My family and I recently returned from a cruise aboard the Disney Wonder. It was a 5 night Western Caribbean from December 7-12th, 2014. We made our plans pretty late, about two weeks before sailing! Since cruising doesn’t require a huge amount of preplanning it worked out very well for us, almost instant gratification in the form of fun, sun and of course some Disney magic!
You can hear the condensed version on our podcast .https://dolewhipped.com/2014/12/22/podcast-episode-35-jillians-dcl-wonder-trip-report/ This trip report will have much more detail and pictures too!
First things first, we did not tell our daughter, Petra, that we were going on a cruise. In fact we told her we were going to go to Detroit for a few days just for fun. We woke her up very early and surprised her. In typical kid fashion she was way more excited about her new Anna and Elsa headphones but she perked up after she had some breakfast and it sank in that we were really going.
Here is a video of our low-key surprise.
Against my own advice, we flew in the morning of our cruise. Typically, I do not suggest this, but being it was a direct flight and then a short drive to the port, I knew we would have hours to spare. Spoiler alert, it all worked out. We arrived at the airport and since it is a lot warmer in Miami than Michigan we changed into warm weather clothes and shoes. I also took this opportunity to re-pack our bags. I moved everything we would need or had to carry on into our backpack and put everything else in the suitcases.
We had decided to try out Uber, a ride sharing service, and we got to the port in no time at all! We dropped our bags with the porters and walked in to check in. Check it went pretty quickly, I was the designated documentation carrier (highly suggest if you have more than 2 people to do this) and we had our pictures taken. When we finished with this my family left to go to the Youth Activities line while I finished up. Once in the next line my daughter got her cruise band and we checked her into the youth activities.
At this point we got in line to see Captain Mickey, sadly he was off for a break so we did get to meet Minnie! After a quick photo we were ready to board. As we walked to the ship none other than Mickey Mouse was walking in by us! What an awesome moment that was!
We were announced and then I knew what I had to do! I sent my family off to lunch while I went to the Port Adventures Desk to get tickets for character meets. If you don’t get these tickets you cannot get in line, so while you are waiting read the Navigator for this information. I got tickets for a Princess Meet and Greet, Disney Junior Meet and Greet and Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet. After this I met my family for a quick buffet lunch at Parrot Cay. I know my husband and I ate a lot of shrimp, but also salad, breads and fish, but sadly we were so hungry I forgot to take pictures!
With our bellies full and time to spare before our room was ready we did the other big thing I was worried about, changing our dining. We were assigned to second seating which is 8:20pm. Well if you have a 5 year old this can be really hard so we went to Studio Sea (this info was also in the Navigator) and were able to make the change to the earlier seating at 5:45pm. We also decided to keep our Palo dinner reservation instead of changing it to a brunch.
After the boring stuff was all done we went to check out the ship. Our first stop was the Oceaneer’s Club and Lab. Petra was immediately enchanted with the Club and couldn’t wait for them to open so she could play. We also headed up to the pool deck to check out the 3 pools on ship. There were plenty of people already swimming! We did some more exploring of the ship and saw it was time for our room to be ready!
While my husband generously offered to unpack our suitcases (all 3!) my daughter and I went to the pool! She loved splashing in the Mickey pool and trying out the (kids only) slide. At this point it was time for us to head back to our room to get ready for muster. This is mandatory and doesn’t take too long but you have to check in when you are there.
Then it is all hands on deck for the Sail Away Party! This is high energy dance party and is pretty fun! Plus it is always a good time to wave to people on shore or on other ships as you leave.
Our next stop was dinner at Animator’s Palate. Here we met our dining team Jojo and Joselyn.They were both so, so great. Petra can be shy and she loved recognizing our hard working servers around the ship and adored their magic tricks. Animator’s Palate is such a cool restaurant, it changes color and it is so awesome watch the pictures gain color and dimension throughout dinner.
I had Arugula and Endive Salad and sliced serrano ham for starters, red snapper for the main course and a white chocolate fudge cheesecake for dessert. Chelsey chose truffle purses and butternut soup, red snapper and the cheesecake. My daughter chose a cheese burger which came with broccoli and fries, and a Mickey Premium Ice Cream bar for dessert. I was looking over the menus and said I thought the Mickey Bar sounded good but ordered the cheesecake, well Jojo had other ideas and also brought me a Mickey bar. I will say it is delicious, and knowing how much they cost in the parks and having it included is pretty darn awesome! To top off dinner Sorcerer Mickey put in an appearance and we were all pretty excited about that!
By now the open houses for the youth clubs were done so we went to the Oceaneer’s Club to let Petra have some fun with other kids. According to the Navigator there was some Disney Trivia going on so of course I had to do that and drag my poor spouse along. We checked out the shops and I picked up an ornament for our Christmas tree as I like to do with all my travels. After this we went to the Walt Disney Theatre to watch “All Aboard! Let the Magic Begin!” but we left early after we received a text on our wave phone that Petra was ready to be picked up. I will say right here they are so very handy but it will be pretty great when you can text via the Navigator app on the Magic and Wonder. We all headed back to the room but decided we needed water before bed. I knew early on that I wanted to bring some refillable mugs with us just to make transporting around easier. I made the quick trip the Deck 9 filled up with water and we were off to bed.
All this in just a few short hours we had been on ship! Our next day was a sea day so we would have plenty of time to get things in this day!