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Old 06-12-2013, 12:28 PM   #1
OrcaPotter
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Just returned from Alaska 6/3-6/10 ... AMAZING

If you are on the fence about going to Alaska ... get down off that fence and just go! It is absolutely the most amazing place on Earth. I never wanted to close my eyes in case I missed anything, because every moment the views were spectacular! Everyone needs to go there at least once; I know I'm never taking it off my bucket list because I want to go back!

I'm also glad I went with Disney. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to go again, they'll offer different ports and Glacier Bay. I plan to write a trip report once I have photos sorted and uploaded, but am willing to answer any questions here if you have any and are sailing soon.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:30 PM   #2
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This sounds sooo cool! How did you go with Disney? Is it a cruise? Can kids of all ages go or is it in their adventure line where you must be older? This just may be the next "big" trip!
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:37 PM   #3
OrcaPotter
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This sounds sooo cool! How did you go with Disney? Is it a cruise? Can kids of all ages go or is it in their adventure line where you must be older? This just may be the next "big" trip!
Yes, it's on the Disney Wonder for 7 nights. Leaves out of Vancouver, goes to Tracy Arm Fjord, stops at Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Kids of all ages can go, but I would strongly recommend waiting until children are at least 6 years old so they can appreciate everything more. It's a major trip for anyone and I can't imagine how stressful it would be for folks with young kids and babies. I saw plenty of them, though, and I don't think the adults got to see much as result. Personally, I wouldn't do a cruise or anything with a baby or toddler; much less a cross-country trip involving customs and immigration.
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by OrcaPotter View Post

Yes, it's on the Disney Wonder for 7 nights. Leaves out of Vancouver, goes to Tracy Arm Fjord, stops at Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. Kids of all ages can go, but I would strongly recommend waiting until children are at least 6 years old so they can appreciate everything more. It's a major trip for anyone and I can't imagine how stressful it would be for folks with young kids and babies. I saw plenty of them, though, and I don't think the adults got to see much as result. Personally, I wouldn't do a cruise or anything with a baby or toddler; much less a cross-country trip involving customs and immigration.
Awesome, thanks! I think if we start planning & saving now, they will be older by that time!
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcaPotter View Post
If you are on the fence about going to Alaska ... get down off that fence and just go! It is absolutely the most amazing place on Earth. I never wanted to close my eyes in case I missed anything, because every moment the views were spectacular! Everyone needs to go there at least once; I know I'm never taking it off my bucket list because I want to go back!

I'm also glad I went with Disney. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to go again, they'll offer different ports and Glacier Bay. I plan to write a trip report once I have photos sorted and uploaded, but am willing to answer any questions here if you have any and are sailing soon.
My co worker was on this cruise!! She loved it!! She already wants to go back to Alaska next year.
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Old 06-12-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcaPotter View Post
If you are on the fence about going to Alaska ... get down off that fence and just go! It is absolutely the most amazing place on Earth. I never wanted to close my eyes in case I missed anything, because every moment the views were spectacular! Everyone needs to go there at least once; I know I'm never taking it off my bucket list because I want to go back!

I'm also glad I went with Disney. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to go again, they'll offer different ports and Glacier Bay. I plan to write a trip report once I have photos sorted and uploaded, but am willing to answer any questions here if you have any and are sailing soon.
I love reading posts like this. We have this cruise booked for August 2014 (with an extra couple of days in Seattle and then the Amtrak Coast Starlight back to LA). I am so excited to see Alaska.

This is one cruise where I don't anticipate my kids hanging out in the clubs much. I have a feeling we will be doing a lot of scenery watching together.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabulousfive View Post
This sounds sooo cool! How did you go with Disney? Is it a cruise? Can kids of all ages go or is it in their adventure line where you must be older? This just may be the next "big" trip!
Adventures by Disney also does a trip to Alaska. I've done it, and it is absolutely AMAZING. You get to see more of inland Alaska (Such as Denali National Park and the Kenai Penninsula). I *HIGHLY* recommend it! (You can check out my Trip Report - link in my Signature - if you want to know more about it.)

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Old 06-12-2013, 05:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetskigrl View Post
I love reading posts like this. We have this cruise booked for August 2014 (with an extra couple of days in Seattle and then the Amtrak Coast Starlight back to LA). I am so excited to see Alaska.

This is one cruise where I don't anticipate my kids hanging out in the clubs much. I have a feeling we will be doing a lot of scenery watching together.
Whoa. Haven't heard about this train before. What's the deal? I'm thinking of doing California and Alaska in 2015 and I was trying to figure out how to get back and forth from LA. This sounds awesome. We love the Auto train. Is this similar, but with no autos?
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:10 PM   #9
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Whoa. Haven't heard about this train before. What's the deal? I'm thinking of doing California and Alaska in 2015 and I was trying to figure out how to get back and forth from LA. This sounds awesome. We love the Auto train. Is this similar, but with no autos?
Yes It is Amtrak's service from Seattle to Los Angeles. One cool addition to this route is the Pacific Parlour car, which is an additional lounge car just for the use of the people staying in the sleeper cars.

http://www.pacificparlourcar.com/

We have taken the Coast Starlight from LA to San Jose a few times and just love it. We stay in a sleeper car room even though there is no over-night for that portion, just to enjoy the Pacific Parlour car. But we are really looking forward to trying out the two-day trip, covering the entire route.

But I have been warned that sometimes the Pacific Parlour Car is not on the train. There are only 5 left in the Amtrak fleet and four trains running that route at any given time. So if two are out of service, a train might run without it. So far we have been lucky and had it every time

We also are choosing to do the train portion after the cruise since many times the trains can run late. I don't want to worry the whole train ride if we are going to be late for the cruise. So we are flying to Vancouver and then taking the train home. I don't care if I'm late getting home from vacation
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for sharing!

I want to a B2B California coast and Alaska for my 30th in 2015 so I am really hoping they still have this available
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:35 AM   #11
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Ooo, it's hard to remember all the tips I noted to give, so I'll be sure to include those in my report. As for the disembark process, it was relatively smooth. Only, it was our first cruise ever that we were hassled the night before to have our luggage out as early as possible. On all our previous cruises, we were never bothered and managed to get everything out by 10:30 or so. Our room steward this time was urging my mother to have everything out no later than 8:30, which was when the last show started. When she told him there was no way, he wanted to know at exactly what time we would have everything out. We went back to the room immediately after the show, and our steward was literally knocking on our door every 5 minutes wanting to know if we were done yet. We couldn't believe it, and it soured my perception of him after having good service from him for the whole cruise. It was clear he wanted all the luggage out before his shift ended, but considering we weren't even docked until 8:30 or so, we couldn't understand why the pressure to have all the luggage (for a ship half the size as the Dream) prepared as early as possible.

The first group called was around 8:45 AM, and it was Ariel. Followed by Daisy, then Minnie. We had Minnie tags; as we were leaving, they were prepping to call Tinker Bell. Everyone was urged to have passports and customs forms ready, and they controlled the amount of people in the terminal at one time (you get your luggage in the same area as you checked in). Only--after we handed over our customs form to the Canadian official ... no one asked for our passports. You might as well tuck them away for later at the airport. No one ever asked to see them, which I found really weird. You go through U.S. customs before your board the ship, but there is no checkpoint for Canada when you return. The airport is a different story, however. It is checked multiple times by multiple officials.

The whole process was smooth. We were in a taxi by 9:30, and that was after about a 15 minute wait to get a taxi after getting out of the terminal. Note! If you use a taxi, most taxis in Vancouver are Priuses and can only hold about 2 large pieces of luggage and 3 people. Vans were scarce and could only hold 4 people to accommodate a lot of luggage.

ETA: Yes, the Pixar Party was the same night as semi-formal night, which made things really awkward. The party was around 10 PM and if you want photos with characters, you need to be on deck 3 and snap a quick photo with them as they dance around. Because once the show is done, they all go back inside. No formal photo ops. Other than the party and the Toy Story menu (and Toy Story: The Musical show) ... that's all the Pixar offered. The few families who dressed up were all Incredibles. My tip: Go change into comfy sweats after the show, then go back out for the party. It was cute. What was even better was my discovery of wearing sweats around the ship.
Thanks for taking the time to answer The first disembarkation seems a little later than the first sailing. I'm thinking for those that have earlier flights and self disembark with their luggage it will be a little earlier?

Interesting that they have now added another Pixar Party at 4:30pm!

Can't wait to read your trip report!!

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Old 06-13-2013, 02:28 PM   #12
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Always wanted to check out a DCL, and to Alaska?! That sounds amazing! I will definitely be on the lookout for that again after my trip to WDW.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:54 PM   #13
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How very exciting!! We are dying to go on the Alaska cruise with DCL! Cannot wait to hear what you have to say. My question to you is, did you happen to see wild life? Whale sightings while on the ship. This is one of the biggest reasons I want to go besides the gorgeous scenery.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:12 PM   #14
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I love reading posts like this. We have this cruise booked for August 2014 (with an extra couple of days in Seattle and then the Amtrak Coast Starlight back to LA). I am so excited to see Alaska.

This is one cruise where I don't anticipate my kids hanging out in the clubs much. I have a feeling we will be doing a lot of scenery watching together.
Our boys (12 & 14) actually spent a lot of time in the clubs. It was our first cruise and first time in Alaska but they got to see so much at the ports they didn't mind hanging with some friends. We had to make them spend an hour with us while viewing Tracy Arm. We saw a ton of wild life and beautiful scenery. I don't think it is a trip anyone would regret doing. We were ready to go back before ever leaving the ship!
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:14 PM   #15
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Thanks! I will check it all out!
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