Ooops, I did it again… I always thought this waking up and doing to the gym on a cruise was for the birds, but I’m really digging it. Now I know why Em works out on vacation.
However, the early wakeup requires a double espresso to get in gear.
Today, we called on Icy Strait Point, or as it shall be known as the Castaway Cay of Alaska (without the cabanas). This was the Disney Wonder’s 2nd visit this newer, opened in 2004, Alaskan cruise destination. We also learned that up until 2 years ago ships visiting the port had to tender since there was no pier.
I want to be crystal clear out of the gate, I am in no way knocking this port. We had an enjoyable day walking around. Icy Strait Point is only operational when a cruise ship is in port a la Castaway Cay, except that locals are permitted to visit the area whenever it is open for a cruise ship.
We disembarked at 8:45am. The port is boasts a staff of over 85% locals and is not overrun by your typical cruise stores like Diamonds International and Del Sol.
Everyone we encountered was welcoming & friendly.
The walk from the ship to the cannery is a bit of a hike. We spotted this golf cart to assist guests with limited mobility.
We started off exploring the nature path. It was a very clearly marked path just over a half mile in length. We saw plants & birds, but that’s it.
We continued on along the shore and stopped at the Friendship Fire. The fire was lit and there was a bucket of wood chips to throw in while making a wish. Very nice touch. Plus, bonus – the girls had campfire hair (yes, they like the smell). As we continued along, Emily spotted a cat, and Isabelle was instantly smitten. We pet the cat, and it reminded us of our cats waiting for us back home. This cat was super friendly and loved the attention.
We suspect the cat lived at one of the few private homes along the beach.
The next stop was the Cannery museum & shops.
We enjoyed walking around and familiarizing ourselves with the history. It was a very nice and informative set-up. There will eventually be some video posted. We spent a good bit of time looking around.
At one point, a one of the shopkeepers came up to me and asked if I ever watched the ‘Deadliest Catch’ and then pointed to a crab boat that was sailing past Icy Strait Point. It was the Brenna A, which we were told was tied up overnight and just leaving. She said they were a cool group and were taking photos with everyone the previous night.
We ran into our friend who shared a mini doughnut with Isabelle, so of course we had to get them. It was an amazing donut shop. The proceeds benefit the Salvation Army and the doughnuts are made to order and fresh. They are also a perfect size!
We ordered a split dozen – Isabelle wanted hers tossed in cinnamon sugar, and Em chose apple cider for us. Delicious! Worth every penny.
We continued to walk around and found some old fishing boats, crab pots, and all sorts of neat stuff.
You could rent bikes and make the 1.5 mile trek to Hoonah to see the town.
There were also kayak & boat tours, as well as zip lining adventures. Unfortunately, to zip line you have to be age 10 and a minimum of 75 lbs, and Isabelle does not make weight.
As it was nearing 11am, we made our way to the Crab Station, where I got a specially brewed beer called the Cannery Red ale brewed by Icy Strait Brewing. It was good and hit the spot.
After that, we walked down to the rocky ‘beach’ where the salmon were jumping out of the water. Very cool to see. Also, the sun came out for about 15 minutes! It was incredible. After spending some time here, we started making our way back to the port area.
We walked in to check out the Duck Point Bar & restaurant & found their free one hour wifi, which I took advantage of. I even FaceTimed my mom so that we could all say hello. Since it was getting close to noon, Isabelle was telling us that she was getting hungry. At the same time, the rain began to fall, so we decided to go back to the ship for lunch. As we walked upstairs, we found ourselves in front of Triton’s, and we went in for a sit down lunch.
Triton’s was not busy at all, which made for a fastidious lunch. I was really impressed with the turkey burger which came with freshly made chips.
Our dining room head server found us, and during the course of the meal, our server came by as well. They both did my favorite thing – napkin folding. Yes, I know it sounds lame, but I enjoy the napkin folding. I can make a mean napkin candle.
After a quick lunch, we stopped by the Promenade Lounge for Em to grab a glass of Moët Ice. We headed up to the room and Isabelle glanced at the Navigator, and realized that it was time to make buttons. I decided to go back into the port, and the ladies went to make buttons. We planned to meet back up for the afternoon movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” which started at 2:45pm.
Back on shore, I went back to the bar Duck Point Smokehouse and ordered the Beer Tour, which was three 10oz local beers for $15.95.
The Beer Tour includes the Icy Strait Cannery Red and a choice for the other two. I picked the Alaskan Brewing White and their Kicker Session IPA. Loved the pineyness of the IPA.
I also discovered the the free 1 hour of wifi just like a parking meter. The clock starts when you first connect. They were logging mac addresses & I was no longer able to connect with my phone, but had no issues connecting with my laptop for exactly 60 minutes.
More than likely, this is more than enough for 99.9% of the port visitors. Just keep this in mind if you are considering connecting when you first arrive and want to get back online after spend time in port or on an excursion. The speed was decent which was good because AT&T service was very poor unlike the awesome LTE service yesterday in Ketchikan.
I boarded the ship and joined the ladies (late) in the theater to catch some of the movie. Afterwards, we headed to the room, as it was just after 5pm. We decided to forgo main dining tonight and have room service. We wanted to be in line to meet Koda from Brother Bear and then Isabelle had plans for an activity that started in the kids club at 7:30pm.
Room service was good. Em had a greek salad, 1/2 of a margherita pizza, and a sliver of key lime pie.
Isabelle had tomato soup, part of a Caesar salad, and some cheese pizza.
I ordered the wings, plus I had the rest of Isabelle’s salad and the balance of Em & Izzy’s pizzas.
We were able to enjoy our meal with the bottle of nice red wine that we brought while enjoying Ratatouille playing on our stateroom TV.
We left the room early to queue for Koda’s meet and greet which turned out to be a good decision. Koda’s line continued to grow by the minute. Koda was adorable.
Isabelle headed to the Oceaneer Club for ’S.H.I.E.L.D. Secret Agent 101 featuring Black Widow.’ There was a laser obstacle course of sorts with bungie cords. The goal was to move through the laser field without sounding the alarm was you made your way to opening the door for the rest of the team. Isabelle says she had a lot of fun and glad she did not miss out on this experience with her favorite Avenger.
While walking around the atrium there seemed to be a flurry of activity near the porthole behind guest services. WHALE SIGHTING!!!! We made a b-line to deck 4 and spotted to whale off in the distance. This time it is actually on video and not just a picture with a circle saying that there is a whale. Only problem is that the video will not be uploaded over the ship’s wifi. Emily and I tried to look for more whales, but we were heading out into the open Pacific Ocean on our way to Hubbard Glacier and with the wind picking up, were were not dressed for the cold.
We moved back in to a porthole in Crown & Fin which was are original plan as we wanted see if we could do any better at Villains Trivia. Each question can earn you two points if you correctly name the villain and the movie. It is getting easier and we did improve our score, but we still failed with a 52%. I really, really need to commit to memory Colonel Heller from Bedknobs & Broomsticks.
During trivia Emily, ordered the Bourbon Fizz, which was OK, but could’ve used less orange juice. Em is not a huge fan of juices in her drink unless it is a freshly squeezed lime or lemon.
I took a sip and thought it was rather tasty. However, in the future, we’d probably just go over to Cadillac Lounge and get a bourbon or whiskey neat from their beverage cart.
While making our way back to the room, we passed Lloyd, the Hotel Director who was kind enough to introduce us to Captain Zvonimir who was standing nearby. I think it is safe to say that we are all looking forward to the morning when we arrive at Hubbard Glacier.
We stopped by the Oceaneer Club and we could see from the entrance that Isabelle was still in training, so we continued to walk down the hall and guess who appears… Black Widow!!! She had just finished with the recruits and was headed back to her secret hideout; or who knows, maybe even a mission. You never know with these Avengers.
We ended the night watching a bit of Iron Man 3 before retiring for the evening. Tomorrow is another big day and it will be starting early around 8 o’clock when we near Hubbard Glacier.
One last note about Icy Strait Point, for the health of their guests and the safety of the historic buildings, Icy Strait Point is a designated Non Smoking property. Check out the video below of our walk around the port as well as the Icy Strait Point Cannery Museum.