Disney Alaska 2013

Cruising to Alaska with Disney 2013

  • Five Offbeat Tips for Cruising with Disney With its legions of dedicated fans, pretty much everything about the Disney Cruise Line has been documented and discussed. But I’m adding five tips off the well-known path while cruising with Disney. Before digging into all the great food, just don’t eat the food in front. Don’t match everyone else’s Disney looks, be original and wear Disney Crazy Shirts. Watch out for the shampoo. It burns your eyes. Make your stateroom easier to find by decorating it, but door decorating requires strong magnets. Did you get everything packed? Now pack even more bags inside your bags.
  • DCL Tip: Pack Your Bags Excited about your upcoming vacation with the Disney Cruise Line? What will you pack? What will the weather be like? Will it be hot, will it be cold? Will you encounter 50-degree temperature swings? With so much to consider While packing your bags, here’s my packing tip – pack a few more bags in your bags. Yes, pack additional bags in your bags, specifically a primary pack, a secondary pack, and several “handy packs.” Primary Pack Your primary pack should be a medium-sized backpack. Not small but not meant to haul all either. This pack will hold items for a day especially when your luggage isn’t available like during embarkation and debarkation. For long shore excursions, your primary pack needs to hold jackets, food, drinks, cameras, and anything else while away from your ship. I went with the Borealis day pack from The North Face through Zappos. The North Face makes some ...
  • Exploring the Disney Wonder Here’s a virtual tour of the Disney Wonder via my pictures. While the ship looks empty, it ain’t. The pictures were taken either really early or late in the day. The oddest part of the staterooms on the Wonder are the “split” bathrooms. Instead of one room, the shower and a sink are together in a room while the toilet and a second sink are in another room. I guess this split arrangement does make it more efficient so one person doesn’t hold up the use of a single bathroom. Just something to get used to.
  • DCL Tip: Strong Magnets If you’ve looked at Disney discussion boards like to prepare for a Disney cruise, you might have seen forum posts about decorating the magnetic stateroom doors. While I can vouch that it is possible, my tip is to use strong magnets, really strong magnets. The stateroom doors on the Disney Wonder are thick and barely magnetic. Large surface area magnets like a flat sheet work well, but smaller “button” magnets are easily dislodged. When your door slams, the average magnet will fall off, littering the hallway. Strong Like Bull magnets would definitely stick, but at their value, I wouldn’t leave these unattended. Bring along extra magnets if possible and also tape to attach them to your door decorations. Even though we tested our decorations on a refrigerator, they didn’t stick to the Disney doors without extra magnets added on. Here’s our door that was remade several times after our decorations fell off. Oh, ...
  • Reviewed AAA Sportfishing Company To help plan for trips and vacations, I’ve been using TripAdvisor more and more. This service provides great user-contributed reviews and suggests local activities. After a great experience fishing with Captain Jerry of AAA Sportfishing Co in Ketchikan, Alaska, I had to provide a review. Here’s my very first TripAdvisor review – “Changed my view of fishing!”
  • DCL Tip: Non-Tear Free Shampoo After playing in the busy swimming pool onboard the Disney Wonder, parents may want to give their kids a good cleaning. So back in your stateroom, you’ll use extra everything – extra soap, extra shampoo, and extra conditioner. Then you’ll hear your kids scream out, “My eyes! My eyes!” Ooops, sorry. The provided H20-branded shampoo is not tear free. Although Disney cruises cater to kids, the shampoo is for the whole family. So yeah, the Sea Marine Revitalizing shampoo stings if it hits your eyes. Just a tip to not overdo the shampoo and watch the eyes.
  • Reviewed: Not a Starbucks in Skagway Contributing a short Yelp review for the non-Starbucks in Skagway, Alaska. So while this non-Starbucks cafe serves Starbucks, touring Skagway with a hot cup of coffee is just more fun. 🙂 Read my Yelp review for the non-Starbucks in Skagway, AK. More coffee experiences captured in Coffee While Cruising – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
  • My Vacation Diet Here are some of the foodie pics taken when vacationing in Fresno, Vancouver, Alaska, and on-board the Disney Wonder. Sorry, I didn’t add any descriptions of the pics. I’ll let the food speak for themselves. Do I need to say that I didn’t go hungry with this vacation diet? The best food while at sea was at Palo (not surprising). Go for the dishes your server says isn’t available elsewhere on ship. You also need to try Palo both for dinner and for brunch. These are two different experiences with very different menus and styles. Zefferelli’s in Vancouver was a completely lucky find. Late in the day while on Robson Street, our group couldn’t decide what to eat. Adults wanted Thai or Asian while the kids wanted spaghetti. The kids won out so we headed to the closest Italian place which happened to be the second-floor Zefferelli’s. Wow. Here’s my abbreviated Yelp ...
  • Coffee While Cruising (Part 3) Setting the stage for Part 3 of Coffee While Cruising is easy – chilly Alaskan weather, event-filled days, and the lax diet of vacation. Perfect conditions for an absolute coffee fest! On the Disney Wonder Did I mention that brewed coffee onboard the Disney Wonder is free and always available. Let’s repeat that, free and always available. Whoa. But now, let me inject a moment of sobriety. The free coffee ain’t that good. As imagined, it’s an instant mix pumped out of an industrial-sized coffee urn. The coffee is hot and caffeinated, but the taste is blah. Luckily, the hot cocoa maker is right next to the coffee, so it’s easy to make your own “Sweet Wonder Mocha.” Luckily, there are other coffee options onboard, but there’s a premium involved. Every dining facility serves espresso-based drinks for an additional fee (but this fee is included with the cost of dining at Palo). Then ...
  • The Day Cory Montieth Passed Away I was there. No, not exactly there there, but there in Vancouver on July 13. We were walking to Stanley Park and admiring the water-facing hotels near the park, one of them the Fairmont Pacific Rim. It’s just an eerie realization. While I’m not a dedicated fan of the recently passed Cory Montieth, his performance of Don’t Stop Believing was one of the reasons I started watching Glee. Anyways rest in peace Finn Hudson.
  • Sunset in Alaska From a sunrise in Vancouver to a sunset while sailing the Alaskan shoreline. Yeah, I know I’ve used this picture in the past, but it’s one of my favorites.
  • DCL Tip: Disney Crazy Shirts Of course while on a Disney Cruise Line tour, you expect to see Disney garbed passengers. After a short while, you see the same shirts and designs again and again and again. How do you show off your Disney fandom but also be just a little bit different? Wear Disney themed shirts from Crazy Shirts. The shirts themselves are high quality as all Crazy Shirts are, but the designs are more distinctive than stuff you see everywhere else. I rocked my Perry shirts, both in black and white during the cruise and people noticed. I had one crew member ask about the shirt and tell me about her (platonic) platypus love. Okay then. But really, seeing the artistic Disney designs by Crazy Shirts is refreshing and breaks the monotony you’ll see on the ship.
  • Sunrise in Vancouver Due to time differences, jet lag, and plain old excitment, I was up early on the first day in Vancouver, Canada. I set up my iPhone with iMotion HD and left it to record a Canadian sunrise. Here’s the time lapse result in 6 seconds. Oh, and as a tip, try to plug your iPhone in. This periodic recording absolutely drained my fully charged battery.
  • DCL Tip: Don’t Eat the Food in Front This tip probably applies beyond the Disney Cruise Lines, but it’s worth saying. When eating in a buffet setup like at the Beach Blanket Buffet onboard the Disney Wonder, don’t take or eat the food that’s on the front edge of the serving trays. I personally witnessed one too many kids poking, prodding, taking, and putting back food that’s in front. Yes, that food frontline could be abused (though of no fault to the cruise line), so grab the food in back. And parents, please remind your kids that if you touch it, you take it (and don’t put it back). In this case, I think wasting food is a better alternative than the potential spread of germs on ship. Now, if you happen to be dining at Palo where no kids are allowed, then you don’t have to worry as much. But I did see a diner drop a dessert on ...
  • A 50-Degree Swing in Weather That’s what you get when you leave balmy Hawaii and its typical 80-degree weather. From warm and muggy, we went to the scorching, dry heat of the Armpit of Cali. At least 100 degrees every day with a high of 106 on our arrival. Then a short international flight to the north by way of Vancouver, Canada. 61 degrees at the YVR airport felt so refreshing. The locals were wearing shorts. Our first port on the Disney Wonder was classic Skagway, Alaska. Population of 800 with temperatures in the 50’s on a sunny day. Is this hot or cold coffee kind of weather? I went with a hot Americano. Our second port was the landlocked Juneau. Even in the proximity of a frozen glacier, we experienced our warmest Alaskan temperature of 61 degrees. Our last stop was at the rainiest city in America, Ketchikan. Amazingly, 57 degrees, and no rain while we were ...
  • Coffee While Cruising (Part 2) The first installment of Coffee While Cruising covered the early FAT leg of my vacation. Like I mentioned before, from FAT we headed to YVR in Vancouver, Canada. Before the trip, I learned of a Starbucks Clover location on Robson Street. Oh, and I managed to get a Groupon for Starbucks Canada. Bonus! What did I see when entering a Canadian Starbucks? A scene not much different from that in America, but Starbucks CA is promoting their True North Blend. True North is a blonde roast that’s “named by Canadians for Canadians.” While I’m not sure if True North is merely a Canadian-version of the regular Starbucks blonde roast, I had to pick up a bag just because. I also got a Canadian Starbucks card featuring the iconic maple leaf. Not a bad introduction to Starbucks Canada, eh? And although we stayed in Vancouver for less than three days, I managed to go back ...
  • Coffee While Cruising (Part 1) While going on vacation typically means new experiences, it doesn’t necessarily mean old habits are forgotten, such as getting a healthy intake of coffee. The only real way to start time off is with good coffee and good kicks. That means a cup of Kati Kati Blend from Starbucks while wearing (gasp!) New Balance MO673. From HNL to SFO and stuck there for a bit due to continued delays from the Asiana Airlines accident, I partook of a Peet’s Iced Coconut Latte. I didn’t take a pic of this sweet (and airport-overpriced) concoction though. From SFO, we flew to FAT to spend a few days in the scorching heat. I have my usual coffee sources in Fresno but changed it up just a bit, visiting Barnes and Noble (remember bookstores?) and its cafe. From FAT, the next vacation leg was to YVR in Vancouver. Did I mention FAT now has two Starbucks locations? There’s ...
  • What Are Speed Humps? I’m guessing the Fergilicious Fergie named these neighborhood speed bumps. And no, they didn’t look like lady lumps.
  • A Bald Eagle in Flight That is all. But not something you’ll ever see in Hawaii.
  • Back from Cruising Back from vacation checking out Vancouver and cruising to Alaska onboard the Disney Wonder.
  • When You Need Stronger Peepers When you need to augment your peepers with something a little stronger – Nikon 8245 ACULON A211 8 x 42 Binocular (Black). A balance of good optics at an affordable price. Not waterproof/fog proof, but if it’s raining, I ain’t using it. Not compact but seemingly light weight enough to manage.


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