Erin Foster, coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line, gives us a review of Disney Cruise Line kids clubs. Find out more!
Given that Disney is the name of the company, it’s no surprise when a Disney Cruise Line vacation has children’s entertainment well in hand. Each of Disney’s ships has a myriad of activities throughout the day designed to appeal to kids of all ages, from stage shows and round-the-clock movies to character greeting opportunities and family trivia contests. But where Disney Cruise Line really shines is in its kids clubs, the vast spaces designed especially for children.
Each age group has a dedicated area with furnishings and décor suited to their needs and development. At every level, there are zones for quiet play, creative pursuits, physical activity, and just kicking back and relaxing. Children can participate however it suits their fancy.
Most of the kids clubs are free to use (only the nursery has a small fee) at will, as much or as little as you like. Kids can pop in for an hour, or spend entire days exploring everything there is to offer. The clubs even have open house times for parents and children to use the facilities together.
It’s a Small World Nursery
It’s a Small World is the spot for DCL’s youngest travelers, ages 6 months to 3 years. It’s the only one of the clubs that has a fee for service—$9 per hour. Given the tender age of the clientele, activities at the nursery are free-form, based on the temperament and attention span of the guests. The rooms are amply stocked with interactive toys, mats and play structures, and quiet nap areas. The counselor-to-child ratio is tiny, so everyone gets all the personal care they need.
Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab
The Oceaneer Clubs and Labs, for ages 3-12, all have dedicated areas for active play, quiet activities, play acting, rest, and movies. In addition to general free play and self-directed options, there are scheduled activities all day, every day, which children can choose to participate in according to their interests.
Counselors make sure that everyone who wants to participate does so seamlessly. Some common counselor-led activities include science experiments, cooking lessons, circus games, arts & crafts, and relay races. All this takes place in a child’s fantasy environment, which, depending on the ship, could include a pirate lair, a Toy Story room, the deck of the Millennium Falcon, a fairy forest, a Frozen wonderland, or the Avengers academy.
Edge is the spot for ages 11-14. Tweens and teens here have more open space for self-directed activities such as board games or impromptu talent shows, but there are still counselor-led improv sessions, foosball tournaments, and classes in animation drawing.
The club for ages 14-17 is called Vibe. The teen spaces have lots of nooks for hanging out and chatting, watching movies, and creative play. You’ll often find the Vibe crew engaged in concocting elaborate smoothies or creating their own rules for Ping-Pong.
Two of the Disney ships, the Dream and the Fantasy, also have outdoor pool decks that are only open to teens. While teens often prefer to create their own fun in the club, counselor-led activities are available and include things like organizing a giant scavenger hunt around the ship or filming a movie with the teens playing zombies.
Whatever your child’s age, there’s sure to be something of interest at the Disney Cruise Line kids clubs.