Saturday, February 2, 2013

Disney by Sea and Land - Days 1-3

Day 1 - January 17

The day we had been waiting for has finally arrived. Today we fly down to Orlando to begin our vacation. We will be taking a 5 day Western Caribbean cruise on the Disney Wonder, followed by a week in Walt Disney World. This will be our first cruise since 2004 when we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary aboard the Disney Magic.

The flight down goes smoothly and our daughter meets us at the Orlando airport and drives us to her apartment where we will spend the night. Tomorrow we will drive down to Miami to board the Wonder the next day.

Once we are at her apartment and settled in, we head out for dinner at Captain Cook's at the Polynesian Hotel in Disney World, and then some shopping for a few last minute items before heading back to her place for the night.

Day 2 - January 18

Today we drive down to Miami where we our cruise will begin. Our traveling party includes my wife and myself, my daughter, her husband and his mother. It's about a 4 hour drive and we spend tonight in a hotel so we are able to get an early start tomorrow morning.

Day 3 - January 19

Today is the day that we leave on our cruise. We leave the hotel for breakfast and then head to the Port of Miami where the Disney Wonder is docked. This is an unusual day at the port as seven cruise ships are in port, and as you can imagine, the traffic reflects that fact. However, we get to the port in plenty of time and soon board the ship and head to our staterooms which are already available to us. We are on Deck 5, port, aft. Once we have dropped our carry-ons in our room we head for the Beach Blanket Buffet for lunch.

As we did during our voyage on the Wonder's sister ship, the Disney Magic, after lunch we walk around the ship. My daughter has been on the Wonder before, and we have been on the Magic which is the same layout. My son-in-law has been on the Disney Dream with my daughter, but this is his mom's first cruise, so she is taking in all that this ship has to offer.

After the mandatory safety drill, we prepare to head to Deck 9 for the Adventures Away Party and get under way.

Shortly after 5:00 PM to the ship's "whistle" tune of When You Wish Upon A Star, we pull out of our berth and proceed out to sea.

Since we have the later seating for our meals, our next activity is to head to the Walt Disney Theater and attend the Welcome Aboard musical. One of the acts is the magician who will be appearing in the nightclub twice during the cruise, and since magic has long been a hobby of mine, I made a mental note to make sure and catch his act later in the cruise.

Dinner tonight is in Triton's. The Disney Wonder, like the other ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, has a unique dining set-up. There are three main restaurants (Triton's, Parrot Cay & Animator's Palette), in addition to the other places to eat aboard the ship such as the buffet, and Palo's, the adult only restaurant. Which of the three that you eat in is assigned to you, and you rotate each night. Your table remains the same in each restaurant, and your serving team comes along with you.

After dinner, I take my camera up to Decks 9 & 10 for a walk around and a bit of photography.

The Funnel Vision movie tonight is Mary Poppins. The Funnel Vision screen is a new addition to both the Wonder and the Magic since the last time I cruised on the Magic.

After my walk it was back to my stateroom and eventually to sleep. Tomorrow will be a full day at sea as we head south towards Cozumel, Mexico.


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