Sunday, May 23, 2021

Update: All Disney Wonder Cruises are Canceled Until July 19th and all Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy Cruises are Canceled Until the End of July 2021

It's been over a week since this announcement was made, but on May 14th on the DCL website, Disney announced that all cruises on the Wonder are canceled through July 12th, with cruises scheduled to resume on July 19th.  It was also announced that all cruises on the Dream and Fantasy are canceled until the end of July.  On the Dream, cruises will resume on August 2nd, and on the Fantasy, cruises will resume on August 7th.  The Magic is not impacted by this announcement, as it will be doing the special Magic at Sea cruises during the summer.  

Well, another month of this year's summer cruises isn't going to happen.  But there is some hope for the Alaskan cruises!  Cruise ships like the Wonder aren't allowed to dock at any Canadian port until February 2022.  This makes Disney's Alaskan cruises impossible because they all start and end in Vancouver.  A while ago I wrote about what could happen to save these Alaskan cruises.  I thought that by removing the requirement for foreign-registered ships to visit a port in another country, Alaskan cruises from Seattle or Seward in Washington would be possible.  However, I thought that this would be unlikely.  Well, earlier this month, the US Senate approved the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act.  If this act passes, the Passenger Vessel Services Act will be suspended in Alaska, removing the requirement for cruises to visit another country.  In addition to making Alaskan cruises from Washington possible, the act will help Alaska's economy.  Disney hasn't made any changes to this year's remaining Alaskan cruises, but they say they will "continue to evaluate various options".  We'll see what happens!

All of the people affected by this suspension can either get a full refund or a 125% future cruise credit (if they've completely paid off their cruise).  As always, Disney will extend it if necessary, so be sure to check the DCL website for the latest information.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Once Upon a Disney Wish Was Great, but it Didn't Mention Everything

If you're reading my blog, there's a pretty good chance you've already watched the Once Upon a Disney Wish presentation from April 29th.  So many exciting features were announced in the video, and if you haven't watched it yet, I suggest you watch it before reading this.

I really enjoyed last week's presentation.  In the nearly 36-minute video, DCL gave us a look at many new features that will debut on the Wish.  The AquaMouse looks like fun, there are a lot of pools, the rotational restaurants are all completely new and different from what we've seen before, the new Walt Disney Theatre looks nice, the Star Wars:  Hyperspace Lounge makes me wish I was an adult, and the new Oceaneer Club makes me wish that I wasn't too old to enjoy it.  There were quite a few surprises, and I was so happy to finally learn about them.

But while the video was awesome, there were some other Wish announcements made on the same day.  Disney updated the Wish's website on the day of the presentation with some more information about the ship.  If you only watched Once Upon a Disney Wish, you might not have heard about these announcementsThey're just as interesting as what was announced in the video, so, in this post, we're giving them the attention they deserve.

Let's start off with a big one.  The Wish's itineraries were announced!  Its first cruise, the maiden voyage, will be a 5-night Bahamian cruise starting on June 9th, 2022.  This cruise will stop at Nassau and Castaway Cay and spend two days at sea.  For the rest of the summer, the Wish will be doing what we predicted.  From Port Canaveral, it'll alternate between 3-night Bahamian cruises and 4-night Bahamian cruises, with both stopping at Nassau and Castaway Cay.  This is what the Dream has done its entire life, and since it's moving to Miami, the Wish will take over its former job.

Another big announcement was the Wish's deck plans.  Thanks to these deck plans, we now know that the Wish will have fifteen guest decks!  That's one more than the Dream and Fantasy have!  I wasn't expecting this, because the Wish is only going to be a little bit larger than those ships.  But hey, I'm not complaining!  There are two versions of the deck plans.  One is on the normal DCL deck plans site, and the other is at the bottom of the Wish's website.  The one on the normal DCL deck plans site shows stateroom numbers, but many of the most interesting decks, like Deck 3, are completely blank.  The Wish's website plans don't have any empty decks. Instead, they just have some areas with the label, "More Magic Coming..."  Strangely, the normal plans only list fourteen decks, while the plans on the Wish's website have all fifteen.  This is probably an error, and I think the normal plans will be fixed when more about the Wish gets announced.

The deck plans also show that the Wish will only have two elevator lobbies, instead of the three on each of the current DCL ships.  Each lobby will have eight elevators.  One is between Forward and Midship, and the other is between Midship and Aft.  They're pretty close to the center of the ship, so getting to them shouldn't be a problem.  This is the fifth DCL ship, they know what they're doing by now.

This two elevator lobby layout could cause a problem, though.  Since there's no elevators directly in Midship, which is aligned with the Forward funnel, how are people who can't climb stairs going to get up to Deck 13, Deck 14, and Deck 15 in the funnel?  Would they have to miss out on whatever is up there?  Possibly, but there could be a special elevator that's only in the funnel to allow access to those three decks.  The deck plans don't show anything there, but I'm sure Disney's already figured that problem out.
Another cool feature that wasn't mentioned in the video is that the family pools all have names.  There are six family pools located between the funnels, and each belongs to a character from the Mickey Mouse universe.  On Deck 11, there's Mickey's Pool, Minnie's Pool, Daisy's Pool, and Pluto's Pool.  Donald's Pool and Goofy's Pool are on Deck 12.  Mickey, Donald, and Goofy all have pools on the previous DCL ships.  Mickey's Pool and Donald's Pool are on the Dream and Fantasy, and Goofy's Pool is on the Magic and Wonder.  Minnie, Daisy, and Pluto are all first-time pool owners.  I think this spread-out pool situation is going to work well.  Instead of everyone cramming into two pools, people will be spread out between many pools.  It's not what I had in mind for the Wish's pools, but it's probably going to work better than what I was thinking.

While we're on the topic of pools, let's talk about what wasn't announced about the AquaMouse.  During the video, it was announced that the AquaMouse will be a 760 foot long slide.  Pretty long, right?  Well, did you know that the AquaDuck on the Dream and Fantasy is actually five feet longer than the AquaMouse?  This difference is in no way noticeable, and it won't affect how fun the slide is.  Since a section of the AquaMouse takes riders up, a ride on the AquaMouse will likely take longer than a ride on the AquaDuck.  Even though it's a bit shorter than the AquaDuck, I think it'll be a lot of fun. 
Could you imagine if Disney had mentioned that the AquaDuck is longer than the AquaMouse during the presentation?  "The brand new AquaMouse is a whole five feet shorter than the AquaDuck water coaster on the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy!"  That doesn't make the slide look good, so it's probably good they left that detail out of the video.

If you're like me, while watching the presentation, you noticed that they never talked about the Oceaneer Lab.  Well, this is because there is no Oceaneer Lab on the Wish.  Instead, everything that would've been in the Lab is in the Oceaneer Club.  Consolidating the youth clubs for ages 3-12 will make the club more straightforward for kids, parents, and counselors.  It'll be especially helpful when kids are getting checked out from the club.  Instead of looking through two separate areas for a kid, the counselors will only have a single area to find kids in.  

The video presentation spent a lot of time talking about the Oceaneer Club, but it didn't even mention Edge or Vibe.  On the Wish, Edge will be on Deck 5.  It'll be themed after New York City, which is different from the versions of Edge on the Dream and Fantasy.  Vibe will be on Deck 12, and it'll be inspired by Parisian lofts.  This is suiting, because Vibe will be pretty close to Enchant√©, the adults-only French restaurant.  I'm hoping for more information about these youth clubs in the future!

Once Upon a Disney Wish spent some time focused on the new Walt Disney Theatre and the revamped Aladdin show that will debut in it, but it didn't talk about the Buena Vista Theatre.  This is because the Wish won't have one!  In its place, there'll be two separate movie theatres, the Wonderland Theatre on the port side of Deck 4 and the Never Land Theatre on the starboard side of Deck 4.  These two theatres are right next to the Walt Disney Theatre, so hopefully the showtimes are coordinated to prevent multiple theatres letting guests out at the same time.  Thanks to these theatres, it'll be possible to show three movies in the theatres at a time on the Wish.  That'll be very handy for cruises that happen shortly after a new Marvel or Star Wars movie releases.

Lastly, did you know that the Wish will be the first DCL ship to feature staterooms above the bridge.  These rooms will have amazing views, and many of them will be concierge rooms.  On the four current DCL ships, Senses is above the bridge.  On the Wish, Senses is now on Deck 5, and it features a sundeck that'll probably be pretty similar to the Vibe sundeck on the Dream and Fantasy.

Once Upon a Disney Wish was great, even though it didn't talk about all the announcements.  There's still so much that needs to be announced!  Cabanas?  Poolside restaurants?  Eye Scream?  Shops?  We'll more about those in the future.  I want to learn more about Luna and the Hero Zone.  I'm thinking Luna is the new D Lounge and the Hero Zone is the new Goofy's Sports Deck, but we'll see how DCL surprises us.  Bookings for cruises on the Wish open later this month, so hopefully we'll get some more information about the ship before then.  As they said in the video, "Wishes do come true", so if we wish for more information, I'm sure we'll get it.  Eventually.