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Old 07-29-2011, 05:04 PM   #1
eandesmom
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You’ll never get me on a cruise. Unless it’s to ALASKA! Recap and New PTR Link! 2/1


Ok first off let me start out by saying that I did not utter those words. The ones in the title of this report that is. That would be my beloved husband Jeff.

For as long as I can recall he’s been anti cruise. He has visions of being stuck on a boat with nothing to do with people he has nothing in common with. The thought of it gives him major anxiety and as a result it’s not something I’d explored much with him as a family vacation option, at least until 4 years ago. Back in 2007 we were in Key West on a “date” trip (as we like to call our getaways sans kids) and saw a DCL ship cruise in (not sure if it was the Magic or the Wonder) and were very very intrigued by the idea of doing a Disney Cruise as a family and specifically doing the Key West itinerary. We love Key West! Imagine our sticker shock upon returning home and looking into it as a possible summer vacation when we realized that just like the resorts, DCL isn’t built for a family of 6. Two staterooms for a family that typically rented condo’s on most trips anywhere, just wasn’t in our budget. And so the idea, which was lovely but far far out of reach, was put aside with no real thought of revisiting.

I’ve been on two cruises in my life so it’s not like I have a huge basis for comparison. One, in high school on a band trip, in Greece on some old random boat in the middle of the world cup, filled with crazy greek teenagers on a band trip. I’ll spare you all the actual year. Good times but not something I’d fly the family over to try as a first venture. The second was in 98, a Carnival cruise out of Tampa with my ex that included NOLA on the itinerary. It was a fun cruise in a lot of ways, not so in others but it did give me a better feel for what cruising as an adult might be like. As a result I could actually see where Jeff might have issues with it and have it really not be his thing. He’s not a planned excursion kind of guy or a lounge around the pool all day on deck kind of guy either so it’s not something I’ve ever pushed. That is, until DCL announced they were going to Alaska. I’d actually been eyeing the Mexican Riviera cruise with DCL and had hoped to do that over President’s week this past winter. But, between the time I thought about it, and could actually book it not only did prices jump, it also seemed very unlikely I could convince my husband who has zero desire to go to Mexico (at least with how things are right now). So I didn’t bring it up. I’d kind of forgotten about Alaska until I went to check on the Mexico idea. Now this was something he might go for! I couldn’t have brought up the idea before as we’d have been in the 2 stateroom scenario (if we are going to do it, it was go verandah or forget it so the 2 inside stateroom thing just wasn’t appealing to either of us) but the reality is, things have changed. Though we are a family of 6, we are a blended one, the older two splitting their time with us, and their mom. The oldest, Taylor is off to college this year. SCARY! But, as a result, he is working as much as he can and didn’t want to take any more time off. The next one is our crazy busy athlete, Kendall. For those of you following over from previous trip reports you know the saga well of her sports schedule and our attempts to schedule family trips around it. It has become next to impossible to schedule anything that doesn’t conflict with a camp or a tournament of some sort. We did a 2 week Orlando trip last summer that we specifically scheduled around all potential conflicts to make it work and it was a major major ordeal with her mom, almost an 11th hour situation of “is she coming or not” type thing. Though we pulled it off and won that battle, we’ve given up trying to win the war. We made a pact 2 years ago, when we didn’t take a vacation at all, trying to make sure all 4 could go (and there wasn’t a single week where they could) that we wouldn’t let it happen again.

Gingerly I broached the subject. I knew the idea of a cruise would mean acknowledging up front, months in advance, that we were giving up on trying getting the older two to go. The reality was that the week that worked best had slightly lower rates and was definitely in the middle of high school soccer tryouts for Kendall and potentially in the middle of getting ready for college starting (not knowing where he’d be going at the time we booked) and so even if we could afford to take all 4, chances are they couldn’t/wouldn’t want to go anyway. And so, the decision was made to book a cruise for 4 and to have a separate vacation for all 6 earlier in the summer. You’ll see how that part played out soon.

I was surprised at how easily my husband agreed to all of this. Bottom line is he has always wanted to go to Alaska and has mentioned more than once that he thought a cruise would be the way to do it; he just assumed it would be when we were older. However, the idea of going, being able to take the kids but knowing we’d be on a ship with tons of things for them to do (and thus have some adult only time) was hugely appealing. Add a balcony with a view and voila, we were booked!

I also think he figures that it gets him out of going to WDW for at least another year. As for me, I’m hoping he loves it, that we all love it and that I can book another one while on board.
They still offer a couple of those Key West itineraries…..not that I have dates picked out or anything like that.

Enough of the preamble!

Here’s my entire gang on our only cruise to date. An Illuminations Cruise last August which included my MIL and her DH.





And here’s the 4 people actually going on this cruise (August 23-30), also from our trip last August.



Myself, DH Jeff, Evan (12) and Eric (10...almost 11). Eric's birthday is actually 6 days after we return so we will be doing a little bit of pre-birthday celebration on the cruise. The almost 11 is kind of a big deal for the cruise as being 10 technically keeps him out of the tween club. We will be seeing if there is flexbility there or not.

Our BFP (Big Fat Plan) looks like this. As of today. I reserve the right to change my mind over the next 3 weeks. I've changed things more than once already but we are getting close to the wire.

Tuesday 8/23.

Drive from Seattle to VAN. My mom (bless her heart!) will be driving us. We’ll be putting together our FE bags in the car which should make the drive pretty painless. We’ll treat her to lunch in VAN before we get on the boat, boarding on the later side with the hope of being able to carry those carryons (i.e. beer, wine, rum lol) straight to the room.

I currently have a spa mani and pedi booked starting at 5:30. We have second seating so this should work. While I had great intentions of getting it done prior to the trip, my last 4 trips would indicate otherwise so I decided to quit deluding myself and get it done on board. Will my family care that I’m ditching them right after we board? We will see.

Wednesday 8/24
At Sea, no plans

Thursday 8/25
Tracy Arm Day. I have Palo booked for brunch at 10:30. I’ve been looking to book brunch for what feels like forever and amazingly, it opened up 2 days ago.

Friday 8/26.
Skagway.

We plan to zipline in Skagway. Originally we’d planned to do the White Pass Railway. Which, we’d still like to do. But a couple of things made us change our mind.
1. AK excursions are PRICEY!
2. A float plane excursion was a must (for those who know us, no surprise there)
3. I let the kids stack rank the narrowed down list and surprise….zipline beat the train.
4. I have really skinny kids who don’t weigh enough for some of the other ziplines (in Ketchikan) and this one’s cheaper. LOL

Basically it came down to the float plane trip that we all wanted eats up the bulk of the excursion budget. Which meant only 2 port excursions, not 3. And I’m ok with that. I have some other plans noodling around but I’ll get to those later.

We have Palo booked for dinner that night.

Saturday 8/27
Juneau.
This is our BIG excursion, the Enchanted Taku Glacier Lodge Flight and Feast. I also hope to have time to ride the Tramway.

Sunday 8/28.
Ketchikan.
Our no plans day. Still noodling on this one. Kind of fun to just not have a plan though.

Monday 8/29
At Sea, no plans.

Tuesday 8/30
Disembark, get picked up by my mom and make our way home. Very likely we will stop either in Bellingham (Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro) or Mt. Vernon (Skagit Valley Brewery) for lunch. Both have great food and good beer, two of our favorite things. Excellent homemade root beer too for those who like it Sarsaparilla style.

Chapter links

Whistler, BC pre-trip
A pre trip trip
Cheeserolling
Another one bites the dust

Planning and Packing

Day 1 - Vancouver
And we're off!
E.Oar
A spa with a view

Day 2 - At Sea

Fog Horn, Hecate Horn
A formal affair

Day 3 - Tracy Arm

I'd like her wardrobe
FE Goodies
Seals, seals, everywhere!


Day 4 - Skagway

Greyway
Friday is our favorite day!
Date night!

Day 5 - Juneau
The best hot chocolate EVER
Enchanted

Lunch in the wilderness
Bye Bye Taku, we'll miss you!

Day 6 - Ketchikan
Characters and More Characters!
Puddle Splashing!
It's a small world, and it's full of pirates!

Day 7 - At Sea
Last day????? NO WAY!
A setting sun
Till we meet again


Day 8 - Vancouver
The dreaded disembarking!

General Info
Seattle hotel recommendations

Last edited by eandesmom; 02-01-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:44 PM   #3
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I am so in !!!
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:57 PM   #4
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coming in third!! I'm glad you have your PTR underway!

Your plans look great! I love the way you have left lots of "play by ear" time - there are so many things to choose from, it's nice to have the flexibility to just do what feels right at the time - that's what's so relaxing about a cruise!

Last edited by MAGICFOR2; 07-29-2011 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:03 PM   #5
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Sign me up! I have been gathering all the cruise info I can...for research purposes, of course. . From the little i know, Palo reservations can be tough to score, hurrah for getting two!! can't wait for more. Big fat plan. I like it...with its own acronym as well!!
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:04 PM   #6
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I'm on board!

My DH spent 6 months in AK working on one of the little islands (years ago) so I know he would like to return....I'll do via the cruise ship so I'm looking forward to your TR!
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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Hello, fellow cruisemates. We're on the same cruise as you.

Sounds like good plans so far. Warning, Disney cruising is addicting.
Make sure you have time for the sailaway party it'll start after the lifeboat drill up on Deck 9. Perfect way to start your holiday. Lots of fun. Plus, there will probably be a Disboard meet around 3pm. Hope to meet you there.

There is lunch available on the first day, if you decide to get there earlier.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:44 PM   #8
eandesmom
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Originally Posted by DisMomAmy View Post
Oooo!! Am I first?
Amy wins! Hmmn, now I have to think about a prize Custom ticker image maybe?



Quote:
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I am so in !!!
Rosie's in the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I mean ship



Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGICFOR2 View Post
coming in third!! I'm glad you have your PTR underway!

Your plans look great! I love the way you have left lots of "play by ear" time - there are so many things to choose from, it's nice to have the flexibility to just do what feels right at the time - that's what's so relaxing about a cruise!
Hi Tammie!

Honestly the only days I worry about with Jeff is the "at sea" days, the rest will be fine. I think the verandah will be a godsend those days knowing him. Tracy Arm will be fine between brunch and the scenery, it's day 2 and day 6 that will be interesting. We'll definitely work out those days and just play it by ear! God knows the man needs to relax and just chill but he's rather lousy at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xcited2sleep View Post
Sign me up! I have been gathering all the cruise info I can...for research purposes, of course. . From the little i know, Palo reservations can be tough to score, hurrah for getting two!! can't wait for more. Big fat plan. I like it...with its own acronym as well!!
Christine!

Research purposes. Are you in on the June cruise? Bummed that it doesn't work for me but I had sticker shock.

I promise to faithfully report on hot waiters and DOTD and how long we had to lug whatever alcohol we bring with us before we get to the stateoom for you my friend. No blender but we might have to figure out an evening coffee drink and pack some Bailey's or Irish coffee ingredients for nighttime verandah nightcaps. I can't believe that brunch opened up, I was completely prepared to head straight there upon arrival to try to get a brunch (and prepared not to) so am very pleased that it worked out!
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:03 PM   #9
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Great start! Can't wait to cruise to AK vicariously through you!

Jill in CO
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eandesmom View Post


Thursday 8/25
Tracy Arm Day. I have Palo booked for brunch at 10:30. I’ve been looking to book brunch for what feels like forever and amazingly, it opened up 2 days ago.



Sunday 8/28.
Ketchikan.
Our no plans day. Still noodling on this one. Kind of fun to just not have a plan though.
A pre trip trip
Cheeserolling
Another one bites the dust
Hi

We were on the July 5th cruise. We ate at Palo's for brunch at 10:30 on Tracy Arm day. Be sure to sit by the window. We saw about 5 whales. It was a lot of fun. Everytime someone in Polo's saw a whale they announced it and we would get up and take photo's. It was truly a magical brunch. LOL

We spent alot of time in secret deck 7 on Tracy Arm day. Great views from both sides of the ship.

Our tablemates, and many others loved the Ketchikan lumber jack show. I wish we would have booked it. We heard great reviews.

We had a great time!!!!
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:54 AM   #11
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Great scenery - nothing like snow capped mountains in the background to add the final touch. So lucky. something I will never see over here!
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:48 AM   #12
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Ummmm...how in the world did I miss this LOL!!!!! Holy moly I'm really late!!! Going back to read up on your plans!
I miss stuff all the time! Late to everything

you haven't really missed much at all. Glad you are here Jen!

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Hi

We were on the July 5th cruise. We ate at Palo's for brunch at 10:30 on Tracy Arm day. Be sure to sit by the window. We saw about 5 whales. It was a lot of fun. Everytime someone in Polo's saw a whale they announced it and we would get up and take photo's. It was truly a magical brunch. LOL

We spent alot of time in secret deck 7 on Tracy Arm day. Great views from both sides of the ship.

Our tablemates, and many others loved the Ketchikan lumber jack show. I wish we would have booked it. We heard great reviews.

We had a great time!!!!
Hi and

Great advice on Palo! That's our exact ressie time, how cool!!! I had originally booked the lumberjack show but everyone was very "meh" about it and so I cancelled it. I know they'd like it but I didn't want to spend the money for that kind of reaction when we had the other ones set. I see you were on the President's week Wonder Cruise, I'd originally hoped to do that one, maybe some other year.

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Great scenery - nothing like snow capped mountains in the background to add the final touch. So lucky. something I will never see over here!
That's why you have to come visit me!
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:29 PM   #13
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That's why you have to come visit me!
Yup - You're right! I need to go there. Maybe after Nick graduates will go out west for a summer vacation. I really need to see it!
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Sorry Gaston, They are MUCH More Interesting than You!
Will You Chill Out if I Sprinkle You With Pixie Dust?

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Why Not Just Queue Up Another Disney Trip?
How Do You Think We Stay So Happy?
Inching My Way Closer to the Castle Sept 10 TR
Wheeling & Dealing at the WL May '10 TR
Play'in It at Pop Sept 09 Anniversary Trip
JUNE 09 TR...KICK'N IT AT KIDANI DH & I do Disney Solo! DEC 2008 June 2008 tripreport
My Trips 2002-Offsite 2003-POR 2004-Royal Pacific/Daytona Bch 2005-CBR 2006-Pop, SSR 2007-ASM 2008-Pop, Vero Bch/SSR, POFQ/SSR 2009-Kidani/CSR, Pop 2010- VWL, BLT 2011-POR/BCV, Disney's HHI Resort, OKW2012-Treehouse villa/BWV, VWL/BWV 2013-HHI, Secret off site location;BWV/AKL 2014- Tampa, ASSp/BCV, OKW
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:50 AM   #14
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How did I not know you were going on a DC? To Alaska no less? My STM stinks but I am so glad I found this. I've been researching the DCL. Can't wait to read all about!
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Old 08-20-2011, 03:31 PM   #15
eandesmom
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It's amazing that no matter how much preparation you do ahead of time, there's always a mad rush to get everything finished up in the end!

I hope the weather cooperates & you have a great trip!!
Scary weather updates in Juneau today...I've spent the morning looking at backup excursion plans! Today is shot, off to a family party after our normal sat morning (gym, swim lessons, kumon, errands) but hopefully tomorrow the packing will commence. I did get everything except the bailey's picked up...now if we can just get the shoes waterproofed, laundry done and Jeff's missing daypack located we will be good. FE's are done and ready to be packed though.

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How did I not know you were going on a DC? To Alaska no less? My STM stinks but I am so glad I found this. I've been researching the DCL. Can't wait to read all about!
Jenny!

Hmmm...maybe b/c I haven't seen on on my never ending TR in a bit? It IS in my siggie though. I haven't posted on FB about it at all is probably why...don't want to rub it in to K&T.
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