This was our first Disney Cruise, but my fourth cruise overall.
I took our youngest daughter, age 12, on this cruise as a reward
for outstanding academic grades.
We booked this cruise online in July. This was the first time I
booked online and it worked out well. The price was outstanding for
this kind of cruise.
This was a four-night cruise with stops in Nassau, Castaway Cay,
and one sea day. We live in southwest Florida and my husband drove
us to Port Canaveral. We left around 6 a.m. and arrived at 10 a.m.
Boarding was to take place at 10:30 a.m. This was my first time in
Port Canaveral, and I was impressed how calm and organized
everything was. Soon we said goodbye to my husband and walked into
the terminal. We had packed light, and only had two bags that we
carried on board. They had plenty of seating inside the terminal,
friendly and bright colors everywhere. TV monitors played Disney
movies and showed Castaway Cay Island.
Check-in was painless, and to our surprise we received an
upgrade! It was the same inside cabin, but we moved to Deck
5 from Deck 2. This worked out very well for us. They would not let
anyone on the ship until 11:30 a.m. so we sat down, checked out the
crowds and the mini-ship in the middle of the terminal that showed
all the decks (including the chairs)!
At 11:30 a.m. they let people on the ship and right away it was
"Magical." When we stepped on the ship, they asked our names, and
the crew gave everyone a standing ovation and said the name of the
family with lots of clapping of hands. Nice touch! Next came
something different: No one was allowed in their cabins until 1:30
p.m. There was no way to drop off our luggage or check out the
Again, it was very organized and no chaos. We were directed to
the Parrot Cay restaurant, which had vibrant colors -- and you
could hear birds singing. We sat down and treated ourselves to a
nice buffet lunch. The food was good but I can't remember what I
had. The staff was very friendly and this continued through out the
cruise -- always a hello, always trying to help.
After lunch we went to Deck 5 and waited. When they let us in
our cabin, I was surprised how spacious it was. The cabin was very
clean and we had enough space for our clothes. The large bathroom
had a tub/shower. We met our cabin steward and he was a nice
fellow. My main concern was our assigned dinner time of 8:30 p.m.,
which was way too late for me to eat. We had to be at a lounge by a
specific time to change the seating assignment and we headed there
to get it changed. They took our name and told us they would call
us to let us know if we could switch.
We also visited the Spa on Deck 9 and took a tour. There was no
pressure to buy anything, which I thought was nice. I liked the
Tropical Rainforest -- a room that has a sauna, steam room and
aromatherapy -- and I booked it for the entire cruise at a cost of
$45, which I thought was reasonable. At the time of booking I had
asked if it was just for woman or coed and the sales lady assured
me it was for females only (otherwise I would not have booked it).
But I later found out it was for both genders (more on that to
We went back to our cabin, which was an aft location, and put on
our swimming suits. Disney Wonder has three pools: a Mickey pool
with a slide, a family pool, and an adults-only pool. They all have
hot tubs. The pool is kind of small but it was okay. We had to be
back in our cabin because the lifeboat drill was at 4 p.m. This
went fairly smoothly, and after that I went back to the cabin and
called to find out about our dinner time. We did get early seating
which was at 6:15 p.m.
We changed and went to the Parrot Cafe again. At Disney you
change restaurants, but you rotate with your dining companions and
the same waiters. We sat at a table of eight and there was just
another couple. The lady was ill and wasn't talking, and I was
disappointed to sit there with no one to talk to. At that time the
ship was moving and we hit some rough waters. It felt like the ship
was going very fast. I was starting to feel sick myself! I don't
remember what we ate and I know we skipped dessert.
The Disney production "Hercules the Musical" started at 8:30
p.m. and the theater was very nice. The ship continued to rock a
lot and I kept feeling sicker and sicker. As we sat there we
started talking to a woman sitting next to us with her daughter,
age 11. We ended up spending time together on the entire cruise.
They have a Christian background as well and we got along great.
The funny thing was they had the same last name as us. The show was
okay but I wasn't impressed. I was disappointed, since I always had
seen good Disney productions.
On our back to the cabin, we stopped at the Internet cafe on
Deck 3 and I wrote a quick e-mail to my husband. When we finally
made it to the cabin I was ready for bed! The ship was rocking
terribly and I made a quick dash for the bathroom where all my food
came back out. I was so seasick! For the next hour or so I rotated
between sink and toilet. I finally felt better and crawled into my
bed. My daughter was sleeping and before she went to sleep she had
filled out the breakfast card for room service the next morning.
Day 2 - Nassau
Room service woke us up at 7 a.m. and brought the breakfast my
daughter had ordered. It was your typical stuff like fruit, bread
and jelly. Coffee was okay but nothing exciting. I had recovered
from the previous night and the ship's movement was a lot better
now. The ship was supposed to dock at 8 a.m. I had planned a trip
to the Blue Lagoon Island, but my daughter didn't want to go. We
headed to the pursers desk but they told us we could only change it
to another excursion, which we didn't do.
A side note to those who are concerned about all the kids on a
Disney cruise: The ship was full and had a lot of kids, but we
never saw a lot of them. The only time we noticed a "large amount"
was at the scheduled character appearances and even then we could
have avoided those places. My daughter's new friend was still into
the taking pictures and getting autographs with all the Disney
characters, and we bumped into them at the "Princess gathering" in
the Atrium Lobby. It was cute to see little girls dressed up as
Cinderella, Snow White etc.
I talked to my newfound friend and found out they did not have
anything planned for the day except to get her daughters hair
braided. She had the same dinner time, but was not happy with her
table either, since all the guests where older and had no kids at
the table for her daughter. So we decided to see if we could dine
together. She said she would call and see if we could do it. This
is where we found out we had the same last name! We went back into
our cabin to gather what we needed for our excursion. At Disney you
have a scheduled meeting time on the ship for all the specific
excursions and I found this to be nice. There you showed your
tickets, made sure you had ID, got towels, etc. Again, it was very
well organized! They walked us off the ship and we met the guide
who would bring us to the ferry. The walk was a bit long but I saw
a Starbucks and told my daughter on the way back we would have to
stop there. The ferry ride was very nice and a band played
Caribbean tunes. It was very hot and the sun was beating on us but
we did not mind.
The Blue Lagoon
Here I would like to thank Donna and Michelle for the great idea
to go to the Blue Lagoon. My daughter loved it and so did I. The
water was crystal-clear; we spent our entire time in the water
except for lunch. The Blue Lagoon has a Dolphin Encounter and we
saw the dolphins when the ferry docked. I had just been to
Discovery Cove so I did not want to do the dolphins again. The Blue
Lagoon has a few stores and some water toys you can rent. We never
made it to the stores. Michelle was right, the food was very
expensive but it was included in the price of the excursion.
However, the food was not good at all and I kept peeking over to
the other side where Norwegian Cruise line had a buffet set up and
the food looked wonderful: Fresh fruit, desserts, fresh grilled
meats etc. We talked to someone there, and they told us the food
was very good. Ours wasn't, and I do wish Disney would change this.
They had given us some drink coupons but it was only good for rum
punch or a sugary drink. We only drink water, so we had to pay for
the bottled water.
We left the island at 2 p.m. On our way back, we stopped at
Starbucks and some refreshments. We stopped at the indoor market
and picked up some hot sauce for my husband as a gift. Back on the
ship, we ended up getting a late lunch to make up for the slim
pickings at the island. My daughter wanted to rest, so I did some
e-mails and called the desk to change my e-mail service. A flat fee
was $39 or 75 cents per minute. The first time I logged on, I spent
over $17 and I needed to switch to the flat fee. This was no
problem and they credited me the $17. I had not heard from my new
friend and wasn't sure if I would see them at dinner time.
To our surprise, they sat at our table; the other couple from
the previous night was there also and looked pretty perky too. She
felt better and the conversation was nice. This was great for the
two girls, who enjoyed talking to one another. Again, I forgot what
we ate. I do remember Disney does not know how to cook a steak
medium rare. The first one I sent back, the second one was almost
as bad. I enjoyed the Caesar salad and had it every night.
That night was the production of "The Golden Mickeys," and we
almost did not go because of the night before. But I am glad I saw
it; the rest of the productions were awesome also. They had the red
carpet rolled out in front of the theater and the crew posed as
reporters and took flash photos of everyone. I am sure it was
awesome for the kids!
Afterwards the girls wanted to go to Studio Sea to participate
in "Who wants to be a Mouseketeer?" and we went there. It was set
up just like â€œWho wants to be a
Millionaire?â€ and the girls had loads of fun. I was
getting tired so we headed back to our cabin and my daughter
ordered chocolate chip cookies, chocolate milk and ice water. The
room service was very efficient and fast. But we never ordered
anything else besides that every night. The TV always had some
Disney stuff on. The TV was a bit of a problem, as we could pull it
out but not swivel it around. We had to sit on the sofa or bend our
necks from the bed. The ship was moving again and next day was
Day 3 - Castaway Cay, Bahamas
I forgot to mention that the night before, our new friends told
us they booked a Catamaran snorkeling excursion on the Island. My
daughter wanted to this also but it conflicted with my Cabana
massage at 9 a.m. I had booked the massage online and was looking
forward to it. But this cruise was mainly for my daughter and we
tried to get the massage re scheduled.
My daughter and I went to the Beach Blanket Buffet for
breakfast. It was the usual stuff, plus an omelet station. Scoops
made fresh hot chocolate and plain waffles in the form of Mickey
ears. Scoops also had ice cream throughout the day with all sorts
of toppings. It was very good and they did not charge for it!
I did not care for the scrambled eggs, very watery. But the
bacon was very crispy. Afterwards we made our way to the Spa to see
what I could do about my massage. They told me there wasn't another
time available and they would charge me half ($70) if I canceled
it. I wasn't too happy, but this was my fault, not theirs!
We got off the ship, went to the shore excursion desk on the
island, and booked the catamaran/snorkeling trip. We waited by the
catamaran for about half an hour and then our friends came off the
ship. The catamaran was beautiful and the ride to the snorkeling
spot refreshing. The snorkeling went well. I can't put that rubber
piece in my mouth, but I still saw many fish. We had one hour to
snorkel, and the time flew by.
Afterwards they gave out free chips, pretzels, water and juice.
What is nice at the Disney Island is that they have a shuttle take
you to the main areas so we did not have to walk with our bag,
towels etc. We checked out the shops and bought nothing. We
proceeded to the lunch area and ate lunch. Again, it was just okay.
We both had a cheeseburger and salad. I had booked a banana boat
ride since my daughter wanted to do it, and we walked to the beach.
They had a cooler there where you could store your stuff and off we
Bouncy Banana Boat
This was the worse ride of my life. The boat pulling us went
very fast and I kept bouncing up and down. I had a very hard time
holding onto the little rope in front of me. Finally the boat
stopped and I told them to slow down but I don't think anyone
listened. They told us to stretch our fingers and off we went
again. I could hardly hold on and then I saw a Barracuda in the
water! I was so afraid I closed my eyes, prayed to God and held on.
It's a miracle I did not fall off. When the banana boat ride
finally stopped I could barely move. My daughter got me a cup of
water and I was not able to hold the cup.
After I caught my breath we stopped at the beach and my daughter
wanted to go in the water. I put myself on a lounge chair to relax.
I wasn't able to move my arms or my fingers without great pain. I
finally managed to get up and join my daughter. The water was very
murky at this spot and something kept stinging us. We both decided
it was time to leave. We made it back to the ship by around 1:30
p.m. We both took a shower and fell asleep with the TV on!
When I woke up I remembered my daughter was to meet her new
friend at the Oceaneer Club at 5 p.m. to make a Disney animation
cell. We had to hurry but I could barely move and was very
concerned about my arms. I had pulled a few muscles and it took a
few days to recover. I had to sleep with a pillow under my arm so
it was elevated.
After I dropped off my daughter my new friend and I went to the
adults-only coffee shop. I stopped in there before and had my iced
coffee (for a fee), which was very good. The Cove Cafe was a quiet
spot behind the adults-only pool; it had magazines, headsets for
the big-screen TV and was just a nice spot to relax.
Soon it was time to go to dinner. The menu wasn't anything to
write home about but the company made up for the food. That night
they had "Hilarious Comedy & Ventriloquism at the theater and I
had no interest. My daughter tagged along with her new friend and
Mom, and we agreed to meet upstairs for the big
â€œPirates in the Caribbean Party" from 9:45-11:30
p.m. Rumor had it there would be fireworks too. While my daughter
was at the theater, I wrote some e-mails and just checked out the
The show later was wonderful and the kids had a lot of fun. We
saw Mickey, Minnie and of course Captain Hook. Someone flew through
the air and after that there were fireworks! I don't know of any
other cruise line that does fireworks in the middle of the ocean!
Afterwards they had a small buffet. Then we went back to our cabin.
I was still in a lot of pain with my arms but the right one was
very bad as I could not straighten it. I took some Tylenol and
hoped for the best! Next day: Sea day!
Day 4 - Sea Day
My daughter slept in but I got up early and headed upstairs to
see it was raining. This just added to my sadness knowing this
cruise was coming to an end! I ate breakfast at the Beach Blanket
Buffet and afterwards I headed down to the desk to straighten out
my spa charge.
Remember the tropical rainforest at the spa? I explained why I
had not gone and why I would like to have my $45 refunded. He said
he would look into it and give me a call later on. When I went into
my cabin he did leave me a message and the charge was removed. I
also went to the spa and treated myself to a haircut. The price was
high but it was fun and I enjoyed it.
After a quick visit to the Internet I woke up my daughter so she
could get some breakfast. My daughter and I had not shopped yet and
as I laid on Deck 4 on a wooden lounge chair with extra-thick
padding, she went shopping. To my surprise she came back with a
gift for me, a Disney mug that said "I love you, Mom." She also
bought two charm bracelets. I went there later and made some
The chair was very comfortable and I felt like going to sleep.
Unfortunately some smokers came out on the deck and I had to leave.
It was very rare to see smokers. On Disney, many places are
smoke-free, including all the inside cabins.
My daughter wanted to see the Magic & Ventriloquism guy
again; he was giving a demonstration, so off we went. I enjoyed it
but he pushed his products too much. I had not had a chance to play
Bingo at all so we went to the early one with our new friends and I
won $49! We went again later that night for the Jackpot but we did
not win anything.
That night was the big dinner at "The Animator's Palate." I
heard many great things about this room as it goes from black &
white to color throughout dinner. We checked out the menu and it
disappointed both of us. So we decided to go on the pool deck and
eat some fries at Pluto's Dog house. This wasn't the first time we
ate there, and the fries came out hot and crunchy. The cart had all
the trimmings including tons of potato chip bags. I tried the
chicken sandwich one time and it was good but spicy.
On Deck 9 there was a Pinocchio's Pizzeria but we never made it
there. The only surcharge restaurant, Palo's, was for adults only
($10 each), and I never went there. Our table mates tried to but it
was booked throughout the entire cruise! As we ate some fries the
two girls went to play ping pong. Again, we had great conversation
and time flew by.
The restaurant was indeed a nice experience but dinner wasn't
great. The couple ordered a steak medium well; I told him
considering how mine was done at medium rare, his must be a leather
shoe. Unfortunately, I was right! What surprised us was that they
did not serve any lobster on the cruise!
This was also the night to give out tip envelopes. Our assistant
water was very nice and I handed her something extra when I shook
her hand. Our waiter was fine but nothing to write home about. The
evening was "enhanced" by four accidents in our area
â€“ waiters dropping plates, glasses, food, etc.,
including something on a guest.
Afterwards we went to the theater and watched "Dreams." It says
on the flyer, â€œFly through the air with Peter
Pan and your imagination as many classic Disney characters spring
to life. With a little Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust you'll see that
your dreams can come true!
The show was fantastic, but some little girls behind me totally
screamed when a new Disney character showed up. On the other hand
it was nice to experience their excitement -- it was so cute and
innocent. Afterwards the girls went to the Oceaneer Lab to pick up
a graduation hat and the animation cell they had made. It was time
to retire to our cabin and start packing! We checked our e-mail and
of course my daughter ordered chocolate chip cookies and we watched
a movie on TV. We had wanted to go to the Disney Cinema but just
never had time.
Arrival in Port Canaveral
The last morning I had received a paper in our stateroom stating
I had to be at the Walt Disney Theater by 6 a.m. to clear
immigration. This was very efficient, organized and swift. Every
previous time I cruised, no one was there on time. Not on the
Wonder! Disney set up a little cart with coffee, tea and breakfast
pastries -- very thoughtful. The line moved fast and in no time I
was in front of an immigration officer.
After breakfast we went back to our cabin, got our bags and left
the ship in very slow motion. In front was the free Raddison
shuttle that took us to the hotel, where I had booked one night. We
arrived at the hotel around 9 a.m., checked in, went to sleep until
4 p.m. The hotel was okay and the pool area was very nice and the
burger by the tiki bar was excellent. The rate had a free breakfast
buffet. We checked out later the next day.
The Disney Wonder service was excellent and the crew very
friendly. The food wasn't great but we did not starve. Room service
was very fast and the inside cabin was spacious. There was plenty
to do and always something for just
â€œadults.â€ I think it's a nice touch
to get free soda. I never saw any drunks or females in string
bikinis. I would say this is a very family oriented cruise which I
like very much. I was a little worried about taking a Disney cruise
and only took it because my 12 year old wanted to. I did not regret
the cruise and I am already looking forward to booking another one
for the beginning of next year. We did not have annoying
announcements in our cabin and never anyone trying to sell
something to us. We "missed" the formal night, meaning I did not
notice a formal night. I always dressed in black pants and a fancy
shirt. I did not notice anyone -- including kids -- in shorts at
any time. The theater productions were class A+. All in all a great
cruise and we will cruise Disney again!