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

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

  1. RweTHEREyet

    RweTHEREyet DIS Veteran

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    Another great installment. Thanks again for sharing. So sorry that the characters seem so elusive. It is a mystery to me as to why they are not in their Alaskan costume longer and more often on this sailing. I mean, isn't that one of the things that everyone is there for?
     
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  3. meajuly5

    meajuly5 DIS Veteran

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    I agree!
     
  4. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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    That's it! YAY! Thank you!
     
  5. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    We didn't see any characters when we were there last year but we were right at the front the whole time though until we left the glacier.
     
  6. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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    I had started this post yesterday, but due to some serious computer issues trying to save the video presentation of the cruise, I lost what I started! Urgh.

    We had just approached the glacier in my last post. By this point, you couldn't move at the front of the ship due to the thick crowd, and folks were so excited and eager to get close to the glacier that we were all leaning so far over the glass I'm surprised no one careened overboard in their enthusiasm!

    I'll mention now that there was a naturalist who was scheduled to speak throughout the afternoon. In the Navigator, you're led to believe it's going to be a non-stop narration of everything going on in the fjord from about 11 AM to 4 PM. There were also a lot of reminders, both in print and through announcements, that the volume of the speakers had to be kept low so as not to disturb the wildlife. The naturalist was the same as the guy who did the bear presentation. However, I guess nature was taking a break that day, because he only came on to speak about 4 or so times the whole day--1 of them being the announcement just as we got to the turn to see the glacier:

    Due to 3 perfectly placed icebergs and the presence of mother seals and their pups, the Wonder could go no further. If we disturbed the mother seals, they'd get frightened off and actually abandon their pups. While pretty disappointing, no one wanted to create orphan baby seals. We could still see the glacier pretty well, so the captain just turned the ship right there.

    After several shots and a good amount of time soaking in the view, I did my best to turn around and evaluate how to leave that spot! Finally, I made a deal with a guy to switch places if he could take a photo of my parents and I, which he eagerly obliged.


    We managed to stumble from our spot, which was instantly filled with with much pushing and shoving. After a quick pit stop in the restrooms, I insisted on going down to deck 4 to get that perspective--and also hopefully run into those elusive character interactions. Sure enough, after the initial "ooh" and "ahh" of being that much closer to the ice, I spotted Pluto.

    STOP THAT DOG, I AM HAVING A PHOTO WITH HIM USING ALASKA AS A BACKDROP THANK YOU! I grabbed Mom and beelined down the deck. Pluto only had a handful of people clambering for his attention, and no family reunions were springing from under the deck chairs. Finally! After a quick hug and photo--and my father (either deliberately or not) calling him "Goofy" (I thought they were going to throw my father overboard; I was close to), Pluto ran off. Folks were now appearing like sharks smelling blood in the water, and it was as if the sight of them all was scaring Pluto off.


    As Pluto was charging back to his doghouse, I spot "Deadliest Catch" Mickey coming outside. Only, he has an entourage of clambering families. We approach him, hoping to wait our turn, but Mickey is flying down the deck as if his slickers are on fire. His handler is actually ushering him along, telling us that Mickey was "just taking a walk" and we could "follow him" if we wanted to.

    What?

    Mickey flies past me, and I just manage to snap this photo:


    Other people, including the lady in the left side of that photo, were not taking the passive "no photos" statement for an answer. They cornered Mickey so he couldn't go forward, and managed to get their shot. The crowd that had followed him quickly descended and got their way as well. Meanwhile, I'm sorta standing there, confused. Wasn't the reason for coming out here to interact and take photos with guests? Is Mickey now a dog that needs to be "walked" every hour? There was no scheduled meet/greet at that hour, so I didn't understand why the characters hustled around and only seemed to stop when they had no choice. This was totally not what I anticipated after ready many posts on the DIS about how wonderful the Classic ships were for character interaction, and how they just wandered the ship and spent all this time with you with seemingly no one around. I had read previous Alaska TR's with plenty of deck photos with characters, even. So did those folks have to tackle those characters to the deck in order to wrangle that seemingly random photo?

    Oh well. We went to the other side of deck 4 and took some more photos:


    By now, we were thoroughly damp and cold and tired. My broken zipper on my jacket had now completely broken off by now and the zipper track had ripped away. There was no choice--we had to go buy the jacket in the gift shop. We headed in to do more retail damage, and walked into poor Minnie trying to grab an elevator while we all awkwardly stood around questioning the ethics now of asking her for a photo:


    She finally got on an elevator, and the poor thing was squeezed in there after a crowd of families insisted on riding with her. We headed down to the gift shops, and choked down the price for the Alaska season jacket. Which, we rationalized, is actually a pretty good Florida jacket. It's warm but not heavy. I liked it so much, and Dad liked it so much, that by the end of the cruise he had bought one for himself in the men's gray color. This is also when I caved and bought the grizzly bear puppet, particularly after I walked around the shop conversing with it and the cast members, effectively making them chuckle pretty hard.

    And so enters Bear "The Grizz" Grizzly into our family vacation:


    We hung out in the room for a while, defrosting and enjoying our trip out of the fjord from the privacy of our own verandah:


    After a conversation with Bear, we headed down to dinner. I didn't feel like changing; for some reason I was still freezing and our servers even commented on it when we sat down in Triton's again. Julie brought me some hot tea right away ... I mean, I was still wearing gloves! I'm sure we stood out like sore thumbs a bit in the fancier restaurant--many people appeared as if they managed to freshen up and dress properly. For the first time, I felt eyes on us at dinner. But you know, I wasn't dressed improperly and everything was clean. Tonight was the rotational menu and I felt a little adventurous--I'm going to try escargot! And it was amazing, why have I never tried it before? I could have had seconds on that.

    Appetizer: Escargot (amazing)
    Soup/Salad: Market Green Salad (in the past, I always got the French onion because it's my favorite, but the past 2 DCL trips I have consecutively become very sick after eating it and it ruined my evenings--even into the next day, so I sadly avoided it) (this salad was good)
    Entree: Seared sea bass (very good)
    Dessert: Grand Marinier souffle (excellent)

    I'll mention here that every night, the bread selection was excellent. On the Dream, they must serve different breads because they were all exotic kinds and I didn't like most of them. This was not the case on the Wonder.

    After dinner, the characters were doing proper photos with folks in their Alaska garb. Disappointed we had only 1 photo with a character dressed that way outside, we got in line for Goofy, Chip n' Dale, and Minnie.


    I think this was the night they were showing Iron Man 3 in the WD Theatre. We had seen it before and did not necessarily want to see it again while we were surrounded by Alaska, so if memory serves we just wandered around. They were doing So You Want to be a Mouseketeer in Studio Sea, and we popped in when I overheard some of the questions about WDW. After a while, I decided I wanted to play and they were still giving out numbers at the main entrance. Apparently, they draw from a lottery for contestants. We were there for 2 more rounds--and it's pretty much a super, super easy trivia contest that it's pretty much a given that you'll "win" in the end, and they give you a little "trophy" and a pin. I didn't get called, but they raffled off a few extra pins, and I won the first one! Mom insisted on a photo:


    I don't remember what else we did that night; I'm sure a trip to the drink station happened for hot cocoa. We had a super early wake-up for Skagway (our excursion meet time was 7:30), so we'll just say it was off to a shower and bed!

    The next update might not be for a little while--I'm visiting family out of town for the holiday and I doubt I'll have time to make an update. So, count on a new update late next week!
     
  7. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    It's funny - one of my main complaints about our time in ports mirrors yours about the other cruisers on the boat: so many rude people! I'm sorry you were so "boxed in" on Tracy Arm day. We didn't find that on our cruise, but then again we were hanging out at midship, on the port side. The captain did a full turn so all sides were able to get a spectacular view.

    We found in the ports that people behaved this way. I was standing in line at the Skagway brewing company, politely waiting my turn, when some guy bustled right through me to get to the hostess. I was like, REALLY? It was like that in almost every store I visited. I had a list of stores I wanted to visit but after a few experiences like that we threw in the towel and returned to the ship. The shopkeepers were really grumpy as well.

    Some people seem to have that attitude of "it's all about me" when they are on vacation. They seem to forget that the rest of us paid a great deal of money to enjoy a vacation as well! Or perhaps they don't forget - they just don't care?

    I think the character thing is the luck of the draw. I've been on some cruises where they are everywhere, and others where I rarely see them. Once, Pirate Stitch came into the movie theatre and sat down to watch! And another time we ran into Belle in the hallway, returning from Storytime at the kids' club. She was alone, and reached to sit my daughter down in her lap so I could take a photo without my even asking. No one else was around at all, we just got lucky. Sometimes it's just about being in the right place at the right time.

    Enjoy your holiday!
     
  8. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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    It's my suspicion--as I did not check before I left--that due to this cruise being only the 2nd of the season, it probably wasn't selling as quickly as DCL wanted. I know that the last time I checked prices was early spring, and the fares hadn't budged at all. There was a couple, also ironically from Orlando, I overheard talking in San Francisco waiting for our connecting flight--and I heard the guy say he booked our same cruise on a "last minute deal" so clearly there were some VGTs, etc, available. Obviously, this resulted in a booked sailing. It makes me wonder if the more expensive sailings will be slightly less crowded. It was over $1,000 difference for us to have gone on the sailing right after ours in the same room.

    The only times when the guests were really quite rude was when it came to elevators. That was the case on the Dream, too. We didn't really have that problem at all in the ports, though, so that's interesting to hear!
     
  9. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Really enjoying reading your TR :)

    We were on the June 17th sailing as well and totally lucked out with the weather with sunshine and no rain for the whole cruise

    We didn't experience any crowd issues on Tracy Arm day, everyone seemed pretty calm and happy, I think everyone was just so amazed with the weather it kept everyone relaxed!

    Sounds like you really enjoyed your day despite the cold weather :)

    Looking forward to reading along
     
  10. EeyoreIsMyName

    EeyoreIsMyName DIS Veteran

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    Yup! All ours for the low price of $18 a plate! ONE giant prawn, staring right back at ya, seated on a little tuft of pasta in a sea of a sauce-like substance. Dad's reaction says it all:


    [/QUOTE]

    That picture of your dad's reaction is soooo funny! My dad hates when you go to a restaurant and they give you this huge plate and put one bite of something on it and charge you $40. He would have had a similar reaction to your father's!!:eek:
     
  11. EeyoreIsMyName

    EeyoreIsMyName DIS Veteran

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  12. EeyoreIsMyName

    EeyoreIsMyName DIS Veteran

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    It's funny how each person's experience with the characters on deck differs. We were sitting out on deck on Tracy Arm day and Minnie came by. It was the same morning as our character breakfast so Minnie's handler remembered us. She took a number of photos of us with Minnie. It was great-not rushed, nobody else around pushing in for pictures. I think that was the type of experience you were hoping to have. I was glad to read you got some photos with Goofy, Chip & Dale and Minnie later. :blush:
     
  13. Tsunami

    Tsunami Earning My Ears

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    I too am surprised (disappointed) there aren't more "formal" photo ops outside with the Alaskan scenery and the characters in their Alaska gear. It seems luck of the draw whether you see them or not.

    Thanks again for the fantastic and detailed trip report. I hope you enjoy your holiday!
     
  14. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    As I said I didn't get any deck photos but I did get a lot of other character photos just wandering about on other days.
     
  15. chris31997

    chris31997 Disney Kid at Heart

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    Things to remember: Book only a massage, couples. Get nails done before I go ;) Book some tasting. Character Meetings can be hit or miss. I can hope since we will be the first sailing next year, the CMs will be more refreshed(if that is the word I want)

    I love your pics. I can't wait to take my own. Thanks for keeping me excited for our cruise.
     
  16. travellingwithnikki

    travellingwithnikki I've visited every Disney Park in the world!

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    I was on the same cruise as you and cannot believe how different our experiences were - I have great character photos from Tracy Arm day and saw so many other characters randomly walking around the ship. It was great.
     
  17. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    I tried to enjoy your trip report, but I found these comments offensive. I'm not sure why it is necessary to repeatedly point out that the people annoying you on this trip are Asian.

    (1) Why is it important to point out what race/ethnicity they are?
    (2) What did it add to your experience and/or trip report?

    These are genuine questions. Help me understand.
     
  18. Rai's Mommy

    Rai's Mommy Mouseketeer

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    Which deck were you on, travellingwithnikki?
     
  19. Rai's Mommy

    Rai's Mommy Mouseketeer

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    I assumed that she may be a person who typically describes people in as much detail as possible so that the reader can get a visual. Perhaps if it was a big Irish family, a big Italian family, or a family that would be able to be described under any other race/ethnicity/cultural category she would do the same. :confused3
     
  20. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    When the OP starts referring to people as "Indian Ones" or "Asian Ones" as the people bothering her, it starts coming off as racist.

    This is her sentence:

    I live in California and if I went to work making negative complaints about people and saying, "Those Mexican Ones" or "That Mexican Family," I would be reprimanded and fired. If I were at Disneyland and overheard a CM saying, "Those Indian Ones want a picture with you, Mickey. They're everywhere." I would be offended.

    Words within context matter.

    In this context, the OP's references to race are always followed by negativity and an complaint.

    People are not "Asian Ones" or even "Indian Ones." This is not descriptive. This is hurtful.
     
  21. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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    Moving on.
     

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