DCL Children's Programming - Participation Guidelines

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<font color=darkgreen><i>"It's like Lord of the Fl
Apr 21, 2000
I just ran across this on the DCL website, and thought it was useful information to share here, since this topic seems to come up from time to time:

Children's Programming participation guidelines
and special requests

Physical and Social Interaction

Children's programming is open to all children* ages 3-12, who are:
- Completely potty trained
- Able to interact comfortably within our counselor-to-child ratio groups of 1-15 (ages 3-4) 1-25 (ages 5-12)
- Able to interact comfortably with peers of their own physical size and within our established age groupings of 3-4, 5-7, 8-9 and 10-12
(A child may participate in an older age group, if they are within one month of the minimum age for that group. Example would be a 7-year-old who wishes to join the 8-9 group and is within a month of turning 8.)

*Exceptions that may prevent participation:
- A child who shows symptoms of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained skin rash, discharge from the nose or eyes or has any other contagious disease or illness
- A child who becomes disruptive within the group. (Should this occur, it may result in the child not being able to participate in Programming, without a parent or guardian)

Special Requests that we are unable to accommodate:
- A child who requires one-on-one care
- A child or adult who wishes to participate in an age group much younger/smaller than their physical age/size. (Example would be a 10-year-old wanting to be with the 5-7 age group)
- A child who needs the attention of a counselor with special training
- A child who needs counselor-assisted medical attention

Family Interaction
If you child's needs cannot be accommodated, there are a multitude of events and activities throughout the ship, which the entire family can enjoy.
- Main Stage shows
- Family game shows
- First run movies
- Deck parties and events
- Selected shore excursions
- Castaway Cay

The Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are open each evening from 5:30 - 6:30 pm (except for embarkation evening) for the entire family to enjoy the space together.

Parents or guardians may accompany their child to the Oceaneer Club and Lab programs and activities at any time throughout the cruise.

Parents may make a request for modified programming for a limited period during the cruise. Disney Cruise Lines® ability to fulfill the request will depend upon the child's needs, the availability of counselors, program participation, and other applicable considerations. Disney Cruise Lines cannot guarantee that special requests will be accommodated. Such requests must be made prior to sailing, through the Disney Cruise Line Special Reservations coordinator.

For 3-and 4-year olds, who are not potty trained or who may prefer a smaller adult-to-child ratio (1-6), parents may request that the child be accommodated in Flounder's Reef Nursery, the infant and toddler group babysitting area. The fee for this service is $6 per hour, per child and is based on availability. For more information on the facility, please see Group Babysitting section.

For further assistance, please contact the Disney Cruise Line Special Reservations coordinator.

Flounder's Reef Nursery Group Babysitting participation details

Participation details
- Babysitting is not available in guest staterooms.
- This service is available for children ages 12 weeks to 3 years*.
- Reservations are taken on embarkation day from 1:30-3:30p. Space is limited; available on a first come first serve basis, based on sitter availability
(In order to accommodate as many families as possible, we may limit the number of multiple requests per family)
- The fee is $6 per child per hour, $5 per additional child per hour, 2-hour minimum required
- Nursery is open each evening and selected times during each day

*Exceptions that may prevent participation:
- A child who shows symptoms of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, unexplained skin rash, discharge from the nose or eyes or has any other contagious disease or illness

Special Requests that we are unable to accommodate:
- A child who requires one on-one-care.
- A child who needs babysitter assisted medical attention.
- For any further assistance, please contact the Disney Cruise Line Special Reservations coordinator.

Just FYI for all! :D
Thanks for the OFFICIAL last word on this subject.
I hope we continue to hear the feedback from anyone/everyone who takes advantage of these programs. Every little bit helps!
P. S. I'm a little afraid to use my exclamation marks after seeing a Seinfeld repeat with a story line about these !!!!!!!!!!!! :jester: :jester: :jester:
Thanks for posting this. I better call and clarify how Andrew's daytime meds will work. I imagine I'll have to come give them to him since they probably won't let him take them by himself. I'm glad they don't allow sick kids into the Lab, since he picks up infections easily. Has anyone heard if they're pretty strict about this (re obvious colds, bad coughs, etc.)?

Here's hoping for a healthy, fun trip for all! :cool:

One additional point tho for all-IF medical care is required on the ship, it's cash pay (they won't file with medical insurance, no matter how good it is) and I read on one bulletin board that an exam for a simple ear infection and some antibiotics was $81. I've heard that it's excellent medical care, but is not cheap (as if any medical care is anymore...wry grin.)

Dena/mamaroyal and kiddos
I had to visit the medical facilities and it was $75 for a visit. They add it to your tab, so you can pay with your credit card when you leave. They provide you with the proper paperwork to submit to your insurance. Mine covered it 100%.


I'm not too concerned about the $75. It's just that Andrew doesn't sweat so he dehydrates fairly easily and requires an IV bag of fluids. THAT's the bill I'm worried about, but DCL is being nice enough to look into the amount and let me know ahead of time. I'm also being hopeful, in that our local MAW chapter said they have NEVER had a MAW child require emergency medical care while on a wish! Must be that pixie dust! :D

I had to see the Doctor on our cruise in February after getting my finger smashed while horseback riding. He examined it, gave me some pain killers, and some pills to reduce swelling and bruising. The cost was around $55.00 :pinkbounc


:bounce: :p
My daughters will be 7 & 9 while we are on the cruise. They are best friends. Does this mean that they won't be able to hang out with each other? That would be a huge bummer!!! That's all they can talk about!!!! I would like to prepare them for this if that is so. If it is true I think that's really too bad. This is a FAMILY trip.
and even though we might not all be together at all times I think they will have more fun if they can be together!!!

Yes, unfortunately that is true. My son and daughter would have made much more use of the kids clubs if they had been able to go together, but at 7 and 10 it was not possible. They take a little while to "warm up" and it would have been easier together. As it was, my 10 year old didn't use the club at all and my 7 year old daughter only went once for one activity and chose not to go again.
I would have liked to have seen some "sibling" options, but we still had a wonderful family vacation without taking advantage of the clubs.
I think that's really too bad. But at least I know ahead of time so they can be warned. And thank goodness we are only going on the 3 day cruise!!! A week of them not being able to play together in the clubs would be way too long!!! I guess we'll have to go else where for our next cruise!!!
Is your 7 y/o close to being 9 years old? If so, you may be able to obtain special permission from the Lab manager for the siblings to be together. They really worked with me in a similar situation, in that my daughter will be 8 in August, but she is 2nd grade and is mature for her age. They let us try it on a trial basis to see if she fit in for the group and since that worked out, let her stay with her 9 y/o brother. My 10 y/o liked being with his 10-12 group, although the 8-12 y/o's do overlap for certain activities.

Regarding the medical situation, there were several special needs children in the Lab and the counselors were great about including all kids in the activities. I felt very comfortable leaving Andrew with the Lab (and he has had 33 hospitalizations in his life).

We (thank the Lord) did not have to use the medical services, but another MAW family did and it was about $100. We needed Oragel for my son's mouth sore (from his braces rubbing) and they gave us that from the medical area, without charging us for it.

I've NEVER seen an organization bend over backwards to try and accomodate everyone's needs, wishes, requests as much as DCL!!!!

My 7 year old will have just turned 7 in Oct. My 9 year old will actually by more than 9 1/2. So, I think the best option will be to have my 9 year old drop down to the lower group. I read on another web site that they would do that. And to be honest she'll probably enjoy that more!!! She's a young at heart kind of gal. And really enjoys playing with kids younger then her more then kids her own age. That's alright with me. The last thing I want is to force her to grow up before she's ready. Kids grow up way to fast these days. I'm glad she enjoys the younger things!!!
I just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth since we just returned from a 3-day in May and were given quite a shock. My daughter is non-verbal and non-mobile, is wheelchair bound and is in diapers. During our cruise the Oceaneer staff for 3-4 yr olds took Ryleigh without a problem. They just told me that if there were any toileting / feeding concerns they'd page me.
Just to add though that my child attends full time school and daycare so is pretty adaptable to the "club" thing. We had no tears or missing of mommy. I did however spend the first couple of hours with her and they got use to her too.
:rolleyes: We are going on the Dec 1st Magic criuse & have a question, We have a 6, 4 & 2 3/4 year old-potty trained daughter- she is always with her 4 year old brother, & would probably upset her to be seperated from him and alone in Flounders. She is 4 months from turning 3- do they allow any exceptions, even if she is potty trained?? I know he can move down- and that is a definate option also- but I think they'd have a better time all together...
Hi stbert and welcome to the DIS!

Typically they do NOT allow potty-trained children under the age of three to participate in the Club, unless they are within a month of their third birthday. It doesn't hurt to ask, though, on rare occasions they do make exceptions.

Good luck! :D
My son just turned 8 on 6/11 so that puts him in the next group, however, the other children travelling with our group will be in the 5-7yr group. Could my son go with that group so that they are all together? Our sailing is 7/28.
Does letting like soeone 18 into teeng roup really depend on the counselors? And is there no way of knowing until your on the ship? Basically what I'm asking is do counselors make the decision?
Had to put in my two cents as well. If you don't have major plans, can't the girls 'hang out' with you and your hubby? We only used the club a couple of times. We might use it more this time for our 7 yr old but we did enjoy doing some things together. Even though your girls are best friends, they MAY surprise you by wanting to check out the clubs seperately. Who knows? It's a Magical place!

It is good to know, though, that they can let one move to a lower aged club. Disney is one classy line!

Well...A freind of mine went on the cruise this last January and said she couldn't keep her boys out of the club. Her kids are just like mine. I would love to spend time with my girls. I'm just preparing for the inevitable!!! I know they are going to want to be int the clubs non-stop. So, I just would like to see that on this "family" trip they won't be seperated from each other if they don't want to be!!! We really aren't on the ship long enough to worry about it that much but that's all they've been talking about...The Clubs, The Clubs!!!! That's what they like to look at when I go on the website with them. They are SO excited for that part of the trip!!! So I just hope they can get what THEY want!!!!
Thanks for posting this information. We are just beginning to plan our first cruise - and need all the info I can get my hands on. I was particularly interested in the kids programs - so this was wonderful to read. Thanks again.
Does anyone know about the teen club? My one daughter will be 3 weeks shy of 13 when we cruise. Will she be able to go the Common Grounds with her sister who will be 16, or will she have to remain with the 7-12 year olds? Do they check age at the door to Common Grounds? Thanks. :)
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