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View Full Version : Disappointed in my Disney Wonder trip


crims0ntidefb
03-13-2006, 08:03 AM
My wife and I just returned from a three day Disney Wonder Bahamas trip and on our long drive home had time to reflect on the trip. Bottom line we were both disappointed. First, we got a very noisy room. Our ceiling made loud crackling sounds the entire first night. Might have alot to do with the fact the ship was hauling butt to the Bahamas. Disney did offer us a room exchange when I complained. I am going to jump around topics and they come to me so try to stay with me. Next the food. I don't expect cruise food to be great, but this food was far from being good. If you are a fast food eater or enjoying eating out for dinner every night then you will probably like the food more. The service was nothing to brag about. My only drink refill came from the Palo restruant. Palo was the best meal but in my opinion if you miss it, you miss nothing. (my opinion) We felt rushed through every dinner. We had the late seating and did not like the rushed feeling. So in short, the cruise was fun but I would suggest saving yourself a few hundred bucks per person and skip the Disney Cruse for a RC or Carnival/etc ship of a 4.5 star rating. I did the Carnival Miracle last year and found it to offer alot more then the Disney Wonder. Next month I am going on a Royal Caribbean cruise and will have another cruise to compare to. I can only see the Disney Wonder as a baby sitting ship. Children will be taken care of and have a wonderful time. In closing it was a fun cruise, I used my Vacation Club points to go and since it cost me very little to go I do not have much complaining room. Had I paid for this cruise, I would be very disappointed.

HeelMD
03-13-2006, 08:08 AM
Because DCL has enjoyed pretty much full capacity for the past few years and high demand, I am beginning to worry that they are getting infected with the attitude that customers are a guarantee and they don't have to go the extra mile. Hope I'm wrong, but I'm worried..

CRSNDSNY
03-13-2006, 08:17 AM
Sorry to hear you were disappointed. What was your stateroom number?

Also, did you get to any of the shows? If so, what did you think of them?

crims0ntidefb
03-13-2006, 08:22 AM
I had an inside cabin number 6639. I know I am spelling this wrong but we attended a Hercules show. It was nice. Oh, we started off the cruise watching Narnia and after staring at the screen and the boat weaving so much I was sick for about two hours. I suggest people get their sea legs before watching movies. ha.

CRSNDSNY
03-13-2006, 08:26 AM
I had an inside cabin number 6639. I know I am spelling this wrong but we attended a Hercules show. It was nice. Oh, we started off the cruise watching Narnia and after staring at the screen and the boat weaving so much I was sick for about two hours. I suggest people get their sea legs before watching movies. ha.
It sounds like you really did try a lot of what the cruise had to offer. Between movies, shows, Palo, etc. at least you gave it a shot. Hope your cruise month is better! :sunny:

WDWLVR
03-13-2006, 08:32 AM
Sorry to hear your cruise experience wasn't up to your expectations. Cruising isn't for everyone and even for those who like cruising a Disney cruise might not be for them. Sounds like this is the case for you. Our last cruise was on the Wonder last September and I can say that we didn't experience any of the same things you did. We had wonderful service and food.

It is also good to see different sides of things and hopefully this will help future cruisers.

jodifla
03-13-2006, 10:01 AM
To me, DCL is a line for people with kids under 10 or 12. After that, there so much more some of the other lines offer...

But, since Disney only has two boats, it make sense they'd have this target market. It's their specialty, and they are masters at it. It's why we're going again with DS, 4.

dtheboys
03-13-2006, 11:32 AM
I have been on two DCl cruises.....Going on my third in March 2006...

I had GREAT food!
GREAT service!
We enjoyed sailing w/ Disney....

I loved Palo...I had the best desert that I have ever had anywhere....

My room was on the loud side.....we had an ocean view deluxe room, but it is a boat and we expected some noise, etc....

Too be honest...next year we will be cruising w/ RCCl....Disney prices has gotten out of control...we can cruise for about 40% less next year on RCCL VS Disney for the same amount of nights, etc.

beachblanket
03-13-2006, 11:47 AM
I did the Carnival Miracle last year and found it to offer alot more then the Disney Wonder.

I agree - we also did the Carnival Miracle last year (seven day Western Caribbean out of Tampa during President's Day week in Februray). Overall, the total cruise experience it offered was a much better value than our prior cruise on DCL (seven day Eastern Caribbean on the Magic during March of 2004).

The food and service at Nick and Nora's (the speciality restaurant on the Miracle) blew away Palo. There was more (and better) llive music on Carnival than on DCL, and my 11 year old daughter liked the children's program counselors on Carnival better than those on Disney. I also felt the Miracle was in better shape than the Magic (on the latter, there was rust on our balcony, on the Miracle, everything looked brand new).

Sue316
03-13-2006, 02:00 PM
I was on the Wonder last September and did b2b this March.We had excellent service. One night the ceilings made noise due to the high seas. I just booked another , a 10 day one. We cruised with and without kids. We love it! We have tried Princess and RCCL before. The service doesn't even come close to Disney. :wave:

artmanr
03-13-2006, 02:15 PM
I suppose that out of the 1750 plus cruisers on a Disney cruise, there might be some percentage that just didn't have a good time.

NOW, you wouldn't know that if all you read was glowing review after glowing review from people who really LOVE Disney and its parks, characters, etc.

But as the old saying goes, there is no accounting for taste; and perhaps this cruise just wasn't your taste. However, I do think it's good to hear both GOOD and BAD reviews/experiences. But each person has their own impression and it's subjective not objective.

I'd like to hear both sides. Not that it would make a difference...I'm going anyhow...and I seriously doubt DCL reads these boards (but they should).

AR

JeannieH
03-13-2006, 04:10 PM
A great shame you didnt enjoy your cruise as much as most other guests. The creaking noises accompany any cruise ship - due to the amount of wood in the cabins. Personally, we like being rocked to sleep in an atmosphere equivalent to a modern day galleon:- the sounds were somehow authentic sailing noises.

The diversity of meals onboard meant there was always something for everyone. We are not fastfood addicts, nor do we eat out much. However, we have travelled extensively and found the choice of meals great. I suspect you have focused on the negative too much, rather than the positive points. Still, each to their own. Maybe your next vacation will be more to your liking. :sunny:

disney queen
03-13-2006, 04:50 PM
we have cruised on DCL only once w/our next DCL cruise in 60 days. we are 2 adults w/grown children. we love disneyworld and the cruise ship. one thing that really appeals to us is the fact there is no casino on the ship. we dine out every weekend at home and know fine food. we were not disappointed w/our food or palo on our last cruise. the only thing i can think of is i wish there had been a few more healthy choices. our servers were super~some of the finest we have had anywhere, including V&A at WDW. good and bad opinions are good. :wave: :duck: :tongue:

mousefamily
03-13-2006, 05:57 PM
We too have had 2 wonderful cruise experiences on DCL. In fact, our service is so wonderful it takes us a while to get back to "reality" once we are home. We have eaten at some of the best restaurants in our area of Texas and I always thought they were great in the service and food dept., but we realized after our last trip that they just aren't quite as good as DCL. I personally am afraid to try another cruise line. I think we enjoy it so much because we are such huge Disney fans.

MinnyGranny62
03-13-2006, 06:12 PM
:sad2: Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your cruise. MY Dh
and I are both in our 60"s and we wouldn't go on any other cruise
line. Have been on 3 cruises and probably won't go on another due to the cost. We did have a few problems but had so much
fun and liked the food and didn't feel rushed at all. As for all of the
kids...didn't see them all of the time and enjoyed watching them the
rest of the time. Hope you like your next cruise better.

repeatcruiser
03-13-2006, 06:14 PM
DCL is not perfect. We've done three cruises and have seen the good and bad that DCL has to offer. For our money, the good far outweighs the bad. That coupled with the Disney experience (for both the kids and the adults), we'll pick DCL. However, if all one hears is that all is great, then the few bad things that need fixing will never improve. Even the most ardent DCL fan must admit that there are a few things that could improve:

Food - Other than Palo, this was just OK - I don't expect to get gormet (sp?) meals served simultaneously to 500 people per sitting, so I'm not dissappointed. However, I've had excellent banquet meals in other settings, so it is possible to do really good food in large quantities. Some meals were really good, but certainly not all of them. Also, I did feel rushed on this past cruise (though have never felt that way before).

Service - On balance, service was really good to excellent - but not 100% all the time. The Captain on our last cruise was not friendly at all - I realize his job is to keep us safe, not to make small talk. That being said, acting even a little interested while my 7 yo son told him (briefly) how much he loved doing the bridge simulator would have been nice.

Shutters - I always feel like I'm buying a used car there - always pressured to take some additional package, a 3-d crystal, a special frame, etc. The staff is clearly paid on commission - this may be a way to maximize revenue for DCL, but not necessarily the way to maximize customer satisfaction. This is the only spot on the ship where I get this feeling - DCL should re-examine the way they run this unit. Some reasonable combination packages (i.e., some 6x8 and 8x10's together), or stop switching sizes of prints - you buy one package, and then they print the next night's shots as a different size, which don't count toward the package. We spend tons at Shutters on each cruise - but I always feel jipped.

On balance, each cruise has been a wonderful experience. That doesn't mean that it was perfect, or that we should get defensive when someone voices a negative opinion.

lbgraves
03-13-2006, 06:36 PM
I'd like to hear both sides. Not that it would make a difference...I'm going anyhow...and I seriously doubt DCL reads these boards (but they should).

AR

LOL! The crew & officers of the DCL ships do read these boards. If you identify yourself as a DISer they will smile & probably comment on a current topic. During the repo cruise the crew was happy to see the pictures that were posted from the webcams as the ship was going thru the terminal. They were amazed that some DISers had managed to post pictures from the terminal & sailaway party while onboard...thru the use of I cell phone I believe. :thumbsup2 They definitely know the Thanksgiving cruisers. :cool1:

TSirgey
03-13-2006, 06:54 PM
We compared RC to DCL when we researched our upcoming cruise. The prices were pretty much the same but the cabin sizes on the other cruise lines seemed so much smaller than on DCL. To me, it is worth it to spend more for a larger room. That is what made us decide to book DCL

LisaSp
03-13-2006, 07:04 PM
Shutters - I always feel like I'm buying a used car there - always pressured to take some additional package, a 3-d crystal, a special frame, etc. The staff is clearly paid on commission - this may be a way to maximize revenue for DCL, but not necessarily the way to maximize customer satisfaction. This is the only spot on the ship where I get this feeling - DCL should re-examine the way they run this unit. Some reasonable combination packages (i.e., some 6x8 and 8x10's together), or stop switching sizes of prints - you buy one package, and then they print the next night's shots as a different size, which don't count toward the package. We spend tons at Shutters on each cruise - but I always feel jipped.

Just got off the Eastern Magic and I spent lots of time in Shutters having purchased both 8x10 and 6x8 packages (and constantly trading photos in)--I was NEVER solicited to upgrade packages, buy those crystals, etc. I actually did not feel ripped off here--though I did wish there was more flexibility in photo sizes for some of the photo opps.

repeatcruiser
03-14-2006, 08:31 AM
Just got off the Eastern Magic and I spent lots of time in Shutters having purchased both 8x10 and 6x8 packages (and constantly trading photos in)--I was NEVER solicited to upgrade packages, buy those crystals, etc. I actually did not feel ripped off here--though I did wish there was more flexibility in photo sizes for some of the photo opps.

Ripped off may be a bit strong - maybe it is just that this one department on the ship feels very un-Disney-like to me, so by comparison it seems not so great. The single size packages and printing in different sizes are clearly rigged to get you to purchase more than you would otherwise want to (which we did). No one held a gun to my head, and I could have simply purchased the prints ala cart, but I still feel that this is unecessary gamesmenship on DCL's part.

WDWLVR
03-14-2006, 08:52 AM
I'd like to hear both sides. Not that it would make a difference...I'm going anyhow...and I seriously doubt DCL reads these boards (but they should).

AR

Trust me - they read these boards quite a bit.

ricka47
03-14-2006, 09:07 AM
Creaking cabins are common on all ships. Some are worse than others. Our biggest problem with DCL is the price/value ratio. We're sailing them now because the port is close and they are offering good Florida resident discounts.

Our biggest disappointment was the food. None of it was bad, all was good. But, none was excellent as we've had on some other lines. If it wasn't for the discounts, we would not consider DCL again and it's quite likely that after the 10-Day Wonder trip this September, we'll be heading back to Celebrity or another line where your dollar goes much further.

T_Kirsten
03-14-2006, 09:30 AM
I agree that most posts are very positive but we are going on our first ever cruise next month and I appreciate hearing both sides. We are traveling with a 6 y/o boy and are very very excited. I don't expect everything to be perfect but since we haven't cruised before we have nothing to compare it to.

Again, thanks for your honesty. If it weren't for people being willing to say less than positive things, we would have NO idea what to watch for.

beachblanket
03-14-2006, 09:42 AM
Our biggest disappointment was the food. None of it was bad, all was good. But, none was excellent as we've had on some other lines.

At Nick and Nora's, the specialty restaurant on the Carnival Miracle, we enjoyed Ruth Chris quality steak served on Versacci place settings.

http://www.garyolsen.com/cruise05/thumbnails/DSC08473_JPG.jpg

http://www.garyolsen.com/cruise05/thumbnails/DSC08471_JPG.jpg

At Palo on the Magic....my wife complained about how dry her grouper was.

mousefamily
03-14-2006, 10:04 AM
I will say that my dad and DH tried the steak 3 times and they said it really wasn't that good at all. In fact my dad sent his back the last time. I had fish and chicken and is was always wonderful. I guess a lot of it can depend on what you like personally. Food can be very subjective.

crims0ntidefb
03-14-2006, 01:49 PM
This is my favorite reply post so far. As much as I appreciate all posts this one touched home more for me. Now that I have been home two days and have had more time to look back at my Wonder experience and compare it to the Carnival Miracle from last year I'd have to lean much further on the Carnival Miracle as being a better cruise. As much as we love Disney and are vacation club owners I think many of us get caught up in the Disney Hype and are more willing to over look things or refuse to believe that our Disney experience was not as good as we would have liked. After being home two days I have to say the Disney Wonder three day cruise failed to be a 5 star ship. Service was very good, rooms were nice, food was ok. On a side note, I have yet to figure out why I tipped the "head waiter" guy. We had two people that took our orders, brought our food, never refilled anyone's soda. There there is this head waiter guy who greats you as you walk in but then you never see him the rest of the meal. Why tip him? I talked to a few others that went on the Disney cruises and no one knows why we tip him. It was not till the last night that he came around to the tables and greeted people. Not complaining just don't understand. And after giving more thought to the below persons comments about "The food and service at Nick and Nora's (the speciality restaurant on the Miracle) blew away Palo." This person is so right. Palo was a good meal but not at the level I was expecting. Nick and Nora's was so much nicer of an environment and offered better food/serving sizes. On another side note. The people who think I am crazy are probably the same people who I saw at the DVC meeting on the Wonder. The same people who can tell me Walt Disney's middle name and facts about Disney theme parks that I could care less about. The point is some people refuse to believe that Disney may not be the best after all.



I agree - we also did the Carnival Miracle last year (seven day Western Caribbean out of Tampa during President's Day week in Februray). Overall, the total cruise experience it offered was a much better value than our prior cruise on DCL (seven day Eastern Caribbean on the Magic during March of 2004).

The food and service at Nick and Nora's (the speciality restaurant on the Miracle) blew away Palo. There was more (and better) llive music on Carnival than on DCL, and my 11 year old daughter liked the children's program counselors on Carnival better than those on Disney. I also felt the Miracle was in better shape than the Magic (on the latter, there was rust on our balcony, on the Miracle, everything looked brand new).

LAMPSKIES
03-14-2006, 02:52 PM
LOL! The crew & officers of the DCL ships do read these boards. If you identify yourself as a DISer they will smile & probably comment on a current topic. During the repo cruise the crew was happy to see the pictures that were posted from the webcams as the ship was going thru the terminal. They were amazed that some DISers had managed to post pictures from the terminal & sailaway party while onboard...thru the use of I cell phone I believe. :thumbsup2 They definitely know the Thanksgiving cruisers. :cool1:

Turkeyday cruisers??? Thaks LB....yes, they DO know of these boards and the sailing ARE what you make them....as far as the food.....tenderloin, lamb chops, prime rib, lobster tail, jumbo shrimp, escargot......maybe I'm not as "upscale" as the rest but we loved the food.....
Our DDs are going to be 16 and 14 on our 5th sailing this upcomming November. We ARE NOT disney people but we DO love the ship....we will probably never do a 3 or 4 nighter due to the ports being a drag, but they all liked Cozumel, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas, St. Maarteen etc.

ricka47
03-14-2006, 02:55 PM
crims0ntidefb, our Head Waiter on our recent Magic trip was very nice and made sure he was quite visible. But, these folks often do a lot behind the scenes that you don't see to make sure that you get the proper food and service. Neverthless, he should have made an appearance before the last night...that is for sure.

But, in general, I'm wondering if DCL has been basking in the Disney glow and the fact that so many of their passengers are first time cruisers? Once people see what the other lines give you for less money, some may just do that first DCL cruise for the "experience" and then go somewhere else where there is more value. But, if one won't try another line, DCL will always be the best (and only).

If I didn't know what the food and service was like on RCI, X, HAL, or Princess, I'd think that DCL was exceptional. They do a nice job, that is for sure. But, there is often more "bang for your buck" elsewhere.

need_a_Disney_fix
03-14-2006, 03:29 PM
DCL also attracts folks like DH and I who are not avid cruisers, but Disney devotees. Our MAGICal cruises are just an extension of our Disney memories and we are willing to pay the extra to bask in the Disney atmosphere and ultimately get away from everything. We will most likely not cruise with anyone else and that does not make us close minded. This is our decision. Its Mickey or no one. Our love of Disney is not just the characters or the parks and rides, its the wonderful customer service that was originally born from the heart of Walt Disney. I would venture to say other cruise lines haven't exactly nailed that aspect down yet.

mousefamily
03-14-2006, 04:31 PM
DCL also attracts folks like DH and I who are not avid cruisers, but Disney devotees. Our MAGICal cruises are just an extension of our Disney memories and we are willing to pay the extra to bask in the Disney atmosphere and ultimately get away from everything. We will most likely not cruise with anyone else and that does not make us close minded. This is our decision. Its Mickey or no one. Our love of Disney is not just the characters or the parks and rides, its the wonderful customer service that was originally born from the heart of Walt Disney. I would venture to say other cruise lines haven't exactly nailed that aspect down yet.


DITTO. I couldn't agree more.

artmanr
03-14-2006, 06:05 PM
Well just for fun, I looked up the cost of an oceanview cabin on a hypothetical

Departure Wed, Nov 8, 2006
4:00 pm 8 Night Western Caribbean Cruise
Itinerary: Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale
Ship Name: Carnival Legend

Cost was approx. $2800 through Southwest Airlines website. No transfers or insurance.

My 7 night Western Carribean Oct 2007 cruise is $3103, no transfers of insurance, BUT my category 10 Deck 5 Secret Porthole room is about 40 square feet larger and has the split bathroom.

Granted the Disney cruise is one night less also. But without a casino on board, that' one less night that I won't lose my proverbial shirt to the dealer or the one armed bandits :teeth:

Value is not just in dollars charge up front, food served, service given or size of the room....it's something different to everyone.

AR

Mjasp
03-14-2006, 07:07 PM
But if you have children in school who won't/can't miss school like myself, I travel Presidents week.
This year we sailed Costa in a balcony for a total of $1,800

Did a comparison for next years Presidents week. Here are the results.

Carnival oceanview stateroom on the Glory 220 sq feet on their upper decks not the bottom of the ship where the cheaper staterooms are. The total for 4 was $3,536

Disney in a category 8 is $6,018

Although I like Disney, IMHO (and I'm not speaking for everyone) it is not worth it to me to spend an additional $2,500, but again my kids are older and I don't rely on kids clubs. If they were younger I may feel differently.

Norwegian in a Penthouse suite with Butler and Concierge service in a 492 sq ft suite with 54 sq ft balcony is $7,596

Disney in a category 6 (Their cheapest balcony) is $7,330
I think I would take the suite with Butler/concierge service instead of a cat 6

The 4 people I am pricing are 2 adults a 15 yr old and an 11 yr old.

jodifla
03-14-2006, 07:26 PM
Yes, you can find some deals on DCL. But not on school holidays, when many people are forced to go. Then, the DCL rates are a king's ransom.

Also, the other lines routinely offer last minute deals, whereas DCL only offers them to FL residents.

Enna
03-14-2006, 07:32 PM
crims0ntidefb,

I think it's really all a matter of personal preferences and perspectives. You are a DVCer, I get anxious just thinking about all of those people in the theme parks pushing their way through lines and turnstiles for a few minutes of fun here & there. I found the cruise to be plenty of Disney for my 2 little ones (whose combined ages are still less than your daughter's 11 years), in an atmosphere where I felt that the children were safe, and we were all treated courteously.

When it comes right down to it, even my worst meal on the cruise was immeasurably better than the $35 corn dog/french fries/drinks that I spent 90 minutes in line to buy at MK, and then fed my kids as they sat on a curb waiting for Spectromagic. OH, and there were no drink refills for that meal, either. :)

You do raise an important point--a Disney cruise may not be the best choice for everyone. At the same time, please realize that for many of us it presents the opportunity for priceless moments. Really, I don't know anywhere else where Cinderella and Snow White would greet my children by name every time they passed in the hallway for the duration of our stay, and I can't put a price on that.

ricka47
03-14-2006, 07:58 PM
....for many of us it presents the opportunity for priceless moments. Really, I don't know anywhere else where Cinderella and Snow White would greet my children by name every time they passed in the hallway for the duration of our stay, and I can't put a price on that.

It's hard to argue with that....

Sue316
03-15-2006, 09:36 AM
I could not disagree more with the statement above about the head waiter. On my b2b cruise last week our head waiter went above all duties and arranged for my 2nd cruise seating time, same waiters, deserts from palos every night and made sure every thing was in order every single night. As a matter of fact I am writing a letter to Disney to let them know what an outstanding worker he was. The recommended tip amount of of $7.50 is an insult in my opinion and off course we tipped him more on both set of cruises.

As to the steak issue on my first cruise in September my was steak was bad also<over cooked> This time I wasn't going to order steak and after telling my waiter about last cruises steak he assured me it would be perfect he would make sure of it. And it was! :wave: