Disney Cruise Excursions – Bicycling in Astoria, Oregon

Who doesn’t love a good Disney vacation adventure? We always try to pack in as much action-packed, fun-filled excitement as we can.  We’ve been zip-lining, scuba diving, sea kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and more.  After we booked our West Coast Cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, I poured over the available excursions for our stop in Astoria, Oregon.  When those nice folks from Disney Cruise Concierge services called to help us book activities, we knew what we wanted.  A bicycle tour!

Disney Cruise Excursions – Bicycling in Astoria, Oregon

As we sailed towards Oregon, the weather forecast was not favorable at all.  Chilly (to us, anyway) and with rain predicted, we weren’t even sure the excursion would still be on.  When we woke up that morning, things had turned around.  The day was sunny and, while not exactly warm, was very comfortable.  We booked the early adults-only tour so we’d have the afternoon to explore.  After breakfast, we met up with our tour group and walked off the Wonder into Astoria.

Local vendors and artists had set up tents in a festival-like market and we passed a variety of wares on our way to the tour’s meeting area.  A selection of well-used bicycles awaited and we quickly chose our rides and fastened on our helmets.  Our tour guides introduced themselves as Ronni and David.  Ronni took the lead and we started out right away with the early history of Astoria.

Once dominated by canneries, the waterfront bore evidence of a once bustling fish-processing industry.  Our tour moved into town, past historical sites and museums – all the while Ronni shared stories about each location which kept the tour interesting and educational.  Best of all, there were absolutely NO hills to climb.

Tour Highlights

There were two parts of the tour I liked best.  The first one was seeing sea lions outside of a zoo.  These guys were fascinating and I could have watched them for hours.  All males, congregated on and around some boat docks, they were piled on every available surface and on top of each other.  Just like in Finding Dory, there was a “Gerald” whose every attempt at finding a basking spot was rebuffed by shouts of, “OFF! OFF! OFF!” Noisy, funny, and so interesting!  I was delighted.

The other highlight was visiting Fishhawk Fisheries.  The owner of this fish-processing establishment welcomed us inside where we watched fresh fish being cleaned and learned about the different types of fish processed there.  Our group was then invited up to the owner’s office (what a view!) for snacks of fish dips, of course, with veggies and chips.  While we ate, we listened to stories of Astoria’s past and present dependency on the fishing industry.  This was interesting and a very special, unexpected treat!

To end the tour, Ronni (tour guide and Astoria’s only meter maid) brought us all safely back to the pier where those booths were set up.  I asked her what was being offered and she described different wares.  I was not surprised to learn that she is also an artist specializing in pet portraits and had her own booth set up nearby.  Missing Junior as I was, I found the prospect of having his sweet little face immortalized on canvas irresistible.  A few weeks later, Junior’s portrait arrived and is the perfect souvenir from our fun and memorable bicycle tour of Astoria.

Just Back Trip Review – Highs and Lows of our Disney Land and Sea Adventure

Good Gracious! Raymond and I are still exhausted! But very pleased with the heaps of happy memories we amassed on our Disney Land and Sea vacation. We thought of the 9-day trip in terms of phases. Phase 1: Vancouver, Phase 2: Disney Cruise on the Wonder, Phase 3: Disneyland. Today my goal is to put together my initial thoughts on the trip overall. (There will be detailed posts for every phase later.)

Just Back Trip Review – Highs and Lows of our Disney Land and Sea Adventure

Vancouver was great! The weather? Not so much. That didn’t keep us from enjoying an entertaining, educational, and delicious food tour on Saturday. Sunday was our anniversary, so we spent the day at a leisurely pace. Originally, we’d planned on either biking around Stanley Park or visiting Granville Island’s marketplace. The rain made both of those sound unenjoyable, so we strolled around in the rain, stopping to eat at Cardero’s on the harbor. We’d eaten here once before with Megan and Joseph prior to our Alaskan cruise in 2011, so we enjoyed happy memories along with a light lunch. Dinner that night was a fancy one at Notch8 in the Fairmont Vancouver just a few blocks from our hotel. Fantastic meal!

We crossed the street late Monday morning and stepped aboard the Disney Wonder. Since repositioning cruises tend to sometimes offer (relatively) bargain prices, Raymond had booked concierge stateroom 8044 for our anniversary celebration and the experience did not disappoint. I’ll fill you in on all the concierge details later but getting on the ship first to enjoy a special lunch in Tiana’s Place was fantastic and kicked off the cruise in a special way.

Tuesday, we docked in Astoria, Oregon. We had no idea what to expect from this little town of 10,000. The early weather predictions showed a huge chance of rain, so we were overjoyed when the day turned out to be sunny! We had a 3-hour bicycle tour planned from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. This turned out to be a perfect way to enjoy this port of call. Astoria is charming, the ride along the waterfront was flat, and the folks we met were as friendly as could be. I can’t decide what was my favorite part of the day but seeing sea lions for the first time was amazing.

Wednesday and Thursday were at-sea days. Raymond and I spent a lot of time in the fitness center trying to mitigate the accumulation of cruise food and beverage calories. We took a spin class both days and found Nicholas from South Africa to be an excellent (and challenging!) instructor. As a bonus, we also had some excellent whale-watching opportunities in the fitness center since it’s at the top of the ship and has huge windows.  We dined at Palo (adults-only restaurant) for both dinner and brunch, enjoyed two different beverage-tasting seminars, saw a movie, drank lots of coffee in Cove Café, and had a wonderful time!

Friday, we arrived in San Diego. We managed to get off the ship, Uber to the car rental place, pick up our ride, drive to Anaheim, drop our bags at the hotel, and enter Disney’s California Adventure before lunch!  Thus, Phase 3 began earlier than expected and with the most perfect weather imaginable. Once at Disneyland, we made the most of every minute!

I have so much to share with you!  Were mistakes made?  Yes, two major ones that resulted in (relatively minor) unhappiness.  We found so much to love about every aspect of this vacation and would do it all over again (with a couple of important modifications).  I’ll cover everything in detail, so please stop back by over the next couple of weeks.

Now?  I’m still catching up on sleep!  But I’ll be back soon and hope you will be too!