They're not just about getting away. They're about
Summer Families can revel in Alaska's
most charming towns and set sight on Alaska's
abundant wildlife in their natural habitats, from
breaching 40-ton humpback whales, roaming bears and
soaring bald eagles. Your family can see Majestic Glaciers & Denali
on a Land & Sea Vacation! It's a journey equal parts
exhilarating and inspiring. Consider the ultimate
Alaska land and sea vacation for families, featuring a tour
director escort, personal service and most meals on
land included. Spend 5 to 8 nights on land at
Princess wilderness lodges visiting Denali and
perhaps, sensational places like Wrangell-St. Elias
National Park and/or the Kenai Peninsula. Plus great
advice from Certified Alaska Cruise Experts!
Go With Your Grandkids On A Cruise
Increasingly, grandparents are vacationing with their
grandchildren who may live in other parts of the country
because of parents' jobs or split families. Or just because
it's ideal for cementing their relationship without the
"Because grandparents tend to retire younger these days,"
says Vicki Freed, chairperson of Cruise Lines International
Association (CLIA) and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines' senior
vice president sales and marketing, "they want to spend
quality time with their grandkids. And a cruise vacation
offers more variety and things to do for both grandparents
and children than on a land-based vacation."
She cites the varied children's programs found onboard
-"children are usually happier in children's programs"- and
the opportunities for generations to come together at dinner
and other times that they wish, such as playing around the
pool or touring ashore.
"On a land-based vacation," she adds, "grandparents might be
exhausted by a hot theme park, or little ones may not find
enough to do at gambling-based resorts. Here, everyone finds
The kids' programs are sure to help youngsters find their
newest best friend, making a cruise vacation zoom to the top
of the list.
And, as all-inclusive trips, cruises provide an easy and
often economical way to vacation. Cruise rates include
accommodations, food and entertainment, and sometimes day
camp programs and air transportation. More and more have
inaugurated some form of day camp, which grands may choose
so they don't get worn out entertaining the little ones or
have to forego their afternoon naps.
Remember special precautions, such as bringing the child's
medications, books and games. You should also have a letter
signed by the parents authorizing any necessary medical
attention and - in the case of divorced families - a
notarized letter by the custodial parent granting permission
for the child to travel with you (need we mention the
possibility of other parent-kidnapping?).
Of course, it's OK for grandmoms and granddads to indulge
the kids more than the parents do, but they shouldn't
overstep important food allergy rules or stretch bedtimes by
And while most ships offer kids' menus of favorites such as
hot dogs, fried chicken and pb&j, we've learned this is a
great opportunity to try dishes that might be costly
experiments in a restaurant. Some ships offer 24-hour
pizzerias, as well as complimentary ice cream bars.
Remember that prices are usually highest during school
vacations, while special promotions take place during
Itineraries? Caribbean and Alaska cruises attract most
Other advice: If you're flying to the ship, have the
youngsters bring a change of underwear and swim suit in
their carryon, plus some books, games and favorite snacks.
(Adults take charge of the medicines.) Luggage sometimes
Little ones may need cuddlies such as a favorite stuffed
doll or blanket - or even a nightlight - to help sleep.
However, they'll probably be so exhausted from all the fun
that, along with the ship's gentle rocking, dreamland should
be no problem.
Cruise ships usually carry motion sickness medication
(although that's rarely a problem with today's stabilized
ships), and have an infirmary with physician and nurse
Older kids may want to bring a simple camera (even the
smallest can usually manage a disposable) and a diary or
logbook. The inadvertent education makes long-term
impressions. And make sure someone takes your picture
together - the staff photographer will be sure to snap you,
but we've found the dining room crew more than willing.
End of article