1. Disney Wonder to Alaska: Day Six – Ketchikan

    Today was the first day of the week that we were able to have a proper lay-in and a lazy morning as we were not due to dock into Ketchikan until 12:15pm. As we’d been woken up in the middle of the night by the loud obnoxious woman in the corridor, we were incredibly grateful for the later start and took full advantage of it. After getting ready, we headed onto our verandah with a cup of tea from the drink station to watch our arrival into Ketchikan to be confronted by rain and lots of it! The bad weather didn’t come as a huge shock though as it was forecasted.

    As we headed out of our room, we saw the loud woman from the evening before telling our stateroom host Yerilee how badly she’d slept because of the noise! Really?! I might have said a few comments under my breath as we walked past – though she probably didn’t hear me. We made our way to Deck 3 Midship to disembark.

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    As soon as we’d had our Keys to the World cards swiped we walked out onto the gangway and into the pouring rain. Thankfully we both had umbrellas with us. Before we left for the cruise, I had printed a free walking tour of the town off the internet and we also planned to take the local bus to Potlatch Park to look at the totem poles.

    Our first stop was the “Welcome to Ketchikan” sign at the junction of Mission Street and Front Street which was very close to where our ship had docked. There were so many people running into the big gift shop next to the sign to buy raincoats as they had all come to Alaska totally unprepared for the possible bad weather though it was funny to see so many people all wearing the same coat during the day! We also visited the gift shop just to buy my Ketchikan fridge magnet and postcard.

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    Our next stop was the “Liquid Sunshine Gauge” which measures how much rain Ketchikan has had to date each year. Today it was certainly living up to its nickname of “Rain Capital of Alaska”. It took several attempts to get a good photo of it as even with an umbrella, rain kept getting on the lens of my camera. Further along Front Street is the small Eagle Park where the Thundering Wings eagle statue is located.

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    At this point the rain had started to fall sideways and even though I had a raincoat on and an umbrella with me, my jeans were soaking wet so I ran back onto the ship to change quickly before continuing our tour. There wasn’t any queue to get back onboard so I was only a few minutes. After disembarking again, we headed in the direction of Creek Street which is only a few minutes walk from Berth 1 in Ketchikan.

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    Creek Street is Ketchikan’s former red light and speakeasy district where “where both fish and fishermen go up the creek to spawn!” We walked along the whole of the creek and read the many stories of each building that were displayed along the way. The area was incredibly quiet probably due to both the rain and there were no tours here yet. Most of the buildings are now tacky gift shops and one had even been converted into a Chinese restaurant.

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    Ketchikan is incredibly well signposted so after spending some time exploring Creek Street, we had no trouble finding the Fish Ladder – unfortunately it was still too early in the season to see any salmon using it to swim back upstream.

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    Next to the Fish Ladder is the entrance to Married Man’s Trail which used to be a way for the men of the town to get to Creek Street without being noticed!

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    There was still no sign of the rain stopping so after leaving Creek Street, we decided against catching the bus to Potlatch Park to see the totem poles. The bus only runs once an hour so waiting in the rain just seemed like a miserable thing to do. We’d seen the totem poles in Stanley Park in Vancouver the day before we sailed so we did not feel like we were missing out on anything at all.

    At this point we decided to call it a day in Ketchikan (the rain was just awful) and head back onboard the Disney Wonder and enjoy an empty ship for the rest of the afternoon.

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    After reboarding the ship, we headed straight back to our stateroom to change into dry clothes for the second time that day and to put our wet clothes into the dryers in the laundry room nearby. After this, we headed up to Deck 9 to get some lunch. All of the outside areas of Deck 9 were completely swimming in water and no matter how hard the crew were trying to get rid of all the water, the rain kept coming.

    We both got sandwiches from Goofy’s Galley, fries from Pluto’s Dog House and after a quick visit to the drinks station, we headed to the covered area near the Quiet Cove pool.

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    After lunch we spent the next few hours just wandering around an empty Disney Wonder. Even though the day hadn’t gone how we had originally planned, we definitely made the best of what we had. I couldn’t complain about the rain given how fantastic the weather had been for the majority of the cruise. I would rather it rained all day in Ketchikan where we had the least amount of things to see rather than in Juneau or Skagway where we had made the most plans. It was also nice to be able to take many photos around the ship without anyone in them.

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    Still raining…

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    We stood on Deck 4 for a while just watching people arriving back into Ketchikan from their tours. Everyone looked miserable and like they were about to kill each other – I have never seen anything like it! All the tours had gone ahead even though the weather was abysmal.

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    You can actually see Creek Street in the photos – it really is that close to the ship.

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    Deck 10 was completely empty due to the rain. I actually really enjoyed walking around with my umbrella just taking photos.

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    Is that blue sky in the distance?

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    Just in case you ever wondered about the different flags on the mast.

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    One advantage of being on the ship whilst in port was there were no queues for any of the characters!

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    The show in the Walt Disney Theatre that night was another “comedy” act which we again had no interest in seeing. After getting ready for dinner, we decided to head out to Deck 7 Aft to watch sailaway.

    As is typical, it stopped raining just before sailaway – always the way! Once again we heard the “When You Wish Upon a Star” horn as we left the dock.

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    Back in our stateroom was probably the saddest sight of the week – the sign that the cruise was coming to an end.

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    Dinner that night was back in Triton’s and it was time for the Taste of Alaska menu. I couldn’t decide between the Green and White Asparagus Spears or the Alaskan King Crab Legs for my appetizer so I ordered both. For my main course I had the Grilled Vegetable Tower which didn’t last long at all as it was so good! For dessert I had the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta.

    After finishing dinner we headed into the lobby atrium where the characters were out and about again in their Alaskan outfits.

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    This night seemed to be the best night to meet the characters. There was not too many people around and the later it got, more and more characters kept appearing. The highlights were definitely Chip and Dale checking out a certain area on the statue of Ariel, Goofy climbing the “stair mountain” and Stitch getting so bored that he started to photobomb everyone else’s photos!

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    We arrived back in our stateroom to find our latest towel animal and our last Personal Navigator of the cruise.

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    The seas were a little rough again that night but thankfully it didn’t affect us too much. Once again I managed to fall asleep pretty quickly and thankfully there was no shouting in the corridor that night.

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