Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Peak To Peak

Today was another physically exhausting day up on the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. A gondola took us up from the base of Whistler to the summit where we caught another chairlift to the peak. A gruelling walk down the mountain took us the Peak the Peak Gondola, where a cable car transported us from Whistler to Blackcomb. From there, it was an exercise of endurance in the heat before we returned home...A photo essay it will be!

The website said open at 9. The information man said 9:30 and the sign had 10am! So we went for the earliest to be front of line for the Whistler Gondola...

Going up to the Summit of Whistler

Made it to the top! 

Waiting patiently for the peak express chairlift to open so we can go even higher to the very top

The lovely walk to the chairlift

Grandpa did well to overcome his fear of heights!

At the peak!

Significantly cooler at the top with plenty of white around...

Inukshuks along the Matthews Traverse

Glacier walls along the path

The family continuing to make their way down the mountain

Tiny streams along the way

Plenty of greenery

Finally made it to the station to take one of these to Blackcomb!

We were wondering why people had their skis and snowboards

When we saw this! 

Lunch time! Very late for us at 1:30pm...a cheeseburger never tasted so good. We then made it down Blackcomb for the family adventure zone.

Plenty of activities for the children including a bobsled.

Children loved it!

Even Grandpa had a go!

There was a giant maze. You clock on to start the time and clock off when you're out of the maze. If you complete it under certain times, you get prizes. Elliot not content with his initial time of 9 min, redid the course in 2.5 minutes!

Lara going for it!

Well it appears that Daddy enjoyed the activities too...

Jonah knew what he wanted to do!

The walk back to Whistler Village was lovely and would have been nice if we hadn't already walked so far already!

Views on the walk home.

Monday, 29 June 2015

All Is Lost

The theme for the day was "Lost".

We farewelled the Wonder with great sadness not knowing if or when we'd go on another Disney cruise. For the first time in forever, we did not rebook onboard! The disembarkation process was smooth and easy. We picked up our rental Dodge Caravan and it was with great relief that all our suitcases fit in the boot...with space to spare! The picturesque route to Whistler made the journey seem quick. It was only when we got there did we realise that Grandpa had accidentally picked up the wrong bag and left their bag back at the port!

We rang the port authority and finally got through to a Disney agent. We were told that they would look for it and contact us again sometime today. There was not much more that we could do so we walked to the village for lunch. Boy was it hot! We bought groceries to last us for the next two days. One thing that we noticed was that there were Australians working everywhere! This would explain the vegemite scrolls in the grocery store.

Nana decided to walk back to the hotel to keep Grandpa company. Grandpa was horrified when we returned without Nana. It turned out that she somehow managed to get lost walking the short distance to the hotel and had circled round the whole village!

Loading up our Dodge Caravan at the port

Aava Hotel, our base at Whistler

After being couped up in cabin we didn't know what to do with all this space...A living room...

A kitchen and dining area...

2 huge King bedrooms...

Whistler Village
The hotel offered free bicycles for use and so Malcolm convinced the family to go cycling through the trails around the Whistler area. A ride to Lost Lakes should only take 40 minutes...the man said. We ended up cycling for nearly 3 hours!!! Lost at Lost Lakes...As beautiful as the scenery was with lakes, rivers, mountains, and woodpeckers, it was a struggle to motivate Jonah (and myself) to push through to reach the hotel! Fortunately we had the use of a complimentary Gopro to document our extended adventures.

When we returned to the hotel nearly dead, we discovered that Grandpa had received word from Disney. They had found Grandpa's bag. Unfortunately, as per protocol, the bag had to go back on the Wonder and is going around Alaska for another week! It will then travel to Florida before being shipped home to Sydney! In the meantime, a Disney rep will be at the airport to meet up with Nana and Grandpa to pick up the bag that wasn't theirs and return it to its rightful owner. Fortunately Disney will be doing this all for free! Thank you Disney! Your customer service is indeed second to none.

With everyone either exhausted mentally or physically, no one was in the mood for a long dinner. So pizza it was before heading home to sleep.

Bikes ready

Gopro ready. Little did we know what was ahead of us...


One of the exhausted children

A gigantic pizza to share!

Tired but still smiling!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Last Sea Day

It was always going to be a little depressing being our last full day on the ship. However, we had a full day ahead of us and we were determined to enjoy it. Caloric intake was not taken into consideration as we gorged ourselves during breakfast at Triton's. From there it was down to the business of artful packing of purchased merchandise! The children were ecstatic to roam free at the kids club as the adults partook in brunch at Palo's. It appeared that the earlier breakfast did not hinder the second round of gluttonous food consumption. The food was as good as we remembered it, made all the more special with dolphin and whale sightings.

The highlight of our day would be the purchase of Disney Vacation Club membership! We were super excited to own points for our home resort of The Polynesian.

We headed to our last served dinner before watching Tomorrowland. The movie had such a promising start but unfortunately failed to deliver with its ending. Highlight of the evening had to be the little girl who told Elliot in front of us "You're really cute"!

Last thoughts - food was surprising really good! Portions were a little smaller which suited us perfectly as we were not then stuffing ourselves. Quality of ingredients and actual flavour were noticeably better than our previous Disney cruise on the Fantasy. We were worried that the children were growing out of Disney. Much to our pleasure, it appeared that Elliot enjoyed the cruise the most. The tween areas were well supervised with a great range of activities that suited most children.

Saturday, 27 June 2015


Today was the day to celebrate my spa credit win! We were not arriving at Ketchikan, our last port of call on the cruise, until 11am and so a 90 minute stone massage was in order. Bliss...to have the neck and shoulder tension massaged away.

The ship pulled into the pretty fishing village right on time. We were warned that Ketchikan has a high amount of yearly rainfall, more than Scotland...but we needn't have worried. The weather was magnificent with most of us ending up feeling hot!

Ketchikan has the world's largest collection of standing Totem Poles. We visited one of the major location, Saxman Totem Park, independently. The taxi driver kindly pointed out a bald eagle's nest on the way and we saw many more during the day!

We moved on to explore the historic district of Creek Street, an area with antique boardwalks built over Ketchikan Creek. Unfortunately, we were not there at the right time to view the salmon run much to the disappointment of some. A quick walk through the town and we were back on to the ship.

Dinner was a feast of Alaskan King crab! I have to comment that the food on the ship has been very good. It was much improved than when we were last on the Fantasy. Unfortunately Jonah was feeling unwell, and so he and I skipped comedy show and went to bed instead.

The gorgeous fishing town of Ketchikan

Oh look...there's a cruise ship parked at the end of the road


The Totem Village

Rainforest right off the carpark

Bald headed eagles everywhere

More freebies! This time 20 minutes in the arcade

And the children were off!

Jonah enjoying the Alaskan king crab legs