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Old 06-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #76
Pocahantas
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Another Groupie here! Do you think you can finish your report by Friday because we leave on Saturday for our trip - no pressure !!

Seriously, I am really enjoying all the details. Your husband sounds alot like mine and you had me cracking up with the "alone" time and "stay naked" stuff. Too funny!

Hurry back with more...
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:45 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocahantas View Post
Another Groupie here! Do you think you can finish your report by Friday because we leave on Saturday for our trip - no pressure !!

Seriously, I am really enjoying all the details. Your husband sounds alot like mine and you had me cracking up with the "alone" time and "stay naked" stuff. Too funny!

Hurry back with more...
I'll try, I'll try! Honestly, now that I have followers, I'm really feeling the pressure to get it done. I already feel bad that someone left for their trip and had asked me to get my report done before they left and I didn't, so I'll see what I can do for you. I just don't need that kind of guilt in my life.

My husband is quite the character. The whole couples retreat experience was a total crack up. I know it was supposed to be alone time and all, but we hadn't laughed that hard in quite some time, so I'd say we got our moneys worth. Waving at those people on the viewing deck was priceless. Then, when one of them moved their chair to where we could see it and set up camp, we completely lost it. That's probably why the lady came in to ask if we wanted our champagne at that time. I mean, most people probably don't crack up laughing during their alone time, do they?

Thanks for reading!

Susan
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:58 AM   #78
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Another follower here!

Please give us more!
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:15 PM   #79
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Really enjoying your report! I am interested in your packing - you mentioned that you might do it differently another time. We go in August - tips please!
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:57 PM   #80
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Really enjoying your report! I am interested in your packing - you mentioned that you might do it differently another time. We go in August - tips please!
I just over pack every single time we travel. To be honest, I lied to all of you in my trip report. I know myself, and I'd still pack the exact same way. It's the OCD in me that I referenced earlier in my report. I can't help it.

I'm guessing August will be quite different than June, but we really didn't need shorts although my son did wear his basketball shorts nonstop. It really was too chilly for shorts in our opinion though. What I would likely do different if I could would be to take less dress clothes and try to reuse clothing. I had taken a black long sleeved wrap that could be left open or I could tie it up to give it a different look. I ended up wearing it almost every single night because it was chilly. I should have planned all of my dressy outfits around that thing because I ended up taking about five extra dress outfits that I never even wore.

Also, there is plenty of time to do laundry onboard. I know many people don't like the thought of doing laundry while on vacation, but you're basically on the ship for the first two and half days with plenty of down time. There wasn't always something going on that appealed to us, so I had the time to do laundry. Plus, for Ketchikan, you don't even arrive in port until after 1:00 p.m., so you have that morning as well.

I loved having a sea day on the last day! That gave people plenty of time for laundry and packing, so the last night wasn't nearly as stressful as it normally is for me. Hope this helps.

Susan
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:03 PM   #81
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I know it was supposed to be alone time and all, but we hadn't laughed that hard in quite some time, so I'd say we got our moneys worth.
Some of our most memorable alone time is spent laughing hesterically at something one of us said or did. But we love laughing and being silly. And we can always find someone or something to laugh at. Just thinking about trying to be serious and romantic tends to crack us up!

Although I do love a good glass of champagne, we aren't the "sipping champagne in a jacuzzi" types either - especially with an audience even if they can't see us. I keep thinking of how surprised those people would have been if they had turned around and seen you.

And what did you pack that you really didn't need?

Waiting for another update...
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:21 PM   #82
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great info on the villas. I have to admit it makes me not want to do it, it would feel very odd even if I knew they couldn't see me!

I do have an appointment booked for "alone time" but it's just for me. I may cancel though and rebook onboard as I've seen coupons on in the navigator and would love to pay less. It also sounds like there are more options onboard then what you can book online.

I'm honestly less worried about the packing but we live in Seattle, are driving up and own plenty of things that are appropriate weather wise so I think we will be ok. The challenge for me is always the shoes. We will likely have 5 bags but we are bringing beer and wine to carry on.

I hope August is warm enough for shorts but we will be prepared for it not to be. I do probably need to get the kids new casual dress pants, I did get them some new dressier short sleeved shirts which I think will be fine for both semi and formal night. They of course consider khaki shorts with such a shirt as dressing up in the summer. Good point on the wrap, I'll need to make sure that's on my list.

The kids won't have charging privileges and while I will let them have some arcade time, if they ask, they've been surprisingly good about not even asking at WDW so maybe I'll get lucky on that side. We'll do laundry if we need to but I can't imagine needing to on day 2 or 3, but Ketchikan morning could be an option if needed.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:52 PM   #83
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Friday, June 10th, Skagway

The weather in Skagway was kind of chilly and super windy! We got up rather early and then got ready for our excursion. We chose to do the White Pass Railway, City, and Yukon Suspension Bridge at 10:45. Because we were up so early, we decided we'd venture out and check out Skagway on our own before our excursion time.

There isn't much to Skagway. I would not have wanted to be there with no excursion. IMO you'd be bored stiff in Skagway all day with nothing planned. You can easily walk into town from the ship, and the entire downtown area is only a few blocks long, so it's very doable even if you do have excursions planned. It was a neat little town with very rustic, western looking buildings. We browsed through some of the shops, bought my DD her Alaska hat (which she's wearing in many of our photos), and then headed back to the ship to meet up for our excursion.




While we were waiting to leave on our excursion, the kids played some Connect Four. I suspect maybe my son was cheating based on the look on his face in this photo:


Our excursion was awesome! We did the railway to Fraser, British Columbia first and then boarded a bus to go to the Yukon Suspension Bridge and to ride back to the ship. I actually liked doing it this way. The ride back on the bus gave us different views than the train did on the way up, and our bus driver was wonderful and did a great job of narrating the whole trip. Now, I have TONS of pictures from this excursion, so I'm going to try to be choosy, but don't say I didn't warn you. Here goes: These are photos from the train ride.







Once we got off of the train, we boarded our bus and headed to the Yukon Suspension Bridge. It wasn't far from the train stop. Here are some pictures from the bridge:




These were just some photo ops that were located by the lodge at the Yukon Suspension Bridge. I love Brianna's look in her picture, and I love the fact that my husband is cheesing it up in the background of what was supposed to be Brandon's serious picture.



After we finished at the bridge, we boarded the bus and headed back to Skagway. The bus driver stopped for a few photo ops, and he narrated everything from the moment we got back on the bus. Here are just a few photos from the ride back:





After we got back to the ship, we realized it was almost 5:00, and instead of doing a show in the Walt Disney Theater, they were showing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at 5:00 and 8:00, so we rushed to the theater because this is one we definitely wanted to see. We all really liked it. I had heard mixed reviews about it, but we were glad we watched it.

Dinner was supposed to be in Triton's with the Taste of Alaska menu. We were so tired after the movie that we decided for the first time in our cruise history that we were going to skip dinner. Besides, the smell of seafood makes us all want to throw up, so we didn't think it would be very enjoyable for us anyhow.

We went to get some fast food on deck 9 and found that there was very little open and not much to choose from. I was hungry but couldn't find anything to satisfy my appetite. So, I headed to Shutter's to add to our rock star lifestyle account. I had made the family take Lifestyle Portraits on formal night because I always do that, and they always complain about it. To be honest, they are some of the best pictures we have as a family, and since they always turn out so good, I wasn't about to let a cruise go by without them. They were great, and some day my family will appreciate the fact that I have tons of family photos of us through the years.

We went to bed a little early tonight because we were just wiped out from the day. I say that, but I think Brandon came in late every night because he couldn't be torn away from the basketball court. By this time, he had made several friends and was having a fantastic time, so we didn't worry too much about him. He always seemed to be in by midnight or so. Tomorrow was going to be ziplining in Juneau!

Up Next: Our Rock Star Lifestyle Gains Us An Addiction

Susan
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:29 AM   #84
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Thanks so much for your trip reports - I am eagerly reading the Alaska ones as this is all new to me for that itinerary. We are sailing in August, and I am really thinking we may need to pack all types of clothing, for warm, for cold, etc. But your take on the laundry room is encouraging. Thanks again!
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:55 PM   #85
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Thanks to all of my groupies out there! I appreciate everyone taking the time to read!

As for formal night, there was a little bit of everything. Some people were dressed very fancy, some were just in nice dress clothes that you might wear to church, and some were not dressed up at all. We saw more people on this cruise not dressed up at all than we've ever seen. To be quite honest, I think it was very hard to pack for this trip, and I can see why people didn't bring a bunch of dress clothes. My family of four took five suitcases, and we had to pay $135 each way for the airline because of it. Of course, if I had to do it all over again, I'd do it differently, and we'd pack differently, but I wanted to be prepared for anything. Hope this helps and do beware of the arcade! It always adds a lot to our bill at the end. Fortunately, our son doesn't spend without asking first, but it adds up very quickly!

Susan
Loving your trip report! Thanks for sharing! Also, on our cruise in August, I think we will be some of the least dressed up people. We are making a 2 week trip of this...visiting some family in other parts of BC before and after our cruise, so we have enough to bring as it is, without having to worry about formal wear. I'm glad to hear also that you can do laundry on the ship...how long did it take you and how expensive was that to do? And could you leave your stuff there and come back later without worrying about it? Or did you feel like you had to babysit it the whole time like at some laundromats? Sorry for all the silly questions...a mom needs to know these things!
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:35 PM   #86
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Loving your trip report! Thanks for sharing! Also, on our cruise in August, I think we will be some of the least dressed up people. We are making a 2 week trip of this...visiting some family in other parts of BC before and after our cruise, so we have enough to bring as it is, without having to worry about formal wear. I'm glad to hear also that you can do laundry on the ship...how long did it take you and how expensive was that to do? And could you leave your stuff there and come back later without worrying about it? Or did you feel like you had to babysit it the whole time like at some laundromats? Sorry for all the silly questions...a mom needs to know these things!
These aren't silly questions at all. Remember, you're dealing with an OCD woman who plans vacations out two years ahead of time, so you better believe I asked the same questions as you before I cruised! I even knew how much our taxi was going to cost to get us from the port to Atlantis the first time we cruised. My husband thought I was seriously insane!

It cost $2.00 to wash and $2.00 to dry. You pay for it using your room key. The detergent and softener is $1.00 each. I didn't stay in the laundry room, but I looked at the time and made sure I was back a couple of minutes before mine was finished because I truly cuss those people that think they own the washers and dryers and who leave their stuff sitting in there like they don't have a care in the world. You'll likely encounter some of those on your cruise, but I did see some people taking other people's stuff out and sitting it on the counter when they left it sitting there for long periods of time. Now, I wouldn't do that, but I was secretly cheering for the two ladies that I saw do it. Bottom line is that I think you can feel totally safe leaving your clothes in the washers and dryers but you should just plan to be back a couple of minutes before it finishes.

I want to say the washers took about 40 to 45 minutes and the dryers were about 50-55 but I may be off by a few minutes.

Hope this helps! Also, thanks for reading!

Susan
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02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder, 03/12 One Week in Maui,
07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay

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Old 06-23-2011, 05:19 PM   #87
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Thanks again for more info... So I will ask more questions! Did anyone in your family get motion sickness on your cruise? I have read some reports and people's reactions to being on a ship are all over the map...but just curious. I'm a bit concerned about it mostly for my son who is sometimes queasy in the car, and for myself as well. I've heard some people say the "days at sea" can be rough...what did you think?

Thanks again!
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:42 PM   #88
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Saturday, June 11th, Juneau

Today was a beautiful day! The sun was shining, and the temperature was in the mid 60's. I woke up super early (again), did three loads of laundry, got breakfast at Beach Blanket with the family, and we met in the Walt Disney Theater for our excursion. We were scheduled for the Alpine Ziplining and a trip to the Mendenhall Glacier. All I can say is that this excursion was AWESOME! We all loved it!

We were met by a lady as we exited the ship, and we loaded up in a van and headed to the Tongass Forest (I think that was the name of it) for our ziplining excursion. Eagles Nest was the name of the resort where we started our ziplining. It's a ski resort during snow season. There was a total of five ziplines and a suspension bridge. We thoroughly enjoyed this, and our ziplining guides were amazing! They were young girls who were a lot of fun!

After we finished ziplining, we went back to the lodge, drank some blueberry tea out of shot glasses made from ice, and we made s'mores on an open fire. Very yummy! They had taken pictures of our ziplining, and they put them into a slide show on a jump drive that you could purchase at the end for $29.95, but they didn't pressure you at all to buy. The slide show was showing in the lodge while we were making our s'mores. This was a top notch excursion that I highly recommend!

Here are some pictures from our ziplining:





After we finished our s'mores, a large bus came to pick us up and take us to the Mendenhall Glacier. Once again, the narration from the bus driver was wonderful! We spotted a bald eagle on the drive, and we had a great view of the Wonder on our way!



Once we arrived at the Mendenhall Glacier, we were told we had 45 minutes to explore. That would be the only complaint I had. There is a really cool waterfall called Nugget Falls that's pretty close to the glacier. There are a couple of trails that will lead you to it. Now, my family is pretty athletic. I even ran a marathon in April. Why am I telling you this? It took us almost the entire 45 minutes to get to Nugget Falls, take some awesome photos, and get back to the ship. Our bus driver told us it would be difficult but could be done. We always like a challenge. I think Disney could have done a better job of planning this part of the excursion because many people stand little to no chance of making it to the falls and back on time, and it was so amazing to see!


(Yes, my strange son is acting like he's licking the chunk of ice.)

You could get right next to the waterfall! In fact, you could get so close it almost scared me a bit, but it was so pretty!



We got loaded back onto the bus, and several people wanted to know if they could get dropped off downtown in Juneau. Although they typically aren't supposed to do that, our bus driver agreed and even told us of some good places to eat. We chose to eat at the Red Dog Saloon, and it was so much fun! Their menu is a crack up! I'd post a picture of it, but it contains cuss words, so I'm not sure the DIS would approve. The floor of the building is covered in saw dust, and there was an older man playing the piano and singing hilarious songs! The food was good, and we were glad we chose to try it out. After we finished eating, we walked back to the ship.

So, what do Rock Stars do when they're on vacation? Whatever they want! So, I called the Vista Spa and booked a haircut for myself. After that, we got ready and went to Toy Story the Musical. We'd seen it before a couple of times, but it was still good. What's a family to do between the show and dinner?

Well, the rock star list continues: we decided to play bingo again and fed our bingo addiction. We paid $60 for the family pack this time because we were rock stars, and we wanted to try out that electronic machine that kept winning the last time. Well, guess what? I knew we brought my son along for a reason! HE WON! And, he didn't have to split it with anyone because no one else had a bingo, so there! That kid won $225! Of course, he thought he was going back to the arcade, but we reminded him that we paid for the electronic machine that he just had to hold and had actually ripped out of his dad's hands. End. of. story. Woo hoo! We never win anything, and we won bingo! This was a good night!

It was so good that we committed a Disney sin. Yep, we were so excited about winning bingo, and we had to wait around afterward so they could put the money on our account, that we went to dinner without dressing up. For the first time EVER, I let my family wear their grubby clothes to dinner. Go ahead, flame me. I probably deserve it. I apologized to our server but told him it was for a good reason: WE WON BINGO!

We ate at Animator's Palate and had the most amazing pasta! I don't know what it was called, but GET IT! It's an alfredo dish with chicken, and boy is it good! In fact, I've dreamed about that darn pasta a couple of times since I returned home.

After we finished dinner, I continued to live my rock star life style. How, you ask? I visited the rebooking desk. Yep, I did it without even telling my husband I was doing it. Oops! He didn't find out until they put the envelope outside our door. So glad he loves me. We (actually, I) booked the 8/5/12 Canada/New England cruise that leaves out of New York. It's a 5 night cruise, and for our family of four in a category 9C, the total cost was $3776. We were rock stars--we could do that if we wanted! Plus, that was a super good deal (that's what I told Brian!).

Tonight was the Pirate Party, but quite honestly, we've seen those way too many times and there were no fireworks anyway, so we skipped it. We went to bed excited about the day tomorrow because we'd be in Ketchikan and were doing the excursion we were most looking forward to!

Up Next: Oh no you didn't! Yes, we did!

Susan
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09/93 Honeymoon at WDW, 03/01 First time to WDW with kids,
06/02 WDW, 11/03 First trip to Disneyland, 05/05 BIG family trip
to WDW POR, 06/06 First cruise on the Wonder/WDW ASM,
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Wonder, 03/08 Cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, 11/08 DD on the Magic,
11/09 3 Nights on the Wonder and WDW, 07/10 Family Vacation to WDW,
02/11 3 Nights on the Dream, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise on the Wonder, 03/12 One Week in Maui,
07/26/12 Bay Lake Tower 1st DVC Stay

Upcoming Trips: 03/16/13 5 Night DCL Western, 07/13 Villas at Grand California
Trip Reports: 06/06 Wonder, 03/07 Eastern, 06/11 Alaskan Cruise
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:52 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by KathyM2 View Post
Thanks again for more info... So I will ask more questions! Did anyone in your family get motion sickness on your cruise? I have read some reports and people's reactions to being on a ship are all over the map...but just curious. I'm a bit concerned about it mostly for my son who is sometimes queasy in the car, and for myself as well. I've heard some people say the "days at sea" can be rough...what did you think?

Thanks again!
I'll be posting more on the sea sick stuff later in my report, but I will tell you that no one in my family but me ever has any trouble. I had a bit of trouble on the last sea day. I went to bed the night before feeling kind of queasy, and I felt sick for the first half of the last sea day. In fact, my daughter was even feeling it a bit, but neither of us actually threw up or anything. The seas were very rough for that last sea day. Other than that, we were all totally fine. I know the first cruise went a different route than we did, so I do recall reading quite a bit about people being sea sick on that one, but ours wasn't bad at all other than a little rocky on that last sea day. I took bonine and was good after a couple of hours.

Hope this helps. Keep the questions coming as you think of them. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

Susan
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:11 PM   #90
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I found your report today and am caught up now. I have been enjoying reading about your trip, Alaska has been somewhere I have wanted to go for a while, maybe some day, I was really excited that DCL goes there now, too. You really got some great pics on your excursions.
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