Ths DIS is a great place to ask Disney Cruise Line questions and share tips.
Dreams Unlimited Travel - The official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums Dreams Unlimited Travel - the official sponsor of the Disney Cruise Forums  

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Cruise Line > Disney Cruise Line Forum
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-25-2012, 03:47 PM   #1
olenygiants
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 41

Review of Disney Cruise with toddler

Hello All. Since I used these boards so much before going on my trip I wanted to share some info back with you.

We sailed on a 7-day Western Carribean on the Disney Fantasy. It was myself, my wife, and our 2 year/4 month old daughter.

To start, one of the popular questions that I see on these boards is to whether take a toddler or not. Is it worth it? Now, different people have different opinions, but here is mine. 100%, absolutely, DO IT!!!! I could see possibly waiting a bit if this is a once in a lifetime trip, but that is it.

We had so much fun and our DD absolutely loved it. They really catered to the kids, and there were tons of activities for her, even though, she couldnít spend the day in the clubs all day.

I will review a few aspects of the ship as it relates to our toddler. (in no particular order)

THE SHIP: No need to beat a dead horse here. The ship is Amazing! Clean, beautiful, magical, etc. Easy to get around and easy to navigate.

THE CAST MEMBERS: These people really do make the Cruise special. They would constantly go out of their way to make us or our DD feel special. And within a day or so, many of them even remembered our names. And they always called our daughter princess. They would stop from there busy work and have a conversation or dance and act silly or play a game. Our DD loved it. These people really do make the cruise special.

NEMOS REEF: The kidís water area is great for the little ones. Our DD LOVED it. I am pretty sure she went down the slide in there 1,202,255 times. It was also out of the sun, so you didnít have to worry about getting burned. When were there as well, there wasnít really any issue with BIG kids playing in there and never felt crowded, even on sea days. If your child like to get wet, they will love this.

THE CHARACTERS: I was amazed at the amount of characters they had for meet and greet. Seems there was always an opportunity to meet someone new. The Characters were great and tons of fun. We had some great Kodak moments from our DD getting to meet them. I was a little surprised how long the lines could get at times, and this was a challenge some. DD did not like sitting in lines, so many times, my wife or I, would wait in the line while the other played with her until our time. The CMís that were nearby would often join in.

OUR ROOM: The room was pretty much as advertised. We were in a CAT4B room, midship/deck 8. Spacious and relaxing. The Bed was very comfortable and the balcony was great. Our daughter slept on a sofa bed that the stateroom attendant would pull out each night and attach bed rails too. Worked Great. The Stateroom attendant was also great. He cleaned the room twice a day and left us surprises each night. We actually tipped him extra since he always seemed to be working. I had many conversations with him as well. Was a great guy.

DINING: The Breakfast\Lunch food is okay. Nothing special here, pretty much standard stuff. The dinners were definitely a lot more upscale. The Food at dinner was Good, but not sure I would label it great. It had its moments. I was not disappointed, but wasnít blown away either. The Servers on the other hand were AMAZING! Both very attentive, friendly, and great with our daughter. They would talk with her every night and help her draw pictures on the table cloth and go out of their way to make her smile. For those with toddlers, you know that sometimes dinner can be tough with them (they got bored and fussy), but I can honestly say that for the 7 nights we went to dinner on this cruise, we never had an issue with our daughter at all. She is a great child, but like all kids has her moments. On this cruise there were none. And we never rushed dinner. We ate 4 courses each night. Also, the servers were great at bringing out her food at the perfect time, so she always had something and was eating when we were. One more thing to add, is you that you can eat as much as you want at any meal so if you want to do it. Also, there is food everywhere so you will never go hungry. There is always a convenient way to get more.

THE SHOWS: We only did the Disney Themed Shows, as we did not feel we would make it through the others. These included Aladdin, Wishes, Believe, and Unforgettable Journey (last night). The shows were great and our DD loved. There was tons of song and dance from familiar characters that were great. Typical Disney Quality here.

THE PORTS: We stopped at Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Castaway Cay

GRAND CAYMAN: We did the turtle farm here and just took a taxi ourselves. Very easy and not very much cost wise. Since were planning to just do the turtle farm, we elected to pay to do the whole park. And let me tell you, We wasted $90. Add in the $50 we paid for lunch there for a McDonalds type meal, we wasted quite a bit. The park was a dump beyond the turtles. The turtle farm area is nice and worth doing, but do NOT bother doing the rest, itís not worth it. We basically walked through the back part and then left. Beyond the turtle farm, there was a pool, shark tank, bird sanctuary, and a place to snorkel with turtles. Nothing worth the extra money, or at least nothing that drew our attention.

COSTA MAYA: Not really a very pretty area. You can really see where the weather has taken its toll. We got off the boat, and just went around the shops. Just note, the people where very pushy and always hounding you to buy stuff. And they never let up. It was really annoying. There was also a pool area that looked okay that we saw people swimming in. We really didnít stay long before we just got back on the boat.

COZUMEL: Much nicer place then Costa Maya. Water was beautiful and nice port area. Here we did a snorkel tour on a glass boat. When we saw the glass boat we were disappointed. It was a little 2x2 hole to look down on. We werenít even able to see down it, due to the other people sitting by it. However, the snorkeling was amazing. The reefs were amazing and filled with life. Very much enjoyed this. Our DD went with us and she was able to swim in the ocean with me for a while. She sat in a ring and held onto her. She really enjoyed that. I was a shorter trip so pretty easy on her.

CASTAWAY CAY: Pictures do not do this place justice. It was an amazing beach. And out of the many beaches I have been to, by far my favorite. The Sand is great and the water is crystal clear (at least in the earlier part of the day). Due to the design of the beach there isnít really any waves, so it is great for younger ones. Our DD loved playing in the water and building Sand Castles. The Sand was great for molding, so we spent a lot of time on this. There are also some water spout spots that our DD loved. Similar to the water things in Nemos Reef. We had beautiful weather there and just enjoyed. Truly a tropical paradise. Wish we could have spent more time here.

ACTIVITIES: There were tons of activities for the family to do. There was always something going on. Dance party with characters, meet and greets, games, open houses, movies, bingo, Midship detective, etc. I wonít name everything, but just know you will not be bored. One activity that was great for the little ones is ďWake up with Disney JuniorĒ. They get to sing and dance and have fun. And at the end they get to dance with Goofy and do the hot dog dance.

AQUA DUCK: I got to do this a few times and was a lot of fun. Not as much thrill as I was expecting, but was still fun and very popular

AQUA LAB: Myself and DD really liked this. It was mostly a place to get really wet. And we did. It was great place to run around in for 20 minutes or so. And never got that crowded.

PALO: We did do Palo brunch one day. And once again, while I liked it, I didnít love it. It was very upscale and the service was amazing, but the food was just good (for me at least). It was worth doing.

THE NURSERY: I have seen a lot of comments of people worried about this or complaining about it, so were a bit worried that DD would not enjoy it. But as soon as we went in there, she fell in love. She loved playing in there. As soon as we walked in, were an afterthought and she was ready to go. We only used it a few times and she loved it every time. There are tons of toys in there to play with, and the area for them was actually a lot bigger than I thought. Also, when we picked her up, there were never any issues, she was ready to go. The Nursery CMís always said she had a great time.

OPEN HOUSES: During the cruise there was windows in which the clubs/labs would have open houses and anyone could go in. We did these a couple of times. Our DD loved the stuff in the Oceaneers Club. Especially, Andyís Room. Tons of things in here to keep the little one entertained.

PIRATE NIGHT: This seemed like fun for everyone. Most people where dressed as pirates. Some more than others. And everyone had a great time. The pirate shows were great and entertaining and the fireworks show a great ending. DD had a great time with this.

There was literally so much that we experienced and had such a great time. Our DD had a phenomenal time, which is what mattered most to us. I know some people love having the clubs for the kids, but I am kind of glad our DD was too young. At least this once. There are so many things that we did as a family that we may have otherwise not done if our DD was in the club all day. For this trip, we made many memories together. I donít know if she will remember all of it, but we will. And this is just the beginningÖ

I hope you guys get something from my review. I kind of threw it together. But the biggest thing is, is that it is okay to travel with a little one. We did it and loved every minute it and glad we did. And I am sure you will as well.
olenygiants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 03:58 PM   #2
abs1978
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 18

Thanks for the review!! I am glad that cruising with a toddler was a good experience for you. We'll be sailing with my almost 2 year old in November and I am still half convinced we are insane!

Did you do the snorkeling trip through Disney or on your own? It seems like there are not many toddler friendly cruise excursions available.
abs1978 is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 09-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #3
olenygiants
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 41

Wanted to add one more thing.

On the cruise were on, there was no issue with Chair hogging that we saw. Always a chair open close to the pool. Although since our child is still in swim diapers we could not use the pool.

There was one other thing to be cautious of. The Aft elevators (think there Aft) that go up to Deck 11 open on the Adults only section. Well, we didnt know this and ended up there with our DD. Note, we had only been on the ship for a couple of hours. Honest mistake. We asked CM for a way around, but they told us to walk through. While walking through some lady gave us a nasty look that really made me mad. My wife almost smacked her. So just be aware in case this happens to you.

Most people on the boat were very pleasant to be around, but there were a few that are (Words i cannot say on DIS).

Also, one important thing to remember when you go on the cruise is to remember that your not the only one who paid thousands to be on this ship and gets to enjoy it, many other people did to. We always tried to be as courteous and respectful as possible. Since everyone deserves to enjoy there vacation. There were a couple of people on our cruise that did not get this. But once again, a very very small number. Most people are very pleasant to be around.
olenygiants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
olenygiants
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 41

We actually did not book any of the Disney excursions. There not many options for the under 3 crowd. We actually set everything up at the port when we got there. We just had an idea of what we wanted to do before going there.
olenygiants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 05:10 PM   #5
bestmom
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 170

Who were your servers?
bestmom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 05:31 PM   #6
kristinfly2
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 298

Thank you for the info on turtle farm/boatswain! We were going to book this on our own and I am glad I read your review first! I think we will head to the beach instead with our 4 kids (3 to 11)!
kristinfly2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 05:42 PM   #7
olenygiants
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 41

Our servers were Sixto and Dusan
olenygiants is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 06:03 PM   #8
kristof65
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 78

Thanks - this was a timely review for us, as our daughter will be the exact same age as yours was when we go on the Fantasy in Jan.
kristof65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 06:16 PM   #9
bobbie0253
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 103

Thank you for the review! We will be on the Fantasy with our 3 1/2 yr old and 24 month old in a few days.....so excited! I am going to look up the turtle farm now. We have been to Grand Cayman a bunch of times but never with little kids. Our plan was to stay on the ship but now I will look into that
__________________
Bobbie and Dave
Up Next: DISNEY Fantasy 9-29-12!
RCCL: Adventure 2-2003 Enchantment 3-2003 Majesty 5-2003 Adventure 9-2003 Sovereign 11-2003 Sovereign 1-2004 Grandeur 3-2004 Voyager 5-2004 Jewel 1-2005 Majesty 2-2005 Voyager 10-2005 Navigator 2-2006 Explorer 5-2006 Mariner 10-2006 Serenade 4-2007 Sovereign 9-2008 Jewel 11-2011
Princess: Grand 10-2004
NCL: Dawn 10-2006
Disney: Magic 9-2009
Carnival: Inspiration 1-2000 Sensation 5-2010
bobbie0253 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 06:30 PM   #10
Amandalovesminnie
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 29

Thanks so much for the awesome review. We are leaving for our first cruise on Saturday with my 2.5 year old and this review has really settled some of my anxiety. Thanks again.
Amandalovesminnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 06:30 PM   #11
boogabuzz
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 533

Awesome review!! We will be with Bobbi on the 9/29 western we have a 3.5yo(4 in a few weeks) this is our 4th cruise with him, first as at. 18mo. Never a bad experiance. In fact, he has been walking around pulling his suitcase saying "goin on cruise ship" for 2 weeks now. We are counting down the hours...in fact, in less than 96 hours we will be at sea!!!
boogabuzz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 06:33 PM   #12
bobbie0253
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 103

$30 an adult and $20 a child for the turtle farm? hmm $100, think we will pass and just enjoy the ship this time. Maybe next time!
__________________
Bobbie and Dave
Up Next: DISNEY Fantasy 9-29-12!
RCCL: Adventure 2-2003 Enchantment 3-2003 Majesty 5-2003 Adventure 9-2003 Sovereign 11-2003 Sovereign 1-2004 Grandeur 3-2004 Voyager 5-2004 Jewel 1-2005 Majesty 2-2005 Voyager 10-2005 Navigator 2-2006 Explorer 5-2006 Mariner 10-2006 Serenade 4-2007 Sovereign 9-2008 Jewel 11-2011
Princess: Grand 10-2004
NCL: Dawn 10-2006
Disney: Magic 9-2009
Carnival: Inspiration 1-2000 Sensation 5-2010
bobbie0253 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 06:40 PM   #13
boogabuzz
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 533

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbie0253 View Post
$30 an adult and $20 a child for the turtle farm? hmm $100, think we will pass and just enjoy the ship this time. Maybe next time!
There is a Disney excursion that is around the same price. It is the island tour and it takes you to Hell and the turtle farm. Includes admission to see the turtles.
boogabuzz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 06:50 PM   #14
bobbie0253
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 103

Thanks for the info... going to check he Disney site now
__________________
Bobbie and Dave
Up Next: DISNEY Fantasy 9-29-12!
RCCL: Adventure 2-2003 Enchantment 3-2003 Majesty 5-2003 Adventure 9-2003 Sovereign 11-2003 Sovereign 1-2004 Grandeur 3-2004 Voyager 5-2004 Jewel 1-2005 Majesty 2-2005 Voyager 10-2005 Navigator 2-2006 Explorer 5-2006 Mariner 10-2006 Serenade 4-2007 Sovereign 9-2008 Jewel 11-2011
Princess: Grand 10-2004
NCL: Dawn 10-2006
Disney: Magic 9-2009
Carnival: Inspiration 1-2000 Sensation 5-2010
bobbie0253 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2012, 07:05 PM   #15
flyersfan1129
Mouseketeer
 
flyersfan1129's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Flyers Country
Posts: 207

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogabuzz View Post
There is a Disney excursion that is around the same price. It is the island tour and it takes you to Hell and the turtle farm. Includes admission to see the turtles.
Thanks to the OPs review, we just booked this. We were going to book the entire park on our own, but I would rather see the turtles and some more of the island.

Thank you for your review!!
__________________
flyersfan1129 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:47 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: