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Tink
07-09-2009, 09:10 PM
Hello All!

We've returned from OKW and the Disney four night cruise. I have no idea how the photos have turned out as I've not down loaded them yet, but will make an effort to do so as soon as possible.

I had great plans on providing you with a detailed report, but time passed so quickly and we were so very busy I never had the opportunity to make notes as I went along! :sorry:

So, highlights?

The night before the cruise was spent at OKW in a grand villa with two additional studios. The Grand Villa was wonderful and everyone seemed well pleased, as was the family that stayed at the studio. :yes:

We used Sir Randolph for transport from OKW to the port and back (on the return trip one van went to OKW and one to Herself's Mother's home with no problem). The service was excellent, all inclusive price (worked out to about $30 per person round trip, tip INCLUDED). Sir Randolph was on time and we arrived at the Port early enough to make it through security with no fuss. We used two 10 person vans that held everyone and all the luggage comfortably.

The cruise terminal is clean, if a bit boring, although there were some videos playing for the children. And OOOOOEEEEE there were CHILDREN running all over the place! :lol: Mickey and Pluto and Goofy made an appearance for photos, and signatures. :yes:

Boarding was effortless. You wait until your number is called. It's the number that is issued to you as you clear security, have your photo taken and receive your key to the kingdom card. :yes:

We all carried on different amounts of water, wine and liquor. Maybe someone had beer too, but I'm not sure about that. No problems what so ever, but we did all carry on our own, as instructed.

Once onboard we made our way to the 9th deck for an elaborate buffet lunch. :yes: Our rooms were ready promptly at 1:30. We unpacked and went on to explore the ship. Prior to the 1:30 pm room readiness we had gone to the Palo reservation table on deck 3 and with no effort at all made reservations for the brunch and dinner (the online prebooking indicated that all slots were full). We did keep the reservation for brunch, but at the family's request canceled the dinner reservation as it was on the last evening and they wanted everyone to be together.

Our room was an inside stateroom and we entered to some very lovely surprises! Roses, champagne, cards indicating plushes awaited us and onboard credits, as well as cheese, fruit and pastry trays!!!! Thank you to the very kind and generous mod team who provided all these luxuries!!! We felt well loved and a bit like stars in our own right! LOL.

We had dinner the first evening at Triton's (the next at Animator's, the third at Animator's and the last at Parrot Cay). We were sat at two tables, one larger than the other, and met our servers who were wonderful people. They noticed everything and were quick to offer alternatives that were not on the menu.

We were not overly impressed with the selection of items that evening, and I didn't care for my dinner at all. It was the lamb shank selection. The server really wanted to bring something else, but that wasn't necessary.

After dinner we took a tour of the spa area and purchased spa passes to the rain forest, and scheduled two hot stone massages. We spent many enjoyable hours in the spa.

That evening Herself's Mother and Aunt complained that their room smelled of urine, so we went to investigate. Yep. Not a pleasant smell. We spoke with the room steward, and the housekeeping supervisor. They brought in an air purifier. The room smelled no better the next day and a higher level supervisor became involved when Mother complained that not only did the room still "stink" but she couldn't take an afternoon nap due to the very loud construction noise going on across the hall from her. After her stating that this was the worst room and worst cruise she'd ever been on, her room was changed on the second night. She was given a cabin on a lower deck, but one with a window, so it was better, at least until the last evening when we were 'cruising' full tilt to make it back to port on time. The lower levels really felt the rocking and turbulence.

Unfortunately, our room had the same unpleasant smell, and there was no help for it. The supervisor interpreted our comments on having the same problem in our room as a bid for a better cabin and managed to offend Herself in his retort. We made it clear the only thing we wanted was the smell to be taken care of. It never was, so we spent as much time as possible out of the cabin...

Our dinner at Animator's palate the second and third nights was not really much better than the dinner at Triton's, but again the service was excellent. The head server had arranged for steamed vegetables for us, so that was a big help and gave us something to eat. :yes:

There was a mix up with the specially ordered cake for Mother for her birthday celebration so the next evening (after the mixup) the head server presented her with a very nice, prettily decorated chocolate cake. Again, exemplary service.

The Pirate Party evening was fun, but we were all a little uncomfortable dressed fairly elaborately as pirates... not too many other families were. :oops: We did not see the actual party as Mother wanted to be on the 10th deck in an spot that allowed for good view of the fireworks... the chosen spot ended up being without any view of the party itself.

Castaway Cay was lovely. We went to Serenity Bay, the adult only beach. It was quiet and leisurely. We took the tram, but it is an easy walk from the ship. The BBQ lunch was nice with Herself declaring the mahi-mahi sandwich the best of the ship's offerings.

We spent some time going to the Cove (on board ship again now) having specialty coffee (me). It was a pleasant interlude.

We went to the brunch at Palo's. The server was a lovely young man who tried hard, but we knew more about the food than did he! :lol: There was a cheese table, a seafood table, a vegetable/antipasto table, a sweets table, a fruit and bread table and hot selections. We had the veal as our hot selection. It was nice, but the cheese with it was far too salty. The other selections were nice, fruit was fresh and cold, cheeses were of good quality, and the seafood was fresh too. The desserts (like all seemed to be) were very pretty, but did not seem to have much taste. Odd!

This is a cruise that families with children would really love and enjoy. :yes: Disney does work hard to have some places for adults only, however and those places were sincerely appreciated!

We did a few of the "nightlife" things, like Cadillac Lounge and the dreaded karaoke (we observed mind, didn't "do" ) and they were ok, but again this is a cruise where the efforts go mainly into activities for families with children.

We chose not to leave the ship at Nassau, however others in our party did. They reported fun with rented mopeds and two intrepid members walked to the casino (about an hour's walk).

Disembarking was nearly effortless, however it's always a challenge when two women with the same address present themselves to the custom's agent. :rolleyes: No matter. We're used to it by now. :shrug:

Of the 20 of us who went (oops, it ended up being 19 as one bailed just before the cruise) those who had not cruised before enjoyed the experience quite well!

Our vans arrived on time and returned us to the two separate destinations as previously planned. We highly recommend Sir Randolph. :yes:

Those of us in the van returning to OKW checked in those who were staying, and then Herself and I with two other family members rushed home as we'd had multiple messages from our security company. All was well though, so we were happy about that. We then took the two with us to the airport, returned to Mother's house, had a caravan of everyone else back to our home for dinner (including those at OKW). Needless to say the remaining days were filled with runs to the airport, feeding those who were here and entertaining those who stayed in our home with us.

Today is the last day of the holiday (it's an actual holiday "Labor Day" here in the US) and it's back to work tomorrow.

If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask, and I'll do my best to answer them. :yes:

Tink
07-09-2009, 09:16 PM
Oops, meant to add that we were the cruise ship that rescued the Carnival passenger. The man leapt overboard (reportedly because he was under the influence of alcohol and had an argument with his girlfriend, who told him to go ahead and jump when he threatened to do so). Carnival could not lower their lifeboat properly :eek: and it was Disney to the rescue. Bright lights played on the surface of the ocean and the Disney crew called for silence on board so they could hear the man who sensibly kept shouting. The Disney rescue team brought the man on board and turned him over to authorities for a psych eval upon arrival at Port Canaveral.

As a result of the delay for the rescue we were moving FAST on that ocean to return on time. The closet doors keep getting jarred loose and make a wicked bang that was great for startling you out of your sleep! LOL. Those on the lower decks were really rocked hard ... :sigh:

All worth it though to have a live person rescued! :yes:

foreverducky
07-09-2009, 10:12 PM
Bring on the massages! Yeah! How were the hot stones?

Urine smell??? That's disgusting, I wonder how that happened. :unsure:

That greatly worries me that Carnival could not lower their boat and would actually give me second thoughts about ever going on a Carnival cruise. Sure that may be the only ship who has problems, but why take the chance.

uscwest
07-09-2009, 10:24 PM
Except for the urine smell and the problems with the meals it sounded like you had a great cruise Tink. Looking forward to the pictures.

Tink
07-09-2009, 11:02 PM
I think it was more of a sewer gas back up in the pipes. There is no black water holding tank, so that is the only other idea I could think of. It was pretty problematic after the first day or so. :sigh: It ended up giving me a pretty good headache. :sorry:

The massage was really lovely. :yes: During the tour of the spa we were shown the couples room. Although we didn't do a couples massage, the room looked fabulous. There was a great hot tub, and a nice day bed with your own window out to the sea. Looked like great fun. :yes: The woman giving us the tour called it the vow renewal room. :lol:

ForeverDucky, we said the same thing. This isn't the first person overboard on Carnival, and that they couldn't lower the lifeboat properly was pretty darn scary. :eek:

Tinkfan
08-09-2009, 01:44 AM
:wave:Welcome back, we've always wondered about the cruise but haven't had the chance to go yet. It's too bad about the food :thumbsdown: the meals are half the fun. Did they have anything you could snack on at least after dinner? Glad your wardrobe worked out !!!:yes:

Tink
08-09-2009, 01:52 AM
There were little bits of sandwiches and small desserts that you could have from the Cove's coffee shop place. They were ok. The food was weird. The breakfast buffet was extensive, with made to order omelettes and eggs...

Lunch was the same, we usually sought out some sort of salad makings. There were other little counter service types of places too... pizza, burgers, pressed sandwiches, etc...

Room service was always available (we didn't use it, but other family members did).

We're probably just too fussy by half. :sorry:

Tinker
08-09-2009, 04:08 AM
The shorter summer Disney cruises are full of families . You & Herself really need to do a seven night Disney cruise in February . More adults , than children .
You are right about the back up sewer smell . Where were you ? Deck 2 , inside stateroom ? Thats where we were on the Magic and we got that smell once in awhile . Sometimes, the toilet wouldn't empty , than you would hear it 1/2 an hour later . Sounded like the whole bathroom was going . :lol:
That is wild, that your ship was the rescue ship . I thought about you as I knew you were some where out in the Carribean .
Thanks for sharing your cruise with us . Looking forward to those pictures .
Oh, you didn't mention any plays unless I missed that part :unsure: I hope you got to see them especially Disney Dreams .

Tink
08-09-2009, 11:10 AM
We were on deck 5. They moved Mother to deck 2, but she escaped the smell with the move. We've never experienced that sort of offensive odor on any other ship.

I can't imagine wanting to spend 7 days on a Disney cruise! :sorry: If we cruise again, it will be with a cruise line that is meant first for adults and second for children.

We found the bathroom to be quite small too. :unsure: We ended up showering most days in the Spa bathroom which was large and had nice big fluffy towels. They had better shower heads there too, rainfall, and waterfall in the private areas, and side showers, fog showers, etc. in the area where you kept on your swimsuit.

We found the Wonder to be a bit shabby too. Broken tiles in the bathroom with puttied corners in other areas. Poor putty work too.

Deck four was the walking deck and we really enjoyed that, along with the gym. The equipment there was very good, and plentiful. There were free classes too, spinning, yoga, aerobics, etc... That was something we found useful and quite nice. :yes:

We didn't get a chance to see the shows, but then again they didn't really interest us. Those of the family that went kind of warned us off. The shows were heavily populated with poorly behaved children and the sound system was not good, so the songs/dialogue were coming out very garbled and hard to understand.

Please understand, it's not children we object to by any means! It's simply that when we cruise, we are used to adults as the main focus of the food, ship, entertainment, ect. and that isn't the case on Disney. They do a beautiful job with children and that is perfect, as it is their market. :yes:

Tinkfan
08-09-2009, 12:34 PM
At the risk of being an outcast, sometimes it's nice to be able to have an adult vacation!! Keep in mind that as the Mom and step-mom to 7, with 6 grand-children and 1 -12 year old left , the possibilities are not looking good! :sigh:!!! I'll have to live through your vacations Tink, BTW were you sea sick?

Shellyamc
08-09-2009, 01:06 PM
Welcome Home!!!!! :hug2: We missed you!


Well I guess overall it sounds like the cruise was ok..but not great. It does sound like you had a wonderful time with family, which is wonderful! I guess you have to try it at least once just to see. As for me, I think I'll stick with Disney World for now :yes:

piglet
08-09-2009, 02:15 PM
Hi Tink, welcome back. Come on be honest, did you enjoy the cruise?:yes: or :nono:

daveann
08-09-2009, 02:46 PM
glad your back :) have you stopped rocking with the movement yet :) took me a while too :)

DisneyFreak
08-09-2009, 03:30 PM
The shorter summer Disney cruises are full of families . You & Herself really need to do a seven night Disney cruise in February . More adults , than children .


I completely agree with this statement. We have gone in November and February (we are going again this January) and there are very few kids onboard, especially the 7 night cruises.

Tink, did you see any of the live shows?

Tink
08-09-2009, 04:36 PM
Did I enjoy the cruise? Welllll, not as much as others I've been on. There were parts of it that were very enjoyable. :yes:

No, we did not see any of the live theatre shows. There was a problem with the sound system, so we did not attend. We saw live shows on deck and they were quite nice. :yes:

For the money spent, we'd prefer to take a longer cruise with a different cruise line. One more focused on adults. :sorry: Should we ever want to cruise with the younger children in the family, then we'll definitely consider Disney again. :yes:

Mari
08-09-2009, 04:45 PM
Welcome back Tink!!!

I cannot believe you had to stay in an urine smelling room!!..... and Im sorry to hear the ship is not well maintained...

We had a lovely time in our honeymoon cruise, but honestly, I dont thinkI would have enjoyed it if the food was bland, the sound system didnt work properly AND my stateroom smelled like urine... that shouldnt happen!

Tinker
08-09-2009, 07:06 PM
WoW, Deck 5 ... that is surprising !!! Sorry, wasn't being nosey, just curious as we got that smell on Deck 2 . Also so sorry to hear that you would not give Disney another chance at a different time of the year . But with the price increase , we may just be trying a different cruise line ourselves .
The Disney Wonder is going to be dry docked very soon . Sounds like it needs a good repair & cleaning . Again, Thanks for sharing .
Oh and thanks for tip on the spa showers . Keep that in mind if theres a next time .

DisneyFreak
08-09-2009, 08:43 PM
Not to bring up the "you're in" room again but where was this room on Deck 5? We are going to be on Deck 5 in January in one of the secret porthole rooms. :unsure:

Tink
08-09-2009, 10:51 PM
One of the non porthole rooms. Inner cabin on the inside of the corridor. Room 5627 to be exact. :D

Slowhand
09-09-2009, 07:40 AM
One of the non porthole rooms. Inner cabin on the inside of the corridor. Room 5627 to be exact. :D
You must have been very near to the room we have had on our last two cruises Tink [5630] and we have chosen that room again for our next cruise.
Having said that, this relates to the "Magic" and not the "Wonder", the "Magic" having been in dry dock for a major refurb. the week before our last cruise and it looked as good as new.

It seems like the "Wonder" would benefit from being in dry dock eh?

Tink
09-09-2009, 12:00 PM
I think it would. :yes: It needs some amount of refurbishing. The corners in particular seem to suffer with broken tiles, and poorly applied plaster. Some of the decking around the pools is in rough shape too with heavily applied black adhesive repair "stuff."

The ship does indeed need a makeover. :yes:

Is that the side with the windows?

Slowhand
09-09-2009, 03:04 PM
I think it would. :yes: It needs some amount of refurbishing. The corners in particular seem to suffer with broken tiles, and poorly applied plaster. Some of the decking around the pools is in rough shape too with heavily applied black adhesive repair "stuff."

The ship does indeed need a makeover. :yes:

Is that the side with the windows?

We saw a film on the tv in our cabin during our last cruise which detailed exactly what was done during the refurb. of the Disney Magic.
It was truly amazing the amount of work that was completed in such a short space of time....and this included a complete overhaul of the childrens pool area with new tiling and surfaces etc....not to mention stripping off all of the paint applied to the ship`s hull below the waterline and its subsequent re-painting!

Our cabin was on the starboard side, and yes, it does have a verandah/window.
We normally opt for a cabin on deck 5 as it seems to be a lot quieter than on say deck 6 or 7 where we have been before, mainly because much of deck 5 is taken up with the kids clubs etc. and it has only a few staterooms by comparison.

Tink
09-09-2009, 06:58 PM
Yes, we did find the deck rather peaceful. On the Wonder it has the cinema too, but that was in no way a disturbance.

Hopefully, a refurbishment will bring the Wonder back up to top notch standards!

Tinker
09-09-2009, 11:30 PM
I saw that film too Slowhand . It was amazing , how they jackhammered the cement out of the Mickey Pool and refurbed it . Truly Amazing !

Tink
09-09-2009, 11:34 PM
They drained the main pool the last night of the cruise, just before dinner. They were painting the interior surface that evening. Some folks were grumbling about that wondering why they couldn't have done it "later."

Can't keep everyone happy, eh? :sigh: (The paint did have a horrid strong smell though). :eek: