f you are planning on taking a cruise with children, don't forget about the Disney Cruise Line. Disney is definitely the leader in family cruises. The ships Disney Magic and Disney Wonder are made for both adults and children, with themed activities to entertain children of all ages. For those aged 3 months old to age 17 Disney has set up the Flounder's Reef Nursery, the Oceaneer Club and the Oceaneer lab which allows young and older children alike to have fun while their parents also have a great time without the children. Each parent is given a pager in case of emergency and they are free to enjoy themselves knowing the children are happy having fun in a Disney way. In addition to the pager the parents have, the children in Disney's care also have the ability to page their parents to chat whenever they wish. This makes it even easier to enjoy yourself without your child.
There are several different programs for the children aboard the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, and each program is set up by age group, so the younger children are kept apart from the older children.Flounder's Reef Nursery
Disney has set up the very first nursery at sea for children aged 3 months to 3 years. Flounder's Reef Nursery is set up with a Little Mermaid theme and the young children will find a variety of books, toys, videos, games and crafts to entertain them. The Flounder's Reef Nursery has trained counselors to help watch over and entertain the children. The nursery is not open 24 hours a day, but has select daytime and evening hours allowing parents to enjoy the areas of the ship where children are not allowed.Disney's Oceaneer Club
Children aged 3 to 7 can spend time in the child friendly Oceaneer Club. This whimsical part of the ship is decorated in a Peter Pan theme leaving children to think they are in Never Land. Children can play on Captain Hook's pirate ship on the slide or rope bridge or enjoy the captain's closet where they will find a selection of toys, games and costumes. There is also an area for arts and crafts, and watching movies at the Oceaneer Club. Trained counselors are here to keep watch over your toddler and entertain with various activities such as dance parties, interactive stories and science experiments.
Some of the most popular activities (divided by age group) include:Ages 3 - 4
Ages 5 - 7
- Your child can enjoy a very special dance with a Princess in Do Si Do With Snow White.
- There is a treasure hunt for musical instruments in Sebastian's Musical Sea Search. When the instruments are found each child can play in the band concert.
- For those that can't get enough of water there is a selection of games that involve water balloons, wet sponges, full buckets and a lot of water while on Castaway Cay with Water Mania.
Disney's Oceaneer Lab
- Children in this age group love to make messes, and Disney doesn't disappoint with Professor Goo's Magical Experiments. Here the children can make green goo to play with.
- While on Castaway Cay your child can dig for skeletons in the Dig at Monstro Point. Here each child can search for shark teeth, the skeleton of a giant whale and many other fun artifacts.
For the children who are no longer toddlers but not quite teens, the children aged 8-12 will enjoy the Oceaneer Lab which is overwhelmingly decorated with a space theme, including a very large Buzz Lightyear figure. They can enjoy the planetary spheres and twinkling stars as they enjoy activities with Professor Goo, pajama parties, karaoke parties, sports challenges and many more activities. If your child wants to simply relax, that can also be done at the Oceaneer Lab.
Some of the most popular activities (divided by age group) include:Ages 8 - 9
Ages 10 - 12
- Do you have future actor or actress on your hands? Now a Word From Our Sponsor allows children to produce and star in a television commercial.
- For the adventurer there is the Regatta Race. For this race, kids make a boat out of soap and then race them to see whose boat is fastest.
- Castaway Cay affords your child the opportunity to search for buried treasure on a treasure hunting expedition. Your child could also have a friendly team competition with Gotta Get Soaked.
The Stack and Aloft
- Time for school with Culture Shock. This is an interactive quiz game where your child will learn about the differences in other cultures. For example, you child may learn that it is polite to burp after eating a meal in China.
- Your child can enjoy the Splish & Splash Pool Party at the Mickey Pool where he or she will have games, music and fun in the water to entertain them.
- While on Castaway Cay your child can join the Search for Atlantis. This is a quest to search for the crystals that are the source of life for the mystical Atlantis. Of course, nothing is that easy at this age - first they must decode the map that is written in a lost language before they can begin the search.
Children aged 13 - 17 have their own private area on the Disney Ships. The Disney Magic has The Stack, and the Disney Wonder has Aloft, where your teen will find comfortable couches, internet access, plasma televisions, board games, MP3 players, and of course a soda bar that serves both soft drinks and fruit smoothies. There are also trained counselors that provide your children with organized activities that range from sports contest to dance parties to trivia games.