Luxurious touches add sparkle to Disney’s newest cruise ship

Disney Wish, the cruise line’s first new ship in 10 years, has upped the ante for a brand already considered a luxury brand. For more than $25,000, guests can live like royalty in two-story suites with spiral staircases and whirlpool tubs on the verandah. There’s also an expansive spa and a $5,000 “experience” drink at the adult-only Star Wars bar.

These are among the many new luxury features on board the disney wish, sailing from Port Canaveral on three- and four-day cruises to the Bahamas in mid-July.

Ever since the Disney magic Debuting in 1998, the cruise line’s ships have won numerous awards for best family cruises. Disney cruises charge a premium for their many kids’ clubs, “free” sodas, fine dining choices, and fireworks nights. They typically cost two to four times more than cruises aboard mainstream lines like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, according to consumer travel website Points Guy.

For Disney fans, even those who don’t have kids with them, the extra service in a family-friendly atmosphere has earned a loyal following.

The mammoth Disney Wish, weighing approximately 144,000 gross tons, has a capacity for 4,000 passengers. It takes guests to Disney’s private island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay, where lounges and umbrellas are already set up and lunch is an extension of the ship’s food service.

The new ship features a number of new features, including AquaMouse, a water slide that sends riders through a tunnel with music and scenes from classic cartoons. Senses Spa features the cruise line’s first Rainforest Room that extends outdoors. It features scented showers, heated loungers, and whirlpool tubs.

There are numerous adult-only areas, including Hook’s Barbery, where, in addition to a nice shave, you can also make your own Old Fashioned from a hidden bourbon bar.

At Disney Wish, grown-ups get a playground in the Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge, designed as a high-end bar in space. A “space window” shows constantly changing views of floating rocks, ships and planets. [ Disney ]

Also for adults only is the first Star Wars Hyperspace Lounge. It’s designed as a high-end bar in outer space—as opposed to the dingy aesthetic of Oga’s theme park cantina at Hollywood Studios, which is based on the famous bar scene in the original film.

The upscale bar has a “space window” that appears to show familiar ships and planets from the passing movies. The drinks are also from another world and cost $15 to $20 each. They feature nifty twists like a glowing image of the Death Star in the foam of a drink, or a waiter firing a tiny gun that creates a bubble of smoke that lands on the glass.

But the hottest drink on the menu is the Kaiburr Crystal, which costs $5,000. Named after a Star Wars relic, the drink is more of an experience than a libation. It comes in a droid-inspired container. After the customer enters a code, smoke, light and sound effects reveal four silver-plated cups containing some very expensive cognac, port and bourbon.

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The $5,000 prize includes other perks such as a bottle of Skywalker Ranch sparkling wine, a special entertainment escort off the ship, and an invitation to tour George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, the campus located 40 minutes north of San Francisco open to the public.

Another first at Disney Wish are the luxurious Royal Suites, featuring eye-catching pieces such as a spectacular stained-glass frieze spanning two decks. Each suite features two master bedrooms with a living area, open plan dining room and private lanai jacuzzi. Two of the four Royal Suites are on two levels with an elegant spiral staircase.

A Concierge Suite aboard Disney Wish includes a separate bedroom with a private patio with outdoor furniture and sweeping ocean views.
A Concierge Suite aboard Disney Wish includes a separate bedroom with a private patio with outdoor furniture and sweeping ocean views. [ Disney ]

The suites don’t come cheap, costing upwards of $25,000 for a two-story, Sleeping Beauty-themed Royal Suite. Many are already sold out for the rest of the year.

The 1,966-square-foot Concierge Wish Tower Suite costs over $30,000 for a single cruise and is located in the front funnel of Disney Wish. It is themed “Vaiana” with custom Polynesian artwork. A double-height living room features a chandelier and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer expansive ocean views. There are two master bedrooms, a children’s room, 4 ½ bathrooms, a dining room, a wet bar and a library, all accessible via a private elevator. Oh, and there’s access to a private sun deck, too.

Senses Spa & Salon on Disney Wish is the cruise line's largest spa and features outdoor space for the first time.
Senses Spa & Salon on Disney Wish is the cruise line’s largest spa and features outdoor space for the first time. [ JOE BURBANK | Orlando Sentinel ]

Even the simpler cabins on the Disney Wish offers more amenities than most cruise lines. Furnished with subtle decor inspired by Cinderella or one of the other Disney franchises, the Veranda rooms feature a queen-size bed and a living area with a fold-out couch, desk, bookcase and TV. There is patio furniture on the veranda and a bathroom that is divided into two parts – one with a toilet and sink and the other with a shower, bath and another sink. These are standard features on Disney cruise lines, but a rarity in the cruise industry.

Veranda Rooms start at $2,153 for two adults on a three-night Castaway Cay cruise.

“Disney Cruise Line’s countless fans sail for the unique blend of onboard entertainment and activities that allow Disney to charge a premium for its voyages compared to other major cruise lines,” said Robert Nile, founder of Theme Park Insider. “With Disney Wish Disney is trying to improve those onboard experiences and set a new standard not just for Disney but for the entire cruise industry.”

when you go

Disney wish: Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship. Costs for a three-night cruise start at $1,751 for two guests in an interior space. An ocean view room starts at $1,925, while a verandah room starts at $2,153. A concierge room for six to eight people costs $4,313 and up. A four-night cruise starts at $2,243 for an interior room for two adults, $2,507 for an ocean view room, $2,803 for a patio room, and $5,843 for a concierge room.

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