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Old 09-03-2013, 09:10 AM   #151
MickeyMomTo2
Lauren S. @baseballsbows
 
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A Rainy Return

Throughout this cruise, we had been very fortunate with rain. Other than a little drizzle in Skagway, we really hadn't had any rain at all. When the Aleutian Ballad returned to Ketchikan, however, it started raining. It wasn't a downpour, but it was a steady light rain. We pulled our hoods on and headed back to the Wonder. I don't know what the problem was, but we were greeted with a HUGE line to get on the ship. We still had 3 hours in port, but it seemed that everyone was trying to get on at the same time. It was about 5 when we got in line, and we didn't make it onto the ship until a little after 5:30. Of course, waiting wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been raining, but it wasn't fun to wait in the yucky weather. I will interrupt here to say that on port days with a chance of rain, Disney hands out ponchos for free as you are leaving the ship. We didn't use ours, but we did grab one for each of us. We will take them to WDW next time we go. They are the same ponchos they sell in the parks for $7 or 8 dollars, so I was sure to grab them!

Thankfully, our hoods kept us decently dry because we only had ten minutes to change for dinner. We were back in Animator's Palate, and it was the Taste of Alaska menu. I had the Alaskan King Crab Legs (good), Crispy Garden Salad (good), Marinated Sirloin Steak (good), and the Skagway Chocolate Truffle Torte (can't remember). My DH and I also shared some Elk, but we weren't crazy about it. Keep in mind that you can always order more than one item on the menu. They are happy to let you try more than one thing!

The kids left dinner early to go to the Ratatouille Cooking School in the Lab with their friends. When DH and I finished eating, I talked him into going to see Mickey and Minnie with me. They were together in their Alaskan outfits, and I couldn't pass that up (I love getting character pics when they are wearing outfits that aren't their regular clothes).


1034 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

After the pic, we went to find the kids so we could all see the show together. They had been having a fun time making cookies.


1036 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

Their friends' parents were at Palo, so the kids joined us for the show. It was The Physical Comedy of Michael Holly. Truthfully, I don't remember lots of details from this show, but I remember that we enjoyed it.


1038 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

After the show, we said good-bye and headed back to our room. We were sad that our days in Alaska were over, but we were looking forward to one more relaxing day at sea!

Coming Up...Our Final Day!
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:37 PM   #152
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Our Final Day, Part One

If you remember, my kids missed seeing Monsters University the night is was the main show because their mean parents made them go to bed early. So...on Sunday morning, they went to see it at the Buena Vista Theatre with their friends. While they were watching the movie, DH and I exercised and went to Parrot Cay for breakfast. Although I would still like to see the movie, it was nice to have a little grown up quiet time!

After breakfast, I went to get in line for the Princess Gathering in the Atrium. (Just a note--as long as you are in line for a character meet and greet by the end time listed on the Navigator, you will get to see the character.) When Monsters University ended, DD joined me in the line. While she was waiting, a friend showed up to talk.


1044 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


1046 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

I think the pinky promise had something to do with Snow White, but I don't remember what it was. After visiting with Peter, DD met Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella and Tiana. Snow White remembered that DD had a graphic shirt on the day before and said, "You always wear shirts with such nice messages!"


1048 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


1049 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


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After seeing the princesses, we went to the gift shops for our final purchases. I ended up with a DCL Alaska Christmas ornament, a Mickey keychain, and a set of Alaskan/Disney nesting dolls. DD got an Alaskan Minnie, but she also loved this set of characters. She had spent all her money, so I told her we would take a picture of them so she could remember them.


1060 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

On the way back to the room, we managed to visit Daisy as well.


1066 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

For the next little bit, the kids swam, and we managed to fit lunch in at some point. At 2:00 we went to at variety show in the Walt Disney Theatre. The performer was Kevin Johnson, and while the kids loved it, this was my least favorite of the variety performers. DS thought he was the best, however, so don't take my word for it!

Later in the afternoon, DD and I went to have tea with Disney Friends. This event takes place two times during the cruise, and you must have a ticket. You can make reservations as soon as you board the ship on the first day. During our cruise, the two choices were 4:00 on either Tracy Arm day or the last at-sea day. I didn't want to miss any of Tracy Arm, so we chose the at-sea day. DD and I got to enjoy apple juice and cookies, and we visited with Ariel and Tiana. DD really enjoyed it, and it was fun mommy-daughter time.


1075 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


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1090 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

Coming Up...Our Final Day, Part Two!
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:12 PM   #153
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After tea with our Disney friends, it was time to get ready for our final dinner. We were in Parrot Cay, and it was the 'Til We Meet Again Menu. I don't remember what I had for an appetizer, but I had Beef Wellington for my main dish and wasn't crazy about it. We also tried the Baked Alaska for dessert (which was okay), but I know I also got another dessert, even though I can't remember what is was. Here are a few pictures from the Parade of Nations, which included the chefs displaying the baked Alaska.


1094 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


1096 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

Xavier and Frehr were our wonderful servers for the week. Frehr was especially kind to my children. I really appreciated her sweet disposition!


1098 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

After dinner, DD went to the kids' club for one final evening of fun, and DS went to the top deck to shoot a few more hoops. DH and I decided to take in a little more scenery from the top deck as well.


1113 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


1107 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


1104 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

DD and I ended the evening by going to see Dreams, the final production in the Walt Disney Theatre. Minnie joined us as well. (Just a tip--you can get free ice water at the bar outside the theatre. DD took advantage of this every night.) We enjoyed the show, and it was a great end to the wonderful performances that we had seen all week.


1117 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

We ended our last day so thankful for the amazing trip. We were sad to leave, but also felt that a 7-night cruise was perfect. We had been gone from home for 10 nights, so it was time to return to Tennessee. Of course, I wished I could take the stateroom hosts and the chefs home with me!

Coming Up...From Vancouver to Nashville!
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:03 AM   #154
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Sounds like a great last night! What a wonderful vacation, thanks for sharing it with us! I hope one day to go on an Alaskan cruise, looks so beautiful!!
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:33 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWaddictt View Post
Sounds like a great last night! What a wonderful vacation, thanks for sharing it with us! I hope one day to go on an Alaskan cruise, looks so beautiful!!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you are able to go to Alaska. It was a wonderful experience!
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #156
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From Vancouver to Nashville

We woke up on Monday morning with a purpose. We were sad to leave, but we had a flight to catch! We had not set our luggage out the night before because we wanted to be in the first group to disembark. DH took the kids up to Beach Blanket to grab some food while I got ready, and then I went up and got a quick bite. By 7:20, we were heading down to the lobby.

The Navigator said that the first group would start disembarkation at 7:45, but when we got to the atrium at 7:25, people were already exiting. We showed our customs form to an agent as we walked out and were in our car pulling out of the parking garage at 7:40. Our flight out of Seattle was at 3:30, so our nerves about making it on time were greatly eased by the fact that we were leaving over an hour earlier than we had planned.

We experienced some traffic and confusion in Vancouver (you can't turn left onto some streets during certain times off the day, so we had to reroute; and traffic can also back up because there are no left turn lanes, even in areas where you can turn left), but made it into the US by 9:00 (20 minute wait at the border). We had a minor slow down for a wreck around Bellingham, stopped for gas in Seattle, and still made it to the rental car return facility at Seatac by 11:00 AM. We were at the Southwest ticket counter a little before 11:30, which was four hours before our flight.

On the way to Seattle, we received a text saying that our connecting flight in Las Vegas was already delayed. This was worrisome, especially considering it was almost 12 hours from flight time. Also, our flight was scheduled to land in Nashville after 1AM, so we didn't really want significant delays!

Thankfully, because our connecting flight was already showing a delay, the very nice Southwest agent changed our flight to one that left an hour earlier and arrived in Nashville almost three hours earlier (she didn't have to do this, but I guess we looked pitiful)! We were very glad to return to Nashville at 10:40! We were so happy, in fact, that we didn't even care when we got to Nashville and learned that our bags had been left behind in Seattle. There were about 30 of us with no bags, but we just went home, and Southwest delivered them to our house the next morning.

Our view on the flight home...


1497618 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr


1497616 by baseballsandbows, on Flickr

This was truly an amazing vacation, and I am so thankful that we had the opportunity to make this trip. DH and I would love to return and go even further north into Alaska. There are also other excursions we would like to try. Of course, this will be in the future, probably once we are empty nesters (which will be a while).

For those of you looking forward to Disney Alaskan cruises, you are going to have a wonderful time, and you have every reason to be excited. For those of you on the fence, I highly recommend it! It was a vacation we will always remember!

I guess that's all from me, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask! Thanks for reading!
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Old 09-08-2013, 05:01 PM   #157
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Fantastic report! I'm sad its over. I really can't wait to go to Alaska now. Hopefully I can swing it in a couple of years.

I love SW customer service!

Jill in CO
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:18 PM   #158
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Great TR! Glad you got your luggage...crazy. I would have been stressed out not knowing if I would ever get them or would it cost more to get them.

I will be looking for more TR's from you in the future!

Thanks!!
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:21 PM   #159
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Thanks for sharing! We just got back and LOVED our Alaskan cruise! Thanks for the info and tips - they were helpful!

Glad you and your luggage made it home safely!
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:40 PM   #160
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Loved it! Thanks for the report- makes me excited for ours next year!!!
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:41 PM   #161
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Oops! Double post!
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:44 PM   #162
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Fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing!
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:17 AM   #163
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What a wonderful vacation! Thanks for sharing it with us. I hope to be able to get there one day with my girls!

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Old 09-09-2013, 07:47 AM   #164
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What a great trip report!! June 2014 can't come soon enough! I am so excited for the kids (and my mom) to go to Alaska! And on another Disney Cruise...they can't be beat!!

I think we are going to change one of our excursions from the Misty Fjords Float Plane to the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour. Looks like something that would be much more memorable for my kiddos!

Thanks again for taking all of the time and effort!!
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Old 09-09-2013, 10:25 AM   #165
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Thanks so much for the wonderful report!!! I have really enjoyed following along! Now I'm really excited for our Alaska cruise next year
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