First Impressions of the Disney Wish

For those of you that follow this blog, you are used to my detailed daily trip reports on our cruises. However, being that we were invited guests and were hosted on the 3-night Disney Wish Christening cruise on June 29th, I am going to provide more of an overview with some opinions woven in and save the detailed trip report for the Maiden voyage upcoming this week, since that is a sailing in which we are paying guests on.

The first thing everyone sees is the exterior of the ship, and just with the other four ships in the fleet, she is a beautiful ship. In fact, the view from the direct back (or front) of the ship flows better than the Dream or Fantasy. There is something that is just very classy and beautiful with the nautical colors of the Disney ships. However, that is where the nautical colors and theming end…..

Once you board into the Grand Hall (yes, that is the new nomenclature of the ‘atrium’), you are transported to a true ‘castle at sea,’ which is a departure from the other four ships. Now, I am not at all saying this is a bad thing, but it is definitely different. The whole ship is very elegant and opulent – from the statues and chandelier, to the carpet, wallpaper, decor and especially the furniture.

Disney Wish Deck Plan Deck 3
Deck 3

The layout of the ship is a bit choppy, but one of the things I actually liked was that I didn’t feel like I was walking down long never ending hallways like on the Dream or Fantasy. Not having the aft stairway/elevators wasn’t terrible once we got used to figuring out which way we were going.

We had someone tell us the green carpet/wallpaper meant ‘go’ so that was forward and the blue had B for back, meaning aft. Plus, once we found the Mickey heads and the star fish on the hallway carpet, that was also a huge help.

Disney Wish AquaMouse

The lay out of the pool deck seemed to be better in a stage-like set up, but the huge stand out was the Oceaneer Club and the It’s a Small World nursery moved to deck 2. This removed the bottleneck that we were used to on the Dream and Fantasy on deck 5. Plus, one of the neatest features is the slide entrance on Deck 3 into the Oceaneer Club. The answer is YES! During open house hours, anyone can slide down the slide!

There is a Youth Activities counselor there to check the child in and then down they go. I know a lot of people have asked about the noise or if the slide is ‘off putting,’ but I can assure you that neither is true. It is hidden and does not take away from the decor or overall feel of the Grand Hall, nor is it noisy. This gets a thumbs up and if our daughter was still in that age group, that is probably the way she would choose to check-in every time. The other kids clubs also looked great, and yes, even the inflatable area looked like a fun time.

Disney Wish Hero Zone Incredi Games

Sticking with the topic of the layout, the adult areas are more spread out versus in one central area, and I am indifferent about this. I am fine with either way, and in fact, there are some bonuses to have more lounges in more areas in that you are more apt to stop by and visit one that may not be ‘out of the way.’ For example, Nightingales is on Deck 3 midship, making it very convenient to 1923 if you are looking to stop there for a drink before or after dinner. While everyone is talking about the Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge, we actually loved the Bayou and the Rose the most.

The Bayou is gorgeous, and live music is a huge plus. The only detracting factor was that to one immediate side, there is a very bright jewelry shop, and on the other side was a crowd at the entrance of Hyperspace Lounge (however, that may not be the case on routine cruises).

On to the topic of lounges, the Wish has many lounges and bars, and several notables about them. One, the cocktail program is great! There are many wines and beers very reasonably priced, and several that are mid to high (to even super high) end. We were able to order a new-to-us glass of Taittinger Prelude.

Disney Wish Nightingale's Taittinger Prelude

The Rose drink in The Rose lounge wins for presentation and taste. There were so many new and unique drinks, including more ‘zero proof’ cocktails. The glassware is also tremendous – there were pineapple glasses at the Wishing Star cafe, themed glasses at the Bayou and in Nightingales, plus the glasses at the Rose – you can absolutely tell that these details were thought out and we definitely noticed.

The old fashioned bar in Hook’s Barbery is also a top notch thought and it had us wondering why you could not order a Prosecco or the like when getting a pedicure in the Untangled Salon! Another thing that we liked was the sheer number of places that you can get coffee, as most of the bars/lounges had an espresso machine.

One morning as Em was on her way back from the gym (which is on deck 5 forward), she was able to stop at the Enchanted Sword Cafe at deck 5 midship, rather than having to go up to the Cove Cafe.

Disney Wish Enchanted Sword Cafe Coffee

The Toy Story splash zone with Trixie’s Falls and Slide-a-saurus Rex is absolutely adorable. All 3 adults in our party rode the slide and it was fun. On the other end of the spectrum, the Quiet Cove was also very pretty with the infinity pool. The ladies tried it out after returning from Castaway Cay, but on the sea day, it was super packed, so your mileage may vary. The adult hot tub was in a great location and was fairly quiet.

Dining. The three of us all agreed that we liked the feel and decor of 1923 the most. It is also nice to dine in new restaurants with new menus as well. The shows were well timed to finish dinner in a timely manner. We did not have the chance to dine in PALO Steakhouse or Enchante, but we were given a tour and look forward to trying them out on the Maiden voyage. The Mickey & Friends Festival of Foods is by far the best set-up and pool deck quick service food of the fleet. We in fact came back to the ship to eat lunch there instead of eating lunch on Castaway Cay.

As far as staterooms, we were in a 4C, which was definitely comfortable for 3 adults. The addition of the night light and the hand soap in the bathroom was incredible!

Disney Wish Stateroom Lavatory Nightlight

It’s the little things!!! We did get a chance to tour the Wish Tower Suite and a 2-bedroom Princess Aurora Suite and all 3 of us unanimously agreed that the 2-story suites would be our choice over the Tower Suite.

Disney Wish Tower Suite

Other random thoughts: We did not see any movies on this voyage, but did go into the Wonderland theater to take a peek and the seats and set-up looked great. Having one central laundry room seems to be great, and we will try this out on the Maiden voyage as well.

Disney Wish Fairytale Fresh Laundry

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below and I will try to answer them. We look forward to sailing again and going back to our trip reports!

32 Replies to “First Impressions of the Disney Wish”

  1. Leslie

    Scott, thank you so much for your very comprehensive reporting from the Christening voyage! It’s is the best I’ve found anywhere, and very much appreciated!! And, to get all of these articles out while also prepping for your maiden voyage speaks to your dedication to the readers of your blog.

    One quick question- is there any time aside from the dinner seatings to be in 1923 and view all of the items on display? It seems like the dinner seating would not allow for enough time to really explore it or to be in both rooms.

    Enjoy your maiden voyage, and thanks again!!

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      1923 was open at other times during the cruise for lunch and breakfast service. Depending on guest volume during those dining windows, you should be able to walk around to see all the interesting items in the cases.

  2. Kalvin

    Hi Scott. My wife from the videos says it looks more claustrophobic than the other ships with lower ceilings and more congested spaces. Also the spacing between table in 1923 did not look like it left much room for the servers or to get in and out? Any views on this

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      1923 overall was smaller sections of tables instead of a vast open space. This was nice as it should create a more quieter and intimate dining experience. Our serving team did not have any issues navigating between the tables. However, not all table were used as the sailing was not at capacity.

  3. Kimi

    Looking forward to your review of the maiden voyage. We are booked on the Disney Wish in August and are contemplating changing to the Fantasy – while we want to try a new ship, I am not sure how I feel about the lack of the nautical feel on the Wish. Also have a teenager, and everything on the Wish seems to be geared towards the 9 and under crowd. (Kid activity-wise) Would you say that was your feeling too? I’m only going by the media reviews.
    One thing I didn’t see, does this ship have something like the Midship Detective Agency? Thanks 🙂

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Bonnie, great question. We were not offered a card, but we didn’t think to ask. Possibly this was do to the fact it was a preview cruise and not a normal sailing.

  4. darrenswheelerDarren

    Reading around the ‘net, it does seem Disney Wish is a ‘Marmite’ ship (love it or hate it, no middle ground).
    There are those that love it for being different and those that hate it because it is different. It’s been 10 years since the Fantasy joined the fleet and from what I can see, DCL chose to completely rethink how the ship should look. Time will tell if it works.

    I’m looking forward to seeing for myself in 2023 and so far, I fall into the love category.

  5. Don Babcock

    Great info and pics!! Curious if there’s any nice spot to enjoy and evening cigar and scotch, similar to Meridian on Dream/Fantasy? Thanks!

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      There is an outdoor deck area by PALO Steakhouse/Enchanté, but the access is through the restaurant so you’d need to check with the Cast Members at the host stand.

  6. Erin

    How to you feel about the lack of a shipside promenade that circles the entire ship? I’m in disbelief now that it’s on three floors and there are steps. I’m not a runner but we loved the fresh air walks and playing shuffleboard. Did you have any thoughts or pictures of what it’s like now?

      1. Kalvin

        I have several friends with disabled relatives in wheelchairs who love to walk around deck 4 with them. Sadly no longer possible as no way to get up the steps

  7. Linda Zamal

    Looking forward to your reviews of the maiden voyage.Can you book the day spa pass like prior to covid (calling or online) for the outdoor spa when the booking window opens? Or does that need to be done upon arrival. We would like to check out the new outdoor spa space on our cruise.

  8. cindy

    On the deck plan the entrance to the Aquamouse looks very close to the Quiet Cove area. Did this distract from the adult area enjoyment? Same for The Rose looks next to Hero Zone.

  9. Michelle K

    With the quick service food on deck, is there something like Daisy’s Delites, with fruit, sandwiches, soups, etc.? I haven’t seen it in any reviews. Thanks.

  10. Mark

    They’ve gotta fix the aquamouse on the Wish. It broke down multiple times per hour on our cruise resulting in 15 min downtimes while they shut the water off and freed the stranded guests. Something isn’t right yet if it’s that unreliable. And somehow they ran out of mint chocolate chip ice cream on day 2, which is part of the signature dessert in Arendale. Not to mention they didn’t have ingredients to make some of their menu cocktails at some of the dinners. Beautiful ship but they definitely crashed the schedule and it shows.

  11. Joseph Ruhaak

    I am disabled and I noticed at the adult pool that they have walls around it. On the dream and fantasy I would swing my legs around and drop into the seating area. It does not look like this is possible on the wish. Is there something I’m missing in the pictures? If not do you know if the lift is available at the adult pool for people that can’t use the pool ladder?

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Joseph, I did not see a single lift at any of the pools. However, there are chair lifts for the various staircases to navigate the upper decks. Others have left comments about contacting DCL ahead of time to request a chair lift at a pool.

    1. Scott Sanders Post author

      Yes, you can upload a picture or take a selfie during the online check-in process. The only caveat is that it is not the same image from your passport or other approved ID.

  12. Sandy C

    I like that you can get coffee in multiple locations, but can you use your coffee card at all those locations or is it still only usable at the Cove Cafe?

  13. Jared Telford

    We booked a cruise on this ship in February but looking on line at the deck plans it showed lots of areas were not complete or under construction. Is the ship complete or are there areas still being added?

  14. Dee

    Scott, would you say it’s a nice cruise for teenagers? (15,16). I mean they will have things to do? (Accept the vibe)
    Thank you!

  15. KYLE

    I feel like this ship leaves me indifferent compared to the classics and the dream/fantasy. A multi-year dream of mine was to sail on the maiden voyage of the newest ship when they announced these new builds. Sadly, once the teaser and hype videos from Disney started rolling out, there was nothing compelling enough to make me shell out the dough. To be sure, I’ll try the Wish, but there’s something “off” about it compared to the rest of the DCL. No doubt, either way, it’ll be a hit with central Florida vacationers looking to maximize their Disney time. Bottom line: The Wish leaves me “wishing” for more.


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