Planning a family vacation means different things for different moms. Bonding, relaxation, great food and cultural experiences are worthy goals but often seem tough to achieve in a single vacation. As the kids get older, deciding how to allocate our travel budget has gone beyond making sure there’s a kids' club and a fun pool. Now, finding an educational element in each family adventure we take has become a priority. That’s exactly what we found aboard the Disney Wonder.
As we sailed from Vancouver to Alaska, we watched Cassie’s second-grade report come to life in every port. We experienced many of Alaska’s amazing offerings without the hassles of moving from hotel to hotel or searching for food options with exhausted kids at the end of a long travel day.
And of course, Disney Cruise Line successfully delivers that inimitable Disney magic with Broadway-quality shows, character experiences and staff members who become your extended family. The crew accomplishes all of this while providing carefully selected port excursions that immerse your family in Alaskan history and culture. The kids experienced the thrill of the gold rush as they listened to local tales and mined for gold in Skagway. Next, we engaged in “epic” whale-watching (see video above) in Icy Strait Point as we learned about the relationship between these amazing ocean creatures and indigenous Alaskans. The kids’ minds were blown as they flew on a sea plane over glaciers in Juneau to a historic lodge where they hiked and learned about sled dogs. And it would be hard to overstate the kids’ proud smiles as they devoured the salmon and halibut they caught in Ketchikan earlier that day (which the staff expertly cooked over a campfire). As if that weren’t enough, upon returning to the ship the kids couldn’t wait to check into the Oceaneer Youth Club to get a new stamp from Spiderman on their Avenger’s Academy passport!
While many of the adventures are equally entertaining for kids and adults, the crew makes sure that Mommy and Daddy have plenty of time to casually sip a glass of wine against the backdrop of the majestic Alaskan coast. The entire experience is one that every member of the family will remember long after exiting the ship. In fact, even before stepping back onshore we began discussing plans for our next Disney adventure. It can’t come soon enough.