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-   -   Our Alaskan Adventure (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3126150)

mom2twokids 06-13-2013 12:38 AM

Our Alaskan Adventure
 
After our many trips to Disneyworld and Disneyland, our one trip to Disneyland Paris and our single Mexican Riviera Disney cruise on the Wonder, I have never posted a trip report. I always use others reports to plan my trips, but have never found the courage to do my own.
This time I feel like it might actually help others and to show my gratitude to those that did post Alaska reports, I figured I would return the favor. I found them difficult to come by, especially reports that included children in the equation.

So, here I am. This is definitely out of my comfort zone, so please be gentle. We were on the June 3-10 sailing.

Here we are
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...ps1ae05a4d.jpg

Don't be fooled by my username. I joined DIS when I only had 2 kids and really only planned on 2 kids. Alas, here I am. We have 4 beautiful children and I wouldn't change a thing.

We have an 8 year old, a 7 year old, a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old. I was worried to take my kids on an Alaskan cruise when they were so young from the trip reports I read, but I have since learned that it's all a matter of opinion. Like some people say not to take your kids to Disneyworld when they are young because they won't remember.

Disclaimer: we are from Canada and were able to drive to the port, so we didn't travel across the country for this trip. We also only booked this cruise because my parents were going on it. It was their 40th wedding anniversary and a dream come true for them. We just decided to surprise them by joining them.

We did not tell our kids we were going on the cruise. Instead we told them we were going on a vacation to Vancouver. They didn't figure it out until we were through customs in the terminal and they saw the Disney cruise line signs everywhere. Their expressions were priceless.

Our excursions included Liarsville in Skagway, Summer dog sledding and discovery camp in Juneau and the lumberjack show in Ketchikan. I also have a little bit of perspective on travelling in a wheelchair. We did not do the same excursions as them, but I do have their feedback and can share what I know.

I will do my best to answer any questions and try to remember any details that others may care to hear. I will be back tomorrow to share our cruise.

ETA: Forewarning; we committed a lot of DIS faux pas. I am fully aware of how many people feel about these things. We did them anyways and they worked out for us.

Aby 06-13-2013 01:07 AM

Just wanted to let you know you have at least 1 reader! :cool1: I always love reading trip reports, and like you, I haven't seen too many detailed Alaska ones. I look forward to hearing yours....

By the way your family is beautiful :)

Aby

mom2twokids 06-13-2013 12:01 PM

Thank you Aby. It's nice to know that some one is interested and you are so kind.


I will spare you our boring travel to the port journey because it was just us in a van packed to the brim driving for 12 hours, visiting family along the way. Not my idea of fun, but it was definitely worth it!

June 3 - Boarding Day


We hadn't told our kids that we were going on a Disney cruise. They knew my parents were going on one and they were super jealous but they didn't clue in to the fact that my parents were leaving from Vancouver at the same time we were travelling to Vancouver for vacation. Thankfully.

After getting lost on our journey to the port, we finally made it. We arrived in the parking lot around 11:00 which was later than I had planned. We had an 11:30 port arrival time but I wanted to be there earlier than that.

We decided to park first and carry our luggage to the port together. We had 7 checked bags and many carryons. It's not easy to travel light with 6 people. :rotfl2: It was pretty easy to make it to the port with our luggage as there were luggage carts everywhere in the parkade. The luggage drop off point was right off the elevator so we didn't travel very far at all. We told the kids we were checking into our hotel and got in line for customs. I was planning on videoing them when they realized what was going on but you can't take pictures while going through customs. :( Hindsight says I should have told them sooner but oh well.

Besides the long line to get through security and customs, it really wasn't that difficult. We definitely had the most stuff with 4 kids, 2 strollers, 4 backpacks, a garment bag for suits and a few other things...but we managed just fine. Once we got through customs my kids finally figured it out. There were signs saying Disney Cruise line this way....that was all they needed I guess!

Once entering the waiting area we saw my parents and I had the kids run up to them and surprise them. It was wonderful. My mom got emotional and my dad stayed asleep in his wheelchair. :rotfl2:

We walked right up to the check in counter. The agent we got was not very helpful and not very friendly, but served our purpose. She knew nothing about upgrades at port and told me to check on board. I knew she was wrong and dug a little further. I found the desk to check about upgrades. We were hoping for adjoining rooms, but there were none available. They did have about a dozen or so upgrades, and I know some people upgraded at port, but I don't know prices or details.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...ps2d8e0d27.jpg

Shortly after getting to the waiting area we saw Minnie! There was next to no line, so we took the kids to see her.

We boarded less than 20 minutes after seeing Minnie. We were boarding number 7 but they never did check to see our boarding number though, so I'm not sure if anyone could have boarded at any time...:confused3 We were on the boat by 12:15 at the very latest.

I went straight to guest services to get tea party tickets. There was no line at all. I was told that the tickets were for the last sea day. I later found out that there was a tea party on Tracy Arm day. It seems crazy to me that they were sold out before we got to the desk, but we were never given that option, so they must have been. I definitely would have chosen Tracy Arm day over the last sea day.

We were told our rooms would be ready by 2:00 because they were behind schedule. We had lunch in Parrot Cay and I ran down to our stateroom around 1:15 in hopes that we could get in. By 1:30 they had opened the rooms for us and I camped outside our room hoping to convince one of our neighbors to switch rooms with us. We had booked two 11C GTY rooms and were assigned two 10B rooms right next to each other :cheer2: We had 2 rooms and both our rooms connected, but not to each other. :( I was hoping that one of our neighbors would be willing to switch with us. Finally around 2:30 our first neighbor showed up. I proposed my plan and found out that he had another stateroom on the other side of the boat and was planning on staying there anyways, so he was so kind and was more than willing to switch us!!!! :cheer2::cheer2: In the end we had 2 connecting staterooms and it made our cruise that much more magical!!

We quickly rounded up all our luggage and headed to muster drill.
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...ps58034507.jpg
This was my way of passing time at the drill, taking pictures of my kids
It sure was different being at the muster drill in chilly weather than in sweltering heat! We were some of the first people to arrive, so it was a long wait for us. Thankfully they let us go ahead of everyone else because of the baby.
From here we went to our room and unpacked a little and went to the sailaway party. We got a great spot on deck 9 and enjoyed the party :dance3:
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...psf70bcb1a.jpg
http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...psfe7e3309.jpg

After the party we got ready for dinner in Animator's Palate. We missed the light show on our last cruise, so I was excited to see it this time.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...ps053d24bc.jpg


We didn't make it to the evening show because I was too busy unpacking and organizing our room. The kids enjoyed the kids club. I did go to talk to them about putting my 2 year old who is 3 months shy of being 3 in the club and they said that I could talk to them after the first sea day and they would consider it. They knew the first sea day would be too crazy so they didn't want to talk about it until after then. Turns out, my son loved the nursery and they were so wonderful that I was more than happy to take him there. This way he was also with his younger sister, and they play really well together.

KittyKat1978 06-13-2013 12:24 PM

Hello mom2twokids!

I will be following you as well. I will be on this cruise on Sept 2nd with my mom. We have both been to Alaska before (not together) but never been on a Disney Cruise.

Looking forward to hearing about all your adventures popcorn::

nunzia 06-13-2013 12:35 PM

Enjoying your TR and following along :)

IBelieveInTheMagic 06-13-2013 03:34 PM

Looking forward to more!! So exciting :cool1: I love how the kids figured it out by reading the signs and I can imagine how frustrating it must have been not being able to take pictures!!

We are on the next sailing so naturally I'm soaking it all up before we leave!

Heather

Con5421 06-13-2013 04:12 PM

i will also read you tripreport

AZMermaid 06-13-2013 04:25 PM

I am super excited for your trip report! I am sailing July 17 with my 2.5 year old (2 months shy of 3) and 17 month old. There are so few reports with young kids I so appreciate you writing one- I am hoping too as well!

I am glad to hear your son liked the nursery. My son also plays well with his sister and is pretty easy going, so I am not planning on moving him, but am a little worried it will be babyish. But, he isn't really one to notice or complain, but I am happy your son was happy!

Yay for a nice neighbor!

travelvr 06-13-2013 05:45 PM

Thank you!
 
Hi mom2twokids! Thank you for posting your report. I booked last week to cruise in a few weeks! This will be a first cruise for all of us, and I am beyond excited! I don't know what I'm doing, so I'll be reading your report very closely for details. :)

Thanks again!

wiigirl 06-13-2013 05:49 PM

Enjoying your TR! :)

Donna3271 06-13-2013 08:48 PM

You have a beautiful family! Your Mom and Dad are cuties!!! We are on the Aug 26th cruise, so I am reading....

Tsunami 06-13-2013 10:54 PM

Thank you for taking the time to post your report! We're also bringing our children (7 and 5) and are looking forward to your tips.

Nine years ago, I surprised my grandma on an Alaska cruise. What special memories you will all have!

comet1 06-14-2013 01:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mom2twokids (Post 48672694)

I found the desk to check about upgrades. We were hoping for adjoining rooms, but there were none available. They did have about a dozen or so upgrades, and I know some people upgraded at port, but I don't know prices or details.

Where is the upgrade desk located?

mom2twokids 06-14-2013 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by comet1

Where is the upgrade desk located?

When entering the check in area you are immediately facing the long line of check in booths. The upgrade one is the very end one on the right hand side. I think it said guest services on top but I'm not completely sure. It was right next to the concierge check in.

Ellester 06-14-2013 11:15 AM

Really looking forward to your report! We are sailing on 9/2. We are also have 4 kinds, but ours are a little more spread out! (Oldest is 15, youngest is 4) The trip is a celebration for my mom's 70th birthday, so we also have a grandma! Can't wait to hear all about your adventures!!!


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