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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

[Day 5] Disney Wonder - Debarkation in San Diego & Final Thoughts

On our last sea day, we were told by the Captain that we were behind schedule for our return to Port of San Diego. It was estimated that we wouldn't dock until around 9:30 AM. Due to our delayed arrival (well, there were other factors, I'm sure), very few people put bags in the hall the night before for luggage service. While we had scheduled breakfast time in the dining room we were in the night before (for us, Tiana's Place), we were advised to leave our bags in our staterooms until we arrived in port and not bring them with us to the dining room as is normal debarkation day practice.

You may be wondering if this would delay departure for the next sailing. Since there were no passengers boarding that day, I don't think that was an area of concern.

We also had a time change happen overnight, and when I woke up, I was very unsure about the current time. I thought it was 7 AM, but it was 6 AM. Rachel and Landon were in the same predicament, and I found them out on Deck 4.


It was a very chilly and cloudy morning.


But that didn't stop me from taking hundreds of photos to pass the time.






While it was still very early, we decided to go up and grab a bite from Cabanas. It was not at all crowded that morning (unusual for debarkation day.... but we still had an hour or so of sailing until we'd be back in San Diego).


I noticed that they taped up all of these Prop65 signs outside of the dining venues in anticipation of docking in California:


One last Mickey Waffle -


These breakfast sandwiches were pretty good -





Aaron was lucky enough to be able to sleep in longer than the rest of us that morning (no is it 6 or 7 AM?! anxiety for him), but he joined us out on Deck 4 to watch the ship sail into San Diego.



We were inside earlier and realized that it was VERY CROWDED inside by the dining rooms. Passengers had brought their bags with them to the dining room (like we were told not to do), and it was quite chaotic. We decided to avoid the chaos and stay outside where it was quiet.
















It turned out that Starboard Deck 4 was a great spot to watch us dock.





We were excited about seeing this gangway extend and connect -



Pulling us in -


We could also hear the people talking on the ground, so that was interesting. It seemed like these two ladies represented the Port of San Diego.... they weren't Cast Members.


The gangway being craned out -



The two official-looking ladies were greeted by this officer -


There's the gangway extending into place!


Setting up the hand sanitizer stations - 


It was now around 10:45, so we decided to see if they could still seat us for breakfast at Tiana's Place, since Aaron had eaten yet, and we still had some time before we could get off the ship. We were just in time to Tiana's Place - we may have been the last people they sat that morning, but our server was very nice.


Of course, we all ate again, too.... because you know, cruise. Here's the salmon and bagel -


And this is the Power Crepe, a vegetarian option with scrambled egg whites, tofu, broccoli, spinach, and green onions. I wasn't a fan of the buckwheat crepe itself, but the filling was good.


We decided it was time to go get our bags and see if we could get off the ship.



There were passengers disembarking, now -


When we went to our rooms, Rachel and Landon's stateroom host told them there was no rush to leave, and they hadn't called the Minnie Bag Tags yet. Of course, we didn't have any bags waiting for us and were technically "Roll Off" which could disembark at anytime..... like most other passengers (hence the crowd to leave the ship). We decided to go ahead and join the line of people to disembark.


It was backed up to French Quarter Lounge... not quite as long as it was before breakfast (which was all the way to Tiana's and up the stairs).


We waited probably half an hour or so to disembark the ship.





Once we were finally off the ship and in the terminal, the U.S. Customs process was very quick and efficient.


Then all we had to do was roll our luggage across the street to the Wyndham Parking Garage.


Good-bye, Disney Wonder!


Overall, it was a great cruise. I'm really grateful that I had the opportunity to sail on this Test Cruise and to bring Aaron, Rachel, and Landon. This was such a unique experience and memorable sailing.

I figured I'd do a quick Glad I Did / Wish I Did to wrap up this trip report.

Glad I Did:

Book Parking in advance at the Wyndham. This is such a convenient place to park when leaving out of the Port of San Diego. I'm also glad that I made detailed notes about how to find the parking garage so that I can look back on that the next time we sail out of San Diego.

Decorate our Stateroom Doors. It took a bit of time to design and cut out the magnets, but it was a fun way to celebrate our surprise cruise. And it also helped me find our stateroom easily. Unfortunately, the Wonder doors can hardly hold a magnet anymore because they've been painted over so many times. I think if sailing on the Magic/Wonder, it may be better to attach cut-outs to high strength neodymium magnets, rather than print them on magnetic paper.

Watch the Musicals on the First Night. Both Frozen The Musical and Disney Dreams: An Enchanted Classic played on two different nights in the Walt Disney Theater. I'm glad that we went ahead and saw both musicals on the first night they were performed. It was a good way to make sure that we watched them, and if there had been a technical difficulty which prevented them from performing that night, we would still have a second night to try to see the show.

Stayed on the Ship in Cabo San Lucas. I felt bad about not supporting the local economy in Cabo, but I think staying on the ship was the best decision for us that day. It saved us money, stress, and coordination.... as well as a tender boat ride. Instead, we had a great pool day at the Quiet Cove.

Booked the Champagne Tasting. I was a little conflicted on whether or not I should book this because while it was the only tasting available at the time I booked, it was $40 per person - more expensive than all of the other tastings. However, we learned a lot from this tasting, and it made us realize that we actually enjoy champagne.... just not the cheap stuff.

Wish I Did:

Ordered the Lemon Walnut Pesto Pasta that Aaron got at Triton's when we were in Cabo.

Carried on hard seltzers instead of beer. I actually didn't bring on any beer. Aaron and I each brought two bottles of wine, and Rachel and Landon each brought a six pack of beer. Collectively, we carried on more alcohol than we needed for four days, especially considering that we were also purchasing drinks on the ship. However, I think next time, instead of bringing on beer, we should bring on seltzers because they didn't serve those onboard. Also, Landon picked out a new beer to carry on, and it was very weird-tasting.

And there we have it! Thanks so much for joining in on my trip report of our Disney Wonder Test Cruise! As you may know, we just returned from our Christmas Cruise on the NCL Encore. Stay tuned for our Encore trip report coming soon!

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