Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘Disney Wonder

There’s a lot going on with Disney Cruise Line lately.  The most recent announcements include a new show,  new activities for kids and a joint announcement from DCL & Adventures by Disney.

Premiering March 27, 2010 on the Disney Magic is the first show all about Disney villains.  A description of the show from Disneycruiseline.com:

“Villains Tonight!” begins as Hades and his faithful sidekicks, Pain and Panic (“Hercules”), welcome new souls (the audience) to the Underworld. But instead of a frightening realm, guests will discover that Hades has turned the Underworld into an upbeat and happier place. The lively fun comes to a halt when The Fates arrive and predict that Hades will lose his position as Lord of the Underworld if he doesn’t ramp up the evil factor.

Worried by the news, Hades checks his Evil-O-Meter and discovers it is running dangerously low. So he comes up with a plan: He’ll conjure up the very best of the worst – the most powerful Disney villains – to help him replenish the world of evil. What ensues is a comical journey as Hades, Pain and Panic embark on a quest filled with wacky antics and amusing musical numbers featuring everyone’s favorite Disney villains and their sidekicks.

“Villains Tonight!” features a “Who’s Who” of the Disney villains, including Disney’s newest crook, Dr. Facilier from “The Princess and the Frog.” The show also features classic divas and scoundrels like Ursula (“The Little Mermaid”), the Evil Queen (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), Captain Hook (“Peter Pan”) and Scar (“The Lion King”).

During “Villains Tonight!,” the 977-seat Walt Disney Theatre becomes a hilariously wicked world through the use of elaborate sets and special effects, extravagant costumes and a fun-filled, contemporary musical score.

This past week came the announcement that kids will be able to “customize” their activities on their vacations.  No longer will activities be divided up by age, now they’ll be more “interests” centered.  Cooking, puzzles, computer games….kids will play with kids interested in the same things they are.

The last big piece of news is great for those that have wrestling with the idea of a Disney Cruise or an Adventures by Disney vacation.  “Mediterranean Magic” is the best of both worlds:

Adventures by Disney and Disney Cruise Line® present an extraordinary new way to experience the Mediterranean. Disney Cruise Line Guests can now enhance their 10- and 11-Night Mediterranean Cruises with the extra magic of an Adventures by Disney vacation! Combining our personal service and expertise in guided travel across the world with the enchantment of a Disney cruise, the Mediterranean Magic brings you an exquisite selection of unique onboard activities and premium shore experiences designed to immerse you and your family in the cultures and sights of the incredible Mediterranean region.

As part of our world-renowned Disney Difference, our Adventure Guides serve as VIP hosts and expert tour guides, overseeing every aspect of your journey. We’ll handle the details so that you can relish some of the Mediterranean’s most captivating cities! We have thoughtfully planned every excursion and taken care of all port meals so that you can truly enjoy every shore experience and spend your time together as a family having the time of your lives.
What’s Included?
All shore experiences and meals, onboard and onshore photos and gratuities, a night of adult fine dining and wine tasting at Palo, private receptions and special activities on board the Disney Magic!

If that’s not enough, here’s a quick reminder of things previously announced:

Everyone is looking forward to the new ships; the Disney Dream will set sail in January 2011 and the Disney Fantasy is scheduled to debut in 2012.

New itineraries are popping up.  This spring the Disney Magic will make a Trans-Atlantic sailing and then spend the summer sailing the Mediterranean.  While the Magic is gone, the Disney Wonder will be changing up her usual schedule and sailing on some 5 night cruises.

2011 will begin the first time Disney has cruised to Alaska!   In April 2011, set sail from Los Angeles, CA to Vancouver, Canada as the Disney Magic repositions for it’s Alaska cruise season.  From May – September, spend 7 nights cruising from Vancouver to Alaska.  In September, the Magic will reposition back to Los Angeles for 7, 8 and 10 night Mexican Riviera cruises.

Castaway Cay is undergoing some pretty cool renovations!  The new playset out in the water is coming along nicely and there will be more facilities added to the island in anticipation of the Dream & Fantasy’s arrival.

This is the perfect vacation for everyone in your whole family from 1-92. With all that’s going on, it’s a perfect time to book your Disney Cruise Line vacation!

It’s cold and blechy out.  I can’t wait for summer for a couple of reasons;

1.  it’ll be warm and

2.  Toy Story 3 is coming out!!!

I love the Toy Story movies, love the Toy Story stage show on the Disney Wonder.  Basically, if it’s Toy Story – I love it.

Here’s a preview of the new movie, think warm thoughts and enjoy the clip!

The big news yesterday at D23, Disney Cruise Line announced their 1st ever plans to sail to Alaska! 

In 2011, The Disney Wonder will reposition to the West Coast.  In May of 2o11, the Wonder will begin 7 night cruises from Vancouver, BC to Alaska for 7 months.  The ship will stop in Skagway, Ketchikcan & Juneau.  Before and after that, the Wonder will sail  out of Los Angeles on 7 night Mexican Riviera Cruises, with stops in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan & Puerta Vallarta.  

Back in Florida, the Disney Magic will continue sailing on 7 night cruises, alternating between Eastern & Western Caribbean itineraries.  During the summer of 2011, the Magic will head back to the Mediterranean Sea for several months of cruises to exciting ports like Tunis, Tunisia; Corsica; Malta; and Barcelona Spain.

Now the other cool thing with all of these ship movements, is that means repositioning cruises!  When the Disney Wonder moves from Port Canaveral, FL to her new home on the West Coast, there will be a 15 night Panama Canal cruise setting sail on Jan 6, 2011.  When it’s time to leave Los Angeles for Vancouver; there will be a 6 night cruise up the coast and 5 nights on the way back to Los Angeles in the fall.  Of course, when the Magic heads back to the Mediterranean for the summer of 2011, there will be two 14 night  transatlantic voyages.

So many cruises to choose from!  It’s going to be hard to pick just one 😉

A man found floating in the ocean off the coast of Florida was rescued by the Disney Wonder.  The man apparently jumped from a Carnival Cruiseline ship.   Guess he should have booked with Disney Cruise Line in the 1st place, would have been easier, lol.

Disney Wonder Rescues Man at Sea

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.

These are all of my pictures from my June agent trip.  Enjoy pictures of Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Beach Club Resort,  the Disney Wonder & Castaway Cay.     Pictures

We’ve had our summer reservations set for 7 months now.  6 nights, 7 days at Disney’s Beach Club Villas in a 2 BR.  Perfect!  Stormalong Bay here we come!  Dining reservations were made at the 90 day mark, everything was ready. 

Plans: drive down on Sat, stay offsite for the night and check in early at BCV on Sunday morning. Most of our days would be at Stormalong Bay or the Quiet Pool, reading & relaxing.  Parks in the evening after the daily rain cools things down and the crowds thin out.   Sundy dinner at Cape May Cafe and MK evening EMH.  Monday, Hollywood Brown Derby and Disney’s Hollywood Studios  evening EMH.  Tuesday Typhoon Lagoon during the day and the Hoop dee do Review at night.  Wednesday dinner Tusker House with evening EMH at Animal Kingdom.  Thursday the kids were going to do their thing and Jon & were going to Bistro de Paris for our anniversary dinner and Friday we had ADR’s for The Wave  followed by evening EMH at Magic Kingdom.  Saturday we would pack up and head home, probably after breakfast at Cape May Cafe.

Well, we just changed most of that.  I got notice of an amazing travel agent appreciation perk for Disney Cruise Line 3 & 4 night cruises in July.   We were able to make it work and now we’re going on our own Land & Sea trip!  I think we’ll even spend less money after all is said and done and our trip is now 5 nights at BCV and 3 nights on the Disney Wonder (total of 8 nts/9 days)!  We’ll cut some of our dining reservations because we’ll be eating plenty on the ship, and we’ll skip the water parks because we won’t have as much time at the World; but we’ll add snorkeling & perhaps a couples massage.

New plan, we’ll still drive down on Saturday the 11th, but now we’re checking into BCV that day.  We’ll spend some time at Stormalong Bay and go to Epcot for the evening.  We’re thinking we’ll eat a bunch of Counter Service around the World Showcase for dinner.  Sunday we’ll relax at the pool during the day, late lunch at Planet Hollywood and then long night at Magic Kingdom.  Monday will still be Hollywood Brown Derby and DHS.  Tuesday we’re re-working completely, we’ll save HDDR for another trip when it can stand out more.  We’ll probably spend the day at Epcot and maybe ESPN or Big River Grille for dinner or more CS.  Wednesday maybe Beaches & Cream or ???? and then AK for evening EMH followed by dessert at Beaches & Cream.  I am not missing out on my No Way Jose on this trip!

Amazing how you can plan for months & months and then completely turn it upside down in less than 24 hours.  Next post will be about getting a family ready for their 1st cruise!

Our last night at sea.  It seems like we just boarded but now Cruise Director Christian is on a continous loop on channel 14 doing a Debarkation Presentation.

After a wonderful day on Castaway Cay, I came back to the ship to get ready for a busy night.  Tonight was our last “business” event, a private cocktail party in the Cadillac Lounge, show, dinner, packing & ?????

Our cocktail party was great.  There were appetizers, and Bahama Mama’s.  We “graduated” from the program and received diplomas and a group picture.  We spent some time discussing what we had learned durning the cruise and how that would help us when we got home.   A fun time!

We were able to get a little last minute shopping done before our evenings performance.  Tonight we saw:

” Disney Dreams”    ‘An Enchanted Classic  For every kid and every kid-at-heart, this Classic Disney tale lets you discover the power of dreams as your imagination escapes into a world of enchantment and adventure.  With a little Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust, a youg girl’s wish becomes a dream come true in the spectaculal fantasy.  Join Peter Pan, tinker Bell and all your favorite Disney Characters on a quest to make Dreams Come True!’

During our cocktail party, Rita our wonderful trainer/facilitator had told us to look at the parents in the audience during tonights show and to notice that they’ll all have tears in their eyes.  Well, I’ve got to tell you, I couldn’t see if anyone else had tears in their eyes, because I DID!  This was an amazing, touching, heartwarming show and the entire cast was superb!  Leave it to Disney to even cap it off with fireworks!  I can’t express how much I loved this show, just promise me that if you’re sailing on the Wonder you won’t miss it!

Dinner this evening was at Triton’s and we weren’t sure what to expect.   It was very nice, seafood with a touch of french influence.  Not being a fan of escargot, I played safe and ordered the chilled jumbo shrimp and french onion soup.  I had the seared sea bass for my entree, very fresh and cooked just right.  The other big winner of the evening at our table was the 3-cheese lobster macaroni.  This will shock everyone that knows me, but I can’t remember desert.  I’m sure they were good, but obviously not that memorable. 

After dinner we went back to our cabins to pack.  All of our luggage needed to be tagged and in the hall by 11pm and it was already 9:30pm.  When we got to our cabin, I realized that they had not left the tags for my bags, just the airport ones for my room mate.  I called guest services and they said they would send them up in a little bit.  Ok, I started packing and trying to figure out what to put in which bag and what to leave out…….My room mate needed to call guest services for something and while on the phone mentioned that we were still waiting for the bag tags.  They told her that I would have to come and get them.  Great, it was now almost 10:30 and I had to go to deck 3, mid from deck 5 aft.  Not horrible, but I was tired and running out of time.  We went, passing our cabin attendant on the way and thanking him for all he had done.  Got the tags came back and ran into him again.  I told him that my bags would be out in a few minutes, now that I had the tags.  Here’s where I was gently reprimanded, and reminded that I had been told on the 1st day that if I needed anything, he was my go to guy and he had plenty of bag tags.   So learn from my mistake, and if you need anything at all, check with your cabin attendant before running allover the ship.  It’ll save you a lot of time and effort!

Bags were packed, tagged and placed in the hall a few minutes before 11pm.  We considered going to Cadillac lounge or the Wave and finding others from the group and then decided that was just too much work.  Instead we discussed the trip and enjoyed the view from the verandah before calling it a night.

This is an Agent Education Program (sort of a continuing education program) the unusual thing with this trip is that I’m not planning it.  It’s not just unusual, it’s downright weird!  No ADR’s, no deciding on which resort or when to go.  Disney made all the decisions, I just had to sign up for the program.

On Wednesday I will get up early (yuck!) and drive to Disney (YAY!)  Why drive to Orlando? Charlotte is a great place to fly through, but too expensive to fly out of most of the time.   8-8 1/2 hours later I’ll check into Animal Kingdom Lodge where we will stay for the night.  A couple of site visits/training in the afternoon,  then a Welcome dinner at Epcot followed by an Illuminations Dessert Party at the United Kingdom terrace!   — I love Illuminations and I love dessert, so I’m pretty excited about this part of the evening!  If I’m lucky, I might be able to grab a Grand Marnier Slushie before the night is over!! 

 Thursday we’ll have breakfast at Cape May Cafe and tour the Beach Club Resort before heading to the port.  The next 3 nights we’ll be on the Disney Wonder, with stops in Nassau & Castaway Cay!  I’m looking forward to trying all of the restaurants (except Palo, I have promised Jon that I’ll wait to go there with him) and of course reporting back here on the food!  I’m excited about the shows, and the pools and Castaway Cay……and everything

After we pull back in on Sunday morning, I’ll go back to Animal Kingdom Lodge and then drive home–unless I can catch up with MickeyNicki.  Then I’ll be having breakfast at Boma or trying a frozen Chai at Animal Kingdom.

That’s the plan.

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