Note: This post originally appeared at Travelocity.com.
So you’re thinking about a Disney cruise? If you have kids, it’s a great vacation option. Who wouldn’t want to sail with Mickey? Kids get the Disney experience without the lines of the theme parks, and adults get … happy kids. Plus you’re exploring a new city or island every day. We’ve returned a couple of times since our first Disney cruise five years ago, and we’re not the only ones – on our most recent sailing, from Copenhagen to Dover, the check-in line for returning families was far longer than the line for first-time cruisers. That’s a pretty good sign that people have been happy with the Disney Cruise experience.
Disney’s typically more expensive than other cruise lines, however, so that makes the choice of whether to book with them a little more complicated. If you’re thinking about a Disney cruise but haven’t made up your mind yet, here are a few things to think about before booking.
How old are your kids?
We’ve gone on European sailings with our kids at seven different ages, and their enjoyment of the cruise elements has varied from cruise to cruise, from kid to kid, and from year to year. My youngest daughter says that four years and above is a good age for the cruises, since the kid’s club especially fosters creativity and she’s not sure that kids under four enjoy it as much. My son, the middle child, agrees. Although he’s never been into the kid’s club activities, he says that he had the most fun on the second cruise, when he was six, and that three was a little young to be able to do much. My oldest daughter loved our first two cruises, but says that ten is the worst age for a cruise. This summer she was frustrated by the kid’s club that was oriented towards (and filled with) younger cruisers, and she wasn’t quite old enough to get into the more interesting clubs that start at 11. She’s convinced that 14 is the best age based on the things that 14-year-olds have access to and she wants to return at that age. While every kid sees greener pastures ahead, she makes a good point. She loved the independence that we’ve always given her and her siblings to run around the boat by themselves and make their own decisions, but she was limited socially by Disney’s age groupings.
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