by Audra Owens
In February, a group of A Time to Treasure Travel agents enjoyed a four-night Bahamian cruise aboard the reimagined Disney Wonder.
I spent the months leading up to the cruise poring over articles, photos, and videos, soaking in as much as I could about the ship. By embarkation day, my expectations were high.
There are two schools of thought with regard to embarkation day.
The first believe you should choose the earliest boarding time possible, in order to maximize your time on the ship that first day.
The second group believes you should arrive later in the day. Depending on where you are staying pre-cruise, this may give you the opportunity to sleep in, arrive at the port at your leisure, walk through security and check in with minimal waiting, and immediately go to your stateroom to drop off any carry-on bags before exploring.
I’ll leave you to wonder which category I fall into. Time it right, and you’ll still have time to grab lunch at Cabanas or pick up a slice of pizza at Pinocchio’s Pizzeria before the restaurants close for the life boat drill.
I spent my first hour or so onboard wandering the ship. Even though I traveled without children on this trip, I stopped by the open houses for the It’s a Small World Nursery and the Oceaneer’s Club and Lab. The nursery was bright and inviting, with everything one can imagine a child under the age of three might need to be happy – highly trained and attentive youth counselors, soft play mats, toys, cribs, and changing areas. The Oceaneer’s Club and Oceaneer’s Lab, for potty-trained children between the ages of three and twelve, are equally impressive. Kids can enjoy interactive games, crafts, dance parties, movies, character appearances, and more! I really wished I could stay and play in Andy’s Room myself.
(I include a LOT of photos in these slideshows! Be sure to click through so you can see it all.)
One of my very favorite things about sailing on Disney Wonder are the Broadway-style shows. We kicked off the first evening by watching The Golden Mickeys in the Walt Disney Theatre. Be sure to arrive early to claim a good seat (especially if you’re traveling with a large group) and pick up concessions from Preludes.
Between our show and dinner each night, many in our group usually made a pit stop at the all-new Crown and Fin Pub. I love the warm atmosphere here. Appetizers are served, quiz games are played, and fun is had by all.
All of the rotational dining locations on the Wonder – Animator’s Palette, Triton’s, and Tiana’s Place – deserve high praise, but I’ll focus on Tiana’s Place, the newest of the three restaurants.
Many A Time to Treasure Travel agents hail from Louisiana and other parts of the South, so this is an experience we were very much looking forward to. We were not disappointed. From the moment you walk in, Tiana’s is lively and fun. A live band plays music throughout the meal. Tiana makes an appearance and stops by your table to make sure everyone is pleased with their meal. Even Louis the Alligator comes by and leads guests in a rousing march through the restaurant.
If you’re worried that you won’t find anything to do…don’t! Each day, a Navigator with a schedule of activities will be delivered to your stateroom. If you’d rather not carry a piece of paper around, download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App for your smartphone. Once onboard, you’ll be able to access the schedule for your cruise. There are ship tours, trivia games, bingo, character meet and greets, wine tastings, mixology classes, shopping, and first-run movies to see, just to give you a few ideas. Swim in Goofy’s Family Pool, make a splash at Mickey’s Splash Zone, ride the Twist ‘n’ Spout water slide, or watch a family movie on Funnel Vision.
If relaxing is more your style, drop the kids at the Oceaneer’s Club and pull up a lounge chair by the Quiet Cove Pool.
If you’re not looking to get wet, there are also some wonderfully comfortable lounge chairs along the Promenade on Deck 4. This is a great spot to sit and read if you haven’t booked a stateroom with a private verandah.
The stateroom my roommate and I shared was a Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with secret Navigator’s Verandah. It was such a fantastic room! There are four staterooms on Disney Wonder that are categorized as having a navigator’s verandah, but in actuality, it’s very similar to the private verandah. Ours just had a slightly obstructed view on one side. When these staterooms are available, they’re a wonderful way to have a verandah with a smaller price tag.
This particular room only sleeps three. It has a queen-sized bed and the sofa can be made into a single bed for a third guest. There is ample storage underneath the queen bed (large suitcases slide underneath easily), in the dressers, and in the closet.
You’ll also have a split bathroom, which makes taking turns in the shower and getting ready for the day a breeze.
I loved my experience aboard the Disney Wonder. I went into this cruise excited and with high expectations, and I was never disappointed.
Please let one of our many experienced travel agents help make your Disney Cruise dreams come true!