View Full Version : Need Opinions on Best Age for Kiddo to Cruise
01-04-2002, 12:04 PM
We've been debating this cruise thing off and on for a couple of months, and everyone here has kindly answered my questions. We had a cruise booked but had to cancel due to a work/vacation conflict, and now are trying to figure out the best time to rebook.
Here's the situation: we have one son who turns 9 in a week. He wants desperately to go on the cruise. He is an only child, and is homeschooled, but he's incredibly social (Totally unlike me! Don't know where I got this kid!) and makes friends wherever he goes. Because of homeschooling, we have the luxury of cruising in the "off-season", and would love to do the 7-day western in December. But which December? We can't do it this year, and it might be tight to do it next year (promised to take ds to WDW for his 10th b-day next Jan.), but I'm worried if we wait too long ('til 12/04), he'll be almost 12 and might not enjoy the Oceaneer's Lab as much. He *loves* science, and I think he'll enjoy the activities, but will he have hit that awkward "middle school" age that will make it less enjoyable?
Any input from parents of 11 and 12-yo's on the Lab? Is it better appreciated by younger kids?
01-04-2002, 10:39 PM
I had a little brother that was 11 when he went on it, and yeah he did have a cousin to hang out with but he made a ton of friends, and he loved the coeaneers lab, they had like dance parties and he loveed that. He never spent anytime out of it, and one of the better things @ this age is that, in the oceaneers lab he could check himself out and in, as apposed to being younger and the children are then a bigger responsibility cause they are around you all the time, and you have to check them in and out, and never get anytime for yourselves. but i highly recommend the cruise @ age 11, and 12. :bounce: :bounce:
01-04-2002, 10:39 PM
I would say the sooner the better. While he's still reasonably young enough that he can enjoy Disney and the ship's amenities, but before hormones hit and he spends the entire cruise worrying about whether he's being "cool".
01-04-2002, 10:45 PM
I'd agree, the younger the better. My son was 11 1/2 last month when we cruised, and while he had the trip of a lifetime, he would have enjoyed the club and character interaction MUCH more had he been younger. I wish we had cruised when he was about 6 years old. That said, it was wonderful knowing that he could do what he wanted when he wanted, as long as he checked in with us at the specified time. The one night he was 10 minutes late, he was "grounded" (had to stick with us) the next evening. Worked like a charm....he was never late again...LOL.
01-04-2002, 11:39 PM
Our seven year old daughter had the time of her life and can't wait to cruise again! She was young enough for the "Oceaneer's Club" and had a wonderful experience. Next time, she's looking forward to the activities offered at the "Lab".
She is also an only child, outgoing, and 7 going on 40! Where else could a 7 year old try escargot and lobster tails!:)
01-05-2002, 07:15 AM
Have you thought about bringing a friend or cousin of DS's with you. I'm an only child too and my parents would often let me invite a friend or cousin to come with us when we traveled. Doing this would give your son a pal to do things with, either inthe clubs or elsewhere on the ship. Just a thought.
BTW, we're homeschoolers too!
01-05-2002, 08:42 AM
We took our 6 y/o DD on 12/8 Magic as the old kid the the group of 8. The next was 18. She had a great time and loved the Oceaneers Club. We had difficulty getting her out of it for dinner a couple of times. She can be a very social child and made a friend during the sailing away party when we left port. They spent a fair amount of time together and even tried to covince al of their parents about having a sleep-over!
I would go ahead. Your son will have a great time. You will actually have some time by yourself, also! :bounce:
1 Disney Lovin' Mom
01-05-2002, 10:00 AM
I guess I would have to say the younger the better, but honestly I think any age is a good age for a DCL cruise.
01-05-2002, 01:34 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I guess I feel we're past "prime cruising age" for a kid, but I hope he'll have a good time whenever we finally go.
We really want to wait and do the 7-day western, as dh and I have done the Bahamas on RC and were very underwhelmed. There's no way I'd get off the ship again in Nassau, so we don't see much point in going that route. So I guess we'll wait 'til we can afford to "do it right" and hope ds is still enough of a "kid at heart" to enjoy!
01-05-2002, 03:22 PM
The eastern 7 day on the Magic does not go to Nassau, only to Castaway Cay, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. My husband and I consider prime age for a child to cruise age 7 and up. We wanted our children to remember the trip if we were to spend that much money. Our 3 teen boys on the first cruise loved it so much that when the 7 day came out the family voted for the 7 day instead of the 3 day land 4 day cruise. We are cruising again for the 4th time on DCL this Spring Break with 3 of our children. Son 21 can not go but the other 2 boys are looking forword to the cruise, they are now 18. Our daughter is 9. She loves DCL. Happy Cruising Kathy
01-05-2002, 10:40 PM
We haven't cruised yet, but leave on the 26th Magic. My DD who will turn 3 just before we leave is cruising with us for her birthday. Yes you may call us crazy and think we're weird to take a 3yr old on a cruise. My DD is looking so forward to the cruise it makes me laugh and then I remember who she got it from.....ME LOL
She can recite where we're going and which cities we're flying to when someone asks her. She loves coming online with us to check out pictures of the club and knows she will be going there to play. This cruise is our first "real" family vacation, I know there will be many more, but I do believe that she will remember at least parts of it and also we will do it again I'm sure:D . She is so excited about this cruise it's unbelieveable.
So I really think that any age can cruise, it depends on what you want to make of the experience and how you approach it.
Happy Cruising:D :D
Disney Magic Jan 26
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