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Old 08-27-2012, 04:26 PM   #271
dolphingirl47
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Day 18

All over sudden it was the last sea day. This was hard to believe considering we had had so many. Graham had decided the evening before that he would skip the exercise classes that day and therefore we had given Mickey a day off. We woke up just before 9:00. I quickly checked the Navigator and realised that there were some character meet and greets starting very soon. I said goodbye to Graham and headed up to the atrium. He decided to get some breakfast. When I got to the atrium, Donald was there and there was next to nobody around. Donald's escort approached me and advised that Daisy was feeling seasick and would not be able to make it. I have to say, I did not even check which characters were supposed to be out. In any case, I was fine with whatever characters were available. I was so tempted so to make a remark along the lines of "It must have been a good party last night." A seasick duck does not quite do it for me. Anyway, I had my photo taken with Donald and then chatted with some people I knew who had also come for the characters. Suddenly there was something going. I just heard one of the character escorts say with a rather exasperated voice "If Daisy is seasick, she is seasick. There is nothing we can do." Obviously somebody was not happy about the change in the character line up. I quickly lost interest and was soon chatting with the other character escort. I had spotted something on the board listing the character meet and greets just saying "The Captains". So I had to ask what that would be. Apparently this was another first for Disney Cruise Line. Captain Fabian and Captain Mickey would be out together for photos.





By that time, Donald had left and soon afterwards, Minnie came out. Again, there was next to nobody around. I had my photo taken with her and then again spent some time chatting to people I knew. About 5 minutes into Minnie's set, Daisy arrived. The character escort with her announced that Daisy felt a bit better and had come out for two or three photos. She joined Minnie. The person who had created such a stir earlier was first in line. I stayed off to one side on purpose. I have to say I was rather embarrassed by the whole thing. Some other people joined the line and were advised that Daisy was only out for a short while. At some stage, one of the character escorts approached me and asked if I wanted a photo with Daisy and Minnie. I would have had to lie if I had said that I didn't. Instead I just said something along the lines that I did not want to bother Daisy if she was not well. He assured me that it would be no trouble at all and walked over to Daisy and Minnie with me. Daisy moved on a short time later and Minnie stayed out a bit longer.









Next up were Chip and Dale. As there was still hardly anybody around, nobody was in any hurry to get started with the photos. What happened next was one of the funniest interactions that I ever had. The character escort who was already at the atrium asked them if they had breakfast, which they confirmed very enthusiastically. He then asked them what they had for breakfast. Chip indicated a letter. I think the character escort thought that it was the letter A. He went through acorns and almonds, but that was not it. The letter was then repeated and it actually turned out to be the letter H. We all had a bit of a mental block and nobody could think of what Chip would have had for breakfast at first. Suddenly somebody said hazelnuts and Chip got very excited. The character escort then asked Dale what he had for breakfast and he pointed to the area between the lifts. Again that had everybody stumped. After a while somebody mentioned that what Dale was pointing at could be described as a wall and maybe he had walnuts for breakfast. When this was mentioned, Dale started to bounce around. This was obviously right. Now that we knew what they had for breakfast, we could get back to the photos. Once I had my photo taken with the two rascals, I still had a bit of time until the next character meet and greet. So I decided to check out the photos from the previous day. I was pleased how they had turned out. I also quickly checked that they all made it on the kiosk and then I headed back to the atrium. By then a little bit of a line had formed. I suppose people have started to wake up by then and Sorcerer Mickey is a bit special. The line was still manageable though and I joined it. When Mickey arrived, the line moved pretty quickly.









I had to quickly head back to the cabin to pick up some stuff once I was finished with Mickey. Next up was the Secret Mickey reveal. I had organized this with somebody else, which had the advantage that both of us could participate without knowing who was giving to us. My partner in crime had managed to get us the Cadillac Lounge for the reveal. It was still a bit early when I got there, but a few people were already there. It was nice to exchange experiences about the cruise with people that I had not seen much of during the cruise. Soon the time for the reveal arrived and it became very apparent that only about half of the people that we expected had actually turned up. I have to say I was very disappointed. The agreement had been that the final gift would be presented at this meeting and each Secret Mickey would reveal him or herself to the person they had been giving to. I absolutely understand that this is people's holiday and plans may change, but it would have been nice if people who could not make it for whatever reason had let us know. The whole situation was just awful for both the people they were giving to and the people who had given to them. My co-organizer had even arranged for a reminder call for everybody so it is not that people were not aware or had forgotten. On a personal level, I was lucky. The person I had been giving to was present. I had struggled for the whole cruise to keep a straight face. It just so happened that she was one of the people that I would constantly bump into and she was also somebody I really liked. So we ended up catching up with each other a few times every day. Quite often she told me about or showed the little things that her Secret Mickey had left her. I had to make sure that I was appreciative without giving anything away. The person who had given to me was also there. My final gift was a gorgeous dolphin sarong. I really have to find a suitable place to display this. It is far too pretty to be worn.

After the Secret Mickey reveal, I had arranged to meet with somebody to score their Scavenger Hunt. The family in question had left me a note at my door in the morning saying that they would not be able to make the scoring session in the afternoon and if I could score their Scavenger Hunt at another time. So I had asked them to come to the Cadillac Lounge after Secret Mickey reveal. This was just as well. I noticed that the answer to one question had changed and there was a second possible answer to another question. So that gave me the chance to verify those before the main scoring session. With this done, I rang all the people who had not made the Secret Mickey reveal. One of them was very upset. Not only had she got the venues mixed up and was the only person who turned up where she thought the Secret Mickey reveal would take place, but she had also posted on our cruise meet thread about a month before the cruise that she had changed cabins. This had gone under in the general chatter and the person giving to her had delivered to the original cabin. So I now had to hunt the person in question down so that at least the final gift would be delivered to the right cabin. Fortunately I found her just outside Parrot Cay still carrying the gift.

By this time, I was ready for my lunch. As Graham had eaten earlier on, I opted to go to Parrot Cay. Unfortunately the theme of the day was seafood. They always have some non-seafood options, but they get less from cruise to cruise. I ended up with assorted vegetables and a beef stir fry, which was very nice though. I did raid the dessert buffet on this occasion where I had a lime mousse and a couple of chocolate desserts. After lunch, I headed out to check the answers for the problematic questions before heading back to the cabin to get the things that I needed for the scoring session.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:31 PM   #272
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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I caught up with Graham again and he decided to join me at the Promenade Lounge. The thought of a couple of Virgin Piña Coladas had proven to tempting. Even though we got there ahead of the scheduled time, there were already a couple of families waiting for us. For the first hour we had a steady stream of families coming by, but then it slowed down. Only about 10% of people who had requested the games pack for the Scavenger Hunt came to the scoring session, but that kept me plenty busy enough. It does not bear thinking about how busy I would have been if everybody had turned up.

Once the allotted time for the scoring session was over, I took everything that I no longer needed to our cabin and grabbed by swimsuit. I relaxed on a heated tile lounger and read. I had to briefly leave my comfortable lounger as Mickey and Minnie were only scheduled to be out before early dinner and I had missed them in this particular formal outfit on the first formal night. So I quickly went down to our cabin, put my evening gown on and headed to the atrium. Fortunately the gown I was wearing that evening was quite straightforward. I also got a bonus photo opportunity. Goofy was out in his tuxedo as well. So I joined him for a photo, too. Once I had my photos taken, I headed back to the cabin, got changed back into my sundress and headed back to the Rainforest Room. All in all, I had been gone for less than 30 minutes. I retired back to my tile lounger with my book.









At about 19:00, I got showered and headed back to the cabin to get changed and put my make up on. While I was putting on my jewellery, a matching hair clip that the jewellery artist had added to the parcel caught my eye. It was only small, but just the perfect size to go on the end of a braid. So an idea was born. I really liked having my hair out of my face on the second formal night. So I decided to try if my hair is now long enough to put into a braid. This worked like a charm. Once I was ready, we headed up to the atrium. We got in line for the photos with the two captains. Graham preferred to be standing next to Captain Fabian and I was quite happy with the company of Captain Mickey. Once we had this photo taken, we got in line for Chip and Dale. They looked so cute in their tuxedos.









By the time we had all the photos taken, it was time for dinner. The menu that evening was the Captain's Gala Menu. This is another menu that is quite heavily geared towards seafood. I also noticed that my usual go to dish was no longer on the menu. Graham had Oysters Rockefeller on the Half Shell followed by Baked Lobster Tail with Lemon Butter, Green Beans and Oven-baked Rice. He had Amaretto Cheesecake for dessert. I had Garlic and Herb Sautéed Shrimp, Minestrone and Oven-roasted Pork Tenderloin with Creamy Cheese Polenta and a Merlot Reduction. Our server talked me into trying the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake, but this ended up being way to sweet for me.

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Old 08-27-2012, 04:36 PM   #273
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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After dinner, we made the rounds of the photo opportunities. We decided to have some photos taken against the brown backdrop that they had used for the Captains photo earlier. They also had the backdrop with the ship at night out and we also had some more photos taken against the white backdrop. As we were kind of colour co-ordinated that day, it would have been a shame not to.



























Once we were finished with our photos, we headed back to the cabin. Apart from our towel animal, there was also a surprise on the bed. There was a white box that contained 4 napkins embroidered with characters and the details of the cruise with 4 napkin rings that had the Disney Cruise Line logo on one side and Disney Wonder on the other side. I think this is probably my favourite gift of all theories that we have received on special cruises. Once I had admired this, I got ready for bed and then called it a day.















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Old 08-27-2012, 07:16 PM   #274
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Great update! Loved your necklace!
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:31 AM   #275
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sounds like you had a wonderful time and got some great pictures!
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:18 AM   #276
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Awe gee Last sea day? booooo. this trip report could go on cruising for another week or two, as far as I'm concerned. When is your next cruise?
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Old 08-28-2012, 11:48 AM   #277
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Another great update, thank you! Beautiful gown too; that color is gorgeous on you.
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:12 PM   #278
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Last day at sea, how time has flown! I have so thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventure. I love the napkins, what a nice gift.

I'm sorry the gift exchange finale was a little awkward. Im with you, if you commit to something, at least have the curtesy to let the group know if you've decided not to come. Sounds like yours went well which I'm glad
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:38 PM   #279
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggrbaby View Post
Great update! Loved your necklace!
Thanks. For the necklace, I just told my favourite jewellery artist that I wanted something with a Hawaii theme and she came up with this I love it. I get a lot of wear out of it as well. It has some Wow factor, but is still understated enough to wear to work especially teamed up with a black blouse.

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Originally Posted by dgbg100106 View Post
sounds like you had a wonderful time and got some great pictures!
Yes, it was a fun day.

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Originally Posted by LindaBabe View Post
Awe gee Last sea day? booooo. this trip report could go on cruising for another week or two, as far as I'm concerned. When is your next cruise?
There is still our post-cruise stay at Disneyland to come and of course also our last port. As to the next cruise, if everything goes according to plan, it will be in November. If not, then the back to back cruises next May.

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Another great update, thank you! Beautiful gown too; that color is gorgeous on you.
Thanks. I love everything blue and this shade of blue is just gorgeous. It also seems to complement the colour of my eyes.

Corinna
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Old 08-28-2012, 03:40 PM   #280
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
Last day at sea, how time has flown! I have so thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventure. I love the napkins, what a nice gift.

I'm sorry the gift exchange finale was a little awkward. Im with you, if you commit to something, at least have the curtesy to let the group know if you've decided not to come. Sounds like yours went well which I'm glad
As mentioned before, the adventure is not finished yet. We still have the Ensenada day to come and some magical moments at Disneyland.

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Old 09-01-2012, 01:20 PM   #281
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Love those napkins
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:20 PM   #282
dolphingirl47
I will post my goodies once I am back
I have always been too worried to use the pillowcase
 
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I will hopefully post another installment tomorrow, but just quickly wanted to check in to say that I have booked another cruise for November. I found a rate that I simply could not refuse. So I better get this trip report finished before I get to do the next one.

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Old 09-01-2012, 05:34 PM   #283
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How excellent! It completely went over my head when you said something on the AKL thread. I just went back to see what you had said the other day. Congratulations!
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:01 AM   #284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolphingirl47 View Post
I will hopefully post another installment tomorrow, but just quickly wanted to check in to say that I have booked another cruise for November. I found a rate that I simply could not refuse. So I better get this trip report finished before I get to do the next one.

Corinna
Very cool, how wonderful....
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:33 PM   #285
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Day 19

This morning Mickey called again at 7:00. After all the sea days, we would have another day in port. As the Disney Wonder is registered in the Bahamas, we had to have one foreign port on the itinerary, which in this case was Ensenada, Mexico. I was not quite sure what to make of this port and I had not heard much positive about it. At one stage I had seriously considered just staying on the ship. Eventually the temptation of a tequila tasting excursion proved too tempting. Unfortunately a couple of weeks before we were due to leave for our holiday, I got an email from Disney Cruise Line informing me that this excursion had been cancelled. As Graham had booked an independent excursion to go kayaking and I did not want to stay on the ship on my own, I had another look at the excursions on offer and decided on the Adults Only Wine Country excursion. At $36, this was the cheapest excursion I have ever done.

When we went upstairs for breakfast, we were already docked. Just outside the portholes on deck 3 were some animals on a rock that we thought were seals, but on closer look actually turned out to be sea lions. This was pretty amazing. Prior to this trip, I had never seen sea lions in the wild and now I had seen them twice on one holiday. There is two things to be said about sea lions: they are very noisy and they stink. Once we had admired the sea lions for a while, we headed to Parrot Cay. I did not really feel like breakfast, but considering that an important element of my excursion was wine tasting, I knew that I had to eat something. I managed to get some sausages, hash browns and an omelette down. Graham had some fresh fruit, yoghurt and a full cooked breakfast. We both had coffee and orange juice.

After breakfast, we said goodbye to each other. Graham did not have to leave for his excursion until later, but was thinking about exploring the town for a bit. My meeting time was soon after breakfast. I quickly headed back to our cabin to pick up my camera, which I had forgotten to take earlier. I encountered something rather amusing. There were a number of housekeeping staff with air-freshener wandering around trying to mask the very strong smell of the sea lions that was wafting around the ship. This was a bit of a lost cause though.



Once I had picked up my camera, I headed back to deck 3 for the Promenade Lounge, where the meeting point for my excursion was. Considering how many people had said on our cruise meet thread that they would stay on the ship at Ensenada, I was surprised how many people were there. They needed multiple buses again. There were a number of people there that I knew so I chatted with them while we waited. There were a number of buses again and it was very well organised. They sent us down as they were ready for us. In order to get to the bus, we had to go through a little market that had been set up in the terminal building. This actually turned out to be a blessing on the way back.

Once we were on the bus, our guide introduced herself and our driver. She then told us a bit about Ensenada. Essentially she was de-bunking a lot of the myth that I had heard prior to coming. Ensenada is a university town and especially renowned for the sciences. People from all over the world, including many from the USA, come to Ensenada to study. People there are very educated with 1 in 7 people being a scientist. Everybody also learns English from a very young age so everybody in Ensenada is fluent in English and Spanish. Unemployment is extremely low and crime rates are very low as well. We also found out why all the sea lions are at the port. There is a seafood processing plant nearby and they dispose of their scraps in this area. I suppose this is recycling at its finest.







Soon we left Ensenada and headed out into the countryside. We found out a bit more about the surround area. Ensenada is part of the state of Baja California, which is also the state in which Cabo San Lucas is located. This is hard to believe both in terms of the sheer distance involved between the two and also how different the landscapes are. The area around Ensenada is very definitely wine country.

Soon we arrived at the first of the two Wineries that we would visit that day. L.A. Cetto is quite a big operation. The original owner came to Mexico from Italy. There were so many wineries in Italy that he did not think he could make a new business work. So he came to Mexico and once he realized that the climate and soil are similar to that in the wine-growing areas of California, he settled near Ensenada. The winery is now run by the grandson of the original owner and the wine is exported to 27 different countries.







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