So, here is a quick overview of our recent Disney cruise experience to the Bahamas, aboard the upgraded and newly refurbished Disney Wonder! The Disney Wonder came out of dry dock in November and began her new season sailing out of Galveston, Texas to the Caribbean and the Bahamas, which was the perfect opportunity for me to explore the updates on the Wonder, explore Castaway Cay, Disney's private island, and visit Atlantis, Paradise Island at Nassau for potential future vacations for clients.
Where to stay in Galveston:
Disney partner hotels for cruises departing out of Galveston include the Marriott at George Bush International Airport in Houston, or the San Luis Resort in Galveston. If you book your pre or post hotel stay with Disney, you can arrange shuttle transportation with Disney to get you from the airport to the port and back. If you book your hotel stay elsewhere, then you will need to make your own arrangements for transportation to the port. The shuttle from Disney is great as the shuttle ride is about 1.5 hours from George Bush International Airport to Galveston, but there is Wi-Fi onboard, and you can watch Disney movies the whole time so it doesn't feel long at all. If you don't book with Disney, a great shuttle option is with Galveston Express, which has pre-booked shuttle times or private transfer options for small groups.
The San Luis Resort Spa & Conference Center in Galveston Island is where we stayed for our pre-cruise night. It is a beautiful resort that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico.
It's a cute little town, perfect for walking around and exploring the sights. Mallory Square is full of trinket and souvenir shopping, conch sea shells, pirate gear and Take bicycle tour of the city, visit Ernest Hemingway museum or the Little White House of President Truman and make sure you try some key lime pie! Plus, don't forget to visit the Southernmost point of the continental USA, where you are only 90 miles from Cuba.
Castaway Cay 5K
One of the optional "excursions" (although it is not really an excursion) is the Castaway Cay 5K! It's not an excursion you can pre-book, but you can head straight to port adventures or guest services as soon as your board to register for the race. It is a fun way to enjoy the island and the 5K is open to all guests 10 and older, although I saw a few little kids running the 5K as well! Everyone who registers for the race receives the Castaway Cay 5K medal so kids younger than 10 can certainly run or walk the 5K but they won't receive the medal. It is not a timed race so you can walk or run the distance on your own time. (But it is hot!)
Lunch is served on the island with a BBQ and an all you can eat ice cream station for dessert. There are a couple of shops on the island with unique apparel and souvenirs that are only found on the island itself so if you want a Castaway Cay souvenir of some kind, you can only find it at the shops on the island.
Atlantis, Paradise Island is such a huge resort and we were only able to explore about half the resort! There is so much to do there that it deserves its own post! (coming soon!)
One of our highlights for this cruise was to attend the midnight premiere of Star Wars Rogue One! Any new Disney movie that premieres on land, will premiere on the ship at one minute past midnight on the premiere date! So we were lucky and stayed up to watch Star Wars Rogue One the night before we disembarked the cruise and it was absolutely worth it!