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David Bean

Age: 46

Occupation:Marketing Director

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Disney

Ship: Disney Wonder

Sailing Date: December 5th, 2002

Itinerary: Bahamas

If you had to come up with one word to describe the cruise experience on the Disney Wonder it would have to be “Superb”.

This was our second cruise, both being on the Disney Wonder. We enjoyed our first cruise in December 2001 that we knew we just had to return in December 2002. The second time around however we had 4 other family members join us.

Disney takes every effort to provide you with information well in advance of the cruise. This information includes necessary documents, clothing, etc. They also were very good about informing us of the various shore activities available in Nassau. Those activities can and should be reserved prior to boarding. That way you will avoid the possibility of some functions such as the Dolphin Encounter being booked up.

Unlike the review by Mr. Cullen, I found the Disney maintenance staff to be amazing. They were constantly polishing brass, shampooing carpets, cleaning the ships hull, and painting things that I probably would not have painted for another couple of years. The ship is extremely clean and they pay attention to even the smallest details. Our cabin steward watched us leave our cabin each morning and evening and would quickly slip in and clean up the room. What really surprised us is that the cabin steward we had in 2001 was also our steward again in 2002.

Our cruise on the Wonder departed while its’ sister ship, the Disney Magic, was taken off line and was in port due to the Norwalk Virus. Disney seemed to be taking every effort to keep an outbreak on our cruise from occurring. This was especially evident in the dining rooms where anything a guest might touch and then pass to another guest was removed. This included salt & pepper shakers, sugar packets, etc. The Disney staff, while wearing rubber gloves, served everyone in the buffets rather than allow a guest to touch any serving utensils. Overkill? Maybe, but given the fact that people were getting sick on other ships it wasn’t a bad approach.

Castaway Cay is so relaxing. Part of that comes from splitting the island up into sections, thereby allowing adults to be alone. There are numerous activities available for a fee, but the beauty of the island can best be enjoyed by simply floating in the water or basking in the sun with a cool tropical drink close at hand. Castaway Cay is located in the Bahamas and has a post office on the island but it only accepts cash. You can have your letters and postcards sent with the Bahamian postmark so be sure to take along a list of addresses. The mail is rather slow, with postcards arriving two weeks after they were sent.

Like many cruise ships, the Wonder offers a soda mug program. For $15 on the 3 night cruise you get unlimited refills. To me you really have to drink a lot of soda to make it pay off. The other option is to buy one soda at a time for $1.50.

Bottom line is this is a great ship that is part of a great company. Our December 2002 trip to Florida was our 28th trip to Disney World and our second cruise. We returned to Arkansas and have greeted with 10 inches of snow. So we are already planning trip #29 to Orlando and probably cruise #3. Bon Voyage.

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