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Old January 6th, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Default Alaskan cruise with a 3 and 4 year old?

I am considering taking an Alaskan cruise on Holland America on June 6 with a 3 year old and a 4 year old on the Amsterdam. Does anyone have any insight or experience as to how suited this cruise is for children of this age? I am concerned that my children are so young that they would not be able to find enough age appropriate activities for them on the ship. Does anyone have any experience with Club HAL? Is the Club HAL programing for 3 & 4 year olds worthwhile? Do the care providers really engage the children, or is it more just a room where the children are left to their own devices? I saw that there is a pool on the ship - is it warm enough to swim in on the Alaska cruise? Is it heated? Also, can anyone tell me what might be some good excursions for a 3 and 4 year old? We would be going to Sitka, Ketchikan, and Juneau. Finally, does the ship have babysitters that will come to your room if the parents want to go out after the kids go to sleep? Thanks so much! I appreciate any insight and information anyone can give me!
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Old January 6th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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Alaska is an expensive and beautiful place. But I don't think it's a place children that young would appreciate. There probably won't be other kids their age on board and they might be bored. My suggestion is to leave them at home or cruise somewhere else. Disney ships don't cruise Alaska, you might check for a Disney ship. I think your kids would enjoy a Disney cruise better and if they are enjoying themselves you will be more relaxed and enjoy yourself. If Alaska is your dream cruise; I would suggest you make arrangements to leave the kids at home.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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If you are going on a cruise to Alaska with young children I would suggest taking them on a different cruise line like Carnival. HAL is geared to a more older crowd. Carnival is geared to a younger crowd. Carnival will have more activities for children to do.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencercoop
If you are going on a cruise to Alaska with young children I would suggest taking them on a different cruise line like Carnival. HAL is geared to a more older crowd. Carnival is geared to a younger crowd. Carnival will have more activities for children to do.
I don't agree, I've sailed Carnival 3 times in Alaska as well as HAL. Passenger demographics were similar, with the bulk middle aged and above. Certainly all ages sailing, but younger definately NOT in the numbers of the Caribbean.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 02:29 PM
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They will have some kids activities, and from what I have seen do a good job.

BUT I suggest you determine what you are going to do in ports and what you wish to get out of this trip for yourself?? Kids rates are not common, I would not consider any extended touring with a 3 year old, meaning, more than an hour without a way out. Nothing would be worse than to be trapped with a disruptive child for several hours in my opinion.

You need to do your homework and find out what will work best in your situation.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen16
Quote:
Originally Posted by spencercoop
If you are going on a cruise to Alaska with young children I would suggest taking them on a different cruise line like Carnival. HAL is geared to a more older crowd. Carnival is geared to a younger crowd. Carnival will have more activities for children to do.
I don't agree, I've sailed Carnival 3 times in Alaska as well as HAL. Passenger demographics were similar, with the bulk middle aged and above. Certainly all ages sailing, but younger definately NOT in the numbers of the Caribbean.

I agree with you about how there is not going to be the same amount of children as there will be in the Caribbean.

But I still think that there is going to be more children on Carnival and Royal Caribbean then Holland America and Celebrity.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 10:48 PM
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Just a warning I traveled Carnival Freedom on a Transatlantic cruise. Like Alaska it is a much older crowd. There were 8 Children on the entire ship and no teens. My Nephew was one of the 8, however, he is older (turned 9 on the trip) and loved the fact the water slide had no line. He went down that thing 35 times in a row. Some ladies by the pool were entertained watching him. So I agree it doesn't matter what cruise line there won't be to many kids. Unless you book during a school break; like spring break on Carnival or Royal Caribbean then maybe you will have better luck.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
Just a warning I traveled Carnival Freedom on a Transatlantic cruise. Like Alaska it is a much older crowd. There were 8 Children on the entire ship and no teens. My Nephew was one of the 8, however, he is older (turned 9 on the trip) and loved the fact the water slide had no line. He went down that thing 35 times in a row. Some ladies by the pool were entertained watching him. So I agree it doesn't matter what cruise line there won't be to many kids. Unless you book during a school break; like spring break on Carnival or Royal Caribbean then maybe you will have better luck.

I am booked over the summer in July for Alaska, so there should be more kids.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 06:40 PM
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We've cruised Alaska on NCL, HAL, and Celebrity. My son was a bit older at 7, 8, and then 9) and loved the kids programs on all 3 ships. There were many kids of all ages on our cruises. The age mix on the 3 lines was equal IMHO. I noticed that the younger kids were having a great time with the programs for them. Specifically to answer about Club Hal....they were great.

As I recall, at least back then, they did have in room baby sitter service available but we didn't need it. Kids can stay late in the kids clubs for an extra charge.

The water in the pools were warm. At least some of the pools. Celeb Mercury had 2 central pools and 1 was warm and the other cold. The other pool in the covered area was warm. HAL Zaandam had a pool aft that was cold but the central pool was warm and also covered.
NCL's pools (SKY) were both warm.

They all had kids menus in the dining rooms as well.

I agree with Karen that probably a tour with kids that young might be trouble. The Duck tour in Ketchikan might work. But there was plenty for the kids to do on ship.

Will your kids appreciate Alaska? Probably not. Will you? YES! But the kids will have fun on the ship I'm sure.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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I did a HAL land tour (Double Denali) and Cruise with my 4yo, 7yo and my 70 yo parents in June 2008. I've got to say my girls were pretty well-behaved (we even did the National Parks full-day tour into Denali), BUT I worked like a (sled!)dog and toted huge bags of books and electronics to keep them happy, busy and quiet. The tour was phenomenal and, compared to the cruise, you really get to see the sights and experience Alaska but I was exhausted by the time I boarded the ship. My kids and my parents were fine. They loved the train rides and the whale watching cruise in Kenai.

The cruise was so different. I had done two RC Caribbean Cruises previously and my girls weren't thrilled with the kids club. There weren't many kids on our Alaska cruise (maybe 10 TOTAL) and there was only one young woman (Rebecca and she was amazing!) conducting the kids club activities but they absolutely LOVED Club HAL. They wanted to be there almost all the time and it probably was because of the more intimate nature of the experience. We really liked being able to choose our own dining time on HAL and the service was excellent. We did some great kid-friendly excursions in each port. I'd say the one the girls liked the best was the dog sled ride through the woods (we didn't do the glacier ride, too expensive,)in Juneau. We also did the Kroschel Wildlife Center in Haines which we all really enjoyed and kids love the Lumberjack show in Ketichikan.

So, that is my input re: the whole kids in Alaska thing but I do have to laud and thank Julia Frey Gaynor and Marylou Scanlon for the excellent advice and articles they always give. They are truly the experts!
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