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Old 06-30-2014, 05:37 PM   #76
shanhop
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Cruise Day 4, Skagway - Dinner

The girls had been told they had to meet us at 5:20 for Captain Jack Sparrow, and they appeared right on time. We were the third or fourth person in line.

He's awesome. As always.


Or maybe this is the Christmas card....


Last cruise I picked out who was "Friend of" Jack Sparrow from the character staff. This year I did not. I'm wondering if Jack's friend was a member of the entertainment group.

We ran into Captain Hook on the way to dinner. He was just wandering, so no formal pictures.


Dinner - Animator's Palate for Dinner Show


Appetizer - I had the Black Truffle Past Pursettes. Incredibly rich, and incredibly delicious.

Then the girls and I had Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese soup, it was wonderful.

Main Course - Scott had the Ginger Teriaki dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin with wasabi mashed potatoes, and tamarind-barbecue reduction. He did not think the potatoes were spicy enough, but the steak and sauce were wonderful.

The girls had the Lemon -Thyme Marinated Chicken Breasts and enjoyed it.
I had the Herb Crusted Veal Chop. Not only was the chop excellent, the sun-dried tomato risotto was out of this world. I can still taste it as I write this.

For dessert Kate had make your own pie (a deconstructed lemom-raspberry curd pie) and the sundae of the day. Emma just had the sundae.

Scott had the Crunchy Walnut Cake (not as good as the brownied in Palo). I had the Sweet Temptations of White Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake (pretty good), the lemon raspberry tart (excellent!) and the chilled mango mouse (delicious)!

After dinner we went to Shutters to check on our pictures. We determined that the pictures from last night did not turn out so well, so we needed some more. But I did purchase the package at this time. I paid at the register, but he told me to order it at the screen too. This led to be being charged twice, but they reversed the charge before I even knew about it.

So, knowing we were going to take more pictures, we went back to the room to change. Disney shirts it is!




Totally different props tonight. So even though it's the same white background, if the line is not too long it's worth checking out...


My weakling. It took so long for her to figure out HOW to hold this!











Tonight's show was Maleficent in the big theater. None of us had seen it yet. We got there a little late (pictures!) so were seated pretty far back. I found the lights over the doors terribly distracting (they would reflect on your glasses lenses.) The movie was good, but it was a long day and neither of my kids made it to the end (around 9:45).

It was back to the room for an EARLY day in Juneau tomorrow!





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Pop Century Sept 2007 (Trip Report on TGM)
Pop Century 11/28-12/6 2009 for the girls 7th birthday! Grandma and Grandpa , Sister, BIL and neice (4) came too.
Disney Magic Spring Break, March 2013 out of Galveston
Disney Wonder to Alaska, June 9th 2014 - TRIP REPORT
Disney Wonder from Galveston THANKSGIVING cruise with EVERYONE!

Last edited by shanhop; 07-03-2014 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:09 PM   #77
mtchurchmonica
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All our cruises have been to the Caribbean. Dh and I would like our next one to be to Alaska. After reading your trip report, I think it should be recommended reading for anyone considering a DCL cruise to Alaska. Between your narration and your photos, you answer just about any question a person could have about a Disney cruise to Alaska.

Christmas photo - I like the one of all of you in cold weather clothing on an excursion.
Husband with book and beer --That is my husband's favorite on-board activity.

The only thing I am wondering is whether standing on a port-side balcony would be just as good as being on the main decks during to passage through the glaciers.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:49 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtchurchmonica View Post
The only thing I am wondering is whether standing on a port-side balcony would be just as good as being on the main decks during to passage through the glaciers.
Thank you for your very kind words. Here's my opinion on the verandah. And it must be taken with a grain of salt, because we've stayed in two oceanview rooms (although my parents had a verandah, so I did spend some time out there).

The verandah gives you a very limited site lines. You can only see so far to the left, to the right, and even up. Being up on 10, you get to appreciate it all around you. Numerous times, we weren't just looking at what was on our side of the boat, but what was on the other side as well (what we could see above the deck). I know others say they'd never do Alaska without a verandah, but I really felt it was too cold for that in early June. The enclosed Outlook Cafe was our favorite viewing location.
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Pop Century 11/28-12/6 2009 for the girls 7th birthday! Grandma and Grandpa , Sister, BIL and neice (4) came too.
Disney Magic Spring Break, March 2013 out of Galveston
Disney Wonder to Alaska, June 9th 2014 - TRIP REPORT
Disney Wonder from Galveston THANKSGIVING cruise with EVERYONE!
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:57 PM   #79
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Just had to chime in...

I'm *loving* your review. We just booked Alaska in 2015, so this has been incredibly helpful (and entertaining!). And your girls are *adorable*. Love the pictures you were able to capture of them on the boulder at the glacier!
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:18 AM   #80
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Another great update!

The helicopter glacier excursion looked awesome. I'm so glad you all had a good time. What a fun experience!

Your family pictures are adorable. Very sweet!
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:54 PM   #81
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Cruise Day 5 - Juneau - Whale watching

Juneau

After a late night at Maleficent, it was a chore to get the girls up at 6:30am to get up to breakfast. Today we had a 7am whale watching excursion at Harv and Marv. Beach Blanket Buffet (I always type Bingo there first!) for a quick bite, and then back to the room to get fully dressed to be out on the water.

Oddly enough, we met our whale watching companions, R&J at breakfast. They were sitting one table over, and R recognized the girls from pictures (twins tend to be memorable). I met R in our cruise FB group, and took me up my offer to share today's trip when I found out I could add too more. This very nice couple was celebrating their anniversary kid free (doesn't that sound nice?!?!?).

We got off the ship and met our H&M guide right outside the gate. We were apparently waiting for several groups and were all sharing one shuttle bus to the harbor. (there were 15 of us). It was a nice bus, and the driver did give us touristy information on the way, but it was very difficult to hear her.



A quick trip to the restroom, and we were shown to our boat, and met Captain Liz.

Our boat




I don't know the exact time frame, but I know we were moving on the water by 8am (after our safety lesson).

The boat was 'just big enough'. There was an area to sit out in front, but you could only be out there if were not traveling, and you had be seated (and no kids without parents). We could all sit inside, there was an extra seat next to the captain. There was space for several of us to stand outside in the back, and there was even a bathroom.

The children have been given a camera today..


The four of us had our own binoculars, but Liz gave the girls "self focusing" ones to use. They thought that was pretty cool.

First stop, harbor seals.... Apparently they are very skittish, so we couldn't get too close. We learned about them nursing for only 21 days. Of course, we'd seen a whole lot of seals two days ago in Tracey Arm.


Looking at seals...


I'm about 75% sure that this is Mendenhall glacier in the background.


Eagle's nest (you'll just have to trust me).


Eagle (Hint, he/she's toward the top of the trees)


Really, really, calm.


Showing the tide lines... These tides change from high to low in just a few hours.


Eagles - two are juveniles without the full white head.


Eagle in flight...


At this point we've been on the water for about 40 minutes and I'm getting frustrated as this isn't a seal/eagle cruise, but a whale watching cruise. (I'm spoiled, I can see eagles at my parent's place in the UP of Michigan).

8:55 - A WHALE!!!!


So this whale is named "AK". Apparently she has markings that look like an A and a K. They knew it was a she, so she must have had a calf with her at some point (that's the only way they know most of the time).

Whale watching is not for the easily bored. You hear them first (when they come up and clear the water from their blow hole. You'll see their back come up a few times, and then you'll see a much BIGGER arc of their back and the tail come up out of the water when they are making a deep dive. Then it'll be 6-10 minutes before they come up again. 6-10 minutes is an eternity to 11-year olds.

Spray as she comes up...


Back of the boat area...











We saw AK come up and go down a couple of times. There were five or six boats in the area. Alaska has very strict rules about how close the boats can get. The whales can come to you, but you can't go to close to them.

Co-captain...


Sea Lions...




This boat is roughly the same size/layout as the one we were on (since I never took a good picture of ours!)


After the sea lions, Liz was showing us more scenery, and a lighthouse (that's no longer manned). She was about to head toward an island where we should be able to see bears when she got a call about a pod of six whales. So we high-tailed it towards that sighting.

We saw at least two whales in the distance as we were still approaching. Of course they both headed down, so it was more waiting for them to appear again (hopefully).



We did see this whale, and possibly another one (no one was sure if it was the same whale, or two different ones). We weren't close enough to get good tail identification.

I also wasn't taking a lot of pictures, since my camera was not quite powerful, and J had an AWESOME lens on his. I'm hoping R&J will send me some of his shots.

So, my overall thoughts.... this wasn't as good as I was hoping. I don't know if my expectations were too high (I suspect they were), or it just wasn't a good trip. We heard lots of stories from others about how many whales they saw, and how close they came, and a calf (the first sighting of the year), etc. etc. The whale part was great, but it was so such a small part of the trip compared to the time spent on seals, sea lions, eagles, and potentially bears. My girls did get bored, but were not horrible about it.

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Pop Century Sept 2007 (Trip Report on TGM)
Pop Century 11/28-12/6 2009 for the girls 7th birthday! Grandma and Grandpa , Sister, BIL and neice (4) came too.
Disney Magic Spring Break, March 2013 out of Galveston
Disney Wonder to Alaska, June 9th 2014 - TRIP REPORT
Disney Wonder from Galveston THANKSGIVING cruise with EVERYONE!
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:00 PM   #82
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Cruise Day 5 - Juneau -

Pretending to be Wall-E


We were back at the dock by 10:30, and set out for Mendenhall Glacier on the same shuttle bus. This was included in the excursion cost. We had about 20-minutes at the glacier, for photos and such, and the shuttle would take us to back to the Wonder. We had decided that we probably wanted more than 20-minutes so we told the driver we'd find our own way back.

It's RIGHT THERE!


This is the view right off the bus...


Icebergs...


At the base of the visitor's center they had a Junior Ranger station. There were pieces of ice too look at, a "scat identification" (rubber scat) and glacier silt....


This one doesn't understand the photo concept I was going for.....


The girls got 20-page workbooks, and had one of the required activities signed off on by the rangers. We then walked down for better photos.


We opted not to walk to the waterfall. Those are people in front of it, for a sense of scale.


At the end of "Photo Point Trail".. the falls would be just to the right






Lupines in bloom


We did wander up to the Visitor's center, but did not pay the fee ($5?!? for adults, kids were free). It was approaching noon, we'd been there for about 50 minutes, and breakfast had been a long time ago. We headed back to the parking lot and asked for the shuttle location. We knew there were several different busses that stopped by and it should cost $8 a person to get back to town. The price has gone up to $10. We waited between 15-20 minutes for a bus to come, and headed back to town.

We missed seeing a black bear and her two cubs by on a few hours. The bus took us to the main dock (at the base of the tram). Disney runs a courtesy bus to the south dock where the Wonder was. Since that bus was there when we arrived, we hopped right on it and headed to the Wonder for lunch. I thought about coming back later, but I can tell you that it did not happen. A late night followed by an early morning wiped me out.

We went back to the ship, dropped off coats and such and went to Triton's for lunch. The girls and I had burgers. Can't remember what Scott had. I think I had a sundae for dessert. It was nice to just sit and let the food come to you for a change.

After lunch, we headed back to the room. The girls needed showers, and Scott napped. I started the process of delivering FE gifts. For the five and under set (there were only four or five of them) I had Mickey and Minnie Play-Doh sets. Everyone else received clip boards I made (based on their favorite character)



I went out a deck at a time and made deliveries. The girls helped after they were done showering (Scott napped).

I'm sure the girls headed for Edge at this point. I have no idea what my husband did, but I headed up to General Trivia. I joined Mrs. M (from the Vancouver bus stop) and her family (husband, SIL). This trivia was MUCH tougher. No multiple choice either. The funny part is we kept arguing about answers. Towards the end I took my sheet (that I wasn't using since I joined their team), and filled it out using our "second choice" answers. CM Andy doesn't trust us to grade our own, so we had to swap papers. It turned out that we won!!! I was so excited. Funny enough, our "second choice" sheet took second place. We won a very nice Disney Cruise key chain (silver and kind of heavy). I wore in on my lanyard for the rest of the week.

Then it was time to change for dinner and the Pixar Party. It was semi-formal night.

The Pixar Party is instead of Pirate Night on most other Disney Cruises. Because we are in wildlife areas, there's no fireworks, and not even any sound on funnel vision when we are close to shore (as we had been for all of Alaska). The party is held twice, 4:30 and 10:15. After a late night last night, I knew 10:15 was OUT, so 4:30 it was!

The party take place in the Lobby. The characters come in and are introduced, and then spread out around the area. Each character then had a specific song/dance they do while the other characters are in the crowd. After each song they rotate. They aren't posing for pictures formally, but you can interact and take pictures with them. My two were happy to dance, but wouldn't dance WITH the character even though they were in a prime location to do so.









Hey... there's no one around!!!


Someone stole my ears!


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Pop Century Sept 2007 (Trip Report on TGM)
Pop Century 11/28-12/6 2009 for the girls 7th birthday! Grandma and Grandpa , Sister, BIL and neice (4) came too.
Disney Magic Spring Break, March 2013 out of Galveston
Disney Wonder to Alaska, June 9th 2014 - TRIP REPORT
Disney Wonder from Galveston THANKSGIVING cruise with EVERYONE!
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:30 PM   #83
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Cruise Day 5 - Juneau - Dinner

Pre-Dinner Pictures

We did our standard pre-dinner pictures. We even took one with our youngest tablemate.


We didn't get good father/daughter shots last night, so we tried again tonight. We got several good ones, but this is my favorite.






Semi-formal night, more pictures at dinner!




Dinner was the Toy Story menu. I again did NOT write meals down (sorry!). But I think I had the steak, but asked for a side of the risotto that came with one of the seafood dishes.

I did take a picture of the Bubble Gum Sundae.


Our dining companions didn't have excursions planned today, they were going to go up on the Tramway, but saw the "whale watching" booth and booked a tour right then and there. They raved about their tour, and said the whales were super close. Again, I don't know if there's was better or my expectations were too high. But I wanted to mention that they had no problem getting a tour as a walk up (although we may have been the only ship in port that day). I didn't ask what it cost.

We thought we had an easy morning tomorrow. Ship didn't dock in Ketchikan until 11, and we had no tour. Sleep in!!! Ah no. Our Character Breakfast is scheduled for 8 something (early dining = early character breakfast) in the morning. So much for sleep.

After dinner, we stopped for some character pictures.


We would have stopped for Mike and Sulley, but it was just Mike. Sulley had been missing at the Party too. They were supposed to be out later so we skipped it. I found out later that Sulley experienced a wardrobe malfunction the week or two before and hadn't been seen since.

Scott and the girls were heading to "Toy Story the Musical", but I was beat, and decided to skip it. I think they may have gone and traded pins outside the store first.

I was hoping to make an early night of it, but our room wasn't ready yet. I was a bit annoyed by this as we had early dining, and I totally expected the room to be turned down by 7:30. Eventually the steward did show up, and I just had him get the girls beds down and not mess with my bed at all (I was on it and downloading pictures).

He did leave a frog.


Scott and the girls enjoyed the show. I did catch a few minutes of it on the TV in the room, but got wrapped up in a Disney Company documentary covering the Eisener / Katzenberg years. I fell asleep to that.

Odds and ends -
I forgot to mention that our "coffee table" in our cabin had disappeared on Day two of our cruise. We noticed that it wasn't going up and down, and then it just disappeared. That was fine, since we weren't using it much, and it gives you more space. A few days later it returned.

At the Mendenhall Glacier visitor center the girls were given workbooks. These workbooks indicated the girls had to complete five pages to complete level 1, 10 pages for level 2, and the whole book for level 3 and get the patch. This was NOT what we were told in Skagway (where we just needed to complete AN activity at each location). So now the girls have homework before tomorrow. They did do a little on the bus back from Mendenhall, but we wanted them to have five pages done by Ketchikan.

Panoramic of Mendenhall

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Shannon , DH , and twins (11)

Pop Century Sept 2007 (Trip Report on TGM)
Pop Century 11/28-12/6 2009 for the girls 7th birthday! Grandma and Grandpa , Sister, BIL and neice (4) came too.
Disney Magic Spring Break, March 2013 out of Galveston
Disney Wonder to Alaska, June 9th 2014 - TRIP REPORT
Disney Wonder from Galveston THANKSGIVING cruise with EVERYONE!
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:33 PM   #84
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Really enjoying reading your report so far and it's really helpful. I'm currently in planning mode for our Alaska cruise next summer!
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:50 PM   #85
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Wonderful information for our August 31st (2015) Cruise to Alaska. THANK YOU!
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:22 PM   #86
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Thank you! The end is coming I promise. I've been out of town for 5-weeks, but I'll be back home soon!
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Pop Century Sept 2007 (Trip Report on TGM)
Pop Century 11/28-12/6 2009 for the girls 7th birthday! Grandma and Grandpa , Sister, BIL and neice (4) came too.
Disney Magic Spring Break, March 2013 out of Galveston
Disney Wonder to Alaska, June 9th 2014 - TRIP REPORT
Disney Wonder from Galveston THANKSGIVING cruise with EVERYONE!
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:00 PM   #87
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excellent trip report thank you!!! subscribing to read over again for our planning for next summer
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:35 PM   #88
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Love the report
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:26 PM   #89
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Loving this trip report. I'm just starting the planning process and you've already answered many questions. Thanks for taking the time to do it!
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:10 PM   #90
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Just found your trip report. Looks like you were having an amazing vacation. Can't wait to see some of the same sights next year!
Question - when you were booking your whale watching tour - did you look at many companies and the Disney-run ones? Seems like there are so many options, hard to figure out where to book. But I've seen Harv and Marv mentioned several times!
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