My wife and I fell in love with Disney Cruise Line immediately after our first cruise and first ever cruise on the Dream in September 2015. Within 3 years of our first cruise we had taken all 11 Disney cruises to be on the Dream except for 1. One of the reasons we were able to do this was because we are based in Florida. I had the Disney Cruise Line Florida Resident Discounts website as my home page and was looking for a cruise we could take. Port Canaveral is only about 7 hours away for us and these 3 night weekend cruises on the Dream have generally been affordable and easy for us to fit into our schedule.
After sailing the Dream so many times, 13 voyages since writing this article, the Dream has become ‘home’ for us. Whether it’s a favorite crew member, an activity, food, a place to hang out, or just the ship in general; Cruisers develop a bond with their favorite ship. I always call the door we entered on deck 3 the “happy and sad door”. Stepping on board, hearing your name, and then all the different crew members saying “Welcome home” really made it feel like home. Of course when we had to say goodbye that same entrance became the sad door as tears flowed, especially when we hadn’t booked another cruise yet.
When news of Disney’s newest ship, the Wish, broke in August 2019, I was excited because I knew anything Disney would design after their years of experience would be incredible. Later, when the itineraries were announced and I saw that the Dream was moving to Miami, my heart sank knowing I wouldn’t be able to hop aboard the Dream for a quick weekend getaway. How would I feel about the wish? Would I develop the same bond with her as in the dream? The questions began to flood my mind.
Thanks to Disney’s Castaway Club Platinum status, our fabulous travel agent at Dreams Unlimited was able to book us a room aboard Wish for her maiden voyage. My wife and I were both incredibly excited but also terrified of how we would feel about boarding a new ship. In the days leading up to the maiden voyage, I avoided any social media posts or reviews of the preview cruises, which various Disney content creators and celebrities had taken part in, so I could step into the ship with a fresh perspective. I didn’t want any preconceived notions or opinions about the desire.
The day came, we boarded the Wish for her maiden voyage and from the moment you stepped on board it was evident that Disney had truly designed a ‘Castle on the Sea’. As I rotated 360 degrees in the Grand Hall on the Wish to take it all in, the first thought that came to mind was, “Disney took a luxury resort and placed it by the sea.” Everywhere I looked, I felt elegant and my mind went back and forth between standing in the middle of Cinderella Castle and in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort. It quickly became apparent that the wish was in a class of its own and that meant I had to adjust my thought process.
While I could certainly write a review on the Disney Wish, this article is all about helping you keep perspective when sailing on a new ship. Whether it’s Disney’s newest ship, a ship you’ve never sailed on, or even another cruise line; Here are my tips on how to embark on another ship.
1. Be wary of reviews you read or watch online
Each of us has our own ideas and feelings about the things we like. Just like the age-old argument, “Is Disneyland better than Disney World,” each person will feel differently. It’s still a good idea to read or watch reviews to get an idea of things you might want to try, but keep an open mind to your own views.
2. Realize that not all ships can be the same
Just like people, not every ship can be the same. Why else would they build other ships? In the case of DCL, there are currently 3 ship classes: Classics (Magic & Wonder), Dream class (Dream & Fantasy) and the Triton class (Wish). Overall, if you’re sailing on ships of the same class, they’ll be almost identical, but there are still subtle differences. There are usually major changes between ship classes, such as: B. on the Wish the removal of midships elevators.
3. Adjust your perspective and try not to compare
While this tip doesn’t necessarily apply to other cruise lines, the Disney Wish example is somewhat unique. I found I enjoyed them a lot more when I remembered what Disney told us the wish would be “a castle on the sea.” Once I allowed myself to compare desire to dream or fantasy, I quickly began to nitpick about every little thing that was different, longing for the dream rather than living in the moment I was with busy with the wish.
4. Allow yourself to have new experiences
Don’t board a new ship and immediately try to recreate your experiences on other ships or search for your favorite food or drink. Explore the ship, discover new experiences and menus. Instead of saying to yourself, “I’ll be so disappointed if XYZ isn’t on board,” you’ll be amazed when you find out there’s something you like on that other ship. A great example of this was for me the discovery that Wish had the “All Hands on Deck Cheese Platter” on their room service menu. While I was a little sad that some other things I liked about room service weren’t there, that was offset by the large number of offerings they had in express service. It’s about perspective and compromise.
Switching from Dream to Wish was a challenge for me as it was a very different experience but even as I sit here and read my own advice I’m excited to sail Wish in the future to do all the things experience that we didn’t have the opportunity to be on the maiden voyage. Don’t let what someone else said put you off trying a new ship. Go live your life and create new memories for you and your family! Who knows, you might discover your new home by the sea.