Disney Wonder May 14-21, 2012 - From CA to CA Updated 12/23 Day 7
Hi there! Welcome to my trip report. :yay: I'm Kari and I'm traveling with my fiancee, Austin. We'll be celebrating his birthday and our engagement anniversary on this cruise.
As the title hints, we'll be cruising on the May repositioning cruise from CAlifornia to CAnada, or to be more specific, Los Angeles to Vancouver. I wasn't sure about doing this, but I really enjoy reading trip reports. I hope I can make mine worthy to be shared. At the very least, I can guarantee there will be plenty of food porn.
Here's us a few years ago. We pretty much still look the same, though maybe a little chubbier. I'm told it's a condition called "happy weight." :rotfl2:
We were in LA for a week before our cruise. Please check back later if you're only interested in the cruise portion of our trip. The cruise portion will start on Day 9.
Day 1 - LA Arrival part 1~part 2
Day 2 - Disneyland With Friends
Day 3 - The System Is Down part 1~part 2
Day 4 - Nomnomnom part 1~part 2
Day 5 - Shop 'til You Drop!
Day 6 - Another Shopping Day
Day 7 - DCA Day part 1~part 2
8 - arrive in LA, get car, eat eat eat
9 - Disney day but not at DLR, Disney outlets, My-D Pins, Disney Soda Fountain, Company D, Frank and Sons Collectibles Show, and I think we can also go to Mickey's of Glendale but I'm still checking on that
10 - more eating
11 - DLR
12 - DLR
13 - DLR
We plan to arrive in LA about a week before the cruise. Since we fly standby, I never have a firm idea of when we'll arrive, so I have to plan around it. It's never a guarantee that we're on our way until the plane takes off. Austin has been given a seat before and sitting in the plane only to be told he has to get off the plane because the person arrived at the last second.
We'll be renting a car and staying in Buena Park super close to Knott's Berry Farm. Too bad we went there a few trips ago and don't have any desire to go back. It was cheaper than the hotel we originally planned to book, by $20 a night. Since we're going to be doing a lot of restaurant hopping, we figured any money saved is good.
We're moving hotels for the Disneyland portion, within walking distance of the resort. Only going to the parks for three days but that's okay since we went for a week last November. Sadly, Carsland won't be open yet. We will probably take it slow and go on our favorite rides, eat, shop and pin trade. The crackdown on fastpass return times will be interesting.
Although we dislike crowds and lines (we try not to go during busy season for a reason) we made the choice to do Disneyland over the weekend instead of during the week because Alex, Austin's brother, will have his days off during the week, so we will go around LA with him on at least one of his days off, which means we need a car. We don't want to pay for more days with the car than necessary since the cheapest rate we can find from a reliable source is $30/day so all our non-Disney days need to be grouped together. Mid-May isn't too bad on weekends anyway, so it's okay.
Up next is the cruise May 14-21! The itinerary according to DCL:
1) Los Angeles, California - 4:00 p.m.
2) At Sea (formal night)
3) San Francisco, California - 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.
4) At Sea
5) At Sea (pirate night)
6) Victoria, Canada (semi-formal night) - 08:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
7) Vancouver, Canada - - 08:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
8) Vancouver, Canada - 08:30 a.m.
We will have less time in Vancouver when we debark than I had originally plan. Maybe we'll walk over to Gastown or stroll around Canada Place. I was going to save Stanley Park for this last day, but I don't really want to rush off the ship super early in the morning. We will depart Vancouver separately around 10:30 am, him on the Skytrain to the Vancouver airport, myself on Quick Coach, across the border to Bellingham airport.
I'm not looking forward to spending 3 hours on a bus, but I need a guaranteed flight to make sure I get back to work on time. Last year's trip, we got home three days later than planned. Luckily I had taken extra the time off just in case that happened but I'd like to avoid that happening again. Unfortunately, there is no direct flight we can take in Vancouver, so we'd risk getting stuck at SFO (San Francisco) overnight. Not that I don't love SF and we have family there, but it was hard enough getting approved for 11 days off as it is.
If our flights are on time (hah!), we will get to touch base right before I board my flight and after he lands in SF. And then he'll make his flight and I will meet him at his gate since he should land 15 minutes after me at home. If he doesn't make his flight, he knows he has to call my parents to come pick me up at the airport. :headache:
Booked our hotels for our pre-cruise portion this weekend. :woohoo:
We've got a big event keeping us busy through this weekend, so I've had to force myself out of trip planning mode and focus on this weekend. It's been pretty hard to do, I want to go on vacation already! :rotfl:
Our big event this past weekend went very well, so I'm grateful about that. It helps relieve some of the financial stress I've been feeling over this trip (i.e. should we really go? It's so much money upfront! etc)
I was monitoring the airfare for my return trip everyday for the last couple of weeks but didn't do so during the weekend so I was all :eek: to see it had gone up yesterday! I resolved to buy it that night but forgot. Thankfully it went back down to the $180 I've been watching all along. :woohoo:
I'm hoping to start working on our FE soon. I can't remember if I read it in a TR or the main forum, but I recall someone mentioned making their FE out of a towel, so it made me go, hmmmm... :idea:
One of my struggles with making our FE was trying to figure out what to put on the front of it. I really wanted Marie (The Aristocats) since she's kind of our mascot. :cat: But it was difficult to find fabric that I liked. Well, there are a lot of cute Disney towels out there that I did like. As soon as the light bulb turned on, I turned to eBay and we picked out a towel we could both live with, but I procrastinated. :rolleyes1 I think it's still available, but we won't be buying it, because while cleaning a few weeks ago, I discovered a mini hand towel I bought in Japan a few years ago. :cheer2: It's so cute and it's actually exactly what I was looking for in terms of image size and pose. I had a minor bout of anxiety at the thought of someone stealing our FE, but then I found out I bought two of these towels. :yay:
It is a pink towel though, but he gave me the go ahead to make it since we both agree she looks the cutest there of all the towels we've seen. It's actually exactly 8 inches wide, so I bought a bigger towel and will pleat the back, so it'll be a little different from the standard FE.
Trip planning is still on hold though since we are going to Aulani this weekend! I haven't been there since early December so I'm curious to see what's new. There was some minor construction going on around the pool area last time we went. Since the new quick service place doesn't open until June, I assume everything we saw are cosmetic changes.
I wasn't planning on updating again so soon but we wound up buying our airfare home last night. We will be flying together after all, departing from Bellingham, as I had planned for myself.
Even though there were plenty of seats left on both legs of his flights at this point, we are still two months away. He didn't want to risk getting stranded in Vancouver or San Francisco if the flights fill up in the next two months. $180 is a small price to pay for a guaranteed, direct flight, home. I think after getting stranded in Narita, Japan for nearly 24 hours last year, he's not as against paying for a confirmed seat as he used to be. :rolleyes:
We also got our room assignment. We paid for an 11C GTY and got bumped up to 6637, an 11B. I wish it was better, but an upgrade is an upgrade.
Where did you find on the DCL website the itinerary that listed when formal night, pirate night, etc was?
We are doing this cruise in 2013, so I am looking forward to your trip report. Do you know your cabin number?
It's not on the DCL website, I found it through my cruise meet thread from someone else who is going on the cruise. I believe he asked his TA. It's actually the same itinerary DCL is running on the MR cruises right now, so I expected the repo itinerary would be fairly similar.
I just got my room number a few days ago, #6637. Not much of an upgrade, unfortunately, but better than nothing.
Did some prep work on my FE gifts yesterday. Now all that's left is to actually buy the materials and put them together. :woohoo:
I also worked on printing out Googlemaps of our day in San Francisco (SF). We're going to do a combination riding the muni and walking all day. Mainly walking. Lots and lots of walking. SF is our exercise day. :yay: We're in port for a long day, 8:00 AM to 11:30 PM, but we plan to be back on the ship in time to enjoy the evening activities. It is our first cruise, after all. We don't want to miss out on anything on the ship, if possible.
We were in SF for a week in November so mostly I wanted to go eat and shop at my favorite places. We have dinner reservations at Palo at 6:00 PM though, so I had to keep in mind that we want to go back to the ship hungry. All the eating should by done by 1:00 PM and I'm estimating we'll be done by 5:00 PM. Since we're coming back so early, we're going to leave as early as we can. The ashore time says 8:00 AM, so we plan to be up and waiting to step off the ship at that time. No breakfast, since we're eating at our first three destinations.
Golden Gate Bakery
Fillmore Bake Shop
Yasukochi's Sweets Shop
Pearl's Deluxe Burgers
Walt Disney Museum
Worked on Googlemapping our plans for Victoria, BC today. Victoria was easy to plan for since we decided to splurge for afternoon tea at the Empress. It did take awhile to convince him to go, since it's SO expensive, but we're not doing any excursions in the other ports and it's just something you have to do once.
Though I said excursions, we're actually not going through DCL. We noticed we could book reservations through OpenTable directly, so that's what we did. Before we even paid off the cruise. :rotfl2:
The time we are in Victoria for is 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, which is plenty of time for us to just walk around. We just decided today to save a little money and take a casual stroll to and from downtown Victoria instead of using the Cruise Victoria shuttles ($16 - $8 roundtrip per person). Ultimately, we're not rushing anywhere and we know we're really not going to get much exercise on the ship, so why not walk it?
I decided to go with the route recommended by a user on Cruise Critic forums but we'll probably take the longer road back and walk down Government Street all the way to Dallas Road to walk by the Emily Carr house. I saw it on Google street view and it looks very pretty. Yeah, that's the only reason we're going that way. I'm a sucker for pretty things. :lmao:
The Fairmont Empress
Inner Harbor/Government Street
We'll walk along the latter and maybe the next street over and intersecting streets as time allows. I've read some negative reviews of how touristy the stores are, but we just want to look around and are not looking to shop, so it doesn't really matter to us.
I would've planned out Vancouver today, too, but TransLink schedules are only updated through April 22 when I try to use their trip planner, so I'll switch my focus to planning our time at Disneyland for now.
Booked Palo brunch! :woohoo:
When we finally got the cruise booked and paid for, there were plenty of dinner reservations but no brunch! We've been checking several times a day for the last ten days and a spot opened up today. It's not the day we wanted, but better to have a reservation than none at all.
We are on the same cruise this year (we also did it last year).
Yes, the stores in Victoria near the harbour are touristy, but make sure that you check out Roger's Chocolates as it is a historical landmark. It's on Government, not too far up from the harbour.
Super busy today! :cool1: Austin met me during my lunch break and we bought all our FE gift supplies.
Translink.ca seems to have updated through May, so I was able to use the Trip Planner and figure out my transportation route for the morning in Vancouver. The rest of the time we'll be walking, yet again. I found a map of all the food trucks in Vancouver that looks current. I look forward to examining that in more detail.
Lynn Canyon Park
La Belle Patate
We are in Vancouver for a super short time, 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. DCL originally had an ashore time of 7:30 and no onboard time, so we had a full day planned and unfortunately I had to drop the Richmond Night Market from my list. It also puts a wrench into my plans to get to Lynn Canyon Park super early and I don't know how much time we'll have in Stanley Park. I'm hoping to at least have time for the Rose Garden and the Lost Lagoon.
Yesterday, we made a list of all the places we're going to eat at Disneyland. We always go for our favorites and we like to try places we haven't eaten at yet, too.
Of everything on the list, I'm looking forward to trying PCH Grill and the Jolly Holiday Bakery! The latter because I love Mary Poppins! The former because Paradise Pier is the one Disney hotel we've rarely ever been to. The furthest we've gotten is the lobby for a break in the walk back late at night when we're super tired, so I look forward to walking in there in the daytime.
I read about Roger's Chocolates! It is on my mental list, but as long as it's on Government St, we are likely to see it. :)
Going on the Wonder May 14!!!
My Husband(Donnie), Daughter (Bailey), and I (Zonia) are excited to be going on the Disney Wonder May 14.:woohoo: It's my Husbands first time cruising and I'm so excited that we can now go as a whole Family! My Husband is Born and raised in Victoria, but moved to Az 6 years ago. He hasn't been home for a long time, so we figured how cool this is going to be to come visit home in style by the Disney Wonder. We are really excited! We plan to visit Victoria even more after the cruise. :cheer2:
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