Preschoolers on DCL Verandah

Just found out from my TA (god love em) that DCL deposits are refundable! After I’ve been wringing my hands over to book or not book. So I’m planning to book a Halloween on the Seas cruise for this fall on the Disney Magic. My sons will be 3 and 6 and the youngest will have just turned 3 the week prior.

I am leaning towards booking a Verandah room, but was listening to a podcast about a mom being worried about her kids on the balcony. I had not thought of this! I understand that they can’t get out which is great, but I have looked at some pictures and it does look like kids climbing on the deck furniture could be a little nerve wracking. Should I get a Navigator’s Verandah? Or just do an outside stateroom instead? The Navigator ones look a little cheaper but maybe I am overreacting.

Any other advice for the younger kids is welcome! I’m hopeful that he will go into the Oceaneer’s club with his big brother. They are both pretty outgoing and used to preschool places. Has anyone done the Bermuda port? Thanks!

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Teach your kids not to climb on furniture. You can see through the plexiglass under the rail. And always supervise them. Kids who know not to climb and/or will listen to their parents and parents who aren’t afraid to say no shouldn’t have a problem. Plus you can move the furniture to the back of the veranda so it’s not at the rails.

The doors to the verandah are heavy and have a lock up high (again, as long as your kid knows not to climb, no problem). Also the doors are not supposed to be left open, so when you come in off the verandah, lock it and no problem. And your kids should never be out there without you period.

A Navigator’s Verandah, the bench is fixed. I’ve never been on one, but from the pictures, it looks like the non-moveable bench would give a non-listening climber more access to the opening.

Sorry if it sounds judgemental, but the vast majority of issues could be corrected if the child knows what is expected and it is enforced. The only case I know of with a child “falling” involved a grandfather holding her up to “let her bang on the glass like at a hockey game” because “she wanted to bang on the glass” in a location where it is more than obvious when the windows are open.

I was worried about this myself when I booked a cruise when mine were 3 and 6 but I’d get the verandah. It’s worth it and if you do get stuck on the ship and in your room you’ll have outdoor access.

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This was a consideration of mine when I booked my now-cancelled cruise that we won’t go on for several more years. I ended up booking cabins with no verandahs. I’m paranoid when it comes to heights, so my anxiety won out.

The truth is that most kids are smart enough not to jump off a high height to their deaths. But on the other hand, heights do not magically become safe just because it’s Disney or a vacation. People can and do fall from heights all the time and often die from it (as someone who lives in the Grand Canyon State, I can tell you it’s not uncommon).

So supervision, locked doors, etc. are always necessary if you have young children in a situation where they could be in peril.


How did this cruise go??

I agree and I’m not actually super worried about them falling over. I’ve stayed in plenty of regular hotel rooms with balconies. I was kind of trying to decide if it was going to be more of a pain than it was worth to be “sit on your bottom, no climbing, leave the chair where it is, etc.” every time we’re on the balcony and if the Navigator might eliminate that a bit. But now I’ve looked at videos and I think the Navigator might actually be worse because they can’t see through and would more need to be lifted up or want to climb. Also, the balcony wall is higher than I thought and I don’t think they could easily go over even if they were standing on a chair. DH wants to get the ocean view for the price but I’m kind of torn because a balcony would be nice at night.


I canceled because I met a guy and we had dated for 6 months and he had met the kids and we were at that point he wanted to come along and the ship was full. We went to Disneyland instead. We didn’t go again till they were older I think 2016 or something so 12 and 9 and I wasn’t as worried at that age.

I did however go on a recent cruise on RCL with my nephew and his cousin (via my sister-in-law) and they were 2 and 3. They had balconies and moms just kept the glass closed. It wasn’t an issue for them at all.

I will strongly say get the verandah. I honestly wouldn’t go on a cruise without one. The rooms are small and claustrophobic feeling and having that balcony for your morning coffee or nighttime glass of wine, to sit out and read a book. I just would not even cruise without it. That’s part of the reason to cruise. Unobscured ocean view and breeze. Watch the dolphins play in the waves, maybe see otters holding hands (yes this happened to us). I just wouldn’t give it up. And when we did Alaska we could sit on our private balcony with the TV on to the crew member giving the schpiel from the top deck and listen as he explained what glacier we were passing (in the college fjords).

Edit: That guy I met is now DH and it’s been 10.5 years since we met and almost 7 next month that we’ve been married so I’m glad I cancelled. We had an absolutely fabulous time at Disneyland and it’s when I knew I wanted to marry him though I don’t think that’s when he knew he wanted to marry me. lol


I will show my DH your note! I think I would prefer a balcony too.

But now I’m getting very nervous about this even happening. They just cancelled the first 3 sailings in October. :disappointed:

We just booked our first cruise (Alaska) and I insisted on one of the rooms being a balcony…your post made me so happy!

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Ok I’m all booked!! We actually ended up with a whitewall verandah at the back of the ship. I think it was a good compromise because it was only about $200 more than the oceanview room option. We are really looking forward to sitting out there as we leave NYC!

Another question for those with the younger kids, do you just skip the shows? We were able to get the Main seating and I can’t imagine my kids being able to sit through a show that doesn’t start until 8. Do they do matinees on sea days or anything? I’m used to skipping stuff, so it’s not the end of the world, I was just curious.


I believe the kids clubs are generally open during the shows so you could shuffle them off while you enjoy the show.

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Hmm, I will think about this. It’s still probably late for them to be at the clubs though. And I’ve been listening to Pete from the Dis’s podcasts and he does NOT have favorable things to say about the shows so I was really only thinking we’d want to see them with the kids.

I was just looking through the most recent Navigator for a 5-night cruise and it looks like the stage shows were only performed in the evenings. However, they are broadcast to televisions in your state room, so you can watch there if you prefer.


Ah, you know what, I have a 2019 Navigator that I’ve been looking at but I was looking at the Buena Vista Theater listing and not under Fun for All Ages. I didn’t realize it was a different show each night too. I bet they would enjoy watching the first half on TV in their pjs or something. But the little buggers will probably just ask for Bluey! DH and I will maybe just catch one each solo.

As an adult I loved the Beauty and the Beast show on ours. It was better than the Saturday Night Fever show we had on our RCL trip. I suggest you try to do the main show whatever that is that’s based on a real complete story as that’s usually the best one. Like Frozen, Cinderella, etc.

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My youngest two were 15 months and almost 4 when we went on DCL. We did late dining for this reason. I knew they’d stay awake in a restaurant, vs sitting though a show. A snack at the buffet pre-show made everyone happy.

The other kids were 8, 9, 11, 13.

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Hmm, I suppose this is a good point. I am just realizing that Bermuda is an hour later time difference as well. Maybe they could tough it out at the later seating. We were originally booked on the second seating and I assumed that was because the main seating was sold out, but my TA was easily able to change it. I was a little surprised since it feels very “last minute” for booking.

Your ship will remain on the time zone of the original departure port. It’s known as “ship’s time.”

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Oh, interesting! The previous Nagivators that I was looking at all say to change your clocks during the first night.

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Ah, well I could be wrong, then. DCL must do things differently than RCL. I was on only one DCL cruise, more than a decade ago, and have done more than a dozen RCL since.

Wait, what?
That hasn’t been my experience.
Please don’t ask me how I know (it involved me and my friend running at breakneck speed as people cheered from their verandahs and the gangway being pulled up immediately after us boarding.)