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Old 01-30-2014, 11:35 AM   #16
meg8182000
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Just booked the Wonder for a 5 night Bahamas cruise out of Port Canaveral this Fall. So glad to hear all the positive reviews!

This sailing will mean that I'll have sailed on all 4 Disney ships. I sailed on the Magic but it was back in 1999 so honestly don't remember much except it was only 3 days and know that was much to short. I've been on the Dream 3 times and really have enjoyed that and will be sailing on the Fantasy this May for the first time.

I know that the Dream and Fantasy have the adult only pool and bar/club area. Does the Wonder also have an adults only section on the ship?

Thanks,

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Old 01-30-2014, 12:18 PM   #17
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Took our first cruise on the Wonder (4 night from Galveston) on New Year's eve. When we visit Disney World we usually stay at DVC properties. Our kids are boys 15 and 12 and a 7 year old daughter. Everyone seemed to have fun (when not seasick). 12 and 7 year olds were the only ones who swam on the ship. The 12 year old was probably a little bored after going down the small/slow slide once. The bathroom area of our cabin showed some wear but the common areas did not show any age. We thought some of the character lines were quite long so I can't imagine what that would be like on a larger ship. Maybe they have more character meet and greets? There is an adult pool area and clubs. We would sail on the Wonder again although after seeing some of the things on the other ships, the kids are asking to sail on one of them instead!
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:36 PM   #18
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I've been on the Wonder more than any of the other ships. I love it. The Dream was a great ship and I can't wait to try the Fantasy, but the classic ships have an elegance all of their own. And my kids (who love all the bells and whistles of the new ships) still would never turn down a cruise on the Wonder. It's almost like a second home for them.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:39 PM   #19
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Great to read! We booked our first DCL on wonder January 2015. We splurged on a one bedroom suite, which his something we couldn't have afforded on the other ships. If hubby likes this cruise with the kiddos maybe I can convince him to do an adults only cruise on the fantasy.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:45 PM   #20
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OP here, thank you everyone for all the input. It really has put my mind at ease a bit. One thing I forgot to mention is that both DH and I are prone to motion sickness. Given that the Wonder and Magic are smaller, will we have any issues? (That's the one reason we haven't booked a cruise yet because I'm afraid I will get sick and be stuck on a ship.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb in AZ View Post
The Wonder doesn't have the glitz and gadgetry of the newer ships but she's very carefully maintained and the crew works hard to keep her in good shape.

Yes, both cruises you're considering have Pirate's Night.

When you decide on the Magic sailing out of Port Canaveral vs the Wonder sailing from Miami, have you included your transportation costs? Some families find it more economical to fly into Orlando. For others, Miami is a better deal, depending on where you're coming from. Five days is a good length for a first cruise, but chances are you'll wish it was longer. On our first DCL cruise they had to pry us away after a week. Does the itinerary of the 5-day appeal as much as the 7-day?

Good luck with your decision!
I've looked at flights to both MCO and FLL (rather than MIA) and since we are using points/miles for flights, the flights to FLL are less points for those dates. However, I have not looked into transportation to the port yet. We would also need a hotel for the night before.

Also, regarding the itinerary, since this is our very first cruise we are pretty flexible. My main issue is to make sure we visit Castaway Cay.

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We sailed on the Wonder for the 1st last January and LOVED it. This was our 1st cruise and the Wonder was recommend to use my several people who are frequent DCL travelers. The boat was the perfect size and the activities and showed were just awesome! We travel a lot and I have never been more relaxed on a any vacation than I did on that one!!!! Great boat & great cruise highly recommend it! We are taking our 2nd cruise and we will be sailing on the Magic in November.
That's the reason I'm thinking of taking a cruise this year rather than a WDW trip. I want our trip to be a bit more relaxed.

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We sailed the Wonder almost a year ago on a 5n western. It was our second cruise after sailing the Dream on August 2012 (also a 5n but Bahamas double-dip).

It is VERY well kept and it has its own charm. I did like the CMs a little better than on the Dream. Being smaller, it's less people, however if you do go at high season it could feel cramped during character appearances.

I think it's a GREAT choice for a first cruise and will allow you to appreciate the other ones even more.

Now, you should know that booking for this year will result in higher prices than booking further out. Seasoned park guests will plan a 6-9 months WDW vacation, however a seasoned DCL guest will plan 18-24 months in advance. So book SOON!

Regarding clubs, the 13yr old would be on Edge and will have a blast. The 7yr old would be on Club/Lab and should also have a great time.

For the adults, I do love the Route 66 theme and the CMs do a great job to entertain us. The shows were superb - Toy Story was a bit long story wise, but the props were amazing.

If you are the shy type, I'd suggest you request a table for just the 4 of you - no guarantees, but they will try to accommodate you. And if you don't mind a little late dining, second seating will make that request have higher chances. Also, CMs will come earlier and escort the kids to club/lab, so the adults can stay enjoying dessert and coffee on their own - the 13yr old, you probably won't see until you debark!

If you are flying to MIA, consider flying to FLL instead as it might be cheaper. If you're staying in MIA the night before, the hotels around the airport Blue Lagoon area are great. MIA is only 20 minutes away from the port and the hotels have free shuttles to the airport, but charge for the port but not much. DCL has transfers from the airport available but charge a bit more.

Plan the Magic for the future, when you book on board for a potential 2016 vacation!
I've tried finding what the opening day price for this cruise was but couldn't. Based on cruisefish, it doesn't seem that the Nov cruises have gone up in price yet.


Quote:
Originally Posted by madelyn View Post
Took our first cruise on the Wonder (4 night from Galveston) on New Year's eve. When we visit Disney World we usually stay at DVC properties. Our kids are boys 15 and 12 and a 7 year old daughter. Everyone seemed to have fun (when not seasick). 12 and 7 year olds were the only ones who swam on the ship. The 12 year old was probably a little bored after going down the small/slow slide once. The bathroom area of our cabin showed some wear but the common areas did not show any age. We thought some of the character lines were quite long so I can't imagine what that would be like on a larger ship. Maybe they have more character meet and greets? There is an adult pool area and clubs. We would sail on the Wonder again although after seeing some of the things on the other ships, the kids are asking to sail on one of them instead!
My kids have seen the TV specials about the other DCL ships and that has me a bit worried because they loved the Aquadunk and all the other cool features. I guess I need to ask them before I book anything and see what they say.

Again, thank you everyone for your replies. Please feel free to add any suggestions/advice you have for us.
This is all very new to us.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:59 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by GMU MOM View Post
Also, regarding the itinerary, since this is our very first cruise we are pretty flexible. My main issue is to make sure we visit Castaway Cay.

You will love it. CC is my favorite part of any cruise. If the cruise ship did nothing but go to CC for 7 days, I'd never tire of it.

That's the reason I'm thinking of taking a cruise this year rather than a WDW trip. I want our trip to be a bit more relaxed.

My wife puts it this way. On the cruise ship YOU are the center of attention, In WDW you're just another face in the crowd.


I've tried finding what the opening day price for this cruise was but couldn't. Based on cruisefish, it doesn't seem that the Nov cruises have gone up in price yet.

It has been my experience that they Oct and Nov cruises rarely go up in price much. And you can often find deals on them.


My kids have seen the TV specials about the other DCL ships and that has me a bit worried because they loved the Aquadunk and all the other cool features. I guess I need to ask them before I book anything and see what they say.

Yep, that'll be a tough sell. But since this is their first DCL then it'll be easier. My brother committed the cardinal sin of going on the Dream first with the kids then booking on the Wonder. Now, they were confused for the first day or so! But there's plenty to do on the ship and the kids will keep busy.

Again, thank you everyone for your replies. Please feel free to add any suggestions/advice you have for us.
This is all very new to us.
My comments in RED above.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:02 PM   #22
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We took our first cruise on the Dream last summer and followed that up by catching the NYE cruise on the Wonder with one of it's last sailings before leaving Galveston.

While my wife preferred the Dream overall, I enjoyed both ships. While the Dream class has "more", I found the Wonder a more comfortable and intimate experience. Fewer decks and less distance meant a much more casual pace when it came time to leave the cabin to head to dinner or a show.

The only complaint we really had (aside from some very rough seas, especially as we sailed back from Cozumel) was that the kids clubs had large open house periods. On the Dream, they only had the open house on embarkation day. With the Wonder, there were open house hours every day, even on the last day before debarkation! Still, the kids enjoyed the time and activities that they had in the clubs.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:21 PM   #23
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We did our first ever cruise this past October on the Wonder and we loved it. We did a 7 day cruise which seemed like just the right length to get acquainted with the ship, and finding your way around.

From our perspective (being 1st time cruisers), the Wonder was in great shape, you couldn't really tell it's nearly 15 years old! Sure there was some wear and tear here and there, but nothing I haven't seen in resorts that were a few years old.

The entertainment was great (though Toy Story wasn't as good as the other shows). My 2 year old for the most part enjoyed all the shows, and sat mesmerized.

The food was great in the sit down restaurants were great, though the buffets were a little better then average (not really a buffet fan).

Your kids are old enough to take advantage of the kids clubs and tweens clubs so your experience may differ from ours (aka, more free time for you and your spouse).
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:22 PM   #24
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The only complaint we really had was that the kids clubs had large open house periods. On the Dream, they only had the open house on embarkation day. With the Wonder, there were open house hours every day, even on the last day before debarkation! Still, the kids enjoyed the time and activities that they had in the clubs.
I noticed that too. I'm not sure why they do that. But the kids can't be there on their own during the open house time and I really didn't want to sit there and watch them.
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Old 01-30-2014, 02:22 PM   #25
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I noticed that too. I'm not sure why they do that. But the kids can't be there on their own during the open house time and I really didn't want to sit there and watch them.
But don't they always have one space (either the Club or the Lab) open for "secured programming" even when there is an open house in the other one?
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:03 PM   #26
Carrie in AZ
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We sailed on the Wonder for our first cruise ever this past October. Our DDs are 13 and 9 and they had an amazing time! Our 13yo asks us almost every single day when we can cruise again and our 9yo asks often as well. Our older DD went to Edge's open house the first night, met some friends and she spent a good portion of every day in Edge doing Edge activities. LOVED it! We did plenty as a family also. Our 9yo didn't enjoy the Club/Lab as much but she doesn't make friends as easily so it wasn't as fun for her to be there, but she did like it when she was there.

I do not agree that you should ask for your own family's table. We met another family with two boys the same ages as our girls and meeting that family was one of the highlights of our trip! We adored them and had so much fun meeting up for our late seating each night and talking about what we did during the day. The kids had other kids to talk with during our meal, they'd sit at one end of the table and we'd sit at the other with the other parents. We all LOVED it!

Our excursions were fun.

We positively LOVED the Wonder and would not hesitate to sail on her again. I also wouldn't hesitate to sail on a larger ship that offers more activities. Would that probably be fun? Sure! But we had lots of fun on our cruise. I liked the size of the ship because we were on Deck 2 and could easily pop back into our room or check on DD while she was in Edge as it was nearby on the same deck.

We are very picky and, with me being in the travel industry, we travel quite frequently. We've stayed at some amazing, high end resorts. I love them! But I also loved the Wonder. If I had to say one thing I wasn't crazy about, it was the small pools. Because we normally vacation at more expansive type resorts with large pools, this was something I missed. But I realize I would miss them while on any cruise ship. It's just a different set up ie cruise ships have smaller pools.

Good luck and have fun! We are hoping to cruise again in the Fall. Would not hesitate to book the Wonder again!
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:19 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meg8182000 View Post
Just booked the Wonder for a 5 night Bahamas cruise out of Port Canaveral this Fall. So glad to hear all the positive reviews!

This sailing will mean that I'll have sailed on all 4 Disney ships. I sailed on the Magic but it was back in 1999 so honestly don't remember much except it was only 3 days and know that was much to short. I've been on the Dream 3 times and really have enjoyed that and will be sailing on the Fantasy this May for the first time.

I know that the Dream and Fantasy have the adult only pool and bar/club area. Does the Wonder also have an adults only section on the ship?

Thanks,

meg
Hey so did we. We are booked on the Wonder for the Sept. 26th - Oct. 1st. out of Port Canerval. This will be our second on the Wonder. We have sailed on the Magic twice and the Dream once. I prefer the older ships. The dream was nice but I think the Wonder and Magic are just the right size and layout better. This will be our 3rd trip using DVC points, the other two were Members Cruises...smjj
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:05 PM   #28
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But don't they always have one space (either the Club or the Lab) open for "secured programming" even when there is an open house in the other one?
yeah, but my kids are getting older and the Oceaneer club doesn't hold as much excitement for them anymore. They want to be in the Lab. I doubt that they'll ever outgrow DCL but they are a lot more picky about what they enjoy now.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:35 AM   #29
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After reading everyone's feedback, I'm getting really excited to book our very first cruise. I just need to figure out the best way to book it.

Does anyone have experience with booking through Costco? If I book through them, can I use Disney GC's to pay the remaining balance? They're offering a Costco cash card but I would like to use Disney GC's purchased at Target for the balance.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:22 AM   #30
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yeah, but my kids are getting older and the Oceaneer club doesn't hold as much excitement for them anymore. They want to be in the Lab. I doubt that they'll ever outgrow DCL but they are a lot more picky about what they enjoy now.
Ah, OK. Our daughter will be 3 in a week, so I don't have any experience yet with what activities are available in each space.
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