A Disney cruise to Alaska – something for everyone in your family with the HUGE added bonus of exploring some of the most gorgeous, natural beauty in the world.
Our family checked off a huge item on our bucket list – exploring the Last Frontier: Alaska. The beauty of Alaska is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. For fellow travelers we met on our journey, many of them were returning to Alaska for their 3rd, 4th, even 7th time, and now I understand why. Combine a journey into the wilds of Alaska up the Pacific Ocean with the service and entertainment onboard a Disney cruise ship, and you’ve got a perfect family vacation.
Before we had even boarded the ship, we were meeting friendly faces from our cruise group Facebook page where we had all shared plans and hopes for our families’ vacations. We continued to run into each other and meet other new friends throughout the voyage.
For our dinners, we requested to be seated with another family. We were paired with a family with kids about the same age as ours, and it was nice to look forward to seeing them each night, enjoy a meal together and chat about what we had done or seen during the day. They can easily become friends just as your serving team does as they travel with you each night to a different restaurant, and you may also see them at breakfast and lunch at various locations.
On-board fun included Disney shows, the music and comedy of Buckets and Boards, Disney trivia, Disney animation classes, dance parties, cooking classes, Bingo, tween and teen clubs for the kids, 80s Trivia at the pub, movies, and of course relaxing on the pool deck, taking an occasional nap, and food. Lots of food.
After a day and a half of sailing north, we finally arrived at Endicott Arm where we had an amazing viewing of not only the glacier but also all the lazy sea lions floating by on chunks of ice. Whales were also spotted on our way to the glacier, causing everyone to run for their cameras. Having a verandah was a highlight of our stateroom as we were able to enjoy the glacier and the marine life from the comfort of our own private sitting area.
Exploring just Southeast Alaska, we had three ports of call to look forward to:
- Skagway – a gold rush town now full of shops and small eateries and a great place to
catch the salmon spawning. Hike to a lake up on a mountain, or visit the old Gold Rush
Cemetery and learn about Soapy Smith, Skagway’s very own con-man who finally paid
- Juneau – the capital of Alaska and accessible only by boat or air, this sprawling town has
lots of shopping for tourists, tours to Mendenhall Glacier, and a tram up the mountain
to a great view and a raptor rescue center.
- Ketchikan – also a mining town, Creek Street was a red-light district filled with brothels whose buildings now serve as shops on a quaint wooden boardwalk lining Ketchikan Creek.
While we enjoyed all three ports, Ketchikan was easily our favorite port. With a Native tour guide and just a small group of us discovering the town, we saw the greatest amount of wildlife of any of our port stops with eagles, bears, and otters. We were also treated to a special visit to a totem pole park where our guide appeared out of nowhere in his regalia, complete with a wolf head and beautiful red robe.
No matter where you were in Alaska, and though it didn’t matter which direction you looked, the waterways, mountains, lush trees, beaches, snow-capped mountains, wildlife,…it was with you everywhere you went.
I have traveled all over the world and have seen some amazing places. Australia still reigns at the top of my list, but Alaska is coming in close behind it, and I’m already looking forward to my next adventure back!