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Cruise Tips for Kids


Madeline, 13 year old UnCruiser, S.S. Legacy

I recently sailed on the S.S Legacy for a fun-filled week in Alaska. I had an amazing time and experienced endless adventures that I'll never forget. I am here to share a few tips for future kid UnCruisers that I learned from my trip.

1. Nap

Yes, sleep is something you need, especially on these trips. With all the activity and running around, it’s essential to rest your body both at night, and sometimes during the day. I speak from experience.

On my Alaska trip, there were three other kids on board. I didn’t want to miss out on any fun, so I went to bed at 11:00 pm and woke up at 5:00 am for the first couple of days. This way, I could do more things during the day. I could not stay energized on six hours of sleep, but I just wanted to have fun with my friends. However, I became sleepier with every day, and eventually shut down and took a long, long nap. From that day forward, I stopped waking up at 5:00 am for the morning hot tub party and slept. This simple change made all the difference.

2. Gear up for your morning activity right after breakfast

Being on time for your activities and having all your gear with you is a hassle. That’s why I found it much easier to get myself ready early, so I could be free to visit the bridge or hang out in the lounge until my group was called. Trust me; you don’t want to be that one person who they have to go looking for because you aren't ready to go.

I also recommend looking at what your guide recommends to bring/wear on your excursion. You can find that information on the sign-up sheets which someone always hangs on a bulletin board for you to see. You can find out who will be in your group on the sheets as well.

3. Make friends with the other kids on board early on in the trip

Having people your age to do things with when you’re on board is far more fun than sitting with your parents, attempting to engage in the adult conversation. When I went on the Costa Rica and Panamá cruise, I didn’t even talk to the other kids at first. There were six of us, and we all sat with our families for meals, and watched movies in our rooms when the ship was moving. It wasn’t until the last full day of the trip that we all started talking and became friends.

Unfortunately, that meant we only had a kids table for the last dinner and breakfast before we disembarked. That is why on the Alaska cruise, I introduced myself right away. By the end of the first day, we were planning a kids table for dinner. This made everything much more enjoyable, and I’ve stayed in contact with them even after the cruise.

4. Form a kids table for 1-2 meals a day

A table for kids is so fun. I highly recommend having one if there are other kids on your cruise. The reason why you shouldn’t have one for every meal of the day is because you came to Alaska with your family, so you should still spend some time with them.

On my cruise, we had a kids table for lunch every other day, and dinner together every day. This was perfect because we were still able to meet other adults on the ship and spend time with the people we came with, but we also messed around and ate together as well. We did most activities together too, because we all chose the more intensive excursions.

5. Bring rubber boots

Seriously, this tip is no joke. Alaska is rainy and muddy. At the beginning of the trip, you may dislike them, but by the end, you will be so thankful you listened to this tip and brought them. I recommend bringing comfortable boots, you will be doing almost everything in them, including hiking and walking.

On the trip, I wore my boots on bushwhacks, beaches, kayak excursions, in towns, and even on the boat. Rubber boots are a must.

6. Do the polar plunge

The polar plunge is another must. You jump off the boat into ice cold water in front of a glacier, with icebergs surrounding you. Not only is the plunge refreshing, but you get awesome bragging rights. I was on the fence about it because I had done it before, and I was set on not doing it. However, when we got back from our hike in Glacier Bay, people were lining up to jump in. I made up my mind and decided to do it. I jumped in with my friend, and I have no regrets. It may look scary, but you are in the water for less than a minute, and then get wrapped in a towel and sent to the hot tub. If you don’t do it, you are missing out big time!

I guarantee you will have a great time no matter what, but these tips will enhance your time in Alaska. Don’t forget to have an open mind and be ready for adventure. Nothing is set in stone on these cruises, so don’t be afraid to try new things. If you've never paddle boarded before, hop on one during open paddle! The possibilities for adventure are endless.

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