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Disney Wonder Review

Disney Wonder (Photo: Disney)
Disney Wonder (Photo: Disney)

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Disney Wonder
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Only ship in the fleet with "Frozen, a Musical Spectacular" and Tiana's Place restaurant


Most activities need to be booked in advance, leaving those who didn't out of luck

Bottom Line

Most notable for its unique kids club spaces, modern adult areas and Alaska itineraries


Passengers 1,754 double occupancy
Crew 1,050
Passenger to Crew 1.67:1
Launched 1999
Shore Excursions 547
Brittany Chrusciel
Cruise Critic Editor

Disney Wonder Overview

The "Imagineers" (aka designers) behind Disney Wonder's innovative spaces tell the Disney story with everything they do, paying attention to even the tiniest details. On Wonder, that means that in the Oceaneer Club kids 12 and younger enter a Marvel universe to fight bad guys and learn about their inner strength. In Tiana's Place, an electric dining experience pulled straight out of Disney's "The Princess and the Frog," diners are treated to a setting that beautifully blends fairytale with New Orleans' French Quarter. The Disney story continues even in the announcement chime and (to our surprise) the ship's horn, which both play the first seven notes of "When You Wish Upon a Star."

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Of course, you'll find the Disney story in the entertainment onboard as well. "Frozen, a Musical Spectacular" makes an impression in the theater and kids love all the appearances by the princesses. All of the shows onboard, as well as the activities in the kid and teen clubs, are free, and some of the best at sea.

But a cruise on Disney Wonder is not just about the physical details or entertainment you'll find onboard; it's also about making your cruise experience seamless. From providing bug repellant and sunscreen in ports of call with Zika warnings to in-cabin curtains that create a two-room feeling for families or groups sharing a room, Disney worries about the details so you don't have to.

One area where Disney's attention to detail is lacking, in our opinion, is in the onboard dining. Meals in the main dining restaurants are more about the performance than what's on the plate. But while some dishes could use more thought, kids probably won't mind the food and it's all too easy to be dazzled during dinner by an animation show or pirate parade than lament about a forgettable pork chop.

Something to note: To do everything on board -- and we mean everything -- it's imperative to book ahead. To reduce wait times and lines for character photos, the princess tea time and other special events, Disney Cruise Line encourages pre-booking. Even though space is usually left for those to join once onboard, events can sell out before the ship embarks; don't be the parent who didn't know. Research, plan and book ahead to reduce the chance of a meltdown. (And on the topic of tantrums, it's important to keep in mind that while you might not have plans to splurge on baby ball gowns, your kids and teens might begin to feel some serious envy if every other petite cruiser is sporting the latest glittery hairdo or lightsaber; be sure to budget enough for a gift or two, or be prepared to put your foot down firmly.)

All of restaurants, shows and activities onboard -- however magical -- wouldn't be the same without the service, which displays a heightened sensitivity to the needs of families, small children and special requests of all shapes and sizes. From room attendants (called hosts or hostesses onboard) to the servers that follow you from dining room to dining room all cruise long, there's a level of personalization that makes kids feel special and puts adults at ease. The result does feel like you've been transported away from reality, whether it's to New Orleans, Arendelle or simply an oasis where the entire family has something to make them smile.

Fellow Passengers

Expect a solid one-third of the ship's passengers to be children, so about 900 to 1,000 kids. That means there are plenty of family groups onboard -- from single families and grandparents with grandchildren to multigenerational groups and family reunions. Embarkation ports like Galveston attract a big drive-to market, so you'll find lots of people from the Midwest and Southern United States. Alaska cruises attract a tad older demographic, including couples traveling without children, but they're still heavy on the multi-gen groups.

Disney Wonder Dress Code

The only dress code to be aware of is in Palo, the adults-only restaurant, which asks that men wear dress pants (jeans are OK, if in good condition with no holes) and a collared shirt; and women put on a dress, skirt or pants and a blouse. No shorts, flip-flops or sneakers. Shirts and shoes are required in Cabanas buffet. Most nights are cruise casual, but there is at least one "optional dress up" night per cruise. With that said, we found that most kids (and a few adults) spent about half the cruise in "regular" clothes, and the other half in costume. Dressing up -- as a swashbuckling pirate for Pirate Night, sparkling Disney princess or a favorite Star Wars character -- is encouraged. Some people never took their Mickey ears off. (Tip: If you plan on buying costumes or accessories onboard, leave plenty of room in your luggage if you want to bring them home.)

Disney Wonder Gratuity

Gratuities -- given to the waiters, assistant waiters, head waiters and stateroom attendants -- are $12 per person, per day. Even if you prepay gratuities or add tips to your onboard bill, envelopes are distributed on the final evening so you can personally thank your room steward and wait staff. Cards denoting the prepaid amount can be put inside the envelopes, or you can give cash, if you prefer. An automatic 15-percent service charge is added to drink orders at any bar or lounge; an 18-percent auto-gratuity is added to all spa treatments.

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More about Disney Wonder

Where does Disney Wonder sail from?
Disney Wonder departs from Galveston, Honolulu, New Orleans, San Diego and Vancouver.
How much does it cost to go on Disney Wonder?
Cruises on Disney Wonder start from $660 per person.
Is Disney Wonder a good ship to cruise on?
Disney Wonder won 46 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2018 Best Overall
  • 2018 Best for Cabins
  • 2018 Best for Dining
  • 2018 Best for Embarkation
  • 2018 Best for Entertainment
  • 2018 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2018 Best for Service
  • 2018 Best for Value
  • 2018 Best for Families
  • 2017 Best Overall
  • 2017 Best for Cabins
  • 2017 Best for Dining
  • 2017 Best for Embarkation
  • 2017 Best for Entertainment
  • 2017 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2017 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2017 Best for Service
  • 2017 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2017 Best for Families
  • 2016 Best Overall
  • 2016 Best for Cabins
  • 2016 Best for Dining
  • 2016 Best for Embarkation
  • 2016 Best for Entertainment
  • 2016 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2016 Best for Service
  • 2016 Best for Value
  • 2016 Best for Families
  • 2015 Best Overall
  • 2015 Best for Cabins
  • 2015 Best for Dining
  • 2015 Best for Embarkation
  • 2015 Best for Entertainment
  • 2015 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2015 Best for Service
  • 2015 Best for Value
  • 2014 Best Overall
  • 2014 Best for Cabins
  • 2014 Best for Dining
  • 2014 Best for Embarkation
  • 2014 Best for Entertainment
  • 2014 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2014 Best for Service
  • 2014 Best for Value
  • 2014 Best for Families
  • 2013 Best for Families

Disney Wonder Member Reviews

Disney Wonder
Sail Date: Oct 2019
Entertainment: There was never a down moment aboard the Disney Wonder! They always had something going on....Read More
Disney Wonder
Sail Date: Oct 2019
There are Quick Service dining venues also aboard The Disney Wonder but they all failed. The only exception to any dining experience onboard is the buffet area called CABANA'S. That saved us all!...Read More
Disney Wonder
Sail Date: Mar 2019
We were two adults traveling without children that stayed in an inside stateroom on deck 7 midship of the Disney Wonder....Read More
Disney Wonder
Hiking In Heels
Sail Date: Jun 2018
My husband and I joined his family for a June 2018 cruise in southeastern Alaska on the Disney Wonder for a week of fun, with grandparents (65 years), brothers and wives (34-38 years), and kids (1-5 years...Read More

Disney Cruise Line Fleet