Fred and Wilma 'Wonder' Through the Panama Canal - With a Couple of Stowaways

  • mandymouse

    Bahama Mama Time !!
    Joined
    Mar 8, 2003
    Loving your trip report and photos Joh ::yes:: During our last cruise I found those bacon, brie and tomato panini's, they were amazing !!!! Love the tile too
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    The tile is really nice. I loved all the photos from Cabo. This is one of our favourite ports. That line for the chocolate buffet looked insane. We have only ever checked this out once and then I only took photos. What a shame that there were some misbehaving teenagers.

    Corinna
     

    runskyhy

    It's not less monkey, it's Moe Monkey!
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2009
    Wow! The chocolate buffet looks amazing and I'm not even a chocoholic. :love: I can not wait until 2017! :boat:
    Those photos of Los Arcos from deck 10 are absolutely gorgeous. :flower1:

    I am not sure I am liking you and Kim ganging up on me :chat:
    Kim and I are in a gang now?!?!? We need a gang name, Kim!!

    Thanks Karin!
    Off topic, but... @Linda67, I noticed your avatar mentions your Masters in Margaritas. Need a Margarita buddy for the 2017 WB PC? I'd be happy to apply for the position. :drinking1 Do you have a favorite tequila brand? :thumbsup2
     

    wilma-bride

    <<This space intentionally blank>>
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    Chapter 27 - Freezing the Night Away – literally!!!

    So, we were sailing away from Cabo San Lucas, feeling a little sad as the cruise was coming to an end. Kim reminded me I had much to be happy about, though, as tonight was to be a celebration of all things Frozen. Little did we know exactly how true that statement would actually be. For those of you who have not heard of the little-known Disney movie, Frozen, it is the tale of two sisters, one of whom had a magical power and was able to freeze everything she touched. She lost it one day, when her sister announced she was marrying a guy she just met and froze the whole of the fictional land of Arendelle. Well, somebody must have really annoyed that Norwegian princess this afternoon because, literally, as we rounded the Baja California Peninsula, the temperature dropped significantly. It was very, very cold.

    The CMs had organised a fun little maypole dancing session and a couple of guests were taking part also.



    It looked like great fun but they were making a real hash of it. I was dying to get up there and show them how it was done - after all, Maypole dancing is a European tradition - but I had a dinner to get ready for. Kim, Terry, Gary and I had already decided that we were going to skip the main dining room again tonight, since we weren’t really ‘feeling’ the Frozen menu. So we arranged to meet a bit later for the show and then head up to Beach Blanket Buffet for dinner.

    Gary and I went back to the room, where we were shocked to find this gift-wrapped package waiting for us.



    There was a card from Guest Services and we guessed this was another ‘apology’ for having had to ask about getting more body lotion. It really was fabulous, though, and included many of the items that are only provided in the concierge bathrooms. We were extremely grateful, even though we had to find more room in the luggage for it.

    After we had showered and changed, we went down to the gift shop. I had seen a necklace earlier in the cruise that I really wanted and, having spent less than we had thought this cruise, I decided I was going to treat myself.



    Gary also bought himself a polo shirt with a Panama Canal logo on. It was very smart. Of course, we later found out that both Terry and Jim had bought that same shirt. I imagine there will be at least one night on the next Panama Canal cruise that all three guys will wear it at the same time.

    We headed into the theatre to meet the others. Tonight’s show was Taylor Mason, a ventriloquist whom we had last seen on the Disney Fantasy back in 2013, when I had been chosen (volunteered by my son) to go up on stage. I was looking forward to watching the show from the comfort of my seat tonight. Essentially, the show was the same as the one we saw back in 2013 but still very funny. And at least I maintained my dignity this time.

    (Just in case anybody is interested, here is a reminder of my previous encounter with Taylor Mason, courtesy of my lovely friend Wendy).


    After the show, we popped back to the room to leave our purchases and get changed. Having experienced the start of the colder weather up on deck earlier, we did not want to be wearing shorts for the Frozen deck party later. Unfortunately, I really didn’t have many warm clothes with me so had to make do with jeans, a blouse and a cardigan. Gary wore his jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt that he had brought to travel home in.

    As we made our way out of the door up on deck 9, to walk to the other end of the ship, we realised we had made the right decision to dress warmly. It was now bitterly cold, with a really chilly wind blowing. What a contrast to the sweltering hot weather we had experienced just a few hours earlier. We met up with Kim and Terry outside Beach Blanket Buffet and were seated quickly. They were serving the Frozen menu here too and the CMs were all dressed in this evening’s outfit. The head server ‘equivalents’ were also wearing a very fetching fur hat, which one of them put on my head after I complained how cold it was this evening. I am sure Terry took a picture but I couldn’t find it on our Photobucket account. We were also given snowflake-shaped light up necklaces, which was a nice touch.

    Despite our reservations about the food, we placed our orders. I had the Jarlsberg tart to start.



    I really did not like this. It was the texture of a quiche but it had a really strong flavour of thyme and it was just not to my taste at all.

    Gary ordered the ‘Duke of Weselton’s Favorites’, which was essentially an assortment of meats and cheeses. There was a pate-type thing on the plate which he and Terry really enjoyed. Our waiter brought them some more.



    I had to laugh at the fact that my husband, who “doesn’t share food” and won’t ever share with me was now sharing yet another meal with his friend, Terry ;)

    For entrée, Gary played it safe with a rib eye steak, with mash and vegetables.



    Kim and I both ordered ‘Kristoff’s Rosemary Marinated Striploin’, which was a massive hunk of beef on a plate. This thing was HUGE!



    For dessert, we decided to just split all of the dessert options between us. I have no idea why I only have pictures of two of them though. One is an apple cake of some kind. It was not particularly nice. My favourite was the lemon mousse, it was delicious.





    Afterwards, we made our way gingerly out onto deck 9. You have to hand it to DCL, they could not have planned the weather more perfectly for the debut of the Freezing the Night Away deck party. Luckily, they were also suitably prepared and CMs were handing out blankets, which were very gratefully received. Kim and I huddled together to keep ourselves warm.



    The stage really did look great, with all the Frozen decorations.





    It was still fairly quiet but it did not take long for a crowd to build up so we made our way to the side of the stage, where we hoped we’d have a good view of the show. Before long, we got underway and there was a lot of excitement. Many of the kids were desperately trying to get up on stage; unfortunately a lot of parents did not seem to be supervising their children very well, which was a bit dangerous given the sheer number of people that were there.



    As we were off to the side, we were away from the main area where most of the kids were gathered but I understand from speaking to others who were travelling with children that it was a bit of a zoo. As instructed by Kim, I tried to get into the spirit of it and even forced myself to sing along with a couple of the songs.







    After the party was over, we waited for the crowd to disperse and decided to take a look at the Frozen buffet, even though none of us was particularly hungry.







    It was here that I had the most wonderful dessert experience that I have ever had on any Disney cruise…ever!!! Now I know it doesn’t look much but, believe me when I tell you that, for me, this was heaven in a bowl!



    It is an apple crumb cake and, to be honest, it looked so innocuous that I wasn’t even going to try it but I wanted something warm and it seemed to fit the bill. There was a vanilla sauce you could have with it but…well, you know me and sauces. Anyway, it was warm and soft and light and apple-ey. It was truly, truly delicious. I wanted more but just did not have room for it.

    We also got a plate with some fruit and mini desserts but I let Gary have those since I was all about the apple cake.



    Everybody was tired tonight and there was a slightly melancholy air, as if it was hitting home that tomorrow was our last day, and so we all parted ways after the buffet. Gary and I decided to hit Wavebands, to see if there was anybody still there as some of our group had mentioned going in there for the vodka luge. There was a handful of people sat there, but not many really so we just took a couple of pictures of the bartenders making a drink on the luge.





    And then we made our way back to the room, where we had a ‘Frozen heart’ (it was only as I was writing this trip report chapter that I got the relevance of that) and a reminder that the clocks were going back another hour tonight.

     
  • Linda67

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2009
    Aww, it's always so sad when a cruise is coming to an end, especially when you've clearly had such an amazing time
    Love the necklace by the way
    We had the Frozen party on our Norway cruise. The deck party was a bit meh in my opinion but we loved 'Club Frozen' later in the evening!
     

    Linda67

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2009
    Off topic, but... @Linda67, I noticed your avatar mentions your Masters in Margaritas. Need a Margarita buddy for the 2017 WB PC? I'd be happy to apply for the position. :drinking1 Do you have a favorite tequila brand? :thumbsup2
    Ha! The tag fairy awarded me my masters some time ago!
    Always looking for a margarita buddy, and I'm a Patron girl ;)
     

    wilma-bride

    <<This space intentionally blank>>
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    Off topic, but... @Linda67, I noticed your avatar mentions your Masters in Margaritas. Need a Margarita buddy for the 2017 WB PC? I'd be happy to apply for the position. :drinking1 Do you have a favorite tequila brand? :thumbsup2
    Ha! The tag fairy awarded me my masters some time ago!
    Always looking for a margarita buddy, and I'm a Patron girl ;)
    Awww, makes me so proud to see two of my great friends bonding over alcohol :rotfl2:
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    Well, somebody must have really annoyed that Norwegian princess this afternoon because, literally, as we rounded the Baja California Peninsula, the temperature dropped significantly. It was very, very cold.
    We had the same on two of our three cruises that covered this area.

    Gary and I went back to the room, where we were shocked to find this gift-wrapped package waiting for us.

    I would have been so happy with this.

    After we had showered and changed, we went down to the gift shop. I had seen a necklace earlier in the cruise that I really wanted and, having spent less than we had thought this cruise, I decided I was going to treat myself.

    This is really pretty.

    I had the Jarlsberg tart to start.

    I would have loved this I think, but I quite like the flavour of thyme.

    Corinna
     
  • wilma-bride

    <<This space intentionally blank>>
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    Chapter 28 – And now the end is near…

    Thursday May 14th

    I woke up this morning to go walking on our final day. It was really, really chilly out and I didn’t last very long. And because it was so chilly, there was no chance of sitting by the pool afterwards so I went back to the stateroom and persuaded Gary to get up so we could start packing. I sent Kim and Terry a message to see what they were up to and they told us they had tickets for the Olaf meet & greet, so we arranged to meet them at Animators Palate so we could hang out when they were finished. Meanwhile, we headed down to the shops for some last-minute panic buying. I was very tempted to buy this hat



    But I thought Olaf’s butt looked big in it ;)

    We made our way up to Animator’s and we peeked inside, to see Kim and Terry were still a little way back in line. We went over to chat and, when it was their turn, we stepped out of line but the CM told us we could go and have a picture too.

    This is why you buy the pictures that the Shutters’ staff takes. I was so gutted that I didn’t buy this picture when I got home and realised how this one had turned out.



    Gary and Terry had to have one, doing ‘the dance’. That one didn’t come out much better…



    We didn’t really know what to do with ourselves, without the lure of the pool, so we made our way up to Cove Café. It seems that the majority of the adult members of the ship had the same idea but we found Janet, Dave, Dave and Gail so we pulled up some chairs and chatted with them for a while. We told them we planned to do it all again in 2017 and discovered that they were planning on it too. We were very happy that so many of this wonderful group were going to be joining us again next time around.

    After a while, we decided to go in search of lunch. We decided to go to Parrot Cay, where we found Tony and Theresa just finishing their lunch. Theresa was disappointed, as they’d been planning to spend the day by the pool and couldn’t. The buffet was seafood so I decided to pass – I had heard they were having another BBQ up at Beach Blanket Buffet so we sat while Kim and Terry ate, then Kim and I went to get lunch at BBB while Terry and Gary went to the movie theatre to see Avengers: Age of Ultron.

    Kim showed remarkable restraint (something to do with already having eaten lunch)



    I had a very boring but satisfying lunch



    And some dessert



    It didn’t look that cold and, in actual fact, sat at the rear of the ship, out of the wind, it was actually quite beautiful



    I had arranged to meet Cindy this afternoon, for Mojito and Caiparinha tasting. Kim decided to come along for moral support (or maybe to make sure I got back to the stateroom in one piece).

    We started with a regular mojito, which was pretty tasty. Check out Kim’s grumpy face reflected in the table ;)





    Next up was a raspberry mojito – my favourite! It was really, really good. I could have drunk two – although it was probably a good job I didn’t.



    Our next drink was a Caipirinha – I have had one of these before and didn’t like it but I thought maybe my taste buds might have ‘matured’ and perhaps this would be OK. Nope. I still didn’t like it – Cindy earned herself an extra drink here. I guess it is the liquor, Cachaca, that I don’t like.

    And the final drink was a Caipiroska – similar to the Caipirinha but made with vodka instead. This one was a winner.

    The Mojito/Caipirinha tasting was a winner – I will definitely do this one again on a future cruise. Meawhile, if anybody (@runskyhy, @Linda67) would like to volunteer to drink my Caipirinha for me, I will gladly swap them for a raspberry mojito.

    After the class, we went our separate ways to finish up packing and get ready for dinner. We arranged to meet Kim and Terry for a drink in the Cadillac Lounge before dinner. When we arrived, many from our Facebook group were there and there was a bit of a party atmosphere. We more or less took over the lounge, dragging more and more chairs up to join the party.

    We discovered that Ron had also bought the same shirt as Gary, Terry and Jim.



    Maylis came to take our drinks order and I asked for a raspberry mojito. Gary ordered a Bud Light. After a little while, she came back to say that they had run out of limes so no mojito for me. I said I would have a raspberry daiquiri instead. After a little while, Maylis brought over the drinks and I looked at mine and said “this is a raspberry mojito, I thought you had no limes?” Maylis said that Pablo had sent somebody off around the ship in search of limes so he could make my drink. What a star!

    Tonight’s dinner was at Animator’s Palate so we made our way down there, where we found the others already seated and waiting for us. They had been having pictures taken while they waited.



    Kim and I took the opportunity to have a picture together – it turned out to be one of my very favourites from the cruise.



    As we sat down, Milan and Sandro appeared looking very sad – although I suspect that secretly they were glad to see the back of us since we were so needy and demanding. I decided to skip the appetiser tonight and I’m very glad I did because look what turned up…



    Somebody had soup of some kind (can you tell I ran out of notes at this point?)



    I had steak and shrimp and chips for my entrée.



    And, for dessert, Baked Alaska.



    Or so I thought.

    Remember a couple of days back, when I asked for mint choc chip ice cream? As he brought out the rest of the desserts, Milan appeared and produced with a flourish…



    I couldn’t believe he had remembered. I immediately gave some to Julie, who also loves it (the picture above was after I had given a huge scoop to Julie).

    And after dinner the traditional parade with the flags from the servers’ countries of origin. It was a very poignant moment for us. We truly did have the most amazing dining team and we cheered and whooped as loudly as we could for Milan, Sandro and Rakesh.
     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    It looks like you had another nice day even though the weather was not cooperating. What a shame about the Olaf photos.

    Our next drink was a Caipirinha – I have had one of these before and didn’t like it but I thought maybe my taste buds might have ‘matured’ and perhaps this would be OK.
    You should not judge this drink on the concoction that DCL serves. I love Caipirinhas, but the DCL version is a big disappointment and actually pretty horrible.

    Corinna
     

    wilma-bride

    <<This space intentionally blank>>
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    Chapter 29 - And so we face the final curtain

    After dinner, we were keen to make it to Wavebands as we had been told that something very special would be happening tonight. There were many cruisers on board who had experienced the joys of the 'pub skit' before, but many had not. As Gary and I both had, we made sure the others knew this was not to be missed. When we arrived at Wavebands, many of our group were already there and so we all got seats together fairly near to the front. There were many more seats laid out tonight so it was obvious they were expecting a good turnout.

    First up was the Comedy and Magic of Rich Purpura. This guy was a hoot. I actually don't remember a massive amount about his act (I may or may not have had a few adult beverages by then) but I know he did something clever involving mind reading with a number of people from the audience.



    Once Rich Purpura's act was over, it was time for the moment we had all been waiting for. The pub skit, where various members of the Disney Wonder crew performed the skit "If I were not upon the sea..." I will include a few photos from the skit and just say that, if you haven't already seen it, I highly recommend that you do. Funniest thing ever. As far as I am aware, it is definitely on cruises of 7 nights and longer. It is not shown on the shorter cruises. Having seen this just once before, we loved it even more - I suspect because, over the last two weeks, we'd had the opportunity to get to know some of the crew better than you would on a shorter cruise and so, to see them performing this, was even better. Highlights were Chuck Wagner as the cab driver, Andy as the seamstress and our very own cruise director, Clayton, as the ballerina. I will never forget how hard Kathleen and I laughed when he came pirouetting into Wavebands.















    After the show was finished, the group lined up at the front of the stage for a final photo opportunity.



    Honestly, it was the best end to the cruise that there could possibly be. On a high, we all said goodnight and headed back to our various staterooms.

    We had a swan on our bed and a reminder to put our clocks back once more, to bring us onto San Diego time. It made me a little sad to realise this was our last towel animal and the last time somebody would be leaving chocolates on my bed for a very long time.

     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    It looks like you had a fun evening. On all the cruises we have been on, we have never managed to see the pub skit. It seems a little crazy to change the clocks the night before disembarkation.

    Corinna
     

    wilma-bride

    <<This space intentionally blank>>
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2005
    Chapter 30 - Get off my ship

    I woke up early this morning. There was a lot of activity in the hallway from - I guess from those people who had early breakfasts and also from the room hosts, who were beavering away to get the ship ready for her next guests. I always feel that for the duration of the cruise, the staff on DCL all make you feel like you are the most important person in the world. And then, on the last morning, it is as if they can't wait to get rid of you and welcome the next batch of cruisers. Not that anybody has ever done anything to make me feel that way, but that is how the last morning always seems to me.

    Gary and I went up to Deck 9 to get soda. It was grey, dreary and raining pretty hard. San Diego was crying for us.

    Since we had late dining, that meant we had the second breakfast seating and were back in Animators Palate, where we had dined the night before. Breakfast was rushed, as is always the case on disembarkation day. We did manage to find a friendly server to stop rushing around for lung enough to take a picture of the entire table, together with Milan and Sandro.



    And clearly he felt left out so included himself in one of them.



    After breakfast, we gathered in the upstairs area of the atrium, waiting until our character and colour was called. We were all going our separate ways after the cruise. Tony and Tee were flying straight home so were getting a cab to the airport. Julie and Jim and Kim and Terry were staying one night in San Diego. And Gary and I were headed to Disneyland for the weekend.

    First up to be 'kicked off the ship' were Tony and Tee. Then it was Julie and Jim. Just the four of us were left and by that time I was struggling to hold back the tears. It really had been a phenomenal cruise. Neither Gary nor I really wanted to go to Disneyland now. We were both so chilled out, the last thing we actually felt like doing was rushing around theme parks. We would have been just as happy to stay in San Diego with Kim and Terry. But get off the ship we must. And, as we slowly made our way down the gangway and into the arrivals hall, the greyness of San Diego very much matched our moods.

    And the 'See You Real Soon' sign of doom just taunted us.



    There was a large line to get through customs and yet another huge line for cabs. We really weren't in any rush and were quite happy to stand in line and chat until the time came to say 'goodbye'.



    Some people were a little too cheerful ;)



    As we hugged Kim and Terry, we took one last look at the turrets of the beautiful Disney Wonder against the dreary skies of San Diego and hopped in the cab to take us to the car rental depot.

     

    dolphingirl47

    In Search of the Tag Fairy
    Joined
    Dec 25, 2007
    I so hate that last morning. I agree that it looks like San Diego came out in sympathy with you. Getting off the ship there is even more horrible than usual as it is so disorganised.

    Corinna, I can't believe you haven't seen the pub skit
    For some reason, we just never got around to it.

    Corinna
     



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