Disneyzellin through the Canal,12/9 - 12/23 the Wonder Final Chapter updated 8/21/13!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by DisneyZell, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. aan1701

    aan1701 DIS Veteran

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    Don't feel bad. I don't. I have had the same chance as you as we'll, but hay, I paid for the food. To me it's like paying twice for eating just one meal. No thanks. I do have a few questions. How many formal and semi formal nights? Was there a BBQ on the crossing day and if so what was the menu? Thanks.

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  3. QuiltTeddy

    QuiltTeddy DIS Veteran

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    Hey, hey now.......if I weren't here, your TR just wouldn't be the same, go on, admit it, you would find coming and posting the next days saga tedious and the "timely" updates would be far and few between. It's okay, you can say it, it's not hard...go on.....everyone is waiting.....or, if you feel better, you can simply :worship: me.


    :lmao:
     
  4. DisneyZell

    DisneyZell Likes Adventures on the High Seas

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    The first question is likely better answered by DW. I believe we had 2 semi-formal nights and 2 formal nights. On that end it was a bit weird because our formal night did not line up with the wait staff dressing in tuxedos. We all thought that was a little strange and not very well thought out. I brought one suit and several ties for the formal nights, and I had slacks and a sport coat for the semi-formal nights. The rest of the time I was in slacks and a polo. Though we saw all kinds of different kinds of dress from tuxedo to shorts.

    We had, I believe, two BBQ's up on deck. We did not participate in the crossing day one so I can't speak for that (you will have to read about why :) ), but the second one they had steak and chicken. As with the food for most of the cruise I was kind of disappointed. It was just ok. Dang, I've become a negative Nellie!

    *sigh*

    :worship:

    :rotfl:

    DZ
     
  5. dededisney

    dededisney Mouseketeer

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    We had 2 formal nights and 1 semi-formal night. I believe when we had the Prince & Princess menu, that is when the staff were in their tuxedos and everyone thought we had missed the formal night, but no, we were cruise casual that night.
     
  6. LindaBabe

    LindaBabe <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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    One of the barbecues - I think it was Panama day - I had salmon. . . and steak.
     
  7. QuiltTeddy

    QuiltTeddy DIS Veteran

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  8. DisneyZell

    DisneyZell Likes Adventures on the High Seas

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    Today it was Puerto Vallarta day. As you can tell from my love of Mexico in my previous episode I was overly excited about yet another mexican port. Just kidding. The last time we were in Puerto Vallarta the farthest we ventured was Wal-Mart across the street. This time would be different.

    [​IMG] Although there it is! It is nice of Wal-Mart to allow us to park our ship in their parking lot.

    We got up and decided to hit Tritons for a sit-down breakfast. This is the thing I have never done before, so I was expecting big things. One of my favorite breakfasts is Eggs Benedict so this is what I ordered. DW ordered French Toast and Grilled Pineapple stack. We started off on a good foot with the servers as they were joking around a bit. But it was downhill from there, the food took a really long time, we had little or no choice of bread the assistant server brought it by. I saw another basket had pretty much every kind of pastry in it…but the one we had did not. Our breakfast came out…Dw's had two slices of french toast…no pineapple at all. Mine looked good, but the sauce had very little taste to it which was very disappointing.

    This was sort of a signal of the whole cruise. There were some things that were quite delicious, but overall the tastes were very muted and plain. This was a change from my past cruises. I'm writing this about day 10 or so…and it has not improved, so I would expect that it won't change before the end of the cruise. Now for Breakfast we should have timed it when our servers were in there...I know they would have hooked us up...but alas that was not to be!

    But I digress. So we were dissapointed with the sit down breakfast and I don't think we will ever do it again. Live and learn.

    After that we went up to get ready to head out for our excursion. We were going to do the Canopy Tour with Vallarta Adventures. At 10:15 we headed down to Diversions, stood in line, filled out our paperwork and then hung out getting ready to go. About 10:45 we got off the ship and boarded a small motorboat which motored around for about 20 minutes over to the Vallarta Adventures office. This was a nice little trip and a bonus seeing all the very large ships, etc.

    [​IMG] Yup, there I am....looking good Mr. Carter!

    [​IMG] But of course she has to look better than me. It's just not right!

    When we arrived we were told that we would have about a 45 minute drive, so that we should use the restroom facilities. They also gave us free bottled water which was nice. Again, mindful of Montezuma…I made sure that the bottle cracked when I opened it. :) We all piled into the 14 passenger van and drove for about an hour up into the hills. I think I was a little bit tense, knowing we were on some back roads, and knowing some of the things that had happened to people in Mexico I was watching the road. Not a problem at all.

    The funniest part of the trip was when we came alongside a rather large building complex with barbed wire. The driver points and says "welcome to the 5 star resort of Puerto Vallarta!" as we pulled in front and saw the sign for the jail. Nice. :)

    Once we got there we were put in very capable hands. The staff of Vallarta Adventures was fantastic. They were funny, personable and really made you feel at ease right off the bat. We walked up and had to put all of our stuff into one big bag (backpacks, wallets, cameras…you name it). Then we were outfitted with slings around our bodies with all the of the hardware we would need to do zip lining and rappelling. Helmets and all.

    [​IMG] Getting ready to go

    [​IMG] DW lookin' good with the helmet and everything.

    Then they walked us over to give us some quick instruction and to introduce our guides. You can really tell these guys love what they do.

    [​IMG] Our group and our guides

    [​IMG] Here is the artsy picture they took of me.

    [​IMG] And DW

    Once demonstrated we were off. At the end we did 7-8 zip lines, 2 rappels and several rope bridges.

    [​IMG] DW on a Zip Line. She doesn't even look scared!

    [​IMG] She looks happy. I think she has been pretending all her life that she is afraid of heights!

    [​IMG] Holy crap...will that thing even hold??? :scared1:

    [​IMG] I got to keep my shades because they were prescription. It makes me look hot. I know. Try not to drool, it's bad for the keyboards.

    [​IMG] This zip line was a racing zip line...we both went at the same time. Can I just say...I rock. :banana:

    [​IMG] A close-up of DW. Isn't she cute? She didn't enjoy this at all.

    [​IMG] DW beginning her Rappel.

    [​IMG] And me!

    [​IMG] DW a little further down

    But the most intense part of the whole thing was when we had to climb a ladder. The guides were all but encouraging us to NOT do the ladder climb. It was about 75 feet straight up. The ladder was rope and steel, and attached top and bottom…meaning that it was not attached part way up the tree which means that it moves. A lot. Those that opted out of the climb (which did not include us) did a small hike and an extra zip line. Then they asked for a couple of volunteers to go to a second ladder on the other side, which I volunteered to do. I thought DW had volunteered behind me, but she did not. A kid came behind me. It was time to go.

    They told us that they would connect us to a rope on the way up…this connection would allow you to go up, but not down. Thus if you fell you would be hanging by your belt. So up I started. About 1/2 way up the kid started up the ladder and the whole ladder started to move and shake back and forth. I'm not afraid of heights…but holy cow it was high! So you have a shaking ladder, a really long way up…my arms were shaking and my legs too (not from fear, but from exertion. It was really hard hauling my 240 pound body up there!). It was quite the effort to continue to pull myself up the ladder. The steel rungs almost seemed slippery, so it was almost as if you had to hold yourself on the ladder in 4 different ways, all the while trying to stay ahead of the person behind you. SCARY. DW figured out to hold the rope on the side of the ladder, which was easier on the arms. A tip I would have liked to have known! :)

    [​IMG] Here I am on the Ladder

    [​IMG] And DW. On hers you can really see how far up it is. :scared1:

    Finally I made it to the top. WHEW! I looked down at a very small DW down on the ground. I yelled to her that she should think about if she wanted to do this or not…as she is really, really afraid of heights. Let me put it this way, if a movie comes on where someone jumps off of something and they show it, she gets a little shaky. She really loves it when I lean way out on the balcony of the ship! So she was going to climb 75 feet in the air? Yikes!

    Now that we are at the top it is no big deal, right? just zip line down, right? Um no. Here they had a rope bridge of sorts. or cable bridge. One piece of 1 inch cable on the bottom and one on the top. You were to scoot your feet across and your hands too. A guide went in front of me, and showed me to lean forward as you go across, not backward. Not sure exactly what happens if you lean too far back…and you just scoot across. No big deal except it was 75 feet off the ground going over to another platform. So I headed that way….my legs and arms are already shaking from the climb…add nerves into it as I scoot my body across. Then when you get to the other platform you have to kind of be lifted up onto the platform while perching precariously to the cable.
     
  9. DisneyZell

    DisneyZell Likes Adventures on the High Seas

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    Before I go any further, let me make one thing VERY clear. These guys were great. Safety was #1 in this whole thing. We never went anywhere or stood anywhere when we were not clipped into a rope holding us from falling (too far anyway). so there was never a concern that things would go terribly wrong…and again I'm not afraid of heights, but this was hard for me.

    We finished this up with a small zip line, and then what they called a tarzan swing. The tarzan swing was different that the other zip lines where you had access to brake yourself and control your speed, on this one you were clipped in and the goal was to hang free and swing around. At the end the guide would catch us. I came in there flying so fast that he had to grab me and swing around to stop my momentum. Pretty cool stuff.

    [​IMG] Here is Video of DW on the Tarzan Zip Line. Click in the middle of this, it will pop a window and show you the video.

    [​IMG] And me doing the same. She had more fun. :worried:

    So I made it to the end, and had no idea where DW was because I was now 2-3 steps ahead of her. I was very concerned that she would not make it, that she would freeze part way up the ladder, or on the wire bridge…I was a little scared for her. But about second to last along she came. Don't tell her this….but I was so proud of her for working through this and getting through one of her biggest fears. That was really cool.

    We then walked over a bridge, and then another wire bridge like the one up top (except this one was only about 2 feet off the ground..what, we couldn't do that one first???), and a final rappel. On the final rappel the guy up top asked me if I wanted to go really fast. I said yes. Rappelling was really neat. There is a clip that they use which forms an S with the rope. you then hold one hand by your butt and one hand above on the rope. The hand below you can stop you only needing for you to take something like 10-20% of your weight while the S clip holds the rest. So it is really easy to stay in control. If you let it go you go fast, grab on to slow yourself down, etc. Get the idea? so I wanted to go fast, right?

    So I sat down and let myself go…I was flying. They have a guy at the bottom who also is holding your rappel rope…his job is to keep you safe, and if he holds the rope you will stop. He decided to hold the rope for me about 1/2 way down. I went from flying to being jerked up. Yikes! and ouch! Got a few pictures and some video and then we were down…got to take off our sweaty helmets, gloves and gear.

    [​IMG] Here comes DW down the final Rappel

    [​IMG] And me. Note that I'm hamming it up for the camera. I was thinking picture not video. duh! :rotfl:

    I highly, highly recommend doing something like this. It was a blast. However I'm not sure what I expected, but I didn't expect to hike as much as we did. I thought we would just be going down, but didn't think about the up part of it which was a climb. Some of which were really, really steep. So be prepared to hike ALOT, and to be extremely tired. I would find out the next day just how much of a core workout it was as my stomach hurt for about 4 days. I think from the wire bridge and the ladder. Not so much that I wouldn't go, but hopefully if you are reading this and decide to do it you will be prepared!

    After we were done we had a chance to get cleaned up and then they had some snacks for us. This was the only part that was a bit frustrating because we knew we were supposed to have snacks, but it wasn't clear that what was out was for us. They had chips and salsa, and some sort of guacamole thing (very thin), and some crackers. For a while I thought we had to buy that but it became clear that it was not the case. Again, worried about how they washed the vegetables, etc…but we were very hungry.

    OH, that brings me back to the water. They had big orange jugs of water at many of our points. they frequently encouraged us to drink…but we were not sure if the water was safe or not. Eventually we all gave in because we were thirsty and we all turned out ok. It was filtered water. Same went for the salsa, etc…no issues after so they obviously use filtered water to wash everything.

    The salsa was very good, definitely have that!

    Eventually our pictures were ready so we took a look. They were pricey at $29/person. It included two videos as well. We decided to go ahead an buy them as we were not able to take our own pictures. And obviously we did buy them as you would not have seen them earlier!

    [​IMG] DW and I in front of a truck that had nothing to do with our excursion. But they wanted to take it so there you go. Note that sticker that we all had on (ours was Ariel). Don't forget to take the sticker off. Bet you can't guess how I know you should do that? Yup, it got washed. I spent 3 days picking sticky sticker off of my shirt. it does come off. Eventually. Save yourself the headache. :)

    [​IMG] Gettin' a little smoochin' in the jungle. I'm a lucky, lucky Man!

    Finally it was time to head back. We piled back into the van and headed back. This time straight to the ship which was nice! We had thought about running over to Wal-Mart, but ultimately I was just too lazy. One nice thing this time we were in PV, was that the exit from the port right across from Wal-Mart was open. When we did the Mexican Riviera we had to walk all the way around. It was quite a distance to get there and wasn't a quick trip. So those of you reading along who were on this cruise should be happy!! :)

    At some point we had decided to buy an internet package so we could e-mail the kids. Even though the internet is insanely expensive and incredibly slow, we did want to keep in touch. So we did that, sent out a few e-mails and got ready for Dinner. Tonight we are in Parrot Cay, my least favorite from a decoration perspective.

    Before dinner and before we pulled out of port it was back on the balcony for a last look at Puerto Vallarta. And the other ship in port.

    [​IMG] How sad these people must be. The funny thing was the amount of pictures taken of us as we sailed away. Tons of flashes. Then we heard from someone at dinner that their ship was in port for 2-3 days because they had to do some repairs. Yikes! Can you imagine? Jealousy anyone? :thumbsup2 buh-bye Carnival! :cool1:

    At dinner DW had Jamaican Chicken Tenders, asparagus soup, mixed grill and lemon meringue pie. I think this is the last time I share that because DW never bothers to write down what I had which is more important and I could comment! Eventually I'll catch up and my memory might kick in. Might. That is definitely not a promise!

    After dinner it was time to do something we had never done, we headed to Promenade Lounge to do Disney Tune trivia. Basically they had a guy at a piano who would play a tune from a Disney movie. We had to guess the movie, and the main character, and then they had a bonus question about the main character as well. We were there with Doug, Audrey, Zac, Jennifer, Jim, and Billy. Billy spent most of the time playing on Zac's phone. :)

    We had a great time, but ultimately lost. We had fun heckling the CM who was running the show trying to convince him to give us credit for some of our…well, less than correct answers. To no avail though, he held the line and refused! All-in-all it was a good time. They key is definitely to play these games with others who are of a like mind and who want to have fun!

    So it's time to talk about the shows a little bit. This is a longer cruise (obviously), and clearly Disney is not making a lot of money as they have a lot of nights with no shows…or shows that cost them very little. This is a little annoying as the quality is definitely down from past cruises that we have taken. Yes there have been some great ones (which I will talk about), but there are so many that are not shows….just cheap on Disney's part. Particularly because I think there is a large number of repeat cruisers on this one…way to make an impression Disney!

    Tonight was no exception as we had Who wants to be a Mouseketeer? For those of you who cruised long ago, the used to do this show in the Walt Disney theater, and they used to give away a cruise if you went all the way. Then they demoted it to Studio Sea and you could get a pin and some sort of little keepsake. Now because they have slots they need to fill it is back in the Walt Disney Theater. If you answered 5 questions you got $50, and if you get all 10 right you win $250. If you have this on your cruise, you want to sit on the far right side of an empty row. The computer will pick a row, and then a seat. If no one is in that seat it goes to the next seat to your right as you are facing the stage. This continues until someone is in a seat. So if you are in an empty row you have a much better chance of being picked. We weren't picked. Bummer!

    I don't mind so much not getting picked, but it does always seem that the people that *do* get picked don't really care about Disney or don't really know about it. I realize that they cannot control it…but I'd much rather see as Diser up there who would know a lot of the questions or are a big fan of Disney. You know?

    Apparently this was game show night…so after that we headed over to Studio Sea for "The Wheel" which was basically wheel of fortune with Disney. We had most of the same group of people from the Disney Tune trivia and they split the room in half. We were right in the middle and went with the left half. Then the game started. Now, the funny thing was that our side kept getting bankrupts (I think we had 5 or 6 during the game) and were way behind at the beginning. Don't worry I'm getting to the funny part. Seriously, you need to be more patient! :) The funny part was that the guy clicking to spin the wheel and to stop the wheel was the guy we heckled during Disney Tune Trivia. Hmmm…coincidence? I think not!

    But at the end we landed on $1,000 and nailed some letters and came back to win. It was fun…particularly once we realized that the kids made better decisions than the adults did. I could solve the puzzle, but guessing the letters definitely not my forte! The CM came over after to assure us he wasn't out to get us. We knew that, but it was fun to mess with him a bit.

    After this we headed over to the Walt Disney Theater to watch Scott Pepper perform a magic and comedy act. Here is one of the exceptions to the quality of shows as he was great. His magic was fun and he was hilarious. He will be doing a family show as well with big box tricks….that is definitely something to look forward to. I am 42 years old and I still am amazed by magic and how they make stuff happen. I know it is all slight of hand and stuff…but that stuff is neat for me. More on that later.

    That was it, another late-ish night for us old fogies. We headed back to the room, quick shot of the towel animal and off to bed!

    [​IMG] A Dinosaur!

    next up:
    Day 6: up at the crack of dawn for pins. Really?
     
  10. DisneyZell

    DisneyZell Likes Adventures on the High Seas

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    Yup, that's why I keep her around everyone. :)

    Nice! this is an active participation trip report everyone. Particularly when I either don't know something or need to be corrected. Dw is good at that. :thumbsup2

    DZ
     
  11. LindaBabe

    LindaBabe <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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    Yup. well, I'm a wife so it figgers, right:rotfl2:

    Based on your report, I'll bet my dh will want to go zipping. Me? Not so much.

    If I hang around a little longer, will you put up another installment?
     
  12. QuiltTeddy

    QuiltTeddy DIS Veteran

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    Now, after what, like 15 years of marriage? You certainly must know that DW is ALWAYS right! ;)
     
  13. Dixielady908

    Dixielady908 Grandma's Little Princess

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    Awesome report....totally enjoying reading it and thanks for sharing your videos, looks like that was some really great fun.
     
  14. DisneyZell

    DisneyZell Likes Adventures on the High Seas

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    Depends on how long you hang around. If you have read my past TR's...you would have to consider 3-4 days a "little longer". :rotfl:

    *sigh* I know, I know. :worship: ha!

    Thank you, thank you. Glad you are enjoying it. I'm having fun writing it and getting back into the harrassment of some of the folks. Feel free to join in on that!

    Thanks everyone!

    DZ
     
  15. tokyodisneydad

    tokyodisneydad DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for another update and not making us wait so long. Although I am now on pins and needles with suspense over what happened with the M&Ms...but that's probably just me.:rotfl:
    For someone who is afraid of heights your wife looked to be enjoying herself.
    My wife would love this adventure, but will never get to do it as her husband is a chicken when it comes to heights. We have discussed strategy for Amazing Race...she does anything to do with heights while I eat all the strange food. And if we have to tandem bungy the race would be over for us.
    Funny thing is I love a good rollercoaster, but will cry like a baby on a Ferris wheel. Japan has some of the highest Ferris wheels in the world. We rode one in Odaiba and of course she wanted to ride the all glass car. Well to show her I loved her I agreed...fool that I am. Well I got a grip on the seat and wasn't letting go. When we got to the top she wanted to change sides to get a different view. That wasn't happening as by this time my grip has sunk my fingers into the metal seats. They took a picture of us as we exited the ride. :scared1:I was crying like a baby. I think I actually kneeled and kissed the ground.:worship:
    I on the other hand would have been happy just to go into Walmart...non here in Japan. Everytime we get back to the states we go to Walmart 4 or 5 times. Last time we were there at 3 in the morning because of Jet Lag. The funny part was I had forgotten which side of the rode to drive on and drove halfway there on the wrong side. Thank goodness there were no cars on the road.:rolleyes1
    Looking forward to the next update. Did you do any tastings this cruise...wine,champagne, mixology?
     
  16. pharmjenn

    pharmjenn Mouseketeer

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    We only had a few people do the rope bridge in our groups. I knew the climb up would be exhausing, so chose the hike up the hill to the next zip. Let me tell you, that climb was not much easier. It was the hardest part of the tour!

     
  17. iloverags2

    iloverags2 DIS Veteran

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    Oh my! What an awesome excursion you had! (I'm exhausted just from reading about it.)

    Not sure what it is with everyone and Parrot Cay, but I love it. Love the colors and the tropical atmosphere. I'm convinced it has to do with the rattan style chairs...maybe if they update those, the place would have a more brand-spankin'-new look and feel to it.
     
  18. bbangel

    bbangel <font color=green>My friends call me the font of u

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    My biggest issue with it is the noise. It can be hard to hear the people at your table over the background noise and it just gets worse as all the other tables start talking louder trying to be heard.
     
  19. jstkpswimming

    jstkpswimming Earning My Ears

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    This might be a silly question, but did you and DW get any shots beforehand? My doctor recommended taking precautions against malaria, yellow fever, and a few other things. I'm just wondering if it's really that big of an issue... Thanks! :)
     
  20. dededisney

    dededisney Mouseketeer

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    No shots beforehand and no issues for us. I haven't heard that there was an outbreak of any of those things, so I wasn't worried. Hopefully you won't be either...seems a little overkill to me, but that is just me:goodvibes
     
  21. WVURunner

    WVURunner DIS Veteran

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    Just an FYI: The S clip is called a figure 8, not sure if you noticed, but the guides figure 8s had little "ears" on them, they are called resue figure 8s.

    You are lucky that they included the videos for the $30. Our guy wanted us to pay extra for them! I was still upset that they wouldn't let me use my go pro camera, esp. since they already had the mounts for them on the helmets! I ended up buying just my nephew's photos because it was his first time and he really wanted to show them to everyone. The guy was really pushing us to buy the rest of our group's pictures, so I kinda told him off and informed him that I had a ton of pictures/videos of me ziplining because I use to work at an adventure camp.

    Thanks for the detailed report! I didn't keep a journal during the cruise and now I am trying to fill one out.
     

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