NCL isn't safe for kids!

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The 'shwa, Ontario!
4,142 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Carmen, question for you - do you know if parents given the opportunity to opt out of 'roving' (for lack of a better term) expeditions for their children? I know that I personally would not be comfortable if the counsellors were taking my child out of the kid's area to another area on the ship.

You do bring up a very good point btw. If it is indeed true (pure speculation) that Ben 'escaped' during that period, things really need to change.
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Oklahoma City, OK
11,258 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by kerrytens
Carmen, question for you - do you know if parents given the opportunity to opt out of 'roving' (for lack of a better term) expeditions for their children? I know that I personally would not be comfortable if the counsellors were taking my child out of the kid's area to another area on the ship.

You do bring up a very good point btw. If it is indeed true (pure speculation) that Ben 'escaped' during that period, things really need to change.
I don't think you can opt out of the group moving around - that's what that age group does when it's very full. You could pick your kid up, though. And keep in mind, this should only be happening during high census - holidiays, spring breaks, etc. Also, the 10-12 group CAN have self-check out with written parental/guardian permission, so there are usually lots of kids this age out loose.

I will say that if my DS was a special needs child, I would have had a very good chat with the director of the kids' area as well as the lead person for my child's group. I would be very specific about my child's needs & or tendancies (if he tended to roam or escape as some are prone to do). I would tell them specifically if he was a "flight risk", that he needs to be right with a leader, even holding their hand if that's what it takes.

Also, if you don't want your child out of the kid's area, that means no cupcake decorating, pirate parades, etc, which are typical for the younger ages.

My son's been cruising since he was 3.5yo. I've never had an issue with the kids' club until our last cruise. I went and talked to the lead over DS's age group (10-12, which is why I knew what they do), and then she wanted me to also speak to the director, which I did. I left satisfied that my issue had been heard, and it did end in resolution.

I still have a lot of questions I would ask the dad, but since he says he's not coming back to the thread, they won't get answered.

I do blame NCL for not knowing he was gone, that's for sure.
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Carmen

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Grande Prairie, alta
12 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Has anyone bothered to get the Kids Club staff's on NCL explanation of the situation. There's two sides to every story & so far we've only heard 1 side ...!
Timonium, Maryland
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The only way you can opt out is by paying close attention to the daily activities and night time activities. You will have to pick your child up before these events and drop them back off. The counselors are responsible for all the kids in that age group and they won't hang back for children that don't want to participate.
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I am sorry this happened but you say you took 3 boys to the kids club why didnt the other boys notice the 10 year old was gone ?
There is a company out there called Autisum on the seas they have cruises with Autstic children and adults or they can provide a one on one to assist you with your son on a cruise
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Oak Park, CA
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Originally posted by gemcrusier
I am sorry this happened but you say you took 3 boys to the kids club why didnt the other boys notice the 10 year old was gone ?
The other kids were in a different age group and were not near their brother. They would have no way of knowing nor was it their responsibility to watch their brother.

My problem with the OP isn't leaving his child (autistic or not) with the kid's on board care - it is the fact that he insists on an explanation on how his child escaped and will settle for nothing less. Well, if they didn't notice he was gone than it is hard to explain something you didn't know about in the first place.

I absolutely think NCL dropped the ball. I also think the OP is unreasonable in his insistence on knowing HOW it happened. How can you explain something you didn't know happened in the first place. To expect the head office to know, if my opinion, is even sillier. If the on board staff don't know how it happened that you can be rest assured that the people sitting on US soil in an office really have no clue how his particular child "left the building".

Mistakes happen. Thankfully his child was okay. It seems to me he is beating an old horse to death on getting "how it happened". If he really wants to just accomplish something from this experience than he has been successful. The cruise line, us here on CC and I'm sure others are now aware of the situation and will do something to ensure that this never happens again to another child.
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Midwest America
600 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by kerrytens
Carmen, question for you - do you know if parents given the opportunity to opt out of 'roving' (for lack of a better term) expeditions for their children? I know that I personally would not be comfortable if the counsellors were taking my child out of the kid's area to another area on the ship.

You do bring up a very good point btw. If it is indeed true (pure speculation) that Ben 'escaped' during that period, things really need to change.
Is there something specific about the ship that makes you uncomfortable? I would think for a child that is in school, this would be normal. Follow the teacher to the gym....follow the teacher to the cafeteria....stay with the group on field trips, etc. Unless you really don't trust your child, or there's something about cruise ships I'm not aware of, I would think it wouldn't be a big deal. My son went on a 4 night class trip when he was 10. Three classrooms of kids, 3 teachers + 1 parent chaperone. They all made it back unharmed.
The 'shwa, Ontario!
4,142 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by dijid
Is there something specific about the ship that makes you uncomfortable? I would think for a child that is in school, this would be normal. Follow the teacher to the gym....follow the teacher to the cafeteria....stay with the group on field trips, etc. Unless you really don't trust your child, or there's something about cruise ships I'm not aware of, I would think it wouldn't be a big deal. My son went on a 4 night class trip when he was 10. Three classrooms of kids, 3 teachers + 1 parent chaperone. They all made it back unharmed.
My child has autism.

A school situation is totally different. If my child wandered off between classrooms the entire school knows her. She also knows her school layout very well. I can't say that about a cruise ship.
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Oklahoma City, OK
11,258 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by kerrytens
My child has autism.

A school situation is totally different. If my child wandered off between classrooms the entire school knows her. She also knows her school layout very well. I can't say that about a cruise ship.
You will just have to stay on top of her age group's schedule and pick her up accordingly. Or, you could make sure she holds the hand of one of the counselors - which is what I'd do (I think. Since I'm not in that situation, I cannot know for sure.).
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Carmen

Celebrity Galaxy 11/04
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Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
4,204 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I think NCL is responsible for the child who got out (none of my kids have autism, but I do have a wanderer, who has left us many times at the buffet, to return to the cabin - at the age of 6).

I'm sure their legal department has specific guidelines on what the company can tell customers. Since it seems like this is a VERY rare situation, I'd just let it go. I'm betting that they are taking it seriously, and looking into what actually happened.

I'm not thrilled with the title of the thread - I think many more people would be sympathetic if not for such a heated and inaccurate title.
Toronto
3,516 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
If the OP wants to know how it happened, why doesn't he ask the one person who DOES know - his son.
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Oklahoma City, OK
11,258 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by boulders
If the OP wants to know how it happened, why doesn't he ask the one person who DOES know - his son.
You've obviously not read this or the other thread through, or you'd already understand that his son is not capable of explaining.
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Carmen

Celebrity Galaxy 11/04
Grand Princess 2/06
Carnival Conquest 10/06
Celebrity Mercury to Alaska 9/07 very cool - literally!
Vegas, baby! 11/08
NCL Spirit 1/09, where everybody knew my name (which was strange and a little fun at the same time)
NCL Pearl 3/10
HAL Oosterdam 5/2011, back to Alaska we went!
RCCL Mariner OTS 3/2012 - another 1st!
NCL Star 12/2012 - more firsts!
NCL Jewel 12/2013 - Christmas on the water
NCL Jewel 11/2014 - and a few more firsts!
NCL Sun 5/2015 - North to Alaska, this time into Denali!
NCL Dawn 11/2015
NCL Dawn 11/2016. I'm really getting used to not cooking on Thanksgiving!
NCL Pearl 11/2017


Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Toronto
3,516 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by GORDONCHICK
You've obviously not read this or the other thread through, or you'd already understand that his son is not capable of explaining.
I've read both threads quite thoroughly, thank you very much. Can you point me to the post where the OP said that his child was non-verbal?
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Toronto
3,516 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Rzelden
He is verbal, but explaining why he does things is not the easiest thing for him, so we don't know why he left.
Found it - post 13. So, did the OP actually ask him or not? If the child is not able to describe what he did, his decision making process or events that happened to him, I question the wisdom of putting him in an age based environment where it is expected that children will be able to understand and follow rules.
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New Jersey
2,192 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by boulders
Found it - post 13. So, did the OP actually ask him or not?
I think it's a safe assumption that the child was not able to give OP reliable details of what happened, else, OP would not have posted as he did.

Originally posted by boulders
If the child is not able to describe what he did, his decision making process or events that happened to him, I question the wisdom of putting him in an age based environment where it is expected that children will be able to understand and follow rules.
That is a whole 'nother topic, but does not detract from the primary responsibility NCL had to make sure the child did not slip out unnoticed.
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DWJoe
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71 Posts
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Originally posted by boulders
Found it - post 13. So, did the OP actually ask him or not? If the child is not able to describe what he did, his decision making process or events that happened to him, I question the wisdom of putting him in an age based environment where it is expected that children will be able to understand and follow rules.
Popping back in for a minute. This is a quite common misconception, one I held until I actually had a child with communication difficulties.

Expressive and Receptive language skills are totally different. You can easily have a child like mine, who can understand others, respond to instructions and is actually quite advanced .. but has gaps in his ability to EXPRESS himself with the very same language.

This means I have a son who can go in a "normal" Kindergarten classroom, complete assignments, follow all instructions and function very well without the need of an aide. BUT - he cannot tell me how his day went or what his thinking was. He has a hard time asking a question. If he doesn't already have a predetermined script, then .. well.. verbalizing a new question/telling a story is VERY difficult.
The 'shwa, Ontario!
4,142 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by GORDONCHICK
You will just have to stay on top of her age group's schedule and pick her up accordingly. Or, you could make sure she holds the hand of one of the counselors - which is what I'd do (I think. Since I'm not in that situation, I cannot know for sure.).
Thanks for the advice
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...If you allow yourself to settle for less than you deserve, that's exactly what you'll get

Midwest
5,186 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by kerrytens
Please pardon the fact that I have not read through this entire thread but I am well aware of this situation.

I know the security that you have to go through in order to get your child in and out of the kid's club on the Epic. I also realize that there would have to be another 'emergency' exit door (or two??) for safety reasons. If that is how Ben escaped, I'm horrified to think that no such alarm went off within the area to alert the staff.

Yes, I'm just speculating here but that is only because I remember the entrance/exit area. I can't see how any child could just walk out of that area. I could be way off base though (and this is certainly not directed at the OP) as I've never cruised during a holiday when there are more children onboard. I'm just throwing out another scenario that perhaps should be visited by the cruise line.



OP, I am very glad to hear that Ben is fine. You have raised an important issue here and I'm truly hoping it will bring along some sweeping changes to
how ALL cruise line's look after our kids.
Just wanted to point out the information of two posters, one who was on the same cruise with the OP and one who sailed immediately after, posts #88 and #56.

In 88, the poster states that when arriving for pick up or drop off at "off hours", they witnessed NO crew members manning the drop off pick up door and sometimes 5 minutes would pass before they appeared.

If this is the case, then I can see how the 10 year old was able to simply able to walk out.

Poster 56 attests to procedures noted the week after the incident and MAY indicate a procedure change implemented after a review of the incident by NCL.
They report a total of 4 staff posted at the door. Also they toured the club and did not see any other exits.
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Brenda
Midwest
5,186 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Originally posted by Brandi1949
Has anyone bothered to get the Kids Club staff's on NCL explanation of the situation. There's two sides to every story & so far we've only heard 1 side ...!
And who would be able to get any information from the kids club staff except for NCL? The staff reportedly were dumbfounded that the child was gone until they were informed by the family. The staff offered the family no explanation nor apparently has NCL. And I am sure the kids club staff have been instructed at this point to say nothing.
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Brenda