Tag: Disney Wonder

My first trip (continued)

In my last post I mentioned how something deep inside me was triggered during that first two cruises on a Disney Cruise Line ship.

This post is aimed at just telling you a bit more about that first overseas vacation I had, and how the Disney effect took a hold of me even more.

After completing the two back-to-back cruises on the Disney Wonder, I spent a weekend with my cousin and his partner in New York, and then spent about another week in Orlando visiting all the Disney theme parks, Universal Studios and the Kennedy Space Centre.

During my time at each Disney park, that little thing that was triggered inside me was just strengthened time after time.  That “magic” that has been awoken inside me started to grow.  Everywhere you went, whether on the ship or in the parks, the crew/cast/staff members were always friendly, always going the extra mile, and always acting in a professional manner.

There were always those little things to look out for which made it Disney.  Those things that go unnoticed to the pre-occupied, the non-observant or someone with little attention to detail.  But, if you train your eye, and concentrate, everywhere you go there is something to remind you of where you were.

I still didn’t realise, after visiting each Disney park, and after spending a week on the ship, that something inside of me has changed.  Something that would only be fully awakened several years later.

My first overseas trip and first hand Disney experience

In 2010 my cousin signed me up as his guest to come sail with him on the Disney Wonder.

It was long overdue, as my cousin had asked me to come visit for years and years, but finally we were able to make it happen.

 

Flying there, I had a long stop-over in Washington DC, where I got to see the White House, Capitol Building, and some other attractions in the area.  This was at a price though – it was my first time overseas, and being the typical naive tourist, I was ripped off by the driver who took me from the airport into town and back, charging me $100 for the round trip.  My cousin and I still laugh about this today, but at the time, it was not so funny, as $100 was a lot of my spending money for the trip, and this was on the first day I was in the States!

The two pictures above made it worth paying that $100!

I flew out that evening to Orlando.  Shortly after lift off the plane had to turn around and land again at Washington for a guy who had a medical emergency on the plane.  That delayed our flight tremendously, and I eventually arrived after midnight in Orlando, where my cousin’s partner picked me up.

After a short night’s rest, I was taken to Port Canaveral the next day, where I first laid eyes on the Disney Wonder.  That amazing feeling when you drive over the Banana river, and see the ship in the distance for the first time is still imprinted in my memory as if it was yesterday.

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The picture above is a scale model of the ship, inside the Disney Cruise Terminal.  This was actually taken when I disembarked and embarked again for the second cruise.

The moment you step into the Disney Cruise Terminal, you can feel the magic in the air, and it is just amplified moment after moment as you make your way through and embark on the ship.  Once you set foot on that magic vessel, one can not help but feel overwhelmed!

I remember going to my cabin, to store my luggage, and sheepishly asking whether I should take my camera out with me as we head up to the decks.  DUH! You are on a Disney Ship!  As soon as I asked the question I was quickly reminded that it would be strongly advised to have my camera ready.  (Those were the days before I had a smart phone with a decent camera, so I carried my small digital camera with me).

No sooner had we arrived on the upper Deck, when we encountered Goofy and Pluto!  As not many guests had embarked yet, it was very quiet, and I got a great opportunity to have my picture taken with Goofy and Pluto.   Pluto happens to be my favorite Disney Character.

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In the picture above, my cousin, Cruise Director at the time, Pluto, Goofy and myself.

So I was on the Disney Wonder for two cruises back to back, a 3 day and 4 day cruise respectively.  Every moment was magical, the food was out of this world, the entertainment fantastic, the ports of call a whole new world, and the crew were the one friendlier than the other.

It was during these cruises that I experienced the magic and the customer service that Disney is renowned for, for the first time.  Something during my time on the ship had awoken a feeling inside of me.  It was only several years later that I truly understood what that feeling was…