Have you been to a Disney Cruise?
These pictures aboard Disney Wonder with the Pirate Night and Disney Fireworks will convince you to go on a Disney Cruise!
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We planned this 2 night Disney Cruise aboard Disney Wonder for a year. We have to book way ahead of time because there were 26 of us with ages ranging from 6 years old to 79 years old and we booked 7 staterooms that are all in one deck and close to each other. It was with much anticipation when our day of departure came and we were all excited as we patiently queued to check in.
I will tell you exactly how we did it from planning to finding a parking garage before the cruise and all the way to retrieving our car after the cruise and anything in between and how we have ambivalent feelings about our Disney Cruise Experience.
The Cruise Cost. For a 2 night cruise aboard Disney Wonder inside cabin, midship, on Deck 6, we paid about $500USD per person and the additional mandatory gratuities of $12 USD per person/day. It’s not really bad considering its a Disney Cruise and the children young and old have enjoyed the Disney Experience.
Preparing for the Cruise:
Check in Online. Checking in online up until 5 days to your departure date makes it an easy process for the check in personnels, and less wait time for you as well specially if you have impatient children who are too excited to come aboard the ship, because you have entered all of your identification and payment information ahead of time.
Checking in online also allows you to enroll the children 12 years old and below into their respective kids club which is according to their age range, and checking in online will also let you sign up for onboard activities for the children or for yourself or port excursions as well if you wish.
Read the Disney Cruise Line Instruction Booklet. You will receive a Disney Cruise Instruction Booklet with your check in luggage tags.
Read the booklet and take note of the important instructions, specially the identification needed for US Citizens and Permanent Residents. You have to have them to get on and off the ship and through customs when you come back to the US soil.
Download the Disney Cruise Line ( DCL) Navigator App in all your smart phones. This is very useful onboard as this will be your guide on everything on the ship, from dining options, activities on board, live shows,
and your means of communication with your family by chat messages. We found this very helpful in locating our many children or summoning them to a meet up place.
When you are on the ship, put your phone on airplane mode and turn on your wifi to use the DCL Navigator. The DCL Navigator app also have the countdown to your cruise day, which amps up the anticipation of the fun your family is going to have onboard.
Parking. The Port of Departure is San Diego Port and San Diego Port has no parking of its own. You have to look for and reserve the parking ahead of time, online. There is the Wyndham San Diego Bayside Parking that offers free shuttle to the Cruise Terminal and baggage assistance.
We used the Aladdin Airport Parking because it was the only one that was available and we loved it and we were satisfied with their service. We paid a total of $35 USD for a covered parking for 2.5 days including the free shuttle to and from the cruise terminal, and it was so worth it. As you reach the parking garage, they have a drop off area for the passengers and luggage and a personnel from Aladdin Parking in their uniform and they will assist you with the luggage.
You then check in at their little office, which has a sitting area and they offer water,coffee and candy for the children while waiting for the shuttle to the cruise terminal. The wait was short, about 15 minutes for us because there were so many of us and the whole process was smooth and easy.
The pick up from the Cruise Terminal after the cruise was easy as well. All you need to do is follow the directions to the shuttle pick up area with your luggage of course, and then to the queue for shuttle pick up. We occupied the whole shuttle because there were 26 of us and there was not a long wait, maybe 15 minutes as well and then off we went back to the parking garage to pick up our car.
Our First Night:
As each family enters the ship, there are Disney Cruise Line Welcoming Crew Members at the door announcing each family’s arrival making you feel extra welcome and special.
We finally got on board before 3 pm and we went straight to Deck 9 at the Cabana Buffet Restaurant for a late lunch. I loved it that there were cruise ship attendants standing at the entrance of the restaurant, directing guests to the hand washing stations, making everybody wash their hands before eating.
The food choices at the Cabana were plenty, with ice cream, fresh fruits, cakes and pastries and sodas, juices and coffee and tea were included.
After eating, we then went to each of our respective cabins and we waited for the alarm signal for the Safety Drill.When we got to our cabin our luggages were already there and we were impressed of the quick service.
At the safety drill, we were given instructions on what to do in case an emergency debarkation happens at sea for whatever reason. The crew members demonstrated the use of life vest, where to find them,where to report and what to do.
And then we proceeded to Deck 9 midship for the Adventures Away Party around 4:30pm. It is where the Goofy’s Pool at and also the Pinocchio’s Pizzeria.
The Eye Scream is a self service soft served ice cream station with 9 different flavors and it is located in Deck 9 midship!
While waiting for the party to start, we took pictures, we ate pizza, ice cream and we danced too!
Troy had a blast! He was dancing and having fun with his cousins.
Everyone was having a good time and all were excited to get the party going!
After the Adventures Away party, we took more pictures on the boat with the whole family and the beautiful San Diego Harbor.
…and we hurried to make it to our first live show on board at 6:15 pm at the Walt Disney Theatre located on deck 4 forward.The Disney Dreams – An Enchanted Classic Musical Play was the first live entertainment we enjoyed on board and it was a wonderful show!
After the show we then prepared for our first dinner on board. Disney have what they call Rotational Dining where guests were assigned to rotate to the 3 main restaurants, accompanied by their servers which gives opportunity for the servers to get to know the guests’ preferences for better dining experience. We chose the 2nd seating dinner which seats us at 8:15 pm, giving us plenty of time to gather together since again, there were 26 of us.
Our first dinner was at the Triton’s Restaurant which is located in Deck 3 midship, and Triton’s serve American and French cuisine.
We were seated in 4 different tables but are all together, which was really nice of them to seat families together no matter how large! lol!
Duran was our main server and he was pleasant and attentive and we valued his food suggestions.
Our assistant server Titanilla was wonderful in helping us with our drinks and the wine choices as well. The whole family had a pleasant dining experience.
The food looks so appetising but unfortunately it was a hit or miss. Jorge tried the Escargot and he said it was delicious.
I also ordered the shrimp and lobster appetizer for Jorge and he said it was not very good, it looked dry and overcooked.
And onto the main course. I ordered the lamb chops, medium and it was good but not the hmmmnnn kind of good!
The steak was a better choice. It was tasteful and juicy, but the breaded salmon that Jorge and me were supposed to share was not fresh at all and we ended up not eating it.
But overall, the inviting ambience, the company of our family and the pleasantness of Duran and Titanilla made the whole dinner experience at Triton’s memorable and enjoyable.
We all enjoyed the desserts but by this time we were all in a hurry to go to the Pirates of the Caribbean Party which started around 10:15 pm on Deck 9, midship.
At the Pirates of the Caribbean Party everyone was dancing and was having a good time. The Disney Characters were in their pirates costumes and they were dancing on stage as well.
It was a wonderful time to let loose and relax with the whole family.
And here comes Mickey Mouse ziplining up above and inviting us to witness the Disney Fireworks at Sea.
After the Pirates of the Caribbean Party, we took more pictures of our families at the Grand Staircase! Some of the teens and young adults in our party were nowhere to be found! Well, they were having a good time on their own.
Before we ended the night, we still had the energy to go to Azure, the nightclub that is open until 2 am. We ended our night there dancing and having a nightcap! lol! It was a very long and exhausting but full of fun kind day.
Then we were ready to rest our weary head and called it a night. We slept like babies on our very comfortable bed and we woke up refreshed the following day, ready to continue on with our adventure aboard the wonderful Disney Wonder!
Have I convinced you yet to go on a Disney Cruise?
Up next will be the adventure packed 2nd night of our Disney Wonder Experience!
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