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SevenSeasLagoon5
08-12-2012, 04:13 PM
Background......Have only been on the Dream and about to sail the Fantasy so we're "used to" the newer ships. - Really enticed by a cruise to Alaska next year with our kids.

Can anyone describe the activities and ammenities on the Alaskan cruise vs. the newer ships? Does the ship feel dated? How is the cruise itinerary itself for a good taste of Alaska?

Thank you! :)

kcashner
08-12-2012, 04:38 PM
Just back from Alaska last week--another line but same ports as DCL. Alaska is GREAT. Really totally wonderful.

I haven't been on the Wonder in years, but the Magic is certainly not dated. True, no midship detective agency, no aquaduck...but not dated at all.

abdgeek
08-12-2012, 07:41 PM
I did the DCL Alaskan cruise last year and it was great! I don't find the Magic or Wonder dated, they are just smaller and more intimate. I haven't sailed on the new ships yet, but I've done Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Mediterranean and Western Carribbean on the Magic/Wonder. From what I can tell, all of the ships have similar places to eat, spa, etc. I don't think you will go wrong with any DCL itinerary you choose.

HyperionDreamer
08-13-2012, 02:45 AM
Dated!? :scared1: Not at all!

The classic ships are extremely well-kept, and are constantly being cleaned and repainted, so from a visual standpoint, you would never guess they were older than the Dream class. Some of the public spaces are a bit smaller (others would just say "more intimate"), but this is proportional to the smaller number of people onboard so you don't really "feel" it. The rooms themselves are the exact same size. They also lack a few of the Dream's flashier stuff, like the talking portraits, the touch-free room key swipe, or the talking screen's in Animator's Palate (although I prefer the Magic/Wonder's AP anyway), and you'll notice most of the characters referenced in the ship design onboard skew toward the 90s classics rather than the Pixar films. Otherwise, there's not much of a difference in onboard experience. My dad who's sailed on both actually prefers the old ships in many ways; he liked the smaller dining rooms and "quiet places" like the Promenade lounge that are missing on the larger ships. Keep in mind that the Wonder, being built in 1999, isn't that old; Animal Kingdom is older!

As for Alaska... we've sailed on 7 different itineraries with Disney now, including Meditteranean, Northern Europe, and multiple Mexican itineraries, and we ALL agreed that Alaska was our favorite. Not to knock the other cruises, but there was just something undeniably magical about that particular cruise. Even though it's only 7 days, the ports are all very fulfilling and interesting (much more so than, say, on a Caribbean cruise), and there's always scenery to look at, even on sea days. Skagway seemed to focus on Alaskan history and Gold Rush era, Ketchikan on "activities" like boating and sightseeing, and Juneau on its access both Alaska's capital and to a dogsledding camp on a nearby glacier. Tracy Arm (not a port) provided a day jam-packed full of amazing scenery; some of the best photos I've ever taken. As a result, there's really something for everyone between all the stops on the cruise. I have nothing but highest praise for this itinerary.

Book it... you won't regret it. :thumbsup2

Disney Dreams
08-13-2012, 03:05 AM
Went went last year on the Disney Wonder to Alaska for 7 amazingly incredible days and nights. It was wonderful. If you like DCL and want to cruise Alaska, do it.

If you have specific questions, I will try to answer them.

The onboard activities were wonderful. The excursions were great. Theoveral experience was fantastic.

- Dreams

P.S. We cruised out of Vancouver, so depending upon when you are looking at going, your cruise may be slightly different (depart Seattle vs. Vancouver, which alters port times, etc...).

Chilly
08-13-2012, 07:34 AM
We did Alaska on DCL this year and loved it. Link to my TR if you want a read but we don't have kids.

SevenSeasLagoon5
08-13-2012, 08:27 AM
Wow- You all are the best! I appreciate the responses and info.

I've looked at both itineraries...what are the pros and cons of either departure point....Seattle vs. Vancouver?

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NancyIL
08-13-2012, 08:37 AM
Wow- You all are the best! I appreciate the responses and info.

I've looked at both itineraries...what are the pros and cons of either departure point....Seattle vs. Vancouver?

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Vancouver roundtrip has longer times in port because it doesn't have to stop in Victoria. You'll also sail between Vancouver Island and the mainland. Seattle cruises usually sail west of Vancouver Island, so there is less scenic sailing and more open ocean sailing. Since you are looking at next year's cruises from Vancouver, you'll get the better itinerary.

Chilly
08-13-2012, 08:38 AM
Wow- You all are the best! I appreciate the responses and info.

I've looked at both itineraries...what are the pros and cons of either departure point....Seattle vs. Vancouver?

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seattle is this year. Vancouver is next year.

Vancouver you get longer port times but more expensive flights.

I did the repo cruise so left from Vancouver but returned to Seattle.

Disneykidsdad
08-13-2012, 09:51 AM
We chose the longer port times and a more scenic cruise next year. I think they more than make up for the highter airfare.

lilpooh108
08-13-2012, 12:40 PM
I'll be honest. We've been on the Wonder twice & the Dream twice. The Wonder (at certain parts) has a bad smell. The first time it was coming from the common area bathrooms. The second time we were on it (7/16 Alaskan) it was coming from our toilet. It was backed up, they had to snake it (debris was coming back up). They weren't surprised, then it smelled the rest of the trip.

It is older, but clean. The lobby is alot smaller. We didn't mind it as the Wonder was our first cruise experience and we like it alot, but it certainly is not as impressive as the Dream.

The crowds are more intimate, and the "vibe" is better than the Dream, IMO. But, the facilities do show their age despite their constant painting and cleaning.

Still, I'd take a trip on the Wonder any day, smelly toilet or not.

abdgeek
08-13-2012, 03:08 PM
Wow- You all are the best! I appreciate the responses and info.

I've looked at both itineraries...what are the pros and cons of either departure point....Seattle vs. Vancouver?

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My 2011 DCL Alaskan cruise left out of Vancouver and I loved it. There was so much to do in Vancouver that I spent two extra days(1 before & 1 after)seeing the sights. I know it was probably a little more expensive than going out of Seattle(you are technically flying out of the country), but I thought it was worth it. I had been to Seattle before, and I was not interested in returning.

GW45
08-13-2012, 06:39 PM
We've been on the Magic once and the Wonder twice and just got off the Fantasy. While I loved the brand new squeaky clean feel of everything in our Fantasy stateroom (especially the great big porthole in our Ocieanview room on Deck 7) and loved the Aquaduck and the modern touches, the size of the ship had me getting nostalgic for the 'classic ships'. On sea days I was uncomfortable up on the pool deck as it was so crowded (I really never felt the Wonder or Magic were crowded even though the public spaces were smaller) and I have to say I hated the Enchanted Garden-while the decor is nice it reminded me of a noisy overcrowded cafeteria - the tables were so close together and I know at first seating its noisier with more kids but it just felt like a racket and we ate quickly and got out of there the three times we had dinner there. The Royal Court was only more pleasant because our table happened to be one of the ones in the 'Private Room' so it didn't feel so crowded. Animators Palate is great on the new ships but I enjoyed it on the older ships too.
My kids reminded me of the things they missed about the older ships-the character breakfasts, the Friendship Rocks show from the kids Clubs, Tea with Alice and the parade of the servers at the final nights dinner. Ther sheer numbers on the Fantasy and Dream probably make those shows too difficult to schedule -again, bigger isn't always better!
As for Alaska.......it was just fantastic!:)

tajz90
08-13-2012, 06:45 PM
Loved our Alaska DCL cruise.

The Magic is our favorite ship. We love The Wonder too. The new ships are great, but the classic ones have stole our heart.

As for the sewer smell... It can happen on any ship.

We flew into Vancouver because we had limited pre-cruise vacation. We stayed the night at the Pan Pacific and enjoyed Vancouver. We took the train to Seattle because 1) the train and air home was much cheaper than the flight into Vancouver and 2) we wanted to visit Seattle and The Olympic National Park. Had a great time.