Family eating ice cream on deck of Wish
  • On Jun 4, 2023
    Heather from CA Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I read a previous question that said if you have a younger child who would like to be in the older club with their siblings that you could speak to the counselors. Should I call the cruise line ahead about this or just wait until we are on board?

    Ahoy there Heather, and welcome to planDisney!

    As a planDisney Panelist with first-hand experience working in and around the Youth Activities department on board, I'm so glad to hear that your children are excited and looking forward to taking advantage of the youth spaces across the ship! As you already know, each of these specially-designed spaces come with age restrictions that are already created with a bit of overlap to accommodate our younger sailors; typically they may either be 11 and want to transition between the Oceaneer Club or Lab to make their way independently over to Edge or perhaps 14 and ready to take on the older-teen hangouts in Vibe. I wish I knew what age ranges your children are so that I could more directly address your situation, but know that you're definitely not alone - the Youth Activities Counselors who work with teens and tweens often encounter parents who feel that their child is more mature and capable of handling the older age group and request exceptions. Here are some of my tips that might help you have a better chance of success on your sailing:

    • I wish I could say that the shoreside Cast Members who you may speak to were childcare professionals or crew members trained to make decisions or have additional insight about the youth spaces on ships, but these decisions and policies are ultimately at the discretion of the crew and their leadership on board the ship at the time of your sailing. Remember that any exceptions are subject to availability, policies are subject to change without prior notice from ship to ship and may vary with the management on board so whenever you're in doubt it's always best to speak directly with the team that's actually on your voyage.
    • On the first day of your voyage as soon as you embark, be sure to explore each of the spaces together during the posted Open House hours; this will give you an opportunity to speak with the Youth Activities team directly and hopefully chat with a manager about their options. In the past some kids have decided that the younger-aged spaces were more appealing and had activities they were interested in, while others immediately felt that they were well beyond that; you might have an opportunity to sign a waiver that may allow an exception to be made but taking this first step is key to determining where they may feel most comfortable and for the team to observe how your child interacts within the space and its particular age group.
    • Ahead of each voyage they will already have a good idea about the demographics and age makeup on board, which can vary wildly between sailings. (You might have a 13-year-old who desperately wants to be in Vibe but is on a cruise dominated by 17-year-olds talking about relationships and college applications and who might feel less comfortable with a much younger child in their space.) Striking this balance is important and the Youth Activities team understands group dynamics on board well to advise what might make everyone happy in the end!
    In the end, all that anyone wants is for our budding seafarers and sailors to enjoy the cruise on their own terms in the way that makes them comfortable and happy, and I hope that you'll all be able to find the space that fits just right! Hope this helps Heather, come back to planDisney again for any more answers or insight!

    Wishing you and the kids an awesome summertime cruise!
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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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