The Suite Life on Deck

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Suite Life on Deck TV Poster Image
Disney spin-off is implausible but fun for tweens.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 38 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 145 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Characters sometimes learn lessons about topics like friendship and responsibility, but in general the show is intended to entertain and amuse rather than convey specific positive messages. Potty humor includes body odor and farting.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Adults are rarely present and are ineffective when they're around, so the teens pretty much do whatever they want without consequence. A main character often brags about her family's wealth and tries to control others with money. The central twins frequently get up to mischief, though most of it isn't meant in a mean-spirited way.

Violence

Some pranks and pratfalls (a man leaps over the edge of a ship to get away from teens he dislikes, for example), but there's no mistaking that they're strictly for laughs.

Sex

Teens have crushes on each other, but everything's pretty innocent, with just the occasional kiss or two. Zack in particular makes a fair number of comments regarding girls' attractiveness (i.e. "I'm going to study anatomy, starting with her"). Zack briefly shares a room with a girl, but nothing happens.

Language

No cursing, but some use of words like "butt."

Consumerism

Lots of associated Disney tie-ins.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, like its popular parent series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, this show is filled with content that's bound to entertain tweens but might leave parents rolling their eyes. The largely unsupervised teen characters engage in lots of mischief, discipline is virtually nonexistent, and no problem arises that can't be solved by the time the credits roll. One of the twins is pretty flirty and makes mildly suggestive comments, while another main character constantly gloats over her family's wealth and uses money and expensive gifts to control her peers -- her manipulations are played for laughs, of course, but they're still grating. Tween fans may need to be reminded that little of what they're seeing is relatable to most people's reality.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 and 6-year-old Written byAddiesmom September 16, 2010

Sassy mouth, sassy mouth, tisk, tisk, tisk.

This show may be okay for older kids and tweens, but at my house, with a 5 year old, we have it banned. My main objection to the show is different than the thi... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byfloatingzoo April 13, 2019

Nostalgia

Might just be nostalgia but I started to rewatch this a few days ago (I watched it all the time when it was first airing) and I find it hilarious. Lots of datin... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byAva Perry May 19, 2020

This is a great show for kids!

Written from a 13 yr old perspective, I used to love this show when I was younger but now that i'm almost 14 i have to say that i've moved on. Honest... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 12, 2020

Has some flaws

It is a great show, and it used to be my absolute favorite thing to watch. But I do think that these children need some adult supervision. Zack is an annoying t... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE SUITE LIFE ON DECK, twins Zack and Cody Martin (played by Dylan and Cole Sprouse, respectively) leave the luxurious confines of the Tipton Hotel for the equally swanky S.S. Tipton to set sail on a study-abroad program called Seven Seas High. Joined by spoiled heiress London Tipton (Brenda Song) and long-suffering hotel manager-turned-ship supervisor Mr. Moseby (Phill Lewis), Zack and Cody are primed for adventure -- and with new friends by their side, there's no shortage of fun or mischief to be had at sea.

Is it any good?

It's a no-brainer that this spin-off of the very popular Disney series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody will entertain fans left adrift when that show ended in September 2008. The trouble-making twins won't let a change of scenery interfere with their penchant for mischief, and new friends Woody (Matthew Timmons) and Bailey (Debby Ryan) happily sign on to follow the boys' often misguided leads.

It's just too bad that Disney didn't mix a few more positive lessons in with all of the fantasy-based fun. Zack and Cody are teens now, but they're still allowed to run amok (and encourage others to do so) without any real adult supervision. Spoiled London takes every opportunity to remind her peers of her fortune and often attempts to sway their actions with money, which sends some iffy messages about materialism and peer pressure. If your tweens do tune in, take the opportunity to do a reality check: Point out that little of what kids are seeing here would be accepted as responsible teen behavior and that in the real world, there are consequences for your actions that last beyond a 30-minute episode.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how real life differs from Zack and Cody's world. How is their lifestyle like a fantasy? Do they ever seem affected by anything serious -- like money, illness, or family struggles?

  • Kids: Do you ever worry about those things? Is there any part of Zack and Cody's life that you can relate to?

  • Tweens: Do you think you'd enjoy living in another country? If so, where would you go?

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