When is it time to be together as a family and when should everyone do their own thing on a Disney Cruise? This is a question that my wife and I have pondered for years now. Being frequent guests of the Disney Cruise Line, we enjoy so many activities as a family aboard these wonderful ships. We have two great daughters who are 17 and 6, which means their interests vary widely. Also, my wife and I love the adult areas of the ships as well (don’t miss Palo for Brunch of your “at-sea day”, but that is for another post!) so we sometimes would like the girls to “do their own thing.” Until recently, Mallory has been a “homebody” which means she really like to be with her parents most all the time. She has gone into the Kids’ Clubs on DCL a couple of times previous to this cruise, but only during the Open House offerings, when the parents could stay there with her.
This cruise on the Dream back in June was different. Mallory was a lot more curious about what was going on in the Oceaneer Club; she would ask us to check our Personal Navigator to see if there was anything where they were singing, cooking, or maybe even a character visit. If you have a child who doesn’t like to separate from you, especially when away from home, I have a couple of suggestions for you.
First, get your child in the club during the Open House on embarkation day. You will find lots of “open play” opportunities where the parents and children can play side-by-side in a very welcoming environment. Also, speak with the Cast Members who work in the Oceaneers Club/Lab. They are experts when it comes to “breaking the ice” with children who aren’t too sure about playing in the Club alone.
Also, while in the public areas like the pool, theater, or even at dinner, if your child has a chance to meet other guests that are close in age, help them make friends. Also, see if this other child is someone who frequents the Kids’ Clubs. If so, this will give you child a “friendly face” to visit the Club with, and if the other child doesn’t necessarily hang out in the Kids’ Clubs a lot, the two new friends can go together to see what is happening and already know each other.
Finally, let your child know that you are just a phone call away. Show them the Wave Phone and assure them that if they are not having a blast, they can call you at any time and you will be right there. We found out, though, that the more your child heads to Deck 5 on the Disney Dream, the more they will like it!
I can’t say enough for the Cast Members that work in the Oceaneers Club/Lab on the Disney Cruise Line. They really want each child to have an amazing time. When it was time to get off the ship back in Florida, Cast Member Paula even personally drew Mallory a picture to hang in her room to remind her of the great times they had sailing around the Bahamas!
Mike Rahlmann is the host of the Be Our Guest WDW Podcast, which can be heard each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday! Download the show on iTunes, Stitcher Smart Radio, TuneIn Radio, and at www.beourguestpodcast.com!
Would you like to plan a wonderful Disney Cruise with your family? Mike would love to personally help your family set sail with Disney Cruise Line! Click here for more information!