Friday, February 1, 2019

Another Wonderful Cruise

Older fans of this blog will remember when I was on the Wonder in 2018.  I was on the Wonder again last week, and it was another amazing trip.  Lucky for you, I didn't forget to take photos!  I took a lot more pictures than last year, including photos of random things only I would notice.  Enjoy!
My whole family thought that the newest version of the app was a big improvement on the ship compared to the older one.  You could mark activities as your favorites, and it would send a notification reminder fifteen minutes before it started.  These notifications told you where and when the event started, in case you forget.  Dinners are set to favorite by default, which was extremely helpful for my family and I.

Okay, enough about the app.  Let's start at the beginning of the trip.  Like the last cruise, the ship left from San Juan, Puerto Rico.  It was nice to see that the people there have been recovering from the hurricanes, and tourism really benefits them.  
The Wonder was in the same terminal as last year, but the boarding structure was fixed and functional again.  Last year, we had to board the ship from the ground.  
This is a photo of a forklift lifting something off the pier and into the Wonder, taken right before we got on the ship.

When we first arrived, we were greeted by the cheerful cast members and the pretty red atrium chandelier.

If you were to try to recreate this photo on the Magic, you might get a little soaked.  The Magic's forward funnel is home to the AquaDunk slide.  This picture is one of my favorites, so I tried editing it.

This is the result.  It's amazing what you can do with a basic mobile editing software!  Here are more photos of the funnels.

I have no idea what this tall white thing is called, but it does look pretty cool in a picture.
This pool is the crew pool, and this is the only time I've ever seen people in it.
So does this mean I should call the police?

Never mind.
Before we left San Juan, I saw this small pilot boat next to the ship.  A pilot comes onto the Wonder to help get it out of port, and the pilot boat follows.  After the ship is out of the port, the pilot boat picks up the pilot.  The pilot uses a ladder to get back on the pilot boat.  This is the same for going into port.  The pilot is dropped off on the cruise ship, pilot boat follows, ship arrives in port, pilot leaves.  A while back, the Dream collided with a pier, and this was probably a pilot's fault.
This is El Morro. It is an old fort in San Juan.
This picture almost looks fake, but it's real, I promise.  This is the amazing sunset as the ship was leaving San Juan.
This directory drove me crazy.  Something's not right.  Since when did Pinocchio have a pool?  It's Pinocchio's Pizzeria, not Pinocchio's Pool!  This is updated from the dry dock, since it has the newer names of locations around the ship.  Also, the map at the top says Pinocchio's Pizzeria!  Like I said earlier, this is something only I notice.  Most people probably don't care.

Another thing I noticed were the locations on the stateroom phones.  The phone says Vista Spa on it, but the Vista Spa no longer exists.  It was turned into the Senses Spa during the 2016 dry dock.  I understand why it has outdated places on it, why replace hundreds of phones just because of a few words?  It would be a waste of time and money.
I also noticed something on the final night's dessert menu.  The background shows a map of the Bahamas and other islands, but I noticed a special one.  If you look right under where the menu says esserts, you can see Eleuthera Island.  Disney is in the process of purchasing part of Eleuthera as a second island.  Does this dessert menu confirm it?  Looking back, I totally should've ordered an island for dessert that night.

While I'm talking about dessert, this chocolate lava cake was delicious.

Here are some photos from Tiana's Place, the great restaurant with live music.

Here are some photos of Triton's, the least exciting restaurant, in my opinion.
Triton's is themed after The Little Mermaid, so it's fitting that the lights are Sebastian the crab.
Behind the fancy doors into Triton's, there are big metal doors.  They block your view into the restaurant because Disney doesn't want people finding out how they clean the restaurants so fast.  Finally, here are some from my favorite main restaurant on board, Animator's Palate.

I realized that I didn't get many from inside the restaurants, but I have a reasonable excuse:  I was hungry, and food is way more important than photos.

 Elevators make me happy, they really lift my spirits.
I don't usually do this, but I went to the bars on this cruise.  These lights are my favorite part of the whole After Hours area.
 The top photo is the original, the bottom one is edited.  The edited one is definitely my favorite picture from the whole trip.
This telephone booth is outside of the Crown & Fin Pub.  There are stickers inside with the British flag, Disney Cruise Line logo, Crown & Fin logo, and the Wonder's logo.
Back on the pool deck, there's a strange shop, Quacks.  Quacks is a big column that is in two sections.  It slides open and sells pool essentials, like sunscreen.  Throughout previous cruises on the Dream and Fantasy, it was open.  However, on this cruise, it was always closed.  My only guess for this is because it wasn't making much money when it was open on other cruises.  It must have been pointless keeping a shop attendant in Quacks all day, when barely anyone bought anything.  I'm assuming that Quacks will be taken out during the next dry dock.

The funniest thing I found in the shops onboard had to be these Infinity Mugs.

Have you ever been out by the pools at 11:00 at night?  You might see this!  Since the pools are always busy during the day, night is the only time to clean the deck.

This is an edited photo of the Twist 'n' spout slide at sunset.  

These are my attempts of getting pictures of the AquaLab at night.
That's one snazzy duck.
This is the handwashing station at Cabanas.  This is only on the Wonder, the other ships just have a server passing out sanitizing wipes.  These sinks aren't nearly as efficient as hand wipes.  During busy times, long lines often build up.  I don't mind the line, because Cabanas is a buffet where people use public utensils to pick up food.  I wouldn't want to touch something after someone with really dirty hands touched it.
Somehow, I didn't notice this cool plaque near the Quiet Cove last year.

In addition to my ship pictures, I took some cool pictures of the ports we visited.

St. Kitts is a cool place.  We went on a kayaking excursion, and surprisingly, I didn't make the kayak flip over!

Curacao was also very exciting.  Willemstad, the city where we docked, has many colorful buildings.  It was only a few minutes away from the ship, and I highly recommend walking around the town.
In Aruba, we docked farther from Oranjestad, the town, than last year.  To get to Oranjestad easier, there was a free Aru-bus (say it out loud) to and from the town.  My family and I went to Eagle Beach, a beautiful beach that isn't far from the ship.
 The ship docked between a sandbar and the island.  On that sandbar, there is a bush.  Since it constantly gets soaked from the seawater, it would be hard for a plant to survive.  We asked some locals, and they said it's real!  They said it is very old, from when the island used to go that far out into the ocean.  The sand washed away, but that plant somehow survived.  If that one survived, why didn't others?

 I love Caribbean islands, the mountains on them are really pretty.

Back in San Juan, these are my final photos of the ship before we left.  I hope you liked my photos as much as I liked taking them.  My next cruise will be a Star Wars Day at Sea cruise on the Fantasy next January, and I'm so excited for it.  It's a bigger ship, and that means more pictures!