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Old 06-09-2012, 01:09 PM   #16
Shazzasmd
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Enjoying your excellent report - thanks! I'm worn out just reading
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:41 PM   #17
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Thanks so much for the great report - we're sailing to Alaska on August 27 and our youngest son is five years old, so this is all VERY helpful!

Really too bad about the change in the kids' club policy, but it's good to know what to expect in advance. (Last August on the Dream, my husband, our two older boys and/or I went into the club with our youngest - same as the way you described.) So we'll just have to keep an eye on those open house times to see if they work for us.

Looking forward to hearing more!
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:46 PM   #18
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I'm really enjoying your TR! We sail on June 25th so I'm trying to absorb all the details to share. Our party of 11 is super excited to sail on the Wonder again, especially to Alaska.

Thanks for sharing! I'm already getting more excited each day but reading about your trip makes it more real.

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Old 06-09-2012, 04:03 PM   #19
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Thank you so much for taking the time to write a TR! I'm really enjoying it! We are on the August 13th sailing to Alaska and we are soooo excited! I'm a little stressed as to what to pack not only for myself and husband but for our 3 kids son (10), daughter (7) and son (3). Is there anything that you brought that you were really glad you had and is there anything you didn't bring that you wish you did? Thanks again!
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:51 PM   #20
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Thanks for the comments everyone!

To pixarmom - I too was disappointed about the change because I loved taking my son in to play at random times I was just looking back over the navigators and they usually had an open house in the morning and another at night, usually about 3 hour blocks. I also noticed that the times are not always listed in the same place in the navigator, so be sure to look through all the fine print if you don't see it in the FUN FOR ALL AGES section

barbbarnes - Ah packing, it stressed me out so bad. Being from Florida, we had NO warm clothes. At all. And I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a whole new wardrobe. SO- We definitely ended up needing gloves, scarves, hats and thermal underwear. I also used both a rain jacket and a regular warm jacket. I was tempted to pack 2 pairs of walking shoes, but i didn't, and 1 turned out to be fine.

For DS we packed 2 hats, 2 pairs of gloves, 2 coats, etc. He wore none of it except in Juneau when we forced him to wear his coat Basically, you need enough to keep you warm and dry for a few hours at a time when you're off the ship. There wasn't anything that I ever thought "Boy, I wish I had packed......X"

On the ship, a light jacket or sweatshirt is more than enough unless you want to be outside a lot. Sweats and slippers, especially for DS were the best things to have, lol. We went to breakfast, shows, trivia, movies- all in sweats and slippers.

I wish I could be more helpful. It really depends on the weather you get. UG, that is why packing is such a pain! They told us in Juneau that they can get up into the 80s in the summer! 80s?! We didn't bring a single short sleeved shirt! Of course our temps never made it our of the 50s, so you never know.
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:31 PM   #21
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Love the trip report so far! I think I'm going to request the same dining rotation you had--being in Animators for the formal nights sounds terrific. And, I'm glad to hear that you can get a plain salad because I don't like the fancy stuff...I like my salads even plainer than yours...no dressing!
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:59 AM   #22
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We just got back from our first Disney (Fantasy) Cruise yesterday...yes, already planning. REALLY want to do Alaska, but worried as my kids LOVED swimming and we are a warm weather type of family. My 8 yr old hardly left the Oceaneer Lab and didn't interact with others much - just played on those computers which was fine for us as he was so happy!!! However, my 7 and 11 yr olds made friends and swam all day and night - almost. Were there many kids aboard? I know May could have had fewer.....I am looking August 12, 2013.

Also, were there plenty of activities inside during the day in case of bad weather? Does the overall ship and schedule of activities compare to a craibbean one just with different stops? I know with a lot of port stops it won't be as important since we will be off the ship a lot. They loved watching the movies outside at night too.....I am enjoying reading your experience as I will have my parents as well as my sister's family with us too. We are debating right now between Alaska, Fantasy again or Europe (kids might not appreciate it yet and the airfare is outrageous)!

Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:04 PM   #23
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Thanks for posting

Loved your trip report. We were on the same cruise. Our first Alaska cruise too. I told my hubby I wouldn't mind doing that cruise again. It was chilly for us, but we stayed warm with the coffee and hot chocolate on board. I hate to admit it but I had to break down and buy gloves and a hat in Skagway since I forgot to pack any. Fortunately, we didn't break the bank on those purchases. I loved the "critter hats" that were for sale everywhere. Thanks again for sharing your pictures and thoughts.

Kaye
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:06 PM   #24
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I am so happy to have found your TR! We are doing the Alaskan cruise next May on the Wonder, so this is very helpful. I was very excited about your note about trivia -- my fiance (he'll be my husband by then!) are trivia fanatics!

Looking forward to more
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikamomof3 View Post
We just got back from our first Disney (Fantasy) Cruise yesterday...yes, already planning. REALLY want to do Alaska, but worried as my kids LOVED swimming and we are a warm weather type of family. My 8 yr old hardly left the Oceaneer Lab and didn't interact with others much - just played on those computers which was fine for us as he was so happy!!! However, my 7 and 11 yr olds made friends and swam all day and night - almost. Were there many kids aboard? I know May could have had fewer.....I am looking August 12, 2013.

Also, were there plenty of activities inside during the day in case of bad weather? Does the overall ship and schedule of activities compare to a craibbean one just with different stops? I know with a lot of port stops it won't be as important since we will be off the ship a lot. They loved watching the movies outside at night too.....I am enjoying reading your experience as I will have my parents as well as my sister's family with us too. We are debating right now between Alaska, Fantasy again or Europe (kids might not appreciate it yet and the airfare is outrageous)!

Thanks for the info!
HI!

Well, first of all, I'm so glad to hear you had a great time on the Fantasy!
I have to say that Alaska was a most amazing experience for us, and I would absolutely recommend it to everyone. But, to address your concerns, yes it was cold, although it won't necessarily be so cold in August. Many of the locals in Skagway and Juneau told us it can get pretty warm there in the summer months. Also, the pools on the ship were heated- very heated. One day we swam in the Goofy Pool and it was actually warmer than the hot tubs.

I also want to point out that since you just had your first ever cruise aboard the Fantasy, you may miss a few of those "new special touches" if you sail on the Wonder. Just be aware and adjust your expectations so you don't feel let down. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Wonder. But I think people tend to prefer the ship they experience first, so you may miss things like that "brand new" feeling, the mini-golf, the movies-on-demand, Aqua Duck, etc.
Of course the experience you have in Alaska may be well worth the trade off!

As for kids on board, it's true that there were less than usual. Actually, we were sailing at about 700 under capacity, from what I was told. There were still plenty of kids around of course, but not as many as we have seen on Caribbean cruises. That, as you mentioned, could be due to the fact that many schools were not out yet. I imagine there will be more kids sailing in August.

About the movies outside, there you will be slightly disappointed. First of all, they can't play them all the time in Alaska because of the states strict noise laws. There were long periods of time when nothing would play on Funnel Vision at all. Also, the evenings were much too chilly for most people to hang out on deck. The few times I walked by the pools at night, they were completely deserted.

The ship's on board activities are very similar to Caribbean cruises. They have all of the same basic activities, events, games, shows, etc. But I did notice that on port days there were very few events scheduled. I'm sure that pretty much everyone leaves the ship. They still had some activities scheduled, just not very many. You probably will be off the ship anyway, so no need to worry. But on sea days and Tracy Arm day there were just as many activities as any other cruise.

I hope that helps a little. I secretly hope you will try Alaska
Whatever you choose I hope you have an amazing time
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alliebelle3 View Post
I am so happy to have found your TR! We are doing the Alaskan cruise next May on the Wonder, so this is very helpful. I was very excited about your note about trivia -- my fiance (he'll be my husband by then!) are trivia fanatics!

Looking forward to more
YAY Trivia!! LOL, we loved it too. They had disney, cruise ship, pirate, general knowledge, tv tunes, tv catch phrases, movie quotes, 70s music, 90s music, so much more. So fun!!!!
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by kayefire View Post
I loved the "critter hats" that were for sale everywhere.

Kaye
Those were so cute!!
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:19 AM   #28
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Day 3, tracy arm

I was SO excited fro Tracy Arm day. I really wanted to see some of this amazing fjord I had heard so much about.

DS had crawled in bed with me at 2am and DH was so tired he just left him there and went to sleep in my son's bed. I guess it's fine as long as everyone gets some sleep! DH got up early again to go to the gym (he is a group fitness instructor at home so if he doesn't go he is in trouble) and DS woke up again at 6AM. Yuck. I am not good at mornings.

BUT, 6AM on the cruise ship is much better than 6AM at home, so up I get.
Good morning:



When DH came back we took DS up to the buffet for breakfast. It was already feeling preeeeeety cold outside. DH and I didn't eat much because we had a PALO reservation at 10:30- so excited for that! DS ate his usual, 2 bites of bacon and a bagel. Half way through breakfast my mom found us.

She and I decided to go for a walk around deck 4 (if you don't know, there is a walking area that goes all the way around deck 4) and DH would take DS to his favorite activity: riding elevators. He loves the glass elevators.

Mom and I had a nice walk around deck 4. It was cold out but we were walking at a decent pace so it didn't feel so bad. I was trying to keep an eye out for whales, but wasn't having any luck spotting them.

Soon I had to leave to get ready for Palo. I was pretty hungry.
DH and I were eating with my brother and RJ while my mom stayed with DS.

We arrived at Palo right at 10:30, which is also when they open.
We had a lovely table:


Cheers!


Our server was Alex from Russia. He was really nice and told us we had been seated in "the Russian section". He had lots of amusing stories. He also talked us into having the famous grape pizza.



Of course this did not do well with my picky eater syndrome. But it was well liked by my table mates. We also asked for a spicy sausage pizza which was really yummy.
After a tour of the buffet, we all loaded up our plates and sat down to enjoy the view. Now, the dish that I drool over and return to Palo brunch every trip for is the wonderful and delicious.....drum roll.......

Chicken parm with risotto!!!!


I also had the pancakes:


And dessert.....


We enjoyed this view:


More buffet photos:








For the record, I think that Tracy Arm day was a GREAT time to schedule Palo brunch, however we did miss out on the BBQ that day (too full!!!) so if the BBQ is important to you, you should schedule your brunch another day

*The BBQ was outside of BBB, even though it was raining, and they had chicken, fish and other things grilling on the grill that smelled amazing.

We were ready to leave Palo at around 12:15. I think Alex was having a bit of an "off" day though. He was great, but towards the end seemed very distracted and he kept coming back to refill our coffee even though we kept saying we were ready to go. We started joking about being held captive by Russia.

Finally we left Palo and went down to put warm clothes on for Tracy Arm. We wanted to watch from outside until it got too cold, then we planned to move down to our veranda and continue watching from there.
the navigator says that the Tracy Arm View and Narration would begin at 1:45PM. We were up on deck by 1:15. There was not a huge crowd up there, probably because it was raining, and pretty cold.

Here we are, binoculars ready:


My mom and I- she did not like the cold:


You can start to see icebergs in the water now:


Up on deck 10:


Basically during this time, we were just hanging out on deck 10. The ship moves very slowly through the water, being careful to avoid the icebergs and the seals. A lot of kids were enjoying the basketball court and fooseball tables while their parents watched the scenery. It stopped raining for awhile, and even more kids appeared on the courts.

There was also plenty of hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies for everyone. We really enjoyed standing up there sipping our hot chocolates, watching the icebergs get bigger and bigger.



Tracy's arm in Tracy Arm, haha






Pluto came by!
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:20 AM   #29
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This is how DS felt about Tracy Arm:


DH took him inside soon after. My mom also got too cold and went to her veranda. I stayed out with my brother and RJ. I was cold, but loved the views and the atmosphere up on deck. People were calling out to each other when they would see things, and talking and laughing a lot. I liked the "friendly gathering" feeling.





Hello Seal!


There was some narration going on at this time but it was difficult to hear. They can't turn it up very loud due to the strict noise laws in the area. I caught a few things now and then. There was also a naturalist up on deck answering people's questions. She said the captain would try to get as close to the glacier and he possibly could, but he had to be aware of the seal population.



The temps were in the 30s now, rain drizzling on and off


You can see an eagle in the tree:


The blue color in the ice was beautiful:


The deck started to really empty as we got closer. People were too cold.


At around 4:30 we finally decided to run for our verandas:


I thought the veranda view was just as good, until we actually got right up to the glacier. Then I couldn't see it from our room and had to run back upstairs for photos.





We were told that the cruise before us was not able to make it in this far due to weather. It was exciting to get up so close!

It was close to our dinner time when the ship finally started to turn around.

For those who are curious, Disney did not have very many activities scheduled during the actual Tracy Arm narration time, which was 1:45-5:00PM. There were movies playing, and kids activities in the clubs but that was about it. Before and after the narration time there were lots of activities though, including Bingo, Trivia, Animation, Mickey 200 race, the BBQ, and several games.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #30
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Loving this trip report!! DH has asked about an Alaskan cruise so I think this is the next one I'm going to book!!
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