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Family Cruising Discuss family cruising - kids programs, babysitting, infant care, etc.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 5th, 2003, 09:28 AM
Mom of Boyz
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Default Alaska cruise with preschoolers

We want to go to Alaska in the summer of 2003 but need advice on which cruise line meets our need for good food, great kids program with fun activities for a 3 and 5 year old boy and excursions that allow our kids to participate. We want a nice ship that is not always blasting loud announcements over the PA and has great service. Is there one cruise line out there that is very welcoming to families, has friendly service that is efficient and great food? Thanks! Also, what motnh is the best to travel to Alaska and also what month tends to be the best deal ( I know that probally won't be the same answer!)
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 3rd, 2003, 09:04 PM
Cruisin' Grandma
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Default Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

We cruised Alaska with our grandchildren, 2-2's, a 4 and a 6 year old last year. We went on Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas. The kids loved the activities and indoor pool that let them swim even on very cool days. The crew was VERY family friendly and went out of their way to make the kids (and their parents) feel welcome and comfortable. The food was good though not the best we have ever had on a cruise. Some shore activities (generally anything with animals) were entertaining for the kids, but long sitting and scenery did not go over well. Generally, the kids liked their time onboard better than their time ashore.
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Old February 5th, 2003, 06:13 AM
Luisa
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Default Re: Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

Like RCI, Princess has great ships and very friendly staff. Both have very good youth programs. (Your 3 year old must be potty trained for participation in either line's youth program.) Princess, however, has much better food if that's a main interest to you.
Alaska with kids is lots of fun and very active. Let me know what you decide.
Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
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Old April 24th, 2003, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

I came here to look for almost the exact same info. My boys will be 4 and 6 though.

What excursions in Alaska would allow kids that young? Are certain cruise ships better than others? How would the month of August be?
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Old April 27th, 2003, 12:28 PM
Luisa
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Default Re: Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

I'm the family cruise editor here. The month of August is great for Alaska (July & August are obviously the warmest months). We wore pants and short sleeves most of the time but did need sweatshirts and jackets at times. When we cruised to Alaska, my daughter was 4 years old too. We did a lot of shore exploration independently. For example, in Juneau we bought our own tkts to Mt. Roberts Tram Ride -- it was beautiful up there with very easy hiking trails. In Ketchikan, there's the Salmon Hatchery and Eagle Center. In a number of ports, there are shore excursions through the cruise line which go to large totem pole parks -- we went to one which also offered a native dance show which my daughter really liked. My advice is to get a guidebook ahead of time and research some things you'd like to do on your own -- buying shore excursions in every port get very expensive for a family of four. However, Alaska is so beautiful you don't want to just go shopping in each port town either. Feel free to ask any add'l questions.
Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
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Old April 29th, 2003, 03:08 PM
LdyDDS2
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Default Re: Re: Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas. Nice indoor pool, rock climbling wall, mini gold course, good kids programs. A lot of the really fun side trips are for kids 12 and older.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 10:07 AM
Luisa
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

Another thought or two on Alaska with young kids. While they will get a lot more out of Alaska when they are older, we took my daughter when she was 4-1/2. She still remembers a lot from the trip and we had a great time. However, we do like to get out on our own and explore, hike, etc. If you plan to only go on excursions through the cruise line, it will be a bit more challenging to find things that pre-schoolers will like. (It's also very expensive to go on a shore excursion in every port for a family of four!)
There are so many cruise lines that are great for kids in Alaska -- Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises. The youth programs start at age 2 for NCL and Carnival; three years for Royal Carib; and five for HAL.
Good luck with your decision.
Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
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Old May 5th, 2003, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

Luisa - i have been meaning to ask someone this who had a small child. For Mount Roberts, I did not see a price for children 6 and under. Do they ride free or what? Please let me know what your experience was. Did you buy your tickets from the ship or from the ticket booth at tram?
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Old May 5th, 2003, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

MomofBoyz - I have a 5 & 10 yr old. We decided to take the dog sledding excursion out of Skagway. It is costly but we got 50%off for kids from Temsco helicopters. I think every kid can relate to a dog and sledding. A cheaper venue may be whale watching on a boat out of Juneau. We booked Capt Larry who gives a discount for kids. My 5 yr old is just as excited as his sister.
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Old May 5th, 2003, 09:12 AM
Luisa
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

Hi Davida:
Your best bet is not to buy the Mt. Roberts tram tkts from the ship -- I think they add a few dollars to each ticket. YOu can instead buy them right by the Juneau cruise ship pier at a little house which is also where you get the tram up top. Make sure you bring your camera -- the view is fabulous!
Let me know if you have any other q's. Also, I'd love to hear how your kids enjoyed the dog sledding after your trip.
Smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old May 5th, 2003, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alaska cruise with preschoolers

was there a charge for your little one?
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Old May 6th, 2003, 11:36 AM
Luisa
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Default Re: To David

TO David:
Sorry, but I don't recall if there was a charge for kids. Most places seem to charge a lower rate for those two years old and over (usually free for those under 2).
Best,
Luisa Frey Gaynor
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Old May 6th, 2003, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Re: To David

thanks anyway... I will find out in 30 days....
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