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Enjoy all the tips, news, insight, and advice on luxury family travel that highlights fun, active, and healthy vacations. Explore how to make the most out of your family vacation without sacrificing luxury.

FreshCruiser.com opens readers’ eyes to new adventures and calms any fears of traveling with children. With a special focus on family cruising, the website includes tips to staying active, eating well, and taking advantage of all the opportunities while on a family vacation.

Entries in Alaskan Cruise (2)

Friday
Jul272018

Alaska Cruise Excursion with Kids: Review of Gold Panning and Salmon Bake in Juneau

Review of Gold Panning & Salmon Bake Excursion in Juneau with kids

Our cruise ship arrived in Juneau on a perfect Alaskan summer day. We were excited to embark on a Gold Panning and Salmon Bake excursion through Alaska Travel Adventures. Our first stop was to learn about the Gold Rush and pan for gold. My son is obsessed with looking for treasure. He loves finding unique rocks, shells, and pieces of wood especially when we travel. I was excited about this tour since we booked our Alaskan cruise as I knew he would love it.

Gold Panning

We hopped on our tour bus and our guide welcomed everyone and then told us stories about the Gold Rush. As he spoke, he drove up a secluded road until we reached “Last Chance Basin” on the Gold Creek. It wasn’t what I expected. It was quiet and secluded. With four cruise ships in town, I expected to see a bunch of buses. Our guide told us that Alaskan Travel Adventures are the only ones with permission to come to this spot. Our surroundings were beautiful.  

My son was captivated by the Guide showing us how to pan for gold. As he demonstrated the process for us, I wasn’t sure if he was going to find any as I only saw dirt. I was wrong! Since gold is heavier than gravel, it appeared in the rim of the pan. 

Now it was our turn to try. We were each given a pan with dirt from upstream and had about an hour to work on panning. It was relaxing and a fun activity for all of us. My son could have spent all day there.

When we were finished panning, we each got our own bottle to store our gold and received a cute “Gold Claim Deed” certificate. The Salmon Bake was next and we were hungry after working so hard to find gold.

Gold Creek Salmon Bake

It had been 16 years since my first time falling in love with salmon at the Gold Creek Salmon Bake in Juneau, Alaska.

My husband and I couldn’t wait to go back and take our two kids. The freshly grilled salmon with a sweet brown sugar glaze that was as delicious as I remembered. While eating, we found ourselves singing along with the live music playing some of our favorite songs.  

There are a lot of other activities to do at the site in addition to the buffet. It is so much more than the excursion title suggests. We took a nice stroll to a waterfall. At the base of the waterfall there was another opportunity to pan for gold. My kids loved panning for gold and getting wet in the cold mist of the waterfall. We ended our day by the campfire. My kids roasted marshmallows and talked about all the gold they had found earlier in the day.

Often times I shy away from cruise ship excursions since it can be difficult to be on a specific schedule when traveling with kids. The Salmon Bake worked out perfectly as shuttles left every ten minutes to go back to the cruise ships so we could stay as long as we wanted.

What to Know

Other important notes for taking kids to the Gold Creek Salmon Bake:

  • Beverage options are included: hot chocolate, hot apple cider, lemonade, etc.
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Many spots to explore throughout the location, it felt like two excursions in one
  • There is chicken, rice, beans, chowder, rolls, & salads in addition to the grilled salmon if your children aren’t salmon-lovers like mine
  • It’s good activity for all ages, grandparents, parents, and children
  • Live music while you eat, which always keeps my children at the table longer

FreshCruiser Tip: The Gold Panning & Salmon Bake excursion is a great option if you are looking for an activity to do with multiple generations.

Monday
Jun182018

What to Pack for your kids on an Alaskan Cruise

Items to bring to Alaska to enhance your kids’ overall experience

Getting ready for upcoming Alaskan cruise with your kids this summer?  We will be sailing to Alaska for the second time in two weeks. There’s so much to look forward to and so much to pack! After you’ve finished packing the basics for your kids, check out my list below of items that will enhance your upcoming Alaskan Cruise.  

Binoculars

I love these binoculars for kids as you don’t have to worry about focusing, easy for them to carry, and durable. There is so much to see on an Alaskan cruise and having binoculars really gets the kids involved and interested in what is out there.

Journal

Depending on your child’s age and interests, they can write about their day or draw what they saw in a journal. It’s a great way to look back at the trip through their eyes. I take pictures of some of their drawings to add to our photo album. I plan on having my son write down the wildlife he sees in order to practice his writing skills. My three-year-old daughter will also have a journal. It will mostly be her beautiful scribbles but a fun dinner activity. When she’s done, we’ll make a note at the bottom of what she drew.

Books about Alaska

Grab some books on Alaska to read to the kids before you leave. It gives them an understanding and builds excitement. Pack their favorite ones to bring with you. It’s fun to reread after seeing many of the places in the book. Below are a few of our favorites. 

Activities for the Table

Dinners can be long on a cruise so make sure to bring different activities for them to play with between courses. Grab some new items from the toy section of a Dollar Store. Their tin puzzles, small figurines, and cars keep my kids distracted and happy.

This is our current favorite is Water Wow!

What else?

Other favorite must-haves for cruises includes: cold and warm weather clothes, sunscreen, hats, playing cards, crayons, and bathing suits.

Packing can be frustrating as you are worried about forgetting something important. Make a list and keep adding to it as you remember things that you want to bring. We use packing cubes to help keep things organized and fit everything.

FreshCruiser Tip: Don’t be afraid to get your kids involved in the packing process. Allow a little space for a few clothes or small toys they want to bring.

Note:  All the products were selected by FreshCruiser. The links contain affiliate links.