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hlsess

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My mother wants to take our family of 6 adults and 6 grandchildren (ages 9-15) on a cruise in August before school starts- is this a good time- which cruise is best for the ages of kids?

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Sure, it's a great time for Alaska. :) Frankly, make the cruise choice for the adults, going with the itinerary of the most interest. Kids will have a great time on any cruise. Determine your route, glacier priority, time in ports.

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I suggest you read back several pages on this board. After a few hours or days ;) of reading you will have an idea of what you would like to see the most. Glaciers are a priority for many, however, I have been told if you want two glacier viewings on the cruise ship, you need to do a one-way rather than a round trip. Round trips do one glacier. Hubbard and Glacier Bay seem to get the most recommendations on this site. There was a thread awhile back that mentioned that cruise ships going to Hubbard this summer may not be able to see it up close due to the fact that Hubbard Glacier seems to be advancing. This is something you might want to consider as you pick a cruiseline and itinerary.

 

Here is the link:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=695470&highlight=hubbard+glacier

 

Something else you should be aware of as you decide if you want to cruise out of Seattle or Vancouver:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=677727

 

I think one of the best pieces of advice I got on this board was to study itineraries carefully. As BQ already said, make sure you understand what glacier viewing you will get. Understand how long your ship will be in port at each stop. Some people book their cruise and airfare, and then decide what to do in each port. If they didn't choose well, sometimes they won't have enough time to do what they want in the ports.

 

Another thing to think about is whether or not your ship will have a naturalist aboard. It may or may not be important to you, but it was to me. I would have never known any of these things if it weren't for this board. That is why I suggest you read and read. Once you narrow things down, you can post the ships/itineraries you are looking at and those with experience in Alaska will give you their comments.

 

One other thing to be aware of. Cruising in Alaska is very expensive. If you want to do excursions in each town, you can easily spend several hundred dollars extra per person per port. Not that you have to, but just be aware that a lot of the excursions mentioned on this board are costly. If you search there are also threads that give suggestions for budget activities in each port. Just make sure you get yourself well-educated before you make the final decision. This board will be very valuable to you if you use it. So much to learn from the experienced travellers.

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thanks- what do you mean by a naturalist on board- how do you know if one is on the cruise when you are booking- I'll read us ome more and then see if i have any more ?'s

 

HAL, Carnival and Princess have ship naturalists. Celebrity sometimes, RCI and NCL no- but they have ship "lecturers" sometimes. There are reports of good lecturers but I haven't run into any. :)

 

It depends how important it is too you and how much are you going to use them. :) For me, I make "friends" right away and stick to them like glue. Some are definately more "available" than others. It can pay to see what ships the long standing excellent ones are sailing if, a real big priority.

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