Just off the Wonder from the California Coastal cruise. Any questions?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Disney Dreams, May 31, 2013.

  1. Disney Dreams

    Disney Dreams Proudly afflicted with TDMA!

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    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....

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. PizzieDuster

    PizzieDuster DIS Veteran

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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?
     
  4. justmestace

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

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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?
     
  5. PizzieDuster

    PizzieDuster DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  6. Disney Dreams

    Disney Dreams Proudly afflicted with TDMA!

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    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
     
  7. Disney Dreams

    Disney Dreams Proudly afflicted with TDMA!

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    Since the reply above was a bit long, I just thought I'd answer this one on a different post.

    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
     
  8. lisettemac

    lisettemac Earning My Ears

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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.
     
  9. justmestace

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

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    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.
    :confused3:confused3
     
  10. emilyann415

    emilyann415 DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  11. jrabbit

    jrabbit DIS Veteran

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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
     
  12. emilyann415

    emilyann415 DIS Veteran

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    We are for sure doing the Grouse Mountain thing as DD and DH want to paraglide:eek: What is the wind turbine thing you mention? Also curious about Granville Island, how to get there, what exactly to do there?
     
  13. lorimay

    lorimay DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  14. emilyann415

    emilyann415 DIS Veteran

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    Who was the cruise director?
     
  15. lorimay

    lorimay DIS Veteran

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    Jimmy. I really liked him too. Very friendly and easy going.
     
  16. LyndaC

    LyndaC Mouseketeer

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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. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. LyndaC

    LyndaC Mouseketeer

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    later that night

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and earlier in the day [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Segway tour of The Marina and the Wharf [​IMG]
     
  18. Disney Dreams

    Disney Dreams Proudly afflicted with TDMA!

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    While others have answered some questions posted, I will address them as well.

    I don't think that the fact that a ship is heading into dry dock is a sign for concern that it's rundown. We take our cars in for oil changes periodically so they don't get rundown, right? I view drydock as a similar situation. Certain upkeep things just can't be done while the ship is in use and filled with 1,000s of people.

    We thought the ship looked great! It was our fourth time sailing with Her and I can't think of a single time in seven days that I turned to DH to comment about something looking rundown. She's as gorgeous as can be.

    We stayed right at the Port and did not have a car so we based our decisions on that which may be different depending upon where you are staying, but I can share what we did.

    We had plans to be out and about by noon the day after the cruise. Our bodies revolted and said, "No!" So... we had a lazy morning/early afternoon at the hotel, just relaxing and enjoying the hotel. We then went out around mid-afternoon. We walked around the area, explored the GasTown Area, took a little break in an area where we could pick up a WiFi signal to check email, connect with family, and catch up with the world since we had been internet and phone-less for almost five days. Then we did a little shopping in area shops, and found a great place for dinner called Steamworks. We wandered back to the hotel enjoying the waterfront of Vancouver by night.

    Day two was quite different. We again had a slow morning (cruise-lag!). We then went and got a bite to eat from the food court near the hotel, nothing special, but it got us ready for our afternoon. We had arranged for a private car to pick us up at 3pm and had a great two hour tour around the sights of Vancouver. We drove throughout Stanley Park, took pictures at the Totem Poles (of course!), went to Lion's Gate bridge (beautiful!), Prospect Point, West Vancouver, Kitsalano, through the University of British Columbia area, along the Frasier River, and then off to the airport. We had a great driver and felt like we got a great "taste" of Vancouver without too much exertion for these two tired cruisers who wanted to see some of Vancouver before heading home.

    As mentioned above, Jimmy. Simon was in charge of all of the Adult Activities.

    If anyone has any more questions, feel welcome to post. I will do my best to answer.

    Hope this helps,
    Dreams
     
  19. Disneypeach

    Disneypeach Fan of the Fort

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    hi there,
    I was also on this cruise and can tell you that there were several B2B travelers from the WBPC cruise (I was one of them, not concierge) and we were put into an area next to the concierge group. In addition, we were allowed back on board first. So maybe that's what was being referenced...
    Peach
     
  20. Disney Dreams

    Disney Dreams Proudly afflicted with TDMA!

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    Peach brings up an excellent point. I'm not sure who told you what exactly, justmestace, but there were 150 people onboard our cruise that cruised the following four cruises:
    Wonder's last sailing in the Caribbean + WBPC + CA Coastal + 1st Alaskan

    I know that they were allowed to leave the ship at the end of the cruise in Vancouver and board earlier than the new cruisers provided that they were back by a set time. This was probably the case in LA, as well.

    I'm not exactly sure how this helps future cruisers (the point of my starting this thread), but perhaps that sheds some light on your concern.

    - Dreams
     
  21. MasonsG

    MasonsG Earning My Ears

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    can anyone share what kind of costs or Disney shuttle options might have been available transfering from LAX to the port in LA? We are doing this same cruise in reverse in Sept (without the overnight SF or Victoria- which I hope they will do again as I would love to go there) but as to transfers- there has been so much helpful info for Cape Canaveral but nothing recent for LA since Disney only stops there a couple times a year- any updates or new info would be fantastic. So far we are reserved with Super Shuttle as I didn't know what Disney might offer? (we will have left the car near LAX when we fly up to Vancouver) Also any updated info on the option of getting from Vancouver to Seattle and then flying home- what was that like as we are doing that Disney cruise in May 2014 (no Victoria next year- bummer). Really appreciate your sharing your experiences. It makes our cruise seem that much closer. Your info on Vancouver was priceless- love the insights! Thank You!
     

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