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  #1  
Old 04-06-2011, 12:01 PM
Family Editor Family Editor is offline
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Default First-Time Cruise Advice

OK, here I am, the editor of a site for family travel and we have NEVER taken a cruise! I'll admit, I'm nervous because I'm more interested in seeing sights and I'm not one to join group tours. However, I'm also WAY excited because we're joining Disney for it's first-ever cruise to Alaska. (I'll be reporting on it on Family Vacation Critic as well as our sister site Cruise Critic.) I've always wanted to see Alaska, I'm a big fan of all things Disney, and I'm sure the kids are going to LOVE it! Reviewing Port Adventures and all the activities on board has assured me we're going to have plenty to do, BUT...

Any advice for a first-time cruiser? I'm going into this completely blind. Need tips on how to handle the ship, and the kids! Any advice? It's more than welcome!
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  #2  
Old 04-06-2011, 02:29 PM
Host Lisa Host Lisa is offline
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We have cruised 4 times (#5 is planned for this summer) with our daughters and they love cruising! Our second cruise was to Alaska (on Princess) when the girls were 10 and 4 - they had a great time and I'm sure your kids will too!

If you plan to use the kid's club facilities then make sure that you take your children on the first day to sign up. We usually go as soon as we have stashed our carry-ons in the room. They will be able to meet some of the counsellors and check out the facilities and officially sign up for the kid's club. Typically there will be welcome aboard festivities the first evening that they should go to in order to meet other kids their own age.

Many people will recommend feeding the kids early at a buffet and dropping them off in the kid's club so adults can dine alone. We don't do this in our family. I think part of the fun of vacation is being able to dress a bit for dinner and sit and have a nice dinner and conversation as a family. After dinner the kids are free to get changed and go hang out with other kids if they like.

When we were in Alaska we visited the ports of Ketchican, Juneau and Skagway and did a combination of DIY and ship's tours. In Juneau, the Mt. Roberts tramway is a popular activity - we did it and my 4 year old was terrified and cried all the way up but was fine once we got out at the top. Something to keep in mind depending on the age and sensitivity of your kids.

Not sure what ports you are visiting but if you have specific questions I would be happy to answer. My girls loved anything to do with wildlife so it was quite easy to keep them happy in Alaska. Sled dogs were a big hit as well!

And make sure that you pack layers - we had rainy, cool days as well as sunny, hot days - sometimes on the same day. You just have to be prepared for anything in Alaska.

Lisa
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  #3  
Old 04-23-2011, 11:03 PM
$$$ $$$ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Family Editor View Post
OK, here I am, the editor of a site for family travel and we have NEVER taken a cruise! I'll admit, I'm nervous because I'm more interested in seeing sights and I'm not one to join group tours. However, I'm also WAY excited because we're joining Disney for it's first-ever cruise to Alaska. (I'll be reporting on it on Family Vacation Critic as well as our sister site Cruise Critic.) I've always wanted to see Alaska, I'm a big fan of all things Disney, and I'm sure the kids are going to LOVE it! Reviewing Port Adventures and all the activities on board has assured me we're going to have plenty to do, BUT...

Any advice for a first-time cruiser? I'm going into this completely blind. Need tips on how to handle the ship, and the kids! Any advice? It's more than welcome!
How old are the kids?

Excursions can be very $$$. 4 people for the flight seeing was $1,100.

The dog sled was another $800 for 4.

Don't sweat the ship,its not really that difficult to figure out.

$$$
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2011, 04:46 AM
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adeserL adeserL is offline
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We're going on cruise too for the first time this thread could really be helpful.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2012, 10:04 AM
Glenda077 Glenda077 is offline
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How exciting, I have been to DLP and WDW and have been amazed with Disney Wonders ever since. I'm sure you'll have an amazing time! I have travelled on ferries for 15 years now, only twice been on cruises (more than 12 hrs duration!) all I can suggest is if you get sea sick quite easily, best go prepared rather than not and take some sickness tables with you. Also usually the centre of the ship on the upper decks helps unsturdy tummies.
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