Has the Disney Wonder lost its magic?

I’ve sailed on the Disney Wonder a couple of times and she is a great ship.  However, with her maiden voyage dating back to August 1999, she is starting to show her age.  This ship sails all over the world so it’s no surprise that some things are looking a little rough.

We see a lot of it in the staterooms which are harder to maintain.  From our stateroom, you can see where things need to be painted.

Paint peeling on the Verandah door

Paint peeling on the Verandah door

Looking over the railing, you can see things are starting to rust.

Rust is forming outside the verandah.

Rust is forming outside the verandah.

The divider on the verandah has really been banged up.

The divider on the verandah has been banged up.

The divider on the verandah has been banged up.

The ceiling has seen better days.

The ceiling in our stateroom needs a little love.

The ceiling in our stateroom needs a little love.

On deck 9, the rafters in the ceiling aren’t level any more.

On deck 9, the ceiling rafters have seen better days.

On deck 9, the ceiling rafters have seen better days.

The ceiling over the drink station on Deck 9 is really out of shape.

The rafters above the drink station on Deck 9 are really warped.

The rafters above the drink station on Deck 9 are really warped.

Don’t get me wrong though.  Maintenance crews are always working on the ship.  While we were having coffee one morning, we saw them brightening the yellow paint on the funnel for example.

Maintenance crews painting the side of the funnel.

Maintenance crews painting the side of the funnel.

Although not as big as the Fantasy or Dream, the Disney Wonder is still a big ship.  There are only so many maintenance crew members and there is just too much to do.  The Disney Wonder is a great ship though and we still have a few cruises booked on her.  Luckily for the Disney Wonder, she is rumored to be going into dry dock in September and October of 2016.  After then we should see a new Disney Wonder restored to all of its glory.

Advertisements

Disney Cruise Line Series: Maximize your character sightings on day one on the Disney Wonder

The first few hours on a cruise ship are nuts.  You can’t get to your stateroom until 1:30 and you are dreading the safety drill.  On top of that your kids are tired and cranky and still wondering why they haven’t seen Mickey Mouse yet.  Follow these pro tips though and you’ll have a near private experience with the characters as they get ready for the Sail Away party.

Coffee with Baileys at Cove Cafe

Coffee with Baileys at Cove Cafe

After the safety drill, book it over to Deck 10 mid-ship.  This is where Cove Café is located.  Parents if you get there quickly, go inside and get yourself a coffee.  You can even get them to put a little something in there to get through the day.

Now that you’re happy, go outside the café where the elevators are and wait.  You’ll probably notice that there are a few crew members dressed in all white.  They are usually quite social and will have a conversation with you.  It’s these crew members that are waiting for the right time to lock the elevator so that they can go down and pick up some of your favorite Disney characters.

Once its the right time, you will see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, and Dale come out of the elevator.  Get your cameras ready!

Goofy coming out of the elevator on Deck 10 Midship

Goofy coming out of the elevator on Deck 10 Midship

You never know what to expect.

Goofy pointing.

Goofy pointing.

The characters will wait up here for a little bit.  Sometimes they go into the room in the middle.

Disney characters entering the green room on Deck 10 before the Sail Away party

Disney characters entering the green room on Deck 10 before the Sail Away party

Sometimes they act a little silly.

Disney characters getting warmed up for the Sail Away party on the Disney Wonder.

Disney characters getting warmed up for the Sail Away party on the Disney Wonder.

The characters will usually interact with you (especially if you have children with you).

Minnie Mouse greeting people

Minnie Mouse greeting people

Goofy is usually pretty entertaining.

Goofy shoving a cast member back into the elevator

Goofy shoving a cast member back into the elevator

You should set your expectations correctly though.  The characters may choose a different route to enter on your cruise.  Also, I know this doesn’t work on the Disney Fantasy as the characters come out from a different location.  Also, the characters may or may not let you take pictures with them.  It really just depends.  Remember, they are about to go on stage and they have a schedule to maintain so don’t be “that Mom”.

Seeing the characters up this close and personal does me with a cost.  You will likely not have a good place to stand once the Sail Away party starts.  If you can split up that might be a good plan.

Sail Away party on the Disney Wonder

Sail Away party on the Disney Wonder