Jennifer and Dave's Disney Adventure Report

Dates: 10/18 - 10/27, 1999 (10 day trip)


  • Jennifer Watson (author): 31 year old, writer and co-author of PassPorter Walt Disney World, on her umpteenth trip to Disney (from Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Dave Marx: 44 year old, writer and co-author of PassPorter Walt Disney World, on his 10th (or is it 11th?) trip to Disney (from Hackensack, NJ and Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Kim Larner: 28 year old, Jennifer's younger sister, pregnant (in her fourth month). On her third trip to Walt Disney World but brand new to the Disney Cruise (from Okemos, Michigan). She is joined us for the cruise aboard the Disney Wonder.
  • Chad Larner, 28 year old, Jennifer's brother-in-law. Also on his third trip to Walt Disney World. (from Okemos, Michigan) He is also joined us on the cruise.
Updated 11/21/03

Copyright 1999-2006
PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Questions? Problems? E-Mail Us!

  Our Fourth Day: Thursday, October 21, 1999

We learned that our baggage had to be ready for bell services by 8:00 am today. As you may recall, this is the first day of our cruise and our luggage is transported from our hotel room directly to our cruise room. Bell services arrived at 8:05 and Jennifer wasn't quite ready for them as she'd just gotten out of the shower. But she moved quickly and everything was taken care of.

From 8-11, we worked on the computer, answering e-mail, updating our Web site, and sending out books and materials requested by the media. Soon it was time to head downstairs to board the bus to Port Canaveral. Everyone met in the Belle Vue Lounge then headed out to the bus stop to get in one of those cool Disney Cruise Line buses. The bus was comfy with lots of leg room. Overhead monitors gave us information on the cruise during the 1 hour and 15 minute trip to Port Canaveral.

At the Disney Cruise Line terminal, we quickly checked in and boarded the boat. Wow! It was gorgeous, with natural wood, tile, and gleaming chrome everywhere. We were met onboard by a crew member, who announced our names and location ("Welcome aboard, Jennifer and Dave from Michigan!") and took a picture. Another crew member then escorted us to the elevators, where we made our way to our staterooms on our own.

We had stateroom 1044, which is an deluxe outside stateroom. Our room had a split bath (sink and toilet in one room, sink and tub/shower in the other), a double bed, a convertible couch (single) and a pull-down berth (single). We also had two small portholes (no verandah). We took lots of pictures (which we're in the process of developing). When we arrived, a copy of the Personal Navigator, "tickets" for our evening meals and shows, and a letter from American Express were sitting on the coffee table.

The Personal Navigator is a list of daily activities and times. Ours was an 11" x 17" sheet of paper, folded in half. This is where you can find out what's going on, what time it is, and where to find it. Don't overlook it! Unfortunately, they only give one copy per stateroom, but you can pick up extra copies at Guest Servies on Deck 3 - Midship. Our copies of the Personal Navigator (we received a new edition for each of the three days of the cruise) included these items:

  • Top of first page: Date and port arrival and departure times.
  • Main text on first page: Dining options, locations, and times. This is where you to look for locations and times for breakfast, lunches, and snacks.
  • Right side of first page: Reminders and services of note, such as Shore Excursions, Oceaneer Club & Lab, the mandatory boat drill,
  • Left, inside page: Activites and entertainment for the morning and afternoon
  • Right, inside page: Activities and entertainment for the evening.
  • Bottom, inside pages: "Ads" for various activities and services.
  • Top of last page: Hours and locations of bars and lounges (and the special drink of the day)
  • Bottom of last page: "Ads" for the Vista Spa and for shopping opportunities.

The "tickets" you receive for your meals and shows aren't really tickets. You do not need these to eat dinner or watch shows. The only information you need is your table number, which you can get off the ticket. Your table number is also printed on your Key to the World room/charge card. The only real significant information the tickets can give you is what restaurant/show you're seeing on which nights. If you're planning to eat at Palo, you'll want to check your restaurant assignments before you attempt to make reservations. Our tickets were as follows:

  • First Day: Triton's (late seating) and Hercules the Muse-ical
  • Second Day: Animator's Palette (late seating) and Voyage of the Ghost Ship
  • Third Day: Parrot Cay (late seating) and Disney Dreams

We also received a letter from American Express because we used it to pay for our cruise. The letter informed us that we were being given the opportunity to tour the bridge on a first-come, first-serve basis. Instructions were given on how to sign up (go to Guest Services). Additionally, the letter promised that we could enjoy priority seating at Palo's (but we still had to make reservations on our own) and that we would get a 10% discount on rental of non-motorized boats at Castaway Cay.

Once we'd received our luggage (which arrived within an hour), we went our seperate ways. Jennifer and Dave went to make reservations for Palo's at StudioSea (we mistakenly went to Palo's first, only to be informed the reservations were being taken at StudioSea. Ugh!). We arrived at about 2:15 and got in line (which was very short). Making a reservation was easy and we had our choice of days and times. We elected to eat in Palo on the night we would have normally dined at Parrot Cay (our third day). We chose a 6:30 pm time rather than our usual 8:30 pm late seating because we heard that was the best time to see the sunset at this time of the year. We were told that we'd have no problem seeing the later show rather than the earlier show on this night, but we were advised to arrive early for it.

Once the Palo reservations were set, we joined Kim and Chad for the lunch buffet at Beach Blanket Buffet (open 12:15-3:30 pm). The food service was simple: you walk in, take a tray from the crew member (or pick one up from the stack), take a plate, fill up your plate, and find a place to eat. Beach Blanket Buffet has both indoor and outdoor seating.

After lunch, Jennifer toured the Vista Spa. The tour was well worth the time spent and even included some upclose and personal peeks at actual spa treatments (on crew members). To read more about the Spa and Jennifer's experiences, check out our Vista Spa Review page.

The mandatory 4:00 safety drill took place (your life jackets are in your stateroom and directions to your meeting point are on the back of your stateroom door -- read them!). The drill took about 20 minutes and was not difficult (unless you count having to wear the uncomfortable life jackets).

Soon enough iit was time to change and get ready for the show (Hercules The Muse-ical). The show was good, with a surprise ending. We arrived late so we couldn't get prime seats, but we were able to get decent ones. The show was about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Dinner at Triton's was enjoyable. The four of us sat at a small table together rather than having to share a larger table with others (which we appreciated). The menu offered plenty of choices in appetizers, entrees, and desserts. It was nice to be able to choose whatever we wanted without having to worry about cost. The service was ok, though not as attentive or as prompt as we'd have liked. We have more thoughts on the service and the crew members in general, which we'll get to later.

After dinner, we all split up. Jennifer walked every deck and peered in every bathroom (they have very cool bathrooms—each stall is in a seperate little room). Dave went to see Mystery Alaska (the movie) in the Buena Vista Theater. Kim went back to the room to nap. Chad also went to the movie. We all turned in early this evening, as it had been a very long day!

From our PassPorter:

The weather on our fourth day was rainy and windy.

The best thing about our fourth day was seeing the Disney Wonder for the first time.

The worst thing about our fourth day was the weather, which was even worse once we were on deck where there were no walls or ceilings.

The most interesting thing about our fourth day was exploring a new place created by Disney, discovering the little details that Disney does so well.

The most frustrating thing about our fourth day was not knowing what we should do once we got aboard (it was confusing).

One word that best describes our fourth day is ABOARD.

To learn more, continue on to our Fifth Day.

Explore Some More


Search the entire site


Home to the top page


Or jump back to the...