Photo by Jason Leppert
Disney Cruise Line just overhauled its Disney Wonder, and we’ve got a selection of tips to get the most out of a vacation onboard the enhanced ship.
Consider Concierge Level Accommodations
Above the adults-only Cove Cafe, the Disney Wonder previously had an observation lounge perched above called the Outlook Cafe. Save for Alaska cruises, the space was underutilized and thus retooled to allocate two-thirds of it to become a new Concierge Lounge exclusively available to those booked in concierge level staterooms and suites. One wing is thankfully still a publicly accessible extension of the cafe below, but the remainder is an exclusive venue that serves complimentary drinks and snacks in a cozy setting. Plus, the roof has been made into a private sun deck with great outdoor furniture and some shade as well to enjoy.
Queue for Quick Character Photo-Ops
Available to everyone onboard is the chance to meet and greet lovable characters, and it’s one of the best perks of a Disney cruise to be able to take photos with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Chip and Dale, princesses and more in quick succession. Long lines are common for such experiences at the shoreside parks, but here things move along much swifter with fewer total guests. And you can either purchase the professionally captured images or simply snap them on your own camera if you prefer.
Get in Line Early for “Frozen”
On the other hand, queues ahead of showtimes for the new “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular,” exclusive to the Disney Wonder, are the longest I’ve ever seen onboard and for good reason. The brand new production show is stellar and worthy of its popularity. Just be sure to line up well in advance to ensure a good seat.
Take Advantage of Free First-Run Films
Besides wonderful live performances, Disney is able to screen its in-house, first-run films onboard entirely for free. That means the likes of “Doctor Strange” and “Finding Dory” are presented in 3D when available continually in the Buena Vista Theatre cinema and the main Walt Disney Theatre periodically. Movies are even premiered at sea, so when a midnight screening is occurring shoreside, it’s offered onboard as well.
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Plan Palo Around Rotational Dining
Disney’s signature complimentary rotational dining features three excellent restaurants, including Wonder’s new Tiana’s Place and updated Animator’s Palate, but the adults-only Italian specialty restaurant known as Palo is also worth its $30 per person surcharge. However, it’s best to plan it on an evening where one of the other trio is repeated. Or on a three-night cruise, if one of the main ones is to be skipped, consider foregoing Triton’s, itself great but the least interactive of the three.
Scour the Ship for Its Narrative Details
Lastly, Disney is all about storytelling, so every detail onboard is in service of a greater narrative. With the Wonder remodeled, there are now that many more elements to discover at every turn. So, be sure to keep your eyes peeled, and really alert all of your senses, to see what treasures await.