Disney Wonder Cruise Review to Caribbean - Bahamas

Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

Case-study in excellence

Sail Date: September 01, 2010

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

It is hard to believe that the Disney Wonder is now 11 years old - it is still like boarding a brand new ship. Everywhere you look, paint gleams and wood surfaces shine. If you have ever seriously studied the Disney mania for cleanliness and quality at any of their theme parks, then the care they take of the maintenance of standards on the Disney ships is not surprising. If I was an executive at another cruise line, then I would travel regularly and anonymously on Disney Cruise Line ships just to study what I have to do to compete with this product. While I have read that DCL is a "niche" cruise product, then all I can say is, if you are disuaded from booking a Disney cruise because you don't fit that niche, then you will be missing one of the best cruise experiences on the planet. The many little touches of "Disney pixie dust" are not always obvious, but they all contribute to a magical experience.

Pros: Cleanliness and elegance of the ship; exceptional staff and faultless service

Cons: No butter in the restaurants, only whipped margarine (!) very UN-Disney!

Recommends Disney Wonder? Yes!

Cabin / Stateroom
As so many have commented, if you have cruised with other companies, you know that the stateroom size is among the best in the industry. I read one comment that suggested otherwise and I can only say that person must never have cruised before. We have always found the space to be generous across a variety of stateroom classes. The amenities and condition of the staterooms always seem (like the rest of the ship) to be "as new".
Ship Quality
I have never seen a cleaner ship - it is difficult to see how much more the crew could do to beat the standard they have achieved. The two original Disney ships are large, but not the largest out there, but they always feel spacious and - unless you are in the middle of a deck party - you never feel crowded.
Food and Dining
Although the overall food quality is excellent, particularly given how many meals are prepared, I am not convinced that the quality is as good as it was originally. Although you can have as much as you like (if you don't like your choice, the staff will bring you something else, quickly and cheerfully) there is evidence of cost-cutting and "production-line" techniques being employed more than in the past. One glaring example that I heard commented on almost every day, was the lack of butter with the bread service in the dining rooms. Instead of butter, the table contained a single miniscule portion per person of a truly disgustingly artificial-tasting, so-called "butter margarine whip blend". Even at breakfast, the buffet does not offer real butter, but I constantly heard people asking for it! As soon as I asked for real butter on the first night, every subsequent night our brilliant servers brought it to our table - but oh, what an UN-Disney product!
Service and Staff
Much has been written about this, and I can only agree: Disney Cruise Line staff are simply the very best in the industry. Their friendliness, helpfulness and willingness to perform over and above the call of duty is another feature that should be a case-study for other cruise lines.
It's Disney! What else do you need to know? The Broadway-quality shows are beyond comparison; "Disney Dreams" and "the Golden Mickeys" are tear-jerkingly great ... the new "Toy Story - The Musical" is a wonderful recreation of the original Toy Story movie. My only criticism would be that some of the great onboard expert lectures were sometimes scheduled at times that clashed too obviously with other great entertainment/activity options. Disney is still the only cruise line to do fireworks at sea ... quite amazing!
Children's Programs
We traveled without the children this time, but in the past when we traveled with our toy boys, we found the children's programs to be astonishing. The number of counsellors to child is incredible and the security systems and care they take can give you 100% confidence in leaving them ... they won't even know you've gone, and may even resent you coming back! Disney quality for children of all ages - managed by having different clubs and activities.

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