Disney Wonder Cruise Review by akeogh
- Sail Date: March 2009
- Destination: Bahamas
One unexpected great surprise was that because my youngest child was within 30 days (exactly) of her 3rd birthday and potty-trained, they let us sign her up for the Oceaneer Club for ages 3+ on a trial basis. As long as she didn't have an accident, she would be included in the big-kid activities. This was wonderful for my husband and me, who had a chance to have some adult-only time, and really great for my daughter, who wanted to play in the Club. I think I learned on board that they will take the child on a trial basis if the child is within 90 days of the 3rd birthday and is potty trained. Hurray!
Embarkation was friendly and easy. At check-in, they gave us a "Welcome Aboard" info page that gave information on dining choices, youth activities, where to make reservations for Palo and the spa, and told us not to miss "Adventures Away" at 4:15 at the Goofy Pool.
The sail away party was really fun. My husband and I splurged on fun island drinks, and the kids helped themselves to the ice cream bar.
Instead of taking you through each day, I thought I would just share the highlights for us and some advice.
First, definitely see all of the shows in the Walt Disney Theater each evening. They are not to be missed! If you have kids between the ages of 3 and 6 get there early for the show on the first night, sit in the middle section but close to the aisles, between rows 1-6, and a Cast Member might ask your child to be in the show as one of the 7 dwarfs. This is the only time they bring guests into one of their shows. It's very cute. If you arrive closer to the start of the show, and your children are between the ages of 8 and 14, they might be asked by the show's host to answer a few questions about where they are from and who their favorite character is, which is broadcast to the entire audience right before the show begins. If your kids like to be in a show, these are 2 ways they might be lucky enough to enjoy.
Second, go to Palo's. I would suggest skipping Parrot Cay's restaurant in favor of Palo's. If you have kids, keep them in the kids' club where they will get dinner. At Palo's be sure to order the chocolate souffle for desert. We made our reservations early, at 5:45 pm, and we beat the crowds plus saw the sunset. It is a 2 hour dinner.
Beware Bingo! Bingo is high tech and very expensive. They now have an electronic bingo machine which does everything for you for $60. It gives you the benefit of having 24 cards. You just watch the machine work the bingo cards, and it tells you if you have won. All you have to do is say "Bingo!" when it tells you to say Bingo. They still have the punch-and-fold cards, but it is $40, and only gives you 6 chances per game (versus the electronic game which gives you 24 games). The odds are with the electronic bingo. As a result of all of this electronic manipulation, there are more cards inplay than there would be normally (since one person could not play 4 physical cards at once, which is what the electronic game gives them the ability to do). So what is the effect? The effect is that the games go FASTER. For example, in the game of 4 corners, someone always yelled Bingo when the 4th or 5th number was called. In the old days before the electronics, it took more numbers to find a winner. Secondly, there is no chance for error since the electronic bingo cards are always right. In the past, you might hope we that someone called bingo by mistake, but not now. No mistakes, no hope that you might still be in play. Finally, there are more multiple winners per game (because there are more cards in play than usual). So, for example, you paid $60 to play, the game is over in 5 bingo calls (about 2 minutes), there are 2 bingo winners, and they split the cash prize of $87. The cruise is raking in money on Bingo, and I think the fun has gone out of it. It is now more like gambling rather than a fun family activity. I think you should skip Bingo until the last jackpot.
The Kids Club is really fun. My kids particularly loved the treasure hunt on Castaway Cay. They also liked Computer Lab area, especially my son who loves video games.
At Castaway Cay, my advice is to not pre-book the package that gives you tubing, snorkeling and bikes. Most families that pre-bought this package found that the water was too cold to go into so they didn't use the tube or snorkel set - and the bikes sat unused. The kids just enjoyed playing in the sand...cheap easy fun. Save your money there!
The pools are heated and the kids love them!
We didn't have too many character sightings. The only princesses on board were Snow White and Cinderella....no Ariel, Jasmine, Belle, etc. My girls were a little disappointed. Their favorites are Ariel and Belle. They did have Peter Pan and Wendy, plus Mickey, Minnie and the gang. the best bet is to line up early in the Atrium to see them at their appointed time. Go early to be first in line - you'll be glad you aren't way back in line when the time comes. It is also exciting to see them come down the stairs in a grand entrance, which you can only see if you are one of the early ones standing in line.
If you have a runner in your family, my husband enjoyed the 8:30am 5-K on Castaway Cay.
Have a wonderful trip!
250,000+ people have entered their email
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
NassauWe left the kids in the Kids Club while my husband and I walked into town. It's a lot of hustling "Hey! You wanna taxi?!" "Hey! You wanna tour? Come with me!" We enjoyed the quick stroll but we didn't need more than an hour to determine this wasn't our kind of town.View All 5,965 Nassau Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Nassau Cruise Port Review