My family just returned from a 4-night cruise on the Disney Wish, Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship. Overall, we had a wonderful time. It’s really difficult to NOT enjoy yourself on a Disney cruise, regardless of your age or how much you like or dislike Disney stuff. The service is top notch, the food is excellent, and the atmosphere on board is like no other cruise line.
However, this was my 10th Disney cruise, and my family has been on all 5 ships. And just like every cruise ship, the Disney Wish is not perfect. Here are some hits and misses from our 4-night cruise on the Disney Wish.
Disney Wish Hits
Decor: The Disney Wish is visually stunning in every area. The atrium lighting is spectacular and changes colors throughout the day:
The adults-only restaurant area is also very elegant:
The artwork in the hallways, the hidden Mickeys in the staterooms, and the details all over the ship are fantastic.
Themed Dining Rooms: The main dining rooms on DCL are not just regular dining rooms. They each have their own theme, and some have entertainment. The Disney Wish has a new World of Marvel dining room where guests are part of the show.
Arendelle, the Frozen-themed restaurant, provides nonstop singing entertainment through dinner (which I loved, but my teenage boys did not).
New Quick Service Food Options: The pool deck on the Disney Wish has a few more quick service bites, including a Mexican counter service restaurant and a BBQ counter. Those make a nice addition to the standard burgers and pizza quick bites.
Walt Disney Theatre: The main theatre has all the latest and greatest technology, which really makes the show performances pop.
Aqua Mouse: The new Aqua Mouse water ride is fun! It has an animated story line and flows a bit faster than the Aqua Duck on the Fantasy and Dream.
Hero Zone: This new indoor recreation center is a hit with tweens and teens. While it doesn’t quite have all the same recreation offerings as the similar spaces on Royal Caribbean have (i.e. no ice skating, bumper cars, circus classes), my boys enjoyed the air hockey and ping pong.
Kids Club/Teen Club/1820 Society: My kids are too old for the kids club, but we did tour it during the open house and of course, it looks fantastic. My middle son went to the teen club on the first night, and we barely saw him the rest of the cruise. My oldest son enjoyed the 1820 Society, which I will cover in a separate post.
Disney Wish Misses
Elevators: The Wish’s high-tech elevators don’t require you to actually touch the button of the floor; you can just hover close to the number for the floor to light up. Unfortunately, anyone standing near the buttons can accidentally light up the entire board! This happened way too often on our cruise.
Layout: The layout of the Disney Wish is odd in some places and makes me wonder what the designers were thinking. For example, there are no elevators in the main lobby/atrium. You can’t even see the elevators that are a bit further aft. The adults-only Cove Cafe is so hidden that it was usually empty. But the biggest bummer was that there is no walking/running track! The promenade deck doesn’t go all the way around the ship.
Shopping: The Wish has one Disney store, and the rest are high-end jewelry and watch shops. The high-end shops are huge and empty. We could have thrown a dance party in all of that space.
Programming: Everyone in my family felt that the programming on the Disney Wish is a bit lacking compared to our previous cruises. I don’t know if this is just a post-pandemic new normal thing, or what. The main show one night was the new Ant Man movie, which we had already seen. It’s been out in theaters for a month. We would have liked some alternative entertainment, like a magician or comedian. It seems like there are fewer adult and family activities at night.
Clanking Noise: I have to mention this. Those of us in aft rooms heard a loud clanking noise every night from 3 – 5 a.m. Our neighbors and some people in our Facebook group all reported the same thing. Several reported it to guest services. Nobody ever figured out what it was. But imagine Will Farrell from that SNL skit was ringing that cowbell in your face every night. It’s kinda like that.
As I mentioned, a Disney Cruise is always a great time. However, my family likely won’t cruise on the Disney Wish again. It’s more expensive than the older Disney ships, and we prefer the layout and activities on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream better.
Sadly, my family might be outgrowing Disney Cruise Line a little bit. We’ve been cruising on DCL since my daughter was just a baby. We used to fill our time going to all the character photo ops. But now, our kids don’t want to do that all day. My younger son even said he liked the Carnival Celebration ship (which we sailed in January) better than the Disney Wish (gasp!!!). Our next cruise as an entire family is on Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas in Europe. I’m interested to see what my husband thinks, as he’s only ever sailed on Disney Cruise Line.
While my family is not loyal to DCL anymore, it’s nice to have plenty of options with other cruise lines. And who knows, we may sail on DCL again someday. I will always love Disney Cruise Line.
How does my family travel so much? We use miles and points from credit card bonuses. See my Travel Hacking 101 post as well as current credit card offers here.
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