View Full Version : Children Separated in Oceaneer Club/Lab

06-06-2007, 01:32 PM
We will be sailing in November 2008 with our 2 daughters who will be 10 and 7 at the time. Given their ages, they won't be able to be together in the Kids Clubs. While they spend time apart at school, they do enjoy playing together the rest of the day during those few moments when they are not actively annoying each other :hug:

For those of you with children who have had to be split up in the clubs, what has your experience been? Has it been tough for them to be apart from their sibling? Did they make other friends pretty quickly?

Thanks for your help!

06-06-2007, 01:48 PM
I'd like to hear others' experience with this as well. We're sailing for the first time in October. Our DD is 9 & DS will have just turned 6. I don't really worry about DD. She is very outgoing and makes new friends easily at the park, gym childcare, church, or where ever. However, my DS is rather reserved. If he doesn't already know a friend in a social situation, he will hang back and play by himself.

I'm hoping that he'll still have a WONDERful time!

06-06-2007, 02:55 PM
I read that the older child is allowed to move down with the younger sibling(s) if desired....but the younger child is not to move up and be with older children.

06-06-2007, 03:12 PM
Last summer my DS was 7 (had just turned 7 in March) and we were sailing with my friend and her DD8. I just asked the CM in the Oceaner's Lab if my DS could be moved up so he could be with his friend. He talked what I assume was a manager and said OK.

It turned out and didn't even really play with her b/c there was so much to do and he got along well with the other boys. Oh well! :)

I also think it depends on your child. My DS is very smart (not to brag or anything). He's in the GT program at school and likes a challenge, so I knew he'd like the lab better than the club. It just depends on how you feel about your child. It doesn't hurt to ask the CM when you check them in.

Good luck!

06-06-2007, 03:32 PM
See - I knew that I needed to Ask the Experts here at the boards. My travel agent said that DCL was very strict about not moving them from their age group. My DD will be 7 1/2 at sailing, so maybe I'll be able to talk them into moving her up after we board.

06-06-2007, 03:56 PM
See - I knew that I needed to Ask the Experts here at the boards. My travel agent said that DCL was very strict about not moving them from their age group. My DD will be 7 1/2 at sailing, so maybe I'll be able to talk them into moving her up after we board.

My just-turned-four-six-days-before-the-cruise DD was allowed to move into the 5-7 age group to be with her sister, who was 7 at the time. It was all within the Club and didn't involve moving over to the lab, but they said they would do it on a trial basis becasue she had a sibling there. The counselor said the goal is to have happy kids! Unless you are on a very full sailing that might reach capacity in the lab, I expect they will try to accommodate your very reasonable request. :thumbsup2 You will have to register her for her age group online, but you can ask at the terminal (don't have to wait until you get on board) and see if they will issue a new wristband for her.

06-06-2007, 03:57 PM
We sailed with our DD's 6 & 10 last January, and we found that even though they were in seperate clubs, they really had a good time and made new friends. Also, we did a lot of family activities, so they had plenty of quality time together.

06-06-2007, 04:05 PM
They spend the days at school apart, this will be similar, except more fun. Remember, they don't HAVE to spend all day there, it's a place they can go and be occupied while you and spouse have some quiet time. It's a good thing that it is so encompassing that there's all day activities, but make sure you leave time for everyone to explore the ship and have some family fun time too. They'll be fine. Heck, I wish I could go there for a day.

06-06-2007, 05:18 PM
My boys will all be in the lab- but different age groups. The youngest is 8 and the other 2 are one month shy of 11 and 12. I have prepared DS8 that he will not be with his brothers and will meet all sorts of new friends. I have looked at recent navigators and DS8 is very excited about his possible activities but I was wondering, are the 2 age groups in the lab ever together? It looks like maybe there are times they have free time in the lab at the same time. Will they let them interact then?

06-06-2007, 10:09 PM
My girls were 7 and 9 on their first cruise. They both made friends and had a wonderful time. Most kids do not know anyone else. Have them go on the first night when they do activities to get to know each other. My kids have always found others to hang with in their age group and have had excellent experiences in the club and lab.

DVC Mary
06-07-2007, 03:09 AM
My boys have sailed twice in different age groups & different clubs. They didn't mind at all. There was only one event that my eldest wanted to be w/ his brother for & they let him move down for that 1 event only and DH showed up for it. It was so special. Eldest DH wanted to be w/ youngest when Mickey visited to teach them the M-I-C-K-E-Y song. The counselors thought it was sweet too.

I think the advice you received about asking to move up at the terminal is excellent advice. I've heard other say that the counselors observed them in the lab or club before deciding to let them move up. I've heard others say if the b-day was close enough ??? they'd let them move up. Tell them how important is to the girls quietly (so they won't be disappointed) if doesn't happen.

You can always try again after a day or 2 of them getting to know her.

No matter what they'll have fun & they'll have lots of fun when they're w/ you too. Sometimes it's good for them to have time away from a sibling.

Happy cruising!

06-07-2007, 05:22 AM
My grandkids did very well being in seperate age groups. The kids can always spend time together through out the ship with their parents. For example swimming, watching the shows and at meals. The kids club may be a nice break from each other.

06-07-2007, 06:48 AM
They are strict about moving kids up---it isn't automatic. They will move A. if there is room and B. if they feel the child would do well in that group. Once moved, they don't like jumping back and forth.

As far as having kids separate, it has never been a problem for my kids. They do their own thing in the clubs/lab, then we get together and do the family things. They make their own set of friends their own age. There is a huge difference in a 7 yr old vs an 11 yr old. Just like you like having your adult time and then family time, I am sure the kids would like the same. Personally, I would give them their own space to enjoy and plenty of family time together. The hardest part of the clubs/labs for our family is getting the kids to come out. We have had to set our alarm at night to go get my oldest sometimes because we are so exhausted and she is "working on a commercial".



06-07-2007, 08:42 AM
What we have always done is get the kids active emailing other kids on the cruise beforehand. It is easy to find someone their age on the meets thread for your cruise. They can exchange pictures and chat and make plans so that they already have friends their age onboard.

06-07-2007, 09:48 AM
My kids were the exact ages of your's when we cruised in February.

I asked to have my 7 year old moved up to the club with my 10 year old. They said it was no problem. They just said they would watch him the first day to make sure he wasn't having any problems with being with the older kids.
There was no problems at all! They were so good!

I'm sure your 10 year old would NOT want to move down. Also for my 7 year old the activities were much more appealing to him in the upper age category!

Good luck! Just ask..it should be no problem!


06-07-2007, 10:44 AM
We were just on the EB transatlantic, and while our kids are in the same age group, I can tell you there were many times that the younger kids were in the lab or club with them doing an activity, so even if they are in seperate groups, there will be times for them to be together also.

06-07-2007, 11:09 AM
Thanks - we sail next April and my 2 DD will be ages 7 1/2 and 10 when we sail. Great info as we have been wondering as well!

06-07-2007, 12:09 PM
Thanks everyone for your replies and advice. You've given me a lot to think about. I love the idea about finding other kids their age in advance throught the Meet Threads except...........we are keeping the cruise portion of the trip a surprise!! Our first week will be spent at WDW and then we're taking a town car to the port (that way the bus won't ruin the surprise). We're going to tell the girls that we're headed to the airport and are going home. I can't wait to see their faces when we pull up to the ship and they realize that we're not going home after all!! :yay: