In recent years, Alaska cruises have gained popularity with both couples and families. An Alaskan cruise is a great family trip because of the spectacular scenery and glaciers. With some planning and research, you can have great time on your Alaskan cruise with your children.
One of the main benefits of taking your children on an Alaskan cruise is the memories that you will create as a family on the vacation. Although many people think of Alaskan cruises as adult-only vacations, over 25 percent of the reservations for Alaskan cruises include children. Your children will also learn about geography, glaciers and see wildlife that they wouldn’t normally see. If you select a larger cabin, your child will cruise at a significantly reduced fee from the adult fare.
When selecting which cruise line and ship to book your vacation on, be sure to research kid’s activities and excursions. Both Carnival and Norwegian Cruise lines offer free kids programs on Alaskan cruises for children aged 2 and up. The children’s program on Royal Caribbean’s Alaskan cruises begins at 3 years old and also includes several family activities. On Princess Cruises, you will find educational programs about the wildlife and Alaska scheduled throughout the day. You can also take advantage of two special kids nights out, where parents can dine alone while the kids have a dinner party. If you need additional babysitting during your cruise, it is available for $5 an hour per child.
Because of the weather in Alaska, the best time to go on an Alaskan cruise is from mid-May to September. If you are not bound by school schedules, consider a shoulder season cruise for reduced rates and lighter crowds. Note that there will not be as many families on these cruises so your child might not meet as many other children.
If you travel between June and September, you have a good chance of seeing a variety of whales and dolphins from the ship. The double netting Humpback whales are most visible during the months of June and July.
When packing for your children, be sure to bring warm clothes and plan to dress them in layers. Pack a light sweater or jacket even in the summer months. Bring a hat and sunglasses for each child in your family. Check with your cruise line to see if there are formal nights or a dress code.
If you are bringing a child who is not potty trained, you will not be able to bring him into any of the shipboard pools because of the U.S. Public Health Service Policy. Some ships provide fountains for children in diapers.
When planning for your Alaskan cruise, you first need to decide on your itinerary. One popular itinerary is a seven-day Vancouver to Vancouver trip. Highlights of this route include Juneau, Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau and Ketchikan. If you would like to take a longer cruise, you may want to select the Vancouver to Seaward trip. This trip requires a longer flight home. Consider the time changes and plane options that will work best for your kids when selecting your trip.