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10 Travel Tips When Sailing on the Disney Wonder

10 Travel Tips when sailing on the Disney Wonder Cruise

Here are some great travel tips I wanted to share, if you are considering booking a cruise on the Disney Wonder this year! I keep mentioning them to friends and to readers that have emailed me to ask questions, so here they are for you all!

1. Don’t over-pack!

There’s simply no need to overpack, with laundry facilities on 3 levels of the Disney Wonder.  I only used the one on the 7th floor but there were 8 or 9 washing machines and 8 or 9 dryers in that area alone.  Why pack 7 days worth of clothing when you can simply pack 3 and do one load of laundry instead?  It’s cheap to do on the Disney Wonder: $1 to wash and $1 to dry.  Detergent (Cheer in my case) is $1 and Fleecy dryer sheets come in a 2-pack as well for $1 – all available with a swipe of your “Key to the World Card”.  If you want to save money, bring your own detergent and dryer sheets in zip loc baggies (though I’d caution you on bringing a white powder in a zip loc bag through airport scanners if flying to your port, I just purchased my detergent instead!)

2. Do attend the live theater shows!

The live theater shows are spectacular, heartwarming and fun!  They also happen to run at sometimes-conflicting times.  Many times the evening show is at 8:30 to give everyone enough time to have dinner first.  If  you see a day when there’s an afternoon performance added in – jump at that one!  The theater doesn’t fill up as fast as many families are busy at the pool, or on port days – on shore, and the kids are not overtired.


Deluxe Family Stateroom with Verandah Disney Wonder

3. There’s no need to pack mini-DVD players for the kids to watch movies in the room.

With tons of channels to choose from full of Disney movies and tv shows, along with interesting documentaries about all things Disney, your kids will have plenty to watch!  I did see some parents with the portable DVD players at dinner but there’s so much to look at and do (and the staff is pretty entertaining and friendly themselves!) that I don’t think it’s necessary.  You can also get your movie fix every day at Goofy’s Pool or in one of the theaters!

Disney Wonder cruise princesses4. Take a highlighter in your purse! 

The Navigator, sharing all the activities and events the following day, is delivered to your stateroom each evening.  This details character appearances (who, where and when) as well as activities and stage shows among other things. I used a pen to circle what I was interested in, but I saw a mom with a highlighter and thought it was brilliant!  If you don’t think you’ll need it, take it and thank me later when you are a super-organized mama with a beautifully highlighted navigator.

5. Try the cajun chicken burger at Pluto’s Doghouse! 

Yes, the kids will likely get a hot-dog and french fries every day, but this burger is delicious for the grown ups.

6. OK fine, eat healthy while on vacation too.

If you can’t bear to have another plate of fries while sitting by the pool, check out the great selection of healthy, fresh, snacks at Goofy’s Galley.  I was thrilled to find paninis, fresh fruit and wraps there.

7. Rum Cake. The End.

Still on the topic of food, a must-have dessert is the Rum infused chocolate cake on Pirate Night.  You can thank me later.

pirate night disney wonder8. Argh!  Pirate Night!

This is an event not to be missed but plan accordingly!  The Pirate Party kicked off at 9:45 pm on deck, well past my kid’s bedtime (plus we were 1 hour ahead in our time zone at home).  We were busy on a port adventure that afternoon and couldn’t get naps in.  So – my advice is to not book any port activities that afternoon (Thursday) so you can rest up for the Pirate Party, if you have little ones.

cabo dolphin encounter9. Check out the port excursions!

Dolphin Experience/Adventures are available at both the Puerto Vallarta and Cabo ports.  Having been to both over the years, my favorite is Cabo. It’s right at the marina where the ship is anchored so no need to board a bus to get there.  We walked with the stroller to the entrance, which was great as it gave us time to explore the shops and locals on our way!

10. Take advantage of the childcare!

Don’t be afraid to leave the kids at one of the “kid’s clubs”, as my son called them, on the ship.  My oldest 2 went daily, and sometimes several times a day.  They get to make new friends, try different things (lava explosion, anyone?) and get a break from boring mom and dad.  You get some adult time at one of the adult’s only areas of the ship, or just a chance to snooze back in your room without interruption.  Or…whatever else strikes your fancy at the time. 😉


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  • I think the last tip about leaving the kids at the kids club is the best advice. I think that would be a true test for me because I hate to be away from my boys for too long. We parents needs some time to our self to relax too! 🙂

    • They are excellent with children (of all ages) with disabilities. This is why we plan our yearly family reunions on the Wonder or the Magic! Very, very happy with these staffs.

  • That is wonderful that they have laundry facilities. Especially being a cruise that caters to families, we all know how much clothing a kid can go through in one day.

  • I’m more than pleased to hear that they know how to keep the kids entertained while the parents find their own entertainment ;). I’ve heard nothing about wonderful things about Disney Cruise lines and you reinforce what I have heard.

  • Thank you for the tips! We have been talking about doing this so it’s great to read some advice. Not overpacking is going to be difficult for me.

  • I have something to add to the laundry tip. The Purex 3 in 1 sheets work great They are so easy to pack, you don’t have to worry about anything leaking or powder getting everywhere and they make your clothes smell great in the suitcase 🙂 I plan on taking them with me when I go to Disney World!!

  • I am glad you had so much fun!!! Disney does everything to a T, and it almost feels like magic dosn’t it!! I have never been on their cruise’s but now after your review I want to go with my niece and nephew so bad….did you happen to notice if they have great access for people with disabilities?

  • What an amazing sounding trip! Your tips are excellent as well – I am one who perpetually overpacks. I actually haven’t thought of doing laundry on holidays (why I have no idea).. I got a great laugh out of your comment on avoiding bringing a ziploc full of white powder on the plane. heh I can ONLY imagine 🙂

  • Yeah, I always over-pack. My suitcase usually weighs over the allowed 50 lbs, and we are almost always standing in the lineup at the airport with our luggage open transferring stuff from one to the other trying to even the weight out to avoid paying ridiculous prices for overweight baggage! UGH Great tips!

  • I just saw a commercial on TV today for Disney Cruises and it was great to read your article on your experience. I want to go!!

  • Great tips! I hear that Disney cruises will be coming to the port of Vancouver next year so it’s a post I’m filing away just in case we are lucky enough to go!!!

  • I love your tip about packing a highlighted. Tyne other thing I pack that’s a bit u Musial, is a little thing of dish soap… It’s great for washing zippy cups no matter what amenities you find in your hotel room!

  • this looks great, so glad I came across this post! my boys would go crazy for a pirate party, wonder why it’s so late at night? Normally I wouldn’t trust anyone to watch my kids, but from another Canadian mama, it is good to hear it’s safe and fun, adult’s only you say?

  • I like all of your tips, especially packing light which I can never do. But if the laundry facilities are as great as you say then over packing is stupid. The Disney Cruise does sound wonderful and the kids would just love to go..hopefully we can make this happen in the not to far away future..

  • “bring your own detergent and dryer sheets in zip loc baggies (though I’d caution you on bringing a white powder in a zip loc bag through airport scanners if flying to your port..” This is hilarious, thanks for the laugh. 🙂

  • Not sure we would ever be able to go on a cruise….but your reviews sound amazing, and love the idea of checking for laundry where you are going rather then overpacking….with a family of 6 it is a lot of possible space saved!

  • Your 10 tips are really helpful, especially the one leaving your kids at the “kids’ clubs”…usually I’m very weary about leaving the kiddies, but as it’s a children’s play club then I can see us doing that!

  • question. Do they sell bathing suits in any of the stores? I can’t find any listed in the online store.