Our WONDERful first trip "home" to Alaska- A Trip Report -Finished 1/8!!!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by happenin2you, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    Hi! I'm Deanna. If you don't know me, I'm 27 and happily married to my best friend, Chris. Here we are on the happiest day of our lives.
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    Fast forward to last year, we spent our 4th anniversary at Disneyland and did something we've been thinking about since our honeymoon at WDW, we bought DVC!
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    So we booked a cruise to Alaska on the Wonder for our first trip "Home" from May 21-28. Chris has been wanting to do an Alaskan cruise for some time and it just worked out perfect for us.

    That's where the title for this report comes from, we cruised on the Disney Wonder to Alaska and it was our first trip "home" as DVC members, for those who don't know, it was our first vacation with our Disney timeshare.

    The plan was to spend a couple days before and after the cruise in Vancouver, BC and Seattle, WA just exploring and searching for good food, which is what we always do on vacation popcorn::.
    We are foodies, so there will be plenty of food porn to feast your eyes on.

    Handy Dandy links to updates:
    Saturday May 19: Leaving Las Vegas

    Sunday May 20: Vancouver
    Vancouver Aquarium part 1
    Vancouver Aquarium part 2
    Stanley Park and Vera's Burgers

    Monday May 21: Getting to the Wonder
    Lunch, exploring the Wonder, and Sail Away show with videos
    Dinner and fun and games

    Tuesday May 22: Art of Entertaining, Palo Brunch, more exploring
    Tastings and Animator's Palate
    Cove Cafe sunset and coffee

    Wednesday May 23: Tracy Arm Day
    Endicott Arm
    Glacier!
    Last of the glacier and dinner at Animator's
    Dessert at Animator's and more

    Thursday May 24: Welcome to Skagway
    mmm... salmon chowder
    Lunch and a museum
    The brothel tour and dinner at Parrot Cay

    Friday May 25: Juneau and the State Capitol
    Capitol and Governor's Mansion
    Mt Roberts Tramway
    Top of Juneau and Pirates!
    Taste of Alaska dinner

    Saturday May 26: Character breakfast and Ketchikan
    More Ketchikan and dinner

    Sunday May 27: Captain's Gala and Till We Meet Again

    Monday May 28: Discovering the Olive8 and Pike Place
    Seattle Underground and lunch

    Tuesday May 29: The Duck on land
    The Duck on water
    The last update!!!

    Link to TR with Navigator's from this cruise

    Birthday update Sunday June 10- Palazzo Suite and Cabana

    Colorado mini TR Friday June 15- Monday June 18- Getting there, Aquarium, bang!, Sam's No. 3, Coors Brewing Company
    Coors Brewery part 1
    Coors Brewery part 2
    Coors Brewery part 3
    Coors Brewery part 4
    Coors Brewery part 5
    Family, Tea, and Steuben's

    Various Foods non-cruise related
    From my kitchen, John Mull's Road Kill Grill (Las Vegas), El Segundo Sol (Las Vegas), Snooze (Denver, CO), Virgilio's (Littleton, CO), Dbar (Denver, CO)
    Jack N Grill (Denver, CO), Duffeyroll's (Denver, CO), Denver Biscuit Company (Denver, CO), Disneyland Resort

    Up next: Leaving Las Vegas
     
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  3. pixie08

    pixie08 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in. Sounds Amazing!
     
  4. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    So I'm a mad woman, I always schedule myself to work on the day we're leaving for vacation. It's really ridiculous because I'm always my least productive when I'm dreaming about going away to somewhere exciting. So I got up bright and early on Saturday May 19 and went to work to sell drugs, at Walgreen's :rotfl: That's what I do when I'm not being a forever student, I'm a pharmacy technician. It was pretty slow that day so my boss let me leave early. We were all packed and ready to go so we just had some relaxing time for a bit before we left for our flight to Vancouver. We arrived in Canada about 12:45 am and I finally got a stamp in my passport!
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    I felt like that was the official start of my vacation so I started taking pictures of things in the airport.
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    We got a taxi to our hotel since we were told the shuttle didn't run this late, but were told to get a receipt and we would be reimbursed at check in. Our speed maniac taxi driver got us to our hotel super quickly and then said he didn't take credit, which was ok since I had ordered canadian currency from our bank, but then we forgot to ask for a reciept. :headache: When we checked in Chris told the girl what he was told about reimbursement for the cab fare and that he forgot to ask for the receipt and she just asked how much we paid and gave it to us anyways. This was the first of several great encounters with great customer service and friendly people in Canada. They're just so happy up there! :cloud9:

    We were exhausted from a long day of traveling and fell asleep pretty quickly.

    Next up: A full day in Vancouver
     
  5. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    Hi! Thanks for joining in!
     
  6. DisSarahK

    DisSarahK Missing Mickey...

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    Yay, an Alaska trip report! Post lots of details (I'm so demanding!) because I'm sooooo excited about our cruise in August and want to live vicariously through everyone else while I wait!
     
  7. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    The next morning I woke up bright and early and checked my lovely view from our window and saw this
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    Nice. We just so happen to have a membership there and were planning to buy some bottled water to keep in our stateroom. I'm really specific about water, I hate spring water.:confused3 That's all they had so we didn't get any, but we did find the amazing cookies they had on our flight in, so we grabbed a box of those to bring back to the states. When we were checking out, we discovered our membership had expired, in April.... we weren't planning to renew it right then, so we were going to leave, but the manager came over and swiped his card so we could buy the cookies. Score!

    After our Costco adventure, we went back across the street to our hotel and waited for the shuttle to take us back to the airport so we could pick up our rental car. We didn't get it the night before because the shuttle was free and we didn't see any reason to pay for the car for an extra day. When we got to Hertz, we were offered an upgrade to a Ford Fusion for $16 or a small Mercedes SUV for $25. This is what we got
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    Crazy, right? Chris has been thinking about buying one and he thought it would be a good opportunity to see if he really liked it, which he did.

    From here we went in search of my favorite Canadian coffee chain, Tim Horton's.
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    We got a chocolate glazed donut, a boston creme, a sour cream donut, and two caramel iced capps! Delicious! I don't ever pass up a chance to have a Tim Horton's Iced Capp, they're amazing!

    The plan after this was to drive by the cruise port so we had an idea of where it was and the spend some time exploring Stanley Park. While we were safely parked in our car in the Tim Horton's parking lot, setting the navigation to our next destination, a woman parked her car right next to ours and opened her door right into my passenger side door, with me sitting right there! :furious: Are you kidding me? Then she acted like nothing happened and went in to Tim Horton's. I was going to run after her and throw a fit, but I looked and there wasn't any damage on the car. This of course was right after we had denied the insurnace from Hertz. Since there wasn't anything visibly wrong, we decided to go on with our day and not waste our time trying to figure out American and Canadian insurance companies.

    We were staying in Richmond, which is where the airport is, and the drive to Vancouver was probably 15-20 minutes. It is absolutely beautiful there. I should have taken pictures of the scenery in the city, but I was working with the navigation and I'm not very good with miles:kilometer conversions, so I never really knew how far away we were from something and was constantly watching for the next turn. We found the Canada Place cruise port fairly quickly and easily, and then we moved on to Stanley Park. By this point it was raining. Chris had planned for us to rent bicycles and tour around the park, but the weather was not permitting and I wasn't feeling like getting soaked and cold. Instead, we opted for indoor activities.

    Next up: The Vancouver Aquarium
     
  8. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    I'm glad to have you! I saved all the navigators and things so I will have lots of details between those and my memories. Thanks for joining in :banana:
     
  9. Momma2Jax

    Momma2Jax DIS Veteran

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    Joining in! Can't wait to be on the opposite cruise (SEA to Vancouver repo) in Sept!!
     
  10. DisSarahK

    DisSarahK Missing Mickey...

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    People do that more and more with car doors--I've been in my car a couple of times lately and been banged into and the people haven't cared one whit! One lady even got annoyed with *me* because I wasn't pleased that she whacked my car with her door! So frustrating. I'm glad there wasn't damage to your rental.
     
  11. trimix

    trimix DIS Veteran

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    I will be on the Wonder in two weeks and am really looking forward to the rest of your report!

    I wish I had met you before now - I live just about halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, and could have given you some food suggestions!
     
  12. lovealldisney

    lovealldisney Lover of all things Disney!

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    Sounds like this will be a great TR! Joining in.. Thanks for sharing...:)
     
  13. jenf22

    jenf22 DIS Veteran

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    Woo hoo! I am so happy there are now TWO of you guys doing trip reports from this cruise! We're doing the reverse (Seattle to Vancouver) in September and I am SO EXCITED :banana::banana::banana: I can't wait to read the rest and (hopefully) see Navigators! Thank you for doing this!
     
  14. Mamapapa

    Mamapapa Married to a Disney-Hater... :(

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    Sounds like fun - I'm in!!!!
     
  15. Señor DonDuck

    Señor DonDuck DIS Veteran

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    You had me at food porn. :banana: Joining in!
     
  16. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Count me in :goodvibes
     
  17. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    Welcome! It's a good cruise to be on since you get to explore two awesome port cities on embarkation and debarkation.

    I couldn't believe it. It wouldn't surprise me so much for someone to hit a car no one was in and not accept responsibility since there wouldn't be anyone there to hold them accountable, but geez! When I'm looking you right in the face? Come on...

    You're gonna have a blast! I would have appreciated the input. We usually look up Guy Fieri's Diners, DriveIns, and Dives and go from there, but there wasn't anything for Vancouver. I have a cousin who used to live there, though, and she said Vera's Burgers is very popular and good. We tried them out, pictures to come ;)

    Thanks for joining!

    Welcome! I had to do a trip report because when I was preparing for my cruise, there were hardly any from last year. It drove me nuts! I was reading mexican riviera reports to get an idea. I do have my navigators, but I don't have a scanner anymore, it broke... so I'm thinking I might photograph them and put them up that way. We'll see how it turns out.

    Welcome!

    I know, right? Some of it is less than perfect, sometimes I just got way too excited and dove right in before I got a picture...

    Thanks for joining in!

    Hope you enjoy!
     
  18. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    After our dramatic car incident and finding Canada Place, we made the short drive over to Stanley Park. This place is huge. Luckily, there are signs everywhere that tell you how to get to all the various attractions within the park. We found the Aquarium and parking, very far away. Everyone in Vancouver must have decided to visit the Aquarium that day since it was raining. If you drive there, you pay to park at these automated stations that spit out a reciept, but it also makes you enter your license plate number, so we weren't sure if we were supposed to put the receipt on the dashboard or not. There's not anything there that says you need to and we thought maybe the parking enforcement just punches in the plate number to check. A local overheard us talking and said definitely put it on the dash. Apparently people get burned on that all the time. Doesn't seem fair if it doesn't state it, but whatever. We were fine. Since I'm a forever student, I got the student rate of $16 instead of $21 for our admission, which was a bonus. Sometimes it pays to take forever to graduate. The beluga whale show was about to start when we walked in so we headed straight over there. Before the show started the whales were just swimming around.

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    The show is outdoors and it was still raining pretty good at this point so there were a lot of umbrellas around, which made it difficult to see what was going on at times.

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    At this point the rain really started to come down pretty hard and between trying to balance the umbrella, my purse, and the camera and just being tired of being rained on and not having a very good view of what was going on, we decided to move on. The whales were pretty cool, though. I'm sure the show is much better when it's dry and you can sit on the bleachers and see whats going on. There were three whales, two rescues, and one was the daughter of another, so she had always lived at the aquarium. The mother was named Aurora, which I thought appropriate for a Disney vacation, the other two had local indian tribal names, which I don't remember.

    Next we visited the penguins, which were also outside.
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    They were all just staring off into the distance at one spot. It was almost as if they were posing!
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    By this time the whale show was over so we tried to get some better pictures, but they weren't super active.

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    We were able to see them better from inside.

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    The otter was next. He was the cutest thing, super energetic. He didn't stop the whole time we were watching him, which made it difficult to take a picture, but I tried.

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  19. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    After the otter we made our way back indoors and came across the largest frog exhibit I've ever seen.

    This guy is stuck to the glass!
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    Bullfrogs!

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    Tiny red frogs
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    More tiny red frogs
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    Some Mexican lizard. I only remeber this because it was the first non-frog thing there.

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    After the frogs, we checked out some of the various fish tanks, but it was very busy and most of the tanks had kids there pressed against the glass, so although I could see the fish, I wasn't able to get any good pictures of them. The fish were typical to what I've seen in most aquariums anyway. The things I posted pictures of interested me most. At this point we decided to leave, but not before making my husband pose for a picture telling us where we were at!

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    Still raining and still packed with people!

    Next: More Stanley Park and our first sighting of the Wonder!
     
  20. jenf22

    jenf22 DIS Veteran

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    I'm also on the reverse cruise in September and loving your trip report so far! I can't wait for the rest!
     
  21. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    I've just put the Vancouver Aquarium on my 'to do' list when we visit next year, DH would love it (especially the frogs!!) :goodvibes
     

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