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Old 11-29-2012, 02:08 PM   #1
LCoulter
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Kid's Clubs Dream/Fantasy

It’s been a while since I heard anything about the kids club on Dream/Fantasy and the large blocks of time that is now allotted to “open house” which requires an adult to stay with a child. One side of the club is the “open house” and they shuffle all the kids that do not have an adult with them, over to the other side of the club.

Is it now over crowded on one side and just a few families on the other side? How many hours are the “open houses” and are they every day? How are the little ones managing being moved into the older kids club and vice versa? How are the little ones doing being put in with the older kids?

Since I haven’t heard anything, I’m guessing that it is working out better than expected or has DCL changed the policy again?

We are traveling on our second Disney cruise next year with our DD6 and I was disappointed when I heard about this change.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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They did this on the magic three weeks ago. I would have been happy if parents had taken advantage of it but I checked frequently almost every day and the open house was empty! Most time there was just the CM in there! Our kids did not care for the lab so only went there once when the club was closed.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by kristinfly2 View Post
They did this on the magic three weeks ago. I would have been happy if parents had taken advantage of it but I checked frequently almost every day and the open house was empty! Most time there was just the CM in there! Our kids did not care for the lab so only went there once when the club was closed.
I didn't realize they were doing it on the smaller ships too. Do you remember how many hours it was open house? Did they have open house every day?

I agree that I wouldn't mind if there was a large demand for this and there were many families in there but it seems a waste of the space if it is being used so infrequently.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:47 PM   #4
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We were on a 5-night double-dip cruise on the Dream in June. I just looked through all the navigators. All of the open houses were 30-45 minutes for a specific activity, like Super Sloppy Science in the Lab or Big Top Fun Fest (circus games) in the Club. I took my 20-month-old daughter to the Big Top Fun Fest open house and it was mostly younger kids her age who couldn't be in the club/lab by themselves.

Looking through the navigators, the only exception to the 30-45 minute duration of these open houses were on the Castaway Cay days. We had 2 CC days, and on each day one side was open house all day from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. BUT, Scuttles Cove was available on the island so I doubt that the clubs on the ship were too crowded.

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:51 PM   #5
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On the magic there were two hour blocks
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCoulter View Post
I didn't realize they were doing it on the smaller ships too. Do you remember how many hours it was open house? Did they have open house every day?

I agree that I wouldn't mind if there was a large demand for this and there were many families in there but it seems a waste of the space if it is being used so infrequently.
The Open House program was started when DCL started being more forceful about implementing the age policies in the different kids clubs levels. This was done on all the ships.

The actual usage of the Open Houses can vary widely from cruise to cruise. Some cruises will have many younger children whose parents want them to be able to use the club/lab space, as well as families who wish to participate in particular activites together. So, one cruise may not have a lot of participation in the Open Houses and another will.

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Old 11-29-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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On the magic there were two hour blocks
Sorry I pressed send before I was done! Oops! . Looking thru my navigators and there are even longer blocks of open house in the club. One was from 3 to 6! I think three hours is a little excessive. A one hour block twice a day seems more appropriate IMO
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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Yes, it's on all the ships. apparently a reaction to accommodate those parents who want their toddlers to have access to the area (with a parent), families with kids who won't stay without their parents, and kids with special needs (as the clubs are not able to provide one on one assistance for them most of the time), while also maintaining a secured space for kids who are dropped off, where no adults are permitted other than the DCL cast members.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:22 PM   #9
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Our kids spent a lot of time in the Club/Lab on our most recent cruise (DS 7 and DS 5) - I know they got moved from side to side on occasion because of the open house but I never heard them complain about it - I don't think it impacted their enjoyment of the time at all. I wouldn't be concerned about it - as the previous posters have said, it's an attempt to make the secured spaces more available to kids too young to play there unattended as well as kids with special needs or kids unwilling to separate from their parents.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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When they started the Open House/secure system in December, 2011, there were A LOT of open house hours. However, things have settled down a bit, and what we saw on our most recent Fantasy cruise was a block of 1-2 hours in ONE of the spaces each day--one day the Club would have Open House time and the next day it would be in the Lab. There were relatively few open house hours, which is probably consistent with the reports that they are not being widely used.

Prior to December, parents used to be able to come in with their kids any time. The system was revised for the security of those under DCL's care.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCoulter View Post
...How are the little ones managing being moved into the older kids club and vice versa? How are the little ones doing being put in with the older kids?
Actually, both the Club and the Lab are available to all kids 3-12, so it's not really a case of shuffling younger ones to the older club or vice versa. Yes, some specific programming at the Club is geared toward the younger of that age range and in the Lab toward the older, but on the Dream and Fantasy all kids 3-12 can move between the two spaces unless one is in open house mode.

When we sailed the Dream last winter, open house was 1 hour per day in each space. As others have mentioned, the Open House times (in all youth areas) were implemented when DCL became very strict about not allowing adults (including parents) access to the space with their children.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LCoulter

Is it now over crowded on one side and just a few families on the other side? How many hours are the “open houses” and are they every day? How are the little ones managing being moved into the older kids club and vice versa? How are the little ones doing being put in with the older kids?
To address your question about crowding, it has not been a problem on the 3 dream/fantasy cruises we were on this year (darn you, irresistible last-minute FL resident rates!). A couple of times it was crowded, yes, but you'd be surprised how well the space absorbs kids. I was on the Dream, twice, and that's the ship that consistently fills nearest capacity. And yet we were never turned away and my kids never once complained about crowding, younger kids, older kids, anything, really. They were there quite a bit. We homeschool, so they aren't used to huge crowds, but it was never a problem for them. I used to be a teacher, and the clubs were never anywhere near as bad as an elementary school lunch room, if that helps give some perspective
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