Two-Generation Vacation

Disney Wonder can be fun for adults, too

By: Marcia Levin

This is the first Image
Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island,
provides activities for both
children and adults.
As a veteran cruiser, mother of three grown children and grandmother of nine, I’ve long advocated the concept of cruising as a multi-generational vacation. But what about a two-generation vacation? Grandparents taking grandchildren on trips is quite common these days. And, certain cruise lines, such as Disney, provide an experience tailored for kids that also meets the needs of adults.

Our four-night cruise on the Disney Wonder from Port Canaveral, Fla., to Nassau, Bahamas, and Castaway Cay was a perfect time for us to get to know our 6-year-old grandson Jakob. The trip provided a wonderful adventure for Jakob, and enough activities so that my husband and I were never bored.

A child’s first reaction to the Disney Wonder is exactly that wonder. Jakob’s eyes grew enormous as he spotted the giant mouse ears on the ship’s funnels. And when he heard “When You Wish Upon a Star” sounding as the ship’s horn, he was sold.

Staterooms on the Disney Wonder are designed with families in mind. Not only are the rooms a comfortable size, they feature a unique “split” bathroom. One room holds a sink and commode; the other, a tub, shower and sink, with plenty of H20 Plus Spa bath and shower products to keep adults happy. Recent upgrades also include Sealy Posturepedic Plush Euro-top mattresses and Frette 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens.

The ship’s Vista Spa and Salon were expanded last year to include indoor treatment suites connected to outdoor verandas and personal hot tubs. Adults can enjoy a romantic couples massage or other treatment for two, while kids check out Disney’s famous youth program.

Jakob joined the Oceaneer Club, designed for children 5-7. He and his newfound friends baked chocolate chip cookies, learned to hula with Lilo and Stitch, tried their hands at animation and even performed some science experiments. The full daily roster of activities for Jakob meant that we had plenty of time to relax by the adults-only pool; enjoy a quiet evening in Palo, the adults-only restaurant, or browse the Internet at several Wi-Fi hot spots.

We realized that we could enjoy ourselves without worry, because of the sense of security we felt with the children’s programs. Upon registration, Jakob received a security wristband and we received a pager, so staff members could always reach us if it became necessary.

Not surprisingly, entertainment on the Disney Wonder is a hit with all age groups. Stage shows and an outdoor Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party provided Broadway-caliber fun. And even Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, featured a special area just for adults. But we were having too much fun being grandparents. Once Jakob saw The Flying Dutchman, the 175-foot-long vessel used in the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” film, anchored nearby, he didn’t want to leave.


The Disney Wonder sails three- and four-night Caribbean cruises throughout the year. Its sister ship, the Disney Magic, is celebrating an historic season of Mediterranean cruises during the summer of 2007. And Disney Cruise Line is planning to more than double its capacity. Two additional ships will enter service in 2011 and 2012.


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