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Disney Wonder 4-Day Cruise

Disney Wonder

We start this vacation with a picture of the Disney Wonder, shot on Avalon, CA. The Wonder is the smallest of the Disney ships, first launched 15 August 1999.

Leaving San Diego

After settling into our cabin, we immediately started to walk all over the ship. The layout was quite different from other cruise ships and we took a while to understand the layout philosophy.

Our cabin had a huge porthole and we came to love the view - no balcony for us this time.

Out on Deck 10, Patty overlooks the pools and outdoor activities, including the outdoor screen used for movies and parties throughout the cruise.

Craig is seen on the stern, overlooking Point Loma.

Below decks, the Disney theater supports some fantastic effects, as we later learned.

The Cove Cafe on Deck 9 was the place for coffee and sitting around inside watching the adults splash around in the pool outside.

This machine imprints almost any picture you want on the top of your special coffee.

Dining aboard Disney ships is a somewhat different experience. Most cruise ships have moved away from fixed dining to a free-form reservations system. Kids, however, are very scheduled about their dining needs and Disney have maintained the fixed dining schedule, but with very unique twist...

There are three main dining rooms on the Wonder, each with a specialty type of food, with standard fare included in each. You are assigned a specific table in one of the dining rooms, then rotated to each of the other restaurants, maintaining your same table number and wait staff at each restaurant. Each restaurant is uniquely styled and it is like seeing something different each day, with the same people taking care of you.

Of course, there is a buffet and other fast-food eateries available on Deck 9, so you are never without options. Another unique thing is that soda is always available on Deck 9 and it is part of your cruise price - handy when you have several children, or adult-children.

For breakfast you have the option of Mickey Waffles.

Catalina Island

In the morning we woke up anchored off Catalina Island. We could see the westernmost condo development out our window.

We boarded tenders to transfer to Avalon and, as we rounded the stern of the Wonder, we saw this cartoon - Donald Duck trying to paint the ship and Hughie trying to cut Donald's support ropes.

Upon arrival at the cruise tender and Southern California ferry dock, Patty got off and was greeted with this 'Welcome to Avalon' entryway.

Walking into the city, Patty began her shopping/browsing along the Avalon waterfront.

There was a local dock, for people traveling around the island or docking small boats, and the Disney Wonder made an interesting backdrop to this colorful pier.

Walking back to the tender dock you can see the left side of the bay and the center part of Avalon in these two pictures. Even on this overcast day, this is a very picturesque view.

We tendered back to the Wonder and remained on the ship for the remainder of our cruise. Lots to do there.

This evening we were to eat in the Animator's Palate restaurant.

The entryway was covered with initial drawings for all the Disney characters.

Here Craig & Patty stand next to Mickey the Sorcerer, but you can see lots of other characters nearby.

As we sat down everyone was presented with a place covering and told to draw a stick figure character and turn it in. Then, before they finished serving dinner, and animation of all our stick figures marching together was presented on the many screens surrounding the dining area. It was great fun to watch carefully to see your particular figure among all the others.

Ensenada & Pirate Party

Ensenada through a ship's portal

This morning many people got off to stretch their legs in Ensenada, but we have been here many times and chose to stay on the ship and enjoy the activities.

Here we see Patty looking at the huge Mexican flag raised at the Ensenada port. This is as close to the city as we got.

Craig was taking an Animation class each day of the cruise and here is his version of Roger Rabbit. It was really fun to do these drawings of Roger, Mickey, Chip & Dale, Mike Kolowski (Monster's Inc.), and Linguine. The first drawings came out great, but when repeated, the result wasn't as good.

This was Pirate Night and saw Patty & Craig all decked out in pirate gear.

The Pirate Party started on Deck 9, with a dancing show and entertainment on the big screen.

Soon Mickey zip lined down to the dance floor and shortly afterward a fireworks display started up. It was quite a show, although quite cold.

Patty & Craig at Pirates Dinner

We went to our dining room and the festivities continued throughout dinner. The menu was the same for each of the restaurants - for just this one night.

As we were in Animator's Palate, we got many pirate drawings shown rotating thru screens around the room.

Day at Sea

Our At Sea day started out with a walk around the deck a couple of laps and on the way we met both Mickey and Pluto. Since Craig was wearing his Pluto Remembered shirt, it was a perfect coincidence.

Patty, Mickey, and CraigPluto with CraigPatty with Ariel statue in the AtriumCoffee picture - Ariel
View from French Quarter Lounge

Patty wanted this picture of her with Ariel in the Atrium and, of course we had to have an Ariel picture on her next cup of coffee.

Emergency Return to San Diego

The following At Sea day, we had a medical emergency and the ship returned to San Diego to drop off the passenger and immediately return to sea.

As we rounded Shelter Island, heading for the port, this spectacular picture presented itself.

Rounding Shelter Island, heading for portAircraft landing at Lindbergh FieldPatty at entrance to portPatty saying a second goodbye to San DiegoSailboat escorting us past Point Loma

Of course we had to have a shot of Patty as we neared port.

There was the obligatory shot of a plane landing at Lindbergh Field - where the plane wasn't much higher than the 'not too tall' buildings.

 Patty saying a second goodbye to San Diego and a sailboat escorting us out the channel entrance at   Point  Loma.

Tiana Dining RoomBinettesAfter dinner parade

The Tiana Dining Room was taken from the movie 'The Princess and the Frog' and was a lot of fun.

Of course, Binettes are always on the menu.

Near the end of the meal the music starts back up and customers are encouraged to join into a 'conga line' like dance throughout the restaurant.

Chip & Dale at the disembarking baggage areaPatty at the stateroom port window

Our short cruise was over and Patty had a last look out of our stateroom porthole.

Upon disembarking, we made our way to baggage area, passing by the Chip & Dale baggage area to the Mickey area where our bags were stored. 

We still had a 120 mile drive home, but we had a really fun time - isn't that the point of things like this?