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Old 02-02-2013, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A WONDER TR - 5 Nite Western Caribbean from Miami; Jan 28-Feb 2, 2013

We have just returned from our 5 Nite Cruise on the Wonder. The PTR for this cruise is located here.


Day 1 - Monday, Jan 28th - Part 1

DH (Lou) and I (Sharon), were picked up by Coastal Limo for the ride from our house North of West Palm Beach to Miami. The car was scheduled to pick us up at 11am, but he arrived at 10am !!! !!! I said he'd just have to wait, since I hadn't started packing until 8:30am

We were out the door and on our way by 11am. The drive went quickly, and little more than an hour later, we were in Miami and catching the first sight of the Wonder:
















The ship departed from Terminal F, and it was about as empty as it looked in the previous photo. We we in the door of the terminal by 12:15, and had no wait at all. Access is easy - just follow the Disney Cruise signs, have your documents checked, then through security, right into the check-in area.















We were booked Concierge, so Henry had us step right up. As you can see, the line wasn't long for anyone, and they were calling all to board, regardless of their boarding numbers.





We quickly checked in, and were taken to a small waiting room for Concierge Guests. I think you were supposed to wait for someone to escort you onto the ship, but we decided we could find the way ourselves. Of course, I should have read the little card they'd given us, which said to go to the Cadillac Lounge for refreshments and to meet the concierge team

The empty escalator up to the gangway. You do have to walk some to get onto the ship, as the corridor wraps back and forth. It was easy, except for the families ahead of us who were making each of their small children pull a rather large suitcase - ummm, ever hear of curbside baggage check? Or, perhaps they were carry-ons full of drinks and snacks? Also, they do announce your family's name as you board, and there are a couple of opportunities to have your photo taken by the ship's photographers.





We went up to Deck 9 to grab a quick snack. Beach Blanket Buffet was crowded (as expected); we made a stop at the restrooms by BBB. Uh Oh - these gave us cause for concern, since they were in definite need of a major rehab. We knew the Wonder was older than the Dream, but this was a bit alarming

Deciding to pass on the Beach Blanket Buffet for now, we found a table outside and grabbed a hotdog at Pluto's Dog House. It was tasty.





Lou is still wondering what he doing on the Wonder He is not as grumpy as he might look in this photo:





I was glad for the chance to check out Deck 9, but decided I would break the news that we needed to go back to Deck 3 to the Cadillac Lounge. Once there, we were met by Jennifer, who would be our concierge for the trip. She was very nice and helpful. Concierge works differently on the Classic Ships, since there is no dedicated Lounge. There are two Concierge Staff members - Jennifer and Rodrigo. They personally check on you several times a day, answer all your questions, and basically do what they can to make the cruise go well. You even order room service by calling your concierge. I'll discuss how this all worked in a bit more detail as we go through the report.

We had some refreshments at the Cadillac Lounge, and Jennifer told us our room was ready, just after 1:15pm. So far a very smooth start to the cruise.











I did walk around outside The Cadillac Lounge and take a few pics while we waited:






Diversions - The Nightclub for the conservative crowd:






Wave Bands - A brightly colored magical musical place:










We were in our room (#8532 - more details coming up in a future post) and unpacked before 2pm. I wandered around the ship some - I think Lou took a nap. At 4pm, we made our way to Deck 4 for the Emergency Evacuation Drill. It went smoothly, but I always wonder what they do to the people who don't show up?






I checked out the sail away party, but wanted to get back to the room for our actual passage out to sea:






Walking by the Quiet Cove Pool area, there were a few brave souls in the hot tubs already:











The sun was beginning to set as I headed back to the room.





Coming up Next: How's Our Room, Dinner at Parrot Cay, and Night Wandering
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Last edited by shazza; 02-02-2013 at 12:28 PM..
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Old 02-02-2013, 12:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great photos around the ship!
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What a great start to the cruise! I'm fascinated to hear all about your experience with concierge.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great start to your cruise. Love the pictures from about the ship so far! Can't wait to hear about your trip!
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Great start! My first Disney cruise was on the Wonder, so I'm happy to see your pictures!
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Great start, but I'm a bit worried now with your comment about the rest-rooms. I don't think I used that one last summer, but they should never get to the condition where you really notice the need for repairs. I love that last photo of the beautiful evening sky!
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Great pictures! The sunset is gorgeous! You are a very good photographer . Can't wait to see more
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great photos around the ship!
Thanks! There are plenty more coming - I'll need to edit some out so I don't bore you to death.

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Originally Posted by chezp View Post
What a great start to the cruise! I'm fascinated to hear all about your experience with concierge.
It was a good start. I'll try to give details about the Concierge experience as I go along.

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Originally Posted by Russi01 View Post
Great start to your cruise. Love the pictures from about the ship so far! Can't wait to hear about your trip!
Thanks - lots more pics coming up.

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Originally Posted by pamcarey View Post
Great start! My first Disney cruise was on the Wonder, so I'm happy to see your pictures!
Cool - we enjoyed the Wonder.

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Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
Great start, but I'm a bit worried now with your comment about the rest-rooms. I don't think I used that one last summer, but they should never get to the condition where you really notice the need for repairs. I love that last photo of the beautiful evening sky!
We were a little worried at first, but those bathrooms were really the only bad area we found on the ship. I think it is because they get so much use. We did see some small areas where repairs are needed, but the overall appearance of the ship was quite good.


I'll be back tomorrow morning with pics of our room and highlights from our first evening.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Great pictures! The sunset is gorgeous! You are a very good photographer . Can't wait to see more
Thanks for the kind words. I'm a "hobby" photographer, and enjoy playing with my camera.
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Off to a great start! I love the picture of the sunset, it's so pretty!
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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welcome back! So excited to read this TR!

Your sunset pic is beautiful!
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Great start! I can't wait to read more!
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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welcome back! So excited to read this TR!

Your sunset pic is beautiful!
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Great start! I can't wait to read more!
Thanks - it was a great cruise.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Very good report so far. I can't wait to read more!!
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Day 1, Monday Jan 28th, Part 2:

Here are some pics of the stateroom. I had booked #8532, starboard side - one bedroom suite (spoiled by DVC 1 bedrooms). This is one of four suites off the mid-elevators that have a slightly different configuration. They are longer (and slightly narrower) than the normal suites with the bedroom at the far end.

The entrance to the suite is just off the elevator hallway - made it very convenient, and there was no excess noise from the elevator area. The hallway is also wider in this area:






Looking back at the entry door from the living area. This little hallway is narrow! There is a small bathroom on the right side, and a closet on the left. Lou unpacked all of his stuff in this bathroom and closet - then said, "Didn't realize there was another bathroom," when he checked out the bedroom area Worked out for me.






Looking down the living area, into the bedroom. This was nicer than the suite we had on the Dream, because the bedroom is really a separate area that can easily be closed off from the suite, and was also larger.






The decor in the suite was also more "elegant" in a classic-ship-like sense than the one on the Dream (which was also very nice). The TV was smaller, but that wasn't an issue for us:


























The bathroom off of the bedroom had double sinks, a walk-in closet to the right, and there is a full-sized tub behind the door, as well as a shower across from the toilet:






This is the smaller bathroom just off the entrance to the room - there is one sink, a toilet, and a shower:










The concierge experience on the older ships is different, because there is no dedicated Concierge Lounge (or sun deck - which we never used, anyway). Each day, your Concierge stops by several times to check on you, and you also receive a treat in your room. You are given the personal phone number for your Concierge, and you dial that number for anything you want. Jennifer (our Concierge) was available from 8am to 10pm, and the phone would be transferred to Guest Services if you called outsde those hours.

Our "treat" for Monday was a bowl of fruit, which came in handy throughout the week:






The balcony ran the full length of the suite, so it was essentially the width of three staterooms - pics to come later. The suite even came with a photo of Uncle Walt:





In my opinion, a suite certainly isn't necessary if you are the type who spends most of your time outside the room. For us, it works well because Lou likes to hang out in the room and read (or nap) while I wander around. I also get up much earlier than he does, so it was convenient to be able to putter around without waking him.



More Photos from Around the Ship and our Departure from the Port of Miami:

After unpacking, and going to the emergency evacuation drill, we went to the Outlook Cafe and enjoyed a relaxing cocktail. I slipped out a few times to grab some photos.
















Here's a view into the Outlook Cafe, and you can see Lou gazing out. He commented on the family wearing the matching red T-Shirts - he thought it was cute, so I suggested we do that for the next family cruise






One of the little red-shirt boys got so excited when he saw the orange building, "It looks just like the Tower of Terror!," he cried out:






A big yacht being escorted into the Port:






Leaving Miami behind. You can tell what a nice day it was - people still lounging on the beach!







We loved the Outlook Cafe, and spent a good deal of time here during the cruise. The server, (Suraylon (sp?) from Chile, was very sweet and looked forward to our visits each day). Often, we were the only occupants.











I can't sit still for long, so had to wander around some more - fortunately, I can entertain myself:











The boat was about 80% occupied, but there were a lot of kids - apparently due to a "kids cruise free" special. The nice thing is, they have these enclosed areas where they keep the little hooligans:



Just kidding ... we like kids, and enjoy seeing them have a good time.










I enjoyed seeing how the different colored lights showed up in photos:






One more deck pic (for now!):






Now, it was time to round up Lou and go get ready for dinner. I found him in the Cove Cafe, expounding on something to a young man from Indonesia:






And, a nice place for morning coffee:






The guys insisted on posing for a photo as we left to go back to our room - this would be a theme throughout the cruise:






Here, I'm following Lou down the hallway after taking the forward stairs down to Deck 8 - it took us a day to realize there was an elevator and stairs just behind the Cove Cafe that went almost directly to our room




I know I've included a lot of photos in this post, but I was excited to be onboard and happy to check everything out!

Coming up Next: More photos around the boat, and Dinner at Parrot Cay...
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