There are so many wonderful things about the holidays, but one of my absolute favorite things is carrying on traditions, both old and new. Last year we took the Journey to the North Pole Cruise on Lake Coeur d’ Alene and it’s no surprise this experience made it onto our “must do” list again this year.
In fact, we kick-started our holiday spirit this year by booking our trip first thing and we enjoyed ourselves just as much this year as we did the last, if not more.
We began our journey by exploring some of the many things offered at and near the Coeur d’ Alene Resort. Fun, over-sized chairs, glowing toy stores, and giant fish caught our kids’ attention most before we went to lunch overlooking the lake.
After lunch we took a stroll down the resort’s long boardwalk and had a chance to check out the large cruise ships we would be soon enjoying and were even mid-stroll when the Christmas lights came on.
After our walk, it was time to go to the cruise waiting area, and this may have been one of the best parts for our son. He absolutely loves characters of all kinds and was overjoyed when he saw the holiday characters interacting with the kids. High-fives and huge smiles were definitely in abundance.
It was especially exciting for him when they all gathered together to break-down to some Christmas tunes. He just thought this was the greatest!
We then met up with our friends and made our way down to the ship, and once nestled in the kids were able to do a cute little coloring page with puzzles and fill in their wish list. With a nice little concession stand available, we treated the kids to hot cocoa before we began our Journey to the North Pole.
As we departed and left the dock, The Grinch came on over the speakers and he could be seen outside causing a ruckus up and down the boardwalk, which continues to be one of our kids’ favorite parts of the cruise experience.
Numerous light displays lined the resort as we drove off, but a highlight was the fire-breathing dragon, who actually put out quite the burst of flames!
Because we were able to move about the ship as we pleased, we decided to see the North Pole from the top deck where there were more tables for guests to sit at. But, our kiddos were too excited for sitting and went straight to the front of the boat to get the first glimpse of Santa. Ten minutes later, we arrived at the North Pole where Santa was waiting with an elf. After a blazing fire show from Santa’s sleigh, Santa read the names of all of the kids on the “Nice List,” and as he did this the ship fell silent as each child eagerly waited to hear if Santa would call his or her name.
It was easy to spot which child’s name was just called by their excited and surprised reactions, which is truly one of those parenting moments to remember.
Once Santa had finished, the enormous tree next to him brightly lit up and we were entertained by an amazing light show with a fireworks finale.
It. Was. Magical.
Afterward, the ships revved their engines and we made our way back to the resort, but not before driving by Santa’s twinkling village.
Once back, we deboarded the ship and the kids were greeted by a friendly elf and given a candy cane, which of course is always a win in our family.
The entire cruise takes about forty minutes and is such a fun thing to do for not only the kids, but for the adults, too; from the friendly and funny holiday characters to the blazing fire and hundreds of twinkling lights, and from the magic of Santa reading the kids’ names to the finale fireworks show, we were feeling all of the feels during this journey to the North Pole and loving every second.
In fact, our kids are already asking to do it again.
We finished our time at the resort with dinner at Dockside, and the highlight of that was when our waitress brought out one of their infamous “Gooeys,” which in our case was cookie dough and fudgey goodness and was enough to feed our whole table.
We left that night with our holiday spirit-tanks full and enjoyed the drive home through the line of beautifully lit Christmas trees. We are still in awe that every single branch was covered in lights!
Once again we had a wonderful evening on the Journey to the North Pole Cruise and have confirmed that it is now a Christmas tradition!
If you are interested in taking your own journey, you can visit the website HERE for more info, and HERE to book. You will be so glad you did!
Read more of Shannon’s adventures on her fabulous blog, Lady’s Little Loves!