Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review of Cruise on Disney Wonder - Pacific Costal Cruise

This review was written by good friends and experienced cruisers.  It is posted with additional comment.

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Sorry this has taken so long but I have no excuses. Feel free to use as you see fit.

Disney Wonder Pacific Coastal Cruise  5 Nights- San Diego to Vancouver BC with a stop in San Francisco

Airline -  Alaska is one of the best. Good planes and always on time.  Baggage was available by the time we reached the claim area.

Transportation to hotel.  We took a cab that cost $17

Hotel - Stayed at the Residence Inn Bayside.  Great location across the street from the cruise terminal.  Hotel is unique in that it shares a lobby, eating area and elevators with a sister property, the Spring Hill Suites. Highly recommend this hotel.  It was great and everything worked just fine.

Embarkation - Disney had made a big deal about only showing up at our assigned time.  So we did only to be put in a long line with Celebrity Infinity passengers who all happened to be there early.  The line was horrific.  The port staff was trying to be nice by telling us just to enjoy all of our fellow passengers.It was a nice day but the line moved painfully slow.  After getting inside the gate, we had to proceed to the ship to drop off our luggage and then get back in another long line that ran the entire length of the port building.  Once you got inside there was a completely packed queing line that eventually led to Security. And yes we are still commingled with our friends from Celebrity  After getting through security, we were led to an almost empty bank of Disney check in lines.  This took 2 minutes and we were ready for our picture. Very organized and quick.  A minute later we were on the ship and heading for our cabin.  Not so fast.  The cabins were blocked off--Not ready.  The whole process was not the way you want to start a cruise.

The Disney Wonder-  Good ship. They did have a major water leak that caused a lot of pipe banging one day.

Cabin - We had an aft balcony cabin.  Two small bathrooms. One with a shower and sink and the other with the commode and sink.   We grew to like this arrangement.

Passengers - Surprising number of kids on board in the middle of May.  Happy group of travelers.

Dining - Another new plan for us.  We stayed at table 25 with our same table mates and waiters but rotated to 3 separate dining rooms.  We had the second seating at 815 which is too late for us, but we survived. Food and service were excellent.

Buffet - Always crowded all day long.  Good choices.

Photos - Best system we have seen on cruise ships.  Lots of photographers always around.  They were especially helpful and accommodating as we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge.  System is all digital and you don't have to stand in long rows of printed pictures.  Disney uses face recognition technology.  So you go to their photo computer and put in your cabin card and just like magic there are all your pictures.  The  system isn't perfect but when the pictures weren't of us we just hit a button and they disappeared.  There is an option of getting your pictures on a flash drive or prints.  We bought the 10 picture flash drive for $150.  Disney isn't pushy on the photos.  The staff was always willing to help take pictures with our camera.

Internet Service.  Another first for us.  The cost was by the Mb not by the minute  as we were used to. They gave us the first 50 Mb free but we found out we went through that in very few minutes.  Not sure what caused the high use rate. The next 100 Mb were $19 so we didn't use our phones much at all. Lots of cruisers were confused by the billing system.

Entertainment - Exceeded our expectations and they were already high.  The production shows were the best we have seen. And the shows on the outdoor decks were fantastic.  How about really good fireworks too !!!  

Meet the Disney Characters -  All day long the Disney Characters are available to meet and greet. Not each one is there all day but if you had time at 11 you could count one one or two being available  Most of the time the lines were reasonable and  they didn't make you hurry.  It was a pleasant experience. There is a set place and time for each   Disney really handled this well.

Movies - First run Disney movies were available along with all the classics.

Shopping - High priced Disney merchandise along with the usual high end classics.

Disembarkation - The best ever.  Again a unique system.  You go to your last dining room and table and have a nice breakfast.  About the time we finished , our character and color was called and we proceeded directly to the gangway.  We were off the ship in record time. There were plenty of baggage helpers and we found our bags in a minute.  Next was Canadian customs which took another 30 second with NO lines.  We estimated that it took us 10 minutes from the time we left the dining room until we were through customs.  We rented a car at National which was right in the terminal and 3 hours later we were home in Issaquah  

Value - We loved the cruise but it was very expensive. It was really fun and we have fond memories but we have them on more reasonably priced cruises We recommend Disney Cruises if you have the money.

Ned and Carolyn