Ooooooh, what have we here!?!? A NEW trip report?! Well, yes and no. Back in 2011 before I started this here blog Mr. BFT and I went on a Disney Cruise out of Port of Los Angeles down to the Mexican Riviera, and I recapped the entire eight day vacation in the cruise section of the DisBoards.
Recently I wrote a piece for Momtastic about why Disney cruises are not just for kids, and it made me really nostalgic for our trip. And since Disney has announced they are FINALLY returning to the Mexican Rivera in 2015 (but out of San Diego this time), I thought documenting our trip in a more public place might be helpful to some people.
Plus it has been over a year since our honeymoon and I’m having serious wanderlust … so I’m hoping this scratches the travel itch for a little bit!
I’m going to do this a little differently than my other trip reports. I am actually going to post a new chapter every day until it’s done! If anything urgent-ish happens, I’ll interrupt my trip report. But for the next couple weeks it’s going to be All Disney Cruisin’, All the Time! I hope you enjoy it.
Disney Cruisin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day One, Part One – Embarkation
Disney Cruisin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day One, Part Two – First Night at Sea
Disney Cruisin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day Two – Our First Day at Sea
Disney Cruisin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day Three – Another Lazy Sea Day
Disney Cruisin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day Four, Part One – Puerto Vallarta
Disney Cruisin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day Four, Part Two – Animator’s Palate
Disney Cruisin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day Five, Part One – Cabo San Lucas
Disney Cruisin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day Five, Part Two – Palo Dinner
Disney Crusin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day Six – Cabo Again!
Disney Crusin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day Seven – Final Day at Sea
Disney Cruisin’ the Mexican Riviera – Day One, Part One – Embarkation
Before we get into it, I want to share this video slideshow my husband put together of our trip!
On Sunday 4/10/2011, I woke up super early, too excited to sleep. I was up at around 7am, so I showered, finished up packing, and sat around waiting for Mr. BFT to wake up. He was up and moving around 9am. We finished up our packing, made some breakfast, gave the cat some extra head scratches and hugs, and were heading out the door around 10am. We got the port just before 11am. Neither of us had been to the Port of Los Angeles before and we followed the instructions on their website and got there with no problems.
Ah, our first glimpse of the Disney Wonder – our home for the week!
Check-in was super easy. The outside of port was a bit chaotic with people leaving from the previous cruise. Once we were inside, there were nice people directing us where to go. We got our first Navigator, and I asked the woman for another. She shot me down, which ended up not being a big deal since there were plenty of Navigators available to take from guest services every day. We waited a few minutes to check-in and get our Key to the World (KTTW) cards (your room key, basically), then through security and into the lounge area. We had boarding group 10. The whole process probably took about 20 minutes. We sat down and I reviewed some of my notes about the ship. Next thing I knew, they are starting to board! It was probably around 11:45am at this point. I didn’t even have time to take pictures of the lounge area!
Mr. BFT saw this sign and thought it was cute – it is one letter off from my last name.
We have no idea what it means.
We walked on and they announced our names, and shuttled us over to Parrot Cay. However, when we got there, they shuttled us again up to Beach Blanket Buffet, which is where I wanted to eat anyway. We made our way up there and found the first available table. Next thing I know, a nice man is offering us drinks in pretty glasses. Ooooh, ahhhh, yes please! I made my first purchase using my KTTW card and took a sip of my Bahama Mama … yes, I am on vacation!!
I waited with our carry-ons while Mr. BFT made a plate, and then I went and made my own plate. Overall I wasn’t too impressed with the food selection and we didn’t eat at BBB too often. We quickly ate our food and went to explore.
Mr. BFT didn’t want to lug his backpack of beer around so we found a table in the very quiet Quiet Cove area (adult pool) and sat down. After a few minutes I remembered I needed to go to Wavebands and change my PALO reservation. Mr. BFT said he would wait with the stuff and read his book if I wanted to go handle that, and roam around the ship a little bit. At this point it is around 1:00 and we have a while until our room will be ready at 4pm. So I head off to Wavebands. About 90 seconds after I left Mr. BFT, he texted me this picture:
D’oh! I missed Goofy!!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it!
I made my way to Wavebands, and there was no one in line. I walked in slowly because I was confused by the lack of guests …. a male CM asked if he could help me and I said I was hoping to change my PALO reservation. He said of course, and ran over to me and put out his arm. I curtseyed and took his arm and he escorted me to the table and pulled out my chair for me. What service!!!! The kind lady CM changed my PALO reservation from Wednesday to Thursday, and everyone kind of giggled when I said that Pirate Night wasn’t really “my thing.” Changing the reservation was quick and easy and painless. Whew!
I also stopped at guest services and made my reservations for the Tequila tasting the next day, and dropped off my photo mat for the characters to sign. They also had handy maps of the ship available so I took a couple of them; they were a lot better than the one I printed out and taped together!
When I was done I met back up with Mr. BFT. He then went off to do some roaming of his own but immediately came back to report that, our room was ready!
We found our cabin easily, good ole 6096 (we really loved our cabin and location). When we got in, our luggage wasn’t there yet, but there was this:
Our friends had arranged for champagne and chocolates to be waiting for us as an engagement present! What a surprise, and so sneaky!!!! Mr. BFT did say, “so that’s why they asked so many questions about our cruise, it all makes sense now.” We had some time to kill before our DisBoards meet-up so we popped the champagne and sat on our veranda, enjoying the scenery.
Okay, so not the most scenic view.
Next thing we knew, it was time to go to the DisBoards meet-up! So nice to finally meet all the people I had been chatting with during our planning.
After the meet, Mr. BFT went to check out Diversions since he wanted to watch the Red Sox game there at 5pm, while I went up to the room to see if my luggage had arrived. At the room I met Anthony our room attendant, who already knew my name! He asked if I was “Miss Mindy” and asked where “Mr Tim” was. I was wearing a celebration pin so he asked what I was celebrating. I told him I had just graduated from college and we also had just gotten engaged. He congratulated me and told me if there was anything we needed during the week, to just ask. We loved Anthony and he was super great all week. I started to unpack but soon it was time for the lifeboat drill.
Mr. BFT was back by now so we headed up early. DON’T DO THIS. We stood out there like idiots, standing in line in the cold windy air for 10 minutes before the alarm went off. Then all the smart people showed up. Newbie lesson learned for next time.
Back to the room to finish unpacking, set up our fish extender (FE)*, and decorate our door! We unpacked just in time for the Sail Away party. When we walked out the door, there was this!
One of our friends snuck a gift in! Our first FE gift, how exciting!
*Fish Extenders are basically any type of pocket or bag you hang from the fish hook outside your cruise door. The fish is there so the crew can leave correspondence for you, but someone once figured out that you can hang stuff from it, and thus the Fish Extender was born. If you sail a Disney cruise and find your sailing “meet up” thread on the DisBoards, chances are they are planning a Fish Extender gift exchange. Everybody brings a small gift and usually there’s a delivery schedule so you get a new gift each day. You can read more about Fish Extenders here.
We ran up to Deck 10 to watch the party.
After the show, Mr. BFT went back to Diversions to watch his game while I went to the front to watch the ship sail away. Then there was an announcement that we wouldn’t be leaving for another 45 minutes! So I went back to the room and organized a little more, and wandered around the ship.
Finally we start moving!
Passing an inferior ship. Those poor passengers!