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View Full Version : Best non-DLC cruise line for children?


OKW Lover
01-18-2009, 10:52 AM
OK, so this isn't technically a DCL question but please follow me on this.

We were planning on doing a DCL 7 night eastern caribbean cruise in summer 2010. But it appears that DCL isn't going to be cruising the caribbean then so we're looking at other cruise lines. I'm very familiar with the prospects on the other lines for the adults and I wouldn't have any problem picking a cruise if it was just us. But we're also going to have our grandson (he will be 7, almost 8 at the time) with us (yes, his parents too).

We know that DCL's children's programs are great. So, the big question is does anybody have any experience with the children's programs on other cruise lines? Which do you think are the most child friendly?

hopelea
01-18-2009, 10:58 AM
We have done both NCL & CC with our dd's. Both kids clubs had some fun things for the kids to do. Carnival was definately better than NCL. Both cruise lines the kids clubs are not open all day. They open for three or four hours and close for two to three hours. There is a lot of down time for the kids. My dd's did enjoy CC but hated NCL.

Texas Disney Fan
01-18-2009, 12:12 PM
We have done Carnival with our DS. It was ok but like the Previous post said it was not open all the time. I hear that RCCL is suppose to have a good program.

CC&M
01-18-2009, 12:18 PM
We just did a 10-night Princess cruise in October, and my DD8 loved their kids club...they were typically open (on days at sea) from 9-12, 2-5, and then 7-10...she spent all of those hours in the club making lots of new friends. On port days, they were ususally open after you sail, then in the evenings...

iloveokw
01-18-2009, 04:22 PM
Our daughter loves Disney cruises, but she has also been on three Princess cruises and liked them as much or a little more. I have done alot of research and we are thinking about trying RCCL in the future.

unionville
01-18-2009, 04:24 PM
We sailed Princess when our son was 7 and he loved the kids club. It was over spring break, but there still wasn't as many kids on board as Disney. He loved the more individualized attention he received. We would see the kids counselors in port and they would speak to him by name. It is true that they close the clubs during lunch and dinner and you have to pay after 10 pm. This never became an issue for us. We would eat lunch by the pool and he would play in the water with his new kids club friends. They also feed the kids dinner on certain nights, which he loved to do with his friends. You can sail on much newer ships than Disney with greater dining options. We loved anytime dining. One thing to consider with Princess is that there are no slides or kids water zones. We are looking at some of the newer Royal Carribean because my son is interesting in those water splash zones. Just something to think about. Of course he would LOVE to go down one of those Carnival slides!!!

Mickeyhugger
01-18-2009, 04:37 PM
We sailed Princess when our son was 7 and he loved the kids club. It was over spring break, but there still wasn't as many kids on board as Disney. He loved the more individualized attention he received. We would see the kids counselors in port and they would speak to him by name. It is true that they close the clubs during lunch and dinner and you have to pay after 10 pm. This never became an issue for us. We would eat lunch by the pool and he would play in the water with his new kids club friends. They also feed the kids dinner on certain nights, which he loved to do with his friends. You can sail on much newer ships than Disney with greater dining options. We loved anytime dining. One thing to consider with Princess is that there are no slides or kids water zones. We are looking at some of the newer Royal Carribean because my son is interesting in those water splash zones. Just something to think about. Of course he would LOVE to go down one of those Carnival slides!!!

Check out the new Carnival Dream that comes out at the end of this year talk about water slides. We are booking this as soon as the dates open up for spring 2010

Rob

unionville
01-18-2009, 04:42 PM
Check out the new Carnival Dream that comes out at the end of this year talk about water slides. We are booking this as soon as the dates open up for spring 2010

Rob

Yes, my son saw the slides on the Dream which created his interest in Carnival. I may be racing him to the top! We have plans with friends to sail the summer of 2010 if we can all get our schedules to work out. No way Mickey's slide can compare to that!

rtphokie
01-18-2009, 04:49 PM
We just returned from a 4 night on Royal Caribbean. Our 7 year gave the kids club (they call it Adventure Ocean) good reviews. It was in the middle of January so the number of kids was limited to a couple dozen total. (my son is in year round school, so were some of the others, some were homeschooled and a few were just out of school). The staff to kid ratio was much lower on RCL but I think that was a function of the time of year.

RCL's hours of operation aren't as good as Disney's and they charge $5 per hour per child between 10pm and 2am. The facilities aren't nearly as nice as Disney's but they do a good job.

I was impressed with what the kids brought home with them. He has a bandana and pillow case they colored and a Royal Caribbean medal they give out for various contests. Smart marketing on their part and he was thrilled with them.

OKW Lover
01-24-2009, 03:54 PM
Thanks to all who responded. We're not fans of Carnival, so I guess we'll be looking into Princess and Royal Caribbean for the cruise. Fortunately we've had good experiences on both in the past so we can probably just choose according to price and itinerary.

sharen24
01-24-2009, 05:08 PM
We plan to try the Mariner of the Seas in October to the Mexican Riviera. We live about 25 miles from the port, so it will be a very relaxing trip. DS is 3 so I hope RCCL has a program that will keep him happy. There are so many activities on this ship that even if DS hates the club, he can still enjoy the cruise with us. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

PPFQP
01-24-2009, 05:29 PM
We loved our RCCL cruise -- lots of fun things for kids, both in and out of clubs. My kids were a bit older -- age 12 -- but they thoroughly enjoyed all the activities.

dursin
01-24-2009, 07:35 PM
Yes, my son saw the slides on the Dream which created his interest in Carnival. I may be racing him to the top! We have plans with friends to sail the summer of 2010 if we can all get our schedules to work out. No way Mickey's slide can compare to that!
My youngest boy loves water slides. We just got off the Wonder last week and he must have done the Mickey slide 100 times and that's no exaggeration! It was cold on our sea day (around 55-60) and that didn't even stop him...in fact, he was happy that there was no line! We're a little burnt out on DCL and are not planning another DCL cruise until the new ship comes out and are looking for something else for 2010. Since we live near Port Canaveral that leaves Carnival and Royal Caribbean and since water slides easily beat climbing a rock wall...looks like Carnival will win out! The Sensation is currently in dry dock and will receive the smaller Waterworks treatment which looks fun, but those slides on the Dream look incredible so we may wind up doing that if it's affordable. Funny though...I always expected the new DCL ship to be called the Dream and while it still could, I think it's unlikely as it will also sail out of Port Canaveral...wonder if Carnival did that on purpose just to screw with Disney. ;)

mkmommy
01-24-2009, 08:26 PM
Check out the new Carnival Dream that comes out at the end of this year talk about water slides. We are booking this as soon as the dates open up for spring 2010

Rob

The dates are available for booking already. We looked at it for spring break 2010 and it was a far amount less expensive than DCL, but we are going to try the RCCL Freedom of the Seas.

There sure are going to be some big ships leaving from Cape Canaveral. I guess people better book hotels in Cape Canaveral far inadvance. There will be RCCL Freedom of the Seas, and the Carnival Dream, and I think the Wonder all leaving on Sundays.

blacksmithcrm
01-24-2009, 08:38 PM
...but Cunard was exceptional. My son liked it better than DCL!

kcashner
01-24-2009, 10:01 PM
DD has said that if it is a choice between Carnival and not cruising, she'd rather stay home!

dursin
01-25-2009, 08:57 AM
DD has said that if it is a choice between Carnival and not cruising, she'd rather stay home!
Which Carnival ship was she on? Was there anything that she particularly disliked?