Tuesday, January 22, 2013
A little about how this all started
First some history on how myself and Fiance, Bekki, were able to go on a Disney cruise.
My Fiance is a HUGE Disney fan. She played a Disney Cruise Line sweepstakes game from Disney Cruise Line. Well after playing for a few months and her son, Ian, saying to her: "why are you playing that? you will never win" she checked her email on the day that the sweepstakes rules said that they would be notifying the winner This was in October 2012. She knew what the email would be like cause she had contact with a previous winner of a Disney Cruise whom Bekki met on the Disney Cruise Line Disboards. I remember Bekki texting me "I won the Disney cruise!". I texted her back "yeah right!". Well i was wrong and she had won it! The game consisted of finding hidden perks on the ship. Bekki won all the available perks! I will go into these later. We were sooooo excited! I have never been on a crusie before. Bekki had been on a Disney cruise about 13 years ago.
The trip was for 4 people on the Disney Wonder. Bekki knew she was going to take her two kids, Ian 15, Brittany 13, but I had to convince her to take me. Just kidding. She knew all four of us were going. It was all expenses paid, including airfare from Boston to Miami, where the Cruise ship is docked. Disney booked our round trip flights. Originally they booked us coming back with a layover, and we would not have gotten back to Boston until 10pm. A few days after notifying us of our flights, the lady from Disney Cruise who was taking care of all our plans, called Bekki back and said she found a better flight from Miami to Boston, no stops, and we would be arriving in Boston a little after 5pm. We thought that this was so nice of her. I thought since Bekki won the cruise that the Disney travel agent would not give us the time of day, but she treated us like we had paid for the trip. Well i was soooo wrong! The travel agent was always communicating with Bekki through emails and phone calls.
Jump to January 14th 2013 Day 1
We were scheduled to fly out of Boston on American Airlines at 8am. Due to a small mechanical malfunction with the oxygen flow, i believe this is what the captain had said, we were delayed 45 minutes. This was the first time that I have been delayed, and it figures its when I am most excited and anxious to get on the cruise. The captain made good time and we arrived in Miami airport only an 1/2 hour late. No biggie. We knew that we had transportation provided by Disney Cruise Line. We went and got our bags and met up with on of the cast members(this is what Disney calls their employees) and she walked us to the Disney bus that would be taking us to the port.
Waiting for the Disney bus at Miami Airport
Since Disney Cruise Line only started to cruise out of the Port of Miami since December of 2012, there usual home port is Port Canaveral, they did not have the usual Disney Cruise Line bus that has portholes for windows. :-( Oh well!
It was only a 15 minute ride from Miami Airport to the Port of Miami, when we started to see this:
Whahoo! We are finally here! We arrived at the port around 1pm. We got off the bus and headed to the Disney Cruise Line terminal. We headed to the main desks and was checked in, pictures taken and handed our Key to the World Cards(KTTWC), which had our names, dining rotation,(some more info on this later) and table number. These cards are your charge cards on the ship, stateroom key, for adults 18 and older along with your state issued ID or Passport your ID going off and on the ship during ports of call. Under 18 they only need the KTTWC for the kids ID. We headed to the gangway to board the ship when we walked past one of the MANY cool touches that Disney has adorned the outside and inside of the ships.
It was almost 1:30pm when we arrived at the location before boarding the ship where everyone gets their family picture taken. This is ours:
We arrive to enter the ships lobby(deck 3), when a cast member asked Bekki our families name. Bekki says "Herrman/Hammar" and the cast member announces our name over the ships PA system. This is something Disney Cruise Line does on all of their ships when families board. Our ship can have over 2,000 cruisers on board, not including the over 1,000 cast members. So i can only imagine how horse the cast members voice can get after all those family announcments.
The first thing that hits you when you first board is how stunning the lobby is.
The chandelier that is hanging in the lobby is, in my humble opinion, quite stunning. It is not made of glass but of plastic designed to look like glass.
When we received our KTTWC they informed us that our stateroom will be ready at 2:00pm. Since that was almost an 1/2 hour before then we decided to hit one of the buffet lunches at Parrot Cay, or Beach Blanket Buffet(BBB). We chose BBB and had lunch not in the dining room but on the adjacent deck. The Buffet was good, we all had a little of everything. The desserts were really good. The view was really nice from the deck, even though it was of Miami. Since we do not leave the port until 5pm we were still docked.
Some pictures of Miami from the Deck of BBB.
It was about 2pm and we had finished our lunch so we decided to head to our stateroom. Along the way i decided to take some random pictures: