Parks or Cruise (8 and 3 year old)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by Oreillk, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Oreillk

    Oreillk Earning My Ears

    Dec 31, 2006
    I am so glad I found this forum. I am learning so much about the process of cruising that would have never been available when I was a child. Thank you for all of the information.

    We are avid Disney Fans (Me more than my husband). We have been visiting the parks (WDW and DL) about every year and sometimes more than once a year since my ds was an infant (he is now 7). I thought it would be so cool to try out cruising and try it out with Disney but am concerned that my daughter will not be old enough to really enjoy it and perhaps we should spend the time at the parks. I am a teacher and the only time I could really do either is during Easter break.

    So the plan was to do the 4 night DDream cruise April 17, 2011. Now I am getting nervous like I mentioned. My daughter would almost be 3 years and a few months old and my son would be 8. Would it be better to wait until she is nearly 4 and 1/2 and he is 9? I feel DS gets cheated if we do not go as he is so pumped about the cruise but I feel it might be better to have my daughter a little older and a little more independent so she can really enjoy the kids club and other events instead of being overwhelmed as a 3 year old. I am so so torn.


    What do you all think . . .wait or do it next year? If we do a cruise next year I might have to wait another few years until having the opportunity again. We vacation every year but not as elaborately. It though definitely is not a once in a lifetime thing.

    Any input is appreciated!
  2. annmorr

    annmorr Mouseketeer

    Oct 4, 2009
    A few years ago I cruised with extended family including a 4 1/2 year old, and his brother who had his 3 year birthday while cruising. And I would definitely recommend it to you, even at those young ages. The boys loved every minute of the cruise, and even now have great memories of it and can't wait to do it again. You will thoroghly enjoy it as well... it is a much more relaxing vaction than Disneyworld!
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  4. kcashner

    kcashner DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2003
    Cruise! It is better than the parks, and both kids will love it!
  5. loveysbydesign

    loveysbydesign I can pinch a penny so hard you can hear it scream

    Dec 30, 2005
    wait for the is going to be AMAZING!
  6. ychcjbn1

    ychcjbn1 Earning My Ears

    Jan 18, 2010
    We are going on the Wonder (4 night) in April and my kids will be not quite 3 1/2 yrs., a just turned 5yo, and a 7 1/2 yo. They are all sooo excited to be going. We've never gone on a cruise with them. I think my youngest will be just as happy as my other two. She loves Mickey and can't wait to see him. We took them all to WDW last summer and they all still remember it well. I think your DD will have a great time next year. Hope you still go!
  7. carmie3377

    carmie3377 Hi, I'm Carmen and I'm a Disneyholic.

    Feb 28, 2005
    We did both cruise and WDW in Dec when DS was 3 years, 9 months. He :love:loved:love: the cruise! He talks about it daily and requests to watch the DCL planning video at least twice a week. He's asked me several times "Why can't we go back on the Mickey Boat now?" And the other day, he said we just needed to surround our house with water so the Mickey Boat can just come pick us up! As far as WDW, he says "We can go to Mickey Mouse's House later. I want to go back on the Magic or Wonder" He knows there are two boats and loves to ask questions about them.

    So yes, a 3 YO can enjoy a cruise more than the parks! Mine sure did :goodvibes
  8. tea for girls

    tea for girls Mouseketeer

    Mar 8, 2008
    The 4 night cruise is a great way to test drive a cruise. It is just long enough to see if this is something your family would enjoy, but if turns out that they don't you aren't stuck for too long.
  9. hgon76

    hgon76 DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2008
    CRUISE!!! But......IMO, 7 nights is a MUST! If you tried to get me off of that boat in anything may take multiple individuals to pry my hands from the railings!:lmao: Loved Disney World when we went, but now that we've done the cruise, I am soooooo addicted!:goodvibes My dad is taking all the grandkids to Disney World in November & I tried to talk him into the cruise instead, but he really want to take everyone to Disney. So, I'll have to wait til the end of 2011 or early 2012 to be onboard again:guilty:, which makes me a little sad. The Dream does look like it'll be AMAZING, but I'm holding out for it to do 7 night cruises! There's no way you'd get me off the ship in any less!:rotfl:
  10. Oreillk

    Oreillk Earning My Ears

    Dec 31, 2006
    Thanks everyone! :worship: I absolutely love this forum! :thumbsup2

    I am keeping that reservation. She will probably have a great time but I know my son will enjoy it and remember it! :cool1: and hubby is excited to be out on the water and on the beach instead of in Orlando ;);). . . Now just trying to decide on the room type . . high deck . . .low deck . . .inside . . .window? We have 14 months to finish potty training :rolleyes:
  11. mb1976

    mb1976 Mouseketeer

    Jul 6, 2007
    My daughter is 3 and we are planning a cruise on the Wonder Sept. 5. We ordered the video from the cruise line and watched it. My daughter and son (7) are pshyced. She is especially excited about the characters since she is so in to the princesses. My cousin has been on 3,4, and 7 day Disney cruises with her little ones since they were babies and they have always had a blast. Good luck and have a great time.:thumbsup2
  12. momofsamandeden

    momofsamandeden Mouseketeer

    Sep 18, 2007
    I too am wondering this except my kids will be 6, 3 and 15 months in November we are doing a four night Freedom Cruise and are debating on whether to add a three night Wonder right afterwards and a day at Magic Kingdom to see the Christmas decor and get the kids feet wet in the Disney Park department. :confused3
  13. HallsofVA

    HallsofVA DIS Veteran

    Feb 24, 2005
    Unless your daughter is extremely shy, then I'd say go cruise and have a wonderful time!

    We've now cruised 4 times. The first time my son was almost 2. Even at that young age, he had a blast, though he doesn't remember much of it other than from pictures. Our second cruise my daughter had just turned 2 and my son was almost 5. He loved being in the kids club and she loved being a little princess, though the characters had to be visited from afar since she wouldn't go up to them. We next cruised this past December right after my daughter had turned 3, and again in January when my son turned 6. At 3, my daughter still loved the princesses, and was brave enough for the characters. She asks often if we can go back on the ship, and cried when we left. While we didn't cruise when my son was 3, I don't think he would have been as comfortable with the characters as my daughter was, since he had some fears of mascots, etc. at that age.

    3 is a milestone age as far as DCL is concerned. The kids clubs are geared toward ages 3 and up. Under age 3, they have a nursery available for an additional hourly fee. If your daughter is almost 3 and fully and reliably daytime potty trained when you cruise, they may let her in the kids club on a trial basis. Your excursion choices are also limited if she's under 3, but we generally stuck to beach excursions at that age that are generally open to all ages.

    The big, musical shows that DCL puts on are wonderful and both kids loved them at age 2 and up. Seeing their faces light up as the characters from their stories come on stage and sing and dance is priceless. We avoid the variety and more adult geared shows since they don't keep the kids' interest.

    In January we did our first family WDW trip, right before our 4th cruise. While we were able to see and interact with some characters, we find the interaction on the ship to be closer and more significant. On both of our recent cruises the princesses (esp Belle and Snow White) learned my daughter's name and called her by name even when walking past in the hallway! Not possible at the parks when you may see 4 different Cinderellas running around. There is less walking on the ship than in the parks, less detailed planning (especially regarding meals), and no monorails, busses or cars to take to get back to your room for naps, etc!
  14. sparty7798

    sparty7798 Mouseketeer

    Oct 16, 2008
    We did a week in Disney World last March with our son Jack who just turned 2and we weren't expecting a lot, it just happened that is the best time to go for us and they had that great deal last spring so we thought we try it out.

    He loved it and because he loved it so much, we loved it even more and will never forget it. He enjoyed all the characters, parades, etc. He still talks about it all to this day!

    This March, he will be 3, and we are trying the cruise out and he is very excited about that as well. We show him the video on line all the time and the boat so in my opinion, your youngest should be fine!

    It so fun to watch their excitement!
  15. Tarabra

    Tarabra DIS Veteran

    May 31, 2005
    I say the cruise wins hands down for us. I have a 5 yr old and a 2.5 yr. old. This will be the 3rd cruise for my dd. She doesn't remember the first at 20 months, but got a kick out of it at the time. She does remember the last cruise at 3 1/2. It is soooo much more relaxing than the parks. The kids don't do standing in line too well. If you need to drop them off at the kids' club, you can. We are cruising again in Apr. and only hitting the parks for 2 days.
  16. cakesnjammom

    cakesnjammom DIS Veteran

    Jul 20, 2006
    CRUISE! more relaxing and a blast for all. we love the parks but me and dh do not get anytime together and on the cruise you can take the kids to the club and enjoy a 'lil alone time as kids were 5 and 7 when we 1st cruised. Can 3 yr olds go to club for free?
  17. disneyfool_1202

    disneyfool_1202 The countdown has begun!!

    Jun 11, 2002
    My DD was 2 yrs 9 months on our last cruise and it was a wonderful experience for her. Especially meeting the princesses (yes I waited in line one day for almost 2 hours - having her dad keep her busy and come check on my line progress). The look on her face was worth every minute standing in that line!! She wasn't potty trained at the time so we didn't leave her in the club and she could only use the splash area, but she was fine- especially when someone gave her a mickey bar!!
    Her brother was just shy of 5 and also had a great time. He has some sensory issues and the noise on the ship was a little much for him but we know better now and are able to help prepare him - our next cruise is on the Dream in 2011.
  18. clawmachine

    clawmachine DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2010
    oh my - there was a two hour wait line on the ship? Is that common? I was hoping there would not be that kind of crowd issue on the cruise...

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