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Old 10-21-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
disneyfaninaz
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Our Wonderful "Pixar" Pacific Coast Cruise, October 7-14, 2012 ~ Completed! ~ w/ pics

Weve been home a week now since we got off of the Wonder in Los Angeles and bid it Aloha as it prepared for its Hawaiian Cruise. After doing a weeks worth of laundry and trying to get over a chest cold that started onboard, Im now ready to share with you our Wonderful Pixar Pacific Cruise!

Backstory:

Back in May of 2011, our neighbors went on a DCL Alaskan cruise. They had a wonderful time and immediately signed up for the Pacific Coast cruise over our fall break in 2012. As soon as they told us, I knew that this was an opportunity too good to pass up: another cruise with our dear friends. I immediately looked into the cruise and found, to my delight, that our regular stateroom was still available for the October 7th sailing of the Wonder out of Los Angeles. I took that as a sign and talked my reluctant DH into putting a deposit down on the cruise, convincing him that we could always cancel (like that was ever a real possibility!) Thus, our third Disney cruise was on the books!

In the meantime, our neighbors had recruited their parents and a cousin to also come with us. Shortly thereafter, they also invited a former caregiver to come along as a reward for her service over the years. Before we knew it, we had a nice little group of 10 people driving over to California to join our cruise.

We also found out that our cruise were going to be one of four special Pixar cruises with special opportunities to meet Pixar characters onboard and meet Pixar executives. At this point, it was just icing on the cake.

Since we were leaving out of LA, we decided to drive, it was, after all, only a few miles further than our drive to Disneyland. We also made reservations for a park and cruise package at the Crowne Plaza San Pedro hotel.

Finally, after almost a year and half of waiting, our DD started 7th grade and it was her fall break before we knew it. California, here we come!

Cast of Characters:

ME: Fan of everything Disney and avid travel planner.
DH: My wonderful husband who indulges all of my Disney dreams.
DD: Our 12 year old daughter who has been begging to go on another cruise for 3 years.
DNeighbors: Our neighbors whom we share an affinity for Disney with and travel often.
DParents: LE and DE: Our neighbors parents, 1st time Disney cruisers.
DCousin C: LEs cousin from Georgia. 1st Disney cruise.
DFriend L: Our neighbors daughter's caregiver, recently moved to North Carolina with her Fiancť and getting married in March. 1st Disney cruise.

Last edited by disneyfaninaz; 11-28-2012 at 01:58 PM. Reason: Updated
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:27 PM   #2
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Looking forward to your report!!!
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:53 PM   #3
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Looking forward to your report! We'll be making that same drive from Phoenix to LA in just under two weeks!
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Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:37 PM   #4
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California or bust!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Our neighbors were driving 2 cars over with their family. We were driving ourselves. We pulled out of Chandler at about 9:00 AM Saturday morning after stopping for stuffed croissants at the P Croissant bakery near our house. We had a 6 and a half hour drive ahead of us. It certainly isn't my favorite drive, but it does have it's rewards at our destination. It was a pretty uneventful drive over. We were astounded at the difference in gas prices from one state to the other. It was about 60 cents per gallon higher in CA.

We arrived in San Pedro, Los Angeles Harbor at around 4:00 PM where we checked into our hotel. We had a great room on the 5th floor overlooking the cruise terminal.



The Sapphire Princess was preparing to sail. As soon as we were settled we walked down to the Maritime Museum to look around and stretch our legs.



My DH was very excited to see the USS Iowa docked at the harbor. It is a new addition to the harbor and I wasn't aware it was there or we would have had to leave home earlier!



Unfortunately, it was about to close for the day, so he didnt get an opportunity to explore the ship. I guess we have an excuse to go back. We took some photos and watched the Sapphire leave the harbor.





It was a very large ship. But, it was not as classy as the Wonder and when it blew its horn, it only had one note! How pathetic!

Meanwhile, the rest of our crew arrived. We ran into them in the bar of the hotel enjoying their complimentary wine. We decided to walk down to the San Pedro Brewing Company for dinner. It was about a block away from the hotel. Unbeknownst to us, this is the headquarters on game days for UCLA fans. Fortunately, we were early and finished eating before the game started, but we saw an awful lot of blue and yellow. Being ASU fans, we werent entirely comfortable there. After dinner, we went back to the hotel and our DD went swimming for a little while before settling in for the night.

Next: All Aboard!

Last edited by disneyfaninaz; 10-22-2012 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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All Aboard!

Day 1 - Embarkation
Sunday, October 7, 2012


From about 5:30 AM on, I kept hopping out of bed to see if I could see the Wonder coming into terminal. It wasnít until 6:45 AM that I saw the beautiful ship back into itís slip next to the terminal.



In just a matter of hours we were going to be boarding her for our cruise that we have been waiting so long for. It was a beautiful sight.



It appears we werenít the only ones waiting anxiously!



We received a complimentary breakfast buffet with our park and cruise package. I had originally thought that we only got 2, but the desk clerk gave us 3 coupons when we checked in. We had our breakfast and made sure our luggage was tagged and ready to go. We all met down in the lobby at about 10:15 to catch a shuttle to the terminal. Our neighbors got a handicapped van to transport their daughter and the rest of us boarding the other shuttle.



Before we knew it, a porter was literally towering all of our luggage and the other passengers from our shuttle onto one cart and we were entering the terminal and completing our health form prior to checking in.



It was not quite 11:00 AM yet and the terminal was not very crowded at all.



We got into a Castaway Club check in line and got our lanyards, KTTW cards and got our picture taken very quickly. After we were all checked in, we went out to check out Finn McMissile,



Lightning McQueen



and Tow Mater



outside the terminal in commemoration of the Pixar cruise. After we got our first group picture of the cruise taken, we headed inside to wait for our boarding number to be called.

Soon thereafter, they announced the Cruise Family of the Day and called for concierge and boarding number 1 to board. Since some of our party had not sailed before, they had boarding number 8. We had numbers 3 and 4, so we decided to wait so we could all board together. Shortly before noon, they called boarding number 8 and we were heading towards the gangway.



We all stopped for another group photo and headed towards the Wonder. We all were announced as we boarded. It still gives me goose bumps when they announce our name. We all gathered together and headed to Parrot Cay for lunch. On our way, Cast Members were trying to sell beer, water and wine packages. I just liked the ice sculpture.



I never noticed the birds singing before.



DN, DE, C and myself immediately headed to Wave Bands to try to get our Palo brunch reservations consolidated so that the 7 of us could get brunch together on Monday. We left the girls to the guys and L. After being directed to Paloís manager, we were able to get a 12:00 brunch on Monday for 7 of us. After our successful mission, we headed back to Parrot Cay for lunch. I really enjoyed the pork schnitzel and the fresh shrimp. After lunch, L took the girls to explore the ship. The rest of us panned out to explore prior to our stateroom being ready.

During our exploring we ran into L and our DD so we took DD down to The Edge to check it out. She kept telling us that this time, she would enjoy the clubs. She didnít enjoy the clubs during our past 2 cruises. We were introduced to some of the cast members and I informed them of my DDís diabetes. She told us that there was no problem as long as our DD kept her meter and emergency supplies on her person the entire time she was at the club. I guess that was enough to make our DD feel different and she never stepped foot in The Edge again.

Soon, thereafter, our stateroom was ready. We were in stateroom 7120.





I love being aft and so close to decks 9 and 10. It came in very handy for running up to deck for our early arrivals and late departures during the week. Our Castaway Club gift was waiting for us. Our luggage also started arriving so we started unpacking and getting settled. I put our magnets on our door. I had also made Guest of Honor guest badges for the others in our party, if for no other reason so that they could find their rooms easier.

It was then time for the muster drill. It was so nice making our way to Animatorís Palette without wearing our life vests. After being checked off, we headed back to our stateroom. We were still missing one bag containing my shoes and our jackets. We headed up to deck 10 to watch the Adventureís Away party.



We were thrilled to see Christiaan as our cruise director.



We had him on our first cruise. He does a great Sean Connery impersonation! During the party, that wonderful, non pathetic, horn blew "When You Wish Upon A Star" and we started pulling away from the terminal and heading out towards open water.



We stayed up deck as we passed the lighthouse before heading down to get ready for dinner.









We had early seating at 5:45 PM. Our first restaurant was Tritonís.
We had tables 7 and 8 for all 10 of us. They were on the port side of the ship and we could see outside the portside windows. It was an awesome table. We were quickly introduced to our serving team: Sasha from Croatia and Luan from South Africa.



As soon as I heard Sashaís name, I knew immediately that it was the Sasha made famous on the Disboards. I had always read on the Disboards such great things about him. We definitely hit the jackpot! It didnít take long for him to confirm that indeed he had spent 11 years on the Magic in Palo and had just recently transferred to the Wonder to see different parts of the world. They didnít disappoint for the entire week. They quickly became favorites with the girls!

While service was a little slow on the first night (we were the last party to leave), it was an excellent dinner. Everybody except for LE and DE headed to the Walt Disney Theater to see All Aboard Let The Magic Begin. We really enjoyed seeing Michael Harrison. While I had seen his routine before where he turns a boy from the audience into a puppet and speaks for him, it was still hysterical. After the show, DD and I headed over to Studio Sea to enjoy the Mickey Mania game show. While we didnít get picked to go up on stage as a team, I was selected to answer an audience question and helped out a fellow team from Arizona. It was a lot of fun and kind of set up a theme for the rest of the cruise.

After Mickey Mania we headed back to our stateroom and called it a night. We received our Pixar book (which was very cool!) and had a bunny for our towel animal.





Next: We brought DD with us, didnít we?
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:03 AM   #6
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:26 AM   #7
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Day 3 - Tall Trees

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
San Francisco, CA


Note: I definitely made up in photos taken on this day!

We all slept really well again, except for the creaking. According to the captain, we were expected to arrive in San Francisco Bay at about 6:45 AM. We really wanted to see us go under the Golden Gate Bridge so we were up at 6:30 AM to head up to deck 10. Unfortunately, it looked like half the ship had the same idea and all of the best spots at the bow of the ship were taken.



The sun was rising just as we approached and went under the bridge.

















It was so cool! (Both literally and figuratively) I had been to San Francisco a couple of times in my life and I swear, I had never seen the Golden Gate Bridge before because it was always shrouded in fog. Well, there wasnít a lick of fog on this day! We got a clear shot of her in all of her glory!



We stayed up on deck to watch the sunrise and take pictures of the city as the sun came up. I couldnít believe what a beautifully clear day it was turning out to be.

















We then went to eat breakfast at Beach Blanket. I have to say that I really enjoyed the breakfasts. The cherry danishes were to die for. And, who doesnít like to have a Krispy Kreme donut for breakfast?

Next: Day 3 continued.
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #8
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I really enjoyed reading the start of your cruise trip report we will be taking our DD 12 on her first DCL next August on a 7 day Mediteranean Cruise really cant wait
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:40 PM   #9
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Fabulous pics coming into San Francisco! I so wanted to do one of the Pixar cruises, but DH wasn't interested in the itinerary. At least I talked him into going on another cruise, but seeing your pics was really fun!
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Cruisin' With Mickey! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012 Trip Report

Ramada Maingate February 2014--First time as a family of five! Ramada Maingate July 2013--Last time as a family of four! Ramada Maingate December 2012--Club 33! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera November 2012--We're addicted! Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera March 2012--First Cruise! Ramada Maingate September 2011--First Trip as a family of 4! Anaheim Hilton March 2011--Last Trip as a Family of 3! Marriott Anaheim December 2010--Grandpa Jim's First Trip Marriott Anaheim October 2010--Celebrating Our 1 Year Adoption Anniversary Marriott Anaheim July 2010--Isabel's 3rd Birthday Trip Marriott Anaheim May 2010--First Time at Disneyland & First Trip with Isabel! Off Site May 2009--Quick getaway with my two favorite guys, DH and Dad Pop Century September 2008--My first solo trip! Pop Century May 2008--Finally just DH and me again! All Star Sports September 2006--With Dad and The Otters All Star Movies October 2005--Pressed penny collecting trip on the heels of Hurricane Wilma! Off Site December 2004--One last trip with Mom...bittersweet memories Off Site April 2003--With Mom & Dad Off Site May 2000--First trip with DH! And way more trips than I can count while living in Florida and then visiting after we moved!
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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Beautiful pics of your trip into San Francisco! That has to be one of my favorite cities I've ever visited, it would have been amazing to sail under the golden gate!
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:32 AM   #11
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My Mom's and my head are in your first pic of day 3.

Going under the bridge and seeing it so clearly was definitely a highlight for me.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms Sleepy View Post
I really enjoyed reading the start of your cruise trip report we will be taking our DD 12 on her first DCL next August on a 7 day Mediteranean Cruise really cant wait
You will love the Magic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by marciemouse View Post
Fabulous pics coming into San Francisco! I so wanted to do one of the Pixar cruises, but DH wasn't interested in the itinerary. At least I talked him into going on another cruise, but seeing your pics was really fun!
Thanks! My DH wasn't thrilled with it at first either, but it grew on him and he really enjoyed San Francisco.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdn hawaii View Post
Yes! Thank you so much!!
No problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alliebelle3 View Post
Beautiful pics of your trip into San Francisco! That has to be one of my favorite cities I've ever visited, it would have been amazing to sail under the golden gate!
It was very cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BDACE View Post
My Mom's and my head are in your first pic of day 3.

Going under the bridge and seeing it so clearly was definitely a highlight for me.
Too funny! I totally agree, going under the bridge was a definite highlight for us too.
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Old 10-27-2012, 12:34 PM   #13
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Enjoying your TR. Great shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, too.
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:58 PM   #14
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Day 3 continued

Our plan as a group today was to take the DCL tour of Muir Woods and Sausalito. We met in Studio Sea at 9:15 AM, got our Pumbaa stickers and were escorted to the terminal and to our tour bus. We were so excited to see the city and drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. We learned a lot of interesting things about the city from our tour guide Diane on our way to the woods.



The woods were breathtaking and very enjoyable.













Besides being awe struck with the California Redwoods we also saw a deer.



Before long, we had to board the bus again and head to Sausalito. We had lunch and walked up and down the main street enjoying the views of Richardson Bay and the city.











It was such a clear day, that we even had a lovely shot of the Wonder.



After our tour, we were dropped back at Pier 35.



After a short bathroom break, we walked over to Pier 39 to look around.





We had great, clear views of Alcatraz from the pier.



DD really wanted to see the Sea Lions so we spent some time there.





We ran into our DNeighbors so we headed over with them to Boudinís for some fresh sour dough bread. I loved how they shaped the loaves into animals.







I also loved these little gingerbread skeletons.



We bought a small sour dough bread turtle and DD and I shared it. It was so yummy. After we ate the bread, we walked back to ship and went through security to get back onboard. The Wonder was docked on the other side of the building this trip.

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Old 11-04-2012, 12:04 PM   #15
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Subbing in! Will be back later to catch up!
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