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travelbliss 02-24-2008 02:41 PM

My family and I will be taking a 7 day inside passage from Seattle on the Golden Princess in July. We have a 7 year old who is so excited he can not stand it! (He's not the average 7 year old, he would much rather fish or watch for wildlife than anything else)... Anyway, we choose to cruise Princess because of their strong Alaskan product and becasue of the increasing numbers of families cruising with them. I'm still concerned, however, that my son is going to be the only child on-board. Can anyone comment on this?

Dave 02-24-2008 02:50 PM

Welcome to cruise-chat.

Trust me - your son will not be the only child aboard. Princess does attract lots of younger families in the summer months and I guarantee you will see lots of children your son's age on your cruise. Princess has a good youth program too.

Majestic Gems, Juneau 03-17-2008 01:46 AM

If he is the only child on board then he'll be pampered too mcuh! We see a lot of kids from the Princess cruise lines. Dont' worry, there are too many activities for him on board!

Happy Cruising!

CanCanCase 03-17-2008 10:59 AM

Agreed... he'll be in great company. Be sure to book a salmon fishing excursion for him (and you!) in Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan or ISP(Hoonah) - wherever it fits in.

If he's anything like my 7 y/o daughter, shopping in non-locally owned jewelry stores isn't exactly his "thing"... You can find a list of charter boats that are 5-Star safety certified here:

Once you've picked a boat, you can contact the operator directly and see how "family/kid friendly" they are.

(Sorry to "hijack" the thread... word on the street here in Juneau is that the first of our big Spring King Salmon have been caught, and we're all getting rather excited about the fishing prospects this week! ;-)

Happy Alaska Travels!

travelbliss 03-28-2008 07:40 AM

Thanks for all the advice!

Case- We are planning several excursions, but we really want to make sure that we have an excellent fishing expirence... right now I have pre-reserved a king salmon trip in Ketchikan through our cruise line, Princess. Can you comment on this? We are cruising July 19-26. The reason I choose Ketchikan is because it's a 'fishing community'. My thought process is- where better to fish. But we are not in port long, so I didn't want to take a private charter and risk it being late & us being left. Not only do I consider time, but money and what I want to do in other ports as well. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

CanCanCase 03-28-2008 08:34 AM

I don't want to "knock" the fishing tours offered by Princess... I run them once in a while here in Juneau too. If I were booking, however, and wanted the best experience possible, I would book something directly with a charter captain who I could talk to directly. When you book via the cruise line, realize that you're booking with a sales agent (Princess) who will get a 20-30% commission. They then book you with a tour broker (one in each town) who takes a 20-40% commission. By the time you get to the boat, you'll get a crew that's getting something in the neighborhood of $80 or $90 (out of the $200 you paid) to be in charge of your entertainment and safety for 4 to 5 hours. Personally, I would prefer to just give the same $200 directly to the boat captain and get the same tour.

When my family travels, part of the fun is my kids choosing the name of the boat we go out on too. Not that you want the kids choosing to go fish on the "Happy Hooker" because it's a cute name... (Knotty Lady?) but the cruise lines (and often the brokers themselves) have no knowledge of the boats, or any possibility of selecting a specific boat.

Look at the 5-star link I posted above. It's really just personal preference, but knowing what I do about the business, I don't really want to be on a boat that isn't on "the list" with a 4 or 5-star rating. You can get into this business with a $20K boat, or you can get into it with a $250K boat... do you want the guy who just tossed something together, or do you want someone who goes the extra mile to be sure you're happy, comfortable and safe?

Ketchikan does have good salmon fishing. For the time of year you're coming, I don't think there's a town in SE Alaska that doesn't have good salmon fishing. It's peak season everywhere, and you'll have a great time in any port. Schedule it where it fits your other touring best.

Oh, and don't buy into that whole "don't go with a non-ship tour... what if they run late and you miss the ship?" Tour operators up here live and die by the cruise ship schedule. If your ship is departing at 3 pm, the charter boat should have you back there by 2 pm at the latest. Call a few boats and see what they suggest. Also, be sure to check on the refund policy in case your ship is late or changes itineraries on you at the last minute. Most folks are very "fair" about that sort of thing... if it's out of everyone's control, you aren't likely to pay any penalties, and you'll be able to re-book or get your money back.

Hope this helps some...

CanCanCase 03-28-2008 11:04 AM

I forgot... be sure to read the other recent thread about sport fishing charters too...


travelbliss 03-28-2008 01:09 PM

Case- do you run a charter out of Juneau?

CanCanCase 03-28-2008 01:25 PM

Yes, I own and operate Alaskan Marine Adventures. These forums, however, aren't for advertising or "doing business", so I try not to do either here... Since you asked, however, I hope it's okay with the "powers that be".


Dave 03-28-2008 02:05 PM


I hope it's okay with the "powers that be"
No problem! You were only answering the question.

I hope everyone understands that we cannot allow advertising or otherwise "doing business" because it would make the forum a travel bazaar in fairly short order. Plus we have to look out for the interests of the businesses that buy advertising from the forum owner.

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