Disney Wonder Alaskan Cruise

In photography by webmeister Bud

Memories from our Alaskan cruise aboard the Disney Wonder.

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In September 2009, Meaghan and Matt and Nome and I decided that, yes, it would be totally worth it to scrimp and save for the next two years and book ourselves tickets aboard the inaugural Alaskan voyage of the Disney Wonder cruise ship.

None of us ever having cruised before, we figured this would be pretty much the perfect first experience.

How right we were.

The shot above was taken minutes after our arrival, as we simply took in the grand scale of it all, and marveled at “Funnelvision,” Disney’s smokestack filmscreen.

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Staring down the bow of the Disney Wonder, specifically looking at the crew pool and hidden Mickey right at the end there.

And our surroundings? Probably somewhere off the southern tip of Sitka, Alaska, headed for the Tracy Arm fjord.

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The guests’ anticipation grows as we floated closer and closer to the Sawyer Glacier at the end of the Tracy Arm fjord.

This was truly the most amazing day of the cruise, for me personally.

It was like taking the awesome beauty of nature we have here on the west coast and adding ice. LOTS of ice. Very, very awe inspiring.

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Kitara plays balance beam before returning to the ship after another fun port adventure.

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The wonderfully evil Cruella de Vil appears in The Golden Mickeys, an awards show-style stage performance at the Walt Disney Theatre.

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Looking down the main road of Skagway, Alaska, a teensy weensy little town which had only opened up the day before to prepare for the Disney Wonder’s arrival.

Otherwise, the city sleeps.

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The families walk down the wooden sidewalks of Skagway, Alaska.

There are a lot of stores in these Alaskan ports which sell jewelry. Or shirts which change colour in the sun. Or knives. Or Russian memorabilia.

I’m pretty sure the bar we had lunch at was the one and only eating establishment in the whole place.

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Kitara’s cutest moment on the ship.

Yeah, she had a lot of them, but this one topped them all.

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The worlds most nonchalant-about-people black bear at the Mendenhall Glacier visitor’s centre.

And I thought it was a thrill to meet Smokey the Bear minutes before!

No, this guy (or gal) seemed to have no concerns that a few, and in short order, many, people with cameras were running alongside the fences to keep up with him and snap photos.

He just sauntered along the waterline, munching on this and that, paying us no mind, until we got boring to him, and he disappeared into the brush, beyond our reach.

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The Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska.

Kinda sorta mindblowingly impressive to see and feel firsthand.

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These two gentlemen were 2/3 of what absolutely made our trip magical.

Wira (Indonesia), our assistant server on the left, and Marko (Croatia), our main server on the right.

A masterstroke of our cruise experience was that, despite the fact that we rotated between the different onboard restaurants for dinner each night, our serving team remained consistent throughout.

By day two, they were predicting our drinks and anticipating our gastronomical needs.

By day three, we were looking forward to seeing them at dinnertime.

By the end of the cruise, it was really hard to let them go.

Heck, we still miss ’em.

Wira! May I have another ginger ale, please?