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Alaska with toddler?

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1. Posted by mesti (Inactive 9 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

We want to take a cruise to Alaska Summer 09 and our baby will be 3 years old then. Any advice on how to do Alaska with kids? Good vacation packages? Cruise recomendations? What would work? Cautions?



2. Posted by fiveofus (Full Member 5 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Mesti, our family of 5 did an Alaskan cruise on the Diamond Princess this year in May and had a fantastic time. Our 3 kids aged, 6, 9 and 10 loved the ship and were totally entertained by the kids club staff with fantastic activities giving us grown ups some time to eat and enjoy the ship without the kids. We did the one way cruise from Vancouver to Whittier then a 5 day land tour with Princess from Anchorage to Fairbanks. All the plans on the tour were fantastic but if we were to go again we would probably make our own plans for the land aspect and hire a car, RV or use train as we found the set routine a bit frustrating and was mostly an older crowd. ( our 3 were the only kids on this part of the tour). All the ports on the cruise were fabulous with heaps of activities on offer for all tastes.

3. Posted by OnceUponAT (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

We live in Anchorage, but have spent quite a bit of time travelling around the State, with two small children in tow. I haven't actually been on a cruise, but have been told if you shop around you can find some cruise companies that specifically have programs for children on board, and these can be a lot of fun. For port stops, and any add-on land travel though, there is a really good little website called Igloo Alaska that has various suggestions for toddlers and pre-schoolers, that we have found really useful at times. I would definitely try to do any add-on land travel independently, rather than on a tour group ... most cruise-ship add on tours tend to cater to quite mature visitors, and you would have a lot more fun with an RV or a hire car & B&Bs. Also, if you are stuck in any town with a bored toddler, always try to look out the town library (most in our experience have excellent resources for young kids for an hour or so ... we particularly adored the ones in Hope and Cordova) and playgrounds. Girdwood, Juneau and Seward all have amazing "community playgrounds" (large playgrounds, designed by local school children and built by the whole community), and even if you aren't near one of those, any elementary school should have something you can use.

We found Denali National Park really tough with a toddler. You just can't really do the bus trip into the park with a toddler, without incurring a lot of stress for yourself and other passengers. Most other places we went we found fine though.

Hope that helps. Emma.