Saturday, August 16, 2014

Top 10 Kids Activities Onboard a Disney Cruise Ship

One of the most common questions that I get from clients regarding Disney Cruises is “What kind of activities are there onboard to keep my kids occupied”? My answer- more than you can imagine! Disney Cruise Line has a wide array of kid and family friendly activities that appeal to all ages.  Here is my top 10 list of activities not to miss while sailing:

10. Poolside Games and Dance Parties
Following the mandatory safety drill on embarkation day, head to Donald or Goofy’s Pool (depending on your ship) for the super fun sail away dance party!  This Jammin party is just the beginning of the various activities poolside led by the awesome activity staff.  Every day you will find games, contests, dance offs galore listed in your Navigator.  Be sure to catch them when you can and act like a kid again!

9. Daily Family Fun Activities
As you become familiar with your Daily Navigator onboard the ship, you will notice Family activities scheduled around the ship throughout the day.  These events include Disney Trivia, Sing-a-longs, and craft projects.  I highly suggest taking advantage of these as they are a great way to have fun with your kids, and in the case of the craft times, bring home a fun souvenEAR.

8. Become a Muppet Detective
If you are sailing aboard the Disney Fantasy, take some time to enjoy the Muppets Adventure Game located on Deck 5.  This game is fun for the whole family and allows you the opportunity to explore the ship while looking for clues to solve the mystery.  Along the way, you will discover interactive artwork in the hallways, hidden areas of the ship and much much more.  The game has multiple versions available and I recommend trying it more than once if you have the chance!

7. Character Autographs
It wouldn’t be Disney if there weren’t lots of character meet and greet opportunities available onboard the ship.  The best part is, you don’t have to guess where and when they will occur- just check your Navigator daily for the time and location to meet your favorite characters.  Often times, there will be several available during the dinner hour scattered throughout the midship area.  Take advantage of meeting Peter Pan or Jack Sparrow on Pirate Night, or Mickey and Minnie in their finest attire during formal night.  Just be prepared with your camera and autograph books.
 
In addition, you can drop off an item at guest services to be autographed by all of the characters and then returned to you before the end of your cruise.  Suggested items for this include: t-shirts, pillow cases or photo mats.  Just take your item and a permanent marker to guest services and they will be glad to help!

6. Take in a Show or Movie
Disney Cruise Line is known for their spectacular shows and entertainment.  Every night during your cruise, there will be a show of some type.  If you have the first dinner seating, you can attend the 2nd showing of the night, and if you have the 2nd dinner seating, you will attend the 1st show.  The amazing Broadway style shows incorporate many of your favorite Disney characters and songs.  My personal favorite is Villains Tonight! In addition to the amazing stage shows, there are always movies playing in the theater.  If you are lucky enough to be cruising when Disney premiers a new movie in theaters, you may be able to catch a special midnight showing aboard the ship!

5. Princess Meet and Greet
A highlight for many little girls (and some moms too!) is the Princess Meet and Greet in the Main Atrium.  This event is scheduled 1 or 2 times during a sailing and provides an opportunity for photos and autographs with 4 or 5 of your favorite princesses.  I highly recommend getting in line about 30 minutes prior since there is usually quite the crowd, and the Meet and Greet is usually only for an hour.

4. Tea Time with Alice
For those on a 7 night or longer cruise, when you first board the ship, I recommend checking with Guest Services for tickets to Tea with Alice.  The tea party brings you right in to the famous scene from Alice in Wonderland.  You will learn how to serve and drink tea right alongside Alice and the Mad Hatter.  Afterwards, you can take advantage of time for photos and autographs with each of them.  This event is free but seating is limited.

3. AARRRGGGHHH!!! 
PIRATE NIGH!!!! This can’t miss event is available on select Disney Cruises (typically Caribbean and Bahamian itineraries only).  Don your favorite pirate gear and mingle with Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Cap’n Jack Sparrow before dinner.  During dinner, you will be immersed in Pirate culture with a special menu, bandanas for everyone in your group and fun entertainment from your servers.

After dinner, head up to the pool area to find a great spot for the Pirate Deck Party.  The party includes lots of games and dancing….until Captain Hook and his crew take over the ship!!!! Never fear though- Mickey and friends save the day, culminating with an amazing fireworks spectacular at sea (Disney Cruise Line is the first in the world to offer this).

After the deck party, don’t head off to bed just yet!!! There will be a special Pirate Dessert party offered in the buffet area.  You don’t want to miss the amazing pirate fruit and chocolate sculptures along with all of the great treats!

2. Kids Club
If your kids are like mine, once they discover the kids clubs, you may not see them until the end of the cruise!  Disney offers youth activities for children of all ages.  There is Flounder’s or Small World Nursery for the wee ones.  The nursery does charge an hourly fee unlike the rest of the kids clubs which are free. 

For those kids’ ages 3-12 years old, there is Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab.  Both offer an endless array of games, activities and character experiences all day (including days at port and on Castaway Cay).  If your children are in either of these during meal time, don’t worry, the youth activities staff will make sure they are fed!  Also, for those eating at second dining, the youth staff will come to the dining room during dinner to take children up to the Club and Lab so that you can enjoy the remainder of dinner with some adults only time.

Older kids aren’t left out either with Edge for the tweens and Vibe for the teens.  These clubs provide activities and areas for teens to enjoy and they also provide entertainment like karaoke, dance competitions etc.  All of the club offerings and availability do vary between the 4 ships, so I definitely recommend becoming familiar with them prior to your cruise.

1. Pools, Waterslides and the Aquaduck Oh My!
One of the greatest things about being onboard a Disney ship are the fabulous pools and water activity areas throughout the upper deck.  The ships all have family pools to enjoy (while watching a movie aboard the Jumbo Screen), waterslides, and the latest and greatest in waterslide fun- the Aqua Duck (Dream and Fantasy) and Aqua Dunk (Magic) where you get to enjoy a trip down a waterslide and over the side of the ship inside a glass encased tube.  There is also the AquaLab splash zone aboard the Fantasy and Magic, and Nemo’s Reef for the younger fish in your group aboard the Dream and Fantasy. 

With this many water activities available, who has time to be bored? 
So now that you know all that’s available for your kids onboard a Disney Cruise, what are you waiting for????  It’s time to book your next cruise now!

Stacy

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