Group of kids run free on ship?

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#1
123 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
We're going on a non-Disney cruise with a large family group.

The kids who are 5-11 pack up and run free together at family gatherings. The older ones do watch out and guide the younger. These are well behaved kids who won't do anything to fellow passengers.

I'm trying to estimate how okay it would be to let them have a kind of free run onboard the ship (or to watch movies as a group in a cabin for example). I tend to be way, way conservative on safety things, so my initial reaction would be "not at all" but since I know this is what they will be inclined to do, trying to figure from you experienced cruisers how okay/not okay running free is onboard would be.

Signed, Stick in the mud
#2
11,990 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by babytraveler
We're going on a non-Disney cruise with a large family group.

The kids who are 5-11 pack up and run free together at family gatherings. The older ones do watch out and guide the younger. These are well behaved kids who won't do anything to fellow passengers.

I'm trying to estimate how okay it would be to let them have a kind of free run onboard the ship (or to watch movies as a group in a cabin for example). I tend to be way, way conservative on safety things, so my initial reaction would be "not at all" but since I know this is what they will be inclined to do, trying to figure from you experienced cruisers how okay/not okay running free is onboard would be.

Signed, Stick in the mud
No way would I allow my 5 and 7 year old grandsons out of my sight, or off without another adult. An 11 year old is not mature enough to watch out for others.

Would you allow them to roam the mall?? There are creeps everywhere, even on cruiseships. Young children shouldn't roam freely. They should have a desination and parents should know where they are heading and when they'll be back.
#3
Coastal SC
15 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
A family gathering on land, is way different. There are so many places on a ship to get into trouble, places that aren't safe, not to mention the water.
I think of it this way, in our state, it is against the law for a child under 12 to stay home alone. It isn't enforced all the time, but the law is there. If you wouldn't go out for the evening at home and leave an 11 year old in charge, why do it on a ship in the middle of an ocean, where your cell doesn't work, and it will be difficult to find you?
Also, you didn't mention the number of kids this involves, it might be overwhelming, in this situation, for the 11 year old.
I am right with you, don't think it is a good idea. Stick to your guns.
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#4
north
222 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Boy...did you open a can of worms...w/this topic.....5-11 should be monitoered and the person who said strange people are everywhere is right. Have the kids use the cruise camps and the 10 and ups should have a destination and check in times..
#5
Aurora, IL
387 Posts
Joined May 2002
I too would suggest using the kids program. I don't know which line your are sailing, but most of them are excellent. We let our 10 year old check himself out, but he had to come straight to us. He could go get a snack at the buffet or grill and come right back. Wandering alone without a destination would seem unsafe to me.
#6
NJ
292 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Let's take out the preditor factor and assume all the kids stay together and are "safe"...

Run free is a good choice of words. Do you really expect a group of kids not to RUN when not attended by adults? Running, loud voices, general kid excitement are not bad things on a playground or at a family party...but there are public areas on any ship where it is not socially acceptable. I stress to my children that they should not run in hallways in hotels, etc - but low and behold, when they think I"m not watching, the very loud pitterpatter of feet can be heard! Kids squeel, giggle, cheer (again, not bad things) - but even well behaved kids get loud. It's just disrespectful of other passengers to assume that a group of 5-11 year olds can self monitor these behaviors.

Kids clubs are great, your group of kids will be able to interact with each other and with new friends...I suggest for your sanity and for the sake of the other passengers you take full advantage of the programs available...and when they are not at the programs they should be supervised by an adult in your group.
#7
Scotland, UK
1,574 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
My two were 9 and nearly 11 on our last cruise and were only allowed to go to/from the kids club on their own (well together - NEVER alone). One day we missed eachother and I was beside myself. Not only worrying that some 'bad person' was about but that they were upsetting others.

Do you really think that the 11 year old won't think it funny to get the 5 year old to do something naughty? or that the 5 year old won't try and impress the rest? The chances of misbehaving/getting in trouble are just too great and IMO it's not fair to even put the children in that situation.
The kids will think they're grown up enough getting small boundries - like going/coming from the Kids Club. You'll also find that the attention span/sleepiness with vary between the ages.

If you're talking cousins as opposed to brothers/sisters I hope you all 'sing off the same hymn sheet' with the rules too.

Enjoy your cruise.
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#8
California
11,688 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I totally agree with all the above posts.
My daughter is 11 and can only go directly to the arcade alone and i am 2 min. behind making sure she is there and stays, i usually sit and have a coffee right outside on one of the couches. She gets mad because other kids are running around crazy with no supervision, but i stick to my guns.
I was up at 2am helping with a search of a lost teen and i could not believe how many kids (10 or 12 yr old) were up and wondering the ship, alone. The parents have no clue where they are but think they are safe because they are on a ship. The teen was found, in a room with a bunch of other teens (13 & 14 yr olds) and they had been drinking all night, there was puck all over the cabin, the parents were in the cabin right across the hall and had no idea the children where having a party.
The parent complained to the cruiseline because her kids were able to get alcohol, turned out they stold most of it from her mini bar.

please keep an eye on your kids.
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#9
In the Valley, CA
22,949 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Personally, I wouldn't want my daughter running around the ship even with a few other kids without adult supervision. That's why she's either in the kids' area or with us.

On our last cruise, there was a group of kids from an extended family who were running around loose. They were causing problems right and left. I even written Princess about it. And many passengers complained to the Captain at a luncheon about this "gang". I would guess your kids wouldn't be like these kids (rich brats apparently -- their parents were dropping a ton of money in the casinos) but a group of unsupervised kids may be looked upon with suspicion.
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#10
18,837 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Nope, you aren't a "stick in the mud" just a concerned parent. I would say to stay with your gut and don't let the kids out of your sight. That age is too young to need any freedom on board.

Send them to the kids club and keep your peace of mind intact.

The ships are floating cities with the possibility of sickos on board, just like a real city. They arrested a child pornographer as he was getting off a ship less than 2 weeks ago.

Keep the kids safe. Always watch them.
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#11
north
222 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Hey...this post went better than expected....cruisers have kept their heads about them..To add thank you to all those who think responsibly w/kids...This makes for a better cruise for all....Parents w/kids its, nice to remember your not the only ones on vacation.I'm a parent w/ 2teen DS'S and mostly well behaved and polite...but things can always happen when your w/a group consider the child who really just went along and did nothing"But I only watched I didn't say anything" Group in trouble you're there there are consquences teach them young.Have a happy cruise
#12
Cincinnati, OH
8,463 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
On our last cruise my daughter and I had a couple disagreements because she wanted to run off and do what she wanted. I finally gave in and I would let her on occasion go off on her own. She was seventeen at the time, noway would I even consider an eleven year old with younger children. Children that age need supervision 24/7 for the good of the children and other passengers.
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#13
345 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Ok....I have been watching and reading this thread. I am a fairly strict and what I thought controlling parent. But after reading some of these posts, I am not as controlling as I thought. A seventeen year old only allowed to go off on occasion? We have been annoyed by other adults on cruises and no, these were not kids. Some of you act like the kids should be seen and not heard! By no means do I let my kids run wild and yes we have been practicing table manners and our etiquette. But cruise lines do allow kids on their ships....I am sure I will get blasted for this post but some of you do need to lighten up a little.
#14
Cincinnati, OH
8,463 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Where my daughter's safety is concerned I will never lighten up. There are alot of dangers for a young girl on her own on a ship and I would never forgive myself if something happened to her. I have heard of underage drinking, crew members making advances, drugs in drinks, etc. A young girl a few months ago somehow went overboard on a cruise ship.
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#15
141 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by bplazo
Where my daughter's safety is concerned I will never lighten up. There are alot of dangers for a young girl on her own on a ship and I would never forgive myself if something happened to her. I have heard of underage drinking, crew members making advances, drugs in drinks, etc. A young girl a few months ago somehow went overboard on a cruise ship.
I'm assuming at 17 she's either a junior or senior. Good thing she's not planning to go to college.
#16
Cincinnati, OH
8,463 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Originally posted by Mom1977
I'm assuming at 17 she's either a junior or senior. Good thing she's not planning to go to college.
She is a senior and she IS going away to college in September. I am worried already. I guess I should of had more children and maybe I would be be a little more lenient. Maybe I should be on the Dr. Phil show
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#17
141 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by bplazo
She is a senior and she IS going away to college in September. I am worried already. I guess I should of had more children and maybe I would be be a little more lenient. Maybe I should be on the Dr. Phil show
LOL...I've got 6...and it's not any easier!!

She's getting to the age that you simply have to have faith that you have taught her well, and let go. And until she goes off to college in the fall, use these times as learning opportunities. Let her have a little freedom here and there, and talk, talk, talk!
#18
Scotland, UK
1,574 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Brenda, if you don't worry about your daughter, who's going to?
You can only do your best and hope it's good enough.
The idea of my kids leaving home at 17/18 scares me too. I remember being that age, and now realise I knew nothing (of course at the time you think you're so grown up).

Larie, I'd be interested to hear what boundries you give your kids.
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#19
Scotland, UK
1,574 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Mom 1977, you are a glutton for punishment having 6 kids

Doesn't it get easier with each child? Don't you learn from mistakes you make with the oldest ones?
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Ocean Village 1 b2b, West Caribbean Inauggeral Cruise - Nov 2007 (Missed Ocho Rios & Grand Cayman )
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Thomsons Emerald b2b Caribbean - Oct 1999
Thomsons Island Breeze (innaugeral sailing) b2b Med. - July 1997