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Old 05-31-2013, 12:48 AM   #1
Disney Dreams
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Just off the Wonder from the California Coastal cruise. Any questions?

Hi!

Many on this board helped answer questions for DH and I when we were planning our first and second DCL cruises. We just finished our fourth, this time it was the California Coastal Cruise on the Disney Wonder starting in Los Angeles, CA and ending in Vancouver, Canada.

If anyone has any questions I can answer, I would be happy to do so. It's my little way of trying to pay it forward.

If it matters:
- "We" is DH and myself. We have no kids.
- We were part of a DIS FE group. We also were lucky enough to be part of a fun group of DISers that got together several times throughout our cruise.
- Ports: Depart Los Angeles, stop in San Francisco (2 days, overnight), Victoria, Canada, conclude in Vancouver, Canada (where we then spent two days post-cruise)

Let me know how I can help you as others helped us,
Dreams

P.S. Still get photos uploaded, sorted, etc.... but here's one of my favorites so far, taken as we arrived at San Fransisco at 6:30am....

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Last edited by Disney Dreams; 05-31-2013 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
PizzieDuster
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Did you see the post here of the ship in port in San Francisco?

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3115355 Obviously, it's not there anymore, but was wonderful at the time and to read about DISers seeing it or hearing the ship's horn.

It was very exciting to see the ship in port!

What was it like spending two days in San Francisco? What did you do?
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Disney Wonder - 4/27/03 - 4 Day
Disney Magic - 5/8/04 - Western
Disney Magic - 6/24/05 - Mexican Riviera
Royal Carribean - Explorer of the Seas 4/16/06
Royal Carribean - Freedom of the Seas 4/8/07
Returning to the Magic - 6/29/08 - West Coast
Liberty of the Seas - 4/09
Disney Wonder Mother/DD12 Cruise to Nowhere 1/21/11
Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera 1/29/12 Mother/DD13 Cruise (taking Grandma and Nephew DN5 along)
Disney Wonder - 1/24/14 5 Night Wonder {gift}
Disney Fantasy - 3/29/14 Western

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Old 05-31-2013, 02:01 AM   #3
justmestace



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Was there a different type of concierge boarding system than the one in Port Canaveral?
Only guests in concierge rooms are allowed in the special waiting area and allowed early boarding in PC, but I heard this was not the case in California. I was told a large number of non-concierge passengers were in the concierge waiting area.
What was up with that? Any ideas?
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justmestace View Post
Was there a different type of concierge boarding system than the one in Port Canaveral?
Only guests in concierge rooms are allowed in the special waiting area and allowed early boarding in PC, but I heard this was not the case in California. I was told a large number of non-concierge passengers were in the concierge waiting area.
What was up with that? Any ideas?
For the 4 times we sailed out of LA there was a room for the concierge guests. Not roped off, but a room, right next to the boarding area. White walls that did not go all the way up to the huge ceiling, but it was closed off and had a "Concierge only" sign.
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Disney Wonder - 4/27/03 - 4 Day
Disney Magic - 5/8/04 - Western
Disney Magic - 6/24/05 - Mexican Riviera
Royal Carribean - Explorer of the Seas 4/16/06
Royal Carribean - Freedom of the Seas 4/8/07
Returning to the Magic - 6/29/08 - West Coast
Liberty of the Seas - 4/09
Disney Wonder Mother/DD12 Cruise to Nowhere 1/21/11
Disney Wonder Mexican Riviera 1/29/12 Mother/DD13 Cruise (taking Grandma and Nephew DN5 along)
Disney Wonder - 1/24/14 5 Night Wonder {gift}
Disney Fantasy - 3/29/14 Western

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Old 05-31-2013, 05:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzieDuster View Post
Did you see the post here of the ship in port in San Francisco?

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3115355 Obviously, it's not there anymore, but was wonderful at the time and to read about DISers seeing it or hearing the ship's horn.

It was very exciting to see the ship in port!

What was it like spending two days in San Francisco? What did you do?
I had not seen that thread. Sort of funny to think that people were watching us, well, not "us," but, you know what I mean. Glad you had fun seeing the ship in port.

As for us and our time in San Fran...

DH had never been to San Fran and it had been years for me so we wanted to just tour around and take in the "pulse" of the city. We did not want to do a bus tour, as we wanted to be able to spend time at various places that interested us as we went along. I have a friend who is familiar with the City. After making a list of what we wanted to see, he made a little self-guided tour for us and we followed that. It sounds like you are from SF, so I will just give the overview.

Arrival: By the dawn's early light
First though, at 6:30am (a time I almost NEVER see), I forced myself to get out of bed and go up to the Wonder to watch as we sailed into SF and under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was amazing. There were probably about 200 fellow cruisers up there. We arrived shortly after sunrise so we got to see the day come alive from up top and it was beautiful. When we docked the GG Bridge was to one side of the ship and the SF Bridge was to the other. It was a pretty cool sight.

Day One
Jump forward about two hours, dressed, fed, and this time with DH:
We left the ship and walked along the Embarcadero, strolled along Fisherman's Wharf, played around in the Musee Mecanique a bit (that place is cool and creepy all at the same time!), went to Ghirardelli Square, enjoyed the view along the way, hopped on a cable car to take in sights of the City as we rode to Market and Powell. Wandered around the area. Went to the Disney Store (of course!) and bought some fun custom Disney San Fran items that they sell (unique to see that!), caught another cable car heading back towards the Pier (this time one that allowed us to see Lombard Street). We had a bit of an adventure via cable car as another car broke down on the track in front of us. It was fascinating to see how they deal with that. I can't imagine having to rely on cable cars to get somewhere on time! However, from talking to many locals, it sounds like most do not.

Up next... We had a decision to make with the ship being open all night: Dinner back on the ship or dinner in town. Well, it was my birthday and I thought, "How often am I able to have dinner on my birthday in SF?" so we went to a GREAT restaurant Scoma's, which was recommended to us by three different, independent parties. It was fantastic! Then we wandered back to the ship (11:30pm??), went into a lounge on Route 66, enjoyed some piano music, and turned in for the night.

Day Two
We got a little bit later start than we had planned, but it was all okay. We were on vacation. We took a cab from the port to the Presidio to go to the Walt Disney Family Museum. We spent several hours there, really enjoyed it, bought some souvenirs, and they had a near panic attack trying to get a cab to take us back to the ship, but we did indeed get a wonderful cabbie who got us back 30 minutes prior to all aboard (WAY too close for DH's comfort, but we made it!).

We then said good-bye to San Francisco from the top deck of the Wonder, taking photos and enjoying the view as we sailed back under the Golden Gate Bridge. It was INCREDIBLY windy up there and DH and I decided that it was colder leaving SF than it was sailing into Tracy Arm in Alaska the exact same week in 2011.

It was a good day and a half -- and a nice birthday in San Francisco.

- Dreams
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:32 AM   #6
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Since the reply above was a bit long, I just thought I'd answer this one on a different post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justmestace View Post
Was there a different type of concierge boarding system than the one in Port Canaveral?
Only guests in concierge rooms are allowed in the special waiting area and allowed early boarding in PC, but I heard this was not the case in California. I was told a large number of non-concierge passengers were in the concierge waiting area.
What was up with that? Any ideas?
Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzieDuster View Post
For the 4 times we sailed out of LA there was a room for the concierge guests. Not roped off, but a room, right next to the boarding area. White walls that did not go all the way up to the huge ceiling, but it was closed off and had a "Concierge only" sign.
So... I realize this is not going to be helpful, but I have absolutely no idea. We did not sail concierge. We had no concern for what was happening (or not) with concierge guests. We didn't notice anything at all. We didn't see an area that we weren't "allowed" in, but we weren't looking for one either so it doesn't mean anything. We entered the terminal at our time, got checked in, inquired about upgrades (there were none available), and got right on the ship to begin our amazing week.

There were two people in our DISBoards Meet Group one of whom had the Walt Suite and the other whom had the Roy. I will let them know about this question and see if they can chime in with some information for you.

If anyone else has any questions, feel free to post. I'll do my best to answer for you.

- Dreams
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:53 AM   #7
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What kind of shape was the ship in? I'm a bit concerned that it might be rundown since it's heading to dry dock...

What did your family do in Vancouver? We will only be there one night, staying at the Sheraton on Burrard Street. Would appreciate recommendations for family-friendly restaurants or fun things to do in the area.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PizzieDuster View Post
For the 4 times we sailed out of LA there was a room for the concierge guests. Not roped off, but a room, right next to the boarding area. White walls that did not go all the way up to the huge ceiling, but it was closed off and had a "Concierge only" sign.

This was our experience in sailing out of LA also. I was just curious as to why, on this cruise, they allowed so many non-concierge passengers to go into the concierge waiting area and board with concierge passengers.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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We will be spending a few days in Vancouver before our cruise. What did you do while there? Anything you'd definitely recommend or definitely not.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:22 PM   #10
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on our past trips to Vancouver we have gone to and enjoyed
Grouse Mountain (bird show, bears, lumberjack show, zip lining, going up in a wind turbine, ....)
Stanley Park
The Aquarium

Other "family" things to
capilano suspension bridge (bridge, cliff walk, treetops)
ok, i am drawing a blank!!! try www VancouverAttractions.com
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrabbit View Post
on our past trips to Vancouver we have gone to and enjoyed
Grouse Mountain (bird show, bears, lumberjack show, zip lining, going up in a wind turbine, ....)
Stanley Park
The Aquarium

Other "family" things to
capilano suspension bridge (bridge, cliff walk, treetops)
ok, i am drawing a blank!!! try www VancouverAttractions.com
We are for sure doing the Grouse Mountain thing as DD and DH want to paraglide What is the wind turbine thing you mention? Also curious about Granville Island, how to get there, what exactly to do there?
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisettemac View Post
What kind of shape was the ship in? I'm a bit concerned that it might be rundown since it's heading to dry dock...

What did your family do in Vancouver? We will only be there one night, staying at the Sheraton on Burrard Street. Would appreciate recommendations for family-friendly restaurants or fun things to do in the area.
We were also on this cruise.
I think the ship looks darn good, I can't believe its almost 15 years old.
One day I saw a couple workers measuring the wood on some of the banisters mid-ship(not sure what floor). Sure enough a couple days later they were replacing some of the worn out wood. Its amazing how well Disney keeps up there ships.

Yes, there is some rust here and there but thats to be expected with the salt water. I love the Magic and the Wonder class ships. They are the perfect size and kept up very well.

This was our first repo cruise and we enjoyed it so much.
We chose to leave Vancouver Monday and head to Seattle for the day.
But next year before our Alaska cruise we will for sure be spending a couple days there.
Both Vancouver and Victoria are beautiful cities and the people are so welcoming when you arrive.
I have never felt like that at any of the caribbean ports we have been too.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:13 PM   #13
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Who was the cruise director?
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:44 PM   #14
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Jimmy. I really liked him too. Very friendly and easy going.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:47 PM   #15
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here's some pictures from my Pixar Cruise October 2nd, we went under the Golden Gate earlier than I expected, so I wasn't ready for it.

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