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Celebrating Grandparents Day: Cruising with the Whole Family

This Sunday is Grandparents Day, a day that celebrates our grandest family members. Grandparents do everything … from teaching important life lessons to giving extra cookies when mom isn’t looking! Holland America Line is an expert in multigenerational travel and we witness these bonds every day. We love to see our cruisers traveling with family of all ages enjoying once-in-a-lifetime adventures together.

One of the many joys of a Holland America Line cruise is that it offers unforgettable experiences for everyone no matter the age. Activities onboard are both enriching and entertaining. Youth- and teen-friendly offerings like treasure hunts, ice cream sundae parties and Xbox tournaments at Club HAL keep junior cruisers entertained, while teens can hang out with newfound friends a The Loft.

Parents and grandparents enjoy cooking demonstrations at the Culinary Arts Center, while sessions at the Digital Workshop powered by Windows teaches tips and tricks to become more computer efficient. And for both groups, team trivia or “Dancing with the Stars: At Sea” dance classes are wonderful to enjoy together.

Dining options abound, too. From the family-style Canaletto and the main dining room to the casual Lido buffet and Dive-In with burgers and hot dogs, there is something for everyone … even discerning, younger palettes!

We asked our Facebook fans to share their favorite photos and memories of grandparents and grandkids cruising together, and we received some delightful responses. Happy Grandparents Day to all of the wonderful grandparents out there!

Terri Arnold Mason’s grandson had such a great time cruising to Alaska with her he must have bragged to his sister!

“This picture was taken on an Alaska Cruise in 2010. We took our grandson, Daniel, on this amazing 14 day cruise and had a fabulous time. In November, we sail on the Nieuw Amsterdam with our granddaughter, Grace. After all, it is now her turn! We can’t wait to enjoy another wonderful Holland America Cruise.”

Terri and Daniel enjoying their meal.

Terri and Daniel enjoying their meal.

‪Phillippa Deacon had a similar issue after her cruise with her granddaughter!

“I cruised with my granddaughter in July, she loved it. Now the other grandchildren are eagerly waiting their turn!”

Silvia L. Borges cruised with not one, but three, grandchildren on Westerdam.

“Just came back from the Westerdam to Alaska with my daughter’s family including 3 grandchildren. There are no words to describe the good time that they had! When I asked them if it had been what they expected … they said ‘NO…much much much better!'”

Silvia Borges and her family in Alaska.

Silvia Borges and her family in Alaska.

Silvia added:

“Can’t wait for the next one! Hope is ‘sooner rather than later’…!”

Anne McDowall — the family matriarch, only grandparent still living of all the grandkids and a Holland America Line 2-star Mariner — sailed to Alaska this summer with her 11 grandkids.

“When I suggested to my family of five grown children, their spouses and kids – 21 of us total – that we should take a cruise to Alaska this summer, I knew we were going to have good time. But I didn’t know the kids were going to have such a great time. I think I’ve created a bunch of cruisers for life!”

Anne McDowell and her 11 grandchildren. Above and hero photos courtesy Steve Schimmelman @StevenArtPhoto.

Anne McDowell and her 11 grandchildren. McDowall photos courtesy Steve Schimmelman @StevenArtPhoto.

Will Schimmelman, 11, one of 11 grandkids cruising with Anne said:

“My favorite part was hanging out with all the cousins, spotting animals and doing whatever we wanted!”

Anne’s daughter Mary happens to be the senior manager of social media for Holland America Line, yet the experience still resonated with her.

“Being in the cruise industry, I sometimes take for granted the world of experiences that travel offers. Our family trip to Alaska with a bunch of first-time cruisers reminded me of the precious, irreplaceable moments we are privileged to experience traveling together. Cruising is a great way to travel with extended family – lots to do and something for all ages! Alaska is amazing – both the state and the ship had the whole clan excited about what each new day would bring. And the kids loved the elevator carpets reminding us which day it was – almost as much as the Lido pool and endless ice cream!”

More McDowell fun on their Alaska cruise.

More McDowell fun on their Alaska cruise.

Anne’s daughter-in-law Jenny also had an incredible family adventure:

“What is so amazing is the quality of the talent on the ship. The shows were incredible, but even better was experiencing them as a family. From ‘Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ to dancing to the B.B. King’s All-Stars Band, we enjoyed it all together.”

Roxanne Diss‬’ six-month-old granddaughter enjoyed being onboard as much as the crew enjoyed having her!

We had a family cruise to Alaska last year on the Zuiderdam. Our 6-month old granddaughter was a hit with all the crew and they, in turn, were wonderful to her (and all of us).

Elise cruised with her three grandsons to the Caribbean and loved spending time together.

Grandma Elise and grandson Asher enjoying the warm Caribbean beaches.

Grandma Elise and grandson Asher enjoying the warm Caribbean beaches.

Oldest grandson Jack, 8, said:

“Going on a cruise with my grandma is awesome! We don’t live near each other so I love spending time with her. We shared a cabin and she let me stay up late. But don’t tell my little brothers or my parents!”

Delores Rabinowitz‬ was particularly thankful for the complimentary room service in her granddaughters’ cabin!

“Cruised with my granddaughters a few years ago. Best thing was going into their room in the morning and seeing all the plates piled high on the dresser. They had a ball with room service at night.”

This popular Holland America Line grandfather was happy to have his grandkids with him during this year’s Grand World Voyage on ms Amsterdam!

“I had a special treat, Samantha, Anthony, Olly and Emily joined us for a week, Gramps is a happy man!”

Captain Mercer with grandkids Olly and Emily.

Captain Mercer with grandkids Olly and Emily.

Don’t forget that when Koningsdam debuts in April 2016 it will feature new family ocean-view staterooms staterooms that make traveling with family more convenient and pleasurable. The rooms will have accommodations for up to five guests including additional closet space and two separate showers.

Koningsdam's Family Staterooms are perfect for family cruising.

Koningsdam’s Family Staterooms are perfect for family cruising.

Reservations are now open and these stateroom will booking quickly so don’t delay in choosing your Koningsdam cruise!

Grandparents, have you cruised with your grandkids? Grandkids, have you cruised with your grandparents? Tell us where you went in the comments below!

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