Walt Disney World ® Resort
Starting a new tradition – Sailing with my Son on the Disney Wonder to Mexico by Agent Jenny
Starting a new tradition –
Traveling one-on-one with my son on the Disney Wonder out of San Diego to Baja, Mexico
On our Way!
In honor of my middle child, Brody’s 10th birthday and after coming to the realization that we had never spent a night away from home together on our own, I decided to start a new tradition in which I celebrate and spend time with each of my 3 children on one-on-one trips all about them. For this first surprise trip, I planned a special one-on-one vacation for just Brody and me on a weekend Disney Cruise sailing to Baja, Mexico out of San Diego. We truly had the most magical weekend ever together!
I can’t say enough about the ease of getting around San Diego and all of the wonderful attractions that are available there for families. Since our cruise was a 2-night itinerary from Friday to Sunday, Brody and I flew into San Diego late Thursday afternoon to ensure that we would be ready to embark on the ship by early afternoon on Friday. Because this trip was all about Brody and what he wanted to do (rather than having to share choices with his siblings as he usually does), he asked if we could try to make it over to the San Diego Zoo that first evening since it was open until 7:00 pm (of course we could!). Our flight landed just before 4:00 pm and due to us only bringing carry-on bags with us, we were able to jump in an Uber within 15 minutes of landing, drop our bags off at the hotel (while our Uber waited for us downstairs) and were walking into the zoo before 5:00 pm. We spent 2 amazing hours at the nearly empty zoo and were able to see and do everything that he wanted to do including seeing the pandas, koalas, riding the Skyfari (twice) and watching the sun go down as the animals were getting ready for their evening meals and bedtime.
We spent Thursday night at the Springhill Suites by Marriott – San Diego Downtown/Bayfront, which offers a complimentary hot daily breakfast, a nice check-out time of 12:00 pm (a convenient time for cruise guests) and is directly across the street from both the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum and the Disney Cruise Port of San Diego Terminal. The outside pool deck at the hotel offers a great view of both ships and many of the rooms also have at least a partial view of the port.
Since Brody is a military history buff, I knew that the USS Midway would be the perfect activity for us Friday morning before we embarked on the ship. We spent a couple hours enjoying the museum and then headed to the cruise terminal around 12:30 pm, which was about a 5 minute walk for us from the hotel. Check-in at the terminal was super quick and we were walking on to the ship by 1:00 pm!
While most of the families were heading towards the lunch buffet and pool deck, Brody asked if we could have a “fancy” lunch at the table service option (Triton’s). Since the staterooms weren’t going to be ready until 1:30 pm, this option worked out great for us to relax and be able to rest with our bags until we could drop everything off in the stateroom. With bread service, appetizers, entrees and dessert provided just as it is for dinner at Triton’s, Brody was ecstatic to have such a nice meal for lunch!
Once we were done with lunch, we were able to head straight to our stateroom. Our stateroom was on Deck 5 and was a Category 6A – Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Veranda (#5142). This stateroom is a mix between a Navigator’s Verandah and a white-wall verandah, so it felt very private with portions of the verandah being completely enclosed. The only negative comment that I would say about this type of verandah is that there is no way to sit-down on the chairs and still be able to see the water or the port.
As long as we were standing up, we had an amazing view and it was nice being a little closer to the water so that we could observe all of the adorable sea lions in the Port of Ensenada. All-in-all, the room worked great for us and Brody loved having his fold-out bed each evening with his privacy curtain pulled (he felt like he had his own little room).
We spent Saturday enjoying everything that the ship had to offer including Brody spending a couple hours at the kids club while I enjoyed getting pampered at the Senses Spa. Since we had the second seating for dinner both evenings, we discovered that the pools were almost empty during the early / main dining time and Brody was able to experience the water slide over and over (at least 20 times in a row both nights!). We also enjoyed ourselves as the ship sailed away from Ensenada on the nearly empty Deck 4 outside area as we played shuffleboard and lounged on the chairs watching for sea lions and whales.
We were happy to spend our last evening of the trip at the newly reopened/rethemed “Tiana’s Place” restaurant, which was such a fun experience. Tiana had her favorite live band (The Crawfish Crooners) playing a great variety of both Disney hits and other popular music in their unique jazz style. We loved the food, music, the atmosphere and the interactive parade at the end of the meal. It was the perfect ending to our trip together and a great addition to the ship!
While we were still on the ship, I took advantage of Disney Cruise Line’s rebook onboard offer so that I could receive a 10% discount and onboard credit on a future cruise. Disney now lets you get in a “virtual line” for meeting with a cast member to book future cruises while you are onboard (through the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App) and will send you a text alert when it is your turn. While I was still in my stateroom, I received the text alert that it was my turn, started walking towards the “Disney Vacation Planning Desk” and was able to sit right down at the desk with the cast member upon arrival to pay my $250.00 placeholder deposit and secure a reservation.
Debarkation on Saturday was easy and organized. We had a nice breakfast in Triton’s, carried our luggage off the ship on our own, made it through U.S. Customs within a few minutes and had a quick 15-minute ride on the Disney Cruise Line motor coach back to the airport.
Brody and I both have memories to last a lifetime and are so happy that we got to spend special one-on-one time together (he thanked me over and over throughout the trip) and look forward to our future trips together!
Small World Vacations’ Agent Jenny has been helping guests to plan magical Disney Vacations for years! Contact her for assistance with your Disney Vacation at Jenny@smallworldvacations.com.