October 09, 2013

Disney Cruise Recap: Ship Activities and Kids Club

One of the biggest perks for us aboard the Disney Cruise was kids club. I'll be honest here.... 24/7 for 8 days with my daughter is a business trip, not a vacation. I love her dearly, but when I am with her I am working, I am a Mom and I am not "on vacation". So, the idea of family time and then adult time was appealing to us. On top of that, the kids club had been described to me by friends as an over the top clubhouse. Why would Abby want to be with me when Mickey was downstairs playing cards?

Knowing we planned to use the clubhouse, we attended the parents open house on the first day. It allowed us to check it out with her and for her to see how cool it was. There are two kid areas (for ages 3-12, others for babies or older kids)- the Oceaneer Club and the Oceaneer Lab. The club had an indoor playscape, movie screen with stage, TVs, art space, dress up closet, and lots of toys. The Lab was filled with games, computers, and an area for science projects, cooking demonstrations, etc.

A couple of highlights about the kids area:

- Kids are checked in and out using a chip on a bracelet given to them before we boarded the ship. It housed her name, our information, and her medical conditions (nut allergy).

- Whenever we checked her in, they scanned her bracelet and our room key which linked us together. Upon check out, they scanned her, used our room key, and we had to give the secret password we had set up before boarding the ship. There were attendants at the entrance/exit and small swinging doors to keep kids inside and safe. 

- Upon entering, kids were given a big squirt of handsoap and had to immediately wash up. Disney was big on germ prevention as they also handed out anti-bac wipes before you could enter the restaurant.

- When Abby's bracelet scanned, the attendant immediately asked for her Epi-Pens. And, when she checked out, it reminded them to give them to me. 

A few hours each day, there were special activities planned inside the kids area and it was during open house so parents could attend. (FYI- if the club has open house, then all kids currently checked in where sent to the lab and vice versa) We attended two special events with Abby.

Snow White came to visit and taught the kids how to Do-Si-Do, the dance she does with the swarfs in the classic movie. A staffer read the story of Snow White and showed the dance on the big screen before Snow White herself appeared and taught it to all of the kids.

Another morning Abby attended the Royal Ball and put on a Tiana dress from inside the clubhouse dress up stash.

Cinderella showed up at the Royal Ball to help the girls learn how to properly curtsy and the boys to bow.

There were tons of adult and faily activities also on the ship- you could literally be in 5 places at any given time having fun! We attended a few things each day and saved time for kids club and afternoon naps, too!

We attended the Generation Game and Marcus played two rounds for the adults. Using the audience's response to pick a winner, the adults had to dance to a popular "kids" rap song and then the kids had to dance to a popular 70s song by the Monkees.

In the tie breaker, the adults beat the kids running a hula hoop from left to right and back again while holding hands and not letting go!

Another fun event was a big dance party held on the third floor lobby. Marcus and Abby joined the fun and I snapped pictures from the 4th floor balcony.

Seeing my husband dance with Donald Duck to One Direction is not something I thought I would ever see in my lifetime. Marcus is in the blue shirt and red cap.

They also did the Cupid Shuffle with Mickey Mouse. 

The DJ on the stairs in white did a great job with the crowd, fun music and helping the characters get through the crowds to dance!

One evening on the ship, there was a pirate party! Lots of kids were dressed like pirates that day, at dinner and then at the party which started at 9:30 PM!

We were a pirate for dinner and the show and then put on our jammies for the evening show. Everyone was given the red pirate headpieces at dinner. They said "Pirates IN the Caribbean".

The pirate party was held on the top floor and the swimming pool was covered with a stage for dancing! All the characters (Mickey Mouse, etc.) came out in pirate gear including Jack Sparrow, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee.

At 10 PM, in dramatic fashion, Mickey ziplined across the top of the boat and introduced the fireworks!

The biggest entertainment production each day was the evening shows. We signed up for early dinner at 5:45, so we were assigned the 8:30 show. Other families did the opposite. There were Disney related productions with characters and staff singing and dancing, a comedian, a ventriloquist, and one night they showed Planes in 3D for the evening show. We were tired after our day in Atlantis and ended up having pizza poolside about 5 PM and then attended the early show. We also watched Toy Story the Musical one evening on the TV in our room rather than downstairs in the theater.

They sold beverages outside the show or you could bring them in for free if you grabbed them from the pool deck ahead of time. We loved doing the shows in our comfy clothes after being dressed up for dinner. And, we packed a blanket for Abby to use at the shows. She stayed awake for all of them!

That concludes the ship posts... if you missed the dining or characters posts, just click here. I'll share excursions next! 

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