Alaska Alaskan Cruise America Travels Washington

Alaskan Cruise with Kids – Part 1, Embarking in Seattle

Let me first start by saying, if you want a life-changing family Alaskan adventure experience, a cruise is not the way to go.

We had never been on a cruise before, so it was a valuable learning experience. But I did start to feel like one of the people on board the Axiom (the ship that was cruising people around in space after the Earth was left pretty much lifeless in the movie Wall-E).


All snark aside, we did have a great time. And cruising with kids is a good way to go if you are new to travel and are trying to slowly step outside your comfort zone with your family. We chose a seven-day, round-trip Inner Passage Alaskan Cruise from Seattle with Holland America.

I’m just going to give you the run-down and tell you everything we did day by day so you can make an informed decision when choosing your own Alaskan family adventure.

Day 0

Chicago to Seattle. We flew to Seattle a day early because I was nervous that, if our flight was delayed, we would literally miss the boat. We made it there on time and in one piece (even with my daughter flying the plane!).IMG_0204

We stayed at the MarQueen hotel, a beautifully restored old building, in the Queen Anne neighborhood. Everyone was very nice and the accommodations were quaint and classic at the same time. (You may want to explore breakfast at a different location, however, because they only serve a true continental breakfast.)

We also explored the Queen Anne neighborhood for excellent views of the Space Needle, beautiful homes, and a park with the best slide ever.


Dad thought it would be funny to have the kids balance the space needle in their hands.



Day 1

At sea. One word of advice. If a friend, who is an experienced cruiser, recommends that you take some sea-sickness pills like Bonine, also known by the generic name meclizine (which doesn’t make you as drowsy as classic Dramamine), take her advice. Trust me. My daughter and I spent the first day in a puking competition. Luckily, the score didn’t get that high—-she won two-to-one.

And in case you wanted to try one of those acupressure bracelets, I’d like to refer you to this scientific study that shows they’re a waste of money (just read the ‘Discussion’ section).

After taking our motion-sickness medications, and a morning of making my husband and son fetch us food and other comforts, we were able to enjoy the Crow’s Nest of the ship for beautiful views of the water.


…to be continued… Click here for Day 2.

Janette DeFelice, MD, MA is a writer currently focusing on how the changing environment affects our health. Her essay collection Resistance Essays from the Heartland and her new novel Delia Rising: A Ballet in Three Acts are both available now. She has also published at Be The Change Mom, ChicagoNow, and She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Chicago Medical School and a Master’s degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago, where her major essay was Hegel and Ibsen: The Evolution of Consciousness in Ibsen’s Prose Play Cycle. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University. A former professional dancer, former adjunct Humanities professor, and former lecturer in Medical Clinical Skills, as well as a mom of 9-year-old twins, she currently finds herself at a career/life crossroads at which she is trying to figure out how to use all aspects of herself (her art, her medical and scientific knowledge, her philosophical explorations, her interest in popular culture as a teaching tool, and her unique perspective) for the good of humanity.

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