Orange County, CA
Disney Wonder: Kid tested, parent approved
As family cruising goes, it doesn't get much better than a Disney cruise. With an entire deck of youth programming and a family-friendly vibe, it's easy to see why Disney Wonder has earned nods from parents and kids alike.
If you're worried you'll experience Disney overload, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Sailing on Disney Wonder is not like spending a week at a Disney Resort. The ship surprises you with Disney touches without going over the top. Highlights of the Disney Wonder are spacious staterooms, great entertainment and world-renowned Disney service.
Who will like sailing on Disney Wonder
Anyone who is a Disney fan will enjoy cruising on this ship. Although mostly geared toward families, there are plenty of places for adults to enjoy on their own.
Where Disney Wonder sails
Disney Wonder features a variety of sailings in the Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Castaway Cay) as well as along Mexico's western shores and Baja, California and Hawaii before heading to Alaska from May to September for Inside Passage voyages. There's even a Panama Canal passage.
Here's an 8-minute video tour of Disney Wonder from our friend Jason Leppert of PopularCruising.com.
Kid tested, parent approved
I have long had the opinion that when kids are having fun, then parents can have fun, too. On Disney Wonder, there is practically non-stop entertainment and youth programming to keep youth engaged so parents can relax.
From interactive games, educational programs and Disney character encounters for young ones, to video games, karaoke and dance parties for teens, Disney Cruise Line's kids programs and clubs promise an unforgettable experience for all.
I sailed with two of my children. One of them liked the structured activities and making new friends while the other preferred to spend more time with me. Having the ability to come and go from the kids club made every day an adventure. The kids clubs are open daily and there are age-appropriate activity centers for infants, toddlers, children, tweens and teens.
- Flounder's Reef Nursery is a nursery for young children ages 3 months to 3 years.
- Disney's Oceaneer Club, a children's activity center, is the perfect place for kids to dress up as their favorite princess or hero, play computer games and enjoy a wide variety of supervised themed activities throughout the day.
- Disney's Oceaneer Lab has opportunities for both organized and free play for your kids between the ages of 3 and 11.
- Edge is a tween-exclusive space for kids ages 11 through 14 who want to play video games, watch television and participate in arts and crafts.
- Vibe is where teens ages 14 through 17 can watch television, play video games, listen to music, surf the Internet, enjoy fun activities and make new friends.
From the moment you walk onto the ship it is non-stop entertainment. I loved how cast members announced the name of each family when they stepped onto the ship for the first time. Also, the Pirates in the Caribbean and sail away deck parties were super fun.
Most nights after dinner, there were Broadway-caliber live production shows starring some of your favorite Disney characters in the Walt Disney Theater.
- Character Greetings anyone? One of the nice things about sailing on Disney Cruise Line is that there are many opportunities for children and adults to meet and greet Disney Characters.
- Disney Dreams - An Enchanted Classic is an award-winning, 50-minute, live musical show celebrating the value of dreams, starring some of your favorite Disney characters.
- The Golden Mickeys is a crowd favorite. This musical production show is presented as an awards ceremony in which characters from Disney movies are nominated in a series of categories.
- Toy Story - The Musical is a full-on production show not to be missed about Woody and Buzz Lightyear's friendship.
Nightclubs & lounges
While the kids are playing with their new friends, parents can head to one of the lounges or night clubs to relax. Disney Wonder has a coffee bar, piano bar, sports bar and a dance club. Some of the places I hung out were:
- Cadillac Lounge, an adult's only piano bar
- Cove Cafe, an adults-only spot to read, enjoy some coffee and surf the Internet
- Promenade Lounge, an Art Deco venue that served as the setting for many family games offered by cast members
Dining aboard the Disney Wonder includes a variety of dining venues, which is part of the rotational dining experience of a Disney cruise.
Rotational dining venues
There's no surcharge for these dining venues, which are rotated during your cruise:
- Animator's Palate celebrates Disney animation in an innovative dinner "show" starring your favorite Disney characters.
- Triton's serves continental cuisine with a French flair amid a more elegant setting for dinner. The restaurant is themed after the hit Disney movie, "The Little Mermaid."
- Parrot Cay serves up classic American fare for breakfast and lunch, and Caribbean island grill house specialties for dinner. Don't miss the seafood buffet during lunch on one of the sea days of your cruise.
Casual eateries (included in the cruise fare)
- Beach Blanket Buffet serves classic American and international cuisine during breakfast and lunch. At night, Beach Blanket Buffet becomes a table-service restaurant offering many Main Dining delights, which is a great option for families with very tired kids.
- Pluto's Dog House near Mickey's Pool serves classic American fare like hamburgers and chicken for lunch and dinner.
- Preludes is just outside the Walt Disney Theater where you can get a snack or beverage during live show performances and movies.
- Room Service is available 24 hours a day, for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
- Palo is an adult-exclusive restaurant that serves Northern Italian cuisine for dinner. Additionally, brunch is offered on select cruises. An additional fee is required, but it's worth the splurge.
The brochure promised larger staterooms compared to other cruise lines and it was accurate. I stayed in an inside cabin, and there was plenty of room for three people. I could appreciate the thoughtful design details in the cabin like a bath-and-a-half that allowed more people to get ready at night, a bathtub, lots of storage space and the nautical furnishings inside the cabin. My kids loved the TV programs, which played non-stop Disney shows.
Have you cruised on Disney Wonder? What was the highlight for you or your family? I'd love to hear about your experience.
Interested in a cruise on this ship?
For pricing, itinerary information and to reserve your spot on Disney Wonder, contact Cruiseable's travel consultants by email or call 1-877-322-3773.
Top highlights on this ship
- Enjoy a uniquely different dining experience every night of your cruise with rotational dining.
- Attend live musical stage shows.
- Spend a day exploring Castaway Cay, a private island in the Bahamas.
- Enjoy imaginative children's programs and separate activity areas for adults, teens and kids.