Have you ever done this w/ your differently abled child?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES Community Board' started by cancer_survivor_06, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. cancer_survivor_06

    cancer_survivor_06 DIS Veteran

    Jul 12, 2006
    Have you been on a cruise disney or not w/ you child who is not eligible for the kids club/camps. My family is going on a cruise the first week of Aug and we are celebrating my grandparents 50th anniversary. If you have been on a cruise please tell me which one and how was your expierence. I am a little nervous I have never been on a cruise before so I don't know what to expect. Any thoughts suggestions or maybe even a some place I can get more info.

    FYI- We are going on the Carnival Cruise Ship Fantasy out of New Orleans. Our port of call are Cozumel and Costa Maya. My dd as you see below is 3 and some things I will need for her are a stroller, pack n play, baby food.

    Also I know water tea and juice are included but is milk included that is the only thing dd drinks and I don't want to pay for it since she isn't eating the food that is included in her price.

  2. Luv Bunnies

    Luv Bunnies DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2006
    Cruises are great! You're going to love it. I've never been on Carnival so I don't know their policies. I would suggest calling the cruise line directly with your questions. Ask to speak to someone who specifically knows the policies for young kids. I don't know if they will supply baby food but I would think milk for young kids would be included with meals (again, I would call and ask). Be armed with a written list of your questions so you don't forget anything.

    We've taken 2 cruises on Princess (Alaska and Carribean - before kids) and a Disney cruise in 2005 with our boys - 6 and 10 at the time. We love cruising and the kids had a great time. Our oldest has Asperger's Syndrome. He was able to participate in the kid's clubs on the Disney cruise. Some of the counselors had experience dealing with special needs kids and they "bent" the rules a little to keep him calm and happy (like letting him play on the computer while the other kids did an organized activity that didn't interest him). On most cruises, you get the same dining room staff every night for dinner. They get to know your likes and dislikes and special requests. If you need baby food heated, etc. they will be able to help you. Hope you have a great time!:)
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. Michigan

    Michigan Mom of the Rolling Crew

    Feb 2, 2000
    I sail on Princess all the time with my 2 daughters with spina bifida in wheelchairs. They love the kids programs and since Carnival and Princess are owned by the same corporation I would bet the kids programs are run the same or close to the same. That being said you can take you special needs child into the program as long as you stay with her. For my girls this isn't an issue because they are very mobile with their chairs so they are dropped off and picked up.

    Carnival will provide a crib for you so you shouldn't need to bring a pack n play. They also have baby food.

    White, lowfat, skim and chocolate milk are available at the buffets and with meals in the dining rooms.

    Have fun on your cruise! There is nothing like it:thumbsup2
  5. cancer_survivor_06

    cancer_survivor_06 DIS Veteran

    Jul 12, 2006
    Thanks, for the replies sorry it has taken me so long to respond I have been busy planning what was supposed to be my 2nd free dining trip that turned into this massive F&W trip. I still really nervous about the whole cruise thing and at one time I had emailed carnival about doing a cruise w/ a special needs child but the rep that replied wants me to contact her by phone about booking a trip and I just wanted some info so I haven't bother to call yet. I did however contact my aunt who has booked the trip and asked her to contact the TA that she used but I may have to contact her myself. Its just going to be w/ my dd's other family members will be there but my dh will not so I am afraid that I will be waisting my money my taking her w/ me at this point. I will keep looking for info b/c I want her to go we are celebrating my grandparents 50th anniversary so the whole point is for family and to some degree I wouldn't feel right going w/out her.
  6. onesadduck

    onesadduck Not so sad right now

    Mar 16, 2007
    Sorry this is late.

    My family went on a Carnival Cruise in '04 (for my grandparents 57th anniversary and my DGF's 80th Bday) with my little sister who had special needs. She was, in fact, elligible for the kids club, but still thought you might like to hear what I have to say (actually I consulted my mother who had a lot of advice, most of which I have forgoten -sorry, again). May I ask what accomodations you think your child might need?

    My sister loved the cruise. They were very accomodating (though her situation was very different- she could not swallow any liquids and we were traveling with oxygen tanks and a concentrator).

    My mom said to make sure you have a very sturdy stroller (and narrow if possible) especially because some ports of call are not very wheelchair friendly. We found there was plenty to do, lots of shows and other things that were fine for someone with mobility issues. If your DD has sensory issues with loud music or some other reason she might not enjoy shows, you could take her to the kids club and stay and watch her (or another adult in your party who knows how to take care of her).

    A major point my mother suggested was, if you and your DH want to spend some time alone, you might want to take a babysitter along. Maybe a teenager in the neighborhood you know is responsible, and who your DD would know? Many teens or college students would be willing to babysit for free if you paid for their ticket (or even part of their ticket), I know I would. It may be expensive, but my mother stressed this point heavily. While my family did spend a lot of time together at meals and at night, we tended to split up a bit during the day because there was so much to do and everyone had different tastes. My mother expressed that she was very grateful to have some time alone with my father. My little sister had a beeper that she (or a kids club crew member) could push, and my mother's beeper went off if she was in trouble (though it was never used). If you take a babysitter, they can always call your cell phone (if you have one) for questions or if they need help. Your regional canter may even be able to provide someone (I know they can provide someone to watch a child at home while you go on vacation so why not an aid to come along?)

    You can PM me anytime if you have any other questions. Hope this was a little helpful.

    Have a great trip!
  7. susieq76

    susieq76 DIS Veteran

    Jan 25, 2006
    Why do you think she is not eligible for the kids program?

    I don't know your child's diagnosis- so I will just tell you mine :)

    Twin 5 yr olds- one autistic, one with an auditory processing disorder

    Three year old, autistic with developmental delays (ot,pt, speech & ABA)

    We took the Carnival Inspiration about a year ago. The first day I hung out in the kids club with them just watching. I spent a lot of time talking with the counselors (actually one still e-mails me) and really getting to know them.

    The boys all loved it and by the 2nd day I felt okay with them there. By the 3rd day they freaked at the thought of not playing with the toys there.

    Hopefully you have the same luck.

  8. cancer_survivor_06

    cancer_survivor_06 DIS Veteran

    Jul 12, 2006
    :thumbsup2 Alisa for all of that great info. To be honest I didn't think that they would supply me w/ baby food so I had planned on bringing my own.

    :wave2: Hi again Sue.

    She will be 3 when we go on the cruise (she turns 4 Aug 21st) but she is at the level of a 8-9mth baby physically and in all other areas she ranges from 3-15 mths depending on the skill (for lack of a better world). Most people who see her think she is a sleepy baby. She has been diagnosed w/ Septo Optic Dysplasia (SOD). I haven't really looked into the info for the clubs to be honest, I don't even remember now why I felt that way. I guess mostly b/c she requires more attention as if she were a baby and not a toddler. I have started to get more info on the ship.

    The first day I will go over to the kids club for her age group and check it out and spend the day so I can see how she does. I really didn't even think to do that.
  9. *love*2*shop

    *love*2*shop DIS Veteran

    Aug 6, 2005
    .................. our son was 5 and is adhd and we werent sure what would happen, if theyd let him into the clubs either....This was *OUR* take on disneys special needs accomadations and that is..no...my son did GREAT and we just didnt tell them the extent of his adhd, after reading their stuff....so, i do not beliv they are open to Special needs kids, i would CALL 1st to ANY cruise line and see what the policy is...

    Again, this is *MY*Take, not sure if others have had other feelings of them being more open .......
  10. dclfun

    dclfun DIS Veteran

    May 13, 2000
    I would call and ask if baby food is supplied as it may or may not be available onboard and thus you'd need to bring your own if not. They can always puree food but if your daughter is used to eating a certain brand/type of food it's best to be sure they have it. Carnival should have someone in charge of special needs accomodations. Since you've gone through a t/a, they should be aware of who this person is and how to get in contact to have your questions answered beforehand. I hope you have a great cruise and enjoy the time spent with family. ---Kathy
  11. soarin'family

    soarin'family Earning My Ears

    Aug 13, 2005
    I wholeheartedly agree! Our son has Aspergers/ADHD/Tourettes, and he was great in the kids clubs. I just explained that he would probably want to sit at the computer or draw for extended amounts of time, and that it was ok with me, as long as it was ok with them. I'm telling you....our Disney Cruises have been hands down the MOST enjoyable vacations EVER! Probably because we all feel like we are having fun! let's face it...having a child with any kind of neurological disability is hard enough.....vacationing with them shouldn't have to be much harder! A cruise gives you the best of both worlds.


Share This Page