We LOVED our Alaskan cruise! Disney always does it in style, offering unreal children's programs. Our children are 11 and 13, and Disney has opened a new tween club called The Edge - just for 11-13 year olds. There are no arm bands and they are able to come and go on their own. Each cabin is given two wave band phones so we could keep in contact with them at all times. Our son, who hated the Oceaneer labs and clubs before (because really little kids were in there with him) LOVED the Edge and hung out there every free minute he had.
We did not book any port adventures, choosing only to rent cars and drive around from locals advice. We did not regret that at all! We saved a lot of $$ and got to see things others didn't that were taking pre-paid shore excursinos.
Disney still needs to work on the following:
1. Even though the pools are heated, they aren't covered, so the walk out of the pool to the elevators is COLD! (minor criticism here as we didn's swim More
and didn't come to Alaska to swim).
2. They really need to work on things for adults to do onboard that are not with their family or with their spouse. All adult activites require one of the two of these requirements and my DH would walk around aimlessly without anything to do once I was in bed and the kids were hangining out in the Edge. Watching a movie was the only thing to do.
3. Run new releases if they can! It would have been cool to see Pirates 4 before it was released - especially being the inaugural cruise. They kept playing Nemo and The Little Mermaid - really?!
Overall, the negatives listed above would not deter me from cruising with them again. The attention to detail for dining and for the kids activities compare to none, in my humble opinion.
Alaska is an amazingly beautiful state. I feel privileged to be a part of the inaugural Disney cruise to visit there. Less
Love the big port hole window. A must for Alaska!
Very clean! Great host!
Love the pull down bunkbeds for the kids!
Does need more room for luggage, but maybe we needed to bring less! ;)
Overall, our stateroom was 100% A+
We again rented a car from Rent-A-Wrek, a much better car than the one in Skagway. We drove to the Mendenhall Glacier around 9am, a smart thing to do as no one was there. By 10-11am it was crowded. We saw an otter and a black bear - right near the visitors center! We then went and ate lunch at a local favorite spot - The Sand Bar Grill. Our rental car lady told us about it - the best halibut basket ever! And she was right! We then rode the only highway to the Catholic shrine and our son played on the rocky coast. We returned to Juneau to shop for t-shirts/gifts. Great city, enjoyed it a lot.
This was our least favorite city. We didn't rent a car or pay the $$ for shore excursions. We walked around town and the Creek Street area. The highlight was the lunch we had. I researched here on Cruise Critic favorite places locals in the ports loved to eat and Burger Queen was recommended. It is right across from the docks, just to the left of the tunnel. They make the best burgers, fries and shakes/malts! They make them to order, so your wait will be 15-20 minutes, but it is worth the wait. This port is the biggest city, oldest city and busiest city. There are homeless people around, pushy sales people and teens that drive around screaming from windows. Overall, we weren't impressed with this town. Would consider a port adventure if we came here next time. The family we dined with did the zip line through the rain forest. They loved that, but it came with a price tag.
We rented a car from Sourdough Rentals. An old car with over 150,000 miles on it. We drove up the Klondike highway towards Emerald Lake and had experienced the most wonderful views! We drove up into Canada, into the Yukon, up until Titshi Lake - a ten mile lake that was iced over with beautiful mountains on the other shore. It was amazing. We decided to turn around as we knew Emerald Lake would be frozen as well (and, we were far from the port). We drove over the snowy mountain and took our pictures next to "Welcome to Alaska" sign as snow fell all around us.... an amazing experience. Upon going through US customs, we stopped at Klondike gold panning - just before entering town. Our kids panned for gold and put their find into little vials that were made into necklaces. We then shopped in town (after gassing up at the only gas station there and returning the car). We found the prices to be much better then the other ports. The hand carved totem poles from local craftsmen were wonderful presents. This was our favorite port. Only 800 people live there, with 1600 living there int he summer to help with tourism. A beautiful little town, with charming people who were so very nice.