Sounds like a great trip! I especially liked hearing about the cruise since I don't get much info on those trips. Thanks for sharing!
September 26th, 2009. We woke up and ate cereal bars on the way to Epcot for the Food & Wine Festival. The weather was beautiful but hot. We rode SSE and then decided to eat somewhere. I went and got fast passes for Soarin’. DW decided to eat at ‘Seasons’ in the Land. DS and I went to the ‘Electric Umbrella’. DW was highly displeased with the food at ‘Season’s’ which she described as “Cold, slimy, inedible ‘bleck’” which she threw away. We took in Ellen, TT, MS, The Seas with Nemo & Friends and then Soarin’.
It was time for World Showcase. The atmosphere of the Food & Wine Festival is always great!! DW LOVED all of the food she sampled. DW and the girls went to see AA while I hung out in Germany. I ate at the Cantina in Mexico while the girls rode Maelstrom. We then rode the ride formerly known as ‘El Rio Del Tiempo’ in Mexico which used to be much better. It was nearly time for Illuminations and we grabbed a spot along the rail between Mexico and the gift shop. At that time a torrential downpour ensued. Thankfully I remembered to pack my poncho, the girls were not so lucky. They were drenched and we headed for the exit while a very wet
Illuminations went on without us watching. We took refuge inside MouseGear, where I purchased a faux chrome Mickey head for the rear of DW’s Town & Country Van. We went out and waited a short while for a bus back to AS Movies. DW expressed her desire to skip WDW next year. We packed some of our gear in preparation for check out in the morning.
September 27th, 2009. We packed the rest of our belongings, ate cereal bars, and began our drive to Port Canaveral. After ample toll booths we arrived at the port. Expansion construction in and around the Disney Cruise Line Terminal was underway in preparation for the arrival of the two new ships in the next year or two. The Girls went into the terminal while DS and I handled sorting the bags with the porter. The porter advised us and the people parked behind us that he’d be handling bags from both our parties. I tipped the porter $15 and observed as the other party ‘stiffed’ him. What a shame.
By the time DS and I got back from parking the car, DW called me and told me we were already checked in and they were waiting for us so we could board the ship. We got into the terminal where DW handed me a very sharp looking ‘Castaway Club’ lanyard. We boarded the beautiful Disney Wonder for our four night cruise at about noon and ate at Parrot Cay. It was awesome to be back aboard the Disney Wonder. The décor of this ship is magnificent. Our staterooms were upgraded to Ocean view staterooms from cat 11 GTY. We were assigned staterooms 2026 and 2024. They were clean and very large! The girls shared 2026 and DS and I shared 2024.
We attended the ‘Sail Away Party’ and the ‘Golden Mickey’s’ show at the Walt Disney Theater which was excellent. We went shopping at Treasure Ketch and Mickey’s Mates. We got a men’s DCL leather watch for 10 bucks since we spent more than $20.00 and a DCL throw for $20.00 since we spent more than $40.00. That night we had dinner at The Animators Palate. The food was great. Our servers, Ralph from Jamaica and Willie from South Africa, were outstanding! Ralph looked out for DW, a vegetarian, by bringing different selections for her to try.
September 28th, 2009. We woke up at about 730am as we were nearing Nassau, Bahamas. We ate breakfast at Parrot Cay and disembarked the ship. None of the ATM’s near the port had US Dollars and I didn’t have any cash. I withdrew $60 worth of Bahamian money and we headed towards the straw market. The girls all got purses and DS got a couple of trinkets for his girlfriend. We couldn’t afford much in the way of shore excursions so we headed back to the ship early.
We would have liked to have gone to Atlantis but it is just so expensive. DW and I headed for the hot tub and relaxed for the afternoon. The girls went to the family pool. We attended ‘Toy Story the Musical’ which was great. We dropped the girls off at Parrot Cay for dinner and DW and I headed up to Palo. We had to dress formal which included a Mickey Mouse tie for me. Our server was Michael from the Philippines who was absolutely excellent. The food was great; I had the margherita pizza for an appetizer and beef tenderloin “Palo” which was fantastic. DW had the grilled portabella mushroom w/ polenta which she loved. She didn’t care for the pumpkin and broccoli gnocchi.
September 29th, 2009. We slept in as we arrived at Castaway Cay. It was raining and we were not in a hurry to leave the ship. We had breakfast and headed out onto the island. We found a great spot with a hammock after renting a four seat paddle boat. The girls grabbed some inner tubes and headed out into the water. DS vanished as soon as he got off the ship. He pretty much did his own thing the entire cruise with the other teens. After some time in the water and hanging out on the beach I headed to the bike rentals. I rented a beach cruiser and rode around for a couple of hours, had lunch at cookies. By the time I returned to the beach, the girls were gone. I bought a Castaway Cay hat on sale for $9.99 and headed back to the ship as well.
DW and I watched Disney’s Earth which was good. I headed up to deck 10 after the movie to watch as we pulled away from Castaway Cay. I also watched the sunset that evening. That night I hung out in the Cadillac lounge and listened to some great Elton John and Billy Joel covers by the piano man. After the live music ended I went over to Wave Bands and watched the Karaoke. There were some exceptional singers on board!
September 30th, 2009. We woke up late and enjoyed the day at sea. We watched Up in 3-D at the Buena Vista Theater and also went to Studio Sea where DW and DDBFF did karaoke. They sang “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes”. DW and I hung out on deck four in the deck chairs and listened to the ocean go by. We were enjoying ourselves thoroughly, so much so that I went inside and booked a 7 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise for October 2010!! I received a 10% discount, $200 onboard credit for the next cruise and only had to make 50% of the normal deposit. That night we watched the Disney Dreams show. It is an amazing show. We had dinner at Triton’s. Unfortunately we had to pack up that night and leave our bags out to be taken below decks. The ship’s crew was busy placing wood down on the decks. I learned that the ship was heading to Freeport, Bahamas the next day after we disembarked for a 3 week dry dock overhaul.
October 1st, 2009. We arrived at Port Canaveral at approximately 430am. Cargo containers were loaded onto the port side of deck 10 with cranes. The ship then turned around and docked on the starboard side. We ate breakfast at Triton’s, said goodbye to Ralph and Willie and headed off the ship. We loaded up the car and headed back to Summerville, SC. The ride home took about 7 hours. During the trip we drove a total of 900.5 miles, got 25.6 mpg and spent more than 16 hours in the car.
In conclusion we had a great trip. DW had fun choosing new restaurants for us to try in WDW and we got to experience many new things while we were there. We love to go to WDW in the off season to avoid big crowds as well as take advantage of the “value” season price range as we are a middle class family. I would say that WDW’s new practice of only showing the ‘night time spectaculars’ about once a week causes major problems. On all the nights of the shows whether it be Wishes, Fantasmic or Illuminations, the parks were crowded way beyond what we’re used to. The bus system hasn’t gotten any better, at least not for the values. I think we may be done with the value resorts. Unfortunately for us that means fewer trips to WDW due to cost. We won’t be going back for 2010. The cruise portion of the trip was amazing. We did a 3 day cruise onboard the Wonder in 2008 and we loved it as well but found it to be way too short. The extra day a sea this year made a big difference. DW and I love the days at sea. We’re really looking forward to our 7 night Disney cruise next year. We would be glad to answer any questions you may have about our trip.
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