View Full Version : 4 Day Wonder - 9/2 - 9/6/07: Day 1

09-09-2007, 11:29 AM
Day 1: Embarkation - Dad, Mom, DS(17), DD(10).

First I’d like to say how much I appreciate this Forum. The information you provide is invaluable to those of us who are new to cruising. It’s a completely different experience from the parks. The many interesting tips, recommendations and helpful hints I’ve gotten here made me feel completely prepared for anything. :)

We arrived in Orlando late Saturday afternoon. I did not want to risk arriving the day we set sail. Now I know there are many people who dislike USAir (especially in Philadelphia), but we’ve never had a problem with them and this was no exception. We grabbed our rental car (Avis) at the airport and headed to the Residence Inn in Cape Canaveral. A new hotel, very nice, minutes from the port – hot breakfast included for all guests. Sunday morning we left for the terminal around 10:30am. For anyone who rents a car and is NOT parking it in the terminal during the cruise, it is a very good idea to drop off everyone with the luggage and have 1 person return the car. It’s much easier to jump on the shuttle back to the port with no luggage. When I saw the Wonder for the first time, I wanted to cry. (But I didn’t, because I was busy yelling at my husband to pull the car over so I could get out and take pictures.) From the moment you step in to the terminal, the Disney magic kicks in. We were immediately greeted by happy people wearing their Mickey hands. The check-in process was a breeze. We were given boarding pass #4, and then it was off to get our pager for the Oceaneer’s Lab. The Disney terminal is beautiful - full of special touches that only Disney can do. There’s so much to see: the replica of the ship, character greetings and photos, and of course our home for the next 4 days waiting just outside the windows! We waited about an hour then it was time to start boarding. After walking through the Mickey ears, smiling for a photo, and the announcement of our family, we stepped in to the Lobby Atrium . . . spectacular! And I started clicking away like some crazed paparazzi photographer chasing Paris Hilton. Staterooms are not available until 1:30, so we chose to have our first meal in Parrot Cay. It was an enormous buffet with everything you could think of and more – and it all looked too pretty to eat. This was to be the first of many extraordinary buffets onboard. After stuffing ourselves, we took a look around Decks 9 and 10. I took lots of great pictures here of the pools etc. before they were crowded with people. At 1:30 it was time to find our stateroom, unpack and decorate our door with Disney magnets! We were very impressed with our room – Category 6 with verandah. I was quite comfortable in there, not at all claustrophobic like I feared. The split bathroom was a blessing for the 4 of us too. I’m glad I booked a room with verandah. It lets lots of sunlight in and being able to sit out there with a Bahama Mama and watch the ocean go by was not too shabby either. Time was flying already as it was time for the mandatory boat drill before we knew it. It was quick, painless and actually kind of fun (it doesn’t take too much to entertain me). Now it was time for the Sail Away party. It was so exciting! At 5:00pm we were on our way out to sea! We had the early seating (6:00pm), so we headed back to get cleaned up for dinner. Our dinner tonight was in Parrot Cay. We had a table for four by ourselves, which I know from reading the boards is not too common – and I never even requested it. We met our servers for the first time and loved them immediately. They were on top of everything. The food was delicious and everyone was happy . . . no complaints, no seasickness . . . life was good. We decided to skip the show Sunday night (Max Winfrey, a comedian) since the kids wanted to check out their respective clubs and I wanted to explore the ship more, take lots of photos and drop off our items to be autographed at Guest Services. It had been a long day, so exhausted we headed back to the stateroom. The beds were turned down for the night and there was our first towel animal – an elephant bearing chocolates! This is when we all agreed we were never going back to Pennsylvania. ;);)

09-09-2007, 02:22 PM
Glad your trip got off to such a delightful start! Great tip about the dropping off the luggage/people earlier. Does the Residence Inn have a free parking deal? We're off on the Wonder in mid-Nov. -- your trip report is getting me in the mood to go NOW!

09-09-2007, 03:21 PM
Oh, thanks so much for your report! I'm grinning from ear to ear :ccat: , and am totally anticipating both your next day's report AND our cruise in December.

Wish I could drop DS with the luggage at port, but I don't feel comfortable doing that. It's a great suggestion :thumbsup: though for those with bigger families and/or older kids.

09-09-2007, 04:25 PM
Tavel: The Residence Inn's website does say complimentary on-site parking. Not sure if that means the length of the cruise or not. We weren't leaving a car, so I never asked. They also offer a shuttle to the port. A phone call to them should clear that question right up.

Ellen: I understand you not wanting to leave your son at the terminal alone. If I didn't have a 6'-3" son with me and DD, not sure my husband would have left us either. ;)

09-09-2007, 08:13 PM
I like the idea about dropping off your luggage and the rest of your party at port when returning your rental car.

Although, I have a question...can one person check in everyone even though one person in the party is off returning the rental?

09-09-2007, 10:10 PM
Yes, I checked everyone in as my husband was off returning the car. I had my husband's passport with me - however, he did have to show his driver's license before they would let him in to the terminal.

I personally appreciated the added security.

09-12-2007, 07:30 AM
>>>When I saw the Wonder for the first time, I wanted to cry.

I know exactly what you mean.

When we first moved down here, DW and I took a long drive one day just to get the "lay of the land" and without really knowing where we were, we found ourselves at Port Canaveral just as the Magic was preparing to leave the port. I was like a kid in a candy store! I had seen many photos of the ships, but seeing one of them up close sent shivers up my spine. The classic lines of the ship and the color scheme are simply magnificent, setting the DCL ships head and shoulders above so many other modern liners, which to me look like floating high-rise hotels. (A year or so later, we were in port in St. Martin with the Queen Mary II. I was truly unimpressed. It just looked like another run-of-the-mill ship.)

Just when I thought the day couldn't possibly get any better, the ship's horn sounded those beautiful first seven notes of When You Wish Upon A Star.

Needless to say, I was one happy camper, and that experience set the stage for a few future cruises. Since that wonderful day, we've done the 7-night Eastern Caribbean and 3-night Bahamas cruises, and are taking the 7-night Western Caribbean cruise in February.


09-12-2007, 07:44 AM
TiggTigg5: . . . sent shivers up my spine. The classic lines of the ship and the color scheme are simply magnificent.


09-24-2007, 11:57 PM
GreenBettle, I love your trip reports and photos! Thank you so much for all the insight. I was just wondering how soon before your cruise did you get to select your stateroom? Did something pop up magically on the Disney Cruise Website? Thanks as always.

09-25-2007, 07:16 AM
We are DVC members (and I was using points), so I had to book the cruise through them. I was able to choose a stateroom immediately over the phone at booking time. I had a copy of the deck plans in my hand and the CM at DVC Guest Relations was very helpful. :mickey:

09-25-2007, 09:44 PM
When I grow up I want to join DVC too...:( Lol, thanks for the update. I will just wait and see what happens. We have a Cat 12 so from what I hear there isn't much selection there anyway, but I always like to try and plan every detail. I'm sure we will be so busy doing all the ship activities that we won't spend much time in our room as it is. I will let you all know! :mickey: