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Old 05-26-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
luvhubandbabys
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Talking What is the best age for a disney cruise ( child) ?

What is the ideal age to take a child on a Disney cruise? My husband and myself really want to try a Disney cruise with the kids. ( Not taking them is not an option).

What is that perfect age? I want to take them when the magic will really hit them but not to old to not really care that much. Ya know. But not to young to where cruising will be a nightmare.

Also what age can kids do well in the MDR( Main dining room) -- we have only done Carnival and those dinners can be very long. I would hate to have to leave dinner early every night. From what I can tell Disney has breakfast and lunch buffets but not dinner, right. So if you couldnt do MDR it would have to be room service. Not that room service is bad but if my kids couldnt handle the long dinner I wouldnt want to eat room service every single night. Ya know!

Any advice.

Last edited by luvhubandbabys; 05-26-2011 at 09:12 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:00 AM   #2
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Not sure what MDR is but to answer your question, it really depends on your kids. Some are ready sooner than others. If they would enjoy a Disney Park then they would certainly enjoy the cruise. I'd make sure you get the early dining rotation if thats your main concern. For us our kids, DS and DD, were 7 and 6 respectively and that was a great age for us since they were fairly independent meaning they enjoyed the kids clubs and would stay there while wife and I relaxed by the pool.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:03 AM   #3
Cerberus9
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I'd say about 27.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:12 AM   #4
luvhubandbabys
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I'd say about 27.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:17 AM   #5
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I waited for the first cruise until my youngest was potty trained. That way the kids clubs were a breeze. They have enjoyed the cruises immensely and now at 9 and 6 feel like veteran cruisers with 3 cruises under their belts. There's always the argument that they won't remember much and if this is a once in a lifetime type of vacation for you then waiting until the kids are older makes a lot of sense. Since I have a passion for vacations (I work too darn hard to not have something to look forward to) then I vacation for myself and my wife and take the kids along.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by luvhubandbabys View Post
What is the ideal age to take a child on a Disney cruise? My husband and myself really want to try a Disney cruise with the kids. ( Not taking them is not an option).

What is that perfect age? I want to take them when the magic will really hit them but not to old to not really care that much. Ya know. But not to young to where cruising will be a nightmare.

Also what age can kids do well in the MDR-- we have only done Carnival and those dinners can be very long. I would hate to have to leave dinner early every night. From what I can tell Disney has breakfast and lunch buffets but not dinner, right. So if you couldnt do MDR it would have to be room service. Not that room service is bad but if my kids couldnt handle the long dinner I wouldnt want to eat room service every single night. Ya know!

Any advice.
Our first cruise was when our son was 8 and I think he might have appreciated the "magic" a little more if he were a couple of years younger - so I'm going to suggest ages 5 or 6. On our first cruise he did very well in the dining rooms. They usually try to bring out the food for the kids when they bring out the appetizers, so the kids aren't sitting there hungry. If after they eat they are a little restless, one of you can always take them to the children's program and then go back to the dining room. You are correct that there is a buffet at breakfast and lunch, and also the "fast food" places (burgers, pizza, etc.) for lunch and dinner. The casual dining room (Topsiders on the Magic, Beach Blanket Buffet on the Wonder and Cabanas on the Dream) does do dinner on all but the first and last nights. It's not a buffet but the service is usually quicker, so that is another option.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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I'd say about 27.
By age 27 they start causing problems with your grand kids.

Grandparents and grand kids get along so well because they're united by a common enemy.

In answer to the OP, I would wait til the kid is potty trained. A grand-nephew (3+ yrs) wasn't potty trained when the extended family cruised and his mom was quite bummed that she couldn't put him in the kids' club.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:32 AM   #8
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We cruised the Magic in April with our 2 and 4 year old daughters and it was amazing! The little one was totally potty trained before we went, so she was able to go to the kids club with her big sister and LOVED it. They had no problem sitting through dinner in the main dining room every night, even though we had late seating (which we loved by the way). Our servers went out of their way to make sure the girls were entertained and there was just so much to see in the dining rooms. The girls loved getting dressed up and they loved running into all of thier favorite characters all over the ship. They enjoyed the shows and the movies and had an absolute blast at the kids pool and at Pirate Night. We booked on board to head back out next year!
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:52 AM   #9
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In answer to the OP, I would wait til the kid is potty trained. A grand-nephew (3+ yrs) wasn't potty trained when the extended family cruised and his mom was quite bummed that she couldn't put him in the kids' club.
I agree. For sure once they're potty trained. I have heard that DCL is quite strict about only allowing children who are potty trained into the pools.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:54 AM   #10
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I'd say about 27.
By then they ought to be able to pay their own way!
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:16 AM   #11
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Although our kids have loved the cruises at any age --

I would say that it is way better once they are at least 3, and potty trained.

Even better if they are past naps - because then you are not captive in your room midday (unless you have a verandah - in which case it is a lovely time to sit out and read)

Honestly, they are a great family trip at any age - but if this is a once in a lifetime type trip - I say - wait til about age 5 or so
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:27 AM   #12
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I took DS on his 1st cruise in April and he's 5. I wanted to wait until I thought he'd be old enough to really enjoy it. I remember going on trips when I was 5 so I figured it would be good enough for him too. My older DS went on his 1st cruise when he was 12 and he loved it as well.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:29 AM   #13
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Our kiddo went for the first time when she was 8 this month. We choose to wait for our first Disney Trip until she was tall enough to enjoy every ride at the park and then decided at the last minute to add the cruise on as a surprise. She had a wonderful time and loved the kids club, there was a nice group of kids her age and it made it perfect for her. Her favorite part was dressing up and going to the on deck parties. If I had to do it again I would cruise with her at an earlier age and wait like we did for the parks.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:55 AM   #14
luvhubandbabys
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Originally Posted by ESN View Post
Although our kids have loved the cruises at any age --

I would say that it is way better once they are at least 3, and potty trained.

Even better if they are past naps - because then you are not captive in your room midday (unless you have a verandah - in which case it is a lovely time to sit out and read)

Honestly, they are a great family trip at any age - but if this is a once in a lifetime type trip - I say - wait til about age 5 or so
What the heck is a nap.. LOL. My 2yr old didnt get the memo I guess.
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Old 05-26-2011, 10:58 AM   #15
luvhubandbabys
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Originally Posted by outahere View Post
Our first cruise was when our son was 8 and I think he might have appreciated the "magic" a little more if he were a couple of years younger - so I'm going to suggest ages 5 or 6. On our first cruise he did very well in the dining rooms. They usually try to bring out the food for the kids when they bring out the appetizers, so the kids aren't sitting there hungry. If after they eat they are a little restless, one of you can always take them to the children's program and then go back to the dining room. You are correct that there is a buffet at breakfast and lunch, and also the "fast food" places (burgers, pizza, etc.) for lunch and dinner. The casual dining room (Topsiders on the Magic, Beach Blanket Buffet on the Wonder and Cabanas on the Dream) does do dinner on all but the first and last nights. It's not a buffet but the service is usually quicker, so that is another option.
Thanks I didnt realize their was a casual dining room. That might help you never know how your kids will react. Im trying to read up on disney cruises but there is so much info out there. Im reading review after review like a psycho..
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