Disney and Non Disney Cruise Questions

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2006
Disney and Non Disney Cruise Questions
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 8:54pm

We are in the very beginning stages of booking a cruise for late fall this year.  I am pushing for Disney and DH doesn't want Disney.  My children will be 4 and 6.5 at the time.  

DH's biggest reason for going with a different cruise line is that he does NOT want to wait in line for character visits.  Is that possible with a Disney cruise or will the kids be begging every minute to line up and wait for someone... He was fantastic on our last Disney trip but we waited in four character lines that were over an hour plus several short ones too so I understand his point.  I plan to tell the kids we probably won't meet everyone but am just wondering how often I'll have to say no...

I have two reasons for going against the other lines... 1. They will sepearate my kids in the kids clubs... I don't think they will be interested in going that much to be honest, they tend to stick close to us but I want them to have the option of staying together... Any advice either way on this or info on the kids clubs in general for what your kids have liked better on the different lines?  2.  I think the entertainment on the other lines look boring for my kids... Opinions?  My daughter is not a mature six... She still listens to only 'kid' music and watches Disney Jr, PBS, and Nick Jr shows... She isn't into anything like Good Luck Charlie or other comedic things.  

Really any advice you can give me for cruising with kids is appreciated!!!!  



iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2000
Sat, 04-19-2014 - 7:20am

They do have lines to meet Disney characters.  And we found them longer than meeting characters in the parks.   However you get a newsletter type communication in your stateroom every evening that lists out the events for the following day.   It will let you know what time, where the character meet is and what characters will be there.   So it is something you can avoid if you want to.

We have only cruised DCL and NCL so far.   My daughters were 7 1/2 on our first cruise -NCL.   They did enjoy the shows, but they did not really enjoy the kids clubs.    The NCL shows are loud though - think Las Vegas, loud music, bright costumes, etc.   My daughters LOVED the DCL kids club, but did not like the shows.   We went in 2012 and Makayla still talks about wanting to go back to the kids club on the Disney ship.

I've not cruised Royal Caribbean but their kids club gets great reviews.   Carnival's newer ships - the Magic, Dream and Breeze, gets good feedback for their kids clubs.    NCL also has newer ships with better kids clubs - Epic, Getaway and the Breakaway.  They have another new ship coming this year, and it looks like it will have a great area too - the Escape.

You can not get totally free of character on these ships though.  DCL has Disney characters, RCCL has Dreamworks (Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagscar), CCL is introducing Dr. Seuss characters this year and NCL has Nick Jr (Dora,Spongebob, etc).    But the characters (to us) were more visible on DCL than on NCL.

Pros for us regarding DCL was the kids club.    My daughters begged to go every chance they got, giving us some adult time.    The only con to us was the price.

Pros for us with NCL was no set dining time.   We enjoy not having to be somewhere at a set time, and just going with how we felt.    We also enjoyed the price n the fact there is no formal night - so less to pack.   The con was the kids club.   While NCL is the fave for my DH and I, we get less adult time as our DDs do not care for the kids club.

With your family's love of Disney- it seems like a great fit.   Just be sure to check when & where the character meets are and plan to get there early or avoid them.    Your children would still get to meet characters as they do show up in the kids club to do things with the kids.   Example, Snow White was in there one day teaching the kids to square dance.   And you'll see them around the ship.

Good luck with your husband.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2006
Sat, 04-19-2014 - 5:01pm

Thanks Deb! I think I am getting him there, lol. Now he claims that he will be next to the pool while I wait with the kids for autographs, lol! I've looked at the bigger ships on NCL, RC, and DCL.  I don't think we need a big ship to be honest. We went to Great Wolf Lodge last week and the kids never left the kiddie pool, so I see no reason to pay for a huge slide or ropes course we won't use. I am leaning towards Disney Wonder in Novemeber but still have NCL's Epic as a possibility.  The price is similar since the Wonder doesn't have all the fancy features.  I really am not sure if they will use the kids clubs but am pretty sure the only way they will is if they are together!  My kids have loved Disney on Ice and Disney Jr. live so I imagine they will like the DCL shows.  I'll keep you guys posted on our decision!


Avatar for shelb31
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-12-2006
Sun, 04-20-2014 - 10:12pm

The Passporter Moms had a podcast last week or the week before about cruising.  I love them anyway, but this was good because they gave some insight into other cruise lines as well.  They had a guest who owns a travel agency and is a Disney Specialist, so I really liked hearing what she had to say.  You can go to their website and listen through your computer if you'd rather do that than downloading to your iPod or iPhone.  I am hoping that we can do DCL next summer :)

Disney 2010