Poll: Please help me decide!

which cruise with a 9 year old?

  • 9 night Eastern on the Fantasy

    Votes: 47 51.1%
  • Mediterranean on the Magic

    Votes: 45 48.9%

  • Total voters
    92

Minniemouse37

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
I am so torn. Trying to decide what cruise to take next. It will be my husband and our son who will be 9 at the time. Would you do the 9 night on the Fantasy or book a Mediterranean cruise? It's always been a dream of mine to do a Mediterranean Disney cruise but I am so worried our son won't have as much fun as he would in the Caribbean.

We've cruised on the Dream and Fantasy and loved both our cruises so much. We really feel they're so relaxing and we're able to have lots of quality family's time together. I'm really wanting to see all the amazing historical sights in Europe but I'm so worried we'll be absolutely EXHAUSTED from the flight over and supe long port days. I'm worried we'll come home absolutely spent and needing another vacation.

For those that have done the Med with a kid were you absolutely worn out? Were you able to relax at all? Which one would you choose with a 9 year old? Someone help me decide before these prices go up any more!:(
 

tlprice

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 5, 2014
I asked my daughter, who is 11, and has done both of these. She says Caribbean for a 9 year old boy. We did not do all day excursions on our Med. cruise last year. We only did half day excursions and I let her have a lot of say in the planning. I didn't want her to hate Europe because I forced her to go, go, go and never have any fun. That said, we did the Eastern on the Fantasy in September and it was still definitely more relaxing.
 

Minniemouse37

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Let me add has anyone ever done the Mediterranean with a child and regretted it and wished they would have waited until they were older?
 
  • Minniemouse37

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2019
    I asked my daughter, who is 11, and has done both of these. She says Caribbean for a 9 year old boy. We did not do all day excursions on our Med. cruise last year. We only did half day excursions and I let her have a lot of say in the planning. I didn't want her to hate Europe because I forced her to go, go, go and never have any fun. That said, we did the Eastern on the Fantasy in September and it was still definitely more relaxing.
    Yes I think the biggest factor to me is feeling like I've actually had a vacation. I'm worried Europe will be really hectic and we'll constantly be on the go and not able to relax at all. But then I have my husband talked into doing Europe (which was no easy feat haha) so I wonder if I should just go for it? Ugh so torn.
     

    CalifornianOrangeBird

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2016
    We did a 7-night Mediterranean on the Magic as an all-adult family three years ago, and were all very thankful that we'd waited until we were grown up to do that adventure. We were able to get off at every port, see what we wanted to see, and pace ourselves accordingly. If we had been kids when we did the Med, we knew we would be exhausted about halfway through the ports. And, for us, it would have been a bit of a downer to miss even one of those locations.

    Obviously, your mileage may vary. Each family is different, no child is the same. But if I had a 9-year-old son, I would do the Eastern on the Fantasy, and wait until he was at least in his teens to do the Med.
     

    pixiedustedme

    Planning is half the fun
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2019
    Yes I think the biggest factor to me is feeling like I've actually had a vacation. I'm worried Europe will be really hectic and we'll constantly be on the go and not able to relax at all. But then I have my husband talked into doing Europe (which was no easy feat haha) so I wonder if I should just go for it? Ugh so torn.
    If you want to travel to Europe, do it. Go to Disney Cruise Line Blog, and you can read Scott's happy trip reports of cruising DCL in Europe with his wife and child. A 9 year-old is not too young for a European cruise imo. They don't need to stop & nap midday like toddlers.

    Since you've already cruised the Dream & Fantasy, a change in ship & itinerary is probably in order. I recommend flying in a day or two early, to adjust to the time change and as protection in case of flight delays.

    We've got a 2-week self-guided land tour of Europe scheduled for May. Now that's going to be exhausting!
     
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  • FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    I'm a strong believer it not putting something off for the future, because the future isn't certain. If you really want to go to the Med I say go. Yes, it is an exhausting trip, but it is so worth it. And it doesn't need to be super packed, you can set the pace. I've done a Med cruise twice, once as a teenager with my parents and again with a friend. When I was a teenager I stayed on the boat at a few ports and just hung out, this is something maybe your son could do for one of the days to have a day to catch on rest. I did a lot of all day 10 hour excursions that were go go go. Maybe look into half day excursions instead. A lot of the ports are about an hour from the city, I used that time to rest. Make sure you have something with you that will keep him entertained on the bus rides. Another nice thing with doing the cruise in Europe is if he's a picky eater you'll have the normal American food on the ship and not have to worry.

    I personally love going to Europe, can't get enough of it. I find the Caribbean boring and could care less if I got off the ship or not.
     

    WishUponAStarryNight

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2014
    I voted for the Med, but it really depends on your kid. I'm taking my son to Europe next year for the first time. He'll be 9. He is out of his mind excited. He's been asking to go "across the ocean" since he was 4. He reads about the places we'll visit, we watch YouTube videos, etc., and he can't wait. If your son is interested, go for it! You will be busy, for sure, but you can pace yourself and take half day excursions in some ports to manage the exhaustion.
     

    cheermom2four

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 24, 2015
    We did the Med in Sept 2017 with our then just turned 6 year old (birthday cruise) and boy it was tiring. Your kiddo is 9 and it could be tiring to them also. We've never done the Eastern as thats next week when we do that and I'm excited. Do I regret taking the Med cruise with my then 6 year old? Heck no! It was awesome and she was such a trooper. Even the time change didnt kick her toosh. This is a hard question to answer in the poll lol because we loved the Med but honestly we are history type people and there is so much history over there.
     
  • gilsan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2009
    I took my 9 year old a few years ago. We spent some time after the cruise and di a 12 hour tour of Pompeii and the Museum in Naples I was exhausted but she kept on going. Last year we spent 8 hours at the Tower of London because she insisted in going into every tower and reading every sign. It really depends on if that is your kids thing. If it is they will love the touring.
     

    smmco

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2019
    It's a lot harder getting a teen up in the morning than it is a 9 year old. Disney and Royal don't close their teens clubs early because the ships in port at 7am. Just something to consider for the future. I know most people think the older a kid gets the easier it is to travel with them or the more they'll appreciate it. I haven't found that to always be the case.
     

    cadien

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2017
    It's a lot harder getting a teen up in the morning than it is a 9 year old. Disney and Royal don't close their teens clubs early because the ships in port at 7am. Just something to consider for the future. I know most people think the older a kid gets the easier it is to travel with them or the more they'll appreciate it. I haven't found that to always be the case.
    We're taking our kid everywhere now because we figure we won't want him along as a teenager.
     

    darnheather

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 28, 2013
    Your concerns are exactly why I have decided to wait several more years to even do Alaska with my 13 year old daughter. I want her to continue to enjoy the clubs and feel like she has a vacation. With port intensive cruises she wouldn't get that as much.
     

    Ladybugx87

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2014
    I would definitely go Med. We are doing Iceland and Norway with 9 and 4 year olds this summer and have past experience too. Some details below.

    We did Med with our older daughter when she was 3 and we all loved it. For Rome, we chose the long excursion with the express train into the city and she did great. She also did great in Pompeii and Monaco. I know for the Florence port we chose a more kid-friendly excursion but DH and I had been to Florence and Cinque Terre before so we were OK with it.

    We also did Northern Europe when girls were 7 and 2. The only thing that we didnt do because of girls was an evening tour in SPB - do I wish we could have? sure. Do I regret taking the trip? Absolutely not. this was only a small part of an amazing vacation.

    Enjoy either way!
     

    jrabbit

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2002
    RE: The Med (my vote ::yes:: :))

    Jet Lag
    arrive two days (or more) in Europe. First day stay up until evening - and outside if possible -> jet lag really does not like sunlight!!

    DO try to get some sleep on the plane ride over to Europe. Try to take something to help everyone relax and sleep on the flight - like melatonin - something stronger if you've got a good 7+ hours inflight. I'm on the west coast and the flight departure times and flying times are significantly different (longer and usually leave later in day) vs "whatever" from the east coast.

    Eat before getting on the plane - skip the plane food and try to get to sleep earlier.

    What to do (with a 9yo)
    Involve the kids in the planning - ask them what they want to do - have some options (I think that the 9yo would like the "Ancient" sites like the Coliseum, the Roman Forum. Find some kid friendly excursions.
    Plan on Gellato breaks - yes bribery works (just don't do it to get the kids into "prestigious universities" :sad2:)
    Do lug the electronics around with you - because at some point the push won't be worth the shove - and they will want a break from all of that old stuff! And it will give them something to do on bus rides between attractions and the port
    Kids interested in soccer - if in Barcelona, there are some tours / activities at their soccer facility
    Be "silly" with the kids - our's wanted us in "Hero" poses by the Coliseum & some of the arches. In the museums, we had to pose like the statues. For us it was amazing how much this helped them "pay attention" where ever we visited.


    But at the end of the day, you can't go wrong with either cruise. Good Luck with your decision!
     
    Last edited:

    lilsonicfan

    <font color=teal>The TF knows Canada VERY well!!<b
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2003
    I voted for the Med, though, I definitely think it depends on the kid. We are taking ours (6, 7 and 10) on a Med cruise, it is very port-intensive. We have a long excursion planned in Rome, and will likely do a lot more DIY/half day stuff in the other ports. Probably not going to do Florence, for example.

    we have done the Caribbean and while it is always enjoyable, I want to see Europe. So they also will be seeing Europe. :)
     

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