TravelPulse On Board: Disney Cruise Line's Disney Wonder Review
All photos by Jason Leppert
As Disney Cruise Line prepares to increase its four-ship fleet to six in the near future, it has now completed reimagining its first pair of sister-ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder. Most of the enhancements to the Wonder take their cues from those made to the Magic in 2013, and the ship shines bright accordingly, from the airier atrium (pictured below), minus one staircase and low-hanging chandelier, to the exterior ducktail grafted to the stern, for the sake of stability (not Donald’s ego).
Of the exterior changes, the thrilling AquaDunk plunging water slide is the only addition that did not carryover from the Magic, but the elongated Twist ‘n’ Spout variety did make its way to the Wonder (pictured below), topping off the new interactive AquaLab water play area, at least. All in all, this ensures the ship’s classy architectural aesthetic remains reminiscent of classic ocean liners inside and out. Now with a fresh coat of paint, she once again glimmers as one of the most beautiful cruise ships afloat to this day.
One of the most significant design changes, other than those made to the kids’ facilities, which I’ll discuss below, was the retheming of Route 66 to the new After Hours adults-only area of the ship. The new incarnation is certainly more refined than its borderline kitschy predecessor, but I still kind of miss the more vivid version. Thankfully, the timeless Cadillac Lounge is still in place, and the fresh Crown & Fin Pub (pictured below) is a nice new British venue to escape to that is chock full of fun Disney cinematic easter eggs, as is the ship as a whole for that matter.
The Disney Cruise Line was revolutionary when it first introduced family-friendly staterooms that were larger than the industry average complete with split bathrooms, but the company is not content to just sit on its laurels. Accommodations have again been improved with raised platform beds that better fit suitcases below, a new bank of additional storage drawers in place of steamer trunks and welcome extra electrical and USB charging outlets at the desk. Storage remains plentiful for families, although by now it would really be nice if beds could be split for different occupant configurations.
Meanwhile, the split bathrooms with a toilet and sink in one compartment and a tub/shower combo and sink in another continue to be a convenient touch for families in deluxe accommodations to be able to get ready together with greater privacy. The only caveat to this arrangement is that showers are narrower. Hopefully, these will be enlarged by the time the new ships come online. Nonetheless, there never seems to be a shortage of usable counters in the bathrooms or cabin itself, and even the split distribution of lighting from one side of the curtain to the other is well considered for those napping on different schedules.
The Disney Cruise Line really does manage to offer something for everybody to do, whether that is as a family or adults or children alone. By not including a casino in its floorplan, the Disney Wonder offers a larger footprint of kids facilities, and the Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Lab have been updated with new properties and activity areas such as Club Disney Junior, Andy’s Room from “Toy Story,” Marvel Super Hero Academy and Frozen Adventures. The latter two are especially exciting for presenting digital interactivity as well as in-person visits from Spider-Man, Black Widow (pictured below), Queen Elsa, Princess Anna and more.
The teens’ Vibe club has also been refreshed a bit, and the tweens’ Edge club has been
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