Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

We just returned from a 3-day trip on Disney Wish and share it all with you in our signature Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas

Disney Wish is Disney Cruise Line’s 5th ship. This 144K gross ton vessel is DCL’s first new ship in over a decade and now the largest ship in the fleet. This new vessel features a number of new dining concepts, onboard amenities, and one-of-a-kind features that kids and adults alike will enjoy.

We first sailed on Disney Wish a few months ago for a 3-day Bahamas cruise. As our first Disney cruise, we couldn’t wait to get back onboard this ship. So, we booked another cruise for my birthday. Now, we have returned from our second sailing and share it all with you in our signature day-by-day Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review.

Halloween on the High Seas is available on select cruises in September and October across the Disney Cruise Line fleet. Similar to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Disney parks, Halloween on the High Seas includes holiday themed activities and character meet and greets along with all the cruise staples.

From the pumpkin tree in the Grand Hall to Mickey’s Mouse-querade party and Disney characters donned in their Halloween costumes, Halloween on the High Seas is fun for all ages. Additionally, there are other activities held in the kids and teens areas throughout the cruise.

Admittedly, we are two adults with no kids, but we did feel there could have been more Halloween-themed activities for us big kids. Still, we packed our costumes and enjoyed our time on the new Disney Wish.

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Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review – Day 1

A Pre-Cruise Day

Unlike our last cruise on Disney Wish, we flew into Orlando the night before our sailing. We secured a hotel near the Port Canaveral cruise port. The Springhill Suites Cape Canaveral is a newer hotel in the area and a great pre-cruise hotel option.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

Even though there are many great activities in the Port Canaveral area, we did not arrive until the evening. Thus, we didn’t have time to do much else besides sleep.

For our last cruise, we booked a DCL transfer straight from the airport. This time around, we took an Uber to the cruise port in morning. We checked out of our hotel right at 11 AM, and it took less than 10 minutes to arrive at Terminal 8.

Arriving at the terminal, there were small lines forming outside based on port arrival time. However, we headed straight to the Castaway Cay Club members line. We then proceeded through the check-in process and security rather quickly.

Taking the escalator up to the waiting area, we realized that they had not started boarding yet. So, we headed outside to the viewing area to grab some photos of the ship in the meantime. Finally, the family of the day was called around 11:40 AM, followed by subsequent boarding groups.

It was our turn to board Disney Wish, and get this Disney Halloween on the High Seas cruise review started, just after 12 PM. When the Bucolo family was announced, we were greeted by some festive fall décor in the Grand Hall setting the scene for our spooktacular next three days onboard this ship.

Our Second Look at Disney Wish

Since we had already captured much of the photos and videos we needed during our last trip, we spent the next 45 minutes or so strolling the ship along with checking into our muster station.

Prior to this sailing, we had tried to book Palo Steakhouse and the Just Desserts event at Enchante but were unsuccessful. Further, we were waitlisted for early dining and never got it. So, we joined many other guests in the reservation line forming outside Luna’s in hopes of securing more optimal dining.

When the desks opened at 1 PM, we learned that Enchante was only serving dinner this sailing. Although, the cast member was able to secure us both a dinner reservation and a brunch reservation at Palo Steakhouse.

Next, we hopped over to the main dining room line. We were not so lucky here though. Unfortunately, we were not able to switch to early dining or a table for two. This meant we would be dining at 8:15 PM, which is pretty late for us.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

With all this talk of food, we were starting to get hungry. Around 1:30 PM, we made our way up to the Festival of Foods on the pool deck. This casual eatery has five different food stations, including a grill, cantina, and a BBQ. We really enjoyed the selections here during our last cruise, so we couldn’t wait to get back.

I grabbed some chicken tacos from my favorite spot, Donald’s Cantina. The hubby headed over to Mickey’s Smokestack BBQ where he dug into some brisket and ribs. Once again, these lunch selections did not disappoint. In our opinion, this is one of the best casual eateries at sea.

What’s lunch without a little dessert? Instead of sampling Sweet Minnie’s Ice Cream, we decided to check out Inside Out: Joyful Sweets. This shop offers up-charge ice cream, gelato, and other sweet treats. I opted for the cupcake batter gelato and Don ordered a scoop of the peanut butter and snickers gelato. Both flavors were delicious! While a bit pricey at $3.75 a scoop, it was worth it.

Next up, it was time for our afternoon caffeine fix. So, we headed up to the Cove Cafe to grab a latte before making our way to our cabin around 2:30 PM. On Disney Cruise Line, the staterooms are not ready until around 2 PM; although, we must have missed the official announcement that they were ready.

A Very Disney Sail Away

For this Halloween on the High Seas cruise review, we booked a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah. This deck 9 cabin, 9120, featured the Sleeping Beauty theme.

According to Disney Cruise Line’s website, a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah is approximately 284 square feet and sleeps 4 to 5 guests. This increased space is definitely noticeable when compared to family cabins on other contemporary cruise lines.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

There was plenty of storage and sleeping space for 5 guests. This stateroom had a queen bed, an optional upper-berth single pull-down bed, a single convertible sofa, and a single wall pull-down bed. Further, the cabin featured Disney’s signature split bathroom set up, with a toilet/sink and a shower/sink combo.

Unfortunately, only one of our two suitcases had arrived so we weren’t able to unpack just yet. Instead, we took the time to collect footage of the cabin for our upcoming reviews.

Around 3:30 PM, we headed up to deck 13 between the Quiet Cove and AquaMouse for a great aerial view of the Sail Away Party set to begin in an hour. With prime seats secured, we grabbed official sail away drinks from the nearby Cove Bar, a strawberry basil spritz and a mai tai.

Right on cue, the Fairy Godmother made her way on stage along with all your other Disney friends. With 15 minutes of celebration and a “When You Wish Upon a Star” horn, it was time to make the most of these three days. Let’s Set Sail!

Tonight, our Palo Steakhouse reservation was for 6 PM. Thus, we headed back to our cabin to unpack, settle in, and get ready for dinner.

Our First Time at Palo

Palo Steakhouse is one of the upscale specialty dining venues on the new Disney Wish that is exclusively for adults. This evolution of the Palo restaurant found on other DCL ships combines authentic Italian dining with a modern steakhouse.

When dining at Palo, guests can choose either a prixe-fixe menu which is priced at $45 or pay a la carte.

Upon arriving at this specialty restaurant, we were quickly escorted to a table for two at the very back of the restaurant. Our waiter, Adi, was quick to come by to introduce himself and provide some insight into the menu. Actually, given how difficult it was to get reservations, we were surprised at how quiet the venue was tonight.

Given the prixe-fixe menu options, we decided to pay a la carte for our selections. This 4-course feast lasted about two hours. It was filled with delicious food, drinks, and aft-facing views.

We began the evening with some drinks and appetizers. I ordered the tomato and burrata, and hubby ordered the calamari and shrimp appetizer. Both were tasty renditions of these classic dishes. We then decided to split a pasta course as the butternut squash agnolotti sounded good.

For entrees, I went with the only chicken dish on the menu of course. Don was debating between the osso buco and a steak, but he went with the osso buco based on the waiter’s recommendation. While my chicken dish was a bit dry, the osso buco was flavorful and tender. The side dish of mac and cheese was really good too.

By now, we were getting quite full, but we couldn’t pass up dessert. So, we decided to split the amaretto soufflé with hazelnut gelato. The was light and airy making it the perfect ending to a wonderful meal at Palo Steakhouse.

Our server Adi was friendly and delivered timely and personal service for a true upscale dining experience.

Impressed with dinner at Palo, we were eager to return for brunch tomorrow.

An Evening on Disney Wish

We were finished with our dinner just in time to head to the Walt Disney Theater for the 8:30 PM showing of tonight’s signature production, Disney Seas the Adventure.

It was fairly busy when we arrived, but we were able to squeeze into some seats on the starboard side of the venue for this 40-minute show.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

Disney Seas the Adventure is a revue show featuring Captain Minnie, Goofy, and some of your other favorite Disney characters. While it is high-energy and cute, it’s certainly not a Broadway caliber production. Still, it is a fun welcome aboard activity that is distinctly Disney.

Following the show, we perused Mickey’s Main Sail gift shop for any new merchandise. Since nothing caught our eye, we grabbed seats in Nightingale’s for some drinks and piano music.

The Nightingale’s menu is divided into sections based on bubbles. I went with a familiar favorite the Crystal Slipper from the Air Bubbles section. DB got a bit more daring with a Frozen Bubbles selection. This chocolate concoction comes complete with a small mallet to break the ice bubble. A few attempts and much amusement later, we could now enjoy our drinks and the tunes.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

I guess we were envisioning more of a piano bar feel like HAL or Royal Caribbean ships; however, this was just background piano music without the singing or lively atmosphere. So, we made our exit around 10:30 PM in time for the Sanderson Sisters in the Grand Hall.

This is Disney, so we should have expected the long line for this photo op. Nonetheless, we decided not to wait as the sisters were making more appearances tomorrow. Instead, we went for a short walk around the ship and decided to call it a night.

Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review – Day 2

A “Sea Day” for Us

Day 2 of this Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review was a stop in Nassau, Bahamas. Like many others, this meant we would be staying on the ship today for our “sea day”.

Sleeping in a bit this morning, Don did the typical morning routine of coffee and photos/videos while I got ready.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

We had brunch at Palo today at noon, so we decided to skip breakfast. Instead, we strolled the Grand Atrium to see some of the Disney characters and eventually made our way up to the Quiet Cove.

Securing some seats in the shade on the starboard side, we relaxed and caught up on a little work. Don decided that he wanted to do the Chewbacca meet and greet at 11 AM, so he made his way down to the Star Wars Cargo Bay.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

On his way back, he stopped in at Palo to inquire about the dress code. While we knew there was one for dinner, we assumed shorts would be okay for brunch. That was not the case though. Thus, we needed to head back to our cabin for a quick costume change.

A Fancy Brunch

Arriving a few minutes late for our 12 PM reservation, we found the restaurant much busier than last evening.

We were soon greeted by our same waiter from last night, Adi. To no fault of his own, service was slower today taking a full two hours for brunch.

The brunch at Palo Steakhouse is an up-charge of $45 per person and consists of several upscale breakfast and lunch menu items. I was set on trying the chicken parm, but I also wanted to sample some of the breakfast items.

After a round of mimosas, we decided on our order. I went with the apple cinnamon waffle and the chicken parm. The hubby went with an antipasti selection, a frittata, and lasagna. We then finished the meal off with a sticky bun and limoncello torte.

While we were overly impressed with dinner yesterday, the brunch here was just average in our opinion. The chicken parm and lasagna were pretty typical cruise dishes and not the same quality we would get from an Italian restaurant on land. While the breakfast dishes were the highlight, we aren’t sure that the overall meal was worth the price.

Given the restaurant was so busy, we just missed the 2 PM photo op with the Sanderson Sisters. This meant we had to kill some time before the next one at 3:30 PM. So, we went back to our cabin to change back into daytime attire and checked some emails in the meantime.

The Witches Are Back

Of course, a Disney Halloween on the High Seas cruise review wouldn’t be complete without a picture with the Sanderson Sisters. Thus, around 3 PM, we made sure to get in line to ensure we wouldn’t miss this opportunity.

At long last, we got our 30 seconds in the spotlight with the witches. Coincidently, there was also a Captain Hook photo op occurring nearby. Sure, why not.

By now, it was close to 4 PM, and we needed our afternoon dose of coffee. Back up to the Quiet Cove, we grabbed lattes and seats to relax here for about an hour.

Given we had late dinner, we needed to catch the 6 PM show in the main theater. Tonight’s line up was 1923 and The Little Mermaid.

Giving ourselves enough time to shower and change up for dinner and the show, we arrived to the theater just before showtime. Thankfully, we were able to find seats in about the same location as last night.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a 60-minute, Broadway-style adaptation of the original film. The singing, dancing, and stage set make for a solid performance, even if we think the ending deviates a bit too much from the original film.

Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me

After the show, we followed the crowds up to the pool deck for Mickey’s Pirate Party. That’s right, tonight was pirate night on Disney Wish. While the Pirate’s Rockin’ Parlay Party was occurring later in the evening, this party featured Mickey and friends in a more family-friendly performance.

Beginning at 7:45 PM, this 20-minute show included singing and dancing with the characters dressed in their finest pirate attire. Since we are big kids at heart, we enjoyed the show.

From here, we headed straight to dinner at 1923. Of the three rotational restaurants on Disney Wish, this was our favorite during our last sailing. So, we were eager to see how our experience compared.

A Return Visit to 1923

Upon arriving, we were escorted to our assigned table, Table 611. Once again, this was a table for 6. It was pretty close to other tables for 6 as well, making it almost a banquet-like setup. In fact, all of the dining rooms on Disney Wish are very tight and do not offer many private tables, which is a turn off for us.

Nonetheless, our waitstaff of Charles and Anna were quick to introduce themselves and deliver bread and water. With only one other couple showing up a bit after us, our meals were a bit delayed to put us on pace with them. This complete dining experience took about two hours.

Our menu selections this time consisted of some old and new dishes. Don started with the spiced ahi tuna, and I ordered the tortelloni. Both of these dishes were pretty average when compared to other main dining room experiences.

For entrees, I did the Riverside Roasted Chicken. While last time I though the dish was specialty restaurant quality, it was not as well-prepared this time around. Don ordered the Peppered Filet Mignon. It was cooked to his requested medium rare temperature, well-seasoned with pepper, and was on par with last time.

The desserts were perhaps the highlight of the meal, with the apple cheesecake being the best dish of the night.

While the food quality was not as good as we remembered, our waitstaff were definitely superior. Charles and Anna were friendly and accommodating.

Rounding Out the Evening

With dinner finished just in time, we headed back upstairs to the pool deck for the Pirates Parlay party. With the main pool deck already rather busy, we secured rail spots on deck 12 starboard.

Classic rock songs, some pirate fun, and fireworks make this a must attend activity. There’s even an appearance by Captain Jack Sparrow! If you want to step it up a notch, pack some pirate attire for the festivities.

When this 30-minute show finished, we made our way back inside to our favorite venue, The Bayou.

Unfortunately, we never did catch any live music in this venue during this sailing. Actually, it seemed like there may have been less live entertainment this cruise when compared to last cruise.

Still, we sipped some drinks and people-watched for about an hour. We may have also ordered some beignets to-go for breakfast tomorrow morning.

When we retired to our cabin for the evening, we were greeted by one of the best towel animals ever!

Tomorrow was already our final day of the cruise and our visit to Castaway Cay.

Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review – Day 3

Our Second Visit to Castaway Cay

Day 3 of this Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review was our stop in Castaway Cay, Disney’s private resort in the Bahamas. While we did visit Castaway Cay on our last Disney Wish cruise, we spent much of our time just exploring the island. Today, we were actually going to enjoy it!

Pre-cruise, hubby secured a combo package for snorkeling, a bike rental, and a float rental. My plan was to relax on the beach. After all, it was a Sunday.

Up around 7 AM, Don headed out for coffee while I got ready. Our ship was supposed to be cleared by 8:30 AM, and we planned to head ashore right away.

Approaching that time and no announcement made, we made our way down towards the gangway anyway. We were greeted by a crowd of other fellow cruisers eager to enjoy Castaway Cay as well.

Within 10 minutes or so, we were able to scan off the ship and get our day started. We spent the first 90 minutes walking around to refresh our memory, as this was only our second visit to the island ever.

Securing some additional photos and videos, we eventually set up shop on Family Beach.

With a nice spot in the shade, I relaxed while Don set off on his bike ride. During this leisurely hour bike rental along the airstrip, he traversed both trails including a stop at the Observation Tower. Getting some photos and videos along the way, he returned for his next adventure, snorkeling.

Grabbing some equipment from the nearby rental shack, he set off in search of Disney treasure. Castaway Cay has a 22-acre snorkel lagoon at Family Beach, with two trails depending on your expert level. Here, you can discover submerged statues, former ride vehicles, and more.

After his 75 minutes of snorkeling, he had worked up an appetite. Thus, we packed up and took the tram over to Serenity Bay. We had read that this adult-only area had some upscale offerings on its BBQ buffet, so we wanted to check it out.

The island’s BBQ lunch ends at 2 PM. Luckily, we arrived with 30 minutes to spare, giving us enough time to enjoy some of the selections.

Since I am a picky eater, I stuck with some pasta salad and fruit. However, the hubby did enjoy all the BBQ options. From the corn bread and potato salad, to the ribs and sirloin, it was a satisfying meal. Yes, the BBQ at Serenity Bay does offer steak.

Since the staff were quick to close up shop, we decided to just head back to the main area of the island for some shopping before heading back to the ship.

Finished around 3 PM, it was another great day at Castaway Cay.

Halloween on the High Seas on Disney Wish

Back onboard the ship, we took some time to relax and cool off.

Tonight was when all the Halloween on the High Seas fun was occurring. Since we didn’t want to miss any of it, we decided to just grab a casual dinner prior to our 6 PM showing of Aladdin in the main theater.

Showered up and ready for our last night on Disney Wish, we made a return trip to the Festival of Foods. A miss on this ship is that the Marceline Market (the cruise ship’s buffet) is not open for dinner.

This time, we grabbed selections from Goofy’s Grill and Daisy’s Pizza Pies. At the Grill, I went with chicken tenders and Don with the grilled bratwurst. These selections are definitely on par with quick service in Disney parks and better than most cruise ship buffet selections. Although, the pizza is not among our favorites at sea. That award still goes to Princess Cruises and Virgin Voyages.

After dinner, we grabbed some popcorn in our refillable popcorn bucket and headed to the final show in the Walt Disney Theater. TIP: If you bring your popcorn bucket from the Disney parks, it is only $1.50 for refills.

Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular was not ready for our last sailing on Disney Wish back in July, so we were excited to see this show. This adaptation of Aladdin was very entertaining with plenty of Disney humor courtesy of the Genie. It was certainly our favorite of the three main theater shows.

Following this production, we hustled back to the cabin to change up into our Halloween costumes for the 7:45 PM Mickey’s Mouse-querade Party. This 20-minute show on the pool deck consisted of Mickey and friends in their Halloween costumes dancing to popular songs like the Monster Mash.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

Fitting It All In

Just after 8 PM, the night was still young. We actually had a few bars on Disney Wish that we still needed to visit as well. First on the list was the Hyperspace Lounge. This venue no longer requires reservations. In fact, it was quite empty during our visit.

We spend about 45 minutes here enjoying our drinks and the scenery. Unfortunately, this bar is kind of a miss. With the elaborate Star Wars theming in the kids areas, we were expecting more out of this bar.

Around 9 PM, we got in line for a photo op with Captain Minnie. Since we were dressed in our costumes, we figured a few pictures were a must. We debated also hopping into the Captain Mickey line, but it was quite long so we passed.

Instead, we headed over to Luna’s for a few of the game shows and some drinks. First up was Heard That, a version of Name That Lyric. The hubby also grabbed a beer from the nearby Keg & Compass, while I enjoyed one of the drinks from the Luna’s menu.

We finished up the evening in Luna’s with Match Your Mate. This always funny version of the Love and Marriage show did not disappoint. With plenty of laughs, we called it a night around 11:30 PM.

Since we did not get a chance to pack today, we needed to wake up extra early tomorrow morning.

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Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review – Disembarkation

Until Next Time

Today was the worst day of this Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review, disembarkation day! Unfortunately, we would not be extending our trip with a visit to the Disney parks like we did last time. Instead, we were heading back home for a short time until our next cruise.

Up at 5:30 AM, we began packing. We were doing self-assist disembarkation this morning which was set to start somewhere around 7:15 AM.

When the venues opened at 6:30 AM, hubby headed upstairs to grab our usual morning lattes and some food from the Marceline Market to bring back to the cabin.

Between packing, eating, and showering, we were ready just in time for the ship to be cleared slightly after 7:30 AM.

Not that we had to catch an early flight, but it was Monday morning and hubby had to work. We actually booked a day room at the Hyatt Regency at the airport since our flight wasn’t until 7 PM.

Ready for disembarkation, we did have to wait a few for an elevator that would accommodate us and our two suitcases. Once down to deck 3, it was a quick scan off the ship and into the terminal building. We did wait about 30 minutes in the terminal for CBP.

With an Uber drive from Port Canaveral to the MCO airport, we checked into the hotel around 9:30 AM. We then proceeded to get caught up on life, the website, and work for the remainder of the day. It was going to be a crazy few days back home before heading off on our next back to back adventure.

Disney's Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review

Thankfully, there were no flight delays, and we arrived back at home around 11 PM just in time to crash.

Next up is the MerMaiden voyage on Valiant Lady followed by the U.S. inaugural cruise from Fort Lauderdale on Celebrity Beyond. Be sure to follow along with all these adventures on our social media and YouTube channels as well.


Did you enjoy our Disney Halloween on the High Seas Cruise Review? Do you have plans to sail on the brand new Disney Wish? Drop us an anchor below to share your DCL cruise reviews!

Heidi is a physical therapist by profession, cruise enthusiast at heart, and Princess all the time! She is a self-confessed thrill seeker, obsessive planner, and over-packer. She is always looking for the latest and greatest adventures onboard and ashore, enjoys researching top things to do in ports of call, and loves dressing up for formal nights.
Heidi Bucolo
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