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 Taking a family cruise.

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jmodine
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PostSubject: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:47 pm

What is the best cruise to take kids ages 6 and 3 on.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:59 pm

If budget isn't an issue then I would definitely do Disney cruise lines. They are spendy but the kids love them. They have a great kids program and if your kids love mickey they will enjoy this cruise. The cabins are a little bigger and they have a bathtub for the kids. Although I havent done it yet, Royal Carribean is another option...with lots of kids activities. My kids enjoyed carnival and they are more affordable and they have great beds. It all depends on your budget and what the kids enjoy
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:03 pm

mnmomof4 wrote:
If budget isn't an issue then I would definitely do Disney cruise lines. They are spendy but the kids love them. They have a great kids program and if your kids love mickey they will enjoy this cruise. The cabins are a little bigger and they have a bathtub for the kids. Although I havent done it yet, Royal Carribean is another option...with lots of kids activities. My kids enjoyed carnival and they are more affordable and they have great beds. It all depends on your budget and what the kids enjoy
Do they have like a daycare of some sort on it so that you and your husband can do some adult time to?
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:04 pm

There really are several ... of course Disney Cruise Line was created with the family in mind, and the area on their ships for the kids' areas takes up almost one full deck (where other cruise lines would've put thier casinos). But since the introduction of Disney in the late 1990s, the other cruise lines have seen the light and their newer ships now have extensive kids' areas & programs.
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jmodine
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:04 pm

mnmomof4 wrote:
If budget isn't an issue then I would definitely do Disney cruise lines. They are spendy but the kids love them. They have a great kids program and if your kids love mickey they will enjoy this cruise. The cabins are a little bigger and they have a bathtub for the kids. Although I havent done it yet, Royal Carribean is another option...with lots of kids activities. My kids enjoyed carnival and they are more affordable and they have great beds. It all depends on your budget and what the kids enjoy
Does the disney cruise actually stop at Disney World?
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:12 pm

No but there is a combination of cruise and a stay at disney. The cruises are usually 3,4, or 7 days. 3 and 4 day cruises go to the bahamas and a stop at their private island which is beautiful. 7 day cruises are eastern or western carribean. They also have other special cruises that they add occassionally. There is a disney group cruise planned for may 2010. Here is the link if you want to check it out

http://cruisefreekforums.forumfreek.com/disney-cruise-easter-week-april-2010-f107/disney-easter-2010-t1073-60.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:14 pm

Disney World is about an hour from the cruise terminal which is in Port Canaveral. Disney Cruise Line offers a land/sea package that combines 4 nights at Disney World with 3 nights on the ship, or you can do your own combination setting your own amount of time at Disney World before or after a 3, 4 or 7 night cruise.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:18 pm

jmodine wrote:
mnmomof4 wrote:
If budget isn't an issue then I would definitely do Disney cruise lines. They are spendy but the kids love them. They have a great kids program and if your kids love mickey they will enjoy this cruise. The cabins are a little bigger and they have a bathtub for the kids. Although I havent done it yet, Royal Carribean is another option...with lots of kids activities. My kids enjoyed carnival and they are more affordable and they have great beds. It all depends on your budget and what the kids enjoy
Do they have like a daycare of some sort on it so that you and your husband can do some adult time to?
\

Yes there is a great kids program. My kids never wanted to leave. They give you pagers in case they need to get a hold of you. It allows you do have some adult times and the kids usually really enjoy it
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:26 pm

Cruising is a great option for families...something for everyone. Lots of family time and you can generally squeeze in some adult time. Most ships have adults only areas. Disney cruise line has adults only pool and their private island has an adults only area you can go to the beach alone after you sign the kids into the daycare on the island.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:31 pm

mnmomof4 wrote:
Cruising is a great option for families...something for everyone. Lots of family time and you can generally squeeze in some adult time. Most ships have adults only areas. Disney cruise line has adults only pool and their private island has an adults only area you can go to the beach alone after you sign the kids into the daycare on the island.
When is the best time of the year to take a disney cruise? Is it cheaper in the winter than the summer or doesn't it really matter?
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:53 pm

when the kids are out of school typically, Disney cruises will tend to be more expensive.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:00 pm

Carnival kids programs are also pretty good. They will take kids as young as 2 and they do not have to be potty trained.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:39 pm

Check this site www.disneycruise.reservations.disney.go.com you can get prices there. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:45 pm

They were running a promotion recently where kids sail free with 2 paying adults. I checked yesterday and they didnt seem have any cabins left other than the end of this month. You had to sail by the end of May I believe. I have sailed with them in oct and january when the prices were lower.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:12 pm

Wow, a lot of activity here this morning!

FWIW, I took my kids on their first cruise when my DS was 3 (it was about 2 weeks after his birthday) and my DD was 5. They went on another cruise that year, and have been on 2 cruises a year ever since!

I'll echo what everyone else said about Disney: if you want the kids to have a *blast* then Disney is the way to go. You can even buy a land/sea package through Disney (to go to WDW as well) that will take care of all of the transportation arrangements for you.

However, Disney cruises are *expensive*. If you don't want to spend quite so much, you can go on RCCL or Princess (my favorite non-Disney family line). Both of these lines have organized kids activities where you can drop off the kids to enjoy themselves and come back and pick them up later. They also have children's programs running on port days if you want to go do an adults only excursion. Your kids will still have a fantastis time, and you'll save money over a Disney Cruise.

All of the suggestions made here are good for a first cruise.
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chrystine
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:43 am

Yes Disney is great but if it is out of your budget, Carnival has an excellent kids program- especially for the younger ones.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:01 pm

I agree with Penny, a cruise is a great family vacation option. It provides a great balance between family fun time and private couple time while the kids are involved in activities and the kids club. Although I have never been on a Disney cruise, I heard that the other cruise lines offer as good kids programs (without the disney characters of course). So unless you really want to have the magic of Disney while cruising then I would explore other lines as another option. The price difference is just to great to not compare. In my opinion, I would rather use the money I saved towards a land based Disney trip with the kids.

Good luck with your planning ... you and your family will have a blast!! My kids love cruising and can't wait until our next one in 2010.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:11 pm

Beware...once you take the kids on a cruise....they might get hooked!!!!! Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:20 pm

Personally, My kids love Royal Caribbean. Cruising is the vacation of choice for the whole family. The only thing that you need to remember is that the three year old needs to be potty trained to participate in most activities on most of the cruise lines.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:31 pm

CruiseHelper wrote:
Personally, My kids love Royal Caribbean. Cruising is the vacation of choice for the whole family. The only thing that you need to remember is that the three year old needs to be potty trained to participate in most activities on most of the cruise lines.

I believe Carnival and NCL will accept kids who are not PT'd. Someone please correct me if I am wrong! Also, if your child can last for 3-4 hours straight, you could potty them and drop them off and then pick them up within that time window. I ended up doing this for my 3 year old son on our first cruise, and fortunately he only had one accident... and that was because the potty was too high for him and he was having trouble trying to climb on!
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:38 pm

Livabeth wrote:
Although I have never been on a Disney cruise, I heard that the other cruise lines offer as good kids programs (without the disney characters of course).

Everyone has their own opinion, but IMHO the Disney kids' experience is well above that of other cruise lines. Outside of the character interactions, the kids areas are HUGE! The 3-7 y.o. area has a massive Captain Hook Pirate Ship and dress-up area, the 8-10 y.o. area has a science lab, the 11-12 y.o. area has movie-making equipment and the teen area is a super cool hangout in the funnel. Plus kids have their own (large) pool and waterslide, and splash area for diapered kids. Additionally, Disney offers a lot of 'family' activities that everyone can participate in (on other cruise lines, there are only adult activities unless your child is in the kids' club, and Mom & Dad can't participate there) and all of the evening shows are family friendly (until 10 pm or so). And don't forget the kids' buffet line at Topsider's, and all of the free sodas! The cabins are also significantly larger and better laid out (e.g. split bathroom, placement of extra berths) than on other cruise ships.

Disney is more money, but you do get a much better family cruise experience. That's not to say that you won't have a terrific time on other cruise lines (we certainly do!) but Disney truly *is* something special.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:57 am

HelenB wrote:
Livabeth wrote:
Although I have never been on a Disney cruise, I heard that the other cruise lines offer as good kids programs (without the disney characters of course).

Everyone has their own opinion, but IMHO the Disney kids' experience is well above that of other cruise lines. Outside of the character interactions, the kids areas are HUGE! The 3-7 y.o. area has a massive Captain Hook Pirate Ship and dress-up area, the 8-10 y.o. area has a science lab, the 11-12 y.o. area has movie-making equipment and the teen area is a super cool hangout in the funnel. Plus kids have their own (large) pool and waterslide, and splash area for diapered kids. Additionally, Disney offers a lot of 'family' activities that everyone can participate in (on other cruise lines, there are only adult activities unless your child is in the kids' club, and Mom & Dad can't participate there) and all of the evening shows are family friendly (until 10 pm or so). And don't forget the kids' buffet line at Topsider's, and all of the free sodas! The cabins are also significantly larger and better laid out (e.g. split bathroom, placement of extra berths) than on other cruise ships.

Disney is more money, but you do get a much better family cruise experience. That's not to say that you won't have a terrific time on other cruise lines (we certainly do!) but Disney truly *is* something special.

Helen,

I guess i'll have to consider a Disney cruise in the future to compare against the ones I have taken. My girls would probably love it ... they can be little princess and pirates. My TA does not promote Disney to us and has provided me with the thoughts I added above.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:38 am

Livabeth, it may be your TA doesn't like Disney, or thinks for some reason that you would prefer the non-Disney lines. There *is* a difference, but you pay for it. Whether or not it's worth the extra money is something you have to decide for yourself. We took a 4 days cruise as our first DCL experience, just to see. While we loved it, the limited itineraries and high price tag made it less appealing. We still take Disney cruises, but also take lots of other ones! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:59 am

I would try the 3 or 4 day disney cruise in off season which is cheaper just to see the difference. My first 3 cruises were on disney but then I had more kids and decided it was too expensive for 2 cabins so we chose carnival. Carnival allows children age 2 and up in the camp carnival and they dont have to be potty trained.
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PostSubject: Re: Taking a family cruise.   Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:30 am

mnmomof4 wrote:
Carnival allows children age 2 and up in the camp carnival and they dont have to be potty trained.

That is why we started cruising Carnival when my son was young. Now that he is getting older, Royal Caribbean seems to have more appeal to him with the flowrider, rock climbing wall and ice skating rink. But when he was younger, Carnival was great for us.
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