Our Alaskan Adventure

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by mom2twokids, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. time for travel

    time for travel Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    Messages:
    53
    Your trip report is wonderful!!!! I am enjoying it and we are on the July 15th cruise.....and my 7 year old turns 8 on the Tracy Arm day! How did your kids get chosen to be in the show......that would be a birthday to remember!!!!!
    We're excited about it.......a question for you........how much 'warm clothes" did you take? I just know I'm going to be over the weight limit on the plane and I am keep saying.....we're wearing the same clothes over again!!! Thanks,
    Time for Travel:rotfl2:
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. AZMermaid

    AZMermaid DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,626
    Yes- I notice the kids are in short sleeve shirts- was that fine for the sea days? Would a long sleeve shirt have been too hot?

    Was that the only time the Princess Meet was offered?
     
  4. hannah's dad

    hannah's dad Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    340
    We were on the cruise as well and had a great time. Looking forward to reading about your experience!
     
  5. hannah's dad

    hannah's dad Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    340
    We were on this cruise as well and loved it!
     
  6. mom2twokids

    mom2twokids Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    Thank you everyone for all your wonderful compliments and for following along. Tomorrow I will add some more. For now I will answer some questions.

    Thank you for organizing the fish extender! We had so much fun doing it!

    I'm not sure what made him choose our kids for the show, but we sat close to the front and my son was on the very edge of the row. We were also about 30 minutes early for the show and the theater wasn't all that full by the time he had picked all the kids. Hopefully that helps. Good luck!!

    We took 4 or so pairs of pants that we knew were versatile to be worn more than once, a couple of long sleeved shirts, 6 or so T-shirts, a fleece or equivalent sweater and a windbreaker/waterproof type jacket for each of us. We also took a hat for each of us but none of us ever wore them. I did see others on the boat with them though, so I guess it varies person to person.

    We really only ever wore T-shirts onboard. I took long sleeved shirts and wore them a couple of times, but for the most part I was comfortable in short sleeves. We didn't spend a lot of time on deck though as it was quite chilly up there. The wind is cold and it was often drizzling lightly as well. They do provide blankets in the cabinets with the towels on deck, so you can always grab some of those to warm you up.

    There was a second princess meet on the last sea day. It was offered in the morning, I think around 10:00. The line was much shorter for that one. We walked by at the start time and I was shocked how short the line was.
     
  7. becca1976

    becca1976 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    95
    I'm loving your TR so far! We cruise in Aug. of 2014, so I know I have a ways to go, but I love reading about people's experiences. I'm learning so much! Thanks for taking the time to share!
     
  8. Wshop

    Wshop Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Messages:
    171
    I love your report so far. Thank you! I am really hoping you can tell me what the dining nights were (i.e. what night is formal, semi-formal, pixar party etc.) It looks like Formal was on Day 2 from your lovely pictures. Thanks!
     
  9. mom2twokids

    mom2twokids Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    Our dining rotation was APPTAPT

    Night 1 was regular rotational menu
    Night 2 was formal night (sea day)
    Night 3 was regular rotational menu (Tracy Arm day)
    Night 4 was regular rotational menu (Skagway)
    Night 5 was Toy Story menu and semi formal night (Juneau)
    Night 6 was Alaskan menu (Ketchikan) -This was my favorite menu
    Night 7 was Till We Meet again menu (sea day)

    Hopefully that helps you out.
     
  10. sarabeth10772

    sarabeth10772 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    38
    Loving your trip report so far! We sail July 22, 2013. My family is going with my parents and my brother and his wife! We are super excited!!!

    I love your fish extender! I do not sew...so this would be a great one for me to make. If your willing...could you share more info on the FE and some directions!
    :):)
     
  11. Ducky61

    Ducky61 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    I am enjoying your trip report, looking forward to reading about your family's shore excursion as I had planned on the same ones when I cruise in Aug with my 12 year old nephew. - Liarsville in Skagway, Summer Dog Sledding in Juneau and the Lumberjack show in Ketchikan.

    How did you decide between the 2 Juneau summer dog sled excursions?
     
  12. mom2twokids

    mom2twokids Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    Today was probably my least favorite day of the cruise. Having said that, my least favorite day on a Disney cruise is way better than spending the day at home!! I just found there to be a lack of activities scheduled for the day throughout the ship and even the kids clubs were lacking activities. Thankfully that doesn't bother my kids, they love every minute there activity or no activity.
    For me, I wasn't interested in sitting on the deck for 4 hours. I don't have thick enough skin for that and no number of blankets is going to make that warm enough for me!

    We had breakfast in Triton's today which always takes longer but it is so nice to know you will have a table and you don't have to battle the crowds at the buffet. I think if we didn't have the kids we would have eaten here every day.

    We wandered the ship a bit but the kids wanted to go to the kids club, so off they went.

    I forgot to mention that my parents had spotted whales twice on our first sea day. Once they were just in their stateroom looking outside and they saw a couple of whales. The second time they were sitting by guest services looking out the window and there they were. Apparently the second sighting was quite the show. The whales were in and out of the water quite a few times and splashing their tales. It made the cruise for my parents as they have never seen anything like this.

    I hunted down my parents who had found a cozy spot on deck 10 right behind the partition of glass so they could watch the approach into Tracy Arm. They had been sitting there well before 11:00 am so that they would get good seats. Believe it or not, my parents spotted their third whale spotting! We still hadn't seen any, but they had seen 5 of them in total. This time it passed right along the front of the ship. They were pretty excited about this.

    Unfortunately around 11:30 people started piling in in front of the glass to watch the view, blocking my parents view. I don't blame the people for standing where they were. It's just unfortunate that my dad had no other option that was sheltered to view the scenery as he can't see over the railings if he is right up along side them.

    On deck 10 they serve hot chocolate and cookies and pass out blankets to anyone who is interested. It's a great set up, but it sure got packed in there by 12:30 and there was no space at all. If my dad was able to we probably would have gone to the secret deck on 7 as I don't think that got too busy at all.

    My husband took the 3 oldest kids for swim while I joined my parents for lunch with our baby. The kids had a lot of fun swimming. It's nice to have empty pools and many people joked that it was only the Canadians that actually went swimming in the pools, but we are just fine with that!
    As a side note - My husband did attempt to take our 2 year old swimming the day before but he said the water was not warm at all and it was drizzling a bit so they got right back out and decided they would try some other time.

    We went down to beach blanket for the special Alaska BBQ they around 11:45 as this is when our server told us to arrive, even though it didn't start until 12:00. Apparently this is what every server told all their tables, as it was PACKED and there was no way we were ever going to find a table. After getting a little bit of food we decided to just go back to the room and eat it there. The decks were packed, the buffet was packed and it was too cold to eat at the tables on deck 9 that weren't sheltered. I later attempted the buffet again and it was almost empty around 1:30.

    After lunch my husband took the two younger kids for a much needed nap and I took the two oldest to wander the ship. If you are interested in seeing the characters in their Alaskan outfits, be sure to wander deck 4 and have your camera ready. There was no mention of these characters being out and we just kept running into them. It's unfortunate that we had no idea as I would have been really sad if we had missed them all. Luckily we ran into Mickey, Minnie and Donald on deck 4 and Pluto on deck 9.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You will find the characters in the lobby later that evening, but it's not the same as actually having them with the Alaska background.
    [​IMG]

    We were not able to make it right up to the glacier as there were so many icebergs in the way and the icebergs had quite a few seals on them. It's hard to hear the announcements when they come on the loudspeaker but what I caught from it was that if we went any further we risked spooking the mama seals and they are known to abandon the baby seals when they sense danger. We definitely couldn't let that happen. So we unfortunately did not get right up to the glacier. I wish we could have, but it did not ruin the cruise for me in the slightest. We could still see it from a distance even if the view was obstructed. It was still a beautiful sight.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Those little black spots are seals.

    We didn't listen too much to the narration as it was difficult to hear and understand. I was very interested in hearing this information but it just wasn't happening. I did end up sitting up on deck 9 with my parents for a while and enjoying the scenery. We saw our share of birds, but not much more than that.

    Tonight was dinner in Parrot Cay, which we were late for, again. We wanted to meet the characters that we hadn't seen in their Alaskan get up and they were there at 5:15 or 9:30 and I knew we wouldn't make it until 9:30, so being late for dinner was our best option. I'm pretty sure this was the only night we had the opportunity to meet them in their outfits and we weren't going to miss that opportunity. This also meant that we missed the evening show, which was a hypnotist. Koda and Minnie were out at 7:45 and we were not done with them before the show at 8:30. No one seemed to mind though.
    The kids went off to the kids club for a couple of hours while the rest of us wandered the ship.

    It was another day and we definitely enjoyed it. I only wish that they had more stuff going on around the ship for those of us who weren't interested in being on the deck for 4 hours. I also wish that we had gotten tea party tickets for this day instead of the last sea day.
     
  13. mom2twokids

    mom2twokids Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    I read the thread in the forum on duct tape fish extender and took it from there. Basically I found some medium sized brown paper bags at our garden store. I laid out 6 pieces of card stock (an average family will not need this many) in a long line and wrapped them in duct tape. I cut the paper bags to the size I wanted them to be and wrapped them carefully in duct tape, then I taped them to the wrapped card stock. I decorated them as you can see with ribbon for the girls and mainly duct tape for the boys with some foam sheets and felt used as well.
    I'm terribly sorry that my instructions are so awful, I wish I had taken pictures as I went so I could show you, but I didn't. If you want me to send you some more pictures close up, feel free to message me your email address and I could do that for you. It was really easy to make, just slightly time consuming since there were so many pockets. I also recommend you search for the duct tape fish extender thread. It was super helpful for me.

    I actually booked my excursions privately and I remember one being significantly more expensive than the other. I actually think the main reason for that was because they wanted to charge me for my 1 and 2 year old whereas the one we ended up taking did not charge for them.
    I also struggled choosing between doing it in Skagway and Juneau and knew that the one we did in Juneau was the same company as the one offered in Skagway. The Skagway excursion seemed to have plenty of great reviews, so I figured I would be safe to use the same company in Juneau. Thankfully my theories proved to be right. They were absolutely fabulous and I think it was our whole families favorite day by far. :cool1:
     
  14. Tsunami

    Tsunami Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    44
    Can you tell me more about the characters in Tracy Arm? About what time did you see them and did they have photographers with them (looks like Donald did?)? They seem to be positioned in a crowd free part of the deck - was there a line to see them? Your photos are are wonderful!!!!
     
  15. mom2twokids

    mom2twokids Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    The characters were on deck 4 and when we saw them it was around 2:00-3:00. There seemed to photographers on deck 4 at all times. They didn't seem to know when the characters were going to show up though. It was a surprise for everyone. We did get photos from the photographer taken with Mickey and Minnie as well.
    We never knew what side they were going to be on either. We were on the port side when all of a sudden I heard some one say let's go see Minnie. Sure enough we followed them and there she was on the starboard side. There was never a line longer than 4 people to see them.
    I saw photos of people with Koda, Chip and Dale and Pluto positioned like our photos were. We never saw them ourselves. I imagine they were out before we discovered the characters.
     
  16. emilyann415

    emilyann415 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,042
    Loving your TR! I am curious about your dad's power chair. Was he able to get it into the room or did you have to charge it in the elevator bank area? How hard was it for him to get around with it?

    Thanks for doing this. You're right. There are very few Alaska TR. This is very helpful.

    Emily
     
  17. mom2twokids

    mom2twokids Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    Who would have thought that when I booked our excursion for an 8:30 start time that my early risers would need to be woken up to make it?! :confused3
    I figured with the 2 hour time difference that they would be up at the crack of dawn, but they slept consistently until 9:00 every morning. (The blessings of an inside room).

    Today we were going on the Liarsville excursion. I booked it because I really wanted my kids to pan for gold and I figured that this was something that we could all enjoy. My parents were doing The Klondike Experience and the train ride today. We decided to do our excursions separately so my parents could experience Alaska without the kids holding them back. In hindsight I probably should have booked the Klondike experience with them as it sounds like the kids really would have enjoyed that one and it would have been nice to tour with them. I knew that we were not doing the train because there is no way I would subject anyone to being stuck in a confined space with my two youngest children for 2 hours. My parents really enjoyed it though and even saw a bear.

    We woke up bright and early and quickly headed up to beach blanket buffet for breakfast. Then we met our tour in the theater. We were led to board these big yellow buses, which my kids enjoyed, and our bus driver's name was Butterfingers. He was very good at giving us a little history of Skagway. We traveled a few minutes to Liarsville where we were greeted by some comical people.
    [​IMG]

    From there we got some very watered down apple cider and some cookies. We watched a little puppet show, which was cute but did not engage my children at all. They were pretty bored watching it. I took pictures of it, but they didn't turn out so well, so I will spare you those pictures.

    We were given instructions on how to pan for gold and taken on a scavenger hunt of sorts. It wasn't really much of a scavenger hunt because we were put in groups of 15 or so people and led around by one of the workers. I think my kids really would have enjoyed doing the scavenger hunt on their own and figuring out the clues by themselves. Instead they weren't all the interested in following the guides around.

    Then we were led to pan for gold. They had given us instructions, but we were not having much luck. Out of fear from dumping all our gold out we were all hesitant to really look the way we were supposed to. Thankfully Chip and Dale came around to make it a little more interesting.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The guides were really good and came and helped our kids find their gold. They spent the time necessary to allow them to feel like they were finding the gold themselves and because of that the actual panning for gold was a positive experience for them.
    After my kids found their gold they went and danced with Chip and Dale. I think if the characters weren't there my kids would not have enjoyed themselves at all. My daughter did get some guitar instructions from one of the staff, which she thought was pretty fun.

    We went and roasted some marshmallows at the campfire. We were waiting for Donald Duck to have a shorter line before we went and visited him. The kids enjoyed their marshmallows and played a little more with Chip and Dale.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    We went over to see Donald and I made sure that the kids each got their own picture with him since most character lines are so long we don't have that opportunity. I am happy I did it this way because these are some of my favorite photos from the trip. My youngest son decided he was scared of Donald all of a sudden so it took some coercing from Donald but he eventually grabbed Donald's hand and walked with him over to the waterfall. It was so nice of Donald to take that time with him.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    After all of this we were led over to the salmon bake. They had cesaer salad with salmon in it, pasta salad, baked beans with caribou sausage in it, chicken, salmon and blueberry cake. (There were probably other things but I can't remember now). It was only about 10:30 or so when we were eating, so it was an awkward time and I honestly didn't think the food was all that great. The chicken was good, the salmon was ok and the beans were decent. None of us really ate that much though. Perhaps it was because it was so early and we weren't ready for that kind of meal, or it could have been it just wasn't all that good, I'm really not sure.

    I believe we were on the bus to head back just after 11. We were given a couple of options as to where we wanted to be dropped off. We decided we wanted to go back to the boat.

    We had a little bit of a rest on the boat and then grabbed ourselves some lunch. The kids and I delivered some more of our FE gifts and then they headed off to the club. They did not want to go shopping with us, so we decided to leave them in the club and do some quick shopping. :scared1:
    I know, some of you are crawling in your skin. Please don't attack me for it. You need to keep in mind that Skagway is so small. You can see the complete town from the boat and we had a good 4 hours before all aboard time. We were only gone for an hour while we quickly shopped the shops and we made it back to the boat just fine and all the kids were more than ok. Everyone was happy they got to do what they wanted to do. Maybe we were lucky that nothing happened to us or our kids, or maybe it just wasn't a big deal.

    I thought Skagway was a good place to shop simply because it was so small. It had all the main touristy type stores and stores with the made in China type items. I did not see much in the way of unique items in the Skagway area. They all seemed to be stores that were in both the other ports as well. I have no photos as they are all on my other camera, which I seemed to have misplaced in all the chaos. I know it's here somewhere, I just am not sure where.:confused3

    There is something to be said about seeing the cruise ship in among the mountains. It's not something you see very often. When I think of cruise ships I think of tropical beach locations. It was a refreshing change.
    [​IMG]

    Tonight was our dinner in Triton's which is one of my favorite menus, so I was not going to be late for this one. Some times the best laid plans....
    I just had to get some photos done. I knew I was going to buy the cd if I could get some good photos, so I made an effort to do it. The kids and my husband obliged but weren't too thrilled about it. I think it was worth the efforts though as we got quite a few nice photos throughout the trip.

    [​IMG]

    We managed to get pictures with Captain Jack Sparrow, Terk and Captain Hook and Mr. Smee tonight. There were opportunities to meet Pinocchio, Stitch and a few others as well but we just didn't make it to see them.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Tonight the evening show was Iron Man 3 in the theater. We hadn't seen it yet so we decided to let the kids go to the club and nursery so we could have an evening for ourselves. We enjoyed the movie and the kids didn't even miss us. We went to pick the kids up from the nursery and they had them both asleep. The nursery workers are such amazing people. They were so kind to our kids the whole trip and our little ones just loved going there.

    We had a great day in Skagway.
     
  18. mom2twokids

    mom2twokids Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    139
    My dad's chair was no problem at all on the ship. They did have a handicap room and he was able to take it in and out of the room no problem. Because of the extra space in the room he was able to leave it in there and charge it there.
    He had no problem at all getting around the ship. The ramps in the ports were a different story. They were quite steep and even in his manual chair (which he also brought) he had a hard time navigating them but he was able to get on and off in every port.
     
  19. pequele

    pequele Some people think they are cool because they can h

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,166
    Excited to read your report! My son who will be 5 at the time and I are going on the 9 mightier next year. A lot of the excursions we are considering are the ones you did! Can't wait to read more (just did the 1st post so far!).
     
  20. Davistigers

    Davistigers Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Messages:
    48
    We're on the same cruise with RRBB and so excited to find a recent, new Alaska TR. Sailing with 2 older kids: 11 and 14. Thanks OP for the pictures and I absolutely LOVE that you surprised your kids AND your parents! :yay:
     
  21. ktalina

    ktalina Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    67
    THANK YOU so much for such an awesome trip report. We have a 20 month old traveling with us. How did your little one liked the nursery? How was your LOs experience overall? :)

    I'm loving your pictures! Thanks for taking the time
     

Share This Page