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lovely_serenity

Almost "Live from" Disney Wonder to Alaska! My Second Disney Experience

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Hi guys! Sarah here! :)

 

So, this is going to be my third ever trip report! (You can see the first HAL one HERE and the second Cunard one HERE. First was to Alaska, second one was in the Greek Isles). This time around, I’m going to be reporting on the Disney Wonder going to Alaska (7 Night Vancouver to Vancouver)! It ran from August 18 – 25. This was my second time on Disney, my 4th time going to Alaska (I could basically become a tour guide of the place LOL) and 9th overall cruise. Something you guys are probably wondering is, “Why does her “Live from” report have the word “Almost” in front of it?” Well, worry not, my friend! I am about to tell you! ^^ The reason I have “Almost” at the beginning of my trip report title is because I am no longer on the ship anymore. This trip report will consist of just as much details as a regular “Live from” report, with the exception that I am writing it on land. It is extremely picture heavy (I also have a step by step guide, explaining how to get to Canada Place from Waterfront station) and one of my focuses will be food (hopefully, you’re into that :P). Like I always say, if I saw it, touched it or ate it, I took a picture of it. (;

 

This was actually quite a special cruise, as it was a family reunion cruise! Besides my immediate family, we had 14 other relatives joining us on board! (Some of which flew in all the way from Hong Kong/China!) This was our first time going on vacation with so many of our relatives (all from my mother’s side of the family)! I was looking forward to this trip since last year. I was literally watching the ticker countdown in my signature for months, urging it to move a little faster with my eyes. Of course, I was doing more than just that while I was waiting! I had an account on DISBoards (for those who don’t know, it’s an exclusive forum, similar to CC, but dedicated solely toward Disney vacation sites), started a roll call group and ended up organizing an FE (Fish Extender … there’s a metal fish outside every stateroom door on board all DCL ships.) Gift Exchange group (very popular on DCL) because everybody wanted to. It was my first time doing that gift exchange and I was already hosting one LOL. Anyways, as I waited, I organized the gift exchange (everyone gives gifts to the staterooms of all the other participants, and receive the same in return). Here was a picture I snapped while I was done arranging the gifts’ contents. They weren’t wrapped yet though.

 

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A few weeks before the trip, something special came in the mail:

 

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It was like they were trying to psych us up on purpose!! And pretty soon, months turned into weeks, and weeks turned into days. Before we knew it, it was the night before our vacation. (:

 

But before we get started, here’s a little background info:

 

Introduction:

 

I am an 18 year old girl who is starting her first semester in university 3 days. I’m both excited and nervous at the same time ^^”. I speak English, Cantonese and French, just like my 2 siblings. I’m quite a foodie, so the quality of food is something I really focus on when picking cruise lines. My family thinks the same way I do! This trip, I travelled with the entire family (: this consists of my older brother (21), whom we’ll refer to as “Bro” from here on :P, my younger sister (15), who we’ll call “Sis”, my mother (who turned 51 while on board), you guessed it, “Mom” ^^, and my father (52) who will henceforth be known as “Dad”. We’re from Canada and live in Vancouver, so the ship was literally just a sky train ride away! We as a family travel quite frequently due to the fact that my dad currently works at Air Canada. He acquired the job the same year I was born (; We are Chinese-Canadian and are happily living it up in the Great White North :-).

 

As I had mentioned before, 14 of our relatives were coming on board with us this time. This consisted of 4 of my mom’s sisters, 3 uncles, my uncle’s sister and her husband, my grandma and 4 of my cousins (10 year old girl, mid 30’s girl, late 20’s girl and her late 20’s younger brother). We all sat together at 2 tables. An adult table and a kids table ^^. The kid’s table typically held about 8 of us (all the cousins plus the 10 year old’s mom) at Parrot Cay and Triton’s, and 7 of us at Animator’s Palate. The adult table usually seated 10 people, and on occasion, 11.

 

Itinerary:

 

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About the ship:

 

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Camera Equipment:

 

I’m using a Canon EOS 60D and 3 lenses. The one I use the most frequently is the Canon ultrasonic 77mm ultra-wide zoom 17-40mm (huge wide angle lens), the second one is a Canon 58mm zoom lens EF-S 55-250mm (SUPER zoom lens) and the one I didn’t use at all this time around is the Canon ultrasonic 50mm macro 1.4 (tiny macro lens that creates soft background around focused object). I typically used the point and shoot function unless I was taking pictures of things that HAD to the sharp and done in one shot (ie. food and group photos).

 

Okay, now that that's done, let us embark on our journey to the Great White North, Disney style!

 

 

*Also, please feel free to give a shout out if you're following! ^^

Edited by lovely_serenity

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Looking forward to your "all most live". I loved our cruise to Alaska and would love to go again.

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Thanks for doing this. I've thoroughly enjoyed your previous reviews. Have you picked out a major course of study yet?

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Day 1: Vancouver Embarkation

 

Monday, August 18, 2014 : Cruise Casual

 

 

I woke up early in the morning, put on my Mickey Mouse knit shirt (just for the occasion ^^) from H&M, shorts and flats and went through my check list for the 100th time. Our goal was to leave the house at 9:00am. Mom, Sis and I had registered for the 11:00am embarkation time, while Dad & Bro were signed up for 11:30am. At around 9am, we gathered our things and loaded the trunk with our luggage. It’s probably not a surprise that I had the largest bags. After getting scolded for having luggage that was too heavy for me to carry, we all got in the car and our vacation was underway :D. After having received the call from Goofy and Mickey/Minnie, we were pretty excited. (You can sign up to have 2 free character calls from DCL through their website. The character calls are to get your kids excited about the cruise!) We drove to the Vancouver International airport and parked at the employee parking lot (my dad works at Air Canada, so we can park there for as long as we want). Dad first dropped us all off next to the Sea Island Centre sky train station before parking the car (so we wouldn’t have to drag all of the luggage over). While we waited, I took a snap of my themed nails that I had spent hours on the night before! (Hopefully, they would last throughout the entire cruise ^^):

 

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As well as our pile of luggage!

 

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You can probably guess which 2 are my bags :P

 

After we were all back together, we started heading up to catch the train (You can see my family there :-D) :

 

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We got our tickets and made our way to the platform.

 

We then patiently waited for 4 minutes! Basically all of the trains were heading to Waterfront. I think you have to get off at Bridgeport station to transfer to another train that heads down to Richmond.

 

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Soon enough, the train was here :D

 

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We quickly got on with our bags and got seated. While waiting, I took a picture of the Canada Line map:

 

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Edited by lovely_serenity

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This was the course we were taking:

 

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As we approached Bridgeport station, we passed by the Richmond Night Market:

 

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It’s open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from like … 7pm to midnight or something. There’s a $1-$2 entry fee. I quite like the place! I frequent it with my friends :)

 

After about 20 minutes, we arrived at Waterfront station. From here, you follow the crowd and exit this way:

 

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Look! Other cruisers just like us! :D

 

See? They even have a sign to direct everyone!

 

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You walk and walk down the long hallway

 

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Pass the “Fare Paid Zone” area:

 

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And reach the elevator & escalator area:

 

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*Note: There are no escalators going down.

 

After riding the escalator to the top, you come across this view:

 

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From here, there are 2 methods to get to Canada Place to board your cruise ship.

 

Method #1: Turn right and exit the building. From there, you turn right again and walk forward through the sun or whatever weather condition is present. After a few blocks, you turn right again and head straight for Canada Place.

 

Method #2 (which we took): (NOTE: THIS METHOD IS NOT WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE AS THERE ARE NO ELEVATORS AT ONE POINT. When coming back, there are no escalators going down either, so we struggled a little in carrying our things down the stairs.) This second method is the short cut we discovered. When taking this method I am about to show you, it’s quicker and shorter, but you must remember to keep your train ticket on you in case you get stopped by transit police. You will be re-entering the Fare Paid Zone.

 

We turn left and start taking our short cut.

 

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*Side note: In Vancouver, you do not need to scan, nor beep your train tickets at any of the stations. The gates are always open. You just need to buy it and keep it with you at all times. Transit police pop up randomly.

 

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We walk and walk

 

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Until we come across this:

 

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From here, you turn left. If you turn right, you will start heading toward ferries and that’s not what you want.

 

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Do not take the stairs or the West Coast Express. We are heading down the escalators that lead to the Expo and Millennium Line platform.

 

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Take this escalator down (notice the Fare Paid Zone sign?)

 

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Or the elevator if need be (this is the last elevator from this point on. Farther down, you will get stuck if you do not have enough mobility):

 

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We take the escalator:

 

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Looking forward to your "all most live". I loved our cruise to Alaska and would love to go again.

 

Thank you! ^^ My favourite part about Alaskan cruises are the ridiculously calm seas while sailing on the Inside Passage! I also like how scenery-orientated it is, very relaxing.

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Thanks for doing this. I've thoroughly enjoyed your previous reviews. Have you picked out a major course of study yet?

 

No problem! && Thank you for reading my other reviews! :) I have! I decided to major in Criminology!

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Looking forward to a live report on your Disney cruise to Alaska. Wishing you another great trip.

 

Thank you for following! && Thanks! We did indeed have a wonderful trip (:

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And wind up on the train platform. **DO NOT BOARD ANY TRAINS.

 

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Walk straight, all the way through the platform

 

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Until you reach the exit on the other side:

 

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Even though you don’t see the word Canada Place, just go!

 

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Take the escalator up (notice? No elevators, or escalators going down)

 

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When you reach the top,

 

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Turn right! (Fortunately this side has escalators going up AND down, so when coming back, you only need to carry your bags down one flight of stairs)

 

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See? What’d I tell you? :D

 

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Before heading up, I quickly took a picture of the map of Waterfront:

 

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(Side note: This is the route we took)

 

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After that, I quickly follow my family up the escalator:

 

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And emerge to see the wonderful sight that is: Canada Place

 

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I turn around to show you guys where we emerged from. It’s the little glass box you can see from Canada Place (Those walking from outside the brick building will also pass by the glass box, then follow these following directions):

 

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After I’ve taken my pictures, we’re off!

 

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Parked on the other side of the building is our ship. (Sigh. Still, I don’t get to see it) On this side is the Norwegian Sun:

 

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From here, you cross the road (of course, wait for the crossing guard’s signal)

 

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And head toward Canada Place!

 

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As you walk, take note of this sign in front:

 

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To find your ship, this is the quickest way there.

 

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Although you are in front of the main entrance to Canada Place, do not enter.

 

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Follow us down this slope:

 

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In order to find your vacation destination!

 

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We walk and walk, passing by the Pan Pacific Hotel side entrance

 

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Past some buses that are Disney’s arranged transportation for other guests

 

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And get to the baggage drop-off area. This is for bags that are too big to fit through the security scan machines. This goes without saying that only my bags needed to be checked-in >_>.

 

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There were to banners. The one on the left indicates where Norwegian Sun cruisers drop off their bags. Our banner was on the right:

 

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Here’s the bag drop-off area. Apparently it took 2 people to lift my suitcase LOL.

 

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After we were done that, we headed over to security, scanned our things and got through without any problems. (These workers required us to take out our cruise documents to let us into security)

 

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After we were through, we were told to take out our passports and turn right. We were initially a little confused because in front of the exit to the right was this:

 

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It had turned out that they were just having all passengers go through that area and back in to go through customs. Of course, I didn’t take any pictures in customs, otherwise I would’ve gotten in trouble ^^~.

 

One we’re finally through security, we can now relax because our vacation has officially started!! :D

 

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It’s now pretty close to 11am, so we go straight to check-in since nobody else is in line.

 

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This time around, since it is our second DCL cruise, we’re now Silver Castaway Club members!! :D

 

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We check-in and old Sis gets her picture taken by the lady at the counter. I thought this was odd, but later found out why. I caught a glimpse of the photo they were using for us, and literally, they’re the photos we took 3 years ago. Trust me, for young people like my brother and I, we look different LOL. I was surprised when I had first seen it. I had like, a double take and stared at the picture for a good 5 seconds. Anyhow, we checked in. :)

 

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Edited by lovely_serenity

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That is what seem to be a long walk form the train to the ship. No wonder your father did want too large of a suitcase for you to carry.

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Thank you for doing such a nice trip report. I look forward to more postings. My family did this cruise June of 2013, and we loved it. Your trip report allows me to relive it again. I hope you had a fantastic vacation.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatal

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I was wondering where your trip report was since I knew you went in August and thought you were going to do a "live" report like your last HAL cruise. Looking forward to more.

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After everything was settled, we received some things and were directed to our right to wait. Apparently this is where Castaway Club members wait. To the left is where new DCL cruisers wait. We walked past the entrance where we would be boarding the ship:

 

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We then headed over to the Castaway Club member waiting area:

 

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While walking, we passed by the Youth Activities Sign-Up desk. Make sure you sign your child(ren) up if they want to participate in the Kid/Youth/Teen’s Clubs. It’ll be easier than trying to do so on board while everyone else is trying to as well.

 

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In the waiting area, there were also a few screens like these:

 

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For you to take a picture with. Apparently later on, Mickey was at the screen by the door that led to the ship’s entrance. We didn’t bother because the line-up was so hectic.

 

While we waited, I took some pictures of the things we had received from the check-in counter. One was our Silver Castaway Club member lanyard:

 

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The lady at the counter had also given us our Personal Navigator:

 

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