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Old 05-01-2011, 12:40 PM   #1
Prose
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Questions for early Alaskan cruisers!

It's hard to believe the first Alaskan cruise is just days away! I was thinking those of us who are scheduled for later this summer could post some of our most "burning" questions here for the trailblazers to answer....

Obviously, we all want to know about dining rotations, menus, pirate night, etc. But I am wondering a couple of other things, as well...

- is there special Alaska merchandise in the onboard shops?
- since the sun comes up so ding-dang early, do the fitness center and cove cafe open any earlier than normal?
- are there blankets, hot cocoa, etc. on deck?
- Are there naturalist talks, especially on Tracy Arm day?
- how close to the glacier did you get on Tracy Arm day?

Thanks! I hope others will add to the list -- I'm looking forward to seeing the first Navigators come back.....
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:51 PM   #2
nick.turpchinoff
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Great thread topic, I was going to start one like this.

It would be great to see Navigators from the Alaska cruise!
If anyone can scan Navigators, that would be great!

Blogging/Tweeting from May 3rd Alaskan Cruise:
http://land.allears.net/blogs/lauragilbreath/
http://land.allears.net/blogs/debwills/
http://www.carol-anne.ca/2011%20May%...p%20Report.htm
http://rickstravelblog.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/allearsdeb

Inside Passage:
The captain came on with his nightly report about 8:00, and explained (again) that the reason we had come up on the west side of Vancouver Island on the northbound portion of our cruise rather than coming up the Inside Passage was because anytime a new ship cruises Alaska for the first time, it has to be certified (I don't think that's the word he used, though), that it is able to navigate the rather narrow passage safely. Our cruise is the only Disney Alaska cruise that is scheduled to go north the way we did - all of the others will cruise the Inside Passage both north and south. (Good news for anyone who is worried about being seasick, since they should not experience the rough seas that we had on our second day.) [Gilbreath]

Show Schedule:

Day 1: Let the Magic Begin
Day 2: Golden Mickeys
Day 3: One of the cruise entertainers
Day 4: Movie (for us it was African Cats)
Day 5: Toy Story The Musical
Day 6: One of the cruise entertainers
Day 7: Remember the Magic

Menus/Themes:

Day 1: The restaurant menu (Island Dinner for Parrot Cay, French
Dinner for Triton's and Show Dinner for Animator's Palate). Dress is Cruise Casual.
Day 2: (At Sea) Formal Night, with the Golden Mickeys menu.
Day 3: (Tracy Arm) The restaurant menu, Cruise Casual.
Day 4: (Skagway) The new Taste of Alaska Menu, Cruise Casual.
Day 5: (Juneau) Restaurant menu, Pirate Attire or Cruise Casual.
Day 6: (Ketchikan) Captain's Gala menu, Semi-Formal attire.
Day 7: (A Sea) 'Til we Meet Again menu, Cruise Casual.

Port Webcams

SkagwayJuneauKetchikan
PORT BERTH LOCATIONS & MAPS
Based on information obtained from: http://www.claalaska.com

Thursday Tracy Arm, AK
Berth: Not Docking [Tracy Arm Schedule PDF]
Time: 12:00 - 18:00

Friday: Skagway, AK [Skagway Map]
Berth: RRA - Railroad Dock Aft [Port Schedule PDF]
Time: 07:00 - 20:00

Saturday Juneau, AK [Jeanau Map]
Berth: AJD - AJ Dock [Port Schedule PDF]
Time: 07:30 - 17:00

Sunday Ketchikan, AK [Ketchikan Map]
Berth: Dock 4 [Port Schedule PDF]
Time: 12:00 - 20:00

Information We Know

FOOD
  • Instead of the Pirate Night menu there will be a Taste of Alaska menu.
  • The Pirate Night dessert buffet will be in Beach Blanket Buffet
  • Tracy Arm Fjord - BBQ lunch available on deck 9 (with halibut, salmon, steak, potatoes, pretzel rolls)
  • Will be offering a new specialty hot drink every night

Merchandise
  • T-Shirts: Alaska TShirts are available on board.
  • Inaugural: "Most of the merchandise did not seem to be 'Inaugural Alaska' merchandise."
  • Pins: "Yes, there are special Alaska pins available. Open edition pins, as well as a limited edition set on our cruise - I don't know if there will be other limited edition sets available on future cruises, though." [Gilbreath]
  • Scrap booking: Someone very specifically mentioned on being sold.

Pools
Various reports have supported the fact the the pools are heated and warm enough to swim if you want to do so (up to 89 degrees); however, other reports have shown that there are definitely not the crowds at the pools that other Disney cruises typically have. Also, when the waters have been very rough, there have been reports of the pools being closed (on Wednesday 5/4 due to 8-12' swells.)

Tracy Arm
  • Where there talks with naturalists or any presentations about local history and culture?
    There were naturalist presentations each sea day and at Tracy's Arm. It was broadcast on Funnel Vision while we sailed in. They also had special Alaskan-themed activities for the kids. On Tracy Arm day, they had the club and lab up on the Wide World of Sports deck, which was netted off. The kids could go in there and play while the adults watched the scenery. You could grab them out for a quick photo if needed, so that was very convenient. They also had coffee and hot chocolate available on deck 10. They had photographers out taking pictures at Tracy Arm, so make sure you get yours taken! They are gorgeous! They also had characters out on Deck 10 at Tracy Arm all dressed up in Alaskan gear.

Weather
Reports of sun, rain, snow, cloudy, and clear.

Wildlife
Reports of seals (as seen in blogs) and whales.

Characters
  • Minnie - Alaskan fashion all bundled up in jacket with hood and boots.
  • Chip and Dale
  • Captain Mickey

Debarkation
  • Process: Disney has seven different luggage tags and they will ask that only one group at a time gets off the ship, calling luggage tag characters. [Post by trimix]


Questions Needing Answers

01. Navigators - pretty,pretty please with cherry on top?
02. Timing/Open- Since the sun comes up so ding-dang early, do the fitness center and cove cafe open any earlier than normal?
03. On Deck - Are there blankets, hot cocoa, etc. on deck?
04. Dinner menus - anything different, what night was what?
05. Excursion and port reviews?
06. Boarding and Vancouver Cruise Terminal - wait times, boarding numbers, set up at terminal?
07. New - Anything at all new/different than normal for Alaska?
08. Weather - What was the weather like? (both on ship and in ports)
09. Mickey Bars - Can we get mickey bars from room service in Alaska?
10. Repellant - Is repellent is really a necessity for this cruise?
11. Upgrades- Did anyone upgrade at port or look into upgrading, and how were the prices?
12. Lobster - was there lobster available at the BBB table service?
13. Movies - What movies are playing?
14. Temp - Is the temperature in the indoor areas comfortable?
15. Cell - How was cell phone service in the Alaska ports?
16. Luggage - if you booked DCL transfers for after the cruise, can you still check your luggage in with DCL since it is international and did they check you in for your flight and print your boarding passes if you book their transfers?
17. DCL Pickup - What time was DCL's pick up from the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel to bring you to the port?
18. Tracy Arm - What's the best spot for viewing during the day when you are sailing by Tracy Arm?
19 . Activities - what kind of Alaska-related activities where offered on board?
20. Packing - Is there any thing that you didn't bring that you wished you had (i.e. warmers, etc.)?
21. Tea - are they doing the Tea with Characters?
22. Shows - What times are the shows for the Alaska cruise?
23. Age Group - What does the age of the crowd appear to be?
24. What dining rotation did you have?
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may 17-24 '11 // alaskan 7-night, wonder
mar 10-13 '11 // spring break, 3-night bahamas, dream
nov 14-18 '10 // honeymoon, 4-night bahamas, wonder

Last edited by nick.turpchinoff; 05-10-2011 at 10:29 PM. Reason: added questions needing answers
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:36 PM   #3
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I'm on the second sailing, but I'll be happy to answer questions when I return if the first week of cruisers don't beat me to it.
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:45 PM   #4
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How cold/rainy izzit, and are the mossies as blood-thirsty as we've heard?

Did you do the crab boat shore excursion, er, port adventure?

What wildlife did you see (other than the teenagers onboard. 8^)
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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I was planning to start a thread like this sometime in the next week; you beat me to it! I'm on the 5/31 sailing and dying to know all the details as these first cruisers get back.....

(1)- Navigators- pretty,pretty please with cherry on top!

(2)- Swimming pools- how well heated, were many people swimming?

(3)- Dinner menus- anything different, what night was what?

(4)- Excursion and port reviews?

(5)- Boarding and the Vancouver cruise terminal...... wait times, boarding numbers, set up at terminal?

(6)- How far did you get into Tracy Arm?

(7)- Anything at all new/different than normal for Alaska?

(8)- What was the weather like? (both on ship and in ports)

**I'm sure I'll think of more......
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:54 PM   #6
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subbing
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:59 PM   #7
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Nick has kindly offered to index the questions and answers --this will be your one-stop-shop for all things Alaska!

Thanks, Nick
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First magical trip with DD June '07
Disney Cruise on the WONDER March '08
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Awesome trip to WDW October 2012 MNSSHP
Sailed the Eastern on the Fantasy 10/19/13
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:24 PM   #8
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Rain forest hours

My DW loves the rain forest spa with the different heated lounges, etc.-what are the hours of these on the cruise?
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:19 PM   #9
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Great thread

Great thread subbing
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:27 PM   #10
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Very interested in this thread... We leave for our DCL Alaska Cruise on June 14th. I have all the same questions as the others. I've very interested in the weather, pools and what to wear while on deck (jacket, pants, longsleeves???). This is our first Alaskan cruise so I'm feeling a little out of my element. Thanks in advance!!
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:27 PM   #11
Christy May
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Cant wait to see the Navigators. Also wanting to know if there
are any new stage shows. We will be on the 3rd sailing, so I will update
when we get back also.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:31 PM   #12
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We are on the May 31st cruise... So, I'm looking forward to seeing the answers, and I'll be glad to try to add any info from our cruise for questions that haven't been answered (or have been added).

Ready to go! And super ready to start hearing info.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:35 PM   #13
nick.turpchinoff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy May View Post
Cant wait to see the Navigators. Also wanting to know if there
are any new stage shows. We will be on the 3rd sailing, so I will update
when we get back also.
Christy May,

My wife, MIL, and I are on the 3rd sailing as well.
Have you found our cruise thread? We have an FE, but it closes tonight.
May 17 - 24, 2010 Thread.
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may 17-24 '11 // alaskan 7-night, wonder
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nov 14-18 '10 // honeymoon, 4-night bahamas, wonder
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:05 PM   #14
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Great idea!

I am so pleased to see this thread--and thanks for indexing it Nick! Definitely going to sub it
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:09 PM   #15
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Hello all you Alska cruisers. When you sail off on Tuesday, by about 5:30 to six pm you'll notice a charming town on Vancouver Island on your port (left side). This will be Nanaimo, and I will be waving to you from my house in the north end. I will also be sniffling a bit, because I will not be on the ship with you....

Please wave back, and if you can get the Captain to sound the horn, bonus!!!



(View of an Alaska-bound cruise ship from my livingroom window...)

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