We were recently fortunate enough to sail on Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish! The Disney Wish began sailing in July 2022. Hurricane Ian impacted our cruise, which caused our trip to go from a 4-night sailing to a 6-night sailing. So we ended up having a lot more time on the ship than we had originally anticipated, so we got pretty familiar with it. Here’s our full review of Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Disney Wish!
Disney Wish Inaugural Sailings
The Disney Wish Inaugural sailings started with the Maiden Voyage in July 2022 and will proceed throughout the rest of the inaugural year. A note on inaugural sailings though. They always tend to be more crowded and there are often changes made along the way. So if you see something that’s different than what you’ve seen online, don’t be surprised. A good example is the Frozen Ever After restaurant. In the media previews and even a few of the first sailings, Olaf was part of the show. However, during our sailing in September 2022, he had been removed from the show due to malfunctioning. When we asked our server about it, he actually said he didn’t know if Olaf would ever return.
Another example is the menus in the rotational dining lineup. Some items had changed even between July and September. So you may have seen someone get a ribeye for their steak dinner, but by the time you sail, it could have changed to a tenderloin. This is all really common during the inaugural year, so just remember that everything may not be as it was shared online. Basically, be ok with being flexible!
Disney Wish Food Review
A lot of people go on a Disney Cruise for the food! So let’s talk about it! Overall, the food was pretty much on par with the standard we are used to seeing on Disney Cruise ships. Maybe a little better. We’ll break down each category of dining and dive a little deeper. But just know that if you’re sailing on the Disney Wish, you can expect the same great food you are used to having on Disney Cruise Line.
Marceline Market Review
Marceline Market is the ship’s staple fast casual restaurant. If you’re familiar with Disney Cruise Line, it’s similar to Cabanas. However, it is not self-serve buffet like Cabanas. The cast members serve you at different stations throughout the restaurant in an assembly line style fashion. You can still eat as much as you’d like, but it is much more portion controlled. The atmosphere in here can be chaotic at times and depending what time you eat, the lines can get very long. So, plan to eat in the slower times of the day or be sure to bring a lot of patience with you.
We ate here for breakfast and lunch, and the food was good. We felt that Marceline had more interesting options and the food stalls felt a little more like complete meals. I do think the quality was also a bit better. The scrambled eggs at breakfast are still a no for me here, but everything else we had was great! Also just like Cabanas, you can choose to eat inside or outside.
Unlike Cabanas, Marceline Market that has coffee and alcoholic beverages available for purchase.
Also unlike Cabanas, Marceline Market is not yet serving dinner. The press release for the Disney Wish stated that it would serve made to order entrees at dinner just like Cabanas does, however I have not yet seen a single cruiser mention that this has been the case on their sailing. And it wasn’t on ours either. So maybe in the future this will be something that is available. But it’s just not yet!
Mickey’s Festival of Foods Review
Mickey’s Festival of Foods was the real showstopper for us. We don’t really eat fast food, so we generally tend to avoid the quick service counters onboard Disney Cruise ships aside from the chicken tenders; but we were glad we tried these! This area contains 6 small restaurants serving barbeque, pizza, build your own tacos, ice cream, burgers and chicken tenders. You can also get coffee, cocktails, and beers at The Lookout.
We tried every restaurant in this area except for The Lookout, and everything we had was good! I have to say this is a huge improvement for quick service restaurants onboard a Disney Cruise ship. The food tasted fresh and like it was made with higher quality ingredients than we had had on previous Disney cruises. Our pizza was even fired up right in front of us! The lines for these counters can get very long during the lunch hour. So if you’re looking to avoid that, I highly recommend trying to time your food break a little earlier or later than everyone else.
Another change that this area brings to Disney Cruise Line is that the ice cream is no longer self-serve. Personally, I think this is a positive change! Sure the line can get long at times, but in the past, the ice cream machines were always a mess. And now, you can just get perfect ice cream swirls instead.
Rotational Dining on the Wish Review
There are 3 rotational dining venues on the Disney Wish: 1923, World of Marvel and Arendelle. Overall, we enjoyed all of these choices and thought the variety kept things interesting each day. The menus weren’t really anything out of the ordinary, but the food was good as always. And our server always did a great job making recommendations.
Coffee Shops on the Disney Wish Review
Can you believe that there are 6 places to get coffee onboard the Disney Wish! Crazy, right?! When compared to just the two on the larger Disney Cruise ships, and only one on the smaller ships, this is pretty impressive. They are also spread out around the ship, which is great because it helps keep the congestion down a bit. On Deck three, you’ll find The Bayou, which serves coffee until around noon. Wishing Star Cafe is located on deck 4 and is also a bar. Enchanted Sword is on deck 5. And it’s basically set up the same as the Wishing Star Cafe. Inside of Marceline Market, you’ll find Marceline Cafe, which serves specialty coffees and alcohol. The Lookout offers coffee drinks in the Festival of Foods lineup on deck 11, and is also a bar. And Cove Cafe is on deck 13, and is set up like other Cove Cafes on the other Disney Cruise ships. They also offer alcoholic beverages as well.
We tried coffees at every coffee shop except The Lookout and generally they were all great! We had the best service at The Bayou and Wishing Star Cafe, but this will really depend on who is working those locations during your sailing. One thing that is somewhat notable is that all of the coffee shops had the ability to print coffee art for you. That’s not usually the case on the other ships. In the past, Cove Cafe has been the only coffee shop able to do this onboard; but you can tell Disney Cruise Line is trying to really up its Instagrammable moments on this ship.
Why are there no pastry cases onboard the Disney Wish?
One big disappointment on the Disney Wish: none of the coffee shops have a pastry case. Why? We don’t know! But we wish we did. We actually asked just to be sure. You can get a pastry in Marceline Market in the morning and have that with your coffee, but otherwise you are out of luck. And you can settle for beignets with your coffee at The Bayou, but the beignets will cost you extra.
Lounges and Bars on the Disney Wish
Disney Cruise Line really tried to step up their game on presentation on these new drinks. Many are available with use of the smoke gun, which I imagine is likely because they can’t use dry ice for the effect. The smoke didn’t really add anything in flavor that I could tell. But it was nice touch! It’s a pretty quick effect but it’s fun while it lasts.
The Disney Wish has plenty of lounges onboard! Our favorite ended up being Nightingale’s not only for the ambience, but also because we ended up meeting the most wonderful bartender, Marvy Lee. She was absolutely fantastic and was one reason we kept going back! There are also nightly piano shows that last around 45 mins to an hour. But this space is small, so if you plan to see these, make sure to arrive a little early. Nightingale’s is located on Deck 3, and I was a little worried that it would be really noisy due to the atrium, but it’s actually sound proofed! The ambience here is calm, so I think that was a great choice to soundproof this lounge so that those inside could enjoy the music being played there.
We also very much enjoyed The Rose, which is a bit higher scale, and the details inside are absolutely incredible! Hyperspace Lounge had a great lineup of drinks, and we really appreciated the fact that they actually had a mocktail that could be appealing for someone over the age of 8.
Cons of the Lounges and Bars onboard The Disney Wish
While we really enjoyed these new spaces, there are of course some cons which we need to mention. Many of the lounges onboard are a bit small. That’s not usually a problem unless there is live entertainment and then they can fill up pretty quickly. The Bayou is a gorgeous space, but with its open-air constructs, it can get pretty noisy if there’s a lot going on, or if people start lining up for the evening show. And even though we loved Hyperspace Lounge, it can get pretty loud in there! Currents, which is a bar that can be found on all of the Disney Ships, looks directly over the Toy Story Splash Area which we found to be an odd choice. In the past, it’s usually near the adult pool. So putting it overlooking a kids play area just seemed weird.
One complaint that we had about the bars and lounges is that there aren’t really any non-alcoholic drinks on the menus that are actually geared towards adults. We would love to see more inclusive menu items from Disney Cruise Line so that those who are avoiding alcohol for whatever reason can also enjoy these spaces. On the Disney Fantasy, The Meridian actually carried Seedlip Nonalcholic Gin, and we’d love to see more Disney Cruise Line ships follow suit. The constant supply of “mocktails” that include ice cream really gets old and we’d love to see more inventive choices for those who don’t drink.
Disney Wish Stateroom Review
The Disney Wish has 1254 staterooms. 877 of these have a verandah, making it the category with the most rooms. These rooms have an updated look from other ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet and we will discuss the pros and cons below.
Disney Wish Stateroom Pros
There is no denying that the staterooms onboard the Disney Wish are stunning. They are more updated, bright and airy than the staterooms on the four other Disney Cruise ships. And you can tell that Disney is trying to really make a statement with these rooms. Each deck has a designated theme. We were on deck 6, so our theme was Cinderella. Absolutely gorgeous throughout! The artwork, the small little details and the aesthetic of these rooms is just fantastic. Just like the staterooms on the other ships, the bathrooms are split into two rooms: one for the shower and one for the toilet. This makes getting ready and showering super convenient. When compared to the staterooms on the other Disney Ships, these really take the cake.
Disney Wish Stateroom Cons
However, as we love to give an honest opinion, we do have to point out a few flaws. First of all, let’s start with our exact room. We stayed in 6162 and we would NEVER recommend this room to anyone. Directly below our stateroom, there were emergency lifeboats. Not only are these super ugly and really kind of take away the beauty of having a verandah; but they also got a bit noisy during the couple of nights we had rougher seas. Which meant they kept us awake a bit. Not great.
Also, if you’re someone who loves to unpack your luggage during your cruise, you won’t find much drawer space. The desk area has one drawer and as far as where you can store clothing, that’s the only actual drawer. There are shelves that are hidden in a closet, which is nice, but one shelf is for your life vest and another for the safe. This leaves you with just a few shelves, so if you are traveling with a larger party, there may not be enough space. There is closet space, but again, this doesn’t leave much room for stuff that needs to be folded or things like socks and undergarments.
Disney Wish Ship Review
If you’ve been interested at all in the Disney Wish, then you’ve likely seen plenty of photos! From heavy media coverage to large amounts of Disney bloggers and Instagrammers taking a cruise on the Disney Wish, there are lots of pictures to be seen. The Disney Wish is beautiful. The details are absolutely stunning, especially if you take the time to look for them. The ship is light and bright, while also being warm and welcoming.
The Details of the Disney Wish
The details are really where the Disney Wish shines. A lot of thought and care was put into the creative aspect of the Disney Wish and it shows. Imagineers did an incredible job of representing Disney IP while also maintaining an elegant aesthetic, and not being too in your face Disney. The Disney touches are subtle enough that some people may not even notice them. But are a delight for those who do!
Layout of the Disney Wish
There’s one thing that is important to remember if you are a big Disney Cruise fan. This is an entirely new class of ship. Not only is it bigger than any of the other Disney Cruise ships, but the layout is also a bit different. If you love the familiarity of the other boats, forget all of that before you board the Disney Wish. This is a different ship altogether and you really just need to be ok with that! The layout is definitely more confusing, as it is less linear and has more curves. This leaves a lot of blind spots which can make things a bit confusing because you may turn to see a gray wall with no indication of which way to go.
The layout fell quite flat for us. Not only is it more confusing, but there are a lot of spaces that just kind of don’t make sense. I’m sure they make sense to someone, but to the average cruiser, it just feels weird. Sadly, we heard lots of complaining during this cruise and a lot of it had to do with the layout and certain spaces on the ship. For example, Currents Bar is directly overlooking the Toy Story Splash pad. Why though? We couldn’t figure this design decision, along with many others, while exploring the ship. The layout just doesn’t flow well and had me asking so many questions.
Deck 4 on the Disney Wish
A big pain point for us, and many other cruisers, is the complete dismantling of deck 4. If you’re a runner or a walker, or even just someone who enjoyed hanging out in the loungers on deck 4, this is going to take some adjusting. Deck 4 is not a continuous deck like it is on the other boats. Instead, it is very disjointed and broken up by stairs. One end of deck 4 is completely blocked off to guests, so to get from one side of deck 4 to the other side, you need to actually go through the ship, which is why you’d need to go up the stairs if you wanted to complete the loop. I’m guessing this may have something to do with engineering or mechanical needs, but it’s still very inconvenient, especially for those who are used to certain routines on the Disney ships.
The Running Loop on Deck 4 of the Disney Wish
Runners… this means you’ll either have to be ok with running stairs multiple times, running to one end of the deck and turning around, or you’ll have to resign to running on the dreadmill…..err I mean treadmill. The path takes you along one side of deck 4, then up the stairs to deck 5, and then up again to deck 6, where you will find the promenade and the hull of the ship. We did enjoy being able to see the front of the Disney Wish, but just wish it wasn’t such a hassle to get there. So there’s not really a running loop like there is on the other boats. Which is really a shame for those who have come to appreciate it!
Aside from not having one continuous loop for deck 4, there are also almost no loungers. This is something that could be easily fixed by just adding more, but it was a shame to see almost no seating in an area that is pretty popular on other Disney Cruise Line ships. There are loungers on deck 5, but we only saw 3 in total, again bringing us to ask why. All of that being said though, at least deck 4 still has the beloved shuffleboard games.
Pools on the Disney Wish
There are a lot of pools on the Disney Wish! On deck 11/12, there are actually 6 smaller pools instead of one large one that we are used to. There’s also a small waterfall pool on deck 12 called Trixie’s Falls and a quiet pool on deck 14 named Chip and Dale’s Pool. These pools are all available for families. And they’re all quite little. We didn’t use the pools while we were onboard, and I don’t feel like a lot of other people did either. Between intermittently bad weather and well, the pools just being very little, I didn’t see a ton of people using them.
The adult only area has an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean, but again it is tiny. There is also a Quiet Cove Whirlpool closer to the front of the adult only area on deck 13. And two smaller hot tubs by the infinity pool. A lot of people complained about this and it’s easy to see why. For such a large ship, they really should have had bigger pool areas.
Adult Only Spaces on the Disney Wish
The adult only spaces on the Disney Wish have been hotly discussed since the media previews. A few things we’d like to mention first. Many people were saying there is generally no seating on the adult only deck. And this is really just not the case. The entire area on deck 13 aft is 18+. And deck 13 is not continuous like previous adult only spaces are, so you really have to specifically wander to that area to get there. It’s very out of the way and I saw no children in this section at all, which is definitely different than the other cruise ships. Probably because it’s pretty inconvenient. And we never had a hard time finding a seat there. Shaded areas can also be found on deck 13. You just have to be willing to walk around the other side of the deck to find them.
The adult pool as we mentioned is far too small. And a lot of the other adult only spaces, including The Rose, Nightingale’s and even The Bayou are smaller, but we never noticed any of them to be too small. Unless there was an activity, but we’ll chat about that more below.
Senses also has an adult only relaxation area, which you can see from the hull of the ship. It looks beautiful, but why is it so visible to everyone else above? There are plenty of adult only spaces on this ship, even if they are quite spread out. You should have no issue finding an area to enjoy if you’re an adult on a Disney Cruise.
Disney Wish Entertainment Review
Entertainment on the Disney Wish is still new, and a little lacking, but with it being in its inaugural year, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. We are hoping as the ship gets a bit older, the entertainment improves. Even the funnel vision screen often had nothing on it, which is odd because it usually plays continuous movies and well on the Wish, it just didn’t.
Disney Wish Activities and Spaces
The activities onboard the Disney Wish are pretty similar as the other cruise ships, although slightly lacking. This could be because the ship is new, or because the itineraries are short. Generally, the best activities are on longer voyages, or at least voyages with more days at sea. That being said, the activity spaces were not our favorite. They’re, well, not good. Even if you take away any comparison between ships, the fact is that these spaces are either too small for what they are hosting, or they are just awkward. Why they felt the need to get rid of D Lounge is beyond me, but it wasn’t a great choice.
Spaces for activities on the Disney Wish
Triton Lounge, Keg & Compass, and The Bayou are all activity spaces and well, they’re all too small. With the exception of Keg & Compass, which generally tended to hold sports trivia, these other spaces are just not big enough for what they are hosting. Not only were people sitting on the floor for things like trivia and crafts, but also, those people felt lucky to even have room to sit on the floor. If you didn’t show up early, then you probably weren’t going to be able to get in. We hope they can do something about this because in its current state, the activities are just too big for these rooms.
Luna Lounge is another activity space that is…. just ok? It’s two stories, which sounds great in theory but in reality, it makes things tough. There is a huge screen at the front of the room that spans the two stories, so depending on where you are sitting, you may not be able to see much. Generally things like Bingo and Karaoke were being held here and as the voyage went on, more things were added to this space.
Aside from Bingo, the activities that were hosted in here, due to the technology that was required for them were generally not the most popular activities. The whole thing just didn’t seem like the most well thought out plan. Which sadly makes attending some of these activities a little on the difficult side.
Disney Wish Broadway Performances
On the Disney Wish, you’ll get three Broadway style shows. Seas the Adventure is a shorter show, and was cute, with a little forced IP in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Disney characters as much as anyone when they make sense. Overall, it’s a cute show and we did like it. And it’s only a half an hour.
Aladdin is the second show you’ll see and is the same show that you’ll see on the Disney Fantasy. This show is fantastic! The effects, the songs, the choreography, all incredible. Highly recommend seeing this one.
The third show is exclusive to the Disney Wish, The Little Mermaid. This show was also quite good and a must see in my opinion. Especially since you won’t be able to see it anywhere else!
Pirate Night Onboard the Disney Wish
Pirate Night on the Disney Wish was very similar to other Pirate Nights we’ve experienced. The menu was the same, and Mickey’s Pirates in the Caribbean was still as fun as ever. Characters get dressed in their pirate-y best. And you can catch them all throughout the night to get photos and interact with them.
The Rocking Parlay Pirate Party was a huge miss for us though. The talent is great. But the storyline is really meh. If you love 80’s rock bands, then you’ll probably love this! But it just wasn’t for us. It really seemed to play to a certain demographic, and well I don’t think we are in that demographic. We were happy to see that Captain Jack Sparrow still showed up, but I think we all agreed that we all prefer previous pirate night shows.
There was also no late-night buffet on our cruise for Pirate Night like there usually is at Cabanas. We don’t usually attend this because we are still full from dinner at this point, but it’s important to note because I know a lot of people who look forward to this.
Live Entertainment in the Atrium on the Disney Wish
One thing we felt was very lacking onboard the Disney Wish was the live entertainment in the atrium. In the past, we’ve always enjoyed these shows on other ships. During this sailing, there was only one instance where there was live music in the atrium at all. We don’t know if this is just because it’s still a fairly new ship and they’re still working out the details. Or if the Wish just won’t have live entertainment as much as the other ships? We’re hoping it’s the former. We missed this!
Other live entertainment was available in The Bayou and Nightingale’s on select nights. So if you’re hoping for some fun piano or guitar music, be sure to check the navigator to see when they’ll be playing!
Disney Wish Itinerary Review
The Disney Wish currently only sails to the Bahamas. Castaway Cay and Nassau are the ports that this ship sails to. And you can choose between a 3 night and a 4-night sailing. We have a feeling that after the first year or two, they will open up longer itineraries. The first couple of years are really just about getting as many cruisers on the ship, so shorter itineraries work well for that! Or so we’ve been told. I feel like this ship large enough that longer itineraries in the future would make sense. Once completed, I believe the Disney Wish is supposed to be sailing to Disney’s new private island, Lighthouse Point, which will likely make for longer voyages. But for now, if you are able, we definitely recommend the 4-night instead of the 3-night cruise. The ship is just so large, that if you have no days at sea, it almost makes more sense to take a less expensive cruise on an older ship that is going to the same destination.
Overall Disney Wish Review
The Disney Wish is truly a sight to behold. This ship really shines with the details that the Imagineers have instilled all around it. With its gorgeous aesthetic and details that make us swoon, we just wish it was more functional. However, I feel like everything was more difficult on the Disney Wish. Usually, life feels like a breeze on a Disney cruise! But with all of the little things that were missing or altered, this was definitely a different Disney Cruising experience. It wasn’t bad by any means! Any time you can spend on a Disney Cruise is a blessing. But everything felt a little harder. Yes, we are fully aware this is a first world problem. But we have to be honest about the cruise experience, since that’s what this post is about. As guests who have been on all of the Disney ships, and can generally navigate layouts pretty well, the fact that we kept getting lost was a little annoying.
The food was great, but the cast and crew are really what make any Disney Cruise ship fabulous and they definitely did with this one! We highly recommend taking some time to talk or get to know the crew onboard your ship as we feel it makes all the difference. They can offer you helpful tips that can make your trip more enjoyable.
Did we love the Disney Wish?
While we did end up loving this ship, I actually don’t think we would have if not for the extended days of being on our cruise. Having that extra time to get to know the ship really helped us learn more about it and have a greater appreciation for her. Not knowing when you’ll be returning from sea is an interesting situation, but definitely gave us more time to explore than the average cruiser. Our Disney Wish review would likely have been different if we had only sailed the original intended itinerary. It takes some time to learn the layout, which still has us asking questions, as it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. If you only plan to sail for 3 nights, you will most likely miss a lot. Even the 4-night cruises won’t give you enough time to fully enjoy all this ship has to offer.
The layout of the ship was one of the biggest issues we had with the ship itself. And leaves me questioning if whoever designed this actually has ever been on a Disney Cruise? After some research, I found out, that no she had not. A lot of the spaces just don’t make sense. And neither does the layout. And some of the things that were changed, well if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
Would we sail on the Disney Wish again?
We won’t likely be seeking out sailing on the Disney Wish in the near future, mostly because of her limited itineraries. The layout of the ship leaves a lot to be desired, and since you can find a less expensive Disney Cruise on another ship going to the same destination, we’d likely choose that over sailing on the Wish again any time soon. But we very much enjoyed this ship and very much appreciated how well we were treated on this unplanned extended voyage. The cast and crew are always the real magic on any Disney Cruise vacation. Remember that and any Disney Cruise vacation can be wonderful regardless of what ship you’re on.
We hope our Disney Wish review has been helpful! Have you sailed on this new ship yet? Let us know what you thought of it!
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