Welcome Back to our New Blog Series (and to its new Friday home): Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s, where our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado shares her wealth of knowledge and experiences about traveling the world! After every trip to a new destination, Jamie gives us her perspective as both a traveler, and a travel advisor, through a quick but comprehensive list of what to do or not do at each vacation location!
As many of you who follow along know, Jamie recently returned from her Cruise on The Disney Wish, which is currently the newest and most sought after ship in the Disney Cruise Line, so today’s blog will be all about Jamie’s incredible cruise!
So Let’s Go Cruise on The Wish! But First…
Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s for The Disney Wish
Top Favorites and Jamie’s “Must-Do” Experiences
Explore the Ship!
Whether it’s your first or fiftieth Disney Cruise, the Wish is a whole new experience (and will likely continue to feel like a new experience for your first few sailings on it) because there is just SO much to see and do on this ship! Exploring the Wish brings back that childhood joy of discovering a new place, and in this case, one of the most Magical new places you can imagine! You could quite literally get lost on this ship, so don’t be shy about asking a Cast Member for directions to wherever you need to go, especially if you need to get to your dinner reservation.
Even if you’ve been on other Disney Cruises, and have stopped at Castaway Cay before, much like Magic Kingdom, it is always a favorite and never disappoints! There are so many choices of how to spend your time there, from the Castaway Family Beach to the Snorkeling Lagoon to the Pelican Plunge water park, the whole family will be able to find their favorite way to enjoy the beach. There’s even a teen area, and Jamie’s favorite, Serenity Bay, the adult beach that grown-ups can go to even if they have young kids, since there is an on-island kids club so that parents can relax for a change! Castaway Cay will always make the list of “Must-Do”s for any Disney Cruise that stops there!
Enjoy at least One Adult Dining Experience
The three Adults-Only Dining Experiences on the Wish are The Rose (a bar/lounge where you can grab a pre- or post-dinner drink that doesn’t require reservations), Enchante (perhaps the most exquisite dining experience on the whole ship), and Palo Steakhouse (which may be familiar to guests who have sailed on other Disney ships, but which has received an upgrade, much like everything on the Wish). Since Disney Cruise Line Dining rotates you through three already amazing experiences, having a fourth night on your cruise is perfect to get to one of these Adults-Only spots, without missing out on the awesomeness of the other three (though you definitely need to reserve ahead of time for Enchante and Palo). Of course, if you only have the three-night cruise, you can just grab drinks at The Rose. And if you do have kids with you, signing them up for the kids club for an evening will give you the perfect opportunity to indulge in a Magical grown-up dining experience!
Experience The Rose during Sunset
As just mentioned, The Rose is one of the Adults-Only experiences that you shouldn’t miss, but the BEST way to experience The Rose is during Sunset. There is always something Magical about watching the sun set below the ocean horizon, but sitting in The Rose (themed after the enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast, with petal-like details at every turn), sipping your favorite drink of choice in front of enormous windows overlooking nothing but ocean as you watch the sky turn into brilliant oranges, pinks and purples is another level of Magic altogether.
Bar Hopping is one of the best ways to explore all the different corners of the ship, and provides a bit of direction in what otherwise may be an overwhelming wandering with how much there is to see. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, there are many mocktail and coffee options to choose from; Disney really does offer something for everyone, even in their bar scene!
Top Tips that Jamie Learned Along the Way
Know Before You Go
Booking a cruise on The Disney Wish is unbelievably exciting, but don’t let your excitement stop there! Make sure you are familiar with everything The Wish has to offer before boarding, so that you can prioritize what you most want to do. Disney Cruises are always Magical, but unfortunately the Magic doesn’t freeze Time, and there’s just not enough time to get to every single fabulous thing on the ship. Knowing what your and your family’s priorities are will make your cruise a lot more enjoyable!
Strategize for a Cabana on Castaway Cay
This is a tough one, and something many people don’t like to hear, but it’s better to know ahead of time and be prepared. Cabanas on Castaway Cay are usually scooped up by Platinum Level Guests and Guests sailing at Concierge Level. If you are not a Platinum Level DCL Guest, pretty much your only chance of getting a Cabana is by leveling up to Concierge. Unfortunately, this is often true of many reservation-based onboard experiences.
Seek Out Characters!
One of the best things about Disney Cruises is the abundance of Characters onboard. Sometimes they can be seen from afar, like during embarkation, when you first walk on and see some all-time favorite Characters waving from different spots in the main atrium, but often, they also walk around the ship and are happy to take photos and interact with guests for more time than you usually get at Character Meet and Greets in the Parks. It’s important to note that some characters do require reservations, while others walk around the ship periodically, so be sure to check beforehand if you really want to meet certain characters. If you are a family that loves spending time with Characters, you will love any of the Disney Cruises, especially on The Wish.
Embrace the Siesta
Almost everyone feels that drop in energy every day sometime in the mid-afternoon; most of us power through it because our everyday life doesn’t allow for anything else. But, when you’re on vacation, and especially when you’re on a Disney Cruise, lean in to the siesta (for those who aren’t familiar, a siesta, by definition, is an afternoon rest or nap)! Whether you take a nap, or plan in some rest time either on your balcony if you have one, or in one of the many lounge chairs onboard, giving yourself time to recharge in the afternoon will keep you energized and ready to enjoy the many nighttime activities on the ship!
Top “Must-Don’t”s, or Things Jamie Would Do Differently
Don’t Miss the Shows!
As most of us already know, Disney knows how to put on an incredible show. The shows in the Parks are Broadway caliber performances, and the shows on the Disney Cruise Line Ships are no different; in fact, they may even be better. There are live performances during dining experiences, but there are also more in the lounges, and even more on the main stage that you absolutely should not miss! A Broadway show included on your Cruise Ship? What could be better?
Don’t Give Up on Reservations
Again, just like in the Parks, if you don’t get the reservations you want when your window opens, don’t give up! Keep checking back every once in a while to see if something opens up; of course, there’s no guarantee that something will come up, but it sure doesn’t hurt to try. Even if you have been wait-listed, keep checking the reservations to see if you can snag something. Jamie was wait-listed for Hyperspace Lounge, but was able to grab a last minute reservation right before her cruise was over! And speaking of reservations…
Don’t Miss Your Reservation Booking Day
First, make sure you know when your Reservation Booking Day is; depending on your Castaway Cay Membership Level, booking windows open anywhere between 75 (for first time cruisers) to 120 (Platinum Members and Concierge Level Guests) days in advance of your sail. Second, make sure you are paid in full before your Reservation Booking Day or you will not be able to make reservations. Third, treat your Disney Cruise Reservation Booking Day like you would treat the day your Dining Reservations open at the Parks: be ready to go with your selections the minute the window opens that morning, and hope for some extra Fairy Dust to get everything you want! Honestly, whatever you are able to reserve, your cruise on The Wish will be Magical no matter what!
And…That’s a Wrap on Jamie’s “Do”s and “Don’t”s of The Disney Wish!
Ready to Plan?
Now that you have Jamie’s Expert Tips for Cruising on The Wish, are you ready to plan all the “Must Do”s for your Disney Cruise Vacation? Contact your Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor today or email hello@LOTMV.com
Looking for more of Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s?
So far, we have:
Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s: Paris and Disneyland Paris
Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s: Italy
A new list comes out right after Jamie returns from her latest trip!
And don’t forget to check out our Inspiring Itineraries as well, featuring a Perfect Plan for your next vacation, highlighting a new destination each month!
Contact your favorite Love of the Magic Travel Advisor or email hello@LOTMV.com to start planning today!