Join the planDisney panelists as they share their top tips and recommendations in our new Trip Report Series! First up we are headed to the high seas on the Disney Cruise Line.
Trip: 7-Night Alaskan Cruise on the Disney Wonder
Panelist: Kamini C.
“As lifetime Disney fans but first time Disney cruisers, we were giddy with excitement to board the Disney Wonder last July for our 7-Night Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver! The vast coastline and stunning beauty of the Alaskan landscape filled us with curiosity and anticipation as we sailed away for our one-week adventure. There’s something very fascinating, mystical, and peaceful about cruising through waterways surrounded by glaciers, snow-capped mountains, rainforests and waterfalls. Reflecting back, the itinerary was perfect, with a day at sea, visits to Dawes Glacier, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan, followed by another day at sea. We tried to keep a good balance of some planned activities, along with time to explore on our own. We experienced a versatile range of transportation, exploring by foot, boat, bus, Unimog (truck), seaplane, aerial tramway, and dog sled – impressive, right? I can’t wait to do this cruise again, and highly recommend it for all ages and interests – there is something of intrigue for everyone in the “Last Frontier.”
Here are our most memorable moments from our Alaskan adventure, in no particular order….
- The journey through Tracy Arm to Dawes Glacier was awe inspiring. The ship was traveling very slowly for several hours upon approach, to avoid disturbing thousands of icebergs sprinkled through the fjord. We were extremely lucky to get a sunny day and the captain was able to bring the ship closer to the glacier than expected. Dawes Glacier, in all its splendor, is over 600 feet tall and a mile wide, with more than 250 feet of the glacier hiding below the water’s surface. We observed the glacier calving over a dozen times in a few hours, where giant chunks of ice broke off and landed in the sea below. We have never seen anything like it.
- Skagway is majestic in its beauty but quaint and unassuming in its temperament. The locals are extremely kind. It’s not every day you visit a city with a population of less than 1,000 people! Crystal blue waters surrounded by sheets of trees along the mountains – nature at its finest.
- Sled dogs are our new favorite athletes! In Skagway, we booked a Port Adventure to visit a musher camp and take a sled ride with adorable, athletic Alaskan Huskies. We learned that Huskies that compete in the famous Iditarod race in Alaska can run up to 100 miles a day for almost two weeks straight! We had two of these famous athletes guiding our sled, and we couldn’t get enough of Floki and Althea. They were adorable. Afterwards, we got snuggle time with the dogs AND got to cuddle with five-week-old Husky pups, one of which was named Thor. These were the sweetest new friends we made on our trip!
- In Juneau, our family participated in different activities. My husband booked a Port Adventure on a seaplane for breathtaking, aerial views of the glaciers – this has been a longstanding dream for him, and he said it was one hundred percent worth the experience. Meanwhile, the girls and I rode the Goldbelt Tram 1,800 vertical feet up the mountain in 10 minutes. It was a short one mile walk from the ship to the tram. We did a short hike at the top of the mountain and took in mother nature enveloping us – the views were surreal. I’m glad we wore comfortable, all-weather walking shoes!
- Chopping wood is a proper sport! We were very entertained by the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show and had booked a special showing exclusively for Disney Cruise Line Guests. We even saw hidden Mickeys on the show set. It was like an athletic competition and family-fun comedy show all rolled into one.
- While we visited ports hundreds of miles apart from one another, we found ourselves tucked into a part of the lush and mystical Tongass Rainforest in every port. We learned it is the largest U.S. National Forest at 16.7 million acres, and one of the largest rainforests in the world.
- The late sunsets throughout the cruise were breathtaking. We could hardly believe that 10:30 p.m. felt much like 7:00 p.m. back home! The sun was peeking through our stateroom window by 5:00 a.m. at the latest. We really enjoyed the long days and mild temperatures in July. Though we had packed every layer possible, we found the weather extremely comfortable and not “freezing cold” as one imagines Alaska to be.
Our time aboard the Disney Wonder was magical in every way. From dancing in a conga line to “Dig A Little Deeper” at Tiana’s Place, to Disney Tunes Trivia challenges at the D Lounge every night, to trying our luck with Bingo Betty, to seeing our own sketches come to life at Animator’s Palate, to the highly entertaining and engaging Broadway-style shows each night, to the love and care shown to us by each and every Crew Member, it was truly a trip to remember. We cannot wait to book our next Disney cruise. The biggest debate at home these days is which ship and itinerary to select. See ya’ real soon, Disney Cruise Line!”
To learn more about Disney Cruise Line itineraries be sure to visit Disney Cruise Line. And for more great tips and recommendations for planning your next Disney vacation, stop by @planDisneypanel on Instagram, @planDisney on Twitter, or planDisney.com. We look forward to answering all your planning questions.