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Kids roaming alone?

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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?

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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.

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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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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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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. :D

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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.:rolleyes:

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We set rules for my 12 year old and made her sign a "cruise contract". I'll try to attach a copy of it.

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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We set rules for my 12 year old and made her sign a "cruise contract". I'll try to attach a copy of it.

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

 

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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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.:rolleyes:

 

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:eek: 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.

Edited by Blk_Amish

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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_________________________

 

I will adapt this for our use if that's ok with you!

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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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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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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.

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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?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

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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_________________________

 

I love this, and will use it as soon as my son is older :).

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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?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

 

You will definitely want to check with your phone service provider. Charges to text or phone at sea are extremely high! Most people have their kids either leave their phones at home or in the safe in the cabin--make sure data and roaming are turned off. You would be surprised at the bill you would receive if you or your kids decided to text or call (even just other people on the ship--same rates apply to that).

 

If however you are visiting U.S. ports such as St. Thomas or San Juan, regular cell phone rates usually apply...we have texted and called from those ports and it has been covered by our regular plan. However, please check with your particular cell service provider.

Edited by pafam4

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Great post, and love the "kids cruise contract".

 

We are crusing in a few weeks, and my daughters ages 10 & 12 asked about being able to go places on the ship without us. I have copied the Kids Cruise Contract and going to use it for my girls!

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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.

 

May I ask what where they doing? Overall I am impress with the behavior of majority of the kids I meet on cruises. I have 2 teenagers so maybe I am a bit more tolerant or more familiar with certain behavior. I have heard passengers complain about kids running, yet I advise my kids to be patient because some elderly or aging (myself included) have a difficult time walking fast. On my last cruise I saw young unsupervised kids late at night, which literally scared me. Overall most of the bad things I have read about cruising, passengers, kids, I have never experienced, expect for the Spring Break cruise on RCCL years ago. Those were college kids, ocuchee.

 

Great contract and heck daily reminder for our kids.

Edited by Blk_Amish

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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?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums mobile app

 

Simply because if charges. There is no one she needs to keep in contact with except us. We have decided to leave notes and meeting in person at designated times.

 

 

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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.

 

Not sure what this has to do with my question, but thanks for the info. Also, was it a big shocker to you that there were a lot of kids on Oasis?? There is a merry-go-round in the middle of the ship. That might be a good indicator that there may be a some children on the ship...

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Simply because if charges. There is no one she needs to keep in contact with except us. We have decided to leave notes and meeting in person at designated times.

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

 

Okay, I agree but my kids are teens and know not to use the phone when we are not in the regular service area. We actually put all of our phones on airplane mode when we were at sea. They were only allowed to use them on the ship the day we left the port and the night before we returned. We also used them at the ports because there was free Wifi where we would eat lunch. What can I say, we are all addicted to social media! ;)

 

 

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The kids in our family are (now) DS:20 + DD:17 + DD:14. The first time the 2 younger girls were permitted to roam the ship as they wished was when they were 15 and 12 (DS:18 at the time was allowed to by himself). The rules were basically, at ALL TIMES they must stay together and ~15-20 minutes before dinner, meet in the stateroom. Though we read a lot of horror stories about bad things happening to children, it does help that all 3 children are trained in the arts of taekwondo :D. Now DS:20 has a 2nd Dan black belt (training for 13 years), DD:17 and DD:14 have a black stripe (training for 8 years), I can be more relaxed about having them wander on their own. (:

 

It also helps that my 3 teens are quite well trained and we never get complaints from strangers about them :D

Edited by lovely_serenity

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We recently cruised on the breakaway. I let my ds11 "roam" with friends from the kids club to the arcade, buffet or osheehans. They actually ate lunch one day in the main dining rooms. They also were allowed to go to the sports decks unattended. I made him keep him cell on him and text me his location using the ncl concierge service.

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I am taking off my paranoid, over protective, the world has gotten so much worse since I was a kid hat. Not not speaking of young children who could get lost or any unattended child late at night, what's the big deal about letting a child roam around someplace as magical as a ship. Unlike our own neighborhood, there are security cameras and paid employees around every corner. I am sure there is at least one parent who would step in if a child was in trouble. There are so many unique and different things of interest on a ship, from paintings to art work. They are seen differently through the eyes of a child but never be discovered if kept on a leash. For me a ship is the mother of all roaming or wandering ground, why not a youngster?

 

My daughter is getting her wish to walk from school tomorrow. There haven't been a kidnapping my town in the last month (j/K) :D

Edited by Blk_Amish

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I am taking off my paranoid, over protective, the world has gotten so much worse since I was a kid hat. Not not speaking of young children who could get lost or any unattended child late at night, what's the big deal about letting a child roam around someplace as magical as a ship. Unlike our own neighborhood, there are security cameras and paid employees around every corner. I am sure there is at least one parent who would step in if a child was in trouble. There are so many unique and different things of interest on a ship, from paintings to art work. They are seen differently through the eyes of a child but never be discovered if kept on a leash. For me a ship is the mother of all roaming or wandering ground, why not a youngster?

 

My daughter is getting her wish to walk from school tomorrow. There haven't been a kidnapping my town in the last month (j/K) :D

 

What's the big deal? Here's one example from just this past May.....

 

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/disney-cruise-line-fails-to-promptly-report-molestation-of-11yearold-girl-in-port/-/1637132/20227248/-/1hsdp6z/-/index.html

 

I know this doesn't happen all the time but I'm not taking any chances with my kids.

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What's the big deal? Here's one example from just this past May.....

 

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/disney-cruise-line-fails-to-promptly-report-molestation-of-11yearold-girl-in-port/-/1637132/20227248/-/1hsdp6z/-/index.html

 

I know this doesn't happen all the time but I'm not taking any chances with my kids.

OMG I was thinking of that article too! I would never allow my daughter to go anywhere by herself even on a cruise ship. Like, on errands sure, but not full-on on her own roaming. I mean, staterooms are pretty hidden away :/ I'd only permit it if her age is 14< years old, ONLY IF she is accompanied by someone else.

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What's the big deal? Here's one example from just this past May.....

 

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/disney-cruise-line-fails-to-promptly-report-molestation-of-11yearold-girl-in-port/-/1637132/20227248/-/1hsdp6z/-/index.html

 

I know this doesn't happen all the time but I'm not taking any chances with my kids.

 

As bad as this was, it was caught on camera, unlike the countless other incidents ranging with priests to coaches. These seem to happen all the time but our kids are still allowed to go to school, church, and play sports. Three female teachers, including an assistant principal was arrested last year in my school district. Putting back my paraniod, over protective hat, I never used a childcare until my kids were able to communicate fully. If this is a true concern why would anyone use or recommend the childcare service. How easy it would be to take advantage of a young child?

 

So the concern is the kids will be molested, unlike when we send them to friends house, school, church, malls, parks, or leave them in the childcare?

Edited by Blk_Amish

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What's the big deal? Here's one example from just this past May.....

 

http://www.clickorlando.com/news/disney-cruise-line-fails-to-promptly-report-molestation-of-11yearold-girl-in-port/-/1637132/20227248/-/1hsdp6z/-/index.html

 

I know this doesn't happen all the time but I'm not taking any chances with my kids.

It's a matter of assessing the right balance. Yes, if your children are never out of your sight until their 18th birthday, they're less likely to be molested. But on the other hand, if the first time they leave your sight is when they wave goodbye on their way to college, will they be well prepared for adult life? Somewhere you've got to cross that line, it's a matter of when.

Edited by dsrdsrdsr

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It's a matter of assessing the right balance. Yes, if your children are never out of your sight until their 18th birthday, they're less likely to be molested. But on the other hand, if the first time they leave your sight is when they wave goodbye on their way to college, will they be well prepared for adult life? Somewhere you've got to cross that line, it's a matter of when.

 

Yes, and doing it in small, semi controlled bits is a good way to start. And I like the "no elevators" rule!

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I think each parent can assess the "feel" of the shipboard community and the ability / maturity level of their child and make a judgement about what is appropriate. Not every child will fit into a "schedule of readiness".

 

I allowed my 15YO DS complete freedom on a Carnival cruise. He was told to be back at the cabin in enough time to prep for dinner - I expected to see him seated in the chair when dinner began. On sea days, that might be my only sighting of him awake! He would be out an about with other teens until all hours and sleep till noon. He was with us on all port excursions, of course. I must admit, he did have more freedom on board than would be allowed at home - definitely he would have a curfew at home, for one thing. We got to know some of the other teens - and their parents, and the flock of kids would make sure to cruise by the parents at least once or twice a day, just to let us know they were ok.

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I put myself in the category between a helicopter parent and totally hands off parent, with the exception that I talk to my kids about EVERYTHING. I've observed throughout my years of parenting other parents who make assumptions about who their kids are and what they're doing without really knowing their kid because they don't effectively communicate with him/her. Those are the kids that my kids come home and tell me are doing drugs, drinking, having sexual relations with more than one partner, failing at school, etc. But their parents seem utterly clueless! How hard is it to just casually talk to your kid and slip in a warning or admonishment about right/wrong without seeming overly preachy?

 

Granted, I'm a younger parent (had them in my early 20s) but I just make it a point to know what my kids are doing at school, who they're friends with and what their interests are. I'm amazed that more people don't know they CAN be friends with their kids and be a disciplinarian. Works for me and I'm a a divorced, single mom. You just have to have consistent and clear boundaries for them and don't waver. I've read countless parenting books and that's usually the overall message I get from them.

 

Implementing those same rules on cruise ships, there shouldn't be problems. Thats why I like idea of a contract, even for teens. But I do worry about drinking when we're cruising, especially if they are gone from me all day with no check ins other than dinner. Good kids like to experiment, too. I know because I was one of them! ;) So I made DS meet me for lunch on our last cruise even if it interfered with a planned activity at Circle C. DD didn't make an effort to join Club O2 activities after the first night and hung out with me. I needed to see him more than just at dinner, especially because he didn't have a phone to text me his whereabouts.

 

 

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Our kids will be 21,20,18,16,13,10,8 and 7 when we cruise this time.

The 21,20,18 are permitted to go places on their own but adhere to the family rules for safety purposes. The two oldest are freshman and juniors in college and live away from home, so they make their own decisions and limitations already.

 

The 18yo works a part time job and does many volunteer activities on his own and has also flown out of state (alone) for various activities, so all of the rules apply to him except " always have a buddy". I don't imagine that he will go anywhere alone because he enjoys the company of his sibs and others that will be in our group.

 

The 16yo and 13yo are held to all of the rules, including not going anyplace alone, but if they were with us and needed to go someplace and back, we would allow that no problem.

 

The 10yo is a bright child who could actually run the house if I needed her to. She is also a responsible supervisor for her younger brothers. On a ship however, she is vulnerable and she falls under the strictest of rules as do the two little boys. They are either at camp or with the adults ( mom, dad, 21,20 or 18yo). I won't make any exceptions for these 3. My 10yo is a little girl and there is no way I would have her traveling alone through a city of strangers in a strange land.

 

I recreated my rules this year because they have grown a lot since their last cruise. I compiled some rules found here at the forum with my own specifics. You are welcome to use any part of it.

 

Our "check in" system is used to update or amend the tear off activity sheet that they give us in the morning. We will expect to find them at the activities they have marked unless they leave a message on our cabin phone to update. We check on our children. You don't see a curfew mentioned in our rules, because that will differ depending on the plans we have the next morning. Our kids need to come to our cabin every morning and leave their tear off sheets and we talk about the plan of the day (including curfew). My children know that in general, I feel that after 10pm there isn't much good going on

 

 

1. Always be with another member of our family or group, unless you are at camp. No roaming alone. NO traveling through “cabin only” hallways. Travel through public areas and meet up in public spaces such as the pool or a lounge.

2. Do not let anyone else into your cabin, and do not go into anyone else's cabin, ever. Leaving the door opened doesn’t make this acceptable. Anytime that you are in your cabin, hang the “Snoozin” sign on your door. This should keep the room steward out of your room while you are there. Be sure to remove it when you leave. Do not “hang out” in a private place with strangers, including crew members.

3. No rough playing anywhere on the ship. No playing in stairwells, hallways or elevators. Don’t push multiple elevator buttons! Don’t run anyplace or shout unless it’s part of an organized activity. NO climbing. Be careful not to drop or toss anything over a railing.

4. Use common sense and courtesies. Hold doors open for people behind you. Allow elevators to empty before getting on them. If it says “No kids allowed, then stay out! Sanitize Hands before eating. Don’t serve food with your fingers. Be nice to people around you and try not to be in a hurry.

5. If you hear the emergency horn blasts, proceed immediately to your assigned muster station (check your card). Do not return to your cabin for ANYTHING! Do not look for us. We will find you.

6. Do not accept a drink unless handed to you by family or bar tender. Do not drink anything that has been out of your sight. People have been known to sneak drugs into people’s drinks and then harm them.

 

7. Say hello to the person that takes care of your cabin. Introduce yourself and call them by name when you see them. Keep your room neat so that they don’t have to pick up after you before they can vacuum, make the bed and wipe down the bathroom. If you order room service, you MUST tip the delivery person $1 for each person who is in your room. This comes out of your own money. Never take or order more food than you can eat.

8. Always use the “check in” system you have been taught. Failure to do so will result in 4-12 daytime hours by our side or in your cabin, depending on the particulars and how much you’ve inconvenienced the rest of your family.

Be honest, caring, respectful, responsible

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It's a matter of assessing the right balance. Yes, if your children are never out of your sight until their 18th birthday, they're less likely to be molested. But on the other hand, if the first time they leave your sight is when they wave goodbye on their way to college, will they be well prepared for adult life? Somewhere you've got to cross that line, it's a matter of when.

 

I agree with that. My girls are only 9 and 10 and we do not allow them to roam or wander on their own. They are too young yet and could easily get taken advantage of in an elevator, a corridor or corner somewhere just as this girl did. They can take small trips by themselves to the washroom when we are at the pool or to get more food at the buffet but we never let them go off and meet up with us somewehre else. However, this will not always be the case. They will get older and things will change.

 

Our next cruise with them they will be 10 and 11 and we will give them a little more freedom but this will be limited to small trips with a purpose - still no roaming and only if they are together. When they are 12 and 13 we may start to give them opportunities to wander for very short periods during the day but this will be determined based on their maturity level at that time.

 

I don't think you can just say "at 12 kids should be able to do (fill in the blank) on thier own". Each kid is different and needs to be assessed on an idividual basis.

 

My kids also have to sign a contract for vacations as well. For the last cuise it was merely a behaviour based contract as they were never alone. I will be modifying it again for our next cruise to suit the situation.

 

There are bad people everywhere - you don't have to bubble wrap your kids but you do have to be vigilant and have some common sense in order to keep them safe no matter where they are, be it at home, school, a friend's house or on vacation. Educating and monitoring them is the key.

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It's a matter of assessing the right balance. Yes, if your children are never out of your sight until their 18th birthday, they're less likely to be molested. But on the other hand, if the first time they leave your sight is when they wave goodbye on their way to college, will they be well prepared for adult life? Somewhere you've got to cross that line, it's a matter of when.

 

For me is not only finding the balance for them but myself. This year my son went away to college, in some areas not as prepared for 'life' as I was even at a younger age. One day he had a 11 pm curfew, next day living in a party dorm on my $$$.

 

 

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