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Old 10-06-2013, 12:29 PM   #1
Liltx
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My kids don't like the clubs, any ideas?

YIKES! Just found this out from my 10yo. They don't know we're going in a few weeks. Their previous DC was with my parents. Before that they have been on several mass market lines and have always enjoyed the clubs, like have to drag them out at midnight! They couldn't stop talking about the Disney cruise so I thought that included the club as well. Guess not!
My dd said that RCCL ocean adventure club is so much more fun, that there are lots more games and activities (they do something different every 15 minutes or so and kids can't opt out). I think the split age groups allow them to make the activities more age appropriate maybe? She said that Disney didn't have that much to do besides art and computers. She says she likes the Disney ship better and activities outside the clubs but the clubs are boring. Any ideas for how to get them more active in the clubs? My other dd is 8. They will be spending time in the clubs. We vacation many other places in a year and spend lots of time together on those but our yearly cruise is for kids to have fun and adults to relax by the pool, spa, dinners and clubs. That is when we even take the kids along We were hoping that the Disney portion of the cruise would help the kids to enjoy the clubs more not less! Please help with idea.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
Lisa Lisa
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Our DD was 8 on our first DCL cruise and she was completely uninterested in the Club/Lab. Before our second cruise (a little over a year later), I reached out to a couple of people in our cruise meet group with girls the same age. DD ended up meeting one of the girls early in the cruise, and she decided to give the Lab a try since her new friend was going. She ended up going for at least one scheduled activity per day, as well as for a couple of hours after dinner each night. We found that, during the day, she only wanted to go if there was a specific activity that interested her. She was most interested in the Sloppy Science activities. Having a friend onboard who encouraged her to go to the club was the key for us.
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Old 10-06-2013, 12:53 PM   #3
DOPEYLUVER
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Is it possible your parents convinced the kids they weren't enjoying themselves because they wanted to spend more time with them?

My other thought is the time of year. I know when we cruised with my kids years ago (not Disney) the make up of the kids group varied greatly. The only time they really didn't enjoy it at all was when we went on an early season Alaska cruise. My three were around 11,12,13. They were the ONLY kids on the ship that age. Others were toddlers. Thankfully they were very interested in the itinerary so had fun without having made friends on the cruise.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:02 PM   #4
Donna3271
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My kids have no interest in the clubs either. We were in Alaska this summer, and not one of them went to the clubs. I find this so upsetting!!! They promise they will go to the labs on our Nov Magic cruise to see Andy's room, and the Avenger area.

My twin girls will be turning 8 in Nov, and my son is 11. Go figure!!!
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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My oldest did have a friend from her table and they did make plans to meet there each day. That did help her to enjoy it more. She is very outgoing so I will make sure to encourage her to make new friends the first day. My youngest is very shy but fine with doing lots of art.
My parents have cruised with my kids three other times and they do enjoy the "break" the clubs give them so I don't think they would discourage them.
I will plan to take them right before a fun activity starts, hopefully that will get them interested. It's not that they won't go either way, they are pretty accommodating kids and know that they are expected to go to the clubs. I will make sure they know which activities to join each time they are dropped off.
I wonder if the mixed age groups are the problem. Seems very beneficial to the middle ages but leaves the younger ones overwhelmed and the older underwhelmed? I can't see how playing gaga ball (their favorite) with a three year old would kill it. Hmmmmmm. . .
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liltx View Post
My oldest did have a friend from her table and they did make plans to meet there each day. That did help her to enjoy it more. She is very outgoing so I will make sure to encourage her to make new friends the first day. My youngest is very shy but fine with doing lots of art.
My parents have cruised with my kids three other times and they do enjoy the "break" the clubs give them so I don't think they would discourage them.
I will plan to take them right before a fun activity starts, hopefully that will get them interested. It's not that they won't go either way, they are pretty accommodating kids and know that they are expected to go to the clubs. I will make sure they know which activities to join each time they are dropped off.
I wonder if the mixed age groups are the problem. Seems very beneficial to the middle ages but leaves the younger ones overwhelmed and the older underwhelmed? I can't see how playing gaga ball (their favorite) with a three year old would kill it. Hmmmmmm. . .
I know that for my DD, choosing her own activities helped her to sort of "buy in" to the whole Club thing. I'm a little nervous about how things will go on our spring break cruise in April. She will be about 6 weeks shy of her 11th birthday, so not old enough for Edge. I do think you're right that the Club/Lab isn't always ideal for the youngest and oldest kids in the age group.
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Old 10-06-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
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Even if they "say" they don't like the clubs, I'd make them go anyway, if you have "adult" plans for yourselves. Think of it like daycare at home, if you have to use it, they don't really have a choice now, do they? And they usually find something they can enjoy here and there.

My 10 year old didn't like the Oceaneer Lab that much. However, we had him go at least 60-90 minutes a day (on sea days) and I tried to schedule it for when they were having a magic show or a science or cooking activity or something. And then when the activity wasn't going on, he would go straight to one of the computer games and do that. He found a couple games he admitted he liked.

What he did like, kid-wise was the ship's detective agency game. He's old enough where he could go around the ship on his own to find the clues. He loved it so much he wanted to do more than one of the mysteries!

Last edited by jimsubry; 10-06-2013 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:14 PM   #8
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I agree try for a hookup with others the same age in your Meet, but also wanted to add that my sons (7) always say they don't want to go to the club, want to hang out with us, the club is boring, etc etc etc . Then they have to go because we are going to Palo or something, and they never want to leave.

I would encourage them to just try it (when you want to do something), and see what happens.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:23 PM   #9
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DD has never really liked the clubs, from age 3-12 on 10 cruises. We only asked her to go to the club after she was 5 so we could go to dinner at Palo and that was when she was with a friend whose parents went with us. Both girls knew when 2 hours had passed and had us all paged. Other times we arranged for the kids to go to dinner with friends we sat with until the kids were 9 & 11, and went to the MDR themselves. We walked them to the table. DD still doesn't like the club much. She meets up with kids her age before the cruise through our meet thread and hangs out with them around the ship, with DS14 keeping an eye on the girls and walking them all to their rooms after dark. We only just started going to the adult nightclub two cruises ago when the kids were 11 & 13 because of the fact that DD didn't like staying in the club. Oh, and I just went to the adult pool/satellite falls area for the first time our last cruise. Loved it, but I wouldn't be able to relax at the pool or elsewhere if I knew DD was miserable in the club. We choose DCL because it is a great family vacation for us. Of course, we don't use sitters at home either and do things as a family.
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:32 PM   #10
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My youngest daughter does not like the clubs, and I just remind myself to be thankful that my kids like to do things with me still. I already see in my oldest daughter the importance of her friends and soon they will want to do everything on there own.

To me the big difference between DCL and other cruise lines, is there is so much for families to do together, other cruise lines have kids clubs, or activities that kids can do on there own, but few with activities for everyone to do together.
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:36 PM   #11
Liltx
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Just lost my post, anyway, thank you so much for the tips.

We cruise to relax, family time is a by product of this. Plenty of family time but not the main objective. We have had family vacations to WDW, Destin, and Santa Fe this year where we spent almost every minute together. We cruise once a year with and sometimes without the kids. The clubs are a very important part of cruising for us and I guess I never thought the kids could possibly not like them. As I said, they couldn't stop talking about the Disney cruise. They will spend some time there like it or not but I am thinking this will be a very different cruise from our normal routine. Usually, the kids only eat one or two dinners with us and prefer to eat room service and head to the clubs while we are at dinner.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:44 PM   #12
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Can they stay with a relative? Tell them they aren't going and see how quick they change their minds
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:13 PM   #13
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Well at night we always tell them after dinner if they want to stay up and play they can go to the club otherwise we will head back to the room for an early night to relax and catch up on sleep a little. That usually encourages them to go to the club at least for a bit in the evenings (not pirate night of course)! But often once they do a few things they end up loving it and want to go back all the time 😄
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #14
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My nieces never liked the Disney clubs much either. This year we went on a RCCL Allure cruise and they loved the clubs. When asked what was different they said that on the Allure they played organized games (like gaga ball), or all did the same craft. On the Disney cruises they were more left on their own to find something to do. They didnt like the computer games on the Disney ships.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #15
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Have a plan

My now 8 yr old son likes the club however he doesn't want to be there all day which i wouldn't either since there are so many other things to do onboard.

In the morning we all go to the pool and hang out on deck. After lunch my son goes to the kids club for some planned activity he chose the night before to do, typically in the lab and for about 2-3 hours. We then all meet up around 4 for family time again. We always do the late dinner and my son never wants to sit there the entire time while we eat(unless in Animators) so he does dine and play. After dinner we go to pick him up from the lab, sometimes he is ready sometimes not.

I think the key is not too much time in lab/club and at specific times that fit into the family schedule and let them have a say too.
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