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.
The stateroom chosen was a typical AFT verandah stateroom with a slightly oversized white wall verandah. Ship movement was reasonable and as with most AFT staterooms, there will be a bit of vibration when the ships manoeuvres into port. Room was in good shape with everything in working order. Comfortable bed and pillows and more than enough space for the 3 of us. A good feature of this room is its location on the 5th floor so easy access to kids club and Buena Vista Theater. There is also a "secret" staircase next to the room providing access to Cabana's (main buffet for breakfast and lunch). It is a very quiet area of the ship - with one warning. Rooms in this section are right above Animator's Palate (main dining room) so I would strongly recommend 2nd (later) seating. As such, cabins in this section would not be suitable for those who would want to go to bed before 10pm or so.
More than enough electrical outlets, USB ports and the likes for charging.
Relatively stable wifi in the room and throughout the ship to connect to the DCL app
This is the embarkation/debarkation port. The port itself and the waiting area is a huge warehouse - so nothing to write home about. Access to the port via Uber was easy. Somewhat of a long line to drop bag and go through initial security screening but after that, check-in was quick and efficient.
On debarkation, luggage were ready for pick up upon debarkation and CBP clearance was quick. Private transportation area (ie: Uber, friend/family pickup) is fairly small so easily gets crowded
Probably one of the best excursion of this trip. Fun 4X4 experience with stops at most natural highlights on Aruba, as well as the Ostrich farm. Roughly 2 hours at Ashari beach, which, at low tide, is ideal for families with young children (shallow and sandy beach). The only negative is the speech received on tips where an actual tip amount was suggested. Ostrich farm was ok but would not pay separately to get there. Ayo Rock. lighthouse and natural bridges offered really nice sightsView All 56 Jeep Tour Reviews
The tour in itself was fine and the guide was great. There were lots of very nice things to see but the main reason for the average rating is that the tour was not as exciting as advertised. The description provided was probably for the summer excursions where wildlife is much more abundent than during the winter. Very minimal wildlife and no flamingoes in this part of the islan in the winter - so a bit of a letdown. This is a 4x4 tour and can be bumpy at times. Not the greatest value for money. Probablty better things to do in Bonaire at that time of the year - but would be willing to give this actual tour at another time of the yearView All undefined undefined Reviews
The Antigua coastline is very nice and the Stringray swim was a great experience with adequate time (roughly 45 minutes) with the rays. On-board beach BBQ available which was nice and tasty. Fairly comfortable catamaran. The only downside of this cruise is that you spend much more time travelling on the catamaran and relatively little time at the beach stop and with the rays. Decent value for the money. Great guides on boardView All undefined undefined Reviews
DCL has two main beach excursions. One closest to the city where the beach is so-so, but with shopping nearby and one close to Maho beach in a more private area. We went to that 2nd location. the beach itself is in great shape (nice sandy beach) and beach chairs/umbrellas are included. However, the immediate area is in a bit of a rough shape so not the most exciting. Also, very little time at the beach (roughly 90 minutes) for the fairly high price paidView All 266 Beach Reviews