activities on board
  • On Apr 29, 2023
    Connie from CT Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    When in port, are kids allowed to stay in the youth clubs or on the ship while the adults go on land? We will have a 9-year-old and 12-year-old at the time.

    Ahoy there Connie, and welcome aboard planDisney! We're your destination for first-hand nautical knowledge from fellow seafarers and seasoned sailors who have experienced all of the ins and outs of being on board Disney Cruise Line.

    I'm glad that you came to ask me this question, as I worked for many years within Disney's dedicated youth spaces and have personally witnessed many experiences on board that I've carried with me through my upward progression through Entertainment on board. Disney Cruise Line is very well known for its record for safety and immersive youth spaces among the fleet, and it is very common for children who meet the age requirement for Disney's Oceaneer Club and Disney's Oceaneer Lab to spend a considerable amount of time in these spaces during secured programming. These are scheduled blocks of time with both organized activities and free time where children are signed in and are only permitted to leave with an authorized adult, with their secret password.

    In my experience, many parents and guardians may be very comfortable with the idea of leaving the kids on board and leaving the ship; in most cases this is for a short amount of time and they remain within close enough proximity that they can return quickly in the event that anything happens while they're away. The spaces themselves are safe and the crew may be very well-trained; ultimately it is up to the children and their level of independence, along with their own consent and understanding that you'll be off the ship for a certain amount of time. Most similarly-aged kids in the 9-12 range have been very resilient and sometimes barely notice how quickly the time has flown and I'd only caution against it if the kids were either very young or very resistant to being left in secured programming. In my professional experience each family is different and it'll be up to you knowing the kids well enough to determine whether leaving them on their own will be the best idea for all of you; most of the time it's an excellent way to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time, but it's the exceptional situations that you may need to be prepared for!

    For the best experience possible for all of you, I also highly recommend that you let the Youth Activities Crew Members and especially the management team be aware of your intention to leave your children on board, along with contact information including where you're headed to in the event that you need to be contacted in case of an emergency. If you're on a Port Adventure, it will be useful to let them know which one you're on and the departure/return time so that they can find ways to reach the staff responsible for the excursion. It's also worth inquiring about self-check privileges for your children to be able to leave and return to your stateroom if that's something you're also comfortable with.

    I almost always tell friends and family to make sure that the kids have at least eaten before you depart and if possible, have at least one responsible designated person onboard while you're away who is authorized to sign the children out with the secret password just in case, if the kids are unable to sign themselves out.

    Don't hesitate to come back to planDisney again Connie, for more answers to your questions ahead of your next adventure. Here's to a wonderful voyage for you all!


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Meet the Panelist: Prince, Ontario

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha and Ahoy there! As a performer and world explorer who's been to all of the Disney theme parks around the globe, I'm always happy to provide my best adventuring advice and knowledge to navigate your way to all of the greatest snacks, attractions and entertainment on land and at sea. Find me featured on the planDisney Podcast and on the Disney Parks Blog, discussing Disney Eats at festivals and beyond, holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort and planning my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding! Learn More About Prince

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