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Old 02-03-2013, 04:32 PM   #1
rentayenta

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Arrow Disney Wonder 5 night Western Caribbean, just DS and myself, and lots of questions

I've been non stop reading about Disney Cruises for the past 48* and think I've come to some sort of decision.

DS and I are wanting to do a Disney Cruise for his bar mitzvah gift, it's in leu of a big party, and believe it or not less expensive. We're leaving DH and his sisters at home. Our wants are 5 nights and a day at Castaway Cay. The Western Caribbean on the Wonder looks like it would most fit the bill. He'll be 12 at the time we set sail.

I've been reading like crazy and taking copious notes but thought it may be easier if anyone would be willing to answer any of my gazillion questions or point me to useful, not crazy long links...

1. Is using the $70 pp rt Disney transportation option the easiest? Ideally we'd fly in the morning of the cruise but affordable airfare from SLC to MCO is not likely so we'd probably fly in the day before. How does that work using the Disney option, do they pick you up from the hotel?

2. Good hotel near the airport that will shuttle us to the hotel upon arrival?

3. Does the ship provide beach towels?

4. Porthole vs verandah? Generally I'd insist on a verandah and I love my DVC balconies but think DS would get a kick out of the porthole. The usual romantic sunset watching with DH obviously won't apply.

5. What are some things you always bring on your cruise? Nalgene water bottles and stuff like that? Is there a place to fill up water bottles?

6. Cozumel? I've been to Cabo and Zihua etc but never Cozumel. DS and I are beach people- any advice there? We'd love to rent rafts and float around the ocean and then enjoy a local lunch, not touristy. We're not big shoppers.

7. Tipping? Pre or after, is there a difference?

8. Anything in particular I need to know about the Wonder?

9. Do they do a Pirate night or any other themed nights?

10. Do I need to make any dining reservations? DS is not picky and I don't want to miss any must-haves.

11. I have read all sorts of abbreviations I don't understand as far as dining rotations. What does all that RAERAA mean?

12. We're not super big show people so what would your one not-to-be-missed-show be?

13. Fish Extenders, will my brain explode if I find out?

14. Is room service really free?




for any insights. I really appreciate it.
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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1.) Is the cruise you thinking of leaving from MIA? If so then I don't think there is transportation from MCO for $70 pp. We are leaving next month on the Wonder and we are flying into MCO and then my brother is driving us down.

3.) The ship provides towels. There are plenty at CC. If you are doing a beach day on your port day then the beach club would provide you with towels. So no need to bring any.

4.) You could book a Navigator's Veranda which is an open porthole

5.) Hairdryer if you have long hair. Highlighter for Navigator's. Alcohol. Water bottle and thermos if you don't want to make multiple trips to the beverage station.

7.) On the Magic we had autotip and loved it. I hope they have it on the Wonder. You had the option to decrease it if necessary. We used the cards and then added extra in cash. It really doesn't make a difference, it's your preference.

9.) Every cruise has pirate night and people really get into it. People were more dressed up on pirate night than formal night.

10.) DS is not old enough for Palo- unless you want to put him in the club. We love eating in the MDRs. The servers will suggest the best items and are almost always right

11.) Dining rotation. That person's was Royal, Animator's, Enchanted, Royal, Animator;s and Animators. On a five night you get each of the signature menus and then two speciality menus (Pirate and probably Till We Meet Again)

12.) The shows are great. On your first cruise try not to miss any shows. Once you see them once then you can miss some.

14.) Yes. Unless you order alcohol or anything pre packaged (i.e. in a sealed bag or can like chips or soda)

Hope that helps
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa S
11.) Dining rotation. That person's was Royal, Animator's, Enchanted, Royal, Animator;s and Animators.
Just to clarify, those are restaurants on the Dream and Fantasy. If you are on the Wonder, you will have a combination of T (Triton's), A (Animator's Palate), and P (Parrot Cay).
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:26 PM   #4
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you also might consider a guidebook, like passporter’s (for purchase or try a library) for a first cruise! have fun and fly in the day before!
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:03 PM   #5
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We just returned from the 5 night Western Caribbean on the Wonder - leaving from Miami. We did the itinerary with Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Embarkation at Miami went smoothly - we arrived at 12:15 pm and the lines were not long at all. Same with disembarkation and customs.

Edit : deleted comment on porthole rooms - thanks for the help, PrincessSchmoo.

There was plenty to do on the ship. We saw The Golden Mickeys and Toy Story - enjoyed them both. (Note - it was my husband and I, no kids). I also saw Wreck it Ralph at the Buena Viasta Movie Theater.

We had a below average meal at Parrot Cay, but Triton and Animator's Palate were both good. Just ask for the server's recommendations.


We didn't do an excursion at Cozumel, but people seemed happy with their snorkeling and beach adventures. Have been to Castaway Cay before with kids - they loved it.

Lots of shuttle and taxi options available from the Miami airport to the port, or from a hotel in Miami. I imagine there will be more people who can give recommendations in the next month or two, since the current schedule for sailing out of Miami is new.

You get all the regular parties - Sail Away, Pirates Night, Optional Semi-Formal Night. There will also be fireworks at the Pirate Party.

Don't miss the Cove Cafe on Deck 10 if you want some alone time - it is adults only.

The Wonder did have the Pre-charged tips, so no need to go to Guest Services unless you want to adjust up or down. We found the service excellent.

We liked the Wonder because it was smaller than the Dream and Fantasy. Our grand kids, however, loved the AquaDuck so that is something to consider with a child.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazzasmd View Post
We just returned from the 5 night Western Caribbean on the Wonder - leaving from Miami. We did the itinerary with Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Embarkation at Miami went smoothly - we arrived at 12:15 pm and the lines were not long at all. Same with disembarkation and customs.

The Wonder doesn't have the port hole rooms (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so the veranda may be a better option.

There was plenty to do on the ship. We saw The Golden Mickeys and Toy Story - enjoyed them both. (Note - it was my husband and I, no kids). I also saw Wreck it Ralph at the Buena Viasta Movie Theater.

We had a below average meal at Parrot Cay, but Triton and Animator's Palate were both good. Just ask for the server's recommendations.


We didn't do an excursion at Cozumel, but people seemed happy with their snorkeling and beach adventures. Have been to Castaway Cay before with kids - they loved it.

Lots of shuttle and taxi options available from the Miami airport to the port, or from a hotel in Miami. I imagine there will be more people who can give recommendations in the next month or two, since the current schedule for sailing out of Miami is new.

You get all the regular parties - Sail Away, Pirates Night, Optional Semi-Formal Night. There will also be fireworks at the Pirate Party.

Don't miss the Cove Cafe on Deck 10 if you want some alone time - it is adults only.

The Wonder did have the Pre-charged tips, so no need to go to Guest Services unless you want to adjust up or down. We found the service excellent.

We liked the Wonder because it was smaller than the Dream and Fantasy. Our grand kids, however, loved the AquaDuck so that is something to consider with a child.
I don't know what you mean by "The Wonder doesn't have the port hole rooms (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so the veranda may be a better option." But, this was our room on the Wonder last October. Definitely a porthole in that room.

The dining rotations on the Wonder will look like PATTP; or ATPPA, etc
P = Parrot Cay; T = Triton's; A = Animators Palatte.

If this is your first cruise, I'd recommend you see all the shows. Sometimes the shows are really great, other times not so much (a lot depends on the cast, which changes every 9 months). Personally, I like Dreams and Golden Mickey's. Toy Story, not so much. But I have seen it 3 times.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:05 PM   #7
rentayenta

There's never enough vacation time
I'm always thinking about it
I can't imagine being in it alone
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa S
1.) Is the cruise you thinking of leaving from MIA? If so then I don't think there is transportation from MCO for $70 pp. We are leaving next month on the Wonder and we are flying into MCO and then my brother is driving us down.

3.) The ship provides towels. There are plenty at CC. If you are doing a beach day on your port day then the beach club would provide you with towels. So no need to bring any.

4.) You could book a Navigator's Veranda which is an open porthole

5.) Hairdryer if you have long hair. Highlighter for Navigator's. Alcohol. Water bottle and thermos if you don't want to make multiple trips to the beverage station.

7.) On the Magic we had autotip and loved it. I hope they have it on the Wonder. You had the option to decrease it if necessary. We used the cards and then added extra in cash. It really doesn't make a difference, it's your preference.

9.) Every cruise has pirate night and people really get into it. People were more dressed up on pirate night than formal night.

10.) DS is not old enough for Palo- unless you want to put him in the club. We love eating in the MDRs. The servers will suggest the best items and are almost always right

11.) Dining rotation. That person's was Royal, Animator's, Enchanted, Royal, Animator;s and Animators. On a five night you get each of the signature menus and then two speciality menus (Pirate and probably Till We Meet Again)

12.) The shows are great. On your first cruise try not to miss any shows. Once you see them once then you can miss some.

14.) Yes. Unless you order alcohol or anything pre packaged (i.e. in a sealed bag or can like chips or soda)

Hope that helps
My bad, it is Miami not MCO. When I think Florida, I think WDW.

Thank you so much for the info.

I'll skip Palo since he's not allowed. Next time. It looks so good though.

An open porthole? I didn't see that option. I'll check again.

There's a formal night?
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751




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Old 02-03-2013, 08:06 PM   #8
rentayenta

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meghatron

Just to clarify, those are restaurants on the Dream and Fantasy. If you are on the Wonder, you will have a combination of T (Triton's), A (Animator's Palate), and P (Parrot Cay).
I have no idea Thank you. Do you know where I can find menus?
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751




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Old 02-03-2013, 08:07 PM   #9
rentayenta

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sambycat
you also might consider a guidebook, like passporter’s (for purchase or try a library) for a first cruise! have fun and fly in the day before!
Great idea! I'm going to order the Passporter. I ordered one for our first to WDW and it was immensely helpful.
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751




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Old 02-03-2013, 08:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
My bad, it is Miami not MCO. When I think Florida, I think WDW.

Thank you so much for the info.

I'll skip Palo since he's not allowed. Next time. It looks so good though.

An open porthole? I didn't see that option. I'll check again.

There's a formal night?
The Navigators's Verandah is a balcony that's like an enclosed porch with a large open porthole.


Apparently there's a Semi-Formal Optional night.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #11
rentayenta

There's never enough vacation time
I'm always thinking about it
I can't imagine being in it alone
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazzasmd
We just returned from the 5 night Western Caribbean on the Wonder - leaving from Miami. We did the itinerary with Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Embarkation at Miami went smoothly - we arrived at 12:15 pm and the lines were not long at all. Same with disembarkation and customs.

The Wonder doesn't have the port hole rooms (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so the veranda may be a better option.

There was plenty to do on the ship. We saw The Golden Mickeys and Toy Story - enjoyed them both. (Note - it was my husband and I, no kids). I also saw Wreck it Ralph at the Buena Viasta Movie Theater.

We had a below average meal at Parrot Cay, but Triton and Animator's Palate were both good. Just ask for the server's recommendations.

We didn't do an excursion at Cozumel, but people seemed happy with their snorkeling and beach adventures. Have been to Castaway Cay before with kids - they loved it.

Lots of shuttle and taxi options available from the Miami airport to the port, or from a hotel in Miami. I imagine there will be more people who can give recommendations in the next month or two, since the current schedule for sailing out of Miami is new.

You get all the regular parties - Sail Away, Pirates Night, Optional Semi-Formal Night. There will also be fireworks at the Pirate Party.

Don't miss the Cove Cafe on Deck 10 if you want some alone time - it is adults only.

The Wonder did have the Pre-charged tips, so no need to go to Guest Services unless you want to adjust up or down. We found the service excellent.

We liked the Wonder because it was smaller than the Dream and Fantasy. Our grand kids, however, loved the AquaDuck so that is something to consider with a child.
The AquaDuck is a huge perk but only the Fantasy has that, correct?

Thank you for the party info? I'll buy the guidebook but would love more details.

I didn't realize Miami was a new departure. That's cool. I'll be interested in the reviews and info to come.
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751




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Old 02-03-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shazzasmd View Post
We just returned from the 5 night Western Caribbean on the Wonder - leaving from Miami. We did the itinerary with Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Embarkation at Miami went smoothly - we arrived at 12:15 pm and the lines were not long at all. Same with disembarkation and customs.

The Wonder doesn't have the port hole rooms (someone correct me if I'm wrong),
so the veranda may be a better option.

There was plenty to do on the ship. We saw The Golden Mickeys and Toy Story - enjoyed them both. (Note - it was my husband and I, no kids). I also saw Wreck it Ralph at the Buena Viasta Movie Theater.

We had a below average meal at Parrot Cay, but Triton and Animator's Palate were both good. Just ask for the server's recommendations.


We didn't do an excursion at Cozumel, but people seemed happy with their snorkeling and beach adventures. Have been to Castaway Cay before with kids - they loved it.

Lots of shuttle and taxi options available from the Miami airport to the port, or from a hotel in Miami. I imagine there will be more people who can give recommendations in the next month or two, since the current schedule for sailing out of Miami is new.

You get all the regular parties - Sail Away, Pirates Night, Optional Semi-Formal Night. There will also be fireworks at the Pirate Party.

Don't miss the Cove Cafe on Deck 10 if you want some alone time - it is adults only.

The Wonder did have the Pre-charged tips, so no need to go to Guest Services unless you want to adjust up or down. We found the service excellent.

We liked the Wonder because it was smaller than the Dream and Fantasy. Our grand kids, however, loved the AquaDuck so that is something to consider with a child.
Google up a picture of the Wonder...plenty of port holes
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rentayenta View Post
The AquaDuck is a huge perk but only the Fantasy has that, correct?

Thank you for the party info? I'll buy the guidebook but would love more details.

I didn't realize Miami was a new departure. That's cool. I'll be interested in the reviews and info to come.
The Aqua Duck is also on the Dream
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:57 PM   #14
rentayenta

There's never enough vacation time
I'm always thinking about it
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo

The Navigators's Verandah is a balcony that's like an enclosed porch with a large open porthole.

Apparently there's a Semi-Formal Optional night.
Thank you! Your previous photo looks great, I'd be very happy with a cabin like that. The porthole looks big.
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751




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Old 02-03-2013, 09:04 PM   #15
rentayenta

There's never enough vacation time
I'm always thinking about it
I can't imagine being in it alone
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessShmoo

I don't know what you mean by "The Wonder doesn't have the port hole rooms (someone correct me if I'm wrong), so the veranda may be a better option." But, this was our room on the Wonder last October. Definitely a porthole in that room.

The dining rotations on the Wonder will look like PATTP; or ATPPA, etc
P = Parrot Cay; T = Triton's; A = Animators Palatte.

If this is your first cruise, I'd recommend you see all the shows. Sometimes the shows are really great, other times not so much (a lot depends on the cast, which changes every 9 months). Personally, I like Dreams and Golden Mickey's. Toy Story, not so much. But I have seen it 3 times.
This is my first real cruise. We did Mexico Cabo booze cruises in our 20s but it was nothing like this.

Sounds like all of the shows are the way to go. Do they show a different show every night?

Can you tell me the difference between the dining options?

You've been very helpful.




So with room service, do you have to be there when its delivered? Are there small fridges in the rooms? Cups for water?
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You light 'em, they fight 'em. A DVC/Disneyland Resort PTR
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?...1#post51407145
You bet your aft we had a good time: a Disney Wonder trip report
http://disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3260751




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