My family is no stranger to Disney. We’ve visited the parks in Orlando more times than I can count, and even made a stop at Disneyland a few years back during a California road trip. And ages ago, I took my young son and goddaughter on a Disney cruise for the very first time and they absolutely loved it. But on these excursions, parenting superceded any adult time away we could have had. In short, it was all about the kids.
With the kids all grown up now, we are empty nesters. Yet, because of the ongoing pandemic, it has been awhile since we’ve taken a real vacation. So when I had the opportunity to take a trip on the inaugural sailing of the Disney Wish cruise ship, I leapt at the chance. And we invited another couple along to live it up with us.
This time around, we decided our party of four would focus entirely on what it’s like to experience a Disney cruise as an adult. Would our middle-aged crew find enough to do on a ship where Mickey and Minnie are the star attraction? Or would it feel like one big massive three-day-long playdate?
The answer came rather quickly.
As we boarded the ship, we were greeted by a Disney crew member who announced our arrival like we were the real VIPs. It was a nice touch. We entered midship on deck 3, which is the heartbeat of the ship, with shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment spaces in abundance. At the center of it all was an enormous swirling chandelier that helped set the tone for the elegance we hoped we were about to experience.
After all the oohs and aahs and picture-taking, we decided to fill our grumbling tummies with some eats.
For me, this would be the first litmus test.
I’ll admit it: The foodie in me makes it hard to appreciate any meals that aren’t thoughtfully prepared. And I’ve had my share of buffet fails. So I was hoping that this first stop wouldn’t disappoint. We headed up to deck 11 to the Marceline Market, Disney’s version of an upscale food hall. There were a myriad of stations circling the deck, each with a different global influence. I opted for lamb chops and a little chateaubriand with seasonal vegetables, a pretty side salad and some prosciutto charcuterie. Hubby grabbed some chicken tiki masala that looked so good I had to sneak a few bites from his hefty plate.
The food was flavorful, and the portions were plentiful. Our first meal on the ship was a success, and I felt a wave of relief wash over me.
Next up: a visit to The Cove on deck 13, the adults-only section with an infinity pool, hot tubs and bar with a tropical-themed drink menu. The ocean views were absolutely breathtaking, and the bartenders were accommodating. My only quibble: the size of the infinity pool—it was a bit cozier than I was comfortable with, especially with Covid still a lingering concern. Otherwise, we lounged and laughed the rest of the day away as we finally set sail.
We had the second dinner seating, which gave us plenty of time to get to our deluxe family stateroom, large enough to sleep 5, unpack our bags and change for dinner for our first sit-down meal in restaurant 1923. It was comparable to the fine dining we’ve had at home, complete with a diverse menu, and impeccable service. Cornwall, our head maitre’d, took good care of us the entire week, as he and his team traveled with us each night to the various dining experiences we had on the ship.
After dinner, hubby was itching to get to what was, for him, the highlight of the entire trip: a visit to the Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge. The waitlist was longer than we expected, but the hostess worked hard to get us in. Once we finally entered the adults-only space, we couldn’t believe how packed it was. It was like a scene straight out of the movie—only thing missing was Chewbacca!
After cocktails, we quietly retired to our stateroom to rest up for the next day: a stay on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. We’d had an incredible first day. But there was so much more in store. Stay tuned for part 2.