We’re going on our 1st Disney Cruise on 10/17 (eeeeek!!) from NY to New Brunswick and back on the Dream. I have a 12 year old and a 15 year old. From the ages the tween and teen clubs have posted, it looks like they can’t go to the same clubs together. I’m wondering how strict they are on the age policy…not sure the 12 year old will go anywhere without the 15 year old. (Which is totally fine…I’m looking forward to all the different activities on board that will be fun with the whole fam.).
The 15 year old can move down I believe. My kids had the same issue. I can’t remember if they offered our 13 year old a spot in the older club or not. Mine went to the clubs a few times to make friends, especially ice breakers on the first night. They can text/message for free so once they both made friends they just hung out with that individual a lot.
From what I’ve gleaned they don’t generally allow kids to move down, usually. I do know they will allow them to move up but only by a year and with a signed waiver from you the parent. And it seems they are more willing if there is a member of the travel party they would get to stay with.
As an example if you have a 10 year and 13 year old. Oceaneer (kids club) is for 3-12 so that’s where the 10 yr old would be able to get in no questions. Edge’s age range is 11-13 (I believe? it might be slightly different, but let’s say that’s it for this example). So the 13 yr old could do Edge.
Because the bottom age of Edge is 11 (in our example) they could allow a 10 yr old who is wants to stay with a 13 year old to be in Edge, with a signed waiver from the parent. But the 13, even though is only a year out of Oceaneer Club could not get into the club with the 10 year old. And it seems they are pretty strict on only allowing a one year difference from the bottom age range.
But that being said, definitely go to the clubs at the open house (usually that first embarkation day up until the Muster drill) and ask the counselor’s there what if anything can be arranged as it could differ depending on sailing & how many kids they have registered for each club so far.
Also, say hi to the Dream for me! She was our first cruise ship in March this year and we miss it so! And any questions you have about the ship in general, I’d be happy to answer! I studied for 5 years (no joke) before we went on this cruise & learned everything about a cruise on the Dream as I could!
They won’t let the 12 year old get in to Vibe until they are 13 and the 15 year old will be too old for Edge. They don’t let kids go down to lower age groups. If you are within a year of the club’s age they will let you go up with parent permission.
Go to the open house so the 12 year old can see Edge and all that there is to do. My son is quite the introvert, but has always found a few friends in the clubs. We rarely saw him during the day as he was in Vibe or Edge.
Thank you guys so much for your help! I haven’t read up on too much yet, but the age ranges definitely jumped out at me!
Ok…do I have to register the kids before we get on the ship? If so, do I register them at them same time as we register for other onboard things or during check in?
That’s awesome! Any good books, podcasts or websites you’d recommend? (I love researching stuff!)
Thanks for confirming what I was thinking. Our oldest is 11 almost 12 and we’ve only done the one cruise this spring and all I knew was Oceaneer because I didn’t imagine it would take until he was eligible for Edge to finally get on that first one.
For your first cruise you’ll be eligible to check-in online starting at 30 days before. It’s a whole process that used to be optional & could be done at port but they moved to making it mandatory and you can do it as soon as it opens up and up until 3 days before you embark. As a part of that check-in process there is a page to register kids for the kids club (not sure about Edge or Vibe specifically though). When we checked in, it just knew the ages of all our kids and had a few things to answer to get them registered for Oceaneer. There’s a great thread here on the rest of process of that check-in that helped me immensely with the process. The only material difference on the info from that thread is that instead of everyone being eligible at 30 days and it being a mad rush, check-in is now tiered by your cruising status so the more cruises you’ve been on the earlier you can begin check-in so it’s less madness right at midnight ET. And you can totally adjust all of the information as long as you do it before the information locks 3 days before embarkation (including your travel documentation i.e. if you’re waiting for passports to come back last-minute and may only have copies of birth certificates to upload).
I love research too!
I have the Disney Cruise Line 2023 Unofficial Guide and (had the 2019 & 2020 ones as well when I started planning). Their recommendations about how to select a first cruise & overviews of the ships really helped me narrow down what I wanted out of our first cruise and then it was just a matter of looking at all the sailings that met those qualifications AND our schedules. It helped eliminate a lot of wafting through itineraries I wasn’t sure about or wouldn’t apply. I also threw my UG in my carry-on & there were several times on the cruise that I pulled it up for reference when the DCL Navigator App didn’t have the info immediately available (or the WiFi that we’d purchased was being slow).
In the UG they recommended https://disneycruiselineblog.com/ as a great source for current cruise things and I LOVED studying deck plans, perusing menus, finding “Personal Navigators” (aka daily schedules) for past cruises to get an idea of activities all of which can be found on that site. You can also see the daily ship locations & all the itineraries in a very organized way that seems to be a struggle for anyone else to get put up.
DIS Boards also has a very active forum and I definitely used it the least, purely to read trip reports, but also to figure out if there was any more information on how anyone combo’d a WDW trip with embarking from Miami (a lot of people don’t I found, so if you do end up going that route, I can answer what we ended up doing there).
On YouTube I didn’t ever gravitate to one particular channel, but more kept on the hunt for things that were current for the Dream and our itinerary. I started with watching videos of whole ship tours. Several times. To help me get a sense of the ship. Below is my favorite walkthrough that I watched several times was but there were several other recent ones too that I did watch. This one was just the vlogger that annoyed me the least so the one I was willing to re-watch to help me situate.
I also looked for vlog series for anyone who had done the same/similar itinerary as we were going on within the last couple of months. Most of them for my particular sailing were all Marvel cruises & ours was one of the first itineraries that wasn’t going to be Marvel themed but seeing what they did for dinners, what nights they had which shows & which themed nights and what they did for the same ports we were doing gave me ideas of what we’d be up to which my planning brain LOVES to have.
Oh and it may be too late to really do much about stateroom selection but all the info on Disney Cruise Vacation Planning Tips & Tricks - MouseSavers.com helped me really get to the nitty gritty of what staterooms I wanted.
Now that we’ve been home from the cruise, both my husband & I joined a bunch of cruise Facebook pages. We went on our first cruise with 2 other families in our extended family so we didn’t really feel the need to get involved in the cruise meet-ups/gift exchange (call Fish Extenders), etc. But we did end up joining our specific sailing’s Facebook page & that was helpful to have a gathering spot of information & somewhat of a larger community than our families for the ship. And once home we missed having so much talk on our feeds about Disney cruising so we joined a few general groups, have 3 more cruises booked & are part of all their Facebook cruises and will try the gift exchange (Fish Extender) on this next cruise to see if it’s something we do (some of the people on those Fish Extender groups can go all-out & expect you to as well so we avoided it on the first cruise & just gifted each other).
You don’t have to register for Edge or Vibe. Go to the open house when you get on the ship so your kids can check out the clubs and meet the CMs there. My son would come and go from there when he wanted. I walked with him the first time to Edge but after that he went back by himself.
Oooooh we will wave to you as we depart the Dream on the 17th! I’ll have my kids hide you a duck!
Ugh, we ran into this on Royal Caribbean. My kids are younger but my 4 year old basically wouldn’t go to the kids club because he couldn’t be with this brother. I’m thankful that the younger ones are all together on DCL.