Disney Wonder Day 2: Stateroom, Oceaneer Club, Pools, Entertainment & Pyrotechnics, Oh My!

“Home sweet home.”

That is what I referred to our stateroom aboard the Disney Wonder for seven blessed days. Only our home doesn’t have a balcony with ocean views (more than 70 percent of staterooms have them), a door adorned with Mickey, or James, our doting stateroom steward who kept our room meticulously clean.

I have yet to convince my own beloved husband James to follow his fine example.

Sleeping with my kids in the same room is not my top choice but with a curtain partition, bunk beds for the kids and a large comfy bed for Linda and I, it was pretty ideal. The split “bath-and-a-half” design provided us with the convenience of a sink and tub/shower in one room and a sink and toilet in a separate room.

Our stateroom had all makings for a good slumber but I’m a neurotic sleeper and need complete silence. Combine a snoring roommate (who shall remain anonymous) and the creaking of the ship (the only time it testified of its age), I awoke exhausted.

Which is why it made perfect sense to checkout the fitness center.

Disney Cruise Line Fitness Center

The adults-only workout facilities are a part of the Vista Spa & Salon and are open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. The equipment is state-of-the-art with a complete range of cardiovascular and weight machines and classes. There is also an open-air track for walking and jogging, about 1/3 of a mile in length.

When I worked out the first day it sea, the facility was crowded. On the final day on the cruise, it was a ghost town. After a week of leisure and gluttony, I think my fellow devotees instead opted for the buffet.

LinkPerfect Palo

Speaking of food, it doesn’t get any better than Palo, Disney Wonder’s signature adult-only Northern Italian restaurant. After dropping the kids off at Oceaneer Club, Linda and I indulged in the Champagne brunch. The options included made-to-order entrées, seafood, a selection of international cheeses, fresh breads and pastries, desserts, Champagne and mimosas. Favorites were the Eggs Benedict and strawberry-mint soup.

In addition to brunch, Palo also offers elegant dinners. On our final night, we began with antipasti selections and the choice of six different kinds of pizzas. We moved on to fresh pastas and then came seafoods and meats (my classic beef tenderloin with Gorgonzola sauce redefined tender) and our evening was topped off by chocolate souffle dessert.
Our beloved and adorable Italian waiter Daniel summed up our culinary journey by this statement: “It’s a moment you never want to end.”

He was correct but fortunately for my waistline, it eventually did.

Reservations are required for Palo and there is an additional $20 charge for dinner and brunch.

An Expert Opinion of Disney’s Oceaneer Club

When Linda and I retrieved 6-year-old Hadley from Oceaneer Club, she reported: “I made a friend and we pretended we were Captain Hook on the ship.”

She was referring to Captain Hook’s pirate ship straight from Never Land with a treasure chest-themed television set, lamps that resemble barrels, hanging ropes, wooden planks and a glistening fiber-optic night sky.

“Oh, and Bode? All he did was play Mario Kart and just watch TV,” she snitched.

The Club has a computer lab with child-friendly computers, video games and multiple televisions. In 4-year-old Bode’s own defense, “I had the most fun ever.”

To each his own.

Oceaneer Club is open from 9 a.m. to midnight daily for children ages 3 to 10, no reservations are necessary. Bode preferred The Club (which is more geared to younger kids) and Hadley liked the Oceaneer Lab (stay tuned for that review tomorrow).

Water Play

There are three pools on-board the Disney Wonder: Quiet Cove Pool (an adult-only oasis), Goofy’s Pool and Mickey’s Pool a.k.a. my descent into hell.

Let me explain: My kids are finally getting old enough that they can be relatively independent in shallow waters. Goofy’s Pool had an ideal location with a state-of-the-art, jumbo 24-by-14-foot LED screen that played Disney animated or live-action movies poolside. Unfortunately, at a depth of 4 feet, it is too deep for my kids.

That left Mickey’s Pool. In theory, this is a fantastic pool that features Mickey Mouse’s famous smiling face, a maximum depth of 2 feet and a twisting, one-deck-high yellow slide suspended from an over-sized Mickey Mouse hand.

The problem is 85 percent of the ship’s children think this mouse is the cat’s meow. By afternoon, Mickey’s Pool was absolute bedlam every day and my dreams of relaxing poolside in a chaise with a Pina Colada smoothie were replaced by having to keep a vigilant watch they didn’t get trampled.

The kids still loved it, though. Haddie tore up the slide, we grabbed burgers and fries from Pluto’s Dog House (healthier options were at nearby Goofy’s Galley) and topped it off with soft-serve ice cream. Basically, it was every kid’s dream and every parent’s nightmare.

To each their own, Part II.

Tip: To avoid the crowds, skip swimming in the afternoon and go after breakfast or during the first dining hour (around 6 p.m.)
Stay tuned for our favorite moment aboard the Disney Wonder, which happened on our final night in Mickey’s Pool.

On-board Entertainment

Upon returning home from our cruise, I was asked, “Did your kids ever get bored?”

A Disney Cruise is the very antithesis of boredom. Between song-and-dance shows starring our favorite Disney Characters in the Disney Theatre daily to first-run movies like Tangled and Gnomeo and Juliet in the Buena Vista Theatre, magic shows, karaoke, dancing and games, we were never, ever bored.

One of our favorite performances was the Golden Mickey’s, a Disney-esque version of the Academy Awards. We arrived with fanfare: Paparrazi snapping pictures, red carpet and even a “celebrity” reporter who interviewed the little ones. The show combined live-action theatre from talented performances with our favorite clips from Disney films, an emotional tribute to Walt Disney and pyrotechnics.

It doesn’t get much better than that for kids.


If you missed it:
*It’s a Wonder Cruising with Disney: A Day-by-day Guide
*Day 0.5: If Getting There is Half the Fun Then I’m in Trouble
*Day 1: Kids Club, Sail Away Party and Fat Kitty Stowaway
*Day 2: Stateroom, Oceaneer Club, Pools, Entertainment & Pyrotechnics, Oh My!
*Day 3: Our Slacker Character Breakfast, Oceaneer Lab’s Little Red Hen and the Magic of Animator’s Palate
*Day 4: Puerto Vallarta, Boogie Boarding and Not-nude Beaches
*Days 5 & 6: Cabo, Lands End, A Brush with Death and a Newfound Love
*Day 7: Farewells & Our Favorite Moment of the Trip

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