So...we're on the ship - finally. The embarkation process was not
nearly as efficient as we are used to!
We left our house about 9:15 - we were at the port by 11:20. Lee
left me and the bags and returned the car - it was close enough that
he actually walked back from the car rental agency instead of
waiting for the shuttle! The one-way car rental worked out really
well for us.
We checked our bags and then went through security - all of that was
quite efficient. As Castaway Club members they sent us over to the
left side once we got inside - long line. And not moving very much.
Turns out there were "technical difficulties" with their computer
system - the line would move ok a little bit and then completely
stop for 5 minutes. They got on over the loudspeaker several times
to thank us for our patience and explain that they were having
technical difficulties, and then announced they were rebooting the
system. Got a big cheer when the line started moving again. (And
I started writing this blog while waiting!)
So...an hour and a half after we got in line we were *finally* able
to check in and board the ship. Yikes. For the most part everyone
in line was being quite patient, and the cast members checking us in
were very apologetic. But still - not at all what we were
expecting, and not a very pleasant boarding process.
Of course since everyone was in line, it meant there weren't a whole
lot of people trying to board the ship all at once - the Atrium was
very uncrowded except for the crew members!
We met our friend Amy in the Atrium and went to Parrot Cay for
lunch. That really wasn't crowded at all - lots of empty tables.
The usual offerings - salad bar, sandwiches, hot entrees, peel and
eat shrimp, a big selection of breads, soup, and a nice dessert
bar. I always enjoy seeing the various food and ice carvings on the
buffet - I thought these "anthuriums" were very pretty!
And this nice ice fish near the shrimp.
They didn't let people into their rooms until 2:00, which was very
late, but by the time we finished lunch it was after that we went to
our stateroom. Gee, it looks amazingly like the one we had on the
Magic last May. :-) Though the bedspread is different.
We wandered around and explored the ship a little bit. Not
surprisingly it's very much like its sister ship, the Disney
Magic. :-) Though the "Adult" area is themed quite differently -
it's Route 66 instead of Beat Street. I thought they should've
changed this sign when they moved the Disney Wonder from Florida to
L.A., though - it's not 2051 miles to Disneyland from here. :-)
The ship I've been on most recently is the Dream, and I keep expecting
to see Enchanted Art on the walls. And everything seems a little bit small,
It's really a beautiful day in L.A. today - sunny and warm - in the
high 70's if not 80s. And we better enjoy it now, because it just gets
colder and colder from here! We're supposed to have sunshine but low
60s in San Francisco, but looks like rain/showers and highs in the 50s
as we go further north.
We did the lifeboat drill at 4:00 - our lifeboat station is actually
in Animator's Palate, so it was very nice to be able to sit down
inside rather than stand outside in the hot sun. They no longer
make you bring your life jackets to the lifeboat drill - that was
also the case when I sailed on the Dream in January, but the last
time Lee sailed almost a year ago we still had to bring the jackets
with us. It was pretty quick and easy.
(For those of you who know me, you can see that yes, Tigger came on
this cruise with us - you'll probably be seeing more of him in
photos in the coming days.)
The Captain announced that our port departure has been delayed until
6:00 (instead of 5:00) but the Sailaway Party still started at 4:30. But at
the end we didn't sail! I didn't get up to the Sailaway Party until just before
5:00 - and it had just ended. :-) Found Deb and Linda and Jeanine and
some of the rest of our AllEars group, though.
Lee and I went up on deck at about 6:00 for the real sailaway - we
pulled away from the dock at 6:05. We saw some sea lions on our way
out - one of them was swimming near the ship (I didn't get a photo
of that one), but there were quite a few other opportunistic sea
lions that were swimming just under a fish market - waiting for
anything that might be thrown their way!
One of the changes that has been made to the Wonder to accommodate
the colder weather in Alaska was enclosing the Outlook Bar. It's
now called the Outlook Cafe, and has a stairway that connects it
with the Cove Cave below. It looks like quite a nice area to hang
Our cabin steward is Angelina - she introduced herself when she saw
us in the hallway. I'm not sure what this first night's towel
animal is, though - maybe just the head and front flippers of a sea
lion? Which would be very appropriate, since we saw some of them
Dinner tonight was at Parrot Cay. There's 11 of us at our table,
and we had a great time tonight. I can't say that I had any real
standout dishes for dinner, but Lee really enjoyed his Mixed
Grill - steak, lamb chop, sausage and shrimp.
Day at sea tomorrow - and we can even sleep in if we want to!
The previous post in this blog was Pacific Northwest and Alaska Cruise - Today's the Day!.
The next post in this blog is Pacific Northwest and Alaska Cruise - Day 2 - At Sea.