First time Disney Cruiser!!! Questions galore!!

jenn24z

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
We are cruising January 2020 with our boys who are 11, 13 and 14. The 13yr old will turn 14 while on the ship. I have a Lot of questions about the Edge/Vibe stuff and how it works.

I read somewhere that cast members will pick up kids at the dining area, but is that just for you get kids? Does a parent have to sign kids in and out of Edge/Vibe. Will my 13 yr old be able to go to Vibe if he’s turning 14 on the cruise?

My kids all have iPhones, but I’m worried about communication if we are in separate areas on the ship. Is their WiFi onboard? Does it work well? I want to give my kids some freedom but I worry about them not being able to find us.

Late dining, what time is typical for seating on the Dream, and what time are shows for that seating?

I’m sure I will have a lot more questions but this is the most prevalent right now.

TIA
 
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DynamicDisneyDuo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
The kids club cast members do come pick up kids at late dining.

At their ages, your kids will be able to sign themselves in and out.

DCL does have Wi-fi service. They have been gradually rolling out free iMessage on their ships. I'm not sure if the Dream is included yet. Otherwise, it can get pricey depending on how much it is used.

Late dining is usually at 8:15PM. The show is usually at 6:15 although Beauty & The Beast will start 15 minutes earlier due to run time.
 

lanejudy

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Edge and Vibe are both “self check-out” meaning parents do no have to be present. In fact, most of these kids would rather die of embarrassment than have a parent show up to sign them out. The Dine & Play option is for younger kids at the Oceaneers Club and Lab; kids at Edge or Vibe May go whenever they choose (and their parent(s) excuse them from the table).

Edge is for ages 11-14. All 3 of your kids can attend here if the wish.
Vibe is for ages 14-17. Your oldest has the choice of Edge or Vibe and may do both. Also the 13-almost-14 will likely be allowed both.
Oceaneers Club/Lab is for ages 3-12. Your youngest may do Club/Lab and Edge if he wishes. You will need to allow him self-check-out from the Club/Lab; if you prefer not to allow that, he will not have the option of Edge but may do the Club/Lab.

Enjoy your vacation!
 
  • Marc D

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 27, 2016
    Do not worry about signing them in/out. There's no parental input at Edge/Vibe and if the younger wants to go at the 3-12 kids clubs, he can self check-in and out once you give your authorization in writing. We give it for our 9yo. Once they finish dinner, they can just go by themselves.

    There is Wifi onboard, used both for internal communications (for free) and with land (for a price). Between all of you, you can use either the chat in the DCL app or the new free iMessage feature. It is in a testing phase at the moment, but it allows guests to communicate onboard and with people on land for free from Apple devices. You can't send media, only texts. Some report that they removed it from the latest cruises, but it has been offered on all the ships beginning last spring. Maybe it will be there when you sail, maybe not.

    Late seating on Dream is at 8:15PM. You can expect dinner to take 1.5 hours. The shows for that seating start at 6:30PM (6:15 for Beauty & the Beast) and last between 45 and 60 minutes. There are activities scheduled between seatings, from 7:15 to 8:15. Everything is scheduled so no one misses anything if they follow the usual timing.
     
    Last edited:

    Weedy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2008
    All your kids can go to the Edge. They will not be picked up from dinner because kids in the Edge don’t need to be signed in and out.
    To be able to text them they will need to have the app on their phone. Download this before you leave home. It won’t work until you get on the ship. Once onboard a chat number will appear and everyone will need to exchange their chat number and ok each other. It’s easy to do but takes a few minutes. We usually do this a lunch the first day when we’re all together.
    There is no extra charge to use texting. It’s pretty reliable but the phone doesn’t always buzz when you get a text so you need to check it from time to time
    Here is what will show up once onboard. See code in the light blue bar at top of photo
    C9A167A2-543A-46DD-98D1-2A768F6BD5AB.jpeg
     

    GatorMomInNC

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2011
    Make sure to put your phone in airplane mode on the ship or you will get roaming charges. Ship wifi is expensive although you can get a certain amount of free if you sign up the first day - enough to email back home but not enough for sending pix or anything. I haven't used the iMessage, but just have my kids get the app on their phone so we can text each other.
     

    jenn24z

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 7, 2008
    Thank you everyone! I’m a little nervous about my kids being on their own on the ship. This will only be their second time cruising for two of them and one this is his first time (stepson). But they are getting older now so I know I have to give them a little more freedom.

    We will have to get them all to download that app and hopefully that will work for us.

    Any other pointers you all can give me for first time on a Disney Cruise? We are staying before and after the cruise on property and already booked the transfers.

    We have two deluxe family verandah state rooms.

    Also my son will turn 14 on the trip, any fun recommendations for him for his birthday? It will be our day at sea that day.

    TIA

    Jenn
     
  • hcox31

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2014
    Thank you everyone! I’m a little nervous about my kids being on their own on the ship. This will only be their second time cruising for two of them and one this is his first time (stepson). But they are getting older now so I know I have to give them a little more freedom.
    Our next cruise will be the first time my son has free reign as he'll be allowed to go to Vibe. People on these boards have suggested outlining clear guidelines for when they are roaming the ship with their friends or on their own. Things like, no going into other peoples staterooms, stairs only, no running up and down the halls, must text when leaving the clubs etc.
     

    PurplePencil

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2016
    Thank you everyone! I’m a little nervous about my kids being on their own on the ship. This will only be their second time cruising for two of them and one this is his first time (stepson). But they are getting older now so I know I have to give them a little more freedom.

    We will have to get them all to download that app and hopefully that will work for us.

    Any other pointers you all can give me for first time on a Disney Cruise? We are staying before and after the cruise on property and already booked the transfers.

    We have two deluxe family verandah state rooms.

    Also my son will turn 14 on the trip, any fun recommendations for him for his birthday? It will be our day at sea that day.

    TIA

    Jenn
    Make sure your sons all go to Edge/Vibe the first night for ice breakers.
    For your son that will be turning 14, make sure he goes to Vibe on embarkation day (they might need you with him to sign a waiver) and explain that he will be turning 14.
    If you have an expectation of family time, set clear guidelines (ie. Everyone must be at dinner in the MDR every night, 1 activity every day must occur together)
    For his birthday, make sure it is noted on your reservation.
     

    MomOTwins

    The Mommy Fairy
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2018
    Our next cruise will be the first time my son has free reign as he'll be allowed to go to Vibe. People on these boards have suggested outlining clear guidelines for when they are roaming the ship with their friends or on their own. Things like, no going into other peoples staterooms, stairs only, no running up and down the halls, must text when leaving the clubs etc.
    Agree completely: "with great power comes great responsibility"--namely, the responsibility not to get carried away and disturb others' vacations. Pre-teens yelling and running in the halls at 11pm when families have small kids asleep, taking magnets off doors, or knocking small kids to the ground is not okay, but it's happened to us and plenty others *sigh*. The other thing is to make sure to have guidelines on room charge privileges if giving free reign on the ship (for smoothies, concession stand snacks etc.).

    My last piece of advice is do have a backup plan to the phones. I've heard it has gotten better with the new availability of imessage, but outages and wifi issues do occur and my DH and I were unable to exchange messages on several occasions, so we went back to the "old school" method of having a time and place to check in: i.e., if we can't send/receive messages, let's plan to meet in the stateroom in one hour.
     

    diznymom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 8, 2011
    Visit Edge and Vibe the first day during "Open House Hours" (see Personal Navigator for times). Then be sure to have your kids visit after dinner the first night. They will have an "ice breaker", get to know the counselors and other kids, and plan activities for the cruise. Our son love the Edge and Vibe.......couldn't keep him out of them.
     
  • ChicosWife

    The Caribbean DCL Life For Us!
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2015
    My kids all have iPhones, but I’m worried about communication if we are in separate areas on the ship. Is their WiFi onboard? Does it work well? I want to give my kids some freedom but I worry about them not being able to find us.
    DCL has an app that you and your kids can connect to for free and you all can message each other through the app. It's pretty nifty.
     

    jrabbit

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2002
    Standard Advice for your Cruise ....
    1) You can NOT Do it All!! But Sleep is for AFTER the cruise. The hardest part about a DCL cruise is deciding what NOT to do
    2) You can NOT Eat it All!! But now is the time to try new to you foods because it's risk free from a monetary point of view in the main dining rooms
    3) Sunscreen Early and Often. The sun :sunny: IS different in the Caribbean than at home (usually). And sunburns do put a crimp in the fun and can happen really quickly! I have seen people so sunburned that I assume were in serious pain for at least a week.
    4) Sometimes "Stuff Happens" ... try and go with the flow and don't take your frustrations out on someone that can not help. Yes you have paid a LOT for this trip (as has everyone else onboard) - that argument does not help.

    Fun Stuff on the Dream
    • Even the kids that are too cool for their own good (like kids your boy's ages) will have fun with Mickey's Midship Detective Agency "game"
    • AquaDuck - even thought it is not Big on Thrills, it is still a fun ride.
    • Watching a Movie or event on Funnel Vision - just remember to sun screen and/or cover up if watching during the day
    • AquaDuck at night for a different perspective of the ship
    • Walking the top deck LATE at night - again an different perspective of the world
    • For the Adults: The late night activities in the adult nightclub area (the names escape me right now ... I'm OLD) Match Your Mate: usually are really great laugh and other events
    • If you have late seating, going to one of the nightclubs in the adults area (open to the kiddos until 9pm) for a drink and to relax before dinner. On the Magic and Wonder there's a piano bar (Keys / Cadillac Lounge with great performers). With late seating you're not stuffed from dinner so you can enjoy a drink or smoothie or hot chocolate, etc here.
    • Trivia events - Disney to general knowledge to 80's music and more. Even if you don't know the subject, you can go and meet fellow cruises that are in the same "boat" and have fun.
    and so much more
     

    Dug720

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2012
    Jack-Jack’s Incredible Diaper Dash!! Watch for this on the Navigator - it’ll be a sea day - and make plans to attend! Absolutely adorable!!
     

    Travel60

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2012
    When our kids were teens (back before there was the connectivity available today) we had a few rules:. Breakfast together every day when we discussed what was planned for the day, dinner together every night unless we approved alternate plans, a mid-day check-in by leaving a note on the dresser giving an idea of what they had planned. We did almost all excursions as a family so the noon check-in was for sea days.

    It went without saying (but we said it 😁) that if we saw or heard of them running wild, going into other cabins or using the elevator (young and healthy -take the stairs), they would lose ALL privileges and would be glued to our sides for the rest of the cruise, making us all miserable.

    They loved the teen clubs and were each other's "wing man/woman". They are adults now but still talk about the fun cruises when they were teens. I really think it made them closer.
     

    Plumberries

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2019
    All your kids can go to the Edge. They will not be picked up from dinner because kids in the Edge don’t need to be signed in and out.
    To be able to text them they will need to have the app on their phone. Download this before you leave home. It won’t work until you get on the ship. Once onboard a chat number will appear and everyone will need to exchange their chat number and ok each other. It’s easy to do but takes a few minutes. We usually do this a lunch the first day when we’re all together.
    There is no extra charge to use texting. It’s pretty reliable but the phone doesn’t always buzz when you get a text so you need to check it from time to time
    When I was recently onboard the wonder, the DCL app automatically included as a contact anyone who had also connected to the DCL app and was in the same stateroom. We only had to add people by chat number who were in different staterooms.
     



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