Archive for September, 2009

Small ships cater to kids too

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Copyright © Ann L. Miller / Abercrombie & Kent Picture Library

We all know how kid-friendly the mega ships are, but there are some smaller ships that deserve some credit too. For families that like taking the road less traveled, here are some atypical offerings from a handful of small-ship adventure and upscale lines.

Families with kids who share a love of learning will feel right at home aboard the small, cozy ships of Lindblad Expeditions (

As the ships ply the off-beat waterways, islands, fjords and/or harbors of the Galapagos, Greece and Alaska, special port-related activities for kids might include scavenger hunts, painting and story writing, depending on the age of children.

Appealing shore excursions for families range from frolicking with fearless sea lions on the beach in the Galapagos to spotting for humpback whales and orcas up-close from a zodiac craft in Alaska. As a bonus, there’s a “Bring Your Kids” discount of $500 off the double-occupancy rate for kids under 18.


Disney on Ice in 2011

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

New Disney Ship

With two new ships in the pipeline for 2011 and 2012, it makes perfect sense that Disney is expanding its horizons and cruising Alaska in 2011. This news comes on the heels of the announcement a few months back that the line is also heading back to the Med in summer 2010 and offering fist-time calls on Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Warnemunde, Germany, the gateway to Berlin and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Me and about a zillion other fans are thrilled the line is bound for The Last Frontier. Along with my husband and twin boys, who were four at the time, I sampled Disney’s new Mediterranean itinerary two years ago from Barcelona, and it was awesome. Before that, at 18 months old, we did Disney’s classic Bahamas route. Can’t wait for Alaska; at eight my boys will be the perfect age to enjoy all those hands-on, get-your-feet-wet family-friendly excursions like kayaking, hiking, fishing, biking and dog mushing. Not to mention the thrill of spotting a humpback whale and seeing giant glaciers close up. Oh, and what about those great playrooms on board, open all day until midnight at no extra charge.