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Just back from Alaska cruise - some tips and things I learned

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Deb in IA, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Deb in IA

    Deb in IA <font color=magenta>Knows that KIDS are better tha

    We got back from the June 25- July 2 Wonder cruise from Seattle to Alaska, had a GREAT time, and met some wonderful DIS'ers!

    We had pretty good weather - only moderate rain on our day in Juneau. It was actually sunny for a while when we were in Ketchikan, which amazed the people who live there!

    Some quick tips:

    Tracy Arm: Although Disney says they have photographers on Decks 4, 9 and 10, we only saw them on Deck 10. We were waiting around all day on Deck 9, and only caught one when he was coming down from Deck 10.

    Skagway: If you go to the Yukon Suspension Bridge, BRING MOSQUITO REPELLANT!!! The place was thick with them and they are deadly! DS got bit so badly his entire hand was swollen for a couple of days.

    Juneau: We did the Whale Quest and Mendenhall Glacier tour. You don't really walk out onto the glacier; you really only have time to go to the visitors center there.

    Ketchikan: We did the Saxman Native Village and Lumberjack Show. Both are excellent. Learned a lot about the Tlingit culture and the show was entertaining. Just wished we had longer in port - had to leave by 12:30.

    Victoria: Did not leave the boat. We were packing and going to Palo that night. We were pleased that Disney has moved the evening show Remember the Magic to 2 pm and 4 pm that day.

    We had a great dining rotation: PTTAPTA. This gave us both our Formal and Semi-Formal nights at Tritons, and Pirate Night at Parrot Cay.

    For the first time on a Disney cruise, we had to share a table. We are a family of 4 and we usually have our own table, but this time, we were seating at a table of 8 with another family with 2 older kids (15 and 18).

    The movies currently being shown are: Brother Bear, Avengers, The Muppets, War Horse, Chimpanzee, The Help, John Carter, Brave, People Like Us, Cars 2.

    The shows were Let the Magic Begin, The Golden Mickeys, Max Winfrey (comedy and juggling), Brave, Toy Story the Musical - there was an interesting technical glitch in our show, Disney Dreams, and Remember the Magic. We did not go to the Max Winfrey show and saw Avengers 3D instead that night.

    And a sad note - RIP to the Palo High Tea.
    The Wonder is the only ship still serving this, and will stop it entirely after August. They are not taking any new reservations and are only honorning those online reservations already in the system.

    We asked our server about this, and they said that the High Tea had declining attendance, and management decided that it was too much effort to put on a Brunch and High Tea and Dinner on sea days.

    We told them that we really enjoyed it and hoped they would bring it back someday, but I don't think it will happen.

    Our kids are 21 and 17, so I don't have any experience with the Oceaneers Club/Lab this time, and we didn't do any character meets or the character breakfast. Otherwise, I'll be happy to answer any questions!
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  3. Brumbie13

    Brumbie13 Mr. Mickeybars

    No questions, but thanks for the insights!
  4. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

    Mendenhall Glacier is viewed from across the lake. The only way to walk on it is if you land on it by helicopter (or plane) or hike to it from the west side.
  5. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    What was the problem with Toy Story? We were on the Wonder in Oct & Dec 2011 and both times there was a technical problem with this show. Different problems. I'm just wondering what your glitch was?

  6. 1stTimePartyof3

    1stTimePartyof3 Earning My Ears

  7. Deb in IA

    Deb in IA <font color=magenta>Knows that KIDS are better tha

    Everything as going along swimmingly, until the big climactic finale.

    Andy is moving away, and Woody lights the rocket attached to Buzz to fly into the back of the truck with the other toys.

    Before the scene starts, there are some shadows flickering on the curtains. DD says, "I think there's supposed to be some video that is not working?"

    Then the curtain opens and Woody and Buzz are on their aerial tethers on the left side of the stage, ready to fly into the truck, only Woody zips across the stage and ends up on the other side, crashing into the boxes, while Buzz is still stuck on the other side of the stage. For a millisecond, the actors are frozen, then the curtains come down.

    DD says, "Is that IT??"

    A few seconds later, the house announcer says, "Due to technical difficulties, Toy Story the Musical will resume momentarily" and house lights go up.

    After a minute or so, announcer says, "The show will now continue" and lights go down. Buzz and Woody, minus tethers, are now in the truck with the other toys. All is well.


    What glitch did you see?
  8. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    Well, the first cruise was similar to yours, but neither Buzz or Woody made an appearance on their tethers. The dialogue continued for a while with the other "toys" acting like Buzz and Woody were there. Then the curtain closed and we got the "technical difficulties - will resume momentarily speech". When the curtain opened Buzz and Woody were with the toys, off their tethers.

    The second cruise, when Sid was out in the yard singing about how bad he is, the screen behind him went halfway up and stopped. Sid was onstage for quite a while, laughing hysterically, running around, tossing the toy around that he had. Finally, the curtain closed and again, "technical difficulties". When it reopened it started at the next scene.

    I don't particually care for Toy Story- the Musical, but I'm going to keep seeing it until they get it right. Then I'll opt for something else that night.

  9. Deb in IA

    Deb in IA <font color=magenta>Knows that KIDS are better tha


    Before this cruise, I had not seen any glitches in the live shows, so I was surprised with this.

    Is Toy Story known for these issues? Sounds like it is the "Spiderman" of the Disney shows.

    Oh, also in our show, during "You've Got A Friend in Me", part of Sid's song interrupts for a second or two as well. :confused3
  10. twopeasonepod

    twopeasonepod Mouseketeer

    Thank you so much. Good info! We will be there in four days!
  11. WDHC

    WDHC Earning My Ears

    Thanks for sharing, Deb in IA. The tips and movie schedule are helpful for our July 16th Alaska cruise.
  12. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 Mouseketeer

    Great tips! A few questions:

    (1) Tracy Arm day--- were there characters wandering around on Deck 9 even though there were no photographers on deck 9?

    (2) Did you do any Art of Enteratinment demos? Were they adults only?

    (3) Palo High Tea--we had hoped to book a ressie onboard. Did you try to do this and were turned away? Who did you get the info from re not taking any onboard ressies for High Tea?

  13. PrincessShmoo

    PrincessShmoo DIS Veteran

    High Tea is being phased out on all the ships. :sad2: That information was posted some time ago here on the DISboards.

  14. mgmcpa

    mgmcpa Disneyland Lover

    Debating between the 8am and 11am show ... which did you do and which time do you recommend? I'm leaning toward 8am, but am afraid it would be too cold.
  15. floridahippy

    floridahippy Member

    Just want to say that we were on Deck 4 in Tracy Arm and we had loads of character interaction and the photographers were in attendance with them who took a couple of pictures of each group and also would take photos with your own personal cameras too.
    loved watching minnie play shuffle board with a little boy for a few minutes - he was thrilled bless him - so special!!!
  16. Deb in IA

    Deb in IA <font color=magenta>Knows that KIDS are better tha

    We went to the 11 show, because we had the Saxman Village tour first.
    If you are worried about the cold, never fear! There are heaters above the seats and they keep you pretty warm!

    Good to hear that!
    Sorry we missed meeting you, floridahippy! I was hoping we could compare notes for the June 15 12-night Med cruise! Are you still going on that one?
  17. Deb in IA

    Deb in IA <font color=magenta>Knows that KIDS are better tha

    Here's another one I forgot yesterday:

    If you are on Deck 10 at Tracy Arm, there is hot chocolate but they charge you for it.

    Go down to the beverage station by the Mickey pool on Deck 9 and get the free hot chocolate instead, and save a few $$.
  18. floridahippy

    floridahippy Member

    Deb - sorry we missed meeting you too - family life was rather fraught just before we came away with my eldest grandchild developing epilepsy and youngest grandchild arriving a week before we left so therefore i didnt catch up with what was going on for the meets etc (I am also really shy!!!)

    Yes we are still going on the med cruise - maybe i will pluck up the courage to go to the meet then!!!!

    It was a fantastic cruise wasnt it? Just loved Alaska
  19. Deb in IA

    Deb in IA <font color=magenta>Knows that KIDS are better tha

    I think most of the characters were on Decks 10 and 4. I saw a few on Deck 9, but I think they were just passing through.

    All of the Art of Entertainment demos were 18 and up.
    I wanted to go to some of these, but never got to them. They sounded fantastic! They had these sessions: the Appetizer (Herb Seared Alaskan Halibut), the Entree (Pan Seared Alaskan Salmon), and the Dessert (Viennese Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce), followed by napkin folding.
    Recipes and tastings included!!

    I had booked our High Tea online, I think before the decision was made to discontinue this. I got this information from our Palo server Toni. I believe he said that they were only honoring the bookings already made online, and I don't think they are taking any more onboard bookings, but you can always ask during the Palo booking time on embarkation day.
  20. Deb in IA

    Deb in IA <font color=magenta>Knows that KIDS are better tha

    Hope all is well with the grandchildren!

    Yes, we LOVED Alaska! Especially our DD, who really enjoyed the cooler weather and the beautiful scenery! Having just a taste of the Inside Passage, she now wants to see more!

    I would love it if Disney would do some Alaska CruiseTours, like Royal Caribbean or other lines.
  21. kmegibow

    kmegibow Earning My Ears

    Hi! Thanks so much for all the tips! We leave this coming Monday for our Alaska cruise - so excited. I was wondering how much you saw the pools being used? My kids are 8, 5 and 18 months. I know the 18 month old can't go in but did you see younger kids in the pools very much? Thanks!

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