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Specialized programs and entertainment are available for children and teens. Youth programs and entertainment vary with each cruise line that offers them, so please be sure to check with your Alaska Cruise Experts agent for a cruise line that suits your family's needs. Here are just a few highlights of programs offered: Celebrity Cruises offers children's programs for four separate age groups: Ship Mates (ages 3-6), Celebrity Cadets (ages 7-9), Ensigns (ages 10-12) and Admiral T's (ages 13-15 and 16-17). Onboard counselors are always available and activities take place daily. Holland America Line offers Club HAL® for guests aged 3-17. Also featured is a popular Kids & Teens Culinary Arts Center, bringing the joy of cooking to the younger set. Princess Cruises offers supervised activities at its Youth and Teen Centers for travelers aged 3-17. TV programs appropriate for children, including cartoons, movies and award-winning programs may be shown on your stateroom?s television. Royal Caribbean International offers Adventure Ocean® programs for children 3 years of age and older, with age groups categorized similarly to Celebrity Cruises' programs for children.
A cruise ship is like a large floating resort. Oftentimes, it takes passengers several days before they have completely explored their ship, in addition to the time spent while exploring new ports of call. Cruise ships commonly feature a wide variety of activities, including sports, shopping, bars, casinos, night clubs, dance lessons, theater performances and spa services - Just to list several highlights. Onboard your ship, a daily program of exciting shipboard events will be provided. Your biggest concern will most likely be deciding on how to spend your day!
Tipping is essentially at your discretion. A large fraction of the onboard service staff's income is comprised of tip, and if you feel that you have been well serviced, it is always best to show your appreciation with gratuities. On most ships, all lounge, beauty salon and spa service staff receive an automatic 15% gratuity included in your purchases, and additional gratuities are not expected. For most cruise lines gratuities or service fees are added daily to your onboard account. These charges vary between $14 and $18 per person per day depending on category of stateroom and cruise line.
The highlights of visiting Alaska change throughout the cruise season. Ultimately, it is personal preference that determines the best time to cruise Alaska. The Alaska cruise season runs between the months of May and September, and guests can often expect cruise prices to be more favorable in early May and mid-September. May is an excellent month for viewing wild flowers and September for autumn colors. A more popular time of travel is during the summer months of July and August, a period when sunnier weather and warmer temperatures are generally expected.