Unique to Disney, is that you can carry alcohol aboard in a
travel bag. Wine will be charged a corkage fee if you bring it to
your seated dining.
We used the VINCI Park (604-684-2251) at Canada Place to park
our truck as we did not fly. The cost was $186.21 CDN for 8 days.
It has a reservation system and is conveniently located under the
We signed up for the early dinner seating 5:45 pm thus enabling
us to go see the shows at Walt Disney Theatre at 8:30 pm. If we had
chosen the late dinner seating at 8:15 pm, we could see the shows
at 6:15 pm.
We selected an early boarding time between 11:30 am and 12. The
pre-boarding process took about 1.5 hours. The longest was waiting
in line to get to the Disney agent booths, where we got our pass
for boarding which also served as our room key. We passed through
US Customs and then an area in which you get embarkation photos
taken before scanning your pass.
Upon entering the Disney Wonder at the middle of the ship on
Deck 3, they scan the security pass. It displays the picture you
got taken at the agentâ€™s booth. You then are
introduced to the staff waiting to greet you as you board. You feel
special with this grand entrance.
As we had not eaten since breakfast we headed to the 9th Deck
for something to eat at the Beach Blanket Buffet with our travel
bags. We then went to our staterooms to offload our travel bags. As
half of our suitcases had arrived at our staterooms, we were also
able to unpack them.
One of our friends, a past guest, on a Disney cruise said he
took over 3000 pictures with his camera and that a good deal was to
have linked CD picture package for $350 especially when you
consider the number of professional photo opportunities (those with
imposed backgrounds and those with Disney characters). He also
suggested the need to reserve early to the Disney Friends Tea Party
as there was a limited number.
By the time we got to Guest Services on the 3rd Deck to reserve
our tea party pass, we missed getting the first seating (had a
waiting list), but were able to get the second and final seating.
We also booked some beverage seminars that had a nominal fee (Beer
tasting $15, Wine Tasting $15, Martini Tasting $15, Champagne
Tasting $30, Chocolate & beverages $30). Next, we looked on the
9th deck at the Arcade and Vista Spa for special opening
day packages. Then, we returned to the room. Our final suitcases
arrived, so we finished unpacking.
We met on the 9th deck. Our granddaughter was going
down the slides in the Mickey Pool, as we passed under the Lions
Gate bridge, while we enjoyed sipping on Drink of the Day –
“Nautilus”. At 4:30 pm, we shifted to the Goofy Pool to
enjoy the cruise staff’s official “Adventures
Away” opening. We enjoyed its ‘bubbliness’. When
it started our granddaughter was just watching, by the end she was
shaking her pom-poms.
At 5:45pm, we headed to the Animator’s Palate for seated
dining on Deck 4. We were escorted to our assigned seats at Table
71. Our server was from Croatia, assistant server from Thailand,
and head server from Jamaica. As Disney has rotational dining. They
followed us we went the other Dining rooms – Parrot’s
Cay and Triton’s Deck. They even have a kid’s menu.
The thing about cruising is the food. The gourmet dining and
access to other restaurants such as Goofy’s Galley (soft ice
cream station is also there), Pluto’s Dog House, and
Pinocchio’s Pizzeria increases the possibility of gaining a
pound a day. Although we would usually access the Vista Fitness
Center (Deck 9 fore) to burn off the extra calories, we
Initially, we were disappointed in the quality control of the
food – lumpy sweet potatoes and food temperature. The head
server brought this to the attention of the 2nd cook
with whom we discussed our concerns. The end result was that we
were happy with the food experiences.
Then, we walked over to Shutters Photo Gallery to see if our
embarkation photos had been processed. We found they would not be
ready until the next day. As we continued walking towards the
shopping areas, we passed the Atrium area where and looked down
onto the 3rd deck lobby area. This is where most of the
character appearances take place. They shift characters every
½ hour. Guests can take pictures with their own camera or
let the Shutters staff use your camera or let them take
We bought an Ariel jewelry music box at Mickey’s Mates,
looked at perfumes in the Treasure Ketch, and purchased a carton of
cigarettes at Radar Trap (Deck 3).
Walt Disney Theatre is the location of the main performances
– 4th Deck fore. The shows started at 8:30pm with
doors open before 8pm. If you get there early you get a good
selection of seats. The initial performance was called
“Welcome Aboard: Let The Magic Begin”. The main
performer was a physical comedian, Michael Holly.
DAY TWO – At Sea
We decided to have a sit down breakfast so we went to
Triton’s Deck. My granddaughter enjoyed her Mickey Mouse
waffles, while the rest of us had Eggs Benedict.
After eating, our son took his 7 year old daughter to the
5th Deck mid-ship to the Oceaneer Lab. She received a
monitoring bracelet and could only exit with a scanned adult who
gave the prearranged password. Initially, she was apprehensive; she
thought she was going to a Daycare. But, after an hour she was
delighted in going to “The Club”.
We headed to Wavebands, Deck 3, fore, to play 4 games of bingo
at 10:45am. We did not win the door prize – a diamond and
At 12:00 noon, our wine tasting was in the Cadillac Lounge. It
was hosted by the sommelier from the Palo Dining room. We then got
a quick bite to eat at Beach Blanket Buffet. We needed something in
our stomachs before starting the Beer Tasting at 2:00pm at the
As my wife and I decided a nap was in order, our son went to
Surf & Sea where the internet service is headquartered. As the
service is noticeably slower than what we are accustomed to, buying
a package for a block of minutes is the way to go.
In conjunction with the formal dining night was the
Captain’s Welcome Reception. Professional Photographic
opportunities abound during this dress-up time. You need to get in
the line-ups early, if you want to access most of them.
After dining at Parrot’s Cay and getting some photos we
made it to the Walt Disney Theatre around 8:10pm to get seats to
the Golden Mickeys. The production was a spin-off of the Oscar
awards complete with the Red Carpet. We were proud grandparents
when we watched on screen our granddaughter wearing a Cinderella
dress being interviewed by Rona.
DAY THREE – Tracy Arm
In July of 2004, we drove to Anchorage, Whittier, and Homer
Alaska from Whitehorse, Yukon. The weather was warmer than early
June on this Alaskan cruise. Early in the morning, the deckhands
had on parkas and wore toques on the 9th deck where I
went to get our morning coffee.
We preferred our morning breakfasts at the Beach Blanket Buffet
because we could select the quantity and type of food we
At 10:45am we arrived at Wavebands to get a family package of
Bingo cards ($80). Bingo started at 11:00am.
As we got closer to the glaciers, we passed a couple of humpback
whales and the water turned a glacial blue. There were many small
icebergs in the Tracy Arm fjord. We did not make it to the end, the
Sawyer Glaciers, because in our path on a small iceberg was a
mother seal and her pups. Having icebergs beside the ship, many
guests did not make use of the swimming pools. A few used the hot
At 4:30 pm, we went to the Cadillac Lounge for our Champagne
After eating supper at the Parrot Cay, we went to see The Ricky
Kalmon Hypnosis Show at Walt Disney Theatre.
DAY FOUR – Skagway
When we arrived the sky was overcast but the sun shone through.
Many of the locals were so happy that they peeled to their short
There are many choices as to shore excursions. Our neighbor took
the float plane trip and said it was wonderful. My wife and I chose
the street car & railway tour. The street car tour guide gave
us a delightful rendition of the history of Skagway. Then we
boarded a bus and headed to Fraser BC on the Klondike Highway. The
snow surrounding the highway had started to disappear 3 weeks ago.
We saw a mountain goat and her kid up on a ridge before stopping at
the marked border and were given a history on the Alaskan gold
rush. We passed through a customs check before got on the train
from White Pass railway. It was interesting 21 mile train ride
travelling on the sides of mountains and going over trestles.
We had to go through Customs again before departing from the
Skagway’s 862 residents had to contend with the tourists
from three cruise ships that were at port. The stores were quite
full. The jewelry stores got a lot of business as shopping guides
from the ship make you feel you can get great deals.
My son and granddaughter went on the Klondike Experience tour. I
thought her highlight would have been immersing herself with
Idtarod sled dogs and their pups, she really enjoyed gold panning
and the resulting gold flakes. She did not care for the cold
We had supper at Triton’s Deck before going to see the
movie Iron Man 3.
DAY 5 Juneau
We arrived in the morning mist at the capital city of Alaska.
Most of their groceries come in from Seattle by containers as
Juneau is only accessible by boat or plane. My wife and I did some
power shopping (magnets, rocks, t-shirts) before staring our port
We boarded a bus that took us to the Medenhall glacier visitor
centre. We walked for 25 minutes along the path to the Nugget Creek
Falls and got a closer view of the glacier. On top of some of
the icebergs (part of the glacier that broke off into the ocean) in
the bay were bald eagles. We took a picture of the state flower
(the forget-me-not) in bloom.
Next we went to the Mount Roberts Tramway. It is owned by the
Alaska Native Tingit people. At the top, we watched an 18 minute
documentary film in the Chilkat theatre about Tingit heritage and
observed the spectacular views of Juneau, the islands, and
Our son and granddaughter chose the “Fins and Grins”
shore excursion. He had taken his daughter fishing off of Vancouver
Island, but wanted learn more about salt water fishing. He learned
all about downrigger usage.
He said he enjoyed the scenic trip to Auke Bay where they
boarded their fishing boat. Their boat with 6 tourists ran into a
school of Dolly Varden and caught three of them as well as quite a
We talked to man from Diana, Texas, on the cruise. He and his
family enjoyed the 11 platform zip-line adventure.
After supper at Animator Palate, we went to the Walt Disney
Theatre to see “Toy Story – The Musical”. Most of
the shows last a little over an hour. As our granddaughter was
hungry, the only place I could get her food outside of room service
was Pinocchio’s Pizzeria because the rest of the places were
DAY 6 – Ketchikan
After eating breakfast, we played bingo at 10:00 am in
It was raining when we arrived in Ketchikan. I got off the ship
to get the free give-aways at the jewelry shops before buying a
jade pendant for my daughter at the Jade Shop in the “salmon
capital of the world”.
At 1:00 pm, my wife and granddaughter went on the Duck Tour. It
is a narrated tour on an amphibious vehicle which explains part of
the Ketchikan highlights. My wife said that the ones in Boston and
Chicago are much better. My granddaughter had the pleasure of
shopping with her grandmother and being spoiled. They
had rain throughout their tour.
At 2:30, my son and I took the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman’s
Tour offered by Disney. The Princess cruise line gave them plaques
as being one of the best Alaska port adventures. I agree. They run
two tours a day.
They give you a sample of the skills need to fish. Our first
stop they bring up a drop line. They caught three sculpins and one
rat fish. They released the rat fish in the aquarium in the middle
of the boat for closer viewing. The next stop was the most exciting
because they fed the bald eagles. Imagine 25 bald eagles swooping
to get herring thrown into the water. My son took 30 pictures. To
ensure the tourists get to see catches they keep a crab pot with
golden king crabs, a crab pot with rock and Dungeness crab, and a
barrel pot with an 8 pound Pacific octopus all sealed. Their prawn
trap is live. They release the prawns in the aquarium after the
tourists have held them. The crabs are also held but then sealed
back into their respective crab pots.
Some of the tourists paid an extra $80 to have a fresh crab
supper with the crew. We chose to have crab leg appetizers for
dinner at the Parrot Cay (My son had 2 orders).
Showtime at 8:30pm Michael Harrison, a comedian &
My wife and I gave our 10:30 pm martini tasting to our son and
his guest. Having bartender experience, he did not enjoy the
flavors that were offered.
DAY 7 – At Sea
After breakfast, we used our day spa package. My wife said we
should have done this on the first day at sea. She also said when
my daughter and her were on the Norwegian Jade for a European
cruise they were able to get a 14 day pass at a reduced rate and
enjoyed using it every day.
At 12:00 pm we went to the Cadillac Lounge for our Chocolate and
Beverage pairing. They had three different types of gourmet
chocolate: white, dark and caramel. One of our favorites was the
caramel chocolate with the Banfi Rosa Regale sparkling wine.
After having a buffet lunch we went to the final jackpot bingo
($120) at Wavelengths. It started at 3:30 pm. We were one number
away from winning one of the minor bingos.
My wife and granddaughter left at 4:00 pm to attend the Disney
Friends tea party in the Studio Sea theatre on the 4th
Deck. Princesses Ariel and Cinderella attended. My son & I
joined them after the Bingo.
Our final dinner seating was at Triton’s Deck. The servers
paraded in the Baked Alaska dessert.
We were hoping that Disney cruise lines offered bargains on the
last day at their shops because the four other cruise lines we have
been on did. But no such luck.
The final production “Dreams” was the best show. You
had to get there very early to get good seats.
We finished off our suitcase packing by 10:00pm. We wanted them
outside the room by 10:30pm so that hosts could store them for port
of Vancouver delivery. We did not want to bring them to breakfast
and then carry them off the ship.
DAY 8 – Vancouver
We were assigned the first breakfast seating at 8:00 at Triton
Deck because we were driving home and were the third group
disembarking. We used the express check-out.
In very little time (20 minutes), we scanned ourselves off the
ship, picked up our luggage and went through Canada Customs.