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Old March 10th, 2004, 04:41 PM
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Default Traveling with elderly parents

I am going with my parents 83,77 on July 28 through the Inside passage on the Volendam
Does anyone have any hints or advice?
How long do you have to stand inline to embark and disimbark?
My parents dont use walkers or anything like that but thought maybe I should bring folding stools to rest on in line up?
We have never cruised before and its their 50 anniversary so want things to go well.
Brenda



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Old March 11th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: Traveling with elderly parents

Are you going to Sitka- this is a tender port, so there will be lines for the tenders with lines usually longer close to sailing time. You might want to consider an early departure?? Although all the ports are walkable from the ship- in Skagway you may want to consider the shuttle for $1.50 each way and use of the ship golf carts to the shuttle stop if you are the 2nd or 3rd ship back. Ketchikan is the most walkable, and easy pick up of tours at the dock visitor center. Again in Juneau- depending on your dock space you can be right downtown, or again a longer walk. Although I am no fan of ship excursions- this would be probably the most convenient except in Ketchikan.
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Old March 21st, 2004, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Traveling with elderly parents

i am doing the same thing with my parents in september. Very nervous about the whole thing. ie will they be alright, will they have a good time, will they see what they want. havent booked yet but looking at a vancouver round trip, on carnivale. i will upgrade their cabin so they dont have to go on deck to site see. i would also like to take them on a helicopter tour. does this sound reasonable. they will not be able to wait in lines for long period. hadnt thought of that one. they are coming all the way from australia, i really want to make this memorable. help?????????
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Re: Traveling with elderly parents

Hi--

We went on a family Alaska cruise a few years ago that included some people in their 80's. For them, the enjoyed the float plane with Michelle island wings out of Ketchikan, the train tour in Skagway the most. For the float plane, you catch a shuttle right at the pier. The train tour can be booked via the cruise ship, which is what we did, so you just meet on the ship and they organize you getting off.

The float plane was great because it didn't involve any walking, just sightseeing from the air. She lands once on water to get out if you wish, but my grandma and great aunt just stayed on the plane while we walked around. For something cheaper in Ketchikan that we saw several elderly people rave about was the duck tour. It rides on land and in the harbor at Ketchikan--it's an hour long. AGain, seemed great because you didn't have to walk around.

The train in Skagway is similar--you just ride the entire time, and it takes a couple hours, and the scenery was beautiful. That is the thing my grandma talks about the most.

We didn't do a helicoptor tour in Juneau, but we booked through the cruise ship a trip to Mendenhall, which was fun, but my grandma didn't want to walk around once we got there. We all had fun, but looking back I wouldn't do that one again with elderly people unless they really like to walk around and are pretty mobile. For some reason, most of the elder people I saw there didn't seem to enjoy themselves as much.

One thing that I might recommend for elderly people, stick with booking through the cruise ship for tours/excursions if you can. It seems to be better, because then you have preference for getting off the ship with the group, and less lines to get off with the general people. We did a mixture of both, but just from a casual observation if I were to take my grandma again I would just do that.

Hope this helps! Don't worry too much, they will love the scenery and enjoy themselves even if they don't do too much in port. My mom and I just relaxed and let my grandma dictate the pace of the trip, if she was tired, we let her rest and we did something on the ship that she wouldn't have enjoyed. A balcony is nice to have though, my grandma enjoyed eating breakfast out there every morning and doing her crossword.
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Traveling with elderly parents

Thanks for that info . It was very helpful.
My parents can get around but I dont want to over tax them on the trip.
You ideas were good and sound like a lot of fun.
Maybe it will be me that gets tired out

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Old March 23rd, 2004, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Re: Traveling with elderly parents

I hope you have a good time! We had a much better time than I thought we would, given the spread of ages and the number of people in my family that went (about 20). Actually, I think a cruise to Alaska was the perfect thing to do for older people, whether they get around well or not--the scenery is so beautiful even if you don't get off the ship!!
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