Disney's Newest Cruise Ship Is Its Best Ever — Here's Why

Disney Cruise Line's newest ship, the Disney Wish, sets sail on its maiden voyage this month, and we took it for a test cruise.

Disney Cruise Line's newest ship is different — and that's why we love it. The company was voted the best large-ship ocean cruise line in Travel + Leisure's 2022 World's Best Awards, and the new Disney Wish is its best vessel yet.

The quintessentially Disney touches that make this cruise line so popular — appearances from Mickey and pals, a deck party with fireworks, themed dining and spaces for all ages, and attentive service from every cast member — are all there. But the Disney Wish elevates the Disney Cruise Line experience with a balance of sophistication and whimsy.

The Disney Wish sailing by Disney’s private island paradise, Castaway Cay
Matt Stroshane/Courtesy of Disney

When speaking with Imagineers and Disney Cruise Line leaders on board, they explained the ship's motif of enchantment — a concept integral to many classic Disney films — found in the staterooms, restaurants, recreation areas, and castle-like Grand Hall, the first place guests encounter when boarding on embarkation day.

The Grand Hall on board the Disney Wish
Courtesy of Disney

Walking on board the Disney Wish and entering the Grand Hall feels like stepping into a fairy tale. The large, atrium-like space features soaring columns that lead up to a constellation-speckled ceiling, with a chandelier reminiscent of Cinderella's ball gown at the center and a statue of the heroine herself at the bottom of the staircase. You might even spot a princess or prince waving from the balcony as you walk inside the bright and beautiful space. The tone for the cruise is set here, as you find yourself instantly immersed in the whimsical world of Disney storytelling in an upscale, modern setting that appeals to all ages.

And when we say there's something for guests of all ages, we mean it. With its newest ship, Disney has mastered the art of combining characters, film franchises, and experiences that kids, teens, young families, and even adults traveling without children will enjoy. From the adorable It's a Small World-themed nursery to the tween and teen-focused Edge and Vibe spaces, there are engaging spaces for children from six months to 17 years old. And Disney's Oceaneer Club, accessed by slide from the Grand Hall, includes Marvel, Star Wars, and princess-inspired areas, along with a Mickey playground and the Walt Disney Imagineering Lab, where kids can learn Imagineering secrets and participate in STEAM-infused activities.

As I walked through the space with Laura Cabo, portfolio creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, she pointed out each unique touch that makes the Oceaneer Club such a fun and immersive environment for children, down to tiny details that only a trained eye could spot.

The Kids - Star Wars Cargo Bay on board the Disney Wish
Courtesy of Disney

That attention to detail is evident throughout the adults' spaces, too. Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge is perhaps the most hotly anticipated bar on board the Disney Wish, with cocktails inspired by the planets that guests see through the viewport — when they're not blasting through hyperspace, that is.

Cocktail menus at Nightingale's, a piano bar with "Cinderella"-inspired touches, and The Bayou, a beautiful lounge with "The Princess and the Frog" influences, are delightful and diverse, with fun drinks featuring unique elements. In fact, throughout the ship, you'll find tasty, on-trend cocktails — think popsicle-infused spritzes, smoke bubble-topped libations, and sparkly drinks with edible glitter. And it's not all smoke and bubbles — Palo Steakhouse and Enchanté by chef Arnaud Lallement offer fine dining for adults only, in a charming setting inspired by "Beauty and the Beast."

We had the chance to enjoy a meal from the esteemed three-Michelin-starred chef, and the tasting menu — starring some dishes you may find at his highly regarded restaurant in Champagne, France — was delicious, alongside a view of the limitless ocean right outside the panoramic windows. Untangled Salon, Hook's Barbery, Senses Spa, Senses Fitness center, and the adults-only deck and pool area offer more grown-up entertainment and relaxation, proving that a Disney cruise is just as fun for adults.

The Arendelle A Frozen Dining Adventure on board the Disney Wish
Courtesy of Disney

Family-friendly spaces throughout the ship boast a number of Disney firsts: AquaMouse, the first-ever Disney attraction at sea; Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure, Disney's first Frozen-themed dining experience featuring singing, dancing, and an adorable Olaf; Worlds of Marvel, the first Marvel dining adventure; and a Broadway-style adaptation of "The Little Mermaid."

There's also the first-of-its-kind two-story Wish Tower Suite, located in the ship's forward funnel and themed to "Moana," with accommodations for up to eight guests. Plus, there are four beautiful Royal Suites and more concierge-level staterooms and suites. No matter the room type, though, guests will enjoy intelligently designed staterooms with fairy-tale touches — even the hallway carpets incorporate symbols from movies like "Tangled" and "Cinderella." And while cute and whimsical, these movie-inspired details aren't over-the-top; the rooms still feel modern, upscale, and bright.

Interior of the Little Mermaid stateroom on board the Disney Wish
Kent Phillips/Courtesy of Disney

Over the last two years, travel has been challenging, and in many ways, a cruise on the Disney Wish feels like a reprieve from the stress of family vacation planning. I love researching and planning trips, but there's something so relaxing about stepping onto a ship and knowing that everything will be taken care of, from meal planning to child care. And the Disney Wish — with its Michelin-worthy cuisine, beautiful suites, high-caliber entertainment, and fantastical touches — feels like a high-end experience.

Mickey and Minnie on board the Disney Wish
Courtesy of Disney

The Disney Wish sets sail on its maiden voyage on July 14, 2022, offering three- and four-night itineraries from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Castaway Cay — Disney's private island — in the Bahamas. The ship is the first of three new vessels to be built through 2025 at the Meyer Werft shipyard. We don't have details on these ships yet, but with the Wish sailing the high seas, Disney Cruise Line's future looks pretty magical.

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