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Home > Member Reviews > brisgal's Port Reviews of Vancouver, Skagway, Juneau

brisgal's Port Reviews of Vancouver, Skagway, Juneau
Disney Wonder cruise in May 2011
Member Name: brisgal
Cruise Date: May 2011
Embarkation: Vancouver
Destination: Alaska
Member Review: brisgal's Disney Wonder Review
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Vancouver was a beautiful city. It had all the fun of a large city and beauty as well. We arrived a day before we embarked so we could tour it a bit. Unfortunately, it was raining so we didn't explore like we wanted to. The location of the hotel that we stayed in was good and we were able to walk to the port. There were a lot of other cruisers in the hotel so there was an air of excitement there as well. We ate at a place called "Steamworks" that was located next to the pier for dinner. I would recommend it. Our service was great, the food was good, and it was reasonably priced.

Embarkation was fine...never fast enough for me!! I'm always way to excited to get on board. It ran smoothly, never really waited in a line as we waited on chairs until our group was called. The only disappointment is that it was a generic port and only had a few Disney pictures up. Don't expect Port Canaveral. Of course, it was fine, my expectations were way too high after sailing out of Port Canaveral and walking through the Mickey Ears!

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Skagway was exactly as I imagined a town in Alaska would be. It was very cute, walkable, and a few fun little shops, restaurants, and bars. It was very walkable from the ship. The first shop we came upon was the Alaskan Shirt Company. Very reasonable prices! I almost wished I had waited to buy my jacket because they had a lot of nice jackets and at 2 for $40, you can't beat the price.

We went to several other shops, but one memorable one was a popcorn shop. It was their first day open...ever! They didn't even have all the shelving in. Most things were place on card tables. They had been open for 15 minutes when we arrived. We felt like celebrities. Of course, he couldn't find the twist ties to fasten the bags with, and the Visa machine was giving him problems (his wife had gone to the bank) but the popcorn was fabulous!! The cheese for the cheese popcorn came from Wisconsin where they were originally from. I would guess they will do well! By the way, the popcorn shop is on one of the side streets off to the left as you are walking away from the ship.

Our excursion was going on the White Pass Railway. We booked through the Cruise line and it was very organized. We had to re-board the ship after wandering the town as our meeting place was back on the ship. That made us a bit nervous, but it was no problem at all.

The train ride was beautiful and our tour guide was fabulous. She had so many stories to tell of the miners making their way up the mountain. I was a bit afraid I wouldn't enjoy being stuck on a train for three hours but the time flew!! The scenery was spectacular and I really got a feel for what it was like for the miners. (Except I was comfortably sitting on a nice train instead of worrying about money and food and finding gold...)

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Juneau was a much bigger city than I imagined. It wasn't really that big, but never being to Alaska, I figured it would be much smaller. This was our day to go whale watching and visit Mendenhall Glacier. We met in the Walt Disney Theater and then were brought down to our bus. The bus driver was really fun and pointed out a many things about her town. She showed us the Governor's mansion and then told us to look the opposite way. She said, "That must be Russia." It took me a while to get it, but I thought it was pretty funny. We also drove past the Walmart. As we did, she told us of how the first week-end it was sold out. Imagine! Everything must come by barge because there are no roads into Juneau.

Our first stop was Mendenhall Glacier. Beautiful! There was a trail to hike and a visitor's center with an interesting movie about the glacier. It was only eleven minutes and well worth our time.

We boarded the bus an hour later and headed to our boat for the whale watching expedition. The boat was really nice! I was happy to find bathrooms as well as a snack bar that served free coffee and hot chocolate and sold snacks, soda's, and beer as well. It also sold AA batteries which we were relieved to find out.

We saw several humpback whales, which was so fun. The highlight for me, though, was seeing at least fifty sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks. The papa sea lion, we were told, had to weigh between twelve hundred and fifteen hundred pounds and barely waddled out of the sea. Even though he didn't seem to move very fast, the other males were intimidated by him, as they ran away for the other sea lions and jumped into the sea.

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