another deck. There were a couple of other wheelchair/scooter users on the ship and they all complained about the same things. I think what turned us off the most was the incessant loud noise wherever you went. The atrium, pool deck, shows, dining rooms; it was all too loud. Disney should really check the decibel levels that they are generating on the ship. Announcements were in more than just English, so there were a lot of loud announcements to get through in addition to the music being played, kids yelling, etc. We had to yell at each other most of the time to be heard. Our ears are still buzzing 2 weeks after our cruise ended. Is it worth twice the price of other cruises for the same amount of days? We don't think so. But, if you like the Disney shows and characters, this might be for you. We will probably go on another Disney cruise in the future as my sons want to go again, but we will choose more carefully. Looking for a cruise that has at least one or 2 sea days and one that does not go during any special holiday events on board (Christmas, Halloween, etc.)   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I don't know if I was expecting too much, but I was disappointed. Something's were just not up to Disney standards some just not acceptable. I love Disney parks and always think nothing else compares, but not so with the cruise ... Read More
I don't know if I was expecting too much, but I was disappointed. Something's were just not up to Disney standards some just not acceptable. I love Disney parks and always think nothing else compares, but not so with the cruise line. Things not to Disney standards- Staff was not as friendly as expected Paper navigator didn't match electronic navigator Expected guests to use tongs with hand wipes / couldn't they just serve How about some signs- at Castaway Cay there was a section of beach that was for snorkeling only, no sign to say it so the lifeguard kept yelling every 5 minutes No sign for lineup of characters, Jake was supposed to be out at 1, Sofia at 1:30 then Jake again at 2. Jake stayed out until 1:50 so people in line for Sofia were really in line for Jake and vice versa Character meeting that were not publicized, not organized and trash left by previous groups Things that were not acceptable- Our bathroom and shower room drains backed up, maintenance came to fix the problem but we had 2 call twice to get it cleaned up The last morning we had breakfast in Animators Pallet the table next to us had 4 people eating at that table, when the table was done the waiter did not clear the unused dishes. You made me use a hand wipe to push the buttons on the soda machine but it ok not to clear the dishes or the tablecloth. Our ship stopped in key west on the day of adult themed fantasy fest. All other ships stayed away. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
After doing many cruises from Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Carnival, we had a variety of experiences and were looking forward to the Disney experience. We needed a shorter cruise and my 6 year old was the perfect age to enjoy the ... Read More
After doing many cruises from Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Carnival, we had a variety of experiences and were looking forward to the Disney experience. We needed a shorter cruise and my 6 year old was the perfect age to enjoy the Disney experience. Since it was shorter, I could afford Disney - a 5 day Disney cruise is the same cost as a 7 day Royal Caribbean. I'm not sure why though, from my experience I can't see what warrants that extra cost. My daughters favorite part was being a part of the fish extender group from DisBoards. But that had nothing to do with the ship :) The port was fine in Miami, though freezing cold inside. I had multiple flights for this trip because we weren't do a straight round trip flight. Because of this I forgot to do the online sign in and we got there at 11am before anyone was boarding and I took care of everything there, only to find out we got number 36 out of 37 for a boarding number! So be aware, even if you arrive VERY early, you are PUNISHED for not doing online check in. Luckily one of the guys guarding the stairs had pity on my poor freezing child and we got on around group 10 an hour or so later. Now onto the boat! As a single mom, cruises are our one big vacation of the year. They are affordable and offer relaxation for me, and fun for my daughter. This was my daughters 3rd cruise, and since the first, it has always been what she asks for when we talk about vacation. She was excited about the Disney cruise, and while she had fun, even she was let down in a few areas. First I'll start with the cabin. It was nice! Great set up, lovely decor and well maintained by our cabin steward. He turned her couch into a very comfy bed each night and had it turned back into a couch in the morning. The separate shower/sink and toilet/sink was nice, but not necessary. I could see it being a big help if you have 4 people in the room instead of 2. We spent more time in this cabin than on normal ships because of the lack of evening activities... so I was glad it was comfortable. Tip for those who usually take magnets to put their cruise papers on the walls etc.... the walls in these rooms are not magnetized so your papers will be everywhere :) Kids club: was split into two large rooms, club and lab. While I typically dropped her off for things like Flubber (which she actually didn't enjoy much) and the Lava demonstration (which she really, really liked), it was typically club where she chose to play. She said she didn't really like the games that they played though, sometimes kids were bossy and pushed other kids away so they didn't get a turn - I think its an age issue. Disney has a HUGE range of kids in this club, from 3-12 year olds! This means their activities have to try to incorporate all of those ages. On a Royal Caribbean ship, the kids are divided into ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-11 and then the teen groups. This allows for much more age specific activities and smaller groups. On a Royal ship, my daughter begs to stay and play with her friends. On the Disney, she enjoyed it and wanted to go there, but I noticed a big shift in actual excitement. On one port day, I left her on the ship while I took a long excursion to ruins, which I knew she wouldn't enjoy. She is normally very excited to stay on the ship! One of her favorite times on a Royal ship is lunch, where they take small groups to the buffet and they get to choose their own lunch. That *freedom* to pick exactly what she wants without mom saying "why dont you eat some...." is a huge exciting thing for her. On the Disney ship they just brought them turkey and cheese sandwiches and fruit to club. My daughter is not a fan of turkey and cheese unless its loaded with lettuce and tomato and stuff. So when I picked her up from club at 5 that afternoon, she was SOOO hungry!! When asked what she had for lunch? "Watermelon and apple juice" was her reply. It was very disappointing both her and I. Obviously I could never leave her on a Disney ship again if we were to port somewhere. With 900 kids on the ship, you would think they would bring an assortment from Goofys kitchen of chicken fingers, hot dogs and hamburgers for the kids to choose from as well - we ate up there both sea days, and that food was great. What is a bit concerning is that they didn't seem to care that they didn't eat. Pools: they were packed like sardines! Literally (I have pics). There were over 900 kids on the boat, yes I said 900! There were 2 small pools for the kids to play in, the mickey pool and the goofy pool. They were beyond crowded. There was a life guard, which I was very happy about, since I could see a kid accidentally pushing another kid down in the water to get around them. It allowed me to sit back and relax and read a book over at a nearby table which is nice. The goofy pool should be double the size. The deck is taken up by a ton of deck chairs, which would be fine if there wasn't so many kids wanting to be in the pool. There is plenty of space on the deck above, surrounding the pool, to have the chairs for those who want to lay out - there WERE chairs up there, but they weren't even used. Which means the chairs taking the deck space is a waste of space and the pool should be bigger - kids LIVE to be in the pools, this pool is smaller than your standard hotel pool. The slide was fun though, she really enjoyed that once she figured out how to get in there. The adult pool was nice, not crowded at all (like a typical cruise), so you could actually swim. However it was incredibly cloudy! You could NOT see to the bottom at all. I've never seen a pool so dirty. The 2 small hot tubs were nice. I would have loved a bit more time in there! Shows: Excellent! They were so well done. The actors were great, the story lines were cute and we were well entertained. This was the best part about this cruise, hands down. I would choose a Disney cruise over another line for the shows if the other issues weren't so huge and the price so much higher. Time zone issue: Disney does NOT take into account that people come from different time zones other than EST. I never realized what an impact this has! I always try to keep my kid close to HER time zone since it helps with jetlag when we get back. One thing I love about cruises is the late dining, late show option. Being from the west coast, the late dining at 8:15pm means we are eating dinner around 5:15pm PST(perfect). A normal cruise follows dinner with a show, which works well. If I wanted to put my daughter to bed at HER time zone at 9pm (12am ship time), that works well. Instead, Disney puts the show BEFORE dinner. There are a few ig problems with that. 1) We love that on other ships, the pools are typically more empty around 5 when people who have early dining are getting ready for dinner. It gives us 2 hours to enjoy the pools before we have to go shower and get ready for our evening. On the Disney ship, we have to go to the show at 6:15, the same time as everyone else's dinner, we lose that 2 hours of nice quiet pool time. 2) The halls and elevators are crowded with everyone getting to dinner or the show at the same time. The is easily avoided, yet this is their schedule. 3) The show is 1 hour. Which means our show that starts at 6:15 ends around 7/7:15pm Which means we now have to waste one full hour until our dinner time! This is SUCH a waste of time! EVERY night we would go back to our room to twiddle our thumbs and have to wait out the hour before dinner. I'm sorry, but that is just a very stupid schedule. A few times my daughter asked to go play at club so she didn't have to sit in our room doing nothing. Its not like we can go swimming that hour since we are ready for dinner. If the show started at 7:15 or even 7, that would give us a bit more time at the pool before it and not have such an terrible waste of time. But the show SHOULD be after dinner. If I'm trying to keep my daughter as much on HER time zone as possible, we finish dinner by 7:30 HER time! The show should follow dinner for anyone who is trying to keep their kid closer to their own time zone. **SO in summary, having the show before dinner makes us lose valuable pool time, loses an hour wasting time between the show and dinner, and leaves us with hours after dinner with not much to do! Leading to a disappointing evening EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Food: I typically enjoy dinner very much on cruise ships. I like the variety of fruit soups, creative appetizers and exciting entrees. And sometimes the best part of the day is the conversation with a large table of people from all over laughing and telling stories. On most ships I enjoy a table of 10-12 people. On the Disney Wonder I was sat at a table with 3 other single moms and their one child. After I got over the awkward "exiled from the family tables" feeling, it was ok. One poor mom was from the East coast, so she would have MUCH preferred the early seating since her daughter was used to going to sleep at 8pm - which she did, about 20 minutes after sitting down, on top of her mom. So her poor mom could barely get her dinner in. I suggested she go to the Maitre'd that night or during the next day to get swapped to the other supper time, she said it was not an option when she signed up for the cruise, but I assured her they would likely find room (though maybe not at a secluded single mom table). I didn't really have good conversation with the few ladies at my table so I switched. I had met a lovely lady the first day before we even sailed away, and our kids got along very well. So I found her table the next night (also single moms with 1 kid) - the table sat 8 but there were only 4 of them so I joined them. I only ordered room service once, and I was happy to say they were very prompt! Much faster than any other cruise I've taken. We all loved the food at Animators Palate. The decorations were great. The menu had a lovely variety that included pasta (which was oddly rare in any of the restaurants). After 3 nights of bad-ok food, we were excited. All of us ordered 2 main dishes and were were finally not disappointed. We even had 2 desserts that looked great so we tried both. It was by far our favorite meal and we SO wished we could have dined there every night. Tritons was ok. If you are a seafood lover, than the food on this cruise was probably awesome for you! Beware if you are not a seafood lover. You are limited to 1-2 choices. Dont feel like lamb? You will have to choose the skirt steak. The next night, don't feel like beef twice in a row? You will have to have the chicken and pray it isn't dry. There wasn't pasta except for the night in animators palate (or if there was, it was seafood so I skipped right over). Parrot Cay was the WORST. I literally was shocked at the food. The offerings for appetizers did not look good, so I didn't have any (those at my table that did, were not impressed). The main course was so so... I left half of it on the plate. Got a baked potato with said dry chicken one night, and there wasn't even sour cream offered with it. And the offerings for dessert were even so pathetic we didn't order and just left to get soft serve on the pool deck. The first night there was so bad I was dreading the fact we HAD to go again due to their arrangements of how they sit people for dinner. I was very jealous of whoever got to go to Animators Palate twice. Why didn't we skip it and just go to the buffet? If you have been on a Royal Caribbean or Carnival cruise you will understand that the buffet is huge. There is a large salad bar, an area with pastas, pizza, sometimes fresh hamburgers, sandwich fixings, asian food area, tacos, etc etc. When we arrived on the ship we made our way to the buffet for lunch, which is what we normally do when we get onto a ship. We got our try and plate and put small bits on it as we worked our way down the buffet line. My plate was about half full with salad and samplings of things when I turned the corner to go to the next buffet island only to find there wasn't any. That was it. It was about the size of a cafeteria. The salad bar area was lettuce and just a few things to add to it - Carnival's salad buffet area is the BEST on any ship I've been on. No less than 20 things you can add to your salad! There was a pork chop thing that I wouldn't have chosen had the guy beside me said he had already had it and said it was good. We took our trays and sat down and I found that there was am area with a pasta and rice bowl. So I grabbed some pasta since I knew my kiddo wouldn't eat much that was offered on our way through the buffet line. Breakfast was much better. We enjoyed the french toast a lot, very good! I was hoping to enjoy eggs Benedict the last breakfast day before we got off the ship, but sadly it was basic breakfast in the restaurant and not available (had I known I wouldn't have waited until the last day - so I heard the eggs Benedict in Tritons was good, but I didn't get to try them myself.) The overall feel of the restaurants is very much like a standard 3-4 star family restaurant back home. You won't get the crisp white linens, fine dressed wait staff or the feeling of being in a 5 star restaurant you will get in the main dining room of a Holland America (best food), Royal Caribbean (runner up), or even a Carnival dining room (though their food is so-so too). If you want to feel like you are out at a special dinner, this isn't going to be it. If you want to just feed your kids and get it over with, this is more your style. Your drinks won't be on the table when you get there (bummer) and most of the time my tea or soda didn't arrive until after my appetizer! Sad service considering the tables weren't full. Not at all the service I've received elsewhere. I did miss the option for the kids to go to kids club - if it was available, no one used it so I'm not sure how to. On a Royal ship they are very, very quick to get the kids their food. My daughter loves on other ships that her milk and fruit cup are waiting for her - she doesn't like pineapple, and on our last Royal cruise the wait staff was SO excellent they made sure her fruit cup was pineapple free and always there when she sat down. She got to order and her main course was served with our appetizer She finished her food and I would walk her to the entry of the restaurant where the kids club staff was ready to take her for a night of fun and planned activities. I would go sit and enjoy the rest of my meal with the other adults and have great conversation about the day and adventures everyone had that day knowing that my kiddo was well fed and off having a fantastic time in kids club. On the Disney cruise one boy at our table finished his food and was old enough to make his way to kids club so he would after a few bits of his entree. The other two weren't old enough so we made sure to bring stuff for them to do. There was no rush to get out, since there was no show after dinner. Palo - I didn't do it simply because from all of the reviews I read it was a huge seafood buffet and I could not justify the price for seafood when I'm not going to eat it. Adults: Which brings me to last of my review. Lack of adult fun! There were very few things for adults to do afterhours. I've already discussed the fact that Disney doesn't take into account anyone that is on a different time zone. After we talked our way through dinner as long as possible, it was around 10EST (which is just 7pm my time) and we were roaming the halls looking for what to do. The kids typically wanted to go play in kids club, which was fine. But there weren't adult comedy shows, the main evening show or even adult trivia games going on in the bars. I went to their version of "love and marriage" one night, which is always a favorite, and it was enjoyable - but that was the first night. There wasn't anything like that any other night. The few "singles" activities were typically lunch in the middle of the day. Hey here is an idea, have a singles trivia game in a bar at 11! There were some family game shows but nothing else for adults other than live music in a few places - not my cup of tea, but no other options. So most nights I was back in my room at 11pm wide awake (it was 8pm my time). I would have loved to go to a movie in the theater, Captian America was showing and I would have gone to that, but it started at 10 and the kids club closes at 12..... Captain America is over 2 hours - which means I would not have gotten to kids club in time to pick her up when it closes. Makes that 12-2am $7/hour extra baby sitting on a Royal ship feel very missed since I would have gladly paid the $7 to be able to go to a movie at least one night. But alas, I picked her up from club and we went back to the room and I read while she watched tv until 12 or 1am when we actually fell asleep. We have been known to get our suits on and go relax in the quiet empty hot tub together on a Royal ship. But that was also not an option... pools close at 10. So while we weren't entirely miserable on this cruise. I don't think it was worth the money. Someone who hasn't been on another cruise may not know how great it can be so they may have an awesome time. Or they may not care so much about the food, the pools or activities. Perhaps their vacation is just hoping their kids are happy.... but my kid was just as happy (if not more) sailing Royal Caribbean - which might have to do with the bigger, emptier clean pools, the food, the age separated clubs and the later night fun. I had a few friends who said they really enjoyed the Disney Fantasy... but to be honest I typically have about a $1600 budget for our week long cruise, and that doesn't even pay for 1 person on that ship! So I doubt I'll even be able to review that ship. I think if Disney put their late dinner show after dinner it would ease the pain of no late night adult fun and allow some less crowded pool time - it would be the fastest, easiest way to make a huge improvement. I'm hoping to do Princess and Norweigan cruises sometime to compare those. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We greatly enjoyed our recent cruise on the Disney Wonder traveling to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. A bit about me: I am in my early 20s. I travelled with my husband, mother, and teenage brother. No children in our party. We all love Disney! ... Read More
We greatly enjoyed our recent cruise on the Disney Wonder traveling to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. A bit about me: I am in my early 20s. I travelled with my husband, mother, and teenage brother. No children in our party. We all love Disney! This was my first Disney cruise, previously we have cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We will start with the not-so-good -Food-the food was just okay. It was better than what we eat at home, but the food often came overcooked & really didn't impress us much at all. There are also very limited choices in venue & variety out of the dining room compared to other cruise lines. Room service choices were very limited. The iced tea is also a no-go. -Entertainment-generally in the "good" section other than Toy story, the musical, which was truly terrible. Everyone in our group agreed that they took the least interesting & funny parts of the story and wrote mediocre songs about it. I was very impressed by the sets and costumes for about 5 minutes, then literally fell asleep. -Communication-It was very difficult to figure out any information on our specific cruise prior to boarding the ship. When we arrived, it was difficult to discover what was going on each day. Their activities page "The Navigator" isn't in your room the first afternoon. You have to go to guest services to get it. When you do receive it on all of the subsequent evenings, it is disorganized & has unclear or no description of what particular activities are. -Lack of shops-I am shocked that I am saying this about a disney venue, but I wanted to buy a few disney souvenirs and I felt that I had incredibly limited options in their only 2 shops! -Shore excursions-We take "duck tours" as a family every place we visit, however I do not recommend the tour of Grand Cayman that we scheduled through Disney. There was very little interesting or historical information on this particular tour especially for the prices that they charge. We had much more fun doing excursions through the vendors on shore. We primarily used the same companies that serve Disney, however for much lower costs than booking through the cruise ship. -Layout of the ship-Usually by the 2nd day, I know how to get anywhere I want to go on a ship, however I just couldn't get the hang of this layout for some reason. It is odd, because it is the smallest ship that I have ever sailed on! -Characters-we wanted to get a picture with Mickey & waited in line 45 minutes to see him. It would have been faster to drive down to Disneyland! Now for the good and great! -Service-this is where Disney truly is exemplary, going above and beyond in every way. Every single staff member in every department went that extra mile, which would truly make a difference when you have young children. For example, our dining room server pre-ordered the desserts that we liked even though they weren't on the menu, the merchandise team searched high and low in their back room to obtain products we wanted, and when we complained of construction noise in our room, the guest services team's attention to the situation verged on annoying. In every not-so-good mentioned above, a cast member did more than expected to make it right. -Music-there wasn't as much live music as we would have liked, but what we did see was exceptional. -Palo-I wasn't sure if it was worth the extra cost myself, but during dinner, my husband said "I would pay $100 to eat this steak again." So he was impressed enough for both of us. -Entertainment-the broadway-style shows were almost all exceptional & the comedians & other entertainers were family-friendly even in the adult shows, which I enjoyed. -The ports-we spent the maximum hours on shore! In Grand Cayman, we snorkeled off the shore, simply renting the equipment for $18 from a little place walking distance from the tender called "Paradise." In Cozumel, we visited the mayan ruins & walked around shopping at little markets & bartering a bit. If you enjoy history, the mayan ruins are a must! -The regular coffee was actually much better than I had expected. -Seeing current disney movies on a cruise ship-yes please! Just be prepared for a crowded & noisy theater of small children. With every song from Frozen, there were at least a half dozen little ones singing along (which I found to be completely adorable). -Adult areas-very nice. Not as overly-crowded as other cruise ships seemed to be. -Decoration and overall feel of this ship, including stateroom =) Summary-We enjoyed ourselves completely! I would definitely consider a Disney cruise again when we have young children. I think that simply the service of the staff would make all the difference in the world! Until then, we just would not justify the rising cost of Disney in comparison to other cruise lines & will most likely return to Royal Caribbean & Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We have cruised on Norweigian and Royal Caribbean several times. But, everyone (including travel agents) told us that DCL was the "best" and the "premiere" cruise line for families. We are a family of four (two adults ... Read More
We have cruised on Norweigian and Royal Caribbean several times. But, everyone (including travel agents) told us that DCL was the "best" and the "premiere" cruise line for families. We are a family of four (two adults in 30s and two children, ages 2.5 and 4). We also had grandparents in their 60s join us. So when we saw that DCL offered a "kids cruise free" deal out of Miami, we decided to skip Orlando and the long lines at Disneyworld and try the DCL cruise instead. The Disney Wonder was mostly a good experience, but there were some disappointements, as well. The biggest disappointment for all of us was the quality of the food onboard. We just cruised on Royal Caribbean in December and the DCL food was just terrible by comparison. Disney cruises are for kids and families. Period. Anyone who tells you that it's a great experience for an "adults only" cruise is lying. Everything is catered to children, from service at restaurants, food options (or lackthereof), shows, pools, entertainment, etc. This was specifically glaring in the restaurants and with food options and quailty of food. Be prepared to wait in lots of lines and be prepared to be "Disneyed-Out." Also be prepared to be surrounded by throngs of overstimulated and overtired rugrats. That is what a Disney Cruise is. Instead of waiting in lines at DisneyWorld, we waited in lines at sea. Pros: (1)Embarkation. Pretty easy. We took the Disney transportation shuttle from Miami airport to the cruise terminal, and it was a relatively seamless experience and convenient. Since we didn't have car seats for our 2 year old and 4 year old, the shuttle bus was a must. No regrets on utilizing and paying for it. (2) Room: We were in room 7106, which was a balcony stateroom. It was a lovely room, and we would book it again. The room was spacious by cruise standards, and easily fit two adults and two children. Much bigger than Royal Caribbean. Our 4 year old was in the sofa that converts to a twin sized bed. 2 year old in pack n play. Love the dual bathroom set up and especially the tub, which made it so easy to bathe the kids after a day on the beach. better than Royals shower-in-toilet set up. Be careful because the drawers roll in and out without guards, so we had two incidents with crying over pinched fingers. Water pressure was so-so. In the sink/toilet room the hot water was scalding and was difficult to adjust. Love that we got shampoo, conditioner, and lotion (Royal gave nothing at all). All good sized bottles. Lots of storage in the room, including ample room for a stroller. Would be nice if they had a step for kids to use to access the sink for tooth brushing, etc. we overturned a trash can and used that. Beds were very comfortable, so were pillows. (Better than Royal). Nice that there was a privacy screen to separate where kids were from where adults were, so we could read at night. (3) Entertainment We found the shows to be quite wonderful for Disney themed shows. You aren't going to see variety shows or comedians or anything like that. On a Disney Cruise you get Disney Disney and more Disney. It's all for kids, and the Disney shows were amazing. Special effects, costumes, production, were all incredible. One thing we did notice that was interesting is that a lot of the time, the performers were singing to a pre-recorded track, so the chorus you hear isn't just the performers on the stage, but a large chorus of performers that is recorded, as well. On Royal, everything was "live" as far as vocals, as compared to Disney. Sure, the solos are live, but the vast majority of the music and singing was obviously pre-recorded. The Golden Mickey's show was adorable, and we loved the way they incorporated the audience and certain members into the performance. Same with Toy STory the musical. During our performance there was a technical problem with making the character of Buzz Lightyear "fly." You could see the wires attached to him, but for some reason there was a malfunction. When the stage went dark, there was a moment of panic and then a bunch of dancers came running in to entertain the crowd while the technicians tried to fix things behind the stage. It was a great cover! Our favorite performance was the final night "Disney Dreams" which included reenactments of several princess-themed musical spots. My 2 year old son was transfixed the entire time. Also neat was the confetti and bubbles and other crowd-entertaining experiences. Aside from the shows in the theater, there was also a variety of entertainment available for the kids. The Bon Voyage party included dancing and interactive activities for the kids, including these cute sparkle things the kids could wave and shake. And, of course, there was the famous pirate night and fireworks. Be forewarned, that the pirate party and fireworks are LATE at night, e.g., 10:30 PM / 10:45 PM, so the littlest pirates will not be able to make the show. Kind of sad. It would be nice to do the fireworks a little bit earlier, perhaps, so the under age 7 set can enjoy them. (4) Activities - lots for kids to do on board. Especially neat were the character experiences. But be prepared to wait in LONG lines. We had to wait for 45 minutes to meet the Disney Princesses. It's not Disney World, but be prepared for lots of lines. (5)Castaway Cay - this was amazing. Beautiful. Clean. Good food. Wonderful Beaches. And so nice to not have to take a tender into the island. The ship pulls right up and you can walk off. I would live there if I could! My daughter enjoyed playing in the rented inner tube. And there is also a water slide that is available for children who are over 38" tall. My 4 year old went down the water slide with a life jacket on. (6) Nassau - Blue Lagoon Island. In Nassau we went to Blue Lagoon Island, which was terrific and worth the extra price for the beach. The island is gorgeous with warm blue water, an inflatable water park, and on-land bounce park, dolphin and sealion encounters, and a really yummy BBQ lunch included in the price. Just the ferry ride to the island is an adventure, as you get to ride past the gorgeous Nassau estate of Oprah! ONE major CON for this shore excurion -- What did surprise me though is that Disney Cruise Line charged $55 for my two-year-old to participate in this shore excursion. On Royal Caribbean we did the same shore excursion two months ago and he was FREE. What's that about? My four year old daughter was half priced on Royal, and Disney charged her a full price ticket. Same excursion. Same ferry. Same BBQ Food. But DCL charged a lot more! (7) BYOB - Nice that DCL allowed us to carry on two bottles of wine, so we could enjoy a good glass of wine at half the price. Alcoholic beverages on DCL were also comparatively inexpensive at $5.75 for most mixed drinks vs. $9 on RCL. CONS: (1) Food - Pretty bad. Disappointingly bad, considering the premium price for the cruise. The menu options were varied and promising, but the execution of the meals and the flavors were bland and sometimes awful. Buffet food was also sub-par. The "fast food" on the cruise (pizza, sandwiches, chicken nuggets, burgers, etc.) all around the pool area were tasty. But the sit down restaurants food was very disappointing. Fish was way overcooked and flavorless. Same with steak. Instead of a whole cut of tenderloin steak, they serve you a few pre-cut strips of a dry and tough meat. More surprising Lobster was not offered at all. In fact, I don't think there was any lobster on the cruise at all. This is clearly a cruise where food is geared toward children, and not anyone with a gourmet palate. On Royal Caribbean we felt like we were eating at a fine dining restaurant every night because the caliber of the food was so great. Steaks, lobster, all kinds of seafood. On Disney everything was just bland and some dishes were down right ruined. It was a shame because the Disney Dining rotation was a neat concept. We ate in three different restaurants on three different nights, all with different themes. But the menus were all similar and the food was all equally disappointing. We had one decent dinner in Tritons on the second night. The sea bass. Steaks were not actual steaks, but strips of pre-cut steak badly cooked. An "avocado citrus salad" was two tiny chips of avocado sitting on a bunch of iceburg lettuce with some minute made condensed OJ drizzled on top. I tried a tuna-tatar appetizer with wasabi, but it just tasted bad. The restaurants were clearly for kids. Which was nice because our kids could act out, make noise, etc., and no one would care. But if I was not part of a family and wanted to go on a relaxing adult cruise, this would not be it. Just because of the restaurants. Noise. Clanging. Crying. Screaming. Great for kids. Not so great for adults. But that's a Disney Cruise. CONS - (2) Kids Club - This was another, surprising, disappointment for us. The kids club facilities were impressive...amazing, actually. Both the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab were gorgeous, taking up half an entire deck of the ship. But, facilities aside, we found the kids clubs to be disorganized, chaotic, and even a bit dangerous. There seemed to be no organized activities for the kids while our daughter was there. Just a huge mob of children running every which way. The kids scanned in and out with a special RFID bracelet. But there were no name tags for the children. No individual attention. No personalized attention. No organized activities from what we could see. There were groups of kids running here and there exploring and playing, but I did not see an organized group doing a craft. The only thing I did see was a halphazard "dance class" in the Oceaneer Lab. It felt like you drop off your child in this massive room with all this overstimulation, and then they fend for themselves. This wasn't very confidence-building for parents with younger children in the 3-6 age range, who require more structure. I could easily see a situation where a younger child gets hurt or injured due to the lack of ratio with adult care-givers and individualized attention. when we used the kids club on Royal Caribbean, it was a smaller program (and filled up quickly), but the children had name tags and there was much more structure, organization, planned activities and themes, and very strict ratios with adult caregivers. I had much more confidence leaving my 4 year old child in the Royal Caribbean staff care than Disney. The Disney kids club truly reminded me of "Neverland" and all the kids were "lost boys" running about, doing whatever they wanted, without any adult orgnization. Perhaps the club facility itself is enough. But if you have a child who is shy or easily bullied, there could be trouble. Another example of the lack of attention - My daughter spent 2 hours in the Kids Club on Castaway Cay while I went to the spa. When I checked her in, I specified that she had dietary restrictions (we do not eat red meat or pork). When I picked her up after lunch, she proudly explained how she "ate all kinds of different foods" (including a hot dog and a hamburger). She ended up with a bad tummy for most of the afternoon because she normally doesn't eat that stuff. While I realize this wasn't a big deal... it was a burger. It would be concerning to me if my daughter had much stricter food allergies or food intolerances. Just something for parents to note. (3) CONS Pirate Night Be forewarned, that the pirate party and fireworks are LATE at night, e.g., 10:30 PM / 10:45 PM, so the littlest pirates will not be able to make the show. Kind of sad. It would be nice to do the fireworks a little bit earlier, perhaps, so the under age 7 set can enjoy them. (4) CON - Disembarkation Disembarkation - there is no buffet or room service available on the morning of disembarkation. This was hugely inconvenient for us. We were assigned a breakfast time of 6:45 AM at one of the restaurants, and if we missed it, we wouldn't eat breakfast. Imagine trying to wake two overtired kids up at 6am, so they can get dressed and get to the restaurant by 6:45 AM on vacation. Not good. (5) CON - Service charges. Our cruise was four nights and we had close to $300 in gratuities and service charges added to our bill. On top of these "fixed" gratuities, it's expected that you give an additional tip to each of the head waiter, main waiter, assistant waiter, and cabin steward. DCL provides the envelopes and you feel bad if you don't give them more. My 2-year-old had the equivalent of $75 in tips prefixed for four days. Methinks excessive. All in all we had an enjoyable time, and would probably go again. But we found the food to be sooooo disappointing for the price we paid for the cruise. I don't think that DCL lived up to the hype in our book. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Mid 30's, married almost 10 years, fairly well traveled, 2 ½ year old son. 1st time taking a big trip with just the 3 of us. 1st time cruisers. Got a very nice work bonus and went for the "blow out vacation" and spent $4100 ... Read More
Mid 30's, married almost 10 years, fairly well traveled, 2 ½ year old son. 1st time taking a big trip with just the 3 of us. 1st time cruisers. Got a very nice work bonus and went for the "blow out vacation" and spent $4100 on the 1 bedroom suite. Went to Cozumel and Castaway Cay. These are the good and bad things that I had not seen mentioned in other reviews. Goods: - Staff and service- fantastic, friendly, multinational, all excellent english. Engaging w. the children. Servers are cordial sweet and funny with the kids and efficient in their duties. the custodial staff were kind, nice and unobtrusive. - Concierge staff (extra service as part of the 1 bedroom suite)- accessible, informative, answered questions, provided any 3 of 3000+ DVDs for the room. Allowed for priority embarkation (however no priority disembarkation). Were there to book activites for you. Invitation only reception w. Captain Mickey (super cool) - Ship- clean, nice amenities, things in good repair. Amazing suite! Huge. awesome view and veranda. - Nursery- has one for kids under 3 yo who cannot go to the other kid programs. Staff seemed friendly. Only used this service once. - Food/restaurants- large portions, fairly expansive menus, 4 different sit down restaurants and 3 grab and go options. Unlimited except for alcohol, specialty options (coffees, etc) and Palo. Quick and 24/7 room service (limited menus for non-concierge cabins) - Palo- excellent fine dinning experience and worth the $20 per person. Internet- WiFi throughout the ship for a fee, spotty and slow buts its satellite. - Shows- fun, engaging, well paced, 2 per night. 3D movies look great (however 2 year olds don't wear glasses for 3d!) Spa services were amazing (but pricey and try to up sell a lot) and the gym area and free classes were a great addition. Bads: - Fair amount of hidden/excessive costs- $20 wine most fine dining was $40, 16oz Budweiser was $7+, they include 15% gratuity on ALL alcohol, as concierge cabin there was $12 per day per quest gratuity included for wait staff (2), chamber maid (who is the same daily) for all guests (even 2 ½ year olds). For our 5 days it was over $200 for the five days plus the additional 15% on alcohol. Also there is a expected (but not included) tip for the concierge - Food- over all the the quality is poor at best. All frozen, and tasted every bit of it. fish/seafood was horrible, kid options had no green veggies unless explicitly requested (1 entree option for kids was deep fried mozzarella sticks with french fries for dinner) - Kid options- website showed lots of free play area in the Oceaneer club/lab. However the vast majority of the times its open is drop off day care time with limited allowance of kids 3yo-12yo and no parent supervised play time was allowed. "open house" (general admission of all ages, parent supervised) times were early am or late PM. Great facilities and a lot of fun when it was open to us, but that was only twice as our son goes to bed @ 8-9pm. However was probably tons of fun for kid 4-5+, as the age range is quite broad. - Nursery- nice they have one, but its 0-3 yo, all integrated ages in a fairly small room. Was mainly just watching TV, no structured activities (that we could see) only used for 2 hrs as it seemed a little depressing. Fine for babies, but boring for 2 1/2 yo kid. Also no-one tells you to return the tracker bracelet (I assumed you left it in the room) was immediate charged to our bill $50. - Concierge- was a little surprised by the pre-printed, fill in the #'s tip form that came along with the invoice. Very reticent to discuss anything other than Disney day trips @ the ports-o-call. - Privacy- the room service folks/cleaning staff just come in. will knot/buzz once and enter. While it may seem there are a fair amount of negatives, we had a wonderful family vacation. Lots of fun and laughter, great memories and photos. Its just that the additional costs added up very quickly. Was an extra $1000 on top of the cruise and airfare, granted ½ of this was a wine package (7 bottles total, hey we're on vacation!) and a massage. We spent a large amount of money on what was supposed to be the best vacation ever and felt a little disappointed with the amenities/extras we thought we paid for once it was all done. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
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