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princesslondon
07-20-2006, 01:59 PM
I know Disney does not go to Alaska :guilty: but can someone recommend who compare to Disney that does go to Alaska. We are hoping to go summer next year for our 10-year anniversary. One of the main concerns is the kids program. Our DD will be 6 so I want to make sure she will have fun! I've been looking into RCCL and Princess. Any suggestions?

NancyIL
07-20-2006, 02:39 PM
I would check out the Alaska board at Cruise Critic: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=55

My husband and I are cruising to Alaska in June 2007 on the Pacific Princess. I think the itinerary is the most important thing about choosing an Alaskan cruise, with the ship/cruiseline being secondary, but I'm not cruising with kids. You need to decide if you want to do a roundtrip cruise out of Seattle/Vancouver/San Francisco, or a one-way out of Vancouver or Whittier/Seward. If you choose a one-way cruise, try to allow a bit of extra time to explore interior Alaska while you're all the way there.

Holland America and Princess will each have 8 ships cruising to Alaska in 2007. NCL only does roundtrip cruises. RCI is known to have very good children's programs. Celebrity's ships have the same itineraries as RCI's but at generally higher prices and a more adult atmosphere. Carnival has one ship in Alaska that does mostly one-way cruises, except at the very beginning and end of the season when it does a roundtrip.

As roundtrip itineraries go for 2007 (my opinion only), I think Vision of the Seas (RCI) has one of the worst itineraries out there, and I think Holland America's Zaandam has one of the best - but HAL tends to attract an older crowd than RCI.

ivanova
07-20-2006, 02:55 PM
we have a group we're putting together on RCCL's Radiance of the Seas next June (one way from Vancouver to Seward).

We picked the Radiance for the kids' areas and the itinerary. And we wanted the better itinerary of the Radiance (although I have several friends that really did enjoy the Vision's itinerary this year). We wanted the ability to do land tours afterwards if we decide to do so....

llachance
07-20-2006, 03:02 PM
Having spent a week on the Westerdam in June (Seattle, Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria BC, Seattle) I can tell you that there were a ton (maybe a slight exageration but there was a bunch) of kids on board. In fact a group of young kids won the build your own boat contest! Also, the pool was full, everyday (they can close the top if the weather isn't cooperating) with kids having a ball. I ventured past the area where the "Kids Clubs" were and they seemed to be having a good time. The kids that were a part of our group spent equal time with the clubs, with their grandparents and in the pool!

As for HAL catering to an older age group I must say that in our group of 100 the average age was early to mid 40s! I certainly didn't feel out of place with the crowd. Of course, it finally dawned on me that maybe I was becoming part of that older age group (at almost 50 :rotfl: ) so that the posts about the age was about me :rolleyes:

You have to choose an Alaskan cruise for its itinerary! And, I would certainly try to do a one way and then spend some time in the interior it is well worth it!

travelgirl06
07-21-2006, 01:29 AM
If you can do a cruise that starts or ends in Alaska it is well worth it (vs. a roundtrip cruise). There is so much to see in Alaska, that spending a few days exploring is quite a treat. When my family did our cruise, we left from Seward (near Anchorage), and spent 4 days in Alaska before crusing. We explored the city, went to Denali and saw loads of wildlife, and even managed to go glacier trekking (a private tour for $30 a person, on the ship the only option is a helicopter tour at about $300 a person). Alaska is gorgeous, try to visit it a little longer if you can!

Most of the large ship cruise lines offer promising kids programs. Princess, RCI and Carnival have always been known for their family friendly atmosphere and HAL is stepping up to the plate with newly enhanced kids programing and new teen centers on their ships. Princess and HAL will probably have better service (more like Disney) due to there being fewer guests on board (less likely to be crowded) and in general more staff members.

I have also heard wonderful things about Celebrity, but I haven't sailed with them, you could check out cruisecritic.com for more information though.