Have you already booked a cruise on the Disney Wonder with your kids or are you just thinking about one? For a parent, one of the biggest concerns about cruising with children is whether there will be enough family fun and entertainment to occupy the kids during the voyage. Rest assured, Disney Cruise Line has got you covered!
In part one of this two part series, I shared details about the youth clubs that are available on the ship and in today’s part two, I’ll cover the family fun you can enjoy together. Let’s face it — your kids may not wish to visit the youth clubs; some kids just prefer to hang out with the family. I’m so glad my boys are still at an age that they willingly spend time with me, and I soak up every minute I can get! In the blink of an eye they’ll be all grown up, so I want to enjoy as much family fun as possible.
During my family’s Alaska cruise on the Disney Wonder, my kids went to the youth clubs the first evening and when my husband and I had brunch at Palo. The rest of the cruise we filled our days and nights with tons of family fun. So let’s take a photo tour of the fantastic options offered aboard the Disney Wonder — and remember you can click on any image to get a better look.
On the first day of the cruise, as well as other times through out the voyage, the youth clubs will offer open houses so that kids and their parents can spend time together in the facility.
Take a Class
During our voyage, animation classes were offered on sea days; we had a blast creating hilarious sketches. I have some very creative people in my family, don’t you think?
You will not find a better way to meet your favorites than on a Disney cruise — the characters are plentiful and the lines are short. Meet and Greets are scheduled throughout the day, and my youngest son and I hit several of them.
See a Movie or Show
The Buena Vista Theatre is a beautiful stadium-style seating cinema that features first-run films and 3-D movies from early in the morning to late each evening during the cruise. The seats are comfy and every one offers a great view of the massive screen. There is also the Walt Disney Theatre that offers live Broadway-style shows several nights of the voyage. My family and I are huge theatre fans and we made sure we saw all of the performances. The Disney themed musicals were some of the highlights of our trip.
Do you have any young performers in your family? Even though my kids are shy of the limelight, we had a wonderful time listening to other rising stars belt out favorite Disney tunes during Family Karaoke at Studio Sea. Just a word of warning — they will let multiple children sing the same song so if hearing “Let it Go” sung 14 times is going to make you nuts, you’ll be happy to know beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are served in the family lounge.
Check Out the Art
Several hallways of the Disney Wonder are filled with incredible Disney inspired works of art. My family and I enjoyed looking at all of the unique pieces created by many talented artists.
Enjoy the Scenery
The scenery on the Alaskan cruise is truly remarkable. Although we live in the gorgeous state of Colorado, the beauty and colors of the landscape were like nothing we’d ever seen before. I was actually surprised how much my boys enjoyed just standing out on the deck, sipping hot chocolate, and taking it all in.
A cruise wouldn’t be complete without a bit of good old-fashioned relaxation time. Even though my boys prefer being on-the-go most of the time, they liked taking a few minutes to kick back and relax on the deck.
Have a Meal
Everyone expects an abundance of food on a cruise, and the Disney Wonder did not disappoint. Rather than eating a quick meal by the pool or at the buffet, my family and I had a few lunches dining at the table service restaurant that was open. It was a nice change of pace and a much more relaxing meal than the other options available. The restaurant was peaceful and quiet midday, so we were able to take our time eating and talking about our adventures.
Play on the Sports Deck
Most kids like to be active, so the Sports Deck is a perfect place to head to when the kiddos need to let off some steam. My family and I had great fun playing a Foosball tournament against each other and shooting some hoops.
Explore the Ship
It’s always fun to explore some place new, so my kids and I spent a little time each day checking out the Disney Wonder. By the end of the cruise, we had covered the entire ship from end to end and top to bottom. We discovered lots of interesting places and knew the ship backwards and forwards.
Explore a Town
Exploring a port town is a wonderful way to spend a day of your cruise. We spent a few hours wandering around Skagway checking out all of the cute shops. It reminded us a lot of our many mountain towns here in Colorado – quaint, charming, and filled with history.
Go on an Excursion
There is probably no easier way to keep the kids entertained and engaged than to go on an excursion. There are no shortage of options on the Disney Cruise to Alaska. My family and I enjoyed three adventures during our voyage: We went dog sledding in Juneau, rode the train in Skagway, and took a sightseeing flight in Ketchikan. Be sure to click the links to read in-depth stories about each of the excursions including lots of photos. The dog sledding excursion was by far our favorite!
Do Some Shopping
Who doesn’t love to buy a souvenir or two? My family and I had a terrific time browsing and found many fantastic items on the ship and in the port towns.
Try a Dance Party
Everyone loves a good party! Even if you don’t want to dance, it is fun just to watch all of the action. During our cruise, my boys and I hit every party including the Sail Away Party, the Pixar Pals Dance Party, and the Farewell Party. Each one is filled with music, dancing, characters, and surprises.
My family and I love bingo. Every year we play at my kids’ elementary school bingo fundraiser, so when we saw that bingo was offered on the Disney Wonder we were super excited! During our voyage, we played several rounds and had tons of family fun; that’s right, even the kiddos can play. Please click here to read about our bingo adventures including photos and video.
Have a Treat
Everyone needs to take a break for a treat (or two, or three) every once in a while. My family and I took full advantage of the ice cream by the pool and extra desserts at meal time. Yummy!
Play a Game
Throughout the cruise many games were offered at the family lounge, Studio Sea, and at other locations on the ship; my family and I played several of them. We are Wheel of Fortune fans, so we naturally had to make time for The Disney Wheel. We happened to be sailing with fellow TouringPlans blogger, Erin Foster, and part of her family, so we all met up for a challenging game of wheel — kids versus parents. I’m proud to say that the parents pulled out a victory, but it was a close one. My youngest son and I also competed in the family game show Mickey Mania. It was another tough match filled with Disney trivia from movies to theme parks, but my son and I managed to win first place. He was very excited to receive a trophy!
Take a Nap
You can also enjoy some family time by just taking an hour or so to take a nap. You’ll wake up refreshed and ready to go for more family fun!
Go for a Swim
Now I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this for the Alaska cruise, although we did see some people doing it, but normally pool time is a big hit with the kids. The pools are heated, so if you can stand the actual outside air temperature, you are good to go!
Make a Friend
Even if your kids don’t spend time in the youth clubs, they can make new friends on their voyage by getting to know the crew. During our cruise, we got to know several of the crew members that helped out with all of the family events. My kids enjoyed talking with them at each activity that we participated in.
Watch the Sunset
Almost like watching Wishes at Magic Kingdom, a perfect way to end a day of family fun is to stand out on the deck and watch the sunset. The view is breathtaking and made even better by sharing it with your loved ones!
There is just so much family fun offered aboard the Disney Wonder, you and your family are sure to fill the days and nights of your cruise with memories to last a lifetime!