Thursday, June 27, 2013

Disney Mediterranean Cruise with Greece: Day 2 – Chocolate Croissant @ Goofy’s Galley

Day 2 – Chocolate Croissant @ Goofy’s GalleyDate of Visit: June 16, 2013

Mik was really excited on the first full day of the cruise to discover that they not only had chocolate croissants at Goofy’s Galley, but they still did them the good way. It seems they only do it with the chocolate inside and in a rectangle shape at Disney World and he has been missing the chocolate drizzled and inside actually croissant shaped ones since they at least temporarily seemed to disappear from Disneyland when they were remodeling the bakery on Main Street. They are his absolute favorite breakfast thing, although Mickey waffles are a close second. It was also fun for him to have it the first day since the port call was in France.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise with Greece: Day 1 – Let the Magic Begin Dinner

Day 1 – Let the Magic Begin Dinner
Date of Visit: June 15, 2013

The first night of the cruise we had dinner in Lumiere’s, although the dinner menu is the same Let the Magic Begin menu in all the restaurants that night.

Day 1 – Let the Magic Begin Dinner

Appetizer – Mik choose the Chicken “Basteka” and found it so-so. Not sure if it was the spices and/or the cinnamon/sugar sweetness that made it only okay.

Day 1 – Let the Magic Begin Dinner

Soup – Mik also had the Blue Crab and Seafood Chowder before his main course. He thought it tasted good, although he was expecting a thicker/creamier soup like clam chowder and this was thinner broth.
Day 1 – Let the Magic Begin Dinner

EntrĂ©e – Mik went with the Yachtsman Steak House Cut Grilled Sirloin Steak. He loved it and we loved that the waiter cut it up for him. He also really liked the cheese potato that came with it.

Day 1 – Let the Magic Begin Dinner

Dessert – Mik had the Apple Tart-Tartin as his dessert.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise with Greece: Barcelona Airport/Port Ground Transfers

Arrival - Barcelona Airport to Port Experience

Date of Visit: June 15, 2013

Upon arrival at the airport it was easy to find the Disney Cruise people by baggage claim. They odd thing was that they sent us already out to the bus before even asking if we wanted an alternative option. The buses do not have lifts, but they could make alternative arrangements (sounded like a private vehicle with lift). Since it would have taken half an hour and Dad was with us, Mik choose to have Dad carry him onto the bus and the chair easily fit in the luggage area underneath.

It would have been nicer if they had asked if we wanted an alternative before walking out of the airport like when we checked in Vancouver and had to wait for the bus with lift to arrive. We totally were prepared for an extra wait, but we thought they just happened to already have something there when we were walked out (involves escalator/elevator) with a group to a waiting bus. If we had also realized we would end up at the port before boarding began, but with a high enough number that we ended up just in the all aboard abandoning the group numbers five before ours situation waiting for the transfer at the airport would have been better than at the port. It all still worked out good, just would possibly do it differently in the future.

Departure - Port to Airport Experience

Date of Visit: June 27, 2013

Several days before returning to Barcelona we got a message in our stateroom telling us that a vehicle would be available to take us to the airport at 8:15 a.m. on disembarkment day.  We got off the ship right after breakfast around 7:45 a.m. and they first tried to direct us to the buses.  When we told them we were supposed to have a vehicle with lift they quickly got a taxi around (it is all paid for by Disney when you get buy the ground transfer).  It was just a mini van with lift in the back.  It barely would have been able to seat us four much less our luggage, so Dad and I had to take the bus with luggage and Mom and Mik went in the taxi.  It was kind of inconvenient to have to split up, but they do drop you at same spot when you get there and we were not that far behind leaving the port as they had the buses leaving every ten minutes or so full or not.  However, with the chaoticness of the Barcelona Airport and having to wait for someone to escort us just to go through security with the wheelchair I think we would have been cutting it close if we had left the port at 8:15 a.m.  Of course, that was nothing compared to the back and forth in circles that happened to us when we got to Miami.

Disney Mediterranean Cruise with Greece: Disney Magic Stateroom 7138

Date of Visit: June 15-27, 2013

We knew the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder had some differences, but we sure did not expect that stateroom 7138 would be any different on the Magic than when we were on the Wonder in Alaska.  For the most part it is exactly the same.  The size and layout is the same.  However, there is one huge difference.  There is no grab bar that comes down on the side of the toilet like Mik loved on the Magic since it was half like how his old bathroom had one on each side of the toilet.  Not only is there no grab bar to come down, but the only grab bar by the toilet is behind it.  How useful is that?  Hopefully, when the Magic goes in for its upgrades this September that is one of the things that will be changed.

Disney Magic Stateroom 7138

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Deluxe Studio at Disney's Saratoga Springs

Disney's Saratoga SpringsDate of Visit: March 4-9, 2013

Since we usually end up eating in the parks anyways and there were even more food things Mik wanted to try at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival this trip, we thought we would try a studio for the first time instead of a one bedroom like we have done every other time at a DVC resort.  Plus, we used our points this year to get a concierge level one for the 2014 marathon and did not want to borrow much from 2014.

Disney's Saratoga Springs

Entering the rooms they have mats that are a nice thought, but rather annoying with the wheelchair.  Actually, not so fun for stepping on either with the spiky style.  I suppose you could move it aside, although I wonder if it would just be put right back in place every day.

Disney's Saratoga SpringsDisney's Saratoga Springs

The bathroom was good.  Mik actually surprised me in that he was able to use the toilet on his own when we left him in the room one day, which he often cannot do with the raised toilets.  The shower was good as a roll in and holding the shower head to use.  For standing under it, though, it was worn out and kept sliding down to spray pretty much back at the wall instead of out or straight down.

Disney's Saratoga Springs

The kitchenette area was pretty functional.  The microwave was perfect for Mik, since he tends to just crawl around when in the room.  He actually used it to make his first ever quesadilla made all by himself.

Disney's Saratoga Springs

The deluxe studio has one standard bed and one sofa bed.  The room gets extremely crowded when the sofa bed is out, although it was better to just leave it out than deal with the annoyance it was to take it out in the first place.

The oddest thing about the room, though, is that it has a closet next to the bed.  You can barely walk sidestep between the bed and the wall to get to it much less have it actually accessible to someone in a wheelchair.  At least there is an easy to access closet in the entry, though.

Our conclusion is next time we will stick to our usual of a one bedroom or even a standard hotel room at the All Star value resorts.  The microwave was nice, but even the All Star resort we had just stayed at had mini fridges and the actual bed is so much more preferable than the annoying sofa bed.  However, Mik and I did decide it would not be so bad if it was just the two of us, as we would not need to fold the sofa out and it would be roomier than a hotel room then.  However, the inability to override the thermostat at Saratoga Springs does not make me likely to choose it again, as kept being too cold during our stay (it was very cold for Florida standards this trip) and I imagine it is too hot other times of the year.

Destination Info:

Disney's Saratoga Springs
1960 Broadway
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Beach at Aulani

Mik at Aulani BeachDate of Visit: October 1, 2012

The beach was one of the few things Mik was interested in checking out at Aulani.  There is a beach wheelchair you can borrow to use on the beach.  It makes it easier, although it still takes a lot of muscle to move it and it did not have any working belts to strap in.

Sorcerer Mickey Sand Castle

At the beach we built some sand castles.  Dad was supposed to help Mik build a castle, but he ended up building on in the shape of a Mickey for him instead of building with Mik and what Mik wanted.  Thus, I decided to add a Sorcerer Hat to it since it was not Mik's anymore anyways.  I also built a Sorcerer Hat one.

Sorcerer Mickey Sand Castle

Mik had a lot of fun destroying my Sorcerer Hat, which I let him do when he was crawling back to the sand wheelchair.

Sorcerer Hat Sand Castle
Mik destroying Sorcerer Hat Sand Castle

Destination Info:
Ko Olina, Hawai'i
92-1185 Ali'inui Drive
Kapolei, HI 96707

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Aulani Three Bedroom Grand Villa

Date of Visit: September 28 - October 4, 2012

We booked a one-bedroom accessible villa for our stay at Aulani, but at check-in we were surprised to hear that we were in a 3-bedroom Grand Villa.  It ended up being an amazing upgrade, as the villa is huge and it still has one of the bedrooms designed accessible along with the kitchen having lower counters than normal
Bedroom with Lower (i.e more accessible) King Bed - Room Mik claimed before even realizing the bathroom was accessible
Aulani 3 Bedroom Grand Villa
Toilet in Accessible Room

Butt Cleaning Controls with Toilet in Accessible Room
 Accessible Shower, although no seat
Tub in Accessible Room
 Aulani 3 Bedroom Grand Villa 
Laundry Closet
Entryway by Accessible Room
Other Master Bedroom with 2 Queen Beds - Mom and Dad's Room
Bathroom in Other Master Bedroom - Shower Only
Dining Room Table
Bar Seating in Kitchen
Living Room Area - Couch Folds Out
Main Entryway near Living Room
Awesome Desk Lamp - Each Room has one
Third Bedroom with Two Queen Beds - Kj's Room

Aulani 3 Bedroom Grand Villa
Third Bathroom with Tub/Shower

Huge Porch that with Five Separate Doors Out to It - One from each bedroom, one from living room, and one from dining area
View of Pool Area from Grand Villa Porch
View of Ocean before Sunrise from our Porch
Aulani 3 Bedroom Villa

View of Ocean

Destination Info:
Ko Olina, Hawai'i
92-1185 Ali'inui Drive
Kapolei, HI 96707