Alaska Cruise w. a 1 year old.

Nov 13th, 2009, 12:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 32
Alaska Cruise w. a 1 year old.

We are planning a family get-together next July/August on an Alaskan cruise. The family will consist of grandparents, 2 "sets" of parents and 3 kids (8y/o boy; 3 y/o girl; and my child - who will be 1 year old at that time).

I have never been on a cruise before. Here are my questions, which I would really appreciate some advice about:

1. Is it a bad idea to take a 1 year old on an Alaskan cruise? (I realize that we will not be able to do everything with a 1 year old - and that someone from the family will be left babysitting on most occasions).

2. If we do decide to go on the Alaska cruise, which cruise line might be best in terms of acceptance of little ones, and services for them?

3. Is it better to go northbound or southbound?

4. What is better: Glacier Bay or the other Glaciers/fjords? (if so, which ones? - since most itineraries seem to go to different ones - Hubbard; College etc etc).

Many many thanks in advance!
air1975 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2009, 03:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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You will hear different opinions, but I personally don't see a problem. If the baby acts out at dinner, you can leave and either go to the buffet, or order room service.

Somebody was on a cruise with a baby, and posted here on Fodor's that the major hit was going up and down in glass elevators
Dayenu is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 04:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,089
As long as you realize limitations of cruising with baby - and it seems you do - no special on-ship problems. One issue to consider is that on an Alaska cruise the off-ship "excursions" are an important part of the experience and there is very little in port towns to see within walking distance except t-shirt shops, etc. So seeing real Alaska involves paying for alternate transportation - helicopter, tiny plane, bus, train - to something else. Most of these excursions are inappropriate for an infant, expensive, and it is on these that fellow passengers might object if baby acts like a baby. So someone will have to miss out on the on-shore trip - and in most families, that is often Mom - are you OK with that?

Not sure what kind of "services" you are thinking of for an infant - all major lines can provide a porta-crib and you seem to realize that childcare will not accept kids that young.

I would stick with a major big-ship cruiseline. We did Princess and loved it. Holland America tends to have an even older crowd and fewer activities for the 2 older kids. North or South does not really matter - and if there is anyway you can spend some time on-land in Alaska at one end of the cruise so much the better. With an infant I would pass on going to Denali and spend a few days on Kenai Peninsula (Seward, etc).
gail is offline  
Nov 14th, 2009, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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An issue you have with a one way cruise, is also the flight length. I also would not consider any tours of over an hour with an infant, if there is no way out.

Any of the major cruiselines would be a good option. The all have SIMILAR demographics, despite ones that may be posted here. All ages sail.

You need to do your homework and find out about areas and ports. I have sailed all the glacier areas done by cruiseships and always have a preference for Glacier Bay. Any of them, will certainly give you a scenic cruise day.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 351
If you've not been there any itinerary will be great. A land tour up to Fairbanks or similar is a must.
As to traveling with a one year old - any where- Why? Life is tough enough and the kid will never remember a thing about it.
Aristotle is offline  
Nov 16th, 2009, 07:29 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Not sure I would do an Alaskan Cruise with the two youngest children. Someone is going to be left out! Aristotle is correct.Why? Once I stopped taking my kids on adult type travel, I had fun! Leave the kids home and enjoy the cruise and all that Alaska offers. Travel with the kids to and on a kid friendly vacation. Even then, that can be a bit much. I travel with my boys now, they are in their 20's and they enjoy it but they did not when they were young. Neither did I even though I tried! I felt guilty but got over that too!
dcorey is offline  
Nov 17th, 2009, 08:14 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,642
There were a few families with children under 3 on our Alaska cruise last summer; the parents seem to tag-team, but I wonder how much either one really enjoyed the cruise. As people have said, Alaska is excursion intensive, some take many hours on boats or trains, and are not appropriate places for children that young. On several of our excursions we seemed to run into the same extended family, and their young ones, both under 7, were bored and whiny a few hours into it; not fun for them, or the rest of us. As new grandparents, I said to my husband that while I could see taking our grandchildren to Alaska someday, I would probably wait until they were at least 10. Just my 2 cents.
socaltraveler is online now  
Nov 19th, 2009, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 63
I saw a couple of families with little kids last year when my family and I were on our Alaskan cruise. Some cruiselines offer recreation/services for infants and toddlers. I would recommend searching the cruiselines for your needs with traveling with younger children.
I've been to Glacier Bay on the cruise. It's the best site on all the cruise.
sunny515 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
Actually you are not going to Alaska or anywhere for that matter just for a 1 yr. old. This is a family event for 9 people. As long as you are prepared, and you seem to be, to factor in the limitations a 1 yr. old will have then I think the quality family time overall will be much greater and you will have a memorable time. If we can take our 13 mo. old son to India (and we did because my wifes entire family is there) then you can go to Alaska on a wonderful cruise ship. The 8 yr. old just may marvel at the sights and certainly the adults will. Also consider Carnival and look into their kids activities. Cheers, Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,085
The most important thing to keep in mind on any cruise with an infant or toddler is that most cruise line kids programs aren't geared to non-toilet-trained children. As far as I know, only Carnival and Disney will change diapers. And I'm not sure Carnival will accept kids younger than 2 in their program; otherwise, you have to pay for babysitting.

But I'm in general agreement here that really young children don't belong on Alaska cruises. There's just not enough child-friendly activities. Kids from 5 up can get a lot out of these cruises, but the younger toddlers not so much, and there's not even a nice warm beach to play on.
doug_stallings is offline  

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