Posted April 19th, 2012, 02:17 PM
Last edited by Onessa; April 19th, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I'm thinking the OP may have bigger problems than just this cruise
Kids need some indepenence (level to vary by age). A cruise is a great opportunity for your kids to grow.
- By participating in AO programs, your kids will be able to meet other kids -- from other parts of your country and from other countries. Few of the kids are traveling with other kids they know, so it is a wonderful level playing field for your kids to test out their interpersonal skills.
- The kids will need to learn the rules of this new environment and adapt to them.
- The programs have cultural, creative and sports components -- they may get a chance to do something they've never done before.
- AO does some really cool things that your kid may not otherwise have the opportunity to do. Over the years my DD has met the captians; taken backstage tours, bridge tours, galley tours; and on Celebrity met the glassblowers and saw one of her drawings made into a glass sculpture!)
And on a cruise liner, they get this opportunity in a safe and secure environment -
- The programs have been developed by people with proven expertise. There are educators and other folks who put together the framework for the activities your kids will be participating in -- AO is not simply a big room where you dump off the kids and a free-for-all ensues! As another poster pointed out, the cruise lines depend upon families for a large chunk of their business -- they put some real thought into these programs.
- The counselors are all vetted. ALL crew members go through extensive screening -- the counselors for the youth programs go through the standard screening and additional screenings. All counselors must have a four-year college degree and the degree must be in a field related to recreation or education, the counselors must have years of experience working with children. The counselors are certified in first aid.
- The area is secure (no one other than kids and counselors allowed). Your child must be checked in and checked out (at older ages YOU can decide if your kid can check him/her self in and out).
The areas are designed for kids (age appropriate)
The program has published procedures for dealing with emergencies and the crew/counselors participate in drills to verify that they are ready to deal with emergencies.
In short, your kids could well be in better circumstances than if you had left them home with an aunt or uncle (at least some of my kid's aunts or uncles!
). I sat for my sister once for a long weekend when her son was 4YO -- I had no kids of my own at the time, no experience with kids (I'm the youngest and never even babysat when I was a teen). I was a computer programmer at the time (no medical/first aid training). And my downtown loft apartment overlooked the factory where Jeffery Dahmer was then working
! Nothing happened to DN that weekend (he's now in his 20s), but had anything happened, I don't know that I would have been qualified to react properly.
DH has got to give the kids opportunities to grow -- AO is a good opportunity.