Wednesday was our first full day IN Alaska and it was a day we were really looking forward to – it was Tracy Arm day! But, we weren’t going to be sailing through the fjord until later in the afternoon, so we had the morning to hang out. I got up before everyone else, so got dressed and headed up to Deck 10 to take some pictures. While I was up there, I spotted my first whale of the trip! I didn’t have my longer lens, but sort of got a picture of it…
Next up was our scheduled character breakfast! This is a fun breakfast where some of the Fab 5 visit each table for pictures and autographs. For our breakfast, we had visits from Goofy, Pluto, Mickey and Minnie.
In between visits from the characters, the serving team has a little bit of fun making “hats” for everyone. Don’t we all look fabulous??
Colorado Dad and I didn’t eat because we were heading to Palo for brunch shortly after, but the kids enjoyed a breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes, yogurt and Raisin Bran.
After the breakfast, the kids went to the club so we could head up to Palo for brunch. If you’ve never been to Palo for brunch, I highly recommend it. The food is incredible and the atmosphere, while still “upscale”, is a little more relaxed then at dinner. I’m actually not sure which is my favorite – brunch or dinner – which is why we usually book both!
Trip tip #7: You are able to make Palo reservations before you get onboard, but if they are all booked by the time you look, don’t worry! Unless it’s a really busy cruise, they seem to always have at least a few tables open every time we go, so you can usually get a reservation once you’re onboard. And I don’t know that this is ALWAYS true, but we typically book the first seating time at both brunch and dinner and then arrive a few minutes early. Every time but one we’ve been sat at a table next to the window, so if you’re interested in a table next to the window, it might be a good strategy to try as well!
We were a few minutes early to our 11am reservation, but were seated immediately and welcomed by our server, Hristo from Bulgaria, who took excellent care of us. We hit the buffet selection first.
As if the buffet selection wasn’t enough, we also decided to order two of the day’s pizzas. The gorgonzola and grape and the spicy italian.
I know gorgonzola and grape sounds like kind of an odd combination, but it’s really the perfect balance of sweet and salty – really one of our favorites. Hristo also suggested we try the chicken parmesan (you know, because we didn’t have enough to eat already!) so we also tried that. It was very, very good.
Somehow, we found room for dessert as well.
All during brunch we had a spectacular view of the scenery as we sailed toward Tracy Arm and by the end of the meal, we were starting to see icebergs around us. We said goodbye to Hristo and made our way up to Deck 10 after changing clothes and picking the kids up.
Tracy Arm is pretty incredible. With the mountains towering above us on both sides, icebergs in the water all around us and wildlife around every corner, it’s one of those once in a lifetime experiences and something you have to see for yourself to truly appreciate. We ended up having really great weather for our sail toward Sawyer glacier – partly cloudy and in the 50s. The adults stayed on deck most of the afternoon, while the kids headed out to the kids’ club after yelling “Iceberg, dead ahead!” a dozen or so times and getting their fill of soft serve ice cream.
As we came up to Sawyer glacier, the decks were getting pretty crowded so we decided to head down to our cabin for a bit. Just as we got out to our verandah, we were treated to the sight of some ice “calving” off the glacier. That happened several times over the next 20 or so minutes which was very cool.
We spent probably 30 or so minutes in front of the glacier and then the captain turned the ship around and we headed out the way we came.
Trip tip #8: If decks 9 and 10 are full and you can’t find a spot at the railing on the way in to Tracy Arm, just remember that you go back out the exact same way and once the ship turns around, a lot of people leave, so you’ll have no problem getting a spot to check out the scenery as you head out.
That afternoon, Colorado Boy and I went and watched Chimpanzee from Disneynature while Colorado Dad and Colorado Princess took a nap. The movie was really cute and we both enjoyed it.
That night’s show was a ventriloquist named Michael Harrison. I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing him, so we decided to let the kids play for awhile before dinner.
Dinner was at Triton’s again, this time with their normal French menu (available here - http://disneycruiser.info/menus_w2011/tritons.htm). Somehow I missed taking any pictures, but I know I had the french onion soup (very good), the chicken breast (ok) and the chocolate mousse (good).
When we arrived back in our room, Mr. Elephant was waiting for us!
Coming next: Skagway, the gateway to the Klondike