The short of it is that effective almost immediately (sailings departing December 21, 2023) kids ages 11-12 may only go to the tween club, Edge. Oceaneer Club & Lab will no longer be available to over 10 except during open houses (when available to all ages).
The age ranges once the above goes into effect will be:
Oceaneer Club & Lab: Changing from 3 to 12 years of age to 3 to 10 years of age.
Edge: Remains available to tween 11 to 14 years of age. (No mention of if 10 year olds can still waiver into Edge as they have been able to in the past.)
Vibe: Remains available to teens 14 to 17 years of age. (No mention of if 13 year olds can still wavier into Vibe as they have been able to in the past).
We booked 3 back to back to back legs of a Wish cruise in February where we are now past the paid in full, to get our 12 yr old son his last Oceaneer club sailing so this is a punch in the gut to us. We have called DCL to express our feedback/concern on the short notice and little flexibility to change being past our paid in full. Also being so close to the change, there is no way for us to pull the plug on getting to a port before this policy goes into effect. Right now if we cancelled we’d be out a deposit for each guest and we are considering cancelling the first leg (that we’d added after initially booking the 2 back to backs).
Even less the deposit, we’d be getting a good chunk of change back. With that we’d be able to book UOR onsite, get 3 day tickets & do that instead of cruise (I’m not adding WDW because I just can’t with Disney right now with this). Our kids love Harry Potter/Suess just as much if not more than Mickey & there’s Marvel over there too that we all love. We’re still mulling it over, but man, Disney might’ve just crossed a line with me, I’d never thought they’d be able to cross.
This is on top of my woes of getting increased prices, more blockouts & reservations required for the parks (I know WDW is dropping the reservations mostly, but not for passholders and in DLR it’s still planned to be a thing for all, but most especially it feels for the passholders).
So yea, I guess my PSA today is, don’t make plans with Disney that you can count on them to keep their end of the bargain on & no amount of money is ever enough for them. Ugh.
Thanks for commiserating. DH & I got the emails this morning and saw them over 3 hours ago & our blood is still boiling. It’s absolute crap service & it really honestly may be the final screw I can take from Disney in planning vacations with them.
I haven’t read the fine print on a Disney cruise…but if they changed the terms that much in that short of notice, I feel like they should be willing to return your deposit (that’s just optimism on my part)
Vacation money is a big deal to me. Mine is limited, as is many peoples, and you have certain expectations, especially when you spend a significant amount in one place. My older kids don’t want to go in these clubs without each other, so on our last cruise they just didn’t go (eta their ages put them in different clubs). It makes a difference.
I read through the terms too and there isn’t anything in there that I could find that would warrant getting our deposit back based on a kids club age change alone. The person on the phone actually did say they would take our feedback away and come back to us with options. We do want to go, but not all 10 days if the kids club will not be available to our 12 yr old. They have said exceptions to go into the club would be completely up to the youth activities’ department leadership and that’s something that isn’t done in advance.
Wow. That’s a complete BS maneuver by DCL. I’d be fine with a move like this if it applied to later sailings or something like that, but pulling the wool over everyone is just wrong.
They screwed me on my one and only cruise I’ve ever taken. They had switched me from one of the best 7A rooms on The Dream over to one of the worst. It took all night to move me back into something else. But, yeah, DCL is just not a company I want to deal with right now.
Yeah - I saw this this morning too and I’m worried about it for our cruise in May. Our kids will be 11 and 9 and I was counting on them being able to be together because they won’t want to be separated doing things in the clubs. DD11 will be a bit bummed at not being able to do some of things in the Oceaneer Club I think, but really they’re both going to be sad at not being able to be together. And like you, part of the reason we were excited about the timing of this cruise was so that they could be together in the kids clubs on their first cruise! I don’t understand why they’re making this change and why they’re doing it so quickly. Really hoping at this point that they’ll allow the 9 year old into Edge, because otherwise a big selling point of the Disney cruises just went away for my family too.
I would ask on board if the siblings could be together. I bet if DD11 isn’t a disruption they will allow it since this is only 6 months past the policy change. I would think they would be more inclined to allow a kid just 1 year older into the Oceaneer vs allowing a kid 2 years younger into Edge.
I definitely wouldn’t be taking the first few “no’s” as an answer. I would keep trying. Even if they refund 1 of the 3 deposits it’s better than nothing. This really stinks! I can’t believe they would make a change like this so quickly! This is a big deal to some families. I wouldn’t want my kids split up on a cruise ship. Some 11 year olds are wildly younger than some of these 14 year olds. I don’t know if I’d like that as my only option. There should be more overlap in the ages.
So much difference, for sure! This vacation is also the single most money we have ever spent on one vacation alone and it’s not an easy feat by any means for us to pull off so while recognizing its more than most people can do, we’re not just about to roll with whatever.
Edge seems so much less than Oceaneer from our experience with it. DH & I went with DS12 into Edge during an Open House and it looked like a bunch of video screens for video games and a few tables for board games. Compared to the many rooms and more options for guided activities in Oceaneer. I’m sure they’ll find fun, or hang out with you and DW more on the pool deck/trivia/etc. But it’s definitely not the same in Edge.
If Edge had more stuff in it for the younger Edge crowd and/or Oceaneer had more open house time (or time where Edge takes over part of it) then we’d be a lot more open to a change that impacted us without being able to change/cancel. But as it stands, we’re hoping they can do something.
Ugh so sorry for your poor experience with DCL. Disney as of late seems to have chipped away at a lot of goodwill to loyal customers and for a long while they could push some consumers into accepting less for more due to market demand. And I was one who had thought I loved Disney enough to take what they could reasonably dish. This one though, for the amount that it has cost us and if we aren’t going to get what we want from the vacation, just might be the line for us. And we have another sailing booked for 2025 that we’ll also likely cancel if we end up with a bad taste from this experience. So we’ll see.
You can call DCL & give your feedback and express concerns but they did say that any exception decisions would be on board only with the youth activities leadership approval only (it has partly to do with staffing, I think so they need to make sure they have the appropriate staffing for the numbers of kids they allow in). There is also an email they gave us to submit formal written feedback that they recommended we also do: email@example.com.
Since I’ve posted here I perused the DIS board thread on the same subject and right now it’s looking like even 10 year olds getting a waiver into Edge is not a possibility. But that’s only based off of a few comments from random posters on the internet, so not at all verified. But I would be prepared if they are going with hard cut-offs on the age ranges. So sorry it may also impact your cruise!!
The fact they made these changes so suddenly with so little flexibility makes me wonder if there was an incident. Kind of sad to think about, but that’s usually how it starts. Hopefully nothing too serious.
We’re going 2 months after the policy change and are hoping that they can make the same exception for our DS12 but right now the word is they can’t make any exceptions without approval from the youth activities team leadership. And I agree on it being harder to ask for younger to get into Edge. Not just from an age perspective but also considering the space/footprint. Edge certainly seems much smaller of a space so I wonder if there will be some sort of capacity limit that excludes most younger kids from being able to wavier in with older siblings.
Thanks for the encouragement. The person at DCL guest services is getting back to us on some options. And we’ll go from there once we know more. But we are definitely ready to stem a lot of our cashflow from Disney if they end up not making this right.
So DCL is being sued right now for an incident that happened in 2021, but I haven’t looked into that one at all because I just saw something mentioned today on it.
There is a lot of heresay talk (Facebook page & DIS board comments) about another incident being investigated by the FBI in March 2023 on the Wonder. So there may be something to it that is not at all good, but all I (or anyone who’s been following) has seen are comments online. And whether or not that’s the case, I’m absolutely fine with changes to make it safer for all kids and very much on board with something better than the wide range of 3-12 all mixed in.
But I’m so bummed that they couldn’t figure out another solution that appropriately staffs to help prevent and then are asking consumers to bare the brunt of their gaps by accepting last minute changes on vacations planned out with forethought to their own kids ages. That’s where I’m getting all bent out of shape.