Tag Archives: Disney Cruise

Disney Wonder Pacific Cruise Part 5 (Last One!)

Be sure to read:

Part 1 General cruise introduction

Part 2 About the ship

Part 3 Semi-formal night

Part 4 The character breakfast

As you can tell from above, we had a wonderful time on our cruise. I highly recommend Disney cruises as a great vacation! This last part is just picking up some odds and ends.

First, there were a couple of things I didn’t like about the cruise, and one was the character appearances. I talked about this briefly before, but the characters were only out for a very limited amount of time, most days once per day for a single character, for a half hour. This caused a huge backup in getting character pictures and autographs. Since the characters only appeared at specific times, people lined up as much as a half hour early (except for the princesses) for their very rushed picture and autograph. I was actually so disappointed by this that I sent a Strongly Worded Email to Disney talking about this issue. I got a very sincere apology in return, so hopefully this policy will change. If the characters had been out more, the waits would have gone down. Honestly, I think characters should be roaming the boat multiple times during the day

The princesses, however, were insane.

Dude.

They had all of the princesses out at the same time, and they only did it twice the entire 5 days. That big group of people is the line.

Seriously???

And that’s not even the whole thing.

Whoa.

I was walking around the ship at the time and an hour later, the line still looked like that. It made me really, really glad I don’t have a princess-loving child.

However, the pictures people got were really cute.

Adorable!

My other complaint was with souvenirs. And here’s my advice for Disney Cruise Line souvenirs–if you see something you like, buy it right away. We ran into this 3 times. First was when we were browsing the gift shop and they had small stuffed Mickey and Minnies dressed up in captains/cruise clothes. We couldn’t decide between Mickey and Minnie so we thought we’d bring Theo down to pick for himself. Well, the next morning we went back and Minnie was completely sold out with no plans to re-stock. Then I spotted one of those chains-by-the-inch you can buy that was super-cute–gold with small Mickey heads. I decided to get a strand as an anklet, but I had to go back to the cabin for a measuring tape. Things got busy and again I didn’t get back to the store until the next day. Guess what? The chains were a one day only promotion even though it never said that it was a single day product. Luckily some very helpful cast member found some in the stock room that hadn’t been inventoried yet and sold me an anklet. But wow, you’d think they could have marked it. And then I was sort of on the fence about buying Theo a cruise-specific t-shirt (one for just our Pacific cruise). Yep, you guessed it, by the end of the cruise they were out of XS, but they slashed the price and I bought a Small for him later. So my advice is to definitely grab what you like when you see it because you just don’t know if it’s going to be around or sold out the next day.

But enough complaining! Let’s talk about the pool. It was adorable.

Yay Mickey!

There were 3 pools: this Mickey one, a rectangular “family” pool, and an adult-only pool. The only one we swam in was the Mickey pool. The dept was perfect for Theo as he could completely stand and touch the bottom, and it gave him some confidence in practicing his swimming (he can do a rudimentary freestyle and is working on pushing off and keeping his face in the water). The pool was nice and heated, but since the days were quite chilly you basically froze if you were wet and not in the water. We only went swimming twice. The second time was so cold Theo completely protested getting out even with a big towel hug, and insisted on “Daddy carry! Daddy carry!” back to the room for warmth.

The pool also had this:

Water slide!

How cool is that??? Unfortunately Theo was 2 inches too short for it. The water slides on the new Disney ships look even more amazing.

My one thing about the pool is that it seemed pretty small for the number of guests onboard. I can’t even imagine how crowded it must get when the weather is hot! But the Mickey design was really cool and Theo really enjoyed it.

And speaking of things Theo enjoyed…

The Nursery!

The age cutoff for the kids’ activities was age 3 and potty-trained. Since Theo is neither, he didn’t qualify for the other programming, but was able to spend time in Flounder’s Reef Nursery. He had a blast there and went twice. Your amount of time in Flounder’s Reef is limited–on our cruise it was a 10 hour limit throughout the cruise, and there’s an additional charge ($6 an hour). We were so glad for it.

For Theo’s first stay, Kevin and I had a spa treatment–the exotic rassoul mud couple’s treatment. We got a little private room with its own shower and steam room and they left us a body and facial scrub, massage oil, full-body mud mask, and lotion. It was a lovely, relaxing treatment and I highly recommend it to any couple. I later went back an had an acupuncture session which was SO effective on my neck and shoulder tension.

Theo’s second stay was when we got reservations at Palo, the special restaurant. The food at Palo was very good and the chocolate souffle was AMAZING. I love getting a souffle (I try to order things in restaurants that I can’t/don’t make at home) and this one was the best I’ve ever had. Definitely a must!

The nice thing about Flounder’s is that it was open until 10:00 which gave us plenty of time to enjoy our meal. Also, Theo was there over lunch one day and dinner the next and they fed him. They got the food from one of the other kids’ club choices, so it was really nice to not have to get something and run it over to him.

And there’s our cruise!!! So fabulous, and I can’t wait to go on our next one!

Disney Wonder Pacific Cruise Part 4 PIN GIVEAWAY!!

Don’t miss Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 for my full trip report on the Disney Wonder Pacific Cruise, September 20-25th.

Notice I’m shortening the title? It’s getting a little unruly. But here we are on Part 4 of the cruise trip report and now, MYWTMouse fans, it’s time for a PIN GIVEAWAY!!!

But first, some chatting about our character breakfast. Our character breakfast was really a lot of fun, and because we were the second seating for dinner we didn’t have to get up insanely early to go to it either.

Theo was very excited!

Theo’s gotten really into characters lately, particularly Goofy, so it is always fun to meet the characters. I love character meals too. We had our first one at the Mouse-in-Law (Disneyworld for you newbies) and it was awesome. Such a great way to meet the characters in a low-key format, and you get to eat instead of just waiting in line!

Practicing our smile, sort of

Unfortunately the breakfast is a pretty packed house so you don’t get a lot of time with the characters (that was actually my main complaint of the whole trip was the availability of the characters. I actually wrote a big complaining email and got a very sincere apology for our disappointment, which was nice). Anyway,

This is Dale--you know because he's the one with the red nose

The characters had their pre-set route, and it seemed like we were the last table on the whole circuit so that was a little tough for Mr. Impatient (Theo, not Kevin). But one of my favorite moments was when Pluto came up behind Theo and Theo was completely unaware that he was there. Kevin had to tap him on the shoulder a few times to get his attention.

Hunh?

Pluto is so silly!

Chip swung by, like literally swung.

Chip is the one with the black nose, like a chocolate chip (I learned that on this blog!)

Theo has become a real Mickey and Minnie fan too.

Telling Minnie a story. Minnie is remaining strangely silent.

Mickey is definitely one of my favorites.

Hey big guy!

Gimme five!

We actually didn’t get to see Goofy given our location on the circuit and Theo’s attention level at the end of breakfast. We made up for it by seeing Goofy later though!

But now it’s time for the…

GIVEAWAY!!!

I never forget my loyal fans, even when I’m trying to! 😉 So I got a few souvenirs for my peeps. I looked for Disney Cruise Line exclusives, and I think you’re going to like…

Old-fashioned Captain Mickey!

I loved this little guy and can’t wait to send him to one of you! Now I’m not a pin trader–I have some pins I like so I don’t want to trade them–but I think this one will make a nice addition to anyone’s collection.

Disney Cruise Line logo

How do you enter? By doing any or all of these:

  • Leave a comment saying, “I want a Mickey pin!”
  • Like MYWTM on Facebook and leave a comment, or if you already do, let me know
  • Refer a friend on Facebook! They must leave a comment with your name!
  • Tweet this phrase: Enter to win a #DCL exclusive #Pin! http://wp.me/p1eVIB-xe (and don’t forget to leave a comment here!)
  • Use! Lots! Of! Exclamation! Points! (okay, not really an entry, but obviously I’m a fan of the exclamation point)

This giveaway ends 11:59pm Pacific time on Friday, September 30th. That’s two days, so get crackin’, and good luck!

Disney Wonder Pacific Cruise September 20-25, 2011–Part 3

Meals. I already mentioned the seating arrangements and the tricks we used to get Theo occupied (cars) and clean (long-sleeved bibs). So I’m going to talk about, uh, something else I guess.

Every other cruise I’ve been on has one giant dining room for the main meals. Disney has 3 less giant ones. They are Triton’s, which serves somewhat French food, Animator’s Palette, which serves a contemporary variety, and Parrot Cay, which serves an island flair type thing. You keep your same table mates (although our table mates ended up switching to the early seating so we just ate by ourselves, which was actually kind of nice) and your same wait staff and rotate among the three restaurants. Our rotation was Triton’s, Animator’s, Animator’s, Parrot Cay, Triton’s. I have to say that I thought the food at Triton’s was the weakest.  The bummer was that we ended up eating there twice and missing one of the Animator’s, which had this awesome show with Mickey Mouse running around.

That was because there’s also the adult-only special restaurant, Palo. I personally love the cruise special restaurants. You pay extra but the food is usually amazing and the individual seating is a nice break. I didn’t originally plan on eating at Palo because it didn’t occur to me that you can have your kids in the nursery until 10pm, but once I realized that I ran over to the Palo desk upon boarding and got us a reservation, along with a reservation for Theo at Flounder’s Reef (the nursery). I also had to adjust our spa treatment, and the best part was that the person I talked to on the phone to make all these arrangements ended up putting none of them (aside from Palo) into the computer, so we’d show up at the spa and Flounder’s and they’d be like “Well, we have you scheduled for…” Fortunately they were able to fit us in everywhere, and the moral of the story is to make sure all of your arrangements are set with each individual place.

Anyway, another thing I didn’t know about was that there’s a Pirate Night onboard. One thing that bugged me a bit about the Disney site is that they give almost no information beforehand. You have to look at other sites or have a knowledgeable travel agent or both to get this kind of information, and the fact that there’s a pirate night is a pretty big piece of info I wish I’d had. But what can you do? Except not make your Palo reservation on Pirate Night like I did. Oops! Ah well, live and learn.

We did not, however, miss semi-formal night.

Mr. Dapper!

Okay, yeah, technically it was SEMI-formal night. But I bought the tux for Halloween (Theo is going as Tuxedo Mickey which is pretty much going to skyrocket the Cute Chart all the way to the top) and I love dressing to the nines anyway. Plus Kevin owns his own tux (did I mention dressing to the nines?) so I turned semi-formal night into formal night.

He really wanted to touch the camera

Our (semi) formal night was in Parrot Cay, and was definitely my favorite meal of the trip (aside from Palo). But did I mention Palo’s chocolate souffle? Oh em gee, I am always a HUGE fan of souffle, but I’ve never had a chocolate souffle like the one at Palo. I’ve heard that they’ve gotten awards or something for this dessert and quite frankly, they deserve every single accolade. I mean, it was GOOD.

But back to (semi) formal night. There were different stations set up where you could take family pictures every night. I decided that it would be fun to have a family shot of the all of us, esp. the boys in their tux, so we had a few done against a white background. One in particular was so adorable and so completely caught Theo’s personality that we had to buy a few prints for fun.

Meanwhile, it was great to try to catch some moments of my favorite guys.

Tails!

I just LOVE this shot!

Theo’s like an Ambercrombie and Fitch ad with his hand in his little pocket there.

We got a picture with Tuxedo Mickey that was a lot of fun

We're ALL dressed up!

We ended up timing our photos just right, so we didn’t have to wait for the family picture and only had to wait a few minutes for Mickey. However, this did leave us some time to relax back in the room before dinner.

Kickin' back

I just love these pictures because even though we hadn’t had dinner yet, it still looks like the guys just got back from a night of dancing or a wedding and are exhausted.

It's not easy being this cute

All in all, our dinner experiences were fantastic and our (semi) formal night was one to keep for the ages!

Hooray!

Oh, and stay tuned tomorrow! I’ve got a giveaway that I think you’re going to like!!!

Disney Wonder Pacific Cruise September 20-25, 2011–Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1 of our cruise trip report, be sure to start there!

The Disney Wonder is really a great ship. If you haven’t been on a cruise before, it’s hard to grasp the magnitude of such a giant floating thing bobbing around–well there’s another thing, on the large cruises you don’t do a lot of bobbing around. I’m really prone to motion sickness and tend to do quite well on cruises. We did have one day of choppy seas but I took a little Dramamine (hint: bring it from home because it’s pricey in the gift shop–shockingly) and had no problems. So if you’re thinking about cruising but are really worried about motion sickness, I would encourage you to try a cruise with some medicine in your toiletry bag. It’s a great trip!

Anyway, the Wonder is large.

Large

And even the masthead is adorable. You can see that the Wonder is constantly under improvement.

The fun permanent feature

The ship was is really great condition, speaking of “under improvement.” The Wonder is, I believe, the oldest ship in the Disney fleet (READER CORRECTION: the Wonder is the second oldest ship in the fleet–the Disney Magic is one year older), but you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at it. Disney does such a great job keeping everything neat and trim and in working order. Everything looked fantastic and the ship didn’t seem to show much wear at all. And that can’t be easy with 6 billion kids running around.

Kevin’s favorite part was the ship’s whistle. Rather than just a HOOOOONNNNNKKKKKK it blew a very nice “When you wish upon a star” to announce port comings and goings. Even the shipboard announcements were delivered to that tune, which was such a great Disney touch.

Seriously, they think of everything.

There were just a few negatives we encountered that I’ll cover. One was our first shore excursion, or what Disney calls a “Port Adventure.” We stopped in Victoria, Canada (our trip started in Vancouver, stopped in Victoria, had 2 days at sea, stopped in Ensenada, and ended in LA) and the excursion I signed us up for sounded like it was going to be fun–a horse-drawn trolley tour through the city. Unfortunately, it turned out to be kind of boring, especially for Theo, and since it was an hour with no stops, he got really squirrely and tantrumy at the end. It put a damper on the morning because it was so tough for him and we spent most of the tour trying to prevent him from standing up or losing his toy cars. So if you’ve got an antsy little one like we do, the tour of Victoria is not the excursion I’d recommend.

Getting started on the excursion

Our weather was pretty much overcast the whole time. Rain had been predicted for the Canada portions but we never got more than a sprinkle here and there. Unfortunately, even all the way down to Ensenada we had dark skies and a chilly wind. The nice thing was that the pool was really heated to a very comfortable temperature, so you could go swimming. As long as you stayed in the pool everything was just fine, but getting out–brrrrrrrr. Poor Theo, the last day (in Mexico!) he and Kevin went swimming and had a blast, but then he cried when Kevin got him out of the pool, even a couple of big towel-hugs afterwards, and went on a plaintive “Daddy carry? Daddy carry?” back to the room. But for the most part the weather didn’t bother me too much. It’s not like Disney can control the weather either.

Yesterday I posted about some of the door decorations–this room was particularly cute:

Mouse ears!

A few of the rooms had those little fabric hanging bags. They were SO cute and really a lot of fun! Reader Update: The hanging bags are called “Fish Extenders” and they’re for all kinds of goodies! If Theo had been a bit older I likely would have gone to the nines with the door decorations. Next time for sure.

I also showed you the MYWTM magnets I had–it was very fun walking past a room seeing one of those too :).

Not our room

And of course, the best part of the Disney cruise was really our family time. It’s such a great vacation if you want to slow down and spend some good time together while still having other things to do during the day. I’ll admit, though, some of my favorite moments were ones like this:

Theo is naming the various engines in his Thomas the Tank Engine book


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