A few weeks ago (June 3-10), I went on a week long cruise to Alaska with my family on the Disney Wonder. IT. WAS. AWESOME. There is so much to say about the trip, but I will try to summarize as much as possible. We all had a fantastic time and I would definitely recommend a Disney cruise to others.
Just in general:
The food was AMAZING! You could either go to the buffet (named Beach Blanket) or do the sit down during your meals. We would usually go to the buffet for breakfast and do the sit down for lunch and dinner. There were 3 different dining areas: The Animator’s Palate, Parrot Cay & Triton’s. Each dining area had a different kind of theme going on. The interior of the Animator’s Palate had sketches of all the different Disney characters and the pillars resembled easels. It was pretty neat! Parrot Cay was very tropical-esque and Triton’s was the most formal looking out of the 3. I would say that some dishes were a miss, but for the most part, everything was good! 2 appetizers, 2 entrees & 3 desserts? Yes, please! I also liked how our servers got to know and remember our names and knew exactly which drink we would usually be having. The service was also superb; Just seconds after you finished your plate, they would take it away for you.
[Insert food pictures. Here are some of the many highlights]
We were so lucky to have the main seating at dinner (5:45pm) because you could go watch the main entertainment show and then go to bed. If you were assigned the later seating (8:15pm), you would watch the main entertainment show and then eat later. Since my little niece was on the trip, the earlier seating was perfect as she did not have to stay up too late every night. The shows were pretty entertaining! Included were The Golden Mickeys, Toy Story Musical, Michael Harrison Comedy Show and Disney Dreams just to name a few. I enjoyed the Disney Dreams (the last) show the best out of all.
[Top: Inside Animator’s Palate, Bottom: Triton’s]
Every night, the maid left a towel animal on the bed along with some chocolates! I loved that. It was awesome that they took the time to learn how to create these towel animals for us to enjoy. I believe the maid would come into your room twice a day to clean which was pretty awesome. Once in the morning and then later in the evening.
On to the ports of Alaska.
We were at sea a couple of days before passing through Tracy Arm to see the Sawyer Glaciers. It was pretty neat to see. On the blocks of ice laid a bunch of seals. The boat stopped at a distance as to not disturb the seals of course. Very neat!
Next up was Skagway. It is a small city, and very Western looking. Lots of souvenir shops and jewelry stores. Of course we were all waiting to get wifi, but it was not free. We found an internet cafe and whoever wanted to use wifi paid $1.25 for 15 minutes, haha. There was internet on the ship, but definitely more expensive. Besides, you’re on vacation and should be relaxing!
We then made our way to Juneau, the capital city of Alaska. In Juneau, there are also mainly souvenir shops and more boutiques. There are also lots of jewelry stores (diamonds or tanzanite, anyone?). We had a little snack at Tracy’s King Crab Shack and had the crab cakes. They were delicious!
The next day we stopped in Ketchikan, the first city of Alaska. Unfortunately it rained this day (apparently it rains 350 days a year in Ketchikan!) so we did not spend too much time walking around. Again, there were more souvenir shops and jewelry stores here. Highlight of the day: seeing a bald eagle snatch a fish out of the water and fly away!
Out of all the ports, I think I enjoyed Ketchikan more than the others despite the rain. Just because I liked the modern feel of it. I cannot say I was not used to the weather though; living in Vancouver, I can definitely say I’m accustomed to it. At the ports, you were welcome to take part in different adventures: dog sledding, riding the tram, whale watching, riding a helicopter etc. but the excursions were quite expensive and walking around the town was good enough. I’m sure if you took part in the excursions, it was amazing to get a better look at the cities and see the wildlife.
A little more about the cruise itself.
There were a few dance parties throughout the cruise–meaning that some of the Disney & Pixar characters came out to dance, party and take pictures with everyone. It was fun & my niece sure enjoyed it! There were also character appearances everyday in which you could go to the specific area of the ship that they would be at during certain times and take pictures with them. I definitely had fun with this. I’m still a kid at heart :)
On the ship, you could participate in different activities each day as well. You were left with a “Personal Navigator” which detailed the different activities throughout the ship each day that appealed to specifically children, specifically adults or all ages. We took part in Bingo quite a few times and unfortunately left empty handed. After going the few times, you would get the same responses from the staff: “If it’s not after, it’s B-4”–“It’s a G, everyone say Whaddup, G?” — B 11 was apparently the cruise’s favourite number and they had to do a dance every time it got called. I also had the opportunity to learn how to draw Donald Duck & Goofy! Goofy’s my fav.
There were 3 different swimming pools: one for children that had a slide, another for all ages and the other one was adults only (unfortunately I did not take a picture of the Goofy slide!). I sadly did not get to go to the pool because I felt that it was too cold to swim even though it was heated. My brother took my niece one day and she was shivering! There was also a “Wide World of Sports Deck” that had a basketball court, soccer nets etc. and ping pong tables and foosball. There was a fitness centre/spa and it was really nice! Before going on the trip, I said I would go work out every morning with all the eating I knew we’d be doing. Ha! That did not happen. I ended up working out a few times though which was better than nothing! There were also fitness classes you could take (yoga, bootcamp, ab workouts etc.) and some were at an additional fee. My sister and I took a yoga class and it was pretty basic, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Overall, it was such a blast and I would go on a Disney cruise again. Maybe to somewhere warmer? But the activities, shows, service and food are all excellent and top notch. It was also nice to go with my whole family; it’s kind of tricky to get everyone together when it comes to vacations. Some may also think cruises are for “old,” retired people, but hey! I believe there’s fun for everyone.
So that is my summary of the Disney Wonder cruise to Alaska. Until next time…