Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

The Wonderful Disney Wonder – guest blog by client Sean Farnell

It’s guest blog Monday. Today, I have my client, Sean Farnell, share his family’s experiences aboard the Disney Wonder. Enjoy his report, and the photos!

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Let me start by saying we had a fabulous time aboard the Disney Wonder for our first family trip on a DCL Ship.  We have been cruisers for about 4 years but this was our first trip with DCL and I think we would make DCL our first choice going forward. 

On this trip were my wife and I, and our kids (DS11 and DD14)

Our day started on Jan 22nd by flying from Winnipeg to Calgary to LA.  I travel a lot during the year, and I have to say that this was the smoothest day of travelling I have ever experienced.  We were delayed slightly in Winnipeg for de-icing so ended up only having about 30 minutes in Calgary to get through US Customs and on to our next flight.  They were calling our names as we got to the gate; we walked on, they closed the door and we took off.  Nothing better than a quick turn around.

We got to LAX and walked to the baggage claim.  Just as we approached the carousel, our bags were the first ones off (all four of them).  We grabbed them and walked out the door to a taxi stand that had no one in it.  We got in the first cab and 30 minutes later we were at our hotel in San Pedro, right across the street from the Port of Los Angeles.  We had a nice evening exploring the shops at the Port and ate at a Mexican Restaurant called Acapulcos.  Food was very good.

We got on the ship around noon and discovered that we were on the Inaugural voyage for the Wonder based out of LA so there was a bunch of celebrations and some giveaways.  We were not aware of this prior.  We were also advised that due to the unrest in Mazatlan, that stop was being replaced with a second visit to Cabo San Lucas.  That was fine with us, as we had already decided to stay on the ship that day.

Typically on our family cruises, we have always had the kids by our sides the whole time.  They may dabble a little bit in the kids clubs, but likely spend the majority of their time with Ma and Pa.  What a pleasant surprise we got at our first dinner.  We were paired up with a family from California. 

They also had 2 kids (DS11, DD14), the same ages and sex as our kids.  We all hit it off instantly and for the rest of the cruise, our kids had someone to hang with daily..and they did. 

The Wonder had recently undergone some dry-dock improvements, which included a “Tween Club” called the Edge.  DS loved it.   DD spent a lot of time with her new buddy in the Vibe, the Teen Club.  Many nights were would not see the kids until well after midnight (Edge was open until 1am, Vibe was open until 2am).

We ended up going ashore in both Puerto Vallarta and Cabos San Lucas for a few hours to check out some of the shops and sites.  PV has a great seaside walk where artists were showcasing some of their creations.  It was nice to see these and we thoroughly enjoyed the visit.  Cabo as a little shorter of a stay and we ended up just walking around the port area, checked out a couple of bars and restaurants and then headed back to the ship.  For me, the ship was the Vacation and the ports were more of a break from that vacation.

We enjoyed the rotational dining.  For those of you who are not familiar with it, you and your servers move among 3 restaurants on the ship (Tritons, Parrot Cay and Animators Pallate).  This changed things up a bit and made for a bit of a new experience every night.  The menu was different on each evening.  The dinner meals were hit and miss..I think that the Carnival dinners were slightly better.  However, the breakfast and lunch buffet at the Beach Blanket Buffet were far superior.  They also had a nice healthy alternative at Pluto’s Galley (Fresh Fruit, Wraps, Sandwiches).

The entertainment was second to none.  My favorite was Toy Story Musical.  We enjoyed the nightly shows and tried to catch one of the Disney Movies either playing on the Funnel at the pool or in the Buena Vista Theatre.  We are a movie family, so this just added to the trip.  Got to see Tron Legacy (3D), Tangled (3D) and several older ones like Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson and some other favorites. 

All in all, a great vacation.  We are already in the planning stages for 2012 for another DCL Vacation with our new found Californian Friends.  Maybe Alaska out of Vancouver or perhaps the Dream out of Port Canaveral. **One of the DVC Guides mentioned that the Dream cost $1.2 billion to build compared to the $800million Aulani was costing…WOW!

A special thanks to Sheila for some of the smaller details needed in planning out trip.  We used DVC points for the actual cruise, but Sheila was instrumental in our flights, LA accommodations and other insight into the DCL.  THANKS!!

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April 4, 2011 - Posted by | Lush Life Cruising, Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Guest Bloggers

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