5 Reasons To Cruise Alaska For Awesome Multigenerational Family Travel

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Alaska family travel best experienced by cruise ship. Photo of cruise ship in Alaska harbor.

Very few cruise experiences compare to the fun and excitement of an Alaskan cruise.  Just ask the thousands of cruisers who make the trip every year.  In fact, more than half of the visitors to Alaska arrive by cruise ship, and an Alaska cruise has consistently ranked as one of the top domestic vacations.  Not surprisingly, it is also a top destination choice for multigenerational cruisers.  If you’re considering planning some multigenerational family travel, check out these five reasons an Alaskan cruise is a perfect choice. 

1. Alaska Is One Of The Most Exotic Places You Can Visit for Family Travel In The USA.  

Alaska, which is often referred to as the last great frontier, is a very large territory dominated by thousands of acres of untamed wilderness and a smattering of cities/towns. By sheer geographic mass, Alaska is the largest state in America, and you could easily spend several weeks touring around all of the nooks and crannies.  

The massive glaciers and stunning marine wildlife provide a unique backdrop for a family cruise. The natural wildlife both in sea and on land is its own attraction.  Think humpback whales, sea otters, moose, grizzly bears, and the largest population of bald eagles in the country.  Where else can you see a moose strolling through town?  And, Alaska offers many outdoor adventures: stunning mountain hikes, dog sledding, fishing, kayaking, looking for bears while hiking through a rainforest, and various helicopter excursions only scratch the surface of what’s available.  As part of a land-tour extension, you could also visit Denali National Park and see Mt. McKinley, the tallest peak in America.  There are many one-of-a-kind experiences in Alaska that can truly be the foundation for the family trip of a lifetime.

2. Experience the Land of the Midnight Sun First Hand.

Have you ever wanted to see the midnight sun?  If that doesn’t excite you personally, your kids and/or grand-kids will probably get a huge kick out of it. Generally, the “midnight sun” phenomenon, where the sun remains visible even at or after midnight, occurs during the summer in places that are north of the Arctic Circle (or south of the Antarctic Circle).  Almost one-third of Alaska lies above the Arctic Circle and thus falls within the midnight sun zone.  But even those parts of the State that fall outside the zone still experience exceptionally long summer days, some with daylight hours of 17 hours or more.  

And there is plenty to pack into all of those extra daylight hours.  Many outdoor activities run past 8 p.m., and some Alaskans manage to start a golf game at 10 p.m. in the summer. 

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4 Reasons Your Family Must Explore Multigenerational Cruising

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Are you looking for a different type of getaway for your next family travel plans? Do you want to find a vacation where

Illustration of multigenerational family for family travel

several generations of your family can escape the pressures of work and the demands of everyday life, spend time together, and strengthen and reinforce family ties? Whether you are a grandparent seeking more quality time with your grandkids, or an adult child juggling competing family demands, a multigenerational cruise could be just the escape you’re looking for. Here are four reasons why a cruise with the kids of all ages is a wonderful idea.

1. Access A Diverse Array of Activities For Every Age Group

As you know, just because you are all in the same family doesn’t mean everyone will enjoy the same things. Nor will everyone want to spend all of their time together. While reconnecting and getting to know each other is one of the main reasons to host a family cruise, a little time away from each other is also a good idea. Cruise ships have activities, classes, and peer groups that appeal to everyone. Children can enjoy supervised play, teens and tweens can find peer clubs and activities, parents can relax in the ship’s spa, and grandparents can find adventures and activities among their own age group. When everyone comes together again, they’ll have more to talk about and be happier to spend time with the family.

2.  Get Best Bang For Your Family Travel Vacation Buck

With the exception of shopping during scheduled shore excursions, cruising allows travelers to make affordable, all expense included travel plans. One clearly defined cost covers everything from transportation to lodging to meals to snacks to entertainment. You can arrange a vacation without hidden fees or budgetary surprises. It’s a smart way to plan an affordable, stress-free family getaway. Go ahead and plan a cruise with the kids. It’s family travel that’s easy and affordable.

3.  Enjoy Low Maintenance Family Dinners

Remember when family dinners were an everyday occurrence? Or, perhaps those have always been one of your wistful fantasies? Either way, they can be the highlight of your day on a family cruise. A cruise easily allows for your family to regularly dine together onboard. The whole family gathered around the table at the end of each day, sharing stories, snapping pics, and planning the next day could be worth the cost of the cruise. Family dinners are also the perfect time to share family lore. The best part of these family dinners is that the whole family gets to enjoy the meal without all the work that goes into preparing it. Bonus: There’s no cleanup afterward.

4.  Maximize Quality Family Time

Families are spread all over the globe these days. Bringing everyone together on a multigenerational cruise is far superior to Skype and FaceTime. First generation relatives (cousins) and second-generation relatives (grandparents and great aunts and uncles) can enjoy wholesome, family-friendly entertainment like magic shows, musicals, games, poolside activities, and more. From comedy shows to lounging by the pool, there’s plenty for the family to do together.

Family members who’ve lost contact, family members who want to reconnect beyond social media, and new-to-the-family members, like newborns and newlyweds, will enjoy the amenities of the ship, while enjoying the love of the family.

Family travel goes from stressful to refreshing when you book a restful, yet adventurous, cruise with kids, parents, and grandparents. Your family can strengthen bonds across multiple generations and share a one-of-a-kind experience.

Please share your thoughts about multigenerational cruising in the comments.

As you are considering options for planning a cruise, use our free tool to quickly evaluate dozens of cruise lines.

Reduce To These Essential Baby Items On Your Family Cruise

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Illustration of numerous different items you could possibly pack when taking your baby on a cruise

Babies and toddlers are small people bundles who often require lots of stuff to get through a typical day.  One of the challenges of taking a cruise with a baby is figuring out how to accommodate all of that additional stuff without hauling a large steamer trunk onto the ship. Here are some tips on strategic packing when you cruise with a baby.  

You can make your packing easier by arriving at your port city early and buying some basic items at a local store.  (But you should do some research in advance to find out how far your preferred stores are from your hotel or the port.)  You can easily purchase many bulky items like diapers and wipes before you board (at major U.S. port cities).  This cuts down on your packing.  It also save you on checked luggage.  Since you will consume things like diapers, wipes and baby food on your trip, you shouldn’t have to worry about excess bags on your return trip.

If a pre-embarkation shopping trip does not mesh with your plans, then you should plan to pack everything that your baby or toddler will likely need on your trip.  Make a list identifying things that you would be very sad not to have for 3 days, e.g., items such as diapers, wipes, formula, and preferred baby medication.  You should not assume that you will have easy access to purchase necessary items that you forget or use up once you are onboard your ship.  Although you can often find usual sundries on board – they may quickly run out of your preferred item.  Also, you will not always be able to find what you want when you want at any given port.

When packing for a cruise with a baby, focus on packing these seven essential items to streamline your load. Read More …