Disney Wonder Cruise Ship
Are you thinking of booking a Disney Wonder cruise? The Disney cruise line is one of the most highly regarded in the industry and with the announcement of the new Mexican Riviera and Alaskan Cruises for the Disney Wonder there is a lot of excitement around this wonderful ship. The Disney Wonder will still sail to the Bahamas for the rest of 2010 but will move to the West Coast for 2011.
But what is the Disney Wonder cruise ship really like? What makes Disney cruises unique and would it be the right choice for you and your family? Learn what makes her so special and find out if you want to take the plunge and book a cruise.
Disney Wonder Itinerary
Photo courtesy of MPR529
For 2010 the Disney Wonder cruise ship will continue with it's 3 and 4 night Bahamas sailings.
3 Night Disney Wonder Bahamas 2010
Thursday Port Canaveral
Saturday Castaway Cay
Sunday Port Canaveral
Disney Wonder 4 Night Bahamas Itinerary
Sunday Port Canaveral
Tuesday Castaway Cay
Wednesday At Sea
Thursday Port Canaveral
Disney Wonder will also offer special itineraries for 2010 including a 5 night 'Double Dip" - so called as it has 2 stops at Castaway Cay. This is a very popular port stop so these cruises will no doubt be popular too. Disney Wonder will also be offering an additional 5 night sailing which will have Key West as a port stop.
The exciting news is that for 2011 Disney Wonder is to move to the West Coast and will be based in Los Angeles for Mexican Riviera Cruises from January 2011 and then take a repositioning cruise to Vancouver to start Alaskan cruises in August 2011. Cabins are available to book now for these 2011 Disney Wonder cruises.
Cabins on the Disney Wonder Ship
Photo Courtesy of JoeAndy
There are 12 categories of stateroom on the Disney Wonder. With choices ranging from a Category 12 Standard Inside Stateroom to a Category 1 Royal Suite with Verandah there is something to suit everyone.
Category 11 and 12
These are the inside staterooms. Or to put it another way cabins without a window! These suit many people very well. They are usually the lowest priced cabins on the ship and they make up 29% of the total staterooms on board the Wonder. Category 11 and 12 are identical layouts with 184 square feet of space. They do not have the split bath feature
Category 10 is larger at 214 square feet and is named the Deluxe Inside Stateroom. The Deluxe inside has the split bath feature making it one of the more attractive options for an inside cabin on the Disney Wonder.
Secret Porthole Cabins
You may have heard the Secret Porthole cabins mentioned. These are inside Category 10 staterooms which have an obstructed view from a porthole. These are now a bit of an open secret so can be difficult to get - lots of people want them as they are the same price as a Cat 10 but of course they have a view of the outside world!
Which are the Secret Porthole cabins on the Disney Wonder? They are all on Deck 5 and are cabin numbers 5020,5022,5024,5520,5522 and 5524. These cabins go quickly so book early.
Category 8 and 9
These cabins have a porthole and comprise 27% of the staterooms on the Wonder. They are 214 square feet and have the split bath. As with all cabins look carefully at the deck plans to choose which location you prefer. The difference between Category 8 and 9 apart from price is the location on the ship - with some being seen as better than others.
Another option which is unique to Disney is the Navigator's Veranda. Or in other words an enclosed balcony with a porthole. They are an interesting option which is slightly (although often not significantly) cheaper than a balcony cabin. The are 268 square feet and have the split bath. Sleeps up to 3 guests.
Category 5 and 6
It is true that once you have had a balcony cabin you really don't want to go back to an inside. The luxury of your own private outside space is difficult to pass. The verandah staterooms on Disney Wonder are 268 square feet and of course have the split bath. They sleep up to 3 or 4. There are different prices within this category which vary according to where they are located on the ship.
These deluxe family staterooms are one of the few none suite cabins at sea to sleep up to 5 guests. Great for larger families these cabins have 304 square feet of living space and the split bath feature.
Whilst these cabins are a good idea if you have 3 children it is sometimes a better option to book 2 staterooms rather than just one. If you book connecting staterooms you have a great deal more space and of course 2 bathrooms. Personally I always have this dilema when I book as I have 3 children. For my next cruise I have booked connecting balcony Category 5 cabins as the price difference between that and a Category 4 was not that much. Always check both options. If you don't mind not having a balcony then 2 outside cabins will usually be cheaper than one Cat 4.
These one bedroom suites are a very generous 614 square feet and sleep up to 4 or 5 guests. Guests in category 3 and above enjoy special privileges (apart from all the luxury in the cabin) such as priority Palo and spa reservations and in room dining menus.
2 bedroom suites which sleep up to 7. If you have a large party or money is really not the first consideration these are wonderful choices. You will have plenty of room with 945 square feet of space.
The Walt E Disney and Roy O Disney suites are of course the most highly luxurious on the ship. Two bedrooms and 1029 square feet of space. Enjoy it if you can!
Disney Wonder Cruise Toy Story Show
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Golden Mickeys Show Aboard Disney Wonder
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship Shows
Photo Courtesy Matt Dougherty
As you would expect from Disney the shows on board are nothing short of spectacular. You will find what is generally agreed to be the best stage show entertainment at sea aboard the Disney cruise line ships.
Whichever cruise itinerary you sail on the Disney Wonder you can expect to see Golden Mickeys,Disney Dreams and my personal favorite Toy Story - The Musical. There are other shows too and which you see will depend upon the itinerary you are sailing but can include the Welcome Aboard Variety Show, an entertainer such as a magician, and the Farewell Variety Show.
Every show is presented in the aptly named Walt Disney Theater. There are 975 seats in the theater and shows are held twice nightly so that you can see them whether you are at early or late seating for dinner. Shows are very popular so be sure to arrive early if you want the best seats.
If you are looking for a movie theater which shows both classic and new Disney movies then head to The Buena Vista Movie Theater on Deck 5. Or if watching movies whilst lazing around or even in the pool then go to outdoor screen which looms over the family pool on Deck 9.
Recreation on Disney Wonder
Photo Courtesy of Wyscan
Disney has everything covered to ensure that you are never going to be bored on the Disney Wonder cruise ship. It's 3 swimming pool's are designed for every member of the family. The Mickey Kids Pool is one of the most popular places on the ship. Kids love the slide. There is even a toddler splash zone which children who are not yet potty trained can use - an unusual feature on a cruise ship.
Goofy's Family Pool is 48" deep and very popular with slightly older kids and their parents. If you want a place to relax the head to the adult's only pool the Quiet Cove.
Kids Clubs on Disney Wonder
Photo Courtesy of Wyscan
There is always something to keep the children entertained on Disney Wonder. Almost half a deck of the ship is devoted to kids activities.
The Oceaneer Club is for children aged 3 to 7 years old, and The Oceaneer Lab is for 8 to 12 year olds. There are also age divisions within that group to make sure that children a kept with kids their own age.
Teens are sometimes the age group which is most difficult to please on a cruise - but they have their own special space in the Teens Only Club. You may have thought that second funnel on Disney Wonder was part of the mechanics of the ship but really it is The Stack - the place for teens to hang out in their own special club.
The under 3s are also catered for in Flounder's Reef Nursery. The Oceaneers and Teens Club are free but Flounder's Reef charges $6 an hour. The nursery only has limited space so you do need to book ahead - and then you can only have a total of 10 reserved hours.
The Oceaneers and Teen Club are generally open from 9am until midnight or 1am. Check your schedule each day for details.
Disney Wonder Cruise Ship Dining
Photo Courtesy of lemoncat1
To many people the quality of the food is one of the most important aspects they consider when deciding which cruise ship to book. The Disney Wonder offers a number of excellent dining options and of course the Disney exclusive rotational dining concept. Just what does this mean? Disney came up with the great idea that cruisers wanted more choice when they dined but they also enjoyed the comfort of having the same waiters each night. So that is exactly what happens. Each night of the cruise you go to one of the 3 rotation dining restaurants but your wait staff come with you. So they know your dining preferences, can remember your drinks order and know just how your 3 year old likes his juice in a cup with a straw.
The three restaurants each have a different them. Triton's is themed around Disney's Little Mermaid Princess Ariel. You truly feel as though you are in an underwater world in this restaurant.
Animator's Palate is another favorite. The lighting effects chance so that when you take your seats all the pictures are in black and white but gradually change to color. Watch out for how your waiters change too.
Parrot Cay has as you may have guessed a relaxed tropical theme with Caribbean inspired food.
If you want to treat yourself to fine dining then make a reservation at the adult's only Palo restaurant. Be sure to make reservations either before you board or as soon as you get on to the ship - it is popular so tables can be hard to get.
There are of course a number of casual dining options including buffet at the Beach Blanket Buffet.
Disney's Castaway Cay
Photo Courtesy of Joe Penniston
Whilst many of us dream of our own private island, Disney actually created one for the enjoyment of their cruise line passengers. Castaway Cay is Disney's own very special island in paradise (well the Bahamas actually). Disney used it's imagination and created a very special destination on Castaway Cay and many say that a port stop here is the highlight of their cruise.
There are many choices of activities on Castaway Cay. While away your time on one of the beaches, pick up some snorkeling gear, rent a boat or treat yourself to a relaxing massage. In keeping with the Disney idea that each group should have their own space there is a family beach, a kids beach, an adult only beach and even a teen beach. So every member of the family can choose the perfect one for them.
Getting off the ship is easy at Castaway Cay as Disney built it's own dock. With the new larger cruise ships the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream arriving soon there will need to be some modifications to this so that they can dock here too. If you want to sail on the Disney Wonder to Castaway Cay though you will have to take your chance in 2010 before she sails to Los Angeles to start her new Mexican itinerary.