Walt Disney World & World Travels

Posts Tagged ‘Wonder

For some reason, I always wake up before the wake up call when I’m cruising.  Doesn’t matter that I only went to sleep a few hours ago, I am waiting to hear Mickey tell me it’s time to get up.

We’re not in a huge hurry to get off the ship in Nassau.  We didn’t book any excursions, just planning to walk around town and explore on our own for awhile.  Instead of rushing, Jon & Meg go for a run, then while she gets ready the rest of us go for breakfast at Triton’s.  

Only dinner is assigned, at breakfast you just walk up and are seated.  You’ll have different servers but that can be fun.  We had a great breakfast; Jon ordered his “cruise breakfast” bagel with lox & cream cheese & eggs benedict.  This is what he had everyday of our honeymoon cruise and he couldn’t wait to do it again (18 years later).  I couldn’t decide between the eggs benedict and the “Atlantis Secret Tower” stacked french toast with grilled pineapple and strawberry coulis.  Our wonderful server told me I should try both!  Gotta love that!  Jason ordered the “Little Mermaids Morning” which is 2 belgian waffles stuffed with Dulche de Leche and rolled in cinnamon sugar.  Jon loved his breakfast, I thought mine were both very good but I liked the eggs benedict better.  Jason didn’t really care for his….the Duche de Leche wasn’t quite what he expected.  No problem, they quickly got him a new breakfast: Mickey’s special combo platter.  Mickey Waffle, scrambled eggs and a pancake tower.  That was perfect! 

When we got back to the room, Meg was upset because she didn’t know which restaurant we had gone to for breakfast and she was now hungry.  No problem, that is what room service is for!   I quickly called and ordered the Chicken Fajita wrap.  I was told it would take 30-40 minutes and 10 minutes later there was a knock on the door.  Can I just say that I love free room service!  She was happy, loved her wrap and we were ready to go explore Nassau.

Just a little information here; to leave the ship you need your KTTW card and photo ID.  Kids need their KTTW card and a parent or permission slip to go with an excursion.  This way they know who got off the ship, when they got off and when they get back on. 

When we got off the ship we headed out and walked down to the Straw Markets.   There were some deals to be had, but not like in the “old” days.  It was hot and muggy and no one really felt like shopping so we moved on.  Took pictures by the Pirate Museum, toured a beautiful church, stopped in a couple of other shops and in the end we got a yummy chocolate rum cake at the Bacarrdi store.  We had wandered for a couple of hours and saw what we wanted to see and now we just wanted to go back to the ship and enjoy that.

First things first, it was time to eat again 🙂 For the 3rd meal in a row, we had lunch at Triton’s.  To be honest, I can’t remember anyones meal except for Jason’s.  He was hot, tired and getting a little grumpy and wasn’t sure he was even hungry.  He ended up asking our server if he could get a Mickey bar for an appetizer.  Of course the server said “yes” then looked at us.  I decided I just didn’t care.  If he got hungry later, he’d get pizza or burgers or something on deck 9, so what the heck have the Mickey bar as an “appetizer”.  They brought it out with our food, but all I see is a Mickey Bar sitting in a bowl with mini marshmallows and lots of sprinkles.  He ate every last bite and then ordered kids mac & cheese  for his entree.  Jon laughed and commented when they brought the entrees that “if he eats his entire meal, we’re giving him ice cream before every meal”  He not only ate it, he devoured it and when we ordered dessert he asked if he could order more mac & cheese.  He ate most of that as well.  As they say, life is short eat dessert first!

While we were eating lunch we wanted to plan the rest of our day.  I left the restaurant for a few minutes to get a new Navigator (we’d misplaced ours).  While I was at Guest Services I had another question for them.  When I made the cruise reservation I had told them we were celebrating our 18th anniversary and they told me they would do something the 1st night of the cruise.   No, I didn’t forget to write about and you didn’t skim over it; nothing had happened the 1st night.  They were very apologetic after looking it up and seeing it on the reservation, and they promised it would be taken care of tonight.   Secret planning done, I went back to lunch and we planned our afternoon.  Meg was tired and ready to lay out in the sun & read a book.  Jason had several activities at the lab that he wanted to check out, the only complication was he wanted to do the “make a kite” family activity but that was at 3pm, right in the middle of afternoon.  He decided we could make a kite another time and took off to do his things.  Meg took off and we went to Guest Services to see if we could book some spa time.  There was a great in port special that included: head, neck, shoulder massage, facial, Rainforest Room, chocolate covered strawberries and glass of champagne.  Perfect!  Even better, we were able to get both of us in at the same time!!!

We went and changed into our bathing suits and headed to the Cove pool.  Beautiful weather, a drink of the day and an hour till our spa appointment; I really can’t imagine it being any better than this!  We relaxed, swam a little and then it was time to go to the spa.  We checked in a few minutes early and were taken to the locker rooms.  We both changed into our robes & slippers and were then led to a couples cabin.  While our package that we booked wasn’t technically a “couples massage”, since we are a couple and they could do it at the same time, they did.  The room is beautiful, calm and quiet.  On the verandah is a hot tub for the “real” couples packages.  In the cabin the colors are soft, music is soothing.  The ladies that will be giving us our massages tell us what to expect and they leave the room for us to disrobe and get on the massage tables.  When they come back, they position us so we’re comfortable and then they start the massage.  All I hear is the soft music, the occasional “ahh”  escape from myself or Jon and that is it.  The ladies are stealthy, and perfectly in rythem.  There is a wonderful soothing scent in the air and I don’t want this to ever stop.  Gently and quietly they ask us to roll over and then they begin the facial.  While the facial “sets”  they move down and do a leg massage.  Ooohs and Aahhhs are the only sounds in the room beside the music.  Our faces are wiped off and before we “come to” my hand is placed in Jon’s hand.  I can’t believe it’s over!  They step out for us to dress and came back with water and suggestions on what to buy and do to feel better on a daily basis.  I was very pleased with this.  They told us what they used, asked if we’d like them to make a package up for us and when we said no, they moved on.  No pressure at all, and I really appreciated that.  Then they led us to the Rainforest Room, gave us our chocolate covered strawberries & champagne and reminded us to drink plenty of water.    We spent the next hour enjoying the scented steam rooms, sauna, mosaic chairs and showers.  It was beyond wonderful!  It was a bit of a splurge but worth every penny!  To top it off, I now have a husband that wants to include spa visits on our vacations!!!

Before we knew it, our wonderful relaxing quiet couples time was over and it was time to get ready for dinner and tonight show: Toy Story the Musical!   The show starts at 6pm, everyone was instructed to be at the room and ready by 5:45.  Megan was in the room and ready, Jon & I were changed and ready to go and Jason was……MIA.   I would’ve have been upset, but not as much if it were a different show; but Toy Story was the ONE show that he wanted to see.  At 5:45pm we left the room.  Our cabin attendant was in the hallway, we told her that if Jason came back to please let him know to meet us at the show (I also left a note in the room).  Jon & Meg went to the show, I’ve seen it,they haven’t.  I went and checked at the pool, pizza place & sport courts.  No Jason.  I went down to the theater and found Jon & Megan, great.  No Jason.  I went outside the theater to watch for him, had a lovely chat with a CM, tried calling the room (no answer) and played hide & seek with the Green Army guys.  5:59pm and here comes Jason; dressed for dinner & the show.  He had lost track of time playing soccer against a bunch of Brazillians (story to be told at dinner), went to the cabin where Willie (our cabin attendant) told him to meet us at the show.  We were seated before the show started, but just barely.  I LOVE this show!  I loved it last time and loved it again this time!  I won’t spoil it, but Sid is my favorite part of the show, don’t miss it!

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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.

I am so dedicated to my career and clients that I am going on a cruise for them.  How funny does that sound?  I know it sounds pretty funny, but it’s also very true.  It’s also one of the coolest parts of the job.  How does my going on a cruise help my clients?  That’s a fair question.  I’ll start now by telling you what I think it will do and when I return; I’ll let you know the reality.

I think that I will better be able to help my clients plan their cruise, after experiencing it myself.  When it comes to planning, I find personal experience to be much more helpful than just reading a guide book  (that goes to why you should use a specialized travel agent, but that’s another post) .   These are just a few of the things that I’ll be able to tell my clients with 1st hand knowledge when I get back:

  • What should I pack?  What did I pack that I didn’t need and what do I wish I had brought?
  • Do I need a passport or should I have one even if I don’t need it? What are the new passport rules?
  • How are the cabins? Can you see/feel the difference between the different categories?  Is it worth paying for the ocean view? 
  • When will my documents arrive?
  • What should I know to make it easier and more relaxing?  

I’ve learned something already:  My cruise documents arrived on Friday 5/29 , I was worried because I leave for Florida Wednesday  morning 6/3  and that seemed to be cutting it pretty close.  I’ve learned that when the documents are supposed to be there 2 weeks before sailing, it may actaully be less than a week before.  

Next up: itinerary & packing


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