15 VIP Tips for the Disney Wonder
Check in Online for Earliest Boarding Time - Our first Disney cruise I checked in online weeks in advance, but this time only several days before our trip. This was my mistake, because by then the earliest available boarding time was 2 p.m. and we wanted to get on as soon as possible. So, to get the most of your time on the ship, check in online as soon as you are able to via the My Disney Cruise Line website. This site also allows you to schedule a character call with one of the characters welcoming everyone, which is really fun for the kids. BONUS TIP: Even though you may board around Noon, you still will not be able to go to your rooms until after 1:30 p.m., so be sure and bring a tote bag with pool gear or other items that you'll want handy before your luggage arrives.
|Order a Mickey Latte on the Disney Wonder|
Order a Mickey Latte - The Cove Cafe itself is a hidden gem for ordering cocktails without the lines and for getting your daily cup of coffee. Like a traditional gourmet coffee shop the options are endless, but if you want an Instagram-worthy pic, do request that the barista (Leyston) add a Mickey shaped cinnamon sprinkle to your cappuccino or latte. Mine was definitely the envy of my friends! :)
Room Service Milk & Cookies - In an effort to not overeat entirely, we stuck to a continental breakfast in our room. Breakfast cards that you hang on the door each night can be found in your cabin's desk drawer. We also used this morning delivery as our wake-up alarm each day. Room service itself is free and available 24/7. There is a menu in your room with a full list of options. This came in handy for an afternoon snack for our boys when we ordered Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. Also, a fun tradition we started was ordering cookies and milk before bed while watching whichever Disney movie was playing on the TV. (Sadly, the Wonder ship does not have the awesome On-Demand movie feature like the Disney Dream does).
BYOB – If you imbibe and would like to save some money, bring your own. Each adult is allowed to bring 2 bottles of wine or champagne and/or 6 bottles of beer. Since this was only a 3-night cruise, we carried on two bottles of prosecco, another perk of not flying and worrying about ounces. Make sure that liquor is in your carry-on bag as you go through the cruise terminal for inspection. Do not check it in with your bags, as it will be confiscated and returned at the end of your trip. We opened our bottle on the balcony before dinner and ordered a cheese plate to be delivered to our room. See above about free room service!
Ask for the Drink of the Day - Save a few bucks on a cocktail by ordering the Drink of the Day for just $4.75. Doesn't matter what it is, they are all great, but the Bahama Mama was my favorite though.
Pack Door Decorations – The cabin doors aboard Disney cruise lines are a work of art. Guests decorate their doors with photos and decorations of all kinds, including magnets with their names and favorite characters on them. It's fun to simply walk around see what others have done. To personalize our door we ordered this cute door magnet with each of our first names listed and I also added a shameless plug to my blog URL, lol. Another great thing about decorating your door is that it makes it easy for kids to find the right door. My four-year-old boys would run ahead down the hallway and then know just where to stop thanks to our magnets. Lots of Disney Cruise Line Door Printables can be found online too. Stickers are not allowed.
Eat at Palo instead of Triton's - Disney Cruise Line has an innovative rotational dining, where each night you are assigned a different sit-down restaurant to dine at. While we loved them all, Tiana's Place, Animator's Palate offered more entertainment and ambiance than Triton's, so I would recommend skipping Triton's in favor of the adult only restaurant Palo. However, there is an additional fee for dining at Palo - $30 per person or if you'd like the wine pairing dinner option it's $59 charge per person, in addition to the $30 dining charge for dinner (total $89 per person). It's so worth it though as the food is amazing! It's also nice to have an adult-only night, so feed your kids first at the upstairs food court or one of the quick serve options by the pool and then check them in for fun at the kids club (Oceaneer's Club). You can make your reservation ahead of time Online or once on board. We were able to still get a 7:30 reservation for the night we wanted after we set sail. Oh, and this is a formal dining experience, so no flip-flops or sneakers and guys must be in dress pants. We saw a man who had to leave to switch his shoes, so fair warning.
|Whiskey Tasting on board the Disney Cruise Line's Disney Wonder|
Line up Early for Frozen - Frozen, A Musical Spectacular is the MUST SEE show at sea and only Disney's Wonder has it. My husband and I were both seriously impressed at the quality, singing and special effects of this stage show. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's at the same caliber as a Broadway show and I'm a New Yorker who grew up seeing musicals on Broadway. Each night the stage shows are crowded, but this one had a line starting almost an hour prior to show time (doors open a half hour before), so get in line early. We let the boys stay in the club playing while we waited in the queue. TIP: Sit in the first 15 rows if you'd like to have the snow fall on you and your family at the end of the show. We missed this experience by just three rows and my boys were disappointed. Also, as you enter the theater be sure and snag the provided booster seats for smaller children, so they can sit more comfortably in their seats. Other parents would see ours and have to circle back to get them.
Drink Juice from Sulley's Sips - Up on the pool deck, head to Sulley's Sips drink stand, which despite the Monster's Inc. name isn't just for kids. They also have some yummy frozen cocktails here, but we liked ordering the healthy Juice Tonic, which is a blend of fresh Apples, Bananas, Kale, Spinach, Chia seeds and Spirulina. We substituted coconut water in lieu of the ice cream to keep it even healthier.
Embarkation Day WiFi Special - Each passenger can get free 50MB Internet Data Package Offer on their first day on board. Don't sign up for it though until you no longer have cell phone reception, then sign up and use the 50MB to send any last emails, post your embarkation photos, etc. 50MB goes fast. We took advantage of Grandma's too since she was in a different cabin. After that, you'll need to purchase a package or unplug for the rest of your trip.
Dance & Eat Hot Beignets at Tiana's Place - Hot beignets are the must order dessert and treat on the ship! Just as good as the French Quarter. Also, be prepared to dance while dining here as the live jazz music and performances make for a lively dinner. My boys loved parading around the tables at the end of their meal with Louis the alligator, waitstaff and fellow passengers. Fun memories!
|Dance & Order Hot Beignets at Tiana's Place on Disney Wonder|
Bring Change & Lanyards - Yes, tips are already included in the daily occupancy rates, but we added an extra $5 bucks to each of our waitstaff envelopes and $10 for our Steward for our 3-night cruise. However, since cash isn't really needed on the ship since you can easily charge food and gifts to your account using your room key, we had to scramble to find change for tips. Thus, have some smaller bills on you for this purpose. Also, there is a post office on Castaway Cay that only takes cash and not room keys, so if you want to send a postcard, remember to pack a few bills in your beach tote. You may also want to preorder Disney lanyards with a detachable coin purse to hold money and your room key. It's also great for kids, so they don't lose their room key. I found it helpful too since I wasn't wearing a purse on the ship like I normally would and my bathing suit and sundresses didn't have pockets.