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Old 06-18-2012, 02:34 PM   #106
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Well done on another win, nice of you to share the prizes.
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:49 PM   #107
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I'm sorry if this sounds dumb, as I've never made iron on shirts before. I saw on etsy yesterday that you can but transfers that they email to you but than today I clicked on the link you posted and saw the same cute design. We have dressed as pirates before on the cruise but I thought the shirts are a great idea and would take up less room packing. If any body could shed some light that would be great If I pick a design from the link you posted can I just print them on transfer paper (that I can buy at staples?) than are there instructions on the paper as how to iron them on shirts? Again I'm sorry how I have know idea what is the right way to go about this.
Not dumb at ALL! I consider myself to be pretty crafty, but I am not good at the whole "t-shirt" thing.

First of all, definitely do NOT pay for a design off Etsy if you can get the same one from Milliepie. She shares her designs for free. If you saw one on her site that you liked, just download it from there. She has some really AWESOME designs.

What we did was buy some t-shirt transfer sheets from Micheal's- probably the same or similar to the ones at Staples. We printed them onto the paper and then ironed them on to the shirts. They have very specific directions on the paper so you will know exactly what to do.

If you have any other questions, just holler!
Also, if you check out the Creative DISigns thread, they usually have tons of good advice there
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:51 PM   #108
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Well done on another win, nice of you to share the prizes.
LOL, thanks! I think it officially makes us Disney NERDS.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:15 PM   #109
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Well, I know every child is different, of course, but maybe if I tell you our experience it will help a little.

We have been cruising with DS since he was just over a year old. That first cruise was pretty rough for us as far as sleeping goes. I was DETERMINED that he should stay on his regular schedule and I committed myself to getting him to take his regular naps and everything. This, in our case, turned out to be a huge waste of time, and good vacation time at that. One day I spend nearly 90 minutes pushing him around deck 4 trying to get him to fall asleep like he does at home. It was just NOT going to happen. He was too excited and didn't want to miss anything. No matter how hard we tried, he would lie awake until well after 10 and still wake up at 6 every morning. I never gave up the attempted naps. We would go down to the room every afternoon and take turns lying down with him so he would sleep. It worked a couple of times, but mostly NOT. 2/3 of the way into the cruise I finally stopped obsessing over it and thought, hey- it's vacation, not forever. He'll sleep when he's tired! And he did. When we got home, he went back to his regular schedule almost immediately.

I guess my advice would be to try not to worry about it- they will be off their schedule but they will be having a blast, and when they are tired, they will sleep, even if it's at dinner. We have taken this approach on recent cruises and it has worked well, even twice when we had LATE DINNER. They adjust so well to changes like that. And when you are home it will be back to the routine.

The "early dinner/PJ plan" is exactly what we did. We always had DS in his PJs for the show and I always kind of hoped he would just fall asleep on my lap during the show, but of course he never did. We would just take him straight back to the room after and put him right to bed. Hopefully it will work for you!

It's so hard to be helpful because kids are just so unpredictable, but I SO understand your concerns and hope you have a blast no matter what!!
I just wanted to second this advice! We have three boys - now ages 5, 11 and 12 - and they are all very different. Your cruise experience sounds very similar to our experience since our oldest son was a year old at WDW. The whole afternoon nap thing did not work for us on vacation and never has. We still take breaks on certain kinds of trips, but don't require the naps. We stay flexible and our kids do really well that way. Agreed that everyone is different, and I think flexibility helps a ton.

Love the PJ plan for the show - I think we'll do that for our youngest (although he probably won't fall asleep at the show either!)
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Old 06-18-2012, 06:31 PM   #110
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Thanks for the advice! My kids will be 17 months and 2.75 when we cruise. We took my oldest to DL at 8 and 13 months and naps were rough. He needed them, he just wouldn't take them! He is so not one of those kids who slumps over in his stroller! It seems like his sister is shaping up to be the same! We are taking them to DL in Dec, he'll be a little over 2 and she'll be 9 months. I think we will have to take a more laid back approach to her naps. I don't think I am going to worry about his that much. My guess is he will have given up napping most days by then anyway. You spend so much time worrying about their sleep when they are little that it just feels wrong to let it be!! But, you are right, I totally need to!
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:27 PM   #111
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This is by far the best trip report I have come across for Disney's Alaskan Cruise- and I have read many! Thank you for taking so much time to do this.

This might be a hard topic to comment on, but since you so thoroughly address many aspects of the trip, I was just wondering: Do you have any tips or comments on what the cruise was like for groups without children? My mom, sister and our significant others are going this August and I haven't been able to find many reviews that effectively touch on this topic. Did you ever talk to any groups in similar situations as ours (our group ranges from 23-~50 years old)? We are by no means looking for ways to stay clear of kids.... we booked a DISNEY cruise after all! I am just curious if you have any comments specifically related to adult-only groups.

We, too, are big Disney fans. We've gone to WDW basically every year since I was 5, and this is our first Disney Cruise (actually, our first cruise in general), so any pointers or details would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

P.S... great pictures
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Old 06-19-2012, 04:51 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by pixarmom View Post
I just wanted to second this advice! We have three boys - now ages 5, 11 and 12 - and they are all very different. Your cruise experience sounds very similar to our experience since our oldest son was a year old at WDW. The whole afternoon nap thing did not work for us on vacation and never has. We still take breaks on certain kinds of trips, but don't require the naps. We stay flexible and our kids do really well that way. Agreed that everyone is different, and I think flexibility helps a ton.

Love the PJ plan for the show - I think we'll do that for our youngest (although he probably won't fall asleep at the show either!)
This makes sense.....I guess my visions of his perfect napping schedule may be delusional. But he does have sensory issues, and sometimes needs a nice quiet place to be for a while, for a cool down period. This is why we ended up getting a veradah room, because we will probably spend some time in the room, and we don't want to miss views! We figure DS can run around and play, watch a cartoon, etc... while we see the sights still on the verandah.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:49 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by lovesmaelstrom View Post
This is by far the best trip report I have come across for Disney's Alaskan Cruise- and I have read many! Thank you for taking so much time to do this.

This might be a hard topic to comment on, but since you so thoroughly address many aspects of the trip, I was just wondering: Do you have any tips or comments on what the cruise was like for groups without children? My mom, sister and our significant others are going this August and I haven't been able to find many reviews that effectively touch on this topic. Did you ever talk to any groups in similar situations as ours (our group ranges from 23-~50 years old)? We are by no means looking for ways to stay clear of kids.... we booked a DISNEY cruise after all! I am just curious if you have any comments specifically related to adult-only groups.

We, too, are big Disney fans. We've gone to WDW basically every year since I was 5, and this is our first Disney Cruise (actually, our first cruise in general), so any pointers or details would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

P.S... great pictures
Wow, thank you for the great compliment!!

DH and I took 4 cruises with adults only before DS came along. Aaaaah, I remember them fondly. I am kidding, of course I adore traveling with my son, but I do remember the "adults only" world quite well!!

I have traveled with all different kinds of adults too, so I can cover several sides of this.

First, there is the "young and up for anything" adult. One of the best cruises we ever took was with our crazy 20-something friends. Of course we did not go to Alaska, but the concept in the same. Instead of retiring to the room each night at 10PM, you stay out as long as you can. You go dancing at Wave Bands and mingle with the cruise staff. You hang out at the bars and make friends with all the bartenders. You sit in the piano lounge and sing along with all the songs. You go to Diversions at midnight just to eat the nachos. You sit in the hot tub at the adult pool. You catch the late movie. You order room service and watch movies in bed. And best of all, you wander the empty decks of the ship and feel like you own the place. We did all of these things. We had a BLAST. During the day you sleep whenever you want. You sit in the adult pool and play all the pool games, or you try adventurous excursions. You go to the Rainforest Room, which I haven't even had the privilege of mentioning yet because I never made it there this trip
We didn't even notice the kids because we did a lot of adult activities and stayed in the adult areas. SUCH a great time.

Second, you have the more mello, laid back adults. That would be my brother and his friend. They were in no way tied down by our "parent" schedule, so they were often out doing their own thing. They LOVED the coffee bar, the Cove Cafe and went there so often that the girl working there knew them by name. They did wine tastings, lots of walking around decks 4 and 9, sat in the hot tub almost daily, went to many of the adult variety acts, played Bingo and trivia, tons of shuffleboard, and plenty of "veranda time".
Adults only cruises can be VERY relaxing if you want them to be.

Third, there is the non-Disney types. I have traveled with several. It's not that they don't LIKE Disney, it's just that they couldn't care less. So generally they don't come to the shows, they don't want to see characters, they don't attend deck parties. They might, but it's not a high priority. In my experience, they generally spend their time doing what I call "random" stuff. Things others might find uninteresting. Then all of a sudden they will be fascinated by something you never would have guessed they would like. They tend to like the educational stuff like the towel folding, acupuncture seminars, Ship tours, auctions, that sort of thing. They spend a lot of time just wandering around the ship. They end of meeting the most interesting people. They are still having a great time, but it's hard to tell sometimes. They ask the servers all kinds of questions about their lives and families. HAHA, I am laughing because I am describing my mom's friends to a tee. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, it's just a very different experience than the other two.

Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble on, I just couldn't help but relive some of my child-free cruises. Of course I am NOT saying that everyone has to fall into one of these categories. You may fit into all three!! My point is, you will never feel that you are on the "wrong" ship because you have no kids. You will never run out of things to do. You will feel just as at home as you do at Disney World and you will have the BEST time ever.

One more thing, as a fellow Disney fan-
I too visited WDW a hundred times before cruising. You will LOVE how wonderfully familiar it is, and yet the experience is so different. They make it every bit as magical as the theme parks, and more.
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:50 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by scrapbookingpro View Post
Wow, thank you for the great compliment!!

DH and I took 4 cruises with adults only before DS came along. Aaaaah, I remember them fondly. I am kidding, of course I adore traveling with my son, but I do remember the "adults only" world quite well!!

I have traveled with all different kinds of adults too, so I can cover several sides of this.

First, there is the "young and up for anything" adult. One of the best cruises we ever took was with our crazy 20-something friends. Of course we did not go to Alaska, but the concept in the same. Instead of retiring to the room each night at 10PM, you stay out as long as you can. You go dancing at Wave Bands and mingle with the cruise staff. You hang out at the bars and make friends with all the bartenders. You sit in the piano lounge and sing along with all the songs. You go to Diversions at midnight just to eat the nachos. You sit in the hot tub at the adult pool. You catch the late movie. You order room service and watch movies in bed. And best of all, you wander the empty decks of the ship and feel like you own the place. We did all of these things. We had a BLAST. During the day you sleep whenever you want. You sit in the adult pool and play all the pool games, or you try adventurous excursions. You go to the Rainforest Room, which I haven't even had the privilege of mentioning yet because I never made it there this trip
We didn't even notice the kids because we did a lot of adult activities and stayed in the adult areas. SUCH a great time.

Second, you have the more mello, laid back adults. That would be my brother and his friend. They were in no way tied down by our "parent" schedule, so they were often out doing their own thing. They LOVED the coffee bar, the Cove Cafe and went there so often that the girl working there knew them by name. They did wine tastings, lots of walking around decks 4 and 9, sat in the hot tub almost daily, went to many of the adult variety acts, played Bingo and trivia, tons of shuffleboard, and plenty of "veranda time".
Adults only cruises can be VERY relaxing if you want them to be.

Third, there is the non-Disney types. I have traveled with several. It's not that they don't LIKE Disney, it's just that they couldn't care less. So generally they don't come to the shows, they don't want to see characters, they don't attend deck parties. They might, but it's not a high priority. In my experience, they generally spend their time doing what I call "random" stuff. Things others might find uninteresting. Then all of a sudden they will be fascinated by something you never would have guessed they would like. They tend to like the educational stuff like the towel folding, acupuncture seminars, Ship tours, auctions, that sort of thing. They spend a lot of time just wandering around the ship. They end of meeting the most interesting people. They are still having a great time, but it's hard to tell sometimes. They ask the servers all kinds of questions about their lives and families. HAHA, I am laughing because I am describing my mom's friends to a tee. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, it's just a very different experience than the other two.

Anyway, I didn't mean to ramble on, I just couldn't help but relive some of my child-free cruises. Of course I am NOT saying that everyone has to fall into one of these categories. You may fit into all three!! My point is, you will never feel that you are on the "wrong" ship because you have no kids. You will never run out of things to do. You will feel just as at home as you do at Disney World and you will have the BEST time ever.

One more thing, as a fellow Disney fan-
I too visited WDW a hundred times before cruising. You will LOVE how wonderfully familiar it is, and yet the experience is so different. They make it every bit as magical as the theme parks, and more.
We are going to Alaska in August and our little ones are staying with Grandma. As much as I will miss them, I can't wait to return to the "adults only" world.

Getting excited reading your report and already planning on taking the kids when they are out of diapers.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:00 PM   #115
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Day seven, victoria

OK, on with day seven!!

If you are on the Seattle to Seattle schedule, this will be the craziest and hardest to plan day of your cruise. Maybe over time someone could work out a good strategy for this day, but I certainly don't know one.

The first challenge we encounter is the time change. On night 6, you must set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to sleep. That means that even though we were all in bed by 11PM, it was really already midnight. Not a big deal except that our character breakfast was scheduled for this morning. At 8:30. My son slept wonderfully through the night, completely unaware that we had been robbed of a whole hour. He didn't wake up until almost 9AM!

SO, what happened was, DH got up early to go to the gym. I told him I would NOT wake up DS because he really needed his rest at this point. So DH decided to go to the character breakfast with the rest of the family, and if we got up in time, we'd join him.

When DS woke at 9, I knew we were too late for breakfast. Besides, there was a Wii Golf game scheduled that DS was DYING to go to. So I got him dressed and we headed down toward WaveBands. On the way, we walked right past Parrot Cay (that is where the character breakfasts are) and we saw Mickey and Pluto coming out. They said hi to DS, which was really nice and then we decided to go in and say Hi to the family really quick.

Now, here is my quick opinion about cruise character breakfasts. This is not to say that you shouldn't go, or that you won't have a great time. But in my opinion, they just aren't very good. The food is pretty poor, and the character interaction is very rushed. If you have been to character breakfasts at WDW, you will probably find them MUCH better in comparison.

However, it can still be a fun experience, and one thing you won't want to miss......Silly Napkin Hats!!!!! Some of my favorite photos, lol.

Here's RJ-


And MK, wearing it proudly-


My mom's:


And DS tried on my husband's:


Haha, funny, yes??

Our server Chris saw us and tried to get us to eat. No thanks, we have a Wii game to get to! And off we went.

They were already stared when we arrived. Just one guy playing. DS would go next.

They put a large screen up like this:


DS played a round and did really well.


Now, just a teeny complaint here about the CM running this event. She really had no idea how to work the Wii. It was pretty obvious that she knew only the very basics of setting it up and nothing else. So when another boy showed up to play, she changed everyone's "Mii" and DS ended up with a lefty. She had no idea what to do and just started the game. DS is usually decent at golf (for a 5 year old) but the lefty thing was making it impossible for him to make his putts. Then the other boy actually laughed at him because he couldn't do it. Aaaahhhh, I was fighting down all those "mom over-reactions" that were popping into my mind. It's just a game. It's fine.
Luckily there wasn't time for another game, and DS didn't seem too upset. He got a medal just for playing.


We hurried out. It was only 9:40 and we had all day for fun!!

I took DS up to BBB for breakfast. DH found us and joined us. I realized it was my last breakfast buffet on the ship. Maybe I need an extra Krispy Kreme? I hate the last day. It's hard for me to really have fun, because I keep thinking "This is the last breakfast, the last game, the last whatever..."
I DON'T WANNA GO!!!!!!

DS at breakfast saying "I poured it all by myself!"


The morning was slightly overcast and cool.


We left the buffet by way of the "secret stairs". I don't know if anyone really calls them that but we do. They are the stairs in the back of the buffet that go down to the rooms. If you don't know they're there you may never see them. They are just not noticeable. But if you are on Decks 7 or 8 especially, they are a quick and easy way to get from the buffet back to your room.

In the room we forced ourselves to start packing.
**Luggage must be outside your door at 10:30 if you don't want to carry it off the ship. Considering the number of things going on on the last night, you are wise to get a head start on PACKING.

Let's see, some other activities that were listed this morning were: A Captain Signing in the gift shop, Mega Jackpot Bingo, Napkin Folding, Alaskan Trivia and the Walk A Mile.

Did I mention why we never play Bingo? MK and RJ actualy did play, and they had fun. But DH and I never got used to those automatic machines they use now. You just pay a ton of money, then sit there and stare at your machine. No fun for us. Unless you win of course

At 11AM they were showing The Avengers, and DH had been trying to catch it all week, so I said GO! Have fun!

So now we all split up-
My mom came and took DS to the hot tub. They were showing Monsters Inc. on Funnel Vision which is one of his favorites.

DH went to the Avengers in the Buena Vista Theater.


MK and I went to Movie Quote Trivia in Diversions, with Frankie.

We had fun at trivia, but I have another teensy-tiny complaint. I really think they need to re-write this trivia. There are BILLIONS of movies out there to choose from, but they kept using different quotes from the same movie!! That really irked me. There is NO reason for 3 separate quotes from Jerry Maguire! Come on guys, a little more imagination please. They used 2 from Forest Gump, 2 from Casablanca....Holy cow, there are so many movies out there. DON'T REPEAT!!!!!
OK, rant over, but DCL really, you need to fix this for me
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:43 PM   #116
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After trivia we ran into RJ in the lobby. He had been off doing his own thing. MK was saying that he really wanted a chance to talk to cruise director Christiaan. And like Disney magic, Christiaan suddenly appeared! He is very easy to talk to, and he and MK went off to have a chat. I wen to the pool to find mom and DS.

Still in the hot tub-


They were getting tired so they got out and had lunch by the pool. It was cold, but not so bad that we couldn't eat outside. Whenever we go for food by the pool, we can't help but want "one of everything". We got hot dogs, burgers, pizza and chicken, lol. Don't worry, we didn't waste any

For the record, the pool was much more crowded today, especially the hot tubs. I guess everyone decided it was now or never!!

DS wanted to try the Mickey slide, but it was so cold outside of the water that he kept loosing his nerve. I guess we'll just save that one for next time.
The Mickey pool was not the crowded pool. It must have been colder than the Goofy pool.


Back in the room, we met up with DH. He loved The Avengers. I knew he would. We never get to see movies at home, so it's a fun treat to see them on the ship. We always say we are going to see LOTS of them, but there is never enough time!!!

The sun was coming out again. I love this picture of the one little cloud-


Veranda time. It was beautiful out.




The afternoon activities were about to start. What to do.....Wine Tasting? Snow White meet and greet? Mickey 200? Michael Harrison's magic demonstration?
I decided I wanted to watch the Character Dance Party and do a little video taping. MK and RJ were whale watching on deck 9. Mom and Ralph were napping. And my DS? Elevators. If you ask him his favorite thing about the cruise ship he will tell you it's the elevators. And he means it.

So, we split up again.
The Dance Party looked like fun for the kids. It was in the atrium on deck 3, but I'm pretty sure they usually do it outside. The characters come out and dance with the kids- very cute. They were loving it.

10 minutes in, MK called me on the wave phone to say they had seen whales out on deck 9. I really really wanted to see a whale. I rushed up to deck 9. Too late they said. I decided to walk around deck 4 for awhile and see if I could catch any. A jogger that was running by said there were some on the other side but they might be gone. I went to see. No whales. But I did see 2 dolphins! I would have to settle for that. If you're hoping to see the whales, I know that LOTS of people spotted them throughout our trip, but you really do have to be diligent about finding them, OR be in the right place at the right time.

*Note about shopping:
The gift shops closed today at 5PM. They do not open again this cruise. Be sure to get your shopping done and don't try to wait until the last minute, or it may be too late!!

Unlike "normal" children, my DS isn't the least bit interested in any souvenirs. Not toys or shirts of stuffed animals. Nothing. So, saved a few bucks there. DH got a shirt that said Alaska on it. My mom and Ralph got shirts also, and a hat. MK got a sweatshirt. I got....nothing. UG, I wanted something but couldn't find anything I loved I wish they had more "Alaska" stuff.

Shopping-








Dinner time next, and things are about to get CRAZY.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:31 PM   #117
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I am going to be so disappointed when your trip report is over--I am LOVING this!

Good to know you get a medal for participating in the Wii tournament. My son loves Wii and would love a medal--but I doubt he would win a tournament!

By the way, do you remember the category you found those awesome pirate DISigns in? I've been looking all over the website you linked and I can't find them anywhere!
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Disney Wonder to Alaska 8/20-27 '12...Aulani 3/26-4/3 '14 heading BACK to Alaska on the Wonder! 8/24/15

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Old 06-22-2012, 12:54 AM   #118
Momma2Jax
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I'm pretty sure I am going to go buy some comfy Jammies and slippers before my cruise beause of you! You guys look so cozy and comfy on the ship!
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:52 AM   #119
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I call them the secret stairs as well.

The CM you had for the Wii game we had for a drawing class, she wasn't very good at the either.

Love the t-shirt your DS has got on in the shop.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:59 AM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapbookingpro View Post
This shot is awesome! Thank you for sharing your adventures and your photos.

kate
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