Kids on Mediterranean cruise

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by dsedwards, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. dsedwards

    dsedwards Earning My Ears

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    We’ve never been on a cruise before and were looking to book the Disney Mediterranean cruise in May. The thing that sounded great was that my wife and I could enjoy the amazing ports while the kids (ages 7 and 4) could be having fun onboard the ship in the Oceaneer’s Club. However, after reading a few threads here about the Oceaneer’s Club, I’m hesitant to assume the kids will enjoy full days there during the 4-to-6 stops where my wife and I had planned to go into port alone. So now we are trying to decide whether to forget the whole thing or whether we bring them onshore with us and do a few Disney family excursions and/or have lowered expectations on what we’ll be able to see or do. Anybody out there have success or frustration bringing similar aged kids into port with them on a Mediterranean cruise and what worked (or didn’t work)? Thanks!
     
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  3. sabrecmc

    sabrecmc DIS Veteran

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    I'll be bringing my 4 year old on the May 5th Med cruise. We've cruised before, and the kids' clubs offered lots of different activities. It seems from past Med cruises, they really try to cater the activities to the ports, so there are lots of different things going on.

    Let me first say that I don't think its the end of the world if kids are bored. I also have no problem with leaving my daughter to go do the occasional adults-only outing. However, for me personally, I cannot wait to share Europe with my daughter. This is a family vacation, and I want her first trip to Europe to be magical and filled with discovery and excitement. I want to see it through her eyes and experience it all over again. I can't imagine leaving her in the kids' club while I go see the Sistine Chapel. I'm sure this is much easier for me to say since I lived in Europe and have been to most of the ports more than once. This is not a once in a lifetime thing for us, so I don't have to worry about making sure I see everything and can concentrate on her enjoyment. It kind of sounds like you want a somewhat different vacation, which is totally fine. I just would not spend all that money to take my child to a really nice kids' club. However, if that is the way for you to see Europe, then I think your kids will be plenty entertained. If they aren't, last time I checked, you don't actually die of boredom.
     
  4. shaylahc1

    shaylahc1 Mouseketeer

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    This is how I feel too. We are taking 4 kids ages 13, 10, 9 & 5 and I have no intention of leaving them behind on the boat. They may not be able to fully appreciate the experience the way an adult would, but they will get *something* out visiting all these fantastic historical sites. Yes it will be more painful for us as parents to drag them along, but I can't imagine doing it any other way.

    If I wanted to leave them in the kids clubs while I toured the Mediterranean, then why not just leave them at home? It'd be cheaper and less stressful. JMHO.
     
  5. Goofy Mum

    Goofy Mum A Happy Medium

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    I'm taking my three sons on the ten night Med cruise. I didn't even know parents were allowed to leave them on board if they disembarked?
     
  6. Tinkerbell.RN

    Tinkerbell.RN DIS Veteran

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    My girls were 7 and 9 when we went on the Med Cruise in 2007. We took them with us on the excursions, even choosing "family" excursions a couple of times. So now they have seen Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento, Rome (including after hours tour of Sistine Chapel). One excursion was cancelled so my DH and I went to explore Olbia (no longer a stop) on our own. (We unfortunately didn't get off the ship until siesta time and missed out on shopping). We also chose to go on shore in Marseilles on our own. Our kids had much more fun on those 2 days staying in the kids club. But we took them to all of the other ports. We even had the added experience of our oldest daughter having a new friend for the bus ride to Rome -- a girl she met in the Oceaneer's Lab.

    What we were able to do because of their ages was have both in one club and they could check themselves out when they wanted food or a treat. For all of the clubs, they have meal times for them, but my youngest is a picky eater and survived on the pizza on deck...even when we WERE there!

    So, if I think a blend works well. Find things that you all will enjoy for excursions, but find a couple for you alone.


    Oh... they said for the 2 ports we left them on board that the pager might still work. But if you are going a greater distance, it probably won't.
     
  7. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    I have read of parents leaving kids on board while they did a 2-3 hour port hop in the Caribbean, not sure how they handle a 10-12 hour port hop in the Med. Days in Rome/Naples are minimum of 6 hours and that would be rushing it...we're a family that travels together, took our kids to England when they were 6,7, and 10 and they LOVED it...we enjoyed seeing their faces light up riding the trains and cabs, touring the parks and just enjoying the scene. It can get expensive doing the Disney excursions, you might be able to book a driver in 2-3 ports for cheaper and plan a day the kids would love (castles/parks/fun stuff)

    Tara
     
  8. OurDogCisco

    OurDogCisco DIS Veteran

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    When we did the Med cruise in 2007 our kids were 6 and 9 1/2 years old. When in port we did tours some via Disney, some via private tours and some via just walking around. At 3 of the ports we left our 6 year old on board. I think we left here once for 12 hours onboard and she did fine. She actually requested it. The second time we left them both on board for about 6 hours at a port that we walked around on our own. When we did a Disney tour we did not pick the family friendly ones as I wanted to see Italy not play games or watch a puppet show. Some of the tours were really intense like our Rome day and our 6 year old did pretty good considering the long day. However, my almost 10 year old loved the ports and wanted to do everything with us. The guides were very friendly and really did make the children feel like part of the group. So, yes you can leave your children on the ship all day if you want.
     
  9. fitnessmouse

    fitnessmouse DIS Veteran

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    For those that are uncomfortable leaving your children on board, is it really different than leaving them at daycare? or when they're in school and you're at work?
     
  10. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

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    I would be uncomfortable. My children have never been to daycare, and we homeschool, and I don't work outside the home! Trifecta I guess for your question! :) My main concern would be that I'm in a foreign country 15 hours away from my closest relative/friend and none of which have passports...so should something tragic happen to my husband and I (rare, but possible)...even if we miss the ship or are involved in an accident...my kids would be at risk....if it were a 2-3 hour stop on an island and I was just walking around, no big deal, but my kids actually prefer to do the ports with us...I would just not be comfortable taking a 10 hour tour to a city 2 hours in from port where there's a greater risk.

    Tara
     
  11. abdmom

    abdmom DIS Veteran

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    I have made quite liberal use of daycares in my time and I have left a child or two on board at ports. People can be uncomfortable with leaving children on board, especially in the Med, since the shore days are long and there is a very real possibility of missing the ship. It has happened that children have been left on board when their parents missed the ship. Daycares will still be there if you are half an hour late, you just pay a fine. Ships will not be in the same place if you are half an hour late.

    I will be leaving a couple of children on board at a couple of Med ports. However, my two oldest are capable of looking after themselves and the youngest if necessary. The excursions I'll be on will be relatively short too.
     
  12. keaster

    keaster DIS Veteran

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    When my daughter is at school and if something happens to her, I'm a mere phone call away either at home or on my cell and I can be at the school in a matter of minutes. Same if something were to happen to myself or DH, we have friends/family who can be contacted in an emergency.

    If something were to happen when we're a couple hours away from the ship in a foreign country (especially for the med and Europe, where many tours are several hours long), I think it makes things a little more difficult, especially for people who book their own tours outside of DCL, which many do.

    And like others mentioned, we are excited about sharing the history of these countries with our daughter :thumbsup2
     
  13. fitnessmouse

    fitnessmouse DIS Veteran

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    I am not leaving my kids on the ship either, as it's a family vacation and for us it's not like we'll never be visiting the ports again. I was asking the question for those that feel uncomfortable if it was any different and I guess it is:

    mmmm, hadn't thought of that.
    That would probably by main concern
     
  14. wrennies

    wrennies Mouseketeer

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    So I have a question that follows this. We are taking the May 26 Med. cruise. I have already had concerns about how my children will handle the excursions everyday. There are a few things that I want them to do for sure, like see Rome.
    So to the question, if I schedule them for an excursion and they are really tired from the previous days....can I cancel and leave them on the ship? Would I still have to pay? I just hate the thought of paying $300 for an excursion and then "dragging" my child through it.
     
  15. OurDogCisco

    OurDogCisco DIS Veteran

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    No, I believe you have to cancel prior to the start of the cruise. At least that is the way it was for us on the Med. Cruise. What I did do was pick and choose my days. There was one day neither dds wanted to go on the tour with us so, I cancelled them off but I had to pay for their spots since I reserved in advance. It was a cheaper tour. I kinda figured for our sanity it was better that they stayed onboard.
     
  16. Goofy Mum

    Goofy Mum A Happy Medium

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    I have four kids and they've never been in daycare or a babysitter. But for me that's not a huge issue. I'd be afraid something would happen to me while in port (I'm travelling alone) for example I get run over by a speeding Lambretta and I end up in an Italian hospital. What would happen to the kids? :confused3

    Perhaps I'd feel more comfortable about it if my husband were coming with us but since I'm solo this trip I have to be 100% ON the entire trip.
     
  17. neenslovesdisney

    neenslovesdisney Mouseketeer

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    To the original poster, I think it depends on what you and your family is comfortable with. With my kids, sometimes they love the kids clubs, sometimes they don't want to go at all. We leave it up to them as it is a family vacation. As long as you and your spouse are comfortable leaving them on board while you go on the excursions, go for it! Plenty of people will be leaving their kids onboard as well. Many kids would probably prefer doing activities on the ships with kids their age as opposed to being dragged through excursions, just depends on the kids.
     
  18. OurDogCisco

    OurDogCisco DIS Veteran

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    I don't understand this logic... I'm sorry. So, what if you are on a tour and you get hit by a car and your kids don't. What will happen then?
     
  19. Soccermom-Cheri

    Soccermom-Cheri one beachfront bungalow on Castaway Cay, please<br

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    We cancelled a scheduled Med cruise as I thought my kids were too young to enjoy it and I wasn't going to pay all of that money to hear griping and complaining during those long port days. Also, because almost each day was a long port day, I couldn't see leaving them on the ship.

    I would have left them home. However, I did not have that choice. Even though I REALLY wanted to go, we elected to postpone the trip.
     
  20. Goofy Mum

    Goofy Mum A Happy Medium

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    Well at least they would know what happened to me. Instead of waiting on board wondering where I am.
     
  21. lmperrault

    lmperrault Going to Europe!!

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    We are going to be travelling on the May 5th cruise. I'll be bringing my 9yo, almost 7yo, 3yo, and almost 2yo.

    The two little ones will be staying on board the ship while we go ashore with my older kids and my sister and niece. I feel fine with it.

    We've cruised with Disney twice before and I know that they will have a good time. In fact part of the reason that we choses the Disney cruise for Europe as opposed to a different cruise line is because of the daycare while in port. We may take them off the ship for short excursions or if we go the beach but the day we go to Rome etc. they'll be staying on board.

    And yes, we could postpone the trip until they are older but I think this will be such a great experience for my two older children and for myself and my husband. In addition having had my Mother die out of the blue I 've learned that putting things off until a "better" time, that "better" time my be robbed from you and not come.

    To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever gone ashore and then gotten killed or ended up in the hospital while their kids were aboard the ship. Could it happen? Sure. Is it likely to happen? I don't think so. And if it did my brother or his wife woould get on a flight immediatly to meet the ship and get the kids (and yes they have passports).

    So in answer to your questions, I will be leaving two of my kids on board so I can take my other two to experience Europe and I personally feel fine with it.

    And yes I do consider this a family vacation. For us it's about being able to take the older kids to do some things that the younger kids are not ready for/would not enjoy and still get to do all the "Disney" things my younger two will love.
     

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