In September I had a scheduled family vacation on the Disney Wish. Being a new ship, I was very curious about her and how/if we could sell her. Being a Disney ship there is the initial reaction of this doesn’t fit into the C&I world. So I scheduled a meeting before setting foot onboard with the newly appointed head of C&I at Disney Cruise Line. The meeting was very informative and I felt encouraged that for the right client this could be a unique, fun option. My main hurdle was WHO to present this option to. If you are a group or incentive program that is offering the reward as a whole family reward, this is a great option that has something for everyone. Companies are finding that coming out of COVID people are really wanting to travel, and the standard couple trips are in demand but so are whole family trips. People want do something special with their kids after the last two years. When we were onboard there was a large real estate incentive group, and chatting with them and listening to elevator talk the overall consensus was that people were thrilled with this trip and hoped it would be offered again in the future.
The first thing that really stood out to me is that there are 3 locations to hold large scale events. The main theater has all the bells and whistles and can hold 1300 people, the Grand Hall Atrium has a large stage with open area and 3 levels overlooking, and the outdoor main stage has a huge screen with full AV capabilities and again a large area with 3 decks overlooking. This area is specifically designed to hold the entire ship for events. There are also two smaller, but still good sized, theaters with movie theater style seating for presentations. She also features multiple fully private lounges of various sizes to host events. It genuinely excited me how many fully private venue options there were available as the new trend on ships has been to go to more open concepts which then creates a dilemma for private functions.
Cabins are traditional Disney fashion. Larger than standard balcony cabins on most ships and an option to hold up to 5 guests per stateroom (as a family of 5, let me assure you….this is a difficult task!). Plenty of storage, the dual bathroom design (2 separate areas: one with tub/shower and sink and one with toilet and sink) and just enough of a Disney theme to make the kids happy but also still feel new and modern and “adult.”
Dinner is featured on a rotating schedule between 3 restaurants, each with its own unique theme and menu. There is the main buffet with some upgraded options (think stone crab claws, lamb chops) available daily. The pool deck area features 4 grab and go style: pizza, BBQ, Mexican, and traditional burgers and dogs. Hands down, one of the best pizzas and sweet potato fries I have had at sea. The food was overall good for the value. I wasn’t left feeling like I was forced into eating in the add on options because the food was lacking elsewhere (which let’s face it, some ships definitely fall into that category). There are two adult only dinning venues which I was unfortunately unable to try but Enchante, although pricey, is ranked by multiple sources in the same category as Silversea’s La Dame and Seabourn’s The Grill by Thomas Keller.
There is plenty of adult only space for those wanting to escape the kids, with a beautiful pool area complete with two hot tubs, bar, plenty of seating and lay out area, and a gorgeous infinity pool. Multiple bar options are adult only, including the Hyperspace Bar which will thrill the Star Wars fans (I can think of a few clients that would have a field day with this space!).
All in all, I was overly pleased with the Wish. I was hesitant to think she would be a good option for C&I just based off the kid factor but I left really excited for the right client to come along for this option.
Written by Tara Carpenter 10/22