First let me start with a little background on the cruise. Our cruise was from Sunday, October 18, 2015 to Friday, October 23, 2015. It left from San Diego, CA on the Disney Wonder cruise ship. Our itinerary was :
10/18/15 : Day 1 : leave San Diego, CA
10/19/15 : Day 2 : Ensenada, Mexico
10/20/15 : Day 3 : at sea
10/21/15 : Day 4 : Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
10/22/15 : Day 5 : at sea
10/23/15 : Day 6 : return to San Diego, CA
Honestly this was the perfect cruise for us. It was 6 days and 5 nights and it left from very close to our house. In fact, we drove about an hour and a half south to San Diego, parked at a Park n Fly lot, left our car, and took a shuttle to the cruise ship terminal. It was super convenient and part of the reason that we chose this cruise. One of the other reasons? It was an AMAZING deal. My sister in law's friend from high school is a travel agent for Disney and shared with her that there was this new cruise (it was only running for 3 weeks!) leaving from San Diego in the month of October in 2015 that was called Halloween on the High Seas. Not only did we go on a cruise, but we got to celebrate Halloween with Mickey! They were also running a special at that time for the first however many people to sign up by whatever date and so we jumped on it. Our cruise was booked back in 2014 probably around May - yes about a year and a half in advance!
Enough details... let's get to the good stuff! The cruise was scheduled to leave at 4pm from the cruise terminal in San Diego. Our check in time was 3pm (because I procrastinated and checked in like 3 days before the cruise) but we wanted to leave in plenty of time just in case we hit traffic. So we did some last minute packing, grabbed some lunch, and hit the road around 12:30pm. We made good time and arrived at the parking lot around 2pm-ish. They had a shuttle ready and waiting and it took us over to the cruise terminal down the street where we officially checked in for our cruise and were given our "key to the world" cards. These cards were EVERYTHING for you on the cruise so you were supposed to protect them with your life. Basically Mason's card was just a key to the room and a form of ID when getting on and off the ship but Seth's and mine were able to charge things to the room. So if we bought something in the gift shop or bought a drink at dinner or at the bar by the pool, we just show them our room key and we could charge it to the room and pay for it at the end. Amazing invention but a major problem if you lost it and someone else found it.
So after we did all that, we got to get on the ship. And OH MY GOODNESS was it gorgeous!!! I kicked myself for not taking pictures of the outside of the ship before we got on, but I later fixed that (they're coming!). The outside and the inside were amazing and I was SO SO excited that it was finally cruise time!
Our first stop was to our room to put some of our stuff down. The room was a little smaller than I imagined (as was the bathroom and shower - eek!) but it was totally fine for what we needed to use it for. There were some Disney touches but it wasn't over the top, which I was actually kind of surprised about. You'd think being on a Disney cruise, Mickey would be EVERYWHERE, but he wasn't.
bathroom toilet & sink area // bathroom shower & sink area // view of the room
the bed // closer view of the room : couch, desk, TV area, and window
After exploring a bit, we texted our family members to see where they were so we could meet up. They were all heading up to the top deck for the sail away party so we made our way upstairs to meet them. Once upstairs, we realized we still had a little while until the party was going to start so we did the thing that anyone on a cruise would do - we ate! More specifically we hit up the FROZEN YOGURT MACHINE. You guys. This was quite possibly one of my favorite parts of the cruise. Frozen yogurt whenever you want! (It also might be part of the reason for the weight gain too - but it was worth it!).
After we ate our weight in frozen yogurt, we made our way over to where the party was going to be and we connected to the wifi that the cruise ship provided and connected to the Disney Cruise app (wifi was only free for the Disney Cruise app, if you wanted to "connect to the outside world", you had to pay). The Disney Cruise app allowed you to "text" your friends and family while onboard without getting charged crazy roaming charges on your cell phone. In order for it to work, you had to turn your phone on airplane mode, connect to the wifi, and then open the app. Once you logged in, you could see your personal ID code that you could share with people so they could text you. So we all exchanged codes so we could text later and we waited for the sail away party to start.
the best part were these AWESOME Mickey (and other character) emojis!
Once the party started, everyone went CRAZY. I was SO SO excited but once the music started, Mason started having a blast as well. He was a dancing machine and was dancing all over and laughing and screaming and was so excited!
After the party was over, we went back to the room to change (guys weren't allowed to wear shorts to dinner, so the guys changed into jeans) and get ready for dinner. Our dinner was the first seating and it started at 5:45pm.
The first night we ate at a restaurant called Triton's. It had this GORGEOUS mosaic tile mural of The Little Mermaid on the wall as you entered.
This was just MY dinner and dessert. Our waiter was AMAZING but said his goal was for each of us to gain 10 lbs. Mission almost accomplished! We each ordered an appetizer, a salad/soup, an entree AND a dessert (or two or three). On this night, Seth wanted the lamb and my brother in law wanted the steak and they were going to share but our waiter brought them EACH ONE OF EACH. Needless to say, nobody left dinner hungry.
Mason and the other kids each got to choose off the kids menu. On this night Mason started his meal with a salad (where he ate the cucumbers and tomatoes off it) and then had a corn dog, fries, and broccoli. The FIRST thing he reached for and ate was the broccoli and I was one proud mama. After dinner, the kids got to choose a dessert from the kids menu and they all chose Mickey ice cream bars.
After dinner, we went outside to get some fresh air and I walked up to this - Mason, my brother in law and my niece all sitting on the deck chairs. I just LOVE how Mason is copying Uncle Shawn's pose.
We also explored the ship a little and went to the main lobby to see the Halloween tree.
There was a show every night and since we had the first dinner seating, it meant we had the later show time at 8:30pm. (The other half of the ship had the reverse and their show started at 6pm and their dinner was at 8:15pm.) I was worried that Mason would have a meltdown since 8pm is usually his bed time but we decided to chance it since, hey, we were on vacation, but he did SO GOOD (every night in fact!). The first night's show was more of a musical to welcome us. Seth and I thought it was ok but Mason LOVED it. He'd scream with excitement and put his hands out (like in the picture above when he's on Seth's shoulders) and stayed awake and calmly sat in his seat the whole show. We were impressed. However, after the show, it was now 9:30pm and WAY passed his bedtime.
We headed back to the room after the show and were greeted by this little guy - our towel elephant.
Our room steward had turned down our bed for us, made us a towel animal, left us some chocolate and left us our "personal navigator". The personal navigator was something that they left in the room each night to let us know what was going on on the ship the next day. Below is an example of the one that was waiting for us when we got to the ship, but they all had a similar layout each day and provided information on the happenings on the ship, the weather where we were going, etc.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have about the cruise or anything you can think of. I'm pretty sure I'm going to do a "cruise questions answered" type of post after the whole trip has been shared to get in to more details so this post doesn't get ridiculously long. I'm definitely no expert cruiser or anything, but I'd be happy to answer any questions that anyone has to the best of my ability and get into more details about cruise booking, using a travel agent, etc.
Stay tuned for Days 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 coming soon!