Going on a Disney Cruise has been a dream of mine for years. I am so thrilled that I was able to sail aboard the Disney Wish Cruise. There seem to be a lot of mixed feelings from travelers about this particular ship. I loved my time aboard the Disney Wish, and while I would definitely cruise on this ship again, I do plan to experience the other ships before I return to this one. I hope this post helps you plan your trip and have an amazing time.
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Planning for a Trip Aboard the Disney Wish
I love travel planning so from the moment I booked my cruise I started doing my research to help ensure I had a fabulous time. It was really important to me to know and plan as much as possible ahead of time so that I could try to avoid missing anything. I immediately joined two Facebook groups which became incredible resources. First, I joined a general Disney Wish Cruise Facebook group. Past cruisers shared their experiences and helpful tips while those who were planning an upcoming trip like myself could ask questions and get answers almost immediately. From that group, I found another group that was specific to my sailing date.
Finding a group for your specific sail date is great if you want to know about pin trading cabins, any meet-ups, or signing up for a fish extender. I didn’t participate in fish extenders myself but this is something that is popular among Disney Cruisers. A fish extender is hung outside of your door and you sign up to switch little gifts with other cruisers. I asked my group who would have pin trading outside their door and had people list the cabin numbers so people could look at the pins. There isn’t pin trading on the ship like there is in the parks with cast members so you have to look for guests that have them to trade. The groups really enhanced our vacation and let us know about so many fabulous tips and tricks.
I am only going to list a few things here that you might not think of.
Reusable Bottles – we loved being able to fill up our bottles with water and soda and have them with us at various places on the ship.
Popcorn bucket – if you want to have popcorn on the ship it is a lot cheaper if you bring your own Disney bucket. The refills are around $2.
Waterproof phone pouch – even though they won’t let you take your phone on the Aqua Mouse, the pouches are a must-have so you don’t have to worry when you’re at the pool or at the beach. I slipped my room key into the pouch and it made things so easy when I didn’t have my purse. You can find the phone pouches on Amazon.
Disney Bound Outfits – I ended up having four different Disney Bound outfits. For 1923 I decided to dress like Steamboat Willie. For the Marvel restaurant, I put together a Wasp-inspired look though I had to take my photos before dinner since that also ended up being pirate night. For my pirate look, I tried dressing in the spirit of pirate Red. For the Arendelle restaurant, I had an Anna Disney Bound. Disney Bounding is a popular way to dress like a Disney character in a nontraditional way.
The Disney Cruise Photo Package
We decided to add on the Disney Cruise Photo Package. It is cheaper if you buy it ahead of time and in case you don’t end up liking the photos you can ask them to cancel your package before the end of the cruise. Since it was only the two of us, and our first Disney Cruise, I’m glad we got the package as it made a difference in how many pictures we were able to have together. I most likely wouldn’t get it again though as it is very pricey. If you’re going with other family or friends that can take photos for you I would just do that.
Hotel Accommodations and Airport Transportation
Coming from the west coast I knew I would need to fly in the day before and find accommodations for that night. I also knew I would then have to set up transportation to get to/from the airport and the port. It was tempting to stay a night at Walt Disney World but since they stopped offering free transportation I decided I would rather stay closer to the port. I ended up booking a room at the Country Inn and Suites by Radisson which is so close to the port that I could see the Disney Wish Cruise Ship from my room the next morning.
Not only was the location great, but they also include a complimentary breakfast. I booked transportation from the Orlando Airport to the hotel using the Cocoa Beach Shuttle Service. For our return to the airport, I ended up booking directly with the Disney shuttle which made everything so easy. With the time change, we weren’t hungry when it would have been convenient to walk to a nearby restaurant. We ended up having Domino’s delivered later in the night to the front of the hotel which worked out perfectly. The hotel does have a shuttle that can take you to the port for a fee but after reading a sketchy review about someone’s luggage we decided to book a ride to the port using Lyft.
My Experience Aboard the Disney Wish
Our boarding group was #11 which had an arrival time of 12:00pm. We arrived early and I saw that 12:00pm on a sign by the line so I tried entering. I was stopped by a cast member who said that they weren’t ready for 12:00 pm people even though that time was already listed. I didn’t trust what she was saying so I spoke to another cast member who let us in. If you can come early I would recommend it.
We ended up being let on the ship by 12:08 which was wonderful!! We watched the little welcome show in the Grand Hall, got our wish wands (apparently on some sailings on kids get them), and then headed to Marceline Market for lunch. After lunch, we headed to the kids club open house. It is only during an open house that adults can explore the kids club area which is really cool. During the open house on day one, they even let adults take the slide down into the club. I highly recommend going to the kids club. There is so much to see in this area but without a kid band, not everything will work for you.
We quickly stopped by the Bayou, the stunning Princess and the Frog themed lounge for some photos. This lounge is so stunning. Not only can you come here for drinks and beignets but you can enjoy live music at various times as well as some trivia games.
After that, we discovered our room was available so we went down to our verandah stateroom. This was my first time having a room with a verandah and I loved it so much!! I filmed a little room tour which you can see through Instagram below.
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Our luggage was outside of our room so we changed into our bathing suits and headed to the Aqua Mouse. It had a 5-minute wait since it was still so early in the day. I brought my waterproof phone pouch but the cast member at the entrance to the queue told me they don’t allow phones. I have seen so many videos taken by people on the attraction that this really surprised me. They do have little cubbies where you can leave your items.
It was windy and a little chilly but we had a blast on the attraction. It broke down at the very end of our ride and luckily we were close enough to the exit that they let us walk off the side. One of our friends on board tried riding by himself on days two and three and was told he couldn’t because it was too windy. On day one we saw a few people riding alone but for the most part, it seems like they enforce a two-rider policy. They do offer rider switches for those who need them.
We grabbed a quick snack and changed to get ready for the sail away party. We had a great view from one deck above the stage. I was amused that we didn’t actually sail away during the party, but it was really cute.
After the show, we went to get in line to meet Captain Minnie. I really wanted to meet the characters since they are in unique outfits on the ship. The navigator app will tell you the level the meet and greet is on. When you arrive early the stanchions prop ably won’t be set out yet but the line should form close to the area shown in the photo I took of Minnie. Most meet and greets take place on the starboard side on levels 4 and 5 of the Grand Hall. Though some meet and greets happen on or by the stage on level 3.
The latte is also available at the Enchanted Sword cafe as well as the Cove cafe. There is no additional charge to get an image printed on it. Not all of the baristas will ask if you want an image or will ask if you want a specific one. If there’s something you really want, I wanted a coffee that said Disney Wish, mention that with your order so you aren’t disappointed.
We had the second seating for dinner so I was able to be first in line for the store. I knew I really wanted a spirit jersey and from what I read in the Facebook groups they don’t always have them in stock and sometimes they only have limited numbers/sizes. To me, it was worth waiting for the store to open to try and guarantee I would get one. Luckily I could see the spirit jerseys from outside the store so I knew they had them. As it turns out on our sailing they remained in stock the whole time but with popular Disney merchandise, you can’t predict how long things will last so if there are specific items you want to try to prioritize going to the shop the first night.
After that, we enjoyed the sunset from our verandah and then got ready for dinner. Our first dinner was in 1923. The restaurant is decided to Walt and Roy Disney and animation. This was our favorite restaurant not only due to the theming but the meal we had ended up being our favorite. Highlights of my meal were the tortellini appetizer, the filet mignon entree, and the apple crumbles cheesecake. If you want to see all of the details of the restaurant I recommend going by when they are open for breakfast or lunch, the staff is great about letting you walk around to take photos.
This was our at sea day. We had breakfast at Marceline Market and walked around taking some photos. We did the Incredi-Course in the Hero Zone which was really fun. You need to be wearing socks in order to do the obstacle course. Pants are recommended to protect your legs better but I did see a lot of people wearing shorts. This was really fun and there wasn’t a long wait when we went.
The main thing we wanted to do during the day was checking out some of the pools. We loved the infinity pool in the adults-only area. There was a pool we wanted to go in towards the bow of the ship but on Day 2 it was closed due to high winds. We spent some time in the hot tub and checked out some of the small pools on the main deck.
We had lunch at Marceline Market and then stopped by the Inside Out treat shop to see what they had. The desserts are really cute but we felt like since we get so many desserts that are not an additional fee in other places on the ship we decided not to buy anything. Though I have to say, it was very tempting as everything looked so good.
After lunch, we changed into Star Wars shirts and headed to the Hyperspace Lounge. This was one of our favorite spots on the ship. It is so incredibly well-themed and full of details. When we took a walking tour on Day 3 our guide pointed out a few things we didn’t notice in the bar. It is worth waiting for a seat at the bar to open up. We waited less than 5 minutes for two seats. We ordered one temple twist which came with a kiwi that looked like Yoda. I had the spire sunset. I had seen photos of people with a dry ice looking bubble on top of their drink. It wasn’t listed on the menu so I asked the bartender. He said they can add it to almost any drink but it works the best on the spire sunset. You do have to know to ask for the bubble, which is no additional cost.
Afterward, we got a table at the Bayou and participated in Disney Tunes Trivia. If you want to participate in trivia during your cruise and really want to win, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your Disney trivia knowledge. When we went to Pixar trivia they gave the winners DCL hats but at all the other ones we participated in the winners got medals. Overall we did really well in the music trivia but what threw us off was a couple of Broadway songs they threw in as well as one from a movie that so few people have watched that I think only one team knew the answer. They did not use any songs from live-action movies when we played. It was a mix of songs from animated movies, cartoon shows, Disney on Broadway, and music from Walt Disney World theme park attractions.
For dinner that night we ate at the World of Marvel. This was also pirate night, with the fireworks not too long after our dinner was over. The theming of the restaurant is really cool. I had a shrimp appetizer which I wouldn’t recommend but I did really like my wedge salad. For my entree, I had pasta which was highly recommended and ended up being my least favorite thing I ate on the ship. The key lime pie was my favorite dessert at this restaurant. After dinner, we went upstairs to get a good spot for the firework show. It is so cool getting to see fireworks at sea. They do a great job putting the pirate show together.
We started our day getting a coffee at Cove Cafe and watching the ship pull into Castaway Cay. We then decided to have breakfast at 1923. I went around looking at all of the beautiful display cases.
This was our first time at Castaway Cay and we loved our experience. We spent the majority of our time on the adults-only beach. We ended up not eating lunch on the island as I didn’t really want the kind of food they had available compared to what I knew I could get back onboard. I also loved the idea of getting to be on the ship with fewer people.
After we had lunch on the ship we did some exploring before we took the walking tour. You can sign up for the free walking tour through the navigator app. When we signed up only day 3 was available. In some ways doing the tour earlier in your trip is better as they tell you some cool things that would be nice to know before your last day. But, the advantage to it being the last day when you do it, especially while most guests are still on the island, is you get to see the spaces they take you to while they are practically empty. The tour is focused a lot more on the details of the ship vs how it operates. We loved having so many things pointed out to us that we might have missed otherwise.
For our last night, we dined in the Arendelle dining room. I was really glad we got to go inside the dining room on our tour as it’s much more difficult to get to see all the details when you go for dinner. The show wasn’t quite as I expected. I thought it was going to be a dinner show with nonstop entertainment all involving the main characters from Frozen. It features a group of singers who aren’t part of the storyline way too much, and it was odd hearing them sing so many of Anna and Elsa’s songs. Anna and Christop, Elsa, and Oakin go around the room engaging with guests but depending on where you’re located you might not be at the table they stop at.
For my meal, I had the cucumber and potato salad which was such a disappointment and not at all what I thought it would be. It’s just a layout of cucumbers, carrots, and potatoes with mayo on them? I also had the shrimp and scallop appetizer which was kind of like a seafood pot pie. For my entree, I had the Chilean sea bass which was perfection!! For my side, I asked for the double baked potato which was listed with another entree. It was good, but the double-baked potato I had from Marceline’s on day 2 was the best. For dessert, we loved the butter cake.
After dinner, we went to the Triton Lounge for one last game of Majority Minds which ended up being my favorite activity on the ship. You and your team are trying to think of what answer the majority of the people in the room would give. It is so much fun and is full of laughs.
The next morning we did breakfast at Marceline Market which I would maybe go to a sit down on the last day in the future if you aren’t in a rush. Breakfast wasn’t bad on day 4 but the options were so limited. Honestly, it might be like in sit-down restaurants as well. It was just a bummer to be looking forward to an omelet and some other items only to see that none of those things were available.
We felt pressured to have our bags packed and outside of our door the night before we left. This frustrated me as it eat up precious time and meant we didn’t do more swimming like we wanted so that we wouldn’t have wet bathing suits in our carry ones. So many guests on day 4 took their luggage off with them and had no problem leaving it outside of a sit-down restaurant while they ate breakfast. We decided we would not leave our luggage out the night before in the future but of course, do whatever makes the most sense for you. Just ignore any information you get that makes you feel like you can’t have your luggage with you in the morning on Day 4.
We ate at Marceline Market the most of any of the food locations and really enjoyed it for breakfast and lunch. There were a few times that we went to Mickey’s Festival of Food. We thought the famous chicken tenders, which some say are the best in the world were just okay. This area is the spot for soft-serve ice cream. I really wanted to try Donald’s cantina but I was always full. We did enjoy the bbq from this area.
We had room service twice. Premium Mickey Bars on part of the secret menu. We also really enjoyed the cheeseburger. Tipping for room service can be done with cash or with your key to the world card.1923 was our favorite of the three dining rooms. The food at World of Marvel and Arendelle is good overall but a little more unique than what most people might be used to or interested in.
Due to how busy we stayed we only went to one of the shows, we saw The Little Mermaid on night two. Our friends said that The Aladdin show on night 3 was the best one but we did enjoy the show we saw. We had hoped to enjoy the piano player at Nightengale’s, piano bar, but there was no piano player during our trip which was a bummer. The firework show was fantastic!! We never found time to watch a movie in one of the two movie theatres but we did take time to look at them in between movies. They were really cool!
We did not travel with kids but I was so impressed by the activities and things that they have in the kids club. It is really so cool to get to see it during the open house. I thought the incredi-course on day 2 was such a blast. They pack so much entertainment into the trip that you’ll never have a dull moment.
The Disney Wish Cruise Ship Itself
The ship is absolutely beautiful and you can easily see why it is referred to as Disney’s castle on the sea. One of my favorite places on the ship is the Grand Hall which is so spectacular. Do your best to catch on of their kiss goodnights shows. One thing we learned on the tour which could help you navigate the ship better is that the carpet at the front of the ship is green, while the carpet at the back of the ship is blue. The elevators are small but we never had too big of an issue with them. Be careful that people’s backs don’t touch the heat-sensitive buttons or they will stop on every floor.
I am so happy that we took a Disney Wish Cruise. We truly loved our time aboard the ship. If you have any questions please reach out to me through social media.
Interested in exploring Disney places in the LA area? I have a guide on how to have a Disney Day in LA.