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Thread: Questions for a first time Alaska cruise

  1. #1
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    Questions for a first time Alaska cruise

    Hello! We're going on a Disney Cruise to Alaska and we've never been on a cruise. Please help!

    What should we pack?
    I've read that jeans are not allowed at dinner. Is that correct?
    I was just going to wear a tie to the one formal night with a nice shirt. Is that cool?
    Is there always a pirate-themed night, and if so--any suggestions? A bandanna? Amputate my leg for authenticity?

    I've read mixed reviews about the food and am sure that my daughter and I will be happy,
    but my wife is really into organic veggies, healthy & fresh food, Alaskan (not farm raised) salmon, etc.
    Will this be a week-long culinary nightmare for her?

    Are the comedians and hypnotists really kid friendly?

    Did you take a tour of the ship? How was that?

    Are the spa and gym separate? Do I have to pay extra to use the gym?

    What kind of sea sickness medication should we bring?

    And inexpensive excursion tips for Skagway or Ketchikan?

    One reviewer said she was supposed board the ship at 2:30 the first day, but got there at noon and was let on board early. What are you thoughts on when we should arrive?

    Any restaurant tips/reviews for the Wonder would be greatly appreciated, though we're sticking with the included ($) restaurants.

    My wife loves kayaking. Which of the three ports (if any) has kayaks to rent within walking distance of where the ship docks?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by jcruise86; 05-04-2012 at 06:00 PM.

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    I have not specifically been on the Wonder, but I have been on the Magic and Dream. I may be able to answer some of the questions, but I can't answer any specific questions about Alaska and ports there itself.

    1. Since temperatures are cooler there, you'll probably have to pack some warmer clothes as well. I would suggest looking at weather sites that give average temps, as well as the max and mins for the days that you will be there.

    2. Technically, jeans are not allowed at dinner, but you will not be refused service if you don't. I've seen many cases where people wear shorts and tee shirts to dinner.

    3. For the formal night, the tie with the nice shirt would be fine. When I was on the Magic in 2010, on the formal night, some were formal all the way to coat, tie, etc. On the other end, some were not dressed up formally at all. The only place where you would be required to be a bit more formal is at Palo, but that comes with an additional service charge.

    4. I know they do the pirate night with fireworks, etc. on the Caribbean/Atlantic cruises. I'm not sure what theme they do for the Alaskan cruises.

    5. I don't think it would be a culinary nightmare. When you are able to check in online, one of the forms is a dietary request form. You should fill that out and send it into DCL as soon as possible. They really do try to go out of their way for you.

    6. The comedians/hynotists/entertainment is really kid friendly. They normally have a non-kid friendly show later in the evening in the adults-only area of the ship.

    7. I did take a tour of the ship the first time I was on both the Magic and Wonder. If you have never been on the Wonder or Magic before, I would recommend doing it. It will help you get familiar with the layout of the ship, where things are, etc.

    8. On the Magic and Dream, the spa areas and gym area are separate, so I would assume the same is the case on the Wonder. You may pass some of the spa area to get to the gym. There is no additional cost to use the gym.

    9. Sea sickness medications are different for each person. What works for one person may not work for another. If you have been on smaller ships (fishing boats, etc.) and needed to use something for that, you may want to look into using the same thing. I have never gotten sea sick, but from others that have, said that even though they got sea sick on those smaller boats, they didn't get it on the cruise ship. I think that can be partly due to cruise ship having stabilizers that help keep you from feeling the rocking of the ship, unless in rougher seas. If you've never been on any type of vessel, I'd suggest going on a fishing boat or some other type of sightseeing boat at home before you go on the cruise so you can gauge your sea tolerance.

    10. For port adventures, I'd suggest looking at the following link: http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/cr...re-excursions/ From this site, you can filter by port and look at each of the adventures available. They also include prices, so that should help. However, prices are subject to change.

    11. In many cases, they will board people onto the ship once it is ready (leaving passengers off the ship and left the port terminal). Going out of Port Canaveral for the Magic and Dream, we were normally on board by about 11:30 am to 12 pm. The buffet is open once you board the ship. Staterooms will normally be available after 1:30 pm.

    12. Since this is your first time, I'd agree to stick with the normal restaurant rotations. Even though you will rotate multiple times through the restaurants, the menu is different every night of the cruise. If something doesn't suit your fancy on the menu, ask your server for options. You'd be surprised at what they will do for you.

    13. I'd refer you back to the answer in #10. Kayak rentals, etc. would fall under port adventures as well. Also, even if it isn't near the ship, they will generally take you to where you pick up and return the kayak, with transportation being provided back to the ship. Look at the port adventures link in #10 for more details.


    From my experience, I suggest taking in all of the shows and entertainment on board. Many of them cannot be seen anywhere else.

    If you have any questions, feel free to post or PM me.

    Drew

    Last edited by D2000lands; 05-05-2012 at 05:28 PM.
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    Did you see this thread near the top of the cruise discussion threads? It has LOTS of tips and tricks and is a great idea provider.

    Karin


  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by D2000lands View Post
    . . . If you have any questions, feel free to post or PM me.

    Drew
    Wow!
    I've read thousands of posts on this and on one other Disney fan site, but yours may be the most helpful thread I've ever read for me!
    THANK YOU, Drew!

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karin View Post
    Did you see this thread near the top of the cruise discussion threads? It has LOTS of tips and tricks and is a great idea provider.
    Thanks, Karin! Yes, and I was amazed by how excellent and comprehensive that list was. The internet at its best!

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcruise86 View Post
    Hello! We're going on a Disney Cruise to Alaska and we've never been on a cruise. Please help!

    We were just on the Wonder last month so I can help a little bit. Sorry, I haven't done Alaska yet so I'm not sure on those.

    What should we pack?
    I've read that jeans are not allowed at dinner. Is that correct?

    Here is the official dress code from DCL http://disneycruise.disney.go.com/fa...dining-attire/
    Jeans are fine on cruise casual nights. My DH and DS wore black jeans a couple of times.


    I was just going to wear a tie to the one formal night with a nice shirt. Is that cool?

    That will be fine also. My DH and DS wore full suits on Formal Night and the same (without the jacket) on Semi-formal night. But there were a lot of people that just wore a shirt and tie and even more that didn't dress up any more than any other nights.

    Is there always a pirate-themed night, and if so--any suggestions? A bandanna? Amputate my leg for authenticity?

    I would double-check with DCL on this one. Almost all the cruises have Pirate night but I have been reading on another board that they might not be doing it on the Alaska cruises this summer. I know they don't do the fireworks in Alaska but last summer they did still have Pirate night, but they might not this year. Again, that is just a message board rumor so I would call DCL to confirm before packing the full costume

    I've read mixed reviews about the food and am sure that my daughter and I will be happy,
    but my wife is really into organic veggies, healthy & fresh food, Alaskan (not farm raised) salmon, etc.
    Will this be a week-long culinary nightmare for her?

    As has already been suggested, contact DCL prior to the cruise to get their input on this one.

    Are the comedians and hypnotists really kid friendly?

    The shows in the Walt Disney Theater are designed as family-friendly. There will also be additional adult-only shows later in the evenings when the clubs change to adult-only venues. They will be clearly marked on the Navigators so you will know which are designed for adults-only

    Did you take a tour of the ship? How was that?

    We haven't yet but I heard there was one tour (about the ship design) that was really good. We plan on trying that one in September.

    Are the spa and gym separate? Do I have to pay extra to use the gym?

    Sorry, can't answer this one. We didn't use either.

    What kind of sea sickness medication should we bring?

    My DD gets a little sea sick and she took Bonine any time it was bothering her. It worked great and she could take it as needed.

    And inexpensive excursion tips for Skagway or Ketchikan?

    Sorry, no help here.

    One reviewer said she was supposed board the ship at 2:30 the first day, but got there at noon and was let on board early. What are you thoughts on when we should arrive?

    When you check in (if you haven't done that already), you will pick a port arrival time. You are supposed to arrive during the time period that you picked but usually you can arrive earlier. I have not heard of them turning away anyone from entering the terminal early for the Wonder (that occurs more on the Dream).

    Any restaurant tips/reviews for the Wonder would be greatly appreciated, though we're sticking with the included ($) restaurants.

    You will be assigned a rotation and a set of servers who will be with you the entire cruise. You will rotate through the restaurants so you will have a chance to try out all the menus. I think my favorite night was semi-formal night....that was because of the lobster tail...yummy!!

    My wife loves kayaking. Which of the three ports (if any) has kayaks to rent within walking distance of where the ship docks?

    Sorry, can't help with this on either.

    Thanks in advance!
    I hope you have a wonderful cruise!!! My Mom was interested in doing an Alaska cruise also so we might be trying that in 2014 (either that or Hawaii). I've got my finger's crossed that the Wonder will be back in 2014.
    "All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them."
    -Walt Disney
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Next trips: 2015 - B2B Baja Mexico Hearts cruise/2-night Cruise to Nowhere on the Wonder (October)

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