View Full Version : Did your kids use clubs much?

10-24-2012, 09:45 AM
We are traveling with 4 kids. (2 boys 8 & 10 and 2 girls 9 & 11)

I'm thinking they're going to want to be in the kids club constantly. But I'm wondering if that assumption is accurate.

How much time did your kid use the clubs? Was it more or less than you thought it would be?

Thanks in advance for your reply. :)

10-24-2012, 09:51 AM
My DD has been on 3 cruises and never jazzed to the cubs. :confused3 I don't know if it is because she's an only child and didn't know any other kids or what, but she did not spend any more time in the clubs than was absolutely necessary ( i.e. Mom & Dad went to Palo). On this last cruise, she spent absolutely no time at The Edge.

10-24-2012, 09:52 AM
Toward the end of the week they did, during the begining not so much, they actually didn't want to go back after the first day but we convinced them with all the "cool stuff"...our 4yo we had to just drop off and RUN..he got used to it and was fine when we returned that evening....I heard the same from a few other parents they were surprised their kids didn't wanna use it more...

10-24-2012, 10:03 AM
Our boys LOVE the clubs ... at every level and they've done them all (we have cruised 7 times in 9 years). I really do think that one key is to have the kids go to the club the first night when they do the ice-breakers and get-to-know-you games.

We did one 4-night cruise a few years ago we could NOT keep our youngest out of the club! Our dining room team didn't even meet him until breakfast on disembarkation morning. It was a running joke through all the dinners that he didn't really exist. :rotfl2:

10-24-2012, 10:06 AM
My son was on at 5 and 6. We couldn't keep him away from the club. He wanted to go right when we got on and would have been happy if we let him stay the whole time! We had to tear him away to come be with us!

10-24-2012, 10:09 AM
We are traveling with 4 kids. (2 boys 8 & 10 and 2 girls 9 & 11)

I'm thinking they're going to want to be in the kids club constantly. But I'm wondering if that assumption is accurate.

How much time did your kid use the clubs? Was it more or less than you thought it would be?

Thanks in advance for your reply. :)

I was in the Vibe 85% of the time and my brothers (6, 5 and 3 at the time) were there almost everyday! They never didn't want to go (:

10-24-2012, 10:10 AM
I think each person will have a different reaction, I think it also depends on what boat your on.

10-24-2012, 10:19 AM
My kiddies LOVE the kids club. I had to force them to leave the clubs. But I also think it helps that they're in there together. They don't always stick with one another but I think it's a comfort for them knowing that they have each other there.

10-24-2012, 10:21 AM
It didn't turn out as I expected. Our eldest, 12 went to the edge a lot, until very late, although she did only go for the specific activities. Because there is a lot of team stuff I think they never feel nervous about being alone in the club.
Our youngest, 7 at the time, didn't spend long in the club at all, and she's the outgoing one! Really surprised me. She didn't like just wandering around but did go to the planned activities. But there seemed to be less of those in the oceaneers club/lab than the edge. And the Oceaneers clubs are huge on the dream/fantasy which can be intimidating if no planned activities.
We're going on the Wonder next so i'm hoping the clubs might be a bit smaller.
On our last 5-night we only had 2 1-hour coffee breaks without the kids!
But there's so much fun family stuff to do we didn't miss our alone time.

By the look of your children's ages, they can all be in the clubs together, so you may never see them! :-)

10-24-2012, 10:42 AM
Our first cruise DS was 8 (an only child). While he did go to the club a little bit, he didn't want to spend alot of time there. We usually got paged after an hour or two, and he only went during the evening. Our second cruise he had 4 cousins with, and none of the kids spent a ton of time in the clubs. A couple of hours here and there. DS likes the club on Castaway Cay better, since it is outside and they play fun games in the sand. We didn't get paged to come get him at CC. I think it really depends on the child, what they are in to, etc. Our family vacations have always been exactly that, a family vacation, so we don't expect nor want him to be in 'child care' much, if at all on vacation.

10-24-2012, 10:52 AM
My DS at age 4,5,6 went often to the clubs/lab on the Magic and Wonder.
However I didn't just drop him off w/o there being a planned activity he wanted to do...toy story boot camp, flubber etc. I would look at the Navigators every evening and highlight what I knew he would like to do the next day in the clubs. In the morning I would ask him if he wanted to go to such and such activity or pool or....endless options. Anyway he would choose. Most of the time he would either choose the club or pool. I would say he spent about 60-70% of his time in the clubs. He is an only child and he is not a shy child. I suspect if your child/ren or shy they may not want to be there as much.

Some or all of you kids will love the club/labs. You wont know till you get there but have a wonderful time and just go with the flow. After all you are all on vacation.:banana:

10-24-2012, 11:03 AM
I sailed when I was 11 and didn't want to go to the kids club. :confused:

Looking back, I wish I had! I mean, I had TONS of fun not going to the club but as an adult I'm jealous of all the cool stuff they get to do :laughing:.

I think it really just depends on your kiddos.

10-24-2012, 11:16 AM
It varied a lot from one cruise to another. At age 7, she loved the OC. The lab was much less a hit (this was before they were essentially combined). Teen programming was a hit again, although she didn't care for the goings on at night and felt the CMs were way to lenient as to what they considered allowable.

At Lab age, a big part was whether she made a friend in the first day or so.

10-24-2012, 11:23 AM
My daughter (8) wanted to go to kids club most of the time. We told her she had to eat meals with us with the exception of our anniversary when we went to Palo. She loved the kids club.

10-24-2012, 11:32 AM
the first three cruises we couldn't get my daughter to go into the club...our cruise from April we couldn't get her (9YO) out of the club....

10-24-2012, 11:32 AM
It varied a lot from one cruise to another. At age 7, she loved the OC. The lab was much less a hit (this was before they were essentially combined). Teen programming was a hit again, although she didn't care for the goings on at night and felt the CMs were way to lenient as to what they considered allowable.

At Lab age, a big part was whether she made a friend in the first day or so.

huge....my daughter made two friends the first day there and it set the tone...

10-24-2012, 11:36 AM
My boys have always loved the kid's clubs. Dd first sailed when she was just over 3. She didn't want to be in there at all! Now at 5, she wants to be there all the time. The hardest part is me trying to stay awake as late as possible because my kids are party animals and normally want to close the place down!

10-24-2012, 11:39 AM
My daughters are 10 and 7 and have been on three cruises, all on the classic ships, starting at ages 6 and 3. They LOVE the clubs, the Oceaneers Club in particular, and spend LOTS of time there. In fact, on our NY cruise this summer, they were begging me to take them to the club the instant it opened and I didn't want to because we were sailing past the Statue of Liberty and under the Verrazano Narrows bridge (I made a deal with them that I would take them down right after we passed Lady Liberty!)

They don't always play together in the clubs,and sometimes one will want to stay in while the other comes out. But in general, they wanted to go in for some part of the day and every evening (we did Dine and Play during the second seating). It *is* important for them to make friends there, that does impact their enjoyment. By about the second or third night, they were following their friends into the clubs at dinner, willingly leaving before their dessert was brought out! :scared1:

10-24-2012, 12:13 PM
Our DD wouldn't hardly leave the Clubs!

She'd just turned 4 before the cruise, so I'd been concerned she wouldn't want to be there, but it was the opposite. Half of the time we'd come to get her for lunch and she'd not want to leave, so we'd let her eat there. This trip we chose late dining so that she could dine and play (and we could hopefully get her to nap and see the shows with us beforehand).

10-24-2012, 12:25 PM
My boys were 5 & 9 at the time. They LOVE the kids clubs at WDW so were all excited about the kids clubs on the Dream. My 9 yr old made some friends and always wanted to go back and play video games. My 5 yr old started out not wanting to leave the first night but by the end of the short cruise he was overtired and asking to stay with us. It was a 3 day cruise following a week at WDW. I think his being tired made him like it less. Also on a 3 day cruise it was just so overwhelming and so much to do. There was no chance to relax for any of us.

We are taking a 7 day Fantasy cruise in April. They will be just about 11 & 7. I am expecting my 7 yr old to get into it more this time. We are on the facebook page for the Dis'ers on our cruise. There are a number of families from our state. I am hoping to try and meet up with some this winter and maybe my 7 yr old will make a friend ahead of time which would be great.

10-24-2012, 12:35 PM
Our son, 6 years old and an only child...LOVES the clubs. He begs to go and on two occasions this last cruise, he threw an all-out fit when we came to get him! Crying, sitting on the floor and refusing to move. It was great - NOT!:rotfl2: He just loves them that much and would stay in there all day/night if we'd let him!

10-24-2012, 12:41 PM
Our DS7 has been on 4 cruises (I know, what a life! ;) ) He liked (but did not love) the RCL clubs. He did not seem interested in the DCL Club/Lab for the 2 night out of NY, but then I had trouble getting him OUT of the Lab for our 5-night cruise out of NY. I had to (essentially) beg him to have meals with me. Oh, and he is an only child. He is very outgoing, makes friends easily, but can be very slow to transition. He cannot wait for his next cruise on the Dream. He said that he wants to be in the Lab from opening to closing. No way. I go to sleep at 10pm (11pm latest), vacation or not! So I guess it all depends on how your own children warm to new situations and new friends.

10-24-2012, 12:49 PM
For my DS, it really depends on the group in the clubs. When he was 12 & 13, he loved being in there and we had a hard time getting him to spend time with us :) When he was 14, he didn't really enjoy it and preferred to spend time with us.

10-24-2012, 01:19 PM
Nice to see the varied responses here. I must say I was a bit disappointed earlier this month that my boys and our friends' girls didn't LOVE the Lab/Club. I posted about it when we got back.

I really don't think there is anyway that we can know if the clubs will be a hit or miss with the kids. Our kids did eventually come around towards the end of the cruise and found a time - late evening/night - that they "liked".

10-24-2012, 01:24 PM
I'm hoping to meet up with some other families with children our boys ages (8/10) so that the kids at least "know" someone in the Lab. I think it will make all the difference in the world with how much they want to go and have fun.

10-24-2012, 03:10 PM
also keep in mind that some parents kids MIGHT say they liked / loved it to not disappoint them! I have a friend who's daughter I heard talking about the club to them saying "she loved it" but than heard her talking to my daughter saying "pleeeease lets not go, tell them you don't want to go"...I raised an eyebrow when I heard that one!..and quickly dispatched that conversation!

10-24-2012, 05:05 PM
My 9yo DD didn't really care for it. She tried meeting up with a friend there. She was in there for a little less than an hour and never found the friend. She had us paged and didn't care to go back again. Wasn't a big deal since we kept busy as a family every minute of the cruise. Hoping when we go again in March, she'll want to hang out in Edge for a little bit at least after dinner so DH and I can check out the adult clubs. I know if she had a friend or relative with her, it would be a completely different story! We'd never find her.

10-24-2012, 05:26 PM
DD7 and DS3 (days from being 4) were there often- they came out to eat, hit the pool- hang with us- but for the most part were there as much as they could be.

10-24-2012, 09:39 PM
My two (ages 6 and 8) *loved* the Club/Lab on the Wonder and constantly were begging to go. There were major tears at some points when I insisted they join us for other events. LOL!

10-24-2012, 10:00 PM
I have a 5 year old and he love the club. He wanted to go all the time. He would say. Mom I want to go to the club. He still talks about all the fun he had in it and how he got to play with Donald Duck

10-24-2012, 10:47 PM
Wonder, Magic and Dream. My kids have loved all three.
3 and 5, 4 and 6, 5 and 7 were their ages.

We take them when they want to go and get them when they page/text us.
Sometimes they like to spend longer times than others.

My son (older of the 2)isn't overly fond of scuttles cove on Castaway Cay for some reason though, and hasn't spent much time there.

10-24-2012, 10:55 PM
I have 3 kids (boy = 8 and girls = 5 and 3) We were on the Fantasy last week. We travelled with my son's favorite cousins (girls 10 and 8) and our good friends that have a 5 year old daughter too. My kids grew up in daycare and aren't shy. I assumed they would love the club like I'd heard...and especially since they had people they already knew to hang with. Well, they didn't like it too much. The last night my 5 year old wanted to stay longer but that was about the only time she begged to stay(they were watching a movie). There were times I WANTED the kids in the club (Usually from 10PM-11 when stuff was going on in the Tube). We started out the week ASKING the kids if they wanted to go...by the end we decided we should just TELL them..we are going to go "out" and you need to be in here for an hour. Or once we told them...you can go to club or go back to room for bed. They usually chose the club. It may sound mean to some, but they weren't in it all day and it wasn't like they were crying when we dropped them off or anything. So, my advice is just be up front and honest. If they don't CHOOSE to go there and there is something you want to do...tell them they are going and you'll pick them up in an hour. And in an hour they might want to stay longer. Our biggest obstacle, really, was the 3 year old. Since the adult shows in the Tube were from 10-11...that was late for her...and she usually only lasted until 10:30 (or had fallen asleep before we even got her there.) So, more nights than not I didn't get to hang out with my husband b/c one of us was haning with our friends and one was in the room with at least one kid. But, we went on the trip primarily to spend time with the kids so it wasn't punishment by any means. :)

10-24-2012, 11:09 PM
We were on the Dream last year our kids were 7,5 & 3- they all enjoyed the clubs, but typically after an hour or so we would be paged for one of more of them.
We are going to approach it differently on our upcoming cruise. We are only going to "allow" them to go to the club during the day when we have something adult planned (ie: Brunch, Massage or Margarita/Nap time) and we will be picking them up pretty promptly after we are done. This way we leave them wanting more!!! We are hopeful that by using this approach we will avoid the dreaded mid-cocktail page in the evenings!!:thumbsup2

10-25-2012, 12:13 AM
DD 14 - had to be forced out of her group at the Vibe.

DD 4 (3 weeks from 5) - couldn't get her to stay in the clubs. She wanted one of us to come in and play with her. After all the reading about how much kids loved it, was a little disappointed that the staff didn't engage with her more to get her engaged as she loves adult interaction. Fully understand there are tons of kids there though.

10-25-2012, 02:00 AM
DD loved it (she was three at the time). FWIW, she goes to an AMI Montessori school so she's quite comfortable in an environment with older children.

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10-25-2012, 05:10 AM
We found with the two cruises that our grandchildren came on (4,3 and 1 on the first and 5,4 and 2 and the second) none of them really enjoyed their time in the clubs!!!
Their mums were really hoping they would but sadly they only went under sufferance when the parents really wanted to do something without the kids (and us grandparents were also doing something we wanted!!)
They liked nothing better than spending time with mainly us - exploring the ship (we were on the Magic both times), playing in the cabins, or playing up on the decks.
Think it all depends on the children. I think as both my daughters work and the kids are in school/clubs/childminders all day everyday including school hols then when they are on holiday they just love to be with the family (and so they should!!)

10-25-2012, 09:00 AM
Grandkids now 8,8,12,13 and 13 are now veteran cruisers on DCL. From the gitgo, they all loved the clubs, even the shy ones. Security and personell were great giving us adults the chance to sit back and enjoy, knowing that the kids were happy.

10-25-2012, 11:08 AM
My kids (8 and 5) liked the clubs the first time (Dream 4 day). The second cruise they *loved* them (Fantasy 7 day). I think it's because they had a chance to sample everything and then we had time to really talk about and hype up the experiences they had. By the time we went for a week they had thought about what they wanted to do and knew their way around. They spent many, many hours there. Their favorite thing, believe it or not, is to eat dinner there. They even ate at the clubs even though we told them we were coming to take them to dinner. The CM called, but I missed it. No biggie. They just had a light "second" dinner with us ;)

We leave for another Dream cruise in a few days and I've already planned to allow them to eat in the clubs for dinner twice. It just makes them so happy! It's their vacation, too ;)

That said, they are home with me all day (we homeschool) and my hubby works from home much of the time, so they see us PLENTY! We are all ready for some alone time when cruise time comes :). If your family craves time together though, you may find your littles want to be with YOU instead of with strangers in the club. My kids are also pretty independent, in that they don't need to make a friend in the club to be happy (and they don't hang out with each other). But some kids really need someone to hang out with. If this is your kids and you want them to spend time in the clubs, it might be a good idea to find them a buddy on your cruise meet page. Or if you're seated with another family at dinner, they might find a friend there.


10-25-2012, 12:44 PM
We went first time when my DS was 3, he wasn't interested in club, we would drop him off, the staff would get him interested in something so we could leave and he was having us paged after half an hour, Every Time! Then, we went again when he was 7....again, just wanted to be with us. Now he is 12, and we go again in January. We won't even bother with Oceaneers lab, it will be Edge, and his 2 "cousins" are coming.....hmmm, you think he will want to spend time with us this trip? ROFL!

10-25-2012, 03:06 PM
Thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences with the Kids clubs.

I think because there are 4 kids so close in age, they will want to do the clubs. At least I hope for some of the cruise. I want to balance the cruise with family time and some "me time". Being a single Mom is hard and although I love my munchkins - I need some recharging. :hippie: After all that is why I chose DCL so they would have the best time. Well, that and I'm Disney fanatic. :thumbsup2

I am going to do the late seating for dinner too. Based on everything I've read, older kids do better with the later seating.

I appreciate this board/forum so much. Lots of great advice!! :worship:

10-25-2012, 03:13 PM
My kiddos loved the clubs! I found we'd spend our mornings by the pool and then in/out of the clubs the rest of the time. Except for the last night, when DD was exhausted at 9pm - we'd have to negotiate them leaving (ie: come for a nap and you can go back at 4pm)

10-25-2012, 05:03 PM
When DS was seven back in 1999 we couldn't get him out. He LOVED being in the club we had to drag him out for dinners, our only rule was he ate dinner with us all other meals was up to him.

The next time we cruised he was old enough to be bumped up to the next club and did not spend nearly as much time there as the first cruise.

The next time we cruised with him, he was a teen and we let him take a friend along. They had a blast together but didn't spend much time in the teen club.

10-25-2012, 05:08 PM
One of mine(11) liked it... but still spent plenty of time doing other things. My other daughter(9) was OBSESSED with it. Cried and Cried when the 7 days were over.

10-26-2012, 12:31 AM
I never really went into the clubs at a teenager. I was always kinda afraid to go cause my sister was older than I was so she wasn't able to go in with me and I didn't know anyone else. I'd say for any kids going to definitely go the first night. I know in the staterooms they give a little flyer advertising the clubs and a time when it opens... I would go right away to meet other people. Other trips I waited until the middle of the trip and everyone knew each other and weren't very welcoming so I decided to leave.. and wished I would have gone on the first night. There's a lot of other stuff to do with the family tho so I always had plenty to do, and did meet friends outside the clubs as well.

Golden Rose
10-26-2012, 09:30 AM
I'll be really interested to see how our kids do in the clubs and in the nursery on our upcoming trip on the Magic.

Our son has done kids clubs on Celebrity and RCCL, and while he enjoys them, he never seems to want to spend more than a couple of hours a day at most. He's very family oriented, and always seems to want to spend time as a family doing activities. I suspect he'll love the open house times, but won't want to go in on his own too often unless he makes a friend or two.

Our daughter is super outgoing and loves new places and things to do, so I'm not too worried about her in the nursery once she gets over her initial separation worries. I only hope there are other kids her age or older to play with her in the nursery. I understand sometimes there are a lot of crying little ones, and I am afraid that will upset her.