View Full Version : Advice for cruising with 4 and 3 year old, PLEASE HELP!!

03-19-2006, 08:13 PM
We are planning to cruise in September. We have two boys 4 and 3. The oldest will turn 5 in September, maybe on the cruise.

Read a few bad things about the kids' club for this age group. Please reassure me.

We are trying to decide between 7 night or 10 night. We are concerned that 10 nights might be too much. Never cruised with kids. We are afraid there will not be enough for us all to do for the 10 days particularly during the day. Afraid we will be "cruised out."

We are also concerned with shore excursions. Is it worth taking the kids on shore excursions? Are there excursions that they would enjoy? Considering the cost of the excursions would it make more sense to skip them altogether? Can you leave them in the kids' club and go on an excursion?


03-19-2006, 08:30 PM
We are on the 10 night on 9/7. Our DS will be turning 5 on 9/8.

We brought him on DCL when he was 2.5 and he had a ball. He is looking forwrad to this one...everyday. We are planning on taking him on some excursions w/us. We will not do a snorkling one until Castaway Cay because we want to bring him snorkling w/us, but would rather be there...just in case he doesn't want to do it (and your not jumping off a boat to go snorkilng). I figured the 3 of us could snorkle and he could spend sometime in the kids club, too. My DH and I want to spend some alone time, but we frequent Disney and enjoy our family time, too. It will be interesting to see what excursions come up for St Lucia, Antigua and Barbados. My DH and I have gone to St John from St Thomas shopping, but DH has never seen St Thomas (I have) so he wants to do some sightseeing there.

171 days to go... :cool1:

03-19-2006, 08:37 PM
My DD was 3 1/2 the first time she was at Oceaneer's Club, and she was just shy of 5 the second time. She had a ball both times, and we were very pleased with the staff, the way they handled check-in and check-out, meals, etc. In two cruises, we were paged one time during the first cruise on the second day, because DD was being a bit stubborn about doing the scheduled activity. I explained to her that she was not allowed to play independently, and that if she wanted to stay to play, she had to follow the rules. No problems thereafter.

We took a 4-night the first time, and a 7-night the second time.

03-19-2006, 08:38 PM
My DD was 5 on our first 7 day Disney cruise in 2004. She had a blast at the kid's club. She wanted to be there all the time. She ate meals there, even dinner a couple nights when we let her. The only time she wasn't in kid's club was when she wanted to go swimming. We left her in the club to do excursions, but we left grandma on board just in case there was a problem (there never was). As for adults, we were never bored. In fact, there were lots of things we just didn't have time to do that we wanted to. Stop worrying....things will be great! :thumbsup2

03-19-2006, 08:40 PM
We are moving up from a 4 night to a 7 night, but I know that my kids would love to spend a month on the ship! Getting cruised out is unheard of in my family, after only one cruise! I would say whatever you can afford, go for it. There is enough to do each day that the kids will not get bored.

You can leave the kids on the ship during excursions. We left our two older DS's when we went to Nassau, and they were fine. Your two will be with each other in the same programs at the kids' club, so they'll probably have a pretty easy time adjusting to the clubs. The clubs are so much fun, the kids didn't want to spend much time with us!

You can look at scanned copies of the kids' navigators for the cruises you are thinking of and see what the kids are doing at the same time that your planned excursion is going on. When cruise time comes near, you can talk about the fun things the boys will be doing. Kids that young cannot sign themselves out, of course, and wander the ship, but if they want the Cast members to page you to pick them up, they will ask. As a suggestion I would not go on an excursion during their first time or two at the club, to get them used to it and make sure they are adjusting OK. The only problem with going on an excursion is that the pagers don't work off of the ship, so your child might worry if he asks to page mom and mom can't respond. On your excursion day, make sure to let the kids' club front desk know you are going on an excursion and when you plan to return, so if the kids ask to page you the CMs can explain to them when you'll return (of course, you should let the kids know you'll be gone too so they won't worry).

03-19-2006, 09:03 PM
TiggerStac--Thanks for the comments our DS (new to this is that Disney Son?) will turn 5 on 9/13. We have been to St. Lucia a few times at Sandals. Might be able to provide some advice on excursions there. Of course I won't be able to comment on whether the DS will like or not.

Do you know if they will do anything special for the Bday on board? My bday would also be during the cruise. :banana:

03-19-2006, 09:07 PM
We haven't had a problem with the club in 3 cruises. DD3 & DS5 were togethere in the 3-4 group on the 1st. DS LOVED it & it was hard to get him out. DD, well, she went once with me & once with just DS. Didn't want to leave daddy after that. Second cruise she was with our friend's DD4 & DD was 4. DS was 6 & in the 5-7 group. None of them wanted in the club much because they were seperated & wanted to play together. Third cruise the three of them were in the club...actually the lab...more. We are hoping that the girls will be comfortable on their own next time with DS in the real lab group...though since he will just be 8 I will give him the option of being with the girls so they can enjoy their vacation together.

We haven't taken any excursions with the kids. DH has gone on two with DIS friends while I stayed with the kids. Last cruise we went to the butterfly farm at St. Maarten. The cab fare alone made that one pricey with the kids not knowing how they would react to the butterflies. My kids loved it but friend's DD didn't. We didn't stay long. IDK that I will venture with them much next cruise. We enjoy relaxing on the ship.

03-19-2006, 09:28 PM
We've been on two Eastern cruises with our kids -- they were 4-5 and 7-8. They liked the kids clubs a lot. They mostly only went at night, as we wanted them with us during the days. There were several times when we went to pick them up and they didn't want to leave. I don't think they ever had to page us to pick them up early. We always did the excursions through Disney, since I think that is easier when you have young kids. Because of their ages, we could only do the beach type (no boat/catamaran) trips, but my kids love just digging on the beach, so they were perfect. We had chairs, umbrella, lunch, and lots of beautiful ocean to play in.

Each cruise we were all sad to leave, and could have stayed another week, so I wouldn't worry about 10 or 14 days being too long -- there is so much to do on board.

If you have any questions, PM me.

03-20-2006, 05:37 PM
TiggerStac--Thanks for the comments our DS (new to this is that Disney Son?) will turn 5 on 9/13. We have been to St. Lucia a few times at Sandals. Might be able to provide some advice on excursions there. Of course I won't be able to comment on whether the DS will like or not.

Do you know if they will do anything special for the Bday on board? My bday would also be during the cruise. :banana:

Your servers will bring a nice cake and sing and carry on over the birthday boy / girl (regardless of age). There is probably more that guest services can arrange - my son (6) lost a tooth while on board last month, and they (I mean the tooth fairy) gave us (I mean left) a special certificate and some pixie dust to commerate the event - don't think my son will ever forget that - I'm guessing they have something special for birthdays also.

03-20-2006, 05:48 PM
We just got back from a four day cruise and our 3 year old dd absolutely loved the kids club. She requested to go there daily and never wanted to leave when we went to pick her up. They kept the kids busy and had some neat story times. We struggled with letting her stay long as we wanted to do family activities.

03-20-2006, 05:51 PM
We cruised with a four and five year old for four days. At the end of four days we weren't quite cruised out - but were noticing cruise fatigue setting in. Ten days would be way to long for me to share a room with my kids - even the bigger DCL rooms. The kids enjoyed themselves, but my son, in particular, wasn't excited about spending time in the club (he was five) - my daughter enjoyed it a lot more.

03-20-2006, 05:59 PM
The only downside to the 10 night is having to de-program your kids when you get home - after 10 days of being waited on hand and foot...

Our daughter was 3 on our first cruise - she was not interested in the clubs at that age (but she is not at all adventuresome).

We had 4 and 7 yo on our second - they both enjoyed the kids clubs and would read the navigators each day to choose the activities they wanted to do most

We had 6 and 9 yo this past cruise - they each spent even more time in the clubs on this trip.

Experiences were quite good each time our kids used the clubs.

Our family would love to do a 10 night cruise (we've done 3,4 and 7 nighters) - don't think being cruised out would be a risk for us.