Disney Wonder Southern Caribbean 2020 Day 5

Bonaire!

We woke up at 6:30 am and went up to Cabanas buffet for breakfast. Dede, our server, was working the fruit bar. I swear those servers get precious little time off! But he always has a smile on his face!

We have rented a car for the day. So we got off the ship and walked into town a bit and were picked up by the Budget Rent a Car dude. He drove us to the airport kiosk to do our paperwork and pay for the car.

The airport there is crazy! It’s all outside! So you get off your plane and drag your luggage through sand and a parking lot to get to the car rental kiosk strip. Wild!

Once we were settled in our Hyundai Creta SUV (fun to drive!)

I drove to the Donkey Sanctuary. I’ve been looking forward to this for over a year!!! Ok so back in the 1500s donkeys were brought to Bonaire (pronounced BONE AIR) to help mine the salt. Once cars and machines became a part of the equation they didn’t need the donkeys anymore. But the donkeys were getting hit by cars on the roads and whatnot. So Marina founded the Donkey Sanctuary. There are still over 400 wild donkeys on the island. We met Marina at the ticket counter/gift shop. She only charges $9 each to get in. She needs to be charging $20! It’s so fun! So Marina tells you about the donkeys and the facility and you buy your bag of carrots (buy more than 1- there are 743 donkeys who need carrots!) and get in your car then drive through the sanctuary.

As soon as you drive in your car is MOBBED by donkeys! They stick their heads in your windows

and let you pet them and feed them and they run alongside your car

and fuss with each other over who gets to stick their head in your window. We had a BLAST!!! While we were there I FaceTimed my mom and she loved seeing all the donkeys. We were dumb and only bought one bag of carrots so next time we know to LOAD UP!

Flamingos at the Donkey Sanctuary!!!

After the donkeys we drove around the Southern side of the island. I don’t know about you but when I think island I think lush and green with white sandy beaches. Not Bonaire! They do have gorgeous beaches but a lot of the shoreline is super rocky.

And it’s not covered with lush jungle. It’s a desert island with cacti and wild goats! So interesting to see!

The rocky coast

We stopped at the slave huts.

TINY little structures the slaves lived in who mined the salt. Then we came upon the salt mounds.

Mountains of pure white salt amidst pinkish purple water! So neat! They have this giant conveyor belt that brings the salt out to the sea for the boats.

We drove back to Kralendijk for lunch. Let me just tell you, driving around this Dutch island was so fun! But confusing. My poor GPS guy in my phone, Nigel, would tell us to turn on these roads with the longest Dutch names and we were just like WHUT???? For instance, the Donkey Sanctuary is on Kaya IR Randolph Statius van Eps. And that’s an easy street name to understand! So we naturally got turned around and lost in some neighborhoods along our journeys today!

Anyway, back to lunch. Before the cruise CSP went on Yelp and Trip Advisor and found Julian’s Cafe in Kralendijk for us to go to for lunch.

It is right on the water and a Princess cruise ship was docked right in front of us.

I had the garlic shrimp and CSP had the mahi mahi. It was so good and fresh! There is a restaurant across the street from Julian’s. But their kitchen is located BEHIND Julian’s up the hill. So while we’re at lunch we were amused watching the food runners come up the stairs, cross the street, climb past us going up the hill to get to the kitchen, then carry the food all the way back to the diners!

Our bill came and CSP opened it and it blew out of the restaurant and down the sidewalk! CSP had to run after it while I had a good laugh!

After lunch we toured the North part of Bonaire. So many wild goats running around! I wanted to snatch a couple up to bring home as pets! And the cacti are HUGE!!! Also, the roads once you get out of the cities are all one lane.

Huge cacti!!!

So we were constantly pulling off road to let taxis and tour buses etc pass by. We toured Rincon City and then stopped by a supermarket, natch.

With CSP being a grocery store manager we end up in a supermarket in every new city we visit. The one we chose is Van Den Tweel. SO nice! I sat in the cafe and made some phone calls

while CSP toured the store and picked up some Coca~Cola with real sugar in it and some water. CSP is pretty much ready to pack up the pugs and move to Bonaire after seeing that store!

It was coming close to the end of our day so we had to fill up the car with gas. There are only 2 gas stations on the island (that we could find). So we went to the one closest to the airport. We had to wait in line and then CSP hopped out to fill up the car. I had taken a picture of the dashboard so we’d know how much gas to put in the car at the end of the day.

It was a guessing game for sure because you can’t pay at the pump. And when we pulled up some guy kept asking CSP “how much? how much?” and CSP was like I DON’T KNOW MAN! It was just weird because it didn’t appear that the dude worked for the gas station. Anyway, CSP put the gas in and asked me if it was enough. I cranked up the car and said yes. He paid and got back in and it was then that I remembered the picture! OOPS! I pulled up the pic and sure enough we were one indicator line short of gas. Dang it! So we had to pull around and get back in line, much to the delight of Gas Station Dude who laughed out loud at CSP! Oy.

We returned the car to the airport (only $83 for the day! MUCH less expensive than paying at least that much each for 2 excursions!!!), and they drove us right back up to the pier.

The Disney Wonder and a Princess ship

Back in our room we made some phone calls home then got showered and ready for dinner. Tonight was Semi Formal night.

Dinner was in Animator’s Palate again and tonight was the figure drawing night.

Your servers give you a marker and a big sheet of paper with outlines of a person on it. You draw in your figure and they animate it and project them on the screens around the restaurant. SO cool! CSP’s little guy got to dance with Cinderella!

After dinner we ran into Donald Duck in the hallway. CSP was oblivious and I’m yelling “Honey it’s Donald!” like a fool when I should have been snapping pictures! By this time we were exhausted from our fun day so we went back to our room for bed!

Tomorrow is another early morning as we will be in Aruba!!!

Disney Wonder Southern Caribbean 2020 Day 4

Day at Sea!

This morning we had breakfast at Triton’s. On the way there we ran into Tiana! I love her dress.

After breakfast we went back to the room to get ready for the day.

The atrium

Then it was time to shop! On each cruise we get a magnet with the year on it. Also, Mom of CSP was home in Charlotte taking care of our home and dogs so we shopped for a thank you gift for her. We found the magnet for ourselves and an Alex & Ani Disney Cruise Line bangle for MIL.

We then went up to Deck 9 for drinks and a quick bite of lunch. I love the chicken shawarma (like a chicken gyro)!

Next we headed down to the Walt Disney Theatre for Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker.

It was a full house today and a good movie! Afterwards we went back to our room for a bit and found a plate of sweets from the chef from Tiana’s Place! How nice!

Down we went to the Crown & Fin pub for the Disney version of Wheel of Fortune with Derrell. So fun!

When that was over we stopped by Guest Services to see if by chance there was any space left in tonight’s bourbon tasting. CSP lucked out and grabbed the last spot! We popped back into the shop to pick up an Alex & Ani Disney Cruise Line bangle for me.

Then up to the Future Cruise desk to book 2021’s cruise on the Magic to Key West and the Bahamas. Fun!

We went back to our room to get ready for dinner.

A lot of people decorate their stateroom doors with magnets. It helps you find your room! Here we paid homage to Stitch!

Isai our room steward was in our room at the time. He was finishing up so we went in and chatted with him for a few. He’s from the Dominican Republic and is super nice.

Dinner tonight was in Triton’s.

Pre dinner selfie

On the way to dinner we spotted Cinderella.

There was a woman and her daughter at dinner tonight sporting light up Minnie ears! Similar to this:

SO pretty! Tonight at dinner CSP had his favorite appetizer- escargot! And for dessert I had the Grand Marnier souffle. So yummy!

After dinner we walked out of the restaurant and into the hallway and ran right into Captain America! Of course my phone was in my wristlet and I didn’t think to get it out for a picture! Cap said he was out on patrol keeping the ship safe from HYDRA etc. I just love how committed the characters are to their roles! Even with the adults.

Then we headed up to the Cove Cafe for CSP’s bourbon tasting.

That was interesting!

It was a full house. I found it funny that CSP was the only one who drank all of his bourbon. Everyone else just daintily sipped theirs.

Once the bourbon tasting was over we made it back to our room for bed.

No idea what this is supposed to be!

We have to get up early tomorrow for Bonaire!!!

Disney Wonder Southern Caribbean 2020 Day 2

Today we woke up at 6 am to beat the rush to the free breakfast at the hotel. Then we came back to our room and had a we nap. We woke up, packed up, got ready for the day, and took a scary taxi ride to the port. Traffic rules don’t seem to really apply in San Juan!

We arrived to find millions of people in line for embarkation!!! The lines went on forever! First we had to stand in line outside on the surface of the sun with all our luggage to get to the luggage drop off.

Then we went inside to stand in another long line to check in.

Then we had to walk through a short maze that led us to a HUGE, air conditioned, EMPTY warehouse that we had to walk through to go back outside to walk the length of the ship. WHY couldn’t we have stood in line in the a/c in the warehouse?? I need answers Disney! We finally boarded the Disney Wonder! It took almost 2 hours to board! We are spoiled from the embarkation process in Port Canaveral, FL where it takes like 20 minutes from car to stateroom!

Our room was ready so we went to it and dropped off our day bags.

We went up to the Cabanas buffet for lunch, then back to the room to call home. Next it was time for the dreaded Muster Drill. We lined up on Deck 4. Luckily we were in the shade! And, we were even more lucky that it was over quickly! Shortest muster drill ever! Yay!!!

We went back to our room to watch the ship sail away from our verandah. There was an airfield across from the port. We watched as a helicopter went through a helicopter car wash! So cool!

We unpacked and it was time to get ready for dinner. As soon as we sailed out of the harbor the seas turned really rough! The ship was really rocking tonight! People (including me, I’m people) were pin balling down the hallways because the ship was rocking so hard!

On the way to dinner we stopped for a moment in Shutter’s (the photo gallery), and I’m so glad we did! Ariel stopped by to talk to us! She said my hair was aesthetically pleasing and did I do it with my dinglehopper?? She was so cute!!! I was so caught up in talking with her it didn’t occur to me to get out my phone for a picture! When she walked away CSP said to me “Who was that and what’s a dinglehopper?” Ha!!!

Dinner tonight was at Animator’s Palate.

I was so impressed that the servers were able to deliver meals to the tables without spilling everything everywhere with the rough seas! Our servers are Dede (male) from Indonesia and Judit from Hungary. They are fabulous and we liked them right away! Side note- Disney Cruise Line switched to paper straws. Yay for the environment! Luckily I’d heard about this before we boarded so I brought my reusable metal straws. Paper straws just don’t hold up unless you drink super fast!

Sorcerer Mickey in Animator’s Palate!!!

After dinner we went to the Cove Cafe (the adults only coffee shop) for a whisky tasting for CSP.

I am not a whisky girl so I was there for moral support.

CSP had a great time learning all about the different whisky varieties! We were there until 11:45!

We finally got back to our room and to bed at midnight.

Tomorrow– Antigua!

Disney Wonder Southern Caribbean 2020 Day 1

We woke up super early today. I was too excited to sleep really well last night. Dad of CSP picked us up and we were at the airport by 8 am for our 10:30 am flight to San Juan. We had a smooth flight to Puerto Rico and I was able to watch most of Long Shot with Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron. It was funny!

CSP was impressed with his lunch on the plane.

We arrived in San Juan and took a taxi to our hotel, the Hampton Inn in Isla Verde. The room was really nice and clean and the hotel even has a swim up bar! Fancy! We called home to let everyone know we made it safely then walked to dinner at Metropol. To get to Metropol we had to walk past a cockfighting arena! Why isn’t this illegal in PR?? If we weren’t leaving for a cruise I’d be protesting!

Dinner at Metropol was really good and authentic! CSP had a sampler plate with a TON of food. I had chicken in a garlic sauce with plantain mofungo. Then we shared a wee tres leches cake. So good!

Molly Xavier MuShu

My beautiful Molly is very sick. I just talked to our amazing vet again and here’s what’s going on. Molly has an enlarged heart, masses on her heart and liver that are most likely tumors, and fluid in her lungs. She is 13 years old, will be 14 in January. She can only see shadows out of one eye. She has arthritis. And now her organs & the tumors are pushing her windpipe against her spine, making it difficult to breathe. And apparently she wasn’t having seizures like we thought, but rather mini cardiac episodes.
Molly is my constant companion. She is always by my side. She’s the best wee dog we’ve ever had. Never caused any trouble. She LOVES everyone.
As far as treatment goes, there are some v expensive diagnostics we could have done. If found to be a tumor on her heart, and not just a benign mass, it’s recommended she goes to heaven. If it’s not a tumor she could be put on cardiac meds and we could spend another year with her, maybe. Then there are the liver tumors. That’s a separate ultrasound and treatment. We are not made of money and even if we were we don’t think we’d put her through all that. Not when we’ve had 14 incredible years with her.
This is the hardest part of being a dog parent. Our hearts are broken. THANK YOU all for your messages and texts and concern and love for us and our special girl. ❤️

I made the appointment to help Molly go to the Rainbow Bridge for tomorrow (Friday 12/13) at 2:00PM. Last night CSP worked until about 11:30 pm. He arrived home about midnight and we didn’t get to bed until about 2:30 am. Molly came to bed with us and drank some water. She ate dinner and was moving around slowly but surely. Her breathing was getting more and more labored. CSP helped her into bed where she joined me, Minnie, and Zoe. Then he picked Molly up and held her close to him while he sat on the edge of the bed. I could hear her breathing. He spoke to her softly and told her it was ok if she wanted to go on to Heaven. So she did.
Molly Xavier MuShu Redwing was the goodest, best pug ever. She was smart, yet goofy. She was so funny! She made us laugh every single day. I didn’t get to say goodbye. Even though I was in the room, I didn’t realize she was leaving us until I couldn’t hear her breathe anymore and CSP told me she was gone. I just pray that she knew how much we loved her. How much we will miss her. How much we already do.
After she passed away CSP held her while we petted her and told her how much we love her. We then wrapped her in a soft blanket and let Minnie and Zoe sniff her in the hopes they would understand (maybe?) what was going on. Faithful Companion came and picked her up today and will bring her ashes back to us tomorrow.
Today was CSP’s birthday. It was a somber day but we still tried to celebrate her life as well as CSP’s. The timing could not have been worse but we are so very thankful that Molly went to Heaven surrounded by her parents and sisters and love.
Thank you so, so much for all your kind words and messages about my buddy Molly By Golly. It really means the world to us. ♥️🐾♥️

Tomato

This is a plushy tomato toy. Last year on my birthday we stopped in at Lidl for a couple things. I stayed in the car while CSP ran in to shop. He came out with this thing that he found in the clearance bin for like $2 and proudly presented it to me. As a gift. Happy Birthday CSP exclaimed! Aw thanks, Honey! So we got home and I put the tomato on my desk. But it’s been months now and I’m not the biggest tomato fan really. So I put it with the pug toys. Keep in mind this side eye giving tomato is a good 6 inches tall, so he’s not some tiny thing I can easily find a place for on my desk. I mean, thank you, but what do I need with a giant plushy tomato?? Well fast forward to the other day when CSP was tidying up the pug toys. The pugs’ cousin Bea had been here for a week so toys were strewn everywhere. He came upon Mr. Tomato on the floor in the midst of the rest of the toys. “What’s he doing down here??? Why is he on the floor??” CSP picked him up, dusted him off and plopped him down on my printer. “I gave you this on your birthday!!!” He was low key not pleased that I’d let the tomato go to the pugs. So now he’s sitting on my printer, taking up space, eyeing me like I’m some sort of ungrateful gift traitor! Punk ass vegetable!

CSP & his CPAP

CSP has been using his CPAP machine now for about a week and a half and to say our lives have changed would be an understatement! First of all, it is now QUIET in our room at night. Before there was all the snoring and groaning and grunting and talking and leg flailing and so on and so forth! Now it’s all blissful silence! And CSP is sleeping through the night! Before his CPAP he’d wake up throughout the night and make all kinds of noise getting up to go to the restroom or to watch tv etc. The other day he slept 7 hours and woke up feeling refreshed, saying he felt better than if he’d slept 12 hours before! It’s awesome! AND- no naps! He used to almost always take a daily nap, especially if he worked an early shift. And he’d fall asleep watching tv (especially sportsball). But no more! Amazing! He’s more productive around the house now because he has so much more energy. This CPAP is a Godsend I tell you! It took YEARS of me badgering him to go to the sleep doctor and finally I just made the appointment and forced him to go. Best decision ever!!!