The Disney Wonder: A Huffington Post Travel Cruise Ship Guide
Disney Wonder is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Disney Wonder.
Great DestinationsThe Disney Wonder has a variety of West Coast itineraries to choose from, ranging from seven-night Alaskan excursions to 15-day Hawaiian trips. Other destinations include Canada, Mexico and the California coast. The Wonder primarily departs out of Los Angeles, Seattle and Vancouver.
Grand ShipAt 964 feet long, the Disney Wonder has 11 decks that can accommodate 2,700 passengers and nearly 1,000 cast and crew members. It was specifically designed to evoke a bygone era of classic and luxurious ocean liners, while maintaining an exceptionally family friendly atmosphere. And, of course, the Wonder bears the whimsical hallmarks and attention to detail that all Disney properties are known for.
Special FeaturesAs you might expect from a Disney property, the Disney Wonder devotes a lot of space to its key demographic: children. More than 15,000 square feet of space aboard the ship is given over to kid-friendly programs, deck parties, pools and activities. But Disney also brilliantly realized that all those kids were bringing adults with them. So the Wonder also has an adults-only pool, as well as bars and lounges that are not intended for the kiddie set. Other amenities include a spa, fitness center, movie theater, two showrooms and four hot tubs.
AccommodationsThere are 877 cabins and suites on the Disney Wonder, and its staterooms are 25 percent larger than is typically found on other liners. Only 25 percent of all accommodations are inside cabins, and nearly half of the outside cabins have private balconies. Typical cabins are roomy enough for three people, but guests also have the option of reserving a larger family stateroom roomy enough for five passengers. Expect a flat-screen TV, Disney artwork on the walls, a safe, a mini refrigerator and Disney's "bath and a half" bathroom. The smallest inside cabins have 184 square feet of space, while deluxe staterooms with a veranda boast 268 square feet of space.
CostCruise prices can vary considerably, depending on when you make your purchase, your preferred destination, your desired length of cruise, the time of year, off-ship excursions and the type of cabin you prefer. Cruisecheap.com lists prices for a six-night Pacific coastal cruise departing from Los Angeles starting at $665; a 15-night luxury Hawaiian cruise departing from Los Angeles is $5,151.
ExcursionsIf your Disney Wonder cruise takes you to Alaska, try the Chilkoot Horseback Adventure in Skagway. Start with a tour of this charming former gold-mining town before saddling up and taking a two-hour ride through majestic Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. Finish up with a drink and some salmon pate around a welcoming fire in America's last true frontier.
Dining ExperienceThe Disney Wonder has what's known as "rotational dining." Simply put, that means you switch restaurants each night, but your waiter/waitress travels with you. There are three main dining rooms, each with a different theme: Animator's Palate, Parrot Cay and Triton. Palo is an adults-only restaurant that serves Italian cuisine. Additionally, there is an outdoor buffet on Deck 9 and three other casual dining options. Room service is available 24 hours a day.
Maiden VoyageThe Disney Wonder's maiden voyage was in 1999, sailing from Port Canaveral in Florida. It is the sister ship to the Disney Magic, which was the first ship to set sail under the Disney Cruise Line banner. Both ships were ordered and built exclusively for the Disney Cruise Line.
In The NewsThe Disney Wonder was mentioned in a June 12, 2011, Los Angeles Times story about the disappearance of a member of the ship's crew. The crew member, Rebecca Coriam, was last seen in early March, and her parents have started a website to gather support in their effort to find her.
Explore Juneau and get a little northern exposure while enjoying a Disney Wonder cruise.
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