Saturday, November 30, 2019

Disney Wonder Panama Canal Eastbound Cruise: Day 7 - Pirates In the Caribbean Dinner at Animator’s Palate

Date of Visit: November 14, 2019

Normally we aren’t a fan of Pirate Night, but eating in Animator’s is fun as they show different pirate movie sketches and scenes on the walls during dinner.

For his appetizer, Mik had the Deep Fried Calypso Crab Cake.

He had Tia Dalma’s Jerk Chicken for his entree.

He also ate most of Mom’s entree - Jack’s Treasure-of-the-Seas.

For dessert, he had the Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake Tart.

Disney Wonder Panama Canal Eastbound Cruise: Day 6 - Dinner at Triton's

Date of Visit: November 13, 2019

I have no idea if this night was a regular Triton’s menu or some other theme as I know the main regular menu for here was the one with escargot we had on Day 3.

Mik had the Red Lentil and Coconut Soup to start.

For his entree, he had the Roasted Venison Lion.

He had the Caramel Apple Cheesecake for dessert.

Disney Wonder Panama Canal Eastbound Cruise: Day 5 - Dinner at Tiana’s Place

Date of Visit: November 12, 2019

Overall I’m all for going away from the paper navigators and the menus being just paper put in the restaurants holders instead of different laminated versions for all the me nights. However, it is annoying that I then have no idea what theme menu we had as even though we did still get paper navigators they no longer list the dinner theme and neither does the app. The only way I could occasionally figure it out is that it’s a theme we’ve had before or if I noticed on the dessert menu. Bottom line the menu served this night seemed to be a California/Pacific Coast theme and its probably one of our favorites we’ve ever had.

Except Dad, we all started with the California Rolls.

Mik also had the Coriander and Tomato Soup.

For his main course, Mik had the Golden State Beef Tenderloin.

For dessert, Mik got the Citrus Flavored Cheesecake.

When he saw my Long Beach Sundae and he remembered he had originally meant to order that because of the rainbow sherbet, he ended up also getting a sundae.

Disney Wonder Panama Canal Eastbound Cruise: Day 4 - Dinner at Animator’s Palate

Date of Visit: November 11, 2019

This was our night for the regular Animator’s Palate menu.

As we were concierge this trip, Mik only got a drink at dinner this time because it’s his favorite dinner menu drink he has ever tried is the Bora Shake. He did often get the drink of the day in Concierge Lounge and could have gotten this, too, but he didn’t think of before dinner and didn’t want to miss getting it this cruise.

For the appetizer, Mik had the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes.

He had the Lemon-Thyme Marinated All Natural Chicken Breast for his entree.

For dessert, Mik had another of his favorites - the Cookies ‘n Cream Sundae.

Disney Wonder Panama Canal Eastbound Cruise: Day 4 - Puerto Vallarta

Date of Visit: November 11, 2019

As Mik could get off in Puerto Vallarta, Dad and I chose not to do a port adventure and get off to explore as a family. The main area is three miles from the port, though, and we didn’t feel like dealing with a taxi or walk with the hot humid weather and rather short port call. However, there was a Starbucks in the mall next to Walmart right across the street from the port.

Walking from the port to the mall was overall easy. It is longer than it seems, though, as you have to walk in the port the opposite direction of the mall to the exit and then outside the port back past the ship to the mall. Not really that much of a walk for us, but the weather was hot and humid. There were cutouts the whole way and the only awkward part was the crosswalk not having a walk signal to cross back over to the port side.

The mall has a ramp up to it on the far left. Inside the Starbucks is right there on the second floor. As soon as we entered, someone pointed out the elevator for us, but it is also very easy to notice behind the escalator.

We enjoyed getting some different holiday drinks including Cranberry Mocha Blanco Frappuccino and Christmas Punch.

In the end, we all felt we could have enjoyed the port just as much by never leaving the ship, but at least we did get unique Starbucks drinks. Also, it was worthwhile getting photos of Mik and Dad with their Day of the Dead shirts in Mexico.

Disney Wonder Panama Canal Eastbound Cruise: Day 4 - Brunch at Triton’s

Date of Visit: November 11, 2019

The Puerto Vallarta All Ashore time was rather late (10:30), which made having brunch in Triton’s a great option they offered before going ashore. In particular, wee enjoyed that you could get lunch food early (Mik had a burger).

One of my favorite desserts of the trip was the cherry crepe at the brunch.

Disney Wonder Panama Canal Eastbound Cruise: Day 3 - Dinner at Triton’s

Date of Visit: November 10, 2019

Our first night in Triton’s was the regular menu for this restaurant.

Mik enjoyed his favorite appetizer here - the escargot.

For dinner, he had the Roasted Rack of Lamb.

For dessert, he had the Apple Tart Tatin.

Disney Wonder Panama Canal Eastbound Cruise: Day 2 - Dinner at Tiana’s Place

Date of Visit: November 9, 2019

We really enjoyed Tiana’s last trip, but it was even better this time as we had a table right by the stage. Our first night at Tiana’s was one of the restaurant theme nights with a New Orleans theme menu and the live music.

Mik had the Louisiana Hot Crab dip, which he enjoyed. It came out very hot and he was smart enough to notice and let it cool and not burn the top of his mouth like I did.

For the entree, he had the New York Sirloin Steak.

He had the Banoffee Cream Pie for dessert.

I got the Louisiana Root Beer Creme and this is I think the only dessert we’ve ever been totally disappointed with on a cruise. It wasn’t bad tasting, but it definitely didn’t taste like root beer and it was a very odd stretchy texture.

Hampton Inn San Diego-Downtown

Date of Visit: November 7-8, 2019

We booked an accessible room with two beds. When we checked in around 1pm, there wasn’t one ready and instead of asking us to wait they offered us two rooms. This worked great as Mik and I stayed in an accessible room with King bed and Mom and Dad got there own room. It all worked out well except it would have been nice to have been on same floor or at least Mom and Dad on the higher floor as we ended up having to evacuate for a fire in the middle of the night.

The room had a nice area of the far side of the bed for Mik to hang out. It would have been perfect if the USB port by the bed there hadn’t been broken, but it did still have enough outlets for him to have his devices plugged in to use.

The bathroom was designed on a way Mik was able to get on toilet himself. One odd thing was there was a tissue box holder on wall that was empty and the tissues for the room were up high on the shelves behind toilet. The bottom shelf behind the toilet was also a slight problem as Mik kept hitting his head on it.

The bathroom appeared to have a good roll-in shower, although we didn't try it out.

Evacuating at 1am was what Mik called fun later that morning and he wasn’t being sarcastic. We went to the stairwell as when we lived in a condo they always told us to do that in the event of a fire because it is more protected and the firemen would find you there first.  There were others entering with us and people coming down. Before I could even consider carrying Mik down separate from his chair, three people helped carrying him down the stairs in his chair. When we got outside, I texted Dad we were outside. Dad had gone to front to tell them about Mik being on the 4th floor and then told them we were out when I texted. The bigger problem was once the fire was taken care of and we were allowed back in there was only one elevator working (it was the way our whole stay except they mostly had two going with one of them acting funny and mostly going to garage when you wanted to go to lobby) and one of the out of order elevators wasn’t locked off so the call button wouldn’t call the working one. Thus, it took about half an hour to figure that out and get back to room.

Overall Hampton Inn San Diego-Downtown ended up being a good choice for us. In particular, it was nice to have an easy walk to the cruise terminal in the morning and also was easy walk back to hotel for Dad and I dropping off rental car at airport after we checked in. There are a few closer options, but we didn't find it worth the extra cost.

Destination Info:
Hampton Inn San Diego-Downtown
1531 Pacific Highway
San Diego, California, 92101

Disney Wonder Panama Canal Eastbound Cruise: Day 1 - Concierge Lunch at Tiana’s Place

Date of Visit: November 8, 2019

One of the benefits of Concierge was when we first boarded the ship we were able to have a full service lunch in Tiana’s Place. We particularly enjoyed this as Cabana’s is not only crowded on Embarkment Day, but the tables there don’t really work for the wheelchair to roll up to.  We also got to enjoy a window table in Tiana’s, which we haven’t had before and would not want for regular dining as normally it would be too crowded and difficult to get to/from that inner table.

Other than dessert, we don’t remember what we had because I only remembered to do photos of dessert on the first day for Mik. The dessert he had at the lunch was the Cookies ‘n Cream Cheesecake.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Date of Visit: November 7, 2019

While Mission San Juan Capistrano is a historic site, it is mostly accessible. They even provide an accessible version of the map guide (reminds me of when we actually used to get guide maps at Disney and would grab the accessible version). The cost of admission includes a free audio tour, but we choose to not do that part. There isn’t a lot of signage for information and that would have made the experience better, but it also would have made it slower and as it was we ended up rushing through parts to finish seeing the site because we were hungry and tired of waiting to see things between the school groups coming through the areas.

As Mik had to go to the bathroom, we started our tour at the back of the second courtyard (there’s a family/companion bathroom back next to women’s back there).  Off of this courtyard, we particularly enjoyed the Mission Treasures exhibit.

We also enjoyed the garden area behind the West Wing. This area is marked on the map as uneven surfaces, but it is mainly just dirt paths.

Next we went through the Legacy of Saint Serra exhibit, but this was when Mik was getting hungry and annoyed with the constant school group tours. The guides and kids were good at staying out of the way as much as possible for their guide talk in each area, but some areas are quite small in the first place and groups were constantly coming through all the areas.

Thus, Mik and I sat in the courtyard for a few minutes for Dad to go in the Serra Chapel and then walked around the Ruins of the Great Stone Church for a few quick photos before leaving to go find some lunch. If it had been closer to 11am and the places near the mission were open, we probably would have gone back in after eating, but an early lunch and heading down to San Diego while there was no traffic ended up being much better than how we ended up in rush hour after the Petersen Auto Museum the day before.

Destination Info:
Mission San Juan Capistrano
26801 Ortega Hwy
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Petersen Auto Museum

Date of Visit: November 6, 2019

For our Panama Canal Cruise, it ended up being fewer flights as well as cheaper to fly direct into LA, rent a car, and stay a night between LA and San Diego than fly into San Diego and spend two nights there. It also allowed us to have time to do something in LA the day we arrived. Originally, we considered doing one of the presidential libraries, but when I stumbled upon the Petersen Auto Museum that became Mik's pick for the trip.

We started our tour on the top floor and worked our way back down. On the top floor Mik enjoyed taking a photo of Dad and in the 1910 Ford Model T Speedster.

Mik's favorite car was the Speed Racer prototype.

He also enjoyed seeing the other movie and TV cars such as this police cruiser from Robocop.

Mik's favorite exhibit was "Winning Numbers: The First, the Fastest, the Famous."

We also found the "Legends of Los Angeles: Southern California Race Cars and Their Builders" an interesting exhibit.

Most of the exhibits were spacious with plenty of room to navigate around. The only exhibit that we ran into problems with was in the "Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy" exhibit. Although he could see everything, some of the items in that exhibit were put rather close together and Mik couldn't roll through all the pathways to view them from the best angles.

Destination Info:
Petersen Auto Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036