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Disney Cruise Line in a Jiffy: What is It’s a Small World Nursery?

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On of the hallmarks of Disney Cruise Line is their attention to child care. The onboard childcare facilities begin at age six months (on most sailings) at the It’s a Small World nursery. The nursery is available on all the DCL ships for kids age three and younger.

Unlike the care areas for older children, there is a fee to use the nursery ($9 per hour for the first child in a family and $8 per hour for additional children in the same family). Also unlike the child care areas for older kids, which offer unlimited drop-in service, the nursery requires reservations. Reservations can be made in advance of your trip via the Disney Cruise Line website. Parents often book the nursery for times when they have spa experiences or adult dining booked, but you can place your child in the nursery for any reason.

The nurseries include a low caregiver to child ratio and several distinct physical areas including a transitional area, a play zone, a nap zone, and areas for feeding and diaper care. The nurseries are all impeccably clean and offer an array of diversions for DCL’s smallest guests.

“Disney Cruise Line in a Jiffy” is an offshoot of our “Disney in a Minute” series. Both are bite-sized nuggets of information that can better help you understand a Disney term or planning topic. Have a question about a DCL term that is unfamiliar to you? Suggest it here for an upcoming segment.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

3 thoughts on “Disney Cruise Line in a Jiffy: What is It’s a Small World Nursery?

  • You make a good point, but readers should be aware that the maximum number of nursery hours you can reserve online varies based on the length of your cruise. You can pre-book 10 hours per child for voyages of two to five nights, 15 hours for six-night cruises, 18 hours for itineraries of seven to eight nights, and more for longer cruises. If you need more time, you can check the nursery upon embarkation for openings. If there are not many children onboard your particular sailing, you may be able to secure more sitting time.

    • You can also check back periodically to see if there have been cancellations by other guests.

  • We loved the It’s a Small World nursery on the Wish, but I do want to point out that there is a 10-hour limit for the duration of your cruise. This means that months before your trip when you are booking the times, you have to think through when you might need/want the childcare. This was particularly challenging on our first Disney cruise with four total children. We had no idea what our schedule was truly going to look like.


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