Preschooler - what will he do all day?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by dclDream2018, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. dclDream2018

    dclDream2018 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    I am soon to embark on the Dream and still don't really get what the Oceaneer's Club is all about. Does anyone have experience with a preschooler (~4) in the club, what they do, etc.?
     
  2. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    10,860
    I don't know that I would send a 4-yr-old to the Club "all day" unless he asks to stay. I'd start with an hour or two and go from there based on his interest. Have you checked out the Personal Navigators posted to the Disney Cruiseline Blog? Those will give you an idea of the types of structured activities offered during the cruise. In addition, there are playrooms, computers, dress-up, crafts, games, videos and he can just "play" as he chooses.

    Enjoy your cruise!
     
  3. Avatar

    DIS Sponsor Let Dreams Unlimited Travel plan your perfect Disney vacation!


  4. DisneyPiPhi

    DisneyPiPhi DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    821
    I just cruised with a five-year-old and she spent lots of time in the Oceaneer's Club, by her own request! Here are some things she did:
    • She would pick special activities to attend in the Navigator each day. She went to a scavenger hunt with Anna, made space goo with Stitch, did some kind of space ranger thing with Buzz Lightyear, some kind of pirate thing with Captain Hook, and Pluto's Pajama Party. Oh, and storytime with Princess Sofia. We would drop her off about 10 minutes before and tell the counselors she was planning to participate in ___ activity so the would round her up.
    • When not in a structured activity, she did a LOT of coloring and art projects.
    • She also played in the Toy Story room on the slide quite a lot.
    • A couple times, she was watching Disney Juniors shows when we picked her up.
    • Some other times, she was playing a board game with a Cast Member.
    For more information, you could try checking out some Navigators of recent cruises on whatever ship you are sailing on. They detail what goes on in the clubs each day, and will give you ideas of the activities kids can participate in.
     
    MSPeeler and dclDream2018 like this.
  5. lspst8

    lspst8 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    496
    They swim/Play in Nemo’s Reef, watch movies by the pool, meet characters, attend any family activities like drawing classes, enjoy the kids club, do the Dectective Agency with a parent, play shuffle board, do mini golf, etc .....

    We went on our first Disney cruise when my kids were almost 2 and almost 4 and we never had trouble finding fun things to do on any of our cruises. I would go to the Open House at the club/lab so your child can get used to the areas with you first, then drop him of for specific activities that interest him.
     
  6. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    4,325
    Unless he loves arts and crafts, a 4 year old will be hard pressed to be entertained in the club for more than maybe an hour. There are NO TOYS in there, just to be clear. There are computers, and other interactive type things but they are kind of complicated for a 4 year old. There is a lot of paper and crayons sitting around and it's mainly "do it yourself" style coloring sheets. My kids hated the club, at the ages of 6 and 8. They would have been done in about 15 minutes at the age of 4 once he novelty of climbing around the Toy Story room wore off.

    I'm sure your child will love the Nemo splash area and pool deck, the Goofy mini golf, and just exploring the ship. I wouldn't count on a ton of time spent on his own in the club though.
     
    Shanti likes this.
  7. dclDream2018

    dclDream2018 Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    21
    Thanks for the replies!

    Youtube videos of the pool decks and club area have made me paranoid about what a 4YO would do all day on the ship. The pools seem smaller than I expected, and the club videos showed a lot of computers (not sure what I think about that).

    I am completely checking out of work for this cruise, so I am not too keen for him to be gone for large parts of it. But it would be a nice touch if the club offered something fun for him.
     
    Shanti likes this.
  8. Quellman

    Quellman Donald Duck

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2014
    Messages:
    3,219
    We do lots of family stuff and hanging out. We will do one or two open houses, and then we will drop him off just before a scheduled activity begins that he will enjoy. Then we give him a little free time after that and then pick him up. He is a homebody so it works well for us to get a little adult time and he still be engaged and run around.
     
    DisneyWishes14 likes this.
  9. xQuizx

    xQuizx Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Messages:
    184
    On our last cruise we had a 5.5 year old girl and 3.5 year old boy.

    The girl ran around doing all the different crafts that were offered in the club. She loves to craft and do group activities.

    The boy on the other hand played video games with all the other kids playing video games.

    I would suggest looking at past navigators to get an idea of what he can do in the club.

    We would leave our kids for a few hours here and there, while my wife and I did adult things around the ship.
     
    Shanti likes this.
  10. Rjw615

    Rjw615 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2015
    Messages:
    86
    My daughter is 4 (born in June) when we went last November on the Fantasy for 7 days. We could not keep her out of the club. Every waking moment, it was "When can I go to the club?" As soon as she ate her dinner, she was ready for the club. Wife and I actually got self-conscious about why our child didn't want to spend anytime with us..lol

    There is a club and lab side that is open to all kids, my child only wanted to be on the club side. I believe the lab was geared for older children. She done pajama parties, lots of activities, games, story time with Cinderella just to name a few.

    It just all depends on your child and how well you think your child will interact with the counselors and other kids. We were worried before going that the activities didn't seem structured enough and she would hate it, but that wasn't case at all which was really surprising to us.

    Counselors do a good job about calling you immediately if the child requests you to come pick them up as well and it was mostly to show us what project she had just completed and for us to take it back to the room...lol

    We made sure to take her to open house on the first day and she took off from there, I would suggest the same to you. Oh, and if you do the dining pick up where the counselors come around and pick up the kids to take them back to the club, if your child does like the club more than lab, be sure to tell the counselor so they can get her over the club side. First time, we got an immediate call to pick ours up and it was because they took all the kids to the lab side and she couldn't find her way to the club side, once there, all set!

    Good luck and have a wonderful cruise!
     
  11. PurplePencil

    PurplePencil Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    Messages:
    466
    If you are not fond of your son with all of the computers you can ask for a note to be made in his account. It is not a guarantee but the counselors will try to encourage him to participate in other things. Another note is that the lab is a lot more computers than the club so if he is the club and it switches over to the lab he will not have as many non-technology options.
     
  12. Shanti

    Shanti Momketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2015
    Messages:
    8,130
    I don't recommend leaving a child in the club all day. The primary thing kids do at the clubs is play on the computer consoles. Those are shared, so your child likely won't have one to himself all day, and even if he could, would you really want that?

    The counselors do lead activities in the clubs, but those are completely optional for the kids- they won't pressure the kids to join in at all. So if your child is not naturally a joiner, he might never participate in those activities.

    I'm not trying to be negative about the clubs- they're nice enough. But you shouldn't expect your child to want to spend several hours at a time there, or for him to experience lots of enriching activities while he is there. I've read a lot of complaints from parents who expected their kids to want to spend long stretches of time at the clubs each day, so they could spend all day being unencumbered adults, and they were bitterly disappointed when their child either had too much separation anxiety for that, or were too bored at the clubs for that.
     
  13. Sunshine2U

    Sunshine2U Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Messages:
    405
    I recommend spending time before the cruise talking about the club with your preschooler, showing as many videos and pictures as possible. And I like the idea of going over the Navigator and picking/discussing events to attend. My kids were the ones who didn't want to spend time in the Clubs (long ago at this point). I realized I had never set an expectation with them, and they never really "got it". We went on 4-day Dream with 5yo nephew. He spent a couple of hours a day in the Club and that was enough for us. It's really easy to fill up the day. He LOVED the shows. We had early dinner, the show, and then pizza or ice cream on the balcony every night.
     
  14. arlopop

    arlopop Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    194
    On our first cruise we had a hard time getting our 3 year old (yes, 3 year old) out of the club. She dressed up. She played games. She colored. She made friends. She explored. She even napped. The CMs kept her going and then let her rest. I’m sure it helped that her older sister and brother were there, but was still surprised at how much she enjoyed the experience.
    I don’t imagine it would be the same for every child, but I think many embrace the opportunity to spread their wings independently.
     
  15. Trera

    Trera DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Messages:
    2,221
    We always spend the whole day on CC, so that keeps our DD busy that day. She loves the character meets, princess tea, BBB, movies with popcorn, going on the aquaduct and other slides, eating at cabanas, etc.

    we never have issues finding things to do.
     
  16. DisneyPiPhi

    DisneyPiPhi DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    821
    While the pools were busy on our recent Wonder cruise, they were not at all too busy for DD5. She played in the small pool and on the splash pads a LOT, and would just come over to our chairs when she wanted something to drink or a snack! I got her on the waterslide on probably day four, and she loved it and would go down it again and again - she has enough direction sense to be able to find the stairs, ride the slide, and then come back to us, which was nice. Although she did do the slide six times in a row. I went over a couple times to make sure she wasn't lost, and the lifeguard was like, "Nope, she went right back up the steps!"

    She didn't swim in the larger family pool very much because she had to wear a life jacket and she doesn't love that. She didn't need to wear one in the kids' pool, splash pad, and slide, so she mostly stuck with those.

    We sat in the hot tub as a family a couple times, too, in the evening when it wasn't crowded. (On the days we skipped the show or had seen a matinee, before getting ready for late dining.) That was so nice!

    There are also deck parties and character meet & greets on the deck that your child might like to participate in!
     
  17. hpsalb

    hpsalb Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    163
    My oldest son had cruised at 1.5, 2.5, 5, and 6. He loved the cruises where he was old enough to use the clubs. Nursery was another story for him, although my second loved it.

    I did find him playing on the computers some, but he did so many other active things. Some interactive stories, crafts, cooking, pj party, free play...

    We've also done Skuttles Cove and there are no computers there at all. Lots of activities, but it can get a bit hot depending on the weather.

    We typically leave him for only a few hours at most. The staff will contact you on the wave phone if they would like to leave, or you can check in on them.
     
  18. Spork24

    Spork24 Mr. Blue Bird on my shoulder

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    753
    We just got back and our 3 y/o seemed to really enjoy the club. He liked playing on the light up floor and one time we walked past and saw him and some others playing with a big ball on of the counselors had gotten out. We never left him more than an hour or two but by the end of the trip he was trying to run to get into the kids club.
     
  19. Sunshine2U

    Sunshine2U Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Messages:
    405
    This was our experience with our 5yo nephew. He loved his independence on deck where went from the pool, to slides, to getting snacks and drinks (we supervised from enough distance to make him feel independent) and back to the chairs for a discussion of evening plans.
     
  20. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    Messages:
    66,170
    It’s funny that people have had the experience of kids being on computers all day. My son has tried to get on the computers, and he’s either thwarted by other kids or the counselors announce lunch and make everyone come in to at least look at the foods and then not allow them to go back to video games.

    It got so he would only go to the lab for events he wanted to participate in, not at mealtime, and then he was done.

    And he wasn’t that little when we did our first Disney cruises. He was 8 for the first. But he never got to a single video game.
     

Share This Page