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View Full Version : 4/9 - 4/13 Trip Report (A bit different)


T_Kirsten
04-14-2006, 05:17 PM
Just back from our 4 day Cruise on the Disney Wonder and although it was very very nice, I wanted to share some perspective that was a bit different. I'm doing this NOT to disuade you from taking your family on a vacation like this, BUT, to be a bit more "realistic" about some of the typical things that people talk about on this board.

What I won't do is go over what we had to eat for every meal, or talk about our waitstaff (who were very good by the way) but the chances of you having the same servers we had, is so rare, that it wouldn't make sense for me to go into detail about the good or even bad about them.

The only thing I will say about the food is that in our opinion it was very good. We have been on several all inclusive vacations and none have come even close to being as good. We certainly had PLENTY to eat! :cool1:

The cast was my fiance' his 6 year old son and myself. When we got on the ship the process for checking in was easy, but a bit confusing. We arrived at the ship at about noon and were onboard by 1:00. We headed to the Mickey Pool just like everyone said to do and had lunch at Pluto's. Our son swam in the pool, LOVED the slide and had a nice time but because he's an only child he's not as social as some kids so he had a hard time fitting in. Most children are there with other children and they play with them so for Avery it was a bit uncomfortable and overwhelming. By 1:30 our room was ready and our bags were there already! I went and unpacked and Mike and Avery stayed by the pool till 4:00. I also went to get our dinner time changed from 8:00 p.m. to 5:30. There are pros and cons to both times.

One thing I will say is that dinner is a production and kids have a hard time sitting for an hour and a half or sometimes more for a meal. Remember, Avery is 6, I can't imagine how parents kept the younger ones sitting down that long. They want to play and see things, they don't care about the food. Since this cruise is designed for children I thought that part could be cut down a bit.

The shows we were supposed to see were at 8:30 so that left us an hour and a half between dinner and the show. If Avery went to the Oceaneers Club, he'd have to stop whatever project he was working on to go to the show and by then we were tired, or busy doing other things and Avery just didn't want to go. We did see the Golden Mickey's show which was just okay in my opinion. We also saw Chicken Little in the Buena Vista Theatre on another night. We had seen it already but Avery chose that over the show they were putting on that night.

As for the rooms, they aren't as small as I thought they would be. We had a Veranda and I would HIGHLY recommend it. It was SO nice to be able to see us pulling in to the various docks. Their are two bathrooms, one with a sink and toilet and the other with a sink and shower. The shower was nice and roomy which I was thankful for. I'm sure some of you women will appreciate that when there have been times when I've had showers so small that I couldn't even shave my legs!

The weather didn't cooperate for us either. Something even Mickey can't control! The first day (Sunday) it stormed and rained all afternoon so we had to be inside. The weather in the Bahamas was partly cloudy and very very windy. All excursions were cancelled. We hadn't booked any because Avery just wanted to swim in the ocean and we enjoyed the beach but I felt bad for the families who did plan to snorkel, etc. Don't get me wrong, between the clouds, the sun came out and we did get a bit of a tan, but not as much as I would have liked :sunny:

Avery enjoyed the pool and the arcade the best but keep in mind if your children are in the arcade, you're in the arcade. There is NO supervision there or in the Mickey pool so you have to stay with your children. I'm not saying that like it's a bad thing, but I had this vision from what I've read and heard that Mike and I would have all of this free time and that just wasn't the case. I enjoy being with Avery so that was fine, but I'm just saying :)

The night before we left Avery was very sick, throwing up, etc., so we stayed in the room and packed and had our bags outside our room by 9:30. That meant we were in bed by 10:00 BUT, everyone else was packing and getting their stuff outside of their rooms and we heard every bang of every suitcase and every kid running and yelling down the halls. Needless to say we got little if any sleep. We were on deck 7, stateroom 7614 which was right across the hall from where the luggage was collected so that certainly had something to do with the extensive amount of noise.

At 5:00 a.m. on Thursday morning we got into Port Canaveral and there were semi's and tractors at work. The tractors were pulling luggage off, the semi's were unloading supplies for the next cruise. We sure didn't need the 5:45 a.m. wake up call! :confused3

We had the early breakfast rotation on our last day and since we brought our carry-ons with us to the restaurant as we were told to do, we were done and off the ship by 7:45! Our car wasn't scheduled to pick us up until 10:00 as we had a 1:30 flight from Orlando. Fortunately we were able to get the car to come early and was there by 8:15. We were at the airport by 9:00 and were able to get on an earlier flight home.

That's my story. Again, I don't want to discourage anyone from taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity, but I didn't want to give you a standard report either. I wanted to share with you some of the things I've never read, or heard about so that you are aware before you go.

We enjoyed the cruise, we have NO regrets, and there isn't much we would change and that's what really matters! :grouphug:

Lindy Loo
04-14-2006, 07:20 PM
Thank you for being so honest in your views. I sometimes get so "carried away" with all the pixie dust this site has........We are doing a 4 night cruise in Oct with our dd4. She goes to pre school 5 days a week, so being an only child she is quite social. Girls do tend to be more chatty" than boys.
What did you do on Cataway cay?

Would you suggest she eats in the childs club, ( if she wanted to ) we are late sitting?

Any other hints and tip... .please.........

what characters did you see, have interation with?

tinkerbellmagic
04-14-2006, 07:27 PM
One thing I will say is that dinner is a production and kids have a hard time sitting for an hour and a half or sometimes more for a meal. Remember, Avery is 6, I can't imagine how parents kept the younger ones sitting down that long. They want to play and see things, they don't care about the food. Since this cruise is designed for children I thought that part could be cut down a bit.


Thanks for the report! :) Very imformative.

I totally agree with you on the hard time some kids have sitting through dinner. I took my 5 yr old DGS on a 3 day cruise and the dinners, which are usually a wonderful experience when I cruise with my teenage daughter, were torturous for both me and DGS. He wanted no part of dressing a bit better and sitting through a long, late seating dinner.

On the last night of the cruise, while I was conversing with our tablemates (a nice couple and their 10 yo daughter), DGS pipes up and says, "Why do they always have to sit at our table?" Luckily our tablemates were good sports and lucky for all of us it was only a 3 day cruise. I think if it had been longer, I would have ditched the dining room altogether and ate at Topsiders with DGS. If I had let DGS eat at the kids club on the same night our tablemates let their daughter eat at the club, I would have felt a bit awkward sitting alone with a married couple.

I have a photo of DGS in his dinner clothes standing in front of the gingerbread house. His expression speaks volumes. :lmao:
I get a chuckle out of it each time I see it.

Tink

T_Kirsten
04-15-2006, 11:53 AM
First, and I wanted to say this in my first post but my thoughts were coming so fast I forgot! The character interactions were nice but not as fruitful as I had expected. I mean, you're on a Disney Cruise! Why aren't these characters coming into the dining rooms and interacting with the children? We expected to see them everywhere but that is not the case. You will recieve a Personal Navigator each night in your room and they will outline for you where and when the characters will be available for photos/autographs or both. It's a small window, like 45 minutes and lines get very very long so plan to be there 15 to 30 minutes prior to when they are expected!

Also, another thing I wanted to mention and forgot. We did bring along a pillowcase like so many people suggested and left it with Guest Services, and when we got it back it only had FIVE autographs on it! I was more than a little disappointed in that. The good news is we brought an autograph book as well, but if we hadn't, what a let down that would have been for our son.

We never saw Donald or Daisy, they were there but we never saw them. Our son got two autographs of Cinderella which upset him because 1) he didn't want TWO :) and 2) they weren't the same person. A six year old can be pretty keen on that stuff.

I didn't mean it to sound like he's completely anti-social, he's in kindergarten and gets along well with children, I just wish we would have had a friend along for him to play with all the time.

On to your question about meals, I would definitely try to get the earlier seating if you plan to take your 4 y/o to dinner with you. But more importantly they don't serve food in the kids clubs. They occasionally take them to BBB or Topsiders to eat but not for every meal so you will have to take her to dinner with you at least once. The process for changing your seating time is pretty simple. We were actually waitlisted and got a call an hour later in our room telling us our request was granted.

The family that shared our table was not english speaking and had two very small children, I'm guessing they were 2 and 3. We had no interaction with them except to say hello and I have to tell you Mike and I are very social but the language barrier was a problem. That was a disappointment as well.

Hope that answers your questions. Please keep them coming and if I think of anything else, I'll continue to add it.

You will have fun, please don't misinterpret my thoughts as all negative. Again, I just didn't want to do all the "pixie dust" stuff either :love:

T_Kirsten
04-15-2006, 04:32 PM
As promised, a couple more things...

First, on Castaway Cay we really just laid in the sun on the beach. The island is BEAUTIFUL! We rented a raft for Avery for $6.00 which he loved. Because the excursions were cancelled, the beach was packed. It wasn't hard to get a chair though.

Also, there were two times on the ship where children had gotten sick in the Mickey pool so we had to wait for it to be drained and refilled which is a long process. Be prepared for an even more packed family pool when that happens ;)

cruiseconvert
04-18-2006, 03:53 PM
Thanks for all the good info. One point for future cruisers: If you have early rotation for breakfast the last day, you can skip it and go to the buffet when you want. We always try to be the last ones there for breakfast! It says "continental breakfast," but they seemed to still have everything but the omelette station.

spencersmom
04-19-2006, 07:58 AM
Great trip report!!!! I just love reading them and I can always pick up something new! The pillowcase deal happened to us as well. I was so sad I almost cried especially after reading all the great things that people have said about it. We leave next week and I am going to try it again though. Keep your fingers crossed.

You know-you could take the signatures from the autograph book and transfer them to iron ons for the pillowcase.....That's a thought!

Glad you had a great time-Ginny ;)

dslovesminnie
04-23-2006, 09:50 PM
Went on the 7 day Eastern with high expectations and visions of my children 12 and 3 having a great time. Unfortunately the younger one wouldn't stay in the Oceaneers club by himself my 12 year old son felt the program for his age too childish (10-12 group). He did participate in most of the activities though mostly because there was nothing else for him to do except play in the arcade which is not cheap by the way. As for the characters, yes they are there for very brief moments and you can take pictures if you wait in line but my DS 3,wanted more time to play with them (not possible). Stand in line take your picture, move out of the way. Where is Mickey the whole time?? Considering your on a disney cruise, one would expect to see more of Mickey, he shows up for a minute at a time at the end of every show.

Don't get me wrong the cruise was a nice family vacation, being that you are a "family vacation" type of person (which my husband is not). He was bored to death. Having a young one we couldn't spend time at the adult pool or the adult activities :sad2: while on the subject of pools, the mickey pool looks much bigger on the internet. It is so crowded and crazy, there is a lifeguard on duty but they can do very little to keep the little ones from getting run over by the bigger ones.

On the brighter side, everyone was very friendly, the service was excellent, excursions well organized and the food was excellent. We are quite particular about service and food but found both to be of a very high standard. The dinners are a bit long but that's because they are a sit down full course dinner. It would have been nice if there were characters at the dinners to keep the children entertained. Other than your one scheduled character breakfast they were nowhere to be seen during meals.

Looking back on it all, it was nice, a bit pricey for what you got (we spent over 11 thousand), but it was a memorable experience especially for the younger one.

If you're planning on going put your mindset in the "Mickey" mode because "Joe Cool" has no place on this boat.

Lindy Loo
04-24-2006, 09:34 AM
Im getting a bit worried about the lack of character interaction on the cruise, we are only on the 4 night one, so wont even get a character breakfast. :sad2: One of the main reasons for a DISNEY cruise must be the characters............. I THOUGHT they would be everywhere... we can do queues/lines for autograpghs at the parks, i was under the impression there would be more "time" with characters on the boat !!?????
Surely if they have the characters on the boat, they could easily be walking around the dinning room, that cant be that hard to organise?

Does Mickey the Scorcer come out at AP ?????

Glad we are doing the 4 night bEFORE the 7 night, if its just Ok, we can cancel and stay on land longer and save LOADS of $$$$$$$$$$s

dslovesminnie
04-24-2006, 05:37 PM
I don't recall seeing Mickey the Sorcerer, even if he was there I probably missed his short appearance. The one time that the characters are around for a decent amount of time is on Castaway Cay, it's mostly for pictures but they do walk around for awhile. Hope you enjoy your trip! :)