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11 Disney San Juan Cruise Reviews

Jan 27-Feb 3 Southern Caribbean. This was one of the best Disney Cruises we have been on. The service, food, entertainment, ports and condition of ship are all top notch. This is a smaller boat in the DCL line, however it lacked nothing ... Read More
Jan 27-Feb 3 Southern Caribbean. This was one of the best Disney Cruises we have been on. The service, food, entertainment, ports and condition of ship are all top notch. This is a smaller boat in the DCL line, however it lacked nothing (except the crowded feeling of larger ships). The shows on this boat are not to be missed, especially Frozen. The kids club does an excellent job of making the kids feel not only entertained ,but comfortable. Our children are 5 and 12. Our oldest enjoyed every minute of Edge and our youngest fought us to leave the kids club at pick up time as she was having such a good time. We met so many wonderful people on this boat and felt that was due to the intimacy of the smaller ship. We visited Aruba, Bonaire, Antigua and St. Maarten. We did not care for Antigua as we felt the area right off the ship was full of people haggling us for a taxi, braids... you name it. I would highly recommend booking an excursion in this area or staying on the boat. We enjoyed all the other ports and felt very safe. We cannot wait to book another cruise on the Disney Wonder. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I was on the Wonder before its last major drydock and at the time, found a few deficiencies. After having been on the Magic last summer, I noticed that Disney has been spending a bit more time taking care of the Wonder and the ship appears ... Read More
I was on the Wonder before its last major drydock and at the time, found a few deficiencies. After having been on the Magic last summer, I noticed that Disney has been spending a bit more time taking care of the Wonder and the ship appears to be in great shape for a 20-year old ship. This cruise featured a relatively unique Southern Caribbean itinerary for Disney, where they spend less than a month a year. Stops included Antigua, Bonaire, Aruba and St.Marteen. Most islands had their charm - with the potential exception of St.Marteen which is still in rough shape one year after Irma. Service in the main dining room was beyond excellent. Great attention to details, and allergy concerns. I made a comment around the food not being to its usual standard on night 3 and let's just say that food quality (and quantity) was not an issue on any other nights afterward. I found the buffet in Cabana to be a little better on the Magic during a European cruise. Food at Cabana's was generally quite overcooked - although no complaints on overall quality and quantity. Our main server team was one of the best we have had. We also met throughout the ship other dining staff that we had on previous cruises and they remembered us. We had brunch and dinner once at Palo and the experience was excellent as always Kids club on Disney is always excellent. This particular cruise had a little less programming than usual - with a bit more open house time. Still plenty to do for kids though. Both the Club and Lab are very modern and have been regularly updated throughout the years. The main Disney shows were good, with the highlight being Frozen. The non-Disney entertainers on this group were ok but I have seen better on other DCL cruises. Photography staff were very friendly and efficient. We recognized a few staff from a previous cruise, and they did recognize us as well - and this led to some great memories. The one area where the Wonder is a bit weaker is on board water activities. Only one main, relatively small pool (for families) and one water slide. Adult area is well maintained with good entertainment and drink options. Loved this DCL cruise and already booked on next year's version of this cruise. Very adequate gym, forward, on Deck 9 with great "bridge-like" views The port of San Juan as an Embarkation port is a bit underwhelming but check-in was very quick and so was boarding once it started. The port is in the midst of major renovations so it will probably look great in a few years from now. On shore excursions, we had 1 excellent one, 2 very good ones, and one so-so. Value for money on some of those wasn't great, but this is typical of cruise lines booked port adventures. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We loved pretty much everything about the cruise we went on. We were a little worried, thinking, how much better can it be over Royal Caribbean. The price was more than double what we could have done on RCI, but our daughter really ... Read More
We loved pretty much everything about the cruise we went on. We were a little worried, thinking, how much better can it be over Royal Caribbean. The price was more than double what we could have done on RCI, but our daughter really wanted to go on a Disney cruise, so we gave it a shot. Well, the saying, you get what you pay for, totally fits in this situation. We flew to San Juan a day early and stayed at Marriott's Stellaris Resort & Casino. The reason we chose this hotel is because it is the hotel that Disney offers transportation from. We met at the Disney desk in the morning, when told to meet, and were relatively quickly put on a tour bus heading to port. When we arrived at port, we were told to NOT get into line. Once everyone was off the bus, we were lead around the huge line of people, directly to the front of the security line. That was a great perk for the transportation. The whole boarding process was WAY smoother than we have ever experienced on RCI or NCL. Mickey and Minnie made an appearance for photos too. The ship, although ~20 years old, was extremely well maintained. It looked pretty much perfect all over. While we were onboard, there was activity from the staff to fix random things, keeping everything looking good. Their activity was never in the way though. Our cabin was 6142. The cabin itself was great. The layout was really nice, with plenty of room. The bed was a lot better than any other cruise for us. Our daughter slept on the pull out sofa, which was actually quite comfortable. This cabin has the Navigator's Verandah, so it was surrounded by metal walls and did not have a glass railing, but metal. It was still very nice, with plenty of room to see around. The only negative I have about the cabin was the noise. We never herd noise from other cabins, but we heard noise and felt a lot of vibration each time we came into port and left port. I am pretty sure it was every time the side propulsion was used to move the ship sideways. Our cabin host was fantastic, and always figured out our schedule to get in when were not there and be done before we came back. A few days, we had pretty odd schedules and assumed we would run into her, but we never did. Our dining attendants were also fantastic. Not only was the service impeccable, but the food was also amazing. Our waiter pretty much demanded that we order everything that we think we might like, so we had several meals each night. Everything we had was very good, and we are pretty picky eaters. Our daughter became a big fan of Pete's Boiler Bites, so would sometimes skip dinner, but was still with us. They made her feel right at home and did not make her feel bad for not eating in the dining room. The entertainment was a lot better than we expected. The acting/singing/dancing was similar to what you would see on Broadway. The character experiences were really great as well. Not only the planning/intervals of them coming out, but also the actual characters. They didn't just stand there and be in a pic. They interacted with each person as they came up through the line. The southern Caribbean is great, and the ports are very nice. We had a great time at each port. We made excursion plans through Disney on all but one port. During the St. Maarten excursion, which was through Disney, the only complaint I have is that we were handed off 3 or 4 times to different representatives, who didn't really make it clear what we were doing. We were just following them, but during the hand-off, communication would have decreased the confusion. We absolutely loved it, did the $250 future cruise booking, and are already planning another. That should speak for itself. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
They cost more than a “normal” cruise so we wondered if it would be worth it... The ship is apparently smaller than the newer ones. That said, it was the perfect size for our family with small kids. I think about 2700 guests and ... Read More
They cost more than a “normal” cruise so we wondered if it would be worth it... The ship is apparently smaller than the newer ones. That said, it was the perfect size for our family with small kids. I think about 2700 guests and almost 1000 cast members weee onboard. There were always new people to see, but we also saw the same people numerous times. It was constantly being cleaned and always immaculate. Cabins were bigger than other ships - a real treat for us with kids. We were also able to get adjoining rooms...a nice feature I hadn’t done before on a boat. Full bath tub was great! We loved the rotational dining! They were able to easily accommodate gluten allergies and special dietary restrictions which can be very worrisome if you’re the one with the issue. Additionally, the servers were amazing and so was the food. We got what we paid for - duck, steak, prime rib, lobster, foie gras, sashimi, truffles...and this was the main dining that was included. The classic dinsey shows were exceptional. The movie theater was a nice touch with movies not yet out and 3D options for others. Kids Club YES!!! My kids loved it...it was huge with so many activities. Spa was run of the mill. Prices were reasonable, but treatments and service were meh. Why do they always have to give their sales pitch at the end? I hate that! We just paid to relax and now you’re going to come at me with $650 worth of herbal supplements? Welcome back, stress. Service was outstanding all around. Obviously, you’ll encounter a grumpy staff member wherever you go, but even with these people working 80 hours a week, a complaint was rare. Ports were great. Shore excursions not really worth it. Overpriced and lacked enthusiasm. We enjoyed the days we hailed taxis best. So we had a slight hemorrhage of funds, but it really was quite magical. Being treated with respect and having to worry about nothing, knowing your kids would be safe for a few hours so you could hang by the adult pool, turning a corner and running into Mickey Mouse...exhausted from the excitement that filled our souls. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this sailing for the unique Southern Caribbean itinerary on Disney, and then stayed on the ship as it repositioned back to Port Canaveral. We have done many DCL cruises, and we know more crew on this ship than any other DCL ship. ... Read More
We chose this sailing for the unique Southern Caribbean itinerary on Disney, and then stayed on the ship as it repositioned back to Port Canaveral. We have done many DCL cruises, and we know more crew on this ship than any other DCL ship. Natalie Bailey was our Cruise Director, bringing a genuine enthusiasm that made you want to be in the Walt Disney Theatre each evening. Captain Robert even mingled with passengers and made time for everyone at the Captain’s signing. He came up to us at the Captain’s reception and spent a minute or two discussing swales in the North Sea. (We had one night of rough seas and I compared the experience to the North Sea, knowing the North Sea is unique in this regard). The officers set the tone, and the crew delivered. By “crew” I mean the servers. assistant servers, stateroom host and hostesses, club hosts and all those we interact with around the ship. Our sever/assistant server team was one of the best we have ever had - Nebo from Croatia and Levy from South Africa. These guys were friendly, engaging, and made our main dining a great experience. We were seated at a table by ourselves as our original tablemates did not want a shared table (without ever meeting us). We ended up chatting with the couple next to us, and the server team discreetly asked each of us if we would like to share a table. The answer was “yes” and we made some good friends over the two cruises and will keep in touch. We ran into several other couples we have cruised with in the past. DCL has gotten so much better at catering to empty nesters. Rotational dining was at its best on this cruise. Tiana’s place may be the best concept for a main dining restaurant on DCL. A great menu, with live entertainment, and a Mardie Gras parade to top off all of the fun! We also prefer Animator’s Palette on the classic ships, (without the Crush segment). Our Palo server, Sasha, was just outstanding. I confess we have known Sasha since a Mediterranean cruise in 2007. Don’t be in a rush in Palo. Enjoy a two hour culinary experience, whether it be brunch or dinner. I did ask they cut back the portions a bit so we could taste a few different items without being stuffed to the gills! The ship was in top shape. I used the public restrooms a few times and noted to the attendant that the bathroom looked like it had just come out of dry dock - they were that clean. Azure is a great venue, as is the Crown and Fin Pub. The Southern Caribbean itinerary - San Juan, Antigua, St. Lucie, Bonaire and Aruba - is a favorite for us. Each island is unique. Embarkation in San Juan is a bit spotty. The Marriott didn’t seeme to have its act together on luggage pick-up (which happened late, around 10:30-11:30 am) and our luggage arrived later to our stateroom than we have ever experienced. Antigua has beautiful beaches, as does Aruba. St. Lucie is so beautifully scenic. Bonaire was a first for us and DCL. We weren’t thrilled with our beach experience, but the scuba passengers seemed to enjoy the island. We were impressed to see a large group of locals and their children seeing the Wonder off as we pulled away. Shipboard entertainment from the Walt Disney Theatre performers to the Club Host in Azure was outstanding. The Frozen show was one of the most clever, well done shows on DCL. The performances were terrific (Broadway quality), and the technical effects were exceptionally well done, taking full advantage of the theatre. The comedians and variety acts were really good, especially Heath Hychee! We had a blast, mostly because of the people we interacted with on the cruise, from the officers, crew and fellow passengers. I never give DCL high marks on value, although pricing for this itinerary was more reasonable than a recent Christmas cruise. We truly enjoy the DCL expeierence and it is worth the premium to us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were so fortunate to have such a wonderful family vacation aboard the Magic. We have food allergies and are huge Disney fans so this was a perfect fit for us. Everything from our wonderful transfer guide in Puerto Rico to the ship staff ... Read More
We were so fortunate to have such a wonderful family vacation aboard the Magic. We have food allergies and are huge Disney fans so this was a perfect fit for us. Everything from our wonderful transfer guide in Puerto Rico to the ship staff and accommodations excided our expectations. Our kids were 14,12, and 5 at the time. They did not spend much time in the kids clubs but that is more our kids than lack of things to do. Our dinning staff aka "T" and "K" were amazing. They played with the kids at each meal and made very considerate efforts to make special desserts and meal selections we could all enjoy. Our youngest cried when we had to say goodbye to them. We all hope to see them again someday. The weather was quite rainy in Tortola but we made the best of it. It also poured in St. Kitts but that's the chance you take in the tropics.We did the Dolphin encounter in St. Kitts and it was wonderful. The pictures are very pricey but worth every penny. We are hoping to take our next Disney Cruise next year and seeing what the Western Caribbean has to offer. For busy families with kids, we highly recommend the DCL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We LOVE Disney and have bought the Vacation Club and have enjoyed many visits to both land and sea. We have cruised on the Magic several times before. This time we noticed some changes I thought I would note. I agree wholeheartedly with ... Read More
We LOVE Disney and have bought the Vacation Club and have enjoyed many visits to both land and sea. We have cruised on the Magic several times before. This time we noticed some changes I thought I would note. I agree wholeheartedly with the travel agent who reviewed before me. But some of the changes have not resulted in an improved customer experience. Disney has added the gratuity to all bills relating to liquor consumption. I think I used to pay more out in tips than I did with the new system. However, the mandatory gratuity has made the wait staff less motivated. The "additional gratuity" which you could add over the one that is on the bill is what motivates the staff. Unfortunately, that gets super pricey, especially when paying in USD and being a Canadian lol. I learned late in the cruise that the additional gratuity is split between the staff working your area (usually two). The mandatory gratuity is split between all staff working that day. I really like the idea of the mandatory gratuity as some people are cheap and wouldn't tip, but this doesn't motivate staff to be their best. It was noticeable in the dining and pool bar areas. The other significant change we noticed was the menus. We used to struggle to decide because every option was outstanding and that was not the case this time. If you are a "plain" eater or pretty mainstream, it was difficult to find an item that didn't have some elaborate description with sauces and spices. On one day for example, three of four items had raspberries or dill. This limited choices for people who didn't like those things. The quality of the food was good but we weren't excited to see the menu each day. We did speak to the head chef about this. We had a 21 year old with us who ended up ordering from the childrens menu most times as there were descriptions of food we were unsure of. The goal of having more elaborate menus takes away from the family dining experience we had come to know and love. In terms of activities- almost everything is happening late at night. We had a child who would be content to watch a movie in the theatre. The Buena Vista Theatre is under-utilized, particularly in the daytime hours. Also, days in the sun are long- having activities starting at 10:15-10:30 for children/teens is too late. C'mon Disney! The Rainforest is too expensive for what you get on the other ships. It doesn't even compare. David who provides Adult Entertainment was ridiculously fun. He was definitely the highlight of the trip for us. Otherwise, the ship was spotless, crew were smiling, shows were amazing and the sun was shining. You can't go wrong with Disney! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My family has cruised the Caribbean a handful of times. We love the vibe of the Caribbean but yearned for different ports, and a more port intensive cruise compared to the usual 2-3 ports that you get on a standard Eastern or Western ... Read More
My family has cruised the Caribbean a handful of times. We love the vibe of the Caribbean but yearned for different ports, and a more port intensive cruise compared to the usual 2-3 ports that you get on a standard Eastern or Western cruise. That put a Southern Caribbean on our bucket list. When we saw that one of our favorite ships, The Magic, was sailing just a handful of Southern itineraries we did what we could to be on that ship. This cruise left from San Juan. We had called on San Juan once before during an eastern sailing that diverted there instead of St Martin because of a tropical storm. We decided then that a few hours didn't do that town justice and were eager to visit again. We spent 2 nights pre-cruise and an additional night post cruise in San Juan to do some exploring and lots of eating. I booked our cruise, and subsequently the flights fairly last minute. While that gave us a good deal on the cruise the flight cost probably made up for that as they were not as inexpensive as they would have been a month earlier. The flight was about 4 hours from Philly and was pretty uneventful. While there were long lines getting out of the airport and to a car in San Juan, it did not take too long and it was easy - good signage - to get a cab to our hotel. It was hard to decide whether or not to stay in old city, on the beach, or near the port for a 2 pre cruise days. We ended up staying near the port at a Hyatt House. We had a one bedroom with a kitchenette which worked well for the 4 of us. The hotel had a pool and a lounge - free breakfast. We also had a room with a cruise terminal view - nice bonus to see our ship pulling in! That is always good for building the excitement. There were a few restaurants in walking distance and both the port and old city were a quick cab ride away. It was quite lovely though and I would definitely visit again. Embarkation was not too bad, though you do wait in line - with your luggage OUTSIDE of the terminal in San Juan. San Juan can be a tad warm! It went pretty fast but we were a bit sweaty by the time we got inside. There was also a snafu in the port. They didn't see on the computer that we had done our registration online and make us fill everything out again. Only to find it as we were filling out our last sheet. It was a bit annoying at the time but it didn't delay us too long. By the time we finished our boarding number was called and we walked on the ship. I want to say the process from drop off to on board took about an hour. A tad longer than we have experienced on other sailings from Florida. We had sailed the Disney Magic in 2013 and I personally loved the smaller feel compared to her larger sisters the Dream and the Fantasy. She is older but it is hard to tell. She has been upgraded a few times in her years and she shines like a newer ship. We jumped on a deal so our cabin was an ocean view guarantee. I was hoping the magic Disney fairies would sprinkle pixie dust on us and upgrade us to a balcony but ended up happy with our stateroom. Our ocean view room had a fairly large porthole window, a kind sized bed, and a couch. It boasted the split bathroom that Disney's ships are known for. One room has the toilet and a sink and the other room has a tub/shower combo and a sink. Our stateroom host was great at keeping our cabin clean and our bucket filled with ice. All Disney ships have rotational dining - they have 3 main restaurants where your wait staff follows you to each night. Each restaurant has it's own signature menu - then for the other 4 nights of the cruise there are different themed menus that is the same through all of the restaurants. If you don't want to eat at your main dining room you will find there is adult for fee dining, quick service food, room service, or quicker less formal sit down dining in Cabanas (which is buffet during the day) On the Magic they have more tables that seat large groups, while on the Fantasy and Dream they have many more 4 tops so that families can sit at their own table. It so happened on this trip for the first time in our Disney history - we were sat with another family. Let it be known that I am super shy and socially awkward at best. My kids are just fine though - not shy at all. The hubs is actually pretty outgoing too. So at face value this situation was really only uncomfortable to me. Dinners were pleasant on the surface but it wasn't an ideal situation in the end and we wished we would have asked in the beginning if it would have been possible to have our own table or be moved. I should have learned my lesson with this in the past when we weren't happy with our waitstaff and did not switch. I'm always too afraid of offending someone. The food was very good. No issues with the service staff, they were good at their jobs and bonuses for being really good with the kids/teens. Our assistant server even made gorgeous name drawings for each of the kids to take home. For breakfast or lunch you can go to the buffet, call room service, or you can sit down in one of the MDRs. In addition, during breakfast one of the quick serve locations has fruit and pastries or you can leave a card out for continental breakfast items to be brought to your stateroom. For Lunch in addition the buffet all of the quick serve locations are open. All of the food and service is excellent. Lines were busiest in quick serve and the buffet at main dining times and when we came back in from port. If you go at a slightly off time you will skip the line. This was a port intensive itinerary so we didn't take too much time for scheduled daily activities. We did go swimming, we watched an afternoon comedy show, and watched movies by the pool or in the theater. However we did do some of the adult only shows/comedy shows/game shows for the first time in 7 cruises! We were missing out. While we aren't big joiners it was fun to watch. Lots of laughs and good to have some adult time. The gym on the ship is more than adequate if you want to use a cardio or weight machine to work off some of those extra desserts. The promenade deck does wrap around the entire ship if you are into open air walking or running. Plus there is shuffleboard out there for some added hazards during your run :) 3 laps makes one mile on this deck. The kids did spend some time in the kid clubs. I have a teen and an 8 year old. The teen was just okay with the teen club. The club on the Fantasy and Dream is much more modern so she wasn't super excited that this area on the Magic hasn't been updated in quite awhile. The teen hangout resembles an urban loft with comfy worn in furniture. It's only decor but I guess in her case it did make a difference. She did make friends to hang out with though and had fun with them. The kid club on the Magic was re imagined just a few years back - I think in 2013. They have an avengers section, toy story, pixie hallow, and mickey on the one side of the club. The other side has navigation center, an illustrators area, computer area, and a huge interactive floor. The little one loves all of this kind of stuff and always found something to do and someone to play with. They do have organized activities in all of the kids clubs and you can see them either on your daily paper or on the app. Speaking of the app - it was convenient if you carry your phone with you. You can text anyone on the ship using the app (so keeping in touch with family and friends). The kid club will keep in touch with you that way too. You can also view what's going on, what restaurants are open and their menus, look at shore excursion and port info, and see character appearance times. We did book all of our excursions through Disney. We actually found it hard to book outside of the cruise line. When we contacted the providers we wanted to use they said they sell through the cruise line only. I'm sure not all excursions/companies were this way but the ones we chose were. Disney does a good job with shore excursions however. The price is never too extreme and from what we have experienced the companies they contract with all do a very good job. I will go more in depth on excursions in the port section of the review. All in all this was an amazing cruise on a cruise line that really knows how to make your cruise magical! We loved every second of this vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I have been on every major cruise line since 1997. This was my first time going on a family cruise with my wife and children 2 & 4 years old. I must say i was a little concerned that i wouldn't enjoy this cruise due to the Disney ... Read More
I have been on every major cruise line since 1997. This was my first time going on a family cruise with my wife and children 2 & 4 years old. I must say i was a little concerned that i wouldn't enjoy this cruise due to the Disney aspect. I'm pleased to say i absolutely loved it! The Disney aspect was always a cornerstone of the experience but the true star of the show was the customer service. WOW From the great people who cleaned our room, to the awesome 5 star service in the restaurant I was absolutely floored! I must say top shelf service! some things i want to pass along to anyone thinking of going on this ship The coffee shop is in the adult area of the ship, should be the first stop every morning. The nightly shows are awesome! The food is over the top good. The service is that of a 5 star hotel The pub is great! The activities for the kids is the best in the industry Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our third Disney cruise. We have been on the Fantasy, the Magic (post-dry dock) and now the Wonder. I was second guessing booking on the Wonder as I know that dry dock is coming up for her and I was thinking that maybe she would ... Read More
This was our third Disney cruise. We have been on the Fantasy, the Magic (post-dry dock) and now the Wonder. I was second guessing booking on the Wonder as I know that dry dock is coming up for her and I was thinking that maybe she would feel sort of run down. I could not have been more wrong. Everything seemed to be immaculate and kept in excellent condition. When she goes into dry dock, they will upgrade the kids' club, water slides, and restaurants (among other things) so I am sure it will be even better. What drew us to this particular cruise was the itinerary. We stopped in Grenada, Barbados, Martinique, Antigua, and St. Kitts. I really enjoyed each and every port. I was not expecting too much out of Martinique but I ended up loving it. It was like a combination of Europe and New Orleans. Since Martinique is an outpost of France, you can find excellent patisseries and cafes. What I really loved were the pharmacies. It sounds crazy but if you are a fan of French beauty products (think Caudalie, Embroyolisse, Biafine, Nuxe etc) you will be in for a treat. There are many such pharmacies within walking distance of the port and the prices are great. The food onboard was good. I like good food but I am also not too hard to please. I know that there are other cruise lines who probably have more upscale food but I was satisfied with the food. A visit to Palo was a highlight as well. I think the best thing about Disney is the service. The staff always seemed warm and helpful. The embarkation and debarkation process was well organized and very easy. We enjoyed the shows and the adult entertainment as well. The waterslide is pretty small but my kids liked it. It seemed like the kids' pool ended up being off limits several times due to "accidental releases" however this is nothing that Disney has control over. The cabin was comfortable and was very quiet (rooms 7088 & 7090). We always have to get adjoining cabins as we have four kids and no one room would accommodate us. On the magic, the balcony can be opened up to create one large deck space on adjoining rooms but not so on the Wonder, at least not yet. We had an amazing time...my only regret is that we didn't rebook while on board so lost out on the 10% discount and $200/cabin credit. If you are thinking of rebooking, don't wait until the last evening like we did because there were always a lot of people waiting to sit down at the booking desk. There was only one person working the booking desk and it would be nice if there could be too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our third Disney Cruise, our second with our boys. We booked the cruise well over a year in advance and had a lot of fun planning. We looked at this as one of our big trips, one of only a few we may have while the kids live with ... Read More
This was our third Disney Cruise, our second with our boys. We booked the cruise well over a year in advance and had a lot of fun planning. We looked at this as one of our big trips, one of only a few we may have while the kids live with us. Finding affordable hotels with a family of five was difficult in San Juan. We stayed at the Embassy Suites which is very close to the airport. The hotel was nice, we liked our room, and the breakfast was also good. The pool was nice and the boys enjoyed that. The managers reception was disappointing, so plan on finding some food for an evening meal. While it was a nice place, I'm not used to spending $300/night on hotels. This was our first time on the Wonder. Our favorite is the Magic and the Wonder did not disappoint in the least. This was a long trip so I'll summarize the best I can: Embarkation: Super organized, very fast. After we got in, we were chosen as Family of the Day! Very exciting and we got to board first and take some fun photos. Buffets: really amazing, great selection, not hard to find seating. Main Dining: also really great, loved the selection, food was excellent, service was excellent. Palo: our first time there, while it was great we felt completely out of place and very awkward the entire time. Definitely don't understand why people spend the $ to go here when the main dining food is so great. It felt pretentious. Rainforest Room: a favorite of ours. I prefer the smaller ships with the interior rainforest room, very relaxing. 1-2 days of passes are plenty for us. Spa personnel friendlier than some other times we've gone. Evening Adult Entertainment: really fun. games were short enough that you could go, have fun, and leave. Crew was great. Bingo: Not sure why I still go. It's fun but not worth the price and I always buy more cards than I really need. Never won anything before but it is fun to go. Shows: Not a fan of the toy story show but the others were great. The magicians were ok, that kind of show isn't my favorite to begin with though. Lost and Found: My son lost a phone and I lost my wallet (with my drivers license and $150 cash) and both times they were very friendly and helpful and both items were found. Very pleased with that. Kids Clubs: I prefer the magic where the clubs are connected. The 11 year old loved edge and the other two loved their clubs. I wasn't as impressed with the space but they enjoyed themselves and had a great time, so what does it matter if I like the ones on the other ships better? Grenada River Tubing: Our favorite of the entire trip. Loved this trip, loved our guides, very enjoyable and worth the money. If you get car sick do not do this the trip to the river is harrowing. Barbados Turtles: Everyone else I talked to loved this one but our trip saw NO turtles. I get it, the turtles aren't on contract :) but it was disappointing and I wish we'd done a tour of some sort. There were no flippers, which made it hard for my kids and for me to swim. Martinique: I wish we had done an excursion, there wasn't much to see near the port and I was underwhelmed. I learned that some sort of tour is the most fun trip for me and this was a bit of a waste of a day for us. We went back to the ship and enjoyed our day there. Antigua Kayak and Snorkel: Really fun. The boys were starting to get tired and were a little crabby. I'm not sure they could have kept up if they were any younger. Two were in a kayak together without me or dad to help paddle. The guides were GREAT. We got stuck in a huge downpour and they did a great job keeping everyone happy. St Kitts Dolphins: This was expensive to begin with. It was fun, I'm glad we did it but we'll never do it again. The guide was really good. We got back to the office and I was concerned the photos would be expensive but it was $260 for our family. That's CRAZY. But I felt rushed so I just bought them at the encouragement of DH and went outside to wait for the bus. It was over an hour late. We were disappointed that was what we did our last day and again wished we'd done something with a tour element (live and learn). Again, good for "once in a lifetime" but prepare yourself for the photo cost. Cabin: the cabins are lovely. We were in the secret porthole rooms and they were great. Deck 5 is our favorite. The rooms are large, we'd have to get a jr suite on RC to get that much space. Our steward was great, we hardly ever saw him and when we did he was very nice. Having a connecting room for the kids was fantastic. Disembarkation was a breeze. We've only had one slow experience and this was great. We stayed at the Hyatt Place by the Pan American pier before going home and it was really nice, but again I wonder if it really needed to be $300. We also went to Raices for lunch which I'd heard good things about but two appetizers and one meal that we all five shared for lunch came to $70 with tip. I'm so glad I went to San Juan to see it but I don't know if I would go again due to the prices. Maybe as a stop on another cruise. Final: This was definitely "magical". DCL does things right. We left thinking this would be our last DCL trip because of the price, but two days in DH was saying "go book the next one on board for the discount". Next time we won't do fish extender gifts, and I won't pack all the extra nicer clothes. I really want to just go and relax if we go again. Very special memories with our boys. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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