We arrived at Port Canaveral at 2 p.m. But we just knew we were in for a treat
as we came into view of the Wonder! It is a spectacular sight! We checked our
bags curb side and parked the car. We were met at the door by a gentleman in
a wonderful oldtime maritime suit wearing a huge Mickey hand. He welcomed
us to Disney Cruise Line terminal and wished us a WONDERful voyage! I just
couldn't belive my eyes upon entering the terminal! It was festive and lively
with a huge grand piano being played in the center and 2 couples gracefully
waltzing around it! Mickey was in his tux and Minnie in her evening gown.
Pluto, Goofy, Chip and Dale were also in tuxes! Check in was so quick and
easy! DCL had sent us all the paperwork to be filled out before we got there.
We presented that, together with our tickets and passports, and we were
checked in in no time! It was WONDERful! (Do you see a pattern forming here?)
We walked through golden Mickey Ears, through security and over the gang
plank and entered the most spectacular ship I've ever seen. (This was not our
first cruise) Each guest was announced as they entered the ship, and then
escorted to the elevators. As the elevator doors opened, the stateroom
stewards escorted us to our stateroom. She was WONDERful! She gave us a
tour of the cabin and explained everything.
We were anxious to get up on deck because the Goofy BonVoyage party was
going on around the Goofy pool! Everyone was given champagne glasses with
either sparkling cider or champagne in them. The glass had Disney's Wonder
Maiden Voyage August 15, 1999 printed on them. We all got White Mickey
Hands to wave. We danced and had a great time! The Wonder pulled out
exactly at 5 p.m. with a blast of her horn, which played "When You Wish Upon
A Star..." Just as we to set sail, fireworks were set off on the dock and streamers fell from above! The channel out to the ocean was lined on both sides with people
waving and cheering. The horn blew about 6 or 8 times as we left the channel,
escorted by 4 tug boats giving the Wonder a water salute! The fan fare and
excitement lasted all week!
The ship was full of glamour and excitement. The Triton Dining Room was in the
Atrium with glass elevators with hidden Mickeys in gold. A mural of Ariel was
painted there also. Each dinning room was better than the last! No expense or
detail was spared!
Our first dinner was in the Parrot Cay. The food was excellent and the
atmospherre was tropical and festive! The service the first night was a little
slow, but other than that, we didn't see any sign that these cast members
were any less than professional and ready to make every minute magical!
Prior to the show that evening, Jodi Benson sang a song and dedicated the new Walt Disney Theater. The show the first night was "A Hercules Muse--icle". It was a Hercules play with lots
of humor thrown in! If you liked Hercules, this just was even better! We were
amazed at the Broadway quality of the stage, sets, costumes and the
performances! They were ..... (we heard this phrase a lot during the week)
When we retired to our room after a full day of excitment, there was a
surprise on the bed. A memory book with a journal in the back. It was
Our first full day was in the port of Nassau. Since we had been there several
times before, we opted to go over to Atlantis and see the new aquariums and
exhibits dedicated to Atlantis, the lost city.
Pulling into the dock was a sight. The Wonder is the first ship to be able to turn
itself 180 degrees and back in under it's own power without the aid of a tug.
After docking and clearing Customs, the Bahamian Marching Band met
passengers as they disembarked. Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Chip and Dale
were there for the festivities as well, dancing with passengers and posing for
pictures. The fan fare was amazing!
Our day at Atlantis was lots of fun! Next time we would take the whole day at
Atlantis because the pools and activities are spectacular! We had lunch at the
lagoon restaurant overlooking all the pools.
When we got back to the ship, we had a tour of the bridge. What a control
room! Very futuristic! Nothing is left to chance in the navigational area!
Our dining experience was in Triton's. The ambiance was WONDERful! The food
outstanding! And our servers much less nervous than the previous night.
The kids had other plans for after dinner. My 5 yo just HAD to go to "The Club".
The Oceanears Club is for the 3 - 8 age group. But it's broken down into two
groups ages 3 - 5 and ages 6 - 8. There were non-stop activities from 8 a.m. to
1 a.m. My now 14 yo went with the teens on a 2 hour boat excursion which he
said was great! The teen-set hung out at Common Grounds and had their
own schedule of activities.
That left Steve and I to our own devices! No kids! What to do???? We decided
to go to the Comedy club and what a great choice that was! We were holding
our sides... the show was great!
Once again, when we returned to our stateroom that evening, there was a gift
on the bed. We were given a replica plaque of the one presented to the
officials of Nassau by the Wonder on her maiden voyage!
I've only mentioned what we did. But there are many, many things to do on
There was a film crew that was on board all week. They filmed everything for the new Disney Cruise Line video
and they were also filming something for MTV. We're hoping that Billy or Deny
or both make it into one of the videos.
Pulling into Castaway Cay was amazing! This huge ship just floated into the
dock and stood magestically over the island! What a breathtaking view from
the deck! We ate breakfast at the Beach Blanket Buffet every morning because
we didn't want to waste time sitting in the dining room. So we got our
breakfast and sat out on the deck overlooking the island.
At 9 a.m. we could go ashore. The beach is gorgeous with rows of pastel
umbrellas in yellow, green, pink and purple. There is so much to do on the island,
but we had snorkling in mind for first thing. All rentals on the island can be
made in advance at Guest Services (Purser's desk). So we made sure we did
that the night before. We walked up to Gil's and presented our coupon and
gathered our snorkling gear. The water along the beach is sectioned off by
ropes. The closest area to the ship is for water crafts only. The next section is
the snorkling section. Then is the raft/swimming section. The next section has a
playground in the center for diving and jumping into the water with a
suspension bridge and rope swings.
We put on our snorkling gear and started out to find the treasures of the
lagoon. The area is relatively new, so there were not lots and lots of coral, but
there were lots of different types of fish. And because this is Disney, there IS a
theme! There are parts of that ship that washed up on the island during that
fateful storm. The snorkling area is marked by bouys and is broken down into
beginner and advanced areas. The beginner area had lots of grasses and fish.
The more advanced area had "artifacts" from the ship. The first thing we
wandered up to was the bow (front) of the ship with Mickey on it. As we swam
through the area, we found parts of the ship strewn everywhere. There were
small areas of coral also. At the end of the map, was a suit case, camera,
typewritter, and various other things you might find on a ship. After snorkling
for over two hours, we were tired and decided to head back to the beach. It
was so much fun! We had a great time!
By the time we got back to the beach, it was lunch time. We went to Cookie's
BBQ for lunch. The buffet menu included hambergers, hot dogs, vegetables,
baked beans, grilled lobster tails, corn on the cob, fruit, cookies and muffins.
Everything was excellent. There were plenty of que lines open so that you
never had to stand and wait in line. We ate at picnic tables under a covered
patio with the tropical breezes and smell of salt air. It was the perfect day!
The Oceanear's Club and the Teen's Common Ground group had activities on
the beach all day. The kids could be dropped off at Scuttle's Cove starting at 9
a.m. through the whole day if they wanted. Deny just had to be at Scuttle's
Cove by 1p.m. becasue they were doing a hunt for the musical instruments
that Scuttle lost! The teen group was having a contest to see which team could
build the best raft and actually sail it! Both kids had a blast! Dad and I relaxed
and had a drink and took the tram down to Serenity Bay which is the adult only
beach. It is just beautiful! They have the tent there for the massages. There's
just so much to do and so little time!
We gathered our things and left the beach about 3 p.m. The last call for
boarding was 3:45. And at 4:00 there was a cast-off party on the deck by the
Goofy pool. But just before we left the dock, the island tram pulled up to the
dock and about 50 cast members hopped out wearing white Mickey hands and
waving good by to the maiden voyage of the Wonder. After we had backed out,
Jim, the cruise director, announced there was a once in a lifetime sight out on
the horizon. It was the Disney Magic coming to meet us just off the island. To
see 2 cruise ships the size of the Magic and Wonder heading right for each
other is overwhelming! But the Magic had come to meet us. We're sure it was a
publicity event! Both ships held at 45 degree angles, very close together,
while a speed boat zoomed around taking pictures and a helicopter joined the
fun with a few photographers. But it was exciting and lots of fun!
We had dinner in Animators Palet that night and it was an Event! The dining
room was continually changing, highlighting a different film all the time. By the
time dinner was complete, the wait staff all went into the kitchen and change
vests to colored Mickeys instead of the black and white they had started with, and paraded out escorted
by Goofy, Pluto, Chip & Dale and Mickey brought up the rear as the Sorcerer.
As if all this hadn't been enough, it was Billy's birthday and all the waiters &
waitresses along with the dining room manager brought a cake to our table and
sang happy birthday to Billy!
The show that night was "The Voyage of the Ghost Ship". What an outstanding
play about a pirate that disguised himself to represent the king. He escorted
the princess onto the vessel and then resurected his pirates, that were now
ghosts, to try to take over the ship. Good won out over evil and the Captain of
the ship and the Princess got married. Another Broadway quality performace!
Everything was WONDERful!
We had heard rumors that we should be on deck by 10 p.m. for a surprise. So
we went up to deck 9 for the continuing Goofy party. The two ships were still
floating together and we were still just off Castaway Cay and at 10 p.m.
fireworks began between the two ships and were, in Disney style,
choreographed to music! What an enchanting day and evening! Of course, we
told Billy we staged all this for his birthday!
We retired to our stateroom that evening to find another surprise on our bed. This time it was a white chocolate replica of the Wonder! There are those in my family still trying to open it and eat it. But it looks too good to eat!
We had all had too much fun!
Our last full day on the ship was at sea. There were so many activities going
on during the day, it was hard to choose.
We started the day at the Beach Blanket Buffet again because we didn't want
to miss a minute of the day!
Hubby took the kids to the Mickey Pool in the morning to swim and most likely
spend the morning going down the slide! My Mother and I went to a Culinary
demonstration featuring the Master Chef from LeCellier at the Canadian
Pavillion in EPCOT. He prepared the Peppercorn crusted steak. It was
supposed to be a 45 minute demonstration, but we were all having such a
good time that we were there well over an hour. We laughed and learned and
then got to taste! It was WONDERful!
After that my Mother and I were supposed to go to the talk by the Cruise
Director, Jim, on disembarkation. We missed that one! So we opted to meet
the family on Deck and have lunch around the pool. There are 4 different food
bars open all day. One serves hambergers, hotdogs, tacos and fruit. Another
one serves pizza. Then there is one that serves ice cream. Then, of course,
there's the bar. So the kids got everything they wanted to eat and Grandma
and I went into the buffet where there were king crab legs and shrimp on the
menu! The food was excellent! .... I mean WONDERful!
After lunch there was so much to do...
In the Oceanears Club there was a Do Si Do with Snow White that Deny just
had to attend and then there was rehearsal in the afternoon for "the Club's"
performance on stage that afternoon.
In Common Grounds there were activities that were top secret because it's for
teens only! But I'll have that info soon.
My Mother and I went to the Walt Disney Theater to see Jodi Benson sing and
have a question and answer session. She was so open and candid in her
answers! It was so much fun! One of the last questions for the afternoon was
by a little 7 year old girl named Jenna. She asked Mrs. Benson if it was possible
to sing "Part of Your World" with her. Jodi said yes and Jenna was on stage. It
was so cute. She was a nervous wreck and kept bouncing around. When they
finally started to sing, stage frieght hit and Jenna couldn't remember the words.
But she soon warmed up and began to sing. She had a great voice and sang
beautifully with Jodi Benson! It was a very touching performance! Jodi then told
her that this was definately one of the highlights of her career. It was just
WONDERful! By the way, Jodi's husband and 7 month old son were also on board.
There was lots to do.... Tours of the Bridge, Jackpot Bingo,
Character appearances, The Mickey 200 (design, build and race a vegetable
race car), sports trivia, the Master of Disney Storytelling, Wine tasting from
Stem to Stern, meet with Roger Ebert, dance classes, and yes another Goofy
But the highlight of the afternoon was at 4 p .m. We gathered in
the Walt Disney Theater for the Discover the Magic show put on by the kids of
the Oceanears Club. What a WONDERful show! The kids entered the theater
from the back and walked down the isles singing "It's A Small World". They all
arranged themselves up on stage and sang and danced while slides of the kids
during the week were shown on over head screens. Then a grand appearance
by Mickey himself. The kids joined Mickey in singing "The Mickey Mouse Club
March". The show ended with the kids marching up the isles and out the rear
of the theater singing "It's A Small World". The director of the "Club" announced
that all performers will be available in the Oceanears Club after the show for
autographs! It was a great show!
For dinner that night, we all returned to the
dining room we had eaten in the previous night. We went to Animators Palet.
Even without the changing colors, the dining room is spectacular! All
passengers had the "Master Chef's Series" menu which consisted of dishes
from around Walt Disney World. Everything was just WONDERful!
that evening was entitled "Disney Dreams". The story is based on Peter Pan. A
girl named Ann Marie wishes she could fly off to Neverland. The Blue Fairy
appears to her while she is asleep and tells her she must dream of genies,
princess and kings to find the magic, but she has to do it by 6 a.m. Then she
hears a noise and wakes to find Tinkerbell and Peter Pan. Together Ann Marie
and Peter Pan explore genies: they rub Ann Maries lamp from "Alladdin" and a
magic carpet appears with Alladdin on it. Her bedroom is transformed into
Aggrabba. Together they then try to figure out which princesses would help.
Scenes from Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast enter her bedroom. That
scene ends with all the princesses dancing through her bedroom. With just
over an hour to go, they just cannot figure out what king could help Ann Marie
find the magic she needs. As she sits on the bed, Simba comes to mind and her
bedroom transforms into the Pridelands. The curtain closes during this time and
when it reopens, Ann Marie decides not to grow up right this minute and finds
the magic to fly. The entire theater is transformed into the night sky with stars
covering the stage and the ceiling of the theater. The Broadway quality of this
show is magical!
Following the show, the comedy club, dance club, karaoke
club are all bustling with activity! We hated to go to bed because we knew that
the next morning would mean the magical week had come to an end!
morning we were up early, but not early enough to see us pull into the port.
We gathered up our bags and had breakfast. By that time it was 8 a.m. No
announcement was made, but everyone knew it was time to leave. Unlike
other cruises where you are called by either name or cabin number to leave,
nothing was said that morning. An annoucement was made the day before
that the doors would be open at 8 a.m. to disembark. Sleepily, everyone made
their way off the ship. Many of us looking around for one last glimpse of
Captain Mickey or one last toot on the horn of "When You Wish Upon A Star" .
But as loudly as we left Port Canaveral 4 days earlier, we returned just as
quietly, filled with WONDERful memories! Disembarkation was quick, and
effortless. No major Custom hassles, no major luggage hassles. We spotted
our luggage, a porter helped us to our car and we were on our way!