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Guide to Choosing a Cruise with the Grandkids

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Holland America Cruises

Let’s hear it for a vacation that can please every member of the family — whether they are eight, 18, 50 or 70 — maybe all at the same time! 

I mean a cruise. Some 40 percent of grandparents are traveling with their grandchildren, AARP reports, and Holland America is a popular choice for multigenerational groups.

Holland America Cruises

You won’t bust your budget — cruises start at $90 per person per day, with plenty of extras and upgrades. Plan now to book starting Dec. 5, 2019 during WAVE season and get onboard credits, free and reduced prices for kids, discounts on shore excursions and half off deposits. 

Holland America Cruises

Book eight staterooms or more and you can get the Family Reunion Package including a free cabin, upgrades, and more.   

Families especially like that Holland America sails upscale, mid-sized ships ranging from 1,258 to 2,666 guests — considerably smaller than many megaships but with plenty to entertain everyone on board.

Holland America Cruises

Sail to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale or Tampa; to Mexico from San Diego this winter; Alaska or the Mediterranean next summer. Take young “Frozen” lovers to Norway and the sights of northern Europe. Visit the Panama Canal. Nearly all Caribbean itineraries include a stop at the private island Half Moon Cay. Or join a bucket list sailing to Alaska, with a day in breathtaking Glacier Bay.

The 2019 Cruise Critics’ Cruisers’ Destination Awards named Holland America Line #1 in Alaska because of HAL’s deep knowledge of the region — they have been taking guests to Alaska for the past 70 years. Their ships offer especially immersive onboard activities and shore excursions and the chance to visit the Yukon as well as Denali National Park. Eight ships will sail to Alaska from Seattle and Vancouver next year, including the Koningsdam, one of the line’s newest ships. 

Holland America Cruises

Kids will love the new Kids Club, divided into age-appropriate groups of toddlers as young as three, grade-schoolers, teens and tweens. Aboard the Oosterdam, sailing to Mexico in winter and Alaska in summer, and sister ship Nieuw Amsterdam, offering the Caribbean and Alaska, there’s a new High Score game room with everyone’s favorite skeeball, pinball, foosball and air hockey. 

The adults in your clan will appreciate the live dance and music performances, everything from chamber music to classic rock. There are scheduled cooking demonstrations (Holland America is known for its terrific food), BBC Earth concerts and films, yoga and spa treatments, casinos, wine tasting and more. 

Grandparents who want the kids to learn something will love the Explorations Central program of on-board activities and shore excursions that enable guests to better understand and explore the ports they are visiting. 

Foodies of all ages will love menus crafted by Holland America’s Culinary Council—eight famous chefs Including recent addition and Top Chef winner Kristen Kish. Young foodies will love that they can order half portions and eat for half price at the specialty restaurants. Pickier young eaters will love that they can always get favorites like pizza, mac and cheese and fresh fruit from the kids’ menu.  

And, of course, all-you-can-eat (or that parents allow) ice cream!

There are more than 500 cruises to more than 400 ports in 98 countries. What’s going to be your pick? 

Eileen Ogintz, nationally syndicated columnist and creator of “Taking the Kids,” contributed this blog post on behalf of sponsor, Holland America Line. 

Holland America Cruises

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