View Full Version : One parent, two kids on a cruise?

Chay and Iz
01-20-2009, 05:47 PM
Hi Everybody,

I am considering taking my daughter (5 1/2) and son (4) on a 3-night Disney cruise by myself... It seems like it could be a great kind of vacation to do with one parent (DH can't take the time off of work). But I have never been on a Disney cruise before and so I would love to hear what experienced DCL folks think. I guess my main areas of concern are getting from the airport to the ship, adequately supervising them at the pool and beach, and mealtimes. Anything else I should worry about?! Or do you think it's do-able?


01-20-2009, 05:55 PM
I'm a single mother, so I've never known any help while traveling. Airport to ship--use DCL transfers. Yes, there are cheaper ways, but this is the easiest. DCL will claim your luggage for you at the airport and deliver it to your stateroom. You will take yourself and the kids to the DCL desk, check in, and get on the bus. You will carry only your carry ons. At the terminal you will get off the bus, enter the building, and go thru security. You will then go to the check in line. The worst part will be that the kids will want to see things in the terminal and won't be into standing in line (hee hee).

Meal times--what's the problem? They are old enough to feed themselves. Your server will help keep them entertained with magic tricks, etc. There are coloring menus. If they're done eating and want to go to the club you take them and then you come back to the dining room for dessert. If you wish, your server will bring all of their food first so they don't have to wait between courses.

4 and 5 will both be "swimming" in the Mickey pool. It's about 18 inches deep. Sure, they'll need supervision....but it's not like they'll be running all over. Don't do excursions--just enjoy the ship!

You know whether you have calm, obedient children or "wild things" or some of each depending on mood. Frankly DCL couldn't be easier--you have kid programming 16 hours a day, etc.

The only downside is that you will pay adult fare for your 5 year old (rates are based on 2 adults in a cabin.) It would cost very little more to invite a "helper" to cruise with you...except for the air fare. A second adult would knock the 5 year old down to child's fare.

Look into private trip insurance--kids are usually free with parent policy.

01-20-2009, 05:57 PM
Don't forget you willhave to pay the adult fare for one of the kids. :guilty:

01-20-2009, 06:21 PM
can I be your "helper" lol!

I think a disney cruise would be a perfect fit!!

Chay and Iz
01-20-2009, 06:53 PM
Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it. I think we will go for it -- my kids will be so excited! I am so excited!

01-20-2009, 07:52 PM
I did a trip report of my trip last March with my 2 daughters, link in my signature, if you would like to read it. It was a great time and we are going again this March. Much easier doing DCL alone then Disney World.

(castlecreations also did a great trip mom daughter trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2004904 )

DCL transfers are the way to go.

The biggest challenge were the dinners. I found the service too slow for the girls and the dining room so noisy that it was hard to concentrate on the girls and the other people at our table. I am requesting a table alone this March and I do not feel like I need to go to the dining room every night. Sitting for 2 hours is not a real pleasure for them.

Ask lots of questions and you will have a good idea of what to expect and you will all have a great time.

PS I would do 4 days if possible, 3 is too short, you will just be getting comfortable and it will be time to leave.


01-21-2009, 06:33 AM
I have been taking my kids to WDW by myself since there were 2 1/2 and 5. I have not found it to be extremely difficult. Usually keep them entertained on the flight has been my biggest hurdle, not sure if it is the anticipation or what. They are now getting big :sad: , will be 7 and 10 when we do our first disney cruise this year. I do opt to try to stay with groups of people, especially if you are doing an excursion at a stop on the cruise.. like we are doing Atlantis and although it might be cheaper to do just rent a room ... i will probably pay extra for the Disney excursion so that I don't have to take a taxi by myself(unless I can find another disboarder that is going). Have a great time... heck, I find it easier to go WITHOUT my husband.... shhh... dont' tell him that.. haha....

01-21-2009, 07:46 AM
About the dinners--talk to your servers. They will bring the kid's appetizers and entrees at the same time when they bring the adult appetizers. They will get the kid desserts as soon as you are ready for them. Then, you excuse yourself and take the kids to the Oceaneer's Club. You come back and enjoy your dessert.

I've never had a meal on the Magic take 2 hours. 1 1/2 would be a much better estimate. The kids can easily be out in 45 minutes to an hour if you let your server know what you'd like him to do. Get to the dining room on time so he can get the orders in quickly (another key to fast service).