Back to the Southern Caribbean - 7 days on the Wonder from Puerto Rico

anricat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
Travel To San Juan, Puerto Rico - Saturday, January 25, 2020

It's time for another cruise with the mouse! Not only that, it's time for another Southern Caribbean cruise. We also took a Southern Caribbean cruise out of Puerto Rico last year, but this time we visit completely different islands. This year we will only spend one night in Puerto Rico before embarking on the Wonder for the islands of St. Maarten, Antigua, Martinique, Barbados and St. Lucia.

Once again, I present our cast of characters:
Summer - that’s me!
Roger - my DH
Emmaline - my DD, age 11

Without further ado, we begin!

We didn't have as early of a start this year (thankfully) but it would mean a later arrival into San Juan. Since we were only staying one night, it ended up being cheaper and simpler to just stay at a hotel.

Our travel day was uneventful with the exception of some minor forgetfulness on my part. My brain was a bit scattered and I didn’t go through my final packing checklist and once at the airport, we realized we had forgotten Emmaline’s iPad. I told her she could watch some things on my computer on the airplane and she had homework to finish anyway. I also realized we had forgotten to take out the trash and move a litter box into the room where one of our cats is spending the trip locked away (the reasons are complicated, but rest assured, she doesn’t mind). So I sent my mom a message and she ran over and took out the trash and moved the litter box.

We had to change planes in Houston, which I guess I wasn’t completely uneventful because as we were coming in to land, the pilot abruptly pulled up and rapidly gained altitude. Eventually he came on the intercom and explained that there was a dog on the runway. We circled for 15 minutes or so and eventually landed a bit late. We still had plenty of time for our connection, though.

We landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico, gathered our baggage and followed signs to the ride share pickup area where we requested an Uber. It only took 15 minutes or so to make it to our hotel. We settled in for a few minutes before heading out for dinner. We hadn’t found much on Google and Yelp near our hotel so we ate at a pizza place around the corner that had 4.8 stars or something and ended up being not great. The crust was great. Everything else, not so much. There’s only so far great crust will take you in a pizza.

After dinner we looked for dessert elsewhere and found some rolled ice cream in some kind of market around the corner. It ended up being some sort of shopping mall sort of place with a food court on the upper floor. Except all the food court places were sort of local looking and serving amazing looking local food and the whole time I was kicking myself for not finding it because it would have been so much better than the crappy pizza. The only problem was the very VERY loud band (VERY LOUD) playing generic rock covers. They were….fine but did I mention it was LOUD. Like, so loud that we couldn’t even really order dessert. Emmaline had a frozen fruit bar and Roger and I split some rolled ice cream. It was our first time for that. It was fine, I guess, but expensive and gimmicky.

After dinner we returned to our hotel and Emmaline did a little research on my computer for the school project she’s working on about our destinations. Roger relaxed and I prepped for our sightseeing and embarkation the next morning.
 

anricat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Embarkation - Sunday, January 26, 2020

I woke up before the alarm went off and sort of relaxed in bed for awhile before getting everyone up and ready for the day. We went downstairs for our free “breakfast” which was really minimal. Perhaps one of the most minimal hotel breakfasts I’ve yet encountered. They had bread and bagels for toast, blueberry muffins, yogurt, two kinds of cereal, cold ham and sliced cheese. As far as liquids water, orange juice, milk and coffee were available. We ate a little bit before requesting an Uber to take us to Castillo San Felipe del Morro, aka “El Morro.”



We arrived at the fort just as they were opening. We had a good time exploring the fort which has a great overview of both the history of Puerto Rico and San Juan as well as the fort. We stayed for a little over an hour before we made our way to a little coffee shop nearby where we had more of a substantial breakfast and some good coffee.











After this, we took an Uber back to our hotel where we relaxed for a few minutes before gathering up our belongings, checking out and getting (yet another) Uber to the port. It’s worth noting that last year we did rent a car because we were staying an extra day and wanted to explore further afield. But car rentals here are expensive (plus auto insurance from mainland USA generally doesn’t cover Puerto Rico so that’s an added expense) and it’s expensive and difficult to park in Old San Juan so we decided Uber would be cheaper. In the end, we made the right call spending around $30 total for all the aforementioned Uber trips (including the trip from the airport the first day).

We arrived at the port a little after noon, dropped off our bags and went through security, all of which took about 10 minutes. Much better than last year where it took a very long time. There was a longer check-in line than we were expecting, however so that took a little while. However, by the time we got into the main boarding area, we didn’t have to wait as they were boarding everyone regardless of boarding group and we boarded at around 12:40.

We headed directly to Cabana’s to enjoy some lunch. After lunch, we split up and Roger went to the room since it was 1:30 and it should have been ready, while I took Emmaline over to Edge to get checked in to the tween club for her first time. She was a little uncertain since it was to be her very first time in this club.

We went down to the room and I unpacked our carry on. Emmaline wanted to swim and slide so Roger went with her up to the pool deck while I got some things organized from our carry-on. At 2:30 it was time for the meet and greet with the members of our Facebook group so Emmaline quickly showered and we went to the new French Quarter Lounge (formerly the Promenade Lounge) to meet up with the friends we had made on Facebook.

At 3:30 we left there and went back to the room and did some unpacking as the suitcases had been delivered. We organized and unpacked ahead of the muster drill at 4:15. After the muster drill, Emmaline went to the deck 9 to watch the sail away party, while Roger and I went to deck 10, however, once there, we discovered the sail away party had been moved to the atrium due to the possibility of rain. Roger and I had zero interest in joining the mob in the atrium so we stayed up on deck 10 in the not at all rainy weather and had some snacks.


(It takes a lot of shoes to take a Disney cruise.)

At 5:30 we returned to the room to regroup and get ready to head the show. The show for the evening was the first of several variety entertainers and we had not seen this one before. He was a juggler by the name of Charles Peachock. He had a very entertaining show and we enjoyed it quite a lot. After his show, we went to do Disney Tunes Trivia. We did Disney Tunes Trivia last year and it was fun so we decided to do it again. We came to discover it was the same tunes. You’d think that this would mean we would ace it, but alas we did not. (Note to self: Minnie Driver is the voice of Jane in “Tarzan.”) We came in fourth place, however, missing 4 questions out of 45. (Second note to self: Bruno is the name of the dog in "Cinderella.") Not too bad, really. (Third note to self: The name of the song from “Tarzan” is “Strangers Like Me.”) I just wish they would maybe switch it up so it wasn’t the same thing. (Fourth note to self: Donnie Osmond provided the male singing voice in “Mulan.”)

Anywho, after that, we went off to dinner, starting this cruise in Animator’s Palate, which is always a favorite of Emmaline’s. It’s actually one of my least favorite menus, with the exception of the truffle pasta pursettes, which were tasty as always. It’s just the entree I have a hard time with. Our table mates seem nice and not crazy, which is good since that can be a crapshoot. They’re also a family of three and their daughter and Emmaline became fast friends. Seated across from one another over a round table, they ended up texting each other through the meal, which was sort of hilarious if a bit on the nose for a couple of tweens. After dinner they ran off to Edge to do some activities there together.

Roger and I went back to the room for a few minutes to relax before making our way to Azure (club that becomes adults-only after 9 PM). When we walked in, they were in the middle of finishing up a game, but we noticed that one of our favorite cruise staff, Darrell, was the club host and he was killing it. After that game wrapped up (basically family feud, but with the room divided into two teams) we watched Lynn Trefzger’s show. We saw her when we were on the Magic a few years back and she is a hilarious ventriloquist. Her show was very similar to the adult one we saw previously but it was still quite funny. After the show we were able to catch up with Darrell a little bit, which was nice. We originally met him on the Magic where we connected over our love of Zelda (and all things geeky) and each cruise we’ve been on where he’s been on board, he’s always made our cruise a little brighter.

Roger and I came back to the room and got ready for bed and Emmaline was still at Edge and not ready to come back to the room so we went to bed. She eventually came back at a little after midnight, having closed the place down.
 
Last edited:

anricat

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2014
St. Maarten - Monday, January 27, 2020

As per usual, I woke up earlier than Roger and Emmaline. I donned my running costume and headed up to deck 4 for a run on deck. Given that I saw people running in both directions, I knew that the forward part of the deck was already closed down for mooring operations and it would be a u-shaped sort of run. I had hoped that an hour and half prior to “all ashore” would be early enough to be able to run full laps, but alas, no.



After my run, I went up to deck 9 to have a little snack and enjoy the quiet of the morning as we made our way into St. Maarten. Eventually Roger and Emmaline got up and we enjoyed a leisurely and slow morning doing a bunch of not much until it was time for our excursion: SeaTrek. We had booked a DCL sponsored excursion this time around, a rarity for us, but it looked like fun so we decided to give the helmet dive a try.

After meeting in Azure at 11:15, we were led off the ship where we signed a bunch of waivers and were given a run down of the activity. From there, we made our way over to the water taxi (the cruise ship port is a little ways out of town) and it began to sprinkle. Then it began to rain in earnest. Then it began to pour. We waited it out for a bit under the overhang at the water taxi pier.



Eventually there was a break in the rain and we were underway. It was about a ten minute ride to a floating platform. We arrived there and had to wait for 10-15 minutes for the previous group to finish up, then we disembarked and were divided into two groups of about 10 people each. Our group would go second so we were free to use some snorkeling equipment and noodles to go in the water, or just lounge on the platform.



After about 30 minutes, it was our turn and Emmaline was ready to go and raced over to the ladder to be first down. I went down after, descending the 25 foot ladder to the bottom of the ocean with a 70 lb. helmet on my head attached to an air hose. They were feeding the fish so there were a lot of fish down there. We trekked along in the chilly water (really my only negative of the whole experience, which really they don’t have a lot of control over) seeing fish and other underwater stuff (other sea life as well as a sunken helicopter and a couple of different sea vessels of some sort).


This photobombing fish cracked us up when we imported the photos.


Ah, there she is!


They gave us this urchin (?) to hold. It's tentacles ticked and then suctioned itself to your hand after a moment.





After everyone was out of the water, we got back into the water taxi for the return trip to the cruise ship port, arriving back a little later than anticipated (due to the rain, but also, things just seemed to move overall sort of slowly). We were hungry since it was 2:30 and we hadn’t had lunch so we went right up to deck 9. Cabana’s was closed, but there were plenty of other lunch items to be had from the quick service on deck (on that Royal ship we were on in June we would have been screwed).

After lunch, we were definitely feeling ready to be clean so we all took turns showering. Emmaline went first and then went off to Edge while Roger and I got cleaned up. After that, we looked through some of our photos from the day and I worked a little on my trip report.

At 5:15 it was time to sail away so Roger and I went up to deck 10 to watch Saint Maarten fade into the distance. We stayed up there for awhile and then had a snack before we returned to the room where I worked a little more on my trip report, went to the laundry room to iron my dress and then got things organized for the next day’s activities.



At 7:30 it was time for Villains Trivia in the D Lounge. I was pretty excited because I’m a big villains fan, but the questions were really hard with some really rare villains. Also they wanted the answers to be really specific (like, they wanted specifically Toy Story 3 vs. Toy Story or Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest vs. Pirates of the Caribbean) and we ended up with a score of 28 out of 40. Ah well.

We booked it back to the room after our sorry performance to change for formal night. Once changed and ready we took a couple of photos in our dressy clothes and then went off to our dinner in Tiana’s Place. After dinner, Emmaline went to Edge, but just for a short while, coming back to the room around 10 PM, at which point we all went to bed.

470712
 

  • Disney Cruise Line Shipboard Credits up to $1000!
    Just make your Disney Cruise Line reservation with Dreams Unlimited Travel and you’ll receive up to $1000 in shipboard credits to spend on your cruise!
    Click Here for Details

    Already have a Disney Cruise Line reservation booked?
    If you booked your DCL reservation within the last 30 days, Email us (DreamsCruise@DreamsUnlimitedTravel.com) to see if we can save you money, apply a Shipboard Credit, or recieve our Exclusive Gift!
    *Deposit paid. Not paid in full. Other Restrictions Apply.

  • anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    Antigua - Tuesday, January 28, 2020
    I set my alarm the night before for 7:15. PM. Oops. I woke up at 7:45, which is pretty late for me, but I was pretty tired. I quickly roused everyone and we tossed on some clothes and went up to Cabana’s. We raced through breakfast, returned to the room and grabbed all our stuff and were out the door on time at 8:35. Whew!

    We met up with our boat at 8:50 for our day with Adventure Antigua on their Eco Tour. As we made our way along the coastline, the guides pointed out interesting things along the way. We made one more stop at a large resort to pick up a couple more people, bringing our total number on the boat to 16, which just about the right number of people for the size of the boat.



    Our first stop of the morning was Hell’s Gate, which is a really cool rock formation with a natural bridge. We were given the option to explore the cave and natural bridge, snorkel, swim, or just chill on the boat. Everyone decided to head for the island. We all hopped off the boat and swam over to the small island where we were led up and into a small cave. On the other side of the cave, we were able to climb up and onto the bridge and have a great view. We climbed back down on the other side of the bridge and swam back to the boat.













    Back on the boat, we made our way over to Great Bird Island where they anchored next to a beach and we had some time to swim or hang out on the little beach before lunch. After awhile, we all came back on board and they set up some lunch for us. After lunch, we had the option to take a guided walk around the island. We were told about a special snake, the Antiguan Racer that is extremely rare. This endangered species is found only on Great Bird Island and was nearly wiped out when rats were introduced on the island and preyed on the baby snakes. Eventually someone realized what was going on and they were able to kill all the rats on the island and now the snakes are making a comeback. We were told they are so rare and also well-camouflaged that we wouldn’t see any at all (but if we did it wasn’t a problem because they are non-venomous).










    Can you see the snake? That’s a photo of an Antiguan Racer. One of the kids actually spotted it and we all got to take a look. We also saw a variety of birds and a whole bunch of lizards (that the snakes like to eat). We got to the top of the island and were treated to an incredible view of many of the small islands that make up Antigua.

    After we walked back down to the beach and waded back to the boat, we set off for our final stop of the way. A little ways out from Great Bird Island we stopped at a reef and had two snorkeling options - a longer, more advanced snorkel (with better stuff to see) and a beginner snorkel. Emmaline and I choose advanced (Roger stayed on the boat and took a nap). We saw a ton of fish and coral as well as a conch and a stingray. It was really great snorkeling and I think better than the snorkeling we did in Tortola (at Norman Island and The Indians).









    We all got back on the boat and as we made our way back to St. John’s, we were treated to some really delicious banana bread by the wonderful crew of our boat. We had a truly fantastic day. I really loved this excursion. I felt like there was an appropriate amount of time at each stop and there was a nice variety of activities. The crew was really friendly and seemed to love sharing their beautiful islands with us.

    We got back to the ship around 3 PM and took showers before going up to deck 9 for some snacks and lingered for awhile, eventually watching the sunset while we sailed away. After that, we reorganized our things, got ready for the next day while watching some stateroom TV. I worked a bit on my trip report and then it was time for the show. This evening Lynn Trefzger was performing her main show in the Walt Disney Theatre so we went to enjoy that. It was a very similar show to the last time we saw her perform, but still very funny.



    After her show we headed for Azure to participate in a juggling workshop with Charles Peachock (the juggler from the first night’s show). This was a ridiculous amount of fun and I’m so glad that we went. By the end of the workshop, I actually was able to juggle 3 balls for a couple of seconds. Hey, it’s a start!




    Apparently that's my concentrating face.

    After that it was time for dinner and our first night in Triton’s, which I always enjoy. After dinner we were pretty tired from being out in the sun all day so we all went back to the room and went to bed.
     
    Last edited:

    anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    Martinique - Wednesday, January 29, 2020
    I set my alarm correctly! Yay! We got up, got ready and ate breakfast before meeting up with another family from our Facebook meet group. I had put out the call on the group that we were looking for another family to split a private tour with us in Martinique and so we all set off from the town of Fort-de-France for our tour with our guide, Meri.

    We all piled into Meri’s tour van and set off for Sacre-Coeur de Balata (Balata Cathedral). This church was a smaller direct copy of the big Sacre-Coeur in Paris. It was built in the 20’s and had an art deco theme going on in the inside which was sort of unique. The setting was also beautiful with an amazing view.






    The Disney Wonder is in this picture on the water just left of center.

    We climbed back into the van and Meri drove us through the beautiful and lush rainforest on the way to a beautiful little waterfall. We had to hike down a little ways and across some slippery rocks to get there. Once we arrived, there were some picnic tables with covers and we stopped for a brief downpour (maybe a minute or two long). We hiked back up and into the van, winding back through the rainforest. We were headed for Mount Pelee, but it was socked in with fog so she said it wasn’t really worth heading up there so we moved on to our next stop at Depaz Distillery.



    At Depaz we walked the beautiful grounds and gardens before visiting the distillery and where the rum is made. The manor house was beautiful and the grounds had a variety of different fruit trees on property (Emmaline plucked a mandarin off the ground and enjoyed it). Roger tasted and purchased some rum before we were on our way again.









    Around noon we made our way into Saint-Pierre, formerly the capital. However, the city was destroyed by the 1902 eruption of Mount Pelee and thousands of remaining inhabitants fled for Fort-de-France. The city has rebuilt over the years but ruins of the former city remain as well as a museum (more on that later). For now, we parked and found our way into a french bakery for lunch. Being in France (Martinique is not independent and fully a part of France), how could we not experience some delicious French bread and pastries. We all had sandwiches and some delicious dessert (Meri helped us order because many in Martinique only speak French).


    Some ruins of the old city we saw on the way into Saint-Pierre.

    After lunch, we did a little shopping in a shop Meri recommended with handicrafts and items made on the island (vs. made in China) then we got back in the van and made the short drive to the 1902 Museum which told the story of the eruption of the volcano in 1902. We received audio guides and listened to what life life was like before, during and after the eruption. The museum had a lot of items from the time period, some that were completely unaffected (I loved the bottle of Grey Poupon mustard) and also some that were completely changed by the heat (the bell and piles of nails and scissors were really intriguing). We left the museum and walked a short ways to the site of the former theatre and a prison, marveling at a cell that contained a prisoner that survived the eruption and went on to tour with the circus as a survivor of the catastrophe.








    The black beach of Saint-Pierre.

    Late in the afternoon, we settled in for the drive back to Fort-de-France as it began to rain. We traveled back along the shoreline, taking a different route for a different view. We arrived back at the port and Emmaline and Roger got back onboard while I ran to an ATM to get some Euros to buy a magnet (we collect a magnet from each port and endeavor to find locally crafted souvenirs).



    Once back onboard, Emmaline changed into her swimsuit and I took her up to Deck 9 to swim while I had a snack. Roger had a rest in the room and then joined me on Deck 9 where we snacked and watched a movie on Funnel vision. As the ship sailed away, Roger and I went up to Deck 10 to wave goodbye to Martinique after a really lovely day.


    The volcano is on the left. Still socked in by clouds.

    I went back to the room to do some ironing to prepare for semi-formal night and eventually Emmaline made her way back from the pools/slide and took a shower while I worked on my trip report and Roger lazed around and we all watched a little TV before getting dressed in our semi-formal attire and taking some photos before dinner.

    After dinner, Emmaline went to Edge and Roger and I went to go see Maryellen Hooper who is a comic. Her main schtick is the perils of parenthood/marriage and she’s quite funny, however, there wasn’t room for us in Azure so they sent us across the hall to Crown and Fin Pub and piped it on the TVs in there, but it was hard to hear and people were socializing and such and after awhile we sort of gave up and left. We were tired anyway. Emmaline came back to the room around the same time and we all went to bed.
     
    Last edited:

    anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    Barbados - Thursday, January 30, 2020
    I slept in until 7:45 (but still got up before everyone else) and went to the gym. I found myself a little corner for a workout. I sent Roger a message when I was done around 8:45 and he said that he was up and hungry so I went back to the room and woke up Emmaline and the three of us went to breakfast in Cabana’s. After breakfast we came back to the room and everyone got ready for the day.

    Our excursion wasn’t until a little later so we went up to open house in Edge to try out the Jedi training VR game they were offering during that time. It was cool, but a little bit difficult and we really didn’t have the opportunity to play for long as we needed to get going for our excursion and there was a line forming behind us.

    Again, I had posted in our Facebook group to see if anyone wanted to book a private tour and two families would be joining us for this one making the cheapest excursion of the trip. We started the tour by leaving Bridgetown and making about an hour drive to St. Nicolas Abbey, which actually isn’t an abbey or related to a church at all, but is a sugar cane farm and distillery with a manor house (built in 1658) on the property. Our guided tour began in the house where they had some really neat shell arrangements that looked like flowers as well as a chandelier made of shells and a variety of other shell decorations.



    We continued on to the gardens and finally to the distillery where production was underway (unlike in Martinique where the sugar cane wasn’t quite ready). So we got to see them loading the cane into the steam mill (the same machine they’ve been using since 1890). After that we were led into the tasting room and finally got to see a film of old black and white footage shot by the current owner’s grandfather when he sailed from England to Barbados in the 1930s.



    We left St. Nicholas Abbey and took a short drive to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve home to both indigenous wildlife as well as some brought to Barbados. All of the animals in the reserve were wild and free to come and go but are fed at 2 PM every day so we arrived right at feeding time and there was a lot of activity. They have a large population of Red Footed Tortoises (native) and a seemingly equal number of Green Monkeys. (LOOK UP - were these vervets maybe?) These monkeys are not native and were brought from Africa around 300 years ago. We also saw some Brocket Deer (not native to Barbados, but native to many other Caribbean islands) as well as a Mara, which is a strange rodent that looks like a rabbit and a deer had a baby (not native).





    We left the reserve and made a quick stop at Cherry Tree Hill (no longer home to cherry trees) for a beautiful view of the island. We arrived back at the ship around 3:30 and went up to Deck 9 for some snacks since we didn’t eat lunch. After that, Emmaline went to swim while Roger had a rest, did some laundry, and took a shower. I hung out on deck 9 and relaxed and watched Princess and the Frog on the Funnel vision (since I had never seen it).



    After the movie was over, I went back to the room and put away laundry and organized things to prepare for our excursion the next day. I worked on my trip report a little and Roger relaxed for awhile. Emmaline came back to the room around 6:30 and showered before we all went up to Edge for another open house. This time we were there for a robot building activity. This turned out to be more of a circuits sort of exercise versus robots, but it was still fun and Emmaline learned something.



    When that was done, it was time for dinner so we made our way back to Animator’s Palate for the animation magic show. We all delighted to see our little figures come to life on the screens while we enjoyed our meal.

    After dinner Emmaline went to Edge and Roger and I went to Azure to catch the 18+ show of Kyle Knight and Mistie who are magicians. We were early however and they were playing a sort of “Heads Up” game (although they called it “Intuition”). Basically the room was split into two teams and one person would go up and on the screen behind them were the answers and the audience would shout out clues to try to get the person to say the answer. When we came in the category was movies and then switched to Marvel. We marveled at how poorly people were doing. (See what I did there?) Some people did okay, getting 7 or 8 right before time was up. When we got to the Disney category, the other team went first and then it was our team’s turn (I say our team, but we literally just sort of walked in and found some empty seats not really knowing what the heck was going on). Unbeknownst to me, Roger was pointing that I should go up and we know Darrell, the club host from several cruises (meeting him the first time on our Halloween cruise when he gushed over our costumes). So Darrell pointed right at me to go up and try to answer the clues. Yikes!

    I will say it was extremely hard to hear what people were saying. A room full of people shouting at the top of their lungs made it so hard to pick any one person out. I probably could have gotten twice as many right answers if I only had to listen to a handful of people. However, I got 8 right which is one of the higher scores of the night so I was pretty proud of myself and in the end our team won. Yay!

    The game ended and Kyle and Mistie performed and they were really really good. We both really liked their show a lot. We had told Emmaline to be back to the room by 11:00 so she was there when we got back and we all went to bed.
     
    Last edited:

    anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    St. Lucia - Friday, January 31, 2020
    Our final port day dawned and I was up at 7:15. I showered and got myself ready and then woke up Emmaline and Roger around 7:30 and we all went up to breakfast. At 8:45 we went to meet for our DCL excursion in the Walt Disney Theatre. This was our second of two DCL sponsored Port Adventures we signed up for. This was our seventh cruise with DCL and only our third ever excursion booked through the cruise line. When we arrived at the Walt Disney Theatre, I remembered why that was. There was a HUGE line of people waiting to be checked in for a variety of excursions.

    Once they got going, though, the line moved fairly well and we left the ship around 9 AM and got right on to the bus for our trip to the rainforest. It was about an hour drive, a lot of that was stuck in traffic in Castries. Finally we arrived at Rainforest Adventures for our combo tram ride, hike and zip line adventure. They got us geared up with our zip line gear and we did a short training line before boarding a tram to go up into the rainforest. The tram ride was peaceful and beautiful and the tour guide told us a lot about the rainforest and various species of plants and animals living there. We saw some huge magnolias, vanilla beans, ferns, trees, birds, including some hummingbirds and many other plants.









    The tram ride was a little longer than I would have liked. It was very slow and had to stop to load and unload folks at regular intervals. Finally we started our hike at around 11 to go to the zip lines. We did a total of 8 zip lines which took about 45 minutes before we took another hike back to the tram and back down the hill. We got back to the base at around 1:15 and had some juice and shopped a bit while we waited for the rest of the groups from our bus to finish up. Then we had the drive back to Castries and the ship.









    We were pretty hungry by the time we got back around 2:30 so we went up to Deck 9 to have lunch. After lunch Emmaline went to Edge to prepare for the pirate flash mob and Roger had a rest while I made some notes about our day and the previous day for my trip report.

    At 3:30 I decided to go to the French Quarter Lounge to try my hand at learning to draw Stitch. I think it came out pretty well. After that, I went back up to Deck 9 to meet Roger who was in Cove and Emmaline met me unsure what to do. Eventually she decided to go back to Edge.

    Roger and I left Cove and went down to Crown and Fin to do “Ultimate Disney Trivia” (with Darrell again) and that was fun, but in flailing kind of way. Darrell made it funny, but we were terrible and only got 9 out of 25 questions right. (To be fair, most were really hard like, “What year did Disney employees start wearing name tags?”)

    After that, I ironed some of our pirate costume pieces that got wrinkled in our luggage before going up to the fitness center to sign up for the indoor cycling class the next morning. I was looking forward to it, but unfortunately the instructor was unwell or injured (not sure which) and so class was cancelled.

    At 6:15 it was showtime so we went to the Walt Disney Theatre to see the big Kyle and Mistie show, which was as good as the show the night before. We returned to our room to get all our pirate stuff on. We made our way to Deck 4 to take some photos in our pirate gear and meet Captain Jack Sparrow (he wasn’t as good as others we’ve met). Unfortunately all our pirate photos came out awful, one of them laughably bad so we didn’t buy any of them.

    Soon it was time for dinner so we made our way there and enjoyed our meal. Emmaline left a little early to prepare for the flash mob. We finally finished dinner (it was slow that night) and tried to find a place on deck 10 to watch the flash mob. It was absolutely packed, but we found a little space and unfortunately our view of Emmaline was blocked by a crew member dancing with the kids. Face palm. Well, it was cute and from what we could tell, she did a great job.

    After that, the party got started and we enjoyed all the antics. I had fun watching the ASL interpreter and now I know signs for Mickey and Minnie. Then the fireworks went off (the show seemed to have a lot of pauses, however, so I’m not sure what happened there) and after the show we went to meet up with Emmaline and go to Cabanas to eat MORE food at the pirate buffet. Stuffed, we went back to the room and fell into bed.
     

  • EXCLUSIVE - Dreams Unlimited Travel Gift Basket!
    Book your Disney Cruise Line vacation through Dreams Unlimited Travel and receive an exclusive, complimentary Gift Basket. This Gift Basket is a result of client feedback as well as posts from DISboards.com; we call it our “What you didn't know you needed on a Disney Cruise Kit”.
    Click Here for Details

  • anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    Looks like a ton of fun!


    Actually, Bruno is the dog in Cinderella. Nana is the dog in Peter Pan. Why do I know this?
    Oh, yes! Actually I answered Nana and the correct answer was Bruno because the question was actually about Cinderella. Typo! Thanks ;)
     

    anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    At Sea - Saturday, February 1, 2020
    Oh bittersweet day. Our only sea day this trip and a day full of fun but with the knowledge that it was our last day on board. I woke up at 7:45 and went up to the gym, finding my same little corner and doing a workout. I came back to the room around 8:45 and Roger and Emmaline were still sleeping so I went back to Deck 9 and had a croissant and some hot chocolate and read a book.



    By 9:30 I was hungry for a real breakfast and went back to the room and woke everyone up and we all went and ate. At 10:15, Emmaline had a reservation to meet the princesses in the atrium so we went to that. I felt slightly wistful in that I suspect we are nearing the end of meeting princesses. After that I needed to shower (I was wandering around the ship apologizing to people for my workout aroma) and Emmaline wanted to go make a Mardi Gras mask in the French Quarter Lounge and Roger went with her to that.



    They returned to the room and Emmaline wanted to do the next activity there which was origami so Roger stayed behind and organized some things in the room to prepare to pack while Emmaline and I made origami frogs with one of her friends (our table mates’ daughter).



    After origami we all went up to Deck 9 so Emmaline and her friend could attend the Descendants Dance Party, which ended up being in the hot sun and sort of lame anyway so the girls went off to each lunch together while Roger and I ate together.

    After lunch, we went down to watch Jack Jack’s Diaper Dash, which is always favorite. This particular race was probably some of the best baby racing we’ve seen yet. The first heat, in particular, was quite entertaining. Even Donald watched the action.





    After the crawling babies were done racing and victors had been crowned (the final was a tie) Roger went to the room to rest while I went to Guest Services to adjust our tips (we typically like to give our serving team additional gratuities). Meanwhile, Emmaline was still in Edge having fun (they played games, did some Just Dance and some karaoke - she loved Edge so much more than the clubs for the smaller kids).

    After I was done at Guest Services I went up to Cove and ordered a fancy coffee and Roger joined me after a bit. We left Cove and went back to the room where I worked on my trip report, we finished packing, and watched some stateroom TV. Later in the afternoon I attended a DVC (timeshare) presentation to earn us a $50 stateroom credit and Roger showered and hung out in the room. I returned to the room and we discussed DVC a bit before we decided we were hungry and went up to Deck 9 for some snacks. We ate and watched the end of Frozen on Funnel vision as the sun set.



    After that we went down to look at our photos (including the aforementioned disastrous pirate night photos) before returning to the room where I worked some more on my trip report. Emmaline joined us around this time and we went to the Azure Lounge for a magic workshop with Kyle and Mistie. It was a little more show than workshop (we learned one trick) but it was still great.

    After that it was time for our final dinner of the cruise. Again, bittersweet! We said goodbye to our tablemates (they wouldn’t be joining us in the morning for breakfast) and went off to bed.
     
  • anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    Disembarkation, Travel Home, and Final Thoughts - February 2, 2020
    Disembarkation day. This day is always the pits. I dragged myself out of bed and showered and then woke up Roger and Emmaline and we finished packing the few remaining items before heading up for breakfast. Regrettably, our assistant server wasn’t feeling well so another assistant helped out. It was too bad we didn’t get to say goodbye because she had done a good job and was very sweet. We lingered as long as we could over breakfast before we wandered to Azure to wait for our group to be called to disembark.

    Disembarkation and customs were uneventful and not too busy and we were out at the curb in a few minutes. A friendly port employee directed us to the Uber waiting area and I requested a ride which arrived in about five minutes time. We went to a small coffee house halfway between the port and the airport and none of us were hungry, but we had nothing else to do so we ordered coffee and some oatmeal. The server was super friendly and nice and the coffee and oatmeal were great.



    We requested another Uber to the airport while we were still early, at least we had killed a little time. USDA bag check (an extra step in PR), check in, bag check, security (yay, they have full pre-check now) and then we waited. And waited.

    We had a connection through Orlando and all the flights were uneventful, but it was a long day and we were tired and cranky and Emmaline’s iPad is still charging away at home so she was running out of things to do and not happy about it. But it was worth it. And now it’s back to the real world.

    I don't have many final thoughts to add for this one. We all agree, this was a fantastic cruise and I have to say, it’s up there as one of my favorites. Right up there with Alaska and the Mediterranean. Definitely my favorite Caribbean/Bahamas cruise. I liked it better than last year’s Southern Caribbean we did on the Wonder. After our cruise in June on Royal Caribbean and now being able to compare again, I have to say, I really do prefer Disney by quite a large margin.
     

    DCLCruiseFan09

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2019
    I don't have many final thoughts to add for this one. We all agree, this was a fantastic cruise and I have to say, it’s up there as one of my favorites. Right up there with Alaska and the Mediterranean. Definitely my favorite Caribbean/Bahamas cruise. I liked it better than last year’s Southern Caribbean we did on the Wonder. After our cruise in June on Royal Caribbean and now being able to compare again, I have to say, I really do prefer Disney by quite a large margin.
    As someone who has primarily sailed with Disney (5 DCL and one Norwegian), what were the big differences between the two? I keep looking at other lines (Royal and Celebrity specifically) but get turned away by their pricing schemes/confusing special offers.
     

    anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    As someone who has primarily sailed with Disney (5 DCL and one Norwegian), what were the big differences between the two? I keep looking at other lines (Royal and Celebrity specifically) but get turned away by their pricing schemes/confusing special offers.
    To answer that, I'm going to direct you to my trip report from our Royal cruise, specially to this post on page two where I detail all my thoughts on that.


    I just went and re-read it and I have to say I agree. In particular with the food, my DH and I both commented to each other that with our mid-day excursions that went over lunch time (where we didn't each lunch) we would have been screwed on Royal getting back to the ship at 2:30 or 3 PM because we would have been starving with nothing to eat. We really like having access to the Quick Service on Deck 9. Now is it amazing? Maybe not, but it's FOOD, something we didn't have access to on Royal. If we try another line in the future, this is definitely something we'll have to research more.

    The only thing after this cruise I have to amend is that my DD now prefers the clubs on Disney. She just aged up to Edge and she REALLY liked it. I think that is why I said she prefers the clubs on Royal. At 10 years old, she had really aged out of the clubs on DCL, but they wouldn't let her into Edge at 10. So on Royal, she liked that the club ages were much smaller and so they could gear the activities to her. That said, as I mention on that entry, the hours were stupid on Royal.

    Let me know if you have other questions! :)
     

    StarSeven7

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2017
    Great review! We were on that cruise as well and we loved it! :) I also went back and read over your Royal Caribbean review and I found it really interesting! This was our first cruise ever and we loved it but of course it's expensive and it was more of a splurge trip for us so I started looking at Royal Caribbean cruises when we returned home since I know many people who have been on one and loved it. But your points about what you didn't like on RCCL really struck me since those were things that would bother us too! We ate almost every day on the pool deck on the Wonder when we got back onboard so it's crazy to me that RCCL doesn't have that! (Or at least your particular ship) Also, the hours in the kids club would be a pain - I loved being able to send our kids to the Oceaneer's Club whenever they wanted to go! And even your point about the loudness of the RCCL ship really struck me because we loved how quiet the Wonder was most of the time!
     

    DietCokeMommy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2017
    We were on the southern before you and almost did a B2B with this one. Looks like so much fun! I also love your picture of the view in Barbados. We were there on honeymoon. Pretty sure we were in the same spot as beautiful view picture and then we decided to go find that beach, which I think was Bathsheba. Love Barbados :cloud9:
     




    Connect

    Disney News and Updates





    SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DAILY EMAIL
    Subscribe and never miss out on Disney News, Deals and Updates.





    Book your Disney Cruise through Dreams Unlimited Travel and receive a Shipboard Credit and an Exclusive Gift Basket!



    DECK PLANS


    STATEROOMS


    ITINERARIES


    Top