Ahoy, Kids! Scrap the Summer Plans...We're Sailing with Mickey to Alaska! (Upd 9/8)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by MickeyMomTo2, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    I'm glad we didn't skip. Wasn't as personal as WDW experiences can be, but if you go in knowing it may be rushed and have everyone ready for pics, it can still be fun.
     
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  3. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    I definitely think second seating made a difference. I guess that was one upside to having that assignment!

    I didn't see the chickens. :) However, we did have a fun day at Holiday World! They now have a very large waterpark, but it was PACKED. We waited in line for an hour and a half for a family raft ride/coaster (mix between Teamboat Springs and Crush N Gusher at Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon). My kids kept asking why we couldn't get a Fastpass. :) After that, we took advantage of the Wave Pool, water play area, and lazy river before returning to the much less crowded traditional side of the park. The lines there were much better. We had never been to Holiday World, but we really enjoyed our day! They have free soft drink stations all over the park--my kids thought Disney should copy that!

    We have a local team that is still in the running as well. They are currently playing in the State Championship. DS has a buddy on the team, so we are hoping they make it. That would be so fun!

    Thanks for following my trip report!

    I do wish we had more time in Vancouver. It was a beautiful city. If my husband and I ever repeat this experience, I definitely want to explore it more.

    Tracy Arm was one of my favorite days, and John Charles was definitely my favorite entertainer for the week. I'll talk more about both of these soon! Thanks for reading!
     
  4. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    The kids and I are back from Holiday World. We had a fun time! I was only gone for one day, but it seems that's all it takes to get behind schedule. Will try to update tonight!
     
  5. Tsunami

    Tsunami Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so much! We leave in the morning! I really appreciate your taking the time to update us on your trip. Lots of good tips and so much fun to read!
     
  6. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    Have an amazing trip! Hope you will let us know all about it!
     
  7. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    After our character breakfast, DD and I went to the Promenade Lounge for the Pictionary Challenge. They had the room divided into two groups, and they were taking volunteers from each side to draw. At first, they were doing classic Disney characters, but people were just shouting out every character they could think of as the person started drawing, so the CM tried to make it a little harder and asked people to rein in their competitive natures a bit. :) DD volunteered to draw and was told to draw a Marvel character. Instead of drawing the actual character, she drew a web for Spiderman. She was very proud when someone guessed correctly.

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    Shortly after that, we went to play the Generations Game in Wavebands. They started with three kids and three adults. DD was thrilled to be chosen. The first round was trivia, and the kids had to answer questions the adults would know, and the adults had to answer questions the kids would know. I wish I had been part of the adult group during this round because I knew all the answers. Does that mean I'm childish? The adults didn't know many of the answers, but they still beat the kids in this round. I remember one of the questions they asked the adults was "What is the name of Perry's alter ego?" None of the adults knew Agent P! I was very surprised. Here's my DD answering "Which of these is the name of a famous song: 'Hey, You'; 'Hey, Dude'; or 'Hey, Jude'?" The kids didn't get it right. :)

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    For the next round, those on the stage had to go into the audience and pick replacements. Why, oh why couldn't I have been in the first round???? I got picked for the second round, and we had to sing and dance! First, the adults had to rap "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", and then we had to do a hip hop dance. Let's just say the kids won this round--no contest!!! (DD didn't know to use a flash--she was taking pictures of me like crazy, but they are all blurry. That's good because I didn't really want evidence anyway!)

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    The final round involved all of us doing a relay with a hoola hoop. It was quite entertaining!

    We had a great time at this game. I recommend taking advantage of some of these activities during a Disney cruise. Both the trivia game that we all attended on our first night and this game that DD and I attended were very well done and fun for all. Disney does a great job planning these family activities, and the CM's make it very enjoyable!

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    Coming Up...A Relaxing Afternoon and a Golden Evening
     
  8. msbuzzlightyear

    msbuzzlightyear Earning My Ears

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    enjoying the trivia and games, my daughter was picked to play Guess Who I Am
    Her character was Cruela de Vil, she asked if she was a villain, then asked if she liked animals and then she guessed her character. Every time the cast member saw her on the ship she acknowledge her as the fastest guesser she had had. Just added to our joy of getting to know our cast member on a longer voyage.
     
  9. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    The cast members are so wonderful about stuff like this. The CM holding the mic up to my daughter in the Generation Game pic (above) remembered her name the entire cruise. Every time we saw him he called her by name and asked how she was doing. That is part of what makes a Disney cruise magical.
     
  10. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 So true!!
     
  11. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    After the Generation Game, DD and I headed back to the room to find the boys (I don't remember what they had been doing during this time--mostly basketball playing and television watching, I think).

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    DS wanted to swim at some point, but first I took both kids down to deck 4 to check out the gift shops. We didn't buy anything until the last day, but it was fun to look!

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    We noticed that they were preparing for the Golden Mickeys!

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    After some browsing, we met DH on deck 9 for lunch. It was probably 1:30 at this time. Since we had our character meal at 10, we weren't starving, but we knew Beach Blanket would be closing at 2. DH and I enjoyed the lunches we had at Beach Blanket. Each day was a different theme. I don't remember what the theme was on this day, but some of the themes included Tex-Mex, Asian, Seafood, etc...

    I mentioned before that I prefer the classic ships to the newer ships, but lunch for the kids at Beach Blanket was one of the things that was a little frustrating. On the Dream, I remember there always being kid friendly options (pizza, mac-n-cheese, etc...). In Beach Blanket, we didn't see these choices. DH and I would go through the line and get our lunch, while the kids would go through the line, pass everything by, and then head back out to the pool deck to get a burger and fries or pizza. Then, they would bring their meals back into Beach Blanket and eat with us. Not a huge inconvenience for us because our kids were old enough to do this on their own, but I wondered if we were the only ones that wished there were more typical "kid" foods on the buffet. Maybe the other kids were more willing to try new things than mine! Like I said, DH and I enjoyed most of the things we tried for lunch at Beach Blanket, but the kids didn't eat much there!

    After lunch, both kids swam for a little while, but DD didn't stay in the pool long. At 3:00, she met our tablemates' girls (9yo and 11yo) at the Buena Vista Theatre for a showing of Snow White. I planned to watch the movie with her, but the girls were without their parents, and my DD really wanted to be grown-up and watch without me. The 11yo had a wave phone, so I told DD she could watch with her friends, and I would be waiting for her outside the theatre when the movie ended. The Navigator always lists exactly how long the movies last, so I was able to know exactly what time to return.

    So, with 1 hour and 23 minutes of free time, I returned to the room to enjoy the views!

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    I loved how close we were to land most of the time. It was so peaceful!

    I went to pick DD up from the movie around 4:15. As I was waiting, Snow White walked by. She stopped and talked to me for a minute, and I wish I would have taken a picture. I was alone, and she was alone. Looking back, it was almost surreal. How often are you just sitting around when a Disney princess happens to walk by and have a conversation with you (in full character of course)?

    While DD was in the movie, DS played basketball and participated in a free throw contest. This is always comical on the ships. It's always windy enough and the ship is moving enough that it's difficult to make shots. Even good basketball players have a difficult time. Regardless, DS wanted to try. I don't remember the results, but I know he had fun!

    While I was waiting for DD and DS was playing ball, the dining manager called the room and told DH that we could have early dining that night. DH accepted the change, and then called me. I was actually hesitant to make the change for only one night because I thought we might as well try to adjust, especially since we were going to fall back another hour during the night. We also really liked our tablemates, and I knew the kids wouldn't want to switch. DH went to Guest Services to clarify about the change being for only one night. The CM at Guest Services said it probably was for one night, but he would check. Surprisingly, the computer showed that we had been moved to early dinner for THE ENTIRE CRUISE. Even though I knew the kids would miss our tablemates, we had to make the change. This would make our whole week so much easier!!!!

    So, when I picked my DD up from the movie, we went back to the room, and I explained to her that we were going to change. Once she realized we wouldn't be eating with her new friends, she burst into tears and didn't speak to anyone for at least an hour, but this actually wasn't too bad for the rest of us because it meant she wasn't arguing with her brother :rotfl:. DS was disappointed as well, but didn't take it as hard. I did feel bad for the kids, and I hated to tell our tablemates that we would be changing, but I knew it was for the best, especially with the time moving another hour back that night. We managed to work through the tears and get ready for dinner.

    It was Golden Mickeys/formal night. I had been on two previous Disney cruises, so I knew there would be a broad range of outfits in the dining room. Since we booked so close to the cruise, I just took nice clothes, but nothing too fancy. I didn't have time to get formal wear for all of us (I was too busy trying to find warm clothes and rain gear)! There were people dressed much nicer than we were dressed, but there were also outfits much more casual than ours. We felt very comfortable (except DS would rather have been wearing shorts or track pants).

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    Even though we changed seatings, we got to keep the same rotation, which was very nice. Our new tablemates were a couple and their college-aged son. Although our kids couldn't really connect in the same way as they had with our first tablemates, the family was very nice, and we got along fine. The mom works at an elementary school in Virginia. I was glad to find this out because I knew that even if my kids didn't behave perfectly, they wouldn't be the worst kids she'd ever seen. :)

    Just a note: the people who vacated the seats in early dining didn't speak English well and felt uncomfortable sharing a table with others. You never know how a table may become available, so if you want to switch, get your name on the waitlist both pre-cruise and as soon as you get on the ship. You never know how it will work out!

    We were in Animator's Palate, and it was the Golden Mickey's menu. This turned out to be one of my favorite meals: Crispy Cheese Ravioli (Yum!), Salad of Mixed Baby Greens (great combinations), Yachtsman Steakhouse Grilled NY Strip, and the Sweet Temptations Trio. I enjoyed everything on my plate! I didn't take any pictures of our food, and I can't remember what DH ordered at this meal, but it was a very enjoyable evening.

    Once again, the kids were served at a faster pace and left the table before we did. DS went back to the room to watch television, and I took DD to the kids' club to see if her friends were there. DH and I finished dinner a little before 7:30 and went to get DS. We stopped by the club, but DD's friends weren't there, so she left with us and we all went to Wavebands to see a variety show by Shawn Farquhar. I don't remember much about the show except it was so crowded that we sat on the steps, and we laughed a lot. Seeing these variety shows as a family, and doing a LOT of laughing as a family, was one of my favorite parts of the cruise!

    After this show, DD and I headed to the Golden Mickeys. As I have mentioned before, DS isn't a fan of the character/Broadway-style shows, so he and DH went back to the room for some ESPN time. We got two seats, and then I left DD there for a few minutes so I could go and tell our tablemates that we wouldn't be eating with them for the remainder of the cruise. The parents were very understanding, but the girls were upset. The next day, our first server saw me and told me that it was all my fault the girls were crying at dinner (he said it with a Disney smile, of course). I did feel horrible, but it made our overall cruise experience so much better, and as you will see as the report progresses, we had many more opportunities to hang out with this family!

    DD and I thoroughly enjoyed the Golden Mickeys (my favorite show of the week). After the performance, we went back to the room to go to bed. (If we had remained in late seating, we would have still been eating at this point. I can't stress how much the change helped us!)

    Before closing the curtains and turning out the lights, we got to see one more interesting sight. Before we crossed into Alaska, some kind of Canadian officials on the ship had to disembark. This boat came right up next to the ship, and some people transferred. They announced something about it over the PA system, but we didn't catch all the details. The kids thought it was cool!

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    Whew! That was a long post! Coming up next...A Morning of Anticipation!
     
  12. jecskc

    jecskc DIS Veteran

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    I really want to do this cruise next summer. I have been reading another report that I am enjoying, but the girl writing it is single without kids, so your perspective is more similar to what mine would be, I think. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to reading more.

    Susan
     
  13. chattadisser

    chattadisser Mouseketeer

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    Wow! Looking at the picture of the boat coming along the trip shows how big the ship is. The people on the boat are so small!

    Thanks for the updates. I remember going to Holiday World back when it was Santa Claus Land, all I really remember about it though was it was really cold! Glad to hear you all had a good time.

    You may get to this later in the TR but what age would you recommend kids to be to go on this trip? I know that some excursions recommend a minimum age and I know that younger ones may not be able to participate in everything but I'm wondering more about the activities keeping their attention. I suppose that there are enough on-board activities to keep the younger ones occupied if they are not interested in the scenery.

    Christine
     
  14. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    I really think the age thing just depends on what you are comfortable with for your family. I would not have wanted to take small children because of naps, diapers, etc..., but I am sure there are families who do and have a great trip. My kids didn't appreciate the nature aspect as much as DH and I did, but they still had a great time with ship activities and excursions, and they would say it was one of their favorite vacations. I love that my kids are now at an age where they can walk without needing to be held, tote their own carry-on, and make it through a meal without major issues (not saying they still don't have room for improvement with table manners, for sure), but I am sure there are some who would think it was a waste of money to take them on a trip like this if they didn't fully appreciate the Alaskan scenery. Anyone can enjoy a Disney cruise--it's just what you think is a good fit for your family.
     
  15. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    You're welcome, and thanks for reading. Kids certainly do add a twist to the experience! :)
     
  16. basketrn

    basketrn Please stand clear of the doors...Por favor manten

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    We are in the exact same room for our June 2014 Alaska cruise!
     
  17. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    We really liked it. We already had a western booked for next March on the Wonder out of Miami, and I tried to switch to that room. I couldn't, so I got one floor up directly above it. Really nice location.
     
  18. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    I woke up on Wednesday morning excited. It was Tracy Arm day! We had seen beautiful scenery as we sailed through the Inside Passage, but I knew Tracy Arm would top everything we had seen. The captain expected that we would sail into the fjord around 12:30, so we had the morning ahead of us.

    Like Tuesday, DH and I both started the day with some exercise. He went to the fitness center and I went to Deck 4. The forecast was for rain, but the morning was sunny, and I prayed it would stay that way!

    I think we ate breakfast at Beach Blanket. After breakfast, DH went to the Alaskan Speaker Series in the Walt Disney Theatre. We missed the first presentation because it was during our character breakfast on Tuesday. DH thought it was interesting, but he didn't go back to any more. I don't think we had the same speaker as some of the June cruises because the topics people mentioned from June reports were completely different than ours. If you don't make it to the presentations, they do play them on the stateroom televisions, so you can catch them from the comfort of your room (I saw several of them that way).

    At 10:15, I took DD to the Captain's Corner in the Outlook Cafe. This was a question and answer session with the captain, and it was very interesting. We hesitated to go in because the Outlook Cafe is in the adult only section of the ship, and there was a sign at the front of the cafe stating this. However, the Navigator listed the session as "Fun for All Ages", and there were several families wanting to go in with kids. I asked a cast member, and we were told that yes, kids could come into this activity. We learned lots about the captain personally and professionally, as well as learning about the daily operations of the ship, and info about DCL. It was very informative! The space is small, so if you attend, be sure to get there a few minutes early. We actually sat in the floor (which was fine for us, but might be a problem for others).

    After this, DD met up with her friends (our former tablemates). When I told them on Tuesday night that we wouldn't be able to dine with them for the rest of the cruise, I gave them our room number. This opened the door to a lot of text messages and phone calls back and forth between wave phones! The girls met up, and then went to find my DS. They all decided to check out the "secret" deck space on 7 aft.

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    Afterwards, we all went to the BBQ at Beach Blanket. People were already staking out spaces on the deck, but we didn't have to do that because of our balcony. DH and I ate at one table, while DD, DS, and their friends ate at another (the girls' parents had already claimed a spot outside). We went to lunch sometime between 11:30 and 12:00, and before we finished, we were started to see amazing scenery, including some chunks of ice. I thought the water was so beautifully smooth!

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    This photo is a taste of things to come! Coming Up...Tracy Arm!
     
  19. Mndisneygirl

    Mndisneygirl DIS Veteran

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    That's cool about the Captain's Corner. I'd like that!

    How did you like the BBQ? What did they serve and was it any good?

    About what time would you say you got into the fjord area and started to see the icebergs etc.?

    We're getting so excited to go - we've been making our FE gifts and piling stuff up - we leave in a little more than 2 weeks!!!

    I'm just loving all the info in your TR! Thanks so much!!
     
  20. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    Glad you were able to switch your dining but still spend time with your tablemates. The family activities sound lots of fun and it something I look forward to doing in the future, not sure hubby would agree though!
     
  21. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    They were grilling steaks and chicken (and maybe another meat) on the deck outside Beach Blanket. They had other food in the main buffet line as well. It was good, but I don't remember anything that was just amazing. When I think of BBQ, I think of pulled pork, so I would have enjoyed that a little more. (We usually call what Disney did "grilling out." To us, having BBQ is beef or pork that is smoked and pulled.) Either way, it was a fun lunch, but I would avoid sitting out by the tent where they are grilling unless you want to smell like you've been BBQ'd!

    We entered the fjord around 12:30. It didn't take long to see chunks of ice. I think we got to the glacier around 3. They stayed at the glacier much longer than I expected. The captain will update you over the PA and give expected times so you can plan.

    My DH isn't crazy about them either, but he's willing to take one for the team. :) (However, he would NOT have gotten up on stage to sing or dance like I did.)
     

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