We are thinking about doing a cruise/land tour to Alaska. My question is which cruise line is the BEST one to take. I have a child that will be 5 years old next summer so I need to know which one will be family oriented. I don't want to be on a ship that is mostly older people either for the reason of having a small child, I don't want to be looked down for having a young child and spoil anyone's cruise. We also want to see as many things as possible. Any thoughts or suggestions is much appreciated!! Thanks!!!
All of the cruise lines offer Alaskan cruise tours - just that some are better than others. It really depends on which cruise line you like, where you want to go, and how long you want to go for.
Holland America does Alaska the best because they've been doing it longer than everyone else, has more cruise tours, and own all of their own lodges and hotels. Some of the others own their own lodge, but not their hotels. Some don't own anything.
Of course HAL is for an older demographics, yet they can still be good for children. But with that in mind, you might want to consider Princess. They would be my second choice for an Alaskan cruise tour because they are also very good and tend to cater to a younger crowd.
Royal Caribbean would be about 4th on my list. While they have a good children's program, they don't own any lodges in Denali, so if that's one of your destinations, you might want to look at other options.
Best advice is to work with a reputable cruise specialist who has firsthand knowledge of Alaskan cruise tours and let them help with all the many options you have available.
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/13 yrs exp and 48 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
All I can say, if you are ever going to get a balcony, Alaska is one of the times you should really act on it. The views are great, you can check the weather concerning what to wear before going out of your cabin, and you will see the glaciers regardless of what side you are on as the ship points one side of the ship towards the glaciers for an hour or so and then does a 180 so the other side can see. If price is the same as you say, I would definitely choose the 10 day out of San Francisco instead of a 7 day. Three extra days on the ship is always good.