13 Tips for Surviving a Disney Cruise with the Kids
Avoid the hassles, skip the lines and retain your sanity with our step-by-step guide to ensuring your Disney-cruise is one to remember (for all the right reasons).
1. Plan Ahead
Before leaving, buy your kids a Disney t-shirt or stuffed toy at a local shop (ideally on sale) and give it to them when you board. They’ll feel special and you may avoid shelling out for pricey paraphernalia on the ship.
2. Arrive Early
If you need to fly in before you ship out, consider arriving a day early. By booking a room at the resort, you’ll avoid derailing your vacation thanks to unpredictable circumstances. (Unexpected traffic caused us to show up late for our direct flight to Orlando. Had we missed the plane, and were we not arriving a day early, we probably would have missed the boat!).
3. Book Some Alone Time
Once it opens (usually just after shipping out), register your children (aged 3-months to 3-years-old) at It’s A Small World Nursery. After a day or two this service may be entirely booked-up.
4. Get Your Game On
Spoil the kids at the Oceaneer’s Club and Lab (for children ages 3 – 12) which feature family-friendly game consoles, themed play spaces, arts and crafts sessions, interactive science labs, and much more.
6. Be a Homebody
Consider staying on the ship at a port of call. You will love the feeling of having the boat to yourselves. Plus, no line for the Aquaduck water-coaster!
7. Bring the Grandparents
Bringing along the extended clan allows for a greater flexibility and family fun, and the ship has lovely adjoining room and even verandas.
9. Order Room Service
If you want to sleep in, take advantage of room service for a relaxing breakfast. They may not be able to bring you everything the buffet has, but you can order toast, cereal, fruit, coffee and juice at no extra cost. (Word of warning: it’s a massive boat, so expect about 45 minutes of waiting.)
10. Make Time for Downtime
Make downtime part of your daily routine, especially since kids are constantly being over-indulged and over-stimulated. Take a 30 minute break in your room to read books, have a bath, or snack and watch a few classic Disney cartoons.
12. Be Informed
Read the “Personal Navigator” sheet that gets delivered to your stateroom every evening. It’s a good way to keep up with all the on-board activities.