Magic and wonder - Disney Wonder to be more precise - sailed into Sydney Harbour late last week, bringing with it a brand new style of cruising to Australian waters.
As the ship prepared for its maiden Australian season, Traveltalk was invited onboard for a look at what Australian cruisers can look forward to.
Contrary to popular belief, Disney Cruise Line’s clientele is not just families with children. Disney is just as much for the young as it is for the young at heart. After all, we’re all somebody’s kids.
One crew member confirmed Disney sees many solo travellers and kid-free couples eager to connect with Disney’s brand of magic at sea.
Disney Wonder features a very art nouveau and elegant style akin to Disney’s trademark castle. Keen fans of Disney’s films may spot pieces all around including the beautiful Grand Hall Chandelier inspired by Ariel’s flower from The Little Mermaid, patterned carpet like you might find in Aladdin’s home of Agrabah and much more.
Catering expertly to children as Disney does, four kids’ clubs can be found onboard with each catering to a different age bracket, but there are also adults-only spaces onboard including a classic British pub, many lounges, a high-end restaurant and an adults-only pool.
Of course, the biggest difference any traveller will find on Disney Wonder compared to any other cruise line is the parade of famous characters we all know and grew up with - Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto and many more from the world of Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. They’re all here and easily spotted wandering the ship frequently.
In the theatre, these characters and many more dance and sing both classic and contemporary numbers to Broadway standard in ‘Disney Dreams’ - one of several epic productions guests will enjoy during their time onboard.
The musical production tells the story of the power of dreams and family, with a litany of familiar songs from Disney films including Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Cinderella, Aladdin and more – all of which the audience can sing along with.
One of Disney’s unique dining experiences is ‘Animator’s Palace’ which literally brings your imagination to life over a hearty, delicious dinner.
With characters adorning the walls and high-definition screens all around, the magic of Disney animation is the show here, as diners are asked to draw a picture of themselves on a placemat at their seat, which is collected by Disney's 'cast members'.
Then, later in the dining service, these drawings come to life before your eyes through the magic of animation as your creation becomes a Disney character in its own right.
Menu items at Animator’s Palate are somewhat high-end for an experience kids would love, with entrée options including Smoked Salmon Tartar, Black Truffle Pasta and Tomato Tarte.
Diners can also select from a hearty range of soups and salads, or highly tantalising tuna steak, chicken breast, pork chops, angus beef and more. There are also vegetarian options including black bean chipotle cakes or sesame halloumi parcels and if seafood is your thing, the oven-baked salmon is one of the more popular dishes.
But for those who go cruising for the destinations, Disney Cruise Line brings that to you much earlier in the voyage, with the ship very much the destination. Ports are an added bonus.
Subscription successful! Thank you for subscribing.