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Old 07-17-2011, 03:06 PM   #361
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He did it for us on the 6/21 too, though I thought it was the pilot they brought on board rather than the captain.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:29 PM   #362
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Was your verandah on the port or starboard side of the ship?

I hadn't heard about a new captain coming aboard. Did you catch his name?
They brought on Captain Thor (?). We were on the side with 80xx numbers.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:31 PM   #363
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They brought on Captain Thor (?). We were on the side with 80xx numbers.
Thanks, I think that's port (left).
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:26 PM   #364
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Liarsville in Skagway was fun for the younger crowd. My 5 year old loved it. We all loved Chip, Dale, and Donald, but the gold panning was OK. They did a great job of giving you area history in a kid friendly way, but if you have children that are older than the early childhood set, then consider skipping. Summer Camp dog mushing was wonderful for all ages. We loved it. In Juneau, the exclusive whale watching was incredible, but we were lucky. We had a humpback whale surface within feet of our boat. Auke Bay is beautiful. We saw many whales just from the Wonder, but nothing this close. Ketchikan dungeness crabs were incredible! The process of crabbing was nothing new to us since we are from Louisiana, but dungeness crab eating was fresh and very different tasting from the blue crab that we get from Louisiana. The day is so short in Ketchikan that you have to weigh doing an excursion versus visiting the town. I think that we would would have enjoyed just doing the lumber jack show then visiting the town before going back to the ship; however, again, I say that was the best dungeness crab EVER!
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:37 PM   #365
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Captain Thord was on the July 5th cruise but when we were getting off I saw a Captain Leo getting on. Have never seen him before but have only been on the Wonder one other time and Captain Thord was there then too. (the repo cruise LA to Vancouver)
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:23 PM   #366
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Smile GREAT excursions

There are two things that I worried a great deal about before we sailed: The weather and the weight limits on the flying excursions. Turns out there isn't much need to worry about either.

Tracy Arm: Absolutely spectacular. While it is true that the ship makes a circular turn before heading out of the glacier end of Tracy Arm, it seemed as if the VAST majority of the time, the starboard side of the boat had a terrific view of the glacier and the port side did not. Thankfully, we had a starboard side veranda room so we got to see the glorious scenary just fine, which was especially good with DD8 and DD8--as it takes several hours of getting in and getting out of Tracy Arm and their patience would have grown thin up on deck 9 or 10.

Skagway: By far, THE best port as far as the TOWN goes. Very small, but wonderfully preserved by the National Park Service. We did the Train/Liarsville excursion. The fact that you take a bus to the train station (which was about 400 feet away) seemed comical, but was practical in that the bus driver was going to be the same one who would pick us up at the drop spot in B.C. and take us to Liarsville, so it helped to know the bus and the driver. The train ride is beautiful, but virtually ALL of the views are from the LEFT side of the train (as you face the front). My wife and I really enjoyed the train ride, but my 8 year old twin daughters were not as moved by the vistas and the history. They did, however, LOVE panning for gold at Liarsville. They truly thought they had "found" gold, despite the fact that the microscopic flecks in each persons pan where really difficult to see. Do NOT expect rock size nuggets....think "grains of sand" instead. Still, this was a really good excursion and my daughters absolutely LOVED the panning for gold.

Juneau: We did the Dog Sled Adventure by Helicopter. This was, hands down, one of the BEST things that I have ever done in my entire life. The helicopter ride was amazing. None of us had ever been in a helicopter before. My wife, who doesn't like to fly to start with, had a VERY sleepless night the night before, but my daughters and I were really excited about it. It was a VERY smooth flight and my wife actually enjoyed it, so there is NO reason at all to worry if you are a first time helicopter flyer. Our pilot, like most of the workers in the ports, just worked in Alaska for the summer cruise season and he actually lives the rest of the year less than a mile from us in San Diego---So it really IS a Small World After All. The idea of being on a completed isolated glacier, with nothing in any direction for as far as you could see, except for a dog sledding camp, was absolutely spectacular. The dogsledding itself was a blast. The only downside to it was that everyone had so much fun being the "musher" that we all wanted to do it all the time. Thankfully, our guide showed us how we could double up so that my wife could "mush" with one of our daughters while the guide "mushed" with my other daughter, and I could capture the entire thing on film. It was an amazing experience all around. If you are considering doing this excursion, you MUST do it. It is absolutely the experience of a lifetime. It IS very costly, but it is also completely worth every penny.

Ketchikan: We did the Classic Misty Fjords Flightseeing. Fantastic excursion. It turns out that none of the local companies that offer "Flightseeing tours" was big enough to handle all of the DCL demand, so they contracted with two different companies. That is why there are different names "Classic" (which flys with Taquan Air), and "Majestic" (which flys with some other company). It seems as if they are both virtually identical. This was really a GREAT excursion. In fact, the only thing that I can say against it is that we had been spoiled by the helicopter ride and dogsledding the day before. Plus, as my wife will firmly attest to, the floatplanes are not nearly as smooth a ride as the helicopter. She kissed the dock once we got back. Still, it was amazing to see this incredible national monument so close up from the air. We even spotted a bear and some mountain goats.

A few other comments about the ports:

Ketchikan: We did NOT go to the lumberjack show, although I heard that it was terrific and those that we spoke who did go to it, really enjoyed it. We skipped this because we had been told be several familes we know that had seen the show in Ketchikan AND the lumberjack show on Grouse Mountain (in Vancouver) and thought that they was really no differenct between them. So since we had already seen the Grouse Mountain lumberjack show, we decided to pass on this excursion. Creek Street is neat, but it is very small. So coupled with the fact that the salmon were not spawning when we were there, it was somewhat disappointing.

Juneau: On the recommendation of a neighbor who grew up in Juneau, we had lunch at The Hangar. It was fantastic. Great food and a terrific view (which is a VERY rare combination). Lots of choices on the kids menu to keep any picky eaters happy as well.

Weather: We were very fortunate to have almost no rain for the entire trip (July 5th sailing). I asked both the helicopter operator in Juneau and the flightseeing operator in Ketchikan and they told me that they had only had two days in two months when the weather had forced them to cancel their excursions. So while I had worried a great deal about these "once in a lifetime" excursions being subject to the whims of the weather, it seems as if this is a "once a month" problem instead of a 50/50 problem as I had feared.

Weight: I had read numerous postings about people stepping on scales before boarding their planes or helicopters on this thread. Being just under 250, but knowing I would be indulging in "cruise cuisine" for several days before the excursion, I was very worried about exceeding the 250 pound weight limit and having to pay the excess fees. For our helicopter ride (and there were 6 helicopters, fully loaded with 6 people in each of them) and for our floatplane ride (which was, again, 6 floatplanes, each with 6 people in them) NONE of the passengers was ever weighed. They do require you to give them an estimate of your weight, but that seems to be to simply balance the weight of the passengers for the flight. There were several passengers who were well above 250, and I don't know if they had already prepaid for the excess weight or not, so I certainly can't speak to everyone. But if you are like myself, and worried about "making weight" having to cause you to pass on desert each night, no need to worry. Go ahead and indulge.

Overall, this was an amazing cruise and I would stronly recommend all three of the excursions that we did. I envy all of you who are waiting for your cruise, as you are in for the experience of a lifetime.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:13 PM   #367
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Help!

I'm new to this forum and this is our first Disney Cruise. We are leaving on the Wonder on August 9th and wanted some advice on which excursions to take. We are two grandparents, very agile, with 2 adult children, a 6 year old grandson and a 1 year old granddaughter. We are OK with leaving our granddaughter in the nursery for an excursion. Where do we begin? Which excursions would be most enjoyable for our 6 year old, while making us happy too. Truth be told, we want to make him happy first. HELP PLEASE!
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:15 AM   #368
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Originally Posted by Esevran1 View Post
I'm new to this forum and this is our first Disney Cruise. We are leaving on the Wonder on August 9th and wanted some advice on which excursions to take. We are two grandparents, very agile, with 2 adult children, a 6 year old grandson and a 1 year old granddaughter. We are OK with leaving our granddaughter in the nursery for an excursion. Where do we begin? Which excursions would be most enjoyable for our 6 year old, while making us happy too. Truth be told, we want to make him happy first. HELP PLEASE!
You need to take the time to read/skim through this entire thread - there is alot of great information here, so grab a cup of coffee and enjoy
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:32 AM   #369
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Originally Posted by Esevran1 View Post
I'm new to this forum and this is our first Disney Cruise. We are leaving on the Wonder on August 9th and wanted some advice on which excursions to take. We are two grandparents, very agile, with 2 adult children, a 6 year old grandson and a 1 year old granddaughter. We are OK with leaving our granddaughter in the nursery for an excursion. Where do we begin? Which excursions would be most enjoyable for our 6 year old, while making us happy too. Truth be told, we want to make him happy first. HELP PLEASE!
Welcome Esevran1!

Come meet your fellow cruisers On the the August 9th cruise meet thread.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:16 AM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esevran1 View Post
I'm new to this forum and this is our first Disney Cruise. We are leaving on the Wonder on August 9th and wanted some advice on which excursions to take. We are two grandparents, very agile, with 2 adult children, a 6 year old grandson and a 1 year old granddaughter. We are OK with leaving our granddaughter in the nursery for an excursion. Where do we begin? Which excursions would be most enjoyable for our 6 year old, while making us happy too. Truth be told, we want to make him happy first. HELP PLEASE!
Read the descriptions of the excursions on the Disney Cruise web site too and see what your family thinks they are interested in, then look for reviews in this thread. Only you know what your family likes and doesn't like. Unfortunately, it may be too late to reserve the more popular excursions.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:29 PM   #371
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I should start out by saying that the July 5 cruise stole all the great weather! We did not really have any rain, not in the four days in Vancouver before the cruise or during the seven days of the cruise. Miraculous, I think.


Skagway -- We were one of the few to do the Laughton Glacier Hike. There were seven brave souls from DCL, teamed up with 12 others from Carnival Spirit. It was a fabulous excursion! We started out by taking the White Pass Railway so got the benefit of that scenery (definitely sit on the left as you face forward, but note that the windows are very large and you can see from both sides). The guides used a couple of seats, put a board down, and had us make sandwiches for lunch. We each received a lumbar pack to carry the water they gave us and the sandwiches we made. The excursion was very active, we walked over eight miles, including a long portion over rock beds and ice. But we ate lunch at the foot of a glacier! The scenery was fabulous. There was not a lot of incline strenuous activity, it was more picking out your footing over the rocks, which was hard on my knees coming back when it was more sloping downward. I am not in great shape, I am a casual exerciser, and I made it with no problem. The guides were fantastic, there were three of them for 19 people and offered several times that one could stay back if anyone did not want to continue forward. They offered to carry any layers we wanted to shed, or to provide additional jackets, hats, mittens, etc. They were Packer Expeditions...look for them at your port stops since they did a fantastic job and had the same customer service attitude that DCL has. We then took the train back into town and had time to stop for crab and shopping. DS19, DH and I would do this again, but DD22 said that her idea of an excursion is a lot less exercise.
I'm excited you posted on this! We are also scheduled for this tour. I thought it looked like a good mix of getting to ride the train plus being active. Sounds like you enjoyed it!
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:38 PM   #372
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Bear and Wildlife tour Ketchikan

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We have booked this excursion for Ketchikan. I know that it is seasonal and we are on the Aug 23rd sailing. I don't know which sailing this is first offered on, so hoping someone from an up coming cruise is doing this and will post a review.
We are too for the August 30th sailing. I was looking at the floatplane bear watching tours but thought this was a good compromise with price. I keep looking on the thread to see if anyone has done it. I did find the website for the area we will be touring if you haven't seen it yet.
http://www.spiritofalaskatours.com/p...ar-country.htm
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:50 PM   #373
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We are too for the August 30th sailing. I was looking at the floatplane bear watching tours but thought this was a good compromise with price. I keep looking on the thread to see if anyone has done it. I did find the website for the area we will be touring if you haven't seen it yet.
http://www.spiritofalaskatours.com/p...ar-country.htm
I wanted to do this excursion during teh Aug 30th sailing, but I got out voted.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:16 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by Esevran1 View Post
I'm new to this forum and this is our first Disney Cruise. We are leaving on the Wonder on August 9th and wanted some advice on which excursions to take. We are two grandparents, very agile, with 2 adult children, a 6 year old grandson and a 1 year old granddaughter. We are OK with leaving our granddaughter in the nursery for an excursion. Where do we begin? Which excursions would be most enjoyable for our 6 year old, while making us happy too. Truth be told, we want to make him happy first. HELP PLEASE!
While I can't answer the question you asked, I can say that we will be on the same cruise. Our kids are all older now, with the youngest being 16.

One thing I will say is that I'm a little surprised you haven't yet booked your excursions. You might want to check to see which are available before deciding as they could be sold out.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:21 PM   #375
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I wanted to do this excursion during teh Aug 30th sailing, but I got out voted.
Oh I wish you would have! What did you all decide on doing instead? We looked at the floatplane tours too...Misty Fjords and the Bear Watching tour. BUT with us doing the Dog Mushing in Juneau I just couldn't justify the price.
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