1/13 4 nite sailing...Disney versus...


Earning My Ears
Dec 19, 2001
Well, let me say first...this is my 1st trip report ever. Sorry if I don't know proper etiquette! My dh and I have cruised w/ RCCL twice...so comparisons are a fact of life. Unfortunately for Disney, they are compared against RCCL and RCCL by default, is the standard.

I will try to do this in some kind of order. Embarkation...EASY...we already had our key to world card due to our 3 nites at WDW prior. I went to the spa and had a VERY easy time booking 2 appointments. Also booked a Palo's reservation (took about 20 minutes to do it, but in retrospect...Palo's was worth the wait). However, overall... I really don't like this ressie rush. If I knew who to complain to...I would. I want to make all ressie's ahead of time (just like shore excursions). It is a pain to do it on board.
Complaint #1!!!

Showed the kids the Oceaneer's club...filled out forms...got a pager...kids wanted to stay right away, but we couldn't since they didn't officially open till later. So, we went to the Mickey slide for awhile (GREAT slide...my kids loved it!!!).

Then went to safety drill. My dh thought this was a "joke". Probably due to space constraints...we met in the Animater's Palate instead of near a life boat (like RCCL). I talked to 2 families later (there 1st time cruising)...they also said they thought it was odd that we wouldn't at least be shown where our life boat was. I could say more, but I am sure you get my concern.

We already had our luggage (GREAT room steward! Sheetal was very attentive!) so we changed and went to Hercules. It was a good show (not great, but good).

After the show we walked around until our 8:30 dinner at Animator's Palate. Loved the food and the atmosphere. Great
waiter's (Vicki & Gabor!!!)...who were very kind to our exhausted kids. DS-4 and DD-7 could hardly keep their eyes open...let alone eat! It was a BIG mistake to have late seating! Vicki said 1st seating was full so I didn't try to change our time (I wish now I would have at least asked...the next 3 nights were just as bad for the kids.) My dh finished his meal quickly and then took the kids to bed...they were asleep by the time I got to the room (after eating a yummy dessert).

In Nassau we did the Blue Lagoon/Dolphin Encounter...Fabulous! LOVED Blue Lagoon...just beautiful...would do it again in a second. My kids loved the dolphin encounter, although DS was a little scared. If anyone wants more details on this excursion just ask. We didn't do anything else in Nassau except get some braids for my DD. (I forgot that Castaway is the best place to do this!)

That evening they showed Monsters Inc. as the "entertainment". We had already seen it, but it's a fun movie so I didn't mind seeing it again. Dinner at Parrot Cay was great...no complaints about food from me! We never participated in any activities after 9:30...we were all too tired!

In Freeport we did some minor shopping at the Int'l Market...it wasn't that great (and I am a shopper!). I wasn't feeling well so I spent time in our room (I really liked our room...navigator's verandah!) and our kids swam w/ Dad. One thing...this ship REALLY rocks compared to the Voyager of the Seas. I felt nothing on the Voyager in May...I felt the Wonder move...a lot! I took ginger and migraine medicine a lot that day! Complaint #2

I needed to feel better fast 'cause I had booked the surial bath for DH and I. It was a surprise for him (he's really not a spa kind of guy)...but he liked it. I loved it! Wish I could have a set up like that at home! So we recommend it highly!

That evening we had dinner at Triton's after "Who wants to be a Mouseketeer?" It was a good show (but again...I say...just good). My ds-4 was VERY bored...I wish I would've realized ahead of time...he would've liked the kids club more than this show.

The kids club also had characters stop by...that was good for videoing...my opinion is that we don't get enough time to see the "unusual" characters. I saw Minnie/Mickey a lot, but we seldom saw Donald or any of the princesses. They had the princesses lined up one night, but the line was huge and we needed to go to dinner. Honestly, I was VERY disappointed because my kids saw more characters/got autographs at our 3 WDW days then the cruise.

Castaway Cay was next...WOWWWWW...we had a GORGEOUS day (80 degrees). It was great. We rode bikes (not really that many trails to ride around on) and then borrowed some toys (from Scuttles Cove) for the kids to play with. After seeing/playing with the hula hoops on the path...we had a good lunch w/ GREAT big cookies. The kids went to Scuttles Cove and we went to the adult beach. It was gorgeous. Clear blue water & sky made for an idyllic setting. I could've stayed forever! But, my dd wanted to have corn rows done, so we had a no haggle hairdo done for her (prefer CC over Nassau hairdo!).

We hated to leave, but we had to get ready for dinner. My dh and I took the kids to their club so they could be in the kids show...I am glad they did...they seemed to enjoy being on the theater stage! Then my dh and I squeezed in a quick workout before the 6:30 show. We workout regularly at home. The healthclub is not much on the Wonder. I was disappointed in the size of the club as well as the amount of equipment. We definitely had 3 times the equipment on the Voyager.

We rushed back to get the kids for the Dreams show, but the kids were still at supper...so we saw Dreams...again a good show...probably even a great show...but I was tired of Disney shows (please don't throw stones...I just am not overly in love w/ Disney stuff). Again a comparison, but I enjoyed the shows on the Voyager more than the Wonder. Same quality of shows IMO. (Just my opinion...I know some of you are already picking up your stones!) My dh had told me before we left that he read somewhere "You really need to love Disney to do this". I replied that I did love Disney...but after sitting in 4 Disney shows...I understood the comment...it's ALL Disney ALL the time! About 15 minutes into the show I ran up to the club to see if my dd was back...she would've liked the show...but she was on another deck doing some sports stuff. She still had fun!

The final evening in Palo's was superb...great attention to detail/service, etc. After eating we raced back to our rooms to get our bags packed by 11 pm.

The next a.m. we had NO problems disembarking...very easy (and I didn't attend the disembarkation talk...just watched some stuff on tv).

OVERALL...would recommend the Wonder...w/ the understanding that if I was traveling w/o my inlaws...I would do RCCL again. We really did the Wonder because my inlaws are not into the casino's or adult entertainment stuff. They are strictly "G" rated and so the Wonder did exactly what I wanted for the group of us that traveled. Mr. Disney should be proud.

Any questions please let me know.


Although I will seldom cruise w/ Disney I still thought it was a good cruise (if not great!)
I loved your review I love reviews with honesty. People who praise disney like its a goddess scare me. yes, because it's kinda weird something has got to be out of order it's a dam ship for goodness sake. I will be going on my first disney cruise in april/02 4nite land/ 3 nite sea. I feel everyone should do disney at least once. And that's just how many times I am going to do it, once. It will take a miracle to get me on that ship again. Now, my daughter told me around christmas she calculated we had 4 months to go. She looked very very true to her words and totally EXCited...
We were on the same vacation! We did three nights at WDW (at the Contemporary) from 1/10-1/13, then on to four nights on the Wonder. We had no kids with us but still did early seating. I can see where the kids would have been really pooped eating that late. We did really enjoy both Disney shows, but we are into Disney things, so that probably makes a difference. I can't say I felt the boat move all that much. If I were standing still and concentrated on it, I could feel a little bit, but it didnt' bother me, and I am prone to motion sickness. Just a difference in people, I guess. I agree about the servers and stateroom hosts - they are just wonderful. And the embarkation and disembarkation are just a breeze. We didnt' try for Palo's. The food in the other restaurants was just superb, at least for my ordinary tastes. I did see somewhere on the Disney site that you can make shore excursion reservations in advance by e-mailing them. We were okay making ours on the boat, but if anyone else reads this and wants to do it ahead of time, there is a way. I would definitely do it again. If anyone reads this and has questions, I'd be happy to answer. I'm not sure how much I'll be on the site, but you can e-mail me.
We did book shore excursions in advance. I appreciated that. My complaint was that I really want to do Palo's and the spa ahead of embarkation. I took my ds-4 w/ me to make Palo's ressies and he was pretty antsy...he really wanted to be in the pool! And that is where I preferred to be too!

Hi Kendra,
Glad to hear you made it home safe. I did not feel the boat moving once. I guess it is because we had rough seas on our last cruise.The weather was perfect. I am so glad it was. It was good meeting you and your family. I wished we could have had more time to talk. We have re-booked for October 10th. I still have to write my report, and post pictures. The picture of you turned out great.
Kendra, what deck/room did you stay on, or where on the ship did you feel the most motion?? Just trying to get a feel for where we are most likely to feel the rocking.

Good report, I like honesty, and it is a nice cruise if you love Disney, and not so much if you don't. Sounds like you had a pretty good time though overall. Thanks for sharing with us.
Hi Kendra,

I was on the same sailing as you!! We really did have great weather. No stones from me, I agree with you about the shows. I have sailed on RCCL Celebrity and felt they are more adult oriented (obviously!), same quality but not Disney. This was our 3rd DCL cruise and the first time we ever attended any shows! We also had the late seating but being from Utah (2 hours behind) it was perfect for us. We found that 6:00 was a perfect time to enjoy the pools and hot tubs. There was no one ever in them but us! We would spend and hour or so there and then shower and get ready for our 8:30 dinner.

I wish I could have meet you. We will be taking advantage of the $99 3 night sailing in October. How about you?

That's interesting that you felt the ship swaying, with the exception of the last night, I never noticed it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I thought for sure I responded to "northsouth" a few days ago...I must have done something wrong! Sorry!

We were in cabin 6642. I really felt the ship on the last night in Palo's around dinner time. The ship was really traveling fast - even my dh commented on it.

I also felt motion 2 other evenings in the cabin before going to bed. BTW I never had a bad nights sleep! Always slept very sound! One night, the movement caught me off guard and I almost fell over, but the closet caught me! Quite a funny site!

I also felt movement the 1st evening in Animator's Palate. It was NEVER enough to really make me ill...I just was surprised to feel it.

I am not sure if we are going to book a fall cruise or not. My DH hasn't given me the final ok yet. If we do go...I am going to try and plan it around the end of the 1st marking period for my dd. (So she doesn't miss much school...they usually have a day or 1/2 day off in October.)

I was just looking at some photos of the trip. Whatta excursion the dolphin encounter was! A VERY nice lady took photos for us and they turned out great! My in-laws also bought the video...it seems to have a few technical glitches while watching the "pre-encounter" portion where they show the island, etc. Overall - the best excursion!
Thanks, Kendra, I am surprised you felt so much motion in the aft part of the ship, from what I've heard, but glad you slept well anyway. If I can sleep I'm alright. I made candied ginger just in case (Martha Stewart recipe LOL) and we have ginger capsules and Bonine and Seabands also *just in case*. I like to be prepared. But I'm not going to worry about it, thanks for the info.


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