LOS ANGELES -- Princess Cruises' Alaska passengers aren't as old as
they used to be, according to the line's constantly monitored guest
One reason for the trend toward a younger average age on board is
the company's increasingly "family friendly" shore excursions
Its Alaska tour book shows pictures of each activity, and next
to the description is a new, and very apt, icon -- two adults and a
child holding hands.
Tours in which the kids can participate and use their
imaginations get the "family friendly" designation. Some activities
are checking out the huskies at the Iditarod sled-dog kennel,
horseback riding, river rafting, panning for gold and riding in an
airplane or helicopter. Tours that involve a lot of walking or
those that may be too strenuous for kids are ruled out.
Not only is Princess not worried that its new, more boisterous
clientele will disturb its longstanding, more sedate customers; it
believes this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
"Seniors love kids," a spokeswoman said.
"Kids are the most popular people on the ship. Seniors enjoy
seeing and experiencing Alaska through the eyes of a child." She
said she sees a lot of grandparents taking their grandchildren on
cruises and three generations of a family traveling together.
At sea, kids' facilities can be found on all of Princess' Alaska
ships in 2000. The spokeswoman said these facilities afforded
families an opportunity to break from "the 24-hours-a-day,
seven-days-a-week togetherness they often are forced to experience
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