While in Juneau, we also got to pan for gold and lunch at a salmon bake, which were quite fun. What we quickly learned was that gold panning is hard work! The first set of pans handed to us probably already had some gold at the bottom, so we all felt very accomplished the first 30 minutes. After carefully setting the gold in a secure little tube, we continued our mission to get rich but sadly, ended up with mostly rocks, dirt, and more rocks!
We were rewarded after the hard work though, with a delicious salmon bake. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch filled with bottomless clam chowder, salmon bake, and even got to make our own s’mores!
I’m not sure how we still had the energy to do so, but before getting back onto the cruise ship, we decided to take the Mount Robert Tram to see Juneau from high up. We did get a spectacular view, and even ended up going on a short hike while up there. The best part? We saw an eagle up close!
Our last and final port in Alaska was Ketchikan, where Mimi and I took the girls canoeing at the beautiful and serene Harriet Hunt Lake. It was about an hour bus ride from the cruise port, but I must say…..it was well worth it. The lake is completely engulfed amongst mountains, and is a small oasis of serenity that makes you feel like you are disconnected from the rest of the world.
We paddled hard for about 30 minutes, while our awesome tour guide educated us on our surroundings. At one point, he taught us how to produce an echo that literally traveled 360 degrees around the mountains, which felt almost magical to witness. We got off the canoe to take a small hike so that we could continue learning about the different trees, the black bears that resided in the area, and the abundance of beauty that nature has to offer.
After our fun morning excursion at Harriet Hunt Lake, we met up with our friends to stroll around the town of Ketchikan and snacked on our favorite Alaskan King Crab!
And that concludes our amazing 7 night Disney Cruise to Alaska! Just a few more photos of our time on the Disney Wonder…
As a side note, this was our third Disney Cruise, and if we had to rate, this one probably rated at the bottom of the three. For the first 2 cruises (Mexico + Bahamas), the pirate night was absolutely phenomenal, with fireworks in the middle of the ocean and a late night buffet to follow. For the Alaskan cruise, in lieu of the pirate night we had Frozen night, which turned out to be a bit disappointing. We got glowing snowflake necklaces and ate from a Frozen-themed menu, which were fun, but I guess I was expecting more from the actual Frozen performance on deck 9. I knew the fireworks would be impossible to top, but still, I felt Disney could’ve put more effort into their Frozen night. Anna and Elsa came out to sing and dance, but that was pretty much it, along with a blast of “snow” to conclude the show. Olaf didn’t even make an appearance! There was no late night buffet (not that we could’ve stuff anymore into our tummies by then!) and overall, I just felt that the wow factor was missing when compared to the awesome pirate night on the other ships. Also, the shows were the exact same ones (except for the variety show) as the other 2 cruises so it was our third time watching them. If Disney wants to entice guests to keep going back on their cruises, they should definitely change up the shows on each one so we have something new to look forward to.
Though we’ve been eager to boost our Castaway Club status to be gold, I’m not sure we’d be returning next year. Maybe! But, there are so many other adventures waiting for us to try out, so we’ll see. 🙂