June 13, 2024


Ep. 433 - Jack Jack!: Tips for Sailing with Little Kids on Disney Cruise Line

Hosted by

Brian Sam
Ep. 433 - Jack Jack!: Tips for Sailing with Little Kids on Disney Cruise Line
DCL Duo Podcast: A Disney Cruise Line Fan Podcast
Ep. 433 - Jack Jack!: Tips for Sailing with Little Kids on Disney Cruise Line

Jun 13 2024 | 01:11:30


Show Notes

Nick joins us to share his family's tips and tricks for sailing with little kids on Disney Cruise Line (DCL). From the nursery to the kids club, how can you best navigate taking your kis on DCL and what things can you do to set yourself up for a fun and successful family vacation? Nick's answering those questions and more on this week's episode.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: The good thing is they do bring the kids food first. [00:00:02] Speaker B: So that's the one bonus which sometimes backfires for us. [00:00:06] Speaker A: Yes. [00:00:08] Speaker B: The four year old, he's done, and. [00:00:10] Speaker A: They want to go. [00:00:11] Speaker B: Once he's done, he's done. He's like, I'm done. I was like, well, I haven't gotten even my appetizer yet, so we're staying here. [00:00:30] Speaker C: Welcome back, everybody, to this week's episode of the DC L duo podcast, brought to you by my path, unwinding travel. And, Sam, I'm bypassing you all together this time around so we can get to the review. It comes from am era underscore E Emera e, who writes a great host and great guests. The duo never disappoints. Always look forward to their episode featuring unique sailings and a variety of guests who have varied experiences aboard DCL and other cruise lines. Well, thank you for that review, Amara E. I think Sam knows who you are. I just want to say before I throw it over to her that, uh, our guests this evening will not disappoint in that regard with varied experiences on DCL and other cruise lines. But Sam, sounds like you know who this might be. [00:01:08] Speaker A: Yes. I think this is America Ellis, who we sailed with on the magic recently. Oh, that makes it so. Yeah. So thank you for your review. We ate at Paula with her and her husband as well, and actually a real nice group of folks on that cruise. So thank you for the review. We really appreciate it. Now, with that, we've got to move to introducing our guests. As Brian mentioned, this guest has lots of varied cruising experience. More than 80 cruises in his background. Welcome back to the show, Nick. Welcome. [00:01:43] Speaker B: Thanks. Thanks for having me. Glad to be here. [00:01:45] Speaker A: Yeah, we're excited you were willing to come back and willing to sail again on Disney cruise line after that whole propulsion issue. On the wish from the sailing we talked with you about previously. [00:01:58] Speaker B: Correct. [00:01:59] Speaker A: But why don't we rewind and start with your cruising background? I mentioned you have 80 plus cruises, but why don't you tell our audience which lines you've sailed on and how many Disney cruises are in your background? [00:02:13] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. So started sailing actually as a high school graduation present with my grandparents and a friend that we did after we graduated high school, and that was on the celebrity zenith rip. She doesn't exist anymore, but cruised from New Jersey to Bermuda. So that was actually my first intro into cruising. Loved it, was hooked immediately. And I kind of took that with me into college as I started organizing spring break cruises. So that was kind of my entry into large group cruises that actually kind of got me roped into becoming a travel advisor on the side a little bit. So organized a lot of spring break cruises where I went to college at University of Pittsburgh, and that kind of just snowballed into me, eventually moving down to Florida because I just loved it so much. I just want to be closer to the ships, and that got me up to the amount of cruises that I've been on. So honestly, I've been on quite a few lines. Norwegian princess Carnival, Disney celebrity. Probably the most experience with norwegian prior to kids and then after kids is where we started transitioning more into the Disney royal space just because of how well they accommodate families. [00:03:25] Speaker C: So without kids. Favorite cruise line that you sailed with a caveat. [00:03:29] Speaker B: Favorite cruise line? Norwegian haven. [00:03:35] Speaker C: All right. We almost sailed the Norwegian Haven to Alaska a couple years ago and then canceled it in favor of doing it on Disney, which has mildly backfired on us. I feel like we're excited to do it. We're getting ready to do princess Thanksgiving time next year in there. [00:03:51] Speaker A: No, we'll see. We'll see. This destiny is. Might screw us up with that schedule. [00:03:55] Speaker C: I think my destiny is to sail the destiny into 2026, if I'm perfectly honest. What about, what about. I gotta ask this. We'll talk. Your favorites are on Disney cruise line, but favorite cruise line with kids. Is it royal or is it Disney? [00:04:09] Speaker B: They both have pros and cons, but I guess overall, if I'm just looking at the kids aspect of it, I have to throw it to Disney. But they both have great experiences and we can talk about that as well. [00:04:22] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:04:24] Speaker C: What's the biggest. Since you said they have pros and cons, I suppose stick with this for one more second. What's the biggest pro for each and what's the biggest con for each, in your mind? [00:04:34] Speaker B: Pro for royal is cococay. I mean, I love castaway k two. And castaway k has one advantage over Coco K. Like, it's never gonna have the water slides, never gonna have all that stuff that the kids have. But they have a kids club on the island. Disney has a kid's club on the island. You can't beat that. But I just think overall experience for the kids, whether they're young and they do the pirate ship splash pad, when you first walk onto Cococay, they get a little older and can do that. Splashaway Bay, the free water park for kids with a couple slides. Then they get a little older than that. They can do the thrill water park they just have it figured out for the kids over there. And so I have to give it to Royal for that pro. And I guess I mentioned the Disney pro, which was also an island thing, that they have a kids club on the island. Other thing with Disney is that their kids club doesn't really close, which I have a problem with on Royal. So. [00:05:26] Speaker C: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The hours were a little wonky. The hours were a little wonky when. [00:05:31] Speaker B: I sealed royal hours are wonky. The con on Royal is the signing up process. So for the little kids, at least, like, if you have someone that's under three, you literally have to get on the ship and run to the kids club, wait in line till they open to get your hours that you can book in the nursery, whereas at least with Disney, you can do that ahead of time. So. [00:05:53] Speaker A: Oh, wow. [00:05:54] Speaker B: That's kind of the con. Royal has to really figure that part out. You should be able to do it via the app before the cruise. But. And was I missing one con with. [00:06:02] Speaker A: Yeah, con with Disney. Biggest con with Disney. [00:06:04] Speaker B: Con with Disney. [00:06:05] Speaker A: Is it price? [00:06:07] Speaker B: Yeah. You know, I guess that you're never going to get around that with Disney. Right. It's price. And. But, and I don't really like how they dynamically charge children on, on Disney. But, you know, at least sometimes you can get to the kids. Sail free with royal. [00:06:22] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:06:22] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:06:23] Speaker A: That makes sense. Well, let's talk about your most recent cruise on the wish. And we want to do maybe a little bit of compare, contrast with royal as well, because you have so much experience with sailing with little kids on both of those lines. But why don't you tell us first, though, who's in your sailing party? [00:06:41] Speaker B: Sure. Thanks for asking. [00:06:42] Speaker A: When you're sailing with kids. [00:06:44] Speaker B: So my wife sails with me as the other adult, and then we have two children. Both are boys. Our oldest son just turned four in February and our youngest son just turned two this week. So we have a four and a two year old. That completes our sailing party. [00:07:02] Speaker A: Oh, awesome. So very little kids, basically, or at least that's how I would categorize them. In particular, you've had two kids that were nursery age probably for several of your sailings, and now only now have one child who is kids club age. Why choose sailing on the wish on this particular cruise that you booked? [00:07:29] Speaker B: Yeah. So this was kind of the replacement sailing for the mechanical issue sailing that we had when we went back in last October. So that cruise, same exact one, three day over the weekend. We typically like doing the weekend ones just because the kids aren't really out of daycare. We're not really out of work all that long, honestly. If it's. If we get off the ship early enough, we can work on Mondays and drop them off at daycare. So we really only have to take, like, one day off for those sorts of sailings. That's why we took this cruise. And we also, because of that mechanical problem, we had a discount that we could apply to a concierge room. So we ended up booking the same room that we had in October, which was a one bedroom concierge stateroom. Right. Like, literally right outside the lounge, which is a great location, especially with the kids. [00:08:20] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. [00:08:22] Speaker C: A discount on concierge. Wow, that's nice to have. I guess we just got. I guess we just took advantage of that, too, for Alaska, but still nice to have. [00:08:31] Speaker A: But it is one of those things that's rare. And so what Nick is talking about is if you have an issue where you get a future cruise credit, generally speaking, it will not let you apply that to a concierge room. However, if when you had the issue, you were sailing in concierge, that restriction doesn't apply. So if you had an, you know, you have a mechanical issue and you're in a concierge room and they give you a, let's say a 10% off future cruise credit, guess what? That 10% off future cruise credit can be applied to any type of room. Now, it might have some still restrictions on sailing dates. Usually, like holidays are a big restriction. Maiden voyages are a big restriction, that sort of a thing. And even they might do spring break as a restriction, unless it was a spring break sailing, and then you will not have that restriction. But so things like that. But the future cruise credit is obviously a great benefit if you plan on sailing again, let's talk about preparing for a cruise with kids of that age, with sort of nursery age or young kids, club age cruisers. Now, your kids have been on multiple cruises at this point, but is there anything that you do to prepare them for, let's say, a new ship experience or a new island experience or something like that? [00:09:54] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. That's a good question. We try to prepare, especially our older son, just by talking about it a couple weeks ahead of time. That kind of gets him prepared. And he knew this one going into it was for his birthday. He knew he was going on the Mickey boat. So he was very excited for it, you know, ready to get onto the ship right when we got there. But just preparing in general, the biggest thing for us is always the stroller situation, which I know some people can feel my pain on this one. They're at the point where we, if we're walking around the parks, say, like at Disney, we use the Zoe double stroller, which has a big, like, Disney following. So I know a lot of people use that particular stroller side by side. It's lightweight, it's easy to get around the parks. It's actually the width of it can fit through a average door frame. But just remember, on the ships, they don't have average door frames unless you're in a handicapped room where it'll be over that 29 inches or so. So that's always our biggest thing. So for this one, we decided that the four year old could probably go without the stroller. So we just took a single, which we decided last second to add one of those, like, boards to the back. But our son was never on one of those boards before, so when he saw it for the first time, he was super excited to use it, but so was the two year old. Nobody wanted to be in the stroller. So we learned a lesson. Don't try something new for the first time when you're going on a cruise, like sample it out at home first. The stroller situations, usually our biggest. Like, okay, what are we going to do for that? And then with sleeping accommodations, that's always like our second one. The four year old's obviously in a bed. So with the concierge one bedroom rooms, they have a pull out couch, so there's no problem with him sleeping in that bed. The two year old still in a pack and play. And Disney will set one up for you in their room, so you don't really have to lug one. But we always end up bringing our own anyways, just because we know he's so used to his. And we travel quite a bit, whether it's to the parks or here, there, anywhere. So we usually lug ours with us, and we actually ended up putting the pack and play. If you're familiar with the layout of the one bedroom staterooms, on the wish, we put it between the main, the master bathroom and the bedroom. So essentially in the closet. [00:12:19] Speaker A: In the closet space. Yeah. It's kind of a big closet space, though, correct? Yeah. And you can still walk by to get to the bathroom. It's not like you're closing your child in the closet. Just to be clear to people who are listening, there's plenty of. Plenty of room. That's actually really, really smart. And I can understand bringing your own pack and play. Listen, young toddlers are very finicky about sleep, and if you know that they will sleep in your pack and play, but are not confident that they will sleep on Disney cruise Line's pack and play, then that will save you many, many hours of discomfort, so. [00:12:56] Speaker B: Correct. Agree. And the only other tip, I'd say, for parents that are packing with the younger kids is bring snacks. You're allowed to bring as many snacks as you want, and I think you'll just find on the ship, at least even in, like, the Marceline market, you can get some grab and go things, but there's not a lot of pre packaged stuff. [00:13:13] Speaker A: Yep. [00:13:13] Speaker B: So just. We just get a bag and just pack it full of snacks, whether it's goldfish or, you know, prepackaged pirate booty, things like that, and just have it with us. And even the older one will go into the snack bag and grab something throughout the day. So that's my only extra tip. If you're a snack family, just don't expect the ship to have everything prepackaged for you. [00:13:31] Speaker A: Yeah, that's a really good tip. I will tell you. We do the same for Nathan. Like, even though he's an older kid. Right. Like, there are certain things he really likes to snack on. One is a Cheetos. Another is Pringles, sour cream, and onion potato chips. These are two things that are not available on Disney cruise line. The only thing that you can find sometimes is, like, lays potato chips. And I feel like the only time they even really have them is on castaway. I don't even. I can't think of them being, like, readily available on the ship. They'll usually have the plane and the barbecue, but that's it. And you're right. There aren't, like, snacky items around the ship. There are some in concierge. You can get, like, pop. Well, you can find popcorn around the ship. You can find some snacky things in concierge, but not a whole lot, to be perfectly honest. It's more like fruit and sandwiches and things like that. But, yeah. Goldfish? Not on the ship. Ritz crackers, not on the ship. Oreo cookies dipped in chocolate. Yes, but not plain ones around the ship. [00:14:38] Speaker C: There are some restrictions, though, because I have seen them. Remember that family that was trying to get on board, Sam, behind us out of port Canaveral? [00:14:44] Speaker A: Maybe they were trying to bring milk. [00:14:46] Speaker C: They confiscated everything. [00:14:47] Speaker A: Yeah, well, they had these, like, full containers of. It was like. It was not like, soy milk. It was like. It was some kind of milk. I don't remember what kind it was. Some specialty milk or goat milk. Yeah, actually, it might have been goat milk. It was like, because of somebody's allergy or whatever, and they wouldn't let them through security with it. But that's kind of the extreme. I think there are certain things that they do limit, but as nick mentioned, pre packaged is really the key. So, like, for snack foods, if you put it in your own Ziploc baggie, I'm not saying they will turn you away, but they can make you throw it away. They don't always just depends on who's at security and whether or not they really care. But if you have, like, one thing in a Ziploc bag, you're probably okay. If you have a whole bag full of, like, ziploc bags with snacks in them, you might get turned away. So you can bring the bigger thing of goldfish, but have it, you know, unopened before you go through security and then open it when you're past security or get the little individual packages. That's what we tend to do is buy just, like, the individual packages of, like, the cheetos or the goldfish or whatever it is that, you know, you know, your kid will. Will eat baby jars of food also. Okay. But not homemade pureed foods. They will puree foods on board, from what I understand. For. For individuals who. Even adults who. That's all they can eat or. And for babies as well. So you just. Just tell them basically what you want, period. Diapers. How does one pack enough diapers for a cruise? Nick, we haven't had to travel with a diaper wearing kid on a cruise. [00:16:35] Speaker C: Yeah, I assume they sell some diapers on board, but at an extremely not friendly amount of money, I'm sure. [00:16:44] Speaker B: Yeah. Diapers. Luckily, our four year old is completely potty train, so no diapers or pull ups there. So we're halfway there. The younger one, though, we just kind of do some simple math. And it's like, if they go through, say, four per day, then we'll just pack like, seven and then just have extra times three, plus some swim diapers. And then usually our diaper bag that we carry with us anyways, like a backpack. It has some extras in there anyways, so that's how we do the math for that. But, yeah, it is extra space that you have to account for when you're packing. However, Disney does give you a diaper genie in the room, and that's not something that royal has ever really done for us. So they will give you a diaper genie that they'll put in your room to throw the diapers away. [00:17:29] Speaker A: Yeah. Which is good because that's a better receptacle for smelly diapers than a regular garbage can. It's not perfect. I'm going to put, I'm going to put this out there. We had, we went through like two diaper genies. I remember because, like, after a while, the diaper genie itself starts to absorb that smell. It's really bad. But. But it is still better than just a regular garbage can. Definitely. Definitely. All right, well, let's talk about what you all planned, like, for the cruise. This is a three night on the wish, so we know you're going to Castaway in Nassau. Did you plan any excursions for the kids? What's your sort of typical plan when you're going to these two ports? [00:18:11] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. And with Nassau, I guess we'll start there first. I know there's a lot of Nassau haters out there, but actually we vacation quite often just because of proximity to Nassau. To Nassau. Like to go to Bahamar specifically. We love Baha Mar, and Bahamar is also an amazing place to bring kids to with their new water park. So just the plug for that there. But on the short cruises, we don't get off there just because we do go there quite regularly, otherwise. But I wouldn't let Nassau scare you if that's something that you want to get off and do. They are investing a lot of money into the port. It's brand new, essentially down there, there are things to do and see, so don't let Nassau scare you. But I know for the most part, people view it as they have limited time. They want to use that time on the ship. So I totally understand that viewpoint as well. And that's exactly what we did. We used the day to stay on the ship. We didn't do much otherwise other than kind of rotate between pools, water slides. My younger son, when we went in October, he was not tall enough to ride the Aqua mouse yet. [00:19:23] Speaker A: Oh, wow. [00:19:24] Speaker B: But he just hit the height requirement to ride it with me. So we rode that thing, like, non stop the one day, like the first day, Port Canaveral day. [00:19:34] Speaker A: We were on the Port Canaveral day. [00:19:36] Speaker B: Yeah. And the weather wasn't the warmest in February, which actually helps if you want to ride the Aqua mouse over and over and over and over again, like four year olds want to do. So we kind of, I think we went around eight times without getting off. [00:19:52] Speaker A: Oh, they didn't even make you get off because there was no line. [00:19:54] Speaker B: There was no one there. [00:19:55] Speaker A: Oh, yeah. Awesome. I love that. Tell us about Baha Mar a little bit, because Brian and I have not been there. I know you have a YouTube video that covers baha maar as well. And actually, this is great time to tell people where to find that, because I know it's a really great video showing Bahamar, but why don't you tell us about Bahamar and why you think it's a great place for kids either for a vacation to go and stay there, or even just for the day pass. I'm pretty sure Disney offers it now as an excursion, but I know you can also just do it on your own. [00:20:27] Speaker B: Yep. I mean, Baja Mar, in and of itself, if you're going to stay there, is essentially a grand Hyatt. That's kind of the main hotel. And then they have two side hotels, the SLS and Rosewood. The grand Hyatt is the most affordable property, and that's the biggest or the largest. Bahamar is essentially a large resort with a casino in it, just like Atlantis. They have a ton of pools, a ton of restaurants. And the main water park has everything that you. That you would be looking for in a water park. Lazy river slides from small to large, a splash pad. You know, everything to really entertain the kids throughout the time that you're there. Nice thing about Baja Mars, they always do. Kids eat free for. I forget the age that it goes up to, but essentially, your chicken fingers, your burgers, all that is included. So you're really only paying for adult food while you're there, which is a nice perk of staying at Bahamar. But, you know, just like other Nassau resorts, it is on the more expensive side to eat and drink there. It's, you know, not the. It's not the cheapest place in the world to go to, but, you know, the rooms are spacious. The water park's great. The food's pretty good. The casino is large, if that's what you're into. And, yeah, I would definitely recommend it. There's something new for everybody. [00:21:45] Speaker A: Nice, good tip. And what about for a day trip? Do you think it would be a good day excursion for somebody who's going to Nassau and wants to get off the ship and have a pool day or beach day? [00:21:59] Speaker B: Yeah, you know what? Especially with kids, the younger kids, I would say Baja Mars probably a better experience if you have kids in my age group, rather than going to Atlantis, which I guess would kind of be the competitor at this point in terms of water parks that they're selling big guesses to Atlantis has a lot of big slides and more adventurous experiences, whereas Baja Mar has those. But it also has a huge splash pad, a huge water park that's friendly for younger kids, a lazy river that the kids can go on and, like a double tube. And it's not as rough as the Atlantis one. So in terms of that, I think it's great for family. So I would recommend it for a day pass. Just. Just be aware that, you know, the lunch is going to be expensive if you go over there. Like, I don't think they include lunch, really in that excursion option. It's kind of just the pass to get into the waterpark area and. I don't know, at Baja Mar, someone would have to look this up. If you're going into the. If you're getting the day pass, can you explore the rest of the grounds? I'm assuming you could, but I know they kind of get you in through a back entrance. If you're coming on through the ships, you don't enter through the main entrance that you do if you're staying at the resort. [00:23:16] Speaker A: Interesting. All right, cool. Well, and tell us where people can find your YouTube video on it. [00:23:22] Speaker B: Oh, yeah, sure. Yeah. I actually made a big YouTube video on Baha Mar during COVID So if you look at it, there's not that many people there, but. So it's more crowded than it was when I shot the YouTube video. But on my YouTube channel, waves vacations. So wave has an s at the end and vacations has an s at the end. You can find my Bahamar review video. So go take a look at it. [00:23:48] Speaker A: Awesome. Love that. What did you all plan for castaway, if anything? I mean, we always tell people, you don't have to plan really anything for castaway. But some people like to. [00:23:59] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. We kind of went in with this, a semi plan of what we wanted to do, that we were going to get off the ship relatively early, find our spot, and then plan everything around my younger son's nap. So he usually takes a nap between like, twelve and two. That's what they do at his school. So we got off the ship early, found a chair at the family beach with an umbrella kind of right up front there. And we were able to have the kids play in the sand, play in the water. The one bad part to that beach, and I don't know if it's like this all the time, maybe you all would know. But in that family beach, you go out a couple feet and the water's not that deep. And then there is like a little bit of a drop off. And for my younger son, that scared him. Cause he wasn't that last step to the drop off. He wasn't expecting it, and he kind of went face first straight into the water there. So, yeah, after that, he was, you know, kind of done with the water at that point in time. But my older son had a blast playing in the water, throwing the ball around with me, and really enjoying that family beach. He wanted to do that. They have that little platform out there. I don't know what it's called, where you can, like, swing from the ropes and monkey bars. [00:25:11] Speaker A: I don't know what that one. So I don't know if they call the whole thing pelican plunge, but I know what you're talking about. It's not the one that has the water slide. The water slide one is pelican plunge, but then there's the other one that's got, like. It's kind of like a rope course thing, but it's also on a platform, but I don't know if it has its own name. It's like an obstacle kind of course. [00:25:30] Speaker B: Yeah. So I didn't let him swim all the way out there. [00:25:33] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:25:33] Speaker B: And he is a. For a four year old, he's a very good swimmer. You know, he doesn't need floaties or anything like that. Like, he's. He's a pretty solid swimmer. So at one point, we did walk him over to the pelican plunge area, but to be honest, the water was a little cold. So I kind of didn't want to go over there with. Over there with him. And it just looked a little bit more intense that I wasn't really comfortable with him doing that by himself. So we compromised, and we rented one of those little rafts that you can buy or rent right there. So we got a raft, and we dragged it back to where our chairs were, and we played around on that for basically till lunchtime. [00:26:16] Speaker A: Oh, that's awesome. Yeah. I think that the water slides and that ropes course are probably a little bit advanced for a four year old. They're probably prime for adventurous, let's say, eight to twelve year olds. They're still. They're not, like, teenage adventurous, but they're adventurous for, like, kids Nathan's age. He's actually not even into those, though, at all. He doesn't. [00:26:43] Speaker C: I'll tell you the heart. [00:26:45] Speaker A: Sitting at the. At the edge of the water and building, you know, sand castles. [00:26:49] Speaker C: The hardest work I ever had to do was on Coco key, actually. On the beach. Off the beach, they have these platforms that you can swim out to and dive off of. And at the time, my buddy Chris and I took the sailing with our two kids, and both of them wanted to go out there to see the platforms, but we had to swim with them, like, on our backs there. And then we got to the platforms, you know, they didn't want to jump off, so we jumped off a few times. I think. I think one of them jumped off once or twice, and then we had to swim back with the backs. [00:27:18] Speaker B: Right. [00:27:20] Speaker A: And both of them are decent swimmers, like the boys. They're not. Like, they're not bad. You know, there's swimmers. They swim without floaties and all that. But, like, it is. It's kind of like that with. At castaway, it is a little bit of a ways out. It's a ways out to swim to those platforms to get to either the water slides or that kind of climbing course. [00:27:42] Speaker B: And it's not really standable. Like, it's. [00:27:45] Speaker A: Yes, it's definitely too deep to stand for, even adults. I don't like to get that far out. You can't stand there. So, I mean, if your kid is a little more adventurous but will be willing to wear a life jacket, I think that's probably a good compromise. But some kids won't wear that life jacket because they're like, I can swim. And you're like, yeah, but this is much farther. I would probably wear a life jacket to swim out to some of those platforms if I was gonna go monkey bars there. Now, did you guys stay on the island the whole. The whole day, then, or are you sort of half day castaway keyers, or are you full day castaway? [00:28:22] Speaker B: We did pretty good. So around after the incident where my son kind of fell into the water and had the. Was crying a little bit. My wife kind of took that as the time to put him in the stroller and for his neck and take him for a walk. So she actually took the opportunity to walk the castaway five k with him, and he fell asleep basically straight away. So she did that. At that point, Niko, my older one, he asked to go to the kids club, so. Which I was like, yes, let's do that. [00:28:53] Speaker A: I think it's adult time. Yeah. [00:28:55] Speaker B: So I walked him to the kids club. He ran right in. The one thing I forgot, it was his band, because he doesn't really like wearing stuff on his wrists or anything, so they would always cut it off at the end of the night, and I forgot it. But luckily, they just charged me another, whatever it is, $13 for a temporary one. And once he left for the afternoon, they cut it off and they refunded the $13. So you can get a temporary one if you forget it, because I almost was going to go back to the ship with them, but I was like, yeah, before I do that, let me just ask if they'll take them without the ban. And they did. [00:29:33] Speaker A: That's great to know. I will tell you, we. I hadn't even thought of that as an option. I think the one time we put Nathan in the kids club, we had planned on it because we had. It was a NASA day where we actually had Paulo brunch, so we had to put. But the. But the ship's kids club was not open, so we had to take him out to the island and head back to the ship to go to brunch. But we made sure to remember his band because we felt like we would have been stuck otherwise. So it's good to know that there's still a possibility. [00:30:01] Speaker B: Yep. So he was there for about 2 hours, and I just used that opportunity. I did a little bit of shopping and then met up with my wife. Our son was still sleeping at the time, so we just kind of sat for a little bit, had lunch by ourselves, and then we ended up picking the older one up. The younger one kind of woke up at the same time, and then we got them lunch, and then after that we headed back to the ship. So we were probably back on the ship by like 330 ish. Four. Yeah, right around there. [00:30:28] Speaker A: So almost. Yeah, almost a full day because all aboard's usually like 445 anyway, so not like it's a super late day at castaway. Well, I'd love to know about how your kids do with the nursery and the kids club. Let's start with the nursery. Let's start with the little one. And obviously your older one, Nico, went to the nursery before he turned three or was potty trained. So, yeah. How do your kids do with the nursery? And is there anything that you, any tips you would give to folks listening about either, how to prep the kids for it, how to sign up for the nursery, any of the logistics behind it? [00:31:07] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. And I'll preface this by saying both of our kids go to daycare full time Monday to Friday, you know, from 08:00 a.m. till 05:00 p.m. so they're used to those sorts of things anyways. However, just because they're good, going to daycare does not always translate to them going to a new experience. But the one thing that kind of helped us out in between all this is that a new gym opened by us, a new YMCA, and they have a kids club there. So they kind of got used to going for temporary times to a place that they normally don't go. So I think that really helped prep the younger one to be dropped off with, quote unquote strangers. So, like, they know their daycare teachers because they're there every day. But the gym really helped him. So when we ended up going to the nursery, he, you know, he went reluctantly, I'd say, but it wasn't a massive meltdown. But you will see kids that are having massive meltdowns at the nursery getting dropped off. So it really is a. There's a wave of emotions going on there for kids getting dropped off. So it's kind of like a crapshoot a little bit. But luckily for this time, it was good for him, being two and one of the cast members there. And I forget her name, but she was scottish. You could. I could barely understand a word that she was saying when she would come give us the recap of how he was. But the one night she was like, oh, he was a good lad. He was a good lad. But he would hold him, like, the entire time. Like, she took a liking to him every time he went. He liked going to her. So he kind of made that connection, and that helped the drop off there the entire time. So for the nursery, at least, we used it primarily. Like, the first night, we had an early dining dinner in Arendelle, so we brought him to that. It went okay. Like, he's not the best dinner sitting person, even if there is a show going on. [00:33:09] Speaker A: Yeah, but it's also. It's long and it's loud. I'm going to put that warning out there for people that no matter what, I shouldn't say no matter what, some of the dining experiences are not as loud as others. Arendelle happens to be one of the louder ones. All of the dining experiences are long for little kids. Right? Like, it is not what they're used to at home where they, like, can eat in their 20 minutes, maybe, and it's like, you know, it's an hour plus experience. [00:33:38] Speaker B: Yep. So we kind of changed course after that first dinner. We were always gonna stick them in there after dinner, like, have dinner because we had early dining and then stick him in the nursery and then go do something, because that's when we figured our younger, our older son would want to go into the kids club as well. But after that first dining experience, we changed course. The second night, which was our Nassau day, we were planning on having an adult dinner, Apollo. So he was already kind of pre planned to be there at 06:00 so, you know, it was kind of in between like five and the later dining time. And he was fine with that. Went right in, no problem. We fed him ahead of time. And the third night we had dinner in Marvel and we got him a slot actually to go in at 05:00 so we just. Which was good. [00:34:26] Speaker A: So he skipped main dining? [00:34:28] Speaker B: He skipped it, yeah. We just brought our older son, which he loves Marvel. [00:34:32] Speaker A: So now what did you do with regard to feeding the kids? So, like, for example, Apollo night, did you take them to main dining and feed them in main dining? And then for that third night, what did you do with feeding the younger one? [00:34:45] Speaker B: Yeah, Apollo night, I made a rookie mistake by thinking that the Marceline market would be open for dinner. And it is not. [00:34:54] Speaker A: It is not. [00:34:55] Speaker B: It is not. Because that's, I guess, the difference between royal, right? Like, royal, the buffet area is always open for dinner, so you can just go in there and grab a plate. But I just grabbed some food at the pool deck. The pool deck and brought down, I mean, luckily in a one bedroom concierge room, you have table and area to sit. So I just brought some plates down to the room and they ate down there before going to dinner. And we did the same with our younger on the third night before we dropped them at the nursery. [00:35:25] Speaker A: Yeah. And that's just a good thing to point out for people. The buffet, as Nick mentioned, is not open for dinner. It closes in the afternoon on Disney, on all of the ships. What is available is the pool deck food. And all of that is available until about 06:00 p.m. and then some of the stuff starts shutting down at 06:00 p.m. as well. Not all of it, though. Will always. There are like, pizzas open until late and there might be like, one other thing open until like nine, but. But they're not like, like the barbecue usually closes at six. The Mexican usually closes at six. But I think hamburgers and hot dogs are maybe open a little bit. Not as late as pizza, but. So there, there are, there is food available if you don't go to main dining. But it's not everything. The other option is also room service. That's, you know. Yeah. [00:36:12] Speaker C: They never brought back the, the alternative dinner at the buffet, which they used to sit down. It was still sit down. But used to be able to, you know. Yeah. So they never brought that up. [00:36:21] Speaker A: You could go to cabanas. Yeah. You could go to cabanas and get a quieter, less formal, and quicker, you know, seated dinner. [00:36:31] Speaker C: Room service is also the option that's available 24/7 so. Yeah, yeah. [00:36:37] Speaker A: But third night, that's that. I think it's smart. The younger one, that that's also allowed show, and it's also. It's even. Maybe even longer than the Arendelle show. It's not as loud. I think Arendelle's the loudest, but it's certainly longer than. So you skipped 1923? [00:36:59] Speaker B: We did. We purposely did that. When we emailed to get the Paolo reservation through the concierge. We said we kind of. Because at the time we're like, okay, well, the kids will enjoy the two shows. They won't enjoy 1923 as much. So we use that as the Paolo night. But then the younger one ended up not joining us for Marvel anyways. [00:37:17] Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. How did the four year old do with both Arendelle and Marvel? I think this is helpful for people to know. Cause, like, two year old, all of the shows are going to be a lot for them. All the dinner shows, I should say, are going to be a lot for most two year olds. How did your four year old do with both of those? [00:37:37] Speaker B: The four year old did fine. He watches Disney plus all the time. Liked both shows. I think Marvel more so maybe than frozen, actually. The younger one liked the frozen one a little better. Cause of the olaf that was coming around. [00:37:53] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:37:54] Speaker B: But, yeah, they did. The older one did fine through both the dinner shows. No real issues there. [00:38:00] Speaker A: That's good. Yeah. And the length was okay for him. I mean, the good thing is they do bring the kids food first. [00:38:05] Speaker B: So that's the one bonus which sometimes backfires for us. [00:38:10] Speaker A: Yes. [00:38:11] Speaker B: The four year old, he's. [00:38:13] Speaker A: Cause they're done and they wanna go. [00:38:15] Speaker B: Once he's done, he's done. He's like, I'm done. I was like, well, I haven't gotten even my appetizer yet, so we're staying here. [00:38:22] Speaker A: You know what used to be good, then they don't again, Brian will probably echo this. They used to come around during dinner, like, halfway through dinner and see if there were any kids who wanted to be picked up to be taken to the kids club. And so this is a pre Covid thing? [00:38:40] Speaker C: Well, it was only during one of the seatings. It wasn't both seating. [00:38:42] Speaker A: Yeah. I can't remember if it was the. [00:38:44] Speaker C: Main, I think it was early eating. Yeah, yeah, they would come around halfway. [00:38:48] Speaker A: Through yeah, yeah, they come around about halfway through dinner. So, like, you might have like, just gotten your main course, right. The adults might have just gotten their main course, but the kids had already, like, eaten their dinner. You know, maybe they had a dessert, maybe they hadn't. But yeah, that's. I would agree with you. The, one of the, one of the negatives about them bringing the kids food too quickly is that the kids are done and like, they're like, I want to get out of here. One tip, I will say, even though they don't come and pick up your kids anymore, if your kids are kids club age, one of the parents can go run the kids to the kids club and do a quick drop off and come back and finish dinner. And so that's, that is a potential option out there. [00:39:29] Speaker C: And they said, they said when we. Cause we kept saying where we're giving Nathan check in, check out privileges and at 1.1 of the kids club, people were like, well, they can always check themselves in. They just can't, like always check themselves out. So I think. [00:39:40] Speaker A: True. [00:39:41] Speaker C: I think they can. I think they can. If you trust them to go to the kids club on their own to. [00:39:45] Speaker A: Get there without getting lost. [00:39:47] Speaker C: Efficient age. Yes. Yeah. [00:39:49] Speaker A: Not a four year old. Let's put this out. [00:39:51] Speaker C: Totally, totally, totally. Not a four year old. But yes. Yeah. [00:39:54] Speaker A: But a ten year old, maybe. [00:39:58] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:40:00] Speaker C: Are you listening to our show? Because you want to make the most out of your next vacation. Great news. The fabulous team over at Mypath unwinding travel can help guide you so you don't miss a thing. Their team of professional travel advisors are caring, knowledgeable and experienced. It's why we use them to book our own travel. My path unwinding travel is an authorized Disney vacation planner which means they are recognized by Disney for their expertise and service. They have sailed on all the Disney ships including in concierge, visited the theme parks, adventured with Disney, relaxed at Alani and so much more. Whether its a Disney cruise, a theme park vacation, or adventures by Disney, or if you are looking to expand beyond the mouse, mypath unwinding travel will elevate your next vacation planning experience. Even if you have already booked, reach out for a complimentary consultation to make your vacation even more magical. Ready to talk to the experts? Head over to mypathunwinding.com dclduo or email dclduoypathunwinding.com so they know we sent you their way. Thanks. My path unwinding for sponsoring today's show. Now back to the episode. [00:40:58] Speaker A: Well, let's talk about some of the onboard experiences. You know, one big question that I have. I always ask people whether they go to the shows, but. But I'm curious. Did you try to go to the shows, and if so, did you try with the two year old and the four year old, or do you think that that's maybe too much? I think there are. I know there are some maybe four year olds who can sit through an hour long show hours, I will say, certainly couldn't have when he was four, but I'm curious about your kids. [00:41:27] Speaker B: Right. And so our four year old, he, after dinner, was more interested in going to the kids club. Like, at that time, he was kind of radio. And one thing I just didn't mention before, and just for families out there trying this, when we went in October, he wanted nothing to do with the Kids club zero. And this time around, he ran right in and he asked about it the entire time. So just in a few months, that's how, you know, their brains are constantly changing and evolving. And that's kind of where he went from hating it to asking to go in at all times. So if something doesn't work out, just give it another go next time, and it might work in your favor. So I'll just say that that is. [00:42:07] Speaker A: A. I am so happy you said that. Nick and I have to jump in here and say, we had the very same experience that you had. The first time we cruised with Nathan, he did not really want to spend any time in the kids club. We would get the messages in the app saying, nathan wants to be picked up, like, five minutes after we dropped him off. Yeah. And then the next time we sailed with him, he was more willing. And then by the next time, he was like, he didn't want to leave the kids club. [00:42:32] Speaker B: So, yeah, the only time we got a text that he wanted to be picked up was in the middle of our Apollo dinner. [00:42:41] Speaker A: Of course. In the middle of your Paulo dinner. [00:42:44] Speaker B: It was fine. He was fine. We finished our dinner, and I went down there, and he was totally okay to stay, but. And Disney's actually doing something right now for the three to five year olds. They're putting another band on them and keeping them together, which I guess they weren't doing that before, maybe, but they're doing that now. [00:43:02] Speaker A: Correct. [00:43:02] Speaker C: It was free. It was free roam. It was free roam. Kids, with one exception. [00:43:08] Speaker A: There was a short time. So right when the reopening happened, there was a short time where they put the kids into, like, into groups, but it was based on the time of check in. It wasn't based on their age. And then you. Yeah, they did it after they changed the age range in the kids club to limit, which was a recent change. Now they changed the age limit to be ten instead of twelve. They also switched this three to five year old kind of. I'll say it's like a camp within the club, and I don't know. That's the best way to describe it, I guess. And we suspect that something bad happened and that that was the reason for both of those changes. We don't know, we just suspect. Yeah, yeah. [00:43:48] Speaker B: So he did good there, but the shows. So the first night, he wanted nothing to do with the show, to go to the Kids club, which was fine. The second night was Aladdin was the third night. So the second night was little Mermaid. So little mermaid. We actually did go, however, you know, those shows, like, if you want a good seat, you kind of got to go ahead of time. And my kids just aren't good about going ahead of time and they're not being something rather quickly. So, like, we got the popcorn, we did the whole nine yards, but we got in towards the very, very later side, so we didn't have great seats. So that show went fine. Like, they liked it, actually. Both of them ended up falling asleep during the show. Cause it is a little later. If you have the early dining. The last show, the Aladdin, didn't catch their interest as much. And I just kind of wonder if it's because, like, that's not. I shouldn't say it's just not their generation, but, like, that, they don't. They're not into that movie as much like they are with some of the Pixar stuff and even. Even little mermaid since it's been redone and everything like that. So, yeah, that one, we probably lasted 50% of the way, and then we just called it and just left because they were kind of getting antsy with it. [00:44:57] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:44:57] Speaker C: Do you ever try to watch the shows on the tv in the stateroom? [00:45:00] Speaker B: That's the show, yeah, we didn't try this time. Yeah, the stage show. [00:45:04] Speaker C: Yeah, they used to put the stage shows on the. On the tv in the stateroom. Yeah, yeah, yeah. [00:45:09] Speaker B: No, we didn't try this this time. [00:45:11] Speaker C: Yeah, that worked really well for us early on with Nathan when he was, like, he didn't want to sit still. He really didn't want to see the show, but we wanted to see the show. We would kind like, we'd get maybe 15 minutes out of him watching the show on the tv in the stateroom, and then, you know, we'd watch the rest of it or something. So, yeah, good tip for folks out there with small kids. They do put the shows, I don't know if it's live or if it's recorded or how they do it, but they do show the stage shows and. [00:45:34] Speaker B: The tv on the stateroom usually, so. [00:45:36] Speaker C: Yeah. [00:45:36] Speaker A: Yeah. I think it might be just a little bit delayed, but not, but they play it multiple times, so obviously it's not always live. I think one of them is, like, maybe a little bit delayed, and then the rest are just a repeat of whatever they showed you. [00:45:49] Speaker C: I don't know if they do it for the variety act. I've never tried that. We've always only watched the main stage, like, the show shows kind of thing. [00:45:58] Speaker A: Yeah, I don't think they do it for the variety acts, actually, but I don't. But as you mentioned, we never really tried for those. Yeah. So what kinds of things? So we mentioned, we've talked about the shows. What about, like, daytime activities that they really like to do or that you all do as a family on the show? [00:46:17] Speaker B: Mm hmm. Yeah. We're a big pool, sitting outside, that sort of thing, people. So a lot of the times we were outside by the pool, my son would kind of older one would rotate between the pools, watching the movies that were playing on the, on the big screen there at the funnel vision and kind of then wanting to do the aquamal. So we're wanting to do the toy story slide that they have. So he was just kind of roaming that whole area or then wanting to go to the kids club. So, like, that was kind of his, where he was at for this one. When he was in the kids club during the day, we would take the younger one around to the characters, which was really good because he loves characters. Like, he's totally into that. So, you know, we would just kind of walk around and wait in line and then get. The lines weren't super long for the characters, like, really any of them. I mean, besides, like, I think the princesses had the longest lines, like, even more so than Mickey and some of them. But, yeah, he loves characters. So we just kind of went around why my other son was in the kids club and didn't. And did, like, character finding. [00:47:19] Speaker A: Oh, I love that. That's awesome. Now, they're a little young for, let's say, trivia or the game shows, but did you attempt any of those? Or is it, as I assess, those are probably. Those are a little bit more like elementary school age kids? [00:47:33] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. No trivia. So we didn't attend any of those. We tried to do, like, one of the DVC. You know how they have, like, a DVC event. I went, just because they usually have a character that comes. So we sat through that. I think my son was just kind of waiting for the guy to stop talking so the character could just come out, you know, but. So we did the DVC thing, and they did have a character up in the concierge lounge one day. So we went up there for that, and that was really fun. [00:48:02] Speaker A: Yeah. Let's talk a little bit about concierge. Do you think that the. You know, there's. We've talked a lot about sort of, is concierge worth it and what the benefits are on some other shows? But I personally think that concierge is really nice with little kids because the lounge is, like, another place that's nicer than the stateroom, for example, to, like, sit around and hang out in. And I'm curious as to how you feel about that benefit. It's obviously. I'm gonna put this out there. It's obviously a very expensive amenity for any cruise, and so it's not something you have to have. But I'm curious as to how you feel about that. [00:48:42] Speaker C: And it ticks a big box for me in terms of great places to take your kids, because it has a bar. So while your kids are watching tv or whatever. Also, I just want to call out the. They have been doing those, like, private character meet and greets in there, which is also fabulous where they bring. They bring one character. It's not all the characters usually bring one character per ceiling for private little meet and greet, middle of the day in the lounge. Great for the kids because there's no line. The character just moves around the lounge there and gets pictures with everybody, which is really, really nice. But, yeah. Nick, what do you think? [00:49:14] Speaker B: Yeah. And we had goofy for that, which is great. The lounge. And I picked this room specifically because it was literally right outside the lounge. Like, you walked out of our door, and the lounge door was there, which was so convenient. But the lounge on the wish is massive. And they do have a little area that's playing Disney movies that has little seats that the kids can sit in. So they love that. Like, they would sit in those seats while we, you know, got a drink or just hung out for a little bit. The other nice thing about the lounge, at least on the wish is on the sun deck. There's another bar up there, but they also have smoothies that you can get that's different than the ice cream, you know? So it's like, they might have, like, a dole whip smoothie and then maybe, like, a raspberry smoothie. So, you know, we would buy, like, one of the souvenir smoothie cups and then just refill it throughout the cruise in the concierge area. So, like, you're not constantly paying for these smoothies, like, throughout the ship. But, yeah, I mean, the concierge lounge is amazing. And even when, like, the kids were asleep, I could run quickly to the concierge lounge and get, like, two drinks for my wife and I, and then we could just sit on the balcony. And that's actually how we watched the fireworks for pirate night. They were both dead asleep. We were on the right side of the ship for the fireworks, so we were out there with our drinks, just watching the fireworks go off, which was great. [00:50:37] Speaker A: Oh, that's awesome. I love that. Yeah, I feel. We feel the same way about the lounge. It's really lovely to just be able to kind of sit and enjoy kind of a quiet space with a drink or playing Lorcana. And kiddo is sitting, watching Mickey cartoons in front of that tv, you know, just relaxing himself or watching YouTube on his phone or whatever. [00:51:01] Speaker B: One other thing about concierge in general is it's the only place that has king beds on the ship. [00:51:07] Speaker C: In the rooms, I should say. Not all concierge rooms on board. All ships have the. [00:51:13] Speaker A: Yeah, the wish is exception. [00:51:15] Speaker B: Just the wish. [00:51:16] Speaker A: Just the wish. The other ships, it's mostly queensides, presumably. [00:51:20] Speaker C: The treasure and the destiny. [00:51:21] Speaker A: But yes, the newer wish, with the exception of, like, the Roy and Walt suites. So the Roy and the Walt suites now on both the magic and the wonder. Both have king size. I don't know about dream and fantasy, I just haven't heard. But, yeah. So most of them are still actually queen, but yes, on the wish, they are king size beds. It's just really. [00:51:43] Speaker B: It's just a thing that drives my wife crazy about Disney in general, is queen beds. Like, even DVC studios all have queen beds. It's like, come on. Come on, people. King beds. [00:51:53] Speaker A: We're the same way. We're the same way. Brian and I are not small people, and we. I. Personally, I don't want to be touching when I'm asleep. Sorry. I mean, I love Brian. He is. I did marry him, you know, but I don't want anybody, but I don't want anybody touching me while I'm sleeping. I want all the room. I want to be able to starfish the bed. [00:52:15] Speaker C: We were in Vegas. She was drunk. She said yes. [00:52:17] Speaker A: So we weren't in Vegas and I wasn't drunk. Anyway. [00:52:26] Speaker B: It's a difference to keep in mind, though. Cause on royal, it's two twins, and when you put them together, it's presumably so, like, that's just the difference between if you're looking at Disney versus royal in general, right, where the beds are kind of preformed. On Disney, they're not two beds. It is just one main bed in the room. So if that's important to you, just, you know, think about it before you book. [00:52:48] Speaker A: Except if you're really tall and that, that rounded edge might make your foot hang off the bed on Royal. So that's what you're talking about. You know, you bring up a good topic, royal, and we've talked a little bit at the top of the show about some pro, pros and cons with kids between Royal and Disney. And I know that you said that you all primarily sail Royal and Disney since you've had kids. I'm curious if there are other differences you've noticed. You mentioned the kids club hours, but let's say kids club and nursery experience for the kids. Would you say they're comparable? Obviously, notwithstanding the hours being different, do your kids like sailing on Royal as much as they like sailing on Disney? And how does the kids club play into that? [00:53:37] Speaker B: Yeah, I would say nursery wise, pretty comparable. I mean, I think the wishes nursery is bigger and they keep, I don't know about the whole thing because you can't really see in except through that one way glass, but it seems like they keep some of it a little darker and then some of it a little lighter. So depending on if the kids are asleep or playing, whereas royal, it's mostly just kind of one small room, right. So, like, they have an area where the kids can watch tv and play, and then they have a couple cribs if they're sleeping. But I mean, mostly comparable. Right. And what they're doing and their accommodations for the, for the younger kids with the older kid area, I would say the biggest difference, like on Royal, when you get onto the ship, when you go to the three to five year old or three to six year old room, it just looks like a big open room like that you might see in a daycare. Like they might have a small slide or something like that, but it's not like the ip experience that you're experiencing on Disney, like a massive space, but they typically will have like some sort of theme night every night up there. Like on some nights they might do like rock and roll night and they'll make like a guitar, art and craft. So it's. It's a little more organized, I would say, in terms of, like, the schedule for the night night. So that's the main difference for the, for the older kids is it's a little bit more a pre scheduled plan rather than just more of like a free for all, like, kind of pick your own adventure. But that's the main difference. [00:55:03] Speaker A: Yeah. What about food for the kids? Would you say that, you know, how are they comparable as far as, like, what kinds of food you can get for the kids? Obviously, it's. You've got more options on royal. We know that because you've got specialty dining, you've got the buffet, but, yeah, the offering similar. And is the quality, you know, similar? [00:55:25] Speaker B: Yeah, I would say for kids food, I think the quality amongst the two is pretty similar. I mean, our kids are pretty simple eaters, so it's like cheeseburger, Mac and cheese, those sort of things. So, I mean, but is the Mac. [00:55:40] Speaker A: And cheese as good as Mickey's Mac and cheese, Nick? I always wonder that, well, you know, I'm going to have to ask Nathan when we're on board Royal in several weeks and ask him because he's a big fan of Mickey's Mac and cheese and I don't know if he tried the Mac and cheese on royal yet. So compare that at least what I. [00:56:01] Speaker B: Know about the Mac and cheese on a royal, just coming off of one a couple weeks ago, they were using like, bigger noodles, like bigger pieces of pasta. So I don't know if. I don't know if they do that for the kids, though. But, yeah, the adult Mac and cheese was like a bigger, you know, bigger pasta. [00:56:17] Speaker A: Nice. Nice. Well, I think we've got to sort of ask the question then. If. If you're booking a cruise with your kids and let's say it's a three night cruise and you can book the same itinerary on Disney or royal. Right. For a weekend, you pretty much can either on a lore or the wish that three night weekend cruise. I guess if price is not an object, price is not, because we know Price is always going to be a differentiator between those two lines. Which one would you recommend? I mean, you're a travel advisor. Which one would you recommend to your clients? Would you say go on royalty for the three nights or go on Disney for the three nights or what would. [00:57:02] Speaker C: The factors be that you'd want to know from them to drive that decision? Yeah, yeah, yeah, right. [00:57:06] Speaker B: Yeah. I mean, if you're just to ask me, I would probably pick them each, like, equally for different reasons. So I guess to Brian's point, it really depends what you're looking for for the weekend. [00:57:16] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:57:16] Speaker B: Like, royal at least, is not going to provide the same level of children's entertainment that Disney is, period. Like, there's no characters, the kids club is not as interactive. There's no kids club on the island. So if that's something that's really important to you. And the pools, I mean, depending on the ship, right. Like allure at least still has the older splash pad area. All the other oasis class ships have the newer splashaway Bay area. So that beats out the Disney splash pads, in my opinion. In my opinion, just because the, even for the little babies, they have a nice splash area. And for the older kids, it has more things to climb on and things like that than the Disney ships do. But the Disney ships have the smaller pools, so, like, which mostly there's no adults in those pools at all. It's all kids anyways. So, you know, it's kind of a toss up there. But just for entertainment factor alone, I'd say Disney, especially for meals, right? Because like royal on meals there is no show. You're either in main dining or you're in specialty dining. So there's no real entertainment factor. So bring the, bring the iPad, basically, if you need entertainment for dinner on royal, but the island is really a toss up. I mean, like, my kids, I think, probably appreciate like cococay just for the amenities that are there. But then again, there's no kids club. So I would just, I would say cast away is more of like your beach day day, also kids club. But cast or cococay has more of the bells and whistles. So. Yeah, I mean, it's 50 50 for me, really. And that's why we take both, because you get different experiences out of both, right. Your Disney fix versus just your generic weekend cruise. [00:59:05] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, and I will say, you know, you mentioned the Kids Club about the interactivity of obviously the Disney ships and IP being, you know, everywhere you get to, you can, you know, on the wish creator roller coaster or design a superhero or whatever. But honestly, our kid loves arts and crafts and he is really happy if there's a group arts and crafts activity. And royal does that kind of stuff and has more of that sort of organized group activity and in particular, arts and craft activity that really appeals to him. So the free form nature of the. The Kids Club on Disney sometimes can be a great experience if he makes a friend, but if he doesn't, actually, the structured experience on royal is, I think, a little bit better for him. So, you know, you have to, as you sort of mentioned, you have to think about your family, what's going to work for them, and what you want out of a particular cruise. And it might be that one is better for a particular weekend, and one is, you know, and the other is better for a different. A different experience. Experience. So I really appreciate that. Brian, is there anything that we have missed? I am. I think that we've hit all the main topics. [01:00:18] Speaker C: I can't think of anything. And I asked all my questions upfront around the. Comparing to other cruise lines. So. [01:00:23] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, I want to ask Nick, though, is there anything that we've missed before we move on to what Brian's about to introduce? [01:00:30] Speaker B: No, I think we hit it all. [01:00:31] Speaker A: Okay. [01:00:32] Speaker B: Really? [01:00:33] Speaker C: Well, I think we have now reached that point in the show, Nick, where Sam takes control, although she's always taking control of the show. [01:00:40] Speaker A: That's right. [01:00:41] Speaker C: To ask some arbitrary questions. Some arbitrary. To ask some arbitrary questions. Apply some arbitrary rules and apply a dash of judgment. Or the round we know as rapid fire. So, Sam, take it away. [01:00:51] Speaker A: All right, I'm going to ask you some compare, contrast, because this has been part of the theme of the show here today. Of course, it's been sort of a mixed theme. I'll say. We've talked about sailing with younger kids, but then we've also done a little compare and contrast between Disney and royal in sailing with little kids. So I'm going to start with different categories about. And we're going to compare Disney versus royal. So let's start with shows. Who has the better shows for young kids? I mean, does it even matter? That's actually the other part of the. [01:01:24] Speaker B: Question for young kids. I'll give it to Disney hands down. [01:01:27] Speaker A: All right. All right. For food. Yeah. Who's doing it better? [01:01:34] Speaker B: Specialty restaurant. Royal Caribbean is better than Disney's food, except Paulo. [01:01:39] Speaker A: Interesting. All right. Okay. [01:01:41] Speaker C: What's your. What's your. Hold on. What's your favorite specialty restaurant on Royal? [01:01:45] Speaker A: Oh, yeah, good question. [01:01:46] Speaker B: I'd say chops number one, then 150 central and then hooked. [01:01:52] Speaker C: We keep hearing chops, and Sam keeps saying, I don't need to eat at a steakhouse. We keep hearing that name. [01:01:57] Speaker A: So we're gonna book it. We're gonna book it. We're gonna book it for. We're not gonna. We're not gonna book it for our seven night because we already have, like, three different specialty restaurants booked for a seven night, but we're gonna book it with our friends. The morals for that three night cruise on. [01:02:12] Speaker C: Or we could trade out. I think we have Hibachi booked on the seven night. We could try chops instead of hibachi. So there you go. [01:02:18] Speaker A: I know, but Nathan really likes hibachi, so I. He does also like steak, to be fair. Brian is correct. Our kid likes steak in general. Okay. [01:02:28] Speaker C: Or maybe. Maybe we issue the chef's table in favor of chops. I don't know. Nick, have you done the chef's table on royal? [01:02:33] Speaker B: I have amazing experience, hands down. Get prepared for wine and great food. It does take a long time, but it's great. A great experience. [01:02:42] Speaker A: Okay, well. And we're doing 150 central. [01:02:48] Speaker C: Well, here's the real question. Giovanni's or chops? Because I think we booked Giovanni's for one night. [01:02:53] Speaker B: Chops. [01:02:54] Speaker A: All right. [01:02:54] Speaker C: There you go. So there's this we need to make. [01:02:57] Speaker A: I don't think, by the way, we didn't book Giovanni's for one night because we only booked three specialty restaurants. We booked. [01:03:03] Speaker C: We booked four. We added Zumi Hibachi at the end as a fourth night of specialty dining. And we had originally booked Giovanni's because we were going to compare it directly to Paolo. Remember? That was the decision. [01:03:15] Speaker A: I don't remember that. [01:03:16] Speaker B: Giovanni's to Paolo, you said. [01:03:18] Speaker A: Yeah, it's not a comparison. [01:03:19] Speaker B: It's not a comparison. [01:03:20] Speaker A: Yeah. Okay, good. [01:03:22] Speaker C: It compares directly to the old spaghetti factory, then, which, by the way, I'm. [01:03:25] Speaker B: A big fan of the old fan. [01:03:29] Speaker A: All right. [01:03:29] Speaker B: Yeah. [01:03:30] Speaker A: We just wanted to put that out there. The original old spaghetti factory is in Portland, Oregon, and we love it, actually. [01:03:36] Speaker C: So, yeah, I went there all the time in college for a little Misurthra pasta. Delicious. [01:03:40] Speaker A: Yeah. There used to be one in Seattle. There's one now in a suburb, but not the same. Yeah, not the same. The one that was in downtown Seattle was great. We used to go there. Okay, we got to ask. Kids clubs. I know this is a hard one. This includes the nursery, but. Yeah. Which one? One, overall better. [01:03:57] Speaker B: I'm still going to give it to Disney because of the flexibility. You can go anytime. [01:04:01] Speaker A: Yeah. Oh, yeah. And the island having the extra opportunity. Okay. Cabins. You have a family of four who has the better cabins, and you got to do, like, a direct comparison. We can't compare, like, a one bedroom to, like, family, whatever. On royal. [01:04:18] Speaker B: Yeah. So if I'm doing sweet, this depends on the class of ship. With Royal, that's the only thing sweet to suite. Suite. I would say the one bedroom layouts are better for our family than some of the royal layouts that they have. In terms of amenities, Disney keeps things closer together. Royals a little bit more spread out throughout the ship, unless you're in that area on the Oasis class ships, that is kind of on the top there with the loft suites. [01:04:47] Speaker A: Okay, so overall, it sounds like Disney gets the edge there. [01:04:50] Speaker B: I think Disney would get the edge for some sweets. Yeah. [01:04:52] Speaker A: Okay, what about service? [01:04:54] Speaker B: Service? I'll give it to Disney for overall service. [01:04:59] Speaker A: Okay. Private island coke. [01:05:02] Speaker B: Okay. [01:05:02] Speaker A: Yeah, sorry. [01:05:03] Speaker B: I know I might get. Get some crap for that, but it's all right. [01:05:06] Speaker A: It's all right. You know, I just don't like that. Well, I haven't been yet, but I don't like that they charge you for all of these extra things. That's what I don't like. [01:05:14] Speaker B: And like I was mentioning before, cococay, specifically Cocoa beach club, if you can go. Amazing experience, hands down. [01:05:21] Speaker A: Yeah. All right. Onboard activities for families. We're going to keep it in the family realm. [01:05:28] Speaker B: I would still give the edge there to Disney. I think they're just more family focused. Not saying royal isn't either, but I still think the activities that they put on board are more geared towards adults. [01:05:41] Speaker A: Gotcha. Now, who does that? Brings me to my last question before I ask, your favorite ship. Well, of course, bucket list. I gotta ask you as well. But who's doing better in, like, the adult, you know, adult activities, like evening activities. [01:05:57] Speaker B: I give the edge there to royal just because there's way more to do, way more venues throughout the ship than Disney has. [01:06:06] Speaker A: Interesting. All right, now I got to ask you your favorite ship, but I'm going to let you pick from any ship that you've been on, so that I'm going to let you pick even outside of Disney, if your favorite, by some crazy chance of imagination, is not a disease ship. [01:06:21] Speaker B: Yeah, this might. And it was probably because it was our honeymoon, but we went on the celebrity reflection for a ten day southern caribbean cruise, and it was amazing. Not just the we met friends on board, we had an amazing cruise. It was just a great ship, a great itinerary. Great itinerary. There weren't many kids, like, for that purpose. I'll give it to celebrity reflection. [01:06:44] Speaker A: Wow. Okay. All right, now your bucket list cruise. This has to be on Disney cruise line. But you can go anywhere in the world and it doesn't have to be a place that Disney currently goes. Where are you going? [01:06:57] Speaker B: Well, I would say galapagos, but I don't think Disney ship will ever be able to go there. But that is my bucket list. But for Disney Bucket list specifically, I want to do Norway. [01:07:08] Speaker A: Yes. So good. You'll love it. Awesome. Well, thank you for playing, Nick. Other than picking a non Disney ship as your favorite ship, you did pretty well. So I'm going to give you a passing grade. It's not like, it's not an a plus plus or anything like that, but I'll let you pass. [01:07:24] Speaker B: Great. Awesome. [01:07:26] Speaker C: Well, Nick, I always like to ask what's next? I mean, what's cruise number? You said 80. [01:07:31] Speaker A: He's got one in a week, Brian. He's going in a week. [01:07:35] Speaker B: That'll actually be 83. That's horrible to say. No. Yeah, we're going in a week on allure of the seas, another three day cruise, and just a few weeks after that we're going on symphony of the seas, my birthday. So that's our next. And then we're going on icon in October. So we're on a royal run for a little bit. [01:07:53] Speaker A: You are on a roll. We're on a royal run. Our next two cruises, actually, as we're recording this, by the time this episode comes out, we'll have already been on two royal cruises, probably. But yeah, we have a little bit of a royal run ourselves. So it's always interesting to see what else is out there. We tell people all the time, you know, not every cruise line is for everyone, but there is probably a cruise line for everyone. So I think it's worth checking out what else is out there. But thank you so much, Nick, for joining us. We hope that you'll come back and join us again, maybe after you sail icon or maybe after your next Disney cruise. But yeah, keep in touch. And why don't you let folks know if they are interested in booking travel with you, whether it be a cruise or a land based vacation, how they can connect with you. [01:08:39] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. Thanks. Everything. All my handles on Facebook, Instagram are makewavesvacations. And to get ahold of me, it's just makewavesvacationsmail.com dot. [01:08:54] Speaker C: Well, Nick, as Sam said, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to share your thoughts, experiences, tips with our audience. We really, really appreciate it. [01:09:02] Speaker B: Thank you. Appreciate it. Thanks for having me. [01:09:08] Speaker C: Well, thanks to everyone. Out there for listening this week. We really, really appreciate. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast. You can keep getting great content from us every week. In fact, twice a week we publish shows, so be sure to hit the subscribe button to get all of those great episodes. And if you want to watch us live, we have a live show now every week. 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