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. DisSarahK

    DisSarahK Missing Mickey...

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    I keep thinking we need to drive up and visit Vancouver...apparently we need to visit the aquarium when we go. :) I usually don't like aquariums, but this one looks like it has more than just tanks of fish.
     
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  3. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    I'm here! Great updates!

    Omgosh, those donuts look GOOD! I love donuts. Too bad about that woman and the car door. I'm always so worried about other people messing up rentals, which is mainly why I always get insurance.

    What a cool aquarium! I would LOVE to go to Canada someday.
     
  4. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    After the aquarium, I remembered I had seen a sign for the totem poles in the park, so we got back in the car and decided to drive around until we spotted another sign telling us where to go. Like I said earlier, there are signs all over the place so we found the totem poles pretty easily. As we were driving around, I tried to take some pictures of things that we passed but visibility was low and we couldn't see much. I'm pretty sure this was the bridge that we would be sailing under the next day on our way to Alaska. For those of you on the reverse, bummer you'll probably be sleeping when you go under it.
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    And then.... there she is! The Wonder! Well, kinda. She's hidden behind a Celebrity and Holland America ship.
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    I was really into seeing the totem poles. When we parked, I got out and went right for them, leaving my husband behind to deal with parking... it just took him a quick second and he caught up to me.

    Approaching the poles
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    Totem gate?
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    And each of us with our favorite totem poles
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    It is still raining at this point and I had an umbrella, but my husband didn't and we thought it was more important for the camera to be under the umbrella than me for my quick photo.
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    This plaque went with the pole I am standing with.
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    My husband showing us his British Colombia license plate :rotfl: and the Wonder peaking over his left shoulder.

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    By this time we were getting hungry, so I entered a search for Vera's Burger Shack and we were on our way.

    We're here!
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    Enjoying my vanilla shake. I was gonna order the banana, but the cashier said it's not made with real bananas and she couldn't really say what it was made with. She kinda kept saying "it's kinda..." and then would rub her fingers together. Ok not for me then. Thanks for the heads up!
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    Our poutine. Apparently a Canadian specialty, specifically from Quebec. It's fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. I wasn't a fan, but I don't like brown gravy. Chris thought it was ok. When we told my dad, he was raving about it like it's the best thing ever (my family is from Niagara Falls, NY, but I have tons of family in Ontario, too.) He said he gets them all the time in NY, but I don't remember ever seeing one before. I probably didn't remember because of the gravy. :confused3
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    I know this was a burger place, but I'm not a ground beef person either. Actually, the only was I really like beef is in the form of a filet mignon. Just not a burger girl. So I ordered the chicken burger, which was just a chicken breast, grilled with hot sauce (I'm from the Buffalo area, remember?). It was good, but how exciting can a chicken breast be?
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    I picked this place for my husband, who loves burgers. He was in heaven deciding between all the potential burger deliciousness. I think he went with the regular Vera burger with the works which includes: Ketchup, mustard, Dijon mustard, relish, mayo, Vera's Sauce, lettuce, raw onions, tomato, hot peppers, hot sauce, pickles, BBQ sauce, honey mustard.There was a ton of stuff on there.
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    After dinner, we decided to look into buying a bottle of liquor to have in our stateroom in case we wanted to make our own cocktails. We went to two liquor stores and quickly abandoned that idea. The first store I went in was a tiny corner liquor store that didn't have very much selection and I just about died when I saw they were selling Crown Royal for over $50 per bottle. I thought it had to be because we were still in downtown Vancouver area and people who live in the high rises on the island probably have higher income and the prices are probably jacked up because of that. So we drove back towards our little hotel in the more suburban area of Richmond and found a liquor store very close to our hotel. And my suspicions about higher liquor prices downtown were disproved. This place had much more selection. They had 750ml bottles of Smirnoff vodka, which sells in a Las Vegas grocery store for between 8.99-11.99 depending on the store, for over $35 per bottle! :scared1: What! For that price, we decided to skip it. At this point we were really wishing we had bought something at the Duty Free in the airport, but oh well, no big deal. The funny part was when we went back to our hotel, we went to the bar across the street to have a drink and chat for a bit, and drink prices were average to a little bit less than what we pay at a bar here. Weird, right?

    After that, we went back to the hotel to go to sleep. It was a little early, but we hadn't got to bed until after 2am the night before and woke up bright and early around 8am, so we were ready to sleep. And the earlier we went to sleep, the earlier we'd wake up to get to the Wonder!

    Up next: Finally boarding the Wonder!
     
  5. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    Welcome! You'll have a great time. The scenery is amazing. Bring binoculars!

    It was pretty cool. I'd imagine it would be even better without the rain.

    It's the second one I've been to, the other was the one on the pier in San Francisco, which I wasn't very impressed with. This one was far better, and for the price, it couldn't be beat.

    Thanks for coming over! Tim Horton's has the best donuts and coffee. They also have paninis and lunch things that look great, but I can't ever bring myself to order anything other than a donut.

    From my experiences, Canada is just like the US, except where we have signs in English and Spanish, they have them in English and French. It makes it feel so different to see another language, I think.
     
  6. Leshaface

    Leshaface DIS Veteran

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    Mmm, his burger looks amazing! Not so sure about the fries though.

    Holy moly that's a lot for booze!:eek: I'm so glad we brought some alcohol with us on our cruise. I hate paying jacked up prices, when I know I can make it for myself for less than half the price.
     
  7. disneydiva16

    disneydiva16 DIS Veteran

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    Count me in!!!:goodvibes Your trip report sounds awesome so far. Love all the pictures. I cant wait to visit Alaska one day:)
     
  8. Momma2Jax

    Momma2Jax DIS Veteran

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    Great report about the aquarium and totem poles! We are looking for things to do when we disembark in Sept!

    Meanwhile...you have all these pictures of the rain, fog, and humidity, then a picture of your hair all nice looking. Um, what the heckl ;)

    Can't wait till the next one!
     
  9. trimix

    trimix DIS Veteran

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    Your waist and cholesterol numbers will probably be glad that we didn't meet before your cruise. One place I have to recommend in downtown Vancouver is a dessert restaurant called Death by Chocolate. The last time I was there, I worried that I would be diagnosed with diabetes the next morning!
    And on the drive to Seattle, in White Rock which is immediately before the border, there are several fish & chips restaurants overlooking a bay. Moby ****'s is my favorite, and you can easily make yourself sick trying two or three at once to notice the subtle differences in flavor.
     
  10. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Great update, love the pictures :goodvibes

    I hope it stops raining for you soon :rolleyes:
     
  11. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    I remember that rain. Glad I didn't go get some alcohol then if it was pricey. It'll be interesting to read about the cruise I was on from someone elses perspective.
     
  12. AZMermaid

    AZMermaid DIS Veteran

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    Great report so far! I'm in!
     
  13. caitlinsdad

    caitlinsdad DIS Veteran

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    Thanks , we will be on the Wonder next year from Vancouver, Thanks for the city sights
     
  14. barbbarnes

    barbbarnes Earning My Ears

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    What a great trip report! I'm also a foodie and can't wait to read and see more :cool1:
     
  15. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    Hey guys! Just wanted to let you all know that I haven't forgotten about you or abandoned my trip report. Tomorrow is my 28th birthday and since Thursday night I've been getting together with various family members and friends to celebrate. I'm planning to make another update in the next few days, and then we'll be off to Denver, CO for my husband's uncle's 50th birthday celebration. Hope you all are having a great week!

     
  16. jenf22

    jenf22 DIS Veteran

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    Happy birthday! Hope you have a great time in Denver. We've been having great weather - hope it holds out for you. There is a big fire right now (not near Denver), so there may be some smoke.

    Love your trip report! Thanks so much for doing it!
     
  17. punkin413

    punkin413 feel the magic, dang it!

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    I'm here....I'll catch up later! Can't wait to hear all about it!
     
  18. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    Chris was pretty into that burger. The liquor prices were obscene! I was pleasantly surprised by the not crazy high drink prices on board the Wonder.

    Welcome! Alaska is beautiful! You'll love it.

    Stanley Park was a good time. It would have been so much better if we could have done all the outdoorsy stuff we wanted, but we still had a good time. The funny thing about my hair is it's sooo straight, humidity does nothing to it. Unfortunately, it doesn't like to hold a curl or no matter how much product I use, it refuses to be voluminous. I'm over it. Thanks for the compliment though :blush:

    We saw Death By Chocolate, but I think we were trying to hurry to the ship at that time so we couldn't stop. The other places we would have missed because we didn't drive between Seattle and Vancouver. Maybe next time we will try that though. It seems a lot of people did and they enjoyed it.

    The rain does stop at just the right moment.

    That's what I was thinking. I've subscribed to the other reports I've seen so far and we all saw and did different things.

    Thanks! Welcome!

    Glad to share!

    There will be more, I promise.

    Thanks! We're driving up early Friday morning. California catches on fire every summer it seems, and we get their smoke, so it won't be anything new for us. Honestly, I like the way it makes the sky orange. Are you in Denver? Any reccommendations for food or sights?

    Thanks for stopping by! I just finished reading your report earlier. I love how you finished on such a positive note.
     
  19. happenin2you

    happenin2you Mouseketeer

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    This morning we woke up, went down for breakfast in the hotel, then came back upstairs to get ready for the day and check out. Well... while I was blow-drying my hair, my blow dryer made this crazy mini-explosion noise, the motor stopped whirring as loudly, and there was smoke... Seriously? If you knew me, you'd know that I make a lot of sound effects. At this time it was something like a freaked out EHHH! Chris came in quickly to investigate why I was freaking out and he looked freaked out. I think I saw the fear in his eyes that this broken hair dryer could greatly affect the rest of our vacation. I just shrugged it off, threw it in the trash, and used the hotel dryer to finish the last section of my hair that needed drying (thank goodness I was mostly done anyhow).

    We had passed a Zeller's the day before, which is kind of like a K-Mart or Target, and I knew they'd have hair dryers so we set out to look into that. They had a lot of dryers, but none of them looked like anything I wanted. They were all Conair ones that I could get at Walgreen's for 14.99 but they were selling them for $40 and up. I decided to skip it because the one I had, I had only gotten last year after the one I've had since high school finally broke, and I thought that if I bought one in Canada and it broke too, then I wouldn't be able to return it or warranty it from another country. At this point I had spent way too much time pondering this and we were now running late to return the rental car without being charged for a second day.

    We booked it to Canada Place where we dropped off our luggage. We got gas, for a crazy high something like $1.69 per litre, luckily we didn't drive very far and put less than $10 in, and got the car back just in time. Funny thing was we returned the car in downtown Vancouver and the lady that helped us was the same one who had rented it to us the day before at the airport. She told us that it was a short walk from there to Canada Place, and although it was raining, it wasn't raining very hard and we decided to walk. We just had our two small carry-on bags with us and the walk was pretty easy until about half way, when we conveniently reached a London Drugs, when the rain started coming down harder... We went in there, found another Tim Horton's where we got two more Iced Capps, and bought another umbrella for Chris because his waterproof jacket was starting to leak on the back of his neck and get his shirt wet. Just as we're getting to the end of Granville, there's this huge Price Waterhouse Cooper building and we weren't sure to go to the left or right of it to get around to Canada Place. Well of course we choose the wrong way and that was to the right. We climbed a few flights of stairs carrying our heavy carry-ons, which were full of water, and got to the top where we saw an amazing view of the Wonder and lots of signs telling us there was no access to Canada Place from there. It seems it must be some sick joke to watch travelers with their luggage in tow expecting to get to their ship and have to turn around and go back down the stairs. The accountants at PwC probably just laugh all day about it. Oh well. We'll take the exercise. What we did find up there, though, was a lovely view of the Wonder!

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    We quickly made our way back around, sped through the boarding process and next thing we knew the Disney Wonder was welcoming the Pardo family aboard! We went straight to Studio Sea to try for a Palo brunch reservation because they had been completely booked when we tried online. We got the next day at 11:30 am. A little late, but we were happy to get one at all. After this we were talking about going to get something to eat when they annouced our rooms were ready, way ahead of the time they tell you. We were desparate to get rid of our carry-ons, so off to the room we went. We were down on deck 2 in 2605, a Deluxe Interior.

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    I was so excited to check it out, but the room looked exactly the way they do on the DCL website, so not much of a surprise. We loved it though. On our way to the Beach Blanket Buffet, I was admiring the ceiling sculpture in the atrium, when Goofy approached us and wanted a picture. Well, Ok Goofy :goodvibes First magical Disney moment!

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    Up next: Exploring the Wonder and lunch

     
  20. DisSarahK

    DisSarahK Missing Mickey...

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    Yay, you're on the ship!! Not so good though to have a waterproof jacket leaking before you make it to Alaska!
     
  21. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

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    Woo Hoo, you are on-board :cool1:

    Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip :goodvibes
     

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