If you are toying with the idea of taking your family on a Disney Cruise, but still have a little one in your family, you may be wondering if the experience is enjoyable with a baby or toddler in tow. You will be pleased to know that Disney Cruise Line does an amazing job of creating a fantastic voyage with even the youngest cruiser, and if you are looking to do a cruise with a little one, you won’t find an experience better than with Disney. There are so many reasons why Disney Cruise Line is ideal for families traveling with even the youngest children.
Disney Cruise Line loves taking care of families with young kids, and they really make it so easy. Highchairs are easily accessible and available in abundance in the dining areas including Cabanas and the eating areas on the pool deck. Your service team at your nightly dinner rotation will have a high chair waiting for your little ones each night. Diaper changing stations are available in all the public restroom areas on board.
In your stateroom, Disney Cruise Line provides a portable crib, and your stateroom host is happy to take it down during the day and have it put back up for you during your nightly turndown service. You can also opt to leave it up during the day so that it is available during nap times. They will also set you up with a diaper disposal unit and can provide bottle warmers and sterilizers upon request. Fun tip – your stateroom is equipped with a dark curtain divider so that your little one can have a quiet, dark place to rest while you can either relax in bed or out on your verandah during nap time.
Strollers are available from guests services to be used on board the ship if you don’t want the hassle of bringing one from home. Heading to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise, as part of your itinerary? Wagons are available at no charge to help you transport your littles and their gear down to the beach.
Baby essentials are also available for purchase from the onboard shops. This includes diapers, formula, pacifiers, and more. You are welcome to bring your own packaged, unopened baby food on board as part of your carry on luggage as long as no preparation is required from the ship’s kitchens.
On Board Activities – Be sure to check your daily Disney Cruise Line Navigator for activities that are specific to the toddler set. These can be found under Fun for All Ages and include events such as the Wake Up with Disney Junior party, a morning event which combines a fun dance party with your favorite Disney Junior Characters. Sometimes a character will even make an appearance. Toddler Time is held in different venues on the ship and involves toys and activities in an environment that you can play together with your little one.
Port Adventures – When scheduling your Port Adventures on a trip that includes babies or toddlers, just make sure that you are selecting ones that allow all ages. You will be able to see the allowed ages online when you make your selections. Disney Cruise Line does an excellent job of vetting their port excursions and making sure there are fun options for all ages at every destination. Just make sure that you pack your day bag carefully – if you forget an essential on the ship, it can be tricky to make your way back to the ship mid-day to fetch it.
Characters – Disney Cruises are a great way to meet your favorite characters! Their meeting times are published every day in the Navigator and lines move quickly. The characters do a great job of reading little kids and give extra space and encouragement to those who seem a little tentative.
Water Fun – A Disney Cruise is synonymous with fun in the sun, but please be aware that per the U.S. Department of Public Health, swim diapers are not allowed in any pools or spas on board any cruise ship. Your little one will be able to have fun in the water play areas that are available on all four Disney Cruise ships. If your little one isn’t fully potty trained, don’t risk sending them into one of the pools before they are ready. While accidents do happen, these result in an extensive cleaning protocol and pool closures that are no fun for anyone.
One of the most amazing services offered on the Disney Cruise ships is their kids’ clubs. These spaces are only for the 3-12 age group, but there is another option for childcare on board for babies and toddlers. The “it’s a small world” nursery is a cute space that provides quality care for the littlest cruisers, ages 6 months – 3 years. The nursery is reservation-based and does come at an additional charge: $4.50 per half hour for the first child in your family, $4 per half hour for each additional child in the same family. Plan to book your nursery appointments as early as possible. They can be made as soon as your activity booking window opens up, 75-120 days in advance of your sailing based on your Castaway Club level.
A few things to keep in mind:
- The minimum age to cruise on most Disney Cruise Line itineraries is 6 months as of the day of the sailing, for Transatlantic and Panama Canal cruises, the minimum age is one year on the day of sailing
- Children under 3 do not cruise for free on Disney Cruise Line which is different from Walt Disney World vacations. Child rates apply to ages 3-12, children from 0-2 will pay half of the child fare
- Disney Cruise Line also has guidelines about pregnant passengers – no women who are 24 weeks or beyond in their pregnancy, or who will reach the 24-week mark during their voyage, are allowed on board due to safety concerns
We started cruising with our daughter when she was eight months old. We have been consistently impressed with the experience that Disney Cruise Line delivers for our entire family, even the littlest of the littles, and would highly recommend a Disney Cruise as an enjoyable vacation option with babies and toddlers.
Would you like to learn more about a Disney Cruise for your family? As an agent with Chip & Co’s official travel partner, Key to the World Travel, I would love to help with your first, or next, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line or Disneyland vacation! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply fill out the quote request below. And be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
Photo Source: Disney
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