I'm taking my father and mother to Alaska on the Golden Princess in late May of 2012. My Dad will have just turned 90! He is in great shape, and still hits the gym 3 days a week. My Mom is equally fit, and only 70.
We will be a group of 7, from 19-90! Can someone share with me the best things about the Golden to Alaska for our type of group?
Thanks so much.
I would suggest doing some homework on excursions in Alaska. Most are pretty amazing and you want to pick the good ones, that your family can do and enjoy. I would recommend doing the train ride in Skagway, amazing scenery. Make sure you find a good whale watching excursion, Juneau is good for that. There are just so many great tours to do, takes some time to decide what exactly you want to do and see.
I would agree with the train ride. Take in the morning on arrival.
Then after lunch you can go for stroll thru Skagway and walk/hike over to the cemetery . In Skagway there are number of short hikes you can take .
In Juneau the Mendenhall Glacier is not to be missed . Use one of the local shuttles to go to the Glacier . There also a number of hikes around the glacier.
Ketchikan just walk around town , don't miss Still Creek .
SS Ithaca , Volendam , Mariner of the Seas (x2) , Veendam , Coral Princess , Island Princess (x3) , Emerald Princess,Sapphire Sapphire (x3),Diamond Princess
You will have a wonderful time in Alaska. Golden Princess is a great ship. Be aware that she is BIG. There is a LOT of walking from one end of the ship to the other! There is a nice gym and I know they will be delighted to see your dad there!
There are so many things to do on Golden. You can participate in the activities from trivia to craft classes to ice carving demonstrations, or you can just find a quiet spot to sit with a book and watch for whales out the window. At night there are big production shows and small lounges with music. Whatever the tastes of your family there is something to do.
There are also many many shore excursions in Alaska. Some are very active, some are more sedate. I have made a page of some of them that we have enjoyed at Alaska Excursions Guide to give you an idea.
From the description of your family group, I would seriously recommend that you consider renting a van (or two cars) from Avis in Skagway and driving over the White Pass yourself. The railroad is interesting if you are a railroad buff, but driving yourself gives you a lot of freedom and the ability to stop when you want to. Check my page at Driving from Skagway into the Yukon for ideas.
We just went on the Golden to Alaska this past May and it was fantastic!!!
Skagway: Another vote for the White Pass train. We did a tour that also had a driving part up into the Yukon where we got to see some bears. Awesome.
Juneau: Definitely the best port to go whale watching. They were jumping out the water like crazy. Also, take the time to go to Mendenhall Glacier. There are lots of tours that do both.
Ketchican: Great town to walk around and do some shopping. I thought they had the best prices on lots of typical stuff. We also went flightseeing in Misty Fjord.
Victoria: Nice to walk around town. Also Butchard Gardens are beautiful at night.
On the ship, don't miss the talks given by the Naturalist that will be onboard. He was absolutely entertaining and wonderful. He had 4 talks spaced out over the week and each one was unique and added to the sights we were seeing on the trip.
While cruising through Glacier Bay, have your binoculars ready and listen to the announcements made by the Park Ranger. They'll point out whales, bears, and other neat things to look at.