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Old 02-23-2013, 09:20 AM   #31
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We have cruised on DCL both with and without our kids. When we went on our first cruise our kids were 7-16. They found that they didn't like the kids' clubs as much as they liked hanging with us and their siblings. Having four kids means they can't all go to the same clubs with each other. We were fine with that. We found plenty to do with them as a family and didn't miss the adult areas at all. We did 4 cruises over the years with some or all of the kids. Now that they are all grown up, we still go on DCL without them. We have a totally different type of cruise and we love it just as much (ok more...) than we did with the kids. We love to walk by the family pool and then keep on going!!!

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Old 02-23-2013, 09:22 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by ethanwa View Post
... As far as night time activities, how can we do that with a 5/7 year old? We can't just leave them in the room alone while they sleep.
The kid clubs operate until at least midnight, and while my kids did have an earlier bedtime at home, on the ship they are on vacation also. As long as DS woke up in a decent mood in the morning when we had to get up for an excursion, he was able to stay in the club until closing.

We started cruising when the kids were 3 & 5. DS5 loved the club but DD3 didn't care for it. DH traveled for work and she wanted to spend time with him, which was fine with us because we did pick DCL for the family. DS even begged to stay in the club when we wanted to walk around the port area one day, and after thinking about it a while we let him. Why make him go shopping in the heat with all the fun stuff to do there? That cruise DD was with at least one of us the entire time. We didn't run out of activities, even on the classic ship. I went on a galley tour that first cruise, but besides that never saw any adult only areas. Now that the kids are 12 & 14 we have started being able to go to the nightclub for the adult show and even spend a little time at the adult pool. I am determined to actually see Serenity Bay next month!!! It will be our 10th stop at CC, but I have enjoyed every single previous one even though we stayed at the family beach with the kids and friends. I don't feel that we missed out on anything the many cruises we go anywhere but Palo without at least one of the kids.

Originally Posted by ethanwa View Post
No I was referring more to the "maybe it's not right for us" because it sounds like a lot of the kids activities involve us dropping them off... i just want to make sure there are enough family activities for people like us who like to stay together.
You can check out the navigators to see what is planned during the day. Enjoy the almost empty pools on port days if you return to the ship in the morning, or delay getting off the ship. DD loved being at the pool and had it to herself many mornings. When we needed to get her out of the sun, there were activities in the atrium, Studio Sea and even the movies. We have also had a lot of fun watching the kids attempt to play shuffleboard over the years. On the new ships there is the detective agency game, which is interactive.

Originally Posted by bobbiwoz View Post
Coming up is our 4th DCL cruise with DS's family. DS, DDiL do not just let the kids go off on their own. There are times they were with the kids in a club. Maybe this has changed?
The policy has changed. A little over a year ago DCL stopped allowing adults into the secured kids programming. They have open house times designated each day when adults can take their children, but kids have to be with an adult to even enter the area during that time.

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Old 02-23-2013, 09:23 AM   #33
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What's with all the kids spaces on board?

Disney cruises are not just for kids, so they offer exclusive spaces for each age group as well as spaces for the whole family. And the adult lounges are only adults only after 6pm or so. They use those lounges for events during the day.

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Old 02-23-2013, 09:25 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by ethanwa

No I was referring more to the "maybe it's not right for us" because it sounds like a lot of the kids activities involve us dropping them off... i just want to make sure there are enough family activities for people like us who like to stay together.
There is lots to do together. The way the ships are set up affords plenty of flexibility. You can enjoy the kids areas with your children during open house hours. See the shows together. Enjoy some if the areas that are adult only at night during the day. Use the family areas. Explore the ports together. I didn't see the adult only areas other than the spa fir two hours on my first cruise and had more than enough to do with movies, trivia, characters, shows, pools etc.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:35 AM   #35
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We were on the Dream in January with our daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters 5 and 7. My husband and I sailed on the Dream last January and loved all the adult only areas but knew that this would be a fun family trip. The 5 year old was worried about going because she thought "mommy would have to stay in the adult areas and I would have to stay in the kids areas and we would never see each other". Once her mommy assured her that they would stay together, she was fine. We had a wonderful trip - we checked out Oceaneers Club at the Open House before sailing but it had too many computer areas and that would be too tempting for the 7 year old. We found so many great activities for all of us to do together - character meet and greets, movies,Midship Detective Agency, stage shows, AquaDuck, the dance party with the characters on the day at sea, was an incredible trip. But it's also nice to know that when my husband and I want a Disney quality cruise (we have sailed other cruise lines but nobody does it like Disney) we can have areas where we can be away from tons of kids and have a quiet experience. Debbie
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:39 AM   #36
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DCL makes a lot of money from the adult only areas - spa, clubs, cove cafe, palos, remys. By providing a club for adults only, guests are more likely to go there and order a drink. Or six.

I'm not a big drinker and don't usually drink when my kids are around (because I never drive after I've been drinking and when my kids are around, I'm ALWAYS driving). If I were with a group of just adults, in the clubs, I'd order a drink. I'm taking my mother and an older cousin on a cruise soon and I'm already planning on doing several tastings, going to palos, hanging out in the rainforest.

Disney has to play the percentages. When I cruised with just my 17 year old, Disney would have made more money off me if they let her in Palos, in the spa, even in the clubs. But the majority of the guests don't want anyone under 18 in those areas so Disney goes with what the majority wants and I saved my money and we did the family things. When she's 18, things will change a little on how we spend our on-board dollars. She was okay with the clubs but spent little time there and will enjoy the adult activities more.

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Old 02-23-2013, 09:46 AM   #37
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For us, it works out perfectly because my DH works 6 days a week and only gets 1 week of vacation a year. We don't have much money for vacations so this will be a VERY big deal for us (will be our first and prob only disney cruise we'll ever be able to afford). We have family and friends that get the opportunity to take weekend trips that are adults only and then they take vacations with their kids too, which is great, but we just don't have that option.

We adore our kids and every year we go to the outer banks for vacation and spend every minute with them. It's awesome and we all have so much fun. But, I am a SAHM and have spent the last 8 years doing nothing but take care of their every need and spend every waking minute with them (even the two that are in school can't get rid of me b/c I volunteer in their classes every week). I think that when we pay thousands of dollars for a vacation, my DH and I have earned a couple hours of peace and quiet and relaxation where we aren't worrying that someone will drown or having to listen to the whining and fighting, or having to rinse sand out of someones eyes, etc. I'm really looking forward to getting a couple hours at the adult pool and hopefully even a couple hours on the adult beach. We might even try to check out a bar after dinner one night if there isn't a show/movie we all want to see. We aren't the kind that will have them in there all day and night long but to have a little break (for everyone!) will definitely be nice.

Not to mention, our kids are really looking forward to going to the kids club areas. They look at the pics online and drool. I dare say, they will have more fun in the clubs than with their boring parents or in the over-crowded pools. BUT with that being said, if by some chance they hate it, we'll be more than happy to just spend that time with them.
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:48 AM   #38
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We are going on our 1st Disney Cruise in Oct Me DH DS8, the reason we are going is DS want to go to the kids only area so much, Which makes me a little sad but hey I can't keep him forever!!! We tend to do everything as a family and I think it maybe us at a lose, But I love the idea select areas and maybe we expect a lot from him we like to dine at the signature restaurants at WDW and we know he will act appropriately. So I will be able to relax more knowing when DS is playing and having fun in either the Kids area or Family area we won't be spoiling things for the Adults only, because if kids are playing and having fun (I don't mean being naughty) then adults can't get upset you can go to you own area and get out of ours, LOL. But its only 221 days away!!! TTFN Jo
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:57 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by ethanwa
I don't get it... I'm going with my KIDS on a DISNEY cruise... why are there so many adult sections and restaurants on the ship? My kids want to spend the whole time with us and I feel like it cuts off part of the boat for us...

Am I the only one who is confused by this? If you want adults-only why don't you go on a Royal Caribbean cruise?

I get where you're coming from. There have been several threads on this board lately where adults are really upset by kids being in adults only areas, which makes it seem if there are many. We have only been on one cruise (on the Dream) and we are one of those families that really enjoys being together. We feel like we run in so many directions in the real world, we WANT to be together on vacation. And that's perfectly fine, just as it's perfectly fine if you need a break from the kids. I can tell you that the ship was so huge, we didn't feel as if we missed out on anything. We had an absolute blast spending most of our time together as a family. That being said, our kids did enjoy going to the clubs without us, but they never stayed long.

I think hearing so much complaining about kids in adult areas makes it seem like there are more restricted areas than there actually are. I can't speak for the classic ships, but we barely even noticed it on the Dream. You can go, spend the whole time with your kids, and not feel like you're missing a thing. The adult areas are very much geared to adults, and I believe your kids would find them boring anyway.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:05 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by tessa67 View Post
LOL, my daughter can't wait to be separated from me; she would forgo meals/sleep/pool for the kids clubs if I would let her.
Yep, mine too.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:08 AM   #41
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I've been on two Disney cruises so far and I don't have kids. I've also cruised RCCL and am a far bigger DCL fan.

There are a lot of definitions of "family" and I think DCL does an incredible job making sure there's something special for all of them. IMO, DCL pays a lot more attention to providing areas for kids, areas for families traveling with kids that want to do things together, and areas for adults who might want some time away from kids. As one would expect, the vast majority of things on the ship are kid-friendly. Once onboard, I really don't think you'll find that you feel limited or that big parts of the ship are cut off for you.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:39 AM   #42
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Will be going on our 4th DCL cruise on 3/9.
Only one of these did we take our youngest with us,he was 9 at the time-he is now 22. Otherwise,it's just DH & I.
DS has ADHD. You can bet DH & I were a tad anxious ourselves about how he would respond to all the activity and constant commotion on the ship.
WE had a few episodes at WDW, with some rides and were hoping a cruise might be more suited to his abilities to deal with the environment.
Well.he LOVED it!! Being in the club,for short periods of time,made him feel more sure of himself,that he could handle being a tad more independent. The CM's were so absolutely wonderful with him.
We went on shore excursions together,ate all our meals together,saw movies together. But raising children,with or without disabilities, can be draining and parents have to take care of themselves too.
So we certainly did make use of the adult only areas,which is why we not just love cruising,but cruising with DCL-they invented the adult only concept and provide the most venues and variety of any cruise line,while others are still trying to catch up.
Cruises provide the opportunity for all kinds of families to tailor their vacation to their individual needs and at the end of the day,everyone had their own great time.
So yes, it'll be just DH & I in a few weeks,again.
When you've been on other lines,like we have, you see & feel the difference,from the way the employees are trained,to number and quality of activities, ship cleanliness,food,the whole package. DCL is classy,which is what we pay more for.
We have 4 children and 10 grandchildren and all their schedules haven't allowed for a family vacation yet. But when all the planets align & we can be in one place at one time for more than just two days, we'll be trying for a DCL vacation.
Until then, DH & I are cruising!!!!!
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:40 AM   #43
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Want brutal honesty? I prefer Adult only areas on a ship..not to escape MY children..but to escape OTHER PEOPLE'S LITTLE BRATS if my kids want to have club activity time.

Plus, Disney, by nature of being Disney, draws lots of families. The adult areas are a way of easing the minds of non child luxury travelers that they can "escape" itty bitty bundles of id if they need to.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:54 AM   #44
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If anything I would think the kids only areas would be the bigger problem because parents can't follow their kids in there. As far as adults only areas, on the newer ships anyway...

its a small pool with a can use the main pool area with Mickey slide

a cafe...and if your kids really want to go to a cafe there is one near the atrium open to all

bars at night...but several of them are open earlier in the day and even feature family dance parties in the nightclub

The sun deck on deck 13fwd... But if you want a quieter area from the main pools then there is a small area on deck 12 forward with a little splash pool

I really think it's not a big issue, there's more things that are kids only than adults only. There is plenty to do as a family.

Personally I would like more adults only areas in the parks too.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:09 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by sweetpee_1993 View Post
I cruise Disney because I love Disney. I'm a big kid at heart. I've loved Disney my whole life since well before I ever dreamed I'd even be a mom. My "babies" are now 15 & almost 17. We all still very much enjoy the Disney experience with the nostalgia and whimsy mixed-in. That said, I love that the Disney ships offer spaces and activities geared towards all age groups. "All" includes adults-only. There's plenty of designated spaces and activities that are kids only. There's clubs & fun stuff for the tweens and for the teens. Believe me, the TEENS really don't want us adults crashin' their digs! There's spaces and activities designated as family entertainment. Why shouldn't there be spaces and activities designated as adults only? Disney isn't just for little kids. It's for kids at heart of all ages. That's why I choose Disney. I'm not down with casinos, party boats, and sailing sans my favorite Big Cheese. Disney is for everyone. Not just adults. Not just families. Not just kids. Everyone. So on a Disney cruise with your family you can do things together then you can do things independent of each other. It's the best of both worlds all rolled into one fantastic experience. That's why I go!
I agree with this!!!! I love kids (mine are now 25, 22 and 13), but I am grateful there are some areas which are child free. When DS Is doing his thing in the Edge, DH and I can chill in our space too. As the above poster says, Disney is for everybody. There are plenty of kids and family activities and areas, why would you want to deny adults (quite often hard working parents) a little quiet time away from kids whilst their own are enjoying their cruise
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