View Full Version : New Cruiser/apprehensive about kids programs

08-22-2002, 12:21 AM
This is my first post-so bare with me. My family is going on a WDW land and sea package in Nov. I know this will sound strange probably to many of you veteran cruisers, but I feel awkward about the kids program on board. (the Oceaneers Club) I'm sure it is just great, but my small children are usually only watched by relatives or trusted friends. I have never put them in daycare-so other than preschool I feel uneasy leaving them. I know it is supposed to be wonderful care. It is not so much that I question that, it is just that I am going on this cruise to spend as much Disney magic WITH my kids as possible. Can a parent accompany a child in the lab? Also, will there be plenty to do on a 3 day cruise even without the club if we opt not to? We have an extended family going so there will be a couple other cousins there. Just looking for some feedback. Anyone else ever felt similar? I know I'm in the minority probably. Thanks

08-22-2002, 01:33 AM
I don't think you are in the minority at all - leaving your kids with anyone else can be a daunting experience!

We went on the 4 day cruise a few years ago - my boys were 5 & 10, and we went w/another family whose kids were 3, 6 & 10. We were a little apprehensive about the 3 & 5 year olds - both were a bit shy. We felt apprehensive about leaving them the first time, and actually had to 'talk the 3 year old into it'. However, we literally had to pry all 5 kids away when it was time for dinner!! They ALL had so much fun. We were surprised at how much time they wanted to spend in "their clubs." There were some great counselors there. I felt so safe in leaving my kids - each kid's parents have an individual pager, so kids can call parents at any time.

Relax, trust the experts, and have a great trip!!

08-22-2002, 01:40 AM
I forgot to mention that this vacation was a perfect mix for us - quality time w/kids & quality time w/adults. We spent some great afternoons w/kids at the Mickey pool, had great dinners & took in wonderful theatre w/kids in the evening, along with having some time for ourselves while our kids were greatly entertained in their 'kid's clubs'. graemlins/party.gif

Disney Girl
08-22-2002, 02:20 PM
I agree with Aleve! As a veteran cruiser (we leave next week for our 3rd DCL), put your mind at ease. The counselors are wonderful and as she mentioned, the children can always page you if they are ready to leave the Lab. I was surprised that my children (ages 6 and 11, the first time) wanted to spend so much time at the Club and the Lab. Don't feel that you are missing "bonding time" with them. Plan fun things, and there are plenty..check your Personal Navigator each day, to do before or after dinner, depending on if you have early or late seating.

Relax...you will all have a great time and wonderful memories to share! graemlins/mickey.gif

08-23-2002, 10:18 AM
I know how you feel. The first time we ever cruise was the 3 day and had a 3 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. I always had family relatives babysat them. I was just a apprehensive as you were leaving them in the Oceaner Club. The first day, the counselors were the nicest people and they even let me stayed for awhile. Also, to ease my mind, they give you a beeper so they can contact you if the kids need you and also, before they release your kid, you have to give them your password, (any word with up to 6 characters that you filled out the form the first day). I am telling you, my kids had a BALL!!!!!!I was at peace, knowing that they were well taking care of.
It was true that kids give you a hard time to leave when you get them. As the matter of fact, when we cruised the 2nd time (8 months later)on the 7 day cruise, we were docked in Puerto Rico, my kids did not want to go on the island with us so we left them there on the ship in the club while we were touring the island. It was a little weird at first, but when we got back in a few hours, they were mad that we got back too early. I know now, i can rely and trust the counselors. Of course, there are other kids who are shy and do not wnat to go to the clubs, there are plenty to do on the ship like swimming, etc. graemlins/clappy.gif

08-23-2002, 09:49 PM
We had a good experience with the Oceaneer's Lab on the Disney Wonder. We had our son with us part of the time, and he went to the Lab part of the time. We had lots of family time and lots of "my" time. A good combination.

Just some background on our story: our DS10 is bookish and shy. He's also had 8 major surgeries for cleft lip/cleft palate and associated problems. He also has some dexterity problems, is not very agile, and still has a speech impediment. He's much better now, but when he was little, there was no day care provider that would take him 'cause they didn't want the liability of a "medically fragile" child. Not that we were anxious to leave him with anyone.

Needless to say, he's been watched ONLY by relatives and trusted long-time family friends.

We signed him up for the Oceaneer's Lab with misgivings.

The misgivings were COMPLETELY UNFOUNDED! graemlins/clappy.gif graemlins/muscles.gif graemlins/clappy.gif

He fit right in, and had a blast. The counselors and other kids accepted him and made him part of the group. By the last evening he paged us and asked if he could have dinner with his friends rather than dine with us. The people on the Wonder have this kid's program down to a T graemlins/notworthy.gif He had a ball and a real growing experience at the same time. He's more self-confident and self-reliant now than he was.

In summary, we were satisfied with the program. :D

Stitchfan graemlins/thumbsup.gif

08-23-2002, 11:28 PM
Thanks everyone for your input. I will go into this with an openmind and try to relax more. Appreciate the replys and anymore are always welcome.