Great first cruise - fantastic with kids & allergies: Disney Wonder Cruise Review by cogengr
Overall Member Rating
Great first cruise - fantastic with kids & allergies
First: Traveling with a family of four, three of which have food allergies (two dairy and a gluten - yup, we're that family). Our server team, Lito and Gerda, did an amazing job of ensuring my family's safety and comfort over the whole trip. I can't say enough good things about them - we actually ran into them both, upon separate occasions, off the ship - and both gave us pointers about where to go for a safe off-the-boat snack, where to pick up some essentials, tips about what to see, and more.
The ship itself was great. Not too big, not too small - just the right size. Our stateroom attendant, Eric, constantly delighted us with his creations, and our stateroom was perfect. We opted for a large porthole stateroom, without a balcony, because we were nervous about having kids with access to a balcony. And our More room was great. We were on deck 7 forward (just a few doors down from the access to crew senior officer staterooms and the bridge), and we found it was the ideal location - hotel floors above and below, so no noise issues - and forward, so the level of vibration from the ship's engines was unnoticeable.
And, the youth staff was amazing. The oceaneer lab and oceaneer club were fantastic; Tavia from the club went above and beyond with my kids. When the prize for one of the contests turned out to be something that my kids were allergic to, Tavia took it upon herself to find a suitable substitute, and to deliver it to the fish outside our stateroom herself. Her above-and-beyond made my kids' day - and typified our experience with the cruise.
Dining was great. My favorite, by far, was Tiana's Place. For folks who enjoy live jazz - even if it's mostly "Disneyed up" - you'll love the live band they have. The lead vocalist/guitar is really good, the trumpet player is fantastic - and wait 'til you hear the bassist's solo on Sweet Georgia Brown. These guys know how to play.
We went up Endicott to Dawes glacier - for anyone concerned that Tracy Arm being packed with ice might take away from the experience, don't worry. Endicott was breathtaking, and the glacier calving (and rock slides) were amazing. Sea lions were sunning themselves on icebergs along the way - great photo ops.
Skagway was nice (and rainy - it is southeast Alaska, and you will need raingear more often than not). It's a small town; the rail excursions seemed to be the favorite. There's a stream not far behind the rail station where we saw thousands of salmon swimming upstream - that was amazing.
Here's a tip - if you need a few essentials while you're in Skagway, head over to the Fairway Market (only a few blocks from the docks) - I think it's on 4th street, and one street over from the main tourist strip. (Thanks, Lito!)
On the way back to the ship, look for harbor seals right next to the ship - we were surprised to see them right there, maybe 30 feet away, taking advantage of feeding opportunities.
Juneau was great, too - we went whale watching and saw at least 7 humpbacks, plus a massive sea lion colony. Wow, the sounds they make are amazing! The whales were great - so graceful, and the pictures of them coming out of the water were amazing.
Ketchican was also good - this was the best weather of the whole trip, with the temperature up at least in the mid 60's and bright sunshine all day. Be sure to catch the lumberjack show - it's well worth it! A stroll up Creek Street should be on your must-do list. Also, make sure you find Ketchicandies. :)
And, the last bonus... on the way back, our last sea day, in the afternoon, we saw a large number of whales from the ship; it was really phenomenal. One seemed to be waving at us for a good 10 minutes, on his back with flippers up. If you don't get a chance to go whale watching in Juneau, this is your best chance to see them.
All in all, a great trip - we'd do it again in a heartbeat! Less
Cabin review: 09A7504 Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom
IMO, our cabin was in the ideal location - on Wonder and Magic, Deck 7 forward (and a few doors down from the elevator bank) is the best kept secret on the ship. Smooth ride, no vibration, quiet, excellent view, and a great attendant. There had been some bad reviews about the bed in this cabin before - I can definitively say that the bed in this room has been replaced, and was absolutely first rate. The only issue with the stateroom is a drawer on one of the bureaus that seems to have come loose from one of its tracks - otherwise, a great stateroom. The porthole is fantastic!Read All Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom (09A) Reviews >>