Having just returned from my 6th Disney Cruise, I had to share this shameful story.... SHAME on DISNEY story....My husband and I have taken 5 Wonderful Disney Cruises. Each cruise was just my husband and myself enjoying the solitude of the Quiet Cove Pool and all the other adult only activities. While there are always plenty of children on board, and I love children, up until this recent Disney cruise, my cruise experinece has been adult only. Just 2 weeks ago, Aug 2007, My husband and I, my daughter and her husband and my precious 2 year old granddaughter boarded the Disney WOnder for the Carribbean cruise. Gorgeous weather, lovely staff, good food, spacious clean cabins, everything you expect from a Disney experience was there for us. However, if you think you can take your toddler into the pool, FORGET IT! Now Allowed!!! Here's the story. Although their slick brochures and stunning promotional dvd's show familys enjoying a swim in either one of the childrens or family pool (the third pool is an adult only pool, policy strictly enforced), what the very fine print tells you, even though the narrative does not, nor do the photos or dvd implies, if your child is still in diapers, DO NOT even think of going into a pool, even one of the Mickey Mouse tiny "ear" pools!! Can you beleive this? Even with a specailly made water diaper, NO, you child cannot go in the pool. And, forget it if you have one child who may be 2 years old, not toilet trained, and a 4 year old who is... what are you to do? Tell the one they CAN go in the water, but their sibling CANNOT! So I was sitting with my 2 year old granddaughter in the little Mickey Ear pool, she had her pool diaper on, plus a "plastic pantie" and then her bathing suit. We were then approached by a Disney cast member and told to get out. We were told that my 2 year old granddaughter would have to use the little fountain area. Ok, we went around the corner to this fountain area and it was out of order. The Cast member there told us to go ahead and use the little Mickey Ear pool..... We went back in the pool there and within a minute was asked to get out again, this right after being told it was ok to use it!! By now my granddaughter was crying not understadning why we were going in and out of each body of water, and here I am so very embarrassed by the attention this was getting. Let me tell you if you bring a child anywhere near a pool, guess what, they want to go in the pool. If you bring a child on a Disney cruise where their entire focus is on family, how do they EXCLUDE such a large segment of their population from the one activity that defines vacation to most children? Children want to go into the pool! There should be a pool designated for this special, and quite large group of their passengers. And isn't Disney thinking about what family means? If you have more than one child and perhpas you are a single parent, HOW can you possible manage one child in a pool and the other NOT allowed? And even if the toddler was able to go into the fountain area (if and when it was working), how can a parent possibly keep watch on one child THERE and one child in the pool??? And finally, on the occasions we did try the spary fountain area that was suppose to be for our Diapered Passengers, well let me tell you, there were kids of every age level running, sliding into each other, knocking each other over, sitting on top of the sprayers... you name it...... you would be crazy if you thought you could safely let your toddler play in that area. You would fear for their life in there and I can also attest to the fact there was no cast members policing THAT area!! Yet if someone under 18 tried to go into the Quiet Cove area, they came out of the woodwork to chase them away..... which I think it fair. But come on, it has to work both ways.
So let me say this... I am so very angry and disappointed at DISNEY for this one. THey not only dropped the ball on their little Toddler passengers, they are going to lose a lot of their loyal, starting with me, Disney fans. When I brought this to their attention while on the cruise, there was "nothing they could do"...Yet, for all those families who are coming from the Disney Parks onto the Cruise, they are in for a huge disappointment and lots and lots of tears. WHy? Because when staying at a Disney Resort, the Toddlers can swim and enjoy the pools as much as they want... but come on to the Disney Cruise ship (same owners, same managment), be prepared to be told NO, You can't swim in our, DISNEY, Pool!! As I left in disgust, I suggested to the Customer Service on board that they need to put that little tidbit of information right on the cover of their brochure! Otherwise it is all misleading. And I will say this... when I went back to the pool with my precious granddaughter later on throughout our cruise, I did not put on her swimming water diaper, I put on her bathing suit, and when asked as we entered the pool, "is your child potty trained?", I answered Yes (lied) and went into the pool. No, she never had an accident in the pool, but that is what I was forced to do. There was no way I could tell her she can't go swimming on this gorgeous ship, DISNEY ship, because the man over there said NO.
Ok, that's my story. sorry it was so long, but I am so angry at DISNEY now I could scream!
Life is a banquet...... don't starve yourself to death......enjoy