Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Disney Cruise Day Four

 Day Four was a sea day, so we hung around the ship and relaxed all day.  We went to the spa for two and a half hours, read our books out on the verandah, took our time with breakfast and lunch. After lunch we went to a champagne tasting class that I had signed us up for. It was fun tasting all the expensive champagnes, but the class was supposed to teach us how to make champagne cocktails, and it did not do that. I'm not sure what was up with that, but I was really looking forward to it. We did enjoy the tasting though.

We did some activities like trivia and played some Bingo but did not win. It was fun playing.

This was not regular BINGO, like you have in your head where people sit in a crowded room and the caller slowly calls out each number and people are quiet because they are concentrating.  Nope!  This BINGO was nothing like that. There was singing, there was dancing, there was jumping up and down.  They know how to do BINGO!  Super fun. We were one number off two times. So close!

We found this door on our deck. I love, love, love this. Up is one of my favorite Pixar films.  I love Carl and Ellie so much!  The creativity this took is amazing. Next time I'm going to up my cruise ship door game.

Joe took this photo at sunset. 


Dinner tonight is at Tiana's Place. This was the restaurant I was looking forward to the most. It's based after The Princess and the Frog movie.  It's set in New Orleans and the theming is amazing.  Look at these plates!  So cute!  I did remember to take pictures of my food tonight.
We both started with the sausage fritters. So good.
I then had the wedge salad, which was both pretty and delicious. Joe got the Gumbo soup. He was very happy with it too.

Joe got the pork tenderloin. I got the prime rib steak. I almost never eat beef but it looked so good I made an exception. We both had the beignets with chocolate sauce and a bread pudding. I had two desserts almost every night!  So good. 

Tiana's place isn't just a restaurant, it has a show too.  While we were eating Tiana was singing

on stage with a piano player.  Halfway through dinner she started a Congo line. There was singing and dancing and clapping. We even did the limbo. The little kids loved it so much!  OK, I did too. Afterwards Tiana comes around to each and every table to say hello, and we got a photo. Such a fun dinner. Would have loved to do that one twice.

Our last towel creation: a seal.  Cute!

So we had dinner at four restaurants:
Triton's the first night, themed after The Little Mermaid.
Palo, the adults only upcharge restaurant, which was Italian themed.
Animator's Palette, where the walls came alive with animation and colors,
and Tiana's Place, which was my favorite.  

I don't have many photos for Debarkation Day, but I'll write a little bit about it tomorrow 
because some of it surprised me.

We had a great last day!

Monday, May 08, 2023

Disney Cruise Day Three

 Day Three. 

This was Cabo San Lucas, Mexico day and we were excited. They don't have a large enough port in Cabo San Lucas to dock the ship, so you have to take little boats called "tenders" and they take you to the pier.  I booked an excursion for today, so we had to meet up with the rest of our party in the theater to be taken to the boats. Our excursion didn't start until 10:15, so we didn't have to get up super early. I booked a sightseeing tour to go on a boat to see the famous rock arch, and then a bus to see the coastline. What I didn't realize is that it was going to take all day and we weren't going to have time to go exploring on our own, which Joe really wanted to do.  In fact we had only 25 minutes to shop, so we didn't get anything we had wanted. (T-shirts, magnets and such). It was still a great day of sightseeing.

View of our ship from the pier in Cabo.

The famous arch. Lover's beach is to the right. It's great for swimming and snorkeling.  On the other side they call it divorce beach (it's a joke but they do call it that).  That side the water is very choppy and dangerous so nobody goes there.

Joe in vacation mode.

After the boat ride to see the arch, we took a bus to visit a glass factory. We watched the glassblowers make some items before we took a look around the shop of items for sale.

He's making a turtle wearing a sombrero with a bottle of tequila in his hand.  No joke. I should have taken photos of the end product.

I love the colorful glassware

We bought margarita glasses just like these but in a different shape. They were so pretty. I say HAD, because I dropped them and they broke on debarkation day.  I cried.  I found them on Etsy for three times the price. I'll probably get them there.

They had a large selection of glasses and vases, as well as little animals you could purchase.  We only got the margarita glasses and a shot glass for Joe's co-worker.

After that we took bus to see the coastline. That's our boat way out there.

Dinner that night was at Animator's Palette.  I took only one photo in there. I swear this is so unlike me.  I was seriously just having so much fun I either didn't remember to take photos, or left my phone in the room. There was no cell service anyway.  I'm kind of disappointed in myself because I forgot a lot of things due to not taking any photos.  

These walls start out black and white and then turn beautiful colors as the nights go on, and the screens on the walls  have animation on them. Very nice visual effects. This restaurant was directly below our room, so again with the vibrations. 

Saw Chip and Dale on the way back from dinner. They had their tuxedos on because it was semi formal night. You'll see us in the same clothes two nights in a row because we had the nice dinner at Palo last night and semi formal night tonight.  We chose to dress up. Not everyone did.
We got pictures with Minnie Mouse in her ball gown, but of course the professionals photographers have them and are holding them hostage. I'll post them later for sure. She looked so pretty!

That was it for Day Three.  Tomorrow is our last night! (sob)

Sunday, May 07, 2023

Disney Cruise Day Two

I just realized a few of those photos of us exploring the ship are from different days. Thus the outfit changes. LOL. 

After the movie we went back to our room to get ready for bed.  This was our towel creation for the night. We had no idea what it was? Anyone know?

Our room was as far aft as you can get.  (As far in the back of the ship). Like there was no room to the left of us, because our room was the very last one before hitting the back of the ship. Such a long walk from the elevators! Anyway, I had read that rooms that are in the back of the ship, you can feel "some vibrations".  I was expecting this, but Holy Cow cruise ship, "some" vibrations actually meant the bed actually MOVED from the vibrations, and they were loud! You know in old movies or tv shows where they have those machines on the bed in a hotel room where there's a switch and you can make the bed vibrate, for like a massage or something?  I have no idea if you know what I am talking about, but man did that bed vibrate!  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to sleep, it was that bad. Thankfully I was able to sleep with some ear plugs and I got used to the motion of the vibrating.  This is something I think should definitely be disclosed to the people who purchase rooms way back there.  Turns out we didn't have a neighbor to our left and only a wall on the right, so our room was SUPER quiet. (Except for the vibrations).  It turned out not to be a big deal for us in the end, but keep in mind if you are going on a cruise and choosing your room.  Two of the restaurants are also aft of the ship and it vibrated down there too.

Today we slept in a little since we had such a late night last night.  We headed to the buffet at Cabanas again, but for breakfast, not lunch. I found the breakfast buffet to be much better than the lunch. After lunch we visited "Cove Cafe", which is an adults only coffee bar and I got this cute coffee. I love him!

We spent a good part of our first day at sea at the Spa.  I forgot to say, on the first day, right when we boarded we booked it to the spa to get passes to the "Senses Spa", because day passes sell out quick.  The pass lasted your whole trip and you could go as many times as you wanted throughout your trip.  We only went two days but spent a few hours there each time. Again, no photos because it was wet in there and I didn't want my phone to get ruined.  Not until later did I realize my phone is water proof and I could have taken it with me.  Duh!

Anyway, the spa has several different sections to it.  The first are the saunas.  There are two.  I referred to them as 1. The scorching one, and 2. The essential oils one.  In reality they are called the "mid temperature sauna", (apparently there is one in each locker room that is hotter!) and the "aromatic sauna".  

Guess which one I chose?  The mid temperature sauna was scorching hot and I couldn't stay in that one for more than five minutes.  It was so hot!  I don't know how people handle that kind of damp heat.  Not for me.  The Aromatic sauna was lovely. It was less hot, had a shower nozzle to add steam or cool off with, and smelled of lavender.  I spent all my time in that one. When you need a break you head over to one of their showers to rinse off.  The first shower was super hot, and again I couldn't handle the heat. The second one is medium hot and just right. The third one was the "cold fog" shower and I liked that one too.  After you take your shower you head over to the "heated loungers". These were her heavenly!  I don't know what it was about them, because they were simply lounge chairs with little tiles on them that heated up, but they felt so good!  Especially after the cold fog shower.  I could have spent days there! The spa was wonderful.

After the spa we went back to the room to change.  We went back up to the pool deck to grab a bite to eat. They have three quick service restaurants up there.  Daisy's Dee-Lites, Pinnochio's Pizza, and Pete's Boiler Bites.  Daisy's is salads and sandwiches, more lighter fair.  Pinnochio's was Pizza of course, but they made it right there and it was so fresh and yummy.  Pete's was burgers and hot dogs, with different types of proteins like fish, chicken or veggie in addition to beef patties. I didn't eat here at all but Joe had a really good pork sandwich there on our last day. We spent the day at the adult pool(not swimming just reading at a table in the sun).

Our first sunset at sea

The first sea day was Pirate Night. We inadvertently kind of skipped Pirate Night, as that was the night I booked us to go to the Fancy restaurant on board, which was called "Palo".  It has an extra charge and is adults only.  Well it turns out that because it was pirates night, no one wanted to eat at Palo and we were essentially alone in there! The service we got was amazing! I mean, the service would have been amazing anyway, but to have the waiter to ourselves was awesome!

I had the Salmon (again-but this one was so much better). Again, can't find any other photos I took of food here. I also had the caprese as an appetizer, and Joe had the Calamari. Both were so fresh and so good.  For dessert we shared the chocolate Soufflé.  To die for.


I found some more photos of the exterior of the ship. This is the adult only pool area.  It was really nice!
Palo was so much fun.
After Palo it was time for Pirate night up on the ship deck. We went out for a little bit and it was cold and windy. The show was very high energy and loud, and we were tired. We decided to call it a night so we missed most of the show. Here's a few photos:

They had sent a message out letting guests know to keep your verandah doors closed during Fireworks and to please stay inside while the were going on.  Well, they were shooting them off right above us, so we opened the verandah door a teeny bit and took these photos. It was pretty cool!

To end the night I ordered room service for a a couple of Mickey Bars.  So cute and yummy!

Our towel (blanket) creation for  the night. A Pirate, of course!  Very clever.

I'm super bummed because we ordered a photo package that included all of the professional photographs to download. Well, the watermarks are still on them.  I called and they said I have to email them to get support, and that can take up to 20 days!  I'm super disappointed because I really wanted to include them here. I also want to start a scrapbook.  I know it's not the end of the world but I am disappointed that they can't help me sooner.   Others in our group are having the same problem.  I don't even have any iPhone pictures because I didn't have them take them with my phone because I knew I was getting the package.Hey, if that's the worst thing to happen to me today I'm doing alright.  

Day Three is Cabo San Lucas.  I'll post that later today.  

Saturday, May 06, 2023

Disney Cruise Day One

Well hello! (blows dust off). I find myself here again! How's it going? I'm not sure anyone will read this, but we did a fun thing and it's easier to share here, so here goes. In February Joe and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Thirty years! Crazy huh? On our 25th anniversary, where we did exactly zero fun things, Joe and I made a pact that for our 30th we going to do something fun. No matter what. Fast forward 5 years, and here we are. We (I, but Joe went along with it), decided on a Disney Cruise. We both love Disney, and one of us likes cruises (me-Joe had never been. He was in the Navy, but he says that doesn't count. LOL) Anyway, a Disney Cruise. Wahoo! But Disney cruises are expensive. When we ran the numbers for other fun things, like Hawaii, or a week long road trip, we realized that it really wasn't that much more expensive because all the food and entertainment was included. With a huge gift of money from my sister, and lots of saving, we were able to pull it together. It was mostly paid off when Joe got sick in November (and almost died). We had to rescheduled it until we got on our feet, and like I said, a huge gift from Lisa and we were finally able to schedule for last week. So last Sunday we boarded the Disney Wonder out of San Diego, CA, on our way to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I'm just going to do a breakdown of each day, to make it easier. Sunday, April 30th: Embarkation Day We made our way to San Diego by car. It's only about an hour and a half from our house. Got to the parking place, got on the shuttle and finally arrived at ship. She's not a very large ship but perfect for our first cruise. The weather was a little cloudy and windy and slightly chilly. I had only brought a light jacket because it was going to be warm in Cabo San Lucas but I didn't think about the fact that most of our days were either at Sea or in port. Oops! So much for my summer clothes. The jacket did just fine. Finally around 3:00 we boarded the ship. As you enter a Disney cruise ship, the staff members announce your name and everyone claps. Not gonna lie, I teared up a little. This was such a dream come true for me. And Joe too. We walked around and explored a bit while they got our room ready. When choosing our room on this trip we were going for the cheapest we could find. That put us on deck 2, with an inside room. Joe immmediately vetoed the inside room because he gets claustrophobic (yes, he used to live on a ship-it's the reason they took him off of it). So that left us with a room with a porthole. We were both fine with that, however, our travel agent told us that those rooms are pretty low to the sea, and if we get rough seas, sometimes the ocean hits those windows. Ummm, no thanks. So I vetoed that room. SO that left us with deck 3 or above, with a port hole window. As we were deciding our travel agent e-mailed us that certain sailings in the spring were going to be 25% off with a So Cal discount (Southern Californian). With that 25%, we were able to get a room with a verandah (a fancy name for a balcony) for free! Yes please! So we decided to do that. The only glitch was that the cruiseline gets to pick which room you are in, you don't, and you don't find out until two weeks before our cruise(but it was a guaranteed type of room/deck). It was hard to not know our room number, because we wanted to research it, but in the end it was kind of a fun surprise not to know it until the end. More on the room later.
Views from or room:
Right away Captain Mickey came out to visit:
Our television:
You could see a camera view from the Bridge of the boat here too. It was cool.
I didn't take a ton of photos of the exterior of the ship.
I decorated our room for our trip
Here's our veranduh. It was a white wall instead of a clear plexi glass, which can be considered undesirable, but we didn't mind. We did spend a lot of time out there though, having coffee or watching the sun set.
On Disney cruises guests decorate their stateroom doors with magnets.  I didn't get fancy, but I did order this personalized one to put on our door commemorating our anniversary.  We also put up a "Fish Extender", which is a device in which other passengers put gifts in your hangers and you do the same.  We had four other people in our group.  There is also "pixie dusting", where random people put fun little gifts in your extenders.  I brought a lot of stuff to pixie dust to others.  This is SO FUN!  I loved every minute of it.  Gifts is my love language so giving and receiving little gifts the entire cruise was the best!  Can't recommend it enough, if you are into that kind of thing.

The Atrium
We had a bit of Disney Magic happen on our trip. When we got into our room there was a beer mug there. It had a card with it saying someone purchased it for us but the card wasn't signed. Our travel agent said she didn't do it, and Lisa hadn't mentioned it. I called guest services and they said they can't tell who purchased  it, but if there was no name on the card it was likely them. SO nice! Basically it takes a discount off of the cost of the beers you buy. Hey, We'll take it!

We did a little exploring

We had a late lunch at Cabanas(the Buffett).  It was ok. They had some yummy items but I'm not a huge fan of buffets in general.  I feel like by the time I get my food to the table most of it is cold.  The breakfast buffet was amazing though. I just wasn't that impressed with lunch.  Huge variety though. 

Next it was time for the first show.  It was called "The Golden Mickeys" and it was fun. No photos of that.  Not allowed.

After that it was time for dinner at Triton's.  So beautiful in there and I didn't take one photo, except for the food!  Darn it.  The food was amazing. Our dinner was the late seating at 8:15.  It seems late for dinner, but we actually liked it.  We got to see the shows first, and then go to dinner. It worked out great for us, and there were less kids there (Yes, we knew there were going to be a lot of kids on a Disney cruise and we were fine with that, of course.  But sometimes it's nice to eat in peace). There were still a lot of kids there. It was fine. We sat with two other couples who didn't bring their grown kids.  Super nice people.We ate with them the whole cruise.

OK, I'll admit I was pretty tired and didn't take that many food pics  at Triton's. I just plain forgot!  I did take a photo of my appetizer, because it's not something you eat every day.  Duck Confit.  It was ok.  I think Duck is too rich for me. I also had the French Onion soup and Herb Crusted Salmon and both were delicious. I also had two desserts but darn it if I can't remember what they were!  I was tired at this point. It had been a long day.

Well guess what?  After dinner Joe gets a burst of energy and decides he wants to see Avatar: The Way of Water at 10:45 pm!  I figured we were on vacation, so why not?  Except that movie is over 3 hours long and we didn't get back to our room until 2:00 a.m!  Talk about a long day. I was so tired I fell into bed and went right to sleep.