It’s no secret that Disney knows families. So what’s the perfect family cruise? A Disney Cruise of course! With 4 ships and itineraries all over the globe, adventure is just around the corner! If you have a younger child, you may not be sure if a Disney Cruise is for you. Here are some wonderful things about cruising with young children on Disney Cruise Lines.
All Disney Cruise ships have complimentary drop-off youth programs for children ages 3-12, who are potty trained. The Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are also open during the day during certain hours for open house fun. Your children can expect fun activities like making Flubber, Storytime with Belle, Pluto’s Pajama Party and so many other fun planned activities. There are also wonderful counselors in the Club and Lab to engage your children in crafts, games, pretend play and more. There are quiet corners to read in, costumes to dress up in, and computers to play on. On our first Disney Cruise, my 4 year old cried herself to sleep one night that she wasn’t able to visit the Club/Lab because of our shore excursions!
If your children are under 3, Disney offers a nursery for a very reasonable price. You are able to reserve hours prior to your sailing, to ensure that there is adequate staffing and space available. (Please note that the minimum age to sail is 6 months). The under 3 crowd also has its own dedicated splash area in the pool deck as swim diapers are not allowed in the main pools. You can also request a pack and play and diaper disposal unit for your stateroom. Bottle warmers and bottle sterilizers may also be available from your stateroom attendant. I recommend bringing an umbrella stroller, as these fold flat (space is limited in the staterooms) and they can be used as a highchair in the quick service areas in a pinch.
On Disney’s Castaway Cay, you’ll find a family beach, an adult beach, a drop off kids club for kids ages 3-12 and you can check out wagons to navigate the sandy beaches. Be sure to take the walking path from the ship at least once, as there are characters along the path dressed in their finest beach attire.
Another way Disney designed their ships with families in mind is the staterooms. Most staterooms have a split bath set up, with a sink and toilet in one room and a sink and shower/tub in the other room. Disney knows it can be hard to convince a toddler to take a shower, and has designed these rooms for families.
Disney Cruise Line also offers Pirate Nights on select sailings. These deck parties are complete with your favorite characters, amazing fireworks and even fun costumes from your fellow shipmates. Bring your pirate garb and join the party!
Some of my other favorite tips for cruising with young children:
-Bring extra swim suits!! Some kids turn into fish on a cruise and refuse to get out of the water. It will need more than a night to dry.
-Rotational dining means your servers get to know your family. My girls’ chocolate milk and Sprite were on the table before we sat down every night (complete with their names on the lids with a cute drawing). The servers figured out quickly what their likes and dislikes were and offered menu choices that received raving reviews.
-Bring a flashlight or nightlight for nighttime potty breaks, especially if you have an inside cabin as they can be very dark.
-If you’re traveling with a child that’s still drinking from a sippy cup, bring a travel sized plastic bottle with dish soap in it to wash them in the sink.
-Self-service laundry facilities are available on board for a reasonable fee.
-Go through the next day’s Navigator with your family when it’s delivered to your room in the evening. Bring a highlighter so you don’t miss anyone’s favorite activity.
-Don’t try to do it all! If your child (or you!) need to head back to the room for a nap, NAP! It’s your vacation and there will still be plenty to do when you wake up.
Are you ready to book your family’s adventure at sea? Contact me today to book your Disney Cruise Line vacation. Email me at Amy@TravelWithTheMagic.com or you can find me on Facebook. You can also call me at 1-800-670-4312, ext 129. I can’t wait to plan your MAGICAL vacation!