Wandering the Gulf on the Wonder-Inaugural Bahamas-Galveston 9/28/13 - COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by ukintheus, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    We slept in a little this morning after a fairly late night from the Halloween Party and subsequent makeup removing session. The Captain came on to say that the system that was in the Gulf had developed into a tropical Storm named Karen, and that we would see some impact from it in terms of weather. The forecast for the day was overcast with the chance of showers. Of course, this wasn't going to deter us from eating, so we decided to go back to Triton's for breakfast. I had the muesli and Scott had the Three Egg Omlette with a side of hashbrowns. Neither of us were blown away (ha, ha, pun intended), but then again, it was just muesli and an omlette. :goodvibes

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    At about 8:50 am and back in our stateroom, we checked the weather again and we were showing as just passing Key West.

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    Because the weather was obviously not going to cooperate today, we studied the Navigator and decided to go to the Art of Entertaining in Studio Sea. They were making Fyllo Wrapped Salmon (their spelling, not mine ;)) and we'd never done any of the cooking demonstrations before. It was just like on TV, where "magically" all the work is done and all the Chef has to do is assemble the ingredients. pixiedust: If only we all had someone to do the prep work! ;)

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    They handed out samples and also a tasting of a white wine, I think it was Sauvignon Blanc but now I don't remember.

    The chef with his creation.

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    We had a champagne tasting at Noon in the Cadillac Bar and so we had just enough time to squeeze in a 70's Music Trivia session in Diversions.

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    Scott did remarkably well, and I contributed very little to any successful answers. :rotfl2: It was a lot of fun though and there are definitely some trivia buffs sailing on DCL! :upsidedow

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    From there we went straight into the Cadillac bar to start our tasting session. :dance3:

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    Ross who is the sommelier in Palo was leading the class, and although he had a dry sense of humor to begin with, I thought he did an excellent job and we learned quite a bit about the history of champagne and lots of good tips about where to buy and what to buy.

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    These are the 5 that we tried. The first was not a champagne at all but a sparkling wine out of California called Chandon. It was delicious and a great "cheat" for the money. It is also readily available (at least here in Texas), which can't be said for all the others. We then had Veuve Cliquot (which sadly didn't taste as good as I remember it tasting after having the Chandon), Tattinger Rose, Rosa Regal - which again is not a champagne at all, but a DCL favorite. (I could guess this one right off the bat as I literally can't stand to drink it - way too sweet for my taste :scared:) We wrapped it up with a Moet & Chandon Ice. We have had this once before when we were on the Fantasy and it is AWESOME :cheer2: I have tried to find it to buy in the Houston area but it's really hard to come across. Ross told us that we could buy it at any time to drink on the ship, and also buy up to two bottles to take home. We didn't take any home though. :goodvibes

    We were very happy with the Champagne tasting, it was fun, informative and we felt it was one of the better ones we had ever attended. :thumbsup2
     
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  3. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    After the tasting, we popped up to Goofy's to grab a small snack and seeing as we really were in the mood to do indoor things, we decided to head back to Diversions to participate in the TV Commercial Trivia at 1:15 pm.

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    Simon had already warned us in 70's music trivia that it was TV theme song trivia. Not that it made the slightest bit of difference. :lmao: Seeing as I didn't move to the USA until 1991 I was pretty worthless unless it was a program that had aired in the UK as well. :confused3 Again, Scott was on his own - I think I got a couple....maybe. :rotfl: Seeing as we were already sitting there and it required no movement on our part, we stayed for the Pub trivia at 2 pm too! We were both horrible at that! :rotfl2:

    We went back to our cabin and decided we were going to go to Monsters U in the Buena Vista Theatre at 5:15 pm which meant we would miss the Disney Dreams show that night. It is one of my favorite shows, but I also wanted to see the movie and we were running out of time! :sad2:

    Due to the fact it would be almost 3 hours since we had last eaten we decided to order a couple of things from room service.

    Chicken Wings for Scott, All Hands On Deck for me and a couple of cookies (because we'd never tried them from room service before ;)).

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    On our last cruise we had gone to see a movie and they didn't have popcorn or drinks for sale outside. This led to great disappointment for Scott, who was determined to not get caught out again. This time we went early so that if they didn't have any, he had enough time to get down to the gift shop. Of course, because we were early, they were selling popcorn and drinks outside. :dance3: He was a happy camper. The movie was also cute and we enjoyed it.

    We got ready for dinner and I snapped these right as we were heading out the door. We could tell the seas were picking up, and I had felt the rocking of the ship while we were watching the movie, but it wasn't bad.

    They had started heading further west, you can see how far we are already going off our charted course to avoid the worst of the storm.

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    These were the projections of where the storm was going and how we were going to go around it. :thumbsup2

    Current position

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    Projected positions.

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    This was the storm prediction page and the satellite imagery page.

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    From our verandah.

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  4. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    Dinner tonight was in Animator's Palate. As you may recall, we had missed the show night in here due to extreme everything on my part earlier in the week. :rolleyes1 But tonight was Captain's Gala! :cheer2:

    Scott decided on the Garlic and Herb Sauteed Shrimp (there's one already missing before he remembered to take the photo :scratchin)

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    Minestrone Soup.....and I have to mention that something happened here with my wonderful husband that proves to me that after 13 years of marriage he can STILL suprise me. He said he had NEVER had minestrone soup before. :eek: How does that happen? :confused3 How do you get to be 40-something years old and not eaten Minestrone soup? Amazing!! pixiedust:

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    Lobster AND Pan Seared Venison Tenderloins - this is DH's version of surf & turf.

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    I had the Tuxedo to drink...yum!

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    A first time dish for me - Oysters Rockefeller on the Half Shell. They were good! I don't like raw oysters, but to be honest I couldn't even tell there were any in this, so it was spinach, cheese and breadcrumbs to me and it was nice! :goodvibes

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    Wild Forest Mushroom Soup - one of my favorite things to eat all week.

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    And for my entree I decided to do a combo. I should mention this is the first time I've ever done this and it worked out great. This is the lobster tail on top of the vegetarian dish Green Pea and Fava Bean Risotto. It was the bomb :cheer2: and I won't hesitate to try to change things up a bit again.

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    For dessert we both had the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake...again, delicious. This was one of my favorite dining room meals all week.

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    We contemplated going to see Match Your Mate tonight but the ship was definitely rocking and rolling just a little and so we decided to play it safe, stay away from the temptation of more yummy drinks and just head back to the cabin. We figured if it got worse during the night or tomorrow, we would be happy we were sensible. I know this has to be shocking some people that are reading and know us, because we aren't always known to be the most sensible people out there. :rotfl2:

    This guy was waiting for us when we got back.
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    The ship definitely had some good rolling movements during the night. Enough that the dips would wake us up occasionally, but nothing that really warranted anything other than a brief twitch of the head before falling back asleep. :faint:
     
  5. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    I was very keen to see how bad the seas were when I woke up, and was extremely disappointed that there were only white caps. After some pretty good rocking in the night I figured we would at least have some decent size seas. :sad2: It was extremely windy though.

    Not satisfied with the balcony view we grabbed our cameras and headed up to Deck 10.

    They had emptied some of the water out of the pool as it had been sloshing around pretty well the night before.

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    Very cloudy, windy and some spattering of rain.

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    It started to rain pretty heavily so we decided to grab a coffee in Cove Cafe and then go into BBB to grab some breakfast. It was nice and quiet as we were fairly early. There didn't appear to be many people around in general but maybe that was due to the weather and the fact that we were woken off and on in the night - I'm sure that was true for just about everyone.

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    After breakfast we continued to roam the ship. There were some character meet and greets already going on. Here's one of the atrium chandelier.

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    We went back to the cabin to figure out what we wanted to do for the day. This shows how far off course we had travelled overnight to skirt around the storm.

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    Current Position.
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    Satellite Image.
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    There really wasn't anything on the Navigator that took our fancy and we were nice and comfortable in the cabin, so we vegged out to some TV until it got close to the time for our Chocolate and Beverage Pairing at noon in the Cadillac Lounge. We went down there with plenty of time to spare and just mooched about for a bit.

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    Again, Ross was leading the tasting group. It was an extremely quiet group and the tasting went pretty quickly.

    The table set up.

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    The pairings were a Tattinger Rose, a red wine blend from Chappelett vinyard in Napa valley that is only available on DCL (and was very yummy), a port, and a Glenmorangie single malt whiskey. Some of those worked better with chocolate than others (in my opinion). I enjoyed the rose and the red wine. The port was paired with cheese, which you may remember is like kryptonite to DH, so he immediately got the deer in the headlight eyes when he saw the dreaded CHEESE in front of him. :lmao: He was more than happy to drink the port, but hastily shoved the cheese in my direction. It was good cheese though - it was the parmesan reggiano that they serve in Palo. :thumbsup2

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    The only thing I didn't think paired well with chocolate was the whiskey. Lots of people didn't drink theirs at all. I like whiskey and I like chocolate, I just didn't think the two really went well together. Ross explained that the chocolate that they use is only used by pastry chefs who need a really high quality chocolate to cook with, and is a better grade of chocolate than you can buy unless you buy it commercially. It was from Europe and we discussed the difference between the milk used in Europe vs. the USA and the difference it makes. It was nice, but I think there are several commercial brands available from Europe that can match it.

    We got back to the cabin at about 1:15 pm. The weather had cleared considerably by now.

    Here's our course - wandering around the Gulf trying to avoid TS Karen.

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    By now, this is what it looked like outside.

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    I think that DCL did a WONDERful job in avoiding the bad weather and giving us the best possible conditions that they could under the circumstances.

    We headed up to the upper decks to enjoy our last afternoon onboard. :cheer2: and :guilty: all at the same time.

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    Anyone that is from Texas (or probably just the south in general) is somewhat used to the tropical type monsoon downpours that we get, that are over almost as quickly as they start. We sat chatting to the bar tenders...who miraculously were all at the soda fountain??? Nahhh.....just kidding, we were sitting at the bar at Currents. :rotfl2: They were blown away by the rain...they just couldn't understand how you could go from bright sunshine to POURING rain and back to bright sunshine again in the space of 5 mins. It was funny to hang out with them. :goodvibes

     
  6. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    By now the time was ticking away :hourglass and the one thing that we all LOVE to hate about cruising was almost upon us. PACKING :scared: I told Scott that since we had to pack and leave the ship, I should at least get to do it in style and try to enjoy it as best I could. :thumbsup2 So we placed an order at the bar to have delivered down to our stateroom. ;)

    We walked up to Deck 10 and then back to Palo so that we could enjoy the sunshine while it lasted.

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    I took this on the staircase leading down from Palo.

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    The dreaded packing began, and very shortly after our bartender from Currents showed up with this. :cheer2:pixiedust:

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    It was a bottle of the Moet & Chandon Ice that we had had at the champagne tasting....and it was YUMMY!! :dancer:party::jumping1:

    I have decided that I will make this a new cruise tradition :rotfl2: and save some Disney Dollars especially for it in future.

    So the champagne was delicious, the packing all went smoothly and the weather had become beautiful.

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    We decided to spend some time on the verandah just watching the world sail on by before dinner. It was a nice and relaxing way to end the afternoon.

    Dinner tonight was in Parrot Cay. We invited our "beside table" mates to come and join us for dinner and so we didn't take any photos of our food tonight. The chefs and servers did their Farewell parade with the flaming Baked Alaska.

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    Deniz - our head server
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    Minda - our server
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    Maggie - assistant server (with Minda)
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    As it was the last night, and as the DJ "Miss Ninja" had the night off, we all decided to go to Wavebands for a drink and end up the evening. The cast did the skit "If I Were Not Upon The Sea", which is funny no matter how many times you see it. If you've never seen it before and they offer it while you are onboard, I highly recommend trying to get to see it. It was on fairly late though, it started at 11 pm.

    When we got back to our cabin this little cutie was waiting for us.
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    We also discovered we were (sadly) back on course and all too close to being back to Galveston. :headache: We had to turn our clocks back an hour tonight, so at least we got some extra time to sleep.

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    We did meet our "beside table" mates again for breakfast on Saturday morning. We were scheduled to be in Parrot Cay at 8:45 am, which was about the latest I think I've ever had a breakfast on debarkation day. We walked out of Parrot Cay at 9:30 am and were able to walk straight off the ship with no wait at all for luggage or passport/customs. It was depressingly fast.

    We said goodbye to Miss Ninja who had to disembark but was getting right back on in a couple of hours, and caught the shuttle back to Lighthouse Parking. There was no wait for the shuttle and they took us straight to our car. We had offered to drop "the fireman" :rotfl: off at Hobby airport as we had to drive right past it, and there is no DCL transportation available. Incidentally, originally he was going to try and get a cab, but at 9:30 am there were none outside. I am not sure if this is normal or not, but an observation if anyone is considering it.

    So another WONDERFUL DCL cruise was at an end. We were home by noon - which is a luxury we are sorely going to miss when they leave in January. We feel so lucky to have had them so close to home. :cloud9:

    Thanks to everyone that has followed along. :love: I hope that all those that have their cruises coming up have a truly great time & look forward to reading some great trip reports :thumbsup2.


     
  7. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    Fantastic report! It's always so sad to get kicked off the ship.

    Jill in CO
     
  8. mecllap

    mecllap <font color=limegreen>"Skamps"<br><font color=mage

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    Thanks for the fun report and great food pics! What is "Pub trivia" actually about?
     
  9. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    It's a general knowledge type quiz. For example, the questions were about the signs of the zodiac, TV trivia, music trivia and just general knowledge questions. Stuff that was smarter than us that's for sure! LOL
     
  10. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    Thank you. Yes, it's always sad to find out we were just paying customers after all and not a requirement to life on a DCL ship! :-)
     
  11. dryvithome

    dryvithome Mouseketeer

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    Excellent! We are trying out the chocolate and beverage pairing this time around when we go in December. Not afraid of cheese, so no problems there. ;) I don't drink much at all, so I'll probably be passing the drinks along to my wife after a sip. I can imagine that alcohol plus a tendency for seasick doesn't make for a pretty picture. pirate:
     
  12. mecllap

    mecllap <font color=limegreen>"Skamps"<br><font color=mage

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    Thank you -- that sounds promising for me -- I know very little about 70s music. Might do okay with TV stuff.
     
  13. grimgrningghost

    grimgrningghost DIS Veteran

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    I'm sad your report is over. And sad that it had made me realize just how quickly our week will be over!
     
  14. Grumpy's Wife

    Grumpy's Wife Dollar Tree gal here

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    Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful cruise with all of us. I enjoyed reading along.
     
  15. UmmGooD

    UmmGooD DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much for your report. It really helps with getting prepared for our cruise :)
     
  16. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    Yes, add some rocking seas in there and you probably wouldn't want to overdo it. :thumbsup2 I'm sure your wife will be happy though. :goodvibes

    I tried to get this one finished quickly so that the Halloween stuff was up before the next Bahamas group left. :) Now, you will have to do a trip report so that you can re-live your cruise all over again. ;)

    Thank you for joining in. :goodvibes There wasn't too much to report :rotfl2: If we hadn't taken photos of our food, we'd have been in really bad shape.

    Have a Wonderful cruise! I know you will have a great time. pixiedust: I bet you are getting excited. :cheer2:
     
  17. UmmGooD

    UmmGooD DIS Veteran

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    I am beyond excited. The funny thing is we just moved into a new house in August and shortly after moving in our new neighbors saw my wife's mickey family sticker on our van and said "Oh you are a Disney family" and I explained that we are mildly addicted (I like to downplay it until I can determine if the people will think I need to be in a psych ward or not). Anyway turns out they are on the Galveston cruise right now. They were telling me all about it (this is their first disney cruise) and I told them we are on the exact same itinerary but in December. So I can't wait for them to get back this weekend. I am hoping they still have their navigators :)

    Anyway one question. Where did you sign up for the tastings? Was it guest services or a adult lounge? When did you go? I might try to get it first thing on the ship. We didn't do any tastings the last cruise because I didn't know about them.
     
  18. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    How funny about your neighbors - I hope they come back having had a great time. Yes, I can agree that as with any addict, I try to deny mine until I am absolutely forced to face it. :rotfl2:

    You can sign up for the tastings in Wavebands when you board. You also can make Palo reservations in there if you weren't able to snag an online booking. :thumbsup2 This time around we didn't book them until Thursday. We signed up for the Champagne tasting that day, and also the Chocolate and Beverage Pairing. We have found that the cruises out of Galveston haven't filled up for tastings at all. Very unlike the cruises out of PC where you literally snag a space like it's gold dust. :confused3

    I will just tell you this, if you sign up for tastings ahead of time, make sure you have some way to remind yourself later in the week! ;) On our cruise in April I booked several when we boarded and we almost completely forgot we had signed up for the Martini tasting! :rotfl: If you are a no-show there is no refund. Thankfully DH remembered about 2 mins before it was due to start. ::goodvibes Time kind of gets away from you!
     
  19. princesszelda

    princesszelda Mouseketeer

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    Did you have a character breakfast?
     
  20. UmmGooD

    UmmGooD DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for the info. I couldn't figure out if it was guest services or wavebands. Anyway I'll go when we get on the ship just to make sure. Thanks for the hint on the remembering.
     
  21. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    We did!! We just chose not to go this time. :goodvibes For us it was on the last day, Friday.

    They will have the schedule set out when you get in there and they can book as many as you want to do. Maybe not everyone is as forgetful as we are, but they only put the date on there (if my memory is right), and we have a hard enough time remember what DAY it is, let alone what DATE! :laughing:
     

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