Geeks on a boat, now with more geeks! Literally. Alaska 2013 planning starts now!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Pre-Trip Reports' started by zweihund, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    popcorn:: I guess there are worse places to wait! ;)
     
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  3. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    Welp, one week later I am STILL in the midst of computer woes. I'm giving it another day or two, and then I suppose I'll just have to re-write my update. :(

    I haven't forgotten, pinky swear!
     
  4. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Computer issues SUCK!! I also have a crappydell (that is the official full company name) which in the past 3 years I have had it has crashed no less than 4 times- and all at JUST the right time- like right after I have written a speech but have not yet printed it, or right when I was sending out a timely newsletter to 1600 people, but haven't yet sent it. NICE.

    But my plan has always been to get a Mac, because everyone has told me I need to get rid of my Crappydell and get Mac because they never crash and practically write updates, speeches, etc for you! So....what the heck? You are FREAKING me out! How can this be happening? So sad. :( I am really hoping there is no such thing as a Crapmac, because if there is, we are all running out of options- hope you get it back soon! As usual, you are writing an inspired TR! :)
     
  5. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    In general the mac has been great. It's apparently having some kind of reading issue when booting the blah blah blah - I can't tell you any more than that, because that was the exact moment my eyes glazed over and I started thinking about unicorns. The mac is now at the MAC DOCTOR, wherever that may be. The IT guy put it in a box and we're not sure if it's going to come out ok or not.

    But fear not - this is not the norm. Hopefully it will come back soon.

    In the meantime, I am going to work on an update on my crappydell (LOVE that term, so appropriate), if the thing will stop whirring for long enough for me to get a few words on a page.

    Look for an update before the weekend is over. :thumbsup2
     
  6. chepic

    chepic I tear up whenever I hear "Welcome Home." Some p

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    I know that whirring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate it. I run all sorts of virus stuff and yet the fan continues to spin out of control!!!!!!!!!!! :headache:

    che
     
  7. Hedd4DW

    Hedd4DW Earning My Ears

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    Ok - that is the final straw. You got all the good weather AND Mike Super! We were the week after you and missed all the good stuff. :mad: By the way, I was a levitating girl in Mike Super's show on the Dream, so I may be just a little partial. And no, I have absolutely no idea whatsoever how he does it! By the time we got to the glacier in Tracy Arm, it was raining too much for me to stay out there. (thank goodness for a balcony) And it rained in Vancouver and Skagway and Ketchikan. But Juneau was awesome. Except for that LONG walk back to the ship when I didn't know there was a shuttle. Did you know about the shuttle?? Sorry, I am skipping ahead. Can't wait to hear more about your adventure!
     
  8. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    He was amazing. I know it's illusions and what-not, but I consider myself a pretty logical and hard-to-fool girl and I have no idea how he did any of it. How neat to "levitate" though!

    Sorry to hear about the weather. It's funny, we were expecting it and it never came and I was *almost* disappointed that I didn't get to bust out the handwarmers!

    I did know about the shuttle...but to be fair, our tour driver told us about it so had I NOT been in a tour I might not have known. It was a seriously long way back to the Wonder, I felt like she was docked in a completely different town! :lmao:

    Ok computer update: the mac is ready to be picked up tomorrow! So with luck my update is still intact and I can just put it up without any hassle. Of course, now that I have put that out into the universe.....:badpc:
     
  9. Hakele

    Hakele Earning My Ears

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    The difference is in the care that you receive. I've had great customer support from apple. I have a 7 yr old MacBook that died once. I took it in and they replaced the hard drive, etc. basically gave me a new computer FOR FREE. That is why you need a Mac. Oh, and mine only died the one time in 7 years. My Sony vaio has died twice and it's 4 years old. So your odds are way better on a Mac. My DH has a newer Mac that is also 4 and has never had a problem. So.... FWIW.

    Loving this TR! It's awesome... I'm now convinced I need to do Alaska!
     
  10. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

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    Thank-you....I feel so much better now! I know I love all my other apple products, and I can definitely see where their customer service would be lightyears ahead of Crappydell's. Thanks for the reassurance!
     
  11. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    Guess what? I'm still alive!

    So it took a little longer to get the mac back than expected, and then I was in the middle of a huge deadline for work. But it's past now, and I am furiously uploading pics to photo bucket SUCCESSFULLY - this is what I was trying to do when the mac crashed.

    Mac has been rebuilt! And to tide you over, here are a few pics from Stefanie's album I wanted to share...

    Boarding day - Izzy says WHAAAASUUUUUUPPPPPPP????

    [​IMG]

    And from back on Tracy Arm day...this sucker is heavy!!!

    [​IMG]

    More tonight - I pinky swear it. :thumbsup2
     
  12. jedijill

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

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    Throw you hands in the air and wave like you just don't care!

    Glad to see you back and can't wait for the update!

    Jill in CO
     
  13. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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  14. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    There we were, at 6:00 am on our vacation, AFTER acclimating ourselves to west coast time. The sun was shining, yes, but it was EARLY. Like, seriously early. Plus, the sun starts shining in Alaska before anyone should be thinking about throwing off those covers. But it was ok, I had a game plan: I’d packed our day bag the night before, including plenty of snacks and a cup of water for the peanut. My plan was to grab some to-go items at the buffet and stash them in our bag, because I knew from previous cruisers that there would be no stopping for any lunch.

    By some miracle, everyone in the party was up and ready to go by our meet-up time of 7:30. Anyone who has a three year old knows what an amazing feat this is – and we have TWO in the group. We had all eaten, we were dressed and we were moving toward Wavebands in a timely fashion. Isabelle seemed to be feeling better, with no evidence of ever having had a fever. I was starting to winder if I had imagined the whole thing. I even had a coffee from the Cove Café in my hands, which was making the early wakeup call far more tolerable.
    And then? They crushed my dreams of snackability.

    Apparently it’s a felony to bring any perishable food items off the ship, even if it came from the United States and you are currently in the United States. And they strike the fear of God into you as you sit in that lounge, trembling and weighing the pros and cons of having that banana later and owing an extra few thousand dollars in citations. I could tell we were all thinking the same thing. One by one, out of our bags came that banana. Followed by an orange. And an apple. And one or two pastries wrapped in a napkin.

    What?

    What I wasn’t thinking about, however, was my steaming mocha latte. What I also wasn’t thinking about was stopping by the room quickly to grab a few more pre-packaged snacks so that we would not all end up snarling at each other as the hunger set in.

    Off we went! I strolled RIGHT PAST all the cast members standing there, hot latte in hand, slurping away. No one said a word. It wasn’t until I was on the bus that I started to panic. Oh crap. I’m holding FOAMED MILK. I began the ridiculous process of chug, grimace, burn tongue, chug again. The caffeine must have been working because I didn’t feel the tongue pain until much later. Before the driver was on the bus said latte was gone, and I was a bubbly under-fed annoyance bouncing in the back seat. No wonder my daughter wanted to sit with my husband.

    As I tucked my travel mug into the side of my bag, Stef and Jason eyed me with suspicion. Incredulous, and in near-unison, they said “they let you take that off the ship?” I put on my best “whut?” face. Apparently, the same people who totally ignored my steaming designer coffee forced Stef to dump out her tea.

    Tea. From a bag. In boiling water. With no additives. Because apparently a rogue teabag presents a greater threat to the Alaskan ecosystem than a grande mocha latte with extra whip and chocolate shavings.

    And then? The driver got on the bus and said “did they tell you guys you couldn't bring food?” We nodded in solemn silence, mourning the loss of our forbidden fruits. She replied “well that’s really silly….because they never look in anyone’s bag.”

    *facepalm*

    So there you have it kids. A felony, yes. But more than likely you won’t get caught. My advice? Stock up on some pre-packaged to-go snacks if you’re on an excursion like this, because the pickins at the suspension bridge are slim – it’s mainly candy bars and bland cinnamon rolls (I know, I had both). And then there’s no worry about paying more for a fine than you did for your family to go on the excursion in the first place. Also? Be prepared to slam that latte, just in case. It’s ok, there’s a bathroom on the bus.

    Our excursion was the Yukon Suspension Bridge, City and White Pass Railway, which consisted of a bus ride up to the Yukon, a stop at the suspension bridge and a ride back to Skagway via old fashioned rail car. And it was worth EVERY PENNY.

    Our driver stopped twice so we could get out and take some pics, but then apparently there was some construction traffic that slowed us down. So we didn’t get to stop at the Welcome to the Yukon sign ☹ it’s ok, I’ll live. I got to see this.

    Beautiful!!!

    [​IMG]

    The scenery was absolutely amazing. At one stop we had a view of the train going up the mountain. At another, we made inukshuks by a lake made of melted snow. Isabelle and Paige were having a blast.

    Hey, you were supposed to wait for us! Train heading up the pass.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Making Inukshuks

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Breathtaking landscapes

    [​IMG]

    Despite the amazing scenery, we were all getting a little cranky. Back on the bus the kids were easily placated with goldfish crackers and juice boxes. I marveled at my super-momness as I reached for a stash of granola bars to pass out to the adults…..and realized I had not packed any. Instead, I found 8 more packs of fruit snacks.

    Eight.

    Who had I been planning to feed, the Alaskan preschool army? I dug around a little more, and came up with two pounces of peach-flavored squeeze applesauce.

    Hmm. How desperate were we?

    As we tore open our tiny packages of Target-brand fruit snacks (don’t judge), I’m certain every adult was thinking the same thing as me: these have no substance whatsoever. I gnawed on my strawberry-shaped gelatinous nuggets, daydreaming about an illegal banana or even a fruit pastry. The mountains were starting to take on the shape of paninis and soft serve ice cream, but Pluto’s was very far away indeed….

    Next up: the world’s worst cinnamon roll, and apparently I am afraid of heights???
     
  15. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    Woohoo a new update :cool1:

    Glad the Mac is all fixed.

    We did the same tour and really enjoyed it.
     
  16. Jennifer48

    Jennifer48 Not a Disney bride but engaged and honeymooned at

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    Glad your Mac is all better!

    Geez talk about food Nazis. If they don't want food off the ship, they should at least provide something edible for you! :confused3

    Great shots so far! :goodvibes
     
  17. IBelieveInTheMagic

    IBelieveInTheMagic DIS Veteran

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    Hi Erica! :wave: As I write you from my Mac, I'm so glad yours is back and working!! WOOHOO :) I love my Mac and like you said, I've never had any issues and mine I believe is 3 years old going on 4. Night and day difference over my work PC. Sorry getting off track! :rotfl:

    Awesome you're on "our" excursion and I was seriously giggling about you being a felon and carrying off "live milk"! :rotfl2: I was a little surprised about the speech too and I'm not sure you remember but there was a mother who had a young boy with her and she was saying they made her throw out the milk from his bottle and they only had water I believe and he wasn't too happy. I can't remember if she said they had breakfast or not. I had never heard this before our excursion and then our driver, like you said, made it seem like it wasn't a big deal and wasn't sure why DCL told everyone that.

    ANYWAY - agreed it was a great excursion and we had a lot of fun. I had in my head from other reports we would do the train first then the Yukon bridge and bus afterwards but obviously we didn't, so that sort of threw me off at first. I wish we weren't so rushed at the bridge but it ended up working out just fine. I also had really hoped for a picture by the Yukon sign but I guess that wasn't in the cards so we'll just need to return to get that picture! :thumbsup2

    I'm loving your pictures and reliving our cruise! I'm sure I probably have you guys in the background from the Train/Bridge excursion :goodvibes

    Looking forward to more!

    Heather
     
  18. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    :thumbsup2

    Indeed. And thanks! I have to give my husband the credit for those. But every now and then I surprised myself by getting a decent shot.

    I remember that! I thought, how awful...even the airport lets you bring milk for kids through security!

    I'll go ahead and share one of my favorite group shots from the entire trip, because (a) it totally captured the genuine fun we were all having and (b) I'm pretty sure you guys are in it too!

    [​IMG]

    Working on a new update, should have it ready to go by the weekend :thumbsup2
     
  19. zweihund

    zweihund I tagged myself. I'm it.

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    When I had first researched the suspension bridge, I had pictured something a bit more….a bit less….well, I guess I didn’t picture it being as TRANSPARENT as it was. Or, you know, not something that resembled chain mail (you geeks out there know EXACTLY what I am talking about). If you’ve ever seen that episode of Mythbusters where they make a bridge out of duct tape? And then walked across it? Over a giant shipyard? I can easily imagine the sinking they felt in the pit of their stomachs because that’s exactly what I was feeling.

    Family photo op – before traversing the treacherous canyon! Frankly, we all look a little concerned here....

    [​IMG]

    I’ve never really thought of myself as being afraid of heights, but when I stepped up to the edge I thought I was going to lose my you-know-what. I watched my husband, who IS afraid of heights, step casually out onto the bridge and stroll across as if he were crossing Main Street at the Magic Kingdom. To add insult to injury, off went Isabelle, happily traipsing along after him. And I was frozen.

    The bridge is not small, but it isn’t big either. I’m 5’3”, and the sides were easily up to my chest.

    Stef standing on the bridge, and a few other brave souls crossing over…

    [​IMG]

    Still….it just freaked me out.

    By now pretty much everyone was on the other side, except Stef who was stopped in the middle taking photo after photo, seemingly oblivious to the fact that every moment spent on that bridge was another moment it could spontaneously snap right in the middle, leaving all of us to grasp desperately for any hand-hold as we plummeted toward the side of the canyon – much like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

    What? I have an active imagination.

    After a few minutes the paralysis began to dissipate. I think it might have had something to do with the growing shame that my 3 year old was braver than me. I stepped out onto the bridge, thinking “ok, this isn’t so bad.” I took a few steps, and a few more steps. Ok, still doing ok. As I got further and further away from what I deemed to be the “safe spot” (where I was pretty sure I could still climb back up to safety once the bridge snapped in two, which was inevitable) panic crept back in. I stopped, turned around and walked back to solid ground.

    And then, in what was either a surge of bravery or the shame that my three year old daughter was happily bouncing around on the other side wondering why Mama wasn’t across yet, I MADE MYSELF DO IT. I did not pause, I did not look down, I did not look out to either side. I just kept moving forward until I felt solid wood steps at the other end. Somewhere around the middle I remember being surprised by the quiet, and the sound of the wind. And then, I was on the other side with my family.

    Apparently if you stopped to look, this is what you saw. Pretty, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    [​IMG]

    Izzy, bouncing around on what she saw as a giant playground. OF DOOM!!!

    [​IMG]

    The others explored the wooden trails and buildings on the other side, but I knew time was short and I had really wanted to check out the gift shop. And also grab a snack. It wasn’t until then I realized my glaring error: I had to go back across that Godforsaken bridge.

    Well, poop on a cracker.

    My mantra of “don’t look down, don’t look down” got me about a third of the way across, when some folks came behind me who were clearly oblivious to the fact that I was about to give myself a stroke. You would think the white knuckles on the cables would have given them a clue. But no. Said thrill-seekers thought that would be a great time to test the bridge’s BOUNCING RECOIL. Kids, you may never see me run across a suspension bridge that quickly ever again. Truth be told you won’t see it, because I’m never crossing one again. On the other side I dropped to my knees, panting heavily and kissing the ground. That might be an exaggeration. I think I just rubbed my cheek against it. I’m pretty sure a few people stepped over me before I realized it was safe to stand again.

    To give a little perspective of the bridge....here is me, charging ahead to the end. Don't stop, feet, DON'T STOP.

    [​IMG]

    Once my wobbly knees started working again, I popped into one of the lamest gift shops I’ve ever seen. Seriously. It had a handful of t-shirts in odd sizes, some stuffed animals in a can (still trying to figure that one out) and some other handmade items that were not awful but seemed out of place there. You would expect, oh, maybe a magnet or something that said something suspension-bridge related, maybe a little witticism or the trite “I survived” but you, like me, would be wrong. Trust me: I like to shop. If I leave a gift shop empty handed? Especially after looking death in the face over a giant canyon with a raging river beneath it? Yeah, that’s a lame gift shop.

    Ah well, there was still time to grab snacks for the troops, who desperately needed them by this point. From the way the bus driver had described it, I was expecting more than just a snack bar. Maybe not quite a café, but something between the two. What I got instead was a counter with an assortment of candy bars and chips, a cooler with water and soda and some wrapped cinnamon rolls. I grabbed two candy bars, two cinnamon rolls and a bottle of water. And then I waited approximately 10 minutes for the world’s slowest cashier to ring up the single person in front of me. I watched her in amazement, moving as if she were underwater. It was like some form of retail Tai Chi. But as much as I wanted to go outside and soak up the scenery from the safety of the sidelines, I was not about to put back anything edible. We still had a two hours left on the excursion, and I had a rumbly in my tummy. Plus, I had promised one of those coveted cinnamon rolls to my dad.

    By the time I left the gift shop everyone was boarding the bus. We had enough time to get our passports stamped at the little booth near the entrance (which was actually kind of neat) and then we piled back on to the bus. After a quick headcount, it was determined that no one had plummeted into the river below - success!

    Impression of the suspension bridge overall? Beautiful. Amazing. Terrifying. Impression of the surrounding retailers? Plbbbbt.

    I really, REALLY wanted something cool related to the bridge. I guess they’re just not into that sort of thing up in the Yukon, eh? Despite what I would start describing as my “near death experience” it was worth the visit. The visit WAS very short, but it was long enough to take in the view and to read all of the info. Isabelle enjoyed climbing all of the stairs and checking out all of the buildings. So overall, fun.

    Next up: the cinnamon roll…..exactly HOW long has it been sitting in the Yukon? Also, I enjoy the sites from the train without ever leaving my seat.
     
  20. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Yay! You're back. Great update!

    I feel your pain. We are going to the Capilano Suspension bridge in Vancouver and I don't know how I'm going to react. :confused:
     
  21. jedijill

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

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    Giant playground of doom.! :rotfl:

    I totally feel you. I had a similar reaction at the Royal Gorge bridge in Colorado.

    Jill in CO
     

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