Disney Wonder Cruise Review by KKMMex
- Sail Date: December 2017
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah
Both of our families reserved parking spots in advance and online through the Port of Galveston’s website. We had each checked in online in advance of the trip and we all had American passports at the ready. Each family holds silver cruiser Disney Castaway Club status, so our embarkation went very smoothly. We brought a total of 7 bottles of wine/champagne aboard, and that was no problem. Disney gives silver cruisers and above their own check-in area. We were able to board at 1 pm.
The Wonder was recently renovated and all areas (including our cabin) are shipshape! The ship is beautiful and appears well cared for. It was still decorated for Christmas so we enjoyed all of those festive touches.
While we have children, none of the ones in our party were interested in the Kids’ Club. Instead, they passed their time with one another, visiting the various ship areas, trading pins with other kids and the Wonder cast members, going to shows and movies and meals with us and enjoying being on board. We did not hover over them, but allowed them to wander the ship with one another. We communicated with them using the texting feature on the Disney Cruise app. This worked perfectly and we had zero problems. Our 4th graders enjoyed meeting Disney characters while our tweens enjoyed visiting the shops, reading in the portholes on Deck 3 and eating lunch together. Both 4th and 6th graders loved playing Bingo!
For our excursions, we chose lunch at Sloppy Joe’s followed by a Key Lime bike tour in Key West (amazing), a stingray snorkeling adventure on Castaway Cay (includes bike and tube rentals), and a visit to the Atlantis resort water park in Nassau. I would highly recommend all of these excursions for this age group. The Key Lime bike tour includes a piece of pie at the end, while the Atlantis excursion includes lunch vouchers.
Our group took full advantage of onboard movies, with Coco and The Last Jedi warranting repeat viewings. We went to every single show. Standouts included Frozen (special to the Wonder) and a country music concert by Mark Wills. The four adults in our party had one dinner at Palo and one brunch there also. We would highly highly recommend visiting Palo at least once - it’s a small but beautiful space on the 10th deck and the service we received was magical. The food was truly wonderful. The brunch was the best I’ve ever enjoyed at any restaurant anywhere. My husband and I enjoyed a quiet coffee at the Cove restaurant as well as a late-night whiskey tasting there. There is plenty for adults to do on the Wonder without kiddos! Let the very capable waitstaff take care of your older kiddos while you and your partner enjoy some alone time and fine dining in a beautiful setting. Also, the Crown & Fin pub was a particular fave for the adults for pre-dinner cocktails and snacks.
We felt that the service we received on the Wonder was exceptional. We loved our servers in the dinner restaurants. They were really great with our kids. Tiana’s Place, Animator’s Palate and Triton’s are each unique but each special in its own way. Tiana’s has a party atmosphere and we loved the live music and character appearances. Animator’s had a really neat show at the end which features drawings made by every diner. Triton’s is more formal with fancier food. They treated our families like royalty during each meal. Our older daughters ordered from the adult menus and were trying things like lamb, lobster, duck, and shrimp - it was amazing to see this! Our younger kiddos were content with the kids’ menu while ordering the occasional fancy adult dessert.
We frequented Cabana’s for breakfast and typically had casual lunches on Deck 9 while at sea. Helpful hint: you can get a Dole Whip at the drink stand next to the ice cream dispenser. Also, you can get excellent shawarma (beef, lamb & chicken) with all the fixings at Boiler Bites on Deck 9 as well.
We were treated to fireworks at sea TWICE during this cruise, once for NYE and once during Pirate Night. Both parties were extremely entertaining. Disney knows how to throw a great deck party, with everything appropriate for even the youngest of children.
Our kids went to several events they found enjoyable - Disney Trivia, towel folding, and pin trading with the captain and his staff. Also, everyone in our party loved Bingo. We also loved getting family pics made with Mickey as well as special family pics in the beautiful lobby atrium during formal night. Take advantage of the professional photographers on board! They take wonderful pictures that you can purchase at Shutters on Deck 4,
We went to breakfast at 8 am as a group on the morning of our disembarkation and it was a quick in and out. By the time we were called to disembark, we had already eaten. We were in our car and headed out of the port terminal area before 9:30. It was very smooth and quick.
I highly recommend the Wonder. We have sailed on the Dream but I do believe I prefer the smaller Wonder ship! She is just as beautiful with just as much to do but on a slightly smaller scale that feels more manageable, especially given that we had kiddos roaming on board. This cruise was absolutely magical and I rate it EXCELLENT.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
SnorkelingOur kids enjoyed getting up close and personal with the stingrays! Several in our party continued their snorkeling out in the bay where there are green sea turtles, a submarine and statues of Mickey and Minnie to find. Others of us used our bike rental privileges to explore the island a bit. We biked all the way to the lookout stand as well as by the private cabanas. We also got tubes to float in.View All 20 Snorkeling Reviews
Stingray AdventureStingrays are friendly with no stingers! Only at Disney could this happen. :))View All 15 Stingray Adventure Reviews
Bicycle TourI called Christopher at Key Lime because Disney wouldn’t book this excursion for us, as they only do it for ages 10 and up. There were two 9-year-olds in our party. Christopher happily booked us a tour over the phone then followed up with me via email and text. Mike was our tour guide and he was wonderful. We loved this relaxing bike ride around the island that hit all the highlights. We ate key lime pie afterwards.View All 18 Bicycle Tour Reviews
Atlantis AquaventureWe took a bus over to Atlantis and had full use of the water park until 4 pm. Lunch was included. This is a great great excursion for older kids - ours loved the River Rapids and all the tube slides. Really fun!View All 246 Atlantis Aquaventure Reviews