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2018 The Wonder of Alaskan Cruise

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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But the bridge isn't the only major attraction there. After we got across, we did the forest canopy walk. This is where you walk from one platform high up in the trees to another via a series of suspension bridges. These are not suspended as high as the main suspension bridge, but there were still up there. At various locations, there are plaques and info about various trees and natural fauna of the place.

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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Advertisement
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You have to cross the Capilano bridge again to get back to the original side of the deep ravine. Once you are there, there is another main attraction: the Cliff Walk. Here, you walk on narrow walkway that are suspended on the side of a cliff. Again, not for those afraid of heights, because you are very high up.

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At one point you get to this semi-circular path that sticks away from the cliff. So you're sticking out over the deep ravine. Very cool and scary at the same time. 24.jpg 25.jpg 26.jpg

The circular path was suspended only by these steel cables.
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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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More photos from the Cliff Walk.
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There was also a platform that jutted out and hanged over the high cliff, for your Kodak moments. I think it would have been more dramatic if they also made the floor of the platform clear. It wasn't as scary or dramatic as The Ledge at the Skydeck on top of Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago.
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Here's another view from above of the circular path that stuck out over the cliff.
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It was very, very cool! I had more fun than I expected and can see myself spending almost an entire day here.

Just a tip, they have a free shuttle between Canada Place and the Capilano park. So getting there from downtown Vancouver was very easy. You can even buy tickets at Canada Place (there's a ticket booth out front) and avoid the ticket lines when you get to Capilano.

Another tip: get there very early, especially on weekends and holidays. We got there on the first shuttle of the morning to Capilano and did many of the fun things before it got really crowded, especially on the suspension bridge.

I definitely plan on coming back.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Oh, I forgot to mention one other thing. At the end of your visit to the Capilano park, you can get a fun certificate to show that you had conquered the suspension bridge.... for bragging rights! :)

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There was actually a "passport" book that you were asked to get, and then go to different stations throughout the park to get an embossed stamp. You get the certificate upon completion of all your stamps. But from what I gathered, they gave it to everyone who asked for it, even if they didn't fill all of the stamps.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Our 2nd full day in Vancouver, and the day before we sail off, was spent closer to our hotel. We started the day with a delightful breakfast of waffles at Nero Waffle Bar. I found this place a while back. Once we figured out where our hotel would be. I fired out Google Maps and looked around the area on what was available, and one of the things that caught my eyes was this waffle place. So I already made plans to come to this place months before we got there.

This waffle bar had very good reviews online. We got there about 5 minutes before they opened, and already there were a couple of people in line. By the time we got in line, a few more people showed up. And they all looked like locals to me, so it appeared that they folks living there like this place, which is a definite plus in my book. By the time we were seated and our orders were taken, the indoor seating was at least 3/4 full.

I already posted pictures of the waffles we had. Here's a couple more. They had a mound of waffles already made out front.
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They also have savory waffles (you can find their menu online). What we got were delicious. Like I said in my earlier post, I'm glad I didn't go here earlier than when I did, because I can see myself going back again and again. It was worth the visit.

After breakfast, our main plan was to visit Granville Island. Rather than take the bus, we decided to walk to the Aquatic Center and take a ferry ride instead. After all, who wouldn't want a nice boat ride on a perfect, sunny day? So that was what we did.
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The boat ride lasted barely 5 minutes.

There were a lot of stores on Granville Island, but our main attraction was the Granville Public Market. If you are familiar with Pike's Place or other public markets in the US, then this will be quite familiar to you. It was CRAZY, and we loved it! No fish flying through the air, though.

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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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We spent a long time just wondering through every inch of the public market, and deciding what we want to get for lunch. It was very tough to decide!

This was the stall where we found the Dole Whip.
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Yeah... we could have easily fallen into a food coma after that.

There were many other stores and things to see on Granville Island. So we spent the rest of the time just walking around, browsing, walking in and out of the stores. We bought a few souvenirs, of course.
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Spent a bit of time watching this glass-blower doing his craft. I can spend hours watching something like this.
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We left Granville Island late afternoon via the same ferry boat. We ended turned in early since all of us were rather excited to wake up the next day for the start of our cruise.

Zz.
 
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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We woke up on the morning of Sept. 3, 2018 knowing that this was the day that we had been waiting for for more than a year! It was the start of our cruise!!!

We didn't plan on leaving for Canada Place till 9:30 am that day, but by 7 am, I was all dressed and ready to go! But we went out to a Starbucks nearby and had some breakfast. Then we sat for a while at the hotel till it was time to go. We hailed a cab, and got dropped off right where they took our luggage.

We could have enter the check-in lounge, but instead, we went outside first to snap a few photos of our ship, the Disney Wonder.
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With each photo that I shot, I could feel getting more and more excited for the cruise.

Finally, we decided to go inside and check in. It goes without saying that since this is not a port that was exclusive to Disney, it doesn't feel the same or had the same look at the Disney terminal at Port Canaveral. It fact, it was so generic that I didn't even bother taking a photo of the waiting area.

But soon, boarding began. We were in Group 8, so we boarded pretty early in the process. As you can tell, almost everyone was excited for the cruise. Each time we passed by a window that showed the lovely ship, people didn't pass the chance to snap a photo of her.
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Here we were, walking on the gangway, after we took our group photo, about to board the ship. "Hey, you up front! Can't you go any faster?!"
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Finally, we were at the door going into the Wonder, greeted by happy crew members.

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Once inside the atrium, we were greeted by the lovely chandelier befitting the theme of "under the sea", and by the lovely Ariel.
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But hey, it was past Noon, and we were starving! Rather than going into Triton, we took the elevator to Deck 9, and headed to the Cabanas. I will show you my very first plate of food on the Disney Wonder.
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I'm not going to show you anymore of the lunch. It wasn't pretty. It was an exercise in gluttony. I had lamb chops, beef roast, and a whole bunch more in quantities that I didn't think I could consume. Like I said, it wasn't pretty.

Finally, we got our state room, and found our gift on the bed. It was a nice, DCL messenger shoulder bag. Donald immediately claimed it to be his. Hah! Fat chance, duck!
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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Soon, it was time for the muster drill. We were in Station N. Because it was also a Labor Day holiday in Canada, the port was full of people watching us on the ship.
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Soon, the moment that we've waited for came. It was time to sail off. The ship pulls out of Canada Place, and out we went! We were on Deck 10, way out front, and enjoying the perfect weather, the cool breeze, and waving to people. It was exhilarating!
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Since we were already in the top deck, I decided to go look at Senses Spa and the exercise room. Hey, I knew that I was going to .... er .. indulge quite a bit, so I still need to make sure I get enough exercise so that I do not balloon like a blimp. There will be price to pay once I get back to reality.

So this is the exercise room. Not as roomy as the ones on The Dream or The Fantasy, but it was adequate.
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That evening, our first sit-down dinner was at Animators Palette. We were introduced to our servers, and dinner was great!
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It was a great start to our cruise.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
On our 2nd day of the cruise and our first full day at sea, we actually woke up rather early. By 7 am, we were showered and dressed, and I'll tell you why in a minute.

But our first task of the day was to do some laundry. We already spent about 3 days in Vancouver, and we brought just enough clothes to last us the entire trip, IF we get to clean some of them. So we already planned on doing at least one load of laundry on the ship, and no better time than during our full day at sea at the beginning of the cruise, before more passengers start running out of clothes and need to use the washer and dryer.

So that's what we did. Donald also had a few things he needed washing, so he came along with us to the laundry room.
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They have smart washers and dryers there. You open them using your keycard, and when the wash or drying were done, if you are using your Navigator App, it will alert you when they are done! Very convenient!

We then left for an early breakfast at Cabanas as soon as they were opened. I snapped a few pictures along the way.
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Now, the reason why we got up early was something I omitted to tell you of something we booked when we were at the Senses Spa the day before. We booked at 8 am a 1-hour men's facial treatment at the spa, which included a shave, facial treatment, facial massage, scalp massage, neck and shoulder massage, and hand and arm massage. We haven't done this before, so we thought we'd give it a try. And besides, by then, I haven't shaved in a couple of days already.

Let me tell ya, it was one of the most relaxing, tension-draining 1 hour that I have ever had. I swore that I could easily dozed on that chair as my face was pampered with all kinds of products and then followed by an oh-so-relaxing massage. Could not start the cruise any better! I think I may want to do this at the beginning of every cruise I take from now on.

Of course, when we met up with the rest of our party later that day, everyone was joking that our faces were "glowing" after the treatment. All I can say is, men, we deserve our "me time" as well, and there is no reason why only the ladies get to enjoy this type of pampering! :)

After our spa treatment, I felt like just chilling out. I knew that this was one of the days where we didn't have much planned, and it will be very hectic after this once we get into port. So I decided to just walk around the ship, snap more photos, and then plop myself somewhere to just enjoy the scenery. And that was what I did.
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Found a nice deck chair on Deck 4, and plopped myself down to watch the scene go by. This is very different than sailing in the Caribbean, because there, you mainly see open waters. Here, the inside passage had changing terrain and landscapes.
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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Here are a couple of the changing landscapes that I snapped while lounging on the deck chair. It was very relaxing, and quite enjoyable just to have some quiet time.
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Donald didn't want to get left behind either. He found himself a nice lounge chair to chill out.
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In the evening, we went down to the Atrium to go to dinner. Here are a few more shots of it.
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Of course, there were always characters meet-and-greet going on somewhere. This time, it was Mickey on Deck 4.
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Our dinner that night was at Tiana's, with full New Orleans theme, entertainment, and flavor.
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We were "attacked" by a rather fat alligator.
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We strolled around the ship a bit after dinner. While a few of our friends went on to watch the evening shows, we decided to call it a day and turn on. After all, we woke up rather early, and the next day would be our first port of call with plenty of things to do.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 3 of our cruise, and as expected, I woke up early, showered and dressed, and spent some time on the top deck enjoying the scenery and snapping photos. This will be our first port-of-call, Icy Strait Point. Already I could see that we were close to civilization since I noticed a ship an possibly settlements from a distance. The channel was also narrowing and I could see the terrain clearer than the day before.
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We were not scheduled to reach Icy Strait Point till late in the morning. So we had time for breakfast, and then to listen to a fascinating talk about Southeast Alaska, and especially about the Tlingit and what we can look out for when we reach Icy Strait Point and Hoonah.

Obviously, we were one of the first to enter the Buena Vista auditorium for the talk.
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Soon enough, we pulled into Icy Strait Point. I joined many other passengers on the top deck watching our ship pull into the rather rickety-looking dock.
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As soon as we were cleared to disembark, we walked out. Of course, I snapped plenty of photos of our ship.
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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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The first building that we encountered is their welcome center, or what they called Adventure Center. This has all the visitor info that anyone needs, all the excursions that one might want to do, and where we will later on meet for our excursion. Of course, they also have souvenir shop and cafe, etc.
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Not far from the Adventure Center is the main attraction of the island, the giant, oh-my-god zipline. Until recently, it was the longest zipline in the world (taken over by the one in Mexico, I believe). It started off from the top of the mountain and, 90 seconds later, you arrive down by the ocean. I believe it takes about 45 minutes to get up the mountain by bus to get to the launching point.

No one in our group did this. But it was still fun to watch these people zoom down the mountain this way.
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We spent quite a bit of time walking around the area, doing window shopping, and enjoying the scenery. Everyone there, including the locals, were thanking us for bringing the perfect weather with us. They said that it was unusual for the area to see people walking around just in shorts and t-shirts, especially at that time of the year. I was more than happy to take credit for the good weather. :)
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This was my most favorite shirt that I saw during my window shopping. Too bad they didn't have this in a regular men's version and in my size.
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Great pictures, I so want to do an Alaskan cruise again, even though we saw a lot in 2 weeks I think there is so much more to see and experience. Holland America has a 3 week cruise that goes to Nome starting next year I would love to do. Keep the pictures coming. I spent time in the restored salmon cannery ,there was so much more to see at Icy Straights I missed. Sorry your excursion was a let down. My wife did the whale watch said it was worth every penny.
 
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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Soon we walked back to the Adventure Center to start our excursion. We signed up for a trolley ride through the forest, and then a tribal dance show at the end.

This is the ride through the temperate forest. Several times during the climb up various hills, I thought the tram was going to die and we will have to push it. And the fumes coming out of the front engine reminded me of the old parking lot trams at WDW that used to spew black smoke. It was a distraction.
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We were brought to the edge of the water and the view was certainly spectacular. The water was pristine, and of course, with the perfect weather, it was breathtaking. We could even see The Wonder from a distance. 22.JPG 23.JPG 24.JPG

Consider this as my Wallpaper shot as a gift to you. :)
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After the ride through the forest, we went into an auditorium for the tribal dance. A native Tlingit, who happened to be a high-schooler, greeted us. I was very impressed by his composure, and his sense of humor. But more on this later. Unfortunately, we were requested not to snap photos or videotape any of their songs and performances since they consider them to be sacred. So after the brief introduction, I stopped recording.
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On the whole, our group felt a bit disappointed with this excursion. It wasn't what we expected. We didn't get to see much of the forest and the natural surrounding. Sure, the view was amazing, but we wanted to see and learn a bit more.

But what was more disappointing was the tribal dance. It felt rather "amateurish". I think that most of the performers were teens. I wanted a bit more in-depth story of the Tlingit, and see more of the regalia and ceremony. This, we did not get. What we got was on par with a high-school show. If this was described clearly in the excursion, then we would have understood, but as far as what we expected, it was a disappointment.

So our very first excursion on the cruise was a let-down.

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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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After the tribal dance performance, we decided that it was time to stroll back to the ship. We would loved to have been able to take the shuttle to the town of Hoonah, and see how the residence live and work, but we just didn't have time. In fact, after our disappointing excursion, we would have rather done that instead of the excursion we signed up for.

So here are a few shots as we walk back to the ship.
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I'd love to go back to Icy Strait Point, and maybe do a whale-watching excursion instead, or even take a stroll in Hoonah. I just felt like we missed out on more interesting things.

That evening, our dinner was at Triton. It was delicious, but the highlight was this Amaretto souffle! It just made we look forward to our dinner at Palo later in the cruise so much more.
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It was a good ending to our Day 3.

Zz.
 

ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Day 4 is Skagway. As before, I woke up early to see the ship pulled into the port. I love taking snapshots at sunrise, so I took quite a few photos.
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We had a quick breakfast before we disembarked quite early in the morning. We did not have anything planned in the morning, so we decided to just stroll into Skagway and walked around a bit.
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As you can see below, we were early enough that the town hasn't been "invaded" yet, especially considering that there were 2 other ships docked there at that time.
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We also decided to walk off the main part of the town and into the residential area, just to see the neighborhood, especially where people there live.
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To our right was the airport runway.
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After the stroll, we went back to the ship for lunch. I snapped a few photos along the way.
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ZapperZ

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Our excursion started in the early afternoon. It consisted of 3 parts: a trolley tour of Skagway, a bus ride up the Yukon highway, and then finally, a ride on the White Pass railroad train back down to Skagway.

This is the trolley tour part. We got to see, and learn more about Skagway. Our tour guide was a hoot and a lot of fun.
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We then transferred to a bus. Our driver, Paul, who was from California and only spent the summer working there, was also a lot of fun and got us a lot of info regarding the gold rush, the history of the railroad, and the Klondike highway.
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Here are some of the scenery that I snapped along the way up.
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At some point, we caught up with the train itself making its way up. This would be the one we will board when we reached our destination.
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We were at the border and took photos from the other side, i.e. for people heading down going into Alaska. There weren't any significant sign to indicate that we crossed into Canada and the Yukon territory.
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