August 7, 2008
My mother and I went on a three-day cruise aboard the Disney Wonder to Nassau and Castaway Cay for my 19th birthday, and the tenth anniversary of sailing with Disney Cruise Line, last August. We embarked the ship rather early (some four or so hours pre-departure) and had lunch in time at the Beach Blanket Buffet. The food was scrumptious, with the fruit nice and sweet, picked at the peak of its ripeness. (Blame the magic of Disney on their originating soils.)
The shows were more enjoyable, especially my favorite (besides Disney Dreams), Toy Story the Musical! Note that the shows don't use show bands, just not to detract theatergoers from the magic on stage.
The deck parties (Adventures Away and Pirates IN the Caribbean, with pyrotechnics on the ship) topped the bill, with Disney characters on hand to rule the roost. Speaking of which, a lot of them are virtually EVERYWHERE! One day, I saw Lilo and Stich while taking pictures in the spa and I saw Donald, Captain Hook, and Mr. Smee on our way to the fitness center (with LCD TV screens on their ellipticals, which was brilliant). Despite the fact that guests under 18 are not allowed in the area, I think the characters were exceptional! I met Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy (while exploring the ship before viewing The Golden Mickeys), among some others, while onboard.
Despite skinning my right knee on Nassau and being set back a tad bit due to inclement weather in Castaway Cay, I still had payloads of fun in the shore excursions. The tours of the zoo, city, and Fort Fincastle in the latter port of call were excellent!
My mother and I also dined a Palo's at the last night of the cruise, since I just turned 19 nearly two months before the cruise (you must be 18 to dine there) and we were iffy of dining in our least favorite restaurant, Parrot Cay, again. My northern Italian experience was relatively placid, with no sight or sound of screaming kids or seat-heeling brats.
I truly recommend sailing with Disney, even if itineraries are as short (sometimes lacking a day at sea, just like ours) as the Disney Wonder's! Excellent service and food aren't the only things I enjoy about this aforementioned cruise. For families who either don't condone gambling or worry about their kids inhaling secondhand smoke, they'll flip over the lack of casinos and the stringent smoking policy! Because of the ounces of magic Disney tosses at you each day onboard, I give this five stars!