Age: 21 to 35
Number of Cruises: 2nd
Cruise Line: Disney
Ship: Disney Wonder
Sailing Date: April 13, 2000
Itinerary: Nassau, Castaway Cay
Don't stop and ask these people any questions. They do know what they are doing and might give you a verbal lashing. As we pulled farther up a young man stopped every car and gave us a little information about luggage drop off and what was expected of us as we pulled up. He was very cool and assured us we were going to have a blast. As we pulled along following other cars we found what we thought to be where we dropped off our luggage. After I got out of the car a man (another one of those blue suited traffic directors) marched over and began yelling at me!! He was very irate and I had thought I might have commented the greatest traffic crime in Disney's history. I was worried I would come back from my cruise to find my face all over the papers. I told him I could just carry my luggage to where ever I needed to and this seemed to really upset this man.
He said,"Absoulutely NOT! You WILL put it back into your vehicle and drop it off at the appropriate place!" Fearing for my name being in tabloids I quickly tossed it into the back seat. I got back into the car and my sister and I discussed our concerns and both agreed its a good thing he don't carry a gun and only directs traffic. We only pulled up about one whole car link from the ogar in blue and it was time to drop off out luggage. Totally UNBELIEVABLE! The guys who helped us unload our car was very nice and helpful. They laughed with us about the guy in blue. They warn you of taking ANYTHING out that may break. Listen to these people! They know what they are taking about! We brought out own drinks from cokes to water to cans of pineapple juice and coconut rum. This was a very good idea! I read this tip off the cruise reviews before I left. Although I thought it was something that should be top secret. I imagined an angry faced Donald Duck at the terminal searching luggage for such contraband. This is not the case at all. I even worried about a man I saw bravely carrying a case of Bush beer in one and a a 12 pack of cokes in the other. No one slammed him to the ground and there was angry faced Duck to cuff him. I however placed all of them in one suitcase. Which made it extremely heavy!!
Parking is I think $20.00 and the walk back is relatively short. You go inside and straight inside up the escalator. There are tables at the ends of these lines with what looks like comment cards. These are must fill out about you charge account on your ship if you haven't already previously taken care of this. Fill it out before you get into line. We were told by the lady behind the desk that our birth certificates were not acceptable but she would take them this time. You said you need either a passport or a certificate from the state. This is the first I had heard of this. She was very kind and I was certainly glad she was not wearing blue!
Boarding the ship was very easy. There is a very charming gentleman who greets you and ask you your name. Then they announce your family and someone takes your picture. The inside of the ship is absolutely beautiful. There was someone to great every guest and show them to their cabin. The halls to the cabins are extremely long. Luckily their are signs at openings to tell you where the cabins are located.
We had an inside room. It was narrow with a big mirror on the far end. There was a couch and above, a pull down bed. The bathroom was two separate rooms. It was elegantly decorated in blue and white tile. VERY small. One had a shower and a sink. The other had a toilet and a sink. The shower was small and when the boat swayed (and it did sway)! You had to hold onto to those bars in which are in the bathroom or you could fall out. We later found out that it was much more convenient to have the toilet separated from the shower in case you had to go and someone was in there. The toilets were so loud when you flushed them. It made us rush to get the door open in fear we might get caught in the vacuum. We thought this was funny! OK enough about this ... the room had a TV in which had several channel that all came in really clear. Channel 52 is from a camera located at the top of the ship. We did not have this channel. Maybe it got sucked into the vacuum?
The lady who cleaned our rooms name was Kristen. She was always lurking in the halls and seemed to have a fake air about her. (We were traveling with two of my sisters friends and in another cabin another adult and 3 kids). Every time we came back into our room we couldn't find our things. She literally seemed to have kicked out shoes under the bed and would just toss any belongings into the closest luggage she could find. This made getting dressed for the evening dinners a bit time consuming beings everyone's make up was in someone else bags. Our rooms had dishes that stayed in them for days. We opted to sitting them in the halls but they were never picked up in a timely manner either. One tray of discarded french fries got kicked and still stayed there for the most part of the day. The scattered fries did make locating our cabin a lot easier though! She did make a cute crab out of our towels one night sporting a pair of sunglasses and holding a gold chocolate in each claws. I hate saying it but she was really terrible! I came hold with a ball and someone else black dress shoe and a compact that don't belong to me. Who knows what I lost?
Late luggage!!- One of my sisters bags got lost. When we finnally got it, it had tags where it had been al over the ship. We did get it by 6:45pm! One of mine had a busted welches grape drink. Be very careful on what you pack your drinks in.
Dinining: Dinner the first night was in Tritons It is an elegant restaurant. The no one at our table liked anything we tried. I have had escargot before and loved it. These tasted like the were captured in a muddy creek. The main course was a seafood pasta. We all found some type of mushy meat that seemed to be bad. None of us ate any more of it. We were offered something else but no one else liked their food either. The kids meals seemed to be more appetizing.
The next night we ate at Animators. This is all done in black and white and has music. The rooms changes colors in tune with the music. I was told this took 4 months to do. This is really neat. The servers are involved in this and thier black and white Mickey scetched vest are turned around and are in color as the room changes. This is really neat but you do not see them to get refills or any service that you may need throughout your meal. Some of the characters make an appearance and were even sporting really cool outfits. The food here was yucky too. The kids meals looked tasty!
The next night we ate at Parrot Cay. This is a tropical decorated dinning room. The lights have tropical birds and banana bunches hanging from them. The walls have frosted glass lights the Sebastian holds up with his claws. These were really cute yet done in an elegant way. The food here was wonderful! I recommend the steaks! We were disappointed in our servers. Jenny was very friendly . Mark was in charge of refilling the glasses. We never saw him either. our head waiter was Ali. We saw very little of him except on our last night. It seemed he was trying really hard to be nice to everyone and they were singing happy birthday to everyone. Well, I guess afterall, everyone has a birthday sometime, right? It seemed every table got cakes and it was difficult to hear each other over the happy birthday hymns cakes. This was a sad attempt to save his tip.
Buffets: The food at the buffets were always very good. They had a good variety and their help was always very friendly. We ate breakfast at all the buffets. Good selections from pancakes to fruit, cereal, eggs sausage bacon oatmeal and even grits! The afternoons. If you don't catch the lunch buffets before 1:00 there is nothing but hot-dogs hamburgers and fries until dinner at night. There is room service. However ours took about 45mins. they did call us with updates on the delay on the arrival of it. It seemed if they would stay off the phone with us we could have gotten it a bit faster. Everything that was supposed to be hot was and the cold stuff was cold. There was always plenty of chairs to dine outside on the deck, weather permitting, this was nice.
Although I never ate in the Palo restaurant I did make it for a tour. It is very elegant and sits on the end of the ship. Nice view. Others who ate here said the food was good. I talked for a time with a young guy named Morgan from Sweden. I believe this is his permanent place and he does not float to other dining areas. Very nice guy but seemed to have had a terrible day. He was very pleasant and informative. He gave me some good island advice about clubs of the ship. If you see him please tell him hello for me!! I regretted greatly not being able to thank him in person!!
The Pools!!! : The pools were fresh water!! The Mickey pool was shaped like Mickey Mouse. The face was a pool and the ears were black wadding type pools. There is a big Mickey gloved hand that holds up a yellow slide. This area is for small children and the water is about 18 inches deep. The water slide hangs over the pool but does not go into it. The kids will stop short of the slide. There is someone at the top and bottom of the slides directing the kids and insuring safety. They were very attentive. There were lounge chairs and I could see where parents could relax and not worry about their kids at this area. It was very loud here with Disney type music that played. This area was very chaotic!! But everyone seemed to be very safe and the parents seemed very relaxed.
The Goofy pool was also very loud with older type kids. The music was a little different here. There was a stage and most of the time a band. In which with Disney type music playing. The band was REALLY good! There were plenty of character appearances here. I only saw the cruise director at the shows at night. In fact it was difficult trying to figure out who was in charge. I saw Captain Mickey several times. Maybe he REALLY was in charge? The "entertainers" ran around the pool area and worked really hard at making sure everyone had a great time. They seemed like they really loved their jobs. They had pool side games in which were meant for everyone to be involved. The prizes you win were kinda sad. You would think everyone participating would receive a gift but only the winners. They even had a type of "Who wants to be a Millionaire" game and the grand prize was 5 Mickey Bucks!! No kidding it was like, Do you want to walk away with your $2 Mickey bucks or go for the big money?? Kinda lost its excitement there.
The adult pool was a quite area. Plenty of towels and chairs here. The music played was classical Disney. Such as Beauty and the Beast. Very relaxing. The pools were also far enough apart where the noise from one did not drown out each other. The mixed drinks were $5 something and with gratuity the were over $6. They were so-so sized and extremely weak.
There was a basketball and volleyball court. The teenagers seemed to have a good time and I saw several of them that seemed to have made life long friends. I also over heard the other kids excitably talking about what they were doing later in their little clubs or labs. The smaller kids seemed to have a great time too. The families seemed happy and I never saw a mother father or Grandparent at their wits end. It seemed everyone got to do what they wanted and had time on their own at appropriate times. The kids with us (in separate cabins) never came back winning with nothing to do. Never. I saw kids out after 1:00AM and their was plenty supervision by the ship. The only unhappy looking people I saw was a pregnant woman and those with really small babies.
The nightlife: The clubs were entraining. The karaoke was really funny! The gave out Kamikaze shots. The crowd was wonderful and everyone had a good time. I never drank and I had a blast! The 70s night was not my kinda music but was still a lot of fun. The staff really gets involved dressing down to the wigs. The contest they have are really funny. They pull out of the audience and you lip sink and dance. The Village people come out a dance. This was a lot of fun.
The shows: I missed the first night due to my sister and I not being able to locate our matching shoes. I heard it was really good. The next night was good about a Ghost ship. Disney dose not spare any expense on the props. Nicely done. The last nights show, DO NOT MISS THIS!!! I cant say that enough!! Its about this girl who Peter Pan visits and tries to help her make her dream come true to fly. She remittences about her favorite Disney stories. They all come to life right before her eyes. This is all so magical and there was no short cuts left to the imagination. At the end there was a standing ovation. I had tears in my eyes. I felt that show was worth the money for the whole cruise if we never left the port!! The characters were very beliveable and they all seemed to love their jobs and I believe they were just as excited about it as we all were.
The Bahamas had changed a lot since I had been there in '97. It was not as dirty and Paradise Island seemed to have grown as well. There were more shops there and I was only asked if I wanted my hair braided once there. Nassau I was literally fought over by these two ladies over braiding my hair. Don't pay over a dollar for a braid. Im sure you could even get it cheaper. Just tell them your price or walk off. Im sure you wont even get turned around and they will take your offer. One word of advice. We never made it to Castaway Cay :'(. You will be in Nassau from when the sun comes up until 1am -3am. Find the beach in case a storm comes up and you never get a chance to go to their island. I had to listen to my sister complain about never even seeing a tropical beach her whole trip. For those of you who will feel cheated if you don't see the beaches, find one while you are in the Bahamas. I brought my own snorkeling equipment. The rentals were expensive. Im convinced if I had forgotten such things we would have made it to the Castaway Cay.
Night Life off the boat: Like I said earlier I got some really great advice from Morgan about a club off of the ship. I cant remember the name of it but there were 2. The one I went to was one that just opened. I lost my sister and ended up off the ship at night alone. I didn't feel at all threatened but I wouldn't recommend doing this if you can avoid it. A group of Cruise staff from the Carnival Destiny walked by and asked me why I was out alone. They told me where they were going and invited me to accompany them. They were all very nice and helped me keep up with the time I need to be back.( Thank you Tyrone!!!) I never found my sister (until later). I was really glad I went and found it to be a very interesting cultural experience. The music was different as well as the dancing. There was no fire in the middle of the floor or barefooted Bahamians with painted faces but very cool! I recommend doing this as well! The Folks from the Carnival Fantasy were so nice to me!! They even made a special trip to walk me back to my ship before they walked back to the club so I didn't walk alone. I told them they didn't have to but they were so kind!
As previously mentioned there was a storm and it was too Windy to make it to Castaway Cay. We did see it from the ship. They tried twice but the wind was blowing too hard. The first night the ship rocked a bit. I went to bed at 10:00 fearing motion sickness. I didn't get it but I was asleep! The last nights rockiness didn't bother me. Even my sister said the first night broke her in and she gets sick in an elevator. We didn't not take dramamine.
Character appearances: There were plenty of them!! They were everywhere and always took time to take pictures with the kids!
Movies: There is a movie theater on the boat. They played Sixth Sense and Story 2. Bring a jacket if you deiced to take in a movie. Also it gets kinda chilly at night when the wind is blowing!
Disembarkation went smoothly. As we got off there was the 'fruit and vegetable police'. They wanted you to leave all the stuff there or pay a $1000 fine. Harbored bananas and apples sprang readily from packages left and right. Although they never even checked and someone from our group later confessed to sneaking a banana off the boat.
As we got off the escelater there was a man (in blue) grumpily telling people to keep moving. My luggage was so very heavy and I stopped to rest it before carrying on. He rushed over to me and told me stopping was not permitted. I picked up my luggage and carried on before I got a ticked for loitering. The walk back to the car was tremendous! There was guys to carry your luggage if needed but they were always running by. Our battery was dead in the car because someone left the interior light on (I still say I didn't do it!) We could find NO one to help us and the guys in blue were not the least bit hospitable!!
Over all I think the ship is an excellent family choice cruise hands down!!
I think my sister and I were the only ones traveling without a family. I highly recommend this for families!! Just be weary of the guys in blue. And I also highly recommend THEY take a vacation!! Where did Disney get these guys???
Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have! I'd be glad to help!!