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

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Old January 6th, 2009, 05:50 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 spoke to a Holland America representative today, and she told me that the hours of Club HAL are dependant on the number of children on the cruise, but she was unable to tell me how many children in this age group typically go on the Alaskan cruise in June. If Club HAL is open, is their programming for 3 and 4 year olds worthwhile? Do the care providers really engage the children with fun, interesting activities, or is it more just a room where the children are left to their own devices? Also, I saw that there is a pool on the ship - is it really warm enough to swim? Is the pool 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 7th, 2009, 07:52 AM
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I have heard that HAL has decent kid's programs but it sounds as though you are lookng for a cruise line that provides more structure and reliability as far as the kid's club is concerned.

The only mainstream cruiseline I am aware of that offers in room babysitting for a fee is Royal Caribbean. I used it and was very satisfied. You need to contact guest services once on board and make arrangements in advance for this service. Their kid's clubs are very nice and they do a good job.

Carnival has wonderful children's services and they do offer late night sitting in the kid's club for a fee as well.

NCL also has fantastic children's services.

These three lines offer their kid's clubs daily generally taking a couple of hours off for lunch and dinner and remaining open until the wee hours for late night sitting.

I have cruised on all three lines and would be comfortable with recommending any of them for families with children in that younger age group.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 04:01 PM
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By all means, book HAL for Alaska! We cruised w/HAL to AK in 2007 w/ my 6 and 14 year old then and loved it!

The youth program is run year round -- I think you were given wrong information. Please read my article on the main page of the family section here "Holland America gets family friendly." I also wrote an article you'll find listed there regarding what to do w/kids in Alaskan ports.

Alaska is the cruise of a lifetime for families!

Feel free to ask me more q's.

smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey
Family Cruise Editor
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Old January 7th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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By all means, book HAL for Alaska! We cruised w/HAL to AK in 2007 w/ my 6 and 14 year old then and loved it!

The youth program is run year round -- I think you were given wrong information. Please read my article on the main page of the family section here "Holland America gets family friendly." I also wrote an article you'll find listed there regarding what to do w/kids in Alaskan ports.

Alaska is the cruise of a lifetime for families!

Feel free to ask me more q's.

smooth sailing,
Luisa Frey
Family Cruise Editor
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