Family Reunion in Vancouver + Alaska (Part II.)

After a few eventful days in Vancouver, we checked out of our Airbnb and headed to the Port of Vancouver to embark on our Disney Cruise!

I recently wrote a blog post about why we love the Disney Cruise, but I have to say, that I might have to retract a few things after this last cruise. For one, the embarkation process this time was definitely much more chaotic than previous times. We were not greeted by friendly bag handlers upon our arrival at the drop-off zone but rather, by stone faced staff that kept rushing us and tossing our luggages around in a very rough manner. The waiting area for the check in was a cold and bare room, and the line for Castaway Club members was way longer than non-members.

What happened, Disney???

Personally, I feel like the embarkation process is really important to the whole cruise experience, so Disney really needs to step it up again if they want returning cruisers.

Once we stepped foot onto the ship, we immediately headed to the 9th floor where the buffet was located.

Tip: Try to get an early boarding time when you do your pre check-in online beforehand so that you can enjoy the buffet while you’re waiting for your stateroom to be ready!

For this particular cruise, Bridgette and I spent a lot of time preparing some surprises for our group, so while everyone was busy indulging in the buffet, I whisked Brianne and Bridgette off with me to help execute the surprises…

We went around each of our 5 different staterooms and decorated the doors with artwork that Bridgette and I created together the month leading up to our trip. Bridgette created artwork to reflect each person’s lifestyle/personalities while I worked on our group poster inspired by one of my favorite TV shows from the 70s–The Brady Bunch, as a tribute to our own little Brady who would turn 1 on the cruise.

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The door to each stateroom is magnetic, so all we had to do was buy a roll of magnetic tape from Amazon and adhere it to the back of the artwork and voila!

Since I’ve written up extensively about our previous Disney Alaskan Cruise previously, this time I’m going to highlight some of the new things we got to experience:

GAME SHOWS:

For the past 4 Disney Cruises, Brianne and Bridgette have tried sooooooo hard to be selected as contestants on the game shows on board. They screamed the loudest, danced the craziest, and waved the hardest each and every time, but they were never chosen. My sister and I were convinced that maybe only Castaway Club gold members get the privilege of being chosen for these games. The girls never gave up though, and to our surprise and amazement, several people from our group had some spotlight moments this time around!

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Brianne and Bridgette were selected to participate in the Disney Mania game where they had to guess Disney characters!
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Alan and Celine were chosen from the audience to participate in a show where they were hypnotized.

Our Brady Boo had the funniest victory in the baby crawling contest on board, called Jack Jack Diaper’s Dash:

Brianne, Bridgette and Celine participated in a talent show where the 3 girls danced to Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling, choreographed by Celine!

GLACIERS AT ENDICOTT FJORD:

When we sailed on the Disney Wonder last time, our first port to witness the mesmerizing glacier was at Tracy Arm. This time around, our ship stopped at Endicott Fjord instead. Though we did not get off the ship, we spent nearly the entire afternoon on the open decks to take in the stunning scenery. We even witnessed a few glaciers caving in and making a thunderous sound from afar!

ZIPLINING IN SKAGWAY:

PHOTO OPPS WITH MICKEY + MINNIE IN WINTER ATTIRE:

I absolutely ADORE Mickey in his fisherman’s outfit and Minnie in her snowsuit, which can only be found on the Disney cruises that sail to Alaska. I missed the photo opps last time so I made sure to track their whereabouts on the cruise this time, and along with my mom, we finally got a photo with each of them! Aren’t they the cutest?!

FAMILY HIKE IN JUNEAU:

There’s a tram in Juneau that takes you 1,800 feet above the cruise ship dock. Once you get up there, there are a lot of picturesque spots and hiking trails. We did the same tram ride and hike last time, but wanted to do it again this time with all of our families. The view did not disappoint!

WILDLIFE SAFARI + BEACH BONFIRE IN KETCHIKAN:

We noticed a new excursion on the Disney Cruise this time, for the port of Ketchikan. The description sounded quite interesting to us, so together with my sis, our cousin Celine, and the girls, we decided to give it a try.

We boarded an expedition vessel that brought us through beautiful passages, where we saw some amazing wildlife that included eagles and whales! Then, we stepped ashore on a remote island where we were greeted by some friendly Alaska native camp hosts who welcomed us with wonderful stories, beer/soda, and s’mores. We even got a short tour of the rainforest there!

WATER RAFTING IN JUNEAU:

When we ported in Juneau, Alan and Brian took the girls on a father-daughter excursion where they floated through a scenic 6 mile route at the foot of the Mendenhall Glacier through some exciting whitewater.

If you’re wondering whether or not there are excursions suitable for elderlies on the Disney Wonder, I can give you a definite YES! I signed our parents up for a number of excursions for each port, which included very scenic mountain top tour, gold panning, salmon bake, and glacier viewing on a seaplane (this turned out to be their FAVORITE excursion).

During the days when we were at sea and in the evenings on the Disney Cruise, we were kept pretty busy between dance parties, non-stop eating, and constant lounging!

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Last, but not least, one of the BEST parts of this cruise was the brand new Frozen show that we got to watch. The production of this show could rival those on Broadway in NYC, and I am dead serious. It literally had so many mind blowing, jaw dropping moments which left us completely mesmerized throughout the show, and culminated with the entire theater standing up in the end to give a standing ovation. Disney created this show especially for its cruises, so you wouldn’t be able to see it anywhere else. If you’re a Frozen fan, let me just tell you that this show alone is worthy of your consideration to take this cruise. It was really THAT amazing!

Overall, we had a great time on this trip, even though it was anything but easy to travel with a large group that encompasses such a wide age range. However, most things worth doing in life are not easy, so I feel really blessed for all the memories that were made during the 10 days that we were together. Here’s a fun video recap to show just how much dancing we did on the Disney cruise! 🙂

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