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Jeff

Age: 29

Occupation:environmental tech

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Disney

Ship: Disney Wonder

Sailing Date: N/A

Itinerary: Bahamas

Let me start off by saying WOW!!!! Disney sure knows how to do it. Our cruisers included myself, my wife, and my one year old son.

We are from the west coast, so Disney had us arrive a day early. They put us up in the Hyatt, inside the airport, in Orlando. Good hotel.

Port Canaveral was nice. We arrived there shortly after 11am. We walked up to the counter inside the massive terminal, (about 30 can do this at once) and checked in. We needed birth certificates, and an ID, but that was easy to produce. They gave us our "key to the world cards." They are for charging, (no cash on board is allowed) your stateroom door, safe inside the room, and for leaving and returning to the ship. (You will need these a lot) Now was the waiting period, but kids, don't fret, there are TV's all over and lots of plush seats; there is even a model of the Magic cut so you can see the insides. Rather like a very large doll house. About 12:30 people were allowed to board the boat. There is a very long line at this time, but it moves rather quickly. As you enter the enormous Yellow silhouette of Mickey, the first pictures of your journey are taken. You then hand over the keys and board the boat. They even announce your names. You enter at deck 3 midship, right in front of Tritons resturant. Now you must wonder the ship until at least 1:30pm when your staterooms become available. Luggage will arrive between that time and 6pm.

Now sit back and have a blast. Rotational dining is the key here, and all restaurants have you choose an appetizer, soup/salad, main course and dessert. Your server will also make his or her recommendation. Our dining schedule was Triton's, Animator's Palate, and Parrot Cay, all of which were excellent. Triton's is a French style dining experience, and I recommend the escargot. I tried it, and it was rather good. The room decor has a feeling of dining under the sea. Note the mural of king Triton on the wall. For menu selections, they have beef, and chicken, and even vegetarian. I chose to eat the duck, a salad, and cherries jubilee. Our son enjoyed a cheese pizza, and watermelon. Animator's Palate is beyond explanation. An entirely unique experience. I chose to have the seafood and avocado appetizer, Caesar salad, Veal, but for dessert, they brought us a surprise 4 layer chocolate cake for or anniversary celebration. What a surprise. Parrot Cay we skipped to go to Palo. Palo is northern Italian fare. I had buffalo mozzarella, rack of lamb, and chocolate soufflé'. To die for. Other than those, there are several quick serve places for chicken fingers, or cheeseburgers. Sodas are free now.

Back to day one. The sail away party is fun, but crowded. Pools are open but crowded. Food is available, but crowded. It is this way on the first day because staterooms are not available until 1:30pm. Everyone goes out for the party to sing and dance and meet characters. The nursery is closed, and so are the labs and club for kids. At 4 you MUST attend the safety brief wearing your life vest. It is mandatory. After that, the ship is yours. We wondered around so we could get used to the layout. (the elevators all have floor markers telling you whats on that floor)

Day 2 took us to Nassau. Check your personal navigator (delivered the night before) for all that is happening that day. We found Nassau breathtaking. I had heard it was dirty, and smelly, but we found it great. You exit the boat next to dumpsters, but once past them it is great. We took the historic city tour and do not recommend this. It was too hot not to have the comforts of A/C. The tour itself is nice, but it takes you to three places in one hour. No real time to see the sights. Next time we will probable go to Atlantis. Day 2 also allowed us to check into Flounder's Nursery. I recommend this to everyone reading this. Our son did not want to leave there. That night we spent at the Walt Disney Theater and the show Golden Mickeys was awesome. We turned in early.

Day 3 took us to Castaway Cay. Again we took our son the the nursery, and he had a blast. We snorkled, and found a sunken Mickey. we spent the day sunbathing, and eating at Cookie's BBQ. Hamburgers, and ribs, and chicken is the fare here. The only down side to our time here was that it rained on us, for about 10 minutes. That night was the show Disney Dreams, the flagship show, but we missed it. We enjoyed the evening swimming, and being a couple.
I have a few tips for those thinking about this cruise.

1. bring your own bottled water. they sell evian, for about $3.00.
2. bring your swim suit in your carry-on bag unless you do not want to swim the first night of your cruise.
3. If you have an un-potty trained child, bring swim diapers. they are $1.60 each, and must be worn in the kid pool. These children are not allowed in any other pool. 4. Bring a night light, or a clock radio if your room does not have a window (we had an interior cabin)
5. Bring your own medication.
6. The stores have ANYTHING you might have forgotten, from toenail clippers to dental floss.
7. Get to know the hosting staff. They will follow you throughout your dining experience.
8. If you're a small eating party, be prepared to share a table with another small group.
9. If the boat is tethered to the shore, the stores are closed. (maritime rules)
10. Children disappear after the first few hours. (they go to the lab and club, and do not want to return) so there are not a whole lot of kids around.

Well, I hope I helped.

One thing I forgot to mention is that Disney handles all your bags. Just place the appropriate tags on them and forget about it.

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