Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Cruising With Kids (continued)
Cruising With Kids (continued)
Alexander asleep at the end of a show
The stage shows are popular with kids, though very young kids may find it hard to sit through one of these hour-long shows. We suggest you arrive early enough to either sit close (the proximity tends to better engage the child in the show), sit on an aisle (so you can make a convenient escape), or bring along whatever you need to help your child sleep through the show (bottles/sippy cups, pacifiers, and/or blankie). On-stage characters can present difficulties, too. Kim says that “both Megan and Natalie wanted to go up to the stage and give the characters a hug, and Natalie cried for some time about not being able to do it.”
Of all the cruise activities, it’s most common for kids to love swimming and Castaway Cay the best. You may want to take at least two swimsuits so you always have a dry one. We also recommend some water shoes and a bathrobe, for comfortable trips to and from the pool (the air conditioning inside the ship can be quite chilly when you’ve got nothing on but a wet swimsuit).
The Disney Cruise photographers can capture some amazing shots of your children in the pool, in the Club/Lab, and on Castaway Cay—be sure to check Shutters Photo Studio (see page 558) for images of your kids. A Disney cruise is also a great opportunity to get professional photographs of your family or just your kids. To have the best selection of backdrops and characters, and to minimize waits for young kids, plan to arrive in the Lobby Atrium (deck 3) at least an hour before your dinner begins.
Give serious thought to giving your child a “night out” in It’s a Small World Nursery or at Oceaneer Club and Lab, thereby giving you at least one adults-only evening. The facilities are excellent (much better than other, non-Disney ships on which we’ve cruised) and the crew members that staff them are very good with kids. Having time alone is as good for your kid(s) as for you.
Sara Varney and her son Ryan
That said, we also suggest you savor the time you spend with your kids on this cruise. You’ll have the opportunity for special moments and new discoveries together. Be sure to plan time together every day, whether it’s to do a scheduled activity or just hang together as a family. We’ve found our cruise time with Alexander provided some of our most treasured moments, including the day we passed through the Panama Canal and he took his very first independent steps, and the times on Castaway Cay when we devised treasure hunts for him with a real treasure chest buried in the sand under a big “X.”
Overall, we’ve observed that a Disney cruise is better than a Walt Disney World vacation when you’re with young kids. There’s less walking, less over-stimulation, less exhaustion, and just as much magic. On every Disney vacation we’ve gone on with young kids (under 5), the kids (and their parents) were much happier on the ship than at the parks. Kim says, “The cruise was the best part of our vacation.”
Top Photo Slice: Jennifer and Alexander in the French Riviera port of Villefranche (℗ 32452) Photo contributed by © Dave Marx
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