Ths DIS is a great place to ask Disney Cruise Line questions and share tips.
Dreams Unlimited Travel - The official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums Dreams Unlimited Travel - the official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums  

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Cruise Line > Disney Cruise Line Forum
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-03-2013, 04:54 PM   #1
TwingleMomFl
Mouseketeer
 
TwingleMomFl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 133

Very overwhelmed with Alaska planning!

I am not new up cruising, in fact this is my 9th DCL cruise, but first that is not in the Caribbean! I have even been on other cruise lines. But why am I so overwhelmed with the planning of this Alaskan itinerary? I guess it is because I know it a once in lifetime trip and I want to create memories that will last a lifetime. Has anyone ever felt this way?
__________________
TwingleMomFl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 04:55 PM   #2
TwingleMomFl
Mouseketeer
 
TwingleMomFl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 133

In fact every time i start planning the ports of call, i almost run the other way!
__________________
TwingleMomFl is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 02-03-2013, 04:58 PM   #3
lilpooh108
DIS Veteran
 
lilpooh108's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Depends on the moment
Posts: 4,331

If you do a search, there is a Comprehensive Alaska planning thread with links to private tour operators for every port.

This thread originated in 2011, which is the DCL cruise out of Vancouver (so same as this year).

The tour companies don't change much in Alaska, so half your work is already done.
lilpooh108 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
abdgeek
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 845

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwingleMomFl View Post
I am not new up cruising, in fact this is my 9th DCL cruise, but first that is not in the Caribbean! I have even been on other cruise lines. But why am I so overwhelmed with the planning of this Alaskan itinerary? I guess it is because I know it a once in lifetime trip and I want to create memories that will last a lifetime. Has anyone ever felt this way?
Don't worry, you'll be fine. I would suggest googling each city where the ship will stop and looking at the suggested list of activities. Then go to tripadvisor and read the reviews to see what other people are saying. I did the DCL Alaskan cruise in 2011 and had a blast! You won't be able to do everything you want to do in one trip. Don't even try! Below are the excursions I did in each port:

Vancouver--Came in a day early and stayed a day after to sightsee on my own. I biked Stanley Park, saw the Olympic Cauldron, and went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Planned to do more, but I ran out of time.

Skagway--Yukon Suspension Bridge and White Pass Railway

Juneau--Butchart Gardens and Mendenhall Glacier

Ketchikan--Saxman Native Village and Lumberjack show

When the ship isn't in port and when you cruise Tracy Arm, you will mainly be watching the scenery go by. If you have a verandah you can sit in your room and take pictures as needed. If not, you will want to get a spot in one of the bars or go up on deck to watch everything go by.

Hope this helps. Have a great trip!
abdgeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 05:10 PM   #5
MCO mama
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Orlando burbs
Posts: 97

I've been to Alaska. Try not to worry, you cannot goof up your planning. It is so spectacularly gorgeous everywhere you look! Enjoy!!
MCO mama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 05:22 PM   #6
antmaril
DIS Veteran
The elephant topiaries near MK have a special meaning for me
I'm a girl
 
antmaril's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 7,035

Quote:
Originally Posted by abdgeek View Post
Don't worry, you'll be fine. I would suggest googling each city where the ship will stop and looking at the suggested list of activities. Then go to tripadvisor and read the reviews to see what other people are saying. I did the DCL Alaskan cruise in 2011 and had a blast! You won't be able to do everything you want to do in one trip. Don't even try! Below are the excursions I did in each port:

Vancouver--Came in a day early and stayed a day after to sightsee on my own. I biked Stanley Park, saw the Olympic Cauldron, and went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Planned to do more, but I ran out of time.

Skagway--Yukon Suspension Bridge and White Pass Railway

Juneau--Butchart Gardens and Mendenhall Glacier

Ketchikan--Saxman Native Village and Lumberjack show

When the ship isn't in port and when you cruise Tracy Arm, you will mainly be watching the scenery go by. If you have a verandah you can sit in your room and take pictures as needed. If not, you will want to get a spot in one of the bars or go up on deck to watch everything go by.

Hope this helps. Have a great trip!

Just to be clear for the OP's planning purposes - Butchart Gardens are in Victoria, BC, not Juneau.
antmaril is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 05:34 PM   #7
Weedy
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 1,714

We went to Alaska two years ago after many Caribbean cruises and I felt the same way. We had the time of our lives. I used other Cruise Boards ( of course none are as good as these) to search for ideas for excursions. We booked all through Disney. As you know not the cheapest but we like the security of booking through Disney.

As to what clothes to bring again I Googled it and found clothing list. We went in the beginning of June and wore jeans, sweatshirts and jackets. We are also from Florida and we were warm enough. We bought boots at K-Mart at the end of winter and for real cheap. They didn't need to be great quality because we never wore them again.

We spent a few days in Seattle before the cruise and bought the Seattle City Pass. It was great. We got to see lots of things and the price was good.

Alaska was my favorite cruise ever!!!
Weedy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #8
Mackie Mouse
Even my dog loves Disney
 
Mackie Mouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Suburbs of Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 801

Hello! Looks like you are traveling to the Great White North just after we are

When we booked last summer, I started by taking the time to read through these two threads. It took a few days to get through the whole thing, but I took notes as I went about what sounded interesting to me, and it helped give me a lot of ideas for excursions and things to do pre-cruise in Vancouver.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2723087

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2283011

Something to keep in mind (which may be contributing to that overwhelming feeling...but shouldn't!) is that booking excursions on your own in Alaska vs. through DCL is both safe and less expensive. I was hesitant to book our excursions this way at first...but as time went on it's what I decided to do.

It may also be helpful to take one port at a time, as PPs suggested, and search the forums for information. I agree that Alaska seems like a much bigger deal than the Caribbean...but planning has been fun so far! As your trip takes shape I know you'll be more excited. I'm also happy to help if you have any specific questions...we have most of the "big stuff' in place already for our July 1 cruise and now are down to the nitty gritty of thinking about Palo, FEs, spa treatments....(and a flight...whatever )
__________________
2009 WDW/DCL Honeymoon....2011 WDW/DCL Anniversary....2013 DLR 1st Visit....2013 DCL Birthday in Alaska....
.........
Mackie Mouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 09:20 PM   #9
abdgeek
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 845

Quote:
Originally Posted by antmaril View Post
Just to be clear for the OP's planning purposes - Butchart Gardens are in Victoria, BC, not Juneau.
Sorry about that. It's Glacier Gardens.
abdgeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 10:55 PM   #10
EllinK
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 89

Alaska excursions

We went in 2011 and it was our first cruise. You will have a wonderful time. Alaska is fantastic. Also the food on this cruise is very, very good. See? You're halfway to a great time.

Skagway - we booked the glacier/helicopter/dog sled excursion independently through Temsco. The location was about 20 feet from where the Wonder docked. I know it's expensive but if there is any way you can swing it, do. Really an experience of a lifetime -- the helicopter over the glacer, cuddling the puppies, my 9 yr old leading the team of dogs. I would go again.

I'm blanking on the middle port. We went to the Mendenhall glacier on our own. Just okay.

Ketchikan -- we booked the canoe trip through Disney. Figured the boy would need some physical activity and we would need to get away from the crowds. Mission accomplished. Hauntingly beautiful.

Have a great cruise. I'm jealous...
EllinK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 11:36 PM   #11
DisSarahK
Missing Mickey...
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Western Washington State
Posts: 1,560

I know what you mean! Last year I booked our 2012 Alaska cruise in January and spent the next few months researching, planning, and mildly freaking out!

After a lot of research, I ended up booking all of our excursions on my own and they were great! No problems at all and I saved a lot of money (over all) compared to the Disney sponsored excursions.

My husband's favorite excursion was in Skagway. I booked us a rental car and we drove from Skagway, into Canada--through a small part of British Columbia and into the Canadian Yukon. We utilized a guidebook I downloaded from the internet called Murray's Guide and it was *wonderful* and described every abandoned mine and hillside we passed. Just fabulous! We really got a great feel for the countryside by doing this drive.

We saw wildlife (I've never seen mountain goats hopping on rocks other than in a zoo...until this drive!), stopped to skip rocks in a lake, and grabbed lunch in a bakery in a town recommended in the guide. We turned around at Emerald Lake--the most gorgeous lake I've ever seen in my life! (And yes, the water was just as green as the name implies!)

On the way back, we stopped to take a sled dog ride in Carcross and my children just thought that was fabulous! It was so much fun for all of us, but my children really really loved it and asked our driver (a FEMALE Iditarod racer) so many questions.

We thought about stopping at the Yukon Suspension Bridge on our way back as well, but opted not to as the weather was a bit foggy and we had done a suspension bridge on a family trip to Vancouver earlier in the summer.

Even with our stops, we made it back to Skagway in time to wander through the town and take pictures and press pennies. It was a fabulous port stop and I thoroughly impressed my husband with my planning.
__________________
plus age 10 and age 8
Disneyland 9/16-20 '08 & 9/13-18 '10 at the DI&S, DLH 9/10-17 '11 and the Grand 2/26-3/2 '13
Disney Wonder to Alaska 8/20-27 '12...Aulani 3/26-4/3 '14 heading BACK to Alaska on the Wonder! 8/24/15

DisSarahK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013, 02:24 PM   #12
lorimay
DIS Veteran
 
lorimay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,764

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwingleMomFl View Post
I am not new up cruising, in fact this is my 9th DCL cruise, but first that is not in the Caribbean! I have even been on other cruise lines. But why am I so overwhelmed with the planning of this Alaskan itinerary? I guess it is because I know it a once in lifetime trip and I want to create memories that will last a lifetime. Has anyone ever felt this way?
We have also just started looking at Alaskan cruises. It's scary to try something new. Thank goodness for computers and all the research options we have. LOL

So far, I just know I will enjoy sitting and watching Tracy Arm.
The rest is all over the place at this point.
lorimay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013, 02:35 PM   #13
TwingleMomFl
Mouseketeer
 
TwingleMomFl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 133

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorimay

We have also just started looking at Alaskan cruises. It's scary to try something new. Thank goodness for computers and all the research options we have. LOL

So far, I just know I will enjoy sitting and watching Tracy Arm.
The rest is all over the place at this point.
Lol I like that. I know I want to do the dog sledding too!
__________________
TwingleMomFl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013, 02:37 PM   #14
TwingleMomFl
Mouseketeer
 
TwingleMomFl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 133

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisSarahK
I know what you mean! Last year I booked our 2012 Alaska cruise in January and spent the next few months researching, planning, and mildly freaking out!

After a lot of research, I ended up booking all of our excursions on my own and they were great! No problems at all and I saved a lot of money (over all) compared to the Disney sponsored excursions.

My husband's favorite excursion was in Skagway. I booked us a rental car and we drove from Skagway, into Canada--through a small part of British Columbia and into the Canadian Yukon. We utilized a guidebook I downloaded from the internet called Murray's Guide and it was *wonderful* and described every abandoned mine and hillside we passed. Just fabulous! We really got a great feel for the countryside by doing this drive.

We saw wildlife (I've never seen mountain goats hopping on rocks other than in a zoo...until this drive!), stopped to skip rocks in a lake, and grabbed lunch in a bakery in a town recommended in the guide. We turned around at Emerald Lake--the most gorgeous lake I've ever seen in my life! (And yes, the water was just as green as the name implies!)

On the way back, we stopped to take a sled dog ride in Carcross and my children just thought that was fabulous! It was so much fun for all of us, but my children really really loved it and asked our driver (a FEMALE Iditarod racer) so many questions.

We thought about stopping at the Yukon Suspension Bridge on our way back as well, but opted not to as the weather was a bit foggy and we had done a suspension bridge on a family trip to Vancouver earlier in the summer.

Even with our stops, we made it back to Skagway in time to wander through the town and take pictures and press pennies. It was a fabulous port stop and I thoroughly impressed my husband with my planning.
I LOVE your ideas about Skagway! Thank you for sharing!
__________________
TwingleMomFl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013, 02:45 PM   #15
cheesemouse
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 727

Agreed. I is very overwhelming planning an Alaskan cruise. I spent about 16 months doing TONS of research. It's time consuming but so worth it. I can only recommend (very highly) these tours/activities we did:

Ketchikan: Misty Fjords flightseeing with Island Wings. Michelle is so outstanding that can't even describe it. You will not be disappointed.

Juneau: Whale watching with Harv and Marv. Great little company with such extensive knowledge. They really try hard to give you an excellent tour. 6 person boats and 1 guide. Awesome. We also stopped at the Mendenhall Glacier on our way back for a while and it was very nice.

Skagway: Whitepass and Yukon Railroad (we did the rail up and a minibus tour to the Yukon and Emerald Lake and minibus ride back) with Chilkoot Charters. A great tour. Far superior to those offered directly through the cruise lines. The minibus it a great way to go compared to the big buses. Emerald Lake is not to be missed. We saw tons of wildlife and have great photos.

Good luck - I can't wait to go back!
cheesemouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.