Disney Cruise Line has changed the minimum age requirements for infants onboard its vessels. Any new bookings made after July 18, 2014 will be subject to the new minimum age requirement of 6 months for most itineraries. Longer cruise itineraries (such as Hawaii, Transatlantic and Panama Canal) have a minimum age requirement of 1 year.
Previously booked sailings are honoring the previous terms and conditions as they were at time of booking, minimum age of 12 weeks for infants.
Disney Cruise Line still remains dedicated to providing activities for the entire family, even the youngest cruises. The new policies are typical of the age requirements across the cruise line industry.
The nurseries onboard are available for a small additional charge:
- $9 per hour for the first child
- $8 per hour for the second child in the same family
Cancellations may be made without penalty up to 4 hours in advance of reservation. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made in advance online up to:
- 120 days for Concierge and Platinum Castaway Cay Guests
- 105 days for Gold Castaway Club Guests
- 90 days for Silver Castaway Club Guests
- 75 days for First-Time Cruisers
Reservations will be available on a first come, first served basis on embarkation day. Unlike the kids clubs, the nurseries have limited availability, so be sure to reserve your child’s stay early.
The nurseries are designed for children under 3 years old, It’s A Small World Nursery onboard the Disney Magic, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, offers an acclimation zone (designed for the littlest cruisers to adjust), a main play area with interactive features and a separate room for naps. Designed after the popular attraction the It’s A Small World Nursery is colorful and cute and designed to entertain infants from all around the world. The play area includes kid sized tables and chairs for crafts, games and books. Movie time and story time programs are designed to entertain your little cruisers.
The Flounder’s Reef Nursery aboard the Disney Wonder offers similar activities with two rooms: one for activities and one for relaxing. Flounder’s Reef Nursery is themed as you’d suspect…with sea-blue walls complete with seahorses, clams and bubbles.
When they’re toilet trained and toddling, children ages 3 to 12 can take part in the other Youth Activities programming onboard, including the popular Oceaneer’s Club and Oceaneer Lab. Each ship has slightly different areas and programming but all offer a wide variety of themed supervised activities for cruisers of all ages. While various activities are recommended for specific age groups, participation is based on the child’s interest alone. This allows friends and siblings of different ages to still enjoy playing together while experiencing all the magic Disney Cruise Line has to offer.
As previously mentioned, each ship has a unique design and theme for the kids areas but with the same age appropriate activities and supervised fun. Let’s look at a ship-by-ship rundown of the Youth Activities on these magical vessels.
Disney’s Oceaneer Club
Disney Wonder-Inspired by Disney’s Peter Pan this area is designed to look like Captain Hook’s pirate ship. Complete with a treasure chest-themed television set, hanging ropes, wooden planks and a fiber-optic night sky, this is the only Oceaneer Club with this unique theming that even includes a crow’s nest slide and rope bridge. The Oceaneer Club on the Disney Wonder also includes Captain’s Closet dress up room, dance floor, stage, game room and multiple televisions. There is an open seating area for arts and crafts and Disney movies continuously.
Disney Dream and Fantasy-This Oceaneer Club features a stage perfect for story-telling and visits from Disney character friends. There’s also a 103 inch plasma screen for added magic. The main appeal on these vessels is the magical portal to other “lands” within the club.
- Andy’s Room includes larger than life characters from Toy Story including Rex the Dinosaur, Hamm the Piggy Bank, Slinky Dog and Mr. Potato Head.
- Monsters Academy is an elaborate area where your little monsters can immerse themselves in Monstropolis with interactive games.
- Pixie Hollow is perfect for fairies in training and is designed for art projects, dress up and storytelling sessions, complete with a glittering tree.
Disney Magic-Recently Re-imagined the Disney Magic also has a one of a kind Oceaneer Club including Marvel’s Avengers Academy and the Mickey Mouse Club.
- Marvel’s Avengers Academy allows kids to enter the secret command post of S.H.I.E.L.D where The Avengers prepare for special missions. See Thor’s hammer, Captain America’s Shield and Iron Man’s armor, plus surprise Super Hero visits.
- Mickey Mouse Club is a bright room with Mickey’s signature colors (red, yellow and black) with a focus on creativity and crafts. The club also features Goofy’s Gears, a large-scale wall game.
Disney’s Oceaneer Lab focuses on educational experiences, computer games and themed activities. The lab tends to attract the “older” kids (ages 8 to 12). During your online check-in you can select if you’d like your 8 to 12 year old to be able to check themselves in and out of the Oceaneer Club and Lab or if you want to require a parent to do so.
Disney Magic and Disney Wonder-The Oceaneer Lab on these vessels features decorative planetary orbs, sparkling fiber-optic stars and interactive lab stations where kids perform educational (and fun) experiments. The Lab also includes a computer lab, science lab, reading area and lounge with multiple televisions.
Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy-On these vessels the main area consists of a stage where kids can star in their own play or take part in a ship-wide quest game. The 103 inch plasma screen shows Disney movies and features special interactions with everyone’s favorite Alien, Stitch. In the workshop and lab kids conduct experiments, practice culinary skills and have fun with other hands on activities. The main room of the Lab branches off into several themed play areas:
- Media room-contains bean bag chairs, movies, video games and books
- Animator’s Studio-learn how to sketch Disney characters, or draw your own, you can even bring to life computer-animated characters
- The Wheelhouse-computers and large high-definition LCD screens. Compete in popular video game consoles and games.
- Sound Studio-designed to create and appreciate music
- Craft Studio-Hands on arts and crafts projects
Edge is designed fro tweens ages 11 to 14, while Vibe is designed for teens ages 14 to 17. The age restrictions on these clubs are enforced, with 17 being the cut off in the Youth Club areas. Each of these areas also provides supervised themed activities as well as cool areas for kids to hang out.
Edge is a transitional space for kids who may feel too old for what the Oceaneer Club and Lab has to offer but not quite ready for the teens yet. “Tweens” find a spot where they can steer a virtual ship, play video games, watch television and do crafts. There are also themed activities like karaoke, scavenger hunts and themed nights.
Vibe appeals more to the older teens and is themed like a college dorm recreation room or urban coffee shop. Vibe is the perfect place for teens to hang out with flat-screened televisions, video games, board games, DVD players and fun activities like dance parties and karaoke.
Regardless of what age group your family falls in, Disney Cruise Line has something for everyone, including adults only areas, specifically designed for ages 18+ (and strictly enforced). Of course there’s also areas for the whole family to enjoy, including nightly Broadway style shows, a movie theatre with first run movies, character interactions, pools and more.
On the Disney Fantasy young princesses-to-be can have a magical makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and keep on eye out for Pirate Night when the Boutique transforms into the Pirates League, perfect for makeovers for the whole family.
The Youth Activities Team is well trained and they love what they do. They also specialize in ice-breakers and making even the most shy cruisers enjoy the activities and opportunities onboard. If your child has an email account or phone number you feel comfortable allowing them to give out you might want to consider printing up a few “business cards” for them to hand out to their new friends. This helps avoid the last night frenzy when everyone is trying to exchange information.