My family and I are considering doing an Alaskan cruise...probably summer of 2002. (we're going on a cruise in March of next year, and do one cruise a year) In any case, what I'd like to know is whether or not it'd be a good idea to do a land tour as well. My husband and I would like to go, but we're traveling with our children, and at the time we'd be cruising their ages would be 5 1/2 and 3. I know all about the children's facilities on the ships...but what about the land portion? I don't expect that there would be children's facilities for the land tours, but do they at least accomodate children at all..meaning are the excursions and activities you do on the land tours things that we can take the kids with? Thanks for your help!
By all means, take the kids! I have been twice with HAL and we went to Denali and saw all kinds of wildlife, including a grizzly bear with two cubs, sheep, moose (or is it meece?), etc. They took us panning for gold, a nice cold sloopy, but exciting experience! Your kids will love the train ride to and from Denali, and so will you. You will never forget the trip, and to take only the cruise really doesn't get you to see enough a truly wonderful state! I also saw families taking horseback excursions, kayaking, etc. You should be fine.
I would only do a land tour independantly. I would never be happy on a fixed schedule with a bunch of other people. Your kids are also too young for this kind of trip and if they are the least bit disruptive you have no options of skipping things since these tours cover long distances on a fixed schedule via bus and train. Instead do what I do - rent a car. the freedom will be wonderful or opt for a RV for the best of convenience. Will be cheaper than a cruise tour and you will experience more as well.
Personally, I don't recommend taking children that young on a tour ... there's a lot of time spent on buses and trains. I've taken Princess ground tour and it was fantastic, but I didn't see any children in the groups.