We recently got to sail on the Disney Wish cruise ship and I thought I’d share some thoughts. I wanted to really be present and enjoy my vacation so this isn’t a review or even a thorough recap of our trip or anything like that. There are a ton of more thorough reviews and ship tours and tips out there where you can find more complete information. But I thought I’d share a little bit about our experience in case someone may find it useful.
Also keep in mind that things change constantly and so my experience was a couple of weeks ago (early August 2023) but your experience (sailing requirements, offerings on the ship, etc.) could be different.
So to give some background this was the first Disney cruise that our entire family has done. My husband and I did a cruise on the Disney Fantasy in 2019 to try it out and see if it was “worth it” to do with our kids. We did that trip in the off season so it wasn’t too much more than other cruise lines when we did that trip but we knew that we would have to go with our kids during a break from school when things would be much more expensive. We loved that cruise and booked one for our whole family. And that one got cancelled because of the pandemic. We finally got around to taking them on this trip.
So just for reference my husband and I have cruised on the Disney Fantasy and the Carnival Fantasy so those are the ships that we have to compare our Wish experiences to. I haven’t been on the Disney Wonder, Magic, or Dream.
The Disney Wish is very pretty. I watched a video of the Disney Fantasy after coming home to remind myself/see if I was remembering it correctly and the Wish is much lighter, brighter, and modern looking. The Fantasy is still very pretty but in much more of a traditional way.
Every space from the Bayou lounge you see in the pictures above to the Marceline Market (the buffet on the ship) is so beautiful.
So the ship as beautiful as it is felt very crowded in some areas. The tables in the dining rooms were super crowded together. Like I said I looked at videos of the Disney Fantasy to check on my memory and I confirmed that the tables in the dining rooms on the Fantasy are much more spaced out from each other. We basically felt like we were on top of the tables next to us and didn’t love that. Again, the spaces were beautiful, but tables were too close together.
I had read that the elevators were a huge issue when the ship first set sail. You used to be able to just hover over the buttons to select the floor you wanted but they replaced those with ones you have to push to prevent them being accidentally selected selected when someone stands in front of them. That whole button issue has been resolved BUT the elevators are crazy skinny. Normally elevators are like lets say 3-4 people wide and 3 people deep or something like that. These elevators are like 2 people wide and 4 people deep. Disney has a sign saying the capacity is 20 people but I’m not sure how many of those people would have to be children because that’s awfully high. Every time the elevator would stop at a floor people in the front had to get out to allow the people in the back to get out because you couldn’t just stand to the side and let them go around you because there was nowhere to go. Not the end of the world but annoying.
A lot of people have complained that there are only 2 sets of elevators (forward and aft) on the Wish versus the 3 sets of elevators on the other ships (they have the forward, aft, and mid-ship ones). This didn’t bother us really, I never felt like I was too far from elevators or waiting too long for one because of it.
We liked the layout of the pool deck. We camped out under the shade of the Aquamouse by one of the deeper pools and it was a great spot to watch our sons go from the Aquamouse to the pool and back.
I loved relaxing in the shade and reading though my magazines and watching movies on Funnel Vision. They always pick some awesome classic movies and it’s fun to watch poolside or in the pool.
The theater for the live stage shows is gorgeous but it’s designed poorly in my opinion. There are so many seats that have an obstructed view of the stage and the front of the theater because of how the balcony comes down really low especially on the sides of the theater. Also, the seats are very small. If you are a larger adult the seats are very small and the arm rests do not fold up or anything. Ironically the seats in the two movie theaters on board are bigger than these and much more comfortable.
The shows were fantastic, as per usual for Disney Cruise Line. We had “Seas the Adventures”, “The Little Mermaid”, and “Aladdin”. I highly recommend you see the live stage shows if you go on a Disney cruise.
The Hyperspace Lounge was fun. It’s open during the day if you just want to look int here. We went one morning and it was open and all of the screens and effects and stuff were on so if that’s what you want to see then you can totally go do that even if they’re not serving anything yet. On our cruise you did not need a reservation to go, you just showed up. Kids are allowed to come before I believe 9 p.m. but not after. We went back one night so that our son could get a fun (non-alcoholic) drink in a porg cup.
Each Disney ship has a Rainforest room in their spa area that you can pay to get a pass to go to to relax. The Wish has a very different one in that it has an outdoor area. A friend gifted us passes to the Rainforest area and unfortunately with such a short cruise there was really very little time to enjoy it. Other cruises do day passes for the Rainforest room so it’s much more affordable but the Wish only allows you to buy a pass for the whole cruise so it’s much more expensive and the Wish cruises are only 3 or 4 days so it’s hard to squeeze in time to go there. I think before you buy a pass you really need to think about all the things you are going to do on the cruise and see if you’ll actually have time to spend there.
The food in the Marceline Market (buffet) was excellent, just like on our prior cruise on the Fantasy. The pool food was much better than the Fantasy. I felt like it was all much more fresh and loved all the different options. For the dinner service the food at each restaurant was great. I would say that it’s comparable to the food on the Fantasy. I feel like they tried to make some of it a bit more different that standard cruise options. I will say that I was not over the moon about the desserts. Arendelle especially could use some better dessert options. I did LOVE the churros in 1923. They were fresh and soft and had a great dulce de leche dipping sauce. I was pleasantly surprised because I had heard some people say they were dry when they got them.
We had dinner at Palo on the Fantasy and this time around we had brunch at Palo. Palo had the same level of impeccable service as last time. Some of the food was amazing (the antipasti, the almond croissant, the limoncello tart) and some of the food was just fine (the famous chicken parmesan). Don’t get me wrong, the food was excellent but the dinner from a couple of years ago was out of this world good so I expected a little more from the brunch.
The Disney standard of service is always amazing. Everyone was as warm and friendly as always. Our dinner service was a bit slower than our last cruise and I think that had something to do with the dinner shows or Arendelle and Worlds of Marvel slowing things down and we had a server on our team who got hurt so someone who was training stepped in to help.
We had a fun cruise. Our kids really enjoyed their first cruise and we had a great time as a family. I would honestly say that the Wish was a one and done for us. My husband and I both agreed that we preferred the Fantasy honestly. We also know what we are going to go on a longer cruise now that we know that the boys do well in terms of not getting seasick and they enjoyed it. So for us we are probably going to plan on going on one of the older Disney ships for our next one whenever we get around to it.