Jillian’s DCL Trip Report- Day 3

If you haven’t read Day 1 or Day 2 check them out!

The third day of our cruise we all woke up nice and early! I apparently wasn’t alone in my “I can’t sleep at Disney” mode.  We were already in port at Cozumel, Mexico. This day we had planned for a special character meet and greet, the Disney Junior characters. This meet had Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. If you have a kid under seven years old this is one meet and greet you will not want to miss out on. So again get those tickets first thing when you get on the ship. My daughter was wearing a custom Sofia-inspired dress and Sofia thought that was the bee’s knees! Doc and Jake were great as well and this is a great place to meet these characters as they only appear at Hollywood Studios so it is a rare thing to meet them in the parks.


After our morning meet we went to breakfast at Triton’s. This restaurant ended up being one of my favorites. It was just so pretty and the food and service were exceptional. I had eggs benedict, Petra had Mickey Waffles and Chelsey had something, probably food, but I didn’t snap a picture so I am just guessing.

After breakfast, Petra was wanting to visit the Oceaneer’s Club, but at this time there was an Open House which means you can come and play but parents have to stay with the children. We walked in and she said she wanted to color so we went in and to our surprise there were some princesses in there. Cinderella, Ariel and Tiana were just hanging out coloring with kids. Peter Pan soon joined them and we had a lot of fun just chatting. We learned that Michigan is the first star to the right according to Peter Pan. Soon, a Youth Activities Cast Member asked if they wanted to play Memory Wall. It is basically the game Memory with Disney characters but played on the wall instead of the floor. Petra thought this was pretty neat too as she got to really interact with the princesses and Peter Pan. It was absolutely hands down my favorite part of our cruise. I was probably more excited than the kid.

We decided to drop Petra off at the Oceaneer’s Lab and we would go check out Quiet Cove-the adult’s only pool. I will say it was a cool day but that wasn’t stopping me from getting in the pool and I had the thing to myself! It was quiet and empty and the loungers are beautifully padded. I could have stayed all day long. It was pretty glorious to be on a cruise ship of a couple thousand people and be the only one in a pool. But my kid apparently wanted to swim too so a quick stop to the kids club to pick her up and then another to the room and we were at the Goofy pool watching Aladdin while we paddled around in the very full pool. Not nearly as fun as having it to oneself but the movie made up for it.

The day before we settled on the Ocean View Explorer Tour.   This tour is for all ages, last 2-2.5 hours and costs $47 for adults and $36 for kids 0-9. Our excursion started at 11:45am and we met in Promenade Lounge for our excursion to leave. When they called our group up they also told us the sea was pretty rough so they said we could take the anti-nausea medication and we did pick up two packets just in case. We went off the ship and were immediately greeted by the excursion company employee, Adrian who gathered us all up and walked us to the pier where we were met by our tour guide whose name eludes me. He broke us into groups of 8 and loaded us into taxis. The taxi ride to and from was also included in the price of the excursion. We rode a short way towards another pier and were soon boarding our mini-submarine. You are in a boat about four feet underwater and you take a tour around Paradise Reef. First we went to a shallower reef and we circled it twice so that each side of the boat could see it. After that we went out a little further and again circled it twice.


Once we were done we headed back to the pier. There was a person who took pictures before we got on the boat and when were returned they were selling a framed copy. My daughter refused to look at the camera so we didn’t opt to purchase it. We then loaded onto taxis and returned to our pier. Instead of getting right back on the ship we did a little shopping and walking around. So what did I think of this excursion? I think it was very nice! I liked how it was great for all ages, it was affordable, I didn’t have to pack a backpack full of extra clothes, towels sunscreen and so on. It was short and sweet but so neat! We saw a ton of neat fish and even a giant eagle stingray! I would recommend this one to people with young kids in particular. It is not outside a lot which can help if it is hot or really sunny. The only downside we had was it was pretty rough seas so that made us all feel a little weird even after taking the medication.


On our way back to the ship I walked under something that was dripping grease, I have no idea but the ground was super slippery and I almost fell too so it was time to get back. The laundry was really close to our room so I decided to do a quick load of laundry. I am not one who likes to do laundry on vacations on purpose but it worked out well! It cost $3 including the soap and you can use your key to the world card to pay for it. No one else was there so I had my pick of machines. In the laundry there is also a large sink for rinsing and ironing boards and irons for communal use! So don’t be afraid to take that nice shirt or dress for formal night.

After our excursion we had a late lunch of pizza, hot dogs and drinks. Petra again wanted to go to the kid’s club and they did an activity called “Hats off to Peter Pan” where she met him again. She didn’t last long and soon she wanted to swim so we let her go in the Mickey pool where she made lots of new friends while we tried to stay warm on deck. Soon it was time to get dressed and ready for dinner.  Don’t laugh I am a northerner but it was chilly and the pool emptied quickly.

This night we were at Parrott Cay again but with a different menu. This dinner was much better than the previous night but we were all pretty tired from the medication and busy day. I had the Tuna Salad, artichoke dip, and Creole Crusted Grouper, Petra stuck with macaroni and cheese and Chelsey had a St. Maarten Stack and Slow Roasted Prime Rib. For dessert Petra had a Mickey Bar, I had a warm sticky date pudding and Chelsey went with a sorbet.

After dinner we split up again, Petra to the club (who is shocked?) I went to the gift shop and Chelsey went for a martini. But we were soon together again, tonight was “Toy Story: the Musical” and I knew we would all like it. Who doesn’t love a stage show with singing featuring some of your favorite Disney characters? She said this was her favorite show and I will admit it was a very close second to being my favorite. It was just so adorable! They really make the shows so that the entire family can see them down the littlest ones so they are well worth taking in! And really who doesn’t love to eat popcorn and listen to your favorite sarcastic potato.

Not related to the content but we were all so tired we were about falling asleep during this show so we went straight back to our room since we were all pretty much exhausted and were out in no time at all.  We had another full sea day ahead!  I’m sure you can guess there will be more swimming, kids clubs and food!

Jillian’s Disney Cruise Line Western Caribbean Trip Report- Day 1

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!