Our last port of call on this Alaskan adventure was Ketchikan, which bills itself as the Salmon Capital of Alaska. Fern and I have visited this port before years ago, and we had fond memories of walking around Creek Street, shopping in the little shops, and eating freshly caught seafood. Therefore, after our exciting helicopter adventure in Juneau, we thought it’d be nice to have a more low key day and mostly explore on our own.
As you might could tell from the photo, this was the worst weather day we had during our stay here…it was pretty cold and rainy for most of the day. However, we were told that getting wet was part of the true Alaska experience, so we made the most of our day here and made sure to have waterproof layers! We ate lunch at the cutest little seafood place, called the Alaska Fish House. We feasted on freshly caught Alaskan King Crab legs and locally caught Halibut fish & chips. It was so, so fresh and so, so good! Highly recommend for anyone that finds themselves visiting.
After that, we made some Alaskan art purchases in some of the shops and sent some smoked salmon to our parents as we worked our way through town and back toward the Lumberjack Show. Folks, there’s a reason this show is famous. Our kids loved watching the lumberjacks compete in the various events, and even Fern and I were amazed at the physical strength these guys have. Kenneth even got to take part in one of the events in the show (his team won, just FYI)!
Today is the last day of our vacation. We woke up to extremely rough seas today, and Kenneth was feeling a little green around the gills. It was COLD this morning…and Disney has life guards around the pool EVERY DAY, rain, shine, gale force winds…they’re kind of like the US Postal Service. I wish I’d have gotten a picture of the poor guy out there by himself this morning when I visited the Cove Cafe for coffees. It literally looked like an episode of The Deadliest Catch on Deck 9. Fortunately, by early afternoon, the sea was calm again and
As for Disney overall this cruise, there are positives and negatives (for more reviews on Disney check out this great blog). This is our 9th Disney Cruise, so we’ve got a pretty clear set of expectations for our voyage. On entertainment and service, Disney delivered, as usual. As we have found on each of our Disney cruises, there are really some incredible cast members on board (shout out to I Kade, who brought us our “wine snob” wine from the Palo menu regardless of where we were on the ship)! Our dinner servers Rojalin and I Kadek were stellar, and our stateroom attendant, Dean, was probably the best we ever had. And, of course, no one can beat Disney when it comes to the shows…from the magicians, to the comedians, to the ventriloquists, to, naturally, the Disney cast, it is all first rate.
Where Disney fell short this time, however, was on the food. It’s been just slightly over a year since our last Disney cruise, and we found a noticeable decline in the quality of the food that we were served. We opted not to eat at Palo on this trip, so we can’t speak to that experience, but the food in the main restaurants was not very good. A lot of the meat was over cooked, and it looked like they had degraded the quality of the meat and chosen to try to cover up the cheap cuts by adding significant amounts of heavy sauces (that didn’t always pair well with the meal). We noticed cut backs in other areas too (notably the Navigator, which was reduced to just the daily schedule page). I’m not sure if the cost of goods rose and Disney didn’t increase the budget to match, or if they’re trying to reduce costs — but it was noticeable and not in a good way. We love the cruise experience and the service…and love that our kids love the Oceaneer Club and Lab…but to spend what you spend on a Disney cruise and to find the food to be of the quality of a mediocre hotel banquet hall is a bit of a difficult pill to swallow. The only positives I will say about the food is that, on the Wonder, the food pretty much all came out hot, something I’ve found lacking on the bigger ships, so it was a pleasant surprise. Disney folks…if you read this entry…please do something about the quality of the food! The rest of the experience is fantastic…but the food on this trip was bad enough that, for the first time EVER, we didn’t pre-book our next Disney cruise before leaving the ship.
On the whole, though, we had a wonderful vacation and made lots of fantastic memories as a family. I’m pretty sure this vacation will be etched in our children’s minds for a very long time…and ours too!