And now on to the most important part of the cruise – the food!
We started our cruise in Marceline Market which would be the “buffet” area of the ship. I loved the theming throughout. Instead of one big line, there are different stations to visit – such as seafood, deli, hot entrees, kids and desserts. We had lunch here twice and breakfast each morning. We especially liked the little charcuterie boards. I think it was pretty much what you would expect to find at a buffet and we were happy with it overall.
Around the top pool deck is Mickey’s Festival of Foods. This was a definite step up from the walk up food choices on the other ships. There were stations for pizza, Mexican, hamburgers and hotdogs, BBQ and ice cream. My sister had the Mexican location for lunch and it was similar to Chipotle where you pick your ingredients for a bowl, tacos or burritos. I tried the BBQ location and had brisket, mac and cheese and corn bread. It was all really good.
The three main dining room restaurants on the Wish are 1923, Marvel and Arendelle. 1923 was the one we were most excited about and it was our first dinner. The restaurant is named for the year the Walt Disney company started in California. Our table was towards the front of the restaurant so we really didn’t get to see too much of all the little details and there were a lot to look at. I am not the best at food photos and eventually gave up but I do have some from this meal. I had the burrata appetizer, a pasta dish for my entrée and the ice cream sundae for dessert. We both enjoyed our meals and this ended up being our favorite of the three main dining rooms.
The second night for us was Marvel. Each table has a device that interacts with the “show” throughout the night. There are screens around the restaurant and a story with Ant Man and the Wasp takes place in little intervals throughout your meal. When the show is not going on the screens show clips about various Marvel characters. At the end of the story, Ant Man and the Wasp do a quick walk through of the restaurant.
As for the food, we looked at the menu during the day and weren’t too excited by it but we ended up enjoying it. We each had the bao bun and fried shrimp as an appetizer. We asked to share the shrimp but our server said it was a small portion so we should just each get one. Then I had the mushroom soup, chicken schnitzel for an entrée and the cheesecake for dessert. The chicken was just ok but we were pleasantly surprised by the rest.
Our last night was in Arendelle, the Frozen themed restaurant. The concept is that Oaken is throwing an engagement party for Anna and Kristoff and we are the invited guests. We had a chance to visit this restaurant when it was empty during the Art of the Ship tour. So many details and it really is set up like a banquet. There are paintings on the wall direct from the movie.
The show here takes place on a stage in the center of the room. We were on the edge so it was a little far from us but Anna, Kristoff, Elsa and Oaken walk around the perimeter of the room to greet their guests. There was a trio that sang songs from the movie as well. I enjoy Frozen the movie and the songs but the show here was too much for me. In the Marvel restaurant, the show happened in brief time periods throughout the meal. Here there was one brief break and then the show was always going. It was a lot. You couldn’t talk because it was loud. I realize that I am not the target demographic for Frozen but I would have enjoyed it more in brief segments as opposed to constant throughout the night.
The food here was also my least favorite of the three restaurants. I had cheese and ham tart, baby greens salad, then the beef rib eye and the apple cake for dessert. We also shared the braised meatball entrée. Nothing was bad here just not my favorite.
With only a 3 night sailing, we did not get to try any of the adult only restaurants this time. I guess that means I will just have to sail again.
For our three night sailing, the three nighttime shows were “Disney Seas the Adventure,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Aladdin.” The Disney Seas the Adventure show was short and had a lot of Disney friends and music which was fun. The other two shows told those stories. The Walt Disney theater on this ship now uses projection mapping to have images around the entire theater. I thought Aladdin was the best of the three shows.
We also enjoyed live music around the ship. There was a singer / piano player in one of the lounges one evening. There was live music in the “The Bayou” lounge another night. There was also a trio (and I cannot remember their name) that performed on the stage in the Grand Hall. They did all of your Disney favorites in a jazz style. I like hearing Disney songs in a different way so I thought they were great.
Now onto lounges.. We like to go to the early show and then go to a lounge for a drink before dinner. We tried several this trip and there are still a few we didn’t get to.
The Star Wars Hyperspace lounge was something we definitely wanted to try. Because of the popularity, you need reservations. We made our reservations in the terminal before boarding as soon as we connected to the DCL wifi. There are “family” times when children are allowed and then “adult” times in evening hours. We found adult times hard to book so we went for a family time on our Nassau day, as we weren’t getting off the ship anyway.
You check into your reservation and then you push a button for the door to slide open and make the cool “whosh” sound. The lounge is small but fully themed. Behind the bar is a big LED screen. Every so often, there would be a sound and we would jump to lightspeed. The screen would show that and then we would stop in a new location. Drinks were listed on an Ipad and we each tried one. Mine was nothing really special and we really only stayed long enough to enjoy our drinks. It wouldn’t be a “must do” for me but it was fun.
Our first night we tried Nightingale’s. This is on the style of a champagne bar and it also had a piano music at times. The theme comes from when Cinderella sings “Sing Sweet Nightingale” and the chandelier above the piano represents the soap bubbles from while she is cleaning and singing. We enjoyed this spot and made a second trip on the last night when there was a woman singing at the piano. My sister’s drink actually had sparkles in it. My drink had a round ice cube and it came with a little hammer for you to break it.
We had wanted to try out “The Rose” and we heard that it can get busy. This lounge is between Palo and Enchante, the adult restaurants. We went up there around 4:45 pm and grabbed a seat. It opened at 5 pm and it was already pretty full by that time. The signature drink of “The Rose” has a fun presentation! I ordered “Mrs Tea” not realizing that it also came with a little presentation as well.
The last lounge we got to try was “The Bayou.” This is one space that is not “tucked away” at all. It is open on the sides and is right on the way to the theater. The theming is for Princess and the Frog – complete with freshly made beignets. I really liked the theming. There is also a little stage and dance floor. We saw live music happening in there quite often.
If you look through the activities available on the Disney Wish, it will look pretty similar to other Disney cruises. There is trivia, beverage tastings, character meet and greets and movies to name a few.
While talking about movies, this ship as two movie theaters that show Disney movies throughout the day. One is themed to Peter Pan and one is themed to Alice in Wonderland. When we were exploring, the Alice in Wonderland theater had a movie playing so we couldn’t enter but we did explore inside the Peter Pan theater. Again, the details in the theater are so well done. From the Tinkerbell lights to the carving on the backs of the seats. Both theaters are very small. Not an issue on a beautiful day when most guests are outside but not sure how it work out on a rainy day.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, we did the Art of the Ship tour. This is complimentary and you sign up in the app. I know that it is offered on other ships but this was the first time I have done it. It was about an hour and we walked around the 3 main decks inside. It was a great way to hear about the details of design and see things that I probably would not have noticed on my own.
Speaking of the app, it is very important that you have your app downloaded and ready to use. EVERYTHING is in the app. There were no paper navigators each evening waiting for you in your stateroom. What I liked was being able to see everything that was going to be available for the entire cruise at one time. I could select “favorite” activities and then the app would push a notification of those activities to my phone and Apple watch 15 minutes before they were scheduled to start.
One featured activity on the Disney Wish is the Aquamouse. If you have been on the other ships, you may have experienced the Aquaduck or the Aquadunk. The Aquamouse is a combination of a ride and a water slide. Your raft starts out on a conveyor belt (not in water at all) and you move slowly up into a tunnel with a Mickey short playing on different panels as you ascend. Once you get to the top, your water slide ride begins. It was very fun!! I would say my biggest concern was getting in and out of the raft… and it was not easy. As I came around the corner at the end, I said to the cast member that I am going to need help getting out. He said “That’s what I am here for” and he was a big help with getting out. So don’t let that concern stop you!
I have been home from my 3 night sailing on the Disney Wish for about a week and I am finally getting a chance to put together some blog posts about my experience.
First, let me start off by saying – I loved it! Although I don’t think I have ever come home from a Disney cruise unhappy. I spent the first hour just walking around going “oh look at that” and “oh wow look at that.” Having sailed on all of the other Disney ships it was just fun to walk around something brand new.
Now, if you are used to the layout of the other ships, you are going be to a little lost at first. It took us a good day to figure out the different layout and how to find what we were looking for. While not a completely different layout from the other ships, it is different enough to make you need signs and deck plans to see where you need to go.
Let’s start with the Grand Hall. This is the area where you enter the ship. On the other 4 ships, it is referred to as the Atrium. The centerpiece is the beautiful chandelier. The overall theme of the ship is “enchantment” which mainly is geared towards the princesses. Cinderella’s story is the focal point of the Grand Hall. You will find her statue there with Lucifer as well trying to catch some of Cinderella’s little friends.
The chandelier represents Cinderella's dress upside down. It can be lit in different colors, for example it was red for Pirate night. The ceiling and side columns also light up and there are different times when special things happen.
As is often the case with Disney, there are so many details in the Grand Hall and around the ship that contribute to the overall theme. We did the “Art of the Ship” tour the next day to see even more details that we didn’t find on our own
As you move around the ship, you will see the colors change and a new princess represented. This is true in the staterooms as well. Our stateroom was themed for Tiana. We had a mural behind our bed and another painting above the couch.
As for the rest of the ship’s layout, I felt like venues were a bit “tucked away.” And I don’t think that is a bad thing. I felt this was especially true for the three main restaurants. The entrance to 1923 is right in the Grand Hall but it could be easy to miss. The Marvel restaurant and Arendelle (Frozen themed) restaurant are in the aft of the ship on different decks and out of the main area. What I liked about that was it was more immersive when you were in those areas. We even walked by the entrance to the Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge a few times before noticing where it was.
As for the pools, again I would advice guests to look around. There are several small pools / wading pools and some are up a few steps. At one point, I saw a fairly busy pool and then up a few steps was another one with one person in it. It is worth it to poke around and explore.
I did feel like there were two “misses” when it came to layout. The outside of deck 4 does not wrap around the ship. There are stairs that go up to deck 5 on both sides. I know that guests, including myself, often like to use deck 4 to walk / run for exercise. I knew about this situation before I boarded and honestly thought “what were they thinking?”
The other miss I felt was the location of the adult area and Cove Café. Both were located on deck 13 in the aft which could only be accessed by the stairs outside from the pool deck or literally two elevators in the aft set of elevators. You had to look at the signs to see that only those two elevators, in a bank of 8, went up to deck 13. We really liked the adult area (especially the cushioned rocking chairs) but it was not convenient. It was especially not convenient to go to Cove Café for a specialty coffee which I usually like to do each morning. There were a few other coffee bar type areas around the ship, but they didn’t seem to have the same options available.
I have been a huge Disney and travel fan since childhood. I love going to new places and, of course, heading to Disney as often as I can.