Trip log, day one. Port Canaveral, Florida.
5-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida (Maiden Voyage)
July 14, 2022
Guests Onboard: 3:45 pm
Our captain for the Maiden Voyage of the Disney Wish is Marco Nogara. As for our onboard entertainment, Ashley Long is our Cruise Director, Jimmy is also onboard and from what I hear will be taking over Cruise Director duties start with the next sailing, the DVC sailing. During this 5-night Bahamian cruise we will be visiting the ports of , Nassau, Bahamas, and Castaway Cay.
After an 873-day hiatus, our daily trip reports are back! It is hard to believe our last trip report entry was February 23, 2020. As I mentioned, in the Disney Wish first impressions article, I was not planning to write up a daily summary since that was a preview sailing. Well, the time has come to get back in the promenade deck lounger, a Deck 11 table, Keg & Compass table, a booth in The Bayou, and stateroom couch… Seriously, I’ve bounced around this morning (the day after as I am writing this) trying to find a place to settle in to edit some photos and write some paragraphs with some embarssaing grammer and spelling errors to share daily updates from our time onboard the Disney Wish. (I know embarrassing and grammar are spelled wrong in the previous sentence, but that is part of the joke that I now feel obligated to explain.) I hope, especially for those that may be reading a trip report for the first time can overlook these types of issues and enjoy the fun cruising content. After all, this is a trip report, not a master’s thesis.
Prior to the 14th, we had that last hurdle, the pre-cruise testing. We opted for a online proctored test this time as Walgreens which we used for our Christening Cruise testing began charging for travel related tests (at least in Florida, not sure how it is elsewhere) as of July 1st. Emily did a bit on message board research and discovered an online Zoom proctored test from OnPoint, you supply the test and for about $15 per person they will virtually monitor your at home test and provide you the necessary paperwork to upload to Safe Passage. The turnaround time was amazing. We had our PDF test results in minutes following the completion of the Zoom session. I am not endorsing this service, just sharing our experience. I’ve not really covered much in terms on necessary pre-cruise testing since things are always subject to change. I don’t anyone to read an old article and think that is the policy when it may be on a third revision by now. Ultimately, I will continue to refer any upcoming cruise specific questions for testing and other requirements to check Disney Cruise LIne’s Know Before You Go pages. I do not want to share inaccurate or out of date information that could potentially impact your ability to sail since.
Finally, the morning of July 14th arrived. With an 11:15 AM port arrival time in hand and the clear to sail, it was time to drive over to Port Canaveral. I continue to be a park at the port person, for a 5-night cruise, it was $102. The premium over offsite parking to me is worth it in the time it saves waiting for a shuttle and then on the final morning, we can be on the road within 10 minutes of exiting customs. For the most part, guests were arriving within the assigned port arrival times keeping the line of cars which was not backed up at this time moving at a steady pace.
The new checking area in the terminal is great, the line moves smoothly, but at the same time helps manage the line of guests at the security screening just beyond. Once area that was still lacking in the terminal was management of the embarkation line. Guests with later boarding group numbers continue to assemble just outside the embarkation queue blocking the way for guests with boarding groups that have been called. I feel bad for the cast members as they are like those viral holiday shopping videos where shoppers break down the doors to grab the post-Thanksgiving deal. Honestly, I really don’t think there is a good solution, even if you add more Cast Members to manage the crowd, people will people and the Cast Members do not deserve the disrespect.
Since the Disney Wish was idle on the 13th, our staterooms were ready as soon as we were able to board, well ahead of the normal time. Inside the stateroom there was some special Maiden Voyage Castaway Club gifts. Any pre-ordered Maiden Voyage merchandise was also waiting. I’ve been told there were also Maiden Voyage champagne flutes in each stateroom, but I can say with 100% accuracy, not every stateroom received them…
Without a doubt, having the privilege of sailing on the Christening Cruise as an invited guest made to day so much more relaxing. That’s not a humble brag, I am still humbled by the invite and grateful for all our amazing readers and followers over on our social media accounts. Anyway, the point is that I did not have to run around and try to see everything. I can take what I learned from my prior trip and attempt to fill in the voids in my coverage to date.
Mickey & Friends Festival of Food is without a doubt a major upgrade from the upper deck offerings across the other four ships. The addition of a smokehouse BBQ, some of the best quick service pizza ever on a Disney Cruise ship, and my now go to spot, Donald’s Cantina! Best part of these quick service spots, the food is made to order. At the cantina, you build it order just like you would say at Chipotle (but way better) or the pizza is made fresh. Well worth the few minutes for a fresh pie. Over at the smokehouse BBQ, they are not faking it, even the Mac and cheese is elevated.
After a quick lunch, it was time to head up to Cove Café to grab a commemorative Disney Wish bottle of Ferrari Prosecco to add to our Disney Cruise commemorative bottle collection.
One of the areas, I did not have the opportunity to tour during the preview cruise was inside Senses Spa. I’ll share more on the space in the future, but the treatment rooms along are relaxing just by looking at them. The new rainforest room features a number of unique rooms including a cold room. It may look like blocks of ice, but it is actually made of acrylic blocks.
I almost forgot to mention, one of the best things to happen since the restart is the revamped muster drill where you simply go to your assigned muster station anytime before 3:30 PM (or the time specifically noted for your sailing/itinerary) and use the Navigator App to scan the muster station sign. No more waiting for all the passengers to assemble then listen to the safety message, then having to rush up to the upper decks for the sail way events.
Today, was a special day onboard and this is not a normal sail away celebration. In addition the the performance of the Set Sail on a Wish show, there was a champagne toast, with actual Taittinger!!! There was also a zero-proof offering.
Trays of plastic champagne flutes were up on deck for passengers to grab a glass and toast as the Disney Wish departed Port Canaveral on her Maiden Voyage.
Main dining is not ideal for those wishing to enjoy time outside as the ship departs the port. Dinner seating was about to begin just as the Disney Wish passed Jetty Park. A mad dash back to the stateroom and then down the Worlds of Marvel for dinner. (It was worth the rushing since a number of ship’s horns were sounded down at the jetty. I’ll update this trip report entry later with a video.) The show scenes are enjoyable, especially for Marvel fans. The overall show is patterned in the fashion of the shows in Animator’s Palate where there are a short video sequences with longer intermission segments of clips set to a musical score. There are plenty of screens across the restaurant so almost every seat has a view of the show – which if you can watch here. Although, I’d recommend watching onboard live first for the full experience.
The Maiden Voyage merchandise was added to the Inaugural sailings merchandise. I did not notice anything new in terms of Maiden Voyage merchandise that was not part of the pre-order offerings. A significant crowd formed and a line was created to help keep Mickey’s Mainsail from overcrowding. It was best to wait it out and return later in the evening when the crowd dispersed into second dinner seating.
Guest services is now available by appointment only which can be done via the app as well as a virtual queue for chat. From my experience the position bounced up and down and for all I know I am still in the queue. At one point I was 54, then as low as 18, and them I was back to 81. Not exactly sure how this is set up. Unlike some chat or text features at hotels, you cannot submit an question in advance of your chat session and just wait for reply. Another tidbit, we learned, at the end of the sailing you will no longer get a printout of your folio in your stateroom. Now, you must get the information from the Navigator App prior to disembarking the ship. At anytime during the cruise you can view your folio and if needed generate a PDF which can be saved for your records. This is great, but after our last sailing, we we had to email shoreside for a summary of charges. The email was a bit scolding in that we should have know to get this from the app prior to leaving the ship, but to our knowledge this detail was never shared. Hopefully, they can add an auto push notification in the app on the final day to let guests know this is how it is going forward.
Just after 8:30 PM, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral.
We went up to the Quiet Cove to view the launch and discovered an observation deck above the Quiet Cove pools which is actually a smoking area. Stairs are the only way guests can access this area, but there is a motorized chair lift available for those with mobility needs.
While on the subject, I am still trying to figure out how it works at the pools as I do not see any lift chairs and with all the stairs and tiered pools, I am not exactly sure how to answer the question I keep getting on the subject of assessable pools.
The end of the Jungle Cruise was playing on funnel vision and it was impossible to pass up a the opportunity to relax in a lounger and watch the last half of the film when the weather was so nice.
For the seasoned trip report readers out there, you may recall it is typically early to bed, early to rise. Well, sometimes you need to burn the midnight oil to get photos of the Grand Hall with the full fiber optic lighting effects sans people. I think these images are good, but at this point I am not sure since I stayed up past 3 AM and I purposely did not turn off my 6 AM alarm…