4 Disney Cruise Tips for Families with Young Children

There are few cruises more suitable for families with young children than the Disney cruises, but knowing Disney cruise tips for the family ahead of time can make the experience even more memorable and relaxing. This child-friendly cruise line includes no casinos--although there are a few kinds of entertainment geared at adults--and instead concentrates on making the entire experience family-friendly. Nevertheless, there are some important Disney cruise tips for families with young children that can prevent young children from being overwhelmed.

1. Book a Shorter Cruise

One of the most important Disney cruise tips for families with young children is to book a shorter cruise to start out with, especially if the children in the family are toddler- to elementary-school-age. Until the family gets used to the experience, parents shouldn't take young children on a long cruise to Europe, for example, when a shorter cruise to the Caribbean can ensure that the young children enjoy the experience and aren't overwhelmed.

2. Don't Try to Do Too Much

With so much to enjoy on a Disney cruise, it can be easy to ignore the Disney cruise tips that caution parents with young children to not schedule too much into their day. However, young children, even when they're enjoying themselves, can quickly get tired and cranky. In the midst of a day on the cruise ship, parents should include relaxation/nap time in their cabins or a simple, low-key activity like lounging beside the pool or playing a board game together.

3. Observe the Child's Reactions

Disney cruise lines are full of costumed characters for children to interact and take pictures with. The primary purpose of these characters of for the children's enjoyment, but the fact is that many children, especially the very young ones, are frightened of the large costumed characters because they don't understand what's going on. Even if the parents reassure their children that these are their favorite cartoon characters, some children will be too afraid.

Disney cruise tips for families with young children, then, should caution parents to be observant of their child's reactions to these characters. They shouldn't force shy children to interact with them if they don't want to. If the children want to get closer but still hold a parent's hand the whole way, the parent should oblige. If the children are too scared to approach the characters, the parents should steer them away. Sometimes the more human-looking characters, such as the Disney princesses, are less scary to children and may provide some joyful interactions with even frightened children.

4. Enroll the Child in the Oceaneer Club or Lab

Enrolling young children in the Oceaneer Club is a great way for parents to get some relaxing alone time while their children interact with other kids their age. Counselors (as many as 50 at a time) watch large groups of children and lead them in fun, interactive playtime activities that will burn some of the young children's excess energy as well. Children may also enjoy time at the Oceaneer Lab, which is full of computers, educational games and ice cream parties.

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