My niece and her husband would love to take their family on a Disney cruise. Their biggest concern is safety. They have five kids ages 4 to 9. By the time of sailing the twins will be 5. Miriam, one of the twins, is extremely hyperactive. She’s a runner and a climber. The story about the child falling on the Carnival ship a few years back haunts my niece.
All that to say … I’m looking for realistic, not rosy, feedback on the ships and where the danger points might be.
Are we crazy to consider cruising? I would be with them, so 3 adults and 2 cabins. We would probably try for a verandah and an interior cabin across the hall from each other or two interiors side by side. I don’t think Miriam would be in the verandah room to sleep. (She usually sleeps with me when we travel together.)
We were nervous about cruising with our impulsive 10yo (YDS, youngest of 3). I absolutely would not have taken him on a cruise when he was an impulsive, hyperactive (he is diagnosed hyperactive type ADHD) 5yo.
Even with 1:1 coverage, which seems unlikely with 3 adults and 5 kids, I’d be worried. Admittedly, the risk is pretty low and I fully admit and recognize that I’m overly paranoid on this particular risk, but my anxiety would not allow me to enjoy the trip with an impulsive kid at that age and other small children to watch.
I haven’t cruised yet, but, in general, if you wait a year or two it could be a whole different ballgame as the kids change as they age. I tend to think that if you are that level of worried then a cruise right now wouldn’t make any of you happy. Also, a huge perk (at least in the pre pandemic times) of DCL is the kids club where the parents can go out while the kids are in the club. I tend to think that the kids club would provide a safe space for the child unless they truly run fast away from caregivers.
Yes! The kids clubs sound great! I think Miriam would probably love them and I imagine they are very safe. The kids have been very isolated during the pandemic because their grandfather was super vulnerable (kidney transplant recipient) and they were keeping him safe. Unfortunately, he passed away this past summer due to cancer (and Covid complications) so they are re-entering the world a bit more. My niece homeschools and she is taking a month off of regular lessons to do a lot of field trips and teaching them about how to behave in public places after 2+ years of not being out and about much!
The kids clubs are very safe - someone is always at the entrance and the wristband they get has a locator so they can tell what area of the club they are in (my understanding is this does not work outside of the clubs). My DS 5 never wanted to leave! I tend to be a Nervous Nelly about heights with kids (not only my own but any kid - lol) but was comfortable on the decks that the railings were secure enough and not worried about climbing/falling. And we got an oceanview with a porthole so we didn’t have to worry about him going out on a verandah.
Both of my sons (10 & 13) are diagnosed with ADHD and DS13 is very impulsive. We just went on our first DCL cruise in August. Both sons LOVED the kids’ clubs. We had to make a rule that they eat dinner with us each night, otherwise they would be in the clubs from waking to bed time. The clubs are very safe and will give your niece and her husband a bit of downtime. The clubs are closed off and children cannot leave without being signed out by a parent. You can give older children the ability to sign themselves out of the clubs, but that is up to the parents.
On the verandah rooms, there is a lock high up on the sliding door to the verandah that an adult would need to unlatch to get out there. There is plexi-glass between the rails so a child could not slip through between the rails.
There are lifeguards at the pools, so an older child could swim alone without a problem but younger kids should have an adult with them.
We’ve cruised with a bunch of ages and it has never occurred to me to worry about something like going overboard. With that said, I don’t like the idea of a kid on a verandah alone!! But that’s easy enough to avoid.
Honestly - I was more horrified taking my 16 and 18 yo boys to Grand Canyon. They were too curious!!!
I just looked up annual cruise ship deaths (as well as Grand Canyon deaths) and wish I hadn’t.
There are about 17 accidental deaths on cruise ships annually (12 annually at the grand canyon). The main takeaway for me is to reiterate nobody ever climb on or over a balcony for ANY reason, and nobody ever swim without a lifeguard present.
The more disurbing part, and why I don’t recommend looking up cruise ship stats, is how many intentional and natural deaths occur on them.
5 year olds seem very safe, even ADHD ones, and I think that DCL is probably your best bet of any cruise line to keep yours taken care of.
So do we know how many visitors the Grand Canyon has versus how many cruise ship passengers there are? Just wondering about the percentages! Just kidding … don’t go researching even more. You’ll never go to the Grand Canyon (highly recommend) or cruise again!
One of our very own Liners was on a cruise to Alaska recently when one of the entertainers committed suicide. So sad!
I would probably wait a few years. For me it comes down to the adult:child ratio and 3 adults:5 kids (if I interpreted correctly) feels stressful. The climbing is what makes me most hesitant. It is not easy to “fall” off a ship. But for a determined climber, it wouldn’t be so hard to get up to the handrail.
I meant to come back here and update on the decision, but completely forgot! My niece and her husband decided against the cruise for this year. Consolation prize is a week at DLR instead, so I’m not too sad. I personally think it would have been okay, but they are extremely risk averse. I think ultimately they knew (or he knew) that it would not be relaxing for them since they would be worried all the time. I’m glad that I am going on a Disney cruise in January so I can see for myself where there might be danger points and how difficult or easy it would be to avoid those. My niece’s husband would really love to do an Alaska cruise, so we have that to look forward to at some point. I think next year they would like to do Hawaii and maybe the cruise the year after that (2025).