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  #21  
Old January 29th, 2013, 11:16 PM
Rzelden Rzelden is offline
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He is verbal, but he can't explain something like this, he just isn't capable if that type of conversation. You are correct about the lines to pick up the kids, so he must have gotten out through some other door and that really bothers us. I know they will never show the tape, but if you don't ask, you don't get.
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  #22  
Old January 30th, 2013, 12:29 AM
notentirelynormal notentirelynormal is offline
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Originally Posted by Rzelden View Post
The cruise line told me they were going to review the ships cameras to retrace his steps. They told me that cameras are everywhere and they would be able to figure it out. I want answers to questions they told me they could resolve.

I created the title to draw attention, but I also don't think they did enough. I witnessed a child get injured near the pool and 3 security officers were there within minutes, but when I raised a red flag that a child was missing, they didn't think to call security and take a written report. Granted, my son was in my care and safe, but I just don't think they followed a reasonable protocall for a missing human life. My wife and I feel that their offer of a future cruise credit with the stipulation that we sign an NDA is a slap in the face. They dropped the ball entirely.
First, I want to tell you that I'm glad you've come on and continued this thread. Kudos to you for that.

At this point, you have to realize that what you are asking is unrealistic to get the result you want. Like saying I know the traffic cams work on the 101 and I want a copy of my accident. If you yell loud enough they will promise it to you, but we all know it's impossible to get.

I do understand your anger and agitation but you need to move on. All you are doing is making you and your kid unhappy. Stuff happens. You have brought it to the attention of the people that need to know. That is important. Hopefully your letters and comments will make a change. However, that doesn't really seem to be what you want. You keep saying, they aren't giving you enough of an answer. What answer are you searching for that you think they can provide?
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  #23  
Old January 30th, 2013, 01:23 AM
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Cruisin' Chick Cruisin' Chick is online now
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I remember how tight the policy was for signing out kids on our Carnival and Princess cruises when our girl was younger. When she was 8, I had the choice of whether she can sign herself out, and I decided I would be the one to sign her out.

On Carnival, there was a dutch door (at least the ships we were on), and that door stayed locked. Parents signed a clipboard and showed their ID (and it had to be the same parent who signed the child in). And then the door was opened long enough to reclaim your kid.

I have a friend who was dissatisfied with the NCL kids program, but it wasn't concerning her autistic son. Her daughter suffered a dislocated shoulder during a pillow fight. She said that activity wasn't listed on pajama night; else, she would have kept her daughter out that night (she's on the extremely tall and skinny side).

She had contacted a lawyer to put pressure on NCL. The cruiseline offered a substantial credit toward another cruise.
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  #24  
Old January 30th, 2013, 05:55 AM
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Okay, I will be the one that goes there. I think you are a little over-the-top to post NCL isn't safe for kids when your special needs kid is the one that did not follow the rules. It appears to me your son wanted to leave and he found a way to do so. Perhaps the younger areas have better security where a 3 year old can not get out the door, but the area for 10 year olds are not going to have the physical barriers.

I have personal issue (although NCL you are using paid staff not volunteers) with this because on a high school band trip to Washington DC, my girlfriend and I paired up with our group of boys. The band director placed an autistic boy (later was told Asperger’s) in our group. So the first day/night instead of enjoying the day with our boys, we had to keep sending out boys ahead in the holocaust museum while it took both of us to follow this boy around who would not listen to us, almost fell into the pond trying to catch a duck (after seeing a non-special needs girl reach out and a baby duck accidently jumped into her hand). He was constantly annoying other guests in the museum, standing and stopping in their way, he was asking crazy questions to the security guard like why no one liked the Jews, why did Hitler kill the Jews, etc. It took us a long time to get him away from the guard and I had to do so by taking his backpack he was obsessed with so he would follow me to get it back. I thought he was going to be arrested at one point. I had to sit him down and tell him he had a 3 question limit per person we met after yelling inside one area at the tour guide questions over and over. I talked to the band director that night who said originally the choir director was going to watch him but got sick and couldn't make the trip. He was rooming with his neighbor so they thought he would be okay. The parents were divorced and each had four other kids and didn't want to come on the trip. This was the boy’s FIRST trip away from home. His dad did give his cell phone to my friend to call and check in but never even mentioned he was special needs. No one did until after the first day but we had figured it out by then. The dad did give him a lunchable before leaving; we went from FL to DC by bus. The lunchable spoiled in his bag, he at it anyways. That first night he had fun in the bathroom "fingerpainting" with his poop all over the bathroom walls. His neighbor friend alerted the adults early the next morning after finding it. The parent chaperones had to try to clean it before reporting it to the hotel. Oh, this boy was 15 in case you are curious. Band director admitted he gave him to us since there were "two" of us. Boy did end up getting sick with a cold on the trip and one of the other parents that stayed back with other sick kids got stuck with him. The band director was stuck with him when he wasn't sick and went out of the hotel because after the first day/night my friend and I refused. We paid several hundred dollars (an amount higher than our boys) to be "chaperones" and enjoy DC with our boys. We did have other boys in our group; in all we had 6 boys in addition to our 2. The other boys were fine and was glad he was no longer in our group.

Sorry for the long paragraph. Almost 6 am and I am headed to work.
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  #25  
Old January 30th, 2013, 08:25 AM
rebeccalouiseagain rebeccalouiseagain is offline
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There is a lot of blame to go around. First of all- a special needs child should always have a special needs aide that he is familiar with or a parent on a trip like this.

It wasn't the boy's fault that he was put in a situation that he wasn't equipped to handle.

Some parents obviously feel overburdened or are clueless about their child's needs.

I blame the band leader and the parents on this one.

I'd be pretty furious that I wasn't made aware of the situation in advance. It wasn't fair to you or this child.
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  #26  
Old January 30th, 2013, 08:36 AM
rebeccalouiseagain rebeccalouiseagain is offline
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[QUOTE=#1TravelMom;36899994]I would have liked to see if they had video of the "escape". We were on the exact sailing as you were. My DD8 only went to kids club 3 times. It was extreme chaos. She just can't tolerate that level of noise and activity. I'm surprised a child with autism would stay for even a few minutes. We've been on the Epic on "Non-Thanksgiving" weeks and have had a wonderful time - but the number of children on this sailing was overwhelming.



I know from my past NCL sailing over spring break 2005- that the youth program and the neighboring video arcade are mental overload. My son always seemed hyper and wanted to leave the youth program. So I stayed one day to see what was going on before leaving him there again. "chaos" is a good word. I feel that parents should know that this is not true of other cruise lines. Carnival and NCL seem to be the most chaotic kids clubs. If your kids aren't going to do well in a three ring circus atmosphere- pick another line like Royal, Celebrity or Princess.
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Last edited by rebeccalouiseagain; January 30th, 2013 at 08:38 AM.
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  #27  
Old January 30th, 2013, 08:59 AM
mjkacmom mjkacmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisin' Chick View Post
I have a friend who was dissatisfied with the NCL kids program, but it wasn't concerning her autistic son. Her daughter suffered a dislocated shoulder during a pillow fight. She said that activity wasn't listed on pajama night; else, she would have kept her daughter out that night (she's on the extremely tall and skinny side).

She had contacted a lawyer to put pressure on NCL. The cruiseline offered a substantial credit toward another cruise.
Oh no - not a pillow fight! I can't believe they weren't asked to sign a waiver! Next they will be making crafts with pointy toothpicks, or playing volleyball - I will make sure to pack my bubble wrap on our next NCL cruise!
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  #28  
Old January 30th, 2013, 09:07 AM
rebeccalouiseagain rebeccalouiseagain is offline
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For parents with autism...

Correct me if I am wrong but I have been around children with autism and the common complaint from the parents has been that they don't feel comfortable in new situations and aren't interested in group activities. They generally don't like change. They prefer solitary pursuits.

So I'm not really grasping why parents would ever leave their children in a cruise ship youth program. It doesn't seem in the interest of the autistic child- quite the contrary.

If you look at the common traits in all autistic people- they don't fare well in this type of environment. So what makes parents think that they would?
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Caribbean Princess New England (8/11), Holland America Maasdam New England (6/11)Celebrity Equinox Norway (7/09), Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (4/09) Grand Princess British Isles (08) Holland America Zuiderdam Greece/ Turkey (08) Oceania Regatta Caribbean Southern Caribbean (08) QM2 Transatlantic (07) Celebrity Millenium Western Med (7/07), Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Eastern Caribbean(4/06), Disney Wonder Bahamas (8/05), Celebrity Constellation (4/06), Sapphire Princess Alaska (5/24/05) Celebrity Millenium Transatlantic (5/1/05), NCL Spirit Eastern Caribbean (3/05), Celebrity Galaxy (10/04), Carnival Victory (6/04), Celebrity Zenith Bermuda (10/01), Celebrity Zenith Eastern Caribbean (4/01),NCL Dynasty (12/00) NCL Sky Alaska (7/00), NCL Wind Alaska (5/98), Crown Princess Pacific repo (5/98), Royal Sovereign of the Seas Bahamas (10/97), Costa Victoria Western Caribbean (3/97), Crown Princess Alaska (6/96), Vera Cruz Christmas (1981), Holland America Volendam Christmas (1980), Holland America Veendam Christmas (1975).

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  #29  
Old January 30th, 2013, 09:14 AM
alw1977 alw1977 is offline
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To the OP - I am so glad that your son is safe. You are right that the "what ifs" (especially falling overboard or similar) are terrifying. Best not to think about that and just move forward, using a different cruise line from here on out.

We are sailing next week and I understand that there is an "Austism on the Seas" group on board. You might want to look into that for future family trips, if you haven't already. I understand that the program has its own counselors and programming during the cruise and everything I've read is glowing. I can certainly understand that you and your wife need a night here and there and I believe the programming on such cruises is designed to make sure the whole family has a great time.
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  #30  
Old January 30th, 2013, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelndscz View Post
Okay, I will be the one that goes there. I think you are a little over-the-top to post NCL isn't safe for kids when your special needs kid is the one that did not follow the rules. It appears to me your son wanted to leave and he found a way to do so. Perhaps the younger areas have better security where a 3 year old can not get out the door, but the area for 10 year olds are not going to have the physical barriers.

I have personal issue (although NCL you are using paid staff not volunteers) with this because on a high school band trip to Washington DC, my girlfriend and I paired up with our group of boys. The band director placed an autistic boy (later was told Asperger’s) in our group. So the first day/night instead of enjoying the day with our boys, we had to keep sending out boys ahead in the holocaust museum while it took both of us to follow this boy around who would not listen to us, almost fell into the pond trying to catch a duck (after seeing a non-special needs girl reach out and a baby duck accidently jumped into her hand). He was constantly annoying other guests in the museum, standing and stopping in their way, he was asking crazy questions to the security guard like why no one liked the Jews, why did Hitler kill the Jews, etc. It took us a long time to get him away from the guard and I had to do so by taking his backpack he was obsessed with so he would follow me to get it back. I thought he was going to be arrested at one point. I had to sit him down and tell him he had a 3 question limit per person we met after yelling inside one area at the tour guide questions over and over. I talked to the band director that night who said originally the choir director was going to watch him but got sick and couldn't make the trip. He was rooming with his neighbor so they thought he would be okay. The parents were divorced and each had four other kids and didn't want to come on the trip. This was the boy’s FIRST trip away from home. His dad did give his cell phone to my friend to call and check in but never even mentioned he was special needs. No one did until after the first day but we had figured it out by then. The dad did give him a lunchable before leaving; we went from FL to DC by bus. The lunchable spoiled in his bag, he at it anyways. That first night he had fun in the bathroom "fingerpainting" with his poop all over the bathroom walls. His neighbor friend alerted the adults early the next morning after finding it. The parent chaperones had to try to clean it before reporting it to the hotel. Oh, this boy was 15 in case you are curious. Band director admitted he gave him to us since there were "two" of us. Boy did end up getting sick with a cold on the trip and one of the other parents that stayed back with other sick kids got stuck with him. The band director was stuck with him when he wasn't sick and went out of the hotel because after the first day/night my friend and I refused. We paid several hundred dollars (an amount higher than our boys) to be "chaperones" and enjoy DC with our boys. We did have other boys in our group; in all we had 6 boys in addition to our 2. The other boys were fine and was glad he was no longer in our group.

Sorry for the long paragraph. Almost 6 am and I am headed to work.
While I agree it's a over-the-top to say "NCL isn't safe for kids," when that clearly isn't true--I'm shocked by the rest of your post and how disrespectful it is to the special needs child and all special needs children. As others have said, you can't generalize autism, it's a spectrum. I also don't understand how asking questions directly related to the topic of the museum are "crazy", as you said. I'm not condoning the parents' or band director's choices/decisions, but I wish you had been more respectful and mindful of how your words come across.
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  #31  
Old January 30th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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A1SusieQ A1SusieQ is offline
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Default Don't blame the victims

I am appalled by the “blame the victim” sentiment from so many of the parents on this board.
As a business owner, I know my employees and I can make mistakes from time to time. Those mistakes can cause our clients emotional and financial distress.

The OP has come here to warn us of her HUGE issue with the NCL Kids program and you flame her and her parenting.

If a fatal error has been made by one of my employees, I immediately go into action on behalf of my customer. I detail and re-trace the events that led up to the error, discipline and/or fire the offending employee and reimburse my client for all expenses this has caused. All of these steps are reported to the customer with an apologetic attitude and instant action.

NCL shrugged their shoulders and offered a couple of dollars off a future cruise which the OP has refused.

A security report should have been made and a detailed explanation of how this could have happened should have been given to the OP together with a tearful apology from the counselor who was in charge of the front desk. She also should have been able to view the security tapes.

NCL has a responsibility to our children’s safety while in their care. No matter what special needs the children have.
Would you have all had more sympathy had this been a 4 year old boy without autism?


I bet if it were your child, your feeling would be quite different.
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  #32  
Old January 30th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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rachelfran rachelfran is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A1SusieQ View Post
I am appalled by the “blame the victim” sentiment from so many of the parents on this board.
As a business owner, I know my employees and I can make mistakes from time to time. Those mistakes can cause our clients emotional and financial distress.

The OP has come here to warn us of her HUGE issue with the NCL Kids program and you flame her and her parenting.

If a fatal error has been made by one of my employees, I immediately go into action on behalf of my customer. I detail and re-trace the events that led up to the error, discipline and/or fire the offending employee and reimburse my client for all expenses this has caused. All of these steps are reported to the customer with an apologetic attitude and instant action.

NCL shrugged their shoulders and offered a couple of dollars off a future cruise which the OP has refused.

A security report should have been made and a detailed explanation of how this could have happened should have been given to the OP together with a tearful apology from the counselor who was in charge of the front desk. She also should have been able to view the security tapes.

NCL has a responsibility to our children’s safety while in their care. No matter what special needs the children have.
Would you have all had more sympathy had this been a 4 year old boy without autism?


I bet if it were your child, your feeling would be quite different.
Thank you !!
Yes I've been reading this post and flabbergasted! If this had happened to a child age 4 - folks would be outraged. I'm guessing that the fact that the child was 10 is throwing people off. Perhaps this 10 yr old requires the supervision that a typical 4 yr old needs?.

Many children with autism want to play with other kids - they want to have fun like everyone else. Every parent with a child with autism, that I know, wants to give their children that, especially on vacation. Yes sometimes rooms are loud and kids are acting crazy and that might get in the way of a good time for a child with autism but I know for me it is my hope that my child will find a way to manage.

My child is 11 and diagnosed with Aspergers which is high functioning autism. I suspect he might be overwhelmed in a loud room and also might find his way back to the cabin which for me would be quite acceptable. Every parent has to decide what works for their own child.

In this particular case the parent says that the child had already been in the kids club so the counselors already knew him. They should have been watching out for him better than they did.

On a positive note - it should be taken as positive growth and development that the child was able to extricate himself from a situation that was uncomfortable and that he was able to find his way back to the cabin.

Rachel
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  #33  
Old January 30th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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loveysbydesign loveysbydesign is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A1SusieQ View Post
I am appalled by the “blame the victim” sentiment from so many of the parents on this board.
As a business owner, I know my employees and I can make mistakes from time to time. Those mistakes can cause our clients emotional and financial distress.

The OP has come here to warn us of her HUGE issue with the NCL Kids program and you flame her and her parenting.

If a fatal error has been made by one of my employees, I immediately go into action on behalf of my customer. I detail and re-trace the events that led up to the error, discipline and/or fire the offending employee and reimburse my client for all expenses this has caused. All of these steps are reported to the customer with an apologetic attitude and instant action.

NCL shrugged their shoulders and offered a couple of dollars off a future cruise which the OP has refused.

A security report should have been made and a detailed explanation of how this could have happened should have been given to the OP together with a tearful apology from the counselor who was in charge of the front desk. She also should have been able to view the security tapes.

NCL has a responsibility to our children’s safety while in their care. No matter what special needs the children have.
Would you have all had more sympathy had this been a 4 year old boy without autism?


I bet if it were your child, your feeling would be quite different.
kudos to the op and this poster....I thought those other types of replies only occured where they sprinkle pixie dust!
op thank you for sharing your situation with us!
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  #34  
Old January 30th, 2013, 01:22 PM
mmbrocker mmbrocker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccalouiseagain View Post
For parents with autism...

Correct me if I am wrong but I have been around children with autism and the common complaint from the parents has been that they don't feel comfortable in new situations and aren't interested in group activities. They generally don't like change. They prefer solitary pursuits.

So I'm not really grasping why parents would ever leave their children in a cruise ship youth program. It doesn't seem in the interest of the autistic child- quite the contrary.

If you look at the common traits in all autistic people- they don't fare well in this type of environment. So what makes parents think that they would?
My child doesn't make friends easily because he has a hard time communicating. But he still loves to play. He loves playgrounds, playtime and play groups. If anything, we end up with problems because he doesn't understand the subtle signals of when you just aren't getting along with someone else. He will likely love love love the youth program.

You certainly seem familiar with the general symptoms of autism .. but you don't know MY boy with autism -- nor do you know the OP's. You CAN NOT assume that they don't "fare well in this type of environment."


"what makes parents think that they would?"

Ummm..because they know their child and what they will enjoy? Same as any other parent?

Thank YOU to OP for this post. It will be very helpful to me when preparing my son for our upcoming (DCL) cruise.
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  #35  
Old January 30th, 2013, 01:30 PM
mmbrocker mmbrocker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelndscz View Post
Okay, I will be the one that goes there. I think you are a little over-the-top to post NCL isn't safe for kids when your special needs kid is the one that did not follow the rules. It appears to me your son wanted to leave and he found a way to do so. Perhaps the younger areas have better security where a 3 year old can not get out the door, but the area for 10 year olds are not going to have the physical barriers.

I have personal issue (although NCL you are using paid staff not volunteers) with this because on a high school band trip to Washington DC, my girlfriend and I paired up with our group of boys. The band director placed an autistic boy (later was told Asperger’s) in our group. So the first day/night instead of enjoying the day with our boys, we had to keep sending out boys ahead in the holocaust museum while it took both of us to follow this boy around who would not listen to us, almost fell into the pond trying to catch a duck (after seeing a non-special needs girl reach out and a baby duck accidently jumped into her hand). He was constantly annoying other guests in the museum, standing and stopping in their way, he was asking crazy questions to the security guard like why no one liked the Jews, why did Hitler kill the Jews, etc. It took us a long time to get him away from the guard and I had to do so by taking his backpack he was obsessed with so he would follow me to get it back. I thought he was going to be arrested at one point. I had to sit him down and tell him he had a 3 question limit per person we met after yelling inside one area at the tour guide questions over and over. I talked to the band director that night who said originally the choir director was going to watch him but got sick and couldn't make the trip. He was rooming with his neighbor so they thought he would be okay. The parents were divorced and each had four other kids and didn't want to come on the trip. This was the boy’s FIRST trip away from home. His dad did give his cell phone to my friend to call and check in but never even mentioned he was special needs. No one did until after the first day but we had figured it out by then. The dad did give him a lunchable before leaving; we went from FL to DC by bus. The lunchable spoiled in his bag, he at it anyways. That first night he had fun in the bathroom "fingerpainting" with his poop all over the bathroom walls. His neighbor friend alerted the adults early the next morning after finding it. The parent chaperones had to try to clean it before reporting it to the hotel. Oh, this boy was 15 in case you are curious. Band director admitted he gave him to us since there were "two" of us. Boy did end up getting sick with a cold on the trip and one of the other parents that stayed back with other sick kids got stuck with him. The band director was stuck with him when he wasn't sick and went out of the hotel because after the first day/night my friend and I refused. We paid several hundred dollars (an amount higher than our boys) to be "chaperones" and enjoy DC with our boys. We did have other boys in our group; in all we had 6 boys in addition to our 2. The other boys were fine and was glad he was no longer in our group.

Sorry for the long paragraph. Almost 6 am and I am headed to work.
Your band story makes me sad. I have an aspie like boy and yes, he can be annoying. :-) I'd like to be able to accuse you of being cold hearted or compassionless -- but it wasn't a fair situation that you were placed in. The Band Director did you wrong. BUT BUT BUT .. WHAT does that have to do with the NCL situation? What does your situation in DC with a boy that had fairly significant developmental delays (not being able to tell if food is spoiled, poo play, etc) .. have to do with a boy being allowed to leave NCL's kids club?

Lets pretend the OPs child wasn't special needs. That he was just a NT (neurotypical) boy who was convinced by a perv to come see the puppies in his cabin. Would that change your response? Just because a child of 10 should choose to leave -- does not mean he should be ABLE to leave without parental permission.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 01:41 PM
rebeccalouiseagain rebeccalouiseagain is offline
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There are cruises for autistic and special needs kids which the OP has mentioned. I think these are worth exploring.

I think that parents of kids with autism would benefit from reading this before planning their next cruise. http://voices.yahoo.com/how-cruise-a...38.html?cat=16
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Last edited by rebeccalouiseagain; January 30th, 2013 at 01:41 PM.
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  #37  
Old January 30th, 2013, 02:08 PM
mmbrocker mmbrocker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccalouiseagain View Post
There are cruises for autistic and special needs kids which the OP has mentioned. I think these are worth exploring.

I think that parents of kids with autism would benefit from reading this before planning their next cruise. http://voices.yahoo.com/how-cruise-a...38.html?cat=16
OR... NCL could find out what went wrong, retrain their kids club staff, and have a security protocol in place in case something like this ever happens again?
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Old January 30th, 2013, 02:15 PM
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A1SusieQ A1SusieQ is offline
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If making sure the children can't walk out the front door unchecked and un-noticed by a counselor is called "special needs", then consider my children special needs.

You have lost sight of what actually happened, her child escaped un-noticed.

If it happened to the OP's child, it can happen to any child who tends to wander.
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Old January 30th, 2013, 03:20 PM
celle celle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmbrocker View Post
Your band story makes me sad. I have an aspie like boy and yes, he can be annoying. :-) I'd like to be able to accuse you of being cold hearted or compassionless -- but it wasn't a fair situation that you were placed in. The Band Director did you wrong. BUT BUT BUT .. WHAT does that have to do with the NCL situation? What does your situation in DC with a boy that had fairly significant developmental delays (not being able to tell if food is spoiled, poo play, etc) .. have to do with a boy being allowed to leave NCL's kids club?

Lets pretend the OPs child wasn't special needs. That he was just a NT (neurotypical) boy who was convinced by a perv to come see the puppies in his cabin. Would that change your response? Just because a child of 10 should choose to leave -- does not mean he should be ABLE to leave without parental permission.
I think that the story about the boy in the band and the OP's son are related, because in both cases, the caregivers were in a situation where one child needed special attention, while in a group with other children. In each case, the people looking after these children were not able to give the child the one-on-one attention (or extra supervision) that he needed, because they had to watch a whole group of children.

In addition, both sets of caregivers (the parents on the band trip and the staff at NCL) were not usually responsible for caring for a child with special needs.

Yes, the staff in the kids' club on NCL dropped the ball in not noticing that the OP's child had left. It shouldn't have happened. But, they are not specifically trained to look after special needs children and they were probably not staffed to an extent that one person could be allocated to do this.
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Last edited by celle; January 30th, 2013 at 03:21 PM.
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  #40  
Old January 30th, 2013, 03:47 PM
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Cruise lines make lots of money on parents traveling with their kids ... They don't get a pass for letting one wander the ship unnoticed. Every child should be looked after properly or they need to limit the number they allow in the program.
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