Cruising With a Crew - The Disney Way
by, 08-27-2011 at 08:14 PM
I have a family of five. As a result of varying ages and interests, planning our vacations can sometimes be challenging. Thankfully, Disney makes cruising with a large family easy. There’s no planning your meals, entertainment or child care. Disney does it all for you.
The first step is finding a stateroom big enough for the whole famil. Disney offers different types and sizes of rooms to fit all budgets. Whether it’s connecting staterooms or a suite you’ll find accomidations that will comfortably house your family. The split bathrooms are a dream when you sail with children. Your tub and toilet are housed in different rooms. Both rooms have their own sink!
Guests will receive a daily “Personal Navigator” that lists all the activities that are taking place on the ship. Your stateroom host/hostess will leave the Personal Navigator along with chocolates and animal shaped towels on your bed every evening. This gives you a chance to look at the activities that are being offered so you and all members of your family can plan your day.
Disney offers Youth Activity clubs to fit all ages of children. It’s as simple as signing your children up. Once they are in the system, all you have to do is drop them off. Keeping in contact with your children and the youth counselors is a cinch. Disney provides you with a “Wave Phone”. It’s like a cell phone that works anywhere on the ship. If your child needs you, you will receive a message from a counselor on your wave phone.
Teenagers, ages 14 to 17, have their own private teen club called the Vibe. Once your teen finds the Vibe, you will lose them for the entire cruise. They will hang out with their new friends from morning to late into the night. Once you arrive at Castaway Cay, your teen will find their “crew” and will likely explore Disney’s private island with their new found friends.
Tweens also have a club all their own called the Edge. This private club is exclusively for 11 to 13 year olds.
Children 3-10 will cruise along to the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab. Whether its crafts, science experiments, games, luaus, or dance contests, your child will be begging you to take them to “the club”. They will meet other children with their same interests and spend hours playing to their heart’s content. Be sure to make special dining reservations for yourself at Palo (a fancy restaurant) since your children will likely want to stay at the club through dinner. Knowing your children will be fed and cared for by the fabulous youth counselors will put your mind at ease. Unlike other cruise lines where the kid’s clubs are only opened during select times, Disney’s kid’s clubs open early and close late. This is great for both you and your kids - everyone has their own space on a Disney cruise.
While the children are being entertained, this is your time to enjoy the spa, the adult only pool or take a cooking or animation class. If you have a private verandah, enjoy a glass of wine with your favorite book or just relax and enjoy the ocean views.
If its entertainment you want, the Walt Disney Theatre offers wonderful, Broadway style shows, comedy shows and first run movies. Each ship offers different shows especially created for Disney Cruises. The theater is beautiful and there is not a bad seat in the house. You don’t’ have to buy tickets for your large family to see the shows or movies. All the entertainment is included in your cruise.
Want Disney Characters? The characters are available to meet and greet throughout the day. The characters sing and dance at the deck parties. Whether it’s Captain Jack Sparrow or the Fab Five, you are sure to find your favorites. On Pirate night, you’ll experience the magic of fireworks at sea while being entertained by your favorite pirates.
Are you cruising with a sports fan? Goofy’s Sports Deck on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy is for them. With a nine-hole miniature golf course, virtual sports simulators, a basketball court, ping pong and more, they will be thoroughly entertained. The Disney Magic and Disney Wonder offer The Wide World of Sports Deck. Here you will find basketball and volleyball courts. All the ships have lounges for them to watch their favorite teams or play sports trivia games with other sport fans. The Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy also have the first water coaster at sea, the AquaDuck. This is 765-foot-long water coaster that blasts you down four decks. It is so much fun sliding up and down and over the edge of the ship.
The food on board Disney’s ships is not only plentiful, but fresh and delicious. Disney offers rotational dining. This means you eat at a different restaurant each night but keep your same dining staff. No making reservations for your large party (unless you are booking the fancy Palo or Remy's). Disney takes care of the seating arrangements. Whether it’s’ Animator’s Palate, Enchanted Garden or Royal Palace, you will not be disappointed. Casual dining is also available all day long - pizza, burgers, salads, wraps, fruit, ice cream and endless treats will satisfy your cravings. Unlike other cruise lines, Disney offers complimentary sodas, coffee and tea on deck. No buying refillable mugs or paying for each drink, it’s all included (except alcohol).
No matter how many family members are cruising with you or what ages they are, Disney Cruises has something for everyone in the family and makes it possibly for everyone to have a great time. Truly one of the easiest vacation decisions you can make.
Have you been on a Disney cruise? What were the favorite activities of you and your kids?
Siriann loves all things Disney! She lives in Texas with her husband and three boys. She has been to Disney World and Disneyland numerous times and fell in love with Disney Cruises this summer. When she’s not planning her Disney vacations, she is helping others plan theirs at Fairy Godmother Travel. Siriann spends her free time scrapbooking, volunteering at school and chauffeuring her three boys to their various sporting events. You can reach Siriann or any of the other godmother travel agents at Fairy Godmother Travel.