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Old 06-13-2013, 12:38 AM   #1
mom2twokids
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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


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.

Last edited by mom2twokids; 06-13-2013 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:07 AM   #2
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Just wanted to let you know you have at least 1 reader! 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

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Old 06-13-2013, 12:01 PM   #3
mom2twokids
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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. 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.

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.



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... 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 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!!!! 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.

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



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.




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.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:24 PM   #4
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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
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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Enjoying your TR and following along
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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Looking forward to more!! So exciting 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!

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Old 06-14-2013, 01:42 AM   #7
comet1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2twokids View Post

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?
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
mom2twokids
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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.
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
travelvr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2twokids View Post
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!!!! In the end we had 2 connecting staterooms and it made our cruise that much more magical!!
Hi! I'm hoping to do the same thing on our upcoming cruise. My parents are in a room that adjoins the next room, and we are several rooms down the hall. If we do manage to switch with the room next to my parents', will that cause problems with DCL? (i.e., the names on the reservation etc.)

Thanks
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:21 PM   #10
mom2twokids
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelvr

Hi! I'm hoping to do the same thing on our upcoming cruise. My parents are in a room that adjoins the next room, and we are several rooms down the hall. If we do manage to switch with the room next to my parents', will that cause problems with DCL? (i.e., the names on the reservation etc.)

Thanks
If you find some one willing to switch its really easy to do. Just go to guest services and they change everything. Even our onboard credit transferred over without a hitch. Excursions, credit card info and anything else associated with the room is transferred and they simply distribute new keys for you.
The only thing you will need to do us confirm with the kids club that you changed rooms. We got texts for the other families kid on our wave phone because they hadn't changed automatically. Not that it was a big deal but it's nice to get texts about your own kids.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:21 AM   #11
Tsunami
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Another question for you. On the photo CD, are there "stock" Alaska photos included like the Carribean ones they include on those cruises? Thanks again!
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:15 AM   #12
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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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Old 06-14-2013, 11:48 AM   #13
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Thank you for reporting! We are cruising in August and can't wait!

Denise
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:14 PM   #14
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Thank you for sharing your experiences. We're sailing on June 24 with 2 kids (8 1/2 and 6 years old. I'm super excited, but also stressed since I haven't pulled a single thing to pack yet. (By this point I've usually got the guest bed covered with stuff that we plan to take with us.)

I'm looking forward to reading more.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:42 PM   #15
mom2twokids
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June 4, Sea Day



Today we were woken up to an announcement over the loudspeaker in our room saying Brightstar and then the room number. We figured it was something important if they were saying it for everyone to hear. I believe it was about 8:30 when we heard it, so it wasn't too early. Only it set a sad tone as you know it probably meant that some one had a medical emergency. Later that evening we actually came to a dead stop for a passenger to be taken off for an emergency. I assume the two instances were related and I truly hope that person is ok.

It's the one thing we love about cruising in an inside room, it's so dark and the kids sleep so late. It's fabulous. I know, most people like their balconies but I don't think I would ever choose one over an inside room with our kids because nothing beats the way they sleep in the pitch black.

We headed up to beach blanket for breakfast. I'm thinking it was around 9:30 before we got out of the room. I was surprised that it wasn't too busy for breakfast. We must have just gone at the right time because the rest of the week it was so busy and next to impossible to get a table to eat.

After breakfast the kids wanted to go to the club so off they went. I knew the princess gathering was at 12:00 so I made sure to keep checking on the lobby to see when lines started forming. By 11:30 I got in line and was about 10th or so. Just before 12:00 my husband came with my daughter from the kids club as my son didn't want to join us to see the princesses. The line was extremely long by the time the princesses came. Some one later told me that they waited 2 hours in the line, I'm not sure if this is accurate or not, all I know is that we had seen all 5 princesses by 12:20. The princesses were so nice to my children and we got some great pictures. We stopped and saw Donald and then headed for a quick bite to eat in beach blanket.






After lunch we headed to family craft time in Animator's Palate. We made some simple bead bracelets and met some nice people. My daughter really enjoyed this activity but we had to rush out early to get my son because he had them page us to get him out of the club. He was hungry and didn't like the lunch they were serving there (ham and cheese sandwiches).

We took my son for lunch and then delivered some of our fish extender gifts. We had already received a ton of them and we were so spoiled!! The kids really enjoyed passing them out and loved seeing what goodies were in their pockets every time we returned to the room.

This is our fish extender. I made it out of duct tape and some ribbon after reading the thread on duct tape fish extenders on the board. I was pretty proud of it. It got so full on the first day that it broke a little but I was able to doctor it and it was good as new for the rest of the cruise.



It was formal night so we returned to our room to get ready. We tried to get up to the lobby early enough to meet the captain and get a picture with him but by the time we got there the line was so long there wasn't a hope that we would make it for dinner if we got in line. We quickly got in line to get a picture with formal Mickey instead. Then we got right back in line and saw formal Minnie. Which in turn made us late for dinner anyways. We got great pictures though


Tonight we decided we wanted to two youngest to go to the nursery part way through dinner so we took them up around 6:15. That was more hassle then it was worth and we didn't do it again for the cruise.

My parents went and got their picture taken with the captain after dinner, but they waited a while. The captain was a little late because of the medical emergency.


After dinner we changed our clothes and went to the Golden Mickeys. The two youngest were still in the nursery so we knew we could really enjoy the show. We got great seats and soon after sitting down my son was approached to participate in the show. He's was so excited and he was so thoughtful that he had to ask if his sister could too. So they both got to be a part of the show. They told us no photography, but if we happened to have our cameras out during the Snow White segment and took a couple of pictures without flash that they would turn a blind eye. I was grateful for that so I could get some pictures of them on stage. It was one of the highlights of the cruise for them.


After the show we pretty much went straight to bed. It was a fun filled day but after writing it down it doesn't sound like much.
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