Join us this week as we talk about Shannon’s most recent Disney Cruise Line adventure! We hear all about the fun, dining, activities, and entertainment to be found aboard the Disney Wonder!
So, yes this is the most drawn out trip report ever but it is keeping the memory and magic alive for me as I revisit each day we had on one of my favorite vacations ever. I hope the anticipation for each new day is not too much for all of you readers! I would love to hear from you about your trip or about your questions and how you are enjoying reading this trip report. You can comment or email me at email@example.com (just think I may be able to write quicker with a bit of cheerleading!)
Okay, so now on to day 4 of this trip which is our second full day and another full day at sea. If you remember from Day 3 (or want to remind yourself click HERE) we were going around a tropical depression and the seas were a bit rougher than normal. So, today the ship was rocky. I did not mind it. It was not crazy rocky and did not disturb walking or anything just made you feel like you were being rocked in your sleep type thing. I would say 99% of the guests had no issues with it and the 1% that did were maybe a tad dramatic (I heard stories afterwards on our cruise Facebook page that someone who had an interior room on a lower deck had slept on a lounge chair by the pool). Now, that is a bit non-productive as the higher you go the more it rocks but if it makes you feel better and they let you – why not sleep by the pool? So, it was a tad overcast but that did not stop the fun. We actually had one of the best days on the ship.
First, we started off with some room service for breakfast. We had decided with our friends the night before since the weather was not going to be as good as it was the rest of the week this would be the perfect day to sleep in, have room service and all huddle up in one room and watch a movie. It was the perfect morning.
Since we had built up an appetite (sea air and all) we headed to Cabanas for lunch and had a vast array of choices as always at Cabanas, along with several glasses of POG
juice. Excellent way to kick off the afternoon.
When we finally decided to join the rest of the ship we did something I had never done on a cruise ship in the past. We played BINGO! Bingo was in the D Lounge (though note the Navigator schedule had a mistake and said the Buena Vista Theatre so note to everyone if you are somewhere and no crew is around it may be a printed mistake). We figured it out though and we had a blast playing BINGO. Now, couple of BINGO things to note, the crew that runs it makes it fun. BINGO is not free and there are a few packages to choose from and you can do one card or many and you can do it electronically or the old fashion where you poke the chad out. We decided to save our money and do it the old fashion way and bought two cards (one for each of us because on the first day we played BINGO only myself and one other companion thought it was worth it – this quickly changed and by the end of the week the whole group was playing!) So two cards were $40 and they had six games on each card. The ball scrambling machine is named Betty and when someone is having bad BINGO luck they yell out “SHAKE IT UP BETTY” and all the kids laugh (and a few adults). So, you hear “SHAKE IT UP BETTY” a lot. Oh, by the way, BINGO is open to all ages but because actual money is won if your kid is under 18 and wins you, as the adult, gets to take the winnings. If you want to give it to your child or if you want to keep it, well that is up to you. They also will randomly between games do a random name draw for prizes and though we did not win BINGO we DID win the random name. All of a sudden on the screen was my sailing companion and BINGO partner’s name! He graciously gave me most of the prize because I was more excited than probably I should have been. It was a tote bag that had several branded Disney Cruise Line gifts such as a hat, pen, lip gloss, and a phone charger. I never win anything so even though I did not win, I got the winnings and felt like a true champion.
The main show in the Walt Disney Theatre that evening was “Wishes” and I was looking forward to it and it did not disappoint. It was about three best friends that were graduating and each going their own way in life and before they do they go on a magical journey down a wishing well. Very cute and had a great message for everyone.
Dinner that evening was at Animator’s Palate and I was looking forward to it because though we were assigned there twice during the week, I knew the second time we were scheduled there we would be eating at Palo’s – so this was my one time at AP. I started my meal with the Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup and one of their specialty drinks a Bora Shake (Piña Colada, fresh Bananas and Blue Ocean). For my entree I had Ginger-Teriyaki dusted Angus beef Tenderloin with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes with Bok Choy and a Tamarind–Barbecue Reduction. I can not recommend this dish more if I tried. I challenge you to not love it. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned and nothing like anyone expects from meals on a cruise ship. Bravo Disney. For dessert I went with a classic Mickey Bar. The entertainment and interaction was great and I enjoyed almost every moment. The moments I did not enjoy were unfortunately we were seated next to a large family of about 15 people and several small children. We choose late dinner, on purpose, as early dinner is usually better for the little ones. These little children were definitely tired and cranky and were throwing a fit. There were 3 or 4 that were throwing things off the table and screaming and running around and into the servers and it was quite the scene. But, luckily for the parents and grandparents of these kids, they were able to ignore it and continue their good time without worrying about anything or anyone else. For the rest of us seated near them it was not as easy. I felt really bad for the little ones because they were just tired, so you know, note to self maybe try early dinner if you have lots of little ones in your group or rotate one adult to watch them sleep each night. I am sure there is a better option for them and everyone else. SIGH. Moving on, but you all know what I am saying.
Next, we went to an adults only show! Ooh La La. No, nothing like that as this is Disney but it was in The Tube and it was the Ventriloquist and she was great. It was very crowded and hard to hear and see at points as it is an active bar but we got to see her again later that week as well and highlight of the week was her act.
So, though the day started slow and lazy it definitely got going and we did a lot that day! We did lots of new stuff like BINGO and adults only late shows (as usually I am zzzz’ing pretty early on cruises – again the sea air) but had a great time doing it all! Tomorrow Tortola and another GREAT day on the Disney Fantasy.
Want to catch up?
This is Part 5 of a 10 part series on the Disney Magic Mediterranean/Greek Isles cruise. For links to the rest of the trip report please visit here!
Our one Turkish port was the one I knew least about before heading on this Mediterranean adventure, but it ended up being one of my very favorite days of the entire trip!
We pulled into the gorgeous port town of Kusadasi early in the morning.
We were greeted by traditional Turkish dancers and music, what an awesome touch! And check out the view of the Disney Magic in the windows of the port building 🙂
Like the previous two days we again boarded a bus to our destination, this time to the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, Turkey. Our tour guide this day was extremely knowledgable and loved sharing the history of her homeland with us!
Ancient terra cotta water pipes:
There were lots of feral cats in Ephesus.
This is the gate into Ephesus, with my husband so helpfully modeling the distance between posts 😉 The gate was made wide enough for people and animals to walk through, but not chariots. Security!
Isn’t it gorgeous?
The Library of Celus, built in 135AD:
Our tour guide showing us where criminals would be handcuffed, right in the center of town for maximum embarrassment. Apparently it worked really well to deter people from committing crimes!
The theatre at Ephesus, able to seat 25,000 people, this theater is still functional and has been used even recently for concerts. The acoustics are such that a person can stand at the bottom and speak in normal tones, yet the people even in the last row would be able to hear just fine.
A collection of ancient road signs:
After our visit to Ephesus we were scheduled to go to a Turkish water park! I know, I know, we could easily do a water park at home. But this was so much fun! And a great way to wind down and cool off after hours out in the sun that morning.
We particularly enjoyed the lazy river:
We spent a few hours at the water park, and grabbed a quick lunch (just burgers… yes in Turkey!) before it was time to get back on the bus. Our tour guide told us the next part of the excursion was an optional trip to a carpet making shop. Brent and I were pretty concerned that this was going to be a hard sell type of place, and we didn’t really want to go. Our tour guide assured us that she just wanted to be able to share more of her culture with us, and she’d really like for us to give it a shot. I am SO glad we went.
We were lead into a room upstairs in the shop and offered something to eat and drink. I had cold apple tea (it was delicious!) and Brent had Turkish coffee. We were able to see the process of making carpets, and man, as expensive as they are they’re worth every penny! Such hard work, but such a beautiful product.
After stomping around (encouraged!) on some carpets Brent and I decided it was time to head back to the boat, since we wanted to stop at the Duty Free stop in port before sail away. Our hosts at the carpet shop said goodbye, and we told them we were so glad we were able to come and witness more of the Turkish culture. I’m so happy we didn’t skip out on it.
I finally got a picture of something I’d been meaning to share with you since our very first port day! Today these stations were set up outside, but the other days they were just inside, past security. We were offered cold glasses of water or lemonade, and cold wet towels for our neck and head. Such a nice touch, I think! Both the drink and the towel were welcome after all that time out in the hot sun.
We were sad to see Kusadasi go! What a lovely place. My husband has now decided a return trip to Turkey is in order. I say only if it’s on another Disney Cruise 😉 Sailing to our next destination we followed the coastline very closely! It was amazing to see the scenery as we sailed past.
We soon decided on pre-dinner drinks at O’Gills pub. I was saving my appetite for dinner but Brent enjoyed the snack buffet. There was cheese and crackers, veggies, nachos, meat pies and more.
Yes, I did order a margarita at an Irish bar 😉
Dinner tonight was again in Animator’s Palate, with the Prince and Princess Menu. Not only that, but it was animation night! Everyone received a template to draw their character, like this:
I honestly have no idea what either of these appetizers were. But I’m sure they were delicious!
And Brent had the Peppercorn Crusted NY Strip:
After dinner but before dessert we were treated to an animation show, with all of our characters! It was really cute. They danced and twirled and it was just really cool seeing our creations come to life. Disney magic on the Disney Magic!
They even put our names up on screen:
Then dinner was served. Brent and I both got the Princess Jasmine Banana Bread Pudding:
Today was a long and exhausting but amazing day. So back to bed we went, where we were greeted by a scorpion towel animal… and the realization that our vacation was already half over!
This is Part 2 of a 10 part series on the Disney Magic Mediterranean/Greek Isles cruise. For links to the rest of the trip report please visit here!
Today was a day at sea, so we decided to take advantage of having nowhere to be (this would not be the case for the next 5 days!) and slept in until 9:30. After taking our time getting ready we headed to Cabanas for breakfast. The food is a little bit different since there are different suppliers in the Mediterranean but it was still very good. I didn’t even care that the donuts weren’t Krispy Kreme!
After breakfast we decided to do a little bit of shopping. I had no intention of buying anything, I just wanted to gather some ideas for later, but as I walked into one of the shops on deck 4 I spotted them. Animators’ Collection Elsa dolls. With zero hesitation I grabbed two, one we gave away on this blog a few weeks ago! Always thinking of the Dole Whippers, even when I’m on vacation ;).
I also picked up some adorable pins. I was looking forward to this since I had purchased one during my last cruise and loved it! These pins are sold by the register in black bags for only $2.95 with a minimum purchase of $30. Last time I got a Mickey anchor, this time I was lucky enough to get two different ones, a Dumbo and a Donald Duck!
Upon returning to our room we found out that we were locked out! Our view for the next hour while we waited to figure out what was wrong (the batteries in the card reader on the door had run out) and for the carpenter to fix it was this:
As soon as we got back into the room we got changed and headed for the adults only pool and pool bar!
The temperature of the pool was perfect. Just cool enough to be refreshing but not unpleasant to get in to. Some liquid courage had Brent ready to try the Aqua Dunk. Me, not so much. Now if you don’t know, the Aqua Dunk is one of the water slides on the Disney Magic. This particular slide starts off with the floor dropping out from underneath you, then shoots you out over the side of the boat before coming to a stop. No thank you! Brent said it was an absolute blast though, and worth the short wait he’d endured on this sea day.
Checking on the time, I realized that we needed to head back to our stateroom to shower and get dressed if we wanted to make our meeting at Keys at 2:00. This was a prearranged meet up of people who had joined a Facebook group about this particular cruise. It was nice to put some names to faces at this event! Brent and I enjoyed a few drinks and some conversation before we decided we were very hungry and needed to head back to Cabanas for some lunch. I do wish we’d decided just a bit earlier that we wanted lunch, as then we would have been able to get something at one of the sit down restaurants instead of the buffet but oh well!
Since we’d been so late getting lunch by the time we wanted dessert they’d already starting putting it away, so we headed to Deck 9 to the self serve ice cream station. Over the course of this trip there were many different flavors of ice cream that were rotated every few days. I saw: mango, strawberry, blueberry and banana. Of course there was always chocolate and vanilla! They also had Mickey sprinkles and chocolate sauce to add to your ice cream if you so chose.
Following dessert we went back to our stateroom to read books out on our balcony.
In what you’ll soon see develop into a theme 😉 we took a nap before it was time to get ready for formal night and the Captain’s Gala. We headed down to Deck 3 mid ship for one of the best parts of the Captain’s Gala: free drinks! The line to have your photo taken with the Captain was very long so we just enjoyed our drinks, then headed outside of Deck 4 to watch the sun set.
Dinner this night was at Animator’s Palate. On my previous cruise I’d been underwhelmed by my meal at Animator’s Palate, but this night was much better! The food was fabulous and dessert was one of my favorites.
This night was “show” night at Animator’s Palate. I tried to take some photos but really none of them would have done the show any justice. The restaurant starts out black and white, with black and white drawings on the screens. As the meal goes on color starts being added and by dessert the whole restaurant is in full color (even the serving teams, who’d previously been wearing black and white) and there is a visit from Mickey himself!
After dinner we made a quick dash to our stateroom to get changed out of our formal clothes. There was an adults only show at the Walt Disney theater, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin. It was so funny! We were glad we’d stayed up late to see it. Following the show we went straight to bed, since it was up early the next morning for an excursion. Tonight’s towel animal was one of my favorites, an elephant. Our stateroom host Jojo had even used my sunglasses for the elephants eyes! Love it.
Up next, our first port day: Katakolon/Olympia, Greece!