Anyone who has taken a cruise would tell you that there is no danger of starvation once you are on board. The Disney Wonder was no exception. Staterooms are assigned a daily dinner time, and we got the later seating of 8pm, which was actually our preference. Though that may seem late for families with small children, it definitely worked to our benefit because we usually liked catching the late afternoon show in the theater.
For breakfast, you could choose to be served in one of their 2 dining rooms, or you could hit up the buffet like we usually do, and enjoy the pretty ocean view.
Everybody got to attend a Character Breakfast, where Mickey and his friends would circulate to say hello, sign autograph books, and to take photos. We’ve been to several Character Breakfasts at Disneyland before, and thought that this one on the Disney Wonder felt particularly rushed. Each character came and went like the wind, so it was important to have the autograph books turned to the exact page with the pen ready to go, and all cameras ready to point and shoot within 2 minutes of the character’s arrival. Needless to say, it made the parents feel a bit frantic throughout the breakfast.
The Disney crew members are all multi-talented, we have pleasantly discovered. Their servers not only do an exceptional job serving our meals, but they also entertain us from time to time with singing and dancing performances in the dining room. For the character breakfast, they even showed off their napkin folding skills in creative ways!
If you happened to skip a meal, there is no need to panic. Plenty of food is available throughout the ship in between the more official “meal times”. Snack bars by the pools are open all day long, offering an endless supply of pizza, chicken tenders, panini sandwiches, and salads. All-you-can-eat ice cream stations and all-you-can-drink soda machines were also available from morning to night.
Dinner was our most anticipated meal of the day. We would rotate between the 3 dining rooms on board the Disney Wonder, and our assigned servers would rotate with us, ensuring that we would always be serviced by those that know our best. Each night had its own theme–Formal Night, Pirate Night, Captain’s Night, Thanksgiving Feast, etc. which made it much more festive and entertaining. The menus changed daily, offering a nice selection of items for guests to choose from. You weren’t limited to the number of dishes you picked, so being Chinese and all, we always ended up ordering a massive amount of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. 🙂 The unbelievable thing? We almost always finished everything!
Pirate night was a rockin’ experience, in the most spectacular, leave-you-hyped-up-all-night kind of way. I read about this themed evening in the online forums ahead of time, so I ordered pirate attire for the girls beforehand and was somewhat prepared. Thank goodness, because they either would have felt completely out of place or we would have had to shell out a small fortune to buy it on board. As far as we could see, every single child was decked out in pirate attire that evening. In fact, most adults did as well, and were accessorized from head to toe with items like eye patches, faux parrots on shoulders, swords, etc. Serious stuff. Professional photographers had a few stations set up throughout the ship to help families capture the fun.
Shortly after dinner, at 10pm, everyone made their way up to the 9th deck, where Mickey and his friends were ready to start the “part-ay”. The theme was Pirates of the Caribbean and Disney pulled out all their bells and whistles for this one, ending with magical fireworks as we sailed in the middle of the ocean.
The energy was simply remarkable. Even my mom was dancing like crazy with everyone else! After the fireworks finale, there was a late night buffet that opened up, with a full dessert spread and the giant turkey legs that have become one of the many icons of the Disney themed parks.
More to come in Part III…