4 Mistakes I Made on Our Alaska Disney Cruise (And 4 Things I Did Right!)
I recently sailed Alaska's 7 Day Alaska Itinerary out of Vancouver on the Disney Wonder. We had stops at Dawes Glacier, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway. The weather was amazing-70's and 80's many days in the ports and really clear weather until the last day at sea. We saw whales, porpoises, seals, and bald eagles without ever even leaving the ship. It was an incredible experience for my children.
The ship was perfect-a great size for Alaska with plenty of activities, great cabins, and the food was excellent. The crew treated my kids so well and we loved seeing our waiters every night in the different dining rooms.
We had a great time, but there's a few things I wish I had done differently:
- We tried to do character photos early. The lines are LONG at the beginning of the week but by the last few days the lines were much shorter and my kids were much happier after a short wait to see the characters!
- I scheduled too many shore excursions. We booked the glacier cruise, 2 excursions in Skagway, 1 in Juneau, and another in Ketchikan. A few days before the cruise we canceled our excursion in Ketchikan (and weren’t charged for it) and I’m so glad we did. By the time our last port rolled around my kids were ready for a little more freedom and to be able to explore at our own pace. They napped when we pulled into port so when they woke up we explored the town on our own and had a great time.
- We didn’t book a balcony. It’s better to go to Alaska in an interior room than not go at all, but it would have been great to have splurged and been able to use the balcony while my kids napped! From our window we saw whales, porpoises, seals and of course icebergs! The visibility from a balcony would have been even better.
- I didn’t pack swimsuits for my kids. Really, I had no idea kids would be swimming in the pools in Alaska! But we had several warm days and the pools and splash areas were used every day. We managed to grab my oldest a swimsuit in port and she got to use the pools for the last few days.
Let's skip to the good part! There are 4 things I was glad I did that made our cruise just a bit more enjoyable.
- We chose Disney Cruise Lines over other cruise lines. I’ve sailed on six different cruise lines, 2 of those in Alaska (now 3!). There’s nothing that compares for a family vacation than Disney Cruise Lines! The kid’s clubs, character experiences, family activities like crafts, animation classes, family dance parties, theme nights really set Disney apart from all the other cruise lines. There was something for all ages to participate in all day!
- I booked the glacier explorer at Dawes Glacier. I was worried my kids (ages 2 and 4) were too young to appreciate it but they were amazed by being so close to a glacier and watching seals float around on icebergs! The deck hands even brought an iceberg onto the boat and gave each child their own piece to eat and play with. We bundled them up to up on deck after we reached the glacier and they were able to watch it calve. We got MUCH closer to the glacier and wildlife than we were able to on the ship.
- We chose early dining. My kids absolutely loved the rotational dining! Their favorite drinks were on our table when we arrived each night along with crayons and a kids menu with coloring activities. Tianna’s was so fun with the Mardi Gras parade and it was such a neat experience to see our artwork come to life in Animator’s Palate! However, with the time difference, I know if we had late dining they would have been too tired to enjoy any of it.
- We packed costumes for Frozen Night. The deck party is so fun and you even see all of the moms and dads really having the best time and singing along! Frozen night happens on glacier viewing day, so be prepared at both dinner and after dinner for special Frozen activities!
I've sailed Alaska 3 times on 3 different cruise lines! I would love to help you plan your next Alaska or Disney cruise! Jessica@VincentVacations.com
For years I used to say "If I weren't in education, I would be a travel agent!" and in 2017, my dream of becoming a travel consultant came true! After years traveling to Italy, Mexico, Russia, and taking Caribbean and Alaskan cruises I became an Independent Consultant.One of my favorite destinations is the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Is this on your bucket list? I'd love to make this a reality for you!... Read More >>>
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