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View Full Version : LIVE from the Wonder 12/18/05 sailing


2disneycruzrs
12-18-2005, 11:48 PM
Just some quick hits about our cruise so far…

It’s surprising how many folks on this cruise are DCL first-timers. Everyone we’ve met so far have been. This is only our 3rd DCL cruise (2, 4-night; 1, 7-night Eastern).

Glad we’re not far off Port Canaveral and already starting to feel the warm winds! It’s been a little chilly in Florida and even in port.

Our DCL bus didn’t leave the final stop until 12:40, so by the time we got to our SR (stateroom), it was 2 p.m. We spent the afternoon rushing to get everything done and unpacked that we watched Hercules on SR TV instead of theatre. This was the latest it has taken for our buses to get to the terminal, but it’s nice to be able to walk right up and get our KTTW instead of waiting in the long foreign/first-timer line.

Sail-away was great as always. It’s always fun to see the folks on the other ships, knowing we have the best one and more fun!

We brought festive door decs including garland for our door and SR. We’ve noticed several people stop and check it out.

This was our first Christmas-time cruise, and I’m glad we did it. We got to see the tree-lighting ceremony and it was the first time all season we’ve really felt “Christmas-y.” It was a nice touch.

Our table is quite diverse and it’s been nice getting to know the folks. We have a couple with DS (11), and an aunt with nieces (30 & 11).

News to us…we knew dinner times were staggered but that our time would stay at 8:30 p.m. throughout the cruise. In Nassau, Captain Henry is rewarding the crew with a late departure (2 a.m.). Luckily, we’ve been told no announcements will be made at that hour. Our shows were reversed from what other cruises have been doing…we will have the Magician on Nassau night, and Golden Mickeys on Castaway Cay day.

Just DH and me on the cruise. We'll probably go to Atlantis but spend most of the day in our favorite place...on the ship. Life doesn't get much better than hanging out here on our comfy chairs!

budwmn
12-19-2005, 12:19 AM
Thanks for the update. My best friend and her family is also on your cruise and I was hoping the weather would warm up for your trip. She called just before the sail away party and said it was a little on the chilly side.

Enjoy your cruise! :sunny:

westjones
12-20-2005, 08:20 PM
A year ago we were on this cruise! I hope you have a great time. We loved our Christmas cruise!

Enjoy the decorations and have a magical trip!
DJ

Dreamer04
12-21-2005, 07:42 AM
Thanks so much for the live update!

Jo-Anne
12-21-2005, 08:13 AM
Sounds like you're off to a great start! We are going on a 4 day Wonder Feb 5. I'm curious to know if the ship pools are warm and also when you're at Castaway Cay, how the water temperature is....we are hoping to do the Stingray excursion, but don't want to spend all that money if the kids won't stay in the water! Enjoy! Jo

2disneycruzrs
12-21-2005, 11:46 AM
Jo Anne: The water temp in the pools is always around 80 so that's fine (the air is cold, though). The water temp at CC was cold, until you start to adjust. Some folks stayed out of it.

With the late-night movie-watching outside on Deck 4, we slept in on Monday before making it to the breakfast buffet. The one thing that I have noticed RCCL is better at Disney is in the buffet. There’s more food variety, and it doesn’t seem as crowded in the seating areas.

DH and I taxied to Paradise Island/Atlantis. Unless you have a room there or at the Comfort Suites or unless you want to gamble, I personally don’t think it’s worth spending the taxi money or time to go over there. Atlantis was sold out, but I asked what the walk-up rate is if they had a standard room available and was told $200. It’s really not too bad if you have kids and are into the pools and slide. You’re not paying much more than what is spent on the Atlantis Beach Day.

We spent the afternoon doing cruise staff activities…free/prize bingo, golf contest, and the Art of the Theme Show Ship Tour. Even though this is our third cruise, I learned a lot of new things in the half-hour before leaving early to head to my pedicure in Vista (i.e. over 120 carpet patterns throughout the ship; 27,000 signs on the ship – AK has only 12,000).

With tonight being semi-formal night, we had our pictures taken with Mickey & Minnie in their formalwear. Handsome & beautiful as always! Dinner that night amazed me that folks don’t make some attempt to dress closer to the attire for the evening. We saw a few folks in jeans, and DCL does not enforce its suggested attire as other lines do. To each his/her own.

We arrived at Castaway Cay today! It started off sunny but most people started going back to the ship around 1:30 p.m. due to heavy rains (we had three heavy rain sessions). Luckily, we took all of our pictures early, mailed our postcards, and did our excursions. Parasailing was great as always. DH & I got to go solo, so we took lots of pix of each other and hopefully wonderful pix of the ship from up high. Not long after, we did the new Castaway Rays stingray excursion. It was a nice, educational experience and it’s amazing how they have trained the formerly wild rays (70-80% have returned to date post-Wilma). However, if sailing on the Magic’s Western cruise, I would recommend doing the snorkel/Stingray City through Captain Marvin’s instead of the Disney excursion at CC. The water at CC was murky, so it wasn’t as clear as in Grand Cayman and a little disappointing. The ray interaction lasted about 30 minutes, followed by the optional snorkeling.

Tuesday was the “packed” night of the cruise for us, so the early end to CC day was not so bad. We had our CC reception at 5:15 p.m., and this time they seated us instead of picking our seats ourselves and the crew really mingled with the folks. Wavebands was used and there were probably about 100 people in attendance, much less than our last cruise. I’m always fascinated by the number of times folks do the DCL cruise, but Capt. Henry didn’t survey the crowd as the last one did.

We had a 6 p.m. seating for Palo and ironically had the same waiter as on our first cruise – Hristo from Bulgaria. He was great once again. The food was fantastic. DH and I always feel the chocolate souffle is worth the price of the cruise! We went to the Golden Mickeys for our first viewing of the show.

We went to our dining room to collect our pirate goodies before heading up to Deck 10. The veterans knew the locations to go for the pirate activities and the sides of Deck 10 were packed, so we went to the area straight back from the stage on 10. What a great show! We thoroughly enjoyed the show and the fireworks. With our dinner at Palo, we were not hungry for the late buffet. In addition to the desserts, they had fajitas, chili con carne, ham, and other items. I was surprised how extensive it was.

There is a lot going on today since it’s a sea day, but our favorite parts are the Captain’s Corner and the Galley Tour. After having sailed RCCL, I appreciate the galley & bridge tours done on DCL since they don’t “for security reasons” on RCCL. Finally, we re-booked onboard and are hoping to eventually convince our relatives to come. We didn’t have a particular date in mind other than value season and will adjust our dates accordingly later. The one thing that was mentioned is you are not guaranteed the $100 onboard credit if you change dates…just that you will have a credit of some amount.

A couple holiday events forthcoming…story time with Mrs. Claus was earlier this week and some of the characters joined her and today, they had a gingerbread house-making event for families. I am glad we did the cruise at this time of the year and would recommend to all to do so at some point, especially for big Christmas-time fans.

Jo-Anne
12-21-2005, 09:21 PM
Jen - thanks for all the information. Can you tell me what time the fireworks start on Pirates night? Wondering if the kids will be able to stay awake! Also wondering where you stood for the fireworks...when you say "back from stage on deck 10, does that mean to the aft or forward of the ship?? Thanks!

stevenpensacola
12-23-2005, 10:42 AM
Hey 2disneycruzrs,

we were there with you! In spite of the weather, we had a GREAT time.

We're you at the show with "Harrison"?

ShannonRT
12-23-2005, 09:40 PM
Hey 2disneycruzrs,

we were there with you! In spite of the weather, we had a GREAT time.

We're you at the show with "Harrison"?

We were at the show with "Harrison". I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life. I had tears streaming down my face! We saw his family the next day at Castaway Cay and he was a little celebrity! Then that night at the Golden Mickey's everyone applauded for him. Then the next night at Disney Dreams people were saying "HI" to him entering the theater. I heard his Dad say he has never been shy in his life. Disney should put him on the payroll.

I had seen the same magician, Michael Harrison on the Magic in 2004 and absolutely loved his show then. I was so glad he was on the Wonder with us. My daughter couldn't get over the little girl being his daughter at the beginning of the show. We also saw Michael and Olivia running through the rain going back to the ship from Castaway Cay.

ShannonRT
12-23-2005, 09:43 PM
Jen - thanks for all the information. Can you tell me what time the fireworks start on Pirates night? Wondering if the kids will be able to stay awake! Also wondering where you stood for the fireworks...when you say "back from stage on deck 10, does that mean to the aft or forward of the ship?? Thanks!

The time on my digital camera when I took pictures of the fireworks says 11:23 pm. The cruise director mentioned that DCL is the only cruise line in the world to shoot fireworks off the ship!

DD is 10 and she was fine, but if your kids are small I would highly recommend a nap. The party is not to be missed!

stevenpensacola
12-23-2005, 10:45 PM
We were at the show with "Harrison". I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life. I had tears streaming down my face!

Same here. I was sitting next to my 10 year old son....I don't think I've ever seen him laugh so hard.

We were sitting across the aisle from them both nights...right after Harrison was on the "TV", I went over and asked his dad if he'd thought about selling videos from the night before, as he had taped the whole thing. I'd sure love to have a copy. That show alone was worth going on the cruise.

ShannonRT
12-23-2005, 11:06 PM
That show alone was worth going on the cruise.

I agree.

2disneycruzrs
12-25-2005, 11:52 AM
Hello Steve & Shannon...I also saw "Harrison" at all the events...the free prize bingo, the bingo that night, and Golden Mickeys. He is a cute kid and a ham, but it was a little much at the second bingo IMHO. Hope everyone enjoyed their cruise.

The first blast of fireworks were right about 10:25 p.m. on the ship (Shannon - not sure if your camera time was an hour ahead) but the only reason I say that is because the buffet opened at 10:45 p.m. and they were finished with the "show" but still dancing. That was a great addition, and I'm glad the weather held out for us to see that. (The buffet looked great, but we were still STUFFED from our 6 p.m. dinner at Palo.)

As for our location, the party was at Goofy's Family Pool. DH & I stood by the smokestack overlooking the family pool. I think you could see the fireworks anywhere from the ship's upper decks but probably also from verandahs on the starboard side.

ShannonRT
12-25-2005, 12:00 PM
Thanks...my camera time must be wrong. :confused3

stevenpensacola
12-25-2005, 10:32 PM
Hello Steve & Shannon...I also saw "Harrison" at all the events...

(The buffet looked great, but we were still STUFFED from our 6 p.m. dinner at Palo.)



I went with my son to the demo which Michael Harrison (the entertainer) put on for the kids. Guess who was there: Harrison.....MH asked him how the magic paper bag worked out...He said it worked, he got $20, but lost it in the movie theatre.

We were also at the 6:00PM seating at PALO on the night of the Pirate Party.
We were sitting next to the windows, almost in the middle of the ship. We were aft of the big round table they had set up for a large group.

How about that, I can still use cruising words like fore and aft. One of our servers told my wife how she remembers the difference in fore and aft....everything you eat goes right to your "aft", hence all the restaurants are in the "behind" of the ship.

2disneycruzrs
12-26-2005, 10:42 AM
One of our servers told my wife how she remembers the difference in fore and aft....everything you eat goes right to your "aft", hence all the restaurants are in the "behind" of the ship.

That's too funny! I had never heard that before. What a small ship so to speak...that you were at the same Palo seating as us! Hope you had the chocolate souffle!

stevenpensacola
12-26-2005, 10:53 AM
My wife has the souffle, said it was incredible. I had the cappacino cheesecake....was almost too pretty to eat....notice I said "almost".

We'd never felt so spoiled in all our lives. Our waitress would just bring out stuff we had not even ordered, "you've got to try this...I think you'll you enjoy this..."

A great experience.

jjharts
12-30-2005, 01:06 AM
Just wanted to say hey!! We were there too!!! Had a great cruise - lots of fun........my husband won the pirate contest (he was dressed as Mr. Smee)!! Wish the weather would have been a little better for Castaway Cay - still got to go snorkeling but it was chilly. Loved the ship and the cabin (had Cat 3 suite - very beautiful and the concierge staff was terrific!) We will probably do a Disney cruise again but will do a 7 day instead. Four days just goes by toooo fast! pirate:

ShannonRT
12-30-2005, 08:43 AM
I saw your husband at the Pirate party. Very cute! Glad you had a WONDERful cruise too!