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Old 08-07-2014, 05:48 PM   #1
Monson Family
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 2

Disney Wonder Alaska July 24- Aug 4

We just got back from the most perfect Disney Cruise on the Disney Wonder. After reading through the forums I think a lot of information has been covered but I wanted to add a few things that I didn't know and figured out as we went. These are just in random order.

1. Parking at Canada Place. We drove up to Vancouver and stayed the night Sunday night and then parked our car at Canada Place on Monday. Driving to Canada Place on Monday it was a little confusing as to where to go seeing as how there were a lot of cars leaving the area and also coming to the area. Across the street from the Fairmont Waterfront hotel is the entrance to the parking garage where you'll go to drop off your bags and to park your car. There will be people out front directing traffic and traffic cones to help people get around. Once you get down into the parking terminal you'll be directed to a location where you'll back your car up and take all your bags off. Porters will be there to load up your bags and take them to the ship. If you are then parking at Canada Place you just need to drive forward 100 yards and go down a ramp to the second level of parking and find a parking space. If you prepaid your parking the office you need to pick up your parking ticket at is located right next to where you would go to exit the parking structure on the second level.

2. Anna & Elsa tickets. I read a previous poster talk about getting tickets to see Anna & Elsa and how they hand them out the first day you get on the cruise. We had 18 people in our party including several little girls but not all of us showed up at the same time. It didn't matter, just board the ship and head to Studio Sea on deck 4 midship, just walk up the staircases that are there as you board and go and get tickets. They'll check off your room number but you don't have to have your whole party there to get a ticket, you can collect them for everyone at the same time. When we actually went to the meet and greet I was surprised that there really wasn't anyone there but us. We walked right in and got pictures and autographs and that was it, ten minutes tops.

3. Diversions Lounge. We had an excursion that met in Diversions Lounge, deck 3, all the way forward, and up until then I had never been there. It was explained to me by a staff member that this area is kind of like a sports bar showing games and ESPN or whatever. They have all kinds of free snacks they serve down there like hot wings, chips and salsa, etc. All ages are welcome until 9 pm when it turns into 18 and over only. Had I known this the first day I would have checked it out. Sounded like a good place for a dad to hang out while the kids were in the clubs.

4. Sunday Morning breakfast. On your last full day at sea they serve almost identical breakfast at Beach Blanket Buffet on deck 9 and at Parrot Cay on deck 3. Go to Parrot Cay. It's inside so it's warm and when we went there was almost no one there. They claim they same food is served in both locations but we checked both out and Parrot Cay had big waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and a few other different things. The only other difference is in Parrot Cay they come and take your drink order and bring you your drink instead of you getting your drink yourself. Both are buffet style so you get your own food.

5. Movies. They were showing the following movies on our trip. Million Dollar Arm, Maleficent, Frozen, Planes: Fire & Rescue, Disney Nature: Bears, Captain America The Winter Soldier and they premiered Guardians of the Galaxy. I mention this because when I emailed them a week ahead of time to see what was playing they made no mention of Planes: Fire & Rescue or Guardians of the Galaxy. I think it's a lock at this point that any new Disney or Disney owned movie that comes out while you are on a ship will be playing. DCL will just never tell you that.

6. Disembarkation. People that wanted to carry their own luggage off the ship were able to do that at 7:30. After that, the first group that was able to go off were those with white Ariel tags. Since we were driving I went to Guest Services and got the white Ariel tags so we could be one of the first off to get back on the road. We were able to get off at about 7:50, with the other groups getting called every 15 minutes or so. Going through Customs was a breeze and there really wasn't any delays that I saw with anyone there.

7. Pixar Party. On this cruise they do a Pixar Party instead of a Pirate Party. In my opinion, it's a total let down compared to the Pirate Party. Basically, all you get is a 30 minute dance party for kids in the atrium where the big name Pixar characters are trotted out to dance. That's about it.

8. Tracy Arm. Visiting the glacier was pretty cool. We had a couple of outside cabins in our party so we were able to stay in their rooms as we went up the glacier. The starboard side of the ship seemed to be the better side to get a look at the glacier. There are beautiful waterfalls all the way up until you get to the glacier and it was a very scenic trip. All in all, I don't think we actually made it up to the glacier itself until probably 1:30 or 2 that day so you can make plans to do other things in the morning or just sit back and enjoy the scenery on the way up. Our littlest kids weren't too interested in the glacier so we let them play in the Lab until we were right there and then we got them out so they could see it.

9. Skagway Excursion - Liarsville. We did the Liarsville excursion in Skagway and while the kids had fun panning for gold, all in all, I don't think it was worth the money. The show they did was okay and the performers do a good job but there just wasn't much too it. It is advertised as a character excursion too but only Chip & Dale and Donald were there. The lunch served was good, it looked like it was brought over from the Disney ship, and I was told the Salmon they cooked over the fire right there was very good.

10. Juneau - Ship Location. I think the only negative about Juneau is that the ship is docked a little ways away from the shopping area of Juneau. It would be about a 30 minute walk from the ship to get to the shopping area. Disney does provide a shuttle to and from that runs about every 10 minutes, it's just not as convenient.

11. Juneau Excursion - Mendenhall Glacier and Whale Watching. You start out by going to the glacier and by the time we got there we only had 1 hour before we had to leave again to get to the whale watching tour. There is a really pretty waterfall you can walk to but with little kids we didn't attempt it as we weren't sure we could get out there and back in an hours time. So, we took some pictures and went inside and watched the 15 minute movie they have on the glacier. They have telescopes set up in the visitors center, including short ones for the kids that you can look through to get a good look at the glacier. The whale watching we went on afterwards was incredible. Saw two orcas, tons of humpbacks, including a humpback that breached and a pod of 6 that were bubble feeding. It was a great excursion.

12. Ketchikan Excursion - Neets Bay Bears. Took a 20 minute float plane ride (after a 20 minute bus ride to the float plane) to Neets Bay to see black bears. It was a hot day, upper 70's so the guide was worried we wouldn't see any bears. We ended up seeing 5 or 6 bears and watched 3 of them fish for an hour for salmon. It was a great excursion. You are literally 30-50 feet away from these bears. They don't pay you any mind though as they are too busy catching salmon from the river. On the 20 minute float plane ride back the pilot told us he was giving us a mini Misty Fjords tour. My advice, if you booked the Misty Fjords float plane tour, cancel it. It looked fairly boring.

13. Ketchikan Lumberjack show. There is a lumberjack show that is about a 3 minute walk away from the ship. Disney arranges a private show in the morning but we were on our excursion and didn't go to that. We did make it back in time to go to the 4:15 show. It was pretty pricey, ~$30 for adults and ~$20 for kids, for a one hour show. All in all it was a fun show, probably not worth the money but everyone enjoyed it and we figured we'd probably never see another lumberjack show again so what the heck.

14. Crossing the border. It took us about 45 minutes to get into Canada on a Sunday afternoon and 45 minutes to an hour to get back into the United States on Monday morning. It was a holiday for the Canadians on the 4th of August though so I don't know if that contributed to more people crossing the border or not. If you're really in a hurry they do have a Nexus lane for people that have pre-registered somehow to get across the border quicker. I'm not sure what that takes or if it costs money but those folks didn't have to wait at all. Coming back into the United States it's like stop and go traffic and then you wait for 10 minutes not moving at all. There is a stop light on the US side and it stops cars for 10 minutes before turning green for a minute or two. We didn't realize what was going on until we got closer to see the light so don't let that confuse you.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:23 PM   #2
pinksand
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Thanks for the tips! We leave in 2 weeks.
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