Balconies and Kids

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#1
109 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
We're taking our boys (will be ages 7 and 9) on their first cruise in June. We've got two connecting rooms with balconies, with our plan being the boys will be in one room and we'll be in the other, with the door between cracked open. While my kids generally have a good amount of common sense and are pretty safe, I'm a little worried about them having access to the balcony (for example, in the morning if they wake up before we do). Anyone have any thoughts on ways to keep them from being able to open the balcony door?

Also, I've heard there is a way to open the divider between two balconies and create one large balcony. Anyone know if this is true and how to go about getting that done?

We'll be sailing on RC's Allure if that matters for any of my questions.

Thanks!
#2
2,115 Posts
Joined May 2005
Your cabin steward can open the divider between the balconies. We have an 8 year old - no way I would have her in a balcony cabin without my DIRECT supervision (just my opinion). She listens very well, but I just wouldn't be willing to take a chance. I can't think of any way you would possible keep them from opening the balcony door if they woke up before you and wanted to go outside. I wouldn't sleep well at all. It's a little tight, but our family of four has shared a cabin many times and had a great time.
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#3
Midwest America
600 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
I know a lot of people are nervous about toddlers and balconies (I was when I went with a 2yo!), but those toddlers have nothing on the older kids (I've got an 11yo that's really a good kid, but we joke that he does have a little "evil genuis" in him...)

Have you thought about getting a travel door alarm? Not sure what would be best, but that might give you at least a little peace of mind. Or moving furniture to block it so that you might be wakened by the sound of the furniture being moved around? Or just becoming a really light sleeper?
#4
Timonium, Maryland
3,934 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
If you are really worried about this- split up the parents one in each cabin.
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#5
18,837 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by rebeccalouiseagain
If you are really worried about this- split up the parents one in each cabin.
Ohhhhh heck yeah! My youngest is this age! And I can tell you that if she thought she could get away with it because I was in another cabin - she would run out to "check out the dolphins"
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#6
Ontario, Canada
2,321 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I'm another vote for this situation would make me nervous. I was actually grateful that DS1 (7.5 yrs) was in the top berth and there was no way he could get out of there without waking us up
I would either out an adult in each cabin or get a door alarm, just make sure the kids don't know how to disable it...
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#7
Fredericksburg, va. USA
82,019 Posts
Joined May 2001
Your kids won't care one whit about a balcony in all honesty. They'll look at it the 1st day, and will never use it, unless you insist they sit out there with you.
#8
Tampa, Florida
415 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by cb at sea
Your kids won't care one whit about a balcony in all honesty. They'll look at it the 1st day, and will never use it, unless you insist they sit out there with you.
My kids were 9 and 10 on our cruise and loved sitting on the balcony. They sat there all the time (without me as well). I have no issues with them on the balcony without me. I guess it depends on the individual child if a parent should be concerned or not.
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#9
18,837 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by angelndscz
My kids were 9 and 10 on our cruise and loved sitting on the balcony. They sat there all the time (without me as well). I have no issues with them on the balcony without me. I guess it depends on the individual child if a parent should be concerned or not.
Yep - my 12 year old, I would have no problems with her on a balcony - when she was younger. My 8 year old - she is a different type of child - let's just say that

So you are right - we can't ever say that children will have "no interest" in balconies. Because all kids are different.
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#10
Ontario, Canada
2,321 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by angelndscz
My kids were 9 and 10 on our cruise and loved sitting on the balcony. They sat there all the time (without me as well). I have no issues with them on the balcony without me. I guess it depends on the individual child if a parent should be concerned or not.
My boys are 7.5&5 yrs and would spend the whole cruise on the balcony if I let them . So interest level definitely differs, and I wouldn't count on a child being disinterested in a balcony.
What it comes down to for me is risk. My boys are well behaved, but they are still little boys who get into trouble once and awhile. The problem with the balcony is that if they make a bad choice that leads to one of them falling overboard, it is a disastrous consequence. So until their frontal lobes develop enough that they bring the wrestling inside, their balcony access is restricted . (Now I'm realizing I may be restricting their balcony access until they are in their 20's lol!)
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#11
Oregon
801 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Buy this! It's portable, sets up in seconds, only weighs a pound, and is only $24 on Amazon. You can put it up high on the sliding door so that they can't reach it. Watch the video in the link below. It shows how easy it is.

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Lock-26..._bxgy_hi_img_y
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#12
SoCal (California)
737 Posts
Joined May 2011
Some ships have a latch high up on the door to the balcony. Check out any photos of cabins for your ship that you can find on the internet and you may see them. Carnival ships do have these latches, not sure about your cruise line though.

When the ship is moving it is sometimes quite difficult to open the balcony door as there can be a bit of a vacuum. Also if there is a table in the room you could move it infront of the balcony door. On Carnival that table is HEAVY!!!
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#13
GA
5,244 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
OP, you might find this interesting: http://forums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1719272

Honestly though, I would expect a 9YO or 7YO to be able to defeat just about any child safety lock (or door alarm for that matter). I would be inclined to rebook them into an inside cabin across the hall and maybe use a baby monitor to make sure they are where they should be.
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#14
Missouri
1,445 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
The balcony in and of itself wouldnt worry me as much as the furniture on the balcony. I suppose one way to deal with that would be to stack the chairs and put them in your room when you aren't using them. Im not putting my 2 youngest in a balcony cabin but rather an inside across the hall with big brothers. I just can't stress about this kind of stuff on vacation Its not really worth the expense for us to put kids in a balcony cabin anyways.
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Tracy in Missouri
#15
109 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by mikesteg
OP, you might find this interesting: http://forums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1719272

Honestly though, I would expect a 9YO or 7YO to be able to defeat just about any child safety lock (or door alarm for that matter). I would be inclined to rebook them into an inside cabin across the hall and maybe use a baby monitor to make sure they are where they should be.

Thanks so much for posting this! I agree that a 7 and 9 yo could probably figure out a door lock, but I love the extra security measure. Fortunately they are both uber-responsible (and enjoy telling on each other if the other is doing something he shouldn't be!) so between their personalities and these locks (and I also like the idea of sliding a piece of furniture in front of the door), I think things will work out. Thanks to all for the suggestions!
#16
United Kingdom
103 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
We had the same set up, 2 balcony rooms, interconnecting. Had 4 and 7 yr olds.
They are sensible children but no way would i let them out on the balcony alone.
Kids never want to look through the glass and they always want to look over the top...be it the balcony or a shopping centre fence on the first floor.

In ours (Costa Atlantica), the balcony doors had a lock at the top far above the kids height, so we kept that one locked at all times. It made it far more relaxing. We had our door open late but always locked it with the high lock when we went to sleep.
The steward opened the balcony divider for us, no problem also. We used the balcony a lot and the children also liked it out there...we often sat and had a drink together looking at the view. One thing kids like....seeing new things. The whole holiday they were in awe of it all! I posted a pic of them looking at the ship from the dock open mouthed!!! Our 4 yr old just stopped and said "Daddy...its huge. Its not a boat its a building!"

Enjoy your trip.....it has sold us on going again. So many plus points.
#17
GA
5,244 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by malnik
Our 4 yr old just stopped and said "Daddy...its huge. Its not a boat its a building!"
I got the opposite one: "Daddy! The hotel is moving!"
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#18
SoCal (California)
737 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by malnik
... In ours (Costa Atlantica), the balcony doors had a lock at the top far above the kids height, so we kept that one locked at all times. It made it far more relaxing. We had our door open late but always locked it with the high lock when we went to sleep...
For the OP, here is a picture from Carnival Splendor showing how high the locks/latches are on the balcony doors. It sounds like the ones Malnik saw on the Costa ship might be the same height.
Hope this picture helps.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg P1190219.jpg (15.6 KB, 28 views)
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Stan

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Future Cruises:
Something next year
Past Cruises
Windsor Castle - December 1976 - South Africa
MSC Sinfonia - March 2011 - Mozambique
Carnival Splendor - September 2011 - Mexican Riviera
Carnival Spirit - April 2012 - Pacific Coast
Carnival Inspiration - November 2012 - Baja Mexico
Carnival Splendor - December 2012 - Mexican Riviera