Cruising across the ocean is a fun way to spend vacation. The wind in your hair, seemingly unlimited food and drink, games, sunsets…the list goes on. Now, take all the wonderful things you love about a regular cruise and add Disney Magic to it. That’s how I felt when my family and I took our first Disney Cruise. I’ll admit I’d never been on a cruise before, yet now I can’t imagine doing it any other way. We have two young boys who absolutely ate up every minute of it. In addition to meeting characters, pirate night, and Castaway Cay, their favorite part of our trip was visiting the Oceaneer Club.
The Oceaneer Club is a special place just for kids (ages 3-12) onboard each of Disney’s cruise ships. Here, parents drop their kids off for playtime that’s centered just around them. It also gives moms and dads the opportunity to enjoy some adult activities that the ship provides.
Walking into the club, kids can choose to start their adventure from one of five areas.
You can consider this area the “main hub”. It’s central to all the rooms and hosts some very fun activities. Here you can meet characters such as Mickey, Goofy, and Pluto up close and personal by joining them in a dance party that’s super fun! Your kiddos can also enjoy Puzzle Play Time where Mickey and the gang will come by to play games. A large screen inside the Rotunda plays movies and sometimes Crush will come to talk to the kids! I personally loved this part of the Oceaneer Club because my kids were able to actually play up close with Mickey, their favorite character.
I was in love with this room the second I saw it from the Rotunda and felt like a kid when I walked in. Just like the new Toy Story Land, kids get to shrink down to toy size and play in Andy’s Room. Slinky Dog creates a tunnel to crawl through. You can sit on Andy’s bed and watch movies, play with a life size Mr. Potato head, climb all over Rex, pretend to drive R/C, and play a coin game with Hamm! Imaginations will soar in this room.
Disney Infinity Game Room
If you have a kid or two who loves video games, this is the place for them! Here, kids will explore the popular Disney Infinity world of gaming. Each side of the room contains a row of t.v. screens with two controllers for guests to either go head to head or solo. A case full of Disney Infinity characters sits in the middle of the room. With help from a Youth Activities Counselor, kids can pick and swap out characters from here while playing their game. The back wall hosts an interactive area with a life size Disney Infinity base on the floor; allowing kids to interact with the game on the screen. This was absolutely my kids favorite place in the Oceaneer Club!
Kids can get crafty and creative in the Pixie Hollow play area. The room’s decor makes you feel like you’re in Pixie Hollow itself with Tinker Bell and her friends. Here they can play dress up, create a craft, use kid friendly tablets, watch a movie, and hear a story. A large tree stands in the middle of the room with glowing fairy houses hanging from the branches (make sure to take a peak and see if Tink is home!). Oversized leaves and branches decorate the rest of the room with plenty of seating for all activities. It’s truly magical and not to be missed!
Star Wars: Millennium Falcon
As a gigantic Star Wars fan, this was by far my favorite room out of the whole Oceaneer Club. Kids can climb into the cock pit of the Millennium Falcon, take control, and fly to some of the most famous planets from the Star Wars galaxy. The rest of the room features replicas from the Falcon itself. The details are amazing! Other activities in this space include arts and crafts, kid-friendly tablets, a large screen used for displaying Star Wars content, and Jedi training. Needless to say, I really wanted to be a kid again so I could come play all the time.
I’ll admit I was skeptical at first. Dropping my kids off with people I didn’t know on a gigantic ship did not appeal to me. However, there are several ways Disney made me feel comfortable and at ease.
The Oceaneer Club hosts an open house where everyone in the family can come and enjoy activities together and play in each of the five rooms. I really enjoyed being able to have fun with my kids (I got to fly the Millennium Falcon!!) and it was great for picture opportunities as well. It was comforting to also check out the facility and meet some of the counselors who would watch my kids. Open House times vary; check your Personal Navigator or the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app while onboard to stay up to date.
When boarding the ship on Embarkation Day, parents are required to check their children in at the Oceaneer Club (if participating). During the check in process, parents are asked who will be able to check their child in and out of the club. A password is given by the parents to be used when checking kids out of the club. The password is something that is only shared between adults authorized to pick up the child. It made me very happy to have the password in place and really set me at ease when I left my kids at the club.
Kids receive special Magic Bands when parents register them for the Oceaneer Club. These allow them to enter the club and work just like Magic Bands in the parks.
Note: they must wear the band at all times on the cruise. My youngest was not too happy about it at first, however he quickly forgot about it and had a great time.
Above all, seeing how happy my kids were after their first experience at the club, helped me feel better about leaving them there. They truly had a great time and liked feeling a little independent; experiencing something on their own. So, take a chance and try out Disney’s Oceaneer Club on your next cruise. I promise your kids will love it and so will you!
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