3-Day Wonder Cruise Report (Feb 2-5)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by disneydivaM, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. disneydivaM

    disneydivaM Earning My Ears

    Feb 11, 2006
    My DH and I just returned from our third wonderful cruise on the Wonder and found there has been a number of changes since our last trip in Nov 04. We are DVC members and used our points to schedule this cruise and then stayed on at VWL for three days to get our midwinter Disney fix. We don’t have kids, but our favorite cruise line has always been Disney with a great combination of fun and quality service. On to the observations:

    Travel to the Port: We came into MCO the night before and stayed at the Hyatt and for the first time scheduled Disney Transportation in the morning to the Port. After breakfast we went to check in at around 1015am and were loaded and on our way in no more than 20 minutes. We found out that they start to load buses at 930am in case you want to get to the port even earlier. As it was, we were at PC and checked in by 1130am.

    Boarding: I had read that we would receive our boarding group number after going through security and must say that the system for boarding works great. We were in boarding group #6 and could sit and relax until our group was called. There are clear announcements of what group is boarding and we didn’t see many people clustered around the line waiting to board. In no time we were in the boarding line and onto the ship. If you are not interested in having your picture taken, you just need to tell the staff at the beginning of the picture lines and they will move a sign and let you walk past the picture area and right onto the ship.

    Cabin Upgrade: We had received a great upgrade before we left and were in 7120, one of the obstructed verandah rooms. We had originally booked a Cat 11 and were very happy to get such a great upgrade to a balcony. It shows you can get an upgrade if you book on DVC points. The room ended up being in a great location and we were able to drop our bags shortly after 130pm.

    Cove Café: The addition of the Cove Café to the adult pool area was another great surprise. It is a wonderful space with really comfortable chairs and a secluded space right outside the doors to sit and have coffee in the morning. We always enjoy going to the adult pool area after lunch and spending some time relaxing before the safety drill, so I added at iced latte to make the time in the hot tub perfect.

    Spa: Here was our biggest disappointment. In our opinion the Spa has really gone downhill since we were on our last cruise. We had scheduled a number of treatments before leaving and made one of our first stops after lunch the spa to sign up to use the Rainforest room. The quality of the treatments, the maintenance on the facilities were really below expectation. For example, none of the showers worked properly in the Rainforest room, the robes were torn, baskets for your cloths were broken and some of the staff were clearly not happy to be there. One young woman went so far to say the worst decision of her life was to sign her contract to work on the boat. The one highlight was my DH tried the Aromastone Therapy and loved it!

    Palo: Before we left we had scheduled our visit to Palo’s on the last night of our cruise and decided to place our names on the wait list to see if we could get another visit. Luckily we were able to eat there all three nights and had a fantastic server in Julie from South Africa. She made each night a special event and I would recommend requesting her as your server if you can.

    Castaway Cay: The island looked great. We speed over to Serenity Bay and were happy we did. There is now only one hammock on the whole of the adult beach! The weather was beautiful and I tried the Cabana Massage for the first time. While nice, the cabanas are right next to the bike path and you hear every conversation happening outside your door. My massage was after lunch and there was quite a bit of traffic on the path. I would recommend that you schedule an earlier time in the day when it is quieter at Serenity Bay to truly enjoy the massage. The other great server of the trip was Gilbert who handled the drinks on the beach. It was truly an amazing skill to watch him carry a tray full of drinks on his head down the beach.

    Disembarking: Disney is still the best in the business. After breakfast we were off the ship, found our luggage and were through customs in 10 minutes. We had rented a car from Budget and quickly found the area to wait for the shuttle which was there in a less than 5 minutes. The staff was very professional and we were on our way to WDW very quickly. I would recommend them without reservation.

    Let me know if I can answer any questions
  2. E&BMom

    E&BMom DIS Veteran

    Dec 3, 2004
    Glad you had such a great time!! Thanks for the report and all the info!!! This will be our 3rd and I've never done the spa and maybe I'll just save my money. That was too bad it was in poor shape. Thanks again. :sunny:
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  4. Keggy

    Keggy <font color=blue>So this is a first for us<br><fon

    Oct 24, 2003
    Thank you for posting!

    Glad you had a fantastic trip!

  5. momrek06

    momrek06 DIS Veteran

    Dec 23, 2005
    HEY we were on the WONDER as well with you. And I have to agreed re: Cabana Massage....DH and I had 2pm Massage in the Cabana's...now the massage was awesome BUT all we heard were kids and until I read your POST, I thought they were on the Beach and wondered if it was an adult only beach HOW were they able to be on the beach and NOW I KNOW...they had to have been on the bike paths that are right out front of the Cabana!! Well I will say for our first cruise ever we had the TIME OF OUR LIVES. Just DH & I (no kids, they stayed home, in college, studying hahaha) while we sailed away and we were so incredibly impressed by everything that DH & I booked a 7 day cruise Eastern Caribbean for Feb 2007!!! We are hooked completely. I took more pics with the characters than some kids. Just love Disney!!! :Pinkbounc
  6. cornish pixie

    cornish pixie DIS Veteran

    Feb 4, 2006
    Loved Your Trip Report helps with the 17 month 3 week countdown!!!!
    I hope you dont mind me asking but we are looking at staying at the Hyatt when we fly in from the U.K. what were your opinions and did you book direct etc
    Chucklechops :wave:
  7. Tahoe

    Tahoe Mouseketeer

    Jun 14, 2005
    I know you asked this question of the OP, but I wanted to chime in here! We stayed at the MCO Hyatt about a month ago and loved everything about it. Here's a thread on the main board that might give you some more info.


    M4travels and M4travel give good tips on the DCL transfers. There's also info on where people got their rates. (We first booked through AAA, then about two weeks before our trip I got it much cheaper through Hotwire, so I cancelled the AAA reservation.) We also got a porter at baggage claim who walked our luggage to the hotel for us--tipped him a lot, however, but it was worth it because we really overpacked!

    disneydivaM, thanks for your report! We were just on a 4-day and are now planning our anniversary 3-day for May--I really appreciate your great insights about the spa, Palo, Serenity Bay, etc., since this time we'll be without kids and can do the adult things exclusively!
  8. disneydivaM

    disneydivaM Earning My Ears

    Feb 11, 2006
    Cornish Pixie - Tahoe has already given you great advice. In our case I found a discount rate with a full breakfast on the Hyatt site about a month out from our arrival, so booked with them. We haved stayed at the Hyatt a number of times and it is a very convenient location especially if you are getting into MCO late in the evening. If you do stay there and use Disney Transportation to the Port there is a check-in desk in the Hyatt lobby that does save you time. You can check your luggage with them in the morning and just walk to the bus boarding area for the trip to PC. Good Luck on your planning.

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