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About newcruisefamily

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Kirkland, WA
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  1. poutine is delicous! fun fact: you can get poutine at the Costco food court in Canada (well, in Vancouver, anyway).
  2. we are staying on the ship this time, since we are from the Seattle area and have been to Victoria many times. Our first AK cruise, we did get off the ship and walk around downtown. PP are correct, there are a lot of great pubs. If you are looking for a late dinner and outstanding drinks, I HIGHLY recommend Little Jumbo. It's walkable from the far side of the harbor (note: it's a bit of a walk from the cruise terminal to the harbor area, there is not any Uber or Lyft in Victoria). It's an outstanding place. Very small, so make reservations, particularly if you are in town on a Friday or Satur
  3. Mount Rainier is absolutely a lovely day trip from Seattle - just be warned that it is an ALL DAY trip. It's at least a 2 hour drive from the city, and we have some truly awful traffic. On the plus side, if you are going to Rainier in the morning and back to Seattle in the evening, you will be going opposite the worst of the commute. August is usually our best weather (so long as we aren't smoked in from wild fires. Last summer was fine - fingers crossed)! And the wildflowers at Rainier peak in early August 🙂
  4. It's a lot, I know! We're on the Ruby at the end of June, and also did this itinerary about 5 years ago. This time we have a teen, a tween, two elementary school kids, a preschooler, 6 middle aged folks, and one senior. Trip Advisor is a great place to research, and you can also find good recommendations on travel websites like Fodor's (with more professional reviews). Our plans right now: Juneau - helicopter to glacier with dog sled (this is consistently listed as one of the top excursions, and glaciers are melting, so do it while you can. We booked independently with the same company t
  5. We did this excursion as a self-booked tour several years ago, and are going to do that again this summer. The route is the same, the price is lower, and the van/bus is smaller! We do drive up/train back for two reasons. 1) later start time (this is true of the excursion booked through the cruise line as well). 2) if something goes wrong with your bus/van etc it gives your tour company extra time to get you back to the ship (you are going to be on the same train as folks who booked through the cruise line). I think train both ways is less interesting - I recommend the drive/train combo. The
  6. We did the bus up/train back and highly recommend it (ditto for the earlier time). I believe you can also train up and bus back, but we went with an outside tour and liked the assurance that there were passengers on the Princess tour on our same train. That way, if something went wrong with the train we didn't have to worry about getting back to the ship on time. Which is another argument for the earlier time as well 🙂
  7. I haven't sailed on Celebrity, but I say ditto to the Ruby recommendations. We did an Alaska itinerary with Princess 5 years ago (including Glacier Bay), and had chosen Princess specifically because they are known for doing such a great job in Alaska. The programming is much more Alaska-specific than other lines (except HAL, which is similar but trended older than our crowd). We loved it, and are going back on the Ruby in June 2020.
  8. I haven't sailed with an infant, but did when my youngest was 5. He did fine at dinner (yes, 2 hours), although he ended up asleep on my lap by the end of each meal! It was an Alaska cruise, and we had really active/busy port days. The staff at the dining room loved him (they called him "the baby" and brought him whatever he wanted, cut his steak for him, and basically treated him like royalty - he's a bit of a charmer and small for his age, which worked to his advantage). My kids also loved the kids club (daughter was 8). We practiced table manners at home in the months leading up to the tri
  9. We cruised to Alaska with Princess on the Golden 5 years ago, and are going on the Ruby next summer, multi-generation both times. I did extensive research, and decided that Princess was the best fit. Their kids program is much better, and the general mood on Alaska cruises with Princess is very family friendly. A great mix of ages, terrific Alaska-themed programming etc. We were very happy with our experience (hence the repeat next summer!).
  10. I"m glad it's likely working out! If your family is tech-savvy enough, I recommend using something like Google Docs or a Google Sheet to organize excursions. You could even assign each port to a different person to research. Put in all the options, folks can comment if they are interested etc.
  11. I booked under Sip & Sail (earliest I could get my group of 12 organized and ready to book). Just looked at landmark, and it costs me $150 total less (for a minisuite with 3 people), with the same OBC, but no drinks package (7 night trip). We're keeping the drinks 🙂 I'll look again during 3 for free, but I doubt it will be better - Alaska doesn't tend to get cheaper unless you get a last minute deal.
  12. weather is so unpredictable here on the west coast! When we went, our sunniest day was in Ketchikan (we had a lovely, sunny breakfast on our balcony at port), which is usually the rainiest! You can check the 10 day forecast for each city a couple of days before you sail. The rule is always to bring layers! Peel them off and then put them on as needed. We definitely bundled up when cruising through Glacier Bay. It's not warm at sea on this cruise, but it is lovely.
  13. I'm marginally in charge of planning a family cruise for my mom's 70th (my mom, my family of 4 which includes a tween and a teen, my two sisters and their husbands with 2 nephews and a niece who will be 4,6, and 7). We're doing Alaska, which my family did 5 years ago, so I already had basic knowledge about the trip. We all agreed on the ship/sailing and I helped them figure out which rooms they might want. My sisters booked their own, I booked for my family and my mom. I have a Google Doc (shared editing access for everyone) with info about everyone's cabin number, the itinerary etc. Our plan
  14. We're sailing in a Vista Suite for our 2020 trip (family sailing in mini suites and balcony), and we are also looking forward to the perks! Our kids are much bigger now (they will be 12 and almost 15), so we figured the extra room would be nice. Suite perks vs a separate room for kids - the suite won out (plus that aft balcony).
  15. If you want the family suite (which may also come with cool suite perks!) definitely book as soon as you can. There aren't many, and I think they book up super fast.
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