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Old 07-06-2012, 09:42 AM   #16
Deb in IA
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When do we leave for that nice long Hawaii vacation?
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Another tip

Here's another one I forgot yesterday:

If you are on Deck 10 at Tracy Arm, there is hot chocolate but they charge you for it.

Go down to the beverage station by the Mickey pool on Deck 9 and get the free hot chocolate instead, and save a few $$.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:46 AM   #17
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Deb - sorry we missed meeting you too - family life was rather fraught just before we came away with my eldest grandchild developing epilepsy and youngest grandchild arriving a week before we left so therefore i didnt catch up with what was going on for the meets etc (I am also really shy!!!)

Yes we are still going on the med cruise - maybe i will pluck up the courage to go to the meet then!!!!

It was a fantastic cruise wasnt it? Just loved Alaska
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:07 AM   #18
Deb in IA
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When do we leave for that nice long Hawaii vacation?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
Great tips! A few questions:

(1) Tracy Arm day--- were there characters wandering around on Deck 9 even though there were no photographers on deck 9?

(2) Did you do any Art of Enteratinment demos? Were they adults only?

(3) Palo High Tea--we had hoped to book a ressie onboard. Did you try to do this and were turned away? Who did you get the info from re not taking any onboard ressies for High Tea?

Thanks.
I think most of the characters were on Decks 10 and 4. I saw a few on Deck 9, but I think they were just passing through.

All of the Art of Entertainment demos were 18 and up.
I wanted to go to some of these, but never got to them. They sounded fantastic! They had these sessions: the Appetizer (Herb Seared Alaskan Halibut), the Entree (Pan Seared Alaskan Salmon), and the Dessert (Viennese Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce), followed by napkin folding.
Recipes and tastings included!!

I had booked our High Tea online, I think before the decision was made to discontinue this. I got this information from our Palo server Toni. I believe he said that they were only honoring the bookings already made online, and I don't think they are taking any more onboard bookings, but you can always ask during the Palo booking time on embarkation day.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:10 AM   #19
Deb in IA
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When do we leave for that nice long Hawaii vacation?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridahippy View Post
Deb - sorry we missed meeting you too - family life was rather fraught just before we came away with my eldest grandchild developing epilepsy and youngest grandchild arriving a week before we left so therefore i didnt catch up with what was going on for the meets etc (I am also really shy!!!)

Yes we are still going on the med cruise - maybe i will pluck up the courage to go to the meet then!!!!

It was a fantastic cruise wasnt it? Just loved Alaska
Hope all is well with the grandchildren!

Yes, we LOVED Alaska! Especially our DD, who really enjoyed the cooler weather and the beautiful scenery! Having just a taste of the Inside Passage, she now wants to see more!

I would love it if Disney would do some Alaska CruiseTours, like Royal Caribbean or other lines.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:39 AM   #20
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Hi! Thanks so much for all the tips! We leave this coming Monday for our Alaska cruise - so excited. I was wondering how much you saw the pools being used? My kids are 8, 5 and 18 months. I know the 18 month old can't go in but did you see younger kids in the pools very much? Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:09 PM   #21
Deb in IA
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When do we leave for that nice long Hawaii vacation?
I'm a wimp, and I don't like food that hurts to eat
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmegibow View Post
Hi! Thanks so much for all the tips! We leave this coming Monday for our Alaska cruise - so excited. I was wondering how much you saw the pools being used? My kids are 8, 5 and 18 months. I know the 18 month old can't go in but did you see younger kids in the pools very much? Thanks!
A few hardy souls!

The pools are heated, but getting out into 40 - 50 degree weather can be tough!

The good thing is that the pools were much, much less crowded than on a Caribbean cruise - I'd say only 1/2 to 1/3 as many kids as usual. Your 8 and 5 year olds should have lots of room in the pool! And no problems getting a deck chair either!
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Old 07-06-2012, 12:33 PM   #22
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Just back from the same cruise as Deb..

We spent most of Tracy Arm up on deck 10... the characters came by with photographers fairly early in the day... almost so early we missed them.. And then Donald headed down to deck 9 as it started to sprinkle... This was actually before noon, b/c after that we headed towards lunch (BBQ at Beach Blanket)

Once we got to the glacier and stopped, eventually I somehow made it down to deck 4, I guess to get a better view, I don't know why.. but then, Donald and photographer, at least and another just family photographer we both wandering down there.. Got some GREAT pictures of my dad and I.. and Donald and I with the beautiful glacier behind.

They actually had hot chocolate and coffee and cookies allllll the way forward on deck 10... Just behind the wind shield and before the sports courts. There was no charge for those, AND the hot chocolate was MUCH better than the stuff coming out of the machine back at the beverage station. Yes, they also had people wandering with the souvenir Alaska mugs and specialized and alcoholic coffees and such for a charge.

Here's a tip from our family for Tracy Arm... if you're going to brave deck 10, and get there early enough.. find a spot on a lounge chair near the clear partitions that separate various spots on deck.. if you sit behind those, they help block some of the wind as you cruise into Tracy Arm. Then, once things slow down and people start gathering, you've got a little spot to yourself and no one trying to stand in front of you b/c you've got the partition there. :D

I found the temperature overall outside to be fairly moderate.. in that, they didn't fluctuate too much from morning to afternoon to evening. It gets light so early, and doesn't stay dark for very long, that i don't think an earlier morning excursion (8 am vs 11 am) will make much difference for the temperature. I also don't know what the rain is usually like, but when it did rain, it was later in the morning or early afternoon, vs a clearer morning. Just some thoughts.
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:33 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb in IA View Post
A few hardy souls!

The pools are heated, but getting out into 40 - 50 degree weather can be tough!

The good thing is that the pools were much, much less crowded than on a Caribbean cruise - I'd say only 1/2 to 1/3 as many kids as usual. Your 8 and 5 year olds should have lots of room in the pool! And no problems getting a deck chair either!
Thanks! That's pretty much what I expected. I might throw in their suits "just in case" but will tell them that it's probably too cold to swim. Getting excited for everything else though!
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:25 PM   #24
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We so enjoyed the Alaskan cruise last May (2011) we rebooked for Aug (2011), and enjoyed that one so much we booked Aug (27, 2012).

It was quite cool on both cruises. We are only packing long sleeves, which we can roll up, and no shorts. We are taking heavy coats even though we live in the mountains at a mile high, and are used to cool weather.

We swam in the pool, with a well-planned exit. DH is such a gentleman that he gets out, wraps up in his towel, then brings mine right to the steps. It is worth a nice warm swim, to be sure.

My Alaskan friends joke that the mosquito is the state bird. DEET! We use a DEET repellent, spraying it last, over our sunscreen, at least a half hour before going outdoors. Not a single bite.

[An all-natural repellent that I really like is Skedattle. HOWEVER, a BIG HOWEVER, Citronella smells like the emissions of an ant pile. Bears eat ants! One does not want to go out into bear territory smelling like bear food. So, save it for none-bear territory.]
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:40 PM   #25
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Just got back from the July 23rd - 30th Alaska trip ... weather changed dramatically and it was warm and sunny. Tracy Arm day was sunny!

GO TO DECK 4! Our week was sold out, yet on Deck 4 we walked up at 3pm as we pulled into the glacier area and easily got a spot on the rail. Both Minnie and Donald stopped by for photos. So glad I didn't waste money on a veranda for that day, easy deck access!
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:41 AM   #26
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We are sailing July 2013, please keep these great tips coming
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:21 AM   #27
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In Ketchikan, if you want to do Totem Bight State Park, DO NOT do this as an excursion. It is totally easy to do on your own. This was one of the easiest, friendliest ports I've ever experienced. There is a visitor's center right at the port with maps and helpful people.

To get to the state park, you walk about 1/2 block to the Blue bus stop. The bus costs $1 each way, and makes maybe 3 stops along the way. Departures are every 20 minutes. Admission to the park is free; the visitor's center there has a handout about all the totems. There were guides doing free tours, or you are welcome to walk along on your own with your handout. I did the guided tour, DD explored on her own after getting tired of the guy's jokes. There is a small gift shop. Point--this excursion was $69 on our cruise; we did it for $2 per person! OK, we didn't get the cocoa and cookies that the excursion group did.

On the way back, we got off at the Wal-mart bus stop as DD had forgotten a few necessities of life. Wal-mart offers a free shuttle to and from the cruise port area (we had seen these while in the area), so after shopping, you hop on their van for a courtesy ride back to the pier. You can also get on the van about a block from the terminal if you aren't going to the state park. Lots of off duty CMs will use the van. It runs about every 10 minutes.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:46 PM   #28
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Thanks for all the great tips!

One question, I know you said you didn't do the Character breakfast, but do you remember what day it was assigned for your family? I've requested the same dining rotation you had.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:54 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by chiburple View Post
Thanks for all the great tips!

One question, I know you said you didn't do the Character breakfast, but do you remember what day it was assigned for your family? I've requested the same dining rotation you had.
You are usually scheduled for the Character breakfast the first sea day you are in Parrot Cay for dinner.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:40 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staxia View Post
Just back from the same cruise as Deb..

We spent most of Tracy Arm up on deck 10... the characters came by with photographers fairly early in the day... almost so early we missed them.. And then Donald headed down to deck 9 as it started to sprinkle... This was actually before noon, b/c after that we headed towards lunch (BBQ at Beach Blanket)

Once we got to the glacier and stopped, eventually I somehow made it down to deck 4, I guess to get a better view, I don't know why.. but then, Donald and photographer, at least and another just family photographer we both wandering down there.. Got some GREAT pictures of my dad and I.. and Donald and I with the beautiful glacier behind.

They actually had hot chocolate and coffee and cookies allllll the way forward on deck 10... Just behind the wind shield and before the sports courts. There was no charge for those, AND the hot chocolate was MUCH better than the stuff coming out of the machine back at the beverage station. Yes, they also had people wandering with the souvenir Alaska mugs and specialized and alcoholic coffees and such for a charge.

Here's a tip from our family for Tracy Arm... if you're going to brave deck 10, and get there early enough.. find a spot on a lounge chair near the clear partitions that separate various spots on deck.. if you sit behind those, they help block some of the wind as you cruise into Tracy Arm. Then, once things slow down and people start gathering, you've got a little spot to yourself and no one trying to stand in front of you b/c you've got the partition there. :D

I found the temperature overall outside to be fairly moderate.. in that, they didn't fluctuate too much from morning to afternoon to evening. It gets light so early, and doesn't stay dark for very long, that i don't think an earlier morning excursion (8 am vs 11 am) will make much difference for the temperature. I also don't know what the rain is usually like, but when it did rain, it was later in the morning or early afternoon, vs a clearer morning. Just some thoughts.
I love your picture with Donald!!!
That background is amazing. Its so perfect it looks fake... LOL
I will be using your picture to continue the badgering I have been doing on my husband to get him to take me to Alaska this summer.
Lori
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