How young is too young for the cruise for kids?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by SpaceAce, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. SpaceAce

    SpaceAce Mouseketeer

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    How young is too young for a child to enjoy the Disney cruise line experience. My wife and I just watch a travel channel special on it and are looking forward to it. Of course, my youngest is 2 weeks old and we have several years, but would like to plan ahead financially for it?

    Also, is there enough to keep kids entertained for the whole 7 days, or would you suggest the 3-4 day thing?

    THanks to all,
    Greg
     
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  3. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    I think that any aged child can enjoy a Disney cruise. It really depends on what you are expecting out of the cruise. The characters are great & you get more interaction with them than at the crowded parks IMO. There is definitely enough to keep you all busy for 7 days...and them some. We have gone on three 7 day cruises so far & haven't done all of the activities onboard that I want to. :)
     
  4. ivanova

    ivanova <font color=blue>DIS Veteran<br><font color=red>Hi

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    I'm not sure I'd say an infant would "enjoy" a cruise ... but toddler age and up would definitely enjoy it, and there's plenty for them to do ... now enjoying the cruise of course will be different from remembering it ;) A two year old won't remember cruising when they're 21, so plan on taking a lot of pictures. :teeth:
     
  5. ibouncetoo

    ibouncetoo <font color=009999>I get excited by the little thi

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    I'd think a child under four (or in my case 5) won't remember a cruise (IN LATER LIFE), so you'd be taking those little ones for their enjoyment "in the moment" and for your enjoyment and memories.

    I had a traumatic hospital experience just before my fifth birthday....and don't remember anything before that experience. I have friends that claim they remember things from when they were three...but I think it's just becuse they have photos and family stories from that time. Maybe for me it was because we didn't have a lot of photos of those early years that I didn't have the opportunity to retain early childhood memories. So TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES AND VIDEO ::yes::
     
  6. Skuba2

    Skuba2 DIS Veteran

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    I think there is a point where kids can be "too young" for a cruise--especially one costing as much as this one does. I think you have to take into consideration the child and that isn't easy when you are "pre-planning" this early for a cruise.

    I would ask several questions of myself:

    1--How reasonable is my child in new environments? Do they listen to reason and can they "go with the flow" so to speak? If they are a high-maintenance child, I think the risk of it becoming unenjoyable for everyone is too great.

    2--What are your expectations for your enjoyment of the cruise? Do you want to go see show? Will your child sit through them? Will you have alternate plans for him or both of you if he won't or do you have to miss out on the show?

    3--Does a child at that age really benefit from a cruise or would an all inclusive resort do just as well and maybe be less expensive?

    4--It is always a persona decision. What am I willing to do and not do in order to make the experience a pleasant one for all involved?

    I come from experience. I took my 2 daughters on a carnival cruise (2 1/2 and 5 1/2) because Disney wouldn't take under 3 in the clubs. I hated it, my husband hated it, she hated it. It was the worst vacation we had ever taken and I contribute it all to her age. Trying to accomodate her schedule with our schedule and what we wanted to do. We even took my 16 year old cousin with us to kind of help out with the kids. She became a kid herself---she got very homesick for the first half but finally came around to having some fun the second.

    I have since cruised twice on Disney (Youngest daughter was then 5 and 7) and it worked out beautifully. My son was born before our first Disney cruise and he didn't go on either of them. He is finally joining us on this one at the age of soon-to-be 5 (he turns the 5th day on the boat). I am bracing myself for some small issues. He has sensory issues so he can get overstimulated. But, as I told my dh, we cannot and will not expect him to be in the clubs nearly as much as the girls have in the past. If we are right, then we have the mindset we need to really enjoy ourselves anyway. If we are wrong and we can't get him out---then darn, we were wrong and we are gonna party. LOL!!

    What it boils down to is the decision is purely your own to make. You just can't make a decision like that and close your eyes and hope for the best. The more you plan and the more you prepare for any and all situations, the more you get out of the experience. Expect the best but plan for the worst.

    DG
     
  7. lbgraves

    lbgraves Little Cinderella's Mommy

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    DCL only charges port fees & taxes for kids up to 3, so that is a great savings. ;) DD3 never stopped talking about the cruise. Her & DS5 acted out everything that they had seen on the ship. That was when DD discovered her stage presence...LOL! She would sing a bit, dance, then hold up her hands & TADA and bow. :)

    I know that I wish we had discovered DCL before we did with the kids at 3 & 5. I would have LOVED to have taken a week off from cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc and had DH with us for 7 full days in a row...9 with travel. :)
     
  8. pearlieq

    pearlieq <font color=green>They can sit & spin<br><font col

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    My own personal opinion is that I wouldn't take child under three and/or not potty trained. I'd want the kid to be able to use the clubs and pool and I wouldn't want to pay all that money for the cruise and still have to shell out for Flounders!
     
  9. momsully

    momsully <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    I tend to agree with this as DS4 is a fish and has been swimming since he was a baby. I could never have kept him out of the pool at 2 and it would have been a difficult cruise. If he had been an only child maybe but having an older brother he would have been upset if his brother swam and he did not.
     
  10. flexsmom

    flexsmom <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    My DD7 first went when she was 3 1/2 years old. She talks about things that happened on that cruise as well as on one when she was almost 5. On that second one, we also had DS who was 21 months at the time. We were with a large group, and because of that we had 6 adults who could rotate time in the stateroom for his naps, etc., which really helped out. We didn't mind paying for Flounders for a couple of nights and a couple of mornings. He seemed to enjoy himself, and loved the two beach days we had playing with his big sister in the sand.
     
  11. josetann

    josetann Earning My Ears

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    Another thing to consider, is how much YOU'LL be able to enjoy the cruise. A cruise now may be ideal, as your baby is too young to go running off, getting lost, getting into trouble, etc. He/she won't mind staying in the stateroom with you, or doing pretty much any activity you want to do. Of course, if he/she starts crying in the middle of a show, it'd be nice to have someone else there who could babysit for you.

    Once your child is old enough to walk/run, it's a completely different story. I would guess that the best age to take a child on a cruise would be between 3-12 months, then sometime after 3-4 years. Between years 1 and 3 your child may want to do a lot of activities that he/she's not allowed to do. Plus, he/she'll be able to wander off and will be harder to keep track of.

    Of course, every child is different. We'll be taking our son on his first cruise shortly after he's 12 weeks old. I think my wife and I will need a vacation at that point, but won't want to be away from our new baby. Now we just need to get someone to come with us for babysitting duties.
     
  12. SpaceAce

    SpaceAce Mouseketeer

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    Thanks everyone. I was also wondering...which do you think toddlers would like better - a day on the cruise or a day in one of the Disney parks?
    THanks all!
     
  13. Cindi0511

    Cindi0511 <font color=green>I have a hard time biting my ton

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    Tough question -- I think they'd be happy either way. We took our daughter when she was about 27 months, and she had a ball on the cruise. She has also loved the parks. It's all different stuff and new to them, so the question may be more what YOU would like. Most kids would probably enjoy either one equally well. Have a great time, whatever your decision! :sunny:
     
  14. curlybop

    curlybop DIS Veteran

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    We are going on our first cruise next spring. Our daughter will turn 5 when we're sailing!

    The biggest tip I can give about traveling w/ a child is this: Do it a bit at a time, building up to the big vacation. We take short vacations right now, maybe 2-3 nights, and stay in a hotel. DD loves it, and always asks when we're going to stay at a hotel & swim in the pools again. I think she's adjusted fairly well, by sleeping in a different place, and it's shown her how to adapt when away from home. :thumbsup2

    If the day comes when we have another, we'll probably wait until that child turns 2, and sail again. For us, though labeled the "terrible twos", that was the age when DD could eat pretty much anything, run, walk, and be a bit more verbal in her wants & needs.
     
  15. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

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    Well, from an economic standpoint, consider going a month before the child turns 3. If he/she is potty trained, she will be allowed to participate in the club programming, and you will pay only the port charges and taxes (since there is no "cruise fare" for children under 3).

    From an enjoyment standpoint, it really depends on the family and the child. If your child will go to programming part of the time (and give mom/dad a break), it can be great. If your child needs constant mommy care--well, does that really give mom a vacation?

    As to having to "shell out" for FLounder's for a child under 3, yeah, there is that babysitting fee, but you don't pay for that child to cruise so it sort of evens out.
     
  16. kellyb2000

    kellyb2000 <font color=green>I admit it...my username is bori

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    Well, I'm going to be Miss Negative because that's what our son's first experience was (he was 9 months old). It's partly my fault because I must have expected too much and wanted to do too much thinking that he would act the way he did at home but it didn't happen that way. He wouldn't take his naps for anything (and I have a very good napper to this day) which made him so fussy. This was a child that would take about 3 naps during the day and just refused. Even being out in the sun and water, he just wouldn't give it up. This was also about the time that he got really attached to his blanket, and he would not sleep in the pack and play for nothing which meant he was in the bed with us (not something that happened a lot at home). When we got home he was successful in continuing this! (I know, I know. I could have fought a little harder but let's not go there!) We went last Sept. when he was almost 3 and he had a ball. I don't think I would take a child unless he was old enough for the clubs.
     
  17. B9erSteve

    B9erSteve Disney Dad

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    I'm waiting until my daughter is over three. I think that she will enjoy it more and I am looking at the cruise as a whole family exprience. In other words, The kids will love the Disney aspect of the cruise and my wife and I will enjoy a cruise that is both with the kids and without the kids. Under 3 and my daughter would be with us exclusively except for those few times that she would go into flounders.
     
  18. OurMsBrooks

    OurMsBrooks Mouseketeer

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    I really believe the Disney Cruise is for all ages, but I would advise against the one mistake we made with our DS, who was 2 1/2 at the time. On the first day the whole family went to tour the amazing, wonderful, colorful, imaginative, fantastic kid spaces where DD, 6, would be playing. THEN we went to the very nice Flounders. If we had ONLY gone to visit Flounders, DS would likely have been fine. But once he realized that where his sister was going was vastly cooler than where he was going, he was not happy.

    We had the best vacation of our lives, but it would have been even better if DS were a year younger or older, or if we had simply not shown him the Club at all. We're going back in June with our kids, who will be 10, 6 & 3, and I am just counting the days!!
     
  19. B9erSteve

    B9erSteve Disney Dad

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    OH! Ouch! I can see me making that mistake! Thanks for the heads up!
     
  20. Mom24Princesses

    Mom24Princesses DIS Veteran

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    My Dear Sister and Family cruised DCL in July 2000 when our youngest was 4 months old. I remember feeling envy for the experience. Her girls were 9 and 12. At that time I begin saying that we'd wait until 2005 or 2006 so that Rachel would be old enough to remember it. As time went by I decided that 2006 was best because she'd have been in K for a year and at 6 would remember most of the trip, especially with video and pix. Other dds are now 14,12,& 81/2 All still young enough to enjoy it. For us it will be a once in a life time thing. (Until they have families of their own to go as an extended family.) We have saved for 2 years from not going on vacations and eating out to do the 7 nights. We might do a 4 or 3 as the older girls graduate but could never do another 7 nighter at the new prices.

    We leave home next Friday to sail on the April Fools Day Magic!!
    A very long time coming. But well worth the wait. IN 2007 we'll do 10 nights at WDW for 1/2 the $$.
     
  21. tvguy

    tvguy Question anything the facts don't support.

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    Well, we waited until age 4 to take our kids to Disneyland, and in hindsight it would have been a better trip if they were a couple of years old. My first trip was at age 8, and my wifes was at age 11, and we lived less than 400 miles away.
    As for the cruise, I'd say to get your money's worth they need to be a couple of years older than the parks, say 8 or 9. Our kids were 11 and 15 on our first cruise (on HAL) and 12 and 16 on Disney. It was an ideal age for us to have a "family" vacation. Only possible bad thing, they had NO interest on either cruise in ANY kids club activities. They found the "general" activities too interesting. DW and I got to be their friends, not mom and dad for a week.
     

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