Travel writer Jo Kessel filmed onboard Disney Wish on a three-night voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida, to the Bahamas. During her trip, as well as meeting Mickey and Minnie, she experienced a plethora of cruising firsts, from eating in a Frozen restaurant to sipping smoking cocktails in a Star Wars-themed bar and enjoying her first-ever fireworks display at sea.
No cruise line sprinkles the fairy dust quite like Disney.
Disney Wish is the entertainment giant’s fifth cruise ship and it’s bigger, bolder and more enchanting than all its predecessors, working hard to cater for adults as much as for youngsters.
Jo Kessel on Disney Wish, the entertainment giant’s fifth cruise ship, during a three-night voyage from Port Canaveral, Florida, to the Bahamas
No cruise line sprinkles the fairy dust quite like Disney, says Jo. She took this picture of Disney Wish from Disney’s private Bahamian island Castaway Cay
‘Order a coffee at the Wishing Star Cafe and you’ll find a mouse floating on your cappuccino (above),’ Jo reveals
Its two iconic red funnels say it all. On the outside, the 4,000-passenger ship resembles a classic ocean liner, but its interior (and spirit) is anything but.
The Disney magic starts the moment you step on board and into the ship’s glittering Grand Hall – a replica of the ballroom where Cinderella meets Prince Charming. Both Cinderella and her invisible fairy godmother are on the ship, waving wands to ensure that everyone’s wishes come true!
We sail from Port Canaveral, Florida, to the Bahamas, where it’s very hot indeed – and my wish is to take a dip.
So that’s where the video starts, on top deck, where there are nine pools – six centre-ship, a couple at the back and an adult-only one at the front.
This being Disney means that Mickey, Minnie and Goofy are never far away. However old you are, however much of a Grinch you may be, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the magic of spotting them and chatting with them. I have a lovely tete-a-tete with Donald Duck!
Kessel on a Disney vessel: The video starts on top deck, where there nine pools – six centre-ship (above), a couple at the back and an adult-only one at the front
‘I had a lovely tete-a-tete with Donald Duck!’ says Jo, adding: ‘This being Disney means that Mickey, Minnie and Goofy are never far away’
Disney Wish has a superb wraparound promenade deck where walking laps helps build up stamina to chase Mickey. And once this is done there are lots of great places to chill both on board and off. My favourite is a giant ring on Disney’s private Bahamian island Castaway Cay.
This is where the video heads next – Disney Wish stops at this island paradise on every sailing – and it’s the perfect vantage point to admire the ship’s exterior. Check out Rapunzel’s long golden locks on the ship’s stern.
Back on board, the attention to detail is remarkable and bright eyes will spot Mickey and Minnie in unlikely places.
Water relaxing spot: Jo floats in a ring at Castaway Cay – an ‘island paradise’
From pitstop Castaway Cay, Jo can see Rapunzel’s ‘long golden locks’ on the ship’s stern (above)
The camera catches their image on towels, chairs, soap, you name it. Order a coffee at the Wishing Star Cafe and you’ll find a mouse floating on your cappuccino. It brings barista skills to a whole new level!
Mickey’s even got a hand in the liner’s first-ever attraction at sea – a water coaster called AquaMouse.
POV footage of the splashy two-and-a-half-minute-long ride sees me swerving and swooping on a raft through a tube that loops above top deck and powers through the ship’s fake front funnel.
Jo braves the AquaMouse water coaster, the liner’s first ever attraction at sea. ‘It’s a whole ton of splashy fun,’ she declares
It’s a whole ton of splashy fun – apologies for the high decibel squeals!
Accommodation comes next and mine’s a deluxe balcony cabin. Above my bed is a picture from the Princess and the Frog that is so enchanting that I long to step inside it, Mary Poppins-style.
Even more enchanting, however, is the liner’s first ever penthouse built in a funnel.
It’s the duplex Wish Tower Suite, which sleeps eight, has cool bunks for the kids, Bulgari toiletries in its bathrooms and costs from £15,000 ($18,000) for a three-night voyage.
The video offers a peek inside Jo’s deluxe balcony cabin, pictured
‘Above my bed is a picture from the Princess and the Frog that is so enchanting that I long to step inside it, Mary Poppins-style,’ Jo says of her cabin
Above is one of the bathrooms in the duplex Wish Tower Suite, the liner’s first ever penthouse built in a funnel
The Wish Tower Suite (above) costs from £15,000 ($18,000) for a three-night voyage
Spiderman teaches Jo how to spin a web at the Marvel Superhero Academy
Die-hard Disney fans will love how it overlooks the balcony where Mickey, Minnie et al hold meet-and-greets.
A Disney cruise with the brood means a break for Mum and Dad. The ship’s age-banded kids clubs are seriously cool – so cool that it’s got its own Marvel Superhero Academy.
Get lucky and Spiderman might teach you how to spin a web. Most kids would rather stay here than be returned to their parents.
The Star Wars-themed bar’s intergalactic cocktails ‘come fiery hot and smoking’
A three-night cruise on Disney Wish leaving Port Canaveral on October 14, 2022, costs from £1,886pp
A three-night cruise on Disney Wish leaving Port Canaveral on October 14, 2022 (visit www.disneyholidays.co.uk or call 0800 169 0742) costs from £1886pp, including a one-night pre-cruise stay in Orlando, flights from Gatwick airport and transfers. Cruises can be bookended by stays at Disney theme parks in Orlando.
The video ends with what Disney does best: entertainment. On Disney Wish this is frequently served up with food and beverages.
Disney’s first-ever Frozen-themed restaurant is set in Arendelle where, while you tuck into Nordic-inspired dishes (think Viking loaf bread, baked scallops and Norwegian pancakes) you can sing along with Frozen’s cast as they perform numbers from the movie.
Chat to them later at your table and Anna might tell you how her Snow Queen sister Elsa put permafrost on her tiara to shine it up a little!
Remember how this is a ship as much for grown-ups as kids? Well, the adult-only Star Wars-themed bar proves it.
Step inside the Hyperspace Lounge and it really does feel like you’re orbiting space.
As for its intergalactic cocktails, they come fiery hot and smoking. Book early or you might not get in. It’s very popular.
The finale is a jaw-dropping fireworks display (fear not, these pyrotechnics are fish-friendly) which follows a once-a-voyage pirate party on top deck.
It’s hard to believe that this can all be done from a ship at sea, but then again, this is Disney. It casts a spell on us all.
For more videos from Jo, visit her YouTube channel – Go With Jo.
Disney Wish measures 39m (128ft) wide and 341m (1,119ft) long – and weighs 144,000 gross tonnes
Jo recommends carefully planning your visit to the Star Wars-themed bar (above). ‘Book early or you might not get in. It’s very popular,’ she says
The ship has 15 decks and can accommodate 4,000 guests in its 1,254 cabins. Above is one of the ship’s sea view staterooms
DISNEY WISH BY THE NUMBERS
- Disney Wish is Disney Cruise Line’s fifth ship.
- It measures 39m (128ft) wide and 341m (1,119ft) long – and weighs 144,000 gross tonnes.
- It has 15 decks and can accommodate 4,000 guests (at full capacity) in its 1,254 cabins.
- There are 1,555 international crew members on board.
- Disney Wish runs on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and has a 19.5-knot cruising speed (maximum 23 knots).
- The Wish Tower Suite has nearly 2,000 square feet of living space, sleeps eight and has 4.5 bathrooms (a point-five bathroom has just a toilet and sink, no tub or shower).