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Old 09-11-2013, 09:50 PM   #16
Earning My Ears
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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I am loving your trip report! We cruised Aug. 5-12 and we had a great time! My husband and I did the beer tasting and also stayed for the sports trivia. The week went by so fast, looking forward to the rest of your TR!
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:31 AM   #17
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Thank you for the great details! We are heading out in June 2014.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:17 PM   #18
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Looking forward to more of the report... thinking of doing our first ever cruise next August for our 20th Anniv.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:04 PM   #19
Earning My Ears
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Day 5 - August 21, 2013 - Tracy Arm, Glacier Ice & Seals, a little Witches Brew, and the Quest for a Hat, Part Deux!

OK! Time to finally see some of this Alaska stuff that I had been researching the past year! Ice is nice!

While yesterday was predominantly open ocean, offering views of, well, water&ok, there were some distant landscapes, but today was the exact opposite! When we awoke that morning, I immediately hopped over to the curtains, removed the clothes pins*, and shoved my face, like Ralphie at the department store holiday window display in A Christmas Story, up against the glass! The vast expanse of ocean had now been completely replaced by narrow passages of lush pine tree forests, trickling waterfalls, ice capped towering mountains (seemingly so close that you could water skip a day old Palo pancake and nail it cleanly), and sprawling river bends that led to someplace where you knew a moose was having a snack! Beautiful? Nah, not good enough. Gorgeous? Nope, that still does not do it justice. Stunning? We have a winner!

* Regarding the clothes pins on the curtains&this was a recommendation that I found on the DIS Boards. Previous Alaskan travelers lamented about the fact that the sun would rise each morning much earlier than they wanted to. Unfortunately, the curtains often times failed to completely close, thus allowing sunlight into the cabin during the my God, we are on vacation, why are we getting up this early morning hours. To counter this, they fastened three clothes pins along the vertical edges of the two solid curtains, ensuring that the light stayed outside where it belonged! Great idea and it worked very well for us.

Since we were not due to arrive in Tracy Arm until around noon, we enjoyed somewhat of a sleep-in morning and took in a leisurely buffet breakfast. Afterwards, our daughter went to, oh you know where she went, so my wife, mom, and I reviewed our options. The ladies decided to check out the Gemstone Seminar (note to self, check on your Spider-sense, because it failed big time here; more on that later). I, on the other hand, chose not to do that. I did not immediately know what I was going to do, but I knew that I didnt want to do that. So&with no Navigator schedule in my pocket to reference, and no common sense in my head to go get one, I just walked around the ship, waiting to be inspired. Suddenly, there it was! I was in the mood for a sales pitch! Yes, definitely&a sales pitch! OK, yes, I am being totally sarcastic here; if you knew me at all, you would know that I loathe aggressive sales people and telemarketers are the bane of my existence, but I digress. Sales pitch! Yay! Hello, Disney Vacation Club presentation in Studio Sea!

Yes, yes, I know&I did this to myself and I am the only one to blame. I know. But, I am sure that I had more fun than my wife and mom did at the Gemstone Seminar&OK, maybe not. Anyway, as I entered Studio Sea, I was greeted very warmly (see, that is how they suck you in!) and handed a rather nice binder with a variety of information handouts, a pen, and note paper. The presentation was your basic tag-team infomercial...two peppy guys taking turns sharing information about DVC with plenty of slides detailing fantastical numbers, picture perfect resorts and amenities, and families enjoying life more than those people in drug commercials you see on TV. I suddenly wondered if there was another beer tasting available. Truth is that it was a nice presentation; they even had a drawing (also known as getting your information via promises of prizes and glory) for, if I recall correctly, shipboard credit, which a nice family won. Upon leaving the lounge, they dispensed blue string-drawn backpacks filled with more DVC literature and a rather nice Aulani print. In the end, I am glad that I went because we have always been interested in DVC, but never wanted to take the time when visiting Disneyland or WDW to sit through a presentation.

Back to wandering around the ship, fate took me to the Promenade Lounge, where it just so happened that my wife and mom were finishing their gemstone session. They were queued up for something, so I decided to wait for them in the seats directly in front of the bar. Then it dawned on me! I wonder if they can make my favorite cocktail from our previous Disney cruises, both having occurred over Halloween. I went up to the bartender and inquired about getting a Witches Brew. Seeing that I had puzzled her, I explained that this magic elixir was a Drink of the Day during our cruises in 2001 and 2011. She replied that she was not aware of it, so she asked her co-worker if he knew of it. No, he didnt&.BUT, he was aware of a binder that listed recipes for a vast variety of specialty drinks. Retrieving the binder, he started perusing through the plastic sleeves and my pulse quickened. Suddenly, he stopped! There it was! He quickly reviewed the recipe, looked up, and said, No problem. One? Out of the corner of my eye, I saw mom and my wife walking over. I smiled and held up three fingers. Moral of the story, if there was a special Drink of the Day that you loved on a previous Disney Cruise and you want one on your current cruise, it never hurts to ask!

Drinks consumed (and loved), we retrieved our daughter from the Club, and went to our room to collect our outer wear. It was nearing ice time! Beach Blanket Buffet was having their traditional Tracy Arm day barbecue, so we headed up there for lunch. The place was absolutely packed, which normally is not a problem because people usually come, eat and leave. However, today, especially in the outside eating area and along the windows, folks were staying put to enjoy the views. Thankfully, a cast member, seeing mom with her cane, attempting to carry her tray of food, came to her/our assistance and found us a table. It was a central inside table, squished between five other full tables, but it was still a place to eat. As full as it was, we decided to eat quickly and get the heck out of Dodge. Mom found an empty table and chairs on deck 9, near the drink dispensers. The three of us headed up to deck 10 to see what we could see. Still a little bit away from the Tracy Arm glacier, there was a smattering of small icebergs floating by the ship. As we crept closer, the number of icebergs increased significantly, but it was still not too bad. Finally, as we came around the last bend into the final straightaway leading to Tracy Arm, we all gasped at the icy minefield that awaited us. Steady on, the Wonder continued forward, gently brushing aside these little white and blue beauties.

When you thought that they couldnt possibly take the ship any closer, they did, and the view was breathtaking! I dont know if this picture or my words can truly do Tracy Arm justice:

We made our way up by the Sports Deck and managed to find a little space along the railing. After about fifteen minutes of getting accidentally shoved repeatedly by others trying to take that perfect photograph and listening to frustrated parents yelling at their bored toddlers, we decided to grab mom and head down to deck 4. Here, the view was just as amazing and much, much less crowded; it was not even close. There were massive stretches of open railing to lean against and admire natures beauty. After a short while, we all went to our cabin and set ourselves up on the verandah. This exact moment was why we paid the extra money to get a verandah room.

Looking through our binoculars and zoom lens, we realized that several of the black spots in the ice field adjacent to the glacier were&moving! Thar be seals ahead, Captain! Spread out over the ice laid a countless number of seals. At this point, our daughter claimed a set of binoculars and refused to relinquish them.

From our verandah, looking down towards the front of the ship, I noticed something happening. They were lowering what looked like a cage down towards the water, but I could not tell exactly what it was or why they were doing it. Later, after the ship was leaving Tracy Arm, I happened to be in the right place at the right time and encountered a group of cast members trying to maneuver this little beauty into an elevator, en route to deck 9 for display:

Having thoroughly enjoyed staring at Tracy Arm for hours, it was time for another diversion, so I headed to Diversions (see what I did there?) for a presentation on technology in the Disney theme parks. I arrived a bit early and there was hardly anyone there. I grabbed a seat and gave in to my current addiction, playing Candy Crush Saga on my phone. Enter the honeymooning couple from Pennsylvania that I met at the beer tasting seminar! We greeted one another, they grabbed the seats next to me, and we filled each other in on respective adventures since we last saw one another. The presentation commenced, which turned out to be essentially a top 10 list of technological innovations, they used the term VERY loosely, created by Disney in their parks; you know, things like audio-animatronics (yes, that is legit), the wheel and spokes theme park layout (how is that technological exactly?), and forced perspective in relation to their buildings (um, ok, I though technology had to plugged in, no?). It was interesting and a good way to kill an hour, but when someone yelled Whale! everyone ran for the windows, angling for position to see...something? I didnt see anything.

Presentation over, the cast member then informed us that there was now going to be a theme parks trivia contest&for prizes! My ears immediately got hot and I looked at my Pennsylvania friends to see if they wanted to team up again. Unfortunately, the wife was now sporting a headache (there is no evidence to confirm that it was caused by that lame presentation, but I would put money on it that it did), so they decided to head out, leaving me to battle alone for fortune and glory. My competition was five teams, ranging from two to five people each. Answer sheet and pencil to the ready, the cast member explained the process. He would play an audio file from an attraction, parade, or show from either Disneyland (I refuse to call it the Disneyland Resort) or Walt Disney World. We would have to name where the track was from, indicate which theme park it is located in, and then answer a trivia question about it. Twenty-five audio files equated to a total of seventy-five points possible. Now, let me share something about myself. My parents honeymooned at Disneyland and it can be argued that my earliest existence began at the Disneyland Hotel, if you get my meaning, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more. I cannot even estimate how many times that I have visited Disneyland in my lifetime. I have been to WDW six times and Disneyland Paris twice. On my iPod, I have a Playlist full of Disney attraction audio files that I play every time that we drive up to the Happiest Place on Earth. And it is not uncommon for me at work to listen to online Disney theme park radio stations as white noise to drown out the cacophony that sometimes surrounds me. Needless to say, I was feeling pretty confidant!

So, how did I do? Well, I did not get a perfect score, but I think that I did my Disney Parks brethren proud! As with the sports trivia, we reviewed the answers as a group, marking them right or wrong using the honor system. Scores tabulated, the cast member asked how many of us got 10 correct. There was a mighty roar from the crowd! 25 correct? A not quite as mighty a roar from the competitors ensued. 40 correct? Three teams, including me, trumpeted! 50 correct? Down to two, me and one other team! 60 correct? Woo-hoo, I blurted, raising my hand! Glory was mine with a final score of 68! I had totally whiffed on the music from World of Color (I have only seen it twice), but I did get that horrid Light Magic from the 90s right (and I only saw that, thankfully, once; it is burned into my psyche forever!). Would I finally be getting my souvenir hat?! The cast member approached, congratulated me on my victory, and then told me that he forgot to bring the prizes. So, he took my name and cabin number, telling me that he would have my prize delivered to my room as soon as possible. Content with that, I strutted out of the lounge and headed to the shops because, darn it, I deserved something now, right? And that DCL Alaska Tervis mug I had been eying was still 40% off! Soon, I was up on deck 9, filling my new Tervis mug with an iced beverage and then back to our cabin for more relaxing on the verandah. My wife and daughter returned not long after, as it was time to start getting ready for dinner. I enthralled them with my tale of triumph and my wife simply smiled, shook her head, and placing her hand on my shoulder, said, If you had not won that thing, then I would have left you.

Tonight, we returned to Parrot Cay for dinner, though with its regular menu. Appetizers consisted of Jamaican-Marinated Chicken Tenderloins with blue cheese dressing for me and Island-Spiced Seared Ahi Tuna for my wife. We both followed this with the Cold Cream of Mango and Papaya soup, which was awesome! As our entrees, I ordered the rib-eye steak topped with spiced butter, served with a corn on the cob and a double backed potato, and my wife requested the Pan-Seared Grouper. We both thoroughly enjoyed our selections. And the Banana Bread, oh the Banana Bread!

During dinner, we experienced a special treat&an amazingly beautiful waterfall! No, not inside of the dining room itself, but just outside the windows. The Captain mentioned in an afternoon announcement the possibility of passing a waterfall on the way out of Tracy Arm. Thankfully, they were able to do it and the view from Parrot Cay, even with us sitting in the center of the room, was stunning. Those folks at the tables right along those windows must have had an incredible view. Sorry, no picture of the waterfall, but I did grab this shot nearby after dinner:

As expected, our daughter wanted to go back to the Club after dinner, but before that, we took her to the gift shops so that she could pick out a few things. Mom, who had seen the ships doctor that morning before Tracy Arm in order to get a second opinion on her injuries, decided to check out the show that night. Now no longer sporting the facial pressure bandages, she had an x-ray and an evaluation. The doctor determined that she had not broken anything, calling the hard bump next to nose a hematoma that would disappear in time, and affirmed that Angel Maria had done a great job dressing the wound under her lip. Turns out, he was wrong about not breaking anything. Now home, moms doctor confirmed that she broke her nose.

On our own for the later part of the evening, my wife and I checked out our pictures in Shutters and inquired about the free photo package that we received since we booked our trip through AAA Travel. After confirming our names on a list they had, the cast member gave us a small punch card that detailed the number of 8x10s and 6x9s that we received, based on the type of stateroom we reserved. We had the option of converting the card into a dollar amount for use at Shutters or we could combine two of the 6x9s into another 8x10; we chose the latter option. Grabbing an 8x10 of the three of us from Animators Palate during the first night of the cruise, we then walked around deck 9 a bit and finished the evening by enjoying some hot chocolate and a snack (taco pizza, hmmm&) while watching a bit of Finding Nemo by the pool.

After reclaiming our daughter, we returned to the cabin to find a white Disney Cruise Line bag hanging from the fish outside of our cabin! There was an envelope sticking out of the top with my name written on it! My fabulous prize package had arrived! Would my wish of a souvenir DCL Alaska hat finally come to pass?! Inside our room, I spilled the bags contents onto our bed. There was a very nice silver Disney Cruise Line keychain and a cool solid blue Disney Cruise Line binder with notepad. And, finally&cue the angelic chanting of Franciscan monks&a HAT!!!! Solid navy blue, it had Disney Cruise Line embroidered across the front in maroon. It did not mention Alaska on it, but that was fine because it was not the one that they were selling in the gift shop, so I figured it was a Limited Edition Exclusive (ok, yeah, whatever makes me happy, right?). Needless to say, with my fortune and glory obtained this fine day, I slept like a King this night!

Up next - Day 6  Skagway: Mountain Rails, Gold Rush Camp and Shopping (Oh the Shopping - My Spider-sense is Tingling)!

Last edited by gregf71; 09-20-2013 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:29 PM   #20
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Great report and great pictures! It's like reliving our own cruise. The seals were amazingly numerous. Our naturalist told us that if we encountered them on the ice in front of the glacier that we wouldn't be able to approach it closely, for fear of disturbing them. But, Captain Thord used the side thrusters judicially, and gently nudged the ice away from the ship without causing the seals any distress at all. Who knows? Perhaps they enjoyed the ride In any case, we got an "up close and personal" view of the glacier.

We also tried getting a view from the upper decks, but like you, we found the balcony was worth its weight in gold when it came to getting a good view and being able to get pictures without getting jostled by the crowd trying to do the same.

Can't wait to hear about your Skagway adventures.
Our first Disney Cruise - November 2012 - The Bahamas on the Disney Dream
Our second Disney Cruise -- August 2013 - Alaska on the Disney Wonder
Our third Disney Cruise -- September 2014 - Panama Canal Crossing on the Disney Wonder
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:25 PM   #21
You can't miss my DH. He's a big burly USMC redneck w/ a fanny pack and acting like a kid who can't wait for the next ride at WDW.
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I love your trip report. I can't wait for the next part.

We are going next summer.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:07 PM   #22
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Great trip report! Making notes for our journey next August.
Karen DH Ed DD Patricia
Disney Wonder: November 23-27, 2003 Land & Sea October 5-9, 2008 (Surprise Double Dip) Panama Canal Crossing Eastbound December 9-23, 2012
Alaska August 11-18, 2014
Disney Magic: Western, January 15-22, 2005 Eastern, October 15-22, 2005 Western Double Dip, October 14-21, 2006
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:23 PM   #23
Earning My Ears
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Fabulous trip report, love the photos!! So sorry to hear your mother did break her nose. We are cruising on the Wonder to Alaska June 2014. Can't wait to read more of your trip report!!


WDW Trips: Honeymoon - The Disney Inn - 05/1989
EuroDisney - 04/1992
Shades of Green - 05/1995; 05/1999; 05/2007; 10/2007; 01/2008; 10/2008; 10/2009; 5/2010; 4/2011; 5/2011, 5/2012, 5/2013: Coronado Springs: 10/2009; 12/2010
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:14 PM   #24
Earning My Ears
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A little inter-pre-post-trip mini addendum (it makes sense, trust me) more Tracy Arm photos!

So, I decided to wait to mention this until I had actual confirmation, but for those of you who have a Disney Visa credit card, you may find this information useful. Pre-trip, I read here on the DIS Boards about the possibility of pre-purchasing stateroom credit, which can be used to pay for everything assessed to your room account (drinks, souvenirs, excursions, gratuities, etc.). The benefit being that this "purchase" qualifies for the 6 months at 0% perk offered by the card. Since the last post I found about this was several months old, I decided to check if it was still valid. A couple days before we left for Vancouver I called DCL to confirm if it was still the case and their response was, "It depends on how Chase codes these types of transactions." So, I called Chase, asked the same question and they said, "It depends on how Disney codes these type of transactions."

After chatting with my wife, we decided to just do it, so I called DCL and made the purchase. A few days ago, I checked our online statement and sure enough, it qualified! Hopefully, this will continue to work in the future. In our case, it allowed us to save a bunch of Disney Gift Cards and use them to cover the majority of our costs post-sailing at Disneyland!

And one thing that I forgot to include with the Tracy Arm we were heading up towards the Sports Deck to catch some views of the glacier, we stopped at a push cart, manned by a cast member, because our daughter was cold and wanted a hot chocolate to drink. Seeing no other close by option at that time (not wanting to walk back down to the opposite end of the ship to the drink dispensers), we went ahead and bought her one here. Yep, they charged us for it. To our surprise, when we got to the front of the ship, there were free hot beverage dispensers. Sneaky Disney Cruise Line, really sneaky! Moral of the story, ask before your buy!

Now, couple more Tray Arm day pictures!

Day 6 in Skagway is coming soon!

Last edited by gregf71; 09-20-2013 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:36 AM   #25
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Thanks for the great tip!

Thansk for the heads up on pre-purchasing stateroom credit......can you share a little more on how you did this? What did you request when you called DCL? Do you know how it was coded...and by who (DCL or Visa)
Thanks for any insight!
Honeymoon 4/00 4 Day Magic and Wilderness Lodge; 3/02 7 Day Eastern Magic; 11/02 Beach Club Villas; 11/04 7 day Western Magic; 10/05 4 Day Wonder and 3 Day at Saratoga Springs; 9/06 7 Day Twice the Magic--2x Castaway Cay; 11/07 7 Day Eastern Magic; 9/08 7 Western Double Dip--2x Castaway Cay; 5/09 Villas at AKL; 10/09 7 Day Eastern Magic to St Croix; 4/10 7 Day Caribbean Princess for 10th Anniversary; 10/10 7 Day Western Magic; 10/11 7 Days B2B on the Dream; 10/12 7 Day Eastern Fantasy; 3/12 DVC Villas at Aulani; 10/13 7 Day Western Fantasy; 10/14 7 Day Western Fantasy to Jamaica
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:39 AM   #26
Earning My Ears
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Originally Posted by jjgarv View Post
Thansk for the heads up on pre-purchasing stateroom credit......can you share a little more on how you did this? What did you request when you called DCL? Do you know how it was coded...and by who (DCL or Visa)
Thanks for any insight!
Hi -

I simply called DCL and told them that I wanted to pre-purchase onboard credit for our stateroom account. They asked how much and on what credit card number I wished to charge it to. That was it!

The DCL cast member I spoke to could not, or would not, confirm or deny that it was eligible for the 0% perk; the same for the Chase Visa people. I don't know how it was coded because it does not indicate any special code or status on our credit card statement. Why it is such a mystery I don't know, but it worked for us and it has worked for others in the past. Hopefully, it will continue to be a perk that we can all enjoy on future cruises.

If you are curious, do a search in the Disney Cruise Line section of the DIS Boards using "Disney Visa" and you should see other recent conversations about this topic.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:40 PM   #27
Earning My Ears
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Day 6 - August 22, 2013 - Skagway: Mountain Rails, Gold Rush Camp and Shopping (Oh the Shopping  My Spider-sense is Tingling)!

The Wonder pulled into Skagway early in the morning with all ashore starting soon after 7am. Our planned excursion for the day, the White Pass Railway and Trail Camp, was scheduled to meet up at 7:10am in Wavebands. After grabbing a super quick breakfast (and making sure that we had our passports, which were required for this excursion), we arrived at Wavebands to find several cast members in the middle of the room furiously organizing a variety of papers and handheld character signs. Multiple tour groups were meeting here as well, so as each respective time arrived, one of the cast members would call out and have a representative from each family bring their tour tickets up to the table to check in and receive their designated character stickers; if memory serves, we were Donald Duck for this one. Once everyone was checked in for our tour, another cast member claimed a Donald Duck sign and then we were instructed to follow her off the ship to our awaiting bus. While the distance from the ship dock to the train was totally walkable, at least for those of us not limited in any way, I appreciated the fact that a bus was provided to take us over. Within a few minutes, the bus delivered us to the train depot, where our local guide stepped out to confirm which rail car our group would be admitted to. This too was another nice touch in that we didnt have to run up and down the length of the train to find available seating! Thankfully, the car assigned to our group sat immediately in front of us, so we all climbed in. Taking the advice from several DIS Board members, we grabbed seats on the left side of the car. This proved to be excellent advice as it offered the best views overall throughout the length of the rail portion of the excursion.

How did mom fare with getting into and out of the bus and train you may ask? Well, it was a challenge, but with my help she got in and out just fine. That seemed to be the standard operating procedure for the other families who toured with us who also had disabled parents. Neither the bus nor the train offered any mechanical lift options that we saw, which would have been more appropriate for a wheelchair anyway. However, in both cases since the drop off was rather high, an extra step was provided for everyone. And, in the bus, they did reserve the first seats on both sides for handicapped guests. For the sake of clarification, we did not request any special assistance ahead of time for mom from DCL or the tour operator as we really didnt think that she needed it. Now, back to the train!

Soon, we were off, as the two lead green and yellow locomotives slowly eased all of the rail cars forward! Gradually picking up speed, we headed out of the town proper, through residential back woods, and finally up into the nearby Tongass National Forest. The incline did not seem very steep, at least from our perspective. The scenery along the way was amazing! As we rose up and along the mountains, we looked down upon the lush green valley below. Colors abounded! Forests of dark green pines covered the land, small white plunging waterfalls checkered the mountainsides, and a dark blue river snaked through the valley floor. All along the railway, a rainbow of wild flowers peppered the landscape.

My personal favorite part of the trip was Tunnel Mountain. I just loved the fact that we were travelling through a mountain:

As the elevation increased, the visibility decreased, as did the temperature outside. Gradually, the train windows started fogging up, making photographing through them much more difficult. Granted, I could have joined the folks standing outside on one of the platforms between the rail cars, but it was crowded out there and it was nothing that a few frequent wipes up and down the window didnt fix:

After passing through Tunnel Mountain, we soon reached White Pass Summit and officially entered British Columbia (the reason why we needed our passports), en route to our final stop of Fraser. Upon our arrival in Fraser, we were instructed that we needed to remain in our train car until it was cleared by a Canadian customs officer. One by one, an officer walked through the cars (I cannot recall if they collected any form from us or not), eventually getting to us and giving the all clear. Off of the train, bathroom facilities were available for those in need and tour buses sat waiting for their passengers. We located ours quickly, as it (and the guide) was the same one that took us from the ship to the train back in Skagway. To stretch our legs a bit and enjoy the fresh clean air before boarding our bus, I chased my daughter around trying to reclaim the WP&YR hat that mom bought for me during the ride up the mountain (did I mention that I love baseball hats?)! You can gauge my success in this venture in a future picture.

Now, safely on the bus, the next phase of our excursion was a ride down the South Klondike Highway to the recreated gold miners camp, called Liarsville! During this leg of the trip, we came upon several cars and a tour bus pulled over along the side of the road. Many people were out, looking excitedly down into a gorge, cameras and binoculars in position. Noticing this commotion, I looked down, scanning along a quiet stream that rested at the base of the gorge. Then I saw it, well I think I saw it! Down at the side of the stream, leaning down towards the water to get a drink, was what looked to be a bear! Regrettably, my camera was put away and before I could alert my family our bus took a turn and the bear was out of sight. So, officially, I saw a bear! Well, maybe&

As soon as we arrived in Liarsville, the first thing that we needed to see was the restrooms! Unfortunately, we were not the only ones who had that particular need. I mention this because the camp offers only three unisex facilities (at least that we were made aware of), located behind the General Store. Since we arrived at the same time as a few other tour groups, there was already a line and our group only made it longer. In addition, since the line queues directly in front of the restrooms, total discretion (i.e. sounds) cannot be always guaranteed if you know what I mean.

The camp itself was pretty sweet. Hidden among the trees and completely unpaved, the various buildings, structures, and activity areas that encompasses the bulk of Liarsville, form around a central open space. From here, you can view into tents that offer recreations of camp life during the gold rush days:

Just beyond them lays the Liarsville Hippodrome, an open air building with wooden benches where a cast of sourdoughs and dance hall girls entertains guests with a funny melodrama, poetry, and songs. We happened to arrive just in time for the show. Overall, it was fun; silly, but enjoyable. At one point, all of the kids in the crowd are invited to come up to participate in the show. Basically, they all encircled the performer on the stage as he told a funny story. Immediately afterwards, it was time for our group to learn the art of gold panning. My daughter and I went over, claimed our pans (with dirt already included), and listened earnestly to the instructions. Everyone is guaranteed to find gold in their pan! Now, there is no promise as to how much gold you will find, but you should absolutely find something! Dip, soak, shake, dip, tip, shake some more, and tip again; repeat and repeat and repeat until you expose your bullion! Eureka! Or should I say, Eureka! Yeah, it was just a couple flakes of gold, but our daughter loved the experience:

Did you notice the hat that she is wearing? Yes, I did eventually get it back, but quoting Aragorn in Return of the King, Not this day. Not this day.

After about an hour in Liarsville, we boarded the bus for our return trip to Skagway. Once back into town, the tour guide dropped off some folks along Broadway Street, while the rest of us returned to the ship. A quick bite to eat for lunch onboard and then we jumped back off to head into Skagway for a little exploration and shopping. The town itself was very nice, offering a bastion of shops just waiting to separate you from your money!

I was on the hunt for something of the totem pole variety and hopefully some scrimshaw (legal of course). My wife, on the other hand (queue the Spider-sense tingling), was looking for jewelry! Needless to say, Skagway offered several locations that could fulfill all of our shopping desires. In the end, I came away with a small piece of scrimshaw, a portion of preserved mammoth bone with a bear inscribed on it (in recognition of my possible sighting earlier in the day), but no totem yet. Perhaps I was a bit naive going in, but I was really surprised at the high prices on the souvenir totems, even the smaller ones. As a result, and recalling reading that the best shopping was still ahead in Ketchikan, I decided to wait. As for my wife, she found an absolutely beautiful piece of jewelry, which came with a second piece for free that she gave to our daughter! It was a good day for us all!

Tonight, our dinner would be in Tritons! Vive la France! Our appetizers were the Duck Confit (me) and Chilled Jumbo Shrimp with Asparagus (my wife). For the soup and salad course, one would have to be crazy not to order the Chef Louis French Onion Soup! Not being crazy, we all ordered this and it was AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS! For her entrée, my wife ordered the Seared Sea Bass, which she enjoyed very much. I, on the other hand, ordered the Three-Cheese Lobster Macaroni. Januar, our server, immediately shook his head and said, No, no, it is not very good. Really, I asked. Yes, order something else and I will bring you some to try. Luckily, I had a close second choice, the Crispy Roasted Duck Breast with Pomegranate Jus. Boy, was Januar right on! He brought me a small bowl of the lobster macaroni with my other entree, telling me if I liked it, then he would bring me more. I took one bite and immediately realized that he offered me sage advice. I took one more small bite just to make sure the first one was not a fluke, but the taste was the same, so I set down the fork and pushed the bowl away; Januar claimed it quickly, smiling with a little glint in his eye, essentially saying I told you so. Thankfully, the duck breast was excellent! Dessert? Well, I had to have the Crème Brulee and my wife thoroughly enjoyed the Grand Marnier Soufflé! Both were outstanding!

The plan for tonight was to take in the comedy show and then whatever. Originally, we were going to go as a family, but inevitably our daughter wished to go back to the Club (I think she may have known something). Giving in, we checked her in and then the rest of us headed to the theater, easily finding seats. Not that we were really early mind you, but there were just a lot of open seats (the reason why may become clear in a moment). The entertainer was a prop comic, at least I think he was, because I will be honest, I started nodding off a few minutes into his act. I dont think that I actually fell asleep, but the next thing I know he is bowing, most of the audience is clapping while others are retreating, and the lights came on. I dont recall being overly tired that night, but then I dont recall him being very entertaining either.

Mom decided to call it a night, so my wife and I, knowing that our daughter would put up a fight if we attempted to claim her, decided to step out onto deck 4 to enjoy the environment. Well, that was the plan anyway. As we stepped out onto the deck, we were immediately met by a burst of cold wind. Initially thinking that it was not that bad, we found two available deck chairs with blankets, kicked back and covered up. Did I say covered up? The truth is that these blankets, with their smaller size and thinner thickness, were not the best options for keeping us warm in what amounted to a wind tunnel. With blankets discarded and deck chairs abandoned, we headed back inside to Shutters and checked out our latest photos. Another visit to the Outlook Café for some coffee and then we called it a night too.

Up next - Day 7  Juneau: To Dog Sled or Not to Dog Sled (That is the Question!), plus Whale Watching, Mendenhall Glacier, & the Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure! Oh&and Palo Dinner too!

Last edited by gregf71; 09-20-2013 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:48 PM   #28
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Really enjoying this thread. Great info & detail!

2014: February aboard the Dream
2013: October at the Beach Club Resort
2011: May at the Polynesian
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:31 PM   #29
Earning My Ears
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Gregf71, I am late to join this tea party, and hope you can help.. I am planning to take the Alaska cruise next July- but am trying to decide if I should fly into Seattle and drive to Vancouer or take puddle jump in. I think the drive would be nicer, but not sure how much of an effort customes broarder crossing will be- does anyone have any suggetions on this?
also looking to try to scope out the excursions and am blown over by the number of excurisons to choose from at each port.. HOW to choose!! ANY ADViCE IS WELCOME!! THANKS. ;o)
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:45 PM   #30
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Enjoying reading about ur family vacation!! Loving it!! I'm really looking forward to our Alaskan vacation/cruise hopefully soon!! Post more pics!!! Alaska is beautiful!!

Upcoming Cruise's: November 30, 2014: 7 nights on Disney Magic - Western Caribbean Here is our PTR for our upcoming cruise!!!
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June 22, 2008: 7 nights on RCCL'S Freedom of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean; November 20, 2009: 3 nights on RCCL's Monarch of the Seas - Bahama's; August 13, 2011: 7 nights on RCCL's Oasis of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean.November 30, 2013: 7 nights on Disney Fantasy - Eastern Caribbean.
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