I’ve been delighted to sail the Disney Wish twice since it set sail the summer of 2022. I was delighted that I finally got to experience Disney Concierge this past summer on our second sailing with Captain Minnie.
Our most recent cruise, before our two Disney Wish sailings, had been on the Disney Magic, Disney’s first ship, so seeing the evolution of the guest experience and ship amenities was impressive.
The Disney Cruise Line fleet is expanding, and the Disney Treasure is set to launch during the 2024 Christmas holiday from Port Canaveral. She will resemble the Wish in the same way that the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy are like sibling Disney ships: one devoted to shorter itineraries to the Bahamas and Castaway Cay and one devoted to week-long itineraries to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
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Of all the cruise lines, Disney delivers a luxury experience for families with young children that cannot be beat. They are very well-designed ships for adults, teens, tweens, and those with special needs, too.
Disney Wish Cabins
The cabins on the Disney Wish have various themes all related to popular films: The Little Mermaid, Tangled, and Sleeping Beauty. Our concierge-level, one-bedroom suite had a Tangled theme and there were different decorative details relating to Rapunzel and additional characters throughout the cabin.
We sailed in a wheelchair-accessible suite to meet the needs of a member of our party. Our sleeping arrangements included a queen bed in the master bedroom area as well as a pull-down twin bed in the entry area, and a double-size sofa bed in the living room. There was a dining room table for four had we chosen to have room service for a meal or snack, too.
A veranda, accessed by two doors (one with a ramp for wheelchairs) extended the length of the room. We did not have a tub as the bathroom was designed to make it more adaptive and friendly for those with mobility needs. We had a second full bathroom also with shower and a walk-in closet.
Disney Wish Concierge Perks
The perks of sailing Concierge on the Disney Wish are numerous. The majority of my clients do sail in a Concierge cabin so I’m very familiar with, both as an advisor and as a guest, the many ways in which it can enhance your Disney Cruise vacation. Only in the Concierge section can a family reserve a suite or a specialty suite with multiple bedrooms. (Otherwise, I book non-Concierge adjoining cabins for extra space.)
The biggest perk for booking Concierge is to have first access to booking port experiences, including the coveted cabanas on Castaway Cay. We secured the first cabana which is wheelchair friendly.
One drawback of the Wish is that Disney increased the number of Concierge cabins. This means, for example, that there are many more Concierge guests now than there are Castaway Cay cabanas. It is no longer a guarantee that you will secure a cabana by sailing Concierge the way it used to be (or could continue to be so if you sail on an earlier ship).
As an advisor, I work with the Concierge desk to prearrange exclusive experiences, such as the Royal Gathering and Olaf’s Royal Picnic, Disney’s character meet-and-greet experiences. We can also secure tables first at the Palo brunch (which often sells out) in the adults-only dining section.
Concierge guests are allowed to arrive at the Port Canaveral cruise terminal on their own schedule, and there’s a dedicated station for Concierge guests’ check-in which makes the process very expedited. Many guests arrive in the Concierge section right when the port opens (and starts checking people in) around 10:30 AM. These guests may wait in one of two lounges adjacent to the boarding gateway of the ship and are allowed to board first.
Compared to other lines I’ve sailed, such as the Norwegian Haven out of Miami, there are no additional perks in this lounge like a breakfast buffet or snacks.
Concierge guests are invited to a special lunch as you board the ship in the 1923 restaurant, and there are complementary beverages at this welcome lunch that are not typically included thereafter. After lunch, most guests head to the Concierge lounge, or start exploring the ship, where you’ll have access to the AquaMouse water slide. This is also a great time to attend the open house of the kids’ clubs and register your children if they will visit them during the cruise.
The Concierge lounge has ready-made options for additional food service as well as menu items prepared to order. Everything is served on a small plate, as the portions are snacks meant to supplement between primary meals, instead of acting in place of. Guests who enjoy wine and cocktails appreciate that the Concierge lounge serves complementary alcoholic beverages and specialty coffees throughout the day.
My friend’s daughter had some specific dietary requirements to make the sailing comfortable and practical, and we were very impressed with how prepared the Concierge hosts were to deliver everything we needed. What’s great about a Concierge host is, even if they aren’t the actual solvers of the problem, they reach out directly to the appropriate staff person on the ship for a quick resolution.
The two-level Concierge lounge also has outdoor spaces that include a small pool and hot tubs as well as an outdoor sundeck that’s well shaded, too. An added perk was the access to special rows of seats in the Walt Disney Theater for shows and performances.
Concierge also offers expedited embarkation off the ship on port days. And, on the final day of the cruise, this expedited exit allows Concierge families to avoid standing in the long, winding line to disembark, with luggage in hand and tired, sad kids who don’t want to get off the boat.
Dining Options on the Disney Wish Cruise Ship
The main dining rooms on this newest ship are actually my favorite part of the Disney Wish. The Worlds of Marvel-themed restaurant is a very clever dinner show, and it was even modified slightly from both sailings to remain as amusing the second time. The rotational dining on the Wish, wherein you move nightly to differing venues but stay with the same serving staff, includes Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure, the California cuisine-inspired 1923 restaurant, and Worlds of Marvel.
The sing-along portions with the cast of Frozen during the Arendelle dinner were great fun. During this Frozen dining adventure there were also mini-concerts and dances to the soundtrack’s most popular songs.
Marceline Market is the large breakfast and lunch buffet restaurant adjacent to the pool deck. What’s different about the poolside dining on the Wish, compared to other Disney cruise ships, is the food court-like area with Tex-Mex, BBQ, pizza, burgers, and the ever-popular soft serve ice cream. There are ample vegetarian alternatives compared to the older ships.
There is an Inside Out-themed dessert bar with baked goods, candies, and ice cream, too. Soft drinks are available all day in the drink machines on the pool deck areas as well as coffee and tea, but picky coffee drinkers will want to know a better option. My favorite spot on most Disney cruise ships is Cove Cafe which isn’t included in the cost, but this café, in the adults-only section, is always serene in the morning after watching the sun rise.
The new spaces designed for the adult restaurants are stunning. Palo Steakhouse, the new Rose Bar, and Enchantée by chef Arnaud Lallement are elegant and exclusive spaces for any luxury traveler.
The pool deck on this new ship is slightly different than others in the Disney Cruise family. There are two pools in the main area that have a large movie screen (and a stage for Pirate Night, a party with live music and fireworks during one evening of the sailing).
A new feature on the Disney Wish is the AquaMouse, a waterslide combined with a narrative story shown on the inside of the tunnels. This first-of-its-kind hybrid with inner tubes is something to check off your list on the cruise. But note that you have to be thoughtful as to when to show up to avoid long lines.
The Toy Story Splash Zone is a cleverly shaded area for smaller children that has a much smaller waterslide for those slowly learning to see if they like such a thing or not.
There’s a pool, somewhat out-of-the-way, at the front of the ship that is my favorite due to the smaller crowds and the partial shading offered. The adult pool area is always a welcome respite from larger crowds and the infinity pool at the aft of the ship is a lovely place for some kid-free time.
Disney Wish Kids Clubs
But Disney has always been great about providing age-appropriate entertainment, both in their kids clubs and nursery as well as their tween club and teen club. This is one of the strengths of Disney’s cruise programming that makes them unrivaled.
I think the biggest change between the Disney Wish and the previous ships can be found in the kids clubs. Many parents know, that if you have children around ages 8 or 9, that they often feel “too big” for a traditional kids club pleasing more the 4 to 7 year-old crowd.
Past guests of Disney will recognize the Oceaneer Club and the It’s a Small World nursery, but they’ve greatly expanded other kids club offerings. There are numerous interactive activities scattered throughout multiple rooms, including a mini Walt Disney Imagineering lab where children design their own roller coaster rides.
There’s a Star Wars room and an Avengers-themed room that each have the magical feeling of a movie set. There are many character meet-and-greets in which families can participate, and parents who are Star Wars or Marvel fans might ask their kids if they can go in to explore the spaces in detail.
Family Fun on the Disney Wish
Family fun on the mega-resort that is a Disney cruise ship takes many forms. Families will enjoy the character interactions during the open houses at the various kids and teen clubs during the day. The Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge is a must; try a galactic and colorful concoction and watch the show of various spacecraft flying by behind the bar.
Families can also enjoy Disney cruise classics like bingo and trivia throughout the lounge spaces. We also attended a family “silent disco” where guests wear headsets. We are not big dancers outside of our kitcehn, but we tried it.
For those more athletically-inclined, the Hero Zone is a large gymnasium space for basketball as well as some scheduled physical competitions. There are also foosball and ping pong tables in this area for families to enjoy.
Wellness Aboard The Disney Wish
The Rainforest pass is one of my favorite parts of sailing the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. However, on the Wish, the spa area is configured very differently than those other ships. Rather than featuring large floor-to-ceiling windows with sea views from both the hot tub and lounging areas, the Rainforest area on the Wish is enclosed with delightful tropical design.
Truthfully, I missed the sea views during my spa day. The Tangled hair salon, separate from the spa and adjacent to the shops near the grand hall, offered fantastic blowouts at each of my two appointments.
My Disney Wish Cruise Review
Our Concierge Disney Wish Cruise Review gets high ratings for the spacious staterooms, personalized service, and perks of convenience. I was particularly impressed with the specialized service the concierge staff provided to accommodate our party. My friend really felt like it was a true vacation with all of the service she received. While the staff would have tried to meet our special requests had we not been sailing Concierge, I do believe the experience would have been different as we would have had to pursue what we needed from each department on our own.
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