Disney Wonder Alaska July 2013 with PICTURES & NAVIGATORS!!! (Updated 7/12/14)
We just returned from our 7 night Alaskan cruise aboard the Disney Wonder. We flew into Vancouver a day early. Since we arrived pretty early in the day, we walked down to Gastown which had lots of shops and ate at The Spaghetti Factory. We ordered spaghetti & meat sauce, spaghetti & meatballs, and linguine. All of the meals came with a salad, bread and spumoni ice cream for dessert. We thought the meal was very good and enjoyed the ambience of the restaurant. We have eaten in The Spaghetti Factory in Honolulu so we knew what we were getting into with this choice. There was a restaurant named Steam Works in this area as well. We checked out the menu here. It had a selection of burgers, beers, and sandwiches. We almost decided to eat here. You also pass a chocolate shop on the way to The Spaghetti Factory, just past Steam Works.
We walked over to Canada Place and picked up the Alaska Shopping Guide so I could peruse it to decide which shops we NEEDED to stop in at each port of call. I highly recommend picking this up early, if possible, so you don't have to spend any time during the cruise reading it. I will be happy to answer questions about shopping (I brought a book home with me), if you have any.
We stayed the night at The Fairmont Waterfront. It is a beautiful hotel with views of either Canada Place or the city skyline. The cost for the city skyline is less than the rooms that face Canada Place. The room was clean and well stocked. Beds were comfortable.
DAY 1-CRUISE BEGINS
The next morning we ate breakfast in the Waterfront Centre Mall which is located under The Fairmont Waterfront. They have a Starbucks with coffee and pastries. They also have a Nature Fair which had hot oatmeal, cold cereal, yogurt parfaits, juices and fresh fruits. There is a Tim Horton's and Subway which both served breakfast items.
We returned to our room until check out time and then walked across the street to Canada Place to check in for the cruise. As we went through Canadian Customs, I was separated from my party (one handicapped individual with helper went through the speed line) and directed to the long line. The others in my party were constantly shooed away while waiting on me to get through the long line. When I finally reached the Customs counter, the gentlemen asked if I was traveling alone. When I responded no and explained I was separated from my handicapped mother, he said that should not have happened (that's what I thought too). Once we were all back together, we were directed to the Castaway Club line. Everything went smoothly for this process as we had most of the items completed via the internet. We were issued our KTTW cards and waited in the seating area until our boarding group was called to board. Once we boarded, we skipped past those having their pictures taken and headed to Parrot Cay for lunch. We particularly enjoyed the little slider sandwiches, salad and variety of desserts offered on this buffet. A buffet is also served at Beach Blanket Buffet which runs a little longer in the day than the Parrot Cay buffet.
We went to check out the stateroom after lunch and met our host Juni. So I don't forget, he did a wonderful job of keeping our stateroom clean and stocked during our cruise. We had a blinking light fixture and a drawer stuck in the out position when we arrived in the stateroom. I told Juni about the problem and he contacted maintenance. Juni stayed on top of them until the issues were rectified. We requested a certain number of towels and 2 sets of Navigators each night. Juni delivered. We asked Juni to reset the clocks when needed. He did. Anything we asked, he took care of with a smile on his face. Whenever he saw us, he greeted us and asked about our day or where we were headed (dinner, show, etc.). Great stateroom host-you're in for a treat if you get him. We had always had stateroom hostesses until this trip. We are pleased to say host or hostess, they have all done a great job!
Next on the agenda was the mandatory safety drill. Again, my handicapped mother was separated from us so she could sit during the drill. My father and I were moved repeatedly until she couldn't see us. Near the end, a lovely cast member brought her over to find us so we could leave a little early before the crowd. Disney Cast Members rock!
We made our way to Deck 10 to watch the Adventures Away show. The best part was when the characters came on stage. Sailing away was pretty special as you hear the Disney horn play When You Wish Upon A Star.
We returned to our stateroom to find all our luggage ready and waiting. So we hurriedly unpacked since we had early seating for dinner. Our first meal was in Parrot Cay. We had the PTTAPTA rotation. I had the Baked Crab Martinique, cold mango & papaya soup and mixed grill. It came with beef tenderloin, a lamb chop, bacon wrapped sausage, jumbo shrimp and asparagus. Everything was cooked perfectly, served at the temperature it was supposed to be, and was delicious. I ate the tenderloin and shrimp but could not manage the rest of the meat (too much food). The asparagus was cooked nicely-not too crunchy but not soggy either. My mother had the asparagus soup and salmon served with cauliflower, broccoli & carrots with a baked potato. She enjoyed the salmon as it was baked but stated that the vegetables were a little uncooked and crunchy. My father had the braised jerk seasoned pork chop (it's about 1 1/2" or more thick!), parrot cay salad and mango papaya soup. My father had a stomach ache and felt dizzy and light-headed after eating the pork chop. He had a fainting episode at the table right after dinner before dessert and we needed the medical team to come check him out. The head waiter (Richard) and the medical team did a great job of assisting me during this incident. When my father came to, he had a jalepeno seed in his mouth. We are not sure what triggered this episode, but we would not recommend this pork chop. It looked very pink in the center. We ordered 2 Sweet Temptations after the medical team cleared him. I shared some of my sweets with dad in case his blood glucose was low.
We went to Future Cruise Sales and booked our next cruise and then went shopping because dad wanted to get the Alaska book with the map in it. He did not get one last time we cruised to Alaska two years ago. We skipped the show and went back to the stateroom for dad to rest. He got a good night of rest. I did not sleep as I had been instructed to keep an eye on him by the medical team. Just so no one is left hanging and wondering, he was fine the entire rest of the cruise. We are investigating the cause here at home with the doctor, however.
More to come-stayed tuned!:eeyore:
Day 2-AT SEA
We had breakfast at Beach Blanket Buffet. They have a variety of hot items (eggs, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, french toast) as well as cold cereal, yogurt, pastries, juices and hot drinks. The service line moves quickly and we could find a place to sit fairly quickly.
We went to Treasure Ketch and purchased a Fossil belt. They were giving away free bingo cards with purchase on this morning. Another cruiser gave my dad his bingo card as well.
We attended the Alaskan Naturalist Presentation by Bob Armstrong at 9:30 am. He talked about his career with the Alaska Departartment of Fish & Game. I thought the presentation was a little disjointed and jumped around without connecting material at times. I wondered if it was just me since I had no sleep the night before, but my parents and other cruisers confirmed they felt the same way.
We went to Diamond Jackpot Bingo after the presentation to play our two free cards. It was very loud and upbeat in bingo. I had not had enough rest for this so we left right after our game.
We went back to the stateroom and watched scenery out our window and rested. I went to Cove Cafe for snacks and to the drink station for soft drinks.
We dressed in our formal clothes and went down to the Captain's Reception a little early. We were first in line to have formal pictures taken on the staircase. We got drinks and people watched until time for dinner. We had dinner in Triton's. It was the Golden Mickey's menu. We all had the Award drink (mango, peach, banana and vanilla ice cream-very refreshing!). We all had the carmelized bay scallops with risotto, Tom Turkey meal with mashed sweet potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and cranberries-yummy. Dad had the mixed baby greens salad which he said was crisp and enjoyable. We all had the Sweet Temptation for dessert. If you've never tried the Sweet Temptations, I definitely recommend them. You get a little sample of three different desserts. It saves you the trouble of trying to figure out what to order since many times, they all sound good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We attended the Golden Mickeys show after dinner. We had seen this show two years ago, but enjoyed it so much, we knew we didn't want to miss it. It was fantastic. It had many classic movie scenes and songs and the lady who played Enson Benson did a wonderful job.
Day 3-TRACY ARM FJORD
We had our character breakfast in Parrot Cay on this day. Minnie, Mickey, Goofy & Pluto come around to each table for autographs and pictures. They are dressed in their Caribbean attire to coordinate with the restaurant theme. We got some great pictures of all of us with each character thanks to the Disney cast member "handlers" that travel with each of the characters. We all had Hawaiian Shores for breakfast. It was recommended by our server Orlan. (Side note here: Our service team of Orlan along with his assistant server Yanupa did a fabulous job for us the entire cruise. Yanupa spent time each day presenting us with a crayon puzzle of some sort that we had to figure out. They both provided anything and everything we asked them for at each meal. I would highly recommend them.) The Hawaiian Shores was scrambled eggs with grilled ham and hash browns. We liked this combination a lot.
After breakfast, we attended the second Alaskan Naturalist Presentation entitled Life Around the Mendenhall Glacier. It was presented by Bob Armstrong. He did an excellent job on this presentation. We saw lots of photographs of black bears, beavers, mountain goats, wolves and glaciers. We were glad we didn't miss this presentation.
We went to Shutters to view our formal night pictures and ended up purchasing two of them along with the special portfolio for the Alaskan cruise. It had an 8 x 10 autographed character picture (in their Alaskan attire) and an 8 x 10 of the Disney Wonder in front of the glacier (I think it is Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm) for $19.95 ($14.95 with a picture package). It had room for another 8 x 10 photo so I placed our family's formal picture in that spot. Very nice, reasonably priced souvenir.
We spent the afternoon viewing Tracy Arm. We saw most of it from the stateroom large porthole window and were able to hear the narration (which we couldn't hear at all 2 years ago on deck). When I saw something I wanted to take a picture of, I just ran down to Deck 4 and snapped it. I heard them telling about bringing up 2 chunks of glacier ice on the narration (broadcast on channel 25-1 on your stateroom TV) so I went down to take pictures of that also. The chunk of ice was too large to fit through the walkway/running track so they called out maintenance to come chisel some away. They left one chunk on Deck 4 and took the other up by Mickey's Pool. This whole experience was something I missed two years ago because I could not hear the narration out on deck.
I had my picture taken with Minnie in her Alaskan outfit (it's adorable if you haven't seen it-she has an Eskimo type of coat on) before dinner.
We ate in Triton's off the regular dinner menu. I had the avocado citrus salad and lobster macaroni. The salad was an unusual combination and I really enjoyed the freshness of it. I wasn't a big fan of the lobster macaroni. It was okay but I thought it would be more like regular macaroni and cheese with pieces of lobster meat throughout. It was large tubes of pasta with very little white cheese sauce and one chunk of lobster meat. Dad had escargots, french onion soup, market green salad and the beef tenderloin. He thought the escargots and soup very delicious and the tenderloin was very tender and juicy (after seeing it, I wished I had gotten it-next time!). Mom had the escargots, tomato basil soup and lobster macaroni. She is a "pasta head," but didn't eat much of the lobster macaroni at all. She really enjoyed the escargots and reported that the soup was tasty but not too spicy.
We went to the Ricky Kalmon Hypnosis show after dinner. What a waste of time-wished we would have walked out. This show seemed very "hokey." Dad was tired so he went to the stateroom while Mom and I went to Who Wants to be a Mousketeer. Unfortunately, we weren't selected to play. I knew all the answers but one for the 5 games that took place. Maybe next time?!?!?!?!? :eeyore:
Great TR, we are trying to decided where we want to go on our next cruise. Alaska sounds fabulous but I hate the cold, so I am not sure.
The scenery in Alaska is so beautiful-that's why we went back. I am sure you would enjoy it:eeyore:
Before I forget, I wanted to mention the fog we experienced on Tracy Arm Day. The captain started blowing the fog horn VERY early in the morning on Tracy Arm day-about 3 am. I looked out the porthole window and could not see anything but fog right up to the window. Captain Fabian came on later in the morning to explain why he was blowing the fog horn. I thought he might also be preparing us for the possibility of having to divert to a different glacier, but the fog cleared later and we could go into Sawyer Glacier. We also had dense fog on Ketchikan day.
We began the day in Beach Blanket Buffet for breakfast. You can get made-to-order omelets here and mom likes the oatmeal. We had the 10:45 am MUSHER'S CAMP & SLED DOG EXPERIENCE port adventure. We met in Studio Sea and were escorted to the van. Our driver was Jerry and he did a great job of explaining the local history of Skagway and pointing out buildings and businesses of interest. Unfortunately, his microphone was not operable which made it difficult for anyone not sitting in the first couple of seats to hear anything he said on the journey. Once we arrived at the camp, we crossed the stream full of spawning pink salmon to the modern bathrooms that were installed fairly recently (no more porta potties). We were loaded into a Unimog for the ride up the mountain. This road is full of switchbacks and some bumps, but suprisingly the ride was pretty comfortable. Christine met us and we were taken to the summer dog sled vehicle which looks a lot like a converted golf cart. The dogs were barking and jumping and basically ready to go if we would only get on so they could run!!!!! The sleds hold 6 individuals so we were paired with another family of 3 for the ride. I was able to take some pictures from the dog sled before we started off. We stopped about halfway around the mile track and Christine took pictures of us in the vehicle and from the front of the vehicle so you could see all the dogs. She also took one from her vantage point behind the vehicle where she stands when the sled is running. When we arrived back at the starting point, we were given time to pet and interact with the dogs and take pictures. We were loaded back into the Unimog and went part way down the mountain to a scenic overlook. I took some pictures here (the Disney Wonder was in the background--way in the background!) but you could see the mountains and water as well. We arrived back at base camp where the dog musher delivers his talk. We were told we could use the bathrooms, which we did, but when we came back out the musher had disappeared and by the time we located him, he was most of the way through his talk. I did think they could definitely do a better job of keeping groups together when we passed from Jerry to the musher at this point. Since we got to hold older and then 2 week old puppies right after this, I just brushed off the fact that I had missed this portion of the experience. The puppies were adorable and we got lots of pictures with each of us holding the puppies. The experience was well worth the price and we were all very pleased with this port adventure.
Jerry dropped us off in town (note that this excursion does not return you to the ship dock). We stopped at a couple of shops in town and then returned to the ship. Dad and I went to Beach Blanket Buffet to pick up some mini sandwiches, cheese chunks and desserts. We also stopped at the drink station. We took everything back to the stateroom and had a nice snack.
We had dinner at Animator's Palate. We all had the butternut squash soup-we have had it many times before and we highly recommend it. Mom had the phyllo wrapped salmon fillet while Dad & I opted for the Lemon-thyme marinated chicken with root vegetables (beets, rutabaga, turnips, carrots). Mom loved the salmon-it was moisty and flaky and the phyllo was baked to perfection. Dad and I thought the chicken was moist and juicy. All of the vegetables were cooked perfectly and probably the best root vegetables I have ever eaten. And we have to mention that Foccaccia bread-to die for! Our assistant server probably wondered where we were putting all that bread. For dessert, Mom & I opted for the Sweet Temptations. (If you are interested in hearing more about the Sweet Temptations from each meal, leave a reply and I will answer.) Dad had the ice cream sundae with the date and walnut cake which he thought was very good-we all love dates though.
The evening's entertainment was the movie Monsters University. We have not seen Monsters Inc. so I wasn't too sure about this movie. Mom chose not to go to the movie, but Dad & I gave it a try. Guess we are more of a classic Disney family since we walked out after about 20 minutes. We have enjoyed other Pixar movies like Cars and Finding Nemo, but couldn't get into this one at all.
I went to Treasure Ketch and bought the moose animal hat and to Mickey's Mates for a Disney Cruise Line lanyard. I had already picked up one of the DCL character Tervis mugs on the first night of our cruise.
Treasure Ketch had a lot of Alaska merchandise-scrapbook kits, Tervis mug with Alaska liner, Alaskan Birch Caramels, Alaska mixed chocolates in a box, salmon, ulu knives, animal hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, nesting DCL figurines, bald eagle & bear stuffed animals, bear stuffed puppet, mugs, Alaska ornaments and more. They also had the Chamilia DCL ship, DCL anchor, DCL life preserver charms as well as other Disney charms. Treasure Ketch had the blue stripe Dooney & Bourke wristlet, letter carrier and purse and the 4 Ships patterned backpack, wristlet, and tote with the paisley 4 boats print.
I went to Shutters after the trip to the gift shop to pick up my Minnie character picture. It had Tracy Arm on the bottom of the picture-I really liked that touch.
Stay tuned for Juneau! :eeyore:
I neglected to mention the show in Animators Palate. This is a favorite restaurant of ours on the classic ships. We did not enjoy either experience in Animators Palate on the Fantasy. I had read rave reviews about the two shows, but we could not see or hear either show where we were seated on the Fantasy and the dining room was ultra crowded and super noisy. We went to WDW a few months later and planned to skip the Turtle Talk with Crush Show because of our horrible experience on the Fantasy. A cast member invited us in and when I explained what happened on the Fantasy, they promised a better experience (and they delivered!).
In Animators Palate, the animation begins in black and white drawings and slowly takes on color aspects as you progress through your meal. By the time you reach the dessert stage, the entire restaurant has transformed into living color. The service staff switch their black & white animation vest to the other side and it is in color. We really missed this show on the Fantasy and hope that Disney does not remove it from the classic ships.
I also forgot to mention the DCL Trivia game Dad & I attended at 4:30 pm on Skagway day. It was led by Cally who was the team leader of our muster station during the safety drill on day 1. She did an excellent job of combining professionalism with enthusiasm without being over the top. We had the most correct answers and won DCL journals. They are a very nice blue leather-like material with lined notebook. The front and back have a pocket and the front has a business card pocket also. There is a pen holder in the back. We also received WINNER ribbons that we wore to dinner. It was a lot of fun to play!
Okay, finally ready for the next installment...
We began the day in Triton's for breakfast. Dad and I ordered the french toast and pineapple stack. It is the best breakfast item on the menu. We get this every time we cruise! We did not have a port adventure scheduled for this day. We went to Mendenhall Glacier two years ago. I recommend seeing Mendenhall when you go to Alaska. It is beautiful. You can walk the trails and see bears fishing for salmon in the creek. I walked one trail two years ago and was at Mendenhall Lake where a chunk of glacial ice had floated onto the shore. I was able to touch and photograph it. We spent a portion of our time here in the Visitors Center where you can see a film and touch glacial ice as well.
Mom returned to the stateroom while Dad & I ventured into town. We stopped in Tanzanite International to pick up a jewelry pouch. We wandered into the fur shop that was having a store closing sale. I found a nice leather coin purse for Mom here at half price. We went into Caribou Crossings. They are owned by an Alaskan family. They sell a variety of Alaskan art made by local artists. We purchased a hand carved jade bear with a fish in its mouth (jade is the Alaskan stone), 2 photographs by Alan Corbett and an Alaskan shot glass with a dog sled team on it (for a friend back home who collects them). Alan Corbett is a wildlife photographer. If you have never seen his work, you should stop in this store just to view some of his amazing photographs. He had glaciers, eagles, bears, wolves (ask the shopkeeper about the legend of Romeo the wolf-very sad!), the Northern Lights and so much more. Absolutely beautiful! I purchased Sawyer Glacier reflected into the ocean water and the Northern Lights over a cabin. We stopped in Alaska Shirt Co. to pick up some $1.99 Alaskan baseball caps. They also had Tshirts in their bargain bins-best prices in Alaska for souvenir hats & shirts. I also bought a husky dog animal hat at Alaska Shirt Co. (I had purchased the moose animal hat on board the Wonder).
Dad & I returned to the ship and made a run to Beach Blanket Buffet for mini sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies. We stopped at the drink station to refill our mugs and hit Cove Café for desserts (we had chocolate filled éclairs, brownies, oatmeal cookie pops, a variety of fruit tarts, cheesecakes, and much more on the different days we stopped in here-all of them were delicious!). We took everything to the stateroom and ate around the porthole window while watching the dock activity.
At 1 pm, Dad & I went to play Cruisin for Trivia (a general knowledge trivia game) which was again hosted by Cally. I won and Dad came in second. We each got the DCL blue water bottle as our prize. We went to the stateroom to collect Mom and all headed down to the Buena Vista Theatre to watch Lincoln. This movie was outstanding. We had not seen it in the theatre and Dad is a Civil War & history buff so it was right up his alley.
The movies that were playing during the week of our cruise were: Brave, Iron man 3, Snow White, The Avengers, Peter Pan, Lincoln, Oz The Great & Powerful, The Lone Ranger, Monsters University, and Wreck It Ralph (which my parents wanted to see but conflicted with the Naturalists presentation).
The movie lasted 2½ hours so we finished just as the Pixar Pals Party got started in the Atrium. We returned to our stateroom and shortly afterwards we heard the distress call Starbright Engine Room #3 come over the intercom into the stateroom. I knew this was an emergency call (I used to be a Disney Cast Member). I was looking out the porthole and saw the fire engine and an ambulance pull in the parking lot. Wonder crew members and the HR department head met them. About 15 minutes later they wheeled a crew member up the ramp (he looked like he was wearing the blue maintenance uniform and I assumed he was an engine room employee). Anyway, said a little prayer for him. It made me sad to see him go in the ambulance to the hospital all alone.
We had dinner in Parrot Cay. It was the Toy Story Menu tonight. I had not read very positive remarks about this meal, but we enjoyed it. We all had the Emeryville Cocktail with crab, shrimp & lobster. It was refreshing. Dad had the miso chicken noodle soup and Mom & I had the orange and beetroot salad. Dad liked the soup (this was something new for him as he had never had miso soup before). He liked the dumplings in it. The salad was unusual but crisp and a good balance of tart and sweet flavors. We all had the oven baked lobster. It was piping hot when our server Orlan removed it from the shell for us. They brought us melted butter (clarified butter). The lobster was so tender and sweet (Red Lobster could take a lesson here-my last lobster there was like eating cardboard!). We all tried Woodys warm apple & custard cobbler. Mom isnt a big apple dessert eater like Dad & I, but she was impressed with this dish so that's saying a lot. The apples were cooked perfectly and had a cinnamon flavor to them which was complemented nicely by the almond praline ice cream. Instead of a top pie crust, Disney topped the apple concoction with cobbler nuggets. I want to say that was the best part of the dessert, but, honestly, every part of this dessert was delicious-I wanted another one!! One note here, the servers give you 3D glasses to use for the picture on the front of the menu. I don't know what we did wrong, but it didn't seem to be 3D to us (and yes, we even switched to the other side of the glasses).
We all went back to the stateroom after dinner. Mom wanted to see the sun set. Dad & I left to get seats at Toy Story the Musical around 8 pm. When we went two years ago, neither of my parents had seen Toy Story and could not follow this show at all. I made sure they saw Toy Story 1 & 2 this past year. Dad said the show was much better this time since he knew what was going on in the story from seeing the movies.
Just a mention about the non-alcoholic drink of the day. It was Arctic Buzz with pineapple juice, apple juice, cranberry juice and Sprite. It is very light and refreshing. I like all the juices mixed together in this drink. We also had the Passion Cream Fizz (also called Pasion Cream Freeze on some sailings) on Day 2 during the Golden Mickeys show (the bar servers come around in the theatre and ask if you'd like something from the bar). It has passion fruit juice and ice cream (and mango I think). It was very good too.
Everything sounds so good to eat, I would have to lose weight before I go on this cruise. Then I could eat everything and not worry. Just wondering you said you were a CM, do they give discounts for cruises?? My DS girlfriend just got a job there and we have to wait the ninety days to see what it is.
We started the day with the fog horn blowing and when I looked out the porthole window it was as thick as pea soup. By the time we were half way through breakfast, it had cleared up. Since all of the character breakfasts were completed, we could eat in Parrot Cay this morning. It was a very similar buffet to Beach Blanket, but mom preferred the toppings available for the oatmeal here and the omelettes were pre-made.
I wanted to get pictures with Chip & Dale so I went early to be first in line. I was so early, I was able to get a picture with Donald in his lumberjack outfit. This picture had the word Ketchikan printed on it with the totem pole in the lower left hand corner.
Mom had worn her Chip hat to the character breakfast because two years ago Chip & Dale came to the table. Since they had not made an appearance at the character breakfast this year, she came with me to show them her hat. Chip was thrilled, Dale...not so much. I told him I loved BOTH of them and wanted my picture taken with both of them. He was quite happy after that affirmation. I was excited to have a picture with the two of them together. I only had pictures of them separately until now. The left hand corner of their picture has a pile of nuts in it and it also had the cruise dates. The rest of the pictures I purchased were 8 x 10s, but for some reason when I ordered these you could only get 6 x 8s. And I had to order them, I could not find them anywhere in the stacks of photo displays. So, I recommend checking your pictures before the last night so they can print any you are missing. I didn’t actually check my Donald and Chip & Dale photos until Sunday (tomorrow on this trip report) late morning. I ordered the Chip & Dale photos and they were ready after 9 pm on Sunday.
We had scheduled the 11:15 am Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary, Raptor Center & Totems port adventure. We met in the Walt Disney Theatre and were escorted to the buses. The guide took us through Ketchikan to the Rainforest Sanctuary. We unloaded and were offered ponchos in case of rain and instructed to leave all edible food products (including gum and breath mints) in the bins. These items would be returned to us at the end of the excursion. Our guide was Adam. He was the youngest guide at the sanctuary and he wants to work in the Forest Service when he finishes college. We began our hour rainforest hike. Adam stopped multiple times along the way to show us trees, plants, flowers and berries. He also asked many times if anyone had any questions which was nice. He answered any questions that were asked and he was very professional and knowledgeable. This was a nicely paced walk that was accommodating to any individuals with disabilities or handicaps (as long as you are ambulatory and can walk without assistance). We saw Sitka spruce, red cedar, blueberries, salmonberries, recent bear tracks, bear trails, bear scat (look it up if you don’t know what it is), former bear caves in tree roots, and a muskeg.
When we completed the rainforest walk, we came out on a covered walkway along the stream and estuary. An eagle flew in and landed on the railing of the walkway and we could see pink salmon running in the stream. Adam heard a mention on his radio that a bear had been spotted in the rainforest near the estuary. I saw the black bear emerge from the rainforest. It was a young cub of about 1 ½-2 years old. He bounded across the stream and headed into the undergrowth of the wall on the far side of the stream. I kept a lookout in that vicinity and in about 6-8 minutes he came out of the undergrowth again.
Since everyone had a picture, we proceeded to the former sawmill on the property. They had much of the original equipment still there as the sawmill closed in 1999 (I believe). You could see large samples of Sitka spruce, yellow cedar and red cedar cross cuts. They have estimated that the Sitka spruce sample was about 500 years old.
We went into the Raptor Center next where a guide had a Great Horned Owl to show us. I was able to get close up pictures of the owl with no eyes open, one eye open and both eyes open. They also have a bald eagle there so I took pictures of her as well. Both birds had wing injuries and cannot be released into the wild so they take care of them at the sanctuary.
Our next stop was to visit the 5 caribou. These reindeer were rescued from a sausage factory in Russia (yes, folks, if you see reindeer sausage on the menu, it is not a euphemism for something else…it IS reindeer sausage!-yuck!). We were given lettuce to feed to them and the guide there told us about them and answered questions.
The last stop on the tour was the carving shed of Wayne Newsom master totem pole carver. He was working on a large salmon sculpture that will be displayed along the walkway by the stream/estuary. Wayne said he will make a carving of all 5 types of salmon “in his spare time” between carving totem poles. He has carved all of the totem poles in front of the sanctuary. I took some time to photograph them. Wayne said his tallest totem pole is 43” high! His totem poles are all over the country. When he finishes carving one, his wife paints them. Wayne is a Tsimpshian from a Native community in Metlakatla on Annette Island.
After the tour is completed, you can sample some snacks in the gift shop and get a drink (included with your tour), use the bathrooms or shop. I was able to locate a stuffed husky dog here and took some pictures of the large taxidermy bear in their display case. We all felt this port excursion was well worth the price as we got to see a lot of things we were interested in..and a bear! We were taken by a different guide by bus back to the ship dock.
We walked across the street to Christmas in Ketchikan. We had visited this store two years ago and wanted to pick up a hand painted Alaska Christmas ornament. We found one with the glacier reflected in the water and the Northern Lights in the sky we absolutely LOVED. I also found another stuffed husky dog that needed to go home with us (if I keep this up, I’ll have a sled dog team!).
We arrived back at the stateroom and had our daily Cove Café/Beach Blanket Buffet afternoon snack. Dad & I went to the Who Am I? game at 4pm. We had no idea what we were getting into since we have never been to this game. One person steps out of the group and the group decides on a Disney character. You get 10 questions to identify your character. Dad opted not to play since he didn’t think he knew enough Disney movies to guess his character. I gave it a valiant effort, but could not identify my character (Mater-and I saw that Pixar movie! Did I mention I’m a classic Disney fan?!?!?!?).
We had dinner at Triton’s. It was the Taste of Alaska menu. We all had the Lemonaskan (vanilla ice cream, lemon juice, lemonade and agave nectar-YUMMY!) non-alcoholic drink. Mom & Dad had this two years ago and raved about it so I tried one the following night and loved it too. Mom had the crispy garden salad, honey mustard marinated Alaskan salmon and Sweet Temptations. She did not care for the salmon as it was grilled making it quite dry. She prefers her salmon baked or broiled. She did enjoy the spinach and new potatoes served with it, however. Dad had the Alaskan king crab legs (they were loading the ship with fresh fruit and seafood when we got back on in the afternoon), crispy garden salad, roasted dill scented chicken with linguini and Cool-N-Crunch Sundae. The chicken was moist and juicy and he enjoyed the mint chocolate chip ice cream in the sundae. I had the cheese & carrot souffle (you have to try it-it is so light and fluffy with a sweet carrot taste), crispy garden salad (no thanks on the white radishes for any of us), pork tenderloin and Sweet Temptations. I don’t care for cauliflower or mushrooms which is what actually comes with the pork tenderloin so I asked my server for potatoes instead. They are more than happy to customize a dish, just ask. The Sweet Temptations were delicious as always. The bread tonight was rye-one of mom’s favorites and it was served with a cucumber yogurt dip which dad really enjoyed.
We all attended the show which was The Comedy & Ventriloquism of Michael Harrison. He was funny and fabulous. If you get to see his tennis ball routine, you will die laughing! We had an enjoyable time at this show and would go again. We have never attended any of the cruise performer shows prior to this cruise. I was very concerned after the hypnosis show that they would all be lame, but we had nothing to worry about and I was determined to at least experience it this cruise. I was really happy that we did.
I have all of the Navigators from the week, the Wonder shopping guide and recommendations, the shopping guide for Alaska and Vancouver information books if anyone reading this has any questions. I would be happy to answer them for you if I am able.
If you can go to Alaska, just GO! You won’t regret it. :eeyore:
I used to be a cast member, past tense, so unfortunately, there are no cruise discounts. Cast members I have spoken with recently say it is very difficult to schedule a cruise since they don't know when they can get time off to go or that it doesn't coincide with departure dates for the cruises they want to go on. :eeyore:
I am very much enjoying your trip report! Thank you for sharing
WOW!!! You're report trip is great. I'm not finish the reading, but the part I read, it's a treat. We're in Alaska cruise in June 2014. Thnx for sharing!!!
great trip report, have some questions for you
I have really enjoyed reading your trip reports and its getting me even more excited for my first Disney Cruise that leaves for Alaska on Aug 19th (especially the dinners & evening shows).
Could you please let me know what night is the semi-formal attire evening. Looks like formal is Day 2 at Sea day.
If you attended the Pixar Party, what did you think of it?
Are you able to find out prior to sailing departure date when your character breakfast will be?
Any thoughts / recommendations on the photo packages offered? How did you decide?
Besides the stuffed husky dogs any recommendations on souvenirs from ports or ship?
Day 7-AT SEA (IT'S SO SAD, IT'S SO SAD, IT'S OUR LAST DAY!):worried:
I started the day by watching the debarkation talk broadcast on channel 22-3 in the stateroom while getting ready. We went to Beach Blanket Buffet for breakfast. That was followed by Alaskan Naturalist Cynthia Gibson's presentation on the Bears of Southeast Alaska. We learned a lot about the history of bears in the area and the geographical locations for the brown and black bears. She had tons of pictures and was well spoken. Next on the agenda, was napkin folding. I had been adding this to my suggestions on the DCL survey so I was pretty pleased to see it offered. I have been to the towel folding seminar (which was held during the Naturalists bear presentation on this cruise) so I didn't mind missing that, but I do wish that Disney would offer more of these activities on days when we are in port as it seemed that this day was packed with events. And speaking of packed, that's something you have to accomplish on this day so I returned to the stateroom to pack for all three of us so we could set the suitcases out in the hallway between 8:30-10:30 pm. Your room host will transport it to the loading area and there it will be separated by the character tags you have been given. We had an early flight so our character was Daisy Gray.
I finished in time for us to catch the Family Variety Show-Physical Comedy of Michael Holly. I had hoped he would be one of the featured cruise performers in the evening showtime (he could have replaced Ricky Kalmon as far as we were concerned). He juggled all kinds of things. His routine with the two bowling balls and a peanut M & M (W W if you live in Australia or 3 3 if you live near the equator-you might have needed to attend the show to get that joke!) was hysterical! Michael kept teasing one side of the audience for not getting his jokes. He was high energy and kept the show moving right along. Loved it!
We went right to Disney Tunes Trivia from here as Michael Holly's show ran over the time listed in the Navigator. Disney Tunes Trivia asks you to name the song, the movie and then answer the bonus question for 15 different musical entries. We did pretty well, but the young couple sitting behind us scored 44 out of 45 possible correct answers. Now, they know their Disney music!!!!!!!!!
I made another pass through Shutters and the gift shops. I am proud to say I did not purchase anything (this time). Then, we headed off to dinner.
Dinner tonight was the 'Til We Meet Again menu and we were in Animators Palate. Dad and I both had the potato leek soup, roasted half Cornish game hen (more on that in a minute) and baked Alaska. Mom had the lobster bisque, seafood linguini pasta, and chocolate decadence. We love the potato leek soup. I make potato leek soup at home but mine tastes slightly different than this one. I think DCL's is a little thinner (maybe some juice in it or less cream) and it is served with a dollop of sour cream and caviar (neither or which make an appearance in mine). It was served piping hot and was delicious as usual. The half Cornish game hen turned into a whole Cornish game hen on our plate and was served with Israeli couscous and zucchini. We ate only the white meat which was very moist and roasted to perfection. Dad enjoyed the couscous (he had never tried any before) and the zucchini was roasted enough but not too much. Our server thought I didn't like the dish since so much of it was left, but I am just not a big eater. Mom enjoyed the lobster bisque. It was in a red tomato type broth, but she said it was not too spicy. She thought the seafood linguini was cooked well, but would have like the clams removed from the shell and incorporated into the dish. Dad & I have never tried Baked Alaska so we decided to give it a whirl. While it was okay, I don't think either of us will be getting it again. Dad would have preferred an ice cream sundae and I would have preferred the chocolate decadence mom ordered. So here's my advice-ORDER THE CHOCOLATE DECADENCE!
At dessert time, the entire service team and the chefs return to present the flaming Baked Alaska with a Parade of Nations. The servers come through with flags from different countries. It's a nice opportunity to get pictures so have your camera ready. The servers vests tonight have flags on them as well.
We returned to the stateroom to change clothes so we could put today's outfits in our suitcases. We usually just wear whatever we plan to wear home the next day on this evening.
We attended the final show Disney Dreams. This is an award winning show that should not be missed. We have seen it before, but I have to say that the Peter Pan & Anne-Marie in this show were fantastic. THIS IS THE BEST SHOW EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!! And it is absolutely magical when Tinker Bell pixie dusts the entire Disney Wonder-make sure to look up in the theatre.:tink::tinker:pixiedust:
We arrived back at the stateroom to discover that Juni, our host, had left us a birthday cake towel design :bday: and character birthday cards tonight. We were celebrating our birthdays on board. (We each received a chocolate souffle birthday cake on the first, second or third night of our cruise from our servers in the dining rooms.) Juni also created a bear, lobster, crab and monkey from the towels on different nights of our cruise.
I put the last few things in the suitcases and set them outside the door. We were going to have an early morning.
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