With the thought of Glaciers melting rapidly, places like Alaska will not look the same.  A few years ago we decided to take our summer vacation on a Holland America Alaska Cruise with Kids. 

*I was provided a promotional credit from Holland America Line Cruises (HAL) but it was after we booked the vacation and all the excursions. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Cruising is a great way to see the outskirts of Alaska as well as the glaciers close and personal.  The Alaskan cruise season is pretty short, so start thinking of booking your summer cruise by the Fall. Be sure to check out what to pack for a Cruise to Alaska. 

We have only cruised one cruise line with the kids and ruled that out immediately after pricing our trip.  We did some research and decided on Holland America’s  7 Day Round Trip Inner Passage cruise that started in Vancouver.

The Noordam, was built in 2006, and was smaller than a lot of the other cruise ships that took this route.

 

 

 

Alaskan Cruise with kids

We have only cruised one cruise line with the kids and ruled that out immediately after pricing our trip. When we consulted our travel agent, and it was suggested we hop on a 7 Day Round Trip Inner Passage cruise that started from Vancouver.

The Noordam was built in 2006 and was smaller than a lot of the other cruise ships that took this route.

Holland America Alaska Cruise with Kids

What Type of Room Should I book for an Alaska Cruise with My Family?

Unlike a Caribean cruise where the scenery is mostly water, it is worth getting a veranda on an Alaskan Cruise.  From seeing Whales to beautiful landscapes it is worth the upgrade. 

Since our kids are older, this was the first time we decided to allow the kids to have their own adjoining room.

 

noodrem Holland america

What Type of Packages are Available on Alaska Cruise: 

Each Cruise ship and itinerary may have a different cruise package available.  If you can take advantage of the Explore4 package I would highly recommend it. 

The first 2 people in the cabin get the beverage package, 15 drinks a day under $8. That is a lot to choose from. Unlike our other cruise, we did not have to check a case of water as we used a lot of our allowance on that.

 

Alaska Cruise with Kids

Are there restaurants that you have to pay for on a Holland America Cruise?

You also get to experiences the Pinnacle Restaurant, normally a $29 per person charge. A specialty restaurant on board that serves up great surf and turf entrees that were spectacular.

The service is divine as well. My kids were the only ones in there that evening and I would not have paid to have them join us,  but since it was part of the package they were able to enjoy it as well.

The first night service was slow in our rooms and too fast in the dining room. I was a little nervous about our choice but this all changed after the first night.

We enjoyed dinner in the Canaletto restaurant, a $10 per person charge, and it was well worth it. We watch whales through the windows as we ate a family-style Italian meal.

When Should you Fly into Vancouver for my Alaska Cruise Holland America? 

If you are coming from across the continent we highly recommend coming in a day or two early.  Vancouver is an awesome city and we spent one night there on both ends of our cruise. 

We spent a night in Vancouver and explored the area briefly after a long day of travel. Embarkation onto the cruise was a breeze.

 

holland america room

After briefly checking our spacious rooms, we went and grabbed some lunch on the Lido Deck and sat outside for some last glances at Vancouver.

ms noodrem service

 

Holland America Family Excursions on An Alaska Cruise

Juneau

In Juneau, we took the Whales & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari
The guide was amazing as he adjusted everyone’s camera to get the best shots and even supplied my younger boys with disposable cameras. He was great with kids and I captured this money shot.

 

whale watching

SKAGWAY

In Skagway, the winds were high and we were the only cruise ship out of 4 that was able to dock there that day. So despite the cancellation of our 2 excursions due to high wind, the Grizzly Falls Zipline and the Hike and Float trip, we took our own trail hike. (The excursion office was totally apologetic and tried to accommodate us with the changes but this was out of their control).

Glacier Bay photo

Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay was absolutely amazing. I recommend hitting the Bow of the ship before you reach the glaciers to get a few pictures of the scenic landscape and then head to level 10 and grab some space, not the rail to take photos and experience the glaciers.

fishing for salmon

 

Ketichan

In Ketichan we did the Ketichan Fishing for Salmon Excursion.  Since we were a party of 5 we were given our own boat. We lucked out having a boat captain, Kit, that grew up on these waters and knew them very well.

The boys and even the girls had an amazing time catching 50 lbs of Coho Salmon in the 2 1/2 hour fishing adventure. You can catch and release or send your bounty back home. (we will be enjoying tastes of Alaska for months to come!)

fishing for salmon in Ketichan Alaska

What to Do Day At Sea Alaska Cruise

The last sea day we were blessed with amazing weather could enjoy the last hours of the amazing scenery of the inner passage. This is a trip of a lifetime, I was fortunate to enjoy it twice and it just makes you realize there is so much more to explore in Alaska.

Lido Deck Holland America

 

Children’s Programs on Alaska Cruise

As far as the children’s programs on Holland America Cruises, my teen was never seen when we had sea days. She found a group of international teens that she hung out with.

We don’t see her at home, but at least she was not in her room on her phone. Wifi is expensive and you only get Verizon when at the port. My boys did not go to Club Hal, they preferred hanging out with kids in the pool area, playing hours of ping pong.

skagway-alaska