Jump to content
TravlnStyle3

Alaska cruising with babies - ages 1 and 4

Recommended Posts

Hi all. I’m a seasoned cruiser with at least 10 under my belt, but i’m In uncharted territory because this June we’ll be cruising with kids for the first time, in Alaska. I want to be well prepared in all aspects...I’m already anxious thinking about how we’ll handle naps, stroller vs carrier, etc. We’ll be on the Ruby Princess for 7 days stopping in Seattle, Victoria, Ketchikan  Skagway, Juneau,  and Glaciar Bay National Park. I cruised there around 10 years ago but was single and able to do anything and everything. I’m looking for general baby cruiser tips (what to bring, onboard tips, excursion tips, etc.) and also more detailed suggestions/information about what excursions are best for those ages. We babywear so i anticipate doing a lot of that. I’ve never had to use the kids club/babysitting services and would love to hear reviews of your experiences with that onboard service. We are traveling large - my parents and sisters plus families - 26 of us with kids of all ages - the youngest ones will be 1, 2.5, 4 and 6. ALL of your suggestions and insight are appreciated! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the 1 year old won't have a kids club, the 4 year old will. Also keep in mind non-potty trained kids are not allowed in the pools. No swim diapers. Granted, it won't be that warm anyways.

 

Bring anything and everything you think you will need with you. Diapers, food, medicine. If in doubt, pack it. Yes, you will be mimicing a sherpa.

 

With regards to excursions, you will know your kids the best and what you think is doable. You might ask on the Alaska forum for more details. Glacier Bay is a scenic cruising day, so don't worry about that. Victoria is normally an evening stop (to satisfy the PVSA), so while it's nice, don't feel too guilty about not getting off if its easier for you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could you let us know which line you are sailing so we can help with the kids club?  As noted above, there are no kids clubs for 1 year olds, but some ships have nurseries.  Alaska is great for kids, so hopefully it will be a wonderful trip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely bring a stroller, for at least the 1 year old.  If they're not used to napping in it, get them used to it!  I would also book a balcony cabin, so I could get outside if the kids are napping or down early for the night....simply gives you options on where to "be" when the kids are done!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You probably need a mini suite, as sleeping for the 3/4 guests will be upper bunks. There is no babysitting on Princess.  Mini suite will have a tub for bathing baby.  EM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, kitkat343 said:

Could you let us know which line you are sailing so we can help with the kids club?  As noted above, there are no kids clubs for 1 year olds, but some ships have nurseries.  Alaska is great for kids, so hopefully it will be a wonderful trip!

@kitkat343 we'll be on Princess Cruiselines on the Ruby Princess. 

 

@Essiesmom everything is already booked, this is a gift for our family from our parents - we have a balcony room for 4. I'm having a hard time finding pictures of the 4 person configuration, but from past experience i'm assuming and hoping that there will be a couch that pulls out into a bed. I'm anticipating having one adult and one child in each bed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone brought up a good point to me yesterday about car safety while traveling. We're flying from NY to Seattle and i know there will be transfers there as well as at the ports that will require car travel. Legally, we need both kids in car seats. In the past we've traveled with a lightweight carseat when we only had one child, but i can't imagine how we can travel with two plus strollers, etc. How have others handled this kind of "gear" situation with more than one child? Is it a better idea to rent carseats (or at least the additional carseat) and/or strollers in Seattle? Where would i rent from if i did that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, TravlnStyle3 said:

 

@1025cruise do you have an idea of how they fit 4 people into a balcony room?

 

So, I've never been on Princess, but my family of 4 is cruising in a carnival interior cabin in 2 weeks. My baby is 11 months and daughter is 3.5. We requested a crib for the baby, and the plan for 3.5 year old is to sleep in the upper Pullman. She has slept in a regular twin bed since age 2 with no rail so I'm not worried. If she doesn't like it we will put my husband up there instead.

At 4 and 1 you guys could do a similar arrangement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On Princess there is no couch until you get a mini suite.  I am reading that the are removing the chair to provide more space, so just a chair or stool at the desk.  Third and fourth sleep in upper bunks that come down from the ceiling above the twins.  I believe you can get a pack  n play for the toddler.  EM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There will be 2 pullmans that come down. For the 1 year old, you can get a pack and play. 

I've seen it suggested to pull the mattress from the pullman and put it on the floor, but you will be tight on space. 

 

For Princess, my preferred room type is a mini suite. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your 4 year old will probably love the kids club. My youngest was barely 5 on our last cruise- they did lots of arts and crafts and had a blast. The kids menu was very kid friendly and the staff went above and beyond for the kids. 

 

What if you did the transfers through Princess? Then you would be on a bus and wouldn't have to worry about car seats. You could try the west coast departure board and see if anyone knows of a service that provides car seats for transportation. 

 

I've seen photos of different room configurations, including putting one of the pullman mattresses on the floor and a pack and play in the closet area. You could try posting in the Princess board, if you haven't already. You could also call Princess and ask how much more it would be to switch your cabin to a mini suite, to get the couch. 

 

In Skagway there is a Junior Ranger building- the 4 year old might still be too young to earn the badges, but that building is for kids. Plus, there is a nice looking playground (from photos) in town. (We are going next summer, so I've been looking at things to do).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Essiesmom for reading better than me - I missed the fact that you are sailing on Princess. 

 

Princess  traditionally does an amazing job in Alaska.  It looks like they really have a lot of great activities for kids - including bringing puppies on board in Skagway.  Here is a page of the special activities on a Princess Alaskan cruise: https://www.princess.com/learn/cruise-destinations/alaska-cruises/onboard-experience/  .     That page also mentions that they will:  "In partnership with the Glacier Bay National Park Rangers and the Discovery™ Channel, kids and teens can explore their adventurous side with activities such as our Jr. Ranger Program, panning for gold, and the Deadliest Catch Crab Sort Challenge."  There are some other great activities that are only offered on select sailings, so you can see  what will be offered on your specific sailing.

 

The Princess kids club is really good for small children.  My son loved it when he was 2.  There are no drop off programs on Princess for children under 3, but they will allow children under three to attend the kids club with parental/guardian supervision (and since you are traveling in a large group hopefully you can take turns having one adult supervise all of the kids under 3 in the kids club but I don't know how they would feel about only one adult with several toddlers.)   Our cruise had only 11 kids on it altogether, and there were never less than 3 counselors working in the kids clubs so they had a ton of time to help my 2 year old do all of the activities.  They worked with him one on one to  help him with the arts and craft activities.  But they did warn me that on the previous sailing (over new years) there were 100 kids on board, and they didn't have any free time to help the smaller kids so they were glad we picked that sailing.  If possible, try to sail during the school year but that could be quite difficult in Alaska, since most of the sailings are in the summer and they are quite popular with families.  

 

Other people looking at cruises for small children please note that Cunard also lets kids under 3 into their kids club with parental supervision, and Disney and most Royal ships and the NCL escape have a paid nursery for children under 3.   

 

On your first day, please go to the buffet and get fruit, yogurt and cereal for your room.  That was you will always have snacks on hand.  You can bring sealed cereal boxes (not fruit) off the ship so your kids will have snacks on excursions.  We always found it best to use private excursions for just our family.  In Alaska, the excursions were 10% off if you book directly through the vendor.  Please note that Temsco is the subcontractor for the helicopter to dogsled excursion, which was amazing for adults and older children.  You can take younger children on this excursion, but please note that it is extremely expensive and one reviewer on tripadvisor talked about how her ride was ruined by a small child who was terrified and screamed the whole time.  On the other hand, your children may find it to be a truly magical experience (we were there with an 8 year old from Jamaica who had never seen snow before).  

 

You might like the Mt. Roberts Tramway in Juneau, which is an easy ride up to a beautiful area to walk around.  

 

The Bering Sea crab tour is wonderful, but has a minimum age of 5.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry - can't edit above post.  Cunard's kids club starts at 2, and they let children under the age of 2 attend with parental supervision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with Daniel Skjeldam, CEO Hurtigruten
      • Win a 7-Night Romantic Danube Luxury River Cruise with AmaWaterways
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×