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Old 12-15-2011, 08:53 PM   #1
DIS Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 596

“Viva Mexico” - Suite life on the Wonder – A trip report (12/4 – 12/11 2011)


Introductions and the beginning
Hilton Inn LAX at El Sugundo
Day 1 - Of Upgrades, waits and Embarkation
Day 1 continued - Settling down
Day 2 – Captain’s gala
Day 3 – “The day we were charged for Gluttony”
Day 4 Las Caletas – Castaway cay of the west (Almost)
Day 5 - Beaches, Dolphins and pirates to boot
Day 6 -Twin cities of Cabo and San Jose
Day 7 - Day of indulgence for the Adults

Introductions and the beginning

Before I begin, let me confess to a couple of things.

Our first trip report remains incomplete, was hardly able to add two installments and life got in the way (Yes that’s the excuse I am sticking to). I do promise, I will finish this report (fingers crossed)

I have another confession to make… I have no idea what the title means, just that it sounded cool to say it. So, if I have managed to offend anybody over it or for that matter let me extend that disclaimer to the rest of the report, please do not take it to your heart. It was not intentional.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin..First the roll call
Mr. Goofy, yours truly, a.k.a “Moi”,
Mrs. Goofy a.k.a. “DW”,
Adorable a.k.a. “DS6” and
Huggable a.k.a “DD3”.

The roots of this trip began a year back. December 23rd 2010 was the day we bid adieu to “our” ship, “The Wonder”, after a blissful 4 day trip to Bahamas. Pictures from our previous trip…

As the view of the ship from our bus disappeared we realized we haven’t had enough of it yet. The foundation of this trip was laid then and there. We have been looking at sailings, ports, cruise lines. Finally we zeroed in on the January sailing to MR on “our” ship, cost wise and logistics, it made sense. Notice how we gave fair chance to the other ships / cruise lines before picking the one ship we wanted to sail . I had exhausted my vacation days for this year and so I took the next possible option, January 2012. Paid the advance and started doing the necessary research, then august happened….
Life has a way of throwing curve balls at you all the time, what you make of those curves is strictly dependent on you. Got busy job hunting and managed to land another one within a fortnight of searching. A job change meant my vacation got erased and I start afresh. Nothing dare come between me and my vacation . I took this opportunity to move our dates to December; this also meant I could use the Kids Sail free program. So emails flew left and right to our TA’s and before long we were booked on the December 4th sailing and had saved some money in the process (wait, till you hear the plans I have for that saved money).

Being the obsessive planner of vacations that I am, I started pouring over each and every detail. Thanks to the information from this board, there was always something new to learn. We had booked on Categroy 5C, nothing less than a balcony would do for us. I have heard people say they hardly ever used their rooms, not us. Ours is family which makes very good use of the stateroom.
As about our other requests, we wanted the early dinning. The reason for that, see below …

We had asked for the dinning rotation “PTTAPTA”. I figured, if the events followed the set schedule then this rotation would put us in Tritons for Formal and semi formal dinner and in Parrot key for the pirate night. This was suggested by yet another disboard member. We had also requested for a separate table. As days passed by, I found myself spending more and more time on disboards, gathering as much information as I could. Full payment day came, and payment was duly made. This also meant I could now make reservations. These was our itinerary

Palo Dinner – Third night.
Las Caletas – Puerto Vallarta day.
Dolphin Encounter – Cabo first day.
Coastal highlights tour – Cabo second day.
Palo brunch – last sea day.

This was our first palo outing too. Since this was our second trip on the wonder, we decided to do things that we didn’t have time for the last time around. Being a weeklong trip, we figured it would be more relaxing (Boy were we wrong!! ) . Yet another action item in our list was to deck up for the formal and semi formal night. We are not used to dressing up for dinner, so figured it would be novel to try this out in this trip. This also meant, we had to start digging deep in our wardrobes for the suites and dresses. Got dinner dresses for DD3 and suites for DS6, thanks to black Friday.

The idea of door magnets was appealing, but…sounded too complicated for me. Yes, I am a bit challenged when it comes to anything related to arts and crafts. I ended up ordering a customized door magnet from ebay. Just for kicks, I thought I would try and see how good my two left hands were at making them. I was a bit surprised to see how easy they were to make, once you get a hang of things. I got some of the designs from our disboard contributors. Sincere thanks goes out each and every one of them.

Then came the transportation and hotel arrangements. We had decided that we were going to fly in on the Friday, spend a day in LA before embarking on Sunday. When your bags fly for free, why would I choose any other airline?, so Southwest it was. After much research and deliberation, I went ahead and booked the Hilton garden Inn at El Sugundo. The easy access to the train, the friendly shuttle drivers and the relative safety of the area were the selling points. A more detailed review of the hotel will follow. We booked the super shuttle from residence to the airport and back and from the Hilton Inn to the port and back from the port to LAX.

As days went by, I started thinking about a possible port upgrade. Pictures of the one bedroom suites were pretty tempting. The initial reports were that it cost around $1600 to upgrade from a Category 5 to the suites. I shelved that idea as that was outside our budget. When the MR sailings started again this winter and reports of port upgrades started filling in, I was surprised to hear that it was just $800+ to upgrade. I started making plans to be prepared for a possible upgrade (Note the “I” whenever I talk about the port upgrade, more on that later). (To be continued…)

Last edited by narsibvl; 01-12-2012 at 04:02 PM. Reason: Updated with PV day.
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