Day One – Bon Voyage




I admit, when I received the invitation, I was skeptical. There were plenty of reasons to be, after all, or so I thought. As a natural worry-wart, the first things I thought were, would I enjoy cruising alone, would Alaska be as beautiful as it’s meant to be in summer, would I have to kidnap a child to fit in on a Disney cruise? So there was a lot of speculation before I even accepted the offer of an 7 night inaugural journey, but even before boarding, the beautiful vessel, immaculate attention to detail and great service quickly reassured me I was in for a great 7 days.

There’s nothing ordinary about Alaska or Disney, which shows why they fit so well together. Both excel at what they do best with ease: Alaska brazenly shows off its picture perfect mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and wildlife, meanwhile Disney takes care of everything else to ensure guests of all ages have a magical stay.

You know it’s not your average cruise when you’re sitting on top deck, being waited on by a rainbow of staff from all corners of the globe, and then notice Donald Duck standing next to you. It’s these magical moments that transform a regular occurrence to a fantastic experience for kids of all ages.

As we set sail from Vancouver’s stylish port, we pass the city’s famous Stanley Park, Lion’s Bridge and neighbouring Victoria Island and guests of Disney gather to sip cocktails at the private, adults only Outlook Cafe. It’s a quiet space filled with comfortable lounge areas that serves coffee, a wide array of alcoholic beverages and small snacks. The Cafe is on the 10th floor, the top deck, of the vessel, and offers panoramic views across the forward bow. Unusually for a cruise, the most expensive glass of wine is only US$12.50. It was quickly to became my hangout of choice. Outside the party has started with kids and adults dancing to pop songs led by Disney cast member, Marie from Canada.

To my surprise, the ship has not been converted to a mini-theme park, and the rooms are understated with a luxurious relaxed feel. The Verandah room I have been assigned is spacious, with a queen size bed, living area and also surprisingly, features a separate bath and toilet area – one of the first I’ve seen on any cruise ship.

However, the big winning factor is the balcony featuring two deck chairs and a small table. The saying is true, once you get accustomed to a verandah room, you can never go back. The stunning views, fresh crisp sea air and private access for photographs is well worth the additional charges, especially on a scenic destination such as Alaska.

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Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M.
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