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Disney Cruise Line: Disney Wonder

Fodorite Reviews

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Jan 1, 2017

Disney Wonder Review

Kirk Wolf Age: 47 Occupation:Attorney Number of Cruises: 1 Cruise Line: Disney Ship: Disney Wonder Sailing Date: 2013-08-11 Itinerary: Alaska You learn something new every day. After our first cruise, we learned that a full price ticket doesn't always buy you a full cruise, even with Disney in control. First-time cruisers, beware! Look into travel insurance, arrive in port at least a day early and don't depend on the magic of Disney. Make sure to

shop around for the best deal. My family has always had great experiences with Disney in the past, so when we decided to take our first cruise, we booked DCL. We were thrilled to hear that they could arrange the air and ground travel. We did not want to have any issues, so we agreed. DCL arranged to have us fly to Vancouver on the day of the cruise with Delta Airlines. Delta began the day with problems when their baggage conveyor at check-in was broken. Delta went downhill from there. Our take-off was delayed for an hour and a half due to mechanical difficulties and revising the route around thunderstorms in the Great Lakes area. While our connecting Delta flight in Minneapolis was also late, it took off in front of us as we approached the gate. Delta staff were rude and disorganized in dealing with us and the other Disney cruisers. They told us to stop complaining or they wouldn't help us. They finally arranged (and DCL told us to accept) two additional flights to Vancouver. Both of these were also late and when we finally landed in Vancouver, the DCL ground representative explained that while the Wonder had waited half an hour for us, it could not wait the additional time it would take to get us to the pier. She had no further information or recommendations for us. After I called Delta and was offered a $50 voucher towards my next flight, I visited their counter, which was closed. Next I went to the West Jet counter, since they handled the last leg of our journey. West Jet was very sorry and helpful for their role in this, so they gave us a two-night voucher for the Fairmont Hotel at the airport, along with food coupons for the airport. They were great. The Fairmont Hotel was our home for the rest of the day and the next, as DCL offered to fly us to Skagway to meet the Wonder on day 4 of our trip. The Fairmont deserves its five star rating. The two rooms for our party were clean, spacious and beautifully decorated. They provided my son with free Wi-Fi and the staff was pleasant and helpful. They even helped us to plan a day-trip into Vancouver the second day. Vancouver is a wonderful place. They even employ paid guides on the street to help obvious tourists to make the most of their time. On day three, DCL arranged to fly us to Skagway on two flights with Alaska Air and a third on a puddle-jumper with Alaska Seaplanes. The service on Alaska Air was average, but both flights were on time. The last flight with Alaska Seaplanes was picturesque and the pilot was friendly and knowledgeable. Once in Skagway, we went to the Westmark Inn (paid for by DCL) for the night. It reminded me of a hotel from the 50’s, complete with paneled walls. It was clean, but small. The staff was pleasant. The next day we met the Wonder at the pier and finally boarded the ship as the other passengers were eager to disembark. We registered and had breakfast at Tritons. Then we went to our two staterooms. They were adjoining deluxe oceanview staterooms with verandas, Rooms 6100 and 6102. The rooms were very nice. They were larger than expected, beautifully decorated and clean. The split bathroom was a nice feature. The verandas were perfect for drinking our early morning coffee. Once we were aboard, the staff was wonderful and attentive. The dining staff was engaging and friendly. Our stateroom host was very helpful and supplied everything that we asked him for, including an extra chair for the veranda and ice for when the veranda door caught my wife's finger. Guest services on board was helpful in that an employee checked on us often and asked if there was anything he could do for us. What we really wanted was the missing days on board, but he fit us into the dining schedule and made sure that we still saw the show at Animator's Palate and the Character breakfast. The dining on board was average to good, but I had expected more variety. The dining room experience was entertaining. The buffets were average as far as buffets go. I really can't comment on the ship's activities, since we missed two out of the three sea days and we ventured into all three ports. We did see a movie onboard, but the seating was very cramped. The live show theater provided more personal seating room and Dreams was an enjoyable experience. Everyone in our party was over 18, so we did not use the children areas. Also, it was too cold to use the pools, but they looked very small for the number of passengers. Most of our shore excursions were also planned by DCL. In Skagway, we rode the historic railroad along the Gold Rush Trail of 1898. We like trains, so we enjoyed the five hour ride along scenic mountain routes. The town itself was a small street of jewelry stores, which was unimpressive. In Juneau, we took a whale-watching/Mendenhall Glacier photo safari. That was great, since on the ride to the bay we were instructed on the use of our 35mm cameras and their features. We saw plenty of wildlife on the bay and on the trails, including whales and eagles. In Ketchikan, we took our own excursion and hiked into the Tongass rainforest, climbing Deer Mountain. It was strenuous but very worthwhile. The town itself, like Skagway, was a collection of jewelry stores. Disembarkation went smoothly, without any issues. The flight back home on Delta was par for the course. There were delays, but we were going home, so another hour and a half in the airport had come to be expected. The trip was worthwhile and we were happy to have experienced it, especially since I am self-employed and we really had no option to reschedule it. But being self-employed, I also realize the importance of customer service. No matter how you look at it, we trusted DCL with our travel arrangements and we missed out on forty percent of our time on-board through no fault of our own. Guest services on board said that they had done all within their authority to help us and told us that corporate guest services would be contacting us once we got home. Well, by Wednesday I called DCL myself and was connected with Joseph P. While he claimed to understand how I must feel and was truly sorry, he said that "DCL had met industry standards and was not prepared to provide any additional refunds or discounts." He hoped that it would not affect my future dealings with Disney. I know that this experience does not match our prior dealings with Disney. I do not know enough about "industry standards" to dispute his claim, but I also know that I need to consider the value of what I received when I book my next cruise. I do not feel that I received the premium value that I paid for. The food was OK, but I expected more variety. Great cabin. We had adjoining deluxe ocean view staterooms with verandas. They were more spacious than expected. The split bathroom was a clever idea. NA. By the time we got onboard, we had missed two of the three days at sea. The train ride and the photo safari were worth the money and really exposed Alaska to us.

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Aug 11, 2013

Alaska

Overall not meeting expectations of a product with the disney name! Service is high because the employees care so they give you 100% but the quality is not up to disney standards. The food was at best average. Dinner has some decent choices as long as you ate in the main dinning halls. The buffet was unacceptable. You can hardly call if a buffet it is more like a cafeteria where you literally get a tray and go down a line to get your food. The

food avilaibility and quality was the most disappointing part. Rooms are nice. We had a room with a window on level 2. Only issue we were below the kitchen so there was excess noise during the early morning as they prepared meals. For a disney cruise I expected characters to be wandering all over the ship. Not so. Instead you had to get on insanely long lines to meet the characters who came out during scheduled times. This is based more purely on your own preferences. Many looked great however be ready to pay as some excursions wee $600 a person. Alaska itself is simplly amazing. I am not much of a nature or our doors type of person however the views and scenery were awesome. Glaciers were enormous. The kids loved the kids club and wanted to keep going back.getting on ship ship was a breeze. Slight lines but once you cleared customs you got right on. Not too many activites on board which was disappointing. They re not as aggressive as on other cruises pushing drinks and bingo. Overall with the disappointing food I would say no value here.

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Aug 11, 2013

Alaska

You learn something new every day. After our first cruise, we learned that a full price ticket doesn't always buy you a full cruise, even with Disney in control. First-time cruisers, beware! Look into travel insurance, arrive in port at least a day early and don't depend on the magic of Disney. Make sure to shop around for the best deal. My family has always had great experiences with Disney in the past, so when we decided to take

our first cruise, we booked DCL. We were thrilled to hear that they could arrange the air and ground travel. We did not want to have any issues, so we agreed. DCL arranged to have us fly to Vancouver on the day of the cruise with Delta Airlines. Delta began the day with problems when their baggage conveyor at check-in was broken. Delta went downhill from there. Our take-off was delayed for an hour and a half due to mechanical difficulties and revising the route around thunderstorms in the Great Lakes area. While our connecting Delta flight in Minneapolis was also late, it took off in front of us as we approached the gate. Delta staff were rude and disorganized in dealing with us and the other Disney cruisers. They told us to stop complaining or they wouldn't help us. They finally arranged (and DCL told us to accept) two additional flights to Vancouver. Both of these were also late and when we finally landed in Vancouver, the DCL ground representative explained that while the Wonder had waited half an hour for us, it could not wait the additional time it would take to get us to the pier. She had no further information or recommendations for us. After I called Delta and was offered a $50 voucher towards my next flight, I visited their counter, which was closed. Next I went to the West Jet counter, since they handled the last leg of our journey. West Jet was very sorry and helpful for their role in this, so they gave us a two-night voucher for the Fairmont Hotel at the airport, along with food coupons for the airport. They were great. The Fairmont Hotel was our home for the rest of the day and the next, as DCL offered to fly us to Skagway to meet the Wonder on day 4 of our trip. The Fairmont deserves its five star rating. The two rooms for our party were clean, spacious and beautifully decorated. They provided my son with free Wi-Fi and the staff was pleasant and helpful. They even helped us to plan a day-trip into Vancouver the second day. Vancouver is a wonderful place. They even employ paid guides on the street to help obvious tourists to make the most of their time. On day three, DCL arranged to fly us to Skagway on two flights with Alaska Air and a third on a puddle-jumper with Alaska Seaplanes. The service on Alaska Air was average, but both flights were on time. The last flight with Alaska Seaplanes was picturesque and the pilot was friendly and knowledgeable. Once in Skagway, we went to the Westmark Inn (paid for by DCL) for the night. It reminded me of a hotel from the 50’s, complete with paneled walls. It was clean, but small. The staff was pleasant. The next day we met the Wonder at the pier and finally boarded the ship as the other passengers were eager to disembark. We registered and had breakfast at Tritons. Then we went to our two staterooms. They were adjoining deluxe oceanview staterooms with verandas, Rooms 6100 and 6102. The rooms were very nice. They were larger than expected, beautifully decorated and clean. The split bathroom was a nice feature. The verandas were perfect for drinking our early morning coffee. Once we were aboard, the staff was wonderful and attentive. The dining staff was engaging and friendly. Our stateroom host was very helpful and supplied everything that we asked him for, including an extra chair for the veranda and ice for when the veranda door caught my wife's finger. Guest services on board was helpful in that an employee checked on us often and asked if there was anything he could do for us. What we really wanted was the missing days on board, but he fit us into the dining schedule and made sure that we still saw the show at Animator's Palate and the Character breakfast. The dining on board was average to good, but I had expected more variety. The dining room experience was entertaining. The buffets were average as far as buffets go. I really can't comment on the ship's activities, since we missed two out of the three sea days and we ventured into all three ports. We did see a movie onboard, but the seating was very cramped. The live show theater provided more personal seating room and Dreams was an enjoyable experience. Everyone in our party was over 18, so we did not use the children areas. Also, it was too cold to use the pools, but they looked very small for the number of passengers. Most of our shore excursions were also planned by DCL. In Skagway, we rode the historic railroad along the Gold Rush Trail of 1898. We like trains, so we enjoyed the five hour ride along scenic mountain routes. The town itself was a small street of jewelry stores, which was unimpressive. In Juneau, we took a whale-watching/Mendenhall Glacier photo safari. That was great, since on the ride to the bay we were instructed on the use of our 35mm cameras and their features. We saw plenty of wildlife on the bay and on the trails, including whales and eagles. In Ketchikan, we took our own excursion and hiked into the Tongass rainforest, climbing Deer Mountain. It was strenuous but very worthwhile. The town itself, like Skagway, was a collection of jewelry stores. Disembarkation went smoothly, without any issues. The flight back home on Delta was par for the course. There were delays, but we were going home, so another hour and a half in the airport had come to be expected. The trip was worthwhile and we were happy to have experienced it, especially since I am self-employed and we really had no option to reschedule it. But being self-employed, I also realize the importance of customer service. No matter how you look at it, we trusted DCL with our travel arrangements and we missed out on forty percent of our time on-board through no fault of our own. Guest services on board said that they had done all within their authority to help us and told us that corporate guest services would be contacting us once we got home. Well, by Wednesday I called DCL myself and was connected with Joseph P. While he claimed to understand how I must feel and was truly sorry, he said that "DCL had met industry standards and was not prepared to provide any additional refunds or discounts." He hoped that it would not affect my future dealings with Disney. I know that this experience does not match our prior dealings with Disney. I do not know enough about "industry standards" to dispute his claim, but I also know that I need to consider the value of what I received when I book my next cruise. I do not feel that I received the premium value that I paid for. The food was OK, but I expected more variety. Great cabin. We had adjoining deluxe ocean view staterooms with verandas. They were more spacious than expected. The split bathroom was a clever idea. NA. By the time we got onboard, we had missed two of the three days at sea. The train ride and the photo safari were worth the money and really exposed Alaska to us.

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Feb 26, 2013

Miami to Bahamas

In general: We have cruised on Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Disney. Before this Disney cruise, we actually took a Royal Caribbean holiday cruise in December. Since it was just two months prior, we found ourselves doing a lot of comparisons. Disney cruises are for kids and families. Period. Anyone who tells you that it's a great experience for an adults only cruise is lying. Everything is catered to children, from restaurants, to shows, to pools,

to entertainment. This was specifically glaring in the restaurants and with food options and quality of food. This is fine for us because we were a group of four (grandma, mom, and two kids ages 4 and 2.5). Be prepared to wait in lots of lines and be prepared to be "Disneyed-Out." Also be prepared to be surrounded by throngs of overstimulated and overtired rugrats. That is what a Disney Cruise is. We thought the food on Royal Caribbean was MUCH better. Food - Pretty bad. Disappointingly bad, considering the premium price for the cruise. The menu options were varied and promising, but the execution of the meals and the flavors were bland and sometimes awful. Buffet food was also sub-par. The "fast food" on the cruise (pizza, sandwiches, chicken nuggets, burgers, etc.) all around the pool area were tasty. But the sit down restaurants food was very disappointing. Fish was way overcooked and flavorless. Same with steak. Instead of a whole cut of tenderloin steak, they serve you a few strips of a dry and tough pre-sliced meat. More surprising Lobster was not offered at all. In fact, I dont' think there was any lobster on the cruise at all. This is clearly a cruise where food is geared toward children, and not anyone with a gourmet palate. On Royal Caribbean we felt like we were eating at a fine dining restaurant every night because the caliber of the food was so great. Steaks, lobster, all kinds of seafood. On Disney everything was just bland and some dishes were down right ruined. But no lobster? Not even one night! On Royal, we had lobster three nights! It was a shame because the Disney Dining rotation was a neat concept. We ate in three different restaurants on three different nights, all with different themes. But the menus were all similar and the food was all equally disappointing. We had ONE decent dinner in Tritons on the second night. The sea bass. Steaks were not actual steaks, but strips of pre-cut steak badly cooked. An "avocado citrus salad" was two tiny chips of avocado sitting on a bunch of iceberg lettuce with some minute made condensed OJ drizzled on top. I tried a tuna-tatar appetizer with wasabi, but it just tasted bad. The restaurants were clearly for kids. Which was nice because our kids could act out, make noise, etc., and no one would care. But if I was not part of a family and wanted to go on a relaxing adult cruise, this would not be it. Just because of the restaurants. Noise. Clanging. Crying. Screaming. Great for kids. Not so great for adults. We were in room 7106, which was a balcony stateroom. It was a lovely room, and we would book it again. In Key West we did not overlook the dock, but peacefully looked out over the out-islands and boats coming in and out of the harbor. In Nassau we over looked the dock. In Castaway Cay, overlooked the dock, not the island, which was a little noisy, but fun to watch the staff come and go and set up early in the morning. The room was spacious by cruise standards, and easily fit two adults and two children. Much bigger than Royal. Our 4 year old was in the sofa that converts to a twin sized bed. 2 year old in pack n play. Love the dual bathroom set up and especially the tub, which made it so easy to bathe the kids after a day on the beach. better than Royals shower-in-toilet set up. Be careful because the drawers roll in and out without guards, so we had two incidents of pinched fingers. Water pressure was so-so. In the sink/toilet room the hot water was scalding and was difficult to adjust. Love that we got shampoo, conditioner, and lotion (Royal gave nothing at all). All good sized bottles. Lots of storage in the room, including enough room for a stroller. Would be nice if they had a step for kids to use to access the sink for tooth brushing, etc. we overturned a trash can and used that. Beds were very comfortable, so were pillows. (Better than Royal). Nice that there was a privacy screen to separate where kids were from where adults were, so we could read at night. Compared to Royal. Stateroom significantly larger. Much more accommodating for a family of four with two children under age 8, who cannot sleep in a pullman bed. Loved the real bathtub and shower curtain as opposed to the shower in toilet area. No beauty products on Royal. Much more space. Entertainment We found the shows to be quite wonderful for Disney themed shows. You aren't going to see variety shows or comedians or anything like that. On a Disney Cruise you get Disney Disney and more Disney. It's all for kids, and the Disney shows were amazing. Special effects, costumes, production, were all incredible. One thing we did notice that was interesting is that a lot of the time, the performers were singing to a pre-recorded track, so the chorus you hear isn't just the performers on the stage, but a large chorus of performers that is recorded, as well. On Royal, everything was "live" as far as vocals, as compared to Disney. Sure, the solos are live, but the vast majority of the music and singing was obviously pre-recorded. The Golden Mickey's show was adorable, and we loved the way they incorporated the audience and certain members into the performance. Same with Toy STory the musical. During our performance there was a technical problem with making the character of Buzz Lightyear "fly." You could see the wires attached to him, but for some reason there was a malfunction. When the stage went dark, there was a moment of panic and then a bunch of dancers came running in to entertain the crowd while the technicians tried to fix things behind the stage. It was a great cover! Our favorite performance was the final night "Disney Dreams" which included reenactments of several princess-themed musical spots. My 2 year old son was transfixed the entire time. Also neat was the confetti and bubbles and other crowd-entertaining experiences. Aside from the shows in the theater, there was also a variety of entertainment available for the kids. The Bon Voyage party included dancing and interactive activities for the kids, including these cute sparkle things the kids could wave and shake. And, of course, there was the famous pirate night and fireworks. Be forewarned, that the pirate party and fireworks are LATE at night, e.g., 10:30 PM / 10:45 PM, so the littlest pirates will not be able to make the show. Kind of sad. It would be nice to do the fireworks a little bit earlier, perhaps, so the under age 7 set can enjoy them. Activities - lots for kids to do on board. Especially neat were the character experiences. But be prepared to wait in LONG lines. We had to wait for 45 minutes to meet the Disney Princesses. It's not Disney World, but be prepared for lots of lines. Kids Club - This was another, surprising, disappointment for us. The kids club facilities were impressive...amazing, actually. Both the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab were gorgeous, taking up half an entire deck of the ship. But, facilities aside, we found the kids clubs to be disorganized, chaotic, and even a bit dangerous. There seemed to be no organized activities for the kids while our daughter was there. Just a huge mob of children running every which way. The kids scanned in and out with a special RFID bracelet. But there were no name tags for the children. No individual attention. No personalized attention. No organized activities from what we could see. There were groups of kids running here and there exploring and playing, but I did not see an organized group doing a craft. The only thing I did see was a haphazard "dance class" in the Oceaneer Lab. It felt like you drop off your child in this massive room with all this overstimulation, and then they fend for themselves. This wasn't very confidence-building for parents with younger children in the 3-6 age range, who require more structure. I could easily see a situation where a younger child gets hurt or injured due to the lack of ratio with adult care-givers and individualized attention. when we used the kids club on Royal Caribbean, it was a smaller program (and filled up quickly), but the children had name tags and there was much more structure, organization, planned activities and themes, and very strict ratios with adult caregivers. I had much more confidence leaving my 4 year old child in the Royal Caribbean staff care than Disney. The Disney kids club truly reminded me of "Neverland" and all the kids were "lost boys" running about, doing whatever they wanted, without any adult organization. Perhaps the club facility itself is enough. But if you have a child who is shy or easily bullied, there could be trouble. Another example of the lack of attention - My daughter spent 2 hours in the Kids Club on Castaway Cay while I went to the spa. When I checked her in, I specified that she had dietary restrictions (we do not eat red meat or pork). When I picked her up after lunch, she proudly explained how she "ate all kinds of different foods" (including a hot dog and a hamburger). She ended up with a bad tummy for most of the afternoon because she normally doesn't eat that stuff. While I realize this wasn't a big deal... it was a burger. It would be concerning to me if my daughter had much stricter food allergies or food intolerances. Just something for parents to note. Shore Excursions / Ports. Key West was fun, but not much to do there except look around the stores and eat Key Lime pie (which was awesome). In Nassau we went to Blue Lagoon Island, which was terrific and worth the extra price for the beach. The island is gorgeous with warm blue water, an inflatable water park, and on-land bounce park, dolphin and sea lion encounters, and a really yummy BBQ lunch included in the price. Just the ferry ride to the island is an adventure, as you get to ride past the gorgeous Nassau estate of Oprah! What did surprise me though is that Disney Cruise Line charged $55 for my two year old to participate in this shore excursion. On Royal Caribbean we did the same shore excursion two months ago and he was FREE. What's that about? My four year old daughter was half priced on Royal, and Disney charged her a full price ticket. Castaway Cay - this was amazing. Beautiful. Clean. Good food. Wonderful Beaches. And so nice to not have to take a tender into the island. The ship pulls right up and you can walk off. I would live there if I could! My daughter enjoyed playing in the rented inner tube. And there is also a water slide that is available for children who are over 38" tall. My 4 year old went down the water slide with a life jacket on. Embarkation. Pretty easy. We took the Disney transportation shuttle from Miami airport to the cruise terminal, and it was a relatively seamless experience and convenient. Since we didn't have car seats for our 2 year old and 4 year old, the shuttle bus was a must. No regrets on utilizing and paying for it. BYOB - An added bonus is that Disney will let you bring on a bottle of wine per passenger. So we were able to pick up a couple of nice bottles in Key west and carry them on. NO Upcharges. We loved that Disney didn't upcharge for everything the way Royal Caribbean did. Soft drinks were included. Even alcoholic beverages were much less expensive. $5.75 for a pina colada vs $9.00 on Royal. Disembarkation - there is no buffet or room service available on the morning of disembarkation. This was hugely inconvenient. We were assigned a breakfast time of 6:45 AM. Imagine trying to wake two overtired kids up at 6am, so they can get dressed and get to the restaurant by 6:45 AM on vacation. Not good. All in all we had an enjoyable time, and would probably go again. But we found the food to be sooooo disappointing for the price we paid for the cruise.

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Jul 26, 2012

Alaska

The Disney Wonder was great. The service was AMAZING! If you cruise with kids, Disney is a perfect choice. We took the 7-day Alaska cruise that left out of Vancouver, BC and returned to Seattle, WA. The food in the Palo restaurant was incredible. Be sure to go hungry! The rest of the food was good, but not great. My husband thought it was fine, but I was a little disappointed. I have cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival and I would

rank them Royal Caribbean -1st, Carnival - 2nd and Disney Wonder - 3rd, as far as food goes. The fajita wrap from room service was one of the best things we ate! There are three nice restaurants for dinner, which are very fun, but not as elegant as on the other ships. You get to eat in a different restaurant each night, which was lots of fun. The buffet was a little small, with limited selections, and there was not enough room for all the guests to eat inside, which was a problem, since we were on the Alaska cruise. Also, it was pretty noisy and chaotic with kids and strollers everywhere. The room was great. We booked a room with a "Navigator's" balcony, but we were upgraded to a room with a regular balcony! The bathroom situation was great! There was a room with a toilet and sink and vanity, and another room with a shower and mini-tub and a sink and vanity! The lighting was also great, especially for putting on makeup! The only activities we participated in were bingo, in the adult nightclub and three different movies in the movie theater. There was no casino, which was fine, because we don't gamble. We preferred the movie theater. There were lots of activities for kids. We were not traveling with kids, but the ones we saw appeared to be having a blast. The adult-only areas were very nice, but we are huge classic rock fans, so the night life was too tame for us. We purchased the "Best of Skagway" and the "Best of Juneau" tours. They were very pricey, but wonderful. Tormented Valley was still covered in snow and was magnificent! The only negative of the Skagway tour was the train ride back down from Tormented Valley. We were in the second car of the train and the fumes from the engine were very strong inside the car and out on the observation platform. The scenery was magnificent, but the fumes were so bad, we were happy when the ride was over. On the Juneau tour, they took us whale watching and we got to see quite a few whales. The main part of the boat was enclosed with huge windows, so we could see everything, but not freeze to death! We had lunch on Colt Island. I do not like salmon, but the salmon they served was so good, I ate my entire portion! The Mendenhall Glacier was a sight to behold. Be sure to take the walkway to the waterfall just to the right of the glacier. It is really pretty. We had a great time on the Disney Wonder. The service was amazing! They were very health conscious and handed out hand sanitizing wipes as you entered every restaurant. The ship was clean and beautifully appointed. We opted for the shuttle from the boat to Sea-Tac airport. They picked up our bags the night before we docked and checked them all the way to the airport. They were waiting for us in baggage when we arrived at LAX! What a luxury! They were very well organized and departing the ship, which is usually such a pain, was effortless.

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Jan 6, 2012

Mexican Riviera

An excellent trip with Disney. Great entertainment and loads of fun for the kids. We left Los Angeles a little bit later than expected and headed in the direction of Puerto Vallarta. The first night we all went to see the tree lighting ceremony, which was great fun. There was a lovely Christmas feeling going on in the atrium. On the Monday we went to Captains Reception and ate in Tritons. The food was very good and our waiter was so friendly

and looked after us all the way through our stay. Tuesday we went and saw SpeakerBox play in Wavebands, and they kept us there all night drinking until the earlier hours while we listened to them play as part of Rock & Country night. By Wednesday we had arrived in Puerto Vallarta. The sun was shining and we headed downtown. Mary and myself thought that Puerto Vallarta wasn't as nice as what other people had told us about it. It is a very touristy area with lots of loud bars open very early in the day. We were hassled by lots of Mexicans trying to sell things on the beach. The following day we arrived in Cabo, which was such a different atmosphere to Puerto Vallarta. Once again the sun was shining and we headed to Lovers Beach with the kids. I have to say Lovers Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever set foot on. I would definitely recommend going there. We then sailed back to Los Angeles on the Friday and arrived on the Sunday morning. We had a lovely time on the Wonder and we've already booked our Alaska cruise!

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By Kate_CR

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Dec 12, 2011

family vacation to Mexico

We just returned from our cruise yesterday, it was fantastic. Would recommend it to everyone. The younger ones really enjoyed it as well as my parents who traveled with us and my older teenage children. I was so impressed with the cleanliness and how friendly and helpful the staff was. The food was amazing. We traveled between the buffet upstairs and the nicer dining in Tritons and Palos on level ten. It was easier to just hit the buffet

if we wanted to catch a little more sleep that morning. The servers knew us all by name. Were especially sweet with the kids and made sure everyone ate exactly what they wanted. They felt like good friends on our last night there and it was hard to say goodbye to them. They all enjoyed being around children, it was obvious that they enjoyed the family atmosphere. Great...on the small side. We opted for the big window instead of the verandah. But the rooms were spotless and all of our needs were more than meet, with anything and everything we needed. Our older children and younger ones all loved meeting new friends and hanging out in the places with the counselors . They had so many things planned for them to do. Making flubber, baking cookies, dancing, you name it. We would meet up for dinner and lunch and they would be gone again. They loved it! We made sure we did the theater every night. It was wonderful. We were all impressed. We did not do any excursions through Disney. We opted for our own. I know that may sometimes be dangerous. But we found qualified drivers who had large vans that you could pay them a small amount, like around $200.00, to drive you to the areas you would like to go, or give them the option to take you on a scenic tour. Our driver had been doing this for over twenty years. It was a good way to relax and enjoy some sightseeing. He recommended we ate at certain local establishments, but we had been warned about drinking the water and eating at places that were not safe so we opted to come back to the ship for our evening meal and just took snacks and sandwiches from the ship to eat on the beach instead. It was wonderful. We really enjoyed it, would love to book another one as soon as possible with Disney. This time would probably not choose Mexico. But for the price and the great weather we had, and spectacular Disney service have nothing but the best to say about the entire experience.

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Nov 21, 2011

Mexican Riveria

WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! This was my 5th cruise overall and our 1st with Disney. We were a group of 16, the food was so-so and the shows were substandard to other cruise lines. The staff besides the music director was outstanding. The ports have been reduced from 3 to 2, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo. The food was so - so and the quality being slight better than that of Denny's. We had a deluxe ocean view stateroom

that a lot of wasted space was taken up by the second adjoining bathroom. Reason being is the outdated design and age of this ship. My son plays the piano and was looking forward to playing at the talent show on board. We signed up and thought we were going to be contacted with only 6 people total signed up. The cruise is apparently about "making dreams come true" but to our surprise they did not allow my 8 year old to play because he apparently missed the rehearsal the day before. Voice mails are left throughout the entire cruise to join the Disney vacation clubs etc. but they did not contact 6 kids to make it to the rehearsal. It was so sad to see my son's expression when the music director Michael refused him to play. To sum it up it was overpriced for what you get. The lines were long to see the characters, the shows were below average and the food so-so. All in all it is better to go on another cruise line with a newer ship and you will find much more value.

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Jul 26, 2011

various

Have been on a total of 5 Disney Cruises on the 3 various ships so far with more plans to cruise with Disney. Starting with the boarding process, the ship does not generally board until around 12 noon. If you arrive about 1:30, you should be able to get on the ship very quickly; otherwise it could take up to about an hour. When you get on board head to the top floor where there is a great buffet waiting for you. Don't forget dinner is just around

the corner though. Recommend a light breakfast before you go, but go on board stuffed, it will be a long cruise. You can generally get into your room around 4 pm, carry on a swim suit for you and the kids. Great time to go, a lot of folks don't think of it. Recommend that you purchase a balcony if at all possible. There is usually some down time over the life of the cruise and just sitting on the balcony is awesome. DISNEY IS NOT A PARTY SHIP. If you are looking to party the night away, don't do Disney. It is a family entertainment environment. The buffet when you first arrive on board is supreme. Dinner is in three different locations with a traveling staff. Makes for a great experience. On cruises longer than 3 days, there is alway at least 1 theme night. Longer cruises have numerous theme nights. All 3 locations have the same menu on theme night. Take pirate stuff for the Pirates of the carribean night aboard every cruise. Buffet with ribs and fajitas afterward, GREAT! Staterooms are a little tight; however you don't go on a cruise to stay in the cabin. Always clean and kept up. If you have any issues, address with the staff. I had a single complaint and got about 5 phone calls to ensure I was satisfied. Balcony is a MUST if you can afford it. The new Dream Ship has a virtual view for those who reside on the inside cabins, supposed to be awesome. On board activities are plentiful for the 3-4 day cruises. If you take a longer cruise, try to space some activities over the life of the cruise. Enough to do, but if you are at sea a couple of days, swimming and balconies will be a must. Like the site seeing tours very well. Most are inexpensive and can generally get good pictures. Watch the times and ask questions for the beach days. Noticed some folks paying a lot of money to be at a beach for a couple of hours, find out much time is in the transportation and actually at the beach. Again, numerous cruises so I will be general. If you get seasick, bring some medicine and you will be fine. Get up early and eat the breakfast buffet if you like breakfast. On the day at sea, you better find chairs on the upper deck if you want on the deck. It gets crazy with everyone trying to find their little area. Please of room on the very top deck. Great omelets, you have to find the station on the buffet on the top deck but there is one and they are wonderful. Don't wait till the last night to settle your bill if you don't use a credit card, long lines. On the final morning, you have to take your carry on with you, but eat breakfast before departing. The baggage area pickup is crazy for the first 30 minutes. Save a headache and wait a little while, 30 minutes past deportation time will be about adequate. The main focus of the staff is to be preparing the staterooms for the next guest. Happy Cruising.

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Jul 5, 2011

Alaska

I had been on the Magic in the past, and this was the first time on the Wonder. The Alaska trip itself was beautiful. The service on the Wonder had me feel like we were on the "training" ship. I have 2 small requests, the first was to keep my drink full at dinner, if I was low/out just bring another. After talking the the "head" guy, it seemed to get a little better. On our last port of call, we had to attend the late dinner, which they were nice

enough to seat us, different servers, same old problem. The night leaving our last port of call, I asked if I could get a pizza from Palo since I missed the reservations, and they said it would be there for our last dining night, well no pizza, no explaination no nothing. I am a Disney Cruise liner for life I guess, since we bought the vacation club on this cruise, but I will never go on the Wonder again, unless it has some major staff changes. Very nice with a portholem but save your money get an inside state room and get better sleep sun goes down 1045 up a 330 am. Don't miss the kart excursion in ketchakan

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Jun 1, 2011

Alaska

AMAZING!! This cruise was amazing for the whole family from my 3 yr old to Grandma and Grandpa. The attention to detail was second to none, and all the staff were so nice, including the maintenance staff, they greeted you with a smile and opened doors for you. I expect that from the service staff, but the maintenance guys? wow! Food was really good, I read many reviews complaining about the food, but was pleasently suprised to find the food was excellant.

There wasn't a dish that I didn't absolutely love. The service staff left my family feeling like we were the only ones on the ship, like royalty. The ship was immaculate, as was our stateroom, and beautifully turned down every night with chocolates and towel art. The excursions we booked through Disney were outstanding and very reasonably priced. Can't wait to do this cruise again!!

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Jun 1, 2011

Alaska

AMAZING!! This cruise was amazing for the whole family from my 3 yr old to Grandma and Grandpa. The attention to detail was second to none, and all the staff were so nice, including the maintenance staff, they greeted you with a smile and opened doors for you. I expect that from the service staff, but the maintenance guys? wow! Food was really good, I read many reviews complaining about the food, but was pleasently suprised to find the food was excellant.

There wasn't a dish that I didn't absolutely love. The service staff left my family feeling like we were the only ones on the ship, like royalty. The ship was immaculate, as was our stateroom, and beautifully turned down every night with chocolates and towel art. The excursions we booked through Disney were outstanding and very reasonably priced. Can't wait to do this cruise again!!

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Mar 16, 2011

Mexican Riveria

I was very disappointed with the Disney Wonder. I have had a magical experience every time I have gone to Disneyland. I expected the same with the Disney Wonder. I was very disappointed. I wanted to take my daughter to the tea. I arrived to the ship guest services only 45min. after the start of boarding only to find that both teas were already booked. I was put on a cancellation list and never called. Five days of our cruise were at sea. Matzatlan

was cancelled because of safety issues and our second day at Cabo was cancelled because of the tsunami. As far as the activities on board the ship for the children I was not really impressed. My experience with Disney has always been over the top and this was not the case. I am sorry to say I would not recommend this cruise to anyone. The food was absolutely terrible and I am not a picky eater. Soup was served at best luke warm. Most things were just marginal.

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Mar 7, 2011

Mexican Rivera

We LOVED our cruise!!! I had read so many mixed reviews that I have to admit I was worried maybe Disney had lost some of the "magic". But I was so pleased with our trip. We couldn't have asked for anything more. The staff is top-notch. The ship is so clean and nice!! We went with a group of 16. We had 6 young children with us aged 4-9. They loved the trip and all the kids activities. We stopped at Puerto Vallarta and Cabo, we really enjoyed both

of the ports. If you don't like Disney and you don't like families then you may want to choose another ship. But Disney is great if you're looking to make great family memories!! We loved all the food. I had read some people didn't think there were enough fruits and vegis for the kids. I don't know what those people were talking about because there is tons of fruit at the buffet line and you can get all sorts of fruit at Goofy Galley. We gave the food 5*****. We stayed in the cheapest inside stateroom.We thought it was just fine. It's small but it was always very clean and nice. You really don't spend much time in the room anyway. So many activities. You will never be board. Your kids will LOVE oceaneers club and lab. If you like snorkeling don't Chileno Beach in Cabo. We took a small water taxi boat that was very nice it cost us $10 a person round trip. It took our group alone and waited for us while we snorkeled and enjoyed the beach. Just remember to bring your own snorkel stuff. We loved it and couldn't have asked for more!!!

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Mar 2, 2011

Eastern Caribbean

This was our second cruise with Disney. We had done a 4 day Bahamas cruise with Disney in April of the same year and loved it so much we spent two weeks at WDW and then took a 7 day Eastern Caribean cruise in September (The cruise date above is approximate). We absolutely love Disney Cruise Line. They are very polite and friendly, the service from everyone is impeccable and the ships are so well appointed. You can't beat seeing the Big Cheese, himself,

Mickey Mouse either. We enjoyed the one Shore Excursion we did, a tour of St. Thomas. It was fun and educational. We were driven all over the island by a local with a friendly and humorous demeanor. The people of the island are friendly and beautiful. I would live on St.Thomas, if it were practical for us, sadly it is not. The trip around the island in an open air truck was also very relaxing and the island is just beautiful. We want to go back to Charlotte Amalie again and again. The rum is not too bad either and there is a Pusser's Store right on the main road through Charlotte Amalie. The food on the ship was amazing. We enjoyed every meal, fresh fruit and veggies were available and brunch at Palo was fabulous. You must do brunch at Palo if you cruise Disney. It is the best! Fireworks in the sky over the ocean? Wondeful! No one else does it except Disney. You cannot beat Disney for putting on a good show. We will DEFINITELY do Disney cruises again and again, because we love Disney and the experience was one of the best of our llives! As well off retired folks, we enjoy the luxury of being able to do pretty much what we want. The price of a Disney cruise is high, even for the two of us, (because we like to buy lots of souvenirs on board and spend money in port) and we wanted to experience the Magic of Disney at sea. It was just wonderful. I do not know how a regular family would be able to afford the luxury of really doing it up on a Dsiney cruise. That could be an issue with families that cannot afford the luxury of a suite or stateroom wiht veranda. It would take saving up for a while to afford it. I am symopathetic to that, as I di that for years before I got old and retired...and became disabled. I could never have afforded trips to WDW or Cruises on any Cruise LIne. I had to pay bills. That is why we act like big kids now, enjoying it and having the time of our lives, especially when we sail and play the Disney Way! It really is magic to sail with Disney! Excellent! Food was plentiful and delicious. I especially liked the cold fruit soups. They were amazing. One night I was ill and they brought me my food to the cabin. It was such great service. The food on the ship was amazing. We enjoyed every meal, fresh fruit and veggies were available and brunch at Palo was fabulous. You must do brunch at Palo if you cruise Disney. It is the best! Fireworks in the sky over the ocean? Wondeful! No one else does it except Disney. Our stateroom was clean but the bed was so bad. The matress was old and we asked for a bedboard. It helped a little. They need to replace all matresses on the Magic and the Wonder. They are old and bad. The stateroom was roomy and it was cute. I loved the veranda and spent a good deal of time there, resting and reading. it was quiet and peaceful. I loved watching the water at night, the colors of the ocean are incredible in the Caribbean. And it is quiet and peaceful to sit out on the ceranda and watch the water and think, or just read or sit and daydream...that is what a cruise is all about for us. We went to a couple of shows and never had any use for the children's deck. We were quite happy with the entertainment. We usually can find something to entertain ourselves with.

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Jan 23, 2011

Los Angles

Complete disappointment Lousy Poor design - instead of having two separate bathrooms for toilet and shower they could have had one bathroom and given more cabin space. It is perfect for kids but for adults they leave room for improvement. There is one lounge and one entertainment bar (there are other bars but one only with entertainment/dancing). It's a two night inauguration Disney cruise from Los angeles. I am completely disappointed

with this cruise. The food was not good, we felt rushed at breakfast the day of disembarkation. We knew we were not really getting off anywhere or even getting to any ports but we were supposed to be on the ocean for two nights. Instead - they simply docked at the LA port the second night and literally RUSHED us out in the morning. They should have detailed this plan better. Then I would not have taken the cruise. Fortunately, we went in a big group so we ended up having a good time with each other - with no credit to Disney, if I may add. This is our our third cruise (in all) and the first with Disney. This is also the last with Disney.

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By Ann_CR

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Jan 2, 2011

Bahamas

Overall, this was a great vacation but a bit pricey. Good food but grouper on day three was fishy tasting. Perhaps it's better to order fish on day one. Clean, comfortable- even the sofa bed. Great choices, outstanding shows. The spa was very mediocre. We were expecting the pedicure to be outstanding since it costs twice as much as back home, yet they didn't even provide spa sandals ( all out, they said on two different days) nor a comfortable

chair to sit in which your feet are drying. Better to get your nails done before you set sail. Also skip the spa metabolism analysis unless you are interested in buying $1,000 in supplements. Castaway Cay has plenty for all ages. You could spend two days there. It was a wonderful cruise but not without a few glitches. We were extremely disappointed in how guest services handled onboard checkin. The communication was poor and full of excuses when something went wrong. The spa services were overpriced for mediocre service. Character meet and greet opportunities were abundant so that made everything worthwhile. The eight year old in our party had a wonderful and memorable experience. We were surprised to see that our dinner seating had changed once we boarded without any notification. This required us to change some reservations for other activities. Disney is well organized but isn't perfect.

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By Greg_CR

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Aug 8, 2010

Bahamas

This was our first cruise with Disney, I can summorize it in one word, WOW! From the moment we got onto the ship until we left we never stopped smiling and having fun. It is truely a real vacation. I have a daughter that is 8 years old and she was in awe the entire time. I have never heard a kid say so many times WOW! If you want the best vacation you will EVER have, go on a Disney Cruise. The food was fantastic! You will never be hungry

unless you hate food. The main dining is a four course meal that would cost your family well over $100-$150.00. There are shows wile you dine in some dining areas. Your hostes/ess will be there at your becking call. You will never be looking around to get your drink refilled. You will be asking yourself where did this new drink come from though. The food on deck is your typical hotdogs, hamburger, and chicken fingers. There are buffet's if you want that are all very good eating. Breakfast was OK. I was not very impressed with breakfast. The omlets were good but the rest was just ok. Stateroom was great. Had a view of the outside wich was beautiful. The stateroom host/ess was great. My daughter loved all of the towel animals that he made. TV played Disney movies and classics during the entire trip. Bed was very comfortable and my daughter ended up sleeping on the hideaway which she said was very nice. Very clean always, and good price. The activities were amazing!!! All the Entertainers were fabulous!! The music was a mix of classics with some new stuff for the kids. If you like dancing to all the classics at just about every wedding you have ever been to, then join the deck parties. You will be in heaven. There is something for everyone onboard. You should never be without something to do. When you get on board make your way to the Goofy pool and join the sailaway party. Also, don't miss the Pirates of the Carribean party. Both will make you glad you made the decision to sail with Disney I was not impressed with the Bahamas. It is dirty, old, and everyone within a 10 foot radius wants to sell you something. Key West was very nice. I would advise not trying to walk to the southern point. It is a round trip of 5 miles. We did it with the 100 degree temp and we were dying. Castaway Cay was the best. Your own little island where you can lay around, or swim in the ocean. They have all water crafts and boats you want. You can rent Snorkles, Fins, tubes, and floats for a small fee. Advice, Travel down further on the beach. There are less people and you will feel less cramped. There is a teen only and adult only beach as well if you don't want to be around the families. There are plenty of chairs, umbrellas, shades. I loved every part of our Disney cruise. I can't wait until the next cruise. We have been on two cruises, Carnival and Disney, If you want to party all the time, then Carnival is for you, If you want to have a great family vacation, you can't go wrong with Disney. Be carefull with your "Key to the World" card. It is very easy to run up a large bill when you just swipe your card and sign your name. No cash is used anywhere on the cruise line. Just watch your spending. Hope this helps the next dad who wants to have the best family vacation ever.

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Jun 11, 2010

bahamas

This was our first cruise and we had a wonderful time. The pools were crowded but our two kids spent most of their time in the kids clubs. The shows were fantastic. We did the Bahamas Blue Lagoon Beach day. It was nice, the 45 minute boat ride was long and hot, I suggest staying until 4pm to get your moneys worth. If I had known more about the Bahamas we probably would've taken a taxi to a private beach, but this was much easier. Disney's Castaway

Cay was our favorite. We had no problems finding lounge chairs to sit at even though we didn't get off the boat until almost 10am. There were no lines for pictures, so we took tons of pics with the Disney Characters. Our kids enjoyed the kids club located on the island while my husband and I biked around the island. The food was good. I am a vegatarian switching over to veganism and the servers were very helpful with selections. Beach Blanket Buffet was best for breakfast and also for lunch offering the most variety and kid friendly options. We had the late dinner seating and our younger son couldn't stay awake so we ordered room service for him around 5pm, attended the nightly show then sent him off to the kids club while we had dinner. By the time we picked him up he went straight to bed. The food on Castaway Cay was great, they offered a veggie burger and veggie chili. My husband had some grilled fish that he seemed to really enjoy. We got the cheapest stateroom we could since we wouldn't be spending much time in the room. It was small, but we expected that but it was nice, plenty of room for the four of us and all of our things. There is alot of storage areas in the stateroom. I also brought an over-the-door organizer for smaller items, that worked well. The room was dark and quiet. The Oceaneers Lab and Club were fantastic. Our two boys couldn't seem to get enough of it. The Deck parties were hopping and crowded. All the live shows were great. My husband and I did the couples massage at the vista spa which was nice but they are very pushy with their products afterward, we also attended a detox seminar which proved to be another way for them to push "treatments" which was really disappointing.

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Mar 25, 2010

bahamas

We LOVED our cruise! We were on the 3 day Bahamas tour. We took our 3 daughters ages 16, 12 and 6. There was something to do for all. We all had the time of our lives! We had never cruised before and had no idea what to expect. The staff catered to your every need. There were lots of opportunities to see the characters as they were scheduled to appear before and after the assigned dinner seatings. They also appeared at random on deck by the pools

to greet the kids and pose for pics. The food was terrific! I can't comment on Parrot Cay which was our 1st assigned seating dinner. I get motion sick and was not feeling well that 1st night so I didn't eat. My husband and children loved it tho. My daughter got the mixed grill and said it was delicious! Triton's and Animators Palate are excellent as well. The servers are wonderful and the chefs accommodate special requests. They made our 6 year old shrimp alfredo even tho the menu didn't include it. There is a buffet available for breakfast in the Beach Blanket. It is very good and serves a big variety of breakfast food. The snack stands on deck 9 are good as well. We got pizza and sandwiches for snacks before shows and movies, which made it unnecessary for us to spend money at the theatre stands. The snacks and drinks they sell there are not included and rather pricey. The theater allows you to bring in snacks and drinks from the fast service stands! Try that at your local theater! There is a free drink stand on deck 9 as well. I would recommend that you bring formula for babies if you have them and bottled water (sealed of course) in your carry on luggage to keep from paying premium prices for water on board as there is none at the soda stand, and you must pay for it otherwise or use tap water. Our stateroom was cleaned daily by our lovely hostes Ana. She was very diligent about keeping things perfect and often picked up our children's toys, books and clothes for them as well as making the beds and cleaning our bathroom areas. The stateroom as a whole was very roomy. We had a deluxe family stateroom with veranda. They have seperate areas for bathing and using the toilet, but these rooms are VERY small! If someone was a very large person, they could not have used the toilet. Seriously. But other than that, we had no complaints about the stateroom. The onboard activities were numerous and organized to have something for everybody. One lady, Nora, on this site said that the cruise should be called the princess cruise cause they catered only to little princesses and that her son didn't have enough to do. She must not have looked at her personal navigator daily. The personal navigator is a flyer that housekeeping delivers to your room nightly and tells what all is going on onboard the ship each day. There was a Pirate theme party one night during our cruise, pirate theme activities all afternoon that same day, Toy Story the Musical presented one night, character encounters that included Captain Hook, and several other characters that appeal to both boys and girls. This lady obviously didn't check out all her options and then complained about her own lack of planning. We were there for the family activities, so can't really comment on the childcare or adult options for the cruise. We did everything together and had fun, fun, and more fun! The pools are a bit small and can be crowded at times. Finding poolside seating can be a challenge also, but with all the other activities offered, the pool isn't that big a draw anyhow! The shows are stunning onboard the Wonder. We saw them all and I suggest you do too! We went on the Ardastra Garden/City Tour in Nassau. It was great! We hand fed parrots, and watched a flamingo show. We wished we had more time in the gardens. It was the best part of the tour. At the Fort Fincastle, which was interesting, there were Bahamian vendors to buy souvenirs from. The Queens staircase was lovely as well. I wouldn't take small children on this tour. My 6 year old got very tired and some of the city tour part was not interesting for her. She was also afraid of the birds at the Gardens and refused to take part in feeding them. Altho you are allowed to bring kids 5 and up on this tour, I would say more like 10 and up. Castaway Cay is amazing. I would suggest that the night before you arrive there, go to Guest Services and ask for a map of the island and familiarize yourself with it. We wasted a lot of time because we didn't know where to go. I wouldn't rent floats either. A lot of people with small children rent the right at 1st, then their children get tired and they take them back to the ship. They will offer them to your kids when they leave. We had all the floats we could use and people still kept offering them to the kids when they left. also, go to Academy or a sports store and buy masks and snorkels and take them in your luggage. You can use your own stuff and save a bundle as they charge $25 a person to rent equipment. Plan ahead and wear lots of sunscreen! You will love Castaway Cay. The place is paradise! We came home with memories to treasure forever. Take lots of pictures! Remember to use your personal navigator to maximize your fun! Bon Voyage!

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By Greg_CR

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Feb 20, 2010

Bahamas

The experience overall was excellent. The food was a little bland, but it was all delicious. The entertainment was excellent, especially the musicals, but was very kid-focused, as you would expect. The ports-of-call were interesting, there was a great deal of freedom to do whatever you wanted, but would have enjoyed a guided-tour. The tip-paid food and housekeeping service was excellent. There was never a shortage of things to do, it was a challenge

sometimes to get to the activities that had over-lapping time-frames. The weather was a little chilly, did not get as much sun time as I had hoped. Excellent. I think Disney should pay the servers hourly, instead only by tips. There was always a variety of delicious high quality food, although I wish the dinner food could have been spicier, it seemed a little bland. The Disney cinema themed dining room was mildly entertaining. The servers were all wonderfully hospitable and we enjoyed interacting with them. After they got to know you, they remembered what each person liked to order. A little cramped, but cozy. The towel animal origami designs were hysterical. The housekeeping staff worked hard at rearranging the room so that the bunk bed was up during the day, and down at night. Excellent, but focused on children, which you would expect for a Disney cruise, not ideal for singles. The Nassau excursion was fun, being able to explore a foreign country, tried to get away from the tourist shops and see the real country. Wish we could have had a little beach time there. The Disney island was great, but the sand is a little coarse and the water was a little chilly. The entertainment was excellent and there was always a variety of things to do, for each family member. The musicals were amazing. I have fond memories of watching the Superbowl on the top deck, there was a gigantic screen attached to one of the smoke stacks. The deejaying at the activities made them more fun. The potato and carrot race-car-derby was hilarious. On the next cruise, I would like to go on more ports-of-call. The Nassau port-of-call was interesting, but I wish they would have had an organized tour. I walked around on my own for a few hours exploring the city, met some interesting people and got to see how the Bahamians live their daily lives. They drive on the wrong side of the road and on occasion there were no sidewalks. The Disney island was nice, but we never left the beach because we were having so much fun. The water was chilly. Did some snorkeling, if you go out about 100 yards from the beach, you can see a lot more fish, mostly yellow tails. The water gets shallower around the seaweed beds. Getting a good night of sleep was never a problem because by night-time everyone was exhausted from running around to all the activities all day long. My son loved the kids lab where the children can go for kid-focused entertainment. There were lots of free photo opportunities with various Disney characters. On some of the activities, there would be a line of tables with food. On one night, after a pirate themed party on the top deck, there was a dessert line that had about forty different types of dessert. There were lots of Disney movies playing on various movie screens. They served pizza all day long. The food was all very good, but a little bland.

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Feb 17, 2010

Nassau

We have sailed with two other cruise lines before, but they do not compare with Disney's service, food and especially their shows. Their shows are first rate and bring us to tears when they are over. The highlight of our Bahama cruise with Disney is always the stop at their private island called Castaway Cay. It is like something out of a magazine article. It really is a taste of paradise. Their food is excellent. We have no complaints.

We especially love it that soft drinks are still free on the Disney cruises. The stateroom was a little small, but it did the job. Great! We normally do not do excursions. As I said before, we keep coming back to Disney. I can't get my wife to even consider sailing with anyone else.

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By nora_CR

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Jan 5, 2010

bahamas castaway cay

Very Very disappointed! No one told us the entire Island of the Bahamas wouold be closed for a holiday, and every when all activites were cancelled the second day due to weather, the ship did not add any additional activites on the ship. two days of sitting by a tinee tiny pool with 4 kids 3 of which were teenagers. This cruise should be called the princess cruise, it really caters to little princess girls, my 8 year old son did not have enough

to do. And it cost 60 bucks just to play bingo! Absolultely the worst vacation we have ever been on. Food was good and plentiful. It creaked, alot. my son was afraid the ceiling was going to fall down. so guess where he slept, yup with me and my husband! so much for a vacation. Few and far between mostly geared toward little girls. All excukrsions the entire trip were a bust.

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Dec 28, 2009

Nassau

Nobody does it quite like Disney. Overall, this was a wonderful family cruise experience. We went on the 4 day cruise to Nassau and Castaway Cay with our 4 year old daughter. We are huge Disney fans, so taking this cruise at some point was a no-brainer. I wasn't quite sure what to expect since we've only been on one other cruise (Royal Carribbean) and we were going during the winter season, but the cruise definitely met most of our expectations.

My daughter had the time of her life and my husband and I, if nothing else, could not trade the experience of seeing her have so much fun. The food was actually the biggest disappointment for me. Disney really needs to improve on the quality. To be honest, the snack food options like the burgers and hot dogs were better to us than most of the dining room food. The restaurant meals were presented well and the staff was excellent, but the taste just left too much to be desired given what you pay and have come to expect from Disney. I can't even really describe it except to say that it never tasted particularly fresh or refreshing--just very preserved and unoriginal. Most of it looked like it should be good, but when you took a bite, it was just a let down. I know that mass production of food out in the middle of the ocean isn't easy, but that's where that "Disney Magic" should come in. Now, all that said, it didn't ruin the trip or anything. The breakfast buffet at best was usually pretty decent, and it was all edible so, on the bright side, I didn't gain any weight. I wasn't wowed by the stateroom either. The cabin is small as you might expect on a cruise. My complaints were really about the bathrooms. The split bath concept is great, but it was just way too small for even a family of just 3. Also, you have to step up to the bathrooms--on the first day I cut my toe really badly because of that step up. I have no idea why that's necessary and wish the ship would rethink that set up. I also think the staterooms could be a little larger and the bedding and couches need to be updated. There isn't enough space for suitcases or storage either. I personally don't like to unpack my whole suitcase when I travel, so putting it in the closet doesn't work for me, much less all 3 of us. Our stateroom attendant did a good job of morning cleaning and nightly turn-down. Overall, the room was okay--about what I expected although I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. The Magic of Disney is clearly present on the cruise. There were so many activities that we really needed on a vacation after the cruise. The shows were really special--different every night. Most of my daughter's favorite characters were there including the new Princess Tiana, so that was a real treat. My daughter was most interested in the character greetings and the pool, so we didn't send her to kid's club much at all. When she did go, she seemed to have a good time, though. They had special deck parties and all of the staff including the characters were great. We were also pleasantly surprised by the movie premieres on the ship. The latest Disney movies are shown in the theaters and even some in your staterooms. There seemed to be plenty for the adults to do, but unfortunately, we didn't get to experience much of those offerings (by choice). Castaway Cay was beautiful although we didn't do any of the excursions. Nassau was not of interest to us at all. We'd been before and were not going to pay money to sit on a beach at Atlantis. We got off of the ship for about an hour or so in Nassau and went to a few shops just so that my daughter could say she'd been to the Bahamas. Overall, a great trip. You can't beat the Disney experience. We had perfect weather at each port and for the most part, smooth sailing. I would recommend the Disney Cruise to family and friends and I'm sure we'll go again.

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Oct 25, 2009

nassau

We had seven people in our group, all of whom were adults over fifty. My wife and I were the only ones that have never been on a cruise before, so I am not an expert on cruises by any means. However, the other five with us all agreed that Disney Wonder is a wonderful ship. We were the first cruise just out of dry-dock. There were still crews working on some areas of the boat. They were never in the way and they almost blended in with the group.

The boat was very nice looking, staff always cleaned up after the guests, always getting ready for the next event. I never saw any setting up; I just walked around and there it was: a deck-buffet, deck-party, etc. I'm not a kid fan but Disney sure is. All kinds of good stuff for the kids, lots of kid areas, and lots of family areas and lots of adult areas. We had so much fun, I have never been so relaxed from coming home from a trip. No worries, mon. If you go on the Disney Wonder, when you first get on board you will be directed to a buffet before you get to go to your cabin. DO NOT GO TO YOUR CABIN FIRST. Go to Parrot Cay buffet first. It is truly the best buffet on the boat; the absolute freshest fruit, and the rest of the spread was worth a picture. All the food was great. We didn't always know what was on the menu so our servers were more then helpful to explain and make good suggestions based on what they observed about us. I asked they keep notes about their guests to help remember who likes what. Our two servers were ready with our favorite drinks and ready to get more. If you wanted seconds at sit down meals, you didn't have to be afraid to ask. If you don't like what you got, don't be afraid to ask to change it. They are ready to serve you. Even room service was 24 hour service. Our rooms were wonderful three rooms right next to each other with balconies. The balconies do not open to each other but you can still talk and see around even had conversations with people a few away. The view, ocean, some lights from shore at night and stars were all great. The room itself was very roomy even though. They are on the small size with lots of storage so every thing can be unpacked and hung up. Separate shower and toilet room really helps but that is a small room for that. Sinks in both rooms is great to. State room hosts were wonderful and very helpful. They were never in your way and very stealthy. As far as activities go, there was so much to do. There is a movie theater on board, live shows, bingo, and kid's activities. There were some many things for kids to do, it made me wish I was young again. Very well planned character photo ops, kids clubs, and more. Adults have just as much fun; sports bar, shopping, and health spa. Nails and hair for the girls. You can get pagers on board to keep in touch with the rest of your group. What I liked is three open deck areas to walk around and so much open room to spread the crowd. We also had a jogging/walking deck with the old-style wooden deck0lounges with nice cushions. Three pools; one just for adults no kids allowed-with a bar. The only reason I go to New Orleans is the zoo and the airport. Other than that, you could doze the rest. Flying out of NO was very nice flying into Orlando. I thought our local airport was small this makes NO look small. We hit everything just right, got right on the plane Southwest was great nice people one the plane. Tram ride just like Disney to the main terminal long walk to Disney bus area. I was a very short wait for the bus then 30 min. ride to the hotel 3 days at the Polynesian. I want to stay there again. Then a very nice bus ride to the boat. It was very comfortable with great views. You can bring alcohol on the boat, I carried a case of beer and a fifth of scotch for my mom and cousin. Right through the x-ray machine. I will cruise Disney again. Maybe a five day cruise next time.

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Oct 19, 2009

Nassau

Disney sure has the right name for the experiences they offer... MAGICAL! What a wonderful time my 10 year old son and I had on the Disney Wonder. From flight to check-in to boarding the ship, everything was flawless. Disney has a way of making you and your family feel that you are the only person on board. If I thought check-in was easy, I was not prepared for check out. As long as you have your bags outside your room by 11:00pm the night before

you dock, your bags are waiting for you. the food on the Disney Wonder was outstanding. When we first arrived on board, we had the choice to either eat inside at Parrot Cay or to have buffet lunch outside. We chose outside and what a good choice it was. The weather was wonderful and so was the food and service. Our first night for dinner was at Parrot Cay. I can't really say too much about the food there. We had the late seating for dinner (my choice) and since our flight left NY at 7:30 in the morning and my son was so excited I really don't think he slept and there was Hurricane Danny coming up for the south and the seas were 12-18 feet and since it was our first cruise ~ between being over tired, and not quite getting our sea legs yet, we left dinner just after the entree was served. I will tell you one thing, the wait staff was wonderful. My son was so tired at dinner the first night that he actually fell asleep during dinner. One of the staff asked if he was alright and my son stated he was cold. Before I knew it, a folded table cloth came from (what seemed like) nowhere and was around my son to keep him warm. Our stateroom was an unexpected pleasure. I had originally booked an inside stateroom (figuring it was just my son and myself and me being a single parent, I didn't have too much money to spend on the trip). Before we left New York I kept checking my ticket and found that Disney had move us to an outside cabin. When we opened the door we had such a nice surprise. The room was large and bright. The "port-hole-window" was huge. My son was able to sit on the ledge of the window so I could take a picture. I think me might have been able to stand straight up in it if I let him. We didn't meet our steward until the second night of our trip, but he kept the room spotless and the towel-gami was always a nice surprise. I had enrolled my son in the Oceaneers lab and allowed him to check himself in and out. I believe there was a total of 2 times, once to check in and once for a game of extreme dodge-ball. He wanted to spend all his time in the Goofy Pool. Don't miss the Sail away party or the Pirates of the Caribbean Party. Who knew you can see fireworks in the middle of the ocean? We booked one excursion while in Nassau. We boarded the catamaran and headed for Blue Lagoon Island to swim with the sea lions, which was a wonderful experience. The 30-minute boat ride gave us a chance to see Nassau from a different perspective. I would suggest if you are taking that trip, stay close to the front of the pack. When we left the ship, we had a short walk to the catamaran but with so many people (sea lion swim, dolphin swim , and people headed to blue lagoon island) and the walk through the shopping market some people fell behind and I really don't know if they ever made the catamaran. One suggestion, bring a bottle or two of water. Nassau was very humid and the water came in handy. We took the towel provided to us by Disney and when we came back from Blue Lagoon Island, there was a trolley to put your wet towels in. Smart idea because I didn't want to carry wet towels with me through the shops at Nassau. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I just wish the cost wasn't so expensive.

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Jul 13, 2009

Bahamas

We booked the expensive Disney cruise to take advantage of the daycare and childrens programs. Our child goes to preschool and knows the drill. But the program for kids below 7 sucked (details in onboard activities)! With that being said we couldn't in good faith check our child in so there went spa or any chance of the adult pool I was dreaming of (even just for an hour.) The shows were good- the movies were nice but didn't run back to back all day

so it was hard to catch one. The ship is all about making money. There are poolside and beachside servers are abundant and are never out of reach they are everywhere smiling to get you a drink (that you have to pay for.) They constantly tell you how they will be happy to get you a lemonade but they have to charge because free is only self serve. They forget we paid before we got on. The food was okay Tritons and Animators were decent but the tropical theme restaurant was bad. The servers were just okay- but continually beg you to give them a good rating at the end of the cruise. It was weird and not genuine. Overall the dinner experience was okay but with the horrible beverage situation makes me feel like I have to take it to bad. Beverages were a pain in the butt! Need milk for your 3 year old? No problem! Just go up 8 floors to the open air deck, brave the wind and the rain, head to the back of the boat and there you'll find all the self serve water/ soda/ milk/ coffee you need. But, there are only tiny cups provided, so you'll need to stack 3 in one hand, while you brave the wind/ rain back to the front of the ship and down to your room. NO problem! I need the exercise. And water- that's a big deal too! When sitting poolside you can order a margarita and pay for it, but don't ask your server for a water or lemonade for your kid- they say "You have to get it yourself or you have to pay." Yep sure, silly of me to think a pool server would serve a drink that wasn't an upcharge. I should just get up from the chair I had to fight to get to begin at the overcrowded pool and just leave my kid unattended while I journey to the "free stuff" in the back of the ship. Second note on water, Castaway Cay is the first thing that greets you, which is not a charecter, but another vendor selling the survival kit of 4 waters and 2 cokes for $17. And you should get it cause the servers on the beach aren't getting you a drip unless it's on your stateroom card. Even at the Buena Vista movie theater. If you want popcorn, soda get your card ready beacuase that's not included, fine. It was clean and roomy for a ship. I wish the TV had a DVD player but it was fine. When trying to check my son in so I could go to the spa in the middle of the day- I was on my own- no smiling face to say "Hi there" let me show you... no Disney Charecters to seal the deal. Seems like unless theres a Disney photographer snapping $20 dollar shots with a long line-there's no Mickey. Since I was on my own when I took him in, trying to find a counselor to get my son involved and nobody cared! Hello! The room was darkly lit- my son ran over to an area with crayons and as soon as he got to the table they turned off the light on the area. Then some drill sargent dressed as a toy story soldier started barking out "march-march" to the kids with his booming voice on a microphone. LOUD and DARK= SCARRY. What are they thinking? I figured the situation would be better at scuttle cove on Castaway Cay. But no- upon trecking down to the kids area from the beach I was told, "we can't take him now, they are about to transition to lunch- why don't you just meet us there." I got a look about and there was no splash pool, no little fishy pond, no charecters to intice them to seperate, just a hot dry desert looking area of coral rock sand. When meeting them at lunch they ushered in a bunch of hot, pathetic looking unhappy kids who looked like they were going to pass out. And started dishing out warm water and fruit punch. Once again, no friendly person to help transition. After seeing that all I could think was "No Way! He's sticking with us". My trip was too short for too many shore excursions- but Castaway was nice. Spent over $700 in 2 days and 3 nights on nothing extravagent. They should just post your stateroom number to your head since to get anything that's what you need. With that being said, I thought I was paying for excellent childcare programs, good food and free beverages. Not the case I was nickle and dimed by the Mouse from the minuite I got to port. Next time I'll go on a less expensive cruise so I won't mind the upcharges. Also the Disney thing begins to be a problem when your child is taunted before dinner to see a character. With them not in abundance the lines were all 30 mins and became a hassle. I wished there were none at all in the end. The pools were too small and not enough lounge chairs the Mickey pool seemed dirty. It was so crowded and foggy to see the picture on the bottom of the pool. The only nice pool is for adults which is rarely used. I'd go again if it was free- but I think I'll be looking into other cruise lines for now.

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By Kat_CR

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Jul 5, 2009

Bahamas

My cruise was FABULOUS! Every single staff member was warm and welcoming. The Pirates IN the Caribbean Party was amazing and great fun for people of all ages. The shows were lovely. I saw all of them, and they were all WONDERFUL. I would DEFINATELY recommend this cruise to everyone. The food was all wonderful! It exceeded my expectations by far. The Deluxe Family Stateroom with a Veranda had a breathtaking view. If you have the option, definately

get the veranda included. The stateroom was rather small, though 25% bigger than all other staterooms. (That's a fact Disney told us.) Although small, it was not that big of a deal, considering you are out and about most of your day. The onboard activities were very fun for people of all ages. The excursions I would definately recommend are the Boat Tour on Nassau and the Wave Runners (Jet Skis) on Castaway Cay. The boat tour was great fun for the entire family, seeing Oprah and Tom Cruise's houses listing only 2 of many. The Wave Runners...YOU HAVE TO DO THIS! They are quite expensive, but I had a BLAST on them!!!! You get to take a ride around the ENTIRE island of Castway Cay, which was fabulous! On the opposite side, you get to stop and your guide will talk to you about the history of Castway Cay, and many other things. It was so much fun! Fabulous. Unbelievable. Now, we have to go back.

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Jun 15, 2009

Bahamas

I have travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean and have vacationed in Europe and Africa as well, all through land accommodations, and was not too keen on a cruise. However, having become a parent six years ago, I gave in to the suggestion of a three-day Disney Cruise. I was not disappointed; instead, I am looking forward to the same itinerary in a couple years, as this was THE best family-oriented vacation I have ever been on. The experience

did not convince me that cruising is the way to go, but a short trip of 3 or 4 days is a nice change of pace and Disney's version offered something for everyone -- I would even consider taking this trip without my son. Additionally, after my initial trip I will be more prepared to take better advantage of what there is to offer. This time around I was so tired after having risen early for the daily shore excursions, then rushing back to the cabin to shower and prepare for the 1st dinner seating, that I was not able to make it to some of the evening attractions: karaoke, discos, movies, etc. But, if you plan accordingly, you will definitely be able to get your money's worth. In preparing for the cruise, I had read MANY reviews and the ratings of the food varied widely, so I was not expecting much, and was prepared to be eating a lot of pizza and burgers to make up for the dining deficiencies. After my first dinner at Triton's, I was even more convinced that eating would not be the highlight of my trip; my sea bass selection was undercooked (to my tastes) and I was not happy with the side choices either. Our head server noticed that my dinner was basically untouched, and asked what she could do to satisfy me. I am not a complainer, and just shrugged it off, however, she was insistent that there must be something they could serve me that would satisfy me. I remembered that our server mentioned that crab legs (which my son and I love) would be on the lunch buffet the following day, but we would be on shore for an excursion and would miss out. She asked if I would like them for dinner and I said yes. Additionally, she brought me the dinner menu for the following day (Animator's Palate) to make sure there would be something to my liking as well. Day two brought a beef selection that was excellent, in addition to our king crab legs with a side of garlic butter! I quickly found out that Disney aims to please, and all one has to do is ask. Also, as other reviewers have mentioned, there are pizza (which is pretty good!) and other fast food options available throughout the day and into the evening hours if that is your preference. The Castaway Cay lunch barbeque held on day three of the cruise is outstanding: ribs, chicken, fish, steak, dogs and burgers, along with a variety of cold salads, fresh fruit, and finally ice cream (which I ate while lounging half in and half out of the ocean on the adults-only beach). Not to mention 24-hour room service at no additional charge! Having not cruised before, but having heard about tiny staterooms, I was prepared for a cramped space, which it was, but according to those in-the-know, Disney's rooms are larger than other cruise lines. The toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, lotion) provided are twice the size you get in a hotel, and of a good quality. I asked our fabulous stateroom host for more, and he gladly provided them. The staff does an excellent job of keeping the rooms tidy, and after the initial check-in day when our tub, and that of the party travelling with us, was dirty, everything was spotless. I can not say the same of the resort we stayed in for the previous four days we spent in Orlando. Closet space was suitable for myself and my son. So many activities, and the "Navigator" delivered to your cabin daily categorizes them by time, place and suitability for families, children/teens, and adults. However, from a parent's point of view, the best thing going are Disney's fabulous kids/teen clubs. My son, age 6, absolutely LOVED it, and never wanted to leave; I had to bribe him with the lure of the pools and beach (understandably, Disney's counselors don't take the children on water excursions). They played games (both in the center and on the sports court (kickball, basketball, etc) , had craft time, science experiments, watched movies, magic shows, and theatric performances even had a maze and slide and even had a computer center. Once my son found out that the club also takes the kids to dinner, it was a done deal; after our morning/afternoon excursions, I didn't see him again until closing time. He would shoo me away whenever I came to check on him, although pagers are given to parents for use when children want to be picked up. For family interaction, there were game show and karaoke formats, and for adults only there was a sports bar, cigar/piano bar, disco and Bingo. The stage shows got excellent reviews, and I would rate the only one I was able to fit in, "Disney Dreams" as top rate, and the movie theater was a popular spot as well. I caught the 10:30 showing of the 3-D flick "Up" on the final night, and it was filled to capacity; get there early for a good seat for both the shows and movies. When we docked in Nassau on day two we went on the stingray (barbs removed) excursion, which involved a 20-minute boat ride to the site where we were provided with snorkel gear and told were were not allowed to videotape any of the interaction with the stingrays. We were allowed to take still photos while snorkeling and feeding the rays on our own, but posing with a ray held by one of the keepers was only allowed if you purchased photos from the vendor. Not much in the way of hospitality from this group. Lunch was included with the fee, and if you could pretend you didn't see the flies that crawled all over the pre-prepared buns sitting out waiting for the burgers, hotdogs or chicken patties coming off the grill, you might be able to enjoy it. I could have done without this excursion, and next time would probably just shop a little in the straw market, then return to the ship and enjoy the pools without the crowds. I did get a splendid lunch of snapper and rice and peas from a local restaurant, "Junkanoo"; just remember you have to eat it on shore -- no food is allowed to be brought back on board. Definitely, get off the ship to experience Castaway Cay on day three; it was the highlight of the trip for me! Whomever designed the layout put a lot of thought into it: family beach with every water activity you can think of, adjacent, yet separate from Scuttle Cove (Kid's Club area), teens-only beach on a separate section of the island (which I only saw from the perspective of a map), and the adult's-only beach on the other side of the island, all accessible via a walkway or tram service. The adults-only beach was quiet, pristine and the water crystal clear, with more than enough umbrellas, beach chairs and attendants to bring you cocktails while you lounge in the water or in a hammock. The only drawback to this part of the trip was that you had to be back on the ship by 5 pm, not nearly enough time to enjoy the island (which is another reason I prefer land trips). I think I said it all above!

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Apr 6, 2009

Bahamas

We had a great time on our first cruise. We went on the Dolphin Encounter and it was great also. I read lots of books and read lots of reviews so I had hight expectations. Big mistake. Just go, have fun and hope for the best. The food was pretty good. I like seafood so I was set. They had vegetarian options also. Lots of fruit. Our stateroom was clean, but we found the previous cruisers day pack under our bed full of money, I.D., key

card, etc. (yes we gave it to guest services.:). The tub was very slippery and our stateroom hostess brought us a rubber mat. Ask for one. There is a light in the closet, there is an on/off button on the light. Use it as a night light. We were too busy do to very many activities. The Gally Tour was interesting. The Pirate Night was the best. Pack a Pirate costume for the whole family. Here are a few things I tried to find out about, now I know...... There aren't any lockers on Castaway Cay. There are lockers on the Dolphin Encounter. Advice if you go as an observer, you will be standing behind all the action but you are very close. I suppose it is set up thay way because they are in front filming and taking pictures to sell to you afterwords. We brought an underwater camera as did the family sitting next to us. We took pictures for each other (I still spent over $100.00 on the DVD and more pictures.) You get to interact with the dolphins but not swim with them. It was well worth it. Everyone loved it. Side note: they have float tubes at both ends of the family beach at Castaway Cay. Go to the end it is less crowded. If you sit next to a life guard there is a lot of yelling in bull horns. Disney makes everything run like a fine oiled machine. So easy to get there and back. The luggage program worked without a hitch. We had lots of fun. Up early, up late, exhausting, but worth it.

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Oct 31, 2008

Eastern Caribeaan

Excellent. First time cruising and Disney made it so easy to get on the ship and off. Paperwork is sent to you a couple of weeks ahead of leaving along with tags for your luggage. If everything is filled out, getting on the ship only takes 15 minutes or so. Disney statrs you off with a friendly announcement while boarding the ship and you get your picture taken. Pictures are taken throughout you cruise and are available for purchase. I thought

the food was very good. Each night we got assigned to a different restraunt. The service was great. Recommendations were made each night and were very good. You could try new things and order something else if it wasn't what you wanted. If you chose to stay in your stateroom for the evening free room service. All the soda and tea was free on deck 9. The midnight buffets were great and the 50 dessert bar was fantastic. Too much food to pick from! There is a pizza place and hotdog place on the 9th deck along with icecream. The kids could grab a snack whenever they needed it. You should never be hungry on a disney cruise. We were in the deluxe family stateroom with verandah. there was plenty of room and the room was always clean. The attendant would be in and out before we ever saw him. The towel animals were adorable and the kids loved them! Seperate shower from toilet is handy when there are 5 people in the stateroom. Entertainment was great! The live shows were beautiful. We have two boys ages 7 and a girl age 2 and a half. They loved watching their favorite characters and all the music. They stayed entertained because they recognize those characters from their favorite movies. All the onboard parties were fun. Especially pirate night and the midnight showing of pirates 2 with 50 choice dessert bar. The fireworks were beautiful! They had schedules handed out each night so you could plan you next days activites. They had game shows and karoke night. All the characters had phot opertunites and schedules so you knew when they would be out. We went early Novemer and the ship was already decorated for Christmas. All the pictures were stunning. Excursions were a bit expensive and a waste. We booked the glass bottom boat tour in the bahamas. basically they take you out on a samll old boat with a strip of glass on the bottom, and throw out bread to attract fish. You are there for about 45 minutes and then come back. you do get a funny tour guide who shows you all the celebrity homes on the shore as you pass them. Great rum punch on board ;) My husband went snorkeling in the bahamas and said the free snorkeling at Castaway Cay was a lot better! He too was brought out to a remote spot with very little fish. Overall great trip. Expensive but if you book early you can pay it off overtime before you actual date to embark. Disney is top notch and we have already booked two more cruises with them in the next two years. This cruiseline allows you to basically go on vacation and not need to pay for anything except alcohol and tipping. Why spend the extra for Palo restaurant when the food at other restraunts is so good and included? No need for a soda card like other ships or a head charge for restraunts like other ships. Disney is worth the money!

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Mar 20, 2008

Bahamas

This was our first cruise aboard the Disney Criuse Line. Arriving in Port Canaveral, we found great ease at finding parking, checking in & boarding the ship. The cruise line has it's own terminal, which is quite a beauty and very obvious it belongs to Disney. We were greeted by friendly crew members and eventually found our cabin. The room was an inside Category 10, small, but was able to accommodate my husband, my 4 year old daughter

and myself quite comfortably. The ship is big enough so it doesn't seem crowded. The restaurants on board are fabulous, but the one that stood out the most was Tritons, located on Deck 3. The decor was breathtaking and the intricately designed Ariel tile wall at the rear of the restaurant is amazing! Our wait staff was very pleasant and knowledgeable about everything. Although, one problem we had was in Shutters, the photo gallery, they lost our photos. Not one person who worked in the gallery wanted to help us either, until one man came along and was willing to go above and beyond his duty to help us get those memories back. One thing that cannot be missed, are the broadway-esque shows performed in the Walt Disney Theatre each night. These are top quality performers, sets and effects. The maid service we had was wonderful, she always had our room in tip top condition whenever we came back to our room. Deck 9 was heaven for snackers! There was hot dogs, salads, ice cream, chicken fingers & pizza available throughout the day until late. Disney's own private island, Castaway Cay, was great! There is allot to do if you like beaches and the outdoors. Cold water is available throughout the island. Lunch is a buffet of hamburgers, hotdogs, ribs, a salad bar, pasta salad, coleslaw, fruit and cookies. Which was quite good, but available for only a couple hours. A shipboard account was also convenient, money was NEVER needed, even on Castaway Cay and Nassau's shore excursions!! The staff was friendly and helpful. The food was probably a 7, out of 10 due to poorly prepared Escargot (sandy). Everything else was great!! I definitely recommend this cruise line, everything was so convenient and well prepared!

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Sep 18, 2006

Southern Caribbean

For the 2006 Hurricane season, Disney decided to introduce a longer itinerary going to the less-frequently hit Southern Caribbean. Having previously sailed on a longer Disney cruise (the 14-night Westbound Panama Canal transit), we thought the 11-night would be a nice break away. This was our fifth cruise with Disney. My wife and were cruising alone – no nieces or nephews this trip. With this new 11-night itinerary, Disney visited

their regular port of St. Thomas, added St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, and paid their first visit to St. Kitts. We boarded Sunday morning, with a fabulously smooth boarding process. Disney finally introduced online check-in, which means we were able to submit all our info long before arriving in Port Canaveral. Five minutes at the counter to verify the credit card and our passports, and we were handed our room keys. We found a comfortable couch in the lobby, and waited the fifteen minutes until boarding began. As soon as we boarded, we headed straight back to the Parrot Cay restaurant. This a trick we learned a few cruises ago. The staff tries to funnel passengers to the Buffet on deck 9, but Parrot Cay is also open. The advantage here is that servers bring your drink orders to your table for you, and you can leave your carry-on luggage at your table while you visit the buffet, rather than trying to balance your carry-on luggage with your food tray. By the time we finished lunch, the staterooms were opened, and we headed down. Upon arriving, we found the items I had pre-ordered for our anniversary, including a tropical floral arrangement (really nice – and it lasted the entire cruise!). A friend had ordered a fruit tray and a bottle of wine for us as a sail away gift. The fruit was a little strange – apples, oranges, and grapes were great. But they also included whole papayas, mangos, kiwi, and a pineapple. The problem was, the pineapple had not been cut, and the only knife provided was a butter knife. A lot of the fruit ended up being tossed, because there was no way to prepare it easily, and the kitchen couldn’t use it once it had been put in the room. One item I had pre-ordered, a pearl necklace for my wife, was not in the stateroom. I asked our stateroom host about it, and he indicated that they only delivered those to the passengers in person, because of the high value. He returned a few minutes later with the necklace in a beautiful presentation box. In the past, our stateroom hosts have generally been playful and friendly. Kim, our host this trip was definitely friendly, but not playful. Instead, he was the epitome of the unobtrusive butler. We rarely saw him, but his presence was almost constant. We would leave for something, realize we left glasses or a watch behind in the room, go back to retrieve it only to find he had already straightened up the room, but was no where to be seen. The room was always spotless. As my wife commented, if was as if her had made himself invisible. We were fortunate enough to have Ivana - the same server on this cruise as we had on the Disney Magic’s Panama Canal transit. She had transferred from the Magic to the Wonder. She was as fantastic this trip as she was on our previous trip. She somehow remembered allergies and food preferences from 17 months previous, and it felt like she just picked right up, as if we had never left her table. Her assistant, Anastasia, was very new, and while she was attentive and tried, she was still learning how to keep track of drink preferences, who wanted coffee and who didn’t, etc. In St Thomas, we enjoyed a Snuba excursion through VI Snuba – a trip we booked independently of the ship. Snuba is similar to Scuba, but rather than having the oxygen tanks on your back, they floated on the surface on a raft, and a hose ran down to your regulator. As our first exposure to using a regulator, it was a great introduction. Frank, our guide, was fantastic – very patient, attentive, and helpful. Done at the beach next to Coral World, we also had the chance to visit the aquarium. As occasional visitors to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Aquarium of the Pacific, Coral world pales by comparison. But, it was still a nice visit. Our second stop was St Lucia, where we did the Rainforest Canopy Zip line excursion, through the ship. This was by far our favorite experience of the entire cruise. A fantastic experience, gliding from tree to tree through a verdant green rainforest. I have a slight fear of heights, but never had a problem on the zip line. I think I was laughing too had to be afraid. After the zip line, our van driver stopped at the side of the road at a banana farm. He spent several minutes discussing how they are farmed (including wrapping the bunches in a transparent blue plastic bag!) He then found a cocoa pod from a cocoa tree nearby. He broke the pod open, and had us each take one of the beans to suck on, like a hard candy. Surprisingly, it tasted almost exactly like a watermelon Jolly Rancher candy, although he did warn us not to bite into the bean, as it would be extremely bitter. Next stop was Barbados where we did a ship excursion of snorkeling with the sea turtles. What a neat experience – swimming in water with 10-15 turtles all around you. We swam a ways away from the group, which meant we were able to see more turtles, and less people. In Antigua, we went on our own again, this time on Eli’s Eco Tour. While waiting to be picked up, we walked the port area a bit. Unfortunately, it was a Sunday and almost everyone was closed, despite having a ship in port. Eli’s tour came highly recommended on several review sites. The trip was very nice, on a beautiful ship. If you are interested in Island history, ecology, and getting the chance to snorkel in some nice locations, this is a great trip. (And the BBQ lunch is great). But, if you are a diehard swimmer/snorkeled, and you are all about the best reefs and maximum time in the water this is not for you. The first half of the trip is completely in the boat as you begin to circle the island. The second half includes three swim/snorkel opportunities, but they are almost incidental to the rest of the trip. St Kitts was an interesting visit. We had booked yet another snorkel excursion through the ship. (I swear my wife is half-fish). We sailed to a distant bay, and everyone headed for the water. I decided to stay on the boat and relax – but even from there I could see thousands of fish in the water. My wife says it was the best location we had visited for seeing fish, stingrays, lobsters, and more. Two days at sea lead us back to Castaway Cay – Disney’s private island. Snorkeled some more, and generally lounged around. In time for our visit, Disney had just finished installing new kitchen equipment on the island, allowing them to move the food quality and selection up by several notches. Wood-fire grilled Mahi-mahi, rotisserie chicken, and brick-oven garlic focaccia bread have been added, and the food is so much better than it was previously. My only major gripe about this trip boils down to the itinerary. After boarding, we sailed for two days, and then spent the next five in ports. By day 4 and five, we were dragging. Since so many of the ports are adventure oriented (snorkeling, diving, kayaking, etc.), we were too tired (and sunburned!) at the end to really enjoy it. Our first sea day after the ports was largely spent sleeping, in an attempt at recovering. I would rather they cut out the third port day, spending it at sea instead. It would have allowed us to enjoy the later ports a lot more.  

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By Kara_CR

  • New

May 25, 2006

Bahamas

My husband's cousin decided to get married on a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas. The little cuties met at Disney World, and so thought this would be memorable. We'd have gone anywhere that they wanted for the wedding, but must admit that we were not initially excited to drop a couple grand for a cruise. We'd never cruised before, and never planned on it. Aside from that, we have no kids, and Disney Cruise= kids. So we book the cruise (Travelocity

was awesome) and away we went. First and foremost, Disney has got this down to a science. We never waited in a boarding line, it was never confusing, and getting on the boat was simple. In fact, the whole "cruise process" was easy. Food was good---I was not blown away, but I was mildly surprised at the quality of the meals. The service was impeccable, and the staterooms were always cleaned wonderfully. Everyone smiles, and I am pretty sure they mean it. For those without kids: The boat is set up perfectly, and isolates the adult area from the kid and teen areas. All areas are fun, but if you want to chill with some drinks and not dodge happy running kids, you can find a quiet, fun place at the adult pool area (quiet cove). I barely remember running into any children at all (I am not anti-kid, by the way. I grew up in a family with six kids, I just didn't really like the idea of being on a boat with 2000 of them!). When we did cross paths with the little munchkins, they were busy in basketball and drama camps, or swimming and playing in the arcades. Fun times. The Characters were around lots of the time- catering to the children. Mickey, Minnie, Chip and Dale, you name it. Nightlife- Karaoke, sports bar and cigar/smoking area called Cadillac (I think) are all on the "adult" side of the boat (which is the forward side). We stayed on floor seven- forward- so that we could take a couple flights of stairs and get everywhere on the big people side of the boat. I have heard there is less rocking on floor 5 or 6 though. The water was pretty calm on our trip- no dramamine needed for me. Nassau....is icky. I guess if you really get into the neighborhoods it may be more historic or something, but to me (and for the time allocated) it was a basic cruise ship mecca. We took a $4 cab ride to Atlantis to check out that hotel. It was big and had a casino, kind of like Vegas in the Caribbean. Not a fan of that...but it was fine. We got back on the ship fast and hung around at the pool. Weather was hot and humid...so the pool felt good! Disney's Island- after Nassau, we sailed to the Disney Island of Castaway Cay, Bahamas. It's great because that is the only boat that sails there. It's clean, gorgeous, you never fight for a lounge chair or umbrella, and there are so many activities. They also don't rake you over the coals money-wise. Rentals are cheap (for bikes, snorkel, etc). Food is awesome. General facts: Your serving staff stays the same for the entire time you are there. We loved our guys and gal. Same with the stateroom cleaner. There are no irons, but there is a laundry center on each floor with two irons and washer/ dryer. There is a blow dryer in the bathroom. Rooms and bed were very comfy. Shower pressure is Ok. The gym is good - but gets busy. Take 35spf and a visor or hat for certain. We went tanning and I still got burnt. Drinks are well priced. I found I needed water more than alcohol! But of course, had both ;-) Great cappuccino for the folks that run on high octaine (I live in Seattle- enough said!). Getting the "commemorative glass" drink deal is worth every cent. I am sure there is more, feel free to email me specific questions at [email protected] Have fun! Kara  

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  • New

Jun 23, 2005

Bahamas

In short, the entire experience on board was wonderful. From the servers to the stateroom attendants, every need was met. Castaway Cay was decent, but stay away from the shop. Buying on board is your best bet. Nassau: In a word, filthy. It smelled bad and the streets were absolutely a disaster. They were in poor repair and looked like they hadn't been cleaned in years.You would fare well to stay on board ship as Nassau is a major tourist

rip-off. Tipping: The on-board service was exceptional although the suggested tipping guidelines are a bit much because it is expected per person per day. That's almost $300 for the 3-day cruise. You don't pay that much even in some luxury resorts or restaurants. Don't feel guilty at all if you only pay the suggested amount one time at the end of the cruise. Food: Except for the tasteless and cold last morning breakfast, the food was delicious. Except for alcohol or the Palo dining, everything was free. If you go hungry, that is entirely your fault. A word to the wise; bring the Pepto! You will eat enough to justify it. I will be taking another Disney cruise soon. It was worth the expense just to see my family have so much fun.

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  • New

Jun 9, 2005

Bahamas

For 1st time cruisers, there is one word to describe the Disney experience and that is convenient. We had all of our documentation in order and boarding the ship was quick, smooth and went exactly as described to us. In fact, we were allowed to board 1 hour prior than scheduled. The ship is beautiful and clean. And although we saw a larger ship in the Bahamas, all eyes seem to be drawn to the Wonder. We actually booked 4 days at Disney's

Pop Century Resort prior and drove to the terminal the morning we salad. It took less than an hour and parking cost $10 a day. The lot is right across the street from the terminal (we actually carried all of our bags when we disembarked). If you book the land/sea vacation combo through Disney you sail 1st, then go to Disneyworld. Plus, they automatically book you in a moderate priced hotel. We proffered to save the cruise for last and stay at the Pop Century and that worked out well by booking separately. While at sea, the shows were fantastic and the rooms impressive too. Make sure you get a room with a veranda. It's the best investment you will make on the cruise. There were nice surprises throughout, such as the fireworks display at sea! The restaurants we nice as well with varied menus and great service. My only complaint about the whole cruise is that only 1 location (deck 9) serves the free food and drinks. So even if you just thirsty you have to schlep there to get a drink no matter where you are on the ship. Finally, disembarking was much easier than I could have imagined. To get an early start we skipped the restaurant service and ate at the buffet at 6:30 am. We were allowed to leave the ship 7:30 and was loading the car by 7:45. Start saving you pennies, quarters and twenties now and why not plan a cruise.

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  • New

May 15, 2005

Bahamas

This was my family's first cruise on the Disney Wonder. I've been on two other cruises before, and I have to say that Disney sets it apart. EMBARKATION: The best advise is to fill out all of your paperwork before hand and have your luggage properly tagged with the luggage tags they provide you. Having done that, the entire process will take 10-15 minutes tops. When you're about to board, they take your picture and then they announce

your family aboard with such enthusiasm. As soon as you get on board go and register your children in the Oceaneer's Club/Lab. Second, if you wish to dine at Palo (I highly recommend that you do) do that immediately as well. It takes about an hour to get your bags delivered to your stateroom, so you do have time to get the lay of the ship or get something to eat. CLEANLINESS: Beside the fact that the ship is absolutely breathtaking, it is emasculate was well. They went all out to make you feel like you are at a 5 star resort on the sea. The marble flooring, the golden handrails, the wooden paneling, etc. and the hints of Mickey everywhere is just one of many things to keep you visually stimulated throughout your cruise. They have those automatic hand soap dispensers at the entrance to the restaurants. They inform all of the guests of the importance of hand washing so everyone can enjoy their cruise without illness. They make the children wash their hands as soon as they enter the Oceaneer's Club/Lab. The crew is there in an instant to pick up food trays, empty drinks, trash, etc. STATEROOM: Our stateroom was very roomy. We had a balcony stateroom on deck 6. There was plenty of storage space for my family of 4. The split bathrooms worked well too. One had a sink with a shower/tub, the other, a sink and a toilet. The balcony was very spacious as well. The thing I liked the best was the curtain divider between my girls' bunk beds and our queen bed. Which was extremely comfortable by the way. SERVICE: The service we received on the Wonder was beyond excellent. The entire crew was more than happy to cater to your wishes. From our waiters Ralph and Yordan, to our room steward Keyand, to the many who served us drinks; everyone of them had a smile and a thank you for us. We got especially good service in Palo from our server Hristo. It was our anniversary, and he made it so incredibly wonderful for the two of us. As far as service, Disney makes the difference. FOOD: I have read many reviews that the food on the Wonder is just so so. Well I am here to disagree. I found everything to be delicious. From the breakfast buffet to the fabulous gourmet dinners. The breakfast buffet had your everyday breakfast foods. Eggs, bacon, sausage, cereal, fruit, muffins, Danish, etc. They also had lox and bagels, breakfast burritos, and an omelet station. For having to cook for over 2000 people, the food was pretty darn tasty. The dinners in the dining room were even better. At Palo, I had the best seafood rissoto I have ever put in my mouth. For dessert, I had a chocolate soufflé that was to die for. My husband's filet mignon melted in his mouth. Our other dinners included prime rib, seafood pasta, duck, and grouper. The kids meals consisted of pizza, chicken fingers, hamburgers, etc. You know the normal kid staples. Food is very subjective and everyone is a critic, some picker than others. But overall it all was very good to excellent in my opinion. ENTERTAINMENT: This is where Disney make a difference too. The shows were outstanding. The Hercules show was my favorite. It had both me and my husband laughing out loud. The kids really enjoyed it too. The Golden Mickeys was a treat for us, because our kids were part of the show. They had a wonderful magician one night and the Disney Dreams show was very entertaining as well. They had a Pirates IN the Caribbean party that was great. They shot fireworks right off the back of the ship. Captain Hook and Smead joined in the fun too. All of the characters were well represented on the ship. The daily Navigator always kept you informed of their appearances. You did have to wait in a line to get pictures and autographs, but with the characters being one of the ships most popular attractions, lines are to be expected. The only problem you will have is to find the time not to be entertained at one point or another. CASTAWAY CAY: This was my favorite part of the trip. The whole island is something else. They get you coming and going on the souvenirs, drinks and pictures, so be careful. The snorkeling was wonderful. We saw everything from the sunken Mickey to a giant treasure chest, a submarine, and more colorful fish than you can count. My seven year old loved it. The bike ride my family took was pleasurable as well. Again the service on the island was second to none. And they had more lifeguards than I have ever seen on any beach in my life. In my opinion, this is the highlight of the cruise. TIPPING: Tipping is very much deserved for all of the folks that go out of their way to make sure your cruise is wonderful. They tack on a 15% tip for all bar drinks automatically. For your room steward, waiters and head waiter; they have it so you can put their gratuities on your shipboard account just in case you don't have cash. Everyone involved is very deservant of their tips. DEBARKATION: Here's another Disney difference. They give you color coded tags for your luggage. They put the bags together by color but they also put them in order by your stateroom. It took my husband all of 20 seconds to find our luggage. The whole process of getting off the ship took 20 minutes from start to finish. In closing, our vacation on the Disney Wonder was out best vacation yet. Memories were made and we are definitely going to take another Disney cruise. From the minute we got on board until we stepped off the ship, we totally enjoyed ourselves. We kept our minds open and just went with the flow. Disney has set themselves apart from all other cruise lines. You may pay a bit more, but you will get A LOT more in return.

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By Kia_CR

  • New

Apr 24, 2005

Bahamas

We have cruised on many different lines, but this was our first Disney Cruise. We chose Disney this time to celebrate our son's 3rd birthday. My mom and her boyfriend went too. Also, we spent 5 days after the cruise at the parks. Embarkation was fast and easy. We got to Port Canaveral at about 2:30 and though the ship was full, we only had about a 5 minute wait for Security. We had filled out our forms on the flight down as advised by

others here. We were the lucky 5 selected to have a trainee "assist us with our documents." He must have thought the perforations in the booklet of documents were for those lacking in creativity... he mangled the first two sets and we did the other 3 ourselves. They announced us upon entry and my son immediately went to check out the band playing in front of Triton's. After he danced for awhile, we found our CABIN Clean and nicely sized. I liked the lamps with the world map and Mickey metal trim. We were afraid to get a cabin with a balcony for fear that DS would hop over it! He's quite a little monkey! Anyway, there's enough storage space to stow your stuff, and i love the big window. (The all Disney all the time channels were a boon for DS!) We met Enrique our cabin steward. He was very pleasant and efficient... did a fine job all 4 days... and he's quite the towel animal master! DINING Our luggage showed up while we were at dinner (early seating). We had tremendously fun servers, Hernan and Ramon. They loved playing with our son and i think they were a little freaked out about him ordering things like squash and salmon off the big menu rather than the kids' stuff. Our dining rotation was PTAA. Night 3 was the Pirates in the Caribbean party, so you repeated your night 3 restaurant the last night. The food was one of only 2 disappointments on the ship. Breakfast was low-end, institutional type food. There were some items i would consider "good", but nothing really fabulous... After pronouncing his Mickey waffle "eewy and like gum" on morning one, DS stated that he thought just plain Raisin Bran with fruit was better. I stuck to yogurt with fruit and sometimes a bagel with smoked trout (which was the "good" thing aforementioned). Lunch was much the same. Nothing memorable and a serious lack of tofu or veggie options. I went to the little stir fry bar on one buffet and got veggies and noodles and the "chef" looked at me like i had 3 heads when i asked for tofu instead of meat. I'm a fish-eater, but the salads, sushi etc. at lunch was really mediocre. And, they used fake crab in everything that had crab in it. Just a little warning for those of you who think when places spell "crab" with a "C" that it's the real thing.. NOT here. Dinners were better. The first night's grouper entree was very tasty so we had high hopes for the rest of the evenings... I'd say 3 of the 4 nights, the dinners were good to very good... Our evening at Triton's was really interesting... DH found a live bug crawling in his salad. He calmly showed it to Hernan and Ramon who, aghast, immediately whipped the plate off the table and took it to our Dining Manager, Eric. He came over and apologized profusely and we said thanks. Then, 2 minutes later, the chef de cuisine, Winston, came out to explain that all of the greens come vacuum sealed so the only way a live bug could have gotten into his salad was to have stowed away from Nassau... we told him it's all good (i would've thought they'd offer to bring him a free beer or glass of wine, but that didn't happen). They did bring him a replacement salad which he thoroughly investigated prior to placing fork in mouth. The vegetable stack was pretty good. DH and my mom had the creme brulee for dessert and both said it was excellent. Pirate night brought too sweet melon soup, a lovely salad, appetizing fish and a lackluster bananas foster dessert and some pretty good chocolate cake. OUr final evening was in Animator's and we all enjoyed our meals. I had excellent scallops and DH had very good beef. The baked Alaska is one of my favorite things and they didn't disappoint! NASSAU We got off the ship at Nassau for a couple of hours... We've been there a bunch before, so we stopped in at a restaurant we found there a few years ago called Bahamian Kitchen for lunch of cracked conch and conch salad... yum yum yum. This was the best lunch we had! CASTAWAY CAY A highlight. We very much enjoyed the beach and snorkeling around. The water was bracing at first, but once you got in for a bit it was lovely. The rain threatened until we reboarded the ship and the skies cleared at 5:30 so we could wave buh-bye to the Cay! The lunch (salmon sandwich for me) was meh. My mom and her bf went back to the ship for lunch and said their lunch in Triton's was very good! AT SEA DAY We saw the Heffalump movie, and, when DS napped with grandma, DH and i saw National Treasure. It was quite windy and very cloudy all day, so the pool wasn't such a great option. Oh, and we won some money at Bingo. Yay! SHOWS We saw all 4 shows. Hercules was great (Hades stole the show). We had a ventriloquist who made us laugh out loud (especially our toddler) when he made the tennis ball talk. The Golden Mickeys was fine and we were very impressed with Disney Dreams. We saw the Disney's on the Record show that is currently touring the U.S. and enjoyed Disney Dreams more. GRATUITIES I love to tip. I'm a fan of great service and we loved all of our folks. I just wish you didn't have to stand in line at Guest Services for half an hour to put them on a credit card! You'd think there'd be an easier way. Disembarking was a breeze. With that said, i will share my other disappointment... I missed Pluto. He is my all time favorite Disney character and, aside from being in the terminal before we boarded (heck, before we even got there), he didn't come out for any character signings or photos or anything. :( Overall, we enjoyed the trip very much, 4 days was just enough, and, maybe some day in a few years, might choose Disney again. Our preference for the Windstar ships (better destinations, much better food, not quite so structured), was reaffirmed. Just our preference, mind you! lol

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  • New

Feb 13, 2005

Bahamas

In Brief: The Disney Wonder is a first-rate cruise ship. We had a fabulous time on a four-night cruise. We would highly recommend it and will consider a 7-night cruise. With the exception of the food, Disney Cruise Line far exceeded our expectations. Ship Appearance: Outstanding inside and out. You will feel like royalty the entire time you are on the ship. The Wonder is highly polished and sophisticated with abundant use of granite,

marble, glass and carved carpets throughout the common areas of the ship. It is certainly not your typical cruise-ship-come-Vegas decor. The lobby is impressive with two sweeping curved staircases, a massive (Chilluly) chandelier; a bronze statue of Ariel perched atop a marble column, and a bank of glass elevators. Heavy draperies flank large porthole windows and thick royal blue carpeting covers the floors. Deck 4 features teak recliners with comfortable navy blue pads…a quiet place to read in the afternoon or relax with a glass of wine before dinner. The pools are fabulous with age-appropriate music and ambiance at each of the three pools. Tip: On the “At Sea” days get to the pool early if you want a recliner. Service: Excellent. Always smiling and willing to help. The staff was neither solicitous nor ‘begged’ for gratuities. (An experience we’ve had on other ships.) One issue cropped up with regard to our dinner seating. We were assigned 8:30…unbearable for our two year old used to Central Standard Time. Soon after boarding the ship we requested a dinner time change. We were number 8 on the list. At 4 o’clock we received a call from the head manager and were told he’d be unable to accommodate our request. On the first night we went ahead and attended the 8:30 dinner. It was less than ideal. The next day we called again only to be denied. After investing more time and frustration in phone calls to the manager, we were approved for the 6:00 seating. We were happy they saw fit to accommodate us. Part of the problem with the 8:30 seating is that you attend the early show…which is generally over by about 7:15-7:30 leaving you another hour to wait around with a hungry tired toddler. Incidentals/Souvenirs: Expensive. If you forget to pack something, I pity you. Everything is incredibly expensive onboard and in port. Example: I forgot hairspray. The exchange rate in Nassau the day we were there was dollar for US dollar. For a can of Suave I paid $4.20. Here in Chicago at a local grocery store Suave goes for 99 cents. Additionally, bring plenty of film or digital cards for your camera…the pictures they take on board are of amazingly poor quality and they charge $10.00 per photo. (They are wonderful about allowing you plenty of time to capture character shots with your camera…and in my opinion, whatever kind of photographer you are your pictures will probably come out just as good if not better than the ones the Disney “professional” takes.) Dining Experience: Fair. The décor/presentation of each of the three restaurants is outstanding. You and your children will delight in the colorful (yet sophisticated décor). You will rotate to a different themed restaurant each night. Your table number and wait staff remain the same. The quality of the food does not equal the grandeur of the ship. Many raters on this site have said the food was average to good. I think those reviewers are much too kind. Shame on Disney. They charge top dollar and then serve inferior food. Don’t look for fine wine. It’s your average grocery store mid-shelf wine selection. (As an aside, the Mudslides are an awesome poolside treat!) Parrot Cay decor: Vibrant Caribbean. Colorful painted parrots line the chandeliers. The walls are sunshine yellow and ocean blue with stenciled flowers. The night we were there, they had a low-key Caribbean band playing. It was great. Listen for parrots chirping brightly as you enter the eatery. The food in Parrot Cay: Think of your company’s cafeteria. No joke. I ordered cold melon soup that looked like foam and tasted like a melted Jolly Rancher. My main course of prime rib and was a cut so sinewy and poor it was hard to find any edible meat among all the fat medallions. My husband ordered the recommended grilled vegetable appetizer. It was three slices of wilted zucchini that looked as if it was grilled on last week’s cruise. For his main course, he chose the barbeque ribs. He said they were good. I tasted the sauce and agreed (probably a good thing I didn’t look at the meat too closely under the sauce). For dessert we chose the ice cream sundaes. Disastrous. For starters, the things were freezer burned. They filled the sundae flutes 2/3 full with a thick marshmallow-y, cool whip-ish substance then plopped the ice cream on top. Stuffed in was a little brown brick with nuts…we surmised it may have been a brownie in its past life. Animator’s Palate: Animator’s Palate was our favorite. Our daughter loved watching the room change from black and white to color. The wait staff begins the night donning black and white vests and at the end their vests “magically” change to color. Nicely done. Bring your camera to this dinner. The room is said to have cost $4.3 million to build. We found the food in Animator’s Palate to be average. Your local family restaurant would serve similar quality. My husband and I both ordered the salmon with maple glaze paired with green beans and mashed red-skinned potatoes. We are seafood fans. We found the salmon to be pretty good. Light, flaky, and fresh tasting. We liked it. However, the maple glaze drizzled about the plate tasted suspiciously similar to Golden Griddle pancake syrup. Our tablemate commented that it was the best salmon he had ever eaten. Who knows, maybe it was… I wouldn’t have gone that far. When I am on vacation, I like to indulge in fine chocolates and exquisite desserts. The ice cream sundaes in Animator’s were amazing…the best dessert we had the entire time. We ate in Animator’s two nights so we also sampled the Boston Cream Pie cake and the Decadent chocolate cake. The cakes were terrible. The filling in the Boston Cream Pie cake was not custard…it was more like instant pudding. The chocolate cake was sawdust— dry and flavorless…with the same lard-like frosting. Triton’s: Reserved atmosphere. The restaurant has a large mosaic of Triton and Ariel, the décor is more formal with white table linens, dark cherry wood and muted fabrics. The lighting is interesting…especially on the ceiling…the brochures don’t do it justice. It looks like pools of water floating above you. Awesome. Triton’s Food: Since it was Valentine’s Day we went “all-out” for this dinner. We ordered a bottle of one of the pricier French champagnes. We should have stuck with the champagne and called it a night. For our main course we had a shrimp/scallop angel hair pasta concoction. The sauce was a tomato cream, I think. Dessert was another little plate of horrors. I can’t remember what they called it, but it was supposed to be Bananas Foster. Right. There were a couple of three-inch gray-brown bananas floating atop a gooey syrup mess. (They must get a lot of mileage out of bulk pancake syrup.) Entertainment: Spectacular. Everything you’d expect from Disney. The Golden Mickeys night is fun and beautifully executed. They even roll out a red carpet and Disney radio does a ‘live’ broadcast interviewing the kids as they walk off the red carpet. Your kids (and you) will feel Hollywood movie stars! Cleanliness: Superb. No complaints here. They go above and beyond to keep everyone safe and healthy. Character Appearances: Numerous. Read your daily Navigator. There are plenty of opportunities to see characters throughout the day and evening. They even appear on shore. Passenger composition/dress: Neighborly. The passengers seemed to be middle to upper middle class, reserved, well behaved and very well dressed (including the children of all ages). I did not see a single family with children out of control or inappropriately dressed. Men wore nice shorts/slacks and polo-style shirts. The women were seen in colorful open-toed sandals with bright capri pants and sweater sets, Bermuda shorts, polo shirts and nice cocktail dresses. Fresh manicures, pedicures and hair color were everywhere. Embarkation/debarkation: A breeze. We arrived in Orlando one day prior to our cruise. We boarded the Disney shuttle at the Orlando Airport at 10:30 a.m. We arrived at Port Canaveral at about 11:30 a.m. There was very little wait time to process our papers (maybe 15 minutes at most). Minnie Mouse (dressed in delightful red, white and blue cruise attire) even came out and welcomed everyone aboard. About us: My husband is 33, my daughter is 2.5, and I am 33. My husband and I are both executives at Fortune 500 companies in Chicago. We are very reserved/quiet people (and dare I say somewhat critical). We generally stay away from large theme-park, fair-going type crowds and culturally devoid activities. However, we were in the mood for some colorful fun to break up our winter blahs. We were also looking to escape to a place that would be memorable for our daughter. Before our daughter was born my husband and I traveled on two Windjammer cruises and one Norwegian Cruise. This was our first Disney cruise.

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Jan 13, 2005

Bahamas

We arrived on to the Disney Wonder on January 16, after three days in Disney World. In Disney World we stayed at the Polynesian (great Hotel, great restaurants, great food). We purchased the 7 day land/sea package. On Sunday, we boarded the ship in no time, and our first impression of the ship was “WOW”! It is a beautiful ship, immaculate, our room was wonderful! They held a great Bon Voyage Party in the lobby, it was great ..

but unfortunately, after setting sail the first evening was a bit bumpy, as the captain described the waves to be up to 14 –15 feet. By the end of the evening, it was a ghost town ship due to several people with motion sickness. After a bumpy night, the next day in Nassau was nice, windy but nice. We did the Caribbean Queen Snorkeling tour which was great, the kids loved it. Didn’t get a chance to go to the aquarium or Atlantis, but heard it was great. Our day in Castaway Cay was great, beautiful Island, lots of stuff for the kids to do. The Oceaneers clubs move right on to the island, so the kids have plenty of choices and stuff to do. Great shops, great Island! **** The day at sea was great, we visited the Vista Spa for pedicures, and had total R&R there. A fun day to just check out all of the shops, take advantage of the shows, and have a great time. There was so much for the adults & children on the cruise, it was hard choosing what to do.. (Bingo, games, themed shows, beer tasting, movies, pin trading, etc.) . The evening shows were fabulous! We saw all four shows, and each one was just as good if not better than the first! Wonderful!! The service on the ship, in restaurants, in shops and in room care etc,. was Great! They all did an exceptional job keeping our room clean, the turn down service on the beds, setting out the little chocolates and animal towels, an extra special touch! Now, on to our ONE disappointment of the cruise, . … the Food. With the exception of Palo (the adult dining restaurant.. which was Fabulous).. We were very disappointed with the food. At the end of the trip, we graded the overall food a 5 out of 10. The best way to describe it is “very institutionalized”. Everything was just ok. The breakfasts were just ok, the buffets seemed all the same, nothing new (similar to Bob’s Big Boy). We felt the dinner menus were limited, and were disappointed with the different things we tried. I think we went into this with very high expectations, and the food just didn’t do it for us. The disembarkation went smoothly, Disney definitely has that down! It was great, the luggage went smoothly.. all was well. Would we do it again? Probably not. It was very expensive $$$$$ and to be so disappointed with the food, and having motion sickness issues (which could happen on any ship), probably not.

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Jul 1, 2004

Bahamas

We are Disney Fans; lucky to be living in central Florida where we can visit the parks when we have a spare moment! Wanted to take the kids and husband on a cruise for a long time, and finally got the ok from them for a 3-nighter to the Bahamas. Thankfully, we were able to get the "Friends and Family" rate from a cousin who worked on the ship, but the room was on the second level (from the bottom) with no view. But we were glad to be able

to go (first attempt was in April but kids were sick, were able to change to July with no problem with Disney) and looked forward to the trip. The boat is beautiful!! Our room was small, but you know what, it was fine for us and it had the double bathrooms and the pull down bunk (two girls, 11 and 12). We were just a level below a nightclub, but the noise from that ended at 12 midnight which was before we ever went to bed! On the other hand, we were just a stairway from the theatre and the shops, so we were happy to be where we were.  The one thing that impressed my husband was the SERVICE. The crew and staff were great, the food was good and never-ending! All the softdrinks, pizza, hotdogs, ice cream, etc. you could eat. It was great having a plate loaded with stone crabs, eating them overlooking the other cruise ships in the port of Nassau. What a memory!! The pools get crowded during the day, but the girls found time to wet when they wanted to, and the movies and shows kept us busy. We were only in our rooms to shower and change, and hung out on the decks the rest of the time. Our servers were great, and they followed us from restaurant to restaurant. The last night my daughter felt a little motion sickness, and the waiters from dinner (which I and my husband so abruptly left) got our dinner plates to the room before we made it there! Nassau was a 30 minute visit (to buy conch shells and look at the straw market), but Castaway Cay was glorious! Speak to the locals who work there, and they are full of information about what is on the island and where their day starts. Talk to the crew members...such an international group, and many have wonderful stories to share. Our only regret is that we didn't book a longer cruise. But we are already looking into that for our next vacation!! Pluses: the kids entertainment, food, freedom on decks, comfy chaise lounges, staff, beauty of ship, cleanliness and smooth sailing. Minuses: all you can drink center (soda, tea, coffee, juices) were on the 9th deck, back of ship (minor!!).

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Jan 4, 2004

Bahamas

This was our first cruise, so we don’t have any other ships or cruise companies to compare it to. We began our vacation with a stay at the Animal Kingdom Resort for 6 nights then we began our 4 night Bahamian cruise on the Disney Wonder on January 4th. Just a quick note on our stay at the Animal Kingdom Resort….it was beautiful and we really enjoyed our time there. On the morning of the 4th we transferred from the resort to the Disney

Wonder. The cruise representatives at the resort were very helpful and assisted me in correcting a mistake the Disney Travel agency made with our transfers. This was a minor setback. The trip to the cruise ship took approximately 1 ½ hours. It was nice drive. There were continuous cartoons playing for the kids, which really helped them pass the time. We booked our resort stay and cruise separately. We are from Canada and at the time of booking, Canadians paid an “at par” rate for the cruise portion of their Walt Disney vacation. We ended up saving a considerable amount of money because of this offer. The only inconvenience was that we ended up with two separate itineraries for our vacation and it wasn’t as seamless as if the cruise and resort stay were booked as one. That is where the problem with the transfers came into play, but again, the cruise reps took care of that very quickly. Our first impression was what a beautiful ship the Wonder is. It isn’t as big as some of the other cruise ships that I’ve seen or that were docked in Port Canaveral, but wow, she is classy. When we entered the ship we knew we were in for a special time. The crewmembers meet you with a big hello and announce your arrival with a round of applause. They have a grand piano in the main lobby with a piano player. We found our room right away and went in for a look around. We were on deck 7, Class 5, Room 7576. We were on the starboard side of the ship, just aft of the midship elevators. Our room was beautiful! We had a veranda that was a really nice addition to our stay. Our children (4 and 7) really enjoyed the view. I thought I would be a bit nervous having a veranda that was roughly 7 stories up from sea level and 2 small kids, but I wasn’t at all. The veranda is Plexiglas up to the handrail. There was no chance that the kids would slip through and fall. I was happy. We had 2 single beds that were pushed together to make one king (?) size bed for my wife and I and the kids had bunk beds. The kids were delighted with the bunk beds. The cabin has a full bath with shower and sink in one room and a toilet and sink in another room. This was great for our family of 4. The bathrooms were nicely decorated with ceramic tile, silver taps and sinks, and glass shelving. We found that there was plenty of room for the 4 of us in our cabin. Our room steward was Christopher, and he was very attentive and made our room up every evening with the greatest detail. Our kids loved the towel animals he made for them and the chocolates he left on their beds each evening. He would take the time out of his obviously busy schedule to teach our kids how to make the towel animals. It’s little things like this that can really make the difference between a nice vacation and a fabulous vacation. We ate at all the restaurants on board, with the exception of Palo’s. We really enjoyed them all. The food was amazing in each one. My wife and I have a difference of opinion as to which one was best visually. She really liked Parrot Cay. It was nice, and very colorful. I liked Animator’s Palate. It is completely black and white when you are seated, but then becomes more colorful throughout your meal. Typical Disney! Our servers at the restaurants were very good. I can’t say enough about them. They were Daniel (Uruguay) and Balwon (India ?). They knew our names almost instantly and saw to our every need during our dinners. There were a couple of mistakes made with drinks and such, but they made up for that in their overall level of service. Daniel would take the time to recommend what he thought was the best selection from the menu. He would then spend time speaking with our kids to find out what they wanted to eat. Then at the end of the meal he would, at our request, recommend things to do during our visits to port or our day at sea. We spoke to some of the restaurant staff and they work long hard hours, by North American standards. They sign 6-month contracts, and work 7 days a week. Their day usually begins at 8 am and they don’t finish until 11:30 pm. I truly believe they earn their tips, in general. The shows were very nice. We saw the Mickey Awards, Hercules and there was another one but I can’t remember the name just now. Very nicely done. Our kids loved the shows. They were literally on the edge of their seat the whole time. We saw the early shows because we had the late dinner seating at 8:30 pm. We also went to the Dueling Pianos Family Show that was entertaining. We saw the 70’s and the 80’s show in Waveband’s. They were both fun. The ‘70’s show was the best. We laughed till our sides nearly split. The host was the best! She could really think on her feet and kept the audience laughing the whole time. My son and I went to the Buena Vista Theatre and saw The Haunted Mansion, which was fun. The offered other first run movies, but this was the only one we caught. The entertainment crew onboard did a great job. There were Disney characters at every turn of the hall. Our kids enjoyed walking down the hall and there in front of them would be Snow White. Then we would move onto another deck and Cinderella would be there. Our day in Nassau was fun. We chose to do the Discover Atlantis tour. Lots of walking, but fun for the kids and interesting for us. The underwater aquarium and shark displays were really nice. We did some shopping and which was an enjoyable experience. We didn’t have any difficulties with pushy vendors and nobody tried to sell us any “questionable” merchandise. The ferry trip to Paradise Island was relaxing. Our day in Castaway Cay was probably the highlight of our trip. It’s beautiful. The beach is endless. The water is crystal clear. There is abundant sea life to experience, including sting rays. The kids had a wonderful time here also. Lots of lifeguards on duty. The buffet was nice. The weather was in the 90’s the day we were there. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The weather was in the 80’s and 90’s our whole trip, except the last day on the ship. It was probably 60-65 degrees, overcast and windy. The seas were 8’ – 13’. It made for some rough sailing, but nothing exceptional. I actually enjoyed the slow rocking of the ship. I slept like a baby. The waves were breaking across our port side for most of the day, which caused a rolling sensation when walking down the length of the ship. It was fun. I saw a few people with those seasickness patches on. I guess it bothered a few people. We arrived back into port right on time and debarkation was smooth and painless. We ate at the Beach Blanket Buffet and were off the ship by 7:30 am. Again, we have no previous experience with cruises, but we had a wonderful time. I would classify this cruise as a 9.5 out of 10. I spoke with several other families that have been on other cruises, and they had the same impression. I don’t think I would do this cruise if it were just my wife and myself. I think I would choose another cruise line just because of the fact that most of the things onboard are geared for kids, and families. This is what makes this ship so great though. If you are looking for a true family vacation, this is the way to go. I’m sure we will be boarding another Disney cruise within the next few years.

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Dec 14, 2003

Bahamas

My family of 4 booked the Disney Land/Sea Vacation in April. We chose the 3 days in Disney World and 4 days on the ship option. After speaking to my travel agent, I found that normally guests will spend the first day of their Disney World parks pass flying in. Which unless you live close to Florida geographically, will mean that you’ll lose a whole day of paid vacation on a plane. So we flew in 2 days early and booked an additional 2

nights in an off-site hotel. My husband and I have cruised once before with Princess, but my daughters have never been on a cruise nor seen the ocean, we’re from Colorado. We visited Sea World on Wednesday and then on Thursday we got up early, checked out and drove to the Caribbean Beach Resort (CBR) to have our first long day at Magic Kingdom. I called the resort and found out that anyone is welcome to check-in after 6am to the Disney Resort and leave their bags with the Bell Captain or in their rental car until later in the day when your room is ready. Make sure that you leave plenty of time for check-in because you are also checking in for your cruise and they will go through all of the cruise documentation. Important! Have all of your cruise docs completely filled out, there’s a checklist inside the little treasure chest packing envelope that your docs come in. An Extra Hour of Magic is available to resort guests only and one park per each day of the week opens an hour early. We used the bus from the CBR to get to Magic Kingdom and weren’t particularly impressed, maybe because Magic Kingdom is the furthest away from our resort, or because they weren’t running as many buses because it was off season. It worked much better just to drive the rental car, as an onsite guest you’ll receive free parking. We had a great time at Disney World, the timing couldn’t have been better, we never a line, had beautiful weather and loved the rides and activities. We left Orlando very early on Sunday morning to drive to Port Canaveral, we didn’t purchase transfers and wanted to board the ship as early as possible. We took the extra morning time to visit the Kennedy Space Center which is just a hop, skip and jump from the cruise terminal. At about 12:30 we pulled up to Terminal 8, Disney’s Terminal, the ship is enormous and magnificent. It was raining pretty steadily, so we checked in at the gate for passenger drop-off, left the luggage and everyone but my husband out front, and he parked the car in the lot across from the ship. The porter took our tagged luggage and because we already had our cruise cards from the resort, we were able to go through the metal detector and walk directly onto the ship. They announced our names in the atrium and various staff applauded us, then one crew member escorted us on a quick tour of deck 3. Because none of the cabins were ready, we made our reservation for Palo and an appointment for a beach massage at Castaway Cay. They also ask that you check your children into the Oceaneer’s Program that first afternoon. You’ll have to fill out a questionnaire, including whether you child is allowed to check themselves in and out, and then meet with one of the counselors for questions and to receive your parental pager. We had the lifeboat drill at 4:00pm, and then the ship embarked at 5:30. Our cabin was wonderful, we initially booked an outside cabin, category 8, on deck 6, but were upgraded to a verandah cabin on deck 7, category 5. It was a little tight for a family of 4, but thanks to Disney’s larger than industry cabins and split bathrooms, it worked out just fine. Our dining rotation was Tritons, Animator’s Palate, Parrot Cay, and Triton’s again. The rotation is listed on your dining tickets which are in your cabin when you arrive, unfortunately we didn’t have that information earlier when we booked a reservation for Palos, but if you reserve for Palos for your last night on the ship, you’ll be assured to get the duplicate dining room night (4 night cruise). Be warned that the last evening reservations are at a premium and you’ll need to go to WaveBands that first afternoon onboard in order to get them. In all dining rooms, we had the absolute best serving team, Nikola from Serbia and Steph from the UK. They knew the kids names before we arrived and treated us like royalty. The shows were all terrific, I especially enjoyed Hercules. We didn’t do much of the nightlife, our days were just too full and we were tired. We really liked the dueling pianos show in Barrel of Laughs, they included children and it was fun. My 13 year old DD enjoyed the teen group at Common Grounds, she did both of the teen-only shore excursions and found friends, but spent the majority of time with us. My 8 year old DD liked the kids program at Oceaneer’s Lab but would get uncomfortable if left for long stretches of time. I was surprised because I expected both kids to spend most of their time away from the family. I bought walkie-talkies at the recommendation of some folks on the DisBoards and it was a great suggestion, we used them quite a bit, from dividing the family on certain rides at Disney World to finding each other in the morning when we woke at different times on the ship. On Nassau, we didn’t book a shore excursion, so we ran the gamut of hair braiders and taxi drivers to walk into town and do some shopping, we found some nice things at decent prices. Then we found a water ferry over to Paradise Island to see the Atlantis resort and try to find a beach. The water taxi was $4 apiece, they provided a man who gave a running commentary with tourist information, he asked to be tipped on the way off of the boat. We toured the Atlantis casino, it looked like any other casino, but the impressive resort have their own aquarium and lagoon/ swimming area. However, they allow only their guests into most of the resort, we got run off of the back patio when we were trying to find our way out. We walked down a block or so and entered the public beach area just past the Sheraton. The surf was pretty high and was almost scary with my youngest as she would get knocked down and had a hard time getting back up. We used the Sheraton showers to clean off most of the sand and seawater, then caught a taxi back to the ship from the front of the hotel. My 13 year old DD wanted to add the evening shore excursion, the Teen Junkaroo, and we were able to sign her up at Common Grounds, they met and left the ship at 7pm to take a Party boat on a sail around Paradise Island, she had a blast. The next day was Freeport, I’d read some reviews that said they wished that they had treated Freeport as an “At Sea” day instead of getting off of the ship. So we just stayed on ship with a quick trip off to the Straw Market provided on the dock. The port area is very industrial with huge Petroleum tanks and cargo docks. The cruise director Teresa recommended not allowing first impressions to keep you on the ship, she said the island was wonderful. The family at the next table took a taxi to the other side of the island and had a great day on the beach. We lounged by the pool, had the girls in their programs and caught one of the movies in the Buena Vista Theater. I was surprised, and shouldn’t have been, that they had brand new Disney movies just barely out in the theatre, like Brother Bear and the Haunted Mansion. The last stop was our favorite, Castaway Cay. What a terrific stop! I’d booked a cabana massage on the beach first thing that morning, and what a treat! The adult only beach is on the other side of the island and you can catch 2 trams to get over or just walk. The cabanas have most of the ocean side of the cabana propped open to get the full affect of the view, they sit a little above the beach so they are private, it was the best part of the whole cruise. My husband took our youngest right to the family beach and they were the first in the water and were able to see a ray and a couple of hermit crabs before the crowds formed. He had one of the hammocks staked out, but because he put his gear on the sand beside the hammock and not “in” the hammock, someone else took over while he was in the water. Oh well, there were plenty of lounge chairs. Our oldest daughter did the teen excursion “Wild Side” with bicycling, sea kayaking and snorkeling, she befriended another girl from Guatemala and had a great time. Lunch at Cookies BBQ was fabulous, Disney does a great job of staffing the island from the ship and it was well done. Our afternoon shore excursion was canceled because the wind came up and wasn’t good for the catamaran “Sea Horse Snorkel”, I heard that the morning snorkel adventure was great. We got back on the ship at about 2pm and sat by the pool. A few rain showers came in and it got a little stormy about 4pm. The captain decided to delay our departure because of the “squall”. Hubby and I had reservations for Palos that night, so the girls chose to go to the dining room without us because they liked our wait staff so much and the servers promised to take good care of them. Palos is magnificent, the food is tremendous and the service is impeccable. Once we embarked, the seas were a little rough, but in a fun way, no one got sick or was bothered, but we bounced around pretty good all night. We got a late start from Castaway Cay so the debarkation was delayed the next morning at Port Canaveral. We ate breakfast in our designated dining room and carried our hand luggage. It was the first time that we’d had breakfast anywhere other than the Beach Blanket Buffet. Then we found a table in the Promenade Lounge to wait. The Promenade Lounge is on deck 3 just past the atrium and close to the exit from the ship. They had a crew member entertaining us with trivia and giving out trading pins for the answer to some tough questions. Then the people in the lounge were released to exit the ship, the rest went really smoothly. There weren’t enough porters but we were able to gather and cart all of our own luggage. We had our own car and were on our way to the airport within minutes. I was glad that our 1:15pm flight wasn’t any earlier because with the ship getting in late, it would’ve been really difficult to catch an earlier flight. I loved the Disney vacation and the ship was so beautiful. I wouldn’t choose this line for a vacation without kids and was glad that my youngest was 8 years old. We witnessed many, many toddler meltdowns in the theaters, dining rooms and pool areas just because the poor little things were exhausted and overwhelmed. And quite honestly, even with my older, and self sufficient, children, I still spent a great deal of time mothering so it was less of a vacation for me. I look forward to another cruise with only me and my husband on a different line, and possibly a Disney 7-day with my kids again in a couple of years.

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Nov 30, 2003

Bahamas

This was our first Disney Cruise (and first cruise ever). The ship is absolutely beautiful and very well maintained. After arriving at Orlando International, we were immediately greeted by DCL reps and escorted to the "holding area" to wait for the bus. After arriving at the terminal and checking in, we waited for about an hour and were then allowed to board the ship at our leisure. This was a nice way to get acquainted with the layout

of the ship, as we boarded around 12:30 p.m. and didn't leave the pier until about 5 p.m. Had lunch at Parrot Cay (average food), then my husband and son went to our cabin to nap. The cabin was clean and the porthole window was unexpectedly large! I really liked having the "bath-and-a-half" feature (and because it was an actual tub, though small, we were able to bathe our 2-1/2 year old son without fear of him darting out into the room buck-naked!). While my boys slept, I decided to make reservations at Flounder's Reef Nursery and Palo (first come, first served!) Both were well worth the extra cost. Flounder's Reef--Because our son wasn't old enough to participate in the children's programs, we decided to use the babysitting service for two nights so hubby and I could have some alone time. I was, however, dissappointed at the meager digs of this service. Being Disney, I guess I expected better. Oh well, my son enjoyed his time there and having the pagers afforded me some peace of mind. Palo--LOVED IT! Our server was amazing, the food was incredible, and because it is "adults only", we were able to enjoy a long, leisurely dinner. Highly recommended. Animator's Palate, Triton's, and Parrot Cay had average/above average food. The service was very good, although our assistant server was not as friendly as the head server. Public areas--I wish the pools were a lot bigger. But mostly, I wish my son (who was not toilet-trained at the time) was able to swim in the water and not just splash around in the toddler area which was merely a very large, round sink with the faucet running and water going down the drain. Loved seeing Mickey and gang all around the ship, though the photographer was quite annoying. Shows--we really enjoyed watching "The Golden Mickeys". What a fun way to sit back and relax after dinner. The juggling program was quite entertaining, also. Especially for the adults and older kids. Nassau--did the Atlantis Hotel and Beach Day. The weather was yucky, but the burgers/dogs were good and the aquarium was awesome. We were able to watch one of the divers feeding the fish and it was simply amazing. My son loved it! Freeport--skipped it. Castaway Cay--BEST part of the cruise. Beautiful beach, awesome BBQ lunch, and we even got to see Goofy ride by on his jet ski wearing a Santa costume! Only wish we were there another day.Debarkation was very smooth and very fast, IF you attended the mandatory meeting the previous night. We stayed in Orlando an extra night therefore took our time getting off the ship (had breakfast, strolled the decks, took pictures, etc). After we got off the ship, our bags were easily identified through the color-coded tag system (very efficient). Although there were some minor negatives, we will definitely take another Disney Cruise. Thinking about the seven-night cruise to the Western Caribbean...

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Jul 6, 2003

Bahamas

For my fiancé’s birthday I decided to take her on a 3-night land/ 4-night cruise package. I will skip over the land portion since this is a cruise review. If you have any questions about the land portion please feel free to email me. Arriving at the port was fairly easy considering the resort gave me directions to the port. Dropping the luggage off

and going to park the car was easy and simple. We were told we would have to check in because our keys had expired that day because your hotel and stateroom key are usually the same. As it turns out they weren't expired and we wasted time waiting in the checking line when we could have been doing other things. When we boarded we went straight to the spa because you couldn't go to your room until 1:30 and I had heard the spa filled up quickly and that there was usually a line there before it even opened. Turns out we were the 2nd people in line and were able to get exactly what we wanted. After going and eating lunch at the buffet we relaxed by the pool for a while before the assembly meeting. The assembly meeting was a lot shorter than we expected but was very informative for if there was an emergency (everyone must attend this and they will call out your room numbers and each station area to make sure you are there). Next we went to the deck party where the staff got everyone to get up and dance to get you pumped up about the cruise. Characters came out for a little while and then before you realized it you had already been moving for a while. We ate at Triton's that night and the food was excellent. The wait staff was excellent as well. I encourage you to listen to what they recommend and if it sounds like something you might be interested in then to try it. I ate at least one of the different things the waiter recommended each night and my fiancé stated by the end of the cruise that I had ordered the best thing each night. After dinner we toured the ship a little before going to watch the "Welcome Aboard" show. They had a comedian named Gary Delaney. I don't know how long they planned to keep him on the ship, but he was a funny guy and if I was to hear of him being someplace around where I live I would go and see him again. After the show we went to look at the pictures that had been taken earlier. The ship has photographers all over the place that will take pictures throughout the day. They are of excellent quality and while they run from 10 to 20 dollars each they are worth it. They also have packages that you can buy that are so many photos for a certain price over the course of your trip. By the end of the trip we had bought about 10 photos, mostly of us with the characters. Before turning in for the night we went up to the pool again and relaxed in the hot tub before we encountered some rain. The next morning we awoke in Nassau. We had ordered a continental breakfast to be delivered to our room because we were too lazy to get up and go to one of the dinning areas. They do this in a fairly simple way I thought. The night before you go to bed you fill out this form that you hang on your doorknob and they will pick it up. The next morning they will bring whatever you ordered by during the time frame that you selected. And while you don't have to pay for this it is common courtesy to tip the person who brings it. After eating breakfast we had to meet in Wave Bands for our shore excursion. We did the stingray encounter since the dolphin encounter had been full. Also they now allow you to book in advance way before your cruise even starts and I recommend doing this if you want to get what you want. I did this once I found out it was possible. It is also one less thing to worry about when you first board the ship. We checked in and after everyone had arrived they discussed what our instructions were. We were guided from the ship to a ferryboat that took us to the Blue Lagoon. Along the way there were a few people trying to sell you things but we pretty much ignored them. There were some people selling bottle drinks right by the ferry and since we were told it was a 45 minute ride we figured it might be in our best interest to get a drink. As we found out they sold drinks on the ferry as well. Either way they were about the same price but I have a feeling the drinks on the ferry were a bit cooler. When we arrived at the Blue Lagoon we were told to meet at a certain area at a certain time to go and swim with the stingrays. Since we had some time we decided to go swimming for a little while in the nice blue water. The stingray encounter was fun but not what I had expected. I had expected a lot more contact with them but they were down about 10 feet and you had to wear a life jacket so it was hard to touch except for when a staff person brought one up, but then all the kids were pushing. Overall it was good but not great. We heard someone talking on the way back and they said that the dolphin encounter was good but that it didn't compare to Discovery Cove in Orlando. So if you want to swim with dolphins and enjoy it you may want to look into going there. We spent about an hour or so resting in our stateroom when we got back before going to dinner Animators Palate. Dinner was delicious once again and then we went and saw "Hercules the Museical". Another great show that is basically a stage show of the movie. That night they had a beach party up by the pool where we did some more dancing as the ship left the port. Since it was close to the 4th of July and they had done this then as well they said, they were nice enough to shoot of fireworks for us as we left the port. It was a nice show but didn't top what we had seen on the 4th at the Magic Kingdom. That night we headed down to Wave Bands just to see what was going on for '70s night. We came in to find them having a John Travolta impersonation contest which was quite amusing. They also had a "Queen of the Booty Shakers" contest that was funny as well. After staying there for a while we headed up to our room where we would dream of our day at Castaway Cay the next day. On Tuesday we woke up and got ready for our day at Castaway Cay. We figured we would stop by the breakfast buffet before we began our day on the island. My fiancé just wore her bathing suit with some shorts and shoes but the person at the door told us she would have to have a shirt to come in for breakfast so we decided just to skip it and begin our day. Getting off the ship we expected a lot of people to be our already on the island seeing as how it was about 9:30 or so, but there was hardly anyone. We stopped and had our pictures taken along the way to the adult beach with a couple of the characters and what not. When we got to the adult beach the tide was really low and we decided we would drag a few chairs out in the water to relax. This was very nice and you could see a few fish swimming. My fiancé was laying on a raft later on and when she happened to look over she noticed a sting ray swimming right for her and she flipped out even though she had just swam with them the day before. After relaxing in the water for most of the morning we had lunch on the island. It was the normal burger and things of that nature but it was good and it beat going all the way back to the ship for something else. We had our appointment at 2 to get our messages. This was what we had been looking forward to the most. Let me tell you that we had never had massages before but they felt excellent and the cabanas overlooking the beach were wonderful. They make you fill out a form asking you if you have problems with different things. I believe they basically use this information to try and sell you more stuff. For example, I marked that I had problems falling asleep sometimes and they recommended a lavender shower gel that cost $33. My thought was that I could go to Target or something and find some lavender shower gel for about $5 or less, so don’t let them talk you into something that you can buy elsewhere for much less. After our messages we headed back to the ship since that is what most people were doing and because we felt so tired after those wonderful massages. We stopped by the gift shop on the island on the way back and got a bunch of souvenirs for people back home. Buy anything you might think you want on the ship and on the island because most things you cannot find anywhere else. We ate dinner at Parrot Cay and then went to watch “Disney Dreams”. This is an excellent show and has won a few awards. I don’t want to spoil anything but keep your eye on tinker bell at the end. After the show we went to watch Gary Delaney do his adult comedy show and it was even funnier than the other. We stayed at Wave Bands following his show because ‘80s night was right after it. It started by some dancers coming out to Footloose and dancing to the song. Of course at one point they pulled some people out onto the floor and since my fiancé had wanted to sit in the front, one of the women choose me. It was pretty embarrassing considering I’m not the best dancer in the world. Of course after I got embarrassed my fiancé wanted to leave. Could this have been because she didn’t want something like that to happen to her? So we went back to the room and went to bed since both of us were pretty tired. The last day of our cruise was a day at sea. While this was nice we much rather had stayed at Castaway Cay for another day instead. One of the advantages to being at sea for a day was the fact that you could sleep in for a change if you wanted since you didn’t have to rush to get off of the boat or anything. We spent most of the day relaxing by the pool and getting in the hot tub. At 3 we had an appointment at the spa for the Surreal Bath. This is something nice for couples and it doesn’t cost too much. Basically a staff member takes you to the locker rooms where you undress and put on a robe. Then they take you to a private room where there is a tray of different products you can use. They explain what each one is used for and how it should be used. Also in this room is a sauna, where they have placed some red mud to cake yourself in. After explaining everything to you the staff member will leave you alone for approximately an hour for you to do whatever you care to past the time. You may use as much or as little of the products as you want and are free to do as you please. The staff member will comeback when your time is up and they will knock on the door to let you know. After this we relaxed by the pool some more and then headed back to our room to get ready for dinner. We ate at Triton’s again since you rotate restaurants each night and this was the first place we ate. We were given a special menu that is only given on certain nights and it was to die for. After dinner we went to watch the premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” This was a good movie and if you haven’t seen it I recommend you do so. When the movie was over with we went to the gift shops and picked up a few more things. We found some really nice picture frames that they had priced at 50% off. This was great for all of the pictures we had bought. Next we went pack to our stateroom to pack since the luggage had to be outside the door by 11pm. Even though we had everything packed on time my fiancé accidentally packed something that she needed and when she stepped back out to get it at a little after 11 it was already gone. So they really will be coming around quickly at 11 to take luggage. In the morning when it was time to leave, we really didn’t want to go. We ate breakfast in Triton’s since you eat breakfast in the restaurant that you ate dinner the night before. We wished the couple that we had ate with over the course of our trip a safe ride home. We told our wait staff good-bye and for some reason it was hard to leave them. They make you feel so comfortable and you come to know them so well and them you that when it is time to leave it is rather hard. After we said our goodbyes we disembarked, loaded up the car and drove home. It was a trip that we didn’t want to see end. It definitely was a Wonderful vacation and we our considering taking a 7-night Caribbean cruise for our honeymoon. First of I would recommend a Disney Cruise to anyone. Even though I hadn’t been on a cruise before this was definitely a great experience. Everyone on the ship makes you feel special and comfortable. There is always something going on for everyone so there is never a time when you are bored. If you are a Disney fan or just someone looking for a fun cruise, then this is the cruise for you. Sure you might think there are going to be lots of children running around that are going to drive you mad and we expected this a little as well but as we found out, you are so busy doing things that you hardly notice them. Here are a few tips that I would recommend if you were going on a Disney Cruise. 1. Book any shore excursions you may want to take in advance by calling the number on the Disney Cruise website or booking online. 2. Have all of your cruise information filled out before you go to check in. This makes things go a lot smoother and it helps to speed up the line. We had quite a few people who hadn’t done this and it caused the line to take a lot longer then some of the others. 3. Make sure you have a birth certificate or passport. This is required for everyone I believe including little children. If you use a birth certificate you must also have photo ID such as a driver’s license. Children I do not believe must have ID if they are with a parent, but check on this before you leave to drive to the port. Your travel agent should know or call the cruise line yourself. 4. Advice to parents, your children are given charging privileges with their key to the world when you check in. If you don’t want them to have this you can have them remove it at check in. I would recommend doing this simply because they could charge anything at anytime. We saw some kids who thought smoothies were part of the drink package and when they found out it wasn’t the man told them that one of them had charging privileges and was asking if it was ok for them to use it and they really had no clue but told him yes. So play it safe and just take it off, if they really need something they can get you. 5. Get to the spa early when you board if you want an appointment because they do fill up rather quickly, especially the massages on the ship and on the island. I believe they opened at 2 on boarding day. 6. Do express checkout it will make things much easier when you go to leave. 7. Lastly, HAVE FUN!!!!!

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May 11, 2003

Bahamas

We just returned home today from our first Disney cruise. All in all it was a great experience! We had a room with a verandah which was well worth the extra money. Our 2 ½ year old son enjoyed watching the ever changing “watee”. (There’s plexi-glass on the inside so even a monkey could not possibly climb over.) We enjoyed spending the day as a family, but fed our son an early dinner and he then spent the evening in the “toy

room” (Flounder’s Reef). The staff at Flounder’s Reef was excellent. He looked forward to his visits. Each night he just walked in the door and waved goodbye. His happiness with the caregivers allowed us to steal a few minutes alone for a nice dinner with adult conversation. The food at Tritons and the Animator’s Palate was excellent, but Parrot Cay was not really on the same level. Unfortunately, we did not make it to Palo’s. We liked that we were moved between restaurants each night as you often times miss out if you stick with the basic buffet fare just because it’s easy. We also enjoyed having our servers move with us. They were great! Castaway Cay was absolutely the best! On our cruise, day 4 was “a day at sea”. We would have much preferred a second day here as it was great fun and the boat is very crowded when there’s no where else to go. For those who did not like Nassau… whatever you do, don’t go to Jamaica! It is 10 times worse there. Strollers are available from guest services on a 1st-come/1st-serve basis and make getting around Nassau and Castaway Cay MUCH easier with little ones. If you plan to bring a stroller, keep in mind that the rooms are small. I’d stick to an umbrella stroller for buzzing around the ship. We only have one suggestion for future guests: 1) They service your room throughout the day (replacing used linens and providing turndown service, etc..) so either put the “privacy” hanger on the door or put away your “unmentionables” before stepping out. And, we only have a couple of suggestions for Disney: 1) Tell people, up front, that if their child is not potty trained, that they will not be able to get in any pool even with a “little swimmer” swim diaper that is acceptable in every other pool in the world! It’s hard to explain to a little one that he can’t swim when he sees other kids swimming. NOTE: There is no “kiddie pool” of any kind on this ship. 2) If guests are to be expected to book every single excursion/spa treatment as soon as they walk onto the ship, it would be great to have the “personal navigator” info up front so that you know, in advance, that the daycare will be closed in the middle of the day before you book something that falls within their “off hours” and then have to pay a 50% cancellation fee. These were just tiny little issues that will certainly not keep us from coming back or from telling our friends to go, it was just a 95% WONDER-ful cruise instead of 100% WONDER-ful cruise. However, compared to the reviews we read for the other cruise lines, we think that we made a GREAT choice!

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Feb 27, 2003

Bahamas

My husband Kim and I sailed with friends on the 3-night Disney Wonder cruise for a midwinter break. We chose the short cruise due to personal time constraints, and for the same reason did not add any days at Walt Disney World. Although I had high expectations, they were actually surpassed. Despite the fact that we have no children, we thoroughly enjoyed this very family-friendly cruise, and I would highly recommend it for a family vacation.

The of great ocean liners of the past, but with the inevitable Disney touches. (Look for lots of “hidden Mickeys” in the décor!) The color scheme is somewhere between the restful pastels and earthtones of Princess and NCL and the wild, dark colors of Carnival. The 3-story atrium boasts an attractive double staircase and an overhead glass sculpture that I am guessing might be by Chihuly. The ship is long and low, nearly as long as the much larger Explorer of the Seas, allowing for lots of per-passenger space. Cabins are larger than most, being designed for families; the smallest of them hold 3 people each, and many hold up to 6. There are a lot of balcony cabins, and a few large suites. Ours was a category 6 balcony cabin on deck 6, and we found it spacious, with far more storage space than the two of us needed. The cabin bathrooms are unique split-bath arrangements – one tiny room holding the toilet and a sink, and the other holding a tub/shower and sink, convenient for multiple people to use. One caveat: the bathrooms are so small that a very heavy person might have some difficulty using them. Disney Wonder has two theaters – the main one, Walt Disney Theater, at the bow is used for the evening stage shows, and the Buena Vista Theater, near the stern, for movies and also for a smaller “matinee” stage show catering to children. Deck 5 is almost half children’s area, with a nursery, a large Oceaneer Club room for the younger children, and another large Oceaneer Lab room for the older children. Both were wonderfully furnished with all sorts of fun things – climbing areas resembling Captain Hook’s pirate ship, child-size Disney character figures, computer monitors and big-screen video games, etc. Teens have their own hangout too, a cozy “coffeeshop” pub-like room called Common Grounds, located near one of the pools on deck 9. There are a couple shops offering Disney souvenirs and more upscale clothing and jewelry, plus a duty free shop in the adult area. Three pools grace the next-to-top deck, one for children only, one for families, and one for adults only. They are separated by superstructure to allow for privacy and different noise levels – well designed layout, I thought. Hot tubs are found in the family and adults areas too. Adult lounges for evening entertainment are located off a winding hallway called Route 66, designed to remind one of the old road – a map of the route is in the carpet pattern, and “billboards” and scenic murals line the walls, with a pretty blue sky painted on the ceiling. The scenery changes as the road goes “west.” We are not late-night people and did not frequent the lounges, but it looks like there is something for most tastes – a disco lounge, a quieter one for jazz or other music, and a comedy one as well. Other public areas include a small internet center (in one end of the Promenade Lounge), gym and spa, an inventively-designed sports bar in the fake “smokestack” on the top deck, and a wraparound teak promenade deck with some really intriguing “scenery” up at the bow end (the huge winches that hold the ship’s lines). For walkers, once around is ¼ mile. In addition to the buffet area on the pool deck (deck 9), there are 3 main restaurants and an alternate, adults-only restaurant, Palo, available by reservation only. (Better reserve early; I overheard several people on the first full day of the cruise say they had been disappointed to learn that there was already a waiting list for it.) As with traditional cruises, one is assigned either early or late seating at a particular table, but the resemblance stops there. Each passenger is also assigned a restaurant rotation schedule – one night in each of the 3 main restaurants – with the same table number and wait staff rotating along with you. We were lucky to have our rotation begin with Parrot Cay, the Caribbean-themed restaurant, then progress to Triton’s, the more traditional, formal-appearing one for the dressy night of the cruise, and end with Animator’s Palate, a show in itself! As we were only there for 3 nights, and were with friends who had children, we opted not to eat in Palo’s. Besides, I had heard a lot about Parrot Cay is painted in bright Caribbean pastels, and the waiters do a parade partway through the meal, with lots of cheering, clapping, napkin-swinging and fun. Dinner was accompanied by a steel band. Triton’s has white tablecloths and quiet classical, light jazz and Disney movie music in the background. Animator’s Palate was my favorite; the only problem was, the room puts on such a show by itself, it distracts you from the food! For those who are not particularly comfortable with formal nights, Disney’s short cruises are much less formal than most. The dress code for each night is “recommended” only – for Triton’s, it is jacket & tie for men and dresses or pantsuits for ladies – but there were plenty of people in their polos and khakis at dinner that night. I saw only a few suits and dressy ladies’ outfits. As with most other cruise lines, the usual “resort casual” dress code is maintained for dinner, with jeans and shorts frowned upon in the dining rooms (though not expressly forbidden, especially for young children.) Most ships belonging to the major cruise lines are kept clean and well-maintained, but Disney puts a little extra effort into this as well. As an example, on other cruises I have sometimes noticed the restrooms in the public areas (near the theater, restaurants, etc.) being a little “used” looking, not quite as clean as the ones in the cabins are usually kept. Not so here – clean as a whistle! Food: I had heard that the quality of the food on the Disney ships left something to be desired, but I am not sure what that might be! I was very pleased with everything – quality, preparation, presentation, taste, quantity. Although not everything was absolutely perfect, I was not disappointed in more than one dish the entire time. Children can order from their own menu, which features things like hot dogs, pizza, macaroni & cheese, even peanut butter & jelly, or they can choose from the adults’ menu. Each restaurant has its own fixed menu, different from the others, somewhat in keeping with each theme, but also offering old standbys for the less adventurous. One can try exotic things like escargots, or stick with old favorites like prime rib and steak (which I heard were really good.) The sea bass was excellent, as was the gazpacho and the cold avocado soup. Desserts were uniformly fantastic! The layout of the buffet leads to big lines in the morning – if you want something besides eggs, sausage/bacon, etc. and fruit, be sure to go past the main line to other stations which feature sweet rolls, muffins, cereal, and “Mickey” waffles. There is lots of seating inside and outside for the buffet area. As it is located on the pool deck, one can also take food from there to the tables by the pools. In addition, there are pizza, hot dogs, burgers & chicken sandwiches, and soft ice cream stations by the pools. A small area at one corner of the children’s pool offers free water, ice tea and lemonade (and the lemonade is good!) There is a soft drink “card” program – actually a sticker placed on one’s ship card – which seemed pretty reasonable, $15 for the 3-night cruise. An additional $5 bought a mug to use for it, to lessen the number of refills needed. For kids who drink a lot of pop, a good idea. For those interested, Disney offers several wine “packages” for dinner; our table tried one and was pleased with the selections offered, and also the price. (The least expensive package was $70 for the 3-night cruise, and included several options – even champagne.) Entertainment: In my opinion, the quality of the show casts was the best I have seen on any cruise. The shows are, of course, Disney-inspired, so they have appeal to all members of the family. A little adult humor mixed in gives the parents some laughs (not off-color, but references to things adults might be aware of more than children), and the Disney characters are immensely appealing to the children. A few special effects add even more. And the entertainment is very family-friendly, as one might expect. No need to worry about whether a show is appropriate for the kids to see! The Disney characters are in abundance throughout the cruise, with frequent personal appearances for picture-taking, greetings and autographs. The kids just love them – hugs and smiles and giggles all around. Not just Mickey and Minnie, but Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Chip & Dale, Capt. Hook, Wendy, Belle – and more, make appearances, wander through the kids’ areas and the hallways, and show up on the private island as well. Lines are long for the picture sessions. I appreciated that the ship’s photographers didn’t try to hog all the good shots, and were very tolerant of the parents and grandparents who wanted to take pictures of the kids & characters on their own cameras. As previously mentioned, we are not late-night people and did not see any of the lounge acts. We met the “dueling pianos” comedians on the private island and they seemed quite personable, but I am sorry to say, we missed their show as we had to spend that evening packing! Service: In general, excellent! On an individual basis, we were especially pleased with our waiter (Mark, from the Philippines) and assistant waiter (Martin, from Jamaica). They went above and beyond to fill some special requests, and remained friendly and pleasant the entire cruise, even the last morning at breakfast, when on some other cruises we have encountered perfunctory service. The staff at the guest relations (purser’s) office were pleasant and patient too, as well as helpful. I never saw a surly expression on any member of the staff. The captain was very accessible – we saw him several times in the public areas, and he always greeted us with a smile and “good morning/evening”. I enjoyed watching him squat down to talk for several minutes one on one with a small boy, while the parents watched happily. When we arrived onboard at the start of the cruise, a staffer asked our name, and the next thing we knew, over the loudspeaker we heard, “Please welcome… the Knowlton family!” Crew members in the atrium all applauded. What a nice beginning – and just the first aspect of making us feel like special guests. Children I think were made to feel even more honored, and I could tell they were happy – the entire 3 days I think I heard perhaps 3 children cry. (And there were hundreds of kids onboard, of course!) Ports: As much has been written in other reviews about Nassau, I will not add to it. I did not get off the ship in Nassau, having been there only a few months previous, and wanting to get better acquainted with the ship. Kim and our friends took the catamaran snorkel excursion and enjoyed it a great deal. Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, is a delight. Its biggest advantage is probably the dock – every other private island requires tendering, but not this one! Disney touches are everywhere. In keeping with the “castaway” theme, the buildings on the island all look rundown and weathered, though they are really in fine shape. Building materials appear to be corrugated metal (roofs), weathered wood and plain-jane fixtures, as if they were built of flotsam. There are shops, 4 sets of restrooms, several bars, and a set of large shelters for the picnic that is served on the island. Activities aplenty include parasailing, banana boats, snorkeling, tube & float rentals, bike riding, paddleboat rentals, etc. The children’s area has planned activities, including a treasure hunt and an “archeological dig.” Teens have a separate area of the beach with a game room; Serenity Bay is an adults-only area quite a distance from the family and teen beaches, and a tram that runs between all the sections of the island. The white-sand beach is very clean, with lots of shade trees and umbrellas, plenty of lounge chairs and a few hammocks (get there early if you want the latter!) The island picnic, brought off the ship, was tasty, if not gourmet; our favorite part was the fresh papaya and mango! (The lobster burgers were pretty good too.) Between banana boats, Disney character greetings, bike rides, and enjoying the beach and the water, our day there went much too fast. Summary/Recommendations: For families, especially those with smaller children, who want to enjoy a cruise, there is none better. Disney Cruise Line makes everyone feel like a special guest, and the crew give the kind of service that make you feel they are happy to have you aboard. The food is, in my opinion, good to excellent, and entertainment ranges from very good to spectacular. Cabins are larger than most, and designed for family use, with plenty of storage, and the ability for 2 people to use bathroom facilities at the same time. There are more than enough activities for every member of the family. The children’s program is extra special, I think - our friend’s 8-year-old was so happy with the kids’ program that he practically had to be pried away, and supervision seemed to be plentiful, and pleasant for the kids. For those without children, this is also a wonderful cruise – as long as you expect there to be many children around. There are places for adults to go without feeling like there are a lot of kids underfoot – the adult lounges, the promenade deck, one’s balcony, Serenity Bay, Palo – but if one is happiest cruising with mostly other adults, then choosing another cruise line will bring better results. In summary, I highly recommend the Disney Wonder, whether added to several days at Disney World or by itself, as a family-friendly, pampering, fun experience for both adults and children. Expect to pay somewhat more than on other major cruise lines, but the extra cost will be given back to you in service and the Disney ambience and attention to detail.

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Feb 9, 2003

BahamasRead the Cullen

Read the Cullen review and I think the problem with their cruise was the Cullens. We traveled on a 4 day cruise with 7 adults and 5 kids with the ages ranging from 2 to 74. My overall rating was 12 out of 10. The kids were treated like gold and the wait staff were genuine. The dining experiences were fun and the food was good. The Disney Characters were very

patient and wonderful with the children. There were a lot of 3 generation families on our cruise and it was great to watch them pose for pictures before dinner. And there were couples with out kids. There was not a lot of late nite partying and the bars were not full. Castaway Cay is truly a treasure, but staying on the Wonder would have been preferential to getting off at Freeport and Nassau. For our family, it was a trip of a lifetime. Our only regret was that it wasn't a 7 day cruise. The Wonder has a lot to offer and 4 days wasn't enough.

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Jan 30, 2003

Bahamas

My first comment is that Disney has the best embarkation / disembarkation system in the business. We were coming off a week at Disney World which ended on a Thursday. Instead of going back home to a cold hard slap in the face reality of a New York City winter, we decided to extend our vacation for 3 more days by trying a 3 night Disney Cruise on the Wonder.

5 stars all the way! Be our guest! Let me tell you that the food was spectacular and eating at the adult only Palo's was amazing! Everything far exceeded our expectations. After having sailed on Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas 4 months ago, the food on the Disney Wonder was definitely an upgrade. I'm not going to say that the food on Royal Caribbean was bad; no it was good but not on Disney’s level. We had previously sailed on Celebrity Century which also had amazing food. On Disney the food consisted of items such as sea bass, rack of lamb, warm shrimp salad, and chocolate soufflé! Oh yes! The chocolate soufflé! I could go on and on. I hear people say that they would be bored on a cruise and that the food is just too much. That they would gain too much weight. Well based on the people feeding their facing on this ship, everyone was having a great time. And ladies and gentleman, my wife and I ate a lot at Disney World and the Disney Cruise over an 11 day period and we lost weight. We swam, we walked, and we ran all the way to the buffet line and still didn’t gain a pound. So Hakuna Matata! I just have to say that this cruise was perfect. On our flight home, we tried to find something we weren’t happy about but we came up emptier than Pooh’s honey pot after one of his rumbly tumbly binges. Yes, you have the occasional idiot who just has to complain about something..the sun’s too hot or the pool water is too wet! People who just want attention. Those people should just stay home! I'm sure you've seen these people. We had a navigator's balcony cabin the 6th floor which much larger than our cabin on RCCL Monarch of the Seas, 119 square feet as compared to 268 square feet on the Wonder. We had a lot of room for the 3 of us. Myself, my wife and 3 year old. The kid's club was great. My daughter loved it and we felt very comfortable with her safety and the fact that they had lots of fun things for her to do. Nassau/Paradise Island were much nicer than I expected. I had heard a lot of negative things about it. The beaches are very beautiful. The one thing I did notice was that the people are not friendly. Not friendly at all! They gave off the impression that they could care less if I bought anything and really did make an effort. There are many places where vendors pressure you to buy their stuff but at least they do it with a smile. The Dig at the Atlantis resort is something worth seeing eventhough its $25 to see it. I only wish I could have used their swimming pools and slides. Castaway Cay is very beautiful and relaxing. I'd love to go back when the water is warner. I think it was about 70 on February 1, 2003. We did swim in the water eventhough it was a little chilly. The BBQ and the characters running around make it a wonderful day. It's also great that the ship can dock right on the island and you don't have to use tenders. I can see Disney doing something more with this island than just a cruise ship stop. We saw families, couples and even some singles. This cruise targets families but everyone is invited to have a great time. I truly encourage everyone to cruise and after cruising on Disney I would have to say that you would have to be more miserable than Uncle Scar to not have a great time. Actually we did have on problem with the cruise. It was only a 3 night and not a 7 night. We could have eaten at Palo's a second time!

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Jun 9, 2002

Bahamas

Alex Are you thinking about taking a cruise? Let me just say, this cruise is DEFINITELY amazing. As soon as you see it at Port Canaveral, you will get goosebumps. The ship is absolutely beautiful. Cape Canaveral Cape Canaveral is the city the ship leaves from. It is not that spectacular, but it does have some great things to visit such as the NASA space center. The Ship The Disney Wonder is truly beautiful. As soon as you walk

in you realize how new and how spectacular it is. The top deck is where you can find the pools and bars. Other decks have a movie theater, and the Walt Disney Theater which is used for live shows. There is no casino, but no one seemed to miss it. Nassau Nassau is not what it is always made out to be. It is pretty in some spots, yet sad in others. The people of the Bahamas do not all live such a privileged life. But many parts of the city are amazing such as the Atlantis Hotel, but it is VERY crowded and shops are VERY expensive. The Blue Lagoon is a great place to visit, and the dolphin encounters are alot of fun. Overall, Nassau is a great place to visit, but maybe only once. Castaway Cay WOW!! Castaway Cay (pronounced key) is really a great island! A lot to do, such as biking, water sports, peddle boats, great food, and so much more! Castaway Cay (AGAIN) The folks at Disney are so nice that since it rained the first day we were at the Cay, it rained. So they took us right back the day we were scheduled to be at sea. How nice! Overall We had a WONDERful time. It was probably the best trip we have been on. Make that definately. Although people criticize the ship, saying the food is not that great, it really is good! You have so many options, I guess the skeptics just got lost looking for what they wanted. The service was terrific, always attentive and always helpful. Don’t wait to book your cruise, these ships fill up fast! And also be sure to get a balcony stateroom, because that truly made everything perfect!! Next time we need to book a 7 night cruise on the Magic! Enjoy your cruise!!

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Apr 4, 2002

Nassau, Bahamas and Castaway Cay

This was our first cruise and if it is any gauge of cruising in general, sign me up for the next one. We had a wonderful time (with some extremely minor annoyances). I was traveling with my wife and two children (ages 9 and 13) and a neighboring family. We had to wait a little while to board the ship due to heightened security, but once onboard found the rooms (inside stateroom) immaculate and actually quite roomy. Each child had their own bed (but

fought over the upper bunk). Our cabin person was great and very helpful. Our servers at meals were super and actually picked up on our kids likes and dislikes very quickly. This was our first cruise and it was even better than we expected. Should’ve known Disney never does anything just "normal"! My children, ages 13 and 10, were so entertained, they never wanted to be with us! Awesome counselors that make you feel totally comfortable leaving your kids with. The food is absolutely wonderful! We did the 3-day cruise and do not for the life of me know how you keep from gaining 300 lbs on a 7-cruise. I have one picky eater and of course there is the separate menu for them. The next cruise will definitely be the 4 day or 7. Three days goes by too, too fast! The ship is spotless and the crew has got to be the friendliest people on earth! Never once went by a crew member where they didn’t smile and say "Hi, how are you?" We were in the cheapest possible stateroom and was still very well pleased! My only regret is that we didn’t do this kind of trip sooner! And, I don’t think we will be so brave as to try another cruise line, even when our kids are grown and gone. Adults love this cruise ship as much as the kids do! My kids didn’t want to leave on the last day. They were teary-eyed and I was right there feeling the same way! This was worth every penny we spent!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Feb 10, 2002

Bahamas

The ship was beautiful and well designed. Shops were nice and the dining rooms excellent. We did Palo’s one night and found the food and service to be great. Activities were fine and the shows were super. My 13 year old ran the ship unescorted most of the time. The 9 year old actually begged us to let her stay in the Oceaneer’s Club. The pools were clean and the ship was extremely well kept. The characters

seemed to always be around somewhere and opportunities for photographs were plentiful. The ports of call (Nassau and Freeport) left much to be desired, but we found ways to be entertained. Disney’s private island was the best part and I had to be removed kicking and screaming when it came time to get back on the boat. (The adult beach was one of the finest I have ever been on; starfish, manta rays, a barracuda and angel fish all swam in the crystal clear water). I truly wish that Disney would consider more than a day on this island and dump Freeport as a port of call. Minor annoyances consisted of the pools being closed on the last night as we headed back to Port Canaveral, the kids being chased out of the pool so that a private party for one of the youth groups could take place and one extremely rude cast member while we were loading on the buses back to the airport after the cruise. Other than that, every other person affiliated with Disney was considerate and helpful well above that required. We had spent three days before this at Disney World and when I asked the family if they wanted to go back to the parks or on another Disney Cruise, the cruise won hands down. We will be considering the seven day cruise next time.

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Jan 20, 2002

Bahamas

We just returned from the most WONDERFUL cruise of my life. My fiancé and I were married on Castaway Cay with 10 family members in attendance. The Disney ship was VERY clean and the service was excellent. Disney pampered our whole party. My husband and I had a category 3 one-bedroom suite and it was very luxurious. My sister and her family had a category 4 Family stateroom and it was more than big enough for the 4 of them. The rest of the party had

inside staterooms (category 10) and they were very pleased as well. I HIGHLY recommend Palo's restaurant. Make your reservation for the Parrot Cay night. Parrot Cay was the least desirable of the 3 restaurants in the rotation. The shows were excellent as were the children's activities. On the Wedding note: Disney handled EVERY detail while providing me with many choices for flowers, cake, etc.. I HIGHLY recommend Disney for a Cruise Wedding!

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Dec 13, 2001

3 day cruise

We understand that the Disney Cruise Line cannot control the security of Nassau, but we suggest that educating its guests before they choose to go ashore would be appropriate. We would further recommend that a different port of call would be more appropriate for a family based clientele. We returned to our stateroom to prepare for our vow renewal. I ordered a bottle of sparkling wine in order to toast with my wife on our private balcony.

She began to change clothes as I opened the privacy drapes to the balcony. I was angered to find a wet paint sign and shocked to see men on a scaffold looking back at my wife (half undressed) and I. So much for a private romantic toast. The railing was covered with fresh urethane that made the balcony unusable. This certainly did not qualify as “more personal space than you would expect on a cruise ship.” Why was the ship being painted with guests on board? The cruise line cannot afford to take out of service for a few days in the off-season for regular maintenance? Marianna of guest services then escorted us to our vow renewal ceremony with Captain Tom. The ceremony was very intimate and the Captain very cordial and professional. At the conclusion of the ceremony, we chose to have dinner as a family and “savor the magic” at our scheduled table at Animator’s Pallet, rather than split up and go to Palo’s. Guest services were to deliver the wedding cake as dessert to our table and the collectable cake top and remaining cake was to go to our stateroom. Animator’s Pallet was visually outstanding. The service was attentive but rushed, and the food was fair. The beef was overcooked and chewy. I’m not sure that I would call it a “deliciously different dining experience.” The cake never arrived until we had completed our dinner, including dessert. The section headwaiter apologized and stated that it would be present at our next dinner. I advised him that some of it was to go to our stateroom as late night snack. We changed up and decided that we would attend the family beach party on the pool deck that started at nine-thirty. By about 10:15PM our children were exhausted and we returned to our stateroom. We found all of our renewal package items in the room, except for the cake and cake top. We went to sleep hoping that Castaway Cay would make up for an awful day in Nassau. We awoke the next morning to a view of Castaway Cay, a truly beautiful location. My wife and I were scheduled for a morning massage on the beach and we chose to place our children in childcare for the roughly two hours that we would need to be alone. We told the children that they would be together and the schedule indicated sand castle building and fun noodles. The kids thought that would be great. They love to make sand castles and play by the ocean. We began our “carefree day in paradise”, checked the children in, and enjoyed our 10:30AM massage. I then attempted to purchase a soda at the bar and was advised that they were out. We returned approximately two hours later and found our children having lunch…at different tables. My daughter was sitting alone and pouting and three little boys were jumping on my son as he tried to eat. We then picked up our children as my son sang “Alleluia” and my daughter started crying that they (the counselors) wouldn’t let her sit with her brother and a little boy spat food at her. I chose not to tell her that according to the Disney Cruise Line she was “dining island style”. We also found out that the only water the kids had seen was from a hose being squirted at them to cool them down. My children were also not allowed to remove their tee shirts and shorts in order to get wet in their bathing suits that they were wearing underneath. In other words, they were required to get wet in their clothes instead of their bathing suits. We then decided to snorkel but were unable to see any fish due to the sand being kicked up near the shore. I did swim out approximately 200 yards and discovered fish. However, that distance was far too great for our children to swim. The money spent on rentals was wasted. We contemplated returning to the ship, but instead decided to relax on the beach and do some swimming. We ended our day with a banana boat ride and returned to the ship. Once onboard the children enjoyed the Mickey pool and we enjoyed a cocktail from Sampson, and charming and friendly bartender. He explained that there was no soda left but provided us with excellent margaritas. No soda again? Why? We attended our final dinner at Parrot Cay intending to enjoy some “tantalizing Caribbean dishes” and again were disappointed by the food. I requested prime rib medium and it was cooked beyond the point of well done and was chewy and non-consumable. Perhaps it was the communication problem with our waiter that caused the error? My wife had a seafood dish which caused her vomit for most of the remaining evening as I packed for an unexpected 11PM luggage pickup and 9AM debarkation. At the conclusion of our dessert. There was another attempt to serve us our wedding cake that was now a day old. We never did receive our collectable cake top that we purchased with our wedding package. The 9AM Sunday debarkation was unexpected as we were scheduled for a 4PM flight and anticipated an 11AM check out as is common at hotels. We ended up touring the Orlando International Airport for our final day of vacation. I don’t think that the cruise should even be called a “three day “cruise considering that we were brought to the ship at 2 PM on Friday and were required to leave at 9AM on Sunday. We subscribe to the philosophy that if one presents a problem or complaint, one should also offer a solution to that problem or complaint. We recommend the following: 1. This was our first Cruise and we found it very difficult to obtain the necessary information to plan our activities onboard and ashore. A catalogue in each stateroom listing services such as that found in hotels would be a great help for future first timers. 2. The ship is beautiful but maintenance should not interfere with the passengers’ comfort or privacy. The ship should be out of service when maintenance is required. 3. Better information on ports of call regarding safety and security and better security for Disney guests while ashore is needed, not just disclaimers to protect the company’s financial interests. More pleasurable and safer ports of call should also be considered for future cruises. 4. Improved food and food services are needed. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza are nice but cannot be the foundation of cuisine for a cruise ship. 5. More activities for kids and parents together are required. Vacations are supposed to be for the whole family, not a place to dump the kids and do your own thing. The result is that many school-aged children are running around unsupervised on the ship. We expected our experience on the Disney Cruise to be the high light of our vacation where we would be treated to outstanding food, service and entertainment for the whole family. We expected a “one of a kind vacation of enchantment and romance.” “A carefree vacation of fun and relaxation.” We expected to experience “a kind of enchantment as limitless and surprising as the sea itself” and to take home “memories that we’d cherish for a lifetime.” Instead, we were shuffled around and rushed. We were unknowingly placed in harms way and exposed to an unhealthy environment. We had our privacy invaded, our taste buds tortured, our children neglected and our hard earned wages wasted. The cruise certainly was as “surprising as the sea itself “and did provide “memories that will last a lifetime.” Unfortunately, the surprise is that the memories are not good ones. If our cruise experience is common for a passenger on the Wonder, then I it’s a wonder that it continues to have passengers. Based on our experience, we have renamed your ship the Wish…Wish we had spent our time and money elsewhere. Sincerely, William J. Cullen Sharon A. Cullen

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Sep 6, 2001

Nassau/Castaway Cay

Melinda Boyd My husband, 6 year old daughter and myself just returned from 3 day cruise aboard Disney Wonder. This was our 5th cruise, my daughter's first.  This was without a doubt the best cruise ship we have been on.  The service was excellent, all of the staff were friendly.  The children's programs were very well planned, just not enough time to take full advantage of them.  Food was good. A lot of adult only activities

also.  Definitely want to go again but next time for a longer period of time.

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May 3, 2001

Bahamas

This time it was not so wonderful. Our deluxe cabin bathroom was not working properly. I told the kids, no problem. They fix things with a smile. They sent a plumber. It was not fixed. They sent him again. He could not fix it. He was not happy about coming a 3rd time. I asked to be moved to another cabin with a good bathroom. A lady with a different uniform than the room steward was summoned to hear the problem. She had self- importance

written all over her face. I was a bit surprised. That's not the face I was looking for. She did what I think was a self-introduction, but I could not hear her well. I still don't know who she was. She said we will move you but the room will probably be an inside room. A downgrade. I asked why. She said she knew she had some room availability but she did not know what. I told her I did prefer a cabin with a window. That's what we paid for. I wanted the kids to be able to see the ocean. I asked if there would be any compensation if we were given a downgraded room. She said it's entirely up to guest services if they want to find you the same type of room you have now. It was not the answer that I was looking for. The smile was definitely missing and the Disney Wonder was definitely a different kind of ship than the Disney Magic. I was getting a little bit upset at this point. I told her I did not like that answer and I expected the same kind of room that I paid for. She did not seem to care. She left. Never did see a smile. After a long time, She did move us to a room with a window. It was the second worst room on the ship. Directly over the comedy lounge where we could hear the stomping and the show till the wee hours. Not much sleep for us on that cruise. I gave up and said to my kids lets just get through this and we won't visit this ship again. We all believe she did that on purpose. She was so arrogant. The guest services person who gave me the key to the new room printed our names over some previous names on the card. This was a sloppy touch. How much could it have hurt to make new cards? He was indifferent. My daughter wanted to keep her card. She didn't. The second nightmare came at dinner. The drink server lost his smile when we told him we did not drink alcohol. He ignored us the rest of the evening and concentrated on the people who ordered alcohol. He left our soda's on the station where he was working until the ice was pretty much water. We asked him again for the sodas and he actually brought us those watered down ones. Our female server changed them. The next night was the same. I must say here that our female server was wonderful. She engaged the kids in conversation and she was genuinely interested. She did a great job. We made a special trip the morning we left the ship to give her an extra tip. We did not go to the dining room the third night because we had had enough of the drink server. We went to the buffet instead. At the shipboard party on deck, they were serving wonderful desserts. My son and I went and were excited about sampling them. I wanted to just use a napkin for a chocolate cake like pastry, but the server insisted that I had to take a plate and fork. I told him I preferred a napkin and he looked a bit irritated. Hard day maybe, but I am old enough to chose between a napkin and a plate. Castaway Cay was real nice as before. The kids loved it. It was the highlight of this cruise. I recommend the Disney Magic. The shows were so nice. The actors played their hearts out. The staff actually enjoyed the guests. It was much more organized.

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Feb 11, 2001

Bahamas

This being my first cruise, I was very nervous that I would forget something or not be prepared for what I was about to see and do. First, the information Disney provided was very informative. All the documents were clear and I had them prepared well ahead of time. Checking in was easy. There were TV's and a replica ship for us to enjoy. Minnie also posed for pictures before we boarded. I was traveling with my 3 year old son and he was

very excited. We were brought in to a wonderful buffet and I soon asked if our cabin was ready because my son was wiped out from the trip. The room was beautiful. A queen bed, sofa, table, and a good size veranda with two chairs. We took a short nap and then signed up for the children’s activities and took part in the short drill. Dinner was at the animators palate. What a nice dinner show. My son loved all the colors. The food was good and the service was near perfect. We decided to catch a movie that night. Second day we were in Nassau. Shopping was good, but we chose to head back early to take part in the activities on the ship. The best day was in Castaway Cay. It was a beautiful day. The water was just slightly chilly, but we, along with most people, spent several hours in the water. Lunch was a buffet and it was plentiful. Disney characters were also greeting the children and having a dance party on the beach. Drinks were good but expensive. You didn't need money on this island, as always, the room card was your method of payment for shirts, drinks, etc. The island was full of shells. My son and I collected many shells to bring home. After returning home, my son repeatedly asked when we were going again, so I have booked cruise 2 on the Wonder for December!

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Feb 11, 2001

4-Night Bahamas

First of all, let me say that this was one of the best vacations I have ever taken.  Everything went very smoothly, including the flights to Orlando, the transfers to Port Canaveral and the cruise itself. As a single mom traveling with a six year old son, I was a little nervous about safety, etc... but once on board the ship, I soon found out I had nothing at all to worry about!  My son absolutely loved the children's program and begged

to stay late every night to watch the movie with his new friends.  This gave me plenty of time to relax and be with "adults" while I knew my child was well taken care of. The highlight of the cruise was definitely Castaway Cay where my son and friends built sandcastles on pristine beaches while I sat on a lounge chair under an umbrella, sipped cool drinks and caught up on some reading. The nightly shows were fabulous, especially on the last night which definitely should not be missed and there were plenty of opportunities to visit with the Disney characters who showed great patience throughout the cruise during countless photo sessions and autograph signings. The only negative I can think of is the quality of food.  I have been on many other cruise lines who offered much, much better food.  But that is not why we took this cruise and it shouldn't stop anyone from taking it either.  The food is adequate, my son loved the children's menu and I was happy to actually take a cruise and NOT gain the usual five pounds! ***Overall this cruise was a wonderful experience and we will be taking the same one again next year.  We did not combine it with the Disney World segment because I thought that might be a little too much and I still think I am right.  My son refers to our cruise as "Paradise" and I must say I agree with him wholeheartedly!!!

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Oct 20, 2000

Bahamas

Service: Excellent. My wife and I were truly impressed by the service throughout our entire Disney experience. Food: The Dinners were good, sometimes excellent. Breakfast was very good. The lunch and snakes were adequate. Cabin: Very nice. My wife and I had one of the cheaper cabins, but it was very nice. Ample space, very clean, and comfortable. Entertainment: Disney's private island was the highlight of our trip. We enjoyed the

snorkeling and laying out on the uncrowded, adult-only, beach. I wasn't impressed with Nassau at all. If you like being attacked by locals who want to braid your hair and sell you dope, this is the place for you. The on-ship entertainment could have been improved. Some of the shows had a very amateur feel. Overall, we had a very enjoyable experience and can recommend it to others.

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Jun 29, 2000

Nassau, Castaway Cay

On to the cruise. We got a category 7 stateroom, with a navigator's verandah, which I highly recommend. It's practically the same as a category 6, at hundreds less. The same size and dimensions, which were ample. We all thought the food at all the restaurants was exceptional, much better than we had anticipated, based on previous reviews we had read. We didn't realize until the last day, however, that room service was a totally free option,

which we could have happily used for breakfast. The only glitch our cabin (#5634) had, which was annoying, was, for some inexplicable reason, our t.v. kept turning on at 4:30 every morning, like a wake up call too early, so I had to keep turning it off, and go back to bed. The pools were o.k., but far too small to accomodate all the guests; very crowded, and at one point, a fight almost broke out among some pre-teens, which led to an early exit for our 10 year old one day.  Our daughter enjoyed the Oceaneer's lab, and her only regret was that she didn't get to spend More time there. She did participate in a special kids only production at the theatre, which she enjoyed, and was rewarded with a cool t-shirt. The Disney theatre productions were very good, very professional, and very much enjoyed by everyone, culminating in a standing ovation at the conclusion of the last show, " Disney Dreams "! Our intention, once we got to Nassau, was to do the dolphin encounter shore excursion, which, we were told, was one of the best options available, and I went to guest services about an hour and a half after boarding to make arrangements only to discover it was already booked solid. We should have gone directly there, after boarding, and I suggest anyone wanting to do this, or any other shore excursion, to do that. So, instead, we decided to just " wing it ", and took a brief horse and buggy tour of Nassau, which really wasn't all that impressive, but our daughter enjoyed it. Then we did some serious souvenier shopping, and as we were heading back to the ship, we got talked into a hair braiding ny this very nice lady named Tasha, who wasn't pushy at all, but very informative and friendly, and I negotiated a full head braiding for our daughter, from $75, to $50, which seemed reasonable, after reading about other people who spent three times that amount. The whole process took about an hour and a half in 90-plus degree heat, and our daughter later told us it was painful at times, but she was very happy with the results, and has been receiving compliments ever since, aboard ship, and from family and friends back home. The following day, at Castaway Cay, we frolicked in the water all morning, starting at 10 a.m., which we all enjoyed, but could never quite get used to the Very salty sea water, which we were not used to. The barbecue lunch was, again, better than expected. We skipped breakfast that day, because we knew they would be starting the buffet around 11:30. After lunch, our daughter had to go to her first rehearsal for the aforementioned production, which was supposed to last only a half hour, and when I went to pick her up, they were painting faux sea shells, and she didn't want to leave. So I rejoined my wife at the beach, only to watch a serious thunderstorm roll in, and once the lightning started, it was a mad dash back to the safety of the ship. The Disney help aboard ship was outstanding, and from so many ( 54, we were told ) countries, we really got a kick from hearing so many different accents. Our cabin hostess was from Thailand; our main server at the meals was from Slovenia; the assistant server from Croatia; their boss, from Australia, and on and on. England, Poland, France, Italy, South Africa, etc., it was amazing. I thought the ride itself was as smooth as can be, but my wife complained, just a little, that her equilibrium was slightly affected, but not enough to warrant dramamine, or the like.  We agreed going in that we we purchase only 2 of the on-board professional photos thee Disney took, but they were so darn good, we ended up buying 6 at $10 a pop. They even took one of our daughter as we were building a sand castle on the beach at Castaway Cay, and it was so adorable, we simply couldn't resist. All in all, it was the experience of a lifetime for us, and one I'm sure our daughter will tell her kids and grandchildren about some day. We totally recommend it for families, even tho we met several couples on board who were on their honeymoons, and seemed just as, if not more, happy as us. If we do it again, we'll probably opt for the 3 days in Disneyworld, followed by the 4-day cruise, simply because we pretty much accomplished what we wanted to at the theme parks, plus the three days aboard ship went by so fast, the extra day at sea would have been very welcome. Overall, we give the entire experience 3 1/2 stars out of 4, which, coming from me, is a very good recommendation, because I'm not too easy to please. If you have any questions you'd like to ask me, feel free to e-mail me, and I'll do my best to help you out.  Sincerely, Dennis H. Budziszewski

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Nov 30, -0001

4 night Bahamian Cruise

Disney Cruise Line is a well-oiled machine. From the moment I checked my one suitcase at the airport when leaving until I picked it up again upon returning home, it was the most relaxed, worry free, enjoyable vacation I ever had! Since this was my first cruise I can only go with what I've heard from other people and friends that have taken cruises before with other cruise lines. I must say, I do believe I chose well in going with Disney. From the

moment I arrived in Orlando at the airport there were Disney people waving their big, white cartoon hands guiding you to where you need to go. With everyone either going to a ship or a hotel the lines moved quickly. Once on the bus we were taken to Port Canaveral and to our ship. Everything was well organized and in order. You can download some boarding information from their web site, but, as I found out you shouldn't do this. The lady I had checking me in threw those away and preferred the pages in the booklet you will be sent. I had filled those pages out as well so I saved some time there. But, just keep with what you are sent and not what you find on the computer. Once aboard I went straight to my stateroom to get rid of my jacket and some other things. My suitcase hadn't arrived yet and a house keeping crew was going through vacuuming some other cabins as well as mine. By 12:30 I was at the Beach Blanket Buffet for lunch. The selections were quite plentiful and the choices I made were delicious! I made my way around the ship getting familiar with it and just taking it all in. Not quite believing I was really there! I do suggest though, upon arriving in your stateroom, check out the ship's newsletter. On WONDER it's the Navigator. It wasn't until later I noticed I had missed a singles meeting. Had I known about this earlier before my running all over the ship, I may have met someone I could have spent some time with while on vacation. Being single and not going with anyone, I was traveling alone. Which had it's perks, but, it would have nice to have shared all this with someone. Instead of going straight to Nassau we sailed the first day out. WILMA was still messing things up abit. The seas got to about 20 ft. swells with winds of 55 knots and gusts to 65 knots. The captain announced we would be changing course and within a few minutes the seas were fairly calm and the day turned out to be quite nice. Even at the worst that first day, the ship only slightly rolled some. It was like relaxing in a rocking chair and letting yourself slowly rock back and forth. My dinner companions were a couple from above Green Bay. Barb and Mike. He had been retired a couple of years. They were by themselves and when asking why they chose a Disney cruise Mike replied that it was so laid back. The food aboard WONDER was excellent! Looking at the menu samples online I was kinda worried about what I was going to eat. I'm not one for a lot of fancy stuff, sauces and such. But, I got something from the main menu each night and love every meal I had. Our server, Dinesh, from Bombay, was just excellent in helping us choose what to eat. We did go with his suggestions a few times. And he knew what he was talking about. His assistant, Tatyana, from St. Petersburg, Russia, was excellent as well. I never had to repeat what I wanted or how I wanted it. I had iced tea each night, with no lemon. At home going to most restaurants, you ask for iced tea with no lemon, here comes the iced tea and there'd be a wedge lemon on the rim or in the tea. Not with our servers! Tatyana brought my iced tea as soon as I sat down and would say, "Iced tea with no lemon, Mr. White." With the two seating dinner times and all the tables they cover, they do an excellent job at keeping everyone's name and needs straight! The stop in Nassau was nice. The weather was great. I had signed up for the "historic" tour. It turned out more just a ride around the city limits and stopping at a couple of old forts, the second having a restroom. Robert, our driver, in taxi 247 (he told us to remember his name and cab number so we wouldn't get lost), was great in telling us all about the different buildings and sites around town. His humor in some stories he told about the island and city made the tour worthwhile. Aside from renting your own taxi or just walking around downtown, this trip was nice that it gave you a good look at how the island really is. I did see one very nice ranch style house in the middle class residential section I wouldn't mind buying for my retirement! Castaway Cay was very nice. Again, WILMA kind of messed things up there as well. They had some strong winds go through earlier and it tore up some nets around the beaches. I didn't get to go snorkeling and others didn't get to swim with the stingrays. And, we all had to go to the adult beach. But, Serenity Bay is so big it didn't matter. I had a very enjoyable day at the beach. The water was a bit cold at first but you soon got used to it. The sun was hot and the sky was clear. After a few short hours in the water and sun I was ready to do something else. Taking my own tour around the island was very relaxing. Everything is so laid back. Being alone I could stay close to the crowd or just get off by myself. The day was very good. The food served up was delicious. I don't know how they do it. Everyone working on the island and those from the ship do a fantastic job at seeing everyone has a wonderful time. What really impressed me was one little salesperson I met on the ship. Her name is Tirza, from Honduras. We had talked a bit when I was in the gift shop aboard ship about where I was from, Kentucky, and horses! She loved horses. Anyway, on Castaway Cay I bought some post cards (which I mailed from there and am still waiting for delivery), and, as I was approaching the cashier, Tirza sees me and smiles real big and greets me saying, "Hello, Mr. White." And this was before I had given her my pass card to pay for the post cards! How she remembered me by name from everyone else she had waited on was beyond me! But, it does make you feel special and appreciated when someone like that calls you by name. The next day we were back in Port Canaveral and debarking leaving for home. The only bad thing, and it's not really bad, was upon arriving home having to wait for my bag at baggage claim. It was a two hour flight, but, because of the other flights arriving and baggage, it took an hour standing waiting for my one suitcase to come up! Outside of that one little thing, the whole trip was excellent. If you're thinking of taking a cruise I'd highly recommend the 4 night cruise on Disney. With the extra day just sailing it gives you plenty to do, lots to see and time to relax. Not to mention the excellent entertainment both in the live theatre, movie theatre and the lounges. Aside from the very professional live theatre, I enjoyed Kennie, the piano player in "Route 66" who sounded like Frank Sinatra when he sang. I've probably left out some things I meant to mention. But, for a good time, alone, family or with friends, a Disney Cruise is the way to go. In fact, I've already begun booking for April 2007! Same cruise, same stateroom. Only this time, I've booked for two in hopes of finding someone to go along with me. I didn't mention anything about the kids. Well, since I was alone and don't have kids, I didn't really look for them. But, I did notice the young ones had wrist bands on. The parents are given pagers for those in the nursery. All ages have different areas for things to do. If you don't really look for the kids, you don't really see them. At dinner of course with the families, but, outside of that, there are plenty of areas for adults to go to whether families with children or singles. There's something for everyone on a Disney Cruise. Except gambling. But, they do have bingo. And on my cruise the pot got up to $2000.00 the last night! So, for a ship with no gambling, $2k aint' bad! If you've cruised before on any cruise line, you need to experience the way Disney is. If you've never been on a cruise before, then Disney is a most laid back, relaxed, quiet, fun, active, entertaining and most enjoyable time to spend. Hope this review has been somewhat informative and helpful to anyone reading it in planning a cruise. Again, for a good time, you couldn't beat a Disney cruise!

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

My family and I had the most wonderful and relaxing time. I am already getting ready to book a 7 day cruise for next year on the sister ship Disney Magic. A vacation you will never forget!!!

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Nov 30, -0001

Nassau, Castaway Cay

This was the three-day cruise following a four-day Disney world package, and the transfer to the ship was flawless.  We have one 5 year-old daughter, and this is definitely the way to cruise with kids.  Food is kid friendly, activities abound, evening Disney stage performances kept our child captivated.  Even couples traveling without children claimed they would do it again.  Highly recommended.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Let me start off by saying WOW!!!! Disney sure knows how to do it. Our cruisers included myself, my wife, and my one year old son. We are from the west coast, so Disney had us arrive a day early. They put us up in the Hyatt, inside the airport, in Orlando. Good hotel. Port Canaveral was nice. We arrived there shortly after 11am. We walked up to the counter inside the massive terminal, (about 30 can do this at once) and checked in. We needed

birth certificates, and an ID, but that was easy to produce. They gave us our "key to the world cards." They are for charging, (no cash on board is allowed) your stateroom door, safe inside the room, and for leaving and returning to the ship. (You will need these a lot) Now was the waiting period, but kids, don't fret, there are TV's all over and lots of plush seats; there is even a model of the Magic cut so you can see the insides. Rather like a very large doll house. About 12:30 people were allowed to board the boat. There is a very long line at this time, but it moves rather quickly. As you enter the enormous Yellow silhouette of Mickey, the first pictures of your journey are taken. You then hand over the keys and board the boat. They even announce your names. You enter at deck 3 midship, right in front of Tritons resturant. Now you must wonder the ship until at least 1:30pm when your staterooms become available. Luggage will arrive between that time and 6pm. Now sit back and have a blast. Rotational dining is the key here, and all restaurants have you choose an appetizer, soup/salad, main course and dessert. Your server will also make his or her recommendation. Our dining schedule was Triton's, Animator's Palate, and Parrot Cay, all of which were excellent. Triton's is a French style dining experience, and I recommend the escargot. I tried it, and it was rather good. The room decor has a feeling of dining under the sea. Note the mural of king Triton on the wall. For menu selections, they have beef, and chicken, and even vegetarian. I chose to eat the duck, a salad, and cherries jubilee. Our son enjoyed a cheese pizza, and watermelon. Animator's Palate is beyond explanation. An entirely unique experience. I chose to have the seafood and avocado appetizer, Caesar salad, Veal, but for dessert, they brought us a surprise 4 layer chocolate cake for or anniversary celebration. What a surprise. Parrot Cay we skipped to go to Palo. Palo is northern Italian fare. I had buffalo mozzarella, rack of lamb, and chocolate soufflé'. To die for. Other than those, there are several quick serve places for chicken fingers, or cheeseburgers. Sodas are free now. Back to day one. The sail away party is fun, but crowded. Pools are open but crowded. Food is available, but crowded. It is this way on the first day because staterooms are not available until 1:30pm. Everyone goes out for the party to sing and dance and meet characters. The nursery is closed, and so are the labs and club for kids. At 4 you MUST attend the safety brief wearing your life vest. It is mandatory. After that, the ship is yours. We wondered around so we could get used to the layout. (the elevators all have floor markers telling you whats on that floor) Day 2 took us to Nassau. Check your personal navigator (delivered the night before) for all that is happening that day. We found Nassau breathtaking. I had heard it was dirty, and smelly, but we found it great. You exit the boat next to dumpsters, but once past them it is great. We took the historic city tour and do not recommend this. It was too hot not to have the comforts of A/C. The tour itself is nice, but it takes you to three places in one hour. No real time to see the sights. Next time we will probable go to Atlantis. Day 2 also allowed us to check into Flounder's Nursery. I recommend this to everyone reading this. Our son did not want to leave there. That night we spent at the Walt Disney Theater and the show Golden Mickeys was awesome. We turned in early. Day 3 took us to Castaway Cay. Again we took our son the the nursery, and he had a blast. We snorkled, and found a sunken Mickey. we spent the day sunbathing, and eating at Cookie's BBQ. Hamburgers, and ribs, and chicken is the fare here. The only down side to our time here was that it rained on us, for about 10 minutes. That night was the show Disney Dreams, the flagship show, but we missed it. We enjoyed the evening swimming, and being a couple. I have a few tips for those thinking about this cruise. 1. bring your own bottled water. they sell evian, for about $3.00. 2. bring your swim suit in your carry-on bag unless you do not want to swim the first night of your cruise. 3. If you have an un-potty trained child, bring swim diapers. they are $1.60 each, and must be worn in the kid pool. These children are not allowed in any other pool. 4. Bring a night light, or a clock radio if your room does not have a window (we had an interior cabin) 5. Bring your own medication. 6. The stores have ANYTHING you might have forgotten, from toenail clippers to dental floss. 7. Get to know the hosting staff. They will follow you throughout your dining experience. 8. If you're a small eating party, be prepared to share a table with another small group. 9. If the boat is tethered to the shore, the stores are closed. (maritime rules) 10. Children disappear after the first few hours. (they go to the lab and club, and do not want to return) so there are not a whole lot of kids around. Well, I hope I helped. One thing I forgot to mention is that Disney handles all your bags. Just place the appropriate tags on them and forget about it.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

This was my 2nd cruise and 4th for my husband. We have a daughter that’s 3. I was also traveling with 2 first time cruisers. I have to say, compared to what I saw on the other liner, this ship was fabulous. DISEMBARKATION/EMBARKATION Getting on and off the ship was pretty much a breeze. There were no lines and you could come and go as you pleased. Plus they announce you and you come on board, which was really cute, and fun idea. ENTERTAINMENT

The shows were classic Disney and the kids loved them. First class all the way. Although, due to our dining time, we went to the shows later and it made for tired kids. DINING I love the restaurant rotations with the waiters. Each restaurant gave a different ambiance and flavor. The staff was very nice and the Matre'D helped us immensely on the first night when our dining tables got split up. The food was good not great but good. We didn't get a chance to eat in the adults only restaurant Palo because we ran out of time. ACTIVITIES The Oceaneer's club and lab were unbelievable. Disney sparred no expense to ensure that the kids on board would have an excellent time. When I came to pick up my daughter, she didn't even want to come with me (she had a little meltdown) That’s how much fun she was having. They are open from morning to night and they even feed the kids lunch or dinner if you don't come back for them. At the port Castaway Cay, they continue the activities onshore for the kids and you can leave them there as well. All within a pager's reach. Overall, I would recommend this cruise to anyone that loves a clean ship, a festive atmosphere and good clean family fun.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas, Castaway Cay

Disney, is far the cleanest, and most beautiful ship I ever saw. Only Disney could make a ship like this, and the service is great. You pay a little more but what a difference. They make it fun for adults also which was great I enjoyed myself. My children are 16, 12, and 4 and loved it and I promised every year we will go on a 3 day cruise on Disney, it will become a tradition. I'm booked already for next Feb.2004. Disney's' private island

is the best I've been too I felt like I was in a dream laying on a hammock sipping Bahamas Mamas, it was great. Try it and you will love it too.

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas, Castaway Key

The Disney Wonder Royal Suite was spectacular by: boardwalk  (Wed May 17 '00)  Pros:  The Royal Suite made the cruise very special. Cons:  The 3-night cruise was to short. In May of 1998, I called Disney Cruise Line direct and made reservations for two adults in their category 1, seven-day vacation. The first four days were spent at the Grand Floridian Beach Hotel at Walt Disney World and than followed by three nights on

the brand new Disney Wonder. I was fortunate to get a confirmation for the sailing in early September of 1999 just weeks after the Wonders inaugural cruise. Since I was taking a good friend with me, I wanted this vacation to be very special and one that we both would remember forever. Day One, Two, Three and Four: My friend lived in a different city and after flying there to pick her up, we flew first class to Orlando Florida and checked in at the Grand Floridian Beach Hotel for four nights. This is Walt Disney's flagship hotel and it was my third visit to Walt Disney World and my second visit to the Grand Floridian. We checked in to a large suite on the concierge level that overlooked the pool and the Seven Seas Lagoon. We ate dinner at Victoria and Albert's restaurant, played Mickey Mouse for four days, visited Epcot, Pleasure Island, (Adventures Club, my favorite) and of course the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. It was a wonderful way to start the vacation. Day Five, The Cruise: A Disney coach bus provided the mid morning trip from the Grand Floridian Hotel to the Disney Wonder. I must say, as we drove over the hill approaching the ship off in the distance we were very excited. After seeing some pictures of the Disney Magic, I new a little about what to expect but there's nothing like seeing the ship for the first time knowing you are about to be one of it's pampered passengers. We felt like little kids, fixing to go play in the tree house together. After boarding we were escorted to the Roy Disney Royal Suite. Pictures of the Royal Suite can be found in my member profile. Just click on to my favorite URL. It was better than great with 1150 Sq. Ft. of luxury surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. There was a large living room with all the perks, a dining room, a library, two bedrooms and two massive bathrooms with a spa in each and a 35-foot private veranda that overlooked the ocean. As we walked in to the suite, we just looked at each other and smiled from ear to ear. Soon after arriving, the head concierge and her assistance made there appearance to welcome us both and to answer questions and make our restaurant and spa reservations. That evening we had a wonderful dinner and show. Later we spent time together on our private veranda sipping champagne to a bright romantic moon and to the sight and sounds of the gentle ocean waves below. The Disney Wonder is a beautiful ship that truly represents the high Disney standard and I highly recommend her for a romantic getaway. Our trip was the week school started back so we didn't really see that many children aboard. The kids had there own play level so they provided no distraction to us what so ever. The food was very good and plentiful, the restaurants beautiful and the service was excellent. My favorite restaurant was Palo. I recommend making your Palo reservations as soon as you get on the ship because it fills up fast. If you are in category 1,2,or 3 there is no need to wait in line because the concierge will come to your room and make them for you. Day Six: The second day on board was in Nassau. After a brief walk downtown Nassau to purchase some wine, champagne and souvenirs, we choose to go back aboard and enjoy the ship and ourselves. There is plenty to do aboard the ship except there is no gambling for the adults. You can go to the large Hotels in Nassau to gamble. There was an open party held on the top deck at 10:00 PM. Disney provided a great band and it seemed like everyone aboard was there. At midnight there was a fireworks display and everyone was dancing and having a wonderful time. The Fantasy Cruise ship was docked next to the Wonder and a lot of their passengers were enjoying the music and ambience of the Wonders party. Our cruise director made an announcement about the Fantasy being docked next to us and that all the passengers aboard the Fantasy were dreaming about being aboard the Wonder. Everybody laughed and I felt he was right. We were very happy to be aboard the Wonder instead of the Fantasy. For passengers that decided to take in the sights and sounds of Nassau that evening, they had until the wee hours of the morning to make it back to the ship before departure. Since this was my third trip to Nassau, I elected to enjoy the ships party instead of going a shore. My second visit to Nassau was aboard the Nordic Empress. On that voyage I stayed in their Royal Suite (stateroom 8006) and soon I'll post a review and make some pictures available of our suite. Day Seven: Castaway Cay The next day we woke up in paradise, Disney's own 1,000-acre Bahamian island Castaway Cay. This private sanctuary is a must on your things to do list with your family or special love one. It was a nice warm day to spend at the beach and we did just that. We walked hand and hand along the beach talking to others and collecting seashells. We enjoyed barbecued salmon and barbecued steaks galore. I think the only thing better than going to Castaway Cay once is going back a second time, which I hope to do some day soon. The only negative thing about this day is that you have to pack that night and leave your bags outside your stateroom to be picked up by the porters. This was a harsh reminder that our Disney vacation was coming to an end. Day Eight: After getting up early the morning of departure we spent some time taking some pictures around the ship. We waited until the very last minute to disembarked the ship and start our bus trip  back to the Orlando Airport and than to fly back home. The sea were calm and the weather was great the entire voyage. Neither of us experienced any seasickness or discomfort. We were very fortunate. Just as we were leaving the ship, it started to rain very hard and there was a hurricane brewing not far behind. All good thing must come to an end and we didn't want this trip to end. Beginning August 12, 2000, Disney Cruise Line will offer a new, seven-day eastern Caribbean cruise vacation that combines a Disney cruise experience with the ports of St. Maarten and St. Thomas, and with excursions to St. John. I guess I better start saving my money again.   The Disney Magic will depart on its new seven-day itinerary each Saturday from Port Canaveral, Fla. The itinerary is as follows: Saturday Depart from Port Canaveral Sunday At Sea Monday At Sea Tuesday St. Maarten Wednesday St. Thomas, with excursions to St. John Thursday At Sea Friday Castaway Cay Saturday Return to Port Canaveral   Disney Cruise Line also will include Freeport in the Disney Wonder four-day itinerary, effective August 2000. Freeport will take the place of a day at sea every other week.   To book a Disney Cruise Line vacation, you can call Disney Cruise Line at (407) 566-7000 or (800) WDW-CRUISE. Recommendations and notes: 1. Take as little baggage as possible. 2. If you can afford it, try to book the concierge level (category one, two and three) aboard the Wonder. It's worth every penny of it. 3. Take a lot of pictures and keep a daily journal of your trip. You will be glad you did. 4. When you board the ship have flowers or fruit waiting in the stateroom for your love ones. You can order them threw Disney. 5. The only small negative thing about the whole trip was room service. I called the first morning from our suite to order some breakfast and I was told it would take 45 minutes to one hour before it would arrive. We were invited to a small private cocktail reception with the Captain and the (ships) Hotel Manager. I passed this piece of information on to the Hotel Manager and he agreed with me that this was an area that needed improvement and would be improved on. 6. The two Royal Suites are the same reverse layouts but they have different wall interiors. The Walt Disney Royal Suite has a piano in it and is reminiscent of the Art Deco glamour of the 1920's. It's beige carved wood paneled walls provide a sleek backdrop for the etched acrylic panel doors and softly upholstered furnishings. The Roy Disney Royal Suite doesn't have a piano but has a rich burled wood wall and etched acrylic panel doors throughout. I recommend the Roy Disney Royal Suite by far. 7. Sleeping accommodations in the Roy Disney Royal Suite. There is a master queen bedroom for two. In the library there is a queen size wall pull down bed. In the second bedroom there are two single beds with two more pull down beds above then for a total of four beds. There is a closet off the second bedroom with another small flip down bed in it. This could be used for a small child. There is also a pull out bed in the sofa in the living room. There is full size bar, plenty of storage space and a safe for valuables. 8. Don't forget to take travelers checks. I didn't. I put two one hundred-dollar bills in my wallet just in case I lost my cash and guess what I lost my wallet with ID and credit cards. Fortunately I still had my passport but as of today's date my wallet still hasn't been returned to me. Get travelers checks and leave extra cash, credit cards and ID at home. 9. Important: If Disney is handling your flight arrangements, you will have to pay a surcharge to guarantee that your families airline seats are next to each other. I took care of the changes to first class directly with the airline after Disney booked our air reservations. I also used air miles to pay for the cost to upgrade to first class. 10. To help you with your cruise plans, I have provided links to my photographs of the Roy Disney Royal Suite and two additional very helpful sites.(1) "The Ultimate Cruise Packing List". (2)"The Magical Disney Cruise Guide". This guide provides everything you need to know to get the most out of your Disney Magic or Wonder cruise. First click on to my member profile and than click on my favorite URL. Another excellent Disney Cruise source is by fellow Epinion reviewer Inkkognito. His website is at (www.disneycruiser.com). Inkkognito is the webmaster there and has been on over 11 Disney cruises. 11. The Disney Cruise line motor coach provides complimentary transportation from the airport to your hotel, from your hotel to the ship as well as the ship back to the airport. I found the coaches to be on time, clean and very comfortable to travel in. 12. Disney takes care of your luggage from start to finish. When you arrive at the Orlando airport, you will find Disney staff everywhere and they are eager to answer your questions and direct you to the baggage area and on to the Disney coach station. SPECIAL NOTE: If you need your bags as soon as you arrived at your Disney Resort, don't turn them over to Disney. If you do this the bags will be put on a separate truck and it could take two, three, or even four hours for them to arrive at your  room. I had to wait about 3 hours for my luggage after I arrived at the Grand Floridian. If you need your bags as soon as you get to your resort, I recommend you to tell the Disney staff at the airport that you want to take your bags with you on the same.Disney coach that takes you to your resort. Happy sailing Boardwalk

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

If you had to come up with one word to describe the cruise experience on the Disney Wonder it would have to be “Superb”. This was our second cruise, both being on the Disney Wonder. We enjoyed our first cruise in December 2001 that we knew we just had to return in December 2002. The second time around however we had 4 other family members join us. Disney takes every effort to provide you with information well in advance of the

cruise. This information includes necessary documents, clothing, etc. They also were very good about informing us of the various shore activities available in Nassau. Those activities can and should be reserved prior to boarding. That way you will avoid the possibility of some functions such as the Dolphin Encounter being booked up. Unlike the review by Mr. Cullen, I found the Disney maintenance staff to be amazing. They were constantly polishing brass, shampooing carpets, cleaning the ships hull, and painting things that I probably would not have painted for another couple of years. The ship is extremely clean and they pay attention to even the smallest details. Our cabin steward watched us leave our cabin each morning and evening and would quickly slip in and clean up the room. What really surprised us is that the cabin steward we had in 2001 was also our steward again in 2002. Our cruise on the Wonder departed while its’ sister ship, the Disney Magic, was taken off line and was in port due to the Norwalk Virus. Disney seemed to be taking every effort to keep an outbreak on our cruise from occurring. This was especially evident in the dining rooms where anything a guest might touch and then pass to another guest was removed. This included salt & pepper shakers, sugar packets, etc. The Disney staff, while wearing rubber gloves, served everyone in the buffets rather than allow a guest to touch any serving utensils. Overkill? Maybe, but given the fact that people were getting sick on other ships it wasn’t a bad approach. Castaway Cay is so relaxing. Part of that comes from splitting the island up into sections, thereby allowing adults to be alone. There are numerous activities available for a fee, but the beauty of the island can best be enjoyed by simply floating in the water or basking in the sun with a cool tropical drink close at hand. Castaway Cay is located in the Bahamas and has a post office on the island but it only accepts cash. You can have your letters and postcards sent with the Bahamian postmark so be sure to take along a list of addresses. The mail is rather slow, with postcards arriving two weeks after they were sent. Like many cruise ships, the Wonder offers a soda mug program. For $15 on the 3 night cruise you get unlimited refills. To me you really have to drink a lot of soda to make it pay off. The other option is to buy one soda at a time for $1.50. Bottom line is this is a great ship that is part of a great company. Our December 2002 trip to Florida was our 28th trip to Disney World and our second cruise. We returned to Arkansas and have greeted with 10 inches of snow. So we are already planning trip #29 to Orlando and probably cruise #3. Bon Voyage.

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Nov 30, -0001

Four night Caribbean cruise

My wife (Staci) and I traveled on this cruise for our honeymoon. It was the first time cruising for the both of us. I just want to start off by saying that I cannot say enough nice things about the ship and the crew. We were both absolutely delighted with our entire cruise experience. Our honeymoon started with a three-night stay at Port Orleans at Walt Disney World in Orlando.  Again, our expectations had been exceeded with our

accommodations and service we received during our brief stay there.  When we checked in, (the counter hostess was French to keep up the theme of the New Orleans French Quarter), anyway, since it was our honeymoon, we received a letter entitling us to a complimentary champagne toast at Scat Cat’s Lounge in the Lobby of the resort.  On to the cruise We left Port Orleans at about 11:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and arrived at the Disney Terminal Building at Port Canaveral approximately an hour and a half later.  The terminal building is absolutely beautiful, I only wish we would have arrived earlier so we could have spent more time touring the terminal.  Boarding the ship was quick and painless since we already checked in at Port Orleans we already had our boarding passes in our hands.  The boarding pass is a credit card type thing that also acts as your resort room key, your theme park tickets, your ship boarding pass, your ship’s stateroom key, your stateroom safe key, and charge card to anything Disney.  The card is called your Key to the Word Card and you use it almost constantly.  Everyone in your group is required to have one. We boarded the ship at about 1:15 p.m. at the ships’ Atrium Lobby where a welcome crew announced our name and mentioned us as being newlyweds.  As you enter the ship there is a “Welcome Aboard” sign with a picture of Captain Mickey on it where you get your picture taken.  The picture, along with all the other pictures the ships’ photographers take of you during the cruise are available at Shutters, the ships photography lab and store.  After entering the ship the welcome crew ushers you up to deck 9 where there is a huge lunch buffet prepared at The Beach Blanket Buffet.  They send you immediately to the buffet so the room hosts/hostesses have time to finish preparing all of the rooms.  We weren’t exactly hungry when we got to the ship so we took a small walking tour of some of the middle decks for about 15 minutes and got tired of carrying our carry-ons so we decided to see if our room was finished.  Our room was a category 9 Deluxe Ocean view Stateroom on deck 2 (room 2058). We found our room and were pleased to see our luggage waiting for us outside our stateroom door and the room clean and ready.  The luggage and ground transfers included with the trip were probably the nicest service provided by DCL.  The only time we handled our bags was when we checked our luggage at the airport to travel to Orlando and when we claimed our bags when we debarked the ship when it returned to port (every transfer in between was handled by the Disney staff.)  After we unpacked our stuff, we decided to go check out the buffet.  The Beach Blanket Buffet had a large variety of lunch items for us to choose from including five different kinds of lettuce, pasta, and jell-o salads, cold cuts for sandwiches, chilled jumbo shrimp and whole roast beef cut to order.  There was also a large selection of breads and a full salad bar, as well as dessert upon dessert to choose from.  All of the food was very good.  A drink hostess walked by our table and asked us if we wanted to try the drink of the day in a souvenir glass, we did, the drink was a strawberry daiquiri with vanilla ice cream floating in it.  The name of the drink escapes me. It was now time for the brief emergency drill.  We had to fetch our lifejackets from our room and meet in our designated emergency location to make sure we knew what to do in “the very unlikely event of an emergency”.  The emergency drill is mandatory, and the life jackets are uncomfortable, but the crew tried to make it as fun as possible.  After the emergency drill Staci and I went back to our room to settle in and unpack.  Our stateroom was very nice, there was a large four foot porthole window on the outside wall, a sitting area with a couch that folded out to a bed, a vanity with a lighted mirror and refrigerator, two twin beds bridged together to make a king, a safe and a split bath, as well as more storage space than we could possibly use.  We unpacked our things, gathered our empty luggage and stowed it away under the bed and inside the closet. After unpacking we went up to deck 10 to watch the embarkation party taking place on the Goofy Pool stage on deck 9.  We watched from the railing in front of the Outlook Bar and had a perfect view of all of the festivities bellow us.  The Cruise Director, Jim, walked out and introduced himself and got the crowd going and then introduced Captain Mickey, and Minnie, Goofy, Chip and Dale to the crowd.  Jim then counted down for the embarkation from the port and the ships’ horn rang out “When You Wish Upon a Star”.  The horn is very loud and they blow it every time they leave a port, so if you miss it, there are more opportunities to hear it later.  Then the party started rockin’ and the characters danced around on the stage for a while and then went into the crowd to dance with the children.  We were standing in the front row against the rail watching the goings on below, me video taping the whole thing, I feel somebody lean against my back.  I turn around and there’s Goofy dancing on a pedestal right behind me.  It was pretty cool seeing one of the characters that close dancing with all of the kids. We left the party before it broke up to explore the ship some more, we were walking around unaware that the ship was moving until we noticed the dock was not in the same place it was earlier.  So, we rushed back up to deck 10 to watch the ship leave the canal and head out to sea. Next it was time to get ready for the early show and dinner.  We chose the second seating for dinner that was at 8:30.  The first night’s show was Voyage of the Ghost Ship, it was a Disney style Broadway show with an elaborate stage and plenty of music and slapstick for the kiddies.  This show was very good, however, my least favorite of the live shows on board. Dinner time: Our first night on board we dinned at Triton’s, our favorite of the three main restaurants.  The dress suggestion for Triton’s is jacket recommended, I opted for a shirt and tie, Stacie went for a dinner dress.  Not everybody followed the dress suggestion, but everybody looked nice, because all of the restaurants have a “no shorts” policy.  We both had the creamy lobster soup for an appetizer and crème brulee, for our main dishes, Staci had the seafood fettuccini and I had the crispy baked sea bass.  All of our food was excellent and our wait staff (who travel with you to the different restaurants) couldn’t be more pleasant.  Our wait staff consisted of Ivan, our Head Server from The Ukraine, he seemed more like a PR person, and oversaw the events of many tables in the restaurants, he is also the one who heads up the “Happy Birthday” and “Happy Anniversary” and “Happy Honeymoon” tunes throughout the cruise for the people celebrating such occasions.  At our table we had one honeymoon (us) and two birthday’s.  On the ship you eat with the same people for dinner throughout the duration of the trip.  It’s very nice, because you get to know them fairly well and if your like us, you sit around and talk to them about how much you are enjoying the cruise or anything else that comes up.  The other portion of our wait staff was Nuala, from Ireland, and Christopher, from The United Kingdom.  They we both extremely nice and very accommodating to our every whim. We finished dinner rather late and decided to turn in for the evening.  When we returned to our room, the lights had been turned down, the curtains drawn, and the bed turned down with mints on the bed as well as the next days Personal Navigator (record of events).Day Two:  We woke up around 8:00 a.m. as the ship was pulling into the port of Nassau, we got dressed and headed off to breakfast at the Beach Blanket Buffet.  We took our food up to deck 10 and sat at a table overlooking the capital city of the Bahamas. Off to Nassau, this was the part of the trip we could have done without.  We both wish Disney would spend less time at Nassau (or none at all) and more time at their private island, Castaway Cay.  Anyway, we did not purchase any of the shore excursions at Nassau, instead we opted for a self-guided walking tour of the shops along the pier.  The shopping at Nassau consists of two major streets.  The first street has street vendors selling $3.00 T-Shirts and women wanting to braid your hair, and the second street consists of shops where you can purchase duty free liquor or really expensive jewelry.  We walked around for a few hours, got tired of being pestered by the street merchants, so we headed back the ship for an afternoon snack and to hang out at the pool for a while. Show Time: The second night’s show was the “premier” of Disney’s Dinosaur movie which opened in theatres the week before.  As we approached the Walt Disney Theatre, the hallway was lined with a red carpet and crewmembers were standing behind red velvet ropes acting like Star Searchers, Media Members, and Autograph Hounds.  One of them was dressed like a bodyguard and he guided you through the crowd towards the theatre.  As you enter the massive room that makes up the theatre, you saw on two projection screens the same scene you just walked through and the same confused look on the faces of the people that you probably had on your face.  The theatre had been transferred from a Broadway stage to a full scale movie theatre just as good if not better than any movie house your used to at home.  Staci and I both enjoyed the movie very much, another amazing accomplishment by Disney. Dinner, day two: Animator’s Palate was next on our restaurant tour.  This was our least favorite restaurant as far as food goes, but the display was outstanding.  Once again we chose the same appetizer, we had chilled crab legs with three different dipping sauces, garlic mayonnaise, cocktail sauce and a burgundy sauce.  The crab legs were the hit of the meal, we both preferred the burgundy sauce.  For our main course Staci got the chicken and I chose the pan-seared salmon.  Mine was pretty good, but not spectacular.  Staci was not at all impressed with her chicken.  For dessert we got a sampler platter of key lime cheesecake, chocolate mousse, a mini cream puff and a pineapple stuffed cream puff.  Our favorite was the mousse, but none were too impressive.  The thing that made up for the food was the show going on all around you while you eat.  You walk into this black and white room decorated with giant paint brushed and oversized paint palates on the ceiling, and black and white sketches of Disney characters on the wall.  As the evening progresses, the entire room gradually fills with color, with a colorful grand finale including a special guest.  All in all, the dinning experience at Animator’s Palate was pleasant. After dinner we had intended on catching the Improv Comedy Act, but instead we showed up 45 minutes early for karaoke night in the WaveBands dance club.  By the time we realized we should have gone to the Barrel of Laughs club there were no seats left.  We then decided to have a nightcap in The Cadillac Lounge and listen to the lady play requests on the piano.  This was probably my favorite hang out place on the ship, anytime we had a few minutes to kill I would say, “let’s go to the The Cadillac”.  It’s a dimly lit jazz bar decorated with classic Caddy accents.  Behind the bar where Pascal mixes martini’s and pours champagne there is a giant Cadillac façade, and the windows are accented with Caddy tail fins.  It’s a neat place to have a drink, listen to some tunes or just relax for a while. Day Three:   Breakfast in bed. In our stateroom there was a door hanger that you could pre-order breakfast to be delivered your room the following morning.  At 8:30 there was a nock on the door, the items you can choose from follow a continental breakfast menu and we selected Frosted Flakes and doughnuts, apple juice and a bloody marry for myself.  This was a nice indulgence to get us going in the morning, we felt kind of like Fred and Holly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which was coincidentally playing on one of the movie channels. This was our day to explore Disney’s private island I mentioned earlier, Castaway Cay.  Like I stated before, Staci and I (and just about everyone else on board) would have liked to see a longer stay at Castaway Cay.  We got off of the ship around 9:30 and headed to the post office to mail some post cards with a special Castaway Cay post mark (It’s been a week since we were there and they still have not arrived).  Then it was off to the beach where we attempted to snorkel in the snorkel course.  Staci got out to where the water was shoulder length and decided snorkeling wasn’t for her and she turned back, I toughed it out a bit more and swam around the whole course.  Somewhere there is a sunken Mickey statue, but I never found it.  I did see plenty of other “sunken” items though, I saw a row boat, a mast of a ship and a lot of miscellaneous ship contents like a fan and a chest.  There were some fish, but they just seemed to blend in with the sand on the ocean floor.  I swam around for about 45 minutes, got tired and headed back to the beach. I got us a couple of drinks of the day which was a Conch Cooler in a souvenir Conch cup.  We got lunch at the bar-b-que which consisted of fruit, hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, and desserts.  Again, a big thumbs up to the food.  After lunch we walked over to a little less crowded beach to sunbathe and just relax.  We got to what we thought was the adult’s beach, because there was almost no one there and no kids were around.  After we got settled in I looked around and saw a sign that read “Teen Beach”, we were still about a half a mile away from the adult’s beach, no matter, we were happy where we were and we didn’t feel like walking that much further.  I wish we would have had more time to explore Castaway Cay, maybe then we would have gotten motivated enough go back and find the adult’s beach.  Disney really needs to do something about the time spent at Castaway Cay.  It looked to me though like the island is still a work in progress, when we got there, there was a large number of construction workers doing some cosmetic work near the dock, and there seemed to be a number of unfinished projects scattered around the place.  So, maybe when the island gets a little more developed there will be a lengthier stay there. Hercules – A Muse-ical Comedy was the show of the evening.  This was a brief live run down of the Disney animated feature, Hercules.  This was our favorite show of the cruise.  The Muses tell the story and they are supported by the live action counter parts of the characters from the movie.  It was a blast watching this production. Parrot Cay was on tap for tonight’s restaurant.  I can’t remember everything we had, but I do know that it was all very good.  The things that stand out in my head was Staci’s Coconut encrusted shrimp and onion rings for her appetizer and my sirloin for my main dish.  We both had the bananas foster flambé for dessert….outstanding.  As usual, the wait staff and the company that surrounded us was just as enjoyable as the food.  Tonight at the table next to us the ship’s engineer, entertainment director, and human resources director had dinner and we chatted a little while with them.  It was nice to meet part of the staff that makes it all happen.  After dinner we headed back to The Cadillac Lounge for another nightcap and then it was off to bed. Our last full day on the ship.   Probably the most depressing day of the cruise, because we knew it would all be over soon.  We slept late and got up for a brunch buffet at Parrot Cay.  Afterwards we took a walking tour of the ship with our video camera to document the ship because our memories aren’t always as good as video tape.  After our tour we headed back up to the Quiet Cove pool with the intention of relaxing in one of the whirlpools, however, the International Belly Flop Competition was getting underway so we decided to sit down and watch the show.  A number of guys and two women volunteered to torture themselves by voluntarily belly flopping into the pool.  The competition was judged by the crowd based on form, splash, and redness.  The next game was a round of “Fetch Me”, in this game a crew member emceed while a group of people fetched the items the crew member called out.  Such items included a napkin, and slice of pizza, a crewmember’s name tag, a wet crewmember (so any crew members near by got tossed in the pool), and the finale was a woman’s bikini top and a pair of men’s swimming trunks.  This was hilarious to watch.  The final game was a T-shirt relay race.  Two rows of 5 guests lined up at the foot of the pool the first person had on a T-shirt and did a lap in the pool, then got out and took off the shirt and handed to the next person to put on and take a lap.  This went on until the last person in line finished a lap with the T-shirt on. Later that night we chose to eat at the adult’s only romantic restaurant, Palo.  This restaurant is not included with the normal stops on your restaurant tour, it is an optional dinning experience by reservation only, a dress for the ladies and a suit for the guys is heavily recommended. Prior to dinner we caught the final show aboard the ship.  It was DCL’s signature show, Disney Dreams.  It again was a fantastic Broadway style show that represented a musical review of many of Disney’s more popular animated features.  The show was spectacular, but Hercules was still out favorite.  Our reservation at Palo was not until 9:30, so we had some time to kill.  We finished up our souvenir shopping at the ships two gift shops, the duty free Treasure Ketch and Mickey’s Mates.  Then it was off to The Cadillac Lounge for hors d'oeuvres and a pre-dinner drink.  Palo is an Italian themed gourmet restaurant with food and service that is equal to or superior than any of your five-star eating establishments.  There is a $5.00 per person service charge for eating at Palo to cover the gratuity for your waiter/waitress because you are eating in an optional restaurant and your normal wait staff does not wait on you there.  Anyway, the five dollars is miniscule compared to the service you get and I recommend adding to the gratuity for those waiters.  And the food…for appetizers I had the fried calamari and Staci got the portabella mushroom.  Both were absolutely marvelous.  Main dishes were (for Staci) crab meat stuffed cannelloni, and I had the Orecchiette which is sautéed peppers and mushrooms over shell pasta.  Our waitress also brought us a side order of hand made ravioli to compliment our meals.  Dessert was two individual servings of chocolate soufflé with chocolate and vanilla sauces to top it off.  Again, our waitress brought us out something extra for us, she is from Belgium, so she brought us a dish of Belgian cookies.  Everything was excellent…again, I only regret that my stomach only has enough room to fit a small portion of the menu. 11:30, time to pack. Actually, your bags are to be packed and sitting outside your door by 11:00, but our waitress at Palo said that they make a second pass at 12:00.  We changed out of our dress clothes and packed everything (tear) tomorrow we go home.  We once again headed up to The Cadillac Lounge for one last drink and took a Midnight stroll around the ship, it was very romantic and saddening at the same time.  We decided to take the stairs back down to our room on deck 2 from deck 10.  On our way down we saw the ping pong tables on deck 9 and played ping pong until 2:00 a.m. The next morning we had to be up and out of the room by 7:30.  We were assigned to eat breakfast in Parrot Cay where we got to see our meal companions and wait staff one last time.  We had a nice meal and said our goodbyes and it was back to the airport and the rest of civilization. In the comment questionnaire DCL asks if you would recommend their cruise line to someone, I would have to say ABSOLUTLEY, POSITIVELY! DCL TIPS As soon as you get your ticket package from your travel agent, go through EVERYTHING and see if there are any shore excursions you might like to purchase.  We didn’t do this, and when it was time to purchase the shore excursions we didn’t know what we might want to do, so we didn’t do any. Make your reservations in this order, or you might find yourself missing out on things you want to do because they are already booked.  (1.) Palo, Deck 10 Aft  (2.) Vista Spa and Salon, Deck 9 forward (3.) Shore Excursions, Deck 3 Midship.

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Nov 30, -0001

Nassau, Castaway Cay

I traveled with my older sister on this cruise. This was my second and to be her first. There are plenty of signs telling you which roads to take to get off for your ships. Coming over the bridge we saw our ship. The weather was beautiful and excitement ran through us. The ship is huge and beautiful! As we pulled into the parking area there were official people wearing blue directing the flow of traffic. These men seemed very irritated and made

faces at slow moving cars who are unsure of were going in the right direction. Don't stop and ask these people any questions. They do know what they are doing and might give you a verbal lashing. As we pulled farther up a young man stopped every car and gave us a little information about luggage drop off and what was expected of us as we pulled up. He was very cool and assured us we were going to have a blast. As we pulled along following other cars we found what we thought to be where we dropped off our luggage. After I got out of the car a man (another one of those blue suited traffic directors) marched over and began yelling at me!! He was very irate and I had thought I might have commented the greatest traffic crime in Disney's history. I was worried I would come back from my cruise to find my face all over the papers. I told him I could just carry my luggage to where ever I needed to and this seemed to really upset this man. He said,"Absoulutely NOT! You WILL put it back into your vehicle and drop it off at the appropriate place!" Fearing for my name being in tabloids I quickly tossed it into the back seat. I got back into the car and my sister and I discussed our concerns and both agreed its a good thing he don't carry a gun and only directs traffic. We only pulled up about one whole car link from the ogar in blue and it was time to drop off out luggage. Totally UNBELIEVABLE! The guys who helped us unload our car was very nice and helpful. They laughed with us about the guy in blue. They warn you of taking ANYTHING out that may break. Listen to these people! They know what they are taking about! We brought out own drinks from cokes to water to cans of pineapple juice and coconut rum. This was a very good idea! I read this tip off the cruise reviews before I left. Although I thought it was something that should be top secret. I imagined an angry faced Donald Duck at the terminal searching luggage for such contraband. This is not the case at all. I even worried about a man I saw bravely carrying a case of Bush beer in one and a a 12 pack of cokes in the other. No one slammed him to the ground and there was angry faced Duck to cuff him. I however placed all of them in one suitcase. Which made it extremely heavy!!  Parking is I think $20.00 and the walk back is relatively short. You go inside and straight inside up the escalator. There are tables at the ends of these lines with what looks like comment cards. These are must fill out about you charge account on your ship if you haven't already previously taken care of this. Fill it out before you get into line. We were told by the lady behind the desk that our birth certificates were not acceptable but she would take them this time. You said you need either a passport or a certificate from the state. This is the first I had heard of this. She was very kind and I was certainly glad she was not wearing blue!   Boarding the ship was very easy. There is a very charming gentleman who greets you and ask you your name. Then they announce your family and someone takes your picture. The inside of the ship is absolutely beautiful. There was someone to great every guest and show them to their cabin. The halls to the cabins are extremely long. Luckily their are signs at openings to tell you where the cabins are located.   We had an inside room. It was narrow with a big mirror on the far end. There was a couch and above, a pull down bed. The bathroom was two separate rooms. It was elegantly decorated in blue and white tile. VERY small. One had a shower and a sink. The other had a toilet and a sink.  The shower was small and when the boat swayed (and it did sway)! You had to hold onto to those bars in which are in the bathroom or you could fall out. We later found out that it was much more convenient to have the toilet separated from the shower in case you had to go and someone was in there. The toilets were so loud when you flushed them. It made us rush to get the door open in fear we might get caught in the vacuum. We thought this was funny! OK enough about this ... the room had a TV in which had several channel that all came in really clear. Channel 52 is from a camera located at the top of the ship. We did not have this channel. Maybe it got sucked into the vacuum?   The lady who cleaned our rooms name was Kristen. She was always lurking in the halls and seemed to have a fake air about her. (We were traveling with two of my sisters friends and in another cabin another adult and 3 kids). Every time we came back into our room we couldn't find our things. She literally seemed to have kicked out shoes under the bed and would just toss any belongings into the closest luggage she could find. This made getting dressed for the evening dinners a bit time consuming beings everyone's make up was in someone else bags. Our rooms had dishes that stayed in them for days. We opted to sitting them in the halls but they were never picked up in a timely manner either. One tray of discarded french fries got kicked and still stayed there for the most part of the day. The scattered fries did make locating our cabin a lot easier though! She did make a cute crab out of our towels one night sporting a pair of sunglasses and holding a gold chocolate in each claws. I hate saying it but she was really terrible! I came hold with a ball and someone else black dress shoe and a compact that don't belong to me. Who knows what I lost?   Late luggage!!- One of my sisters bags got lost. When we finnally got it, it had tags where it had been al over the ship. We did get it by 6:45pm! One of mine had a busted welches grape drink. Be very careful on what you pack your drinks in.   Dinining: Dinner the first night was in Tritons It is an elegant restaurant. The no one at our table liked anything we tried. I have had escargot before and loved it. These tasted like the were captured in a muddy creek. The main course was a seafood pasta. We all found some type of mushy meat that seemed to be bad. None of us ate any more of it. We were offered something else but no one else liked their food either. The kids meals seemed to be more appetizing.      The next night we ate at Animators. This is all done in black and white and has music. The rooms changes colors in tune with the music. I was told this took 4 months to do. This is really neat. The servers are involved in this and thier black and white Mickey scetched vest are turned around and are in color as the room changes. This is really neat but you do not see them to get refills or any service that you may need throughout your meal. Some of the characters make an appearance and were even sporting really cool outfits. The food here was yucky too. The kids meals looked tasty!   The next night we ate at Parrot Cay. This is a tropical decorated dinning room. The lights have tropical birds and banana bunches hanging from them. The walls have frosted glass lights the Sebastian holds up with his claws. These were really cute yet done in an elegant way. The food here was wonderful! I recommend the steaks! We were disappointed in our servers. Jenny was very friendly . Mark was in charge of refilling the glasses. We never saw him either. our head waiter was Ali. We saw very little of him except on our last night. It seemed he was trying really hard to be nice to everyone and they were singing happy birthday to everyone. Well, I guess afterall, everyone has a birthday sometime, right? It seemed every table got cakes and it was difficult to hear each other over the happy birthday hymns cakes. This was a sad attempt to save his tip.   Buffets: The food at the buffets were always very good. They had a good variety and their help was always very friendly. We ate breakfast at all the buffets. Good selections from pancakes to fruit, cereal, eggs sausage bacon oatmeal and even grits! The afternoons. If you don't catch the lunch buffets before 1:00 there is nothing but hot-dogs hamburgers and fries until dinner at night. There is room service. However ours took about 45mins. they did call us with updates on the delay on the arrival of it. It seemed if they would stay off the phone with us we could have gotten it a bit faster. Everything that was supposed to be hot was and the cold stuff was cold. There was always plenty of chairs to dine outside on the deck, weather permitting, this was nice.   Although I never ate in the Palo restaurant I did make it for a tour. It is very elegant and sits on the end of the ship. Nice view.  Others who ate here said the food was good. I talked for a time with a young guy named Morgan from Sweden. I believe this is his permanent place and he does not float to other dining areas. Very nice guy but seemed to have had a terrible day. He was very pleasant and informative. He gave me some good island advice about clubs of the ship. If you see him please tell him hello for me!! I regretted greatly not being able to thank him in person!!   The Pools!!! : The pools were fresh water!! The Mickey pool was shaped like Mickey Mouse. The face was a pool and the ears were black wadding type pools. There is a big Mickey gloved hand that holds up a yellow slide. This area is for small children and the water is about 18 inches deep. The water slide hangs over the pool but does not go into it. The kids will stop short of the slide. There is someone at the top and bottom of the slides directing the kids and insuring safety. They were very attentive. There were lounge chairs and I could see where parents could relax and not worry about their kids at this area. It was very loud here with Disney type music that played. This area was very chaotic!! But everyone seemed to be very safe and the parents seemed very relaxed.   The Goofy pool was also very loud with older type kids. The music was a little different here. There was a stage and most of the time a band. In which with Disney type music playing.  The band was REALLY good!  There were plenty of character appearances here. I only saw the cruise director at the shows at night. In fact it was difficult trying to figure out who was in charge. I saw Captain Mickey several times. Maybe he REALLY was in charge?  The "entertainers" ran around the pool area and worked really hard at making sure everyone had a great time. They seemed like they really loved their jobs. They had pool side games in which were meant for everyone to be involved. The prizes you win were kinda sad. You would think everyone participating would receive a gift but only the winners. They even had a type of "Who wants to be a Millionaire" game and the grand prize was 5 Mickey Bucks!! No kidding it was like, Do you want to walk away with your $2 Mickey bucks or go for the big money?? Kinda lost its excitement there.   The adult pool was a quite area. Plenty of towels and chairs here. The music played was classical Disney. Such as Beauty and the Beast. Very relaxing. The pools were also far enough apart where the noise from one did not drown out each other. The mixed drinks were $5 something and with gratuity the were over $6. They were so-so sized and extremely weak.   There was a basketball and volleyball court. The teenagers seemed to have a good time and I saw several of them that seemed to have made life long friends. I also over heard the other kids excitably talking about what they were doing later in their little clubs or labs. The smaller kids seemed to have a great time too. The families seemed happy and I never saw a mother father or Grandparent at their wits end. It seemed everyone got to do what they wanted and had time on their own at appropriate times. The kids with us (in separate cabins) never came back winning with nothing to do. Never. I saw kids out after 1:00AM and their was plenty supervision by the ship. The only unhappy looking people I saw was a pregnant woman and those with really small babies.   The nightlife: The clubs were entraining. The karaoke was really funny! The gave out Kamikaze shots. The crowd was wonderful and everyone had a good time. I never drank and I had a blast! The 70s night was not my kinda music but was still a lot of fun. The staff really gets involved dressing down to the wigs. The contest they have are really funny. They pull out of the audience and you lip sink and dance. The Village people come out a dance. This was a lot of fun.   The shows: I missed the first night due to my sister and I not being able to locate our matching shoes. I heard it was really good. The next night was good about a Ghost ship. Disney dose not spare any expense on the props. Nicely done. The last nights show, DO NOT MISS THIS!!! I cant say that enough!! Its about this girl who Peter Pan visits and tries to help her make her dream come true to fly. She remittences about her favorite Disney stories. They all come to life right before her eyes. This is all so magical and there was no short cuts left to the imagination. At the end there was a standing ovation. I had tears in my eyes. I felt that show was worth the money for the whole cruise if we never left the port!! The characters were very beliveable and they all seemed to love their jobs and I believe they were just as excited about it as we all were.   The Bahamas had changed a lot since I had been there in '97. It was not as dirty and Paradise Island seemed to have grown as well. There were more shops there and I was only asked if I wanted my hair braided once there. Nassau I was literally fought over by these two ladies over braiding my hair. Don't pay over a dollar for a braid. Im sure you could even get it cheaper. Just tell them your price or walk off. Im sure you wont even get turned around and they will take your offer. One word of advice. We never made it to Castaway Cay :'(. You will be in Nassau from when the sun comes up until 1am -3am. Find the beach in case a storm comes up and you never get a chance to go to their island. I had to listen to my sister complain about never even seeing a tropical beach her whole trip. For those of you who will feel cheated if you don't see the beaches, find one while you are in the Bahamas. I brought my own snorkeling equipment. The rentals were expensive. Im convinced if I had forgotten such things we would have made it to the Castaway Cay.   Night Life off the boat: Like I said earlier I got some really great advice from Morgan about a club off of the ship. I cant remember the name of it but there were 2. The one I went to was one that just opened. I lost my sister and ended up off the ship at night alone. I didn't feel at all threatened but I wouldn't recommend doing this if you can avoid it. A group of Cruise staff from the Carnival Destiny walked by and asked me why I was out alone. They told me where they were going and invited me to accompany them. They were all very nice and helped me keep up with the time I need to be back.( Thank you Tyrone!!!) I never found my sister (until later). I was really glad I went and found it to be a very interesting cultural experience. The music was different as well as the dancing. There was no fire in the middle of the floor or barefooted Bahamians with painted faces but very cool! I recommend doing this as well! The Folks from the Carnival Fantasy were so nice to me!! They even made a special trip to walk me back to my ship before they walked back to the club so I didn't walk alone. I told them they didn't have to but they were so kind!   As previously mentioned there was a storm and it was too Windy to make it to Castaway Cay. We did see it from the ship. They tried twice but the wind was blowing too hard. The first night the ship rocked a bit. I went to bed at 10:00 fearing motion sickness. I didn't get it but I was asleep! The last nights rockiness didn't bother me. Even my sister said the first night broke her in and she gets sick in an elevator. We didn't not take dramamine.   Character appearances: There were plenty of them!! They were everywhere and always took time to take pictures with the kids!   Movies: There is a movie theater on the boat. They played Sixth Sense and Story 2. Bring a jacket if you deiced to take in a movie.  Also it gets kinda chilly at night when the wind is blowing!   Disembarkation went smoothly. As we got off there was the 'fruit and vegetable police'. They wanted you to leave all the stuff there or pay a $1000 fine. Harbored bananas and apples sprang readily from packages left and right. Although they never even checked and someone from our group later confessed to sneaking a banana off the boat.   As we got off the escelater there was a man (in blue) grumpily telling people to keep moving. My luggage was so very heavy and I stopped to rest it before carrying on. He rushed over to me and told me stopping was not permitted. I picked up my luggage and carried on before I got a ticked for loitering. The walk back to the car was tremendous! There was guys to carry your luggage if needed but they were always running by. Our battery was dead in the car because someone left the interior light on (I still say I didn't do it!) We could find NO one to help us and the guys in blue were not the least bit hospitable!!   Over all I think the ship is an excellent family choice cruise hands down!!   I think my sister and I were the only ones traveling without a family.  I highly recommend this for families!! Just be weary of the guys in blue. And I also highly recommend THEY take a vacation!! Where did Disney get these guys???  Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have! I'd be glad to help!! 

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Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

This was our family’s first cruise together and part of a “Super Vacation” package that I set up as a perfect send off to my oldest child that will be going off to college. Our family of 4 have traveled the world together and lived overseas in various locations for 14 years prior to my retirement and settling in Washington State. We are a very tight-knit family of 4 and sending one offspring into the world alone is both exciting and saddening

at the same time. In all of our family history, Disneyland and Disneyworld has always represented the pinnacle of vacation fun. After all, where does a family that has been almost everywhere in the world (literally not figuratively) find amusement, relaxation, and great entertainment? So as a finale to traveling across the US, we arrived at Disneyworld as part of a 7 day land and sea package. The resort stay is not really the focus of this report and certainly not the purpose of this website but I must make just a few comments that might help someone. We stayed at Disney’s Beach Club resort. It was a nice 4 day stay, but I don’t think I would return there opting for a more exciting resort (like the Wilderness Resort). The Beach Club really didn’t fit our family’s idea of a fun place to stay and I wish we would have planned things differently. But it was still very nice and luckily close to an urgent care facility that accepted our ex-military medical insurance (my son developed tonsillitis just after arrival and needed urgent care on our second day). The hotel staff was very accommodating getting him and my wife to that treatment center. The rest of our resort stay could be characterized as wonderful as it could be, you know, it’s Disneyworld – fun, exciting, and expensive! On our last day at the resort we were to leave our bags at the entrance to our room for an 8:00AM pick up for transfer to the Disney Wonder. We then departed on a shuttle for the Animal Kingdom. This is an excellent feature for a family that loves to pack as much into a day as possible. We were able to goof around at that park for 3 hours prior to boarding buses bound for Port Canaveral. The boarding and disembarkation at the pier was brilliantly executed. We ran through a security check, well we didn’t run… Alright for everyone that was behind me I apologize. I was “THAT GUY” that took 10 minutes to go through the metal detector ump-teen times. I fell asleep on the bus and wasn’t very awake when I went through. I rarely wear cargo pants and couldn’t believe how much metal I had packed in those 97 pockets… The rest of the boarding procedure was a breeze (especially using US Passports – can’t tell you how much of a time saver those are). From the time we left the security check point to getting to our room must have been only 15 minutes or less. Even better, our bags were waiting for us! First day onboard (1 Sep): Our stateroom was spacious and had a veranda that invited us out immediately. With a 14 year-old girl and a 17 year-old boy in the same room it was surprisingly comfortable and spacious. We ran through the activities listed in “The Navigator,” the ship’s activities bulletin for the day, and went up to deck nine for a buffet. The buffet food was very good and I was pleasantly surprised after reading a few reviews that suggested the contrary. We toured the ship and had a great time while awaiting the evening play, “Hercules, the muse-ical” that started at 6:30. My family and I, well we’ve kind of grown out of the Disney films, and we aren’t much for going to plays, but I am so happy to report that this play was simply fantastic (actually I fell in love with the blonde muse in that play and have run away with her to Tahiti – hey I can dream)! It was all we could talk about at dinner at the Parrot Cay restaurant at 8:30 (a good time to eat if you don’t want to hear a bunch of crying babies and noisy little kids while eating). First dining room: Parrot Cay. I’ve read more than one article that stated that the food aboard the DCL is not as good as other cruise lines. Well if that is true then I must make it a point to find out for myself because I thought the food was terrific! The décor in Parrot Cay isn’t as awe inspiring as the other restaurants on the Wonder, but the food and the fantastic service make up for it. My family enjoyed their food and we all sampled each other’s selections. For an appetizer I had the “trio of salmon” (what can I say, I live in the Pacific Northwest – it’s mandatory), for a soup I had the cream of sweet onion (I could have made a meal of that it was so good), and for a main course I had roasted rib-eye (very good but not as good as the one I had at the Polynesian resort restaurant). To drink – I don’t really drink alcohol so I can’t tell a fine wine from a cheap one, so out of my 97 pockets (cargo pants remember?) I pulled out a decaf green tea bag. A small problem though, the teabag was ripped and the contents were spilling onto the tablecloth. Without even asking me, the assistant server (Natalia from Venezuela) delivered in just a few moments a glass of iced green tea. Now what kind of attention to detail is that? After dinner we went up to the upper deck and watched the most amazing lightning storms (every night treat) on the horizon. It was a perfect end to a great day! Second day onboard (2 Sep): The ship arrived in Nassau, Bahamas while we slept. I had been to Nassau before and honestly, other than the Atlantis resort area, it is much like most of the Caribbean tourist trap cities. We specifically booked the Atlantis resort and aquarium tour with the intention of returning to the ship so we could relax and swim unmolested by the 5000 or so small children at the family pool. The bus ride to the Atlantis resort was, well – the word, ‘lame’ comes to mind. The contracted shuttle driver took the entire tour group well off of the main road and a ride to the resort that should have only taken 5-10 minutes lasted a half-hour at least. This guy had no experience leading a tour group and just rambled on making no sense at all, driving through slums (if going through slums is your idea of a great vacation, then this is the bus tour for you), and almost caused 2 accidents. I was never so relived to get off of a bus! The Atlantis tour on the other hand was professional, informative and fun! What a contrast! We returned to the ship at 2:00 (a mere 3 hours later). After returning to the ship we discovered some small problems with a Disney Cruise that might be just because of the ages of our children. The family pool was still full of small noisy kids. Enough that made sunning and taking a small nap impossible. The adult pool was virtually empty with exception of a few couples that were enjoying their years without children. Now here is our dilemma; what do you do with our children? Send them to the “Aloft” Teen Club? Both of them checked it out and felt it was aimed a bit toward the younger teen and that the activities were not attractive to two kids that act like adults. So we wound up going back to our room disappointed and took naps until it was time for dinner. Second dining room: Triton’s. This is the restaurant that wearing more formal attire is recommended. I don’t know why, it certainly didn’t look like many people either knew that or cared. But we, as a family dressed nicer than we did the previous evening. The restaurant is very elegant, especially the tiled wall which is truly spectacular to look at. The food, which I have read compares to its sister restaurant, “Lumiere’s” (or would that be brother restaurant?) was simply delicious. Each of us ordered a separate appetizer (we shared the escargot that my wife ordered, my kids daring each other to take the first bite) and I had the deep-fried Camembert (very good). I was looking forward to the chilled Vichyssoise and was delighted beyond my expectations (that soup alone could be a reason to sail on the Wonder). For a main course I had the roast duck (very good but not the best I’ve ever had). After dinner we returned to the upper deck for the “Pirates in the Caribbean” party. This started out with a lot of potential, there was some good music, fireworks (a surprise feature that was really a nice touch), and a lot of dancing. This is where we all felt awkward again. There were a significant number of parents that were drunk dancing around and bumping into other people’s children. Even my teenagers looked disgusted when the DJ started playing some rap music and we saw several 5-10 year-old girls shaking their “booty” suggestively like chorus girls in a rap video while being encouraged by their drunk parents. I’m not blaming the cruise line for this out-of-place behavior; we just didn’t expect that on a Disney Cruise. At first I suggested that we took a tour of the ship to see if we could find the trailer park onboard. But we just moved forward on the ship and enjoyed another lightning storm together. Third day onboard (3 Sep): Our previous day and evening’s disappointments with the cruise were forgotten today. The ship docked in Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. This island is simply gorgeous and the activities available are incredible! We spent a lot of time snorkeling as a family and spending time at the beach. The weather presented some cloudy conditions which prevented my kids from parasailing but that was fine with me as I thought it was a bit too ‘spendy’ (a Washington state word meaning, “YOU PAID HOW MUCH?!”). We had a great time together and enjoyed the barbeque at “Cookies.” (Note: I love fresh fruit and they had a ton of fresh and delicious fruit available at this barbeque and every buffet on the cruise.) We returned to the ship so I could attend the debarkation brief (which was played on TV later so I didn’t have to rush back so quickly – I read a review that suggested that, but forgot – duh). This brief could have been considerably shorter if the cruise director didn’t take so much time patting herself and the Disney Cruise Line on the back. But it did have all the information that made disembarkation a breeze. At 6:30 we watched, “Disney Dreams,” the 3rd of 3 plays (we didn’t attend the one on the second evening). This was a spectacular performance! It’s rare when a family of four, two of them teenagers, can enjoy a movie together and be satisfied, to find a play that can do that is very rare! Actually, I’d love to know how to get that on DVD (if anyone knows, please email). Once again I found the girl of my dreams (the blonde muse from the first night) and she and I rendezvoused back in Tahiti. Well I would! Third dining room: Animator’s Palate. Wow. This is by far the best dining room in my opinion. It is the epitome of Disney Imagineering. If you haven’t experienced dining in this room, you’ve made a grave mistake. It is simply beautiful and brilliant and I have no intention of spoiling any surprises as others have done. The food is splendid, but honestly, I think you could serve hot dogs and hamburgers and get away with it in this room. As far as this menu goes I highly recommend the smoked salmon (Pacific Northwest remember?) appetizer, the butternut squash soup, and the maple-glazed salmon. This was the perfect meal of the cruise and I’m glad that we chose this evening to dress up and look our Sunday best. After goofing off for far too long we raced up to our stateroom to pack. We only had ½ hour to put our bags outside our stateroom! But all worked out well and the only casualty was a pair of missing sunglasses. Debarkation: One word: EASY. Locating our bags was a snap. Clearing Customs was a breeze. Checking our luggage at the pier for our airline was beyond convenient. And the ride to the airport was pleasant and comfortable. We left the ship and were on the bus to the airport in less than 20 minutes (passports save time again). Overall: We had a blast! It was a great way to celebrate kicking one of our little birds out of the nest. Sure there were things I would do differently, hind-sight is 20/20 you know. If I could do it all over again: a. I would have booked my airline myself (Disney used Delta and I have no pleasure with that airline) b. I would have chosen a different resort (probably the Wilderness Resort in one of the cabins – they have more activities we enjoy like horseback riding and such). c. I would have booked more activities in Nassau like snorkeling in a piranha tank (ok, that one isn’t available but after reading all of this you needed something to wake you up). But there is a snorkel with the rays tour we should have done. d. Brought my own snorkeling gear. For the price of rental, you might as well buy and bring your own. e. I would think of a longer cruise than the 7 day land and sea. Especially if there was more time at Castaway Cay. Heck, a 3-day stay on that island would be a great vacation in itself!

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By M_CR

  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Disney knows the meaning of “VACATION”. I can not say enough about our cruise, the ship, the people, and the ports of call. We went on the 5 day / 4 night cruise on the Disney wonder and it was fantastic from the beginning. We got to the terminal about 11:30, we did not have to stand in any very long lines. There were employees of Disney to make sure all of your paper work was filled out correctly, and that you had all of your things in

order before you stepped in line to get your key to the world card. Everyone was friendly and fast! Security and boarding lines took all of 30 minutes tops. While we were in line to get our key to the world card, Mickey showed up to have pictures made with people who were getting on the boat. We had our picture made with Mickey right in front of the model of the ship and that picture is actually the picture that we are using for our Christmas cards this year. We were allowed to board the boat immediately; they announced our name as we boarded the boat, which was kind of neat. Our state room was not going to be ready until 1:30, so the staff was directing people up stairs to the buffet if you wanted to eat, or you were free to roam the ship if you so desired. One thing that we noticed right away was the hand cleaning sanitary stations that were set up everywhere. At every entrance to almost every restaurant or kid’s place was a hand cleaning station. These things are motion activated and they squirt sanitizer onto your hand that kills germs and evaporates so you don’t need a towel or water. Disney keeps the chances of you or your children getting sick or spreading germs by being able to clean your hands just about anywhere on the boat. We went and ate lunch, which was very good, and we toured around the boat. The staff was friendly and helpful every where we went. People were already in the pool playing and having a good time. If you want to get in the pool quick before everyone else descends upon it, make sure you put your suit in your carry on bag. Your luggage will not show up for while at your stateroom. Also, we only have one child and she is 3 so we were a little concerned about how much she would have to do. We went to the Oceaneer’s Lab to sign her up for the children’s events and to check the place out. The staff again were just superb! We had a one on one session with one of the Lab’s staff and they explained the different events for the children and that we the parents would be given a pager that would work on the boat, and if our child wanted to be picked up they would page us and we could come get her. We were a little skeptical as to how much our child would use the Lab but as I will explain later we were very surprised. The ship rocked pretty good once we left the port. My wife took Dramamine but the rocking of the boat still made her sick, but once she got used to it she was o.k. Our stateroom host (ThieChei) was full of information about the ship and what to see and where to go. He also told us that during the Hurricane season the sea seems to rock the boat more than any other time of the year. The captain told us later on during the cruise that the Gulf Stream causes the seas to be unsettled for the first 8 hours of the trip. We ate at Triton’s the first night and the food was GREAT! Very fresh and cooked to perfection! It was fantastic! I could not choose between the sirloin or the pasta and our server suggested that I try both. GIGI and DAS were our servers and they were terrific! We took our daughter up to the oceaneer’s lab after dinner to see if she wanted to check it out or not. The lab has a huge slide and play area, along with a projection t.v. that the children can watch one of their favorite Disney films on. To our surprise she went right in and turned around waved and went inside to play. She never paged us one time on the trip. In fact the second night I had to go get her at midnight, and when I showed up to get her, she was playing in the Captain’s closet, where the kids can dress up like characters and she was upset that she had to leave to go to bed. She did not eat dinner with us two nights on the trip because she wanted to “eat with HER friends.” We got off the boat in Nassau, and we had heard that the area was nasty and that people harassed you in the market. We got off the boat and while there are dumpsters on the pier where you get off the boat you have to remember that all that trash that everyone is making on the boat has to go somewhere. So those who complain about getting off the boat by the dumpsters just need to realize why they are there. (They are not a big deal) The area was very attractive, as we neared the station where the cabs, horse drawn carriages, and “tour guides” are we encountered a lady who looked very official with a photo i.d. around her neck and some credentials on it. Don’t be fooled, she was nothing more than a “tour guide.” We went inside the building where the true “officials” are. You will know them by the shiny shoes, uniform, hat and radio. They told us to stand to the side and they would get a legitimate cab driver for us. They did so, and we took a cab along with 9 other people to the Atlantis Hotel/Resort/Casino. It was only $4 per person. Now realize, the area was not dirty in Nassau, it was poor. Nassau is a poor British Colony but I must say that it looked as though things were coming around and we saw many buildings being worked on, painted and kept up. We never once felt unsafe, or like anything was out of place. Atlantis is your typical Hotel\Casino. Very similar to Caesar’s Palace if you have been to Vegas. We walked around, gambled a little bit, did some shopping and returned to the boat via taxi service again, with no problems. Stay with a crowd, use the officials, don’t try to do it on your own, there are plenty of people around to help. The Disney Private Island was our next stop, it was AWESOME! Our daughter wanted to do the Oceaneer’s Lab that they have on the island so we had a lot of beach time to ourselves. The pager also works here so if your child needs you they will page you. We snorkeled off the beach, we did not take the snorkeling tour. Disney has a designated area for snorkeling off the beach; we went out and saw sting rays, all kinds of tropical fish, and some small barracudas. I had so much fun, I went out a second time and I was just amazed. Truly worth the snorkel rental. All in all it was well worth the money. We are going back next year on a 7 day cruise next summer. If you forget anything, they have it. Alcohol is not free but soft drinks are. We hardly ever saw very many children or people for that matter. The characters seemed to be everywhere for pictures and autographs. Sometimes they would just be hanging out, no formal pictures just hugging kids, taking pictures for your personal camera and just making the trip excellent! We ate at Triton’s, Animators Palate and Parrot Cay, all of these restaurants were great and the Animator’s Palate show during dinner was great! No doubt Disney knows how to give you a true relaxing vacation! Football was also in abundance on Sunday and Monday night in the sports bar on the boat, so don’t worry about missing the game dads!

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Disney Cruise Line Critique: PARENTS BEWARE As happened to Denise Thomas: On May 1st, 2005, while preparing to go to lunch on the 9th deck of the Disney Wonder cruise ship before departing the dock, we became separated from our 5-year-old daughter Gwen. We were on the 2nd deck near our room, which left a lot of area to cover for our search. Gwen was lost on a huge ship with hundreds of strangers around. We were panic-stricken and sickened with

fear after months of hearing news out of Florida regarding child abductions, killings and sexual assaults. What better place and time to steal a child then during the chaos of boarding a ship. We began screaming and running and searching frantically. No one could locate her. And knowing that statistics state that if you do not find a lost child within the first 8 minutes of separation, your chances of “live recovery” are greatly reduced. I encountered only one Disney employee during this time, and requested that he hurry and call Security. “No Mam’, you must go to your stateroom and call Security.” was his response. He was too busy with delivering baggage and making rate. In our panic, we couldn’t even remember what stateroom we were in or how to work the card key. Instead, we continued running around the decks, up and down the stairs yelling and searching. Other passengers volunteered to help. Still, no Gwen. I ran back to the Disney employee who was still busy delivering baggage and asked if he had called Security. When he answered “No” and that I needed to do the calling, I pushed him towards the office and screamed to “Go Call Security! Our little girl is MISSING!” He continued to downplay the situation. “Kids get lost all the time” was not a proper response and this enraged us even further. At that point I grabbed his nametag off of his shirt, still screaming, cursing and causing a scene of panic, and said we were reporting him to the Supervisor, adding, “You will no longer work here!” At this time, my husband ran up to me and said we had located Gwen. In my panic-induced frenzy, I continued yelling and venting my fear and anger at the employee. From there we went to the Supervisor, who profusely apologized and said he would look into the occurrence. When we asked what the proper response should have been, he replied that “assisting the parent and calling security is the absolute proper response.” Upon our return from the ship safety initiation, Disney Security was waiting at our cabin and asked me to come to the office. They would not let my husband accompany me, and I would shortly find out why. I was not going to the office, I was headed towards the ship’s brig. The employee we had asked for help from, in what appears to be an effort to cover his shortcomings, insisted on pressing charges of Battery against me, a panicked mother. The Brovard County Sheriff came, handcuffed me and took me away in the squad car. All this time they would not let me communicate with anyone, so I had no idea what was going on. Finally, the ship’s officer went to our room and told my husband that I had been taken to the county jail. He was told he had two options: 1) Get off the ship, or 2) stay on and continue the cruise without me. WHAT KIND OF CHOICE WAS THAT?! It is my guess that they will use this against us if we request a refund, saying that we were given the option to use the “vacation” package that we had paid for. And leave me in County Jail for 4 days. The only response my husband could come up with was “You are heartless.” The story continues, this from my husband’s perspective: Being told that Denise was being transported to the county jail, the kids begin crying, “We want Mommy” and “Is Mommy going to be OK?”. The worst part though, was that they both started saying that they were sorry for getting separated and that everything was their fault. “We should go to jail Daddy, not Mommy” nearly broke my heart. With 15 minutes left before the ship had to depart, we finally were offered help – to pack our belongings, stuffing them into any suitcase that was nearby and to get us off the ship. We were then promptly dumped off at the curb. From here could things get any worse? Well, actually Yes. The taxi ride cost us 42 dollars and I had just enough money to bail Denise out and pay for the taxi. I apologized to the driver for not having enough to tip him, so I gave him my new straw fedora, which I had bought for the cruise. At the jail, I was then told that they do not accept CASH for bail. (?!) To get a money order, I had to leave our baggage, unattended in the lobby, and walk half a mile to the nearby Circle K mini-mart. I told the kids to bring their teddy bears, that we were going for a long walk. The walk was along a deserted county highway with no sidewalks. The surrounding neighborhood did not seem to be the safest part of Florida either. I finally got so unnerved at having to bring our kids through this, I went up to an elderly couple sitting outside their mobile home and pleaded my case for help. They were very kind and helpful and drove us to the mart. After buying each kid a candy bar for dinner with nearly the last of our cash, we were given a ride back to County. They even offered to lend any assistance we might need afterwards. THEY had more compassion for our kids than Disney. During Denise’s booking, she was made to strip, change into a jumpsuit and slippers, photographed, fingerprinted and then given a mat to take to her jail cell. This process took over 5 hours. Because we were again not allowed to communicate, I had to tape 2 quarters under the payphone and beg the receptionist to slip Denise a secret note giving her the phone # of the hotel I was taking the kids to and where to find the quarters. This walk was going to be many miles long. And with all our luggage, another local resident came to our rescue, giving us a ride to a nearby run-down, trucker motel. When you look at the overall scenario, we were blessed because we got back our child. We could not imagine the emptiness and dread and guilt of returning home without our Gwenny. But conversely, this was supposed to be the “magical vacation” that relieved many years of the stresses we have been enduring, caring for Denise’s wheelchair-bound Mother in our home, and we were angry and disappointed. Gone, is the week that we had to put Denise’s mother into a nursing home because we care for here at our house. (many elderly details here that do not need to be discussed.) Gone, is the week that I took off of work, and the week that we put the dog into a kennel. Everything was shot to Hell. And for our 10-year-old’s vacation school report, she had to come up with a creative way around saying that her Mom went to jail instead of going on the Disney cruise. I told her that her Mom had acted bravely and was doing what was necessary to find her lost child. A good analogy is how a mother bear acts when her cubs are in danger – momma bear will do anything to protect her little ones! Including pushing a non-caring, slackard employee into action. Their rash decision to press battery charges against a panicked mother was so shortsighted and rude, when a simple conversation could have fixed the whole misunderstanding. Our lawyer who handled our case (another $1,500 down the vacation drain!) said that we have very little recourse against such a giant corporation that owns most of Florida and runs the judicial system. Our request for reimbursement from Disney was a blunt “No, you’ll have to sue us.” This came from the Corporate Headquarters. Since that forgettable week, all charges were dropped. No Florida State’s Attorney in their right mind would touch this case. And not wanting to relive that horrible attempt at a cruise, we have not, as of yet, pursued any action against Disney. Please share this with your readers so that they do not go on board a Disney cruise thinking everything is “for the kids”. It is if it is profitable or convenient to them…. Sincerely, Brad and Denise Thomas

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

3 Night Bahamas

As a frequent all-inclusive resort vacationer, I was disappointed is what the Disney cruise offered. Being a Disney cruise, I assumed that it would cater to children, allowing us parents some alone time. While there were some scheduled children's activities in the afternoon and evenings, the activities for different age groups didn't coincide in time, nor were there activities scheduled when our children were ready to do something besides swimming.

What little activity information was provided was difficult to decode. With all that said, my children, ages 6 and 9, didn't participate in "Disney" activity. In the children's activities they did participate in, they requested to cut it short and be picked up, because "it wasn't that much fun". From an adult perspective, I was very uncomfortable with the pressure imposed by the Disney staff for tipping. Paying big bucks for the cruise, only to be hounded for tips was definitely the low point of the cruise. For this reason alone, I will NEVER go on another Disney cruise. Don't waste your money on a Disney cruise. Other cruise lines have as many, if not more, family and kid activities for a much lower cost.

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By Gwen_CR

  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Hello, first off, I wanted to apologize for this review being nearly 3 years late. Because of that, some of the things in my review may be different now. I didn’t know about this website until recently, when I found it to post a review about a cruise we went on this month (May 2006) through Royal Caribbean. I guess the nice thing is that I have two cruises to compare, so that might help the review a bit. Let me also say that there were many

factors in the Disney cruise that made it not as memorable as our most recent cruise. This had nothing to do with Disney; it was just the circumstances at the time. When we went on the Disney cruise, our children were only 3 and 1 ½. This is a big mistake, and I would advise against bringing small children on any cruise line, not just Disney. The reason being is because they do not allow the children to participate in their programs unless they are three and potty trained. Our son had just turned 3, but he has autism, so he was not potty trained yet. Because of this, neither of our kids could be in the programs. We knew this going into the vacation; we just didn’t realize how much it would affect the ‘cruise experience’. The second downfall was the weather. I would not recommend taking a cruise to the Bahamas in the months of December, January, or February. It is considered the ‘cold season’ and you have a higher chance of encountering bad weather, which we did. And even if the weather is nice during the day, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have to wear coats at night. If you don’t really care about the weather, this isn’t a concern. But if you are going on a cruise because you want a fun vacation in a warm setting, this can be a setback. I have been told that the Disney cruise lines that go to the southern ports like Jamaica and the Cayman Islands do not have this problem however. If you’re going to take a cruise to the Bahamas, I actually recommend May because the weather is perfect. It’s before the rain and hurricane season, but after the cold season. It’s also cheaper. The weather on our most recent cruise was around 85 the entire time. The temperature on our Disney cruise was maybe 50, I kid you not. And with the humidity, it felt even colder. I am from Colorado and used to 20-30 degree weather, and 50 in the Caribbean ‘feels’ like 30. It was so windy and chilly that we could not go out on the decks or enjoy the pool. They actually closed the pool area early each day because the wind and the waves were causing the water in the pool to thrash all over the pool deck. When the pool was open, I overheard several people complain that it was too cold. And if you did dare to brave the pool temperature, there were so many kids splashing around that it wasn’t very fun because their pools are very small. But, this cruise is more for kids though, so it’s to be expected. The weather also contributed to Disney having to cancel all the excursions at their private island, and we were not able to dock until 3pm. The ship still had to leave at 5pm, so we only had several hours on their island. Because we were so bummed, we decided that we were going to swim in the ocean if it was the last thing we did. It was freezing, but we insisted, so it was our own fault. Because of the weather, I’m not sure what the snorkeling would have been like. At Royal Caribbean’s private island, the snorkeling was awesome. The marine life was fantastic and very memorable. At Disney’s, we were lucky to see a couple of fish. I would be interested in snorkeling there when the weather was warmer to see if it makes a difference. I’m sure it does. Again, this is not Disney’s fault, and is something you might encounter if you choose to go on a cruise. This is why I would highly recommend checking average weather temperatures throughout the year in the Caribbean, and finding the time that would be best for your family to go. And, you might even luck out in December. I have talked to people that went on cruises in December where the weather was around 70-80. So it might have just been bad luck. But I do know your chances are worse during that time for bad weather. I just wouldn’t take that chance again, because Disney Cruises are expensive. The ship itself was gorgeous. It is more luxurious then Royal Caribbean and they pay attention to every single little detail. We had an inside stateroom on both cruises, and Disney’s was twice as big. They keep up with the ship very well, and even when we were in port, there would be repair crews re-painting little details on the outside of the ship to keep it looking the way it does. Their three dining areas are top-notch and the food is even better. I’m not too picky when it comes to food, but I think Disney Cruise Lines has even better food then some fine restaurants where I am from. The wait-staff were wonderful, and would humor you during dinner and had very good memories, considering how many people they were serving. During dinner the first night, I asked for a cranberry with Sprite. The next night at dinner, they already had one waiting for me when I came in. If I said I wanted something else, it wasn’t a problem and they would bring me that as well. If you couldn’t decide between two different meals on the menu, no problem! They brought them both. If you didn’t like something, they had no problem returning it and bringing you something else. The food was so delicious that I didn’t even have anything to complain about. My mother in law however, had dessert one night that she didn’t really care for. Not because it wasn’t good, it was just different and she wasn’t used to that kind of dessert. They brought her something else from the dessert menu without any problems. Since we went three years ago, I hope this hasn’t changed. The staff was fantastic and would tend to our every need. They would go out their way for the children and make them special plates such as happy face pancakes and whatnot. The characters throughout the ship were also wonderful. My daughter got her picture taken with all the princesses before dinner one night, and the characters would also walk around during dinner and interact with the kids. As for the ship activities, this is where my children’s ages came into play. Disney is really family oriented. That seems like a good thing, but it leaves little for adults to do. They only had one or two shows when we went, and you could only watch that Hercules play so many times. Having been on Royal Caribbean, I wish Disney had more variety in the shows and activities that they have. I have heard that they still do that Hercules play on Disney. It’s wonderful, and very funny, but like anything else that you see you too much, it loses its appeal. Because our kids were so young, they didn’t enjoy many of the activities and would get fidgety quick. We also couldn’t do a lot of the activities because of our kid’s ages. Maybe they have better activities for families with older children? If your kids are old enough for the programs, and you want to do adult activities, there honestly isn’t much besides the pool (which is full of kids all the time), the bars, and the nightclubs. But because it’s a family type cruise, even the night clubs weren’t that popular. We got my in-laws to watch the kids one night, and there were maybe 5 or 6 people in the night club when we went. Hopefully this has changed and they have more activities for adults now. As far as the ports, Nassau is great now. It has really improved since the last time we went. Atlantis and the aquarium are good destinations, as are Cabbage/Cable beach and the Rainbow Reef Snorkeling. Bring one dollar bills to Nassau instead of bigger bills because the vendors are terrible about change. If you give them a 10 for a 6 dollar item, they will try ignoring you and you have to hound them for the change. If I went on a Disney cruise again it would b purely to experience their private island. I can’t give much of a review on it because of the short time we were there and the bad weather. It also seemed very crowded. Royal Caribbean’s private island had plenty of chairs, hammocks and room to go around. All in all, I would say that if you’re going to do a cruise, do Disney when your kids are between the ages of 5 and 10 because the programs for the kids are fantastic I have been told. But once they are 10, I think the other cruise lines would be just as good and would have more for the adults to do.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

This was my 4th Disney Cruise on the Wonder. We had a great time on each cruise we went on. We have two small boys and they loved everything about the cruise. Even the adults had a great time! The food on the cruise was very good. Each day we ate at Pluto's or we would go inside to the Beach Blanket Buffet and eat. Each night we had a different dining area that we ate at. We had wonderful servers on each cruise that would follow us around each night.

I liked the most that the servers got to know you and what you liked to drink and eat. Especially when it came to the kids!We had a wonderful experience on each of our cruises. On the Wonder, we have stayed in 3 different staterooms. We have stayed in the Deluxe Oceanview, Deluxe standard, and a verandah. For the price we enjoyed the Deluxe Oceanview. It was very roomy for 2 adults, and 2 kids. It has 2 bathrooms, which was very nice. I especially liked the bathrooms since they had tubes in them.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

Our entire family was eagerly awaiting our planned cruise on the Disney Wonder. My 4 year old daughter loves the Disney Princesses and all of the other wonderful characters. My 7 year old son likes the onboard activities for kids and was waiting to see how the Disney programs compared to the others he has been in. My wife and I were looking forward to a little peace and quiet, some time to ourselves when the kids were in the programs. The embarkation

process was a little long, but the kids were kept occupied watching cartoons as dad waited in line. Once we were aboard, we made our way to our balcony cabin on deck 7. Our cabin was plenty big for the 4 of us and had a nice balcony to enjoy at night. After a short time, we made our way up to deck 9 and enjoyed our first meal, our only buffet meal of the entire trip. The Disney people do a great job of providing plenty of activity and entertainment. As we were preparing to set sail there was a great party on the pool deck with music and dancing. Since we were able to move our dining time to the early seating, we had to get ready for dinner. With the split bathroom in the Disney cabins, it makes the process much easier. As for our meals, we loved the atmosphere at Animators Palatte. The food was also very good. Tritons was our favorite meal and my daughter loved the Little Mermaid mosaic on the wall. We did not have a great meal at Parrot Cay but overall, our dining experience was very good. The highlight of the dining experience were our servers Gede and Carmen. They took great care of us and were very attentive to our children. Each night, Gede provided magic tricks for the kids and was very good. Th highlight of the entire trip was the constant appearances by the Disney characters. They were everywhere. Mickey greeted us in the lobby, there were character greetings in the morning before breakfast and before dinner each night. They were also on the beach and many other places. As glad as I was to see the smile on my daughter's face each time she took a picture with the character, I knew it would cost me in the long run. At least Disney gives you the option of picture packages. If you buy in advance, you can save 15 dollars per package. As sad as it was that the trip came to an end, I encountered the smoothest disembarkation process of any cruise I have been on. While eating breakfast, they announced the ship had been cleared. Five minutes later, we walked out of the restaurant and off the ship. In the terminal, a porter knew exactly what table our luggage would be on and we were in our car within 3 minutes. Overall, a great weekend.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

We, my husband, our eleven year old son, our eight year old daughter and my in-laws. My in-laws have sailed several times before but it was our first cruise. We had a bit of trouble boarding but it wasn't too bad and once we boarded it was smooth sailing. The thing I noticed first (after we got my daughter to a bathroom) was how wonderful the crew was. They were friendly and helpful in every way. We were able to get into our cabins right away,

which was great. We had adjoining cabins with my in-laws. The first thing my mother-in-law did was open the adjoining door and tell us how much bigger and nicer these cabins were than any other they had ever stayed in. We had cabins with balconies. I don't think we will ever cruise again without a balcony. We then went up to the Beach Blanket Buffet for just a snack because we hadn't eaten since the early morning. We took the kids to register for their clubs and then went back to unpack our bags and wait for the life boat drill. We had dinner in the Parrot Cay restaurant that night. Our wait staff was Sylvija and Emilia. They were both great but Emilia really went out of her way to entertain our children. She was friendly, attentive and was always willing to answer our questions about her job, the ship and her home. I've read many reviews about how the food wasn't the greatest but we found it great and so did my in-laws who travel extensively and eat at some of the top restaurants all over the world. That evening our children went to club for a bit while my mother-in-law, my husband and myself went to see Hurcules. I'd like to say it was good but I fell asleep. Before you think it was because maybe it wasn't a good show you should know that I've also fallen asleep at Yuk Yuk's, movies and any other place it gets dark and I'm tired! When we returned our beds were turned down and we had what the kids and I thought was a lobster but my husband thought was a lion's face. Our housekeeper was Narsicio. He was a very nice, open, kind and hard working gentleman. The bed was very comfortable but the kids said the bunks were a little hard. We loved the separate washrooms. They really come in handy when you have parents and children together. The next morning we were in Nassau. The weather was beautiful! We took the Dolphin Excursion. Our children thought this was the best part of our whole holiday. It was costly but well worth it. When we returned to the ship I took the kids up to the pool so they could play on the slide. I like that you can now get free pop (soda), tea, coffee, hot chocolate and quite often cookies and other snacks twenty four hours a day. After swimming our son went to club but our daughter chose not to which was OK with us too. That's what I liked about club, you could choose to go or not and you could come and go any time you want to. We dined at Tritons that night. We dressed more formal for this dinner. It's nice to do this once in a while. It's also nice to see familiar faces and talking to our wait staff about our day. We didn't have anyone else at our table with us because we already had six in our party. That night we took our daughter to the Walt Disney Theater to see Chicken Little. It's a beautiful theater and we enjoyed the movie. We had a hard time getting our son out of club before 11:00pm. The next morning we were to dock at Castaway Cay. There was sunshine but it was windy. There was too much wind to do the parasailing and snorkeling we wanted to do but we just happy to be able to dock. It was still very nice, the color of the water and beach were amazing. We got lunch at Cookie's. It was great, lots to choose from. I liked the spare ribs and the fruit. Unfortunately it began to rain about 12:00. It was cold and wet and unfortunately took a while to get onto the ship because we all had to have our bags x-rayed and our cards swiped. I guess a lot of the passengers were upset because quite a few of them hadn't even gotten off the ship before it began to rain. Later that afternoon the captain made a very rare decision, only once before. He decided to return to Castaway Cay the next day when we were supposed to spend the day at sea. It was fantastic! The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky and not a ripple in the water. My husband and I took our daughter parasailing. It was the ultimate! I highly recommend it! That night it was pirate night at dinner. I wasn't fond of the menu that night but there's always something you can find on the menu. The recommendations from our waiter were always bang on. That night I really wanted to see the show Dreams. I had heard so much about it but unfortunately we spent most of the evening packing and getting gifts from the shops that we hadn't gotten yet. We finally forced our daughter to go back to club so the four adults could have a dinner alone. When we finally went to pick them up at 10:00 we had to fight them to come back. I would have to say the worst part of the trip came the next morning when we had to get the children up at 5:30am. Everyone has to be at the theater for 6:00am and that's the beginning of our last day of paradise. I would have to say that our experience on the Disney Wonder scares me slightly because I think it has ruined me for any future cruise. Everyone agreed that the cruise was the best part of our vacation! On our way home our daughter asked her dad if the next time we could take a seven day cruise.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

My wife, son age 8, daughter age 5 and I sailed on the Disney Wonder 3 night cruise from 13-16 Oct 2005. Awesome trip!! My 5th cruise, Sally’s 3rd, and the kids 1st. We drove from Disney World to Port Canaveral on Thursday morning. The trip took about an hour and a half and several dollar bills and quarters to pay the tolls. We arrived at the terminal around 11:00 and were on the ship eating at the buffet by noon. Toured the ship, changed our dinner

times from late to early, had our kids cards deactivated at guest services so they could not be used for charging, checked out the Oceaneer’s Club and Lab, and went to our cabin at 1:30. We then went swimming and played basketball until the 4:00 boat drill. Make sure you carry what you need in your carry on luggage as far as swimming suits, sunscreen, etc. Nassau – the place looks like it has cleaned up a bit since my last visit several years ago. We took the kids on a horse and buggy ride through town and then went to the straw market. The kids and I headed back to the ship to hit the pools while Sally stayed and shopped. With a short cruise like this I wanted the kids to enjoy the ship and do all they could onboard. They spent several hours in the afternoon at their clubs. Castaway Cay – beautiful island, great beach, wonderful food, etc, etc. We swam, rode bikes, played games, danced, and just enjoyed the day. Very nice place!! And they provide you with towels. Club and Lab – Disney Cruise Line does this very well. We felt very safe leaving our kids in this program. The beepers are a good sense of security and our kids looked forward to going each day and night. Both kids stayed in the clubs each night until closing time at midnight. Nice break for Mom and Dad!! The only regret I have is that the time flew by way to fast. Take the four day cruise if your plans allow for that extra sea day. We carried bottled water on board in our luggage and utilized the free soda station a lot. We really enjoyed our balcony room as it gave us time to sit and relax with our kids and watch the sights go by. Overall great cruise – nice weather, very friendly crew, good food, shows were fun, and plenty of opportunities for pictures with Disney characters. The kids are hooked now, they want to know when we are going cruising again… I guess cruising as a couple is a thing of the past or at least until they are grown up. Feel free to ask any specific questions:

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

This was our first Voyage on Disney Cruise Lines and I am going to give it 33 out of 5 stars. We are very used to carnival seeing weve done 17 of them and was interested in seeing what was different between the two cruise lines. Basically the difference is very noticable if you want to take Kids then Disney is the way to go. If you want a romantic cruise for the two of you then Carnival is a much better choice. We defentley could tell a difference

between the two and noticed several thing that carnival could learn from disney cruise lines and also vice versa. Well I will start with the pros on disney. 1. MUCH MUCH better kids programs. The kids were actually kept away from the adults more then I thought they would be. 2. CREW the crew were amazing the friendlist EVER on any Cruise we have been on. 3. The Vista Spa. The layout of the SPA with the Tropical Rain Forest room is amazing. We did the Exotic Rasul twice it was so much fun. Also the Spa is VERY Clean and we allways saw cleaning crew in there. 4. Debarkation was amazing we were all cleared off the boat at 7:45am and had are luggage and was in our car by 8:00am amazing. Carnival could learn from this instead of calling you by colors thing. They also don't throw lies down your throat and tell you that if you wait in the lobby US Customs won't clear the boat which is untrue. 5. Fireworks. They actually shoot fireworks off the back funnel and to the side of the boat on the sea nite which was cool for a cruise ship. Amazing thing carnival shouldnt have a hard time doing this. 6. Free Soda at dinner and by the beach blanket buffet. What can I say a cruise line with two ships can do this! Why cant a cruise line with 19 ships in its flagship fleet do this? Cons. A few more negative things then postive though. 1. Very few adults things to do. We only had a few adult scheduled activites and they were all bar things to get you to drink. And no adult late night comedy show. Defently a family cruise line. 2. Photos very poor. Now the crew was very firendly with the lack of the photo crew. They were very rude and acted like you were bothering them. The worst was when we stood in line for almost 10 minutes and then she let a large group go in front of us that was very rude and took almost 10 minutes of setting things and still no photo had been taken. 3. This plays off the above. The worst fellow passengers ever. People were unbeleivable rude on this boat stepping over you, running into you, pushing you. Several teenagers of course were going up and down the hallways using profanity like there was no tomorow. Parents would let there kids run down the hallways at all times of the day and night screaming and stomping the floor like a heard of elephants. I know the cruise line has no control of this but you would think they could enforce the late night noise a little better. 4. Cabin was TINY even for an ocean view balcony. Very small cabins and this split bathroom design was a very bad idea. I barely fit in the bathroom. The shower was like a coffin and I ended up using the one in the locker room several times. Also the cabin was very noisy on the slightly ruffer nights the celing panels/slats creaked and popped quite loudly. Also the air flow was very weak and I figured there was no Air conditioning in the room at all. The bed was very hard and you could tell by the depression in the middle that they were quite used. 5. Topside food the buffett and pizza express food was ok but not great. Carnival is sure killing Disney on the pizza. First of all you can tell the pizza is processed and not fresh like carnival also it closes at 11:00 or 12:00. Carnivals is open all the time. So all in all we are going to stick with carnival unless we take are son with us in several years then we might do Disney again.

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By Dave_CR

  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

I will start by saying that this was my first and last cruise. I found the time on the ship to be boring with the major focus being your next meal. Embarking and disembarking went well. The staff couldn't have been better. The food was average at best. If you like eating at the Golden Coral you will love this cruise. The children's activities could be compared to a daycare with occasional visits by Disney characters. There was very little for

adults. We stopped at Nassau and Castaway Cay. We booked a room at Atlantis so we could use the pools. Atlantis was fun but I wouldn't want to spend a whole week. Nassau was not the great shopping experience that Disney tries to sell. Castaway Cay was also great but the reviewer that stated the food was great needs to get out more. We have never encountered as many rude as we did on this cruise. My suggestion for families wanting a Disney experience would be to stop in LA for one day and go to Disneyland. I would then proceed to Hawaii where the pools are better, the people are nicer, and the activities are fun for everyone.

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  • New

Nov 30, -0001

Bahamas

English is not my language, sorry for that, I hope you will understand, Third Cruise so far, nice boat, but dont know why Disney claims they last long time trying to design something different. Good dining experience due their rotation, stay away from buffet 9 floor (read below). Fast check in, and the best check out so far, the last day they will schedule your breakfast at one restaurant, you have to be there with your hand luggage, once you finish

your breakfast at your will just leave the ship and your luggage will be there, GREAT idea instead of waiting in any "public area" until you are called. Food quality is good, but stay away from the Beach Blanket Buffet at 9 floor, they designed that restaurant in a way that you cannot eat more than once. The fork, knife and dish are provided to you by a lady just at the entrance of the place, once you finish your entry plate a guy will pick your tools and dish up and if you want some more you should need at least a clean dish, you have to go outside of the place make the line again to get a clean dish, they are not available inside the restaurant, this is the best way to tell you *don't eat more than once.* And after you choose your food and you look somewhere to sit, the place is really tight, crowed and makes you feel uncomfortable, I cruised on RCL and the Windjammer *the buffet restaurant* is miles away from this Disney *save a penny design* there is no comparison between both. I stay with RCL on this, One PLUS for Disney, they change your dining room during your cruise, but your server will follow you, I think this is a great idea because there are always something different each night. Also, I'm Diet Coke addict, on DCL soft drinks are included in the price, BIG HIT DISNEY!!! Room was clean, but soap neither Shampoo were delivered until we asked for it at the third day. This is a PLUS, never miss a show, they really know how to entertain people, this a 100% At Castway Cay, dont miss the snorkeling and look for Mickey and other interesting bottom of the ocean items. At Nassau, if you want to do something different go to Atlantis to spend your day, Nassau is just as another harbor. It was nice, but honestly I was expecting more from Disney, the shows were GREAT, but our stateroom without a regular supply of soap and shampoo looked cheap, at the two main shops just before entering the theatre all the windows items even the Mickey and Minnie were covered with dust. I made the reservation for our trip on August 2008, almost four months before the actual cruise, at the time of booking (we were a party of 8) the system told me that more than 7 would clasify for a Family pack which will include a Tee for every member and a photo in a frame, once on board I went to Guest Services and they told me that this promo was discontinued on Dec 2008, and if a have some claim I need to do it via the shore team, (I was 150 miles into the sea away from that place) on board they do not carry any of the items that I was talking about. A thumb down on Disney here. At shore, same history, the promo was discontinued on Dec 2008 despite I reserved three months before.

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