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arayau

Alaska with 13,11 and 8 yo

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Help! I am overwhelmed with research on Alaskan cruises. I have a boys who are 13 and 11 and an 8 yo girl. We have done 2 Disney cruises in the caribean but it is out of our budget for Alaska. Sound like the glaciers are the "can't miss" for Alaskan cruises? With that, I have narrowed it down to Norwegian Jewel, Norwegian Bliss or Royal Caribean Radiance of the Seas? My kids love to go the kids club. Any advice would be appreciated!!!!

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NCL in this case, because they go to Glacier Bay.  Radiance does not.  So, it is just between one way Vancouver/Seward, or R/T Seattle.  EM

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We just did Alaska (Sitka, Skagway, Juneau, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan) on Carnival (Legend) in September with our 3 and 7 year old- fantastic!!!

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We sailed Radiance last August with our 3 kids. They were 10, 10 and 7 yrs old. It's true that we didn't see Glacier Bay, but we DID spend a day in Icy Strait Point/Hoonah and it was worth it for us. We sailed from Vancouver to Ketchikan, ISP, Juneau, Skagway and disembarked in Seward. Our kids wanted to see Hubbard glacier and thought it was cool to see it calving, but they quickly lost interest and preferred to go inside to Adventure Ocean to play. Seeing Glacier Bay wouldn't have mattered to them as they spent maybe 15 minutes outside when we were actually AT the glacier (and they are nature loving kids). We had an amazing trip and the kids loved it!

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Honestly, any of the Alaska cruises are fantastic for that age.  We also did the Radiance with a bunch of friends who also had 8 year olds, plus a few siblings of varying ages.  Great trip because they spend port days out in nature exploring.  Have to agree about not choosing based on Glacier Bay vs Icy Straight Point as unlike adults, they're not interested in standing on deck for long periods of time looking at glaciers.  We loved taking advantage of the one-way.  We landed in Anchorage, stayed one night, rented a car one-way (not ridiculously expensive because the cars go back and forth from the cruise port) and drove what is one of the most spectacular roads I've ever been on - absolutely stunning.  We stayed a night in Seward, took a hike to the glacier there and did a boat tour of the area.  But anything you choose is going to be wonderful.  

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We did Alaska when our kids were 11 and 13 on HAL’s New Amsterdam. Of course that’s not a cruise line that’s normally attractive to kids but we decided to try it because the price was fantastic and we could get a wonderful suite with a big balcony to watch the glaciers and whales for less than the cost of a tiny room on a Disney ship. They had about 100 kids on board in July which was enough for our kids to find friends and have fun. The pool had a retractable roof and wasn’t very crowded so that worked out really well for a sea day. I really enjoyed Glacier Bay and appreciated that national park rangers come on board to give talks to grown ups and kids. One thing to look into in advance with the ages of your kids is whether some of the activities you may want to do as shore excursions might have age/height requirements. Some of the most fun things we did were a helicopter ride to a glacier and a float plane ride to go bear watching and I think our youngest was just old/tall enough for these. We skipped the dog sledding because we had done that a couple of times in Canada but our friends who did this in Alaska said their kids really enjoyed it. We also did a small group tour with a photographer to see Mendenhall Glacier and whales and the photographer/guide did an amazing job with adults and kids alike. I hope you have a fantastic time in Alaska!

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