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Crusin' to Alaska May 24th, 2011 (Lots of photos, menus, ship docs)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Dawncala, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    I decided to edit this first post so that people looking for specific information could jump straight to a section without having to hunt through each page.

    Day 1: Departure - Pg 3
    Day 2: At Sea - Pg 4
    Day 3: Tracy Arm - Pg 4
    Day 4: Skagway - Pg 5
    Day 5: Juneau - Pg 6
    Day 6: Ketchikan - Pg 6
    Day 7: At Sea - Pg 7
    Day 8: Home - Pg 8
    Navigators, Other Informational papers and Shopping guides - Pg 8
    Menus and Meals: Day 1, 2 & 3 - Pg 8
    Menus and Meals: Day 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 - Pg 9


    May 24th, 2011 Disney Wonder 7 Night Alaskan Cruise
    Our cruise is exactly one month away, (well, 29 days, 5 hours, 17 minutes, but who’s counting) so it seems like a good time to start a pre-trip report. We received our cruise documents and it is finally feeling really real. I have been reading other DIS member's trip reports and checking out all the great photos for a while now and I thought I’d try my hand at it. Even though we will be on the 4th Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver, and there may be several trip reports posted before mine, hopefully I will be able to bring some new, interesting information or photos to those cruising after us.
     
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  3. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    I guess I should introduce our merry little band. My name is Dawn, the DW, and yes, I am a Disney addict. My husband finds it amusing since many years ago I told him that I didn’t understand how people could get so absorbed in the Disney life. Then I found myself researching our trips to WDW when our kids were young. I wanted to make the experience super special for them so I began learning more and more. It was exciting to find a great deal or learn a tidbit that I could share while walking through the parks.
    It was in 2005 that I was really bitten by the Disney bug. We went to Disneyland for the first time during the 50th Anniversary celebration. Walking in Walt’s shoes was an enchanted experience for me and I’ve been hooked ever since.

    [​IMG]
    Me on Castaway Cay. This is the life!
     
  4. fireplug

    fireplug <font color=red>Keeper of the Flame<br><font color

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    We have a little group going on the meet board if you would like to join us......

    Squid
     
  5. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    My DH, Ryan, is a big Disney fan too. Even though he teases me about my addiction he secretly loves that I’d prefer to spend vacations at Disney than anywhere else. He also feeds my habit by sending any work associates interested in learning about planning a Disney vacation my way so I can assault them with oodles of suggestions and advice.
    [​IMG]
    DH and Ariel. (Should I be worried?)

    Our DD, Josilyn, is almost a teen now (12 ½), and our DS, Chance, recently turned 10. They have been “surprised” with a Disney vacation roughly every 12 to 18 months since they were 5 and 3 years old. (Can you say spoiled?)
    [​IMG]
    Drinking right out of coconuts picked from a palm on Castaway Cay.
     
  6. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    I am already a member. I'm looking forward to FE and hopefully getting on board in time to make the meet.
     
  7. ratt1345

    ratt1345 Always wishing I was Disney cruisin'!!!

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    Dawn, DW and I are on the June 21 Alaskan cruise. I will keep an eye out for your post-trip report. We are curious about the menus and other ship activities that are different then what we get out of FL to the caribbean. I believe you have inspired me to do a pre-trip report as well.

    Have fun...like I need to tell you that. Please, please don't forget the post-trip report!!!!:scared1::lmao::thumbsup2

    Charlie
     
  8. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Absolutely! I promise to take good notes and post the Navigators.
     
  9. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    I did not have an easy time convincing anyone to try a Disney cruise. DH gets motion sickness, but he’s a trouper so he agreed to get a sea sickness patch. They apparently work well because he enthusiastically agreed to cruise again. (With Disney of course)
    The kids were also not easy to talk into taking a cruise; even a Disney one. Both kids love the action of the parks and felt sure that a cruise would be boring. After some negotiations we agreed our first Disney cruise would be a Land & Sea vacation. We started with 4 crazy days at WDW which included 18 straight hours on New Year’s Eve at the Magic Kingdom ringing in the 2010 New Year. (I’m glad we did it, but I’m not sure I’d ever do it again. OMG… the crowds!) Then we hopped a cruise bus for a 4 night Bahamas cruise on the Disney Wonder.
    After the Bahamas cruise my family apologized to me for not letting me book a 7 night cruise. No one wanted to get off the ship and they were begging to go again. My son LOVED the Oceaneer lab and it was all we could do most days/nights to get him to come out of there.

    [​IMG]
    My daughter liked the lab, and participated in scavenger hunts, science experiments and cooking classes, but she also enjoyed all the family events around the ship. We attended animation classes, played bingo, competed in contests and learned to towel fold. Some awesome family bonding was had by all.
    [​IMG]
    It was an amazing trip and it left us all wanting more.
     
  10. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    When I started researching our next Disney cruise I initially found the Mexican Riviera kids-sail-free offer. We used DVC points for our Bahamas cruise and since this time we’d be paying cash my husband was not as quick to jump on board. Unfortunately we hesitated a little too long and the dates we were looking at sold out quickly in the lower category price range. After recalculating the flights, hotels and higher cabin pricing we decided to let the offer pass. :sad:
    When the kids-sail-free Alaskan cruises were announced we jumped a little faster. The decision was much easier since we live near Seattle and the cruise out of Vancouver B.C. requires no airlines or overnight hotel stays for us. We figured we saved more than $1,000 right there. Then, of course, the kids were FREE! :woohoo: I feel like I hit the lottery in finding this great deal and it was meant to be that the MR cruise didn’t work out.

    We decided on a category 9A GTY ocean view stateroom sailing on May 24th. I immediately joined a DIS meet group for our cruise and anxiously waited for our GTY status to be replaced with an actual cabin number. Finally the day came and I was completely shocked and overjoyed to find out that we’d been given cabin #8000. It’s a category 4B Deluxe Family Verandah room with 90 more square feet than our original category. (And did I mention the verandah!) :yay: This is our 1st GTY booking so I don’t know how often ships give a category bump that big, but we’re soooo happy about it.
     
  11. Petals & Pixie Dust

    Petals & Pixie Dust DIS Veteran

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    WOOT WOOT! You are on the cruise just before ours! I'm pretty certain that our husbands are clones! Jumping on for the excitement!:yay:
     
  12. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    I see yours is a honeymoon cruise. Congratulations! I'd say let's compare notes after you get back, but I think we'll be having very different cruise experiences. (and I blush easily) :rolleyes1
     
  13. Petals & Pixie Dust

    Petals & Pixie Dust DIS Veteran

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    Na...We've been together for 10 years...We love the cruise...No blushing :lmao:
     
  14. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    So I read on another DIS thread that people have been told by DCL that there will not be a pirate night on the Alaskan crusies. Nooooo! :scared: Say it isn’t so DCL. I heard they couldn’t have fireworks, but my kids would be so disappointed if they canceled Pirate night. (OK me and DH too)
    I have also read that the Food and Beverage Manager on the Wonder confirmed that the Pirate Menu has been replaced by an Alaskan menu, and that the Pirate buffet will be indoors. Does this mean there IS a Pirate night serving the new Alaskan menu or no Pirate night and just a special late buffet? :confused3
    We are especially hopeful that there is still a Pirate night because Pirates of the Caribbean 4 releases just days before our cruise so we’re pretty sure they will be playing it. My hope is that they are showing it in the big theater ON pirate night. We can’t dress up in our pirate costumes at our local theater, (well I guess we could, but we’d be laughed at by the neighbors) but on the ship it would be expected and cool.
    If anyone knows anything please report.
     
  15. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

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    We're going a few weeks after you. Can't wait to read more about the cruise! :goodvibes
     
  16. Diannah

    Diannah Mouseketeer

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    I called DCL a few days ago. (I'm on the same cruise as you, btw:wave2:) I was told that there WOULD be a Pirate Party, on Juneau night, but no fireworks. Since they're still having the Pirate Buffet, I would assume that to mean the Party's still on, just with slightly different food.

    Pirates and Grizzlies and Eagles, oh my! :rotfl:pirate:
     
  17. verygfy

    verygfy DIS Veteran

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    Hoping on board to read along! What an awesome upgrade!!
     
  18. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Hello Verygfy, Nice to see a familiar name. Thanks for stopping by.
     
  19. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Yeah! I read on a blog by someone on the Alaskan inaugural cruise that there is in fact a pirate night with festivities up on deck (no fireworks) and a late buffet in Beach Blanket Buffet. She also mentioned that there wasn't a pirate menu in the restaurants at dinner, only a general restaurant menu.
     
  20. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    Two weeks and counting! I’m thinking it’s time to get REALLY serious about packing. Of course I’ve been making packing lists since the day I booked the cruise 98 days ago. (I could be the poster girl for Post-It notes.) Even with a list I am famous for forgetting things. Once I was so busy making sure I had everything packed for the kids I forgot my own bathing suit when we went to a waterpark. Thank goodness there was a mall just down the road. Now I’m having panicky visions of getting to the Canadian border without my passport… or one of the kids. :scared1:

    Since this is an Alaskan cruise, and our 1st 7 night cruise, the packing parameters are different and the clothes bulkier. With a formal, semi-formal, pirate night and three shore days I know packing efficiently will be important. I don’t want to do laundry onboard. (Not my idea of vacation.) I am grateful however that we are driving to the port and we don’t have to worry about paying airline luggage charges or sticking to the under 50 pound weight limits.

    I won’t subject you to my actual list, but I did read some great suggestions and reports from other cruisers. Both of these were written for the Caribbean, but much of it is useful no matter where you’re cruising.

    http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?147284-Disney-Cruise-Line-Tips-and-Tricks
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1884129&highlight=packing
     
  21. Dawncala

    Dawncala Collector of magical memories and pixie dust

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    A few more thoughts on packing.
    My must-have items are…


    •Plastic baggies: I bring both sandwich and gallon size zip-locks. Great for holding possible leaky toiletry items, packing wet bathing suits, bringing back room snacks from the buffet, storing little items that would otherwise clutter the stateroom, keeping the kids’ Fish Extender gifts separated and so much more.
    •Wipes: (self-explanatory)
    •Starbuck's Instant coffee packets: Being from the Seattle area my DH is a bit of a coffee snob. Rarely does he find the coffee in the restaurants to be up to par, and going to the coffee bar can be pricey.
    •Dramamine – both the adult and children’s kind: Like everything else it’s more expensive to purchase on the ship.

    New ideas I think I’m going to try…
    •Wide mouth water bottles: a no spill alternative to the cups at the drink station. (I’ll use our label maker to put our name and room number on them in case they get lost on deck.)
    •Ear plugs: We didn’t have issues with a creaking cabin or noisy neighbors on our last cruise, but you never know, and they take up no space at all.
    •Over the door shoe hanger (maybe): I think this would be helpful, but frankly I don’t like giving up valuable real estate in the luggage to it. I think I read somewhere that someone bought a cheap one and just left it there. I wonder if the crew would leave it for the next cabin occupants or throw it out.
    •Mini Air Freshener spray (four people in 300 sq feet for 7 nights…need I say more)


    What are your must have items? Any suggestions for me?
     

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