I am sitting on the deck of the Disney Wonder®, a beautiful cruise ship that is making it’s way South off the coast of British Columbia. It’s about 7am and very few are up and about.
This is our sixth and final full day on this Alaskan cruise. As I write these these words my attention is split between writing, the rain forest off the port side and Mary Poppins™, which is playing on a huge screen in front of the pool. We sailed from the port of Vancouver last Tuesday and after a day at sea, the ship navigated up to the glacier in Tracys Arm Fjord. Each successive day involved port stops at Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. Today we have one last full day at sea and then tomorrow morning we disembark in Vancouver.
As this is the inaugural season, there isn’t much information about this new Disney’s cruise, other than what is provided by Disney. I thought I would put down a thoughts and a couple of pictures for anyone considering this adventure. I have never been on a cruise before and I don’t claim to be an expert, my report here is based solely on my six days aboard this wonderful ship. In summary, I recommend the Alaskan cruise experience on this ship.
I am going to break this very large blog into 4 parts as follows:
- Introduction with weather discussion
- The Alaskan cruise experience (not related to Disney)
- The Disney cruise experience (ship, activities, service)
- My thoughts on the highlights of the Disney cruise
Before talking about the ship, the people the ports, and all the other matters, it’s important to set expectations of the weather and the effect it could have on the cruise. Alaskan cruises tend to operate between June and September. Which of the three answers below do you think generally best represents the weather one should expect.
A. Sunny and 75 every day.
B. Temperatures in the 50’s with 10% chance of sun, 10% chance of snow, 80% chance of cloudy skies with or without rain.
C. Slightly cool breeze requiring a light sweater.
An answer other than B might suggest you do more research before booking. We sailed into the land of rain forests and glaciers. When the winds blow from dead ahead of the ship, it gets cold. Prepare for rain at least 1 of the 7 days. I recommend jackets that are warm, water proof and have a hood. Gloves should be considered and a warm hat wouldn’t hurt. I noticed a lot of outer wear by The North Face and Columbia. People in Nike wear, didn’t last long outside on bad days. I usually had two to three shirts on starting with an Under Armour base layer. When the wind started blowing, jackets were definitely needed.
During our two excursion, our guides reported that their cities experience over 300 cloudy days a year. Both sets of guides reported heavy rains in the hours and days preceding our expeditions. Although we had sunshine for both our tours, our third excursion was canceled due to the weather.
For most of our trip, the temperature was in the 50’s. The winds varied from light to moderate gale force. The pools were heated to the high 80’s and there were adults in the jacuzzi’s and children in the pools at all hours of the day and evening.
One can dress lighter if one intends to stay inside the ship during bad weather. I wouldn’t wear flip flops, but my wife and daughter did at times.
When are you leaving on your Alaskan Cruise? What are you looking forward to?