Jason's Untimely Thoughts

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Tripping Disneys

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The kids & I took vacation last week, spending 4 nights on the Disney Wonder cruise ship, then joining Bill & Nancy at Disney World for the next 3 nights. Pictures of the whole thing are here. When thinking about planning the trip, I received excellent advice which I then ignored, which I now pass on as my own excellent advice. If thinking about this trip, just do the cruise, skip the Disney parks. If anything, just do a day at the Magic Kingdom and call it done. That’ll satisfy everyone’s need to say they went to Disney World, while also proving to yourself that just doing the cruise was the correct decision.

It wasn’t that Disney World was bad, at all, it was just that it was one of their busiest weeks of the year. So every line was longer, every bus was more crowded, every restaurant was booked. Contrast with no lines, no walking, and food literally anytime you wanted it on the cruise, again, an easy decision.

We went to St. Louis on Saturday night, then flew out of STL at 7:00 Sunday morning. We landed at 10:30 or so, then went directly to the ship. That worked out perfectly, as we were on the boat for about 3 hours before we departed, which meant a full day of swimming, seeing, etc., while most everyone else was staggering aboard.

After leaving, the ship stopped at Nassau, The Bahamas, and at Castaway Cay, Disney’s island, each for a day. In both cases we spent a couple of hours on the beach, the rest of the time on the boat. The kids both loved the beach at Nassau (actually went to Paradise Island) because of the waves crashing in. Was more stressful for me there, though, as waves crashing in sometimes meant Jack knocked off his feet rushing back out with the wave. Castaway Cay beach was fully protected by an (artificial) reef, so super calm waters. The highlight there was a Sting Ray swimming up to about 10 feet away from Jack & me.

The rest of our time on the boat was filled with movies (G-Force 3D, Alice In Wonderland 3D, and The Last Song), swimming, live entertainment (3 Disney-themed musical shows, each of which were very good), and eating. For those (many, many, many) wondering what The Last Song is, it’s Miley Cyrus’ latest film. It’s very much worth pointing out The Last Song isn’t in reference to a concert or anything, but more about her character’s songwriter father’s final song. Hey, Miley’s dad died, what an awesome movie! Ugh. Adelaide did get to see it before almost everyone in the world, since we watched it at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on it’s opening day, so there was that at least.

The cruise’s success might best be summed up by Jack, who said something like the following, about 23 hours after being on board. “You know, when we watch TV, we really should think about watching Disney. We always watch Nick. But we should watch Disney.” And that he fell asleep every night either before or during dinner. Mouse, mission accomplished.

On Thursday morning we ate an early breakfast on board, then headed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to meet Nancy & Bill. It was a very nice hotel, indeed did see giraffes and other animals outside our room. Only complaint would be the inability to get into any restaurant there, which held true pretty much everywhere.

Thursday afternoon was spent at the Animal Kingdom, with the favorite rides being the Safari and the River Rapids. We ate dinner at EPCOT (fish & chips), then went to the Magic Kingdom on Friday. Favorites there were Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and the race car Speedway. Saturday we went to Hollywood Studios where Star Tours (Star Wars ride) and the Indiana Jones Stunt show were the best things we did. In all of them, though, we missed many rides simply because of the crowds and the wait times.

Sunday we had Easter breakfast with Bill & Nancy, then flew back. Arriving back to Columbia sooner than expected, we also were able to have Easter dinner with Mike & Sarah Messer and others. All in all, a great week, but a boring blog post.

Doesn’t fit anywhere else, but should also point out that Adelaide was bummed we didn’t have a porthole in our cabin on the ship. Our private veranda wasn’t impressive at all, as “you can have one of those anywhere, like a hotel.” So keep that in mind when booking.

Written by Jason Becking

April 7th, 2010 at 10:21 am

Posted in Mindless Ramblings

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