A Floridian in Alaska--June 3rd-10th, 2013 (COMPLETE)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by OrcaPotter, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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    Greetings from the sweltering south! This is the tale of my first voyage to America's Last Frontier aboard the Disney Wonder. Coming from flat land and palm trees to the towering Lord-of-the-Rings vistas in the Pacific Northwest was truly the adventure of a lifetime. It is my hope that my report will help you make the most of this truly once-in-a-lifetime trip.

    [​IMG]
    The trip to Vancouver was not unlike the trip to Mordor, actually.

    When I booked this cruise last fall, I was at the start of my first year as a middle school teacher. Unless you're an educator yourself, no one can really understand the sheer amount of stress, work, and tears that goes into this profession. Without going into a soapbox rant about the perception of teachers and the reality of the job, I'll just say that I needed to give myself a light at the end of the tunnel to help me survive this first traumatic year. Without much hesitation, I contacted Dreams Unlimited and booked the Disney Wonder to Alaska on the June 3-10, 2013 sailing.

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    Oh yes. There were plenty of those. A good reason to wear lots of layers in Alaska--to hide all the teacher stress around my middle.

    My family sails in nothing less than verandah level rooms, so I booked my parents and I in a 5B midship. Stateroom 6078.

    Yup, I treated my parents to this trip. It was just me and them on our first really big family vacation. Ever. Prior to this, our only major vacations were cruises to the Caribbean. This would be our 3rd Disney cruise and 5th cruise overall. We were on the Dream in January 2012, then on a whim, booked a FL resident deal back on the Dream last January (2013). We have always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise, but budget has always been an issue. With my new job and very few bills, I had the fortunate opportunity at this time to afford it all. My parents are getting much older and I'm afraid that this would be the last time they could handle such a big trip. It was now or never; the cost was never too much of an issue for me. However, I did my best to stick to a budget. It can be done, people! :scratchin

    So if you're looking for details about traveling with kids, sorry. I'm the "kid" in the equation and I declared myself as the head of the household on all the customs forms! :rotfl2: I will say this: I would not do this trip with young kids. Going through customs and immigration for Canada and the U.S., while not necessarily stressful for an adult-only party, would be terrible if you're juggling babies/toddlers/young kids and all of the gear such creatures require. I saw a lot of families with babies and toddlers on this trip and they were constantly all over the place. Everything about Alaska is the scenery and the experiences; I would not waste the time and effort with such young children when they won't remember it at all but rather cause you all sorts of exhaustion, headache, and distraction. HOWEVER, if you don't have too much of a choice (such as a wide age range of progeny), Disney would be the only way to do it. I'll go into more detail later, but this sailing was packed with huge family reunions and parties. A humongous Asian family was seated near us at dinner and they took up two 12-top tables, one of which seated nothing but children!

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    Herding cats would be easier than traveling with small kids.

    Here is the lo-down on this adventure:

    The travelers: Myself (30) and my parents (older-than-30)

    Itinerary: Leave Orlando on Saturday, June 1st and arrive in Vancouver around 4:30 PM PST. Spend full day in Vancouver on Sunday, June 2nd. Board the Wonder on June 3rd. Disembark June 10th. Spend an extra night at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel and leave for Orlando on June 11th.

    Cruise itinerary:
    Monday--Embark
    Tuesday--Day at sea and not winning at trivia but winning a raffle
    Wednesday--Tracy Arm and staying outside despite the freezing rain
    Thursday--Skagway and the Rail & Bus Excursion with Chillkoot Charters & Tours
    Friday--Juneau and the 2.5 hour Private Whale Watching Charter with Rum Runner Charters
    Saturday--Ketchikan and the free excursion of walking in the freezing rain while shopping and not eating crab
    Sunday--Day at sea and not winning at trivia again
    Monday--Disembark, otherwise known as the Most Depressing Day Ever

    I promise you, there will be ...
    BEARS (spoken in a South African accent)
    WHALES
    EEEEAGLES
    MOUNTAINS
    MORE MOUNTAINS
    MOUNTAINS ON MOUNTAINS
    SNOW
    COLD
    WET
    ABNORMAL SUN
    PEOPLE SO EXCITED(?) THEY'RE SICK DURING AN ENTIRE 8 HOUR EXCURSION
    DOG SLEDDING!
    DOGS WHO CHASE BEARS!
    PUPPIES!
    ... and all sorts of incredible stuff! And I promise you, this will all be coming at ya not only in text form, but with actual photographs!

    Links to report entries!
    Day 0 - How NOT To Start Your Vacation
    Day 1 - Adventures in Vancouver, Part 2
    Day 2 - Boarding the Wonder to Alaska!, Part 2, Part 3
    Day 3 - Day at Sea (with bonus what to pack list)
    Day 4 - Tracy Arm, Part 2, Part 3
    Day 5 - Skagway, Part 2, Part 3
    Day 6 - Juneau, Part 2
    Days 7-10 - Catching Up
     
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  3. AZMermaid

    AZMermaid DIS Veteran

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    Teacher here too- I'm in! Can't wait to read more!
     
  4. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    Looking forward to hearing more, loving the witty gifs :goodvibes
     
  5. nandzmom

    nandzmom Earning My Ears

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    I can't wait to read your report and see some pics :)

    We are on the 7/1 sailing in a few weeks. Quick question...we are doing the same tour in Skagway with Chilkoot Tours. Can you tell me...were you back by 3pm? I'm thinking of surprising my family with a helicopter tour and wanted to make sure they were sticking somewhat close to the arrival back to Skagway.

    Thank you.
     
  6. jetskigrl

    jetskigrl No mumbojumbo here

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    I'm here!! I can't wait to hear all about it! :cool1:
     
  7. jegsnakkernorsk

    jegsnakkernorsk long time lurker

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    I'm interested... thanks for sharing!
     
  8. amityisland

    amityisland Mouseketeer

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    I'm a teacher as well and I totally understand this. Our Fantasy Cruise this summer has been my light at the end of the tunnel as well. Two more days until we leave! :-)
     
  9. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Already loved the beginning of your report, so am very much looking forward to actually read about your travels!!
     
  10. jedijill

    jedijill <font color=red>Chiefs fan living in Bronco countr

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    I'm in! As the child of 2 teachers, I understand.

    Jill in CO
     
  11. tink too

    tink too DIS Veteran

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    Loving the gifs too - especially the desserts one!

    My DM is a teacher, so I also understand the delight at the end of the summer term. ;)

    I'm looking forward to your TR - but especially the Chilkoot and Rum Runner reviews as we're doing excursions with them too.
     
  12. RweTHEREyet

    RweTHEREyet DIS Veteran

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    So following along, we will be an adult only group as well, so I won't miss the kid stuff. Looking forward to more, and more and then more. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
     
  13. IBelieveInTheMagic

    IBelieveInTheMagic DIS Veteran

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    Woohoo you started!! No pressure to get as much in 24 hours before I leave for our trip!! :rotfl2: Just kidding of course but I'm really excited to read more! :dance3:

    Heather
     
  14. travelvr

    travelvr Earning My Ears

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    Looking forward to reading it! We sail in a few weeks!
     
  15. BowlerHatGirl

    BowlerHatGirl Earning My Ears

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    Yay! Please give us more- with photos OR gifs, I'm not picky! :)
     
  16. Mackie Mouse

    Mackie Mouse Even my dog loves Disney

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    We sail on July 1 - subscribing and waiting with baited breath to hear all the details! :)
     
  17. FeFeMJ

    FeFeMJ Mouseketeer

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    Yay! I am definitely subscribed to this! We just signed up for our first Disney cruise out of the Port Canaveral and I am definitely thinking about booking an Alaskan Cruise while onboard for the discount! Can't wait to read all about it!
     
  18. chris31997

    chris31997 Disney Kid at Heart

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    :dance3::dance3:

    Looking forward to hearing a fellow Floridan's prespective on Alaska. We are cruisin' next year.
     
  19. caralyn817

    caralyn817 DIS Veteran

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    Just found your trip report! I can't wait! I've always wanted to go on a Disney Cruise and also go to Alaska.
     
  20. Luv2Diz

    Luv2Diz We love the Wonder and Magic of Disney cruising!

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    Waiting for more. We did the Alaska cruise last year and loved it!
     
  21. Tsunami

    Tsunami Earning My Ears

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    Subscribing too. Thank you for taking the time! Can't wait to read more and see your photos!
     

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