best time to cruise with kids

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by christinezb, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. christinezb

    christinezb Earning My Ears

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    hello i need some suggestions my husband and i want to take our first family vacation a go on a disney cruise to the caribbean. :banana: When would be the best time to go:confused3 without taking my kids out of school i live in connecticut and the state is very tight with missing any time from school, i know may is a good time but i really can't pull my kids out of school even though they are only in 3rd and 5th grade but i will have the state after me if they miss any time from school. And want to go when the weather is good so we don't get caught in hurricane season.

    And also what is the best ship to go on fantasy or the new disney magic they just redone. Soo if anyone can please help me we are looking to book a cruise for 2015 thank you. :love:
     
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  3. jcarwash

    jcarwash DIS Veteran

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    A few items that may help narrow down your thinking, at least for now.

    DCL is currently booking through April 2015. So if you're thinking of booking now for 2015, you'd be looking at whatever school vacations you have during January through April...which is a fine time to cruise.

    During that period Jan-Apr 2015, the Fantasy is cruising 7-night eastern Caribbean routes and the Magic is sailing 7-night western Caribbean routes. If you have a strong preference on the ports involved, that may help you choose which ship. Eastern port examples are St. Maarten, St. Thomas, or San Juan Puerto Rico. Western port examples are Key West, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mexico. Both eastern and western routes include a stop at Disney's Castaway Cay.

    Another factor for ship choices will be the specific sailing dates and how they fit with your schedule. Fantasy sails every Saturday. Next year during Jan-Apr the Magic sails every Sunday.

    Pricing may also be a factor for you. Generally I'd guess in most (or at least some) cases, the pricing for the Magic is going to be less than the Fantasy. But you'd definitely need to look at the dates, stateroom type, etc. to see what the pricing difference is.
     
  4. SG101

    SG101 Mouseketeer

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    I'm going the first week the kids are out of school. If your kids don't start until mid-September, then early September may be a good time to go because most kids are now starting mid-August.
     
  5. christinezb

    christinezb Earning My Ears

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    thank you for your replies. money really is not an issue to a point i just want to go at a good time and when i really don't have to pull my kids out of school and want to have a good time and good weather but if i have really have to i guess i can have the kids miss a couple of days,

    maybe if i explain the concerns i have and what i really am looking for

    i want to choose the right months and dates without getting stuck in a huricane
    i would like to know the difference between the fantasy and the new magic which would be better. at this point i don't really care where it ports we just need to go on a vacation we have had a bad year and need to get away.

    i know all disney cruise ships are for kids but my kids are 9, 11 which ship would be better oh and they are boys so i don't need all the girly stuff what kind of entertainment would be better the new magic or the fantasy.
     
  6. christinezb

    christinezb Earning My Ears

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    come on 93 people looked at my post and only two replies i thought this forum was to help others who already cruised on disney.
     
  7. Weedy

    Weedy DIS Veteran

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    I suggest going as soon as they get out of school for the summer. No problem with hurricanes in June.
    You will find people equally divided on the Magic or Fantasy. I like the Magic better. Less people on the ship. The crew tends to be people who have worked for Disney longer.
    The Fantasy is bigger, has The Aquduck a larger splash area.
     
  8. bats

    bats Enjoying Bahama Mama's

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    I've retyped what I wanted to type as your last post seems quite demanding .. People offer advice, they're not forced to do it just because someone has asked a question.

    It's probably lacking in answers due to the type of question you ask ... If you ask 10 people why they love a particular ship, you'll probably get 10 different answers. Each person has their own opinions on what makes a ship great and even if you got 10 answers from people with the same family make up you have, you'll still get 10 different answers!

    For us, we love the Magic. We love how small it is and we love that the adult only area is so nice. With the new improvements, I can only imagine that it's even better now (120 odd days to go!)
    The Fantasy is beautiful too though and the AquaLab is a ton of fun for children.

    As for time of year .. You obviously know when hurricane season is, although we've cruised in Sept and Oct and never had bad weather. Bear in mind also, that not everyone knows what school term time you have in your home state, so putting your options up for people to see may help them offer advice.

    People will answer if they feel the ability to, so you always get lots of people reading and running .. It's not a bad thing though. This forum is very friendly and extremely helpful.
     
  9. tweis

    tweis DIS Veteran

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    I would recommend May or June since you have school age children. As for the Magic or Fantasy, I would sail either. Of course, if you sail over the summer, the Magic will be in the Med and the Fantasy will be in the Caribbean so it really depends on where you want to go.
     
  10. CaliforniaMama

    CaliforniaMama Mouseketeer

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    While I am not advocating for kids to miss school (I am an elementary teacher), many people do not realize that they can have their children placed on independent study for vacations during the school year. The teacher assigns a certain amount of work to be done, and the child does not have any absences for that time period provided the child turns in the work. I recently had a student out for a week (part of it was spent on a cruise), and last year I had a student spend a month in another country. It was no big deal. We live in California, but I am sure all states have something like this. It isn't advertised though. You should ask the school secretary if you are interested in traveling at a less expensive time. Finally, I would not recommend this if attendance is already an issue for your children.
     
  11. Weedy

    Weedy DIS Veteran

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    I suggest going as soon as they get out of school for the summer. No problem with hurricanes in June.
    You will find people equally divided on the Magic or Fantasy. I like the Magic better. Less people on the ship. The crew tends to be people who have worked for Disney longer.
    The Fantasy is bigger, has The Aquduck a larger splash area.
     
  12. christinezb

    christinezb Earning My Ears

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    for the one who answered my post that thinks im demanding im not i am only just asking for some suggestions for people who already cruised i thought thats what this forum was all about if they don't want to answer my post why read it. you call that friendly help.

    i guess i went on the wrong forum for help and suggestions for people who will be cruising for the first time. I am only asking for advice and suggestions and i was only giving information to help with my question i didn't need that rude reply i will find another forum to get the help that i need without the rude replies.
     
  13. pressedKenny

    pressedKenny Earning My Ears

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    My kids aren't old enough to be in school yet so I can't help you there.

    But one thing I can share is that the kids club on the Magic has the new Avengers Academy whereas the Fantasy has the Monsters Academy. Not that this should be a deciding factor ... but once my son got excited over the Avengers Academy pictures it definitely influenced our decision. Something to consider if your kids are into the Avengers.
     
  14. calimom951

    calimom951 Earning My Ears

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    Wow! Thanks for this. I am also in Cali just an hour from you. Didn't know this and will keep this in mind when planning future cruises.
     
  15. JAMWDW

    JAMWDW Mouseketeer

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    We cruised on the Dream last June, as soon as school was out, with our 12 year old son who had the time of his life. The weather was great, and there weren't any threats of hurricanes or tropical storms. We prefer to keep him in school as much as possible, so choose to vacation during his time off. Plus, my husband is a teacher and mid-school year vacations are generally frowned upon! This summer we're going to try Alaska on the Wonder. It's smaller and less 'techie', but I expect we'll all have as good a time as we did on the Dream. From what I've gathered from these threads, every ship has its own identity and is thus special in its own way. That said, I tend to agree with the folks who suggest going with the itinerary that appeals most to you. You and your boys will have a great time no matter what ship you decide upon. Have fun!
     
  16. stefnted

    stefnted California Disney Girl

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    I have no suggestion for a good time as I have taken my kids out of school for the 2 cruises we have done. Not sure that I would still do that once they reach middle/high school but for now it works for us. My suggestion though, is to double check with your school office or district office on the policies (if you have not already). I live in California and we are able to sign a "contract" if a student is going to be out of class for more than 5 days. Basically, the teacher puts together a home school packet for the time that will be missed and the student brings it back completed after the trip. This way the state still pays for the student as if they had been at school. Not sure if your state offers something like that but it's worth looking into! Good luck :)
     
  17. ACJT

    ACJT DIS Veteran

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    Wow. Do you think that possibly others are looking for an answer to your question too ? Might by why they read this post.

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  18. jburge12000

    jburge12000 Mouseketeer

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    I have 2 elem. age kids as well. The last 2 cruises we took we found weeks that the kids had either vacations or half days so the did not miss as much school. In 2012 the week before most kids got out for Thanksgiving break my kids had the Monday and Friday off and 3 half days in between. We did a week on the Fantasy and the kids only missed 3 half days and we pulled them out early the day we left to catch the plane. We got the teacher to give us the work before we left but since it was all half days, they were able to get it all done on the plane rides. Ship was not near full and CC was great. Travel was also easier than going over a holiday. or summer It worked out so well that we surprised the kids with a 3 day Dream to the Bahamas this past Oct since they had Thursday and Friday off for Halloween. Kids missed one day of school to travel. Would recommend you look at your schools schedule and see if they have any teacher collaboration days or halfs, those long weekends work well for our family. Weather was great both times.
     
  19. WorldWacky

    WorldWacky DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 That's why I stopped by. We're new to cruising too.
     
  20. natmom

    natmom Mouseketeer

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    We cruised the dream in May last year. The weather was beautiful, not now drop of rain. We are from canada and are able to pull our children from school easily so they did miss school. My kids were 10 and 12 last year and had the time of their lives! We booked a 7 night on the fantasy this may again. My kids enjoyed the sports deck, kids clubs, movies and shows, aqua duck, all you can eat ice cream :rotfl:
     
  21. Barefoot Princess

    Barefoot Princess Earning My Ears

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    I can't help you with the cruise itself, but I can add my thoughts about CT schools since we live in CT also. I'm not sure where you received the information that the state of CT is going to come after you if the children miss school, but whoever told you that is wrong. We've known several families who pulled their children out during the school year for few days and they never received any threats from the state.

    That being said, some school district may have their own rules about attendance, and perhaps this is what you may have heard. My children go to a magnet school, and we had to sign a contract that we as a family will ensure that we will make our best effort to make sure they attend the school 95% of the school days (excluding sick days), or risk being sent back to the neighborhood school. Of course, we know few families at this school who have pulled their kids out of school to go on vacation, and as long as they communicated with the school ahead of time it seemed all right with the school. But this is not a state-wide standard.

    My point is, while I'm not advocating for your children to miss school, you may be worrying about state education gestapo for no reason (because there isn't one). If you can go on a vacation while the kids are on school break, that's best - but if they missed couple of days, the state is not going to kick them out of school. Of course, I am making some assumptions that the kids haven't missed a lot of days already (other than sick days) and that they are not behind on their schoolwork. I think the best way is to just talk to the principal at your kids' school.

    I wish you luck on finding a great time to go on vacation - I'm sure you will have fun no matter what you decide with :)
     

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