Best cruise for family of 4 (kids 5 & 8)?

  • Eastern C

    Votes: 3 15.8%
  • Western C

    Votes: 4 21.1%
  • Alaska

    Votes: 11 57.9%
  • Mediterranean

    Votes: 1 5.3%

  • Total voters
    19

EFarless

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
We are planning our first Dis Cruise with 2 kids 5 & 8. At least 7 nights. Would love your expertise as to which was your favorite (& why) during summer months?

Thank you!!
 
Last edited:

_auroraborealis_

I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
I would ask what the kids like to do. Eastern is going to be more chill, more beach excursions. Western has some more active stuff, BUT many of the ship excursions are going to be for 10+.
 

Cmbar

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 3, 2003
I agree with Aurora. The Eastern is gorgeous views of the islands and has more beachy relax feel. Western has more adventure excursions We very much enjoy the catamaran excursion in Grand Caymans and some Dolphins in Cozumel. IF you do pick a Caribbean itinerary be sure to make sure you are going to Castaway Cay as that will be very fun for the kids.

Now if your kids were a bit older I would say my favorite summer cruise on Disney is ALASKA! Save up for that one. Better yet book a placeholder on your Caribbean one so you can go when the kids are 2 years older!! Its amazing and I am so glad my kids can say they have been to Alaska and seen one of our most beautiful states!!

Good luck in choosing and you can't go wrong!!
 
  • dclpluto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 11, 2012
    The best cruise in the summer imo will be a Europe cruise on the magic.im guessing you are just talking about the fantasy cruises eastern or western. Since it’s your first cruise I will go with the eastern gives you a extra sea day to enjoy the ship. Of course you could always enjoy the ship on one of the westerns port days but you will probably want to see the area and not much is happening on port days when the ship is docked. Whatever your choice is eastern, western, Alaska, Europe you cannot go wrong on a Disney cruise.
     
    Last edited:

    EFarless

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2018
    Thank you guys, please keep advice coming! I am looking at all cruises, even Europe! Right now leaning towards Eastern and adding a few WDW days. And maybe thoughts on excursions, too.
     

    EFarless

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 10, 2018
    Alaska or Europe for me ,not very keen on Carribean cruises.
    I am curious know why you prefer those? This is my first cruise ever, I want to make sure we are thinking through everything since the cost is not cheap. Thx!!
     
  • Sunshine2U

    Disney Nana
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2001
    For Caribbean I would go Eastern in the summer. An extra sea day means more breezes. For some reason and with no proof whatsoever I feel like there would be more island breezes on the Eastern itinerary. Northern Europe in the summer sounds fabulous!
     

    ForMyBoys

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 13, 2013
    We have done both East and West Caribbean. My dh and I prefer east but the kids prefer west as there are more activities. But honestly Alaska is the best! We probably would not have considered it but our in-laws wanted the entire family to come for their 50th wedding anniversary so they paid for it. My kids were 7, 11 and 14 and they all say it was the best vacation ever. I thought it was pretty fantastic too ;)
     

    DisneyHelen

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 22, 2011
    I am curious know why you prefer those? This is my first cruise ever, I want to make sure we are thinking through everything since the cost is not cheap. Thx!!
    I Like a cruise with interesting ports of call.The Caribbean has nice weather but the ports are not very interesting to me.
     

    starvenger

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2015
    I agree with the above concerning the Caribbean itineraries.

    If this is your first cruise full stop I would avoid the Mediterranean as it tends to be very port intensive and you don’t really get to “enjoy the ship”, as they say. If you’ve cruised before it’s probably fine.

    Alaska is a question about whether the kids will appreciate what you get up there.
     
  • DisneyWishes14

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2011
    With kids that age, of your choices, I would do Eastern C or Alaska. We've done two Western C cruises and those ports are really going downhill, IMHO. Alaska is gorgeous and has plenty of things to do for younger children. Eastern C, as other PP's mentioned, is relaxing - lots of beaches. Personally, I would not do a Med cruise with children that age. They are heavy tour intensive with cultural and historical sites. Plus, many of the towns/cities of interest are very far from the actual ports. We did a Magic Norway/Scotland/Iceland cruise when DS was 7 and that was fantastic! They fjords were gorgeous and there were plenty of things to do to hold my DS's interests and attention.
     

    Eeyore54 fred

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2018
    Alaska has been my family’s favorite cruise but my children were older when we went. They were also older when we did the Europe cruises. I think for a first cruise with children that age I would do the Eastern Caribbean.
     

    _auroraborealis_

    I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2015
    Be sure to look at shore options. You know your kids best. There can be a lot of options not open with a 5 year old, booked with or off DCL.

    As far as Europe, it is port intensive, expensive to get there, and jet lag is a thing. I wouldn't do it as a first cruise, personally, with kids.
     

    rcchello

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2008
    A European cruise will provide the opportunity to see some of Western Civilizations top sites. Alaska has wilderness and an awe inspiring landscapes. The Caribbean for most people brings beaches and animal viewing ( turtles and dolphins ). The Caribbean will probably be easier, more Disney immersive and save you money. My kids love Europe and like the Carribean for the Disney thing, they don't love beaches.

    We would like to do Alaska, but the total cost slows me down and I love Europe!
     

    Mommb

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2010
    For older kids, I would say Europe without question. For younger kids, though, I agree that the European cruises would not be ideal since what's interesting for adults may not be interesting for kids.

    I would choose Alaska over the Caribbean for a summer cruise, simply because you can get to beaches any time (and even within the continental US) at a lower cost than a summer cruise, but the Alaskan season is more limited. Ages 5 and 8 should be old enough to appreciate the wildlife and even some of the history.
     

    Geomom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 17, 2010
    I voted Alaska.

    Our first cruise was Alaska (our girls were 12 and 16), second cruise was Northern European/Baltic (our girls were 14 and 18.) For us, the itinerary is what is getting us to cruise. We have no interest in the Caribbean, especially in the summer as we don't like the heat, and we're not really 'beach' people...if I want to go to a beach, I can drive 1-2 hrs to go to one. DH really thought our Alaska cruise would be a 1 and done for cruises, but we really enjoyed it and he was willing to do the second one...and now we have a placeholder to try and book a 3rd cruise for summer 2020. As far as Alaska vs. Europe for kids--I'd wait on Europe until the youngest is in middle school--tons of walking, a lot more architecture/history/museum type visits as well as the longer transatlantic flight, and possibly long drives to major cities if you do the Mediterranean. Alaska is great for all ages due to the nature aspect. And...since it's colder, kids will find the heated pool less crowded than Caribbean itineraries. We also loved seeing characters in their Alaska (and European) outfits!
     

    starvenger

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2015
    A European cruise will provide the opportunity to see some of Western Civilizations top sites. Alaska has wilderness and an awe inspiring landscapes. The Caribbean for most people brings beaches and animal viewing ( turtles and dolphins ). The Caribbean will probably be easier, more Disney immersive and save you money. My kids love Europe and like the Carribean for the Disney thing, they don't love beaches.

    We would like to do Alaska, but the total cost slows me down and I love Europe!
    Europe is great. So glad I got to go to Vienna this year but the things my wife and I enjoyed about it (read: the rich history of the area) would bore our kids to tears.
     

    CamColt

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 7, 2000
    Since I have no interest in Alaska or Europe, I would say either a 7 night Fantasy or B2Bs on the Dream (2 stops at CC). Coming down to between the Eastern and Western, for me it usually comes down to which week is best for us to travel. In general the ports aren't the reason we cruise, it's more about the ship experience.
     

    dad of 3 addicted to DCL

    Waiting for January
    Joined
    Aug 14, 2017
    Our kids were 10/8/8 on our first cruise (Bahamas) followed by E Carib then W Carib. We didn't do Alaska until they were 14/12/12 and that seemed to work well with them. We'll do Europe when they're 16/14/14, so the cultural impact will be there (aside from 'teenagerness').

    When they were young, any old beach did the trick. We did a dolphin excursion (which you can do in the Bahamas, Cozumel...heck anywhere in the Caribbean), but otherwise they didn't care. You can't go wrong with a W or E Caribbean cruise. The extra sea day on the Eastern leg does mean one more day to turn them loose in the Club/Lab which we needed a prybar to get our kids out of at that age. :O
     



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