Alaska with young kids and older, mobility-impaired adults

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Family Cruises
Cruising with kids? Best Family Cruise Advice
Cruise Critic's Family Cruising Resources
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 02:49 PM.
#1
SF Bay Area
28 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
We are planning an Alaska cruise with a pretty diverse group next year. There will be two 5 year olds, one three year old, two twenty-somethings, two 40-somethings and four or six seventy-somethings. Oh, and one of the older couples is gay. Two of the adults have mobility issues - one can't walk long distances and one can't stand a long time. I would expect the less mobile of the two will not do many excursions but we'd like some options.

So - looking for suggestions for gay-accepting, kid-friendly, disabled-friendly ships in Alaska.

Oh, and everyone has cruised before and everyone hates Carnival. Older folks are not sold on Disney and the price difference seems pretty big, plus we all would like to do Glacier Bay.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Lara

Prior cruises on Carnival, Princess, Costa, Cunard and Dolphin[/color]


First Disney Cruise


First RCL Cruise
#2
3,722 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I cannot speak to gay-friendly cruise lines. You may want to post to and/or sift through the GLBT forum for insights

We've done several AK trips on a variety of lines. If Glacier Bay is a "must" that would eliminate RCCI (and X and Azmara) - since RCCI corp does not cruise Glacier Bay (although I've been to Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier and it really is more a question of weather rather than geography -- both can be amazing when the weather is good, and rather "ho hum" if socked in with fog/very low hanging clouds). Any other ports that are "must sees"?

Disney can be pricey -- I agree better values can be found with Holland, Princess or NCL.

We've had great experiences with Princess and NCL for children's programs. Never had any kids when we were on Holland. The 3YOs will be able to attend the children's programs on either line. A 1YO would not on either.

As to excursions, the historic train ride in Skagway might be good for the mobility impared -- two visits ago we saw the train folks using specialized equipment to board a multi-handicapped individual, I assume they would have a variety of aids to be able to assist passengers. Once on board, it is pretty passive -- which might not make it a good option for the littlest ones (we did it when DD was 8YO, both she and I were thoroughly bored and very glad we had each brought a book, but that's us )
#3
Coastal GA USA
21,009 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Is there any reason that all have to do the same excursions? Let the ones with kids do more active or kid friendly excursions, and the folk with mobility issues do less strenuous activities. In Skagway, the older ones might enjoy the train ride, and buy a $5 all day pass for the town shuttle, using it as a hop on, hop off bus. In Juneau, those with mobility issues might need to do a ship excursion, as if you are on Princess or NCL, you dock a healthy walk from the tourist center. Smaller HAL ships dock closer in. Ketchikan has a free shuttle loop from the pier that takes you around town. Go over to the Alaska board on the Ports of Call forum here at CC, and get lots more ideas. I have seen lots of gay couples, young and old, on all of the ships I have cruised. EM
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Booked: Carnival Magic 8/26/17; Carnival Splendor 1/14/18
Carnival Pride B2B 21 nites 2/19/17 Caribbean
Carnival Glory 8/27/16
MSC Divina 5/7/16
Carnival Fascination 22 Feb 2016 Bahamas
MSC Divina 11/20-23/2013 Bahamas
Coral Princess 17 July 2013 Alaska
Celebrity Silhouette 22 May 2013 Adriatic & Italy
Queen Elizabeth 15 May 2013 4 nights
Celebrity Infinity 16 April 2013 B2B San Diego to Harwich
Nieuw Amsterdam Mediterranean 4/30 - 5/24/2012
Millennium B2B2B 2/6-20/2012 Caribbean
Caribbean Princess 10/29/2011 Caribbean Islander NY to FLL
Celebrity Solstice 5/1/2011 FLL to Barcelona
Carnival Fascination 2/28/11 Bahamas
QM 2 12/8/2010 Caribbean Delights
Celebrity Summit 10/24/10 B2B NY to San Juan
Emerald Princess 8/29/10 Western Caribbean
Diamond Princess 5/29/10 B2B Alaska
Westerdam 2/7/10 Eastern & Southern Caribbean
Carnival Dream 10/27/09 Transatlantic
Carnival Sensation 6/18/09 Bahamas
Carnival Splendor 5/17/09 B2B Mexi-not to Canada
Oosterdam 2/28/09 San Diego to Rome 32 nights
Carnival Fascination 12/13/08 Bahamas
QE 2 7/31/08 Lands of Fire and Ice
Celebration 3/27/08 Bahamas
Celebration 1/26/08 Bahamas
Norwegian Spirit 10/20/07 CTN
Elation 4/23/07 B2B Bahamas
Zenith 8/2006 Bermuda
Calypso 7/2005 Greek Isles
Star Princess Inaugural 2/2002 Pacific Rim Singapore to LA 26 nights
Millennium 8/2000 Baltic
Fantasy 6/1999 Bahamas
Royal Princess 1/1999 Buenos Aires to Manaus
Home Lines Oceanic x 2 1973 NYC to Nassau 7 nights
Homes Lines Homeric x2 Eastern Caribbean 1972 10 nights
#4
Idaho
2,719 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by laragc

So - looking for suggestions for gay-accepting, kid-friendly, disabled-friendly ships in Alaska.
All of them.

Since Glacier Bay is something you really want to do, I'd pick a line that goes there. I believe HAL and Princess are the only lines allowed there, (possibly Crystal and Regent?) so those are your options.

As far as excursions go, I can't fathom the idea of trying to plan something that will be interesting to both 5 year olds and 70 year olds. Can your group split up and do different things?
And yes, virtually all excursions will be handicap friendly, they usually state so when you register. The Skagway train is great for all ages, but it sounds like you personally aren't interested in it.
#5
Toronto
3,517 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Either HAL or Princess would be fine options. All of the ships pretty much have the same excursions. Princess has MUTS, HAL doesn't. I liked HAL's dining and ship layout better than Princess. Both lines were excellent for kids. HAL ships in Alaska are smaller than Princess ships.

Disney is not worth the premium.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Previous Cruises

49 nights with RCCL, 7 nights with Carnival, 11 nights with Disney, 14 nights with Princess, 45 nights with HAL
#6
Coastal GA USA
21,009 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
NCL also does Glacier Bay. EM
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Booked: Carnival Magic 8/26/17; Carnival Splendor 1/14/18
Carnival Pride B2B 21 nites 2/19/17 Caribbean
Carnival Glory 8/27/16
MSC Divina 5/7/16
Carnival Fascination 22 Feb 2016 Bahamas
MSC Divina 11/20-23/2013 Bahamas
Coral Princess 17 July 2013 Alaska
Celebrity Silhouette 22 May 2013 Adriatic & Italy
Queen Elizabeth 15 May 2013 4 nights
Celebrity Infinity 16 April 2013 B2B San Diego to Harwich
Nieuw Amsterdam Mediterranean 4/30 - 5/24/2012
Millennium B2B2B 2/6-20/2012 Caribbean
Caribbean Princess 10/29/2011 Caribbean Islander NY to FLL
Celebrity Solstice 5/1/2011 FLL to Barcelona
Carnival Fascination 2/28/11 Bahamas
QM 2 12/8/2010 Caribbean Delights
Celebrity Summit 10/24/10 B2B NY to San Juan
Emerald Princess 8/29/10 Western Caribbean
Diamond Princess 5/29/10 B2B Alaska
Westerdam 2/7/10 Eastern & Southern Caribbean
Carnival Dream 10/27/09 Transatlantic
Carnival Sensation 6/18/09 Bahamas
Carnival Splendor 5/17/09 B2B Mexi-not to Canada
Oosterdam 2/28/09 San Diego to Rome 32 nights
Carnival Fascination 12/13/08 Bahamas
QE 2 7/31/08 Lands of Fire and Ice
Celebration 3/27/08 Bahamas
Celebration 1/26/08 Bahamas
Norwegian Spirit 10/20/07 CTN
Elation 4/23/07 B2B Bahamas
Zenith 8/2006 Bermuda
Calypso 7/2005 Greek Isles
Star Princess Inaugural 2/2002 Pacific Rim Singapore to LA 26 nights
Millennium 8/2000 Baltic
Fantasy 6/1999 Bahamas
Royal Princess 1/1999 Buenos Aires to Manaus
Home Lines Oceanic x 2 1973 NYC to Nassau 7 nights
Homes Lines Homeric x2 Eastern Caribbean 1972 10 nights