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Tracey Stein April 5th, 2001 02:10 PM

Cruising with a large family
Hi everyone,

We are booking a cruise for next spring and we would like your input on which cruise you think would be better.

So far I think it is between Disney (either the 7 day, or 3 land and 4 sea) or Royal Caribbean's Voyager or Explorer of the Seas. We have heard very good things about the youth programs on the 2 RC cruises and of course Disney is renowned for it's children's programs, but we can't decide which is for us!

Our kids will be ages 13, 10, 9, 7 so I'm wondering if Disney might be too "young" for them? I do know that they have teen programs, can any of you with teen experience on the disney cruise tell me whether they enjoyed it or not?

Any other ship recommendations are most welcome!

Thanks for your input and I look forward to getting more info from this forum as we plan our vacation!


Donna April 5th, 2001 06:48 PM

Re: Cruising with a large family
Hi Tracey,
My vote is with Voyager/Explorer for the reason you stated, that Disney may be too young for your kids, have heard that these ships are really geared for families. What every one you choose, hope you all have a wonderful time!

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Karen April 5th, 2001 08:46 PM

Re: Cruising with a large family
Have you checked out Carnival? They have a great program for children. My son is 10 and he loved it! They are great with all ages!!!

Deborah April 5th, 2001 09:54 PM

Re: Cruising with a large family
Hi Tracey,
Our family (2 boys, 3 and 6 yrs) is booked on the Explorer in May and we can't wait to check out their kid facilities. We considered Disney as well, but thought RCI had more to offer both the kids and us grownups. We will be sure to post when we return and let you know if we made the right decision! I'll be sure to look in on the older kids too and see how they are doing (so far though, I've heard nothing but positive things about both facilities and counselors on board Exp). Sincerely, Deborah

Tracey Stein April 6th, 2001 05:58 PM

Entertainment for kids...
I know that on Disney the entertainment is family based, and children are welcome to attend all of the shows... but what about the other lines? Does RCI have family entertainment or are the kids expected to stay with the youth groups when the parents are watching the shows? That might make a big difference in our decision of which cruise to go on. We definitely want to be able to include the kids in most aspects of the trip and not just ditch them in the day care. (well, except when I go to the spa! :-))

Can anyone comment on Disney's ability to keep the adults entertained? I've heard they have Palo's, and adults only dining rooom, which sounds great. But I don't think I've heard about any of the other options for entertainment. Are there casinos and lounges like the other cruise lines have?

Decisons decisions!
Thanks for everybody's input on my post above.

Luisa Frey Gaynor April 10th, 2001 02:55 PM

Re: Cruising with a large family
Dear Tracey:
I am family cruise editor and we have cruised both on Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line. Both the Disney ships and RCI's Explorer and Voyager of the Seas have fabulous facilities for kids. They all also have dedicated teen rooms which is a plus for your 13-year-old. I don't think your children are too old to enjoy the Disney experience. While the room for the younger children on the Disney ship is very "Disney-esque", the youth room for your children (7,9,10 year olds) is very high tech, science oriented and not all Disney in style. Disney also has a great adults only entertainment section where there are a few club/bars as well as the best (and only) improv comedy club at sea. Not to be missed!
The facilities on Explorer and Voyager are great for parents and adults too. There is both a large rock climbing wall for adults and the youth rooms for older kids have smaller versions too. The ice skating rinks on both ships are lots of fun for families (shows to watch as well as for renting ice skates) as are the miniature golf courses. There is also an extensive wading pool/slide area for kids which your 7 year old would like.
Entertainment on the Disney ships at night is definitely geared towards families whereas it may not necessarily be so on RCI. The Disney shows are very wholesome with no feathers, boas and ladies in suggestive costumes -- which most cruise lines tend to still feature a few times per cruise. However, there aren't any casinos on Disney ships.
My only complaint about either RCI and Disney is that they get huge numbers of youngsters on board so that I felt that the youth counselors were a bit impersonal compared to other cruise lines we have sailed on. My daughter did not make the personal connections with other kids either on both these lines as she has on other cruises mostly because she often didn't see the same kids twice because of the large groups accommodated.
Overall, though, I think your family would enjoy either cruise because they offer something for everyone.
Let me know what you decide!
Luisa Frey Gaynor

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