by Makena W.
Disney Cruise Line gives children a chance to get away from their parents (or is it a chance for the parents to get away from the kids?) and explore on their own with kids their age. There are 5 basic “clubs” where the younger ages can go on the Disney Dream – It’s a Small World Nursery, The Oceaneer Club and Lab, Edge and Vibe. The age restrictions are appropriate, but some of us happen to go at a time where we are in the “in between age” – or when you are welcome to go into 2 exclusive areas at once. To go into Edge, you have to be between 11 and 14 years old. To attend Vibe, the age range is between 14 and 17. I am fourteen, which means that I could go to both. I did visit both, and this is how I compare the two. Is it better to be the oldest or the youngest?
I went to Edge first. Edge is inside one of the smokestacks and bigger than I expected but, in my opinion, still small on the inside. There was a dance floor that lit up the room and a wall that was basically a giant TV, displaying events that the kids in the Edge would be participating in throughout the cruise. There was a small section for video games, a green screen, and a bunch of computers.
My brother, Austin, and our friend Courtney (whose family was also on the ship) also fell into the Edge age range so we went as a group. I am a very shy person, so I was glad to go with people that I already knew. One of my penpals, Mallory, was in there also. We walked in during the middle of what seemed like a show of some sort with the counselors acting crazy, but also explaining the rules like pick up after yourselves, and don’t come into Edge when you’re wet. It was a lot of fun to watch. After this we played a game called Human Bingo. This was VERY familiar to me because I did it both at the NYC Meet of the Month last June and just a few hours earlier in the D Lounge with other WDW Radio cruisers. Each square had something like met a celebrity, can sing “A Whole New World”, and likes sushi. You had to walk around and find somebody who fits the criteria in the square without repeating people. It was challenging! Next we played Gender Wars, which is exactly as it sounds. It was Boys vs. Girls. The boys were asked girl questions and the girls were asked boy questions. I remember one question to the boys was “Name 5 of the Cullens” and one to our team was “Name 5 people who have played James Bond.” This was my favorite game of the night. As expected, the girls won by a few points. We decided to leave after this (it was eleven at night and we wanted FOOD!)
Overall, this experience was very organized. You didn’t really have a lot of freedom because the counselors had games already organized. Some of the jokes were definitely aimed at the younger crowd, and sometimes it could be a little chaotic, whether the noise level was too loud, or teams weren’t working together and arguing over everything. I personally thought it was fun, but it could have been more fun if there was more to do or a bigger area.
Finding Vibe was a challenge. We had to go through hallways that led to rooms (if that makes sense) instead of walking through hallways that were expected to be used by many people (like the path to Animator’s Palate). A Cast Member who was in the area had to lead us to the entrance. As soon as she saw it, she pointed to it and went back to work. My dad and I (my brother and Mom were somewhere else) looked for a way to get inside this air tight door, when I remembered all the research I did for this trip. I found a box and scanned my room key. The door opened up and I could see the other side. Lights covered the doorway and flashed different colors. The door shut behind me. I was now on my own. I walked forward and saw two group counselors and a group of kids sitting by the smoothie bar but I wanted to explore the place for myself. There were what looked like portholes on the wall, but they were just these really cool seats that you could lie down in and watch TV. There was a wall similar to the one in Edge – it was a huge TV that displayed upcoming events. In the room connected to this, there was a second room with a bunch of video games and computers. There was one counselor in this area. I sat in one of these chairs – that – look – like – portholes and watched some of the results of the Presidential election come in. Eventually a counselor came over and invited me to join the group of kids. They were telling corny jokes. After our pity laughs fizzled out, we started a game called Gaga Ball, which was kind of like dodgeball but you were in a circle and the ball had to be touching the floor at all times. It was fun, but I decided to leave after one round of this game. I found my way out, went back to my stateroom then met up with my family.
Vibe would be a great place to go if you are comfortable talking to new people. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought for a few reasons. I am shy so I didn’t just walk up to the group, I was asked my age many times because I look younger (and it seemed that during my cruise the next youngest person was 16) and the activities really weren’t my style. Also, I visited the third night of the cruise, and it seemed that all of the teens already knew each other and had formed relationships so it was difficult to jump in and join them.
I think that both Edge and Vibe had their pros and cons, but both had more cons then pros. Vibe had more technology, but you had to build the relationships on your own. At Edge, you played a few fun games, but definitely most the activities and jokes were geared to the younger end of the spectrum. I personally would prefer to do the scheduled cruise activities like family game shows, towel folding lessons, cooking classes and meeting characters (I will always love doing that), hang out at the pool or Aquaduck or, in this case, the WDW Radio activities ( like the opening ceremony, pool party, meet ups, tours and the farewell party). What I would recommend is to do everything you want to do before dinner, head to the show, then do Edge or Vibe. Not a lot of cruise activities are planned for tweens/teens past 10, so this would be good time to check out the clubs. Personally, I wouldn’t take time out of the day to go to the clubs when there are so many other events going on.
This week’s “Where in the World?” is a difficult one. It could be mistaken for many things on Walt Disney World property.