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Texans in Alaska: Sunny Skies in Ketchikan

My family just returned from a 7-night Alaskan cruise aboard the Disney Wonder with 5 nights in Vancouver tacked on to the beginning of our vacation. The only way to keep me from being sad about our trip being over is to write about it in detail to re-live the memories. In case you missed the first installments, see Trip Video and Hyatt Regency Vancouver Review,   Vancouver Part 1 (Arrival, Stanley Park, Sea to Sky Tour),  Vancouver Part 2 (Capilano, Grouse Mountain and Vancouver Whale Watch),  Boarding the Disney Wonder to Alaska, Sea Day to Alaska ,  Tracy Arm,  Dog Sledding in Skagway and Rainy Day in Juneau.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Morning on the Disney Wonder

Since the ship didn’t dock in Ketchikan until 11:15 a.m. and our excursion wasn’t until 1:00 p.m., we had our entire morning free and clear. Woohoo!

We all ate breakfast together at Cabanas, and then we divided and conquered. I took my daughter to meet Belle. My husband had seen Belle walking around the ship earlier in the week in this outfit with her nose in a book, true to character.

Texans in Alaska: KetchikanBelle said to my daughter, “I have a dress just like that!”

My son wanted to see some Marvel characters that were out and about this morning:

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

After the photos, my sons darted off to the kids’ clubs. Neither of them wanted to get off the ship today. They just wanted to stay and play on board all day. We made our oldest promise that he could skip meeting us for lunch if he agreed to eat on his own with his Edge friends before our excursion meet-up time.

When I went to take my daughter to the Oceaneer Club, we discovered that it was in “open house” mode. I couldn’t check her in there, but I could bring her to the Oceaneer Lab side instead. I decided to hang out with her on the club side for a little bit. It wasn’t crowded at all.

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

My husband went to the fitness center and I went to a Disney Vacation Club presentation. I had always wanted to attend a DVC presentation on a Disney Cruise, but I never found the time. There are special perks for attending one of these presentations on board and for buying on board (I’ll write a separate post on that later. Did I buy DVC?!?!)

We agreed to meet up at noon for lunch with the kids.

As the ship docked in Ketchikan, the weather was looking good!

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

Ketchikan Duck Tour

I signed us up for the Ketchikan Duck Tour through DCL. After two port days in a row, I just wanted a shorter excursion that provided us a tour of the city, and this seemed to fit the bill. Plus, I have always wanted to go on a duck boat that goes right from the road into the water.

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

We met at Azure (adult night club on the Wonder) at 1:00 p.m. My oldest told us that he “forgot” to each lunch and was starving. Well, tough! We had to follow our group and board the duck boat, and we didn’t have time to grab him something to eat.

We boarded the duck boat very close to our ship. Every single seat was occupied.

Texans in Alaska: KetchikanTexans in Alaska: Ketchikan

The tour started circling the city. Our tour guide was very young, still in high school. He pointed out some important buildings on land and told us some interesting stories about growing up in Ketchikan. Apparently, 8th grade students at his school had to pass a “survival weekend” in order to pass 8th grade and move onto high school.

City park:

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

Soon, we drove down the dock and right into the water. I’m still amazed at this! We could see another duck boat in the water.

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

The water part of the tour was very slow. We floated past fishing boats:

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

We had a good view of the cruise ships:

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

And many seaplanes passing overhead:

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

Toward the end of the tour, we had the opportunity to buy these duck whistles for $3 each. Of course, my kids each had to have one.

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

The duck tour lasted about 90 minutes. I thought it was a good way to get an overview of the city and see it from both land and sea. If we ever find ourselves in Ketchikan again, I would do a port excursion that is a little more adventurous, like the Bering Sea Crab Tour or a floatplane to Misty Fjords. (Of course, those have a much higher price tag).

Close Call with Cannabis Edibles

After we got off the duck boat, I wanted to explore Creek Street and Ketchikan further. After all, the sun was out and it was a beautiful day! The only thing putting a slight damper on my spirit was a 13-year-old who was hungry.

It was a short walk to Creek Street. I figured we’d find something quick along the way to satisfy my son’s hunger and stop his complaining.

We found gift shop after gift shop, and I went into several to look for even an over-priced candy bar. Nothing. What? How can this be? I guess Ketchikan cruise tourists aren’t hungry since we get all that food on the ships.

Finally, I see something! Cookies and brownies, yes!!! Let’s get this boy a snack so that he stops moaning. I told my husband to stay outside with the kids while I grabbed a few cookies.

Except as I got closer to the bakery, something on the sign caught my eye:

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

Wait, what? What are those percents? What?!?!

Dang it! I had to turn around and explain to my hungry kid that I couldn’t buy him a cookie there. ARRRRGHH! Except at least now I was laughing.

Creek Street and Cape Fox Lodge

With grumpy in tow, we walked along Creek Street. It’s such a beautiful area!

Texans in Alaska: KetchikanTexans in Alaska: Ketchikan

My younger son accidentally entered a brothel museum. Oops!

I should also mention that by this point in our trip, my kids had spent their entire gift shop budget. So walking past gift shop after gift shop was kind of torture for them.

At the end of the street, we saw the funicular up to Cape Fox Lodge. It advertised a snack shop at the top. We decided to ride it to the top to get a birds-eye view of Ketchikan and finally a snack for my son. The employee didn’t charge us for the kids, and it was just a few dollars for each adult.

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

We did indeed have a good view of the cruise port from up top!

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

However, when we entered the lodge, we discovered that the snack shop was closed. This will teach my son to ever skip lunch again! There was a full-service restaurant, but we decided that my son could wait to eat until we got back on the Disney Wonder.

We went out back to check out the totem poles. It was nice to give the kids some time to run around. I was just taking in the beautiful sky and scenery.

Texans in Alaska: KetchikanTexans in Alaska: Ketchikan

I could have stayed in Ketchikan all afternoon. But, my kids were dying to go swimming on the ship. So, we walked back to the Disney Wonder.

Afternoon and Evening on the Disney Wonder

My oldest made a beeline to the fast food restaurant on deck for some hot dogs. The others changed and got in some pool time.

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

I wandered around the upper deck, taking photos and enjoying the weather and scenery. I was starting to get a little sad that this would be our last stop in Alaska.

Texans in Alaska: KetchikanTexans in Alaska: Ketchikan

Our dinner rotation had us in Triton’s again. I didn’t take many photos of our food on this trip, but this flourless chocolate cake was da bomb!

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

After dinner, the guys went to see the main show, a family show by Max Winfrey. My daughter didn’t want to go, so we watched a movie in our room (with our towel monkey).

Texans in Alaska: Ketchikan

I was sure going to miss these Alaskan sunsets!

Texans in Alaska: KetchikanOverall, we had a great day in Ketchikan. We were grateful for the fantastic weather!

Up Next: Last Sea Day on the Disney Wonder Alaskan Cruise

For tips on how to use credit card rewards to pay for a cruise, see this post on How to Maximize Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard Bonus on Cruises.

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Author: Nancy

Nancy is a contributing writer for Miles For Family. She enjoys traveling to the beach and is a big fan of Disney. Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids.

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11 thoughts on “Texans in Alaska: Sunny Skies in Ketchikan

  1. So glad you loved Ketchikan; I think it’s my absolute favorite little town. We also took the duck tour, and it was perfect, and we got the same spill about 8th graders having to do the survival weekend — I told my kids they would never pass 🙂

    By the way, I think all 13 year old boys still can’t be trusted to eat on their own. I sure hope yours learned his lesson. I make mine eat with us because then he’s hungry when I’m nowhere near food or his schedule is different than ours.

    • @Stephanie Ketchikan is such a cute little town. My kids would never pass the survival weekend either. But I understand why it’s important in Alaska.

      I also hope my son learned his lesson! But he’d probably do it again.

  2. We are DVC members. The price has definitely gone up and it seems the perks have gone down since we joined back in 2006. When our kids were younger, we loved going to WDW. We would purchase a 10-day no expiration ticket and could go 3 – 4 times per year as it is only a 7 hour drive for us. Since my kids are older now, we prefer DCL over the parks. The points are not worth nearly as much if you apply them to a cruise as they are towards DVC resort. In fact, we have rented out our points this year and have applied the rental income towards the cash price of a cruise for next year.

    Not so sure we would join given the current cost and perks.

    As always, thanks for sharing! Enjoy reading about your adventures!

  3. Pingback: Texans in Alaska: Last Day On Board the Disney Wonder - Miles For Family

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