If you have a baby it might not immediately strike you as a great idea to sail on a cruise.
However, if you see exactly what the Disney Wish Cruise ship has on offer for babies and toddlers then you may very well change your mind.
It’s a Small World Nursery is the place for the younger ones on all the Disney Cruise ships.
DCL is one of the very few cruise lines to actually have child care and group babysitting services for children under 3.
If your child is between the ages of 6 months and under 3 then you are definitely going to want to check out the It’s a Small World Nursery on Disney Wish.
Individual babysitting services are not offered on Disney Cruise ships, but who needs that when this group babysitting option is so convenient?
The Mary Blair Influence
If you have ever sailed on the It’s A Small World ride you are going to recognise the art work here.
The Mary Blair art influenced space is just stunning.
You will notice that the Mary Blair style is applied to Pixar, Marvel and Disney characters to create a nursery that is just going to make you smile.
Don’t worry the theme tune isn’t running continuously here, but as soon as you see the pictures it will probably trigger that memory and it will start circulating in your head anyway!
Disney Wish has the largest Small World Nursery. This makes sense as it is the largest of the Disney Cruise ships.
The space is split into two main large areas. The largest area is a play area, and then a second area, which is visible from the main area, has cribs.
There is also a smaller room which is a reception desk area.
There are plenty of toys, a large play mat and a television screen as well as lots of interactive buttons and things that babies and toddlers are going to enjoy.
This video shows you the space. As you will see, even the bathrooms are adorable!
Is It Free?
The Kids Clubs on a Disney Cruise are only free for ages 3 and up.
There is a charge for the It’s a Small Nursery and you do have to book.
However, for the excellent facility offered and the care of the fabulous Cast Members the $9 per hour and $4.50 for the first child really is very reasonable. You must book at least one hour.
If you have any additional children that are the right age for the Nursery they are charged $8 an hour and $4 per half hour.
How Do You Book?
If you know that you want to book the Nursery then you should really try and get a booking online.
Space is limited and sometimes it can be a challenge getting the hours that you want.
You can book up to 10 hours online before you cruise.
However, just because you can book 10 hours, doesn’t actually mean that you will be able to!
Make sure that as soon as your booking window opens, which will be midnight EST on the day your booking window opens, you are ready, online and go straight to the book your activities section.
If you have a particular activity booked, say a Palo Dinner, then make sure to prioritise and book this time first.
Your booking window opens online according to whether you have sailed with Disney before, and if you have, how many times you have sailed.
If you have sailed before you will be a member of the Castaway Club and have an earlier booking window:
- Up to 130 days ahead for Concierge and Pearl Castaway Club Guests
- Up to 120 days ahead for Platinum Castaway Club Guests
- Up to 105 days ahead for Gold Castaway Club Guests
- Up to 90 days ahead for Silver Castaway Club Guests
- Up to 75 days ahead for all other Guests
If you need to book additional time in the it’s a small world nursery, then as soon as you board the ship, head to Deck 2 and go and do this.
If time isn’t available, there are cancellations, so keep checking back. You can also call from your stateroom as well as checking at the desk (don’t do this your first day though as lines are busy and you have to wait for access to your stateroom when you board.
What Happens at Drop off Time?
The first time you drop off your child it can take a little time to go through the paper work, unless you have already completed it, so make sure you leave enough time.
There is a form to complete so that the Cast Members know your child’s feeding schedule, nap time, any allergies etc.
You need to have the Kids Magic Band to identify your child.
This is slightly confusing now, as there are 2 types of Magic Band. There are the ones for the kids clubs, that have been used for years.
Now on select ships, including Disney Wish, there are Magic Bands that you can purchase as a partial substitute for your Key to the World Card.
Anyway, the one you need to bring with you is the Kids Club one! And don’t forget to return this at the end of the cruise or $20 will be charged to your account!
You will also want to make sure that you have a bag with the things that your child needs such as:
- Baby food, formula or milk and bottles
- Diapers or pull-ups and diaper wipes
- Extra clothing
- A baby blanket
For safety reasons, if your baby is under 12 months old, the only additional item they can have with them in the crib is a pacifier, and this must not have an attachment.
The Cast Members are more than happy to feed your child with the food provided. No food containing nuts is allowed in the nursery or any of the Kids Clubs.
How Will I Be Contacted if There is a Problem?
If there are any issues the Cast Members will contact you via the Disney Cruise App that you should have on your phone.
What Happens at Pick Up Time?
You will have to have a designated person to pick up your child. Safety first as always, so you need to make sure that the correct designated person, with the password you have set, actually collects your child.
The Cast Members will let you know when your child ate, slept, had a diaper change, and what they enjoyed. They are really good at providing feedback.
Can I Leave the Ship?
You can leave your child in the Nursery and then leave the ship, provided you are sure that you will be back on the ship in time.
You also have to leave a phone number with the Cast Members with a phone line that will be connected in the port so that you can be contacted. This has to be a proper phone line, not via an app.
If you have any questions about this make sure that you speak to a Cast Member. It is not something I was ever comfortable doing until my children were very much older.
Tips to Remember
It is always a worry as to whether or not your child will be comfortable in an unfamiliar space.
All the Cast Members are highly trained, background checked and some of the best childcare professionals available, but you still want to know your child is going to be OK!
When you board the ship there is always an Open House for all the Kids Clubs, including the It’s A Small World Nursery.
It is a good idea to go with your child first to check out the space and spend some time with them there.
Remember if you need to cancel a reservation you have to do this at least 4 hours in advance of the start of your reservation, or you will be charged a cancellation fee of 50% of the cost of the child care.
If you don’t cancel at all and simply don’t turn up, you will be charged the full amount.
More About Disney Wish
There so many guides about Disney Cruises on this site. Here are some to get you started learning all about Disney Wish!
Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.