Posted May 13th, 2012, 08:54 AM
Last edited by beachchick; May 13th, 2012 at 09:10 AM
It's sad, seems the majority of older people (I'm not picking on elderly...I mean older as in adult-age) don't want kids around them.
I would probably post more often, but the few times I've tried to get engaged in a roll-call, I seem to get snubbed because I have the audacity to bring kids along. So I've learned to just keep to myself.
But how are these obnoxious kids supposed to learn how to interact in the "real world" when the "real world" snubs them for being kids?
I'd love to ask for a table for 8-10, and get to enjoy some adult conversation. But as soon as our tablemates saw our kids, they'd probably run off and demand to be switched to another table. So we just ask for a table for four, and keep to ourselves.
Wish I had an answer that'd make everyone happy, but I don't. Ah well.
I have to disagree that the majority of adults don't want children around them in general. What you see on cruises is the result of a number of things. First is that until recently most cruises really were seen and marketed as a vacation geared for adults. Children's facilities and programs are a reasonably new thing for most cruise lines. Second is that many, if not most, adults who you see on cruises who prefer not to be seated at dinner or spend time with children onboard are in fact parents/grandparents. Just because they prefer to cruise when fewer children are onboard doesn't mean they dislike children. In many cases, couples are taking a cruise without their children as a way to strengthen their bond and remember that they are not just parents, but also adults with adult lives and an adult relationship. In other cases (such as ours), they have already raised their children and prefer adult company (except for their own adorable grandchildren). We have an exceptional granddaughter (not that I'm biased); we love spending time with her and perhaps a couple of her friends. We don't enjoy cruising during times when there are likely to be 40%+ of the passengers younger than 18. Still others work in fields where they are around children all day. You can hardly blame a teacher or pediatrician for not wanting to spend time or dine with children while on vacation.
As for wanting to be seated with adults, rather than another family with children. Whenever children are present, including at a table in the MDR, the adults at the table will almost certainly refrain from discussing a variety of topics that are not child appropriate. "Adult" conversation, by which I do not mean talking about sex or using swear words, is by nature not necessarily kid friendly. You might want adult conversation, but consider what subjects and words you might censor if your children are at the table. Strangers are even more likely to censor themselves because they do not know your children. We would prefer to dine with other adults, but we do not dislike children--We raised one and have that wonderful granddaughter to play with, love, and spoil (at least a little bit).
My kids will be going on their first cruise in August, and dining in the MDR (and one night in Chops) is not optional for us. DD11 bought a dress for the occasion, and as a result, I'm planning on how I'm going to bring my Louisville Slugger on board - she went from young kid to THAT almost overnight.
We are practicing dining room manners with my DS8 - that is taking some work, but we still have a little over 100 days. They do know what the punishments are for misbehaviour, and they know they don't want to go there -- so I'm not to worried about that. They are good kids and won't be a problem.
Oh yes, the "What the heck happened to my baby?" moment. For my hubby it was a picture I took of our then 12 year old daughter in a talent show. With the costume (not too revealing, just theatrical and a bit "grown up" in style), a bit of stage makeup (we're a theater family, but I kept it to a minimum for her at that age), and just the right lighting and pose, all of a sudden, in that moment he saw his little girl looking like a grown woman. Of course, she looked like her 12-y/o self as soon as the show was over, the makeup washed off, and the costume put away. But boy, his eyes when he saw the photo. It was a combination of pride in how beautiful she looked and "Get the bat, I'm going to have to beat the boys off with a stick" and "Where's my baby?" all in one.
We fretted over this after reading similar threads when our girls were young. We had no issues though when we cruised. Then they hit their teens and we read all the threads about parents letting their teens (gasp) hang out in gangs! So I worried about that. We used the same rules as at home and again no problems when we cruised. They were taught how to behave and I should have realized from the beginning that regular behaving kids were not going to ruin someone's cruise.
Yep, normal and generally well behaved children/teens are not the one ruining another passenger's cruise. It's the small percentage of the other type who cause the "Oh no, kids/teens!" knee jerk reaction for some. It's the parents who seem to believe that a cruise ship is a fantasy world, that cruising equals a vacation from parenting, that taking care of their children is the job of the crew and the other passengers, and that anyone who has a problem with their poorly behaved children is a "child hater" who make things harder for the majority of parents and children. All you can do is what you're doing: Be a responsible parent who is raising regular kids (which is to say, generally well behaved, enjoyable to see, and sometimes imperfect).