Alaska Cruise with 19 month old

Jan 3rd, 2015, 08:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Alaska Cruise with 19 month old

Greetings, my Wife and I are in our early 30's and are blessed with a daughter who will be 19mos at the time we are considering taking an Alaskan cruise in Mid July, 2015. We are very comfortable travelling with her, but are a bit concerned with availability of activities with her both on and off shore. We are currently booked with Holland with an ocean view cabin. Would anyone have any recomndations on cruising wih a child her age, are there activities she will be able to participate in on the ship? Any recommended excursions? Do folks even bring children her age on cruises?

Also, on our typical vacations/cruises we tend to not book excursions/ sightseeing tours in advance as we have found that we are often ale to find much better deals on ite. Is this a possibility on the Alaska Cruise or are pre-booked excursions a must?

Any and all insight is most appreciated, thank you in advance!
rslauter is offline  
Jan 4th, 2015, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Ships usually have kids activities. That being said HAL seems to appeal to a more mature clientele and so does Alaska for that matter as opposed to say the Caribbean so check with the cruise lines to see what they offer kids. Disney cruises are # 1 for kids of course and actually rate very well for adults too but are also more expensive.

A poster here "Eschew" posted a thread about Alaska shore excursions by doing them as you get off from local tour guides so search his name and you can check it out. We did ours from the cruise line and yes they are expensive.

In Skagway the White Pass RR was very cool with great scenery.

Generally the best part of Alaska are the excursions. As we did ours from the cruise line it was easy for us to pick what we wanted and book it. Perhaps you can do the same by winging it.,I imagine so.

Will there be many kids on this cruise your daughters age? I would say more on a different line other than HAL. This is summer time so it's family vacation time. I think there will be some but not as many as you would find in a Caribbean cruise.,

Cheers, Larry. ,
jacketwatch is offline  
Jan 4th, 2015, 04:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Great info Larry I really appreciate the Insight! I just looked up the railway tour and that's definitely right up our alley! Thank u again.

rslauter is offline  
Jan 4th, 2015, 04:43 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
We have found that the children in our family travel best when we stick to their routine as much s we can--meals, naps, bedtime.
At that age (and considerably older) our children and grandchildren went to bed at 7:30. If you can swing it, I suggest upgrading to a balcony so the parents have someplace to sit in the evening while the little one sleeps.
At you can find message boards about family cruising, the specific cruise lines, and the ports of call. A wealth of information.
abram is offline  
Jan 4th, 2015, 04:55 PM
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You're welcome.

You will be there when there is a lot of daylight so that's cool.

Always good practice to dress in layers with a top water proof layer and consider a good pair of binoculars.

jacketwatch is offline  
Jan 5th, 2015, 06:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We have been on multiple cruises. However, the Alaska cruise (Princess; 2008) had very few children. Many of the Alaska excursions, booked locally or thru cruise line, are less appropriate for very young kids as they involve daylong activities, some physical, and alternate transportation from trains, helicopters, planes. Even Juneau is a landlocked city, with only 22 miles of internal roadways and accessible to the rest of Alaska by air and water only. And they are expensive, no matter how booked - and there is a charge for everyone.

Similarly, we rarely prebook excursions from the cruise line - but in Alaska found that for convenience and choice it was better to do so - and the money we would have saved doing them privately was not great.

I think you can have a good time with your young child, but that you also should go into it fully informed. It's a lot of money to spend only to find there are a lot of things you would have wanted to do but could not.
gail is offline  
Jan 6th, 2015, 05:01 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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We have done the Alaska cruise with Holland America's Oosterdam last August. There was a considerable number of families with children of all ages on the vessel.

I do not recommend the ship's excursions. They are overpriced and you won't have fun with your little one on a tour bus, during an hour-long lecture on totem poles or on a train. Instead, I recommend just to walk on your own or to rent a car for little money. You will be independent and flexible, save a lot of $$$, you will avoid standing in lines and you will see more.

For Ketchikan, I would recommend just walking through town. The town is compact and easy to manage, even with a stroller.

In Juneau, I would recommend to rent a car and self-drive to Mendenhall Glacier. Alternativly, you can take the public bus at low cost. In the park, you can walk with a stroller over a paved way. The town itsself is walkable.

In Skagway, rent a car and drive the Klondike Highway into Canada to Carcross. On the way back, you might have some time to see more sights near Skagway.

For more details, you may read my extensive trip report:
traveller1959 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2015, 11:14 PM
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Larry, you are promoting my post! I owe you another beer now ...

Since I live on the west coast and love the Alaska scenery, we have been cruising Alaska almost every other year for the last while.

You will find families on Alaskan HAL ships in July and August cruises, probably not too much at 19 months old though. The ship offers "kids' club" but it is for 3 years and up.

Not sure what type of activities your little one would enjoy, but there are kid's pool, and probably some shows that may captivate. My suggestion is to bring some toys with you and create your own activities when needed.

With a 19 month in tow, I wouldn't book any ship's excursion as those are usually with bigger groups (maybe 40 or more). You want smaller groups and flexibility.

Post what type of activity you (and your young one) may enjoy and we can offer suggestions.

If you are looking at the Whitepass RR, that is the one I would recommend booking through the ship as they board you at the dock. Book any other way, you will be boarding in town at the main train station. The price difference is minimal. I take the convenience on this one.

For Mendenahll Glacier, just take the bus to get there on your own. It is cheap and reliable.

For the Alaskan ports, renting a car is too much trouble and not worth it unless you want to drive a fair distance, which beg the question, why?

The reason why you won't find cheap excursions in Alaska is because the people who worked there are American (or Canadians) and collect American wages (unlike Mexico or Caribbean etc). The cost of living is also higher there as well. A quart of Milk is $4 instead of $1. What you do get booking on your own versus the ship is maybe 10% savings. The big plus is smaller group, flexible time table, and the intangible "extras". Example: Misty Fjord flight seeing is about 2 and a half hours book through the ship but you can get 3 hours or more for similar amount of money as they are not tied down to a tight schedule. All tour operators are regulated so it is safe, unlike the people holding out signs at dock side in Mexico or Caribbean ports.

Feel free to ask more questions!
Eschew is offline  
Jan 7th, 2015, 10:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,443
How about a single malt instead. .
jacketwatch is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Please! It's like -20 chill factor here.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jan 8th, 2015, 08:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,730
Larry, for you, any time ...
Eschew is offline  

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