First time Cruiser w/ an Only child 8yrs old? I'm looking for opinions please!

Forevermarypoppins

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
If anyone would like to chime in PLEASE DO:

I'm thinking about taking my 33yr old daughter and 8YR OLD GRANDSON on all our first cruise in JANUARY. I really haven't done much info gathering yet.
What I'd really like opinions on is this: are there enough opportunities for him to interact with other kids? Outside of kid age activity areas are they open space areas where he might be able to play with others? My grandson is very sociable and talkative and I know he'll enjoy this kind of vacation so much more if it's not spending every minute with us 2 adults.
 

Mango7100

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
DD is also an only child—she has been on 2 DCL cruises at age 4 and 5, one NCL at age 9, and we have another DCL booked in a few months before she turns 10. The kids club is fabulous on DCL, allowing her time away from us and to just interact with other kids. She did also meet kids around the pool and Aqua Duck—we hung out on lounge chairs. She also participated in a game on pirate night in a team of other kids—we watched in the audience. Also the basketball court may be an option to meet other kids. We do not allow her to wander the ship alone, so the only place she is alone is the kids club. Also, one time we were paired with another family at dinner who had a girl her age. They talked a little bit as well but didn’t really want to do anything else together beside dinner.
 

KM82

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 11, 2015
If anyone would like to chime in PLEASE DO:

I'm thinking about taking my 33yr old daughter and 8YR OLD GRANDSON on all our first cruise in JANUARY. I really haven't done much info gathering yet.
What I'd really like opinions on is this: are there enough opportunities for him to interact with other kids? Outside of kid age activity areas are they open space areas where he might be able to play with others? My grandson is very sociable and talkative and I know he'll enjoy this kind of vacation so much more if it's not spending every minute with us 2 adults.
We took DS on our first DCL cruise for his 7th birthday (also the only cruise we have been on). Only child as well, and very sociable. He loved the Oceaneer’s club and we practically had to drag him out of there. He didn’t necessarily interact with other kids outside of the club, but the boy was never bored and had a great time.
 

o&smom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
What ship are you looking at? There are a lot of similarities in areas for kids on the various ships, and also some big differences. The Dream and the Fantasy have the addition of the Aqua Duck up on the pool deck. The Magic has the Aqua Dunk which is a drop slide. My daughter loved it at your grandson’s age. All of the kid’s clubs are amazing, but have slightly different theming. The Fantasy has in interactive game called the Midship Detective Agency. He would need an adult to accompany him around the ship. Enjoy your cruise!
 

tntstults

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
I agree 8 years old is a great age, there are so many things to do on the ship! If you go make sure to find out about fish extenders and join a group for added fun!
 

CamColt

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Aug 7, 2000
I agree with the other comments above. 8 Seems like a perfect age! I do think going to the Club would be the best option for him to meet other kids, but when my kids were young they would occasionally see some kids they "knew" from the clubs out at the pool.

You could join (or start) the Cruise Meet thread here for your sailing in order to meet other families in advance. The parents could try to plan some meet ups on their own too (ping pong, mini golf, movie...).
 

CamillaF

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
I took my 8 year old twins on there first cruise this last summer. They are both social and LOVED THE KIDS CLUB. They also made friends at dinner as they went up to the stage and danced at Tiana’s place. I would not worry about a social 8 year old on a Disney cruise. They will have lots to do and many friends to meet.
 

DianaMB333

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Hi.. i’m a bit on the other side.. first time cruise with 7yrs old.. she is kind of introvert.. so, we will try the kids club but if she doesn’t really like it, shall we give her a cell phone to chat with us? Or cast member will call us?
Would it be enough cast members there to ensure the kids are safe?
Any tips pls?
Thanks!
 

lostprincess_danie

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Hi.. i’m a bit on the other side.. first time cruise with 7yrs old.. she is kind of introvert.. so, we will try the kids club but if she doesn’t really like it, shall we give her a cell phone to chat with us? Or cast member will call us?
Would it be enough cast members there to ensure the kids are safe?
Any tips pls?
Thanks!
Just off our first cruise. Staff will message you through the Navigator app if your child requests to leave and doesn't have check out privileges. Kids are definitely safe, lots of cast members watching them and many security measures in place.
 

lostprincess_danie

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 16, 2019
What I'd really like opinions on is this: are there enough opportunities for him to interact with other kids? Outside of kid age activity areas are they open space areas where he might be able to play with others? My grandson is very sociable and talkative and I know he'll enjoy this kind of vacation so much more if it's not spending every minute with us 2 adults.
If he is sociable and likes starting up games with other kids he will have a blast. My only DD is the same, she introduces herself to every kid she meets and likes to socialize. The pool is the best place to play and meet other kids but she also made a few friends while waiting around for things to start (like shows, standing in ine for characters, etc.).
 

Cruzin’Sisters

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
I took my 8 year old twins on there first cruise this last summer. They are both social and LOVED THE KIDS CLUB. They also made friends at dinner as they went up to the stage and danced at Tiana’s place. I would not worry about a social 8 year old on a Disney cruise. They will have lots to do and many friends to meet.
I also took my son on his 1st Disney cruise at age 8. Every year he’s grown more independent with leadership abilities. The younger kids gravitated to him during scavenger hunts. With Twitter, he has stayed in touch with some of his “new friends”.
 



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