Quite simply, Disney ships are elegant masterpieces of the sea. Disney takes inspiration from the golden age of the liner, and as such both the exterior and interior features lavish designs. Whether that’s the dual funnels (more about a secret that sits within the funnel in a later blog), the elegant interiors and rich environments – something which will sort families, couples and adults of all ages.
As with all Disney ships, at the aft the name is adorned with a famous Disney character painting the name, in this case Rapunzel, with over 60 feet of hair!
What really impressed me from my time on board is that Disney Wish has been visioned from the ground up around creating experiences. Our whole time on board the ship was an immersive journey – whether that’s spending time in one of the many lounges and bars, watching shows in the Grand Hall, meeting your favourite Disney characters or enjoying the various activities on board
Adults will be perfectly at home on board Disney Wish. Unlike previous ships, on the Wish adult-only spaces are for the most part integrated into the fabric of the space on board. I’ve likened it to nooks and moments you come across as you the ship. There’s many intimate bars and spaces where you can spend time in. I also found that the theming was subtle and clever for the most part, but still true to Disney storytelling.
The Grand Hall
Let’s start with the Grand Hall. This space is the heart of the ship, and can be compared to Cinderella’s Castle found in the Disney Parks. That is to say, it is the focal point and centrepiece of the ship which features performances throughout the day, character meet and greets, and other activities. There’s even a balcony where various Disney princesses and characters will wave and interact with you. Perhaps the most fun part of this space is the entrance to the kids areas on board, where they are invited to literally slide down into their own spaces (and yes I did do this!).
At the heart of this space is of course Cinderella herself standing pride of place at the bottom of the grand staircase alongside a glass slipper and a cute statue of Lucifer, the cat. But if you look up, there is arguably something even more magical. Adorning the Grand Hall is an incredibly opulent chandelier which represents Cinderella’s transformation by the Fairy Godmother.
The chandelier plays host to a number of light shows throughout the day where the 30,000 LEDs across the hall will pulse and draw in guests. It’s so popular that numerous guests will often lay on the floor of the Hall and wait to look up at the next Chandelier show. So, for instance, on Pirate night, the Chandelier did a playful pirate show. Guests are invited to make wishes throughout the day and cruise creating and overall narrative to your time on board. It is all cleverly designed to draw in your imagination to your shipboard experience.
Stretching from the Grand Hall you will find the various main bars and spaces on board including Nightingales Lounge, The Bayou Lounge, the majority of the shopping on board and some of the other small bars and cafes on board (again I’ll talk more about all of this in a later blog). Even though the ship wasn’t full on our sailing, I didn’t find any space overwhelmed or busy, but a nice balanced level of activity.
Off the Grand Hall you will also find areas including the wrap-around Promenade Deck. A particular feature of this is that you can head right up to the bow for your ‘Rose’ moment overlooking the front of the ship.
There really has been a shift in the design of outdoor space on board Disney Wish. The main pool area spans a number of decks and is tiered around the large main stage area. This stage is used for various performances and activities throughout a typical cruise. The biggest different on this ship is that there isn’t one or two main large pools – instead you have a number of medium-sized plunge pools and wet areas spread across the decks. This is very clever as it allows guests to spread out more but still appreciate the stage area. Even more clever is that all these pools (including one under the stage!) can be covered and become further space to watch events.
As well as the main area, there are plenty of quiet spaces dotted around, including right at the front of the ship where you will also find further pool space.
A particular highlight for me has to be The Quiet Cove area at the aft. This is a stunning space that evokes places such as St Tropez, with oh-so comfortable seating, lounging areas, a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the wake of the ship, together with a bar and café. There has been such attention to detail here to support adults and parents travelling on Wish. It’s a beautiful space and something personally I could spend a lot of time in.
So, what do you think of the whimsical design of Design Wish? Let me know in the comments and on social media.
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