Five Things to Know About Disney Cruise Line's Wonder Cruise Ship
World's Best 2016 Awards Rank: #2 Mega Cruise Ship
Best for: Families and Disney-philes
Sails: Alaska, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Pacific Coast, and Mexico
At a Glance: A Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2016 winner, placing second in the Mega Cruise Ship category. Refurbished at the end of 2016, this 1,754-passenger family-focused ship caters to children and adults alike with a splashy new waterpark, adults-only areas, and lots of Disney-level entertainment.
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There’s Plenty to Keep Kids Happy
Saying this ship is family-friendly is an understatement. The kid-centric activities are almost too many to count: there’s the new Marvel Super Hero Academy, where kids get create their own webs and train with Spider-Man. Or how about Pirate’s Night, when kids head to costume shop and salon Bippity Boppity Boutique to dress up like buccaneers for a pool-deck party featuring a fireworks and a pirate show. And of course, there are the kids’ clubs: it’s a Small World Nursery for infants, Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Lab for ages 3 to 12, Edge for tweens 11 to 14, and Vibe for teens. Bonus: most staterooms have two bathrooms, so kids can have their own for the whole voyage.
There’s Enough to Entertain Parents, Too
When parents need a night alone, they head to Palo, the ship’s upscale adults-only Italian restaurant. After a dinner of penne arrabiata, seared sea scallops, and tiramisu, their next stop is After Hours, the ship’s new adults-only district. The piano bar, Cadillac Lounge, has been totally redone, and the new English-style pub called Crown & Fin is filled with nods to many of Disney’s London-based films. End the night at the new wave-themed Azure nightclub for dancing and ocean-inspired cocktails like the Eco-tini, made with acai, agave, and ginger.
The Restaurants Are More Than a Meal
Most ships have one main dining room. The Disney Wonder has three, which passengers rotate through during the voyage. (You’ll have the same tablemates and waiter, however, every night.) At Animator’s Palate, passengers can check out a holographic menu and columns that look like paint brushes; at tropics-themed Parrot Cay, birds chirp and “Hot Hot Hot” plays throughout dinner; and at elegant Triton’s, there is a huge Little Mermaid mosaic on the wall. Tiana’s Place, a new New Orleans-themed restaurant inspired by The Princess and the Frog, was added to the mix during the refurbishment. Along with Creole and Cajun dishes, expect live jazz or blues and a first line parade each night.
There’s a Waterslide
Gone is the Mickey-shaped pool on Deck 9. In its place is the new AquaLab, a water park with a spiraling yellow water slide called Twist ‘n’ Spout, a new freshwater pool, and Donald Duck water spouts, as well as an area for toddlers called Dory’s Reef. Goofy’s Family Pool is still the main pool area, and Disney movies are broadcast on a 24-foot-wide screen there all day long. Grown-ups have their own pool, Quiet Cove, which is flanked by two whirlpools and an outdoor bar.
The Frozen Musical Is a Hot Ticket
Because Disney knows exactly what your kids want, Frozen, A Musical Spectacular, a new Broadway-style show based on the movie, is now playing at the 977-seat Walt Disney Theater. Expect snowy special effects, a gorgeously costumed Anna and Elsa, a puppet Olaf, and plenty of songs from the film (including, yes, “Let It Go”).