Walt Disney World & World Travels

Wonder of Wonders, the Family Edition

Posted on: August 3, 2009

My family was very supportive of my cruise on the Wonder back in June, but I know they were a little envious.   Today is the day they get to set sail on the Disney Wonder!

Thankfully the relaxing “last night in the World” allowed us to start organizing and packing early.  We tried to seperate out what could stay in my truck and what we needed on the ship.  It made life a little complicated for a bit, but we got it worked out before bell services came up for the bags.

Breakfast this morning is the surprise the kids got while at Epcot yesterday…..School bread from Norway!  I was a little concerned after hearing reports of the “new” school bread, but this seems to have gone almost back to the way it was.  It is smaller than it used to be, but it was good.  If you haven’t tried school bread, make sure to stop at Kringla Bakery in Norway at Epcot.  It’s similar to a Boston Cream doughnut, but the ‘bread’ isn’t as sweet as a doughnut.  There is a custard cream inside and on top is icing and coconut.  It’s a wonderful snack or breakfast!

We loaded up the truck and hit the road for Port Canaveral just before 11am.  We wanted to get there early enough to beat the DCL busses from the resorts & airport, but not so early we couldn’t get on the ship yet.  We timed it pretty well and arrived just after noon.  –FYI, the drive takes about an hour and there are 3 toll stops (2 @ $1.25, 1 @ $1.50, total $4)– 

We dropped our bags at the curb with the porters, then went and parked.  We all parked so that we could all walk in together.  Thru the metal detectors, up the escalator and WOW the terminal is just too cool!  The floors, the model ship, everything is WOW!  We got in the Castaway Club line (sail once and you’re a member!) and were checked in in no time flat.  I took Jason over to the Kids Club check in while Jon & Meg got in the line for pictures with Goofy.  I had pre-registered Jason for the Oceaneers Lab, all we needed to do was check in and get the pager.  Except, since Jason is 12 & can check himself in and out, we didn’t need a pager.  Meanwhile, the picture line had moved so quickly, they let Jon & Meg stand off to the side and wait for Jason & I.  We joined them and were the next family to get their picture taken.  The Photopass photographer was very friendly and we had a lot of fun posing with Goofy.  Now it was time to board!

We walked onto the ship and our arrival was announced!  Very cool!  Then they got the chance to start looking around.  The lobby of the Wonder is stunning!  The sculpture fixture on the ceiling, the Ariel statue, the glass elevators, so much to look at!  We made our way thru the lobby and down the hall to Parrot Cay for the welcome aboard lunch.  Buffet lunch is served at Beach Blanket Buffet on Deck 9 and at Parrot Cay on Deck 3.  I’ve now been to both and can say it is calmer & quieter at Parrot Cay but the food is exactly the same and you’ll be happy no matter which place you eat! 

After lunch we were able to get to our room and our luggage was arriving as we did.  We went ahead and got unpacked, and settled into our room.  After checking our afternoon activities on the the Navigator, we decided to go check out the DVC member meeting.  It was fun, we played some trivia games and everyone got a prize.  While we were there, we noticed it looked very dark outside.  It was storming pretty good unfortunately.  We decided to wander around the ship for awhile.  We checked out the Oceaneer’s Lab and showed Jason around.  The Lab is for kids 8-12 and they’re generally grouped 8-9 & 10-12.    They’ve got computers, video games, board games, activities with the counselors, lounge areas, you name it I think they’ve got it!

I had spent an afternoon in the Rainforest Room at the spa on my last cruise and was really hoping for spa time on this cruise, so our next stop on the “tour” was, the Vista Spa.  On the 1st afternoon, you can tour the spa (they’ll let the kids tour as well, but not after pulling out of port).  Jon wasn’t sure about the spa before, but touring it did intrigue him.  He also loved the workout facilities and really wanted to get on the treadmill or eliptical maching and look out over the ocean while he ran.  We finished the Spa tour and didn’t book anything, but I had high hopes that we would.

Now it was time for the sail away party and thank goodness it had stopped raining!  We changed into our bathing suits & coverups and went up to deck 9 and the kids were able to get on the stage and start dancing.   We sang, we danced and screamed and had a blast!   As we pulled out of port, we went up to deck 10 and waved good-bye. 

The movement of the ship startled Jason, so to distract him the “boys” checked out the sports deck while Meg showed off Aloft, the teen club.  This is one place that I didn’t get to on my last cruise because they only let adults in the 1st afternoon.  Parents can come check it out before sailing, after that it’s 17 & under only – except for the wonderful counselors.  The teen club is very cool!  They’ve got a bar (ok, smoothie bar), TV’s, dance floor, games, music, lounge areas and so much more.  There was already an invitation at the room inviting Meg to join them for the “411” at 10:30pm tonight.   She loved that it started at 10:30pm, and that she didn’t have to be “home” at 10:30pm!  The 411 is when they get all the teens together to plan their cruise.  They’re given 3-4 choices of activities per hour the club is open and they vote.  Because of this, they get greater participation and every cruise is different based on the kids sailing.  Meanwhile, Jon & Jason were playing basketball & ping pong up on the sports deck.  They thought this was coolest thing ever.

Time flies when you’re having fun, and it was time to get ready for tonights show & dinner.   Making sure everyone was ready before the show was a little stressful.  We got there before it started, but missed all the pre-show stuff.  Tonight is the Golden Mickey’s, it’s an awards show and the host is unable to perform leaving the stage manager in a jam.  She needs to step up or the show won’t go on.  Awards are given for best romance, comedy, villain, etc. and “scenes” from the nominess  are performed.  It’s a cute, fun show and great for the first night.

Jason took off after the show to go to the Oceaneers Lab and promised to meet us outside Tritons just after 8pm for dinner.  Jon, Megan & I went for a stroll down Route 66 and stopped at Cadillac Lounge for a before dinner drink.  Jon & I had martinis (this is a great jazz/piano lounge and martinis are the type of drink you should have here)  Our server was great and after talking to Megan to see what she liked, decided to make her a virgin Pina Colada.   We relaxed and enjoyed the view while listening to the music until it was time to meet up with Jason for dinner.

As we walked up to get in line for dinner, I ran into one of the ladies that was in my agent group last month.  We were able to introduce our families while we were walking into the restaurant.  Jason was right on time and we were seated for dinner just after 8:15pm.  One thing that I hadn’t realized because I was with a large group, Disney Cruise Line doesn’t seat you with other families, at least not most of the time.  Most tables were for 4 or 6, with a few tables for parties of 8.  I was a little disappointed because I had been looking forward to meeting people, but I’m sure many people prefer not sitting with “strangers”.

Tritons is a beautiful restaurant  featuring seafood with a French influence.  Jason was trying to order from the adult menu, but wasn’t sure about a lot of the choices.  He was also getting very moody and crabby.  The rest of us picked things we wanted to try and share.  Jon was thrilled to order the escargot, avocado & citrus salad and the seared sea bass.  Meg ordered the duck confit, tomato & basil soup, and the sea bass.    After being reminded that if he didn’t like it, he could get something different, Jason grudgingly ordered the shrimp cocktail and the lobster mac & cheese.  I ordered the applewood smoked bacon and wild mushroom tart, the french onion soup and the lamb shank.  The appetizers came, Jon loved the escargot, Meg wasn’t thrilled with the duck confit; nothing wrong with it just not a texture that she liked.  Jason’s mood had gotten worse, his head and stomach were bothering him and he wasn’t willing to try the shrimp.  Fine with me, I love shrimp and the green & white asparagus they serve with it is wonderful!  The tart was ok, but not that memerorable. 

Watching Jason, I realized something was wrong….he couldn’t put words to it but kept saying ‘it was his head, sort of and his stomach felt weird’.  It finally hit me, he was experiencing motion sickness.  Quite honestly, I had expected Megan to be the one to get sea sick, not Jason.  I felt really bad that it had taken me so long to figure it out, but we could take care of it.  Jon left and went to our stateroom to get the dramamine I had brought just in case the kids had issues.  Meanwhile we asked Teddy our Asst Server if he had any suggestions (and it was a great distraction for Jason).  Teddy mentioned the wrist bands and the accu pressure point on your wrist and that helps him….Good thing Jason had learned about that in his “Dangerous book for boys” and started pressing the spot.  Jon was back a few minutes later with the dramamine.  Half a tablet of dramamine (they easily break in half)  and in 10 minutes Jason was back to normal.  FYI- the dosing says take 1-2 tablets, but I saw that the women I travelled with last month were taking 1/2 to 1 tablet.  The ones that took a 1/2 tablet felt better and didn’t get drowsy, the ones that took a whole tablet, also took a nap.

Both soups were excellent and the avocado citrus salad was very good.  It was time for the entrees.  I wasn’t thrilled with the lamb, it was ok but didn’t wow me.  Meg didn’t love the sea bass (she’s still trying new things and sea bass is new to her).  Jon loved his sea bass and Jason’s lobster mac & cheese looked wonderful.  Now we did ask for the lobster on the side because he wasn’t sure about lobster (weird kid, I know….) and the lobster wasn’t really on the side but he survived.  Having gone through the sea sickness during the meal, he wasn’t really hungry and not for something new so our wonderful server got a kids pizza for him in no time flat.  Not being a person to let food go to waste, I switched meals with Megan and I “sampled” Jason’s mac & cheese.  There was a very strong gruyere that he didn’t like, I didn’t mind it and the lobster was wonderful.  I would put this as a top choice at Tritons.  The sea bass was very good and Meg enjoyed my lamb shank.  In the end it worked out well for everyone.  Desserts were very good, but I don’t remember all the details.  There was a souffle, creme brulee and a sampler that we all enjoyed.

After dinner we split up.  Meg went straight to Aloft, Jason took off for the Lab & sports deck and Jon & I strolled around the ship and then went for a swim & soak in the hot tub.  Jason  got back to the room around midnight and was watching a movie when Jon & I got back.   Meg showed up a little after 1am after the teen club closed.   Thouroughly exhausted, we all got a good nights sleep while anxiously awaiting our arrival in Nassau in the morning.

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