Disney Wonder Named Best Mid-Size Ship for Entertainment in Cruise Critic’s 2018 Cruisers’ Choice Awards

Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise reviews site and online cruise community, recently announced the winners of its 8th Annual Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards. The annual awards are given out to the most popular cruise ships of the year, based on consumer reviews shared on Cruise Critic over the past 12 months. After bringing home nine first place awards in 2017, Cruise Critic cruisers’ love for Disney Cruise Line dropped like a free falling anchor as the Disney Wonder was the only ship to earn an accolade in the form of best cruise ship for entertainment in the mid-size category. The fleet really seemed to fall out of favor of reviewers, going from 33 Top 10 appearances in 2017 to 19 in 2018. In fact, the Disney Magic did not earn any Top 10 spots in any category and the Disney Fantasy dropped from all Top 10s from last year with the exception Best for Families which it earned 2nd place. The Disney Dream dropped in all categories this year, but to her credit still earned 9 of the fleet’s 19 Top 10s.

The Disney Wonder was the lone overachiever of the fleet in 2018 according to Cruise Critic cruisers. The Wonder scored better in 2018 than the prior year except in the Best for Family category.

While we are on the subject of Best for Families… In 2017, Disney Cruise Line swept came very close to taking the top for spots with the Magic, Dream, and Fantasy earning First, Second, and Third with the Wonder coming in Fifth. Now in 2018, The Fantasy took over the second position, but the rest of the fleet dropped with the Magic going from first to out of the Top 10 in 2018.

Disney Wonder AquaLab

The annual awards name the best cruise ships in the world, based solely on ratings submitted with reviews published on the Cruise Critic website

“What’s fun to see in this year’s list of winners is the wide range of ships awarded as the best of the best,” explains Colleen McDaniel, Senior Executive Editor of Cruise Critic. “You have two of the largest ships at sea, alongside luxury yachts and small expedition ships that sail to some of the most far-flung destinations across the globe. As different as these ships are, the common thread is the exceptional ratings they received from actual guests. Whether you’re looking for a mega ship or a more intimate vessel, a port-heavy itinerary or laid-back beach escape, this list is a fantastic resource to guide to you to a ship perfectly suited to your needs.”

The winners of the 8th annual Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards are awarded in four ship size classes, based on passenger capacity (Large: 2,000+ passengers; Mid-Size: 1,200 to 1,999 passengers; Small-Mid Size: 400- 1,199 passengers; Small: Fewer than 400 passengers.) The rankings are calculated using ratings published with user-submitted reviews on Cruise Critic.

First-place winners include:

Best Cruise Overall

  • Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Silver Galapagos (Small) – Silversea Cruises

Best Cruise Ship Cabins

  • Harmony of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Star Pride (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Dining

  • Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Star (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • National Geographic Explorer (Small) – Lindblad Expeditions

Best Cruise Ships for Embarkation

  • Harmony of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
  • Amsterdam (Mid-Sized) – Holland America Line
  • Pacific Princess (Small-Mid) – Princess Cruises
  • Celebrity Xpedition (Small) – Celebrity Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Entertainment

  • Allure of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
  • Disney Wonder (Mid-Sized) – Disney Cruise Line
  • Viking Sky (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • L’Austral (Small) — Ponant

Best Cruise Ships for Fitness & Recreation

  • Harmony of the Seas (Large) – Royal Caribbean International
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Wind Spirit (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Public Rooms

  • Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Riviera (Mid-Sized) – Oceania Cruises
  • Viking Sky (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Star Legend (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Service

  • Celebrity Equinox (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Amsterdam (Mid-Sized) – Holland America Line
  • Viking Star (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Wind Star (Small) – Windstar Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Shore Excursions

  • Carnival Breeze (Large) – Carnival Cruise Line
  • Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Sized) – Celestyal Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Silver Galapagos (Small) – Silversea Cruises

Best Cruise Ships for Value

  • Celebrity Silhouette (Large) – Celebrity Cruises
  • Celestyal Crystal (Mid-Sized) – Celestyal Cruises
  • Viking Sea (Small-Mid) – Viking Ocean Cruises
  • Silver Galapagos (Small) – Silversea Cruises

Best Cruises for Families

  • Carnival Breeze – Carnival Cruise Line

Best for First Timers

  • Viking Sea – Viking Ocean Cruises

Disney Cruise Line’s Top 10 Rankings Summary

Cruise Critic categorizes the ships based on passenger capacity. The Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy are listed in the large ship (2,000+ passengers) category, while the Disney Magic & Disney Wonder are listed in the Mid-size ship (1200-1999 passengers) category. Keep this in mind while reviewing the following rankings. *The exceptions are the Best for Families and First Timers categories which are not broken out by ship size.

Best… Fantasy Dream Wonder Magic
Cruise Experience
Overall 8 2
Cabins 5 2
Dining 9 5
Embarkation 9 7
Entertainment 3 1
First Timers* 6
Fitness & Recreation
Families* 2 6 9
Public Rooms 5 2
Service 9 5
Shore Excursions
Value  10

Visit the 2018 Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards for a complete list of winners. These awards are based on review submitted by Cruise Critic’s readers who reviewed cruises sailed in 2017. To be included ships must have a minimum number of posted reviews and ratings in each category to be included in the top 10 list.

8 thoughts on “Disney Wonder Named Best Mid-Size Ship for Entertainment in Cruise Critic’s 2018 Cruisers’ Choice Awards

    1. Ryan

      I agree completely. I’m going on my 3rd Disney cruise this November but it may be my last. Even with the re-booking discount, it’s hard to justify staying loyal at these prices.

      Reply
    2. Julian

      I agree 100% with you Cindy, the price increases on past year it’s making me thinking a lot about trying another Cruise Company….I have done 12 cruises but honestly do not fell any extra touch for Platinum members with DCL….kind of sad.

      Reply
    3. Junnel

      I agree! We’ve been loyal DCL cruisers since 2010 and for the very first time this year, we booked 3 NON-DCL cruises. The price is just RIDICULOUSLY high nowadays!!! The same exact sailing I booked back in 2015 is 300+% more for this year – that’s just insane! So now we are exploring Carnival, RCCL, and NCL. We live in Southern California and Carnival just announced that it’s 3rd Vista class ship (Carnival Panorama) will be home ported in Long Beach YEAR ROUND in 2019. NCL’s newest ship, the Bliss will also be doing limited sailings out of San Pedro. For the price of 1 Disney cruise a year, I can go on 2 (maybe even 3) non-Disney cruises.

      Reply
  1. Sage C.

    We have been loyal DCL cruisers since 2010. When we first started cruising, the price point was acceptable. From a business standpoint, their main discriminator has always been the “Disney Touch” especially when using the high end accommodations (i.e. Staying at the Grand Floridian over Pop Century). DCL was marketed and was part of that higher end experience which justified the higher price point. When the Dream and Fantasy came into the fleet in 2011/2012, the service was exceptional and I gladly paid the higher price point.

    However, as has been stated by other’s on this thread. The value and Disney “magic”; that feeling that you and your family were special has started to disappear, while the prices have continued to rise. It’s no longer a significant discriminator. Our last Cruise was in January of last year on the Dream. The 3 day cruises are most first time cruisers intro to cruising and the DCL brand. While my family and I enjoyed ourselves, again felt the Disney magic, its key discriminator in the market was missing. My family and I left feeling kinda “meh”. I watched a lot of the first time cruisers. Rather than being hooked like my family and were back in 2010, most walked off the gangway less than dazzled.

    Other aspects of the Disney brand are still attractive and have that magic. So in the end, we will still stay at the parks and “the mouse” will still gain revenue from our family. We just won’t schedule a cruise in conjunction with a park visit or anymore 7 Day cruises until they fix it and/or lower the prices.

    This should serve as a canary in the coal mine. But until future bookings and revenue deviate from Plan/Forecast, I doubt DCL will take any action.

    Reply
  2. Catherine

    I’m another who agrees that Disney is pricing out a lot of their cruisers. We have done 3 but I did not book a 4th as I just cannot afford it or justify the cost when other similar cruises are less then 1/2 the price. Yes, Disney is amazing but if I can’t afford amazing then I either won’t cruise or will do what I never thought I’d do and look elsewhere. Too bad Disney. You’re pricing out a lot of your faithful cruisers. 🙁

    Reply
  3. DisneyConvert

    Think of DVC as the “prow” of Disney’s Parks marketing. Every DVC member is essentially “locked in” to take a Disney vacation every year or so for the next 20+ years of their life, and they often bring many family and friends with them. Most get tired, eventually, of Sarasota Springs or saving a few years’ points for Jambo House, etc. So they also become another “built-in” market of demand for the Cruises. I noticed on the last cruise, they even get their own lanyard color.

    Count on one of the new ships visiting Aulani . . regularly. Disney is built around synergy among its many components (Marvel – StarWars – Parks – ESPN – RealEstate/Hospitality – etc – etc.). The cruises stand on their own, but are even more of a money-maker in combination with everything else.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.