Okay, I've been trying to do some research on what to do in port, but comments on my plan so far would REALLY be appreciated from people who've BTDT. I have the lovely task of trying to make everyone happy on this cruise and it's stressing me out!
We cruise May 8-15th!!! (NEXT WEEK....
Our group-- me and DH, DD who is a month shy of 3yrs old, DS who is 11 months old, and two grandparents in their early 60's.
Here's my plan so far:
TRACY ARM--- me, DH and kids stay on the ship. We have an aft balcony...will we have a good view? Grandparents are considering the smaller boat excursion to get up closer to a glacier.
SKAGWAY--- (7am-9pm) Grandparents might do the White Pass Rail. DH and I are *considering* bringing our kids and doing it, too (the 3hr trip), with BOTH kids as lap children. (The website said under 3 are free as lap children.) Is there any hope that the train will be somewhat empty-ish so we will not be crammed in like sardines? DS is a fairly chilled out baby and can sleep on me if I put him in the carrier. DD may be okay with stickers, iPhone games and such if she gets bored. Other plans for Skagway include walking around the Klondike Gold Rush Nat'l Park. I tried contacting Dyea Dave for a bus tour, but they kicked my email over to Beyond Skagway Tours, who told me that since there will be "other adults on the bus" they passed me along to a private tour company. So apparently children are not welcome on Dyea Dave bus tours, which was disappointing. We're not booking a private tour because I don't want to haul car seats (or borrow them, because we're a bit picky about our car seats...) and don't want to have the kids locked down in a seat for the tour (hence the bus idea, which is now nixed.) This is such a long day and I want to make the most of it, just not sure how.
JUNEAU--- ALL take the Glacier Express Blue Bus (or similar) up to Mendenhall Glacier and hike possibly the East Glacier Loop (clockwise, to go down the stairs versus up. 3 1/2 mile hike.) We're also considering an easier trail in case we decide to bring our stroller (BOB Revolution) or the grandparents don't really want to hike. We'd carry DS in a backpack-carrier and DD would walk and/or also be carried or use the stroller. Then bus back to Juneau and hopefully have time for the Mt. Robert's tramway. Will there be enough time? (in port 7am-3pm)
KETCHIKAN--- (7am-1pm) ALL do the walking tour, stay in town, explore Creek Street, the boardwalk, etc. Will this be "enough"? DH does not want to spend the $$$ on the Misty Fjord boat tour.
VICTORIA--- (730pm-midnight) Probably stay on the ship. Possibly grandparents do...something...not sure what yet because it seems like for a family with little ones that Victoria is a bad option due to timing. (We do not plan to use the ship's babysitting services, except for the service provided by the grandparents on the day at sea!
also a few other things---
---is a BOB Revolution on an Alaska cruise (Carnival Spirit) a bad/good idea? Our other option is a Joovy Caboose Ultralight, which can hold both kids but neither of them can really nap in it.
---we're not planning on bringing car seats along. Doable?
---will good places to eat be all around, easily accessible, or do I need to really research this?
---can you pack food and bring it to places like Mendenhall, Klondike Nat'l Park, etc, for picnics?
---anything else I need to know, pack, consider, for the kids?
If you made it this far, congrats! And THANK YOU for any input!!!