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Old 05-14-2009, 05:42 PM   #1
I'm a huggin' foolWon't some sweet mama come and take a chance with me
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Podcast Cruise Photos & More

Sunday May 10th - Thursday May 14
Podcast Cruise aboard the Disney Wonder

Hi Everyone,

As you've seen by now we are off the Disney Wonder, and although I'm sitting in the lobby at the Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jambo House) I keep thinking what a wonderful 4 days we just experienced together.

Kim and Anna have ventured off to the Animal Kingdom park. Normally, I'd jump at the chance to head over to the Animal Kingdom, but I decided today was going to be a day to relax and enjoy the resort.

Let me preface my report by saying this was my first ever cruise experience. I've already concluded this cruise will be very difficult to top. You see, not only were the events fantastic, but we kept bumping into several of my friends while onboard the ship or at the ports of call. What more could a family ask for!

Our Podcast Cruise morning started at Cape May Cafe with a character breakfast.

One of the many tables we occupied at Cape May

On our way to Port Canaveral on the buses provided by Dreams. Our daughter Anna made a new friend.

We arrived at Port Canaveral and the check-in process was very smooth. We had all of our documentation ready. After we checked in we took our photos IDs for the ship security. We also checked Anna in for the kids activities on the ship. This all went well. We waited about 20 minutes for our boarding group to be called. We were in boarding group 10, and once our group was called we entered the gangway to the ship. We proceeded directly to Parrot Cay for our welcome aboard lunch.

After lunch we headed for our stateroom. One of our first orderes of busines was to decorate our stateroom door and put up our fish extender.

Our servers in the dining room were terrific. They did some amazing magic tricks for our table. Anna loved them. Anna got a kick out of the napkin on her head. More about the tricks later.

Just some brief words about the food aboard the ship. It was much better than I expected. It was prepared very well. There were some nights when I ordered two of the same entree because I loved a particular dish so much. The food in the Beach Blanket Buffet was good, but not as good as in the dining rooms. The counter service options were okay. It's counter service food similar to what you find in the parks with hamburgers, hot dogs, chkcken, wraps and paninis, Pizza, and soft serve ice cream.

Our first stop was at Nassau. The crew was exactly right about Nassau. Unless you plan on visiting Atlantis there's really no need to get off the ship. I did take the opportunity to visit Atlantis. However, before leaving the ship I had Palo brunch courtesy of Dream Unlimited Travel.
Champagne is offered to you as you enter the restaurant for brunch.

Our table for brunch with a great view of Atlantis in the distance.

My brunch experience at Palo was great. The format of the meal allows you to go up and eat what you'd like from the buffet. After you've sampled your favorites from the buffet you can order from the various menu options. I chose the chicken Parm. I found all the food to be very well prepared. I'd suggest not missing a meal at Palo if you ever cruise with Disney.

My wife Kim was a bit under the weather so she chose to head back to the stateroom. Anna wanted to go to the Oceaneer's Lab. I dropped her off and as I was leaving the lab I ran into some friends. I spent a couple of very delightful hours touring a very nice stateroom and having lunch even though I just dined at Palo. I was on food overload, but hey...It's a cruise ship right?

Afterwards I headed to Atlantis. I shared a taxi which only cost me $4. A very good deal in my opinion. Atlantis is a beautiful resort. I walked through the lobby and casino (yes, I played...Don't ask ). I also walked through the pool area which is the largest resort pool area I've ever seen.
Our view of Atlantis from the ship

A shot of the grounds

Heading out to the pool area

One of the many pools around the complex

Our dining rotation for the cruise was APPT. The letters indicate what restaurant you will dine at each evening. So our first night was at Animator's Palette, then Parrot Cay on Monday and Tuesday night. Finally we dined at Triton's on Wednesday night. Personally I preferred our dining experience at Animator's Pallette the best. The food, atmosphere and service was great. All of the others were very good, but Animator's just seemed better to me.

One of the night clubs we frequented during the cruise was called Wavebands located on deck 3. There were dance parties and kareoke for everyone to enjoy.
Some of the cruise members taking over the stage at Wavebankds.

A couple of them even took to the floor.

My next post will include photos from Castaway Cay and pirate night. More to come.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:50 PM   #2

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WOOHOO! First trip report! Thanks for letting us live vicariously throiugh you! Keep the pics and info comin'!
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:50 PM   #3

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Great report. Looking forward to the next installment

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Old 05-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #4
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Looks great! Would you mind telling us who is who?
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:59 PM   #5
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I really enjoyed this post. More more!

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Old 05-14-2009, 06:06 PM   #6
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Very nice report and pictures Aaron. Made me feel as though I was there. Oh wait, I was...

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Old 05-14-2009, 06:09 PM   #7
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:13 PM   #8
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Great pictures and report. It makes me wish I skipped my brother-in-laws wedding. You all had a lot more fun.
Loving the magic since 1983. Too many trips to list.

Our next trips - Animal Kingdom Lodge and Boarwalk - 3/4-3/10, and Norway and Iceland on the Wonder 6/29-7/10/15
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:28 PM   #9
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Great report! Awesome photos! Thanks so much! I love your stateroom door, very cool looking. Can't wait to hear and see more...
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:38 PM   #10
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That looks so wonderful. I hope to see more pics and reports
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:52 PM   #11
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The next day, Tuesday, was our stop at Castaway Cay. Pete recently wrote a blog about a day at Castaway Cay and how it was worth the price for a Disney cruise by itself. Absolutely right! The place is amazing. I would have been okay if the ship would have left without us. We could have caught it the next time it came back. But, sadly that wasn't going to happen so we made the most of our day.

It is very apparent the island is well maintained. I couldn't believe how blue the water looked and how beautiful the ship looked near the beach.
Characters join you on the island. The lines are usually shorter than what you'd find in the theme parks. A much more relaxed pace for sure.

The Black Pearl is docked at Castaway Cay

Welcome signage!

The family beach. The beaches on Castaway Cay are prestine!

Thw water at Castaway Cay is a beautiful blue

One of the events we ran into was a crab race. Cocowum and Launchpad were participants. We cheered them on, but unfortunately there crab had a medical emergency.

After the crab race we decided to grab a bite at Cookies. They make a great BBQ and it's a nice change of pace from the food on the ship. Many of us sat together along with Kathy (Saftymom). It was a great meal. I should also add, there is a nice fruit bar nearby that serves up the best fruit during the cruise.

Also part of our day on Castaway Cay was a party sponsored by Dreams Unlimited over at the Heads Up bar. Everyone received a free drink courtesy of Dreams. We also received a visit from a couple of characters.

As our day at Castaway Cay concluded we realized how lucky we were spending our day there with severeal of our friends. One word of advice. When you visit Castaway Cay make sure to apply a lot of sun block. The sun can knock your socks off!
A few more photos of the ship from Castaway Cay

As we moved closer to the evening we prepared ourselves for Pirate Night. Anna would be fully dressed in her pirate costume while Kim and I wore pirate bandanas. Dinner was at Parrot Cay and the menu was pirate themed with treasure map menus. There were a number of great pirate costumes in the dining room.

Here's a photo of Anna's costume taken not with a Disney character, but our friend Todd who was dressed extremly well for Pirate Night.

The dining room staff get into the pirate mood with a pirate show during dinner

After dinner everyone headed up to deck 9 for a the pirate party. There is a great stage show with a dance party complete with a fireworks finally!
There was plenty of dancing at the pirate party!

Lots of Disney characters are around

The big screen on the Disney Wonder is very vivid and clear; especially at night.

Also available during the party is a buffet and dessert buffet on deck 9 near the party. More food! After the pirate Party many of us headed back down to Wavebands for kareoke night. I'm sure others will have photos to post about kareoke night!

My next post will be about our day at sea, other photos and some final thoughts about the cruise . More to come!
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Old 05-14-2009, 06:58 PM   #12
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Thanks SO much for these !!

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Old 05-14-2009, 06:59 PM   #13
I'm a huggin' foolWon't some sweet mama come and take a chance with me
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Originally Posted by Mouse Skywalker View Post
Very nice report and pictures Aaron. Made me feel as though I was there. Oh wait, I was...

Nice tease Dave. You know..It seemed like we bumped into you and your family the most; except for Anna (Aspen) who we dined with each evening.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:03 PM   #14
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Really really really enjoying this!
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:04 PM   #15
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Thanks for posting all these pics...us non-cruisers have been anxiously waiting! It sounds like you all had a FABULOUS time. It looks like you couldn't have asked for a better day at Castaway Cay. Looking forward to your next post!
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