We are doing a family reunion on a cruise. Grandparents are vetern cruisers, grandchildren will be 9, 3,& 3. Parents will be between 40-30. Parents have cruise Royal before. We dont know if the kids would have more fun on a Disney cruise. Would grandparents also like the Disney cruise.
First off, are the 3 year olds potty trained? Disney nor RCCL accept kids that aren't potty trained in their free youth programs. However, Disney does have a nursery for infants, toddlers and those 3 years old who aren't potty trained yet. I used it when my son was an infant and liked the staff and facility. However, there is an hourly fee for this and you have to book the time your child stays there ahead of time.
Otherwise, both have really great youth programs. Your kids might be at the age where they're into all the Disney special events like character signings, tea with Wendy, etc. While my daughter enjoyed all that, as she got older (she's 10 now), she liked Royal Caribbean better. Their youth program is VERY active and the counselors are personable and fun. Hard choice. Disney has an adults only entertainment area if the grandparents want to do their own thing.
Let me know what you decide.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
I have never been on Disney, but my 3 1/2 year old loved it. He had never ending fun and looked at the clock when he could do kids activities. Had dinner with them twice and once was even a PJ party.
I have also been on Carnival, we are going this year with my 2 year old since they accept diapered kids over 2. RCCL program I thought better than Carnival, it even had science experiment for the 3-5 year olds.
I personally would not do Disney since my family likes the casino and that although I love Disney I like a lack of Mickey on a cruise. Other people said (including grandparents) that they loved the Disney cruise.
If you and your children love the disney parks and characters this is the ship for you .
This cruise is like a extention of the parks. We loved it and the grand parents loved watching the kids have fun. There are areas for adults only if your parents want to be
alone sometimes. The castaway Island is unbeliveable. We took our kids on other lines after the disney cruise and it was not the same.
I am sure you will have a great time either way.
Although we have never cruised Disney we have docked next to Disney boat - there are "millions" of kids on the Disney line while the other lines have "plenty" of kids. We happened to be traveling with two other families for a total of 10 kids under 10 between us so we are not kid adverse however I could not believe how many kids were disembarking - all dressed in Disney-wear! Our boat (Princess) capped the kids at 500 so there were plenty of kids to have fun but the boat did not seem over run -
There are alot of kids on Disney but we found we really didn't notice them! They keep the kids so entertained that you never see them! we hardly saw our own 3! Seriously though, we had lots of fun family time and lots of alone Mom and Dad time! We have cruised other lines and really notice no interference or inconvienience with the amount of kids on Disney. The only time you notice is if you wait in line for autographs from the Disney characters, the wait is as long as if you were at the park! But all the characters have one on one time in the clubs with the kids!
Disney is great and would be agreat way to introduce the kids to Disney. We're game!
A lot more of younger kid activities. Different. But... It costs less overall to do a Disney cruise than Disney for you guys by the time you figure in food etc. I say go for it!
Considering the children's ages, I think that you and the kids will be very happy with DCL. We have cruised 6 times but are now scheduled to cruise on the RCCL Mariner of the Seas. This is because my daughter is a teen now- and I think that she will enjoy the rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, rollar blading, etc. I am sure she will do some organized activities but she is a little past that.
To Callahan Julie:
MAriner of the Seas is a great choice for teens. It has the largest teen facilities at sea. I'd love to hear how your daughter likes it after your cruise.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
It's been a long time since my husband and I sailed on RCCL, but last year we sailed on the Disney Magic -- and it was the best cruise we've ever had. Of course, our kids, being 9 & 13 -- loved every minute. If you like the way Disney does things -- top rate -- you won't be disappointed in the overall cruise. And yes, you hardly knew there were so many kids on the ship. The adult-only areas were divine! On our cruise there were 2700 passengers, 800 of whom were kids, but you were never overwhelmed -- very organized.
I just did DCL with my 6yo in September and the Rccl Mariner last week. To my surprise, my son liked the RCCL kids program more, and he really liked the DCL program. When we boarded in Pt. Canaveral, we were next to the Wonder and all he kept saying was that he would rather be on that ship. He changed his mind in about 1 day. I will tell you to try and get a RCCL voyager class ship that has a kids pool area. The Mariner did not and I don't think the Navigator does either. The DCL ship have a better layout for kids in that they have kids food area next to the kids pool, but I think RCCL has a better kids program. He got to participate in 2 parades(including 1 that performed in front of 1800 people in the 2nd seating dinner) and the ice show. He is becoming a ham.
We've done Disney Magic and Wonder ( a 4 day and a 7 day) the cabin sizes are larger than norm and the layouts are great (mini fridge in each, loads of storage, privacy curtain between bunk and master beds...). The food is awsome with the added advantage of the rotation concept in dining (they have 3 main restaurants in addition to an adult only venue-each night you rotate to a different restaurant but retain the same wait staff). We joked that the crew must drink water spiked with prozac:> they are very nice, very attentive and very patient (not a "put-on", they seem genuinly nice -not tip driven).
My son was 3 on our first Disney Cruise and enjoyed the (pay for service) toddler area, in fact when we returned a couple of years later he could'nt understand why he wan'nt going back. My daughter was 8 on our last (7 day) cruise and had a great time in the kid's programs.
The greatest endorsement I have found for Disney is the number of repeat family and single cruisers. There is something for everyone, every age.
I have saved the daily listings of events, activities, etc. for each of our cruises-if you would like copies to review and get a better idea just e-mail me at BOINGOPHREAK@SBCGLOBAL.NET-we can scan and send to you.
Good luck in making your decision. We'll be going on HAL in August to do Alaska.