The Best Disney Alaska Cruise Review and Tips will help you plan your DCL Alaska Cruise. This is a wonderful cruise. It’s also very expensive and these tips will help you pock the best excursions and make the most out of your trip.
Disney Alaska Cruise Review of Costs
- Flights: Boston to Vancouver (layover Toronto) $1474 for 4 people
- Cruise: Disney Wonder $5642 (after 10% off placeholder)
DCL Alaska Cruise Tips
- Sign up to the Disney Princess and Frozen Meet and Greets and Disney Junior Character Breakfast when online registration opens. They are free, but you must have a reservation/tickets. Every person in your party must have a ticket.
- Check out my Viator.com site for port excursions that often cost less than DCL. Read the fine print as some of them offer cruise ship guarantees that they will get you back to the ship.
- Go to Deck 10 for a view looking down at the stage with less pushing (but still some) for all Deck Parties including Frozen Night, Pirate Night and Sail Away Celebration.
- Our kids were in size 12 and 1 kids sizes. We brought both sneakers and their croc roam boots to our glacier tour. The boots worked well to help keep the glacier boots on since they didn’t really have kid sizes. The glacier boots made it a lot easier to walk around as the pilot himself slipped around a little with out them on.
- Board with your swimsuits on or in your carry on so you can head to the pool first thing. Grab a table by the kids pool area and while one adult supervises the kids head to the buffet to grab lunch for everyone. Don’t miss the lamb lion chops they are tasty.
- Check out navigators from past cruises to get an idea of activities you don’t want to miss so you can plan them into your schedule.
Disney Alaska Cruise Review
Alaska was a big bucket list trip for us. We had intended to go on Holland or NCL but the year prior while stressed my husband promised the kids a Disney Cruise if they would just behave for the weekend while he prepared for a job interview and if he got the job. Needless to say, that kids were so excited and when I found something that I felt was barely within budget I agreed. This trip was a difficult trip for us with our daughter.
Special Celebration on Disney Cruise
She had been pulled from daycare to join her brother in summer camp and was starting kindergarten in September. We told her this cruise was to celebrate her graduation, but I think all that did was remind her things were changing. Our daughter has always had some difficulty with transitioning, but we didn’t expect her to have anxiety before the transition. After school started subsequent trips have been a lot easier.
This was the first time we had booked a trip so far in advance and of course the kids couldn’t comprehend what a year was. So, Mickey decided he would surprise the kids throughout the year as they waited for the cruise. Anna and Elsa showed up for ice skating at our local ymca and Moana showed up at the local kids’ spa. This was huge because she is our daughter’s favorite and she brought her boat with her.
Mickey surprised us all while we were at Universal Studios with tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and later Disney on Ice tickets. He even surprised the kids with their scooter suitcases right before the trip which they absolutely love! And Finally, the day came!
DCL Alaska Itinerary
Day 1 of our Disney Alaska Cruise Review
We flew out of Boston at 10:30am with a layover in Toronto. We visited the Plaza lounge (domestic) terminal in Toronto. They had large ramen cups you could add water and microwave, a beef stew, veggies and potatoes and some salads. I was happy to have a free hot meal and some wine and even my husband was happy with the ramen. We stayed in Vancouver 2 nights prior to our cruise, you can read all about it and our post cruise tour from Vancouver here.
I had picked up 4 bottles of wine (2 per person) to enjoy on the cruise. We arrived around our PAT time (port arrival time) and it was already walk on. We headed to the pool as we had the past time Found a table to set our stuff on and the kids went to swim while I grabbed some food on the buffet. I always enjoy the lamb lion chops and the easy peel shrimp.
First Day Schedule
We head to our rooms around 2 to get ready before the lifeboat drill. The life boat drill is a boring necessary process. However, it became very eventful when our daughter (5) decided she did not want to be there, and she did not want to stand in line- which the cast members insisted was necessary before everyone could go! So, there she is laying on the floor next to us as we are lined up and poor my husband is saying there she’s in line is that good enough?
We can laugh about it now, so it couldn’t’ have been that bad. Eventually a cast member came over to her offered her a captain hook trading pin and she stood up and got inline. He told us to bring our son in to the shop and he can pick out one too which was very nice for him to be included.
Dinner our first night was in Tritons which was my least favorite restaurant. Not that there is anything wrong with it but it’s not as fun as the other restaurants. The evening show was Be Our Guest Welcome show which we skipped as we don’t love the welcome shows.
Day 2 of our Disney Alaska Cruise Review
We started the day with the character breakfast with Mickey Minnie and Goofy. Then spent the day between the kids club and lab activities. It was a first-time doing fish extenders so while the kids were at the club one day we delivered the fish extenders. I highly recommend the cooking programs they are simple but the kids love them. Also, if a program sounds like it has a character involved ask. At 3pm, our daughter and I had reservations for the Royal Tea Party.
You can read all about our experience in my review. We were at Tiana’s place this evening and it was formal night. The Dinner menu was Prince & Princess Dinner. Tiana’s place is really well themed. The show this evening was The Golden Mickeys show. My husband didn’t really want to go thinking it sounded boring but in the end, everyone enjoyed it especially our daughter who kept clapping throughout the show-its an award show after all. This evening they left notes to turn the time back an hour.
Endicott was sailed in place of Tracy Arm which is more common then not. We spent our breakfast out on the back open deck while looking for sea life in the waters. Of course, within 30 minutes of leaving we heard someone talking about how they just saw whales. My husband and I had reservations at Palos for brunch, so we dropped the kids off at the kid’s club.
Disney Cruise Palo Review
Palos was an abundance of wonderful food more than you could possibly eat and you can order more than one entrée in addition to the amazing spread they have out buffet style. we ended up ordering a 3rdentrée.The meal includes a drink and they also had a special on a Bellini but I forget the price, but I ordered a champagne for my free drink and then a Bellini for special price. From where we were sitting we had a nice view of the outside scenery. We really enjoyed Palos especially being the rare occasion we get some quality adult time.
After our meal we grabbed the kids to head to the deck and try to meet the characters in their costumes. Mickey wears this adorable yellow rubber outfit and Minnie a beautiful white fur coat outfit. When we got there the woman explained the line was for Minnie and the line for mickey would start 15 min prior to the meet.
Glacier Day Swimming on Disney Cruise
The kids really wanted to swim instead so we skipped it and went swimming. After all, how often do you get to swim in front of a glacier. The night before we arrived the glacier had calved a lot and the bay was filled with thousands of tiny icebergs which were covered with seals lounging on top. It was a really cool thing to see and also put into perspective the massive size of the glacier.
Animator’s Palate Dining on DCL
This evening was Animators Palate which is everyone favorite restaurant on the ship. Not because of the food but for the experience. The room is filled with screens on every wall. Through out the night Disney classic images are drawn in black and white on the screens and then fill in color and eventually they come to life. At the end the mouse behind it all, Sorcerer Mickey comes out to the cheering crowd.
We had tour book this morning for Liarsville Gold Rush Trail Camp & Salmon Bake Featuring Exclusive Disney Character Experience. This was the only tour we booked through Disney because we wanted the Character Experience. However, it wasn’t quite what we expected. They do a cheesy puppet show which the kids absolutely loved then you get to do a treasure hunt type thing with clues when you complete t he clues you get to keep the pen made from a stick (one per family).
Then you get to pan for gold. they explained you can get to cheese gold or Disney gold. Disney gold was a huge nugget so of course more exciting for kids. so we chose 2 real golds for the adults and 2 Disney gold for the kids. the experience lasted a very short time. you panned in trough that were set up. Then the characters came out and people lined up to take photos. it wasn’t like the kids really got to interact with the Characters.
You also can roast smores. When it’s all done you head over to the salmon bake area across the road. The food was ok but the kids didn’t really like the mac n cheese. I did enjoy the salmon. Over all I think it was a very pricey excursion and would recommend it. Our kids enjoyed panning for jewels at Britannia Mine better. This was part out our tour from Vancouver post cruise.
Skagway Junior Rangers Program
After the tour we were given the option to be dropped off in town which we did. We headed to the National Park Service Junior Ranger Activity Center, to do the Junior Ranger program and have the kids earn their badge. Afterward we went to shop and stopped by train station we had missed the finally 1 pm train by an hour so if you are interested in doing both tours it is possible. We shopped around and then headed back to the ship.
Disney Cruise Frozen Deck Party
This evening the Dinner menu was Frozen and there was the Frozen Deck Party. Again the party can get very busy and packed for best views of the show Deck 10 is the best.
We decided to stay back and let the kids run around and dance. When the show started they did complain they couldn’t see as well and we told them they could go sit in the kids section. They decided to stay back with us stand on a banister to watch the show. I personally don’t like the frozen party show and prefer the pirate night show more.
Day 5 DCL Juneau
Juneau was my favorite port. One reason was I got to meet up with my cousin who was born in Alaska and lives in Juneau now with her family. Growing up it wasn’t very often we get to see her so it was a real treat. We went to the Red Dog Saloon for a drink.
Red Dog Saloon Juneau Review
And yes with our kids and ipads in hand. The floor is covered in saw dust so it wasn’t easy for my cousin to pull her stroller through but she came through the shop entrance which made it easier. The walls are covered with peoples names in sharpys so make sure to bring one to add your name but if you forget you can check in the gift shop- the woman at the register let us borrow one. Prior to our meet up we did our excursion.
Taku Glacier Air-boat and Helicopter Tour
We used viator.com to book our tour. We had originally booked the Helicopter Dogsled Glacier excursion but it was canceled when they closed the dog sled camps down early. The tour operator offered us a helicopter glacier landing tour instead but we decided to look at other options and ultimately decided on Taku Glacier by Air-boat and Helicopter tour. This tour was amazing but extremely expensive. In the end I think it was worth the cost for a once in a life time experience. the air-boat was not only a fun ride but it got extremely close to the glacier (I could touch it). We also saw seals. The helicopter landing was perfect as well. they landed in an area that had blue ice which I had always wanted to see and also found a small stream of glacier water we could sample and even fill our own bottles with.
We did have a melt down on the tour. I had forgotten to pack tall socks for the kids and our daughter’s croc rain boots wore of some skin on her ankle bone. when we arrived at the lodge to board the air-boat she was having a melt down. My husband said he would stay back with her and I said no way if she’s gonna be unhappy why does it matter where. we boarded the air-boat I took off her boot and let her sit with it off. she forgot all about it soon after we started and we all enjoyed the experience.
When we got back to the lodge I asked for a band-aid which they thankfully had and we put one over the wound and one on her other ankle bone (just in case) and then headed off to the glacier on the helicopter.
Tracey’s Crab Shack Juneau
After the tour we stopped at Tracey’s Crab Shack for one of their huge Crab leg feasts. it was the perfect amount for the four of us we all had more than enough and also other items to satisfy us. I would definitely recommend the feast which was a little over $100 for the 4 of us.
Disney’s Pixar Pal Dance Party Review
We boarded the boat in time for the 4:30pm Pixar Pal Dance party. Expecting it to be chaotic but it was actually well organized. The characters were on stage and some would come down and stand in separate areas of the dance floor.
There was a circle of children (and parents) around each character and the kids could dance with the characters with reasonable space. then the characters would leave and go to another spot so kids could dance with a different character too. The kids had a great time and I was happy to not have to deal with pushy crowd. This evening was the Frozen, A musical spectacular. It was ok but we thought Golden Mickey and the shows on DCL Magic were better. We actually didn’t even stay till the end we were tired and went to bed. The Frozen Live show at Disneyland California is a lot better.
Day 6 DCL Ketchikan
In Ketchikan we booked a private tour through Viator.com it was a float plan to Misty fjords. We were a little disappointed in Misty Fjords. It just didn’t have as much wow factor as we had hoped. The kids didn’t’ get as excited about the float plane as we thought though they love the headsets. We were under very incorrect impression that we would see wildlife which we didn’t real (just more seals).
Someone from the same cruise posted awesome pictures of the bear tour she took and It definitely looked like something we would have loved. After our tour we headed into town to do some shopping sample and purchase smoked salmon, walked to the river to see the salmon and hopefully bears but again misguided hopes. We did see a man actually fishing in the stream and laying his cleaned salmon on rocks. as we were finishing up it started to rain.
I ordered some Halibut from a shack right in front of the ship while my husband ran to the liquor store to get some wine and we boarded the ship. The ship was in port till 7:45pm that night, it was pouring rain but we hadn’t had plans to stay off the boat so we didn’t mind. This was the only day it poured on our trip. most other days the mornings had a light misty rain.
This evening was the Captains Gala Dinner. They Also had the Dreams an Enchanted Classic (also held the last night too) we decided to watch the show so we could take it easy our last night. we enjoyed the show very much and the show was as good as it was on the Magic.
Day 7 of our Disney Alaska Cruise Review Sea Day
Today was a sea day and also our last day on board. We had tickets for the Frozen meet and greet at 11:15 am and the Princess Meet and Greet at 11:45am. We arrived at early 30minutes early to 11:15 to the frozen meet and greet. This allowed us to make out 11:45 princess meet.
My husband and I wanted a chance to sit out on the deck enjoying some scenery. We were hoping to see some sea life. Our son was happy to head to the kids club but our daughter chose to stay with us and watch her iPad. We happened to see what I think was dolphins. It was exciting to watch them even though we didn’t see any whales.
DCL Pluto’s PJ Party Review
We fed the kids dinner on the pool deck. Then dropped them off at the kids club so they could enjoy Pluto’s PJ Party. Meanwhile we enjoyed our last meal kid free. Pluto’s PJ Party is a fun event at the kids club that includes pillow cases the kids get to color. Its a great way for the kids to end their cruise. This evening was Disney Dreams An Enchanted Classic again. We were glad we had enjoyed the show the night before so we could relax and pack up our rooms. Bags have to be put out at night.
Day 10 of our Disney Alaska Cruise Review Disembarkation Day
We had breakfast and disembarked the cruise ship. Breakfast is early and is based on your dinner time and rotation first rotation eats earlier. It seemed very busy this time around. We had asked to disembark early as we had a tour we needed to get to. You can check out our last day in Vancouver as well as our first couple days prior to the cruise in my Vancouver trip report here.
The tour dropped us off in the airport and we headed to the Plaza Premium Lounge. We really enjoyed Our DCL Alaska Cruise and Vancouver. I would highly recommend the Taku Glacier by Air-boat and Helicopter tour as it was our favorite tour. Alaska was as beautiful as we expected and I only wish we could have extended our time there. Search for tour for any city around the world at my viator.com page.
DCL Alaska Cruise Overview
DCL is a wonderful cruise for Alaska with kids. The outdoor heated pool is great for the sea days and the evening entertainment is perfect for the whole family. If you are looking for more general Alaska Cruise tips head over to the Ultimate Alaska Cruise Guide.
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