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Disney's first new cruise ship in a decade officially debuts today — will it live up to expectations?

July 14, 2022
4 min read
Disney's first new cruise ship in a decade officially debuts today — will it live up to expectations?
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It's finally go-time for the first new Disney Cruise Line ship in a decade.

After two weeks of pre-inaugural unveiling events, the 2,508-passenger Disney Wish today will sail its first voyage with paying passengers — a five-night trip out of Port Canaveral, Florida, to the Bahamas.

The inaugural sailing will bring stops at Nassau in the Bahamas and Disney’s private island oasis, Castaway Cay, as well as two sea days.

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Long awaited by Disney fans, Disney Wish is just the fifth Disney vessel to be unveiled since Disney launched its cruise division in 1998 and the first new Disney ship to debut since 2012.

At 140,000-tons, Disney Wish is only a tad bigger than Disney’s last two new ships — Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. But it has a whole new array of Disney wow on board, from a Star Wars-themed “hyperspace lounge” that offers a “window” view of passing starships to Marvel- and “Frozen”-themed restaurants.

First looks: Disney Wish's new 'Frozen' dinner show | Disney Wish's new Marvel-themed restaurant

In addition, cabins on the ship include seven ocean-view rooms located over the bridge — a first for Disney Cruise Line. The rooms have extended living areas with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the bow and out across the ocean. If that isn’t enough, there also are four Royal Suites with a Sleeping Beauty theme — two of which feature an insane two-story floorplan.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Designed for families, Disney Wish's cabins are built with lots of extra berths for kids. While its 1,254 rooms can hold 2,508 passengers at double occupancy (the way most cruise lines measure passenger capacity), it can sail with as many as 4,000 passengers when every pull-down bunk and pull-out sofa in cabins are filled.

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The top deck of Disney Wish also is particularly family friendly, with a new-for-the-line high-tech water ride called the AquaMouse. Other notable new features on Disney Wish are a reimagined Oceaneers Club (the area for kids 3 to 12 on Disney ships) where children can enter via a slide. The Oceaneers Club also offers a Marvel Super Hero Academy where kids can design (and virtually fly) in their own super suit.

Disney Wish has been one of the most-awaited new cruise vessels in years, particularly among Disney fans, and the advance buzz on the vessel is big. Can it live up to expectations?

TPG got a sneak peek at Disney Wish earlier this month when we sent a two-person team on a four-day preview cruise in advance of today's inaugural sailing. Check out our first impressions of all the ship's new features via our extensive array of first-look reviews and guides, including:

TPG also plans to send a reviewer to the ship next month for yet more first-look coverage once the vessel has a few weeks of operations under its belt.

Disney Wish is just the first of three new Triton-class ships that Disney Cruise Line will roll out over the next few years — an expansion that will nearly double the fleet's size when measured by passenger capacity.

Starting on July 19, Disney Wish will begin a year-round series of three- and four-night trips to the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral. Fares start at $771 per person, not including taxes and fees.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image by (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees