Planning a WONDERful Alaskan Cruise in 31 Days: An OCD Mom Survives Booking VGT!

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Pre-Trip Reports' started by MickeyMomTo2, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    Not that I remember. No I don't sorry.
     
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  3. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    As the title of my post suggests, I am OCD about planning. Because we booked this cruise 31 days out, there are some things that are out of my control. This drives me a little bit crazy. There are also a few things about our plans that have me a little nervous. Here's my current list of concerns:

    1) Our Room: I'm not really all that worried about this one, but I am constantly checking the website to see if we have been assigned a room. We are guaranteed a verandah, so I will be happy no matter what. I may be slightly disappointed if we get a white wall. On the flip side, I will be THRILLED if we get a category 4. When I search for availability for a family of 4, only category 5's come up right now, so I assume that's what we will get. Hopefully we will know by early next week. It seems many get their VGT assignments about 2 weeks out.

    2) Passports: My husband, son, and daughter don't have passports. We went at three weeks and two days out to apply and had them expedited. They should arrive in time (I've already been alerted that they are being processed), so we aren't too worried at this point. I won't start freaking out until a week and a half from now.

    3) Dining: We are currently down for second seating, and I asked to be waitlisted for main. There's really no way we can do late seating, so I am hoping the waitlist will come through. We eat on the early side at home, and we are also coming from the east, so there will be a 2-3 hour time difference (so 8:15 will be like 10:15 and 11:15 according to our body clocks). We are going to do our best to start adjusting the kids about a week before we leave, but we may end up having to skip dinner in the main dining room. I also have severe reflux, and I really don't need to eat so close to bedtime. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one! If the waitlist doesn't come through before we leave, I will try to get it changed as soon as we get on the ship.

    4) Returning Home: We fly out of Seattle on the day we disembark. Our flight is at 3:30. That gives us about 5 hours to make it with 1 1/2 hours before our flight, which should be more than enough, but I am really hoping there's no delays or security issues at the border on that day!

    These are a few of the unknown aspects of our trip swirling through my brain. It's going to be a great trip, so I'm trying not to worry too much!
     
  4. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    Hope everything comes together for you.
     
  5. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    Passports arrived today! That's one concern that can be checked off. We fly to Seattle two weeks from today!
     
  6. travelvr

    travelvr Earning My Ears

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    OMGsh are we twins?? We have the exact same circumstance as you - decided on this Disney cruise at the last minute (after debating Disney/Princess/Royal Caribbean), saw the VGT rate, hemmed and hawed, saw it disappear, kept checking, saw it come back on and pulled the trigger without doing any research prior! OK, wait a minute, we're not twins because unlike you, I never pored over the pages and pages of Alaska TR and testimonials on DISboards or others prior to pulling the trigger. I should have because I feel unprepared! Our first cruise ever and our first time in Alaska! Yikes!

    We are also booked on the Bering Sea Crab tour (booked through the website - snagged the last spots!), and also considering Alaska Galore whale watch in the morning we arrive in Juneau! Why did you pick Alaska Galore over Harv and Marv or others?

    Also booked on second seating (didn't know we can waitlist for main?). Do you have your room assignments yet? I don't think we do. Did you request dining rotation? Any recommendations for the preferred rotation sequence?

    It's too bad you can't stick around for Vancouver - it's SO beautiful! Stanley Park (some totems there, bike along the seawall or at least drive it), Vancouver Aquarium, the Roots store on Robson St., try a Japadog... :)

    I look forward to gleaning more well-researched info from you as the trip gets closer! :)
     
  7. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    Ahh! So you are the reason the Bearing Sea tour was available on their website one day and gone the next. :) How funny that we are in such similar circumstances.

    We don't have our room assignment yet either, but I've been checking our reservation several times a day hoping it will show up. I think they usually assign them in the 11-14 day window, so I hope it's soon! We did not request a dining rotation. If we can get switched to main, I won't be picky about the rotation.

    We couldn't book Harv and Marv because we have two kids under the age of 13. Rum Runners was my next choice, but they were booked. I chose Alaska Galore after that. All three of these are very highly rated on Trip Advisor--that's where I found them. There are several other highly rated companies as well. If you search Juneau on TA and look at the "Things to Do", you can look at a list.

    We also hemmed and hawed and grabbed the deal when it popped back up. We considered waiting to see if a later week got the deal because my kids were supposed to go to a camp at their school that week. Glad we didn't do that because there haven't been deals offered for the other weeks!

    Thanks so much for commenting! We'll have to keep "talking" over the next week and a half as we plan and pack. I'm getting very excited!
     
  8. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    We got our room assignment. We are in a 5C. Would have been ecstatic to get a 4, but very thankful to avoid a whitewall verandah. Now that we have an assignment, it seems even closer. Very excited!
     
  9. travelvr

    travelvr Earning My Ears

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    What do 5 C and 4 mean?

    Yes, I pulled the trigger about the Bering Sea even though I wasn't 100% sure - I figured the $25 cancellation fee is worth the peace of mind of knowing someone is booked. I'm glad we did because I think it'll be a unique-to-Alaska experience.


    What time is your Alaska Galore tour? They only have the earliest one available. I'm not a morning person...

    Have you heard anything about Orca Enterprises? Who are you doing the Glacier tour with?

    :yay: So excited!
     
  10. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    Category 4 rooms are on deck 8 and are larger than other veranda rooms by about 40 sq. ft. Category 5 rooms are broken down into A, B, and C based on the deck and whether they are midship or not. Category 6's have solid verandas (instead of see-through). You can see the deck plan and categories here:

    http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/m...edia/Assets/ShipsActivities/Ships/mw-deck.pdf

    I think our Alaska Galore trip is around 8ish. We are going to have LOTS of trouble sleeping in because of the time difference, so this will not be a problem for us. Orca does have good reviews with trip advisor. I am sure they would be good, too.

    Our Glacier Adventure in Skagway is booked through M&M Tours, but Temsco is the company that operates the tour.

    I agree about the fisherman tour being unique. We thought about the Lumberjack show, but its sister show is actually in Pigeon Forge, TN, which is not far from us. We want to do things we can only do in Alaska!
     
  11. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    great news on the room
     
  12. RweTHEREyet

    RweTHEREyet DIS Veteran

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    MickeyMom, I know you plan to a trip report and Travelr, I hope you do as well. I cannot imagine booking this trip only a month out. We are sailing to Alaska on May 2014, and I still wonder if I have enough time to research and plan.

    I hope you both have a wonderful cruise and am looking forward to hearing all about it, every last detail.
     
  13. travelvr

    travelvr Earning My Ears

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    Thanks!
     
  14. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    Thank you! While I did book the cruise 31 days out, I had been reading a lot about it, so that is really helping me. On the positive side, we haven't had to be patient. It feels like we've blinked and it's almost time to go!
     
  15. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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    We are in the final countdown! We leave Friday morning for Seattle, so I am in full packing mode. Since we just booked the cruise a little over three weeks ago, I have had a challenging time finding some of the things we need. Both my kids have grown since winter, but finding fall/winter type clothes in June in Tennessee is not an easy task. I had to order rain jackets, long sleeved t-shirts, and some pants for both of them. Online was the only place I could find things. Thankfully, most of these items were on clearance, so I was able to get good deals. The only item that didn't work out is my daughter's rain jacket. It is too big, but we are going to have to roll the sleeves up and go with it because we don't have time to do anything else.

    I normally don't do laundry on vacation, but this trip is too long (10 nights total), and we need too many layers to be able to pack enough clothes for the entire trip. Also, since we will only have our dinner clothes on for a little while each night, I am planning to wear things more than once. I don't like to do this because I like to look different in photos, but there's no way we can pack a different outfit for each night!

    Besides clothing, I have motion sickness meds, binoculars, a rain cover for my camera, gloves, clothespins (to keep the curtains fully closed so the light doesn't wake us), chargers and electronic gadgets, some snacks, umbrellas, and handwarmers. I am sure I am leaving something out of this list, but I'll update it as I think of things.

    We are also in the process of trying to get my kids to sleep later. My kids do not fall back easily, and we may end up with the second dinner seating, so I've started letting them go to bed later. This morning, both kids slept until 7:30, which is very late for them! Of course, that's still 5:30 in Seattle/Vancouver and 4:30 in Alaska, so we have lots of room for improvement!

    The trip still doesn't seem real, but we leave in four days! This is going to be so different from any trip we have ever taken. I can't wait!
     
  16. travelvr

    travelvr Earning My Ears

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    Just a few more days!!:yay:

    So, being completely new to cruising, and DCL cruising, can you tell me how breakfasts and lunches are done on a Disney ship? What restaurant do we go to? What's preferable? What are the breakfast and lunch hours?

    Is the port arrival time the time you board the ship AFTER going through immigration/customs?

    Thanks..
     
  17. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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    The Daily Navigator will list what is open for breakfast and lunch each day and what the hours are. Normally there is a buffet option, a sit down option, room service, and the "fast food" outlets.

    No your port arrival time is what it says on the tin, the time you should arrive at port, it is not the time you board the ship. After arriving at port you will be given a boarding number. When that number is called you can board or they may call open boarding and then anyone at the port can board.
     
  18. MickeyMomTo2

    MickeyMomTo2 Lauren S. @baseballsbows

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  19. Chilly

    Chilly RIP Tag Fairy

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  20. kjmumma

    kjmumma Earning My Ears

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    Enjoyed reading all your planning, we go Aug 18, and I can't get enough of others trip reports etc. All the best!
    KJ
     

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