Our Wonderful “Whale of a Good Time” 9 Night Alaskan Cruise! – w/pics – Completed!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by disneyfaninaz, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    All I can say is WOW! :thumbsup2 :thumbsup2

    We just got home from our wonderful, fantastic, magnificent, unforgettable (I could go on and on with superlatives) 9 night Alaskan cruise! Hoping to start downloading the thousands of pictures I took tomorrow while doing laundry. :laundy: In the meantime, I will start my trip report with my traditional back story.

    Back Story:

    Back in 2011 our cruise buddies (neighbors) cruised to Alaska on the Disney Wonder. We opted not to cruise with them at that time as DH, at the time, wanted to plan a more interior Alaskan experience. Well 2 years later, rumors started flying about Disney going to Sitka on a special 9 night cruise in the summer of 2014. We asked our neighbors if Alaska did Sitka, would they want to go back to Alaska. Of course, they said yes, and our trip was planned. We both booked on the first day that the Summer 2014 itineraries came out. The dates of the cruise worked perfectly with our DD's school schedule. Our DD was promoted from 8th grade in May and the cruise was set for 3 days later. What a perfect gradation gift! Soon afterwards, our neighbor started recruiting their family. We had sailed previously with her parents and cousin from Georgia. This year, they also recruited our neighbor's husband’s step-sister for her first ever cruise. We had a total of 11 people all linked together. Thus, our Alaskan adventure begins.

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    Cast of Characters:

    ME: Fan of everything Disney and avid travel planner.
    DH: My wonderful husband who indulges all of my Disney dreams.
    DD: Our 13 year old daughter who just graduated from the 8th grade.

    DNeighbors:
    Our neighbors with whom we share an affinity for Disney with and travel often.
    DNC: Bosom buddy, walking partner and all around partner in conspiracy.
    DNJ : DNC's husband and all around good egg.
    DNDDC: Just graduated from college and headed to grad school in August.
    DNDDM: Huge Peter Pan fan.

    DParents: LE and DE: Our neighbor’s parents, 2nd time Disney cruisers.
    DCousinC: LE's cousin from Georgia. 2nd Disney cruise.
    DSisterJ: DNJ's step-sister. 1st cruise ever!

    Our Plan:

    Since DD didn’t get out of school until May 21st, we decided to fly to Vancouver on Thursday, May 22nd. Our neighbors planned to leave for Vancouver on May 17th and spend a few days in Victoria and Vancouver before the cruise. I just couldn’t take DD out of school early for her last year of middle school. She had an 8th grade fun day at Big Surf, dance, recognition ceremony and promotion ceremony to attend. I didn’t want her to miss any of it. Thus our itinerary was set.

    Thursday – May 22, 2014: Vancouver :)
    Friday, May 23, 2014: Vancouver
    Stanley Park & Vancouver continued
    Saturday, May 24, 2014: Vancouver - Getting on Disney Wonder
    Sunday, May 25, 2014: Sea Day
    Monday, May 26, 2014: Sea Day
    Tuesday, May 27, 2014: Sitka :hyper:
    Wildlife Tour continued
    Sitka Historic Park & Raptor Center
    Sitka Historic Park & Raptor Center continued
    Wednesday, May 28, 2014: Tracy Arm
    More Whales
    Ice, Ice Baby!
    Tracy Arm continued
    Thursday, May 29, 2014: Skagway
    White Pass Railroad
    Yukon
    Yukon continued
    Skagway continued
    Friday, May 30, 2014: Juneau
    Whale watching
    Mendenhall Glacier
    Juneau continued
    Saturday, May 31, 2014: Ketchikan
    Zip lining Adventure
    Bering Sea Fishermen's Tour
    Ketchikan continued
    Sunday, June 1, 2014: Sea Day
    Monday, June 2, 2014: Vancouver
    Capilano Suspension Bridge
    Grouse Mountain
    Grouse Mountain continued
    Vancouver continued
    Tuesday, June 3, 2014: Return home :(
    Final Thoughts


    Next: Our adventure begins!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
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  3. twentytoez

    twentytoez Mouseketeer

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    Tell me more tell me more!
     
  4. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Vancouver
    Thursday, May 22, 2014


    After 15 months of planning, researching DIS trip reports, Trip Advisor and other websites, booking plane tickets, hotel reservations and port excursions, we are finally leaving on our Alaskan adventure. Some say that the anticipation is more fun than the actual event. In this case, I am happy to say was not. The trip actually lived up to the anticipation. Anyway, I digress.

    This was the design of the T-Shirt I designed for DD to wear today:

    Front:

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    Back: (I found the background on Google)

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    On Thursday morning, we made sure all of our stuff was packed, our bags did not weigh over 50 pounds, and our carry-ons had no liquids in them. DParents and DCousinC were also traveling on the 22nd. Since we all had the same direct flight on US Airways to Vancouver, I organized Supershuttle to pick us all up from our house. DParents drove to our neighbor’s house and left their car there. We scheduled pick up for 7:20 am since it was a weekday and we would have rush hour to deal with. Anyway, I got a call from our driver, Russell, at about 7:00 asking if he could come early. We said sure. While my DH was loading our luggage into our van, all the others showed up and their luggage was loaded as well. About 7:30 AM our merry group of adventurers was off to the airport to catch our flight. Of course, traffic wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated and we made it to Sky Harbor Airport with lots of time to spare.

    I’m glad we arrived early as there was a huge line at the US Airways counter to check our bags. We waited about 30 minutes in line. :hourglass We had our passports checked and the headed off to security expecting an even bigger line. Surprisingly, however, there was really no line at all and we zipped right through. My DD was excited because her boarding pass said “TSA Precheck” on it, which meant that she got to go through the express lane and didn’t have to take off her shoes or go through the x-ray device. As a diabetic, she has always been nervous about going through security with her pump, ever since TSA made her cry the first time. Anyway, she was very happy and DParents and DCousinC also had pre check approval. DH and I went through the normal line with no issues.

    After we found our gate, which happened to be the first gate after passing through security, DD and I went to find something to eat. We had to go through another concourse to find something, but it was delicious. When we returned to our seat, I noticed that people were going up to the gate attendant’s desk. I had thought we were all checked in, but I guess we had to show our passports and get our boarding passes stamped. We jumped in line before the general announcement and got it done with early. We had a full plane so they were asking passengers with wheeled carry-ons to gate check them. Boarding was early and we had plenty of space for our carry-ons. We were finally off to Canada.

    The flight was a little over 2 and a half hours. We got to see Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helen’s from the plane. We were given a Canadian immigration form to fill out on the plane. We landed to cloudy skies and about 55 degrees. Once we got off the plane, we were corralled towards immigration where we waited in line for about 15 minutes. Once we answered the standard questions about where we were from, why we were visiting Canada, how long were we going to stay, etc., we got our passport stamped (I was so excited to finally get a stamp in my passport). We then went to the carousel to get our luggage. We all needed a potty break by then so took one. Upon leaving the baggage area, we were asked to give up our immigration form and we were off. I had done some research about transportation from the airport to our hotel and discovered the Aerocar Service provided vans at curbside without making reservations. I figured that was the way to go. Again, we followed the signs to ground transportation and Aerocar had a podium right at the end of the crosswalk. I asked if they had a van to take 6 people and about 10 pieces of luggage to the Pan Pacific. Well, as it turned out, they didn’t have a van, but they did have a stretch limo all for just $61. Score! :thumbsup2 DD had never been in a limo, but we were going to arrive in style. The funny thing was, all of our luggage didn’t fit so a piece was placed in the passenger seat up front and the trunk was tied down to hold the rest of the luggage in. I kept my eye on the rear window to make sure our bags didn’t go flying out. Anyway, about 30 minutes later we arrived at the Pan Pacific.

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    Our luggage was taken by bell hops, we snapped a few pictures and went to check in. This hotel was gorgeous. We were assigned a Deluxe City View Room on the 15th floor. It was a very nice spacious room with a sofa and chairs besides the 2 double beds. It had a huge TV, but we didn’t watch much.

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    Our view:

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    It was now about 3;00 PM. Our first mission after checking out our room was getting something to eat. At this point, we didn’t want to spend a lot of time trying to find a unique restaurant, we just wanted sustenance. Fortunately, there was a food court directly across the street from the Pan. It had a McDonalds, so off we went. Now, we don’t normally eat at McDonalds, but we were desperate. After filling our stomachs, we headed back to Canada Place and started walking along the Canada Trail. It’s a walk alongside the ship terminal and depicts the history and culture of Canada.

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    It was interesting, but I was more interested in the views. One of my goals was to get a picture of the Olympic Cauldron from the 2010 games.
    So we started walking along the sea wall. It is interesting to note that Vancouver is very pedestrian friendly and even more so bike friendly. As you walk along the sea wall you will notice signs that point to a bike path and a pedestrian path. Don’t walk in the bike path. This took some getting used to.

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    At some point I had texted our DNs to let them know that we had arrived and checked in. They texted back that they were at Granville Island and would be at the hotel in an hour. After we walked around awhile we headed back to the Pan Pacific to see what the others were up to. We found them in the bar. Since people under 21 are not allowed in bars in Canada, we got seated in the bistro next door. We ordered some drinks and enjoyed the view. A little later our neighbors showed up, touched base with DParents and DCousin and then sat and joined us for a drink. We decided (the 7 of us) to eat at the The Cactus Club for dinner.

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    We didn’t make reservations and they were packed, so we had to wait about 30 minutes. We were seated in a semicircular booth with a great view towards Stanley Park. The food was great. I had a Caesar salad with grilled chicken. I ordered iced tea, but didn’t realize that in Vancouver, all iced tea comes presweetened. I think it was Nestea and not brewed, so I avoided tea while in Vancouver. One thing to note about purchasing anything in Vancouver with credit, the servers, clerks, etc. never take your card. You swipe it on a little hand held scanner and enter tips directly into it, by either percentage or dollar amount. It then prints out your receipts for signature. Your card never leaves your hands or sight.

    After dinner DNC, DNDDC and I went to a small convenience store to get juice boxes for my DD for the cruise. It started sprinkling and DD and DNDDC went swimming for a little bit. The water was heated, but it was too cold for us.

    Next: Stanley Park
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  5. kyirish25

    kyirish25 DIS Veteran

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    Hotel looks beautiful! I also want to be sure to see the Olympic cauldron. Was it hard to find?
     
  6. JFHeeren

    JFHeeren Earning My Ears

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    Love the trip report, and reliving our August 2013 cruise!
     
  7. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Not at all, next to Canada Place is the old broadcast building used for the Olympics, it is now a convention center. To the other side of the building is the cauldron. Very easy walking from the hotel.
     
  8. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    One of the more unique things I noticed about the Pan, is that there is a small carpet in the elevators that gets changed daily.

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    We are so easily amused! :rolleyes1

    They also had beautiful fresh flower bouquets.

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  9. jetskigrl

    jetskigrl No mumbojumbo here

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    I'm already loving your trip report!! We will be walking in your footsteps in August :thumbsup2

    I'm glad to see that it was so easy to get transportation from the airport to the Pan Pacific. I think we will do the same (including the limo). I was going to pre-book it but it is nice to see that we don't need to.

    I can't wait to read more :goodvibes
     
  10. KelleyK75

    KelleyK75 DIS Veteran

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    Subbing in....can't wait to hear more, especially if whales are involved. :)
     
  11. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Welcome! Stay tuned!

    Hope I can bring back some happy memories!

    Welcome! I hope my trip report will help you. More importantly, I hope I get it done by August! :surfweb:

    Welcome! Don't worry, we saw lots of tail!

    Oh, I mean whale tails! :rolleyes1
     
  12. misseulalie

    misseulalie DIS Veteran

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    Waiting for pics!
     
  13. Team Renshaw

    Team Renshaw Earning My Ears

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    We were on the same voyage. We had a blast too. Couldn't have had better weather.
     
  14. pascalstongue

    pascalstongue DIS Veteran

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    Love the report so far. So cool that you managed to get a limo and a bargain too!
     
  15. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Stanley Park
    Friday, May 23, 2014


    When I was researching things to do in Vancouver, I knew we wanted to go to Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium. The decision was which of the 2 full days in Vancouver we were going to do these. Originally, I was going to do Grouse Mountain and Capilano on Friday before we left on the cruise. Then after some consideration, :scratchin I decided to stay closer to Vancouver before the cruise and do Stanley Park and the aquarium on Friday. I also discovered that the Vancouver Aquarium offered Animal Encounters for their various sea animals, such as beluga whales, sea otters, penguins, dolphins, etc. DD absolutely loves sea otters, so I thought it would be an extra special treat for her to get a behind the scenes glimpse of these fun loving sea mammals. I kept watching the website for when registration for these opened up, as there is limited availability. When the did, I was able to get a 1:00 encounter on Friday, May 23rd.

    We woke up to rain. :umbrella: Yes, it had rained most of the night and was still raining in the morning. We ate breakfast at a little counter service coffee place inside the convention center. (They also have free wifi here). DD and I had a croissant while DH tried the banana chocolate chip bread. Afterwards we started our walk along the sea wall to Stanley Park. Our goal today was a Horse Carriage ride around the park and then the Vancouver Aquarium. The walk took about 30 or so minutes and arrived at the carriage ride about 10:30 AM. We walked to the booth to purchase our carriage tickets (AAA discounts applied) and got on our carriage out of the rain. Just a note if you have tweens, I love the fact that Vancouver offers Youth rates. Everywhere else we go in the States, DD is considered an adult. We loved that she could get a discount in Vancouver. Anyway, we had the entire tour to ourselves as few tourists were braving the rain to go out.

    Our tour guide was very nice and she introduced us to her team. A couple of handsome Clydesdales were pulling us today. (I love this breed). Their names were, Bud, and wait for it. . .

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    Weiser!

    I thought their names were so clever. Anyway, they live a charmed life and are very well taken care of according to Cindy, our guide. As with most tour guides in Vancouver, she came up from the lower 48 to work the summer in Vancouver. The tour was very nice. She stopped at the Totem Poles and let us off for a few minutes to get some pictures.

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    She then drove around the outside of the island. We saw the Girl in a Wetsuit statue. A man from Vancouver had traveled to Copenhagen, seen the Little Mermaid statue and wanted a replica of it for Vancouver. Copenhagen said no, so he designed his own complete with scuba mask and swim fins. The high tide can reach up to her fins.

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    The Lion’s Gate Bridge
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    The Cricket Club,
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    And the house of the cannon keeper. Yes, you read it right. Every night at 9:00 PM a The 9 O’clock Gun is set off at Stanley Park. The boom can be heard throughout the city. It is the keeper’s job to maintain and set the cannon every day. For this, he gets a nice little cottage in the middle of Stanley Park to live in. Nice work if you can it it, eh?

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    Cindy told us about the black squirrels, :squirrel: which I had never seen before. Evidently, the city of New York sent Vancouver a breeding pair of black squirrels from Central Park as a gift to Vancouver. They were let free in Stanley Park and rest is history. While Stanley Park has no resident bears, they do have deer and coyotes, which I found surprising.

    After our carriage ride, we took a short walk over to the aquarium.

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    We had pre-purchased our aquarium tickets with our encounter so we went up to the counter, got our hands stamped and we were off. Our first order of business was to get something to eat for lunch. It had stopped raining, and the sun was breaking through. The aquarium was very busy as a few school groups were there. We had our lunch and then sat and listened to the Beluga whale talk. These whales always look like they are smiling. Okay, let’s sing along, “Baby beluga in the deep blue sea . . .” I got that song stuck in your head now don’t I? (Insert evil laugh here.)

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    Our first whale tail!
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    We walked around the aquarium, which is really quite small, until our meet time.
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    I found Nemo!
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    And Bubbles, too!
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    There were 3 other people in our group of 6. Our guide, Kristen, was very nice and very chatty. She took us back to a classroom, or sorts, to give us some information about the sea otter in Canada. It was pretty much obliterated from Canadian shores by fur traders in the 1800s. Eventually, they moved a small colony of sea otters to the shores of Vancouver Island and now they number in the thousands. We were shown an otter pelt and were able to feel exactly why these pelts were so valuable. Very, very soft. After our little lesson, we walked back stage to stow our gear and wash or hands. We were then taken to the otter exhibit where we met two trainers who told us about what they ate and then we were able to go into the exhibit with Tanu (a 10 year old female) and Katmai (a 2 year old male). Both of these otters were orphaned as pups and brought to the aquarium as they were unable to survive in the wild. Tanu has the whiter face as otters go whiter as they get older.

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    We each took turns feeding them restaurant quality squid, shrimp and various fish. Needless to say, we became their best friends. It was fun trying to throw the food onto their tummies. They would catch the food, eat it and then roll over in the water as if to wash themselves. We learned how they found favorite rocks to open clam shells with and would tuck the rocks in little pockets under their flippers so they wouldn’t lose it. We also met Wally, a recently acquired otter who was shot off of Vancouver Island and blinded. He is believed to be over 10 years of age. He was alone in an exhibit, but seemed to be adapting quite well to his visual challenges and thriving.
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    We were then taken to the kitchens to see where all the food was prepared for all of the sea animals at the aquarium. It was truly amazing to see how many pounds of food these animals eat in a day. It was truly a remarkable experience and we had a lot of fun.

    Continued in next post.
     
  16. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    After our encounter the school groups had cleared out and the aquarium was almost empty. We walked around a little and then had some ice cream and decided to leave the aquarium. We thought about getting a taxi back to the Pan Pacific, but it had stopped raining so we decided to hoof it back. I’m glad we did because these are a few things we saw on our way out of the park.

    The Rowing Club,

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    A mother duck and her ducklings,

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    Canadian Geese and goslings:

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    Yes, you see it right, that is a coyote. It came within 20 feet of us, but totally ignored us as it walked down the path towards the park.

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    A couple of really cute house boats

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    Some flowers,

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    A house high on stilts.

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    And a Chevron station

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    We watched the Holland America and Celebrity ships leave Canada Place.

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    Then, we went to hang out in the room for a while before meeting everybody for dinner at Bellagios. We made reservations the night before. The restaurant was right next to Canada Place.

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    Did I mention it was prom night?

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    The food was good, but the service was a bit slow and discombobulated. Our server couldn’t seem to keep orders straight and forgot to bring some items. Granted there were 11 of us for dinner. After dinner, some of us went out to the observatory deck to see the 9 O’clock gun go off. We hadn’t heard it the night before.

    Next: Hello Wonder!
     
  17. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Don't worry, they're coming!

    I know, right? It was absolutely gorgeous. Didn't mind the bit of rain in Juneau at all.

    Thanks! It was very cool. I think our other option would have been the suburban or something. DD was very excited. It was nice showing up in style.
     
  18. LisaRN97

    LisaRN97 Mouseketeer

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    Can't wait to see what happens next! We are booked for August and staying at the Pan as well!!
     
  19. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Before we board the Wonder, here are a few more shots of Vancouver.

    These peaks are called the Lions. Stanley Park is in the foreground.

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    This is at the end of Canada Place looking back towards the city. You can see the Vancouver Lookout Tower where you can get a panoramic view of the city. There is also a revolving restaurant up there.

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    Here is a view of the float plane harbor. Planes were constantly taking off and landing.

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    This is a view of the other convention center, where the Olympics were broadcast from in 2010.

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    At night you could see a huge globe lit up. This is what it looked during the day. It was the world!

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    The Pan Pacific sitting on top of Canada Place.

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    Here is the sign for 'Fly Over Canada" along the Canada Trail next to Canada Place. We opted not to see this attraction. While we love Soarin' over California, we couldn't justify the price to soar over Canada.

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  20. lorimay

    lorimay DIS Veteran

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    I am loving your trip report, bringing back so many wonderful memories from our time in Vancouver last Sept. before our cruise.
    Love all your pics!
    Can't wait to read about your experiences in Alaska.

    The Pan Pacific is a great hotel.
     
  21. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Day 1 - Embarkation
    Saturday, May 24, 2014


    Well, the day had finally arrived. :) We woke up to cloudy skies, but no rain. I was up at 6:15 AM to go down to the observation level of the hotel off the lobby and watch the Wonder come in. However, I was too late. She was already docked. Hygienist999 had a water front room and got a great picture of her coming in to the harbor.

    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=51505343&postcount=1795

    Several months ago, we were informed by various methods, including other DIS members, that DCL would not be docking at Canada Place when they arrived in Vancouver on the 24th. Instead, they would be berthing at the old terminal at Ballantyne. Needless to say, we were all a bit bummed about this as we were looking forward to just going down some elevators and getting on the ship. We later found out that this was deliberate on DCL’s part as they didn’t want their passengers to be crowded with 5000 other passengers boarding the 2 other ships berthed at Canada Place on Saturday. Looking back, that was pretty considerate of them.

    I took some photos of the Wonder.

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    While I was up there, one of the other ships was coming into Canada Place.

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    Then I went back up to the room and went back to bed for a little bit. After we were up and ready, we headed across the street to Tim Horton’s for breakfast. They have free wifi, so I was able to check the DISBoards and send an email. :surfweb:

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    There was conflicting information about whether DCL would provide free shuttle service from Canada Place to those not parking there, so we just decided to find our own transportation for the 11 of us and a wheelchair. I found Star Limousine Service. For about $12 per person, they would provide a Mercedes Sprinter which held 11 passengers and all of our luggage, plus 1 wheelchair and pick us up right in front of the Pan Pacific. It was an opportunity cost I could not pass up. We had an 11:00 PAT, so we had Phil, the bell hop, collect all of our luggage from our rooms at about 10:30 AM. Our driver would pick us up at 10:45. Don, our driver, showed up on time and Don and Phil loaded up all of our luggage (with plenty of room to spare) and we were off to Ballantyne. It wasn’t really that far away, but we saw the Gaslight District on the way.

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    Don pulled up right in front of the doors to the terminal where a porter was waiting to take our luggage. It was such a pleasant experience and a great way to start our cruise.

    Once inside the terminal, we were whisked away to security (due to the wheelchair) and breezed through. We then waited about 20 minutes in line for Castaway Club members to check in. The line for first time cruises was actually shorter. We filled out our sickness form, got our KTTW cards w/ Silver Castaway Club lanyards, our first navigator and boarding number 8. We were then sent upstairs to wait. I really don’t think the PATs mean anything in Vancouver. Nobody ever asked our PAT time and anybody that showed up was immediately ushered inside.

    While we were waiting, I distributed some buttons I had made for our group to wear them around the ship.

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    I was checking in on the DIS Cruise Meet thread for this cruise pretty regularly. Okay, daily. 3 of us from Arizona decided it would be fun to meet before the cruise. Moondaughter23 lives in Tucson (1and a half hours south of me), Arizona Rita lives in Peoria (1 hour west of me) and I am in Chandler. We decided to meet in the middle, as it were, at Mimi’s Café the Sunday before we left for Vancouver. We then decided to bring our daughters. Moondaughter23’s daughter, Mojo, just finished her first year of high school. Arizona Rita’s daughter Lauren just finished her junior year in High School and my daughter is going into high school next fall. While the 3 of us were having a delightful time getting to know one another, so were the girls. We heard laughing and giggling from the other end of the table. They had become fast friends. That being said, not soon after we found some seats to wait for our boarding number to be called, we saw Moondaughter23 and Mojo so they came over to wait with us. It wasn’t too long after that, we spotted Arizona Rita’s family and the girls were reunited for a short time.

    When our boarding number was called we waited in a short line for immigration to check our passports and then we were sent to the gang way. We got our embarkation photos taken, but we were limited to 6 people per photo. Then we went down the gang plank to board. By the time we arrived, went through security, got checked in, went by immigration and boarded it was about 1:00 PM.

    We heard our names announced, and guess who walked on right behind us? You got it, the mouse himself!

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    We then headed straight for Parrot Cay for lunch. DNC and I went to Wavebands to get our Palo brunch reservations dealt with. She is gold and I am silver, so we couldn’t get the same day for our brunch on-line. Andrae, the Palo manager, fixed it easily enough so that we were set for brunch for 8 of us on the second sea day at 10:00 AM in Palo’s private room. DNC arranged her dinner for Tracy Arm night and we were off to lunch. While we ate our lunch, our DH’s went to Guest Services and registered for their wine and tequila tastings.

    By the time we finished lunch, our staterooms were ready. We went directly upstairs to Deck 7 to our stateroom for 9 nights, 7618. It was the first cruise where we had a full balcony and not an obstructed one. It was great for this cruise.

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    I can’t remember exactly what we did, but DD left to explore the ship, I decorated the door and delivered magnets to the rest of our group, while DH relaxed.

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    At some point I ran into our room steward, Jun, and asked for ice to be provided every evening to our room. We waited for the luggage to arrive. At 3:00 PM I went up to the Promenade Lounge for the DISmeet. There were a lot of people there, Moondaughter23 was doing a yeoman’s task getting all the FE information out to those participating and I really didn’t meet anybody but Moondaughter23, Arizona Rita and RweTHEREyet. The Facebook group was a lot more active and since I am not on Facebook, felt a little left out. It made me very appreciative that Moondaughter, Arizona Rita and I met before so I would know some familiar faces around the ship. So, I left the DISmeet and went back to the stateroom to unpack. At 4:00 PM we went to our muster drill station in Animator’s Palate. Can I just say how cool the touch pads are for the KTTW cards? I loved not having to take my card out of it’s pouch every time I needed it.

    Anyway, after the muster drill we headed up to Deck 10 to watch the sail away party. Our Captain was Capt. Fabian and our Cruise Director was Jimmy. They were both great! Is it just me or was the party a lot shorter than before?

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    During the party DH bought the sail away drink and Mojo and Lauren grabbed DD to watch the sail away party with them. I think she enjoyed it more that way. Anyway, we heard our beloved horn and then moved towards the back of the ship to watch us leave port. It was around 5:20 before we actually started pulling away from the dock.

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    We had main seating, so I stayed up on deck as long as I could before I had to get dressed for dinner, so unfortunately missed going out under the bridge. :sad2: As it was, I was the last to arrive to dinner.

    Our dining rotation was TAP, so we started our dining experience at Triton’s with the Let the Magic Begin menu. Our table number was 23 and at the end of each main center aisle of each restaurant. It is referred to as the Captain’s Table. Our head server was Kerry-Sean, our server was Shane from Jamaica and our Asst. Server was Steven from Hungary. Shane was very quiet but got the job done. Dinner was good. After dinner we went back to the stateroom to change. I then headed to Guest Services with my Disney Visa Rewards cards in hand to apply to our onboard account and my ALASKA photo matte to have signed. Then, DD and I went shopping, looking for the Alaska stuff. OMG! :scared1: It was like a fire sale. The CMs couldn’t restock fast enough. It was pandemonium. I said “forget this” and left. Later, DNC, DNJ, DNDDM, DD and I went to watch the All Aboard show at the Walt Disney Theater. After the show, DD went to hang out with her new friends and DH and I went to the Outlook Café. It came to be a tradition every night for the adults (not otherwise occupied with kiddos) to congregate at the Café after dinner for hot chocolate, amaretto, espressos, or wine before turning in for the night. Jerome got to know us very well and was a great barista.

    Our towel animal for tonight.

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    Next: Our first day at sea
     

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