It happened again… I woke up and went to the gym this morning. This morning’s view from the elliptical was Ketchikan. Isabelle was also up early and patiently waiting for us in Cabanas.
We did not have any excursions planned for Ketchikan. Instead, we somewhat followed the walking touring from the Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line.
The Disney Wonder was tied up at berth 1. We went ashore around 9 o’clock in a sea mist that was just enough to warrant rain coats. We ducked into the first store from the ship, which was Christmas in Alaska — think of it as the 25 Days of Christmas shop at Disney Springs. After that, we continued to browse the Salmon Landing Market.
We moved on to the Tongas Historical Museum, which was $5 for each adult and free for children under the age of 15. If you have a National Parks pass, you should bring it with you to Alaska as this is included with the pass. There is an junior ranger activity for kids that once completed will earn them a choice of a badge or patch. We should’ve purchased one, as I believe that it also included the Mendenhall glacier, which we will visit later in the cruise in Juneau.
By the time we were finished in the museum, the weather improved and raincoats were no longer necessary. We took advantage of the break in the weather to continue walking around the city.
Our next point of interest was the salmon ladder along Married Man’s Trail which led us to the Creek Street shops.
I’m not usually interested in shopping at any port of call, but these shops had some interesting items and some unique Star Wars artwork including by Andy Everson which should really be featured in the Vista Gallery during the Alaska sailing season, if you ask me. Plus, there were salmon samples!
We were told to make sure we checked out the Tall Tale Taxidermy over in the Cape Fox Marketplace. There were some very cool animals for sale, but the logistics of getting them back to Florida made this just a sightseeing stop. Well, Isabelle did buy a rabbit pelt because (and I quote) ‘its so soft’. I’m sure our cats will appreciate this purchase when we get home.
For anyone with a sweet tooth, there is a chocolate shop in the marketplace called Ketchi Candies. With a name like that, it is worth a visit.
It was approaching lunchtime and after about the fifth shop selling popcorn, we broke down and purchased a bag of fresh caramel crunch popcorn from Orca Corn to enjoy after lunch.
However, before we could eat, we needed to take pictures of the Ketchikan arch sign and The Rock statue along the pier.
We passed a number of places to eat during our walk around town. We decided to head back to the Salmon Landing Market to get lunch at Crab Cracker Seafood Bar.
It was only after we sat down that I noticed the full name of the restaurant… Florida Bill’s Crab Cracker Seafood Bar. Seems appropriate that we come all the way to Alaska from Florida on a cruise ship with a home office in Florida that we eat at a restaurant with Florida in the name. The Alaska Fish House was the recommended restaurant (& was next door), but it was pretty busy.
After lunch we split up a bit. I walked along the pier taking some pictures of the Wonder and Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Sea while the ladies returned to a few of the other shops.
Below is a highlight video from our walk around Ketchikan where we spent time in the Tongas Historical Museum, Ketchikan Fire Department, the salmon ladder along Married Man’s Trail and the Creek Street shops.
Around 2 o’clock, we called it a day and returned to the ship where hot chocolate and cookies were waiting in the atrium. We took advantage of the time and did a load of laundry. It turned out to be a good day and time to wash our clothes.
Isabelle has not been all that interested in meeting characters the last few years, but she was eager to go see Mickey and Minnie in their Alaska garb.
There are a number of unique character meet and greets coming up the next few days that are on her to do list.
After meeting Minnie, it was time to get ready and head to Animator’s Palate for dinner.
This evening’s menu was the standard rotational menu with regional inspirations and the show was Drawn to Animatio, where the restaurant starts off in black and white and progresses to full color drawings with a grand finale featuring Sorcerer Mickey.
Tonight, I decided to order items that I’ve not tried before. To start I selected the Jarlsberg Cheese and Carrot Soufflé with watercress salad and apple compote. It turned out to be really enjoyable.
For my entree, I picked another regional inspirations, the Pumpkin Stroganoff. This dish could have gone two ways and I was thrilled when I took my first bite and it was delicious. However, the dish could use a bit of a tweak with more squash carrots and tomatoes with less wild rice.
For dessert, Emily and I both committed a blogger crime of ordering identical desserts and I was punished. The Fairbanks Blueberry Crumble Tart tasted fine, but was really watery and it was not a result of any melting vanilla frozen yogurt. Emily’s was different – hers was fine and not watery. She said it was basically blueberry pie filling and enjoyable.
We were hoping to meet Donald in his Alaskan outfit, but we were unable to get out of dinner in time. All was not lost as we were able to meet Chip and Dale. Unfortunately, we did not get to Daisy because of the long line.
A note about dining. More often than not, we are seated alone and not with other families. Although our travel agent put in our request for a specific head server, we did not go down to check on embarkation day to see if indeed our request had been granted. Previously, we have requested servers and the request has always been met. This is a disclaimer to you that requests are just that – requests. They may not be granted. We wondered if our head server was not on board, but he came up to our table while we were eating breakfast in Cabanas and we chatted for a bit. We are very lucky to have awesome table mates – they are a couple with a 9 year old daughter, which is awesome for both us and Izzy. They also skip a course like we do. However, while we prefer to be out of the main dining rooms by 7-7:15pm at the latest, they enjoy the longer 7:30pm+ exit time. It would be difficult for us to have speedier service and a quicker out time when the rest of the table prefers more of a leisurely dining experience. Our serving team is very nice, which is always a nice bonus.
We went back to the room after meeting Chip & Dale, and the Marvel channel went back on. It happened to be Civil War, and even better – the movie was about where we turned it off earlier. I typed up the trip report, and then due to the combination of time changes, waking up as I normally would on the east coast, and the fresh Alaskan air, I fell fast asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, which is not a bad thing as tomorrow we are heading to Icy Strait Point.