So there are certain family holidays and trips you have to take by law (or whatever) and there is no avoiding it. You know, the trip to stay with the sweet old relative who keeps her furniture under plastic and sneaks your kids tiny stale Tootsie Rolls from her handbag all week, the one where you all go camping at that amazing National Park and discover exactly how hard it is to put a tent up in even the slightest of breeze, the funky-hotel-with-a-pool holiday that failed to mention the pool is the size of a postage stamp, and let’s not forget the cross-country road trip during which you remembered that it is impossible to get your family to coordinate their need for bathroom breaks. They all have their ups (family time! adventure!) and downs (tent post impalement! peeing too close to a cactus!), and usually somebody there isn’t exactly having the time of their lives, because they were outvoted when it came time to choose where to go.
This is why Disney Cruise Line was invented.
You see, a Disney cruise is one of those trips your family needs to go on because it’s really hard to not have a truly great time, no matter how old you are or what you’re into. More ups than downs for everyone involved, my friends. SO many more ups involved. (Unless, of course, you happen to be a fan of sleeping with bugs or eating expired candy.) Want more details? Here you go:
1. No kid will feel like they are missing out! There are activities for everyone, including special clubs, like Oceaneer’s Club (ages 3 to 12), Edge (11 to 14), and Vibe (14 to 17). Every kid will feel like they belong somewhere, and will immediately find playmates to run around with throughout the trip.
2. No parent will feel like they are missing out, either! There are adult-only pools and lounges, bars, elegant dining experiences, and tranquil spas. And when the parents are happy, the kids are happy because it’s easier to talk them into having a second dessert.
3. They don’t just get to shake hands with their favourite Disney characters, they hang out with them. My kid would flip if she got to learn how to be more brave with Captain America, himself – and she can do exactly that. Kids can also enrol in Toy Story Boot Camp with the Green Army Men, go on a scavenger hunt with Anna from Frozen, fix things in Doc McStuffins’ workshop, or learn Jedi tricks from the masters. They will feel like they’re making friends with these characters, not just having a photo op with them.
4. There is a spa just for teens. Yep! Once they’re old enough to roll their eyes at their younger siblings and complain that they’re “too old for this,” they’re the perfect age for a little pampering in peace.
5. Kids + water = happiness. Their minds will be blown by all the swimsuit-friendly adventures, like the AquaDunk body slide that drops the floor out from under them, the crazy Twist ‘n Spout slide, the one-of-a-kind AquaDuck water coaster, and the huge AquaLab water playground.
6. Disney knows that while some kids like to try new things, they also want to know their usual favourite foods are there when they want them while on the road. Your kids will have access to a little bit of everything, from the healthy staples Mum insists on to desserts that will make them go all googly-eyed. One might not think that food is a big deal on family holidays, but as someone who once unknowingly booked a hotel with exactly zero kid-friendly foods on the one and only menu, I promise you this: IT IS VERY IMPORTANT.
7. Have a huge Marvel or Star Wars fan? Your kid can be immersed in those worlds, meeting the characters, dressing in costume, hitting movie marathons, partying on the deck, watching fireworks, eating themed treats, and basically just relishing in all of their favourite things at once during Star Wars Day at Sea (Disney Fantasy from Florida, Jan-Apr 2017) or Marvel Day at Sea (Disney Magic from New York, Oct – Nov 2017).
8. What kid hasn’t dreamt of their own private island? Welp, Disney has one that they’re welcome to use! Kids can escape to Castaway Cay for swimming, kayaking, dancing, games, playing in the sand, snorkeling, meeting their favourite characters, eating all sorts of goodies, and spending hours at one of the water play areas just for them.
9. All. You. Can. Eat. Ice. Cream. (Do I really need to say anything more?)