One thing that I really liked about exploring the Disney Wish is that it felt really big, but really manageable all at the same time. There was a lot of fun stacked on top of each other, made accessible through elevators as well as staircases. While the individual spaces did run on the small side, it allowed for us being able to see more of the ship, as the spaces themselves were not expansive. If you’ve been on one of the 4 other Disney Cruise Line ships.. forget everything you knew! The design of the Wish is completely re-imagined. Once you realize that, you can appreciate everything better. It has wonderful small, beautfully intimate spaces, instead of larger ones, which I really loved.
Bars and Lounges
The boat was full of gorgeous lounges for adults and kids alike! The cruise is all-inclusive when it comes to food and beverage, however, there are opportunities to purchase things like specialty coffees, smoothies, and alcoholic beverages. For a detailed list of what is offered at each of the lounges, check out the Disney Cruise Line Blog.
This adults-only space in the evening requires a reservation ahead of time. We recommend doing so once you get on board if this is a high priority. The drinks were super unique and really had us feeling like we were in another world. While there are not always mocktail options on the menu, every bar was able to whip something up for those who didn’t want something alcoholic. This lounge offers 2 Mocktails, one that is more like a float, and the other which is a ginger-beer-based beverage. The ginger-beer one is very very strong on the ginger, so if that isn’t your thing I would opt out! (The menu made it sound heavier on the apple and other flavours, so this was a little disappointing!) This had a slightly more casual atmosphere, but dressing up did not feel out of place either.
If you are a Beauty and the Beast fan, you need to stop by here! The atmosphere here was classy and sophisticated. The commitment to the theme is truly 10/10. This lounge features large windows and floral drinks. There is even one experiential drink that comes under a glass, just like the rose in the movie! I am not a drinker, but I AM a fan of the theming, and it was simply breathtaking. I’m so glad that we visited it, and I just couldn’t get enough!
Hello, piano bar! Warm up those vocal cords, and head to Nightingale for a good time. This intimate space had (in our opinion) the best drink options. Some of the drinks were real show stoppers, and the bubble chandelier was iconic. This is a smaller lounge, and thus it can be a little harder to get good seats, as well you may end up very close to the piano which can make conversation difficult. But if Karaoke is your speed, you’ll love it here! While very beautiful, the only knock I have for this lounge is that it was exceptionally loud, and therefore felt cramped. It felt like the piano and singer were IN my lap. As the only extrovert in the group, I absolutely adored everything about this lounge. Cinderella is my long term favourite princess so the theming really spoke to my soul. I would rate this as the best lounge on the ship for atmosphere, drinks and overall experience.
Beignets, baby. Need I say more? Tiana would be proud of this bright, elegant space. Located in a very central location, this bar is the most open of all of the lounges, which also means you do have some foot traffic passing by, however it makes a really gorgeous location! During the day, special events sometimes take place here such as live music, or the drawing class mentioned later! I had a trio of beignets and a hot latte, and it was lovely! It’s definitely a central place to hang out and grab a drink! While this is a beautiful space, it is fully open which I think takes away from the ambience. More of a afternoon stop than a nighttime hang for me.
Keg & Compass
Every Disney Cruise Line ship has a signature pub, and this is it for the Disney Wish! If you’re a beer fan, this is the place for you. English seaside pub was the vibe here. All of the drinks were beer based. (Yes, even the Sangria had beer in it!) While the drink menu was not to our taste per se, the food menu was certainly tempting. Pub food has always been a fave of mine. It’s definitely the most popular space on board for adults outside of Hyperspace Lounge!
Did I know that we were going to the Bahamas? Yes, yes I did. But was I prepared in the morning to wake up and SEE the Bahamas? No. No, I wasn’t. It was incredibly cool in the morning to throw open our blinds to see that the blue had been replaced with glorious sand beach and tall palm trees. One thing to note is that there is no air conditioning throughout the island. There are high ceilings and fans, but relief from the heat comes from a dip in the beautiful ocean. Also free soft serve on tap, and refreshments. There is a fair amount of shade to be found as well with seating, and if it gets too hot you are always able to return to the ship.
You can read about Castaway Cay, and see pictures, but there is truly nothing like it. The fact that it’s privately owned by Disney, and taken care of so carefully, it’s unparalleled. Make sure your next Disney Cruise itinerary includes at least one stop to Castaway Cay!
This was one area where I absolutely recommend spending the extra money to rent equipment. While you swim over seaweed, it is never close to you. You are required to wear a life jacket. The life jacket took a lot of pressure off of swimming. I even found that I never took in water through the top of my snorkel. If you find that your glasses get fogged up, surface and give them a quick windshield wipe with your finger.
You’ll see white and red buoys. The red buoys lead you to areas where you’ll likely see fish, as they’ve sunk habitats that the fish like to hang out in and around. At first, I was hesitant, but once I realized that’s where the good fish are, I acclimated. The white buoys are Disney-themed. We enjoyed hitting up every buoy before heading back to shore.
Before you set out, load up on that sunscreen on your back (and your butt cheeks), and ensure that it has time to set up. All of our backs (and in one case, back side) burnt from being near the surface of the water for an extended period of time. Even those of us wearing 50 SPF burnt on our backs. Make sure to be EXTRA diligent with sunscreen. Like. Every hour or 2 be reapplying because that sun be HOT and the UV index gets very high. Whether you’re going in the water or not. All. The. Sunscreen.
Biking was not on my hit list for this day, but Heidi and I wanted to see the adult only Stormalong Bay, and bikes were included in our package (we did the float, snorkeling and biking package, available after check in and once you are paid in full on the Navigator App!) It was surface of the sun hot, but it was really cute! We LOVED the water station halfway, and on a cooler day, it’s a lovely way to see more of the island!
A BBQ feast awaited us on the island. Your app will tell you when it is open, so make sure you hit up the buffet for lunch. There was also self-serve ice cream as well as soft drinks available all day. There was So. MANY. OPTIONS for food! Every kind of meat. Salads. Chips. Cookies. Fruit. Veg. It was incredible. You will not be hungry!
Before you head out in the morning, they tell you when you must be back on board. However, if you are done early there are shuttles back to the ship every 20 minutes, or a 10-ish-minute walk to get back. When I went back early they had cold towels for us to use on our bodies while we waited to go through customs, as well as several ice glasses of water with things such as Cucumber or Strawberries inside, and all of the Snack spots are open during the day for those who stayed on board.
I found my body needed to be done earlier than my sisters. There was no AC on the island and not a lot of shade. I had to get my core temperature back down. It was pretty quiet because most people were still on the beaches so you can really take this time to explore and maybe splurge for that Gelato at Joyful Sweets, the Inside Out themed ice cream shop.
Erica and I were able to book a spa treatment, thanks to our husbands and children, for mothers day. This whole experience was so relaxing and enjoyable. If you want a break from Disney, you will want to book a spa treatment.
We both opted for a Bamboo Massage. Neither of us had heard of this treatment before. It’s a deep tissue massage using different-sized warm Bamboo rods. I loved this treatment as it addressed the tension in my muscles, so nice after a couple of long park days, without leaving me sore. Highly recommend. If you do the Parks first for a land and sea (highly recommend!) this was the PERFECT way to relax those sore muscles!
The Rainforest room is something you can pay to enjoy for just one visit or the whole time on the ship! It is an additional cost on top of your treatment. We recommend enjoying this space before or after a treatment! I recommend bringing your bathing suit to take full advantage. Inside this space, you will find heated benches, swinging chairs over a pool, a eucalyptus steam room, an ice room, and a variety of hot tubs and pools on the deck. You can gain access to this space over the entire span of your cruise for $169 per person.
Shows and entertainment
Nobody does entertainment like Disney. Each night had a different show, either before dinner or after. The Wish has three evening performances in the large theatre: The Little Mermaid, Disney “Seas the Adventure”, and Aladdin. The production for these shows is high quality. Aladdin is still being rehearsed but will be available later.
“Disney Seas the Adventure” reminded me of “Mickey’s Magical Map”. It was so cute and featured many different characters from various movies. I think all of us had a tear in our eyes at one point during the show. It was the perfect way to kick off our first evening on the ship.
I think this is the thing that is most special about the Disney Cruise Line… (ok, ONE of the many things that make it special!) The shows are INCREDIBLE. It definitely gives you the goosebumps, and tears, and allll the joy!
Neverland and Wonderland Theatre
Among all the amazing live entertainment, the ship comes with a fully functioning movie theatre. We were able to view Thor: Love and Thunder which was recently released! The movie is included, but the popcorn was extra ($3.50 for a regular). There is also an option to buy a popcorn bucket for $9.99 which you can refill for $1.50. The theatres are small, so make sure to get there 20 min before to snag a seat. There is endless options of show times, so if you miss one, you are sure to have another chance!
If you are like me, you might like to do some more hands-on experiences that don’t include doing anything athletic, so I was so happy to see that the Wish offered drawing classes on the itinerary! This experience was very similar to the Animation Academy in DCA. Rather than having a live artist, we followed a recording. I had the chance to learn to draw our favourite mouse, Mickey, in his new style (however my drawing definitely hails more back to Steamboat Willie style Mickey as opposed to the current iteration).
The ship was full of adventure for kids to explore. For littles three and under, there was a shaded Toy Story-themed splash pad that was enclosed for parents’ sanity.
There was an Incredibles-themed obstacle course to burn off some energy, as well as teen-only areas. The app is the place to check for events. There were even exclusive events for 18-20 year old’s. The Kid’s zone was accessible with a cool slide. Kids are able to contact their parents when they are done with the area.
All of the kids spaces on the Disney Cruise are cool, but this ship takes the cake! Star Wars, Pixar, Imagineering (make your own rollercoaster anyone?) and Pixar. With character interactions, group activities, and lots of areas to explore, your kids will never tire of going to the Kids Club! The pre-teen and teenager areas (Edge, Vibe, and the new 18-20 area “The Hideaway”) are also really spectacular spaces.
Pools and Waterslide
Make sure you ride the Aquamouse! This two-person water slide features none other than Mickey Mouse. There are two separate ride themes, so try and do it more than once. While the sign said that a person could ride solo, we were asked to have one person wait to the side so that one person could go twice. There are also TWO different movie sequences, so make sure to ask what time you can see the different ones!
There were several pools of varying depths with dedicated lifeguards. The pools were not large, but plentiful. I liked that there were movies playing all day on the large screen. I really enjoyed cooling off and watching a bit of Emperor’s New Groove.
The adults-only pool was smaller than I expected but absolutely beautiful. The infinity edge was absolutely gorgeous and had a ledge to lounge on. There is also the adult only Cove Cafe… which is a stunning, quiet, air conditioned space to grab a coffee or catch up on reading!
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Have a magical day,
Erica, Heidi, Elisia, and Danielle
Very enjoyable read.