My husband and I are planning our first cruise in February of next year. We have one daughter who will be 14 months old. Not really old enough to care what cruise we go on. Our main concern is to find a place where we can get some babysitting for her since she will really have fun anywhere. So far I am finding that the only place that always has childcare is Disney. Everyone else is saying that they often have crew members that like to make extra money, but that is not definite. My question is, since my husband and I are mainly going on a cruise for us, not for her, is Disney as good or is to kiddy?
Flounder's Reef Nursery is available for children 12 weeks to three years.
Sign up during open house embarkation day from 1:00 to 3:30. Since their facilities are limited, it fill up quickly. Would advise being there before 1:00 as you have to be checked in and on their list to use the services during the cruise. Have been told the sign up process resembles checking your child into a hospital for a brain transplant. Costs $6 per hour since it is essentially a sitting service with individual attention rather than the organized activities the older kids participate in. It is charged to your stateroom account, no tipping expected.
Being Disney, the nursery is a first class operation. You will get a pager so you can stay informed. The ship does not offer in room sitting as some others do.
The question about being too kiddy is a good one. Both the Magic and Wonder are 100% Disney. We sailed to check it out for upcoming cruise with grandkids. There is plenty for adults, including private pool, night clubs and sports bar but it is designed for children and they do have the most opportunity for a good time.
Magic goes to the eastern and western Caribbean on more traditional cruises. Wonder does three and four night trips to the Bahamas and is usually part of a WDW package. You get the feeling that most people view the experience as just one more park attraction.
Since all major cruise lines offer sitting service in one form or another, you might want to put your priority in an atmosphere where you will be happiest.
I like your candid remarks! How about if you are celebrating 40 as a tired mom with one stressed out husband and an aminated 4 year old girl in tow? Is this the right cruise? I know she will love Disney, but I don't know if we pick something else if we are shortchanging her to make mom happy....
Unless you and your husband are into the DIsney characters and are young at heart, I really think you would enjoy Princess or Rc. I sailed last week with my son, daughter in law, and 14 month old grand baby on the Wonder. The characters are adorable, but in my opinion this is all Disney has going for it, and also the split bathroom. The pool areas are plain, and you won't see beautiful statues or columns like on the Grand Princess or Explorer, and disney charges outrageous prices. The menu selection at dinner couldn't compare to other lines, and no caesar salad is available in the dining room. Even the dessert menu left more to be desired. As to the nursery, the min. your baby starts to cry the beeper will go off. The attendants do not want to deal with a baby that cries.
We took our then-15 month old daughter on a Celebrity cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago. The cost of that trip (which we wanted to do anyway, as it IS beautiful) was low enough, even on Celebrity, that my mother in law came too... I think for us, her and the toddler, it was $1180 or something like that. So we paid about the same amount as we would have on Disney, and were able to take a "sort of" babysitter with us.
We fully intended to hire a babysitter while there, but never did. We took the advice of our tablemates and the last two nights- we put the babe to bed, did the intercom-thing with the room phone & went to the show one floor below (not far at all from the cabin). I'd call every few seconds from a hall phone, to listen to the snoring of my kiddo, then relax & just call once in a while.
All that being said, it was the one trip we've ever taken with her that we would not repeat if given the choice. We've taken her to Europe a couple of times, Hawaii, etc, but this cruise, well, we really felt (for the first time in our travels with her) that it would have been better if she HADN'T been along. We felt like we missed a lot, and when it came right down to it, I wasn't comfortable hiring an onboard sitter.
So maybe Disney'd be a better choice in that situation. Our solution is to wait till both kids (now we have 2) are old enough for the regular children't programs. The cruise we'll take this fall, we'll go kidless.
Don't know if that helped or not, but just thought I'd share the thought.
As an aside, the BEST trip with a toddler we've done is a week in Hawaii.
Disney Cruise Line is just as good for adults as for kids! The kids programs are great and all of the staff members are certified, have had background checks and are trained in education - plus, they love kids and the kids have a GREAT time!
Disney Cruise Line has an awesome spa and fitness center with classes on nutrition, beauty and fitness. The Tropical Rainforest is NOT to be missed. Castaway Cay is like paradise and has an adults-only beach far from the kids. There are family-friendly first-run movies, Palo is the adults-only restaurant and it is DIVINE, there is an adults-only pool, talks on wine and gourmet cuisine, backstage tours. Plus, if you loved Disney as a kid, it is totally a trip down Memory Lane.
Disney caters to everyone! Call Disney and get all the info you need, they are so helpful. We have traveled with them once before and we are going again at Christmas, Disney is the best. You will have a great time with Disney!
I was actually surprised at how much I liked the Disney cruise. My fiance (actually he proposed on the cruise, , but anyway) invited me to go with him and his family on a cruise this past summer. His mom is a Disney nut (don't ask me why) and they had all been on the cruise once before. They said there was lots of stuff to do, but I was still a little concerned. I was 19 at the time and was convinced that I'd be too old for most of the kiddy and teen stuff and too young to go to the bars. Plus I didn't want to be spending all of my time on the boat at the bars anyway. But I didn't want to pass the opportunity up - if anything the ports of call sounded good - so I went. There were 12 of us total and only one toddler in the bunch - the rest of us were teens and adults. It turned out that a lot of the "adults only" areas were for 18 and up, so there was actually stuff for me to do that was more suited to my age group. There is a nice, quiet lounge where you can sit, listen to soothing music if you want, and look out of the giant portholes. On the Magic there is "Beat Street" which is a neat kind of "night club" where they had various events such as comedy shows and dances going on at various times. And of course we took advantage of the spa! Plus we still got to do the fun "kiddy stuff" that no matter how old I get I can't resist, like posing for pictures with the characters and going to see the live Disney stage shows. So as adults I'm sure you can find lots to do. However, if you want a cruise that is even more adult oriented, you might want to go for something else. Research the babysitting on some other cruise lines more.
I see the comment over and over again, "caesar salad is not available". On our Magic cruise in Oct. '02, our servers discovered that our then 11 yo DD loved Caesar salad, and they had one waiting for her every night. Did the people complaining about this ask for the salad? Just wondering. Diana
No casino on Disney, but that doesn't bother some folks. I didn't *live* in the casino on our Carnival cruise, but it sure was fun and I really wouldn't want to sail without one! It was just one part of the cruise experience, but one that I enjoyed!
I don't know about babysitting services, but I *do* know that I spoke with probably 10 different families whose children were in Camp Carnival. Without exception, all the kids were loving it and didn't want to leave.