Cruising Day 3. Tracy Arms neighbor, Endicott Arm.
We made one more stop at our stateroom to put on layers and layers of clothing, because we were headed off the ship. This Port Adventure was the one mentioned on twitter by Scott @TheDCLBlog. It was a brand new Port Adventure for Disney on Tracy Arm Fjords day. Normally Tracy Arm day you spend the entire day on the Wonder enjoying the views of the Sawyer Glacier. But this port adventure offered an opportunity to board a tendered smaller ship, and leave the Wonder behind as you travel up Tracy Arm and experience the views close up. You end at with super close up views of Sawyer Glacier to enjoy aboard your small vessel.
This was to great to pass up. Before the trip we were almost dreading Tracy Arm day because we have an inside cabin, which means we would be fighting for viewing space on the public decks the entire day. Well this took care of our problem. We would be leaving the crowded Wonder for a much smaller boat with limited attendance. We would miss the BBQ, but that seemed like a small price to pay.
A few minutes before 12:00pm we headed to our Port Adventure meeting place, which was WaveBands (now Azure). We checked in, were told about the rules etc. And after everyone was checked in, we were walked down as a group to Deck 1. A smaller boat was pulled up next to the Wonder, and we were able to walk using a small ramp from the ship to the boat. We quickly staked out a spot at the outdoor lower deck railing. There was an upper deck, but it was closed for the moment. By 12:45pm we were pulling away from the Wonder.
It was strange to be off the Wonder for the first time in 3 days.
A little about the boat we were on. It had an inside heated area with seats, restrooms, and even a little concessions area. Our Port Adventure included hot chocolate, coffee, and donut type snacks. This wasn’t advertised but was a nice addition. Around the outside of the boat was a small walkway, one person wide, with a railing for outdoor viewing. There was also a second floor deck that was only opened once we were stationary. We had a guide inside who was answering questions, and giving information along the way. Inside there were also books about local nature, and several pairs of binoculars for use.
We decided we wanted to stay outside as much as possible to enjoy the views of Alaska. We were well bundled up, so it seemed like it should be fine. We were smashed in with a bunch of other people on the outdoor railing, and didn’t want to leave in-case we couldn’t get back outside for more great views.
Being outside gave us some great views as we pulled away from the Wonder.
Lots of people gathered outside on the decks already.
We also had views like this to enjoy.
As we very slowly pulled away. We got this view.
Soon we saw our first iceberg. So blue! And if you squint you can see some Bald Eagles enjoying a rest.
Close up of an iceberg.
After close to an hour we were getting too cold, and headed inside to warm up. The hot chocolate was perfect at this point. We didn’t actually pack any winter coats for this trip, but decided to just layer. Unfortunately one of us forgot to grab the final layer as we left the stateroom, a wind breaker. This probably would have helped because the wind was brisk as your moving at a decent speed, plus you are right above the water.
Around 2:00pm we were coming up on Dawes Glacier.
The water appeared to be a greener color as we got close to the glacier.
When we arrived close to the Dawes Glacier the boat slowed/stopped and the upper deck was opened. The entire ship rushed up, and we actually stayed on the lower deck for a bit. We didn’t want to cram up there. After about 15 minutes, people seemed to get bored, and headed back indoors to enjoy the views from the windows.
We headed up onto the top deck and have this view almost to ourselves.
We had some great views 365 degrees.
By 4:00pm we started to see a speck in the distance.
The Wonder moved around us and pulled up close to Dawes Glacier.
Soon it was time for us to pull up alongside the Wonder and re-board. A second tour group was starting their trip on the smaller excursion boat.
We walked to Deck 10 in hopes of a few final glimpses of the glacier, as well as a picture with Mickey at the glacier.
We loved this Port Adventure.
It did start to rain for the last 30-45 minutes of our time on the boat. We really could have used that forgotten wind breaker. This scared everyone but a few into the inside room of the boat. We figured when else would we be in Alaska this close to Dawes Glacier? We could get dry later. So we stuck it out. It wasn’t a heavy rain, and because everyone headed inside the boat, we had great views, almost completely alone, and we even had the glacier calving ice twice during out time outside. Nothing is quite like the sound of huge chunks of ice falling. We did take a good amount of pictures, but we realized almost right away that the pictures didn’t do it justice. We would snap a photo and compare it to what we were seeing, and what you saw with your naked eye was just so vibrant and color saturated, that we just sat back and enjoyed the views for as long as we could.
We would sign up for this Port Adventure again in a heart beat.
After we met Mickey on the top deck we went to our room to get out of all the wet clothes. We then had to run over for dinner. We talked with our servers about our Port Adventure(PA) since it was the first one ever for Disney Cruise Line. It was a huge hit, and they were excited to hear that during out PA we even got to see some baby seals! We already got to see a glacier, bald eagles and baby seals. Alaska was turning out to be great, and it was only our first day in Alaska.
After dinner it was time to head around and try to get pictures of us with the characters in their Alaskan gear. We were able to snap a photo with Minnie before it was time to head to tonights show. The show for the evening was The Magic and Illusion of Kyle and Mistie Knight. We love magic, and enjoyed the show.
After the show we headed to our room for a few minutes and found our nightly towel animal.
It was late but we then headed out to get a few more pictures with the characters in their special Alaska outfits. They are only out for a very limited amount of days/times during this cruise, Tracy Arm day being the main time. We met up with Donald and Daisy for pictures, and then headed back to our stateroom for bed. We used the room service breakfast door hanger ordering option for the morning. You are given a door hanger in your room with continental breakfast options you can order any morning from room service. Since we had to be up and dressed and out of our room VERY early for our Port Adventure, we figured we’d give room service a try. We hung the tag on our door as we went to bed, set back up alarms, and went to sleep by about 11:30pm.
Follow along from the beginning: Disney Cruise Alaska Part 1.