Disney Fantasy Cruise Review by nmtieu: Nursery was HORRIBLE! Who would have expected from DISNEY!
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Nursery was HORRIBLE! Who would have expected from DISNEY!
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
My husband and I use to travel very frequently until we became pregnant with our twins almost two years ago. After speaking to the Disney representatives and inquiring about the accommodations that Disney offered for infants, as well as from reading online reviews and being told by friends/family that "once you cruise with Disney, you'll never want to cruise with anyone again", we decided to take the plunge and book with Disney. Our expectations of the trip: mostly roaming around the ship with our twins, relaxing on the balcony, lots of doing nothing but eating and sleeping with the twins. So to start, we had very little expectations of the amount that we were going to do. But I guess our hopes were too high for Disney.
Disney advertises that their Small World Nursery (for children younger than 3), are staffed with highly capable personel who are more than qualify to care for your kids while you and your partner get some adult alone time. I believed this, since who would do a More better job in caring for kids than DISNEY! We were so wrong.
First, the nursery is staffed by EXTREMELY UNHAPPY GRUMPY young girls...I could sense everytime I walked in that they DID NOT want to be working. Never a "Hello! Hi! How's your day going?" There was no ethusiasm or purkiness that you would normally associate with a babysitter--a DISNEY babysitter. Also, Disney does not allow parents to interact with their children in the nursery, alongside the caretaker, prior to leaving them with complete strangers. It's just a "drop them off and see you later" type of deal. How do they expect the kids do overcome stranger anxiety?
I was told by the manager also that the ratio was six kids to one caretaker---no wonder my kids were crying when they were dropped off, and crying even harder when I picked them up--they were probably neglected. I would see my son on the swing, in tears, every time I picked him up! They were too busy to personally calm him down so they just slap him onto a swing, which he is too big for by the way.
There was also a very pungent smell of cleaning solution in the nursery space--I fear that the smell may be toxic for the children to inhale.
So the first time we drop the twins off, we get called out early from our adult dining at Palo because my son wouldn't stop crying. I also gave specific instructions to feed my babies the baby food that I had provided at the time of drop off and feed them the powder milk that I had provided two hours later. None of this was executed as asked as I came to find out upon picking up my son.
Second time we went off to an excursion for 2.5 hours, came back early to find both my kids crying after a nap...on the swing again... I had requested them to feed my kids milk at 12, prior to their nap at 12:30. I came to pick them up close to 2pm, and they still have been given their milk. I was not given any good reason why this had occurred.
Finally the last time, we dropped them off again to go to our adult dining at Remy. As usual, our kids were crying when they were dropped off. We get to Remy to receive a call from the Nursery informing us that our daughter had vomited and was asked to remove her from their space. I come to pick up my kids. One girl was carrying my daughter by the armpits, arms straight out like my daughter was a diseased dog, all the way from the end of the room to the front where I was at. I asked what happened several times and repeatedly was just told "she just vomited". I asked is it because she was crying uncontrollable, because if she was not consolled and kept on crying, this can stimulate her gag reflex. She kept on answering "she just vomited". I annoyingly questioned if anyone was watching her and she just replied "we all were".
Then they tell me that we couldn't bring our kids back to the nursery until we get medical clearance. I told them that I was a doctor and I KNOW that my daughter is not sick. But by this time, I wouldn't have wanted to bring them back even if they paid me! Seeing how incompetent these girls were made me feel so horrible for putting my babies through all the agony.
I had a chance to speak to the Manager, Emma, as well... but did not get any resolution. In fact, she wasn't really paying attention to me when I was talking to her. And when she called me, she didn't even know my name, but addressed me as "Is this mother?". She said she would confront her staff but was not able to provide me with the outcome. She then offer to personally watch my babies on our last day on port (Castaway Cay) so my husband and I can have some time alone, but by then, my babies would start crying just seeing the nursery door before we even enter! And how can I even trust them with my babies anymore after all the trauma that they have caused my babies? And to note, my babies are normally very HAPPY babies--they played and smiled with EVERY waiter or attendent that came out to play with them.
They did refund the charges from the first two babysitting sessions.
This experience completely ruined the cruise for my husband and I. Plus, we're not really sure why Disney is considered so much better than other cruises (and is so much more expensive). The food was okay at best (except Palo was fantastic). The service was terrible--my babies didn't get their promised pureed food until day 3 and at times, the order was missplaced and by the time they got things straightened out, my kids were too sleepy to eat. Our waiters were too serious and impersonable as well, never coming back to check up on us. I have to admit I can't comment too much on the Adult Entertainment since we weren't able to participate in much given the lousy Nursery.
We've been on several Princess cruises, several Royal Carribean cruises and several Carnival Cruises (all 7 days or more). Disney was our 8th cruise. And by comparison, Disney is no where near the best by any means.
On a side note, infants can only go into Nemo's Reef. Otherwise, there's no other play area for them.
So if you have any infants less than three, and if you're not bringing your Nanny or Grandparents to help watch the kids while you get some alone time, don't waste your money on Disney. And if you do have children older than 3 and if their are better deals for your destination with other cruise lines, I would save on the money and not book with Disney. Go to Disneyland or Disneyworld if your kids want to see the characters. Less
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