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Old 01-16-2013, 02:48 PM   #31
dvandkq
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Day 10 - Cartagena de los Indios

After the exciting day transiting the Panama Canal, we were unprepared for the excitement and beauty of our port day in Cartagena de los Indios, Colombia.


Fort San Fernando, on Bocachica Island, protects Cartagena's harbor from pirate attacks




Cartagena de los Indios




Crewmembers paint over the scrapes from the prior day's canal transit


A 500 year old wall surrounds the Old City


Ft. San Felipe protected Cartagena from pirate attack. Cartagena was Spain's "Fort Knox" as Spain looted the treasures of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations, and thus pirates made Cartagena their prime target








We're going canoeing through a mangrove swamp!








Ice-cold coconut water after the canoe trip!


Section of the wall surrounding the old city




Residence in Cartagena


Back to the ship!


Scrapes and scratches from our passage through the canal the day prior


Dock in Cartagena


Pirate Dinner!




It's time for Pirates IN the Caribbean!


John joins in the interactive games for kids on deck!


Fireworks in the Caribbean!
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:42 PM   #32
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Wow! What an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing it with us!
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:40 PM   #33
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Day 11 - At sea

Days 11 and 12 were both 'at-sea', meaning we had plenty of time to relax, make character appearances, attend a 'Princess Party', and generally just have fun aboard a darned-fun cruise ship!


The Caribbean was much rougher than the Pacific. 'Pacific' means 'peaceful', and that was our experience on this cruise.

This morning, we were awaken at 5:30 am when the closet door in our stateroom slammed open, making a heck of a loud bang. We were both immediately startled awake. Luckily, our seven year-old slept through it! Even more fortunate, we were both able to fall back asleep with the rocking ship, and slept in until 8:30, which is unheard of for us!




Mom MADE/FORCED John to escort her to the 'Princess Party'. There were two on our two-week cruise, and we'd missed the first one due to a miscommunication about a typo in the invitation. We made it to this one early enough to get a front row seat for Princess Kathleen!




Princess Ariel welcomed everyone to the party in her father's restaurant, Triton's...


Princess Belle paid our table a visit...




Anthony, our assistant dining room server, took over our table so he could serve us at the Princess Party...


Princess Minnie looked very elegant...


Cinderella and the Maitre d' gave waltz lessons to the princes and princesses in attendance...


While dancing with the Maitre d', Cinderella noticed a handsome young prince dancing with a beautiful queen. Knowing the queen was the prince's mother...


...Cinderella cut in so she could dance with the handsome young prince.


Cinderella and the handsome young prince waltzed around the dining room...


First Cinderella taught the handsome young prince how to twirl...


...And soon thereafter, the handsome young prince gave Cinderella a twirl...




After the dance, the handsome young prince bowed to Cinderella...


...And Cinderella curtseyed to the handsome young prince...


...And they lived happily ever-after!


Regardless of Cinderella and the handsome young prince, Princess Kathleen insisted on meeting all the other princesses


Even if you're going steady with Cinderella, you can always pose for a picture with Snow White!




All too soon, the Princess Party was over, and it was time to say 'good-bye' to all the beautiful Disney princesses - and Dopey, too!


Just another boring afternoon in the Western Caribbean...

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Old 01-17-2013, 04:54 PM   #34
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Day 12 - At sea

Once again we had another 'at-sea' day as we sailed from Cartagena, Columbia to Costa Maya, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. As we'd be arriving at Costa Maya on December 21, 2012 - the supposed 'last day' of the Mayan calendar, Kathleen actually overheard a guest complain to the Guest Services desk that it was improper and risky for the 'Disney Wonder' to be anywhere near the Yucatan Peninsula on 12/21/12. Umm - hello - did you not know where the ship would be on 12/21/12 when you booked your cruise?!? We were excited to be spending 12/21/12 climbing Mayan ruins - but that's not until tomorrow.

First, we have yet another day of fun, relaxation, and smiles aboard the 'Disney Wonder'!


The sun rises over our stern


Sailing towards Costa Maya, Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula!


This afternoon, John plays along with the characters at a "Deck the Deck" party




Pluto can out-Hula-Hoop Goofy every time!




That's John in the front row with the goggles on his head, keeping an eye on his BFF Minnie.


Minnie leads the 428th conga line dance of the cruise!


I included this picture because it shows our Mickey, Tinkerbell, and Jake beach towels. My mom thought we were crazy for bringing our own towels on a cruise. I thought we were brilliant.


Of course John - and his buddy from the Oceaneer's Lab - are in the conga line!


We finally figured out how to get everyone to the rear deck on deck 7!







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Old 01-17-2013, 05:56 PM   #35
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I have really enjoyed your photographs. I can't wait to show my boys your canal pictures as they would love to do this cruise.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #36
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Day 13 - Costa Maya

[Background music: REM's "It's The End Of The World As We Know It"]

The date: December 21, 2012
The place: Chacchoben, Mexico
The reason: Touring Mayan ruins on the day some say the Mayan calendar foretold the apocalypse!

Our final port call of this exquisite and amazing adventure was Costa Maya, Mexico, a relatively new port stop on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The cruise terminal was built around 2000, but most of the area - including the cruise ship dock - was terribly damaged by Hurricane Dean in 2007. Costa Maya claims the closest access to Mayan ruins for cruise ship passengers. Our bus drive took about an hour to go the approximately 45 miles to the site of the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben.


Approaching the dock in Costa Maya


Commercial complex of 'Costa Maya' exists almost exclusively for cruise ship passengers


Looking back at the 'Wonder' as we walk down the pier to our tour bus for the ride to Chacchoben


Mexican military personnel were ubiquitous


The world hasn't ended yet...




What archeologists believe 'Chacchoben' looked like when an active Mayan community.


Map of the Chacchoben archeological site


We'll presume the TV crew was there to witness the end of the world














Back at the Costa Maya cruise terminal after the bus ride back from Chacchoben


Fountain celebrating the 'Mayan arch'. The 'Mayan arch' dispensed with capstones, and thus it wasn't as strong as other architectural arches. Thus, Mayan structures periodically collapsed when the Mayan arch failed


Heading back to the ship












After lunch in Triton's, we spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool, Goofing off

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:24 AM   #37
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I am enjoying your trip report. Where did you get your hat?
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:36 PM   #38
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Panama Canal

Love the photos! I can see my kids in the pool in the background on the sea days. Sure was fun! Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:57 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bheyman View Post
I am enjoying your trip report. Where did you get your hat?
If you're referring to the Sorcerer's Apprentice hat, I got that at the Mad Hatter shop on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland last April.

I was so glad I brought it on the cruise, although they also sell them on the ship in "Mickey's Mates".
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:48 PM   #40
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Day 14 - At sea - part 1

December 22nd was our last day at sea and our last full day on the ship, as we arrive in Miami before dawn on Sunday, December 23rd. We decided to do all we could to stave off the sadness that comes at the end of two amazing weeks.


Waiting for a reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with the Disney characters!






Here come the characters and princesses!


John scratches Pluto's nose!


John gets a prime seat on Minnie's lap!








John and Santa Goofy!


Holland America's "Westerdam" sails towards Miami as well


Plowing through the heavy swells in the Florida Strait between Florida and Cuba




The 'Til We Meet Again' party!




Another dance with Minnie!






John takes the stage in the Walt Disney Theater for "Friendship Rocks", a fun way to say 'goodbye' to the new friends made in the Oceaneer's Club and Oceaneer's Lab




Our final sunset aboard the 'Disney Wonder'


John with Deniz, our dining room supervisor


Dinner our final day was in Animator's Palate. Here Dan takes Grandma Pat's order


Assistant Server Anthony (from France) was almost in tears when we ordered a bottle of French wine for our last dinner aboard the ship


Last plate of Mickey ears ketchup

Continued below...
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:58 PM   #41
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Day 14 & 15 - at sea and our arrival in Miami


While we're celebrating Kathleen's birthday (which happened 3 days after we left the ship), we might as well celebrate John's birthday as well, which won't happen for another month!


In the face goes the cake!


Disney Cruise Line birthday cake!


It's time to say farewell to all the Disney characters


John & Captain Puckett


Saying 'goodbye' to Cinderella


The last waltz with Cinderella




A final bow and curtsey


A final portrait with mainstage performer Rebecca, whom we befriended on the cruise. Rebecca and her mom were on every one of our Port Adventures with us!




Saying 'goodbye' to our most gracious host for the past two weeks


I turned the camera around and got a photo of Clare Lin with John. Clare Lin was an amazing photographer who shot great pictures of us all cruise long!


Floating past the other cruise ships already at dock in Miami before dawn, Sunday morning


Pre-dawn Miami, the end of our most amazing journey aboard the 'Disney Wonder'!
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:00 PM   #42
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At-sea days

I had to giggle at a recent Facebook post by Disney Cruise Lines. They posted a photo from aboard a ship, and asked "What do you like to do on your 'at-sea' day.

We had eight - EIGHT!!!! - 'at-sea' days on the Panama Canal cruise - one between Los Angeles and Cabo San Lucas, four between Puerto Vallarata and the Panama Canal, two between Cartagena and Costa Maya, and one between Costa Maya and Miami.

I came to enjoy the 'at-sea' days more than the days we visited ports of call. Sure, swimming with the dolphins, exploring Cartagena, and climbing Mayan ruins on December 21, 2012 were amazing experiences, but for sheer fun and relaxation, nothing beats unstructured days 'at-sea'!
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