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My 4-year-old son had a fantastic time. He loved meeting all the characters and after he warmed up to the Oceaneer Club and Lab, we had a hard time getting him to leave at the end of the night. With that said, I will still never go on a Disney cruise again (and we LOVE Disney!). We've been on six prior cruises on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Sadly, Disney was a major disappointment when compared to other cruise lines. First, there is the entertainment - or lack there of for parents... They seem to really miss the mark when it comes to providing any type of entertainment beyond the one scheduled nightly show, character appearances and the one pirate night. We live in central Florida and go to Disney frequently and were quite surprised at how much they dropped the ball on this when their theme parks are so good at entertainment. My husband and I were frequently bored at night - which I have never experienced on a cruise before. Aside from pirate night, there were no deck parties, only ONE 30-minute dance party with a "band" (one singer and a guitar player) the entire cruise, and the only nightly music was a guy playing slow songs on the piano or another guy also playing slow songs on a guitar (but neither sang). Even at the night club they were only ever doing audience games - which we did and were slightly entertained but we really just wanted to listen to some actual music that wouldn't put us to sleep. It was really odd and completely opposite of what we were expecting. Since it was the Very Merry Christmas cruise I also thought there'd be some caroling or Christmas music at the very least. Aside from the Christmas decor and very brief tree lighting ceremony there was nothing. We've gone to Magic Kingdom's Very Merry Christmas Party and expected it to be along the same lines with the theme, entertainment and even the cookies and hot chocolate late at night. Clearly we had our expectations too high for their cruise line. Second, there are the dining options... prepare to go hungry especially if you have second dining... We weren't able to get early dining so we were left with no option but the 8:15 p.m. second dining. We normally eat dinner around 7 p.m. so we thought this time would still be fine... which it would if dinner didn't last nearly two hours every night. This means you don't actually get your main course until about 9:15 p.m. We never were able to make it through the two dinners we attempted to go to with our 4 year old. (The other nights he fell asleep during the shows and napped through dinner time) Stuck on second dining and looking for another option so you can actually eat at a normal time? Good luck with that! First of all if you are in second dining your show is at 6:15 - at the start of the first dining time. (This is normal with most cruise lines) Once the show is out if you are hungry you would think that like on other cruise lines you could find a dining option. NOPE! Two of the nights we literally were starving looking for food options before just going to our room and waiting 45 minutes for room service - I guess it's because everyone else was doing the same! The buffet restaurant that is supposed to turn into server dining for a brief time at night was constantly closed for "cleaning." We found out it was only open during the first dining which means you had to miss the show in order to eat. The quick service that offers sandwiches is only open for a brief time at lunch and the hot dog/hamburger and pizza quick service places had awful hours. When they were actually opened they were slammed and had long wait times because there were no other food options available. Also, surprisingly, they didn't have as many food options for kids as other cruise lines offer. At the buffet for lunch the only "kid friendly" option was mac and cheese and mini corn dogs. The didn't offer anything else I've seen offered on other cruises... fruit, raw vegetables, yogurt, apple sauce, etc. Thankfully our little one isn't a picky eater so he did just fine but we did overhear many other parents in line griping about the limited options for the kids. Third, the pool hours are quite bad. The Mickey slide was only open for about 5 hours a day with no clear rhyme or reason for the hours they had. The adult pool closed at 10 p.m. which meant that if you had second dining you couldn't relax in the hot tub in the evening or go swimming any time past 5 p.m. because you had to get ready for the 6 p.m. nightly show. Finally, the staff was a mixed-bag. The Oceaneer's Club and Lab staff were ALL AMAZING! Our room attendant was great and guest services were also very helpful. Shockingly, we saw a lifeguard at the Mickey Pool TEXTING. We took a picture and were about to approach him to kindly remind him that children can drown in as little as 30 seconds but then he just walked away from his post. Thankfully a couple minutes later another lifeguard took over. We do plan to address this still with the cruise line. Also, our waiter in the main dining room was extremely rude to us because we missed some of the main dining nights. We were seated to a table with no place settings because apparently they didn't think we were coming back. (Looking around the dining room this is common for them to do this as there were numerous tables with either partial place settings or none at all). Finally after over 5 minutes of waiting we flagged someone down so we could get place settings for us. When our waiter did make her way over she flippantly said she didn't think we were coming so she saw no need to set out plates or cups for us. We actually thought she was joking but then we realized she wasn't. We left and went directly to guest services to lodge a complaint. I've never experienced such rude service at any restaurant let alone on a cruise when the services is usually superb. So long story short, if you want to have the Disney experience just go to the theme parks since that's what they do best. If you want to have a family cruise choose a different cruise line.  

Great for the kids... awful for the parents

Disney Wonder Cruise Review by SoHoMommy

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Standard Inside Stateroom
My 4-year-old son had a fantastic time. He loved meeting all the characters and after he warmed up to the Oceaneer Club and Lab, we had a hard time getting him to leave at the end of the night. With that said, I will still never go on a Disney cruise again (and we LOVE Disney!). We've been on six prior cruises on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Sadly, Disney was a major disappointment when compared to other cruise lines.
First, there is the entertainment - or lack there of for parents...
They seem to really miss the mark when it comes to providing any type of entertainment beyond the one scheduled nightly show, character appearances and the one pirate night. We live in central Florida and go to Disney frequently and were quite surprised at how much they dropped the ball on this when their theme parks are so good at entertainment. My husband and I were frequently bored at night - which I have never experienced on a cruise before. Aside from pirate night, there were no deck parties, only ONE 30-minute dance party with a "band" (one singer and a guitar player) the entire cruise, and the only nightly music was a guy playing slow songs on the piano or another guy also playing slow songs on a guitar (but neither sang). Even at the night club they were only ever doing audience games - which we did and were slightly entertained but we really just wanted to listen to some actual music that wouldn't put us to sleep. It was really odd and completely opposite of what we were expecting. Since it was the Very Merry Christmas cruise I also thought there'd be some caroling or Christmas music at the very least. Aside from the Christmas decor and very brief tree lighting ceremony there was nothing. We've gone to Magic Kingdom's Very Merry Christmas Party and expected it to be along the same lines with the theme, entertainment and even the cookies and hot chocolate late at night. Clearly we had our expectations too high for their cruise line.
Second, there are the dining options... prepare to go hungry especially if you have second dining...
We weren't able to get early dining so we were left with no option but the 8:15 p.m. second dining. We normally eat dinner around 7 p.m. so we thought this time would still be fine... which it would if dinner didn't last nearly two hours every night. This means you don't actually get your main course until about 9:15 p.m. We never were able to make it through the two dinners we attempted to go to with our 4 year old. (The other nights he fell asleep during the shows and napped through dinner time) Stuck on second dining and looking for another option so you can actually eat at a normal time? Good luck with that! First of all if you are in second dining your show is at 6:15 - at the start of the first dining time. (This is normal with most cruise lines) Once the show is out if you are hungry you would think that like on other cruise lines you could find a dining option. NOPE! Two of the nights we literally were starving looking for food options before just going to our room and waiting 45 minutes for room service - I guess it's because everyone else was doing the same! The buffet restaurant that is supposed to turn into server dining for a brief time at night was constantly closed for "cleaning." We found out it was only open during the first dining which means you had to miss the show in order to eat. The quick service that offers sandwiches is only open for a brief time at lunch and the hot dog/hamburger and pizza quick service places had awful hours. When they were actually opened they were slammed and had long wait times because there were no other food options available. Also, surprisingly, they didn't have as many food options for kids as other cruise lines offer. At the buffet for lunch the only "kid friendly" option was mac and cheese and mini corn dogs. The didn't offer anything else I've seen offered on other cruises... fruit, raw vegetables, yogurt, apple sauce, etc. Thankfully our little one isn't a picky eater so he did just fine but we did overhear many other parents in line griping about the limited options for the kids.
Third, the pool hours are quite bad. The Mickey slide was only open for about 5 hours a day with no clear rhyme or reason for the hours they had. The adult pool closed at 10 p.m. which meant that if you had second dining you couldn't relax in the hot tub in the evening or go swimming any time past 5 p.m. because you had to get ready for the 6 p.m. nightly show.
Finally, the staff was a mixed-bag. The Oceaneer's Club and Lab staff were ALL AMAZING! Our room attendant was great and guest services were also very helpful. Shockingly, we saw a lifeguard at the Mickey Pool TEXTING. We took a picture and were about to approach him to kindly remind him that children can drown in as little as 30 seconds but then he just walked away from his post. Thankfully a couple minutes later another lifeguard took over. We do plan to address this still with the cruise line. Also, our waiter in the main dining room was extremely rude to us because we missed some of the main dining nights. We were seated to a table with no place settings because apparently they didn't think we were coming back. (Looking around the dining room this is common for them to do this as there were numerous tables with either partial place settings or none at all). Finally after over 5 minutes of waiting we flagged someone down so we could get place settings for us. When our waiter did make her way over she flippantly said she didn't think we were coming so she saw no need to set out plates or cups for us. We actually thought she was joking but then we realized she wasn't. We left and went directly to guest services to lodge a complaint. I've never experienced such rude service at any restaurant let alone on a cruise when the services is usually superb.
So long story short, if you want to have the Disney experience just go to the theme parks since that's what they do best. If you want to have a family cruise choose a different cruise line.
 
SoHoMommy’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 3 to 6
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Cabin Review

Standard Inside Stateroom
Cabin 11B
This was our first time in an interior room so I was a bit nervous on feeling sea sick. Even with rough seas it still wasn't too bad to have an inside room. The room was very quiet and a decent size considering it's less than 200 square feet. Also, I wish all cruise lines offered a tub!
Deck 6 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Castaway Cay
    Excellent private island (although I think most of the cruise lines that have private islands do a good job with them). Loved the convenient trams and the many activities to do on the island. I was surprised that there were so little Disney-influence throughout the island. I'm guessing that maybe they rent out the island to other cruise lines because apart from the banner at the entrance there weren't any Disney names for locations, hidden mickeys or even just basic Disney decor. It's not that it's bad it just was a surprise that they wouldn't want to infuse the Disney brand into the island.
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