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#1
Dallas, TX
233 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
Our kids are getting older and are asking to roam the ship alone a but and i wanted to ask at what age did you allow your kids to do this? I think its important to set guidelines and timeframes, but my wife and i are discussion what age we start letting them do this.

Thoughts?
#2
Lancashire
2,968 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
I don't have kids, but my first overnight ferry trip was when I was 9, and I could roam alone then. It's easier on a cruise ship, too, because there's a permanent "home plate", so to speak, in the cabin.
#3
snow :)
10,175 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
We started permitting our daughter to be out when she was 16 on the Freedom of the Seas.

But you have to understand the only reason this was permitted was because our table mates had 3 boys 16-18-19. And their father would kill them if they made a wrong move.

They were with our DD and escorted her back to the cabin every night at ship curfew 1am.

The only reason we permitted it was because of this family.

I am sure you will hear horror stories and we have also, but we were fortunate.

Sea Ya
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#4
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,657 Posts
Joined May 2001
I wouldn't allow kids of ANY age to "roam".....I think once your child is old enough to go off on their own, they still need to have specific reasons and places to go. "Roaming" is a recipe for trouble!

If you trust your child at home, to go places without your being there, you can trust them to do so on the ship! I do think they need a reason to wander....not just heading off with nothing planned!
#5
Idaho
2,746 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Another parenting question!

Same answer: same as rules you normally have for your child when going to things such as camping trips, land vacations, malls, parks, neighborhood, etc...

What works for 1 may not work for another.
Growing up I remember being able to "roam" with my siblings when I was about 8(oldest sibling was 11), and later being allowed to "roam" with friends at age 9. Began roaming on my own about age 11.

My child is just a pre-schooler, so I haven't put much thought into it.
It will depend on where we are going, who else is there and his maturity level. I'd guess somewhere between the ages of 9-11.
#6
Massachusetts
1,560 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I think it also depends upon the child. Some youngsters are very sensible and level headed at 12 but others are not. We have an only child and usually cruised with another family with children when he was young. The children spent most of their time in the youth programs and were very happy with the activities. When they were about 13 we let them roam around together. They had to check in with us regularly and they had a strict curfew. They had strict rules about going into cabins and about letting anyone into our cabin. We didn't have any major issues but we limited their free time.
#7
134 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
I don't worry about kids getting kidnapped, etc but the 10 yo boys pressing all the elevator buttons is annoying as hell.

I'd be fine with a 8 yo old heading out to get their own ice cream but wouldn't be comfortable letting her out at night to annoy other cruisers. Ha ha
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#8
232 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I would say 13 is old enough to be out alone for more than a short time. A 10 year old could go up to the buffet for a quick snack, provided they are coming right back to the room, or to the pool alone for a half hour but no more than that. By 16 I would feel safe letting them go to activities without checking in as regularly (still with a specific curfew), just as I would do at home with a child with a drivers license.. Just running around with no destination in mind? When they can afford to pay for their own trip.
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#9
South Central PA
991 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
I just cruised with my uber-responsible 10 YO daughter. It was the first time she was old enough to be allowed (by Carnival) to sign herself out of Camp Carnival. I let her do so, but with real restrictions. She wasn't allowed to roam, but she could sign out and meet me at a pure planned location. If we were on deck, she could go get herself a drink, snack, etc without me. As I said, she is very responsible for her age and allowing this bit of freedom was my reward for that. I'll be cruising again with her and my younger son in February. They will be 11 and 9, and I will only let him go off with her. He's not quite as responsible and I'll want an extra set of eyes (though I think I'll still let him go get ice cream, etc. on his own...)

I think I'm more comfortable giving them a little freedom now Than I might be once they're teens! Though, one of the reasons I am giving them some freedom is so they can grow into the responsibility of it slowly, rather than keeping them pinned to me and suddenly releasing them as teens.

That said, you know your child(ren) better than anyone. Have a great cruise!!
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#10
893 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I think it depends on the kids and the level of independence they are used to handling.

My 11-year-old was allowed to hang out on the sports deck, with trips down to lido for pizza and ice cream. We checked on him occasionally to make sure he was there and not getting into mischief. He was told not to go into other areas, except when we planned to meet at the room at a certain time. He had a 10 pm curfew and was required to have dinner with us and do other family activities. On the last night, we let him go with friends he'd made to the family-friendly comedy and also extended the curfew to almost midnight. This is similar to the independence he has at home -- he can go wherever he wants around the neighborhood, he has to be home for dinner and curfew, and he needs to let us know if he's going inside anywhere but his best friend's house, so we can find him. He can also stay home alone and cook himself lunch.

Our 8-year-old was allowed to make short trips -- like to get ice cream while we stayed at the table or to go down the stairs and around the corner to where the other parent was waiting, or we would sit in chairs while she enjoyed the waterworks area. We let her stay alone in the room for short time when she was not feeling well. This is similar to the independence she has at home -- she can ride her bike alone a few blocks to her friend's house or to meet a friend at the playground, but I need to know where she is.
#11
Idaho
2,746 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
I should clarify that it also depends on your definition of "roaming".

Earlier I said I was allowed to roam about age 8, however that did NOT include just wandering around aimlessly all day long.
Basically it was: we had watches so my parents would say, "You may go to the ice cream/pool/shop/game room/etc... for X number of hours.
We will be at show/spa/room/etc... during that time.
You WILL be back by exactly 4pm on the button. If you aren't here by 4 and 1 second, you will not be on you own for the rest of the trip." And they meant it!

To this day I am still very, very punctual.
#12
Phoenix, AZ
2,734 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by katiedidthat
I would say 13 is old enough to be out alone for more than a short time. A 10 year old could go up to the buffet for a quick snack, provided they are coming right back to the room, or to the pool alone for a half hour but no more than that. By 16 I would feel safe letting them go to activities without checking in as regularly (still with a specific curfew), just as I would do at home with a child with a drivers license.. Just running around with no destination in mind? When they can afford to pay for their own trip.
This makes a lot of sense to me. our DD's are now 16 (almost 17) and 12. We've taken them on cruises for years. IMHO, cruises are a good place to try out small doses of independence and build up. My teenager just left to drive to a restaurant at the mall to meet some friends for dinner. If I trust her to do that, how could I not trust her to walk around unsupervised on a cruise ship? The reason that I trust her is that we've built up trust over a period of years, starting small and building up. My 12 year old, on the other hand, is much more shy. She's not in any hurry to venture out on her own, even to go to the buffet on the cruise ship, so I don't push her. I'm sure that any day now, she'll decide I'm too uncool to hang around with.
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#13
Delaware
77 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
We set rules for my 12 year old and made her sign a "cruise contract". I'll try to attach a copy of it.


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#14
Delaware
77 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by nremtb90
We set rules for my 12 year old and made her sign a "cruise contract". I'll try to attach a copy of it.


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I -----------------, agree to the following rules and Mom and dad can add rules as they see fit.

KIDS CRUISE CONTRACT
This needs to be an exciting and educational trip for all. We want you to have fun, and at the same
time be safe, and courteous to others on the ship. We want to bring you home in the same happy health
condition in which you board the ship. We have set up a few rules that must be followed. Any bending of
these rules, or stretching the interpretation of these rules will result in the remainder of the cruise
spent with none other than your loving mother and dad. Final say will always be your mother and Ryan.
1)The meeting the first night in the teen club is required. Most teens from what I have been reading do not
hang out there but chose that as a meeting point. The first meeting is required as that is when the parents
sign informational papers for each child for you to participate. It is also when and where the introductions
take place of fellow teen cruisers and the staff inside the teen club. This information must be filled out if
you happen to decide to take part in any of the teen activities organized by the cruise ship.
2)Under no circumstances are you to go to anybody’s cabin nor is anybody allowed to come to ours.
3)You will not go through any of the cabin areas/hallways. There is absolutely no reason for you to be in any of
these locations except to return to your own cabin.
4)You will not be playing around on the elevators. For example: pushing the buttons to every floor.
5)You do not accept a drink of any kind from anybody other than mom, dad, or anyone in our group or one that you
have ordered and is brought to you by cruise ship staff. Nor will you leave your drink unattended. If it is
left unattended you are required to order another one. There are sick people out there......
6)You will be required to check in at a specific time set by mom and/or dad and different intervals throughout the day.
You will also tell us where you are going, what you will be doing and who you will be with. This is so if plans change for
us we can find you to tell you.
7)If you are in our cabin alone, you will be required to have the do not disturb sign posted. Not even crew members (room steward)
are to be in there when you are by yourself.
8)You will be required to join us for all evening meals in the dining room. We have the early seating so you will be required to
be back to the cabin and ready to go at the assigned time. Make sure you allow enough time to get ready.
9)If you decide to swim, you will be courteous to the adults in the pool. No splashing or “cannon balls” to be cute.
Be courteous of adults swimming laps for exercise. Stay out of their way.
10)You will not be obnoxious whether we are with you or you are without us. We expect you to be well mannered using please,
thank you, and excuse me at all times. Hold the doors for adults that are passing through at the same time as you,
allow people to get off of the elevator before you step on. Just because somebody is rude does not give you the right to be rude.
11)Absolutely no running on the ship!
12)No butting in line at the buffet. And do not take more than you can eat. If you are still hungry you can go back for more.
There is plenty of food. I’m sure they plan for people with bigger appetites than yours.
13)Absolutely no cell phone!!!I will have mine.
14) No excessive amount of sugar and junk food. (You know what is exceptable and what isnt)

Signed, Mom____________________________
Signed, dad___________________________
Signed, kid_________________________
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#15
California
1,254 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by junglejane
This makes a lot of sense to me. our DD's are now 16 (almost 17) and 12. We've taken them on cruises for years. IMHO, cruises are a good place to try out small doses of independence and build up. My teenager just left to drive to a restaurant at the mall to meet some friends for dinner. If I trust her to do that, how could I not trust her to walk around unsupervised on a cruise ship? The reason that I trust her is that we've built up trust over a period of years, starting small and building up. My 12 year old, on the other hand, is much more shy. She's not in any hurry to venture out on her own, even to go to the buffet on the cruise ship, so I don't push her. I'm sure that any day now, she'll decide I'm too uncool to hang around with.
My son was a graduating senior on my last cruise, so I decided not to give him a curfew. My reasoning was, in a few months he was going to be off to college, living in a dorm that I am paying for. If I can't trust him on a cruise ship then I am wasting my time and money. He is now away having classes Mon-Thur and three day weekends. Ok, I did happen to drop by unannounced in areas I know he was hanging out. He learned very quickly what I knew all along, there isn't much to do after a certain hour. Now, compared to how I was raised I am a overprotective, hovering, paranoid parent I walked 3 miles, up hill both way, in the sun, without shoes, to kindergarten.

OP- at age 10 they could go from point A to point B. Check them self out a go back to the cabin or some prearranged point. As they got older they could hang out in groups, which most teens do. I do not care to see young unsupervised kids late at night, which i noticed on my last cruise.
#16
South Central PA
991 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by nremtb90
I -----------------, agree to the following rules and Mom and dad can add rules as they see fit.

KIDS CRUISE CONTRACT
This needs to be an exciting and educational trip for all. We want you to have fun, and at the same
time be safe, and courteous to others on the ship. We want to bring you home in the same happy health
condition in which you board the ship. We have set up a few rules that must be followed. Any bending of
these rules, or stretching the interpretation of these rules will result in the remainder of the cruise
spent with none other than your loving mother and dad. Final say will always be your mother and Ryan.
1)The meeting the first night in the teen club is required. Most teens from what I have been reading do not
hang out there but chose that as a meeting point. The first meeting is required as that is when the parents
sign informational papers for each child for you to participate. It is also when and where the introductions
take place of fellow teen cruisers and the staff inside the teen club. This information must be filled out if
you happen to decide to take part in any of the teen activities organized by the cruise ship.
2)Under no circumstances are you to go to anybody’s cabin nor is anybody allowed to come to ours.
3)You will not go through any of the cabin areas/hallways. There is absolutely no reason for you to be in any of
these locations except to return to your own cabin.
4)You will not be playing around on the elevators. For example: pushing the buttons to every floor.
5)You do not accept a drink of any kind from anybody other than mom, dad, or anyone in our group or one that you
have ordered and is brought to you by cruise ship staff. Nor will you leave your drink unattended. If it is
left unattended you are required to order another one. There are sick people out there......
6)You will be required to check in at a specific time set by mom and/or dad and different intervals throughout the day.
You will also tell us where you are going, what you will be doing and who you will be with. This is so if plans change for
us we can find you to tell you.
7)If you are in our cabin alone, you will be required to have the do not disturb sign posted. Not even crew members (room steward)
are to be in there when you are by yourself.
8)You will be required to join us for all evening meals in the dining room. We have the early seating so you will be required to
be back to the cabin and ready to go at the assigned time. Make sure you allow enough time to get ready.
9)If you decide to swim, you will be courteous to the adults in the pool. No splashing or “cannon balls” to be cute.
Be courteous of adults swimming laps for exercise. Stay out of their way.
10)You will not be obnoxious whether we are with you or you are without us. We expect you to be well mannered using please,
thank you, and excuse me at all times. Hold the doors for adults that are passing through at the same time as you,
allow people to get off of the elevator before you step on. Just because somebody is rude does not give you the right to be rude.
11)Absolutely no running on the ship!
12)No butting in line at the buffet. And do not take more than you can eat. If you are still hungry you can go back for more.
There is plenty of food. I’m sure they plan for people with bigger appetites than yours.
13)Absolutely no cell phone!!!I will have mine.
14) No excessive amount of sugar and junk food. (You know what is exceptable and what isnt)

Signed, Mom____________________________
Signed, dad___________________________
Signed, kid_________________________
I will adapt this for our use if that's ok with you!
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#17
Delaware
77 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Originally posted by kangaand2roos
I will adapt this for our use if that's ok with you!
Absolutely I found it on one of the threads on here.


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#18
1,299 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
When I was on the Oasis I saw so many kids alone and they were so disrespectful. I was just beside myself with how these kids were acting. I don't have kids, but I would hope if I did they would be more polite ans respectful of others and the ship.
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#19
Dallas, TX
233 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
thanks all and this information is very helpful. My kids fall within most of the ages discussed and we will try some additional 'freedoms' this cruise. The use of the word roam probably wasnt the best in my original post, but most of you got what i was talking about. Set times to do certain activities, go back to the room themselves, etc.
thanks again.
#20
Baltimore
704 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
The contract is a fantastic idea! Many thanks for sharing it here. Yes, I'd like to use it as well for my next cruise with DD and DS, though both behaved very well as teens on our last cruise. I'd delete the "no cell phone" though for sail days and the return evening when we are close to the port. I like to keep track of my kids' whereabouts that way. I'm curious why you don't let your kids have their phone?


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