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  #1  
Old April 16th, 2012, 10:56 PM
Rhys&CallieMom Rhys&CallieMom is offline
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Question Keeping track of the family on the ship without cellphones?

We're going on our first cruise to Alaska with my husband's family -- all-in-all, 5 adults, 2 teens, a tween, and little girl who is not convinced she isn't just as old as the others. We don't always move in the same directions, especially the kids. What do you recommend for keeping track of each other (especially the teens, who are mine)? What about walkie-talkies?

Thanks!

Robyn
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  #2  
Old April 16th, 2012, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys&CallieMom View Post
We're going on our first cruise to Alaska with my husband's family -- all-in-all, 5 adults, 2 teens, a tween, and little girl who is not convinced she isn't just as old as the others. We don't always move in the same directions, especially the kids. What do you recommend for keeping track of each other (especially the teens, who are mine)? What about walkie-talkies?

Thanks!

Robyn
Walkie-talkies are generally frowned upon here. Some don't work all that well, and trying to find a channel that doesn't have kids "WHERE ARE YOU?" "I'M AT THE POOL" "WHAT?" sqieeekk==sswakkk. You get it?

The ships are not that large, and we've always found that setting specific times to meet up works. And the kids that don't make the meet-ups, generally find they get to spend more time with Mom & Dad.

A note, some walkie-talkies operate on bands that are illegal for private use in other countries.

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Old April 16th, 2012, 11:04 PM
chelspie chelspie is offline
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We cruised for the first time with our teens in March, and I really like knowing where they are, so we took the walkie talkies, but we only used them for about the first 24 hours. After that, we tended to just say where we'd be -- like, we'll be here while you go play putt putt. Come back here. We found the walkie talkies to be cumbersome after a while; there was interference, and they got turned off once by accident, so we didn't wind up using them. I've read that some people use post-it notes in the rooms, but we tended to not notice those. My boys are close in age, so they're used to always sticking together while traveling, so I at least had that level of comfort.
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  #4  
Old April 17th, 2012, 11:48 AM
pappagene pappagene is offline
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I always told my children that they were free to do what they wanted as long as they did not leave the ship without us, Esp, while the ship was at sea. My DS who was about 16 couldn't believe what we said, questioned us for a few munites and ran to the game room, he did not like the youth area much. As far as I know, he never caused any trouble and most of the time we would find him playing shuffle board with other people.
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  #5  
Old April 17th, 2012, 12:02 PM
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An occassional meet up at a designated place works great. And then everyone isn't annoyed with kids running around with obnoxious walkie talkies disrupting an othewise peaceful vacation.
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  #6  
Old April 17th, 2012, 02:21 PM
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Yellow sticky notes on the doors is helpful. Also, plan at least one meal where you all sit down and plan the day's - or the next day's - activities, so you will at least have a general idea where everyone will be.
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Old April 17th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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Put a magnetic dry erase board on your door.
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  #8  
Old April 17th, 2012, 05:06 PM
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You can also leave messages on the cabin phones by calling phones all over the ship. I find a ship is one of the safest places to take kids. Younger kids can be (but don't have to be) checked into some type of kids club -- like Adventure Ocean (RCI) or Camp Carnival. Only authorized adults (you sign up to be one at the club) can check in and check out a kid. Some clubs allow, with parental permission, older kids to self check-in and out.

I personally find fixed time dining easier with large groups. That way everyone knows when and where they have to be for dinner. Breakfast and lunch -- everyone in our group usually does their own thing, though sometimes we try to meet for lunch on sea days in the MDR with a pre-agreed-upon time.

Enjoy your cruise.
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  #9  
Old April 18th, 2012, 01:39 AM
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Since my son was on his cruise at 12, we have pretty much let him go. I trust him fully and (while I know everyone says and thinks it) isn't the type to cause trouble anywhere. I have read him some of the "kids horror stories" from here about behavior, and the look he gets on his face is priceless!!

With that being said, he knew he had to call and leave messages on phone if he was going anywhere else after he told us one thing. I kept strict to this, and he actually had to spend a whole day with us (until we couldn't take him anymore that is..) because instead of being in the teen club, they were doing their own game, he lost and had to go get ice cream for the winner. Guess what time we happened to come by to find him for dinner?

Knowing that, there have been days where we would come back to the room to find 4-5 messages for the past 2 hours along with a note. Going to grab food, going to the arcade, back to the teen center, ice cream and a note that he decided to go swimming.

If there is one of the adults traveling with you who is more of a room person (when we used to travel with Great Grandma) they can always check in with them on a regular basis also, or anyone in the multiple rooms you have (assuming here).

If you go to the Family Cruising forums on here, there are great tips for things like cruise contracts with kids and such that will be sure to help you out also! I actually have gotten my favorite "trick" from there to teach my kids and my cousins (18 boy, 16 boy and girl twins). Once was posted how quick it really for someone to spike a drink. They asked for something from the fridge while cooking, and in the mean time dumped hot sauce into the "victims" drink. Good lesson there, even for boys!
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Old April 18th, 2012, 03:23 PM
marci65 marci65 is offline
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We tried to use walkie talkies on our first Royal Caribbean cruise a few years ago. Bad reception. My DS is 18 now but has a couple of major health issues so we will prob use cell phones to text each other as needed. More reliable in our experience.

Last edited by marci65; April 18th, 2012 at 03:24 PM.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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We cruised with two 12 yo boys over spring break. They were in a different room and we had an extra key made for their room. We intended to all leave post it's in their room on the mirror. However, there were phones available everywhere. The boys would call our room and leave us messages (if one of us wasn't in there). By the 3rd day we all pretty much knew where everyone would be. Eating dinner together was required . . . most of the time. We also did a "contract" with them. Didn't really have to enforce it but it did make them aware we were serious about their behavior.
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  #12  
Old April 21st, 2012, 12:18 AM
chelspie chelspie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimnbigd View Post
You can also leave messages on the cabin phones by calling phones all over the ship.

Enjoy your cruise.
That is a great tip.
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  #13  
Old April 21st, 2012, 06:55 AM
johneeo johneeo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys&CallieMom View Post
What do you recommend for keeping track of each other (especially the teens, who are mine)? What about walkie-talkies?

Thanks!

Robyn
I do not recommend keeping track of anyone.

Designate a time and place that you will meet.

At noon, we will meet in front of the WJ, have lunch, discuss what is up next ..... discuss what everyone wants to do, going to trivia at 2, sitting at the pool, bingo etc.

Then determine at 3:00 we will meet at the main pool, etc.
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  #14  
Old April 21st, 2012, 11:34 AM
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Make advance plans to meet up somewhere.
Attach post it note pad and pencil to cabin doors.
Leave telephone messages.
You'll discover that most of us seem to get into a pattern or routine and you may get a 'feel' for where to look for your family member.
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  #15  
Old April 21st, 2012, 11:44 AM
maldenmusic maldenmusic is offline
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You can't get lost on the ship. We always just leave each other notes or have a designated meeting place occasionally.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 02:04 PM
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Sorry to be off-topic but can you pick up cell phone signals on the ship? I realize that roaming and international rates may apply so I would limit my cell phone usage but would like the comfort of knowing that they do work. I have Verizon if that would help?
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  #17  
Old April 21st, 2012, 10:02 PM
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You will find that your kids know where you are all the time. They will suddenly appear at your elbow, "wanna know how I knew you were here? I saw you from up there!". They are so proud of themselves for knowing the ship like the back of their hands by the first sea day. Walkie talkies are terribly loud and intrusive to other passengers and there is always the parent on the first day yelling "let go of the button when you talk!" uselessly into a walkie talkie. They are loud, annoying, and useless. As others mentioned, you can always use the house phone and post it notes.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
Sorry to be off-topic but can you pick up cell phone signals on the ship? I realize that roaming and international rates may apply so I would limit my cell phone usage but would like the comfort of knowing that they do work. I have Verizon if that would help?
verizon has a great web page about using cell phones on ships. It's $249 a minute, but other charges apply - and if you're at another country and not using the ships cell - it can be a whole lot more
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Old April 21st, 2012, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhys&CallieMom View Post
We're going on our first cruise to Alaska with my husband's family -- all-in-all, 5 adults, 2 teens, a tween, and little girl who is not convinced she isn't just as old as the others. We don't always move in the same directions, especially the kids. What do you recommend for keeping track of each other (especially the teens, who are mine)? What about walkie-talkies?

Thanks!

Robyn
A lot of us rank walkie talkies right up there with a ringing cell phone in a nice restaurant. Ships are big, but not THAT big - teens ought to be where they should be when they should be.
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  #20  
Old April 22nd, 2012, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by dave_k63 View Post
verizon has a great web page about using cell phones on ships. It's $249 a minute, but other charges apply - and if you're at another country and not using the ships cell - it can be a whole lot more
WOW! I cannot afford a ridiculously high price as this ... Fortunately, most of my ports for my first cruise are US ports and I get free roaming.
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