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JjC81

First cruise and have kids

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We are booking our first cruise and it is alaska sea and land. 

 

I have been told kids are frowned upon on alaska cruises, but they have to come with us. We did not like Disney's cruise itinerary.

 

We thought we were going to book norwegian jewel, but after reading some I'm wondering about princess.

 

Our kids will be 4 and 7 and will need activities on board (included in cruise fees). They also have a lot of allergies so food needs to be handled carefully. Which line would be better? NCL vs princess? Royal Caribbean didnt have our itinerary we wanted. 

 

Things we really want to do are:

Tundra wilderness tour at denali

Mount aleyska tram ride

And we prefer to go north bound from vancouver.

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I assume this is summer months?  If so there will be kids on most cruises, RCCL probably would top my list followed by Princess.  I'd have suggested Disney but you axed already, agreed that Alaska must have the glaciers sailings ( hopefully Glacier Bay ).

 

If you are really doing the "first" and aren't set on Alaska a warm weather with lots of beaches if often a better first destination with young kids. 

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2 minutes ago, chipmaster said:

I assume this is summer months?  If so there will be kids on most cruises, RCCL probably would top my list followed by Princess.  I'd have suggested Disney but you axed already, agreed that Alaska must have the glaciers sailings ( hopefully Glacier Bay ).

 

If you are really doing the "first" and aren't set on Alaska a warm weather with lots of beaches if often a better first destination with young kids. 

 

Alaska is locked. 🙂 if we don't like cruising we want to be sure we see it lol.

 

We are between NCL jewel and trying to get info on princess. 

 

Royal caribbean didnt have itinerary we wanted. Not sure if princess does either. TA is working on it 🙂

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You might want to browse thru the pastT rip Reports posted near the top of the page, and look specifically for family trips.  They'll give you a good idea of the hits and misses.  Although one sailing can have a great kids club and the next one is a dud. Sometimes it depends on how many kids are on board as to whether they're successful. This is an example of a trip report that includes a kid:

 

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We have cruised with a person with allergies and on the ship it was handled very well. Holland has you order the night before for main meals. For your land portion you will have your work cut out to find food that will work. Most are quick serve restaurants without out many choices and little time for mods. Ours are not life threating but if yours are make sure epi-pens are with you and in date. For your land portion if you are diy then it will be much easier with grocery stops and then never mind. If doing land through cruise line check on that, then double check then decide. Read some reviews. 

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We have cruised to Alaska twice, both times including some time in Alaska with a rental car. We cruised to Alaska in 2015 with children aged 5 and 7 yrs (trip report here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2221528)

 

and then again in 2019 with children now aged 9 & 11 yrs (trip report here:

 

I can't comment on NCI, but my children enjoyed the kids club on both Radiance of the Seas and Coral Princess. For my children, as long as they can swim (indoor pools on both Radiance and Coral) and there is ice cream, I can pretty much take them anywhere.

 

Hope that helps

Lou

 

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We cruised Alaska with small children on Holland America aboard the Westerdam. We had an absolutely fantastic time, and the kids enjoyed it. There were several families onboard, although it was a small fraction of what we’ve encountered sailing in other regions of the world. Possibly it had to do more with our cruise line of choice rather than destination because we’d see tons more families at ports of call when there were other ships in town. 

 

Children are definitely not frowned upon in Alaska, and you will find that many activities onboard, as well as activities and tour operators on land, make accommodations for children and are family friendly.
 

We took our children to the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka where they saw up close rescued bald eagles as well as many other birds of prey. We also hiked through the national forest in Sitka, which was mild enough to push a stroller. We did an amphibian vehicle tour in Ketchikan which may have not been my first choice for an adult experience, but the kid’s ate it up. We also visited Mendenhall glacier in Juneau. And our itinerary included Glacier Bay which was a definite highlight of our Cruise. 
 

With all of that said, I would look at cruise lines that are a bit more family friendly than Holland America. While they are a superb cruise line, and we had a great cruise, it was one of the least “family friendly” cruise lines we’ve ever sailed on. While most crewmembers and fellow passengers were very pleasant, there were 2 or 3 more senior cruisers that acted disgusted at the presence of children. Thankfully these were isolated instances, not the norm. 
 

We haven’t sailed on Princess with children, but we did check out the children’s program facilities during a Pacific Coastal cruise that my wife and I took aboard the Golden Princess. We liked what we saw, and we also saw considerably more families onboard than Holland America, so we would definitely take our kids on Princess in the future. They may not be as “kid friendly” as the likes of Royal, Norwegian and Carnival, but one thing that you’ll learn about Alaska is that the cruise will be more about what you’ll do ashore than aboard the ship. 
 

Have a great cruise! It will be memorable. 

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1 hour ago, JjC81 said:

Thanks all. We are going with coral princess 🙂

 

I think the Coral Princess was the best choice and I hope your itinerary includes Glacier Bay National Park.  I was on the HAL Westerdam and took a photo of the Coral Princess as she was cruising in Glacier Bay NP heading toward Margerie Glacier.  This is the photo I took of the Coral Princes.  The scenery dwarfs the ship.  I hope you have great weather for your cruise.

image.thumb.jpeg.be1184cfd8868942b82052e1b7c72bf0.jpeg

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On 10/28/2019 at 6:25 AM, Oakman58 said:

 

I think the Coral Princess was the best choice and I hope your itinerary includes Glacier Bay National Park.  I was on the HAL Westerdam and took a photo of the Coral Princess as she was cruising in Glacier Bay NP heading toward Margerie Glacier.  This is the photo I took of the Coral Princes.  The scenery dwarfs the ship.  I hope you have great weather for your cruise.

image.thumb.jpeg.be1184cfd8868942b82052e1b7c72bf0.jpeg

What a great shot!

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1 hour ago, Coral said:

What a great shot!

 

Thank you Coral but I have to give Mother Nature most of the credit.  Alaska really is awe inspiring.  

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