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

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

  1. Tsunami

    Tsunami Earning My Ears

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    I asked her this on her trip report thread and she said she was on deck 4. Hoping you see them! :goodvibes
     
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  3. AZMermaid

    AZMermaid DIS Veteran

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    Still really enjoying your report and not offended at all! :thumbsup2
     
  4. chris31997

    chris31997 Disney Kid at Heart

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    :wave2:

    Hope you are having a good time with family. Can't wait for the next installment :thumbsup2
     
  5. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    My hope is to share with you a different point of view --- from an Asian person reading your comments ---- why your words hurt, and why I'd never want to be called "That Asian One" by someone having dinner next to me.

    PM sent.
     
  6. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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    I have reworded the parts you found offensive and sent you a reply. It's my hope that in the future, you keep strong accusations between you and the person with which you have a problem. Moving on.

    To everyone else, thanks for reading! I'll be able to get back to the report once I'm home later this week.
     
  7. bmc79

    bmc79 Earning My Ears

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    As another "Asian" reader, just wanted to say thank you for editing your trip report. As you can see from my post count I do not post very much, but felt compelled after reading some of the comments on the thread. Last time I checked, Asian and Indian families were also welcome on DCL, and I would suspect they (like you) would like to take some pictures.

    While I have never had a family reunion on DCL, I would hate to feel like I couldn't take a picture or enjoy my dinner if I was part of a group because someone would comment about it later, or referred to my family as that "Asian" one, as if there is a certain stereotype or connotation that goes along with it.

    So thanks for editing your trip report, it sounds like you and your family had a magical time.
     
  8. ukintheus

    ukintheus DIS Veteran

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    I'm enjoying your TR - looking forward to the next installment. :thumbsup2
     
  9. modegard

    modegard Mouseketeer

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    OrcaPotter, I am really enjoying your TR and especially all your photos! Thank you for taking the time to put it together for our enjoyment.

    I want to hear more! We are on the Wonder in August and can hardly wait.

    :goodvibes
     
  10. CruznLexi

    CruznLexi DIS Veteran

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    Wonderful trip report leaving Friday from Florida to our Alaskan cruise. I am hoping to get pictures with deadliest catch mickey.
     
  11. terag1e

    terag1e Earning My Ears

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    "First Sailing next year" - Does that mean June 2, 2014? We are on the 6/2 sailing with a large family and extended family contingent celebrating our daughters medical school graduation into residency!

    We are following Orcapotter's TR with great interest, particularly with respect to excursions and environmental conditions (related specifically to packing needs). It is great to see someone with dedication to provide the details along their trip with such passion and with a willingness to share with others of their experience(s).

    If indeed you are on the 6/2 sailing, looking forward to a super adventure - perhaps we will come across each other (are you currently on the 6/2/14 Meet and Greet?)!!

    And being newly retired - I am definitely looking forward to taking my own pictures to capture the immense and grandeur of the wilderness! (Canon SX-50HS)
     
  12. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    The first Alaska sailing next year is actually May 24th for 9 nights with a special itinerary going to Sitka.
     
  13. poohssmum

    poohssmum DIS Veteran

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    I can honestly say that a cruise to Alaska is not anywhere to be found on my bucket list. However, I have read some of your other trip reports so I thought I'd give this one a read also. I am really, really enjoying it! Your pictures are great and I find myself checking back often for updates on your adventure!
     
  14. pequele

    pequele Some people think they are cool because they can h

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    Yup and just booked my flights today for our trip! Woooot woot! See ya guys there!!!
     
  15. Tiggrou

    Tiggrou Mouseketeer

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    Hi! I'll be on the same cruise soon with my aunt and I'm so excited about it! Thank You so much for your report, it is so precious! I can't wait to read more!
     
  16. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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    Thanks for the support everyone, and I'm so pleased that everyone is finding this report helpful. I am trying to cover everything I wanted to know before I left on this trip. I'm warning you now, Skagway is going to be a few posts long. Part 1 is below.

    It's hard to say which port was my favorite, as they were all amazing. Skagway and the surrounding Yukon definitely had the most impressive vistas. If you want mountains, this was the place for them. I'm talking the Lord of the Rings mountains I mentioned before.

    After all my extensive research, I decided to do all of my excursions privately. It sounded like the companies in Alaska are very, very reliable and it usually came out cheaper. Not to mention more options for itineraries. Everyone my family knows who have gone to Alaska all insisted that the train ride in Skagway was a not-to-be-missed experience. So, I did not hesitate to research this excursion and get it booked ASAP. The Alaska Excursions thread was invaluable, and there was no question to go with Chilkoot Charters and Tours for our train ride. There were a variety of options, and I decided to go with the train ride, tour, and dog sled ride option. Take note, though, that they do not post prices on the website and when I submitted my info for what I thought was a quote, I actually ended up just booking it and my payment went through. It was about $200 PP for the train, guided bus tour, lunch, and sled ride. You could choose to do the bus tour first and the train last or vice versa. I chose train first, which meant a 7:30 AM departure. We docked in Skagway at 7 AM, so while this seems close, the rep from the company met us mere feet from the gangway.

    With that said, the morning started off early as usual, but perhaps even earlier since we had to be ready to go by 7:15 AM. We opted to just stick with a bagel from room service for breakfast to avoid the rush at the buffet. We dressed in our layers, which was good, because the temperature varied wildly all day depending on where we were. Once ready, we embarked on our journey to find ... the gangway!

    On the Dream, as many of you may know, the gangway is on deck 1. If there were directions in the Navigator as to where the gangway was on the Wonder, I missed it. I must have. Really. Though I read the whole thing front to back. You may see where this is going. We went down to deck 1, only to realize we couldn't. Somehow, though I don't recall how, we went down to the lobby level. Also somehow, we followed a poorly designed sign through the adult district only to be completely lost again. Finally, back to the sign, we discovered the gangway smack next to guest services. SO WEIRD. In hindsight, since it was so obviously there, I do not know how we walked by it.

    **. But anyway, we finally got off the ship with a few minutes to spare, and immediately spotted a guy with a Chilkoot sign. Though we were considered early, and he was amiable enough about it, he rushed us to the bus as if we were running behind. We were the only Disney folks on our particular tour. The driver told us that our tour guide was Mike and he was picking up the others at the other ships (Holland America and Princess). He dropped us off at the train station, and Mike introduced himself. He was super friendly and laid back; with the rest of the tour in tow, he led us to the last car on the train so that we had optimal views from the back platform all to ourselves. In total, there were about 20 or so people on our particular excursion. All of them adults, with the youngest seeming to be around college age with their family.

    As a warning, the Wonder docks at a pier that is a bit of a walk to downtown and the train station. There were buses provided for a $2 PP fee if you didn't want to walk/not already on an excursion. It took a few short minutes on the bus we were picked up in to get to the station.

    For this first Skagway post, I'll wrap it up with photos that speak for themselves. Because holy cow, this was the most beautiful, most awe-inspiring place on the planet I have been to so far. Like, you see right there in front of you how God is an artist. The train left the station around 8 AM, and pretty quickly you begin to see a beautiful river, incredibly tall mountains, etc. I was so close to the glass I kept fogging it up! The train was made up of remodeled and restored original cars that have been doing this route since---a long time ago. You're given a pamphlet with a wealth of information, including narration by tour guides on the train. I have it somewhere but since this report is taking as much time as it is, I'll let that be a surprise for you when you go.

    The train ride lasted about 1 1/2 hours on a gradual but constant incline. You don't realize how far up you are when shortly into the trip you're already pretty high up and can see the cruise ships down in the distance.

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    View from our verandah. Those orange blockades to the far left is where our bus driver met us.

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    Taking a helicopter tour? The place you're going to is literally right there.

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    Mountain tops peeking through the clouds.

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    Downtown is really small. You could easily see all of it in a few short hours. I highly recommend doing an excursion, as I would find it otherwise a little boring.

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    One of the original steam trains

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    15 minutes into the ride, and look how far we were already. You can see the ships in the harbor.

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    There's a story with this. They tell you on the train; I can't remember the story other than it has to do with a group of boys who were traveling with this guy into Alaska.

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    That's a real wood burning stove in the car. As you climb further into the mountains, it got considerably colder. It was really brisk out on the platform, so the car was kept nicely warm with this thing going.

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    I finally braved the back platform once the men camped out there with their huge cameras and a few others freed up some space. It was COLD.

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    Snow on the ground!

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    Apparently there is an excursion for hiking where you ride the train up to this point--in the middle of nowhere, mind you--and you're dropped off. Mom and I couldn't believe it. That's a long haul back down, and there were kids in this group! We stopped for a few minutes to let them off and were back on our way.

    That's all for tonight. I'll post the rest ASAP.
     
  17. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    We took the train down so did the opposite we picked hikers up. It really is beautiful up there.
     
  18. OrcaPotter

    OrcaPotter Lucky to be local to the Mouse

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    That makes more sense now!
     
  19. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Wonderful photos :)

    We loved the train journey - DH in particular was mesmerised; he could believe it when we got to the top and he realised how long we had been on board!
     
  20. guarn3md

    guarn3md DIS Veteran

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    Hey!! Just wanted to say Hi to a fellow middle school teacher!! Wohoo, isn't it fun! I wouldn't trade it for any other grade level. I have been teaching for 15 years and the majority of it has been spent in middle school.
    I am looking forward to reading your trip report and I agree that there aren't many reports with details. We have four more sleeps until our adventure begins. We go to Philly on Thursday afternoon and fly out of PHL on Friday morning to Toronto and then Vancouver. We are spending three nights in Vancouver and then on to the cruise.
    OK...now on to reading...
    Debbie
     
  21. amityisland

    amityisland Mouseketeer

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    That photo is really beautiful!
     

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