My husband, Pat and I boarded the Disney Wish on October 24th for a 4-Night Bahamian sailing out for Port Canaveral in Florida. We had both cruised before with Disney, but this was our first time sailing aboard the Wish, Disney’s newest ship that is currently in its inaugural season. Below is my full trip report with some “pro tips” for others who are planning a Disney cruise.
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Day 1 – Embarkation
We arrived to Port Canaveral (about a 50 minute drive from Walt Disney World and Disney does provide ground transportation for an additional cost, but well worth it in my opinion!) and parked our car around 11:30 AM. Prior to parking our car, we stopped at a numbered drop-off location to drop-off our luggage. Your luggage will be taken and placed in front of your stateroom after you have boarded the ship.
PRO TIP: Your luggage won’t be waiting at your stateroom when you get onto the ship, so be sure to pack a carry-on with anything you might need. Lots of people will hit the pools when the get on board, so be sure to pack your bathing suit and a change of clothes if you want to try out one of the many pools!
When you cruise with Disney, you’ll complete an online check-in prior to your sailing, so most of the in-person check-in is just scanning a code that is associated with your travel party and presenting your passport. Along with your online check-in, you’ll also be provided an arrival time. This time is the time at which you’ll be able to start the in-person check-in process. We were in group 14 and had a 12:30 PM check-in time. We got to the terminal a bit early, but they were already letting our group through to the terminal, so we walked right up to security. The security process includes checking your passport, scanning your QR code and going through a medal detector.
Once we went through security, we waited in the terminal for our boarding group to be called (only about a 20 minute wait for us).We got onto the ship at 12:30 PM on the dot and was instantly blown away by the size of the atrium and the ornate chandelier.
When you board the ship (especially as early as we were), your stateroom likely will not be ready. Not a big deal though because you can explore the ship, grab food at one of the quick-service locations or choose to eat at the main dining room that is serving lunch that day. We decided to head to Senses Spa, which is a full service spa on board, and reserve our spots in the Rainforest Room. The cost for all 4 days was $150 and included saunas, showers, relaxation rooms, hot tubs and a large deck area. The area is exclusive to adults and was well worth the money for us. We went back for at least a couple hours each day to take advantage of our favorite part, the hot stone chairs! If you’re interested in taking advantage of the Rainforest Room or booking any spa treatments that you might not have been able to get prior to sailing, I recommend heading here first and speaking with one of the crew members.
PRO TIP: If you were unable to get a reservation at any of the adult-only dining locations (PALO or Enchante), head up to Deck 12 when you board and see if any cancellations have opened up or if you can be added to the waitlist.
After we got our Rainforest Room passes, we decided to check out the bar we were most excited for, Hyperspace Lounge. Hyperspace Lounge is inspired by Dryden Vos’ Nau’ur Kalevalen yacht in “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and did not disappoint. The lounge has a full menu of Star Wars inspired drinks and every 7 minutes you’ll jump to lightspeed and end up near a different planet in the Star Wars universe.
We visiting Hyperspace Lounge several times while on board and enjoyed trying the different drinks and taking in the ambience.
After we finished our drinks at Hyperspace Lounge, we made our way to Arendelle, one of the main dining locations on board for a table service lunch. Each day lunch will be served at one of the main dining locations as well as at Marceline Market, a quick service buffet restaurant. Most people head to Marceline Market on embarkation day, so we decided to avoid the crowds and have a relaxing lunch at Arendelle.
One thing to remember with Disney Cruise Line vacations is that your food is included in the cost of your cruise, so try it all! We also ordered an appetizer, entree and a dessert and would ask to try a couple different options if we couldn’t decide!
After we enjoyed our lunch, our waiter let us know that our stateroom was ready, so we headed up to Deck 7 where our stateroom was (it was about 2:30 PM). We were in stateroom 7022, which is a Deluxe Stateroom with a verandah. This particular stateroom had what Disney calls a “navigator’s verandah.” Basically it just means that there is a wall that covers part of your view, but is less expensive than a full verandah. We didn’t mind it at all and have stayed in both full verandah and staterooms with just a porthole before.
If you have sailed with Disney before, you know that their staterooms are well laid out and utilize space as much as possible. The Disney Wish staterooms exceeded my expectations and had more of a hotel room feel than a cruise stateroom feel. The biggest upgrades were the walk in shower and large screen TV. These might seem like trivial items, but gosh were they great!
Our luggage arrived outside of our stateroom around 3:30 PM and we got freshened up for the evening. Once you get onto the ship you’ll want to be sure to explore the Navigator App. The app includes a daily itinerary and information about different onboard events and offerings. We’re big fans of trivia and there are a number of trivia activities throughout the cruise, so we headed to one and grabbed a drink at Triton’s Lounge.
After trivia it was time for us to head to the Walt Disney Theatre for the first of three broadway style performances. On a four-night cruise, shows will be performed three nights and twice each night. Because we had the second seating for dinner (main dining is 5:45 PM and second dining is 8:15 PM), we went to the 6 PM performance of “Seas the Adventure.” This show was our favorite out of the three and included songs from classic and recent Disney movies. The show was 30 minutes, leaving us some time to explore the ship before dinner at 8:15 PM.
PRO TIP: If you know you are going to want to have popcorn during the shows, purchase a popcorn bucket at Preludes and bring it back each night. Refills only cost $1.50, so it can’t be beat!
At 8:15 we headed over to Worlds of Marvel where we would have our dinner the first night. Disney Cruise Line ships each have three main dining rooms and utilize “Rotational Dining” to ensure that cruisers get to experience each. We were seated with two other couples who we would be seated with each evening. With rotational dining, your table is assigned a server and assistant server who will be with you each night and get to know what your likes and dislikes are.
Going into Worlds of Marvel, I was a bit apprehensive, as I had heard not-so-great reviews from friends who had sailed prior to us. Overall, I thought the looks of the space was spot on and made you feel like you were in a location that could have been in a Marvel film. The food was my favorite throughout the cruise, with lots of flavors that were inspired by places in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The only complaint I had about the experience was the timing. Each course is aligned with a presentation that Ant-Man and the Wasp are showcasing on screens throughout the restaurant. It felt like there were large gaps between courses because we were waiting for their entire restaurant to complete one course before we moved onto our next.
Worlds of Marvel is definitely a must-do if you’re a Marvel fan or if you have kids. The experience is very engaging and Ant-Man and the Wasp come out at the end to wave and thank everyone for their help. If you’re traveling without kids and aren’t huge Marvel fans, this might be a good night to order room service or try out some food from Mickey & Friends Festival of Foods.
PRO TIP: Remember that room service is available 24 hours per day and is included in the cost of your cruise!
After dinner we were exhausted, so we headed back to our stateroom to get ready for day two! Before we went to bed, we filled out a room service breakfast request form. These forms can be found in the drawer under the large mirror and can be completed to request that a continental breakfast be delivered to your room. We hung the form on our door each night before going to bed and woke up the next morning to hot coffee and breakfast!
Day 2 – Nassau
We decided not to get off the ship at Nassau, as we had been there before and rather would spend our time exploring the ship. If you do decide to get off the ship, I would recommend booking an excursion to get the most out of your day and be sure you are staying in areas that are safe for visitors.
We spent the morning walking around the ship and decided to have “second breakfast” at Marceline Market (we had room service delivered to our room each morning, but remember your food is included, so a second breakfast is a must!). We both really enjoyed Marceline Market and all of the options that were available there throughout the day. This location has both breakfast and lunch hours that you can view on the Navigator app each day.
After Marceline Market, we checked out Cove Cafe, the adult only coffee bar onboard. If you’re a coffee fan, you’ll need to add this one to your must-do list. There were so many options and the baristas easily whipped up speciality drinks – you can even add some extra magic to your drink with specialty liqueurs. Beverages purchased here are an additional cost. All purchases made on board will be added to the card that you place on file prior to sailing. You can see your purchases in the Navigator app. Be sure to ask for a punch card if you do visit the Cove Cafe – you’ll be able to get a free drink after the purchase of 5 drinks.
We spent some time in the Rainforest Room and enjoyed the hot stone chairs and the sauna. This became one of our favorite daily activities!
The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the ship and taking advantage of some of the kids club “Open House” hours. I highly recommend checking these spaces out – you’ll definitely be jealous of all the fun the kids get to have! If you’re interested in seeing all of the spaces, they are open to all ages on embarkation day. Plus, there are a number of character meet and greets scheduled throughout sailings in these locations which are open to all ages.
Later on, we got changed for the evening and headed to tonight’s show, “The Little Mermaid” and the Walt Disney Theatre. This hour long production is a bit of a different retelling, but still had the songs we know and love from the movie. We were blown away by the talent of the cast.
PRO TIP: Head to the balcony for a great view and less people!
After the show we headed up to Deck 11 to grab something to eat at Mickey and Friends Festival of Food, as we wouldn’t be going to the main dining room this evening for dinner. Disney Cruise Line offers a number of onboard activities throughout sailings including tasting seminars that you can register for prior to sailing/through the navigator app if there are available spots. We registered for the Rum Tasting ($50/person) that took place at 8 PM. Because of the timing, we missed out on our first night in Arendelle, the second of three main dining locations, but would be back there the next night (more on that later!).
The Rum Tasting seminar was led by a member of the bartending team, Colin, who was incredibly knowledgeable about rum. We were given four rums and one mixed drink to taste over an hour long seminar in which Colin described each of the rums and shared history about the liquor. If you are a rum fan, this is definitely a must do. There are several other tasting seminars offered onboard as well, so be sure to check on them through the app.
We were pretty much ready to call it a night after the tasting, but did stop to do some shopping in Mickey’s Mainsails, the main shop on board. As a note, shops are only open while the ship is at sea, so be sure to get your shopping in when you can!
Day 3 – Castaway Cay
We woke up super excited for Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Castaway Cay is 1,000 acres and has several beaches including an adult-only beach, Serenity Bay. Prior to our cruise we booked massages through Senses Spa that would take place in the cabanas on Serenity Bay. This is an additional cost, but well worth it in our opinion! Our massages were scheduled for 9 AM and we were able to disembark from the ship at 8:35 AM. We were one of the first people onto the island and made our way to the tram station. This can get a little tricky – if you’re trying to get to Serenity Bay, the adult-only beach and where the cabanas for the massages are, you’ll want to get on the first tram that you see and take it two stops. At the second stop, get off that tram and wait for the Serenity Bay tram. The first tram you’ll take stops at both family beaches, while the second tram is for Serenity Bay only. You can walk to all of the beaches, but it’s a bit of a trek, so I recommend grabbing a tram instead.
We made it to the cabanas to check in right around 9 AM and had our 50-minute swedish massages while listening to the waves and feeling the ocean breeze. It truly was just as magical and relaxing as it sounds. After our massages, we headed to the Castaway Air Bar and had a drink, because, well, we’re on island time! We hung out at the bar for a while, people-watched and then made our way back to the ship. You might be thinking, “Kelly! What?! Why are you heading back to the ship when you have a whole private island to explore?” We’ve been to Castaway several times and love it, but wanted to take advantage of an empty ship to spend some time in areas that are usually busy.
If you do decide to spend some time on Castaway Cay, they offer a BBQ lunch at three different locations. There are also a ton of excursions you can book and lots to explore on the island.
We got back onto the ship and went right to Marceline Market to grab something to eat and then headed over to the pools to hang out. We spent most of the afternoon just enjoying the quiet ship and rode the AquaMouse twice! The AquaMouse is Disney’s first “attraction at sea” and is definitely more engaging than any waterslide I’ve ever been on. Pat loved it so much too!
Tonight was Pirate’s Night, a themed night on sailings that includes fireworks at sea and a special menu in all main dining rooms. There was no live performance this evening in the Walt Disney Theatre, but “Hocus Pocus” was shown. We spent our time hopping back and forth from the different lounges and checking out some of the trivia activities that were on board.
We had dinner in Arendelle this evening, but there was no performance, as it was Pirate’s Night. After dinner, fireworks at sea were shot off, but we decided to avoid the crowds (these kind of activities will draw most guests on the ship to one area) and check out The Rose bar on Deck 12 that we hadn’t visited yet. Gosh were we happy we did! If you are looking for an upscale feel with incredible options, The Rose is the place to be. I ordered the “Sommelier Bin” which is $11 and basically is the bartender’s choice as to what kind of wine they serve you. I got a delicious champagne and enjoyed the drink and the ambience.
Day 4 – At Sea
Our last full day on the ship was our day at sea. Of course, we knew today would feel the busiest on the ship because no one was getting off to explore a port. However, we didn’t really feel that it was terribly crowded because they was a lot to do, spreading people out across the ship.
We started our day the same way we usually did, but also treated ourselves to a coffee at the Cove Cafe for the second morning on our trip. One of our favorite activities onboard was grabbing a spot in the shade, drinking our coffee and watching the ocean. This day was great because you could see shore pretty much the whole day, so you had lots to watch.
At 11:30 AM, we headed to the Keg & Compass, a tavern style bar and lounge, for the Beer Tasting Seminar. We were so excited to participate in this seminar, because it was one we had wanted to do for a long time. Fredy, the instructor, was so knowledgeable and encouraged us to come back and ask him any other questions we had. We tried five different beers and learned about the history of the drink as well as what goes into making it and creating the different types. If you are a beer fan, I highly recommend registering for this seminar. It was $50 per person, but well worth it in our opinion. It is a popular seminar, so be sure to try to get a spot when your booking window opens up on the app prior to sailing. We were lucky and were able to snag two reservations while on board, but that doesn’t always work out unfortunately.
The rest of the day we explored more of the ship and tried to soak in as much relaxation as possible. When we got back to our room in the afternoon, we had luggage tags on our desk that would be used for the disembarkation process. It was around this time that we started to think about when we could cruise with Disney next. That’s where the rebooking offer came in…
PRO TIP: One thing to be aware of when you are on a Disney Cruise is that they have a special “rebooking offer.” With a deposit of $250, you will get a placeholder reservation that is an open-ended reservation, allowing you to select a future sail date at a later time. The deposit must be paid while onboard and is fully refundable if the reservation is canceled. With this rebooking offer, you will receive up to 10% off the cruise that you book. Once a sail date is selected, standard cancellation fees apply.
Of course, we went ahead and did a placeholder booking and spent lots of time since we’ve returned from our cruise deciding where we’d like to sail to next! If you do take advantage of this rebooking offer, you can still work with a travel agent like myself. Reach out to your travel agent and let them know you’d like to transfer the booking to them – then you’ll get the discount, plus our help with all the planning!
Our last night was filled with the final broadway style performance in the Walt Disney Theatre, “Aladdin.” Once again we were blown away by the talent and definitely spent the rest of the night singing the songs. We had dinner in 1923 in the Walt Disney room and enjoyed the upscale feel of this restaurant. If you have little ones that get antsy, this might be one to bring some coloring pages along to because they isn’t entertainment like there is at Worlds of Marvel or Arendelle.
We visited a couple of our favorite spots (the shops and Hyperspace Lounge) before heading to bed, but called it a pretty early night, as we were going to take advantage of Express Walk-Off the next morning.
Day 5 – Disembarkation Day
The day prior to disembarkation day, you will receive luggage tags in your stateroom with a Disney character on them. If you would like Disney to take your luggage off the ship for you, you will need to put these tags on your bags and place your bags outside your stateroom by a designated time the night before disembarkation day. You will not have access to these bags until you go through customs in the terminal after exiting the ship.
On the disembarkation day, you will have breakfast is the main dining room that you ate in the evening before. You will be given a group number and will be allowed to exit the ship once your group number is called.
If you want to get off the ship earlier you can do Express Walk-Off. We had to get to work that day, so we decided to take advantage of this offering. With Express Walk-Off, you will keep your luggage with you and take it off the ship yourself. You will be able to exit the ship around 7:15 AM and can get breakfast in Marceline Market beginning at 6:30 AM. We followed this schedule and were through customs and in our car by 7:30 AM.
Pat and I both had the best trip aboard the Disney Wish and can’t wait to sail again!
If you’re looking to book a Disney Cruise Line Vacation or visit and Disney Destination, be sure to reach out to me for my complimentary assistance!