Friday, June 28, 2019

[Day 3] Disney Wonder - Cabo San Lucas

On Day 3 we woke up in beautiful Cabo San Lucas!  This was my second time in Cabo - I had visited before with my family on our 17-day Panama Canal Cruise.  I really enjoyed the port on that cruise and was excited to be back.  Also, since I had been there before and new exactly what I wanted to do, I didn't book an excursion in advance through DCL or another company because I was pretty sure I could get a better price and more custom experience in port.

Cabo San Lucas

We stepped outside on the fourth deck to check out the view -

VIC_2677




Disney Wonder

We ate breakfast in Triton's before getting off the ship.  I had granola and smoked salmon, and Aaron had some sort of all-American breakfast with eggs.

Breakfast

Normally, Disney Cruise Line has pool towels outside at the port for you to take on your excursion that day.  They're one of the few cruise lines that still does that - Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival have all moved over to a "towel deposit" system where you have to check out a towel for a $20-30 hold and get your money refunded when you return it.  Disney just distributes simple white towels which are not worthy of being souvenirs, but are readily available and sufficient towels.

Since Cabo San Lucas is a tender port, meaning that instead of pulling up next to a dock, you drop anchor in deeper water and board a smaller ship to "tender" to land, I wasn't sure that we'd be able to get towels when we got off.  So I made Aaron go with me to the pool deck to get towels..... and sure enough, they were available on the 2nd deck where we boarded the tender.  This is an appreciated convenience because on our recent Christmas sailing on Navigator of the Seas, we had to trek up to the top deck to trade in our wet towels for dry every time!

Disney Wonder

Passengers without an excursion booked through Disney were told to go to the Buena Vista Theater (movie theater) to get tender tickets.  There wasn't a very long late for tender boats, and we only sat down in the theater for a few minutes before we were called to board.

Saw this crazy Tarzan Boat on our way into port - I would've been begging my parents to go on this as a kid!

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo has a nice shaded tender boat loading area where there had tables with chilled water and mosquito lotion.  We lathered up with mosquito repellent, so I didn't get a photo.  It wasn't beautiful, but I appreciate the shade.  Grand Cayman sure could use that.

Now, if you're going ashore in Cabo and aren't pre-booked on excursion, beware - as soon as you leave the shaded tender boat area, you will immediately be bombarded with locals YELLING at you, trying to sell you a tour.  My advice is to do a little research in advance and know what you want to do (go to the beach? snorkel? parasail?) so that you know what you're looking for... but don't shop around for more than five minutes.  Really, it's going to be impossible to walk around negotiating because it's so loud and chaotic.  Just choose someone who offers you a flat rate and get on with your excursion!

That's what we did - I knew that I wanted to take a boat to Los Arcos and then be dropped at Medano Beach.  We found a guy that would take both of us for $50 - just what I was hoping to pay!

The advantage of the competitive excursion environment is that you can very easily get a private tour.  No one is going to try to hold you there to fill their boat - as soon as they've got your business, they're going to take you immediately on your way because they don't want to mess around and lose their customers.  So Aaron and I got a nice little boat ride all to ourselves!

Cabo San Lucas

Our driver spoke very little English and took a 16-point-turn to get out of the harbor.  We picked up a hitchhiker who spoke better English and chatted with us... he was very surprised that we came in on a Disney Cruise ship.

Disney Wonder

Los Arcos

Disney Wonder

Los Arcos

We dropped off our hitchhiker at Lover's Beach.  They asked us how long we wanted to stay at Lover's Beach, and I said we didn't want to stop there.  There aren't any amenities, and I wasn't so confident about being dropped off and being picked up an hour later.  We'll wait for the beach chairs, thanks.

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

We stopped to look at the "Scooby Doo" rock -

Los Arcos

Here you can see through to the Pacific Ocean -

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

A little behind-the-scenes, courtesy of Aaron -

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

Check out all of the Sea Lions!

Los Arcos

There were many other boats out touring, too -

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

How'd he get up there??

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

Disney Wonder peeking through -

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

Los Arcos

Next stop, Medano Beach!  It was much more crowded than it was the last time I visited.

Los Arcos

Cabo San Lucas

There were many vendors walking the shore selling trinkets - an easy way to avoid them is to grab a lounge chair at one of the beach clubs.

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

We ended up going to the same beach club as we did the last time I was in Cabo - Cachet Beach Club at Cabo Villas Beach Resort.  The pink lounger covers are new - a few years ago, they were white.  I decided to splurge on the cabana bed rental for $60 because I had always wanted to rent a cabana bed!  Aaron told me later that he had a little sticker shock at that, but I didn't think it was unreasonable... and it came with shade, so we didn't have to rent an umbrella... and no one selling souvenirs messed with us!

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

It did, however, come with some weird construction happenings a few feet away (thankfully not directly behind our cabana bed, but behind someone else's!).  For awhile there was a steadily annoying "ting-ting-ting-ting-ting" sound coming from the site.  Not sure what they were doing, but what concerns me is that they were lifting that large piece of metal.... and separated from people by only a piece of tarp draped between two sticks.  There were people lounging directly behind him!  He's wearing full-on P.P.D. and the people on  the other side of that tarp are wearing swimsuits.  If he were to drop that metal thing, he'd seriously hurt someone.

Cabo San Lucas

The margaritas were good!  We were surprised when we were brought another round (uhhh... I didn't order this), but the couple in the cabana bed beside us ordered them for us - they said they had a $200 food and beverage credit and needed to spend it!

Cabo San Lucas

There was a very popular man below who would spray people with sunscreen from a pesticide sprayer.  Seriously, people would have him spray and rub them down with sunscreen.  Very odd service.

Cabo San Lucas

I like the pink!

Cabo San Lucas

The restaurant and restroom facilities are very nice.

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

When we first sat down, I asked the beach attendant for more shade - and he brought over an umbrella and just picked it up and balanced it between two cabana bed frames.  That works, I guess.

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

We had given our bout tour driver a time to pick us up from the beach.  Before getting off the boat, I had mentioned to Aaron that we should look back and read the name of the boat..... well, it was so chaotic getting off onto the beach that we forgot to do that.  So we didn't remember the name of our boat, just that our driver was wearing a bright red shirt.  Aaron was a little skeptical of our driver coming back for us, but I told him that in my experience (one time prior!), the driver usually comes back - and he did!  He had another family with him which must've caused the delay.

Cabo San Lucas

Back to the port, please!

Cabo San Lucas

We saw a sea lion hitching a ride on the back of a boat going into the marina!

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

We decided to walk around the port a little before heading back to the ship.  Aaron had spotted an interesting-looking building, and we wanted to go check it out and see what it was.

Cabo San Lucas

Marlins are popular in Cabo - and just before we arrived, an 814-pound marlin was caught off the coast after a 6-hour struggle.  The largest to ever be caught in Cabo was apparently 1,070 pounds, 26 years ago.  So lots of marlin graphics and souvenirs.

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

We did not go in the Senor Frogs, but Aaron thought the giant frog on top of the store was hilarious.

Cabo San Lucas

Hey, buddy!

Cabo San Lucas

We boarded our tender boat back to the ship.

Cabo San Lucas

This was the building that Aaron wanted to go see up close.  It's an auditorium, Pabellon Cultural de la Republica, designed in 2008 by Serrano Monjaraz Arquitectos.

Cabo San Lucas

Disney Wonder

Disney Wonder

When we were back onboard, it was too late for lunch in Cabanas, so we got more shawarma by the pool to hold us over until dinner.

Shawarma

Tonight's dinner was in Animator's Palate.  The Disney Wonder still has the classic black-and-white color scheme in Animator's (as opposed to the colored Animator's on the Disney Dream and Fantasy).  However, they have updated the artwork to digital screens which can play video.

Whenever I was a kid on my very first cruise on the Disney Magic, I was so excited to go to Animator's because I had seen it on the informational VHS tape they had sent us.  I was expecting to be in a room that completely transformed from black and white to color.  When the night came, I was so underwhelmed by the effects.  I think they just didn't have the technology available at the time, because today's Animator's Palate on the Disney Wonder does a much better job at delivering this experience.

Animator's Palate

Our first night in Animator's Palate was the classic show - the dining room converts from black and white to color, syncronized (well, somewhat) with each course.  This is a nice dining experience, and I far prefer it to the chaos and excessive noise that is the Finding Nemo show at Animator's on the Dream and Fantasy.  This version of Animator's feels much classier, and not like you're dining at a child's birthday party.

One thing about Animator's Palate and all of the Disney Cruise Line dining is that the menus haven't really changed over the past 5 years.  This is fine with me because the past five years, I have only sailed DCL 3 times, and each time I look forward to the menus because I prefer them over other cruise lines, actually.  If I sailed DCL more frequently, I might be disappointed.  But right now it's a non-issue for me.

Animator's Palate

Aaron intentionally wore his black and white to fit in with the restaurant theming - so cute!

Animator's Palate

We tried the dinner drinks tonight - the Blueberrilicious was fun!

Animator's Palate

Aaron's appetizer, the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes -

Animator's Palate

Also Sliced Serrano Ham -

Animator's Palate

I got my favorite appetizer at Animator's, the Smoked Salmon Tartar -

Animator's Palate

Aaron really liked the soups on DCL.  Here is the Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese Soup.  I can confirm that it is good.

Animator's Palate

I had the Chicken and Walnut Salad.  I appreciate a salad with walnuts.

Animator's Palate

And I say "Rachel Loves steak," but really also Victoria Loves Steak.  Here is the Ginger-Teriyaki Dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin -

Animator's Palate

And Aaron had the Grilled Tuna Steak -

Animator's Palate

And for dessert, Lemon Icebox Pie!!!  Love that this is on the menu -

Animator's Palate

We were eating dessert, and all of a sudden the Fantasmic music came on.  You know what that means... SORCEROR MICKEY!!!

Animator's Palate

He came out and did his cute little Fantasmic dance right behind Aaron!  Really, we had a great seat for this part of the show.

Animator's Palate

Also, you might have noticed in the shot above.... lots of empty dining tables.  Our late dining time was definitely not full.  There were empty tables every night.  Main dining is clearly preferred among most cruise guests, since they have young kiddos to put to bed, and Aaron and I appreciated the quieter late dining time and our private table.

Tonight's scheduled Adult Entertainment was The Quest.  I told Aaron that we had to go - we didn't have to play, but I wanted him to see this crazy cruise game.  So we went to Azure and watched the madness from pretty up-close.  There was a young couple (or siblings?) next to us who we helped out by giving them a pair of glasses (our two wine glasses) and a few other things.  This was perhaps the most tame version of this game I had ever seen.  There was no removal of pants or bras - just shoes and belts.  And then at the end when they usually have men parade around in women's clothing for a beauty pageant.... instead they had everyone send a representative up to the stage to do an Irish jig (the adult entertainment director, Dino, was Irish).  At that point I was actually a little upset that I wasn't playing because I would've crushed the jig portion - no one was getting low!

We thought there might be some late-night fun after Quest... maybe 15 or so people stayed and danced.  I think the big issue is that the Azure Lounge is too multipurpose.... it can seat 100s of people for a show, but they also want it to be a nightclub?  It's just too large and brightly-lit to really promote a nightclub vibe.  They should move the dancing into a smaller venue, like Cadillac Lounge.

I think we might've been out until midnight this night - a record!

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So what are your thoughts - Classic Animator's or Nemo-infused Animator's?  Team Quest with the rowdy drag pageant, or Quest with an Irish jig?  Let me know in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. Switched from the SUMMIT ( out of SJU) to the EQUINOX ( out of FLL)
    Are your Familia cruising this Xmas?

    ReplyDelete