Family dining
  • On Jan 11, 2024
    Katherine from AZ Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We will be traveling on the Dream cruise ship, our kids and 5 and 9. Our kids usually finish dinner well before I do. Is it possible for them to walk over to the kids club on their own while we finish dinner?

    Ahoy and welcome to planDisney, Katherine! I am always telling my friends Disney Cruise Line is three vacations in one: the family, the kids and the adults all get their moments of fun, relaxation, recharging and bonding. I think dinner is the perfect example, and I am so glad you came to planDisney with this question to make the most of your dining experience.

    Children ages eight and older can check themselves in and out of Disney Oceaneers Club and Oceaneers Lab with their parent's consent. You can grant this permission when you register your nine-year-old for youth activities. According to Crew Members, a child under eight would need someone 13 or older who is listed on your account to check them into the Clubs.

    I know it is not as easy as both of them heading off alone, but this is where the magic of rotational dining shines! When my kids were the ages of yours, our dining team served their entrees at the same time they brought us our soup/salad course, and they served them their desserts with our appetizers. After my kids finished their Mickey Ice Cream Bars, I took their cute little hands, like Tarzan gathering adorable little monkeys, and we swung over to the Clubs. Our dining team would bring me and my husband our entrees when I returned. Giving new meaning to the lyrics "two worlds, one family," my kids (who thought long dinners were an annoying disruption in their playtime) and my husband and I (who savored every moment and bite) enjoyed dinner together each night. It was harmonious.

    We knew our kids were happy, and we didn't feel pressured to make them sit through a long dinner. The same was true with the shows. As spectacular as they are, it is tough to compete for a five-year-old's attention when Andy's Room is the other option.

    For family fun, after dinner is also a great time to enjoy the recreational activities on the ship. A round of shuffleboard watching the sunset after dinner was an easy way to end a day. The lines for the slides were practically non-existent on nights we wanted high-energy fun. With all the options, we had family nights and date nights; nights with entertainment, recreation, deck parties, and lazy, cozy time in our stateroom. It really is a vacation like no other.

    On your first night, make sure you talk with your dining team. Let them know you want to take your kids to the Clubs after they eat, and ask them the best way to do this. I've shared what worked for me. They will let you know what they have found has worked best for families like yours based on their experience with your dining rotation.

    Happy Cruising! 

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Meet the Panelist: Jana, Georgia

Hi, everyone! I’m Jana, a Disney-loving wife and mom from Atlanta. My boys (my husband and sons) are the greatest joys in my life. We have so many magical memories from our vacations at Walt Disney World Resort and aboard Disney Cruise Line. I welcome the chance to share my knowledge and advice in helping you plan your visit to the Most Magical Place on Earth. Learn More About Jana

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