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The Grand Canyon. Enormous. Majestic. Kid friendly? Believe it or not, the answer is yes!

Despite the fact that our children, ranging from 10 to 18 years old, were less than enthusiastic about adding the Grand Canyon to our family vacation this year, it turned out to be one of their favorite parts of the trip out west. What do I mean by less than enthusiastic? I believe the word “boring” was used once or twice. As far as they were concerned, they’d already seen the Grand Canyon time and time again in photographs. But a photograph isn’t the same as seeing it in person, and seeing this incredible landscape in person is anything but boring.

As soon as we arrived, they quickly realized that the pictures didn’t do it justice. They were in awe. Imagine that, a 10-year-old in awe of something over a million years old. Now, that same 10-year-old girl is learning about the Grand Canyon in school, and she proudly tells her classmates, “I’ve been there!” Not only has she been there, but she’s taken photos there (some goofier than others) and she’s made memories there—memories that she’ll cherish for the rest of her life.

So yes, your kids may groan about how “boring” a bunch of rocks may be, but don’t rule it out. We didn’t, and we’re so glad because of it.

With that said, the Grand Canyon probably isn’t the ONLY place you want to visit on a vacation to the Southwest, as two days there is more than enough for your children. That’s why I recommend visiting any of the many places close by. In fact, we took a day trip out to the Canyon from Las Vegas!

If you’re interested in learning more about building a family vacation around the Grand Canyon (or adding it to your already-planned vacation in the area), contact me for a quote today!

Review:  Passholder Play Time at Toy Story Land – BEST PARK DAY EVER!

My husband and I recently attended the Passholder Play Time event at Toy Story Land.  This was our first time ever passholder event and let me tell you – it did not disappoint!!! 

Our event time was scheduled from 7am – 8am, with entry to begin around 6:45am.  We got to our bus stop that morning right at 6:00am and a bus came up immediately (just like the sign says!):

disney bus times
These signs are stationed at the Disney resort bus stops to let you know how approximately how long you’ll have to wait. We always found them to be pretty accurate!
hollywood bus
We were the only ones on the bus!!

We were at the entrance by 6:20am and were greeted with the sight of all of the Cast Members awaiting our arrival:

hollywood studios opening

This was super cool; we were only the 3rd or 4th people to arrive.  We waited up front talking to a nice cast member until it was time to let us in.  The cast member told us that it was open to 300 passholders, but we weren’t sure if that was per hour, or for the entire 2 hours. 

park opening
First in line!

Once open, the cast members walked us over to Toy Story Land.  The sun was just beginning to rise, so it was still all lit up which was pretty cool. 

passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time

passholder play time


We headed straight for Slinky Dog Dash.  We did have to tap our magic bands (similar to a fastpass) but only had to do that the first time.  After that we went through a separate line. Pics of the empty queue:

passholder play time Slinky Dog Dash Queue Slinky Dog Dash Ride

Our first ride:

first slinky dog ride

Our 3rd ride:

Third ride

Our 5th ride:

5th ride

Our 7th (and final) ride:

7th ride passholder playtime

passholder play time passholder play time

By the time we finished our 7th ride (we thought about going for 10, but we were both feeling a little nauseous after the 7th time), it was only 7:30am.  We walked over to Alien Swirling Saucers for our first ride.  On the way over we stopped for some PhotoPass pics:

alien swirling photopass
The CLAW!!!

Slinky Dog Dash Ride

We walked right on to Alien Swirling Saucers.  This wasn’t our favorite ride and wasn’t something we wanted to ride a second time, even though we could have walked right back on. 

alien saucer passholder play time

alien saucer passholder play time

alien saucer passholder play time

We stopped for a bathroom break and then took some more pics:

passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time

As you can see, the park was pretty empty – it was amazing!!

passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time

Afterwards we headed over to the Woody & Jessie meet and greet.  This would be our longest line of the day…..which was about 10 minutes total.  The characters are out in the sun with no shade cover, so they take breaks frequently.  We had some cute interaction with them and ended up with a shirt full of stickers:

Next we were off to meet Buzz and to get our Photopass picture by the entrance sign:

After meeting Buzz, we decided to head over to Woody’s Lunch Box for breakfast.  I have heard good things about this quick service meal, and it did not disappoint.  You can check out their menu here.  

woody's lunch box 1

Eddie ordered the Breakfast Bowl:

woody's lunch box breakfast bowl
Breakfast bowl with potato barrels, eggs, green onion, and smoked brisket country gravy

I ordered the Smoked Turkey breakfast sandwich on sourdough:

woody's lunch box smoked turkey
Smoked turkey, swiss cheese and egg on sourdough bread – yummy!

Everything was really good.  We decided to go ride Toy Story Mania next.  It was another walk on. 

passholder play time passholder play time passholder play time

toy story mania selfie

toy story mania score
Eddie beat me. Ugh!

We were hoping the cast member would let us stay on for a second ride (because some of the queue lines were empty), but there was someone at our number, so we had to get off and get back in line.  No worries though – we walked right back on again!  On our way out we took some more pics:

disney wall toy story land

disney wall toy story land

disney wall toy story land

Then ran into a Photopass photographer who offered to take our picture:

At this point it was around 9:00am so we decided to leave Toy Story Land now that the park had opened to everyone else and it was getting crowded.  As we walked out right at 9am, we saw that the line for Slinky Dog Dash was at a 60 minute wait! 

We walked towards Rock ‘n Rollercoaster and stopped for some Photopass pics since the streets were pretty empty:

We walked right on Rock ‘n Rollercoaster.  When I say walked right on – I mean it!  We didn’t even see the pre-show with Aerosmith!  That has never happened!! Check out this EMPTY queue!!  Now keep in mind – passholder play time had ended and the park was open to everyone!  I cannot stress the importance of early park arrival!!!

Next we walked over to Tower of Terror.  Another walk on, although we did see the pre-show Twilight Zone video. 

We finished up around 9:35am and decided to go into the shops to look at the Toy Story Land pins (my husband has a severe Disney pin addiction), along with anything else we might want, lol.  

We were out at the bus stop by 10:15am, and back at our resort (Port Orleans French Quarter) by 10:40am. 

Did I mention this was the BEST.PARK.DAY.EVER?!!   We were so lucky to be able to get tickets to experience this event – I wish we could experience all of the parks like this!  

Click here to read my other Trip Reports!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

Disney Alaskan Cruise – Disembarkation Day and Vancouver Sightseeing

In case you missed it, click hereto start with Day 1 of the Trip Report.

Disembarkation Day – Vancouver Sightseeing

This morning our breakfast was scheduled for 7:00am since we were on the Main Dining schedule.  We knew we didn’t have to be off the ship until 9:00am (out of our room by 8:30), so we left our bags in our room and headed to breakfast.  We were sad to say goodbye to Svetlana and Istvan and told them we would be sure to request them as our servers next time we are on the Wonder.   Breakfast went pretty quick, and we went back to the room and did a final sweep of the room before heading out around 8:00am or so.  Walking out we had to stop by this table to pick up the knives they had “confiscated” that we had purchased in Alaska.  Once you return on ship from a port, they take anything you’ve purchased that is not allowed on the ship (such as alcohol or knives, etc) and give you a card with a number on it.  You give that card to the staff at the table to collect your items.  It was a seamless and quick process.

disney cruise item pick up

It was a beautiful sunny day in Vancouver.  We had a Vancouver Delights tour scheduled with LandSea Tours, but we weren’t due to meet the representative until 9:30am.  So we found a bench and just enjoyed the beautiful weather and seeing some behind the scenes action for the Wonder:

disney cruise behind the scenes

disney cruise behind the scenes
Loading food and supplies for the next sailing

disney cruise behind the scenes

About 9:15am we headed to the front entrance to meet our LandSea representative.  He asked us to walk across the street with him just because it was easier for the driver to navigate to that side.  I had done a lot of research, and there was a Vancouver tour that Disney was offering for the same price, but that tour didn’t have as many stops as this tour, and this tour also delivered us to the airport and stored our bags.  They had a regular Vancouver City Tour that was around 4 hours long, and this one (Vancouver Delights Tour) which was 7 hours long.  We didn’t have to be at the airport until 8:00pm, so this one worked perfect for us. 

Vancouver Landsea Tours

Our driver picked us up and then made some stops at a few other hotels and then we were on our way.  Our driver, Summer, was a local and very informative.  Our first stop was at the Granville Public Market.  We had heard this was very similar to Pike Place Market in Seattle which we loved, and this was an accurate description.  In fact, I think I enjoyed Granville Market a little more, and would love to go back and spend a full day there.  We were given an hour to shop, eat, etc.  I wished we had stopped here closer to lunch, because they had so much that looked delicious that I would have loved to try!  We did buy a scone and some chocolate chip cookies to snack on later.  Here are some pics of the market area:

Granville Public Market

Granville Public Market Granville Public Market Granville Public Market Granville Public Market Granville Public Market Granville Public Market Granville Public Market Granville Public Market Granville Public Market Granville Public Market Granville Public Market

After we left here, our next stop was the Vancouver Lookout.  Admission was included in the price of the tour which was awesome.  It would have been $17.50 (CAD) each otherwise.  We had great 360 degree views from the lookout, and there were signs posted all over giving some history of the sights in Vancouver.  We spent about 30 minutes here before heading out. 

Vancouver Lookout

Vancouver Lookout Vancouver Lookout Vancouver Lookout Vancouver Lookout Vancouver Lookout

Vancouver Lookout
View of Canada Place and the Disney Wonder from the Vancouver Lookout Tower

Vancouver Lookout

While driving to each location, Summer was great about pointing out other areas and giving us some history or details (such as the beach area with logs placed all around to watch the sunset, the Rogers Centre stadium, the Olympic Cauldron, etc). 

Our next stop was at Stanley Park where the totem poles were located.  Stanley Park was PACKED and Eddie and I were so glad that we had got up early the first morning of our cruise and experienced Stanley Park where we felt like we were the only ones there! 

Stanley Park

Our next stop in Stanley Park was at Prospect Point.  This offers beautiful views of Lions Gate Bridge and Vancouver.  They have a café there and some outside tables as well.  On the way to Prospect Point we passed a Stanley Park Brewery that is being built.  We can’t wait to come back to Vancouver and spend more time. 

Prospect Point Prospect Point Prospect Point Prospect Point

Prospect Point Prospect Point

There was a gift shop at Prospect Point so of course I had to buy a Christmas tree ornament:

Prospect Point

After our scenic pictures, we got back on the bus and headed to Capilano Salmon Hatchery and then the Capilano Suspension Bridge.  Admission was also included in the price of the tour.  The Salmon Hatchery was neat and had some beautiful trails:

Capilano Salmon Hatchery Capilano Salmon Hatchery Capilano Salmon Hatchery

Next was the Suspension Bridge:

Capilano Suspension Bridge

The Suspension Bridge was so crowded! 

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Canada Day was the day before which is why they had the flag up. That was pretty cool to see.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge Capilano Suspension Bridge Capilano Suspension Bridge Capilano Suspension Bridge Capilano Suspension Bridge

We walked the bridge across and back and then got some lunch.  It was around 3:00pm at this point and we hadn’t ate since breakfast on the ship.  We stopped at Logger’s and got a huge hot dog and fries.  Eddie and I split one, but Hunter had his own, lol. 

Capilano Suspension Bridge
This was their indoor sit-down restaurant

Capilano Suspension Bridge Capilano Suspension Bridge Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Definitely big enough to share (unless you’re a teenage boy, lol!)

We were all given these certificates when we were getting ready to leave Capilano Suspension Bridge:

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Isn’t he cute?

Our driver dropped off the others at their hotels (there were about 4 stops).  That was another great thing about this tour….we were given priority at the Vancouver Lookout and at the Capilano Suspension Bridge (no waiting in line) and the bus was small, we had 19 people in our group.  We were dropped off last at the airport, and we did tip Summer well.  Not only was she a great tour guide, we would have had to pay around $43 for a taxi to take us to the airport, not to mention all the admission fees we would have had to pay to the sites we visited.  This tour can’t be beat, and I am definitely recommending this to all of my clients who go to Vancouver, either for a cruise or just to visit Vancouver. 

By the time we got to the airport, we were starting to get tired.  We arrived around 6:00 or 6:30pm, and we couldn’t check in until 3 hours before our flight (8:00pm).  Luckily Vancouver airport has a nice food court outside the terminals where we sat and relaxed until we could check in.  We decided to wait to get something to eat until we had went through security since we had a late lunch.  The process was a little quirky, we used the kiosk to check-in, then were told to take our bags to another location in the airport to be checked.  Once we got there, we were told that once we arrived in Chicago (our layover), that we would need to collect our bags and re-check them.  We were a little frustrated by this because we only had a 1 hour and 20 minute layover.  It was something to do with being late at night and security, etc.  Thankfully once we got to Chicago everything went pretty quickly, but it was a hassle having to go through security again.  Especially when it was 5:00am and our bodies were functioning on very little sleep. 

We made it back to our home airport around 9:30am and were home by 11:00am.  We immediately took a nap and set our alarms for 2:00pm so we wouldn’t sleep all day.  That worked well.  We were ready to go to bed at our usual time of 10:00pm that night.  We did sleep pretty late the following day, but we needed it.  We are glad we had that extra day to readjust before heading back to work. 

Well this is the end of this report, I hope you enjoyed it!  Please send me a message if you have any questions about Alaska!  We absolutely loved this cruise and are already trying to figure out when we can go back again.  Eddie said he never wants to do another Caribbean cruise again, LOL (I wouldn’t go that far, haha!).  But seriously, the scenery cannot be beat.  God’s creation is absolutely stunning and we were very fortunate to be able to go on this adventure. 

Click here to read my other Trip Reports!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  


Disney Alaskan Cruise – Day 7 at Sea

In case you missed it, click here to start with Day 1 of the Trip Report.  

Day 7 – Last Day at Sea

How did this day arrive so quickly?!  At this point Hunter said he was ready to go home, while Eddie and I looked at each other and said “I could do another 7 days.”  We slept in again until around 9:00am.  Then it was off to Cabana’s for breakfast for our usual fare, although this time we also tried the biscuits and gravy that we kept wanting to try.  They were actually really good!   We got back to the room and showered and it was already time to head for Bingo.  There were two rounds of Bingo scheduled today and we had planned to go to both (we have won the jackpot before, so now we are hooked!).   We got there early knowing it would be crowded, to get our seats and cards/handsets.  We didn’t have any luck this session.  The people behind us won a door prize and also won some money on the first game, but they were pretty disappointed when 6 other people also won!  One of the people who won that split jackpot actually had Bingo on two of her handsets, so she got 2/7 of the payout.  First time I had seen that happen!

Bingo ended around 11:45am and Eddie and I wanted to go look in the gift shops since our first day we were specifically shopping for Alaska merchandise and didn’t look at the regular items.  We didn’t find anything that we had to have this time.  We were scheduled to meet with the DVC rep at 1:30 and there was a ventriloquist (Michael Harrison) scheduled for 2:00pm in the Walt Disney Theater that we were hoping to go see, but we didn’t make it out in time.  We met with Rob with DVC and were really seriously thinking about buying in since we go to Disney so much.  We took the information so we could go and talk about it and told him we would get back with him.  We headed upstairs to meet Hunter after the show (we had told him we would be waiting in Preludes outside the theater).  The show let out around 2:45 but we never saw Hunter, and apparently he forgot that he was supposed to meet us.  We stayed there in our seats and had a discussion about DVC, but ultimately decided we weren’t going to pursue.  We felt like all of our vacation money would be tied up into DVC, and we really enjoy traveling – and not just with Disney.  You can exchange points and use them at other hotels, so it isn’t strictly Disney, but I’ve always heard those points don’t transfer well and didn’t want to take any chances.  We headed back to the room and then grabbed Hunter for another round of Bingo!  This was the last Bingo session for this cruise, and the payout is highest on that last day.  I don’t think I realized up until this point that the prices of the packages change with each session.  On my 3-night cruise, I remembered paying $60 for the “Family Pack” which includes 2 electronic sets and 1 pack of paper cards.  This cruise it had been $80 both times we’d played, but for this last session it was $120!  Ouch.  Note:  there are smaller packages you can buy.  In the middle of bingo games they give away some door prizes by flashing names of everyone who has purchased a bingo package and if it stops on your name, you win.  Well, Eddie’s name was called!  We won this Disney Cruise Line lunch bag which also had a cute sailor Mickey luggage tag and a cruise key chain inside:

disney cruise bingo door prize

Unfortunately that was the only thing we won this session, but we can’t complain.  We won $88 the first game and then a door prize, and like I said, we have won the jackpot before on another cruise. 

After bingo, we headed for another Pub Quiz with Rod.  Afterwards we stopped in the gift shop “Sea Treasures” and bought an Alaska t-shirt (one for me and one for Eddie). 

By this time it was time for dinner and tonight was Tiana’s Place with the regular Mardi Gras menu and I was really excited.  I had really enjoyed Tiana’s on my girls cruise in March.   Since this was our last night we made sure to take some pics:

Tiana's Place

Tiana's Place

For my appetizer I ordered the Sausage Andouille Fritters:  (I had ordered these on my last cruise and really enjoyed them).  I liked them again this time, but the guys tried it and they didn’t like them:

Tiana's Appetizer

The guys both ordered the Shrimp & Grits and really liked them:

Tiana's Shrimp and grits

Eddie and I also tried the tomato bisque (very good):

Tiana's Tomato Bisque

For my entrée I ordered the Roasted Pork Tenderloin which I really enjoyed:

Tiana's pork tenderloin

Eddie & Hunter tried the Cajun Spiced Sea Bass on Shrimp Jambalaya:  (I had this on my last cruise and enjoyed it):

Tiana's cajun seabass

Svetlana also brought the table some Artichoke Ravioli to try:  It was pretty good, but nothing I’d want for my meal:

tiana's artichoke ravioli

The desserts were what I had been waiting on!  I told Svetlana we wanted one of each:  Beingets, Banana Foster Sundae and White Chocolate Bread Pudding.  They were all so good, just like I had remembered:

tiana's beingets

tiana's bread pudding

Tiana's banana foster sundae

This was the last night in the dining rooms so I asked Svetlana and Istvan if I could take a picture of them:

disney cruise servers
Best Servers Ever!!
Istvan was so great!

After dinner we walked outside to check out the beautiful scenery again and take some pics since this was our last night of the cruise. 

Alaska Day at Sea Alaska Day at Sea Alaska Day at Sea Alaska Day at Sea Alaska Day at Sea

We were greeted with this beautiful sight as well:

Alaska Day at Sea Alaska Day at Sea Alaska Day at Sea


We decided to skip Dreams (we’ve seen it before) and the adult shows tonight and get packed up and to bed early for our early morning debarkation.

Sunset on our final cruise night – so sad to be leaving!!!  

Alaska Day at Sea Alaska Day at Sea


On the way to the room I took this picture:

disney cruise carpet

This is what is on the carpet in the hallways of the ships, and it helps you navigate where you are headed (Forward or Aft).  If the map is upside down, you are headed Aft (back of the ship).  If the map is facing you, you are headed Forward (front of the ship).  Pretty cool and only took me 6 cruises to figure that out, LOL. 

We were greeted with this on the bed (not sure exactly what it is?)  Something with its legs crossed.  Either a human or Gumby, LOL.

disney cruise towel animal

We packed everything up except what we needed for the next day and headed to bed.  

Click here to read my other Trip Reports!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  


Disney Alaskan Cruise – Day 5 Part 2 (Endicott Arm/Dawes Glacier)

Day 5:  Part 2 Endicott Arm/Dawes Glacier

When I left off on Part 1 we had just finished up the afternoon game of Bingo and the Captain had announced that viewing of Endicott Arm had begun.  We headed up to the top deck after grabbing our camera and coats.  It was cold and windy!  Crew members were passing out blankets (which I gladly accepted).  Some of the pics we took:

We started seeing icebergs right away

We went back inside to get Hunter and grab some dinner – but first we stopped for more pics!

We were skipping the dining room tonight and decided to just eat from the pool deck.  We ate fast to rush back out for more pics because we were at the glacier!

Seals on the iceberg

We figured we had enough pictures at this point and it was still pretty cold, so we headed back inside to meet up with Mr. Incredible before the 8:15 showing of Incredibles 2 in the Walt Disney Theater:

After the showing of Incredibles, we headed to Azure for “intuition”, followed by a variety act with Billy Kidd.  We didn’t love the show, but it was okay.  After the show, there was an 80’s Flashback Dance that was a lot of fun.  As usual Eddie jumped right in and busted a move.  I did a few dances and Hunter sneaked out and went back to the room, lol!  We stayed for a few dances and then went back to the room as we were pretty tired at this point.  Up next – Ketchikan!    

Click here to read my other Trip Reports!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

Disney Alaskan Cruise – Day 6 (Ketchikan)

In case you missed it, click here to start with Day 1 of the Trip Report.  

Day 6 – Ketchikan, Alaska

I originally started out thinking that Ketchikan would be my least favorite port based on all the research I’d done, but it ended up being our favorite! 

We slept in this morning, all those late night adult activities were catching up to us and all ashore wasn’t until 11:15am, so we were all happy to get a little extra rest. 

Eddie and I woke up around 9:00am and went to Cabana’s to grab breakfast.  We found ourselves going to the same thing each day to eat.  For me, one slice of French toast, custom ordered omelet, 2 slices of bacon, and diced potatoes (no wonder I gained weight on this cruise!).  For Eddie – bowl of oatmeal with fruit, granola, etc., eggs, bacon or sausage, and a hash brown patty.  (Sorry, never took pictures of our breakfast!).  After Cabana’s, I went straight to work out (3 miles on the treadmill).  Eddie went back to the room first, and by the time he was ready to go work out, I had already finished and was back in the room.  Hunter was just waking up.  I took a shower and then caught up on my trip notes.  Our shore excursion tickets listed our meeting place in the Azure Club at 12:00 noon.  Knowing we wouldn’t be eating soon, we went upstairs and grabbed a quick bite – even though it hadn’t been that long since we’d ate.  I grabbed a roast beef sandwich from Daisy’s Delights and Eddie and Hunter had a couple slices of pepperoni pizza from Pinocchio’s. 

Our excursion today in Ketchikan was booked through Disney (booking direct is less expensive, but it was sold out – we booked in April, so kind of last minute for an Alaskan cruise – so I had to purchase through Disney to get it).  The excursion was the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s Tour, and it was on the Aleutian Ballad crab boat, which had been featured on Deadliest Catch in Season 2.  The boat sustained major damage when capsized by a 60 foot rogue wave, and was given a complete overhaul and made into a tour boat.  Pretty cool, huh? 

We headed for Azure around 11:45 and there was a table set up inside signing people in for the different excursions booked through Disney.  We were given an Elsa sticker to wear and were told to listen for our group to be called.  We were called right at noon and followed our guide outside.  We met up with a representative of the tour, and followed her over to the Aleutian Ballad.   We got to the boat and noticed there were already people onboard (I assume those that booked direct), but most of them were upstairs.  I don’t know if they were made to go to the top and the bottom was saved for Disney?  Even though all seats are great, I was glad to be on the lower level.  The temperature wasn’t bad (mid-50’s) and it was nice and partly sunny, but on the water it does tend to get cool and I thought being lower might help with that. 

Following our guide over to the Aleutian Ballad

Once onboard, Captain Paul introduced himself and his crew, including fishermen Dave & Terry.  These guys were awesome!  They kept us captivated with their personal stories on the sea and were great story tellers and very funny.  I started to get cold and one of the ladies (working there for summer / college) brought me an extra coat and started passing them out to other guests.  They had hot tea, hot chocolate and coffee for guests onboard as well.  The boat is outfitted with several bathrooms, a gift shop that shows a rotating loop on the tv of the wave that took down the Aleutian Ballad.   My husband will be doing a full review of the excursion that you can find on our blog soon under Reviews.  Here’s just a few pics of the highlights – but be sure to go and read his review – this was the best excursion ever – and when we go back to Alaska (yes – we are already talking about our next trip), we plan to do this excursion again!


Passing out heavy coats for those that needed them

There were bald eagles EVERYWHERE!
The crew took this pic with everyone onboard who wanted one at the end

The tour lasted about 3 hours, so we arrived back to town around 3:15pm.  We went over to one of the gift shops and they had these reversible coats outside listed for $19.99.  There were several colors, and some had “Alaska” embroidered on the front, but the one that we liked had a “Ketchikan Alaska” patch on it.  Eddie and I both got one and Hunter went inside and found an “Alaska” camouflage hat that he liked.  We love gift shops and spent quite a bit of time in here.  We bought the other kids some candy to take back and Hunter also bought an “Ulu Knife” and Eddie bought a t-shirt and hat combo that was only $14.99.  We left there and it was starting to drizzle a little bit, so we put our new coats on.  We walked over to another gift shop and Hunter found an Alaska hoodie there.  After leaving there we went to find the “Welcome to Ketchikan” sign and stopped for some pictures.  At this point it was around 4:30 so we started to walk back to the ship and get freshened up for dinner. 

Lots of rain in Ketchikan

Wearing our new Alaska Jackets!

I looked at the navigator once back onboard and saw that Mickey & Minnie were doing meet and greets.  Since we had not yet met them in their Alaskan gear, I really wanted to go.  They were also meeting later in the night, and we were too late for the afternoon meet with Mickey, but we went to get in line for Minnie.  We did get to see Mickey leaving, so I snapped this pic:


We were towards the front of the line for Minnie so that didn’t take long.  I had really wanted a pic with Mickey & Minnie outside in their Alaskan gear, but they were never outside for photos like I’ve seen on other sailings.  I had one photographer tell me it had something to do with this sailing combining Juneau day / Endicott Arm the same day.  So I was a little bummed about that, but I do think our extra stop in Icy Strait Point (Hoonah) was worth it. 


Eddie and I stopped for more pictures in the atriumwith the Ketchikan background and then headed to dinner at Animator’s Palate. 

Tonight was the animation magic show which is truly amazing!  When you are seated, your server gives everyone these to draw their own character (even the adults!). 

We all participated and Svetlana took our drawings when we were finished and gave us the menu’s.  This was a new menu, so I did take some pics:

Svetlana had told us the night before that there were new additions to the menu (before it was very limited with only one appetizer choice) and I was glad, because what I saw on the app didn’t appeal to me.  The meal ended up being our favorite meal served in the dining rooms of the trip!  We loved the Malaysian Chicken Satay (skews of chicken with a peanut sauce and cucumber (delicious)!


We all also had the Lobster Bisque (very tasty!):

I got the Garlic Marinated Shrimp & Pasta (very good):

Eddie got the Blackened Chicken salad (My favorite!  We switched plates halfway through, lol – although he loved the salad too).

Hunter got the Chicken Schnitzel which he loved:

Before our desserts came, the animation show started and we really enjoyed seeing our characters, and the creativity of others come to life! 

For dessert, I had the Amaretto Cheesecake with sour cream (really good):

Eddie had planned to get the Regional Inspiration of some Alaskan bread budding with strawberry.  Svetlana advised him against it, and brought him some White Chocolate Bread pudding from Tiana’s instead.  I had that on my cruise in March and knew it was a great choice!  Hunter got a repeat of his dessert from the night before – chocolate lava cake with ice cream. 

After dinner we went to Crown & Fin for some more trivia before heading to see the Family Magic Show with Billie Kidd in Azure.  I didn’t take any pictures, but we enjoyed her family show much more than her adult show. 

Then it was time for the meet & greet with Mickey in his Alaskan gear:

We stopped by the DVC desk to see if we could make an appointment for the next day.  After going to the presentation, we had a few more questions.  While waiting for the cast member to check schedules, Daisy was walking up the hall (Belle was also walking down the other end of the hall) and she stopped for a quick pic:


Afterwards we headed back to Azure for more adult games.  I was really ready to go to bed, but Hunter really enjoyed going to the activities at night, and they were doing Match Your Mate.  Eddie and I tried to get picked again, but they usually take the couple who has been married the least amount of time (there was a honeymoon couple onboard), the couple that has been married the longest, then for the middle couple, they make you do a dance-off contest.  Well, Eddie definitely carries me in these contest, because I have ZERO rhythm, not to mention I don’t love being up in front of a crowd anyway, much less showing off my dance skills (that I was not blessed with, lol).  But I figured, hey, I’m never going to see these people again, just do it.  So I got up there and did the sprinkler, the robot, etc. while Eddie was unbuttoning his shirt (he had a t-shirt on underneath) while dancing to “I’m Sexy and I Know it.”  It was hilarious and the crowd loved him.  We were up against about six other couples and we were second in line and got a ton of cheers.  The last couple in line had a big family group with them and Rod called them the winners. Boo!  Oh well, one of these days we’ll get picked.   We stayed until the end and then headed off to bed around 11:00pm.  Tomorrow was a sea day, so we were happy that we would be able to sleep in again. 

Click here to read my other Trip Reports!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  


Disney Alaskan Cruise – Day 5 (Juneau & Dawes Glacier)

In case you missed it, click here to start with Day 1 of the Trip Report.  

Day 5 – Juneau & Dawes Glacier (Endicott Arm)

We were up early again this morning to shower, eat breakfast and then meet our representative with Coastal Helicopters for our 9:15am appointment.  We walked off the ship around 9:00am to a cold and rainy day in Juneau with lots of low clouds.  

disney alaska cruise

We walked out to our meeting spot and discovered our helicopter tour was cancelled due to low visibility.  Boo!!  We asked the rep if tours were cancelled often and he replied “Yes. It rains 300 days out of a year here, so we have to cancel a lot.”  Bummer!  We were really looking forward to this.  That just means we have to go back soon, right?

The guys just wanted to go back on the ship and forget about exploring Juneau entirely, but I didn’t!  I won that battle, we got in line for one of the shuttle buses to town, lol.  On the way we were debating whether we should go to Mendenhall Glacier or just stay in town.  Since it was 9:30am at this point and all aboard was 1:00pm, we decided to skip the Glacier since it wasn’t the best weather.  Some pics of Juneau:

disney cruise alaska disney cruise alaska


We shopped around a little and then stopped for some coffee/hot chocolate from a coffee shop.  We killed time until around 11:15, when we decided we would go eat lunch at Tracy’s King Crab Shack and hopefully avoid the lunch rush.  We were happy with our decision to stay after eating this delicious lunch!  Seriously the best crab we’ve ever had!  The crab legs and crab bisque were delicious.  The mini crab cakes were good, but I’ve had a lot better.  We ordered two lunch buckets to split.  A lunch bucket came with one HUGE crab leg, a cup of crab bisque, four mini crab cakes and two rolls.  For the two buckets and drinks, we spent around $100.  It was expensive, but it was worth it and probably the best meal we had during our trip.  

disney cruise alaska

Tracy’s King Crab Shack – order at the counter and then find a seat
disney alaska cruise
Outdoor Seating
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Soooo good.

We headed back to the ship around 12:30pm.  The all board was earlier on this cruise, because the day is split between Juneau and Tracy Arm (which ended up being replaced with Endicott Arm due to the amount of ice at Tracy Arm).  I don’t think Disney has been able to get to Tracy Arm the past couple of years.  Eddie and I went to the Port Adventures Desk (which was closed) to see if they were offering the excursion to take the Glacier Explorer Boat up close to the Glacier.  I knew I had never seen it online for cruise, but wanted to make sure it wasn’t something they only allowed to book onboard.  Unfortunately, we learned at Guest Services that it wasn’t offered at all for this sailing.  

We decided to go to the 1:00pm presentation by Scott Foster:  Fjords, Glaciers & Icefields in the Buena Vista Theater.  It was a pretty good presentation with a lot of good personal pictures, similar to the presentation we went to earlier in the week by Doug Jones.  

Next we had a Champagne Tasting at 2:00 in the Cadillac Lounge.  This was organized in our Facebook cruise group.  We both enjoyed this a lot better than the martini tasting.  The presentation was a lot more interesting, and we liked all of the champagnes that we tasted.   Our first was Moet Imperial, next was Veuve Clicquot Brut (which I believe was our least favorite, but still good), followed by Bollinger Special Cuvee, then Moet Rose, and finally Moet Ice Imperial – which was our favorite!!  This one is actually served with ice.  We really liked it a lot!  All of the champagnes we tried are priced around $50 – $70 a bottle and most of them contained about 12% alcohol.  The Champagne tasting was $35, compared to $20 for the martini tasting.  This is due to the higher cost of the champagnes.


disney alaska cruise

disney alaska cruise

Don’t you love his shirt?


After our champagne tasting we met Hunter in Azure for our first round of Bingo!  We always play Bingo every cruise (we’ve been jackpot winners before!).   We bought the family pack which gave us two electronic sets, and 2 paper packs. 

disney alaska

There are four rounds of bingo, and the prize increases a little with each round.  The first round, we were lucky winners!  Unfortunately, so were two other people, so we had to split the prize three ways – but still walked away with $88!  That paid for our family pack and then some!  

After Bingo it was around 4:00pm, and that’s when the Captain said the viewing would get good for Endicott Arm.  I have lots of pics to share, so I’m going to do a Part 2 for Day 5, otherwise this post would get really long!  Part 2 will be up soon!  

Click here to read my other Trip Reports!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  


Disney Alaskan Cruise – Day 4 (Skagway)

In case you missed it, click here to start with Day 1 of the Trip Report.  

Day 4 – Skagway.  

This morning we were up early to shower and get our day started.  All ashore was at 7:15am.  In the planning stages, we had scheduled a Jeep rental with DIY Jeep Tours to do a self-guided drive of the Klondike highway, so we were excited to get the day started.  The tour route is similar to that of the White Pass Railway excursion, but this way we could stop whenever we wanted to for pictures, eating, etc.  Our Navigator gave us this information for the day:

disney cruise skagway


We finished breakfast in Cabana’s around 7:45am, then headed out to pick up our Jeep.  It was a short walk to the Jeep rental location, maybe around 10 minutes.  Below are some pictures of the Disney Wonder on our walk over:

disney alaskan cruise

disney alaskan cruise

disney alaskan cruise

This picture was taken from the Jeep rental place

We arrived around 8:15am to pick up the Jeep (you can read a detailed review on the DIY Jeep Tours excursion here). 

disney alaskan cruise

Soon we were off!  On our way out of town, we spotted this “Welcome to Skagway” sign so we stopped to take a photo (we discovered a more official “Welcome to Skagway” sign on our return trip but didn’t stop):

disney alaskan cruise


Back on the road again, the scenery became more beautiful with each mile that passed:

disney alaskan cruise

disney alaskan cruise

disney alaskan cruise

disney alaskan cruise
It got a little cooler at one point!

There were tons of tour buses all along the route as well.  We decided to make some stops on the way back to hopefully avoid some of the bus crowds at the pull-offs.  We did stop at the Yukon sign:

Starting to see some blue sky!

The route takes approximately 1.5 hours (3 hours roundtrip) and your final stop is at Emerald Lake.  The skies had turned blue and the weather had warmed up nicely to the lower 60’s. Emerald Lake was beautiful!

disney alaskan cruise

disney alaskan cruise

We made it to Emerald Lake around 11:00am and discussed stopping for lunch in Carcross on the way back, but we knew there might be a lot of tour buses stopping there as well, so we decided we would head back to Skagway and eat lunch in town.  This worked best, because we also wanted to spend some time in Skagway and do some shopping.  All aboard wasn’t until 8:00pm, but Eddie and I had a massage scheduled for 6:30pm and wanted to grab dinner before our massage. 

On our drive back we stopped at the “Twilight Zone” sign showing the time change between Alaska and Canada:

We stopped at the “Welcome to Alaska” sign since we hadn’t stopped in the morning:

disney alaskan cruise

Shortly after crossing the border we saw this on the road ahead:

A grizzly! (We learned that a brown bear and a grizzly bear are one and the same from Captain Paul during our whale watching tour the day before).  We were so excited to see some wildlife.  The bear had crossed the road so we pulled off and were able to get a pretty close up picture:

disney alaskan cruise

We stopped by this waterfall on our way back and ran into some cyclists.  They took off as we were pulling up and we passed by them later on the road.  I would be scared to death to do that!  The road is downhill to Skagway and so many tour buses go along that route, not to mention the bears! 

disney alaskan cruise

We made it back to town around 1:15pm and went ahead and fueled up the Jeep and returned it, then walked to try to find something to eat.  We ended up stopping at Bites on Broadway.  It was a little sandwich / pastry shop.  I ordered chicken salad on an everything bagel and Eddie ordered a breakfast bagel.  Hunter didn’t want a sandwich, so he just snacked on some chips and a coke.  I forgot to take pictures of the food! 

After we ate we went to some of the gift shops. Hunter was wanting to look at the collection of knives with the hand-carved woodworking. After walking around, Hunter ended up buying two small knives.  I was looking for a Christmas ornament, and ended up buying this one:

disney alaskan cruise

Afterwards we headed back to the ship.  It was around 4:00pm when we boarded, and there were a couple tables set up when we walked back on, one with hot mulled wine for purchase, the other with hot chocolate.  The hot chocolate was free, but the wine was $5.50 (or $10 if purchased with souvenir mug).  Before I knew what was happening, Eddie had bought the $5.50 glass (had I known he was going to buy some, I would have bought with the souvenir mug – but he says we have too many cups/mugs at our house already, lol).  I drank a few sips of the wine, but it wasn’t something that I loved.  I prefer hot chocolate.

disney alaskan cruise 

We went back to our room and decided we would like to go to the dining room for dinner – the Frozen menu that we didn’t care for was switched to the following night – so we called the spa to see if we could change our massage appointment from 6:30 to 5:00pm.  We were able to change it without a problem, so we told Hunter we would meet him in the dining room as soon as we were finished.  Our dining servers (Svetlana and Istvan, whom we LOVED) had told us we could come as late as 7:00 and they could serve us.  Our massage was for 75 minutes, so we finished up around 6:15, took a quick shower in the spa locker room and headed straight to dinner.  We weren’t terribly late, arriving around 6:30pm.  Hunter was already on his entrée.  We were in Triton’s and the menu was the Captain’s Gala Menu with Regional Inspirations.  As a side note – we enjoyed the massage, but both agreed that we most likely won’t do it the next time we cruise.  It is very expensive and we decided we’d rather spend that $$ on something else and get our massages a lot cheaper at home. 

For my appetizer I ordered the Aged Prosciutto:

disney alaskan cruise
Verdict: Okay

Eddie ordered the Alaskan King Crab Legs:

disney alaskan cruise
Verdict: Good


For my entrée – Fettuccine with Parmesan Crusted Chicken:

disney alaskan cruise
Verdict: Very Good (I asked for extra sauce because some of my other pasta was a little dry earlier in the week)

Eddie’s entrée – Roasted Red Snapper

disney alaskan cruise
Verdict: Very Good

Svetlana also brought him an Oven Baked Lobster Tail to try:

Verdict: Okay. We are not big lobster fans.

For dessert we shared the Chocolate Lava Cake:

disney alaskan cruise
Verdict: Very Good. Needed the ice cream as it was very rich!

After dessert we headed over to Azure for TV Tunes Trivia.  After that was over, we stayed and waited for the Matt Baker Juggling & Comedy Act for families.   We were glad we didn’t leave and come back, because it was a packed house!  They ended up asking all the children to come up and sit on the floor to free up some chair space for some adults.  I really enjoyed Matt’s shows and this was particularly hilarious with his on the spot humor after pulling up different kids and adults on stage to help with the act. 

After the Matt Baker show, we ended up staying in Azure for the adult games.  Tonight was “Seriously?!” followed by “The Feud.”  I had went to “The Feud” on my last Disney cruise and thought it was a lot of fun, so we were looking forward to that.  Eddie and I ended up getting picked to participate in “Seriously?!” with another couple.  Each couple had to take off their shoes so that each person was holding one of their shoes and one of their partners shoes.  Then Rod would ask questions like “Who gives better gifts?, Who stays mad the longest after a fight?”, etc.  The women were standing in front with the men in the back.  The men would answer first, then Rod would let us know when to hold up the shoe for our answer.  We were on a roll getting most of them right, and at one point we were tied with the other couple.  Then Rod asked a few final questions and we bombed, well, Eddie bombed.  LOL.  One question was “Who is more wild when sleeping?”  Although neither of us are particularly wild (when sleeping that is, lol!), I held up Eddie’s shoe.  Well he of course held up my shoe saying it was me.  I turned around and said “What?!  You tell me all the time that I don’t even MOVE when I’m asleep!”  Oh well.  It was a fun game and Hunter got a kick out of watching us up there.  The Feud was next and is basically Family Feud and Rod split the room in half, and would call different people up to play, then the crowd would help whoever was on their team with the rest of the answers on the board. 

Karaoke was next, but we were all pretty tired after our early wake up, and tomorrow was another fairly early day, so we went to our room to rest up for the day ahead!

Up next:  Juneau & Endicott Arm

Click here to read my other Trip Reports!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  

Disney World Adult Only Trip Report – Day 3 (May 2018)

You can start from the beginning of this trip report here.

Disney World Adults Only Trip – Day 3, we had an early morning breakfast reservation at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom.  Our reservation was for bright and early at 8:00am (same time as park opening), so we were out at the bus stop by 7:30am. 

We were one of the first to check in at Tusker House and were called after about 5 minutes. 

disney adult only
Entrance to Tusker House (taken on our way out)

Some empty pics as we walked in:

disney adult only

disney adult only
Tusker House Buffet area


Tusker House is a character meal featuring Safari Donald, Mickey, Daisy & Goofy.  The breakfast buffet has a lot to offer, and the best of all – they have Jungle Juice!  I seriously love this stuff!  It’s a mixture of Orange Juice, Guava Juice and Passion Fruit Juice.  We went to grab some food from the buffet and the characters came by quickly.  You can see more pictures in my Tusker House Restaurant Review.

disney adults only

Breakfast went pretty quick and we were off to Kilimanjaro Safaris for an early morning ride.  The safari ride just gets better and better each time I go.  We had a great driver (funny & did a great job making sure we saw all the animals), and the animals were out and about this morning and some were up close!

disney adult only

disney adult only

disney adult only

disney adult only

disney adult only

See how close giraffe is??


Afterwards we walked over to Expedition Everest to use our Fastpass.  On the way we took some pics of Dinoland and the Rivers of Light stadium:

disney adult only
Path to Dinoland
Seating for Rivers of Light Show

We rode Expedition Everest once – another one of our favorites:

disney adult only

At this point it was around 10:00am and we wanted to head back to Animal Kingdom Lodge to lay out by the pool for a while.  On our way out, we stopped for some pics – we had to get some pics with our matching “Soul Mate” shirts of course! 

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Once back at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we got our swimsuits on and headed outside.  We were able to get a couple hours in until the rain came.  At first we thought it may be a brief shower, so Eddie stayed in the pool while I stayed up under an umbrella:

disney adult only

After about 10 minutes and the rain only getting heavier, we decided to head back up to our room.  We stopped at the Mara first to grab a snack (neither of us was terribly hungry after our big breakfast at Tusker House).  

We weren’t scheduled for any more reservations until around 5:30 that evening, so what is the best thing to do while it’s raining?  Take a nap, of course!  So that’s exactly what I did.  I woke up around 3:00pm and had to process some final cruise payments for a couple of clients, then got ready to head back to Animal Kingdom.  We wanted to get there and do some shopping, eat dinner at Yak & Yeti and to use our Flight of Passage fastpass that I had scheduled for later that evening.    Some pics of the wet savannah outside our room before we left:

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Lots of activity outside!


We got to the bus stop around 4:20pm and the rain was back….and didn’t look like it was going anywhere.  We were disappointed, but determined to make the best of it.  Thankfully we both had our rain jackets with us which were lifesavers.  Side note – as soon as we came back from this trip, we did order some nice ponchos that cover a good portion of our legs – we figure we will get plenty of use out of them on our Disney trips!    We waited under the bus shelter hoping that the rain would stop or at least lighten up, but it never did, so we headed toward the entrance. 

Our first stop was at the gift shop.  We spent about 30 minutes browsing around until our dinner reservation and found several things we wanted to come back and get, but thought it best to wait until we were ready to leave so we wouldn’t have to carry the items around with us. 

We arrived at Yak & Yeti right on time for our dinner reservation:

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Click to read our Yak & Yeti Review

After dinner we walked towards Expedition Everest again knowing we could do the single rider line and get through quickly before our Flight of Passage Fastpass.  On the way we stopped for a couple of rainy pics:

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Going through the single rider line, we were on within 5 minutes….Eddie found a new friend from England and they decided to do a goofy ride photo:

disney adult only

I had this guy, who apparently decided to do a goofy photo also, but didn’t coordinate with me, haha!

Next we were off to Pandora for Flight of Passage – love this ride!!  We had never ridden Na’vi River Journey and the app said the wait was only 30 minutes – so we decided we would wait.  The app was wrong, we ended up waiting 45 to 50 minutes.  I didn’t get any pics of the ride.  It is wonderfully themed, but it is just a slow boat ride (think Small World).  We both said that we wouldn’t wait in a long line to do it again.  We snapped this pic of Pandora at sunset:

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Next we were off to the gift shop and then back to Animal Kingdom Lodge for the night!  Even with the rain, you can’t beat park time in the morning & night, along with naps and pool in the middle of the day! 

Up next:  Day 4 (Departure Day).

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and all other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.  



Disney Alaskan Cruise – Day 3 (Icy Strait Point)

In case you missed it…..

Day 1 – Boarding Day

Day 2 – Day at Sea

Day 3 Stops in Icy Strait Point in Hoonah Alaska!  This morning we woke up around 7:30am to get ready for our 8:45am Disney Character Breakfast.  This breakfast is only offered on 7-night or more Disney cruises.  There is no extra charge for this breakfast, but you must reserve tickets online ahead of time.  Tickets usually sell out pretty quickly, so first time cruisers don’t always get to secure tickets ahead of time.  Since I had booked late (past my 90 day check in), there were no tickets available.  I kept checking every few days and the last day to reserve any activities (3 days before sailing), I was able to get tickets!  It looked like they had added quite a few tickets that last day.  There are usually extra tickets available at Guest Services the first day of the cruise as well if you are unable to get them online.  

The breakfast was in Animator’s Palate which is perfect for a character meal.  Our server made us all some fun napkin headwear:  

disney cruise to alaska
Minnie bow for me!


disney cruise to alaska
Goofy ears?
disney cruise to alaska
Peter Pan maybe?

The characters started coming pretty quickly.  First we had Pluto:

disney cruise to alaska disney cruise to alaska

disney cruise to alaska

Then Minnie:

disney cruise to alaska

Eddie thought he’d ask for Minnie’s hand, lol:

disney cruise to alaska


disney cruise to alaska

Mickey was last:

disney cruise to alaska

disney cruise to alaska
Selfie with Mickey!

I didn’t take any pictures of the food!  First they bring around a platter of pastries to choose from.  I got the chocolate croissant which was good.  Then you can choose as many items off the menu as you’d like:

disney cruise to alaska

Our breakfast started at 8:45 and we were completely done by 9:15am.  We went to get our jackets on and headed outside to view the scenery.  

There was hardly anyone up on Deck 9 that morning.  It was a little chilly outside, so we grabbed some hot chocolate at the drink station and then walked over to speak to one of the crew members who was looking out at the water.  He had a good eye and pointed out some wildlife, including a whale:

disney cruise to alaska
See the water spray from the whale?


We watched as the ship pulled into port:

disney cruise to alaska

The natives were there to greet us when we disembarked (the population in Icy Strait Point is only about 750 people!):

disney cruise to alaska


All ashore was at 12:00pm and our whale watching excursion with Hoonah Travel Adventures was scheduled from 12:15pm to 3:15pm.  I booked this excursion outside of Disney knowing that we had plenty of time to return to the ship (all aboard was not until 7:15pm).  It was less expensive booking outside of Disney, and I knew that sometimes the whale watching excursions booked through Disney are on larger boats that hold 50 or more people.  We wanted a more intimate experience and our excursion was perfect with about 20 people total.  My husband has written a separate blog post on our excursion that you can read here:  Hoonah Travel Adventures Whale Watching Excursion

disney cruise to alaska
See the whale behind us?

After our excursion we took a shuttle back to the main port and walked around a few minutes in the gift shop area.  We had to get back in time for our 4:00pm Martini Tasting, so we didn’t have a lot of time to look around.  Some pics we took on the walk back:

disney cruise to alaska

Back on the ship, we headed to the martini tasting was in the Cadillac Lounge while Hunter went back to the room to watch some TV:

disney cruise to alaska

disney cruise to alaska

We sampled 5 different martinis.  We were informed that we were “fake martini lovers” because we are not fans of the classic martini’s made with gin.  Instead we like the fake martini’s, aka fruity cocktails, lol.   Our first two were more of the “classic” martini with vodka and gin and the next two were fruity with vodka and our last was a dessert martini.  We loved the last 3, but didn’t like the first 2.  

Notice #3 is completely gone while #1 and #2 are still full, lol!

disney cruise to alaska

After the tasting we went back to the room to get Hunter to go to the Know it All Trivia with Rod in the Crown & Fin Pub.

Upon return to our room, we saw our stateroom host had left the Frozen snowflake light up necklaces (tonight was the Freezing the Night Away Party).  We stopped to get some pictures before dinner (I am wearing my necklace):

disney cruise to alaska disney cruise to alaska

Our dinner was in Tiana’s restaurant:

disney cruise to alaska

disney cruise to alaska
Tiana and the Crawfish Crooners

The menu tonight wasn’t the traditional Mardi Gras menu (we’d have that later in the week), but the Prince & Princess Dinner menu

For the appetizer, we all got the Louisiana Hot Crab Dip:

Verdict: Good

Hunter got the Lime Marinated Jumbo Shrimp:

disney cruise to alaska
Verdict: Good


I got the New York Sirloin Steak:

disney cruise to alaska
Verdict: Good

Eddie got the Oven Roasted Turkey Breast:

disney cruise to alaska
Verdict: Sweet Potatoes were great, everything else just okay

For dessert, I got Prince Naveen’s Flourless Chocolate Cake:

disney cruise to alaska
Verdict: Very good

Eddie got the Banoffee Cream Pie:

disney cruise to alaska
Verdict: Very good

We finished up dinner and got our seats for the Frozen Musical in the Walt Disney Theater:

I’ve seen the show before and really enjoyed it, but again this cruise, I was struggling to keep my eyes open.  The guys liked the show, but both agreed it wasn’t their favorite (men!).  

Heath Hyche was doing an adult show in Azure tonight that Hunter really wanted to go see.  I was really tired tonight so I decided to head to bed, but Eddie and Hunter went to see the show.  They both enjoyed it.  

Up next:  Day 4 – Skagway, Alaska.  Beautiful scenery….and a bear!

Go to my Trip Reports page to read about all of our other adventures!

As an Independent Travel Agent with Mouse Counselors, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner, I offer concierge travel planning for Walt Disney World® Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland® Resort, Adventures by Disney®, Aulani and other destinations at no cost to you.  Message me today if I can help book a magical vacation for you.