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What activities are offered for kids on 3-day cruise?

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We are contemplating taking our (grown) children and grandchildren on a short Disney cruise next year. We're trying to decide if this is the right choice for us. The truth is that my husband and I don't like big ship cruising, preferring something like Radisson or Oceania or a river cruise--but this seems like a good possibility for getting everyone together and giving the youngsters a special "treat."
I've been told that a Disney cruise actually gives kids a better "up close" experience with the Disney characters. Right?
If we do this, we will probably opt for the 3-day cruise, though it might be the 4-day one. Kids are between 3 and 8 years old. I understand there is an organized program (kind of daycare?) for kids 3 and older. Any information on what this entails? Also, what other activities are offered throughout the day and evening for the kids? (And anything special for the grown-ups?)
Is a Disney cruise better than 3 days in Disney World? Will the adults have fun? Can kids stay onboard in the organized program while adults go ashore?
Thanks. Any input will be appreciated!

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