On our last full day onboard the Disney Wonder, I woke up just after 8:00am which was late compared to most other days onboard. The first thing that was immediately obvious was that the ship was rolling from side to side so we knew that we had encountered the bad weather that had been forecast the day before. We went out onto our verandah expecting the worst but apart from the sea looking a little choppy, it did not look bad at all – in fact it looked a really nice morning with patches of blue sky. We were in reality about to sail into a massive cold front that stretched across the Gulf of Mexico on our way back to Galveston.
The first thing we wanted to do was to watch Storytime with Mrs Claus which was due to start at 9:30am in the lobby atrium. The ship was still rocking so for the first time ever on a cruise, I had to hold one of the hand rails and steady myself whilst walking along the corridor near our stateroom. On our walk downstairs we barely saw anyone and once we arrived in the lobby atrium there was only a handful of people there. We had wanted to watch Storytime with Mrs Claus again because the first time we tried to watch it a few evenings beforehand, it was so noisy that we had had trouble hearing anything. We really did not have that worry this time – even when Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto and Chip and Dale appeared, you could get as many photos with them as you wanted as there was so few people to be seen anywhere.
Our next stop of the day was a very quiet Cabanas for breakfast. It might sound strange to want to eat breakfast if the movement of the ship is bad, but I actually always feel better with some food in my stomach. My boyfriend agreed as even though he said he did not want to eat much, he said he felt better after having breakfast. It was a very strange atmosphere during breakfast as so many people were moaning and complaining to the crew about the motion of the ship and feeling ill but there’s nothing that could be done. It’s just one of the risks you have to take and accept when booking a cruise during the winter months of the year.
We both wanted some fresh air so we made our way down to Deck 4 to walk a few laps. The weather was already a lot worse than it had been when we had woken up that morning. It was very windy and the sea was starting to get very rough which meant there was a lot of spray blowing across the deck. It felt bizarre to think that the day before we had been walking around the ship wearing shorts and t-shirts and now we were both wearing jeans and hoodies.
Back inside, the ship was like a ghost town. There was no one to be seen anywhere – even the shops were empty. We walked through the Shutters gallery and decided to have a look through the photographs that had been taken of us throughout our cruise. I’m glad that we had no plans to purchase anything as they were some of the worst photos I have ever seen – the cropping was awful, some were blurred and even characters had been half cut out in some of them. I’ve always thought that these photos were a waste of time and overpriced – you could buy a good camera with the money that one of these photo packages cost and take your own better photos.
We decided to head up to Deck 10 to walk around and once again there was hardly anyone to be seen – by this time the ship was not only rolling but also pitching. The swimming pools were all drained and closed (but the Twist and Spout slide remained open) and there were a few people sitting under cover watching Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas on Funnelvision.
It seemed strange to see no one around as if the seas are bad, staying in your stateroom (especially an inside one) is one of the worst things you can do. Fresh air and being able to see the horizon in the distance is one of the keys to combatting motion sickness. Both of us felt completely fine whilst outside on deck and were actually laughing about the whole situation. We worked out that this was our first day of really bad weather in our twenty nine days to date spent on various Disney ships – we could not moan about that at all and had to look on the bright side of things and just laugh it off.
The only downside to the bad weather was that the Deck the Deck Tropical Holiday Party that I had been looking forward to watching for so long and indeed the whole cruise was cancelled as it was due to take place outside on the Deck 9 stage. It was not a surprise when it was announced that it would be cancelled as I knew there was no way it could take place outside in those conditions.
Instead of the Deck the Deck party, there was going to be a Character Dance Party taking place in the lobby atrium at the same time of 12:15pm. We grabbed a drink from Deck 9 and made our way to Deck 4. Again it was very quiet compared to what it usually would be and I was so happy when the characters arrived wearing their tropical Christmas costumes which I had not seen them in before.
The characters and the cruise staff danced to the Cupid Shuffle, Hula Hoop, #thatPOWER, Blame it on the Boogie, Santa Tell Me, This Time for Africa and When Can I See You Again.
Once the Character Dance Party had finished, we went back to our stateroom where we had been left luggage tags ready for the next day – we would not be needing these as once again, we were going to be doing Express Walk Off and taking our bags off the ship ourselves.
At 1:00pm, Mickey Mouse was due out in the gazebo on Deck 9 however given the weather conditions and the fact that Deck the Deck had been cancelled, we thought there was no way that he would be meeting there so we walked back to the lobby atrium to see if we could see him. He was not there but we decided to head up to Deck 9 anyway so we could get some lunch and we could not believe it when we saw him outside. There was only two people already waiting which I think is the shortest line I’ve ever seen for Mickey anywhere. We also waited to see Minnie with no line before we went to Cabanas to get some lunch.
We decided to sit outside under cover on Deck 9 to eat our lunch to not only enjoy the fresh air but we would also be able to see Donald when he turned up. The weather was slowly getting worse and the rain had started to come down and Donald never appeared outside so we decided to go back inside where we found him taking photos by the elevators!
Inside the ship, the cleaning crews were working overtime as so many people were being sick – there were lots of signs and wet carpets everywhere. I had already noticed that sick bags had been left out in all the toilets earlier in the day for people if they needed them. We also noticed that the ginger ale in the drinks machines had run out as everyone was drinking that to try and help with their nausea.
We got some cupcakes from Cove Cafe as well as a cup of tea to take back to our stateroom. We decided to have a little nap as we were both starting to feel tired. The ship was still rolling from side to side and the seas were getting worse as the day went on – the map on the television was reporting winds at 40 knots which measured 9 on the Beaufort Scale.
We were both feeling cold and tired and I will admit to a brief period of feeling like I wanted to stay in bed for the rest of the day but I knew that would make me feel a lot worse. I walked down to the lobby atrium at 4:00pm to see what costume Minnie was wearing – I had been hoping to see Minnie and Mickey wearing their formal Christmas outfits that they wore during the Christmas Tree lighting but that was the only time we saw them in those costumes the whole cruise.
At this time I also noticed that the outside deck on Deck 4 had been closed due to the weather. This made me happy that we had a verandah cabin which meant we always had a way to get fresh air and see the horizon which was definitely helping to prevent motion sickness.
After having a shower, we headed to the Walt Disney Theatre to see Frozen: A Musical Spectacular which started at 6:00pm. I was so happy that the show went ahead as it had been mentioned during the day that there was a possibility of it being cancelled. I really enjoyed the show and absolutely adored Sven the Reindeer but I thought that the show did feel incredibly rushed.
Once Frozen had finished, we went back to our stateroom to drink the other bottle of Rosa Regale that we had brought onboard with us that we still had not opened. We had to drink it as the State of Texas charges an import tax on all bottles of alcohol when arriving back into Galveston.
Our final dinner was in Triton’s and unsurprisingly, the dining room was only half full due to the amount of people feeling unwell and not wanting to eat. One amazing thing that happened was that as we had been drinking ginger ale with our dinner all week, Fitzroy had made sure that he had some cans saved for us to drink with dinner despite all the machines running out of it earlier that day. He also gave us two cans to take back to our room with us that night which was very much appreciated.
For my dinner, I ordered the Baked Eggplant and the Marinated Tiger Shrimp to start followed by the Oven Baked Lobster Tail for my main course. We did not have dessert as we planned to get some ice cream up on deck after ‘Til We Meet Again.
Before we left the dining room, we thanked Geffrey, Harry and Fitzroy and gave them their tip envelopes. We were so lucky to have the three of them looking after us during the cruise and we could not have asked for anyone better.
The ‘Til We Meet Again: A Merry Farewell show was due to start at 10:00pm and we had no problem getting our usual spot on Deck 4 – in four cruises, it was the quietest farewell show I have been to. As usual the people watching on the final night is always good fun as while we waited we watched some people using their phones to make sure their room bills were added up correctly as they could not believe that they had actually charged so much to their room during the week and were wondering how they were going to pay for it all.
Our Assistant Cruise Director Anthony introduced the Walt Disney Theatre performers along with Belle, Tiana, Cinderella, Ariel, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy, Donald, Minnie and Mickey. As normal, you have fifteen minutes to take any last minute photos with the characters as this is the last time you will see them on the cruise.
The carol singers arrived and sung Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer with all the children. Afterwards they sang the most beautiful version of Let There Be Peace on Earth – it really was incredible to listen to and the most perfect way to finish the cruise.
Once ‘Til We Meet Again had finished, we took the elevator up to Deck 9. The weather that greeted us as soon as we stepped outside was a shock to the system – it was close to freezing. I had not even felt cold like that even when we sailed to Alaska on the Disney Wonder and yet here we were at the end of our Caribbean cruise with freezing cold temperatures.
Despite it being so cold, we quickly grabbed a small ice cream each as we had not had dessert earlier in the evening as well as a cup of tea to take back to the room. A blanket lobster was waiting for us on our bed along with a questionnaire for us to fill in about our week on the Disney Wonder.
We still had not packed at this point but thankfully due to frequent practice, we can both pack a suitcase in no time at all. There was one final time change overnight before we arrived back in Galveston and I also set the alarm on my phone to wake up the following morning ready to get off the ship early as we had a long day of driving ahead of us and we wanted to be on the road as soon as possible.
It had been an interesting and different last day onboard the Disney Wonder. To be on a ship that is rolling from side to side the entire day is an experience and one that could not have been predicted. You simply just have to go with the flow and take it for what is and make the best of the situation which we definitely did.
We were both so tired after a long and rocky day at sea and were both looking forward to dry land the following morning!
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