The Disney Wonder
written by Crystal Boston, Travel Specialist
I recently returned from my first experience on the Disney Wonder, this was my final new Disney Cruise ship experience until the new ships debut in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
There are so many things that I enjoy about sailing with Disney Cruise Line… large staterooms with under-bed space, exceptional dining experiences, friendly and accommodating crew, brilliant Broadway-like entertainment, Castaway Cay and I can’t forget the Towel Art – a fun treat when you return to your stateroom each evening!
On a Disney Cruise, you experience rotational dining. I enjoy getting to know the dining team while also being able to experience different dining options. As this was my first experience on the Disney Wonder, I also enjoyed 2 new dining experiences – Triton’s and Tiana’s Place.
While Animator’s Palette is still my favorite of the rotational dining options, Triton’s and Tiana’s Place did not disappoint. I dined at Animator’s Palette on my final night so breakfast on disembark day was also at Animator’s Palette.
While I have toured the other stateroom types, we have always chosen a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah and we prefer the starboard side so that we have a great view of the island when we arrive at Castaway Cay. The staterooms are good sized with under-bed storage for your luggage. We have never felt crowded in our stateroom when cruising with Disney – and the Disney Wonder was no exception.
This was a 3-night cruise, but I still enjoyed 2 ports of call – Nassau and Castaway Cay. Castaway Cay is always my favorite port of call and I especially love the “double-dip” sailings that offer 2 full days at Castaway Cay – I will need to get back on one of those sailings soon! And, if you have read some of my other blogs, fireworks are a big deal to me, Disney is the only cruise line that is granted permission to display fireworks at sea.
While I did not have a day at sea during this cruise, I was still able to enjoy the ship – character meet & greets that you often cannot find at the parks, recently released movies, pools, water slides, walk up dining, entertainment, deck parties, dance clubs, karaoke, trivia, unlimited room service – it’s all included!! The onboard Pub even offers a buffet of light snacks early evening with another buffet for late night snacks later each night. There is definitely enough to keep you busy on a Disney Cruise if you aren’t the lounging at the pool or beach type and you won’t go hungry!
As I mentioned, Castaway Cay is my favorite port of call when cruising with Disney and it was a perfect island day – not too hot, sunny skies and low wind!!
The tide even washed out a bit to create a sand bar that was easily reachable by walking into the ocean and we were able to see beautiful starfish and stingray there!
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island and is consistently rated by Disney Guests as their favorite port of call and it’s reserved exclusively for Disney cruisers. The ships will dock right at the island to allow you to come and go as you please while enjoying experiences such as snorkeling, boating, swimming and sunbathing. Bicycles can also be rented if you want to explore the island’s nature trails. While all areas of the island can be reached by walking, an island tram offers four stops to help you easily get where you want to go. Dining is also included at Castaway Cay as part of your cruise package with covered outdoor restaurants serving burgers, BBQ chicken and ribs and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase. And there are even some special character meet & greets on the island too!
I am a runner and, weather permitting, Disney Cruise Line offers a 5K on every stop at Castaway Cay. It’s very informal but you do get race bibs and a medal at the finish line. If you want to participate in the 5K on Castaway Cay, you can register at Guest Services once onboard your cruise. Your registration ticket, “Key to the World” and photo ID are required the day of your event to participate. The 3.1-mile out-and-back event is free and family friendly; it’s open to walkers and runners ages 10 and older. The race takes place first thing in the morning on the island, typically with a meeting time onboard of 8 am, and participants are the first Guests off the ship at Castaway Cay This is a very casual fun experience worth the early wake-up!
Families can have fun together at the Castaway Family Beach and, if you are traveling without children, Disney offers a secluded beach exclusively for adults – Serenity Bay. Your “Key to the World” card works for all purchases on Castaway Cay except at the local post office where you can send mail to your loved ones back home with a Bahamian postage stamp; the post card postage rate is approximately $0.65 USD each.
Cruising with Disney is a very casual experience – I wear sun dresses and flip flops while my husband wears shorts and polos – we do dress up a bit for dinner but “cruise casual” attire is appropriate for dinner. The only exceptions are if you reserve adult only dining experiences at Palo or Remy which both have dress codes.
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