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Mommyof3sweetboys

Marching Band Cruise Trip

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Posted (edited)

Our High School Band Director is looking into the possibility of taking a cruise trip instead of going to a theme park like we have in year's past. I'm helping organize it as a parent volunteer. There are programs with travel agencies that specialize in high school groups through the major cruise lines with performances and accommodations for the group. So that part is pretty easy. My main concern is the lack of supervision in regards to private rooms. "Most" of the kids are fairly trustworthy (if there is such a thing as a trustworthy teenager!) But I know there will be some who try to get away with sneaking into each other rooms. Plus there is the issue of kids roaming around all night. At the hotel we taped their doors at night, had boys and girls on different floors and had a guard through the travel agency to prevent kids from sneaking around. But they will have 24 access to their rooms and there is no way someone could sit there all day or want to miss out on the cruise! Anyone else chaperoned a group on a cruise and have suggestions? Maybe have chaperones hold all keys and escort kids when they need to return to the rooms? Have a curfew and tape doors? Also, has anyone had experience with the ports of calls with a large group of teenagers? I would imagine you'd have groups with an adult chaperone that have to stay together. But what if some kids want to do excursions or some don't have passports? Did you allow extra excursions or require that everyone purchase a passport? Thanks in advance!

Edited by Mommyof3sweetboys

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Posted (edited)

Wow … I have been one of those parent chaperones on marching band trips, and I can't imagine trying to exert the same level of control on a cruise ship. Maybe if you were able to reserve an entire corridor without balcony rooms it might work.  

 

I don't think the cruise ship would allow you to tape doors shut.  

 

 (Of course some of it may depend on the size of the band; ours was about 180.   I always thought we took too many parents, but we went anyway so we could see the performances and didn't have to pay for gas or hotels!.  And Mr Chew was on the Pit Patrol for 3 years.)

Edited by Lady Chew

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Posted (edited)

There are also other considerations such as policies regarding non-family minors being booked in a stateroom without an adult.  While that may be waived for groups such as you describe, it would be something I would confirm with the cruise line in question.   And they will not have 24-hour access to their staterooms as most cruise lines impose a curfew for minors, but they also likely won't endorse taping the rooms.

 

As you indicate, there are a lot of variables that need to be considered and my suggestion would be to contact the cruise line(s) directly and ask to speak with a group booking coordinator and start there to see what your options may be.  You can also do so through a travel agent.  But you would need to think of transportation to and from the cruise ship, confirming all have proper ID, length of cruise and the $ associated, etc.

 

Good luck!

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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I'm also not sure about the whole performance thing. I'd be livid if there was a marching band on my cruise--the large ships are noisy enough already.

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Also, cruise lines have rules against bringing musical instruments onboard.  Can you imagine being in a cabin next to one with a saxophone?  It may be that for groups like this, they would require a chaperone for each cabin.  Cruise lines have been burned by groups like this in the past.  EM

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Oh Lord please don't let this be my cruise, don't let this be my cruise, don't let this be my cruise. Please Lord.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, mom says said:

with Oh Lord please don't let this be my cruise, don't let this be my cruise, don't let this be my cruise. Please Lord.

 

Agree!   The only cruise experience I can think of that would be worse than a ship full of unchaperoned teenagers would be a group of unchaperoned teenagers with musical instruments.       

 

Edit:   I realize the kids wouldn't be completely unchaparoned, but there's no way a few adults could control large numbers of kids in the cruise ship environment.   One of the worst cruise ship "pranks" we ever saw was a couple of teenagers who thought it would be cool to completely discharge a couple of fire extinguishers in the laundry room - completely filling the room with foam and putting the fire extinguishers out of commission.

Edited by Kartgv

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Essiesmom said:

Also, cruise lines have rules against bringing musical instruments onboard.  Can you imagine being in a cabin next to one with a saxophone?  It may be that for groups like this, they would require a chaperone for each cabin.  Cruise lines have been burned by groups like this in the past.  EM

Well if RCI has that rule it certainly didn't apply to my Southern Caribbean cruise on Freedom last September.

A large group of locals from San Juan brought their instruments onboard...one morning in particular they marched through the crowded WJ...RCI staff and many onboard weren't happy with this cruise and what went on during it at all.

Edited by Ashland

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The only way to handle the kids in port would be group excursions where everybody does the same thing. And I think it would be best to require that everyone who goes has a passport, and it's the parent's responsibility to get that done.

On the ship, I guess each kid and their parents would need to sign a code of conduct contract which clearly spells out the consequences of breaking the rules. This would include the child being flown home at the parent's expense for serious offenses.

 

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1 hour ago, Kartgv said:

 

Agree!   The only cruise experience I can think of that would be worse than a ship full of unchaperoned teenagers would be a group of unchaperoned teenagers with musical instruments.       

DH and I are high school marching band veterans. Admittedly it was the 1970's, and we had lots of chaperones - but that didn't stop the First Trumpet players from doing a duet of "Norwegian Wood" at 7 in the morning at our hotel in Virginia Beach.😮

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Don't most cruise lines have a rule about youth under 18 booking a cabin w/o an adult in the cabin.  This would mean that you have to have a chaperone in each cabin and book 2 kids and 1 adult in each cabin.  Check w a TA that specializes in trips of this type but I don't see how you can pull this off.

 

DON

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4 hours ago, Lady Chew said:

 

I don't think the cruise ship would allow you to tape doors shut.  

 

Probably talking about putting a small piece of tape (several inches) between the door and the frame so that if the door is opened, the tape is removed.  Old spy master trick to tell if someone has been in your room.

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13 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Probably talking about putting a small piece of tape (several inches) between the door and the frame so that if the door is opened, the tape is removed.  Old spy master trick to tell if someone has been in your room.

 

...and I'm sure if there were kids going in and out of different rooms and doing things they shouldn't be - in particular after curfew - the ship's security cameras would have that all recorded.  Any violators guilty of activities that were against ship policy would be brought to the chaperone's attention long before they would find it out on their own - and with much more serious consequences.  Far better system than tape on the doors....

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I would be concerned about ages particularly those who are 18 since some places you may visit may have 18yr old drinking age.

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You could keep tabs on someone tempted to sneak out if you cruise a ship with the medallion / medallion app functionality that lets you track someone’s location.   But please don’t book the November 30, 2020 Sky Princess sailing... 😊

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11 hours ago, Ashland said:

Well if RCI has that rule it certainly didn't apply to my Southern Caribbean cruise on Freedom last September.

A large group of locals from San Juan brought their instruments onboard...one morning in particular they marched through the crowded WJ...RCI staff and many onboard weren't happy with this cruise and what went on during it at all.

 

I would imagine the rule applies for passengers who are on board for the entire cruise.  The situation you describe sounds like a one-time visit during the day by locals in a port.  Completely different scenario.

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9 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

...and I'm sure if there were kids going in and out of different rooms and doing things they shouldn't be - in particular after curfew - the ship's security cameras would have that all recorded.  Any violators guilty of activities that were against ship policy would be brought to the chaperone's attention long before they would find it out on their own - and with much more serious consequences.  Far better system than tape on the doors....

The ships crew isn't going to be interested in enforcing rules imposed by the band.  Nor, are they going to allow access to the security tapes since that might involve passengers other than the band and would, therefore, be a violation of privacy.

The purpose of the tape on the doors is to show the band members that they cannot move freely from room to room.  Very much simpler than getting ship security involved.

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

The ships crew isn't going to be interested in enforcing rules imposed by the band.  Nor, are they going to allow access to the security tapes since that might involve passengers other than the band and would, therefore, be a violation of privacy.

The purpose of the tape on the doors is to show the band members that they cannot move freely from room to room.  Very much simpler than getting ship security involved.

 

If you read my post more carefully, I wasn't indicating enforcing the band rules, as I stated: "Any violators guilty of activities that were against ship policy...."  And by curfew I am referring to the curfew imposed by the cruise line for minors, as mentioned in my first post.  That is the only one that would matter.

 

Given this, while the ship's general crew may not be interested in enforcement, I'm certain that as mentioned, if anything against ship policy is revealed by the security cameras, the ship's security staff would certainly be interested in enforcing - and would most definitely bring this to the chaperones attention!

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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23 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

If you read my post more carefully, I wasn't indicating enforcing the band rules, as I stated: "Any violators guilty of activities that were against ship policy...."  And by curfew I am referring to the curfew imposed by the cruise line for minors, as mentioned in my first post.  That is the only one that would matter.

 

Given this, while the ship's general crew may not be interested in enforcement, I'm certain that as mentioned, if anything against ship policy is revealed by the security cameras, the ship's security staff would certainly be interested in enforcing - and would most definitely bring this to the chaperones attention!

Oh, I read your post.  The point is, the band sponsors are interested in more than the ship's policies.  The ship would have no idea if someone was moving between rooms was violating the curfew.  Their cameras do not know the ages involved.  If they kids were congregating in the corridor, security might get involved but probably would ignore passengers moving room to room.  It's not even clear that security monitors the cameras on a continuous basis.  How often have your read of passengers falling overboard without security noticing.  The cameras are there to keep a record, not for real time surveillance.  

 

I really don't understand your issue with placing a piece of tape the size of a band aide on the door which would indicate if the door had been opened.  It's a minor thing and completely within the band sponsors control.  They're not talking about duct taping the door closed.  This system is simple and works well.  Far better than relying upon security.

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By the overwhelming negative response to this idea for the Annual Band Trip , 

another good old amusement park trip would be best for chaperones and especially the 

unfortunate cruise guests subject to this bad idea,

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Oh, I read your post.  The point is, the band sponsors are interested in more than the ship's policies.  The ship would have no idea if someone was moving between rooms was violating the curfew.  Their cameras do not know the ages involved.  If they kids were congregating in the corridor, security might get involved but probably would ignore passengers moving room to room.  It's not even clear that security monitors the cameras on a continuous basis.  How often have your read of passengers falling overboard without security noticing.  The cameras are there to keep a record, not for real time surveillance.  

 

I really don't understand your issue with placing a piece of tape the size of a band aide on the door which would indicate if the door had been opened.  It's a minor thing and completely within the band sponsors control.  They're not talking about duct taping the door closed.  This system is simple and works well.  Far better than relying upon security.

 

First of all, the issue with the tape was more tongue in cheek.  If the chaperones feel that would be an effective monitoring tool, then so be it.  

 

However regarding security, don't underestimate the sophistication of the system.  They very definitely can identify who the passengers are and are operating 24/7 everywhere on board and are real time.  Maybe monitoring each area is difficult on a real time basis, and recorded activity would support that as well as provide a necessary record.  But security on board, including the surveillance cameras, is a very serious and technically astute matter.

 

Security staff is also out and present 24/7 and watching for ship curfew violations, passenger safety, and ship policy enforcement and especially with a group of that nature, these would be priorities.

 

But believe what you want - we are all entitled to that. But don't take my word for it - google cruise ship security or surveillance systems on cruise ships, etc., and then decide. Maybe also look at retinal or iris recognition...

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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Having kids involved in choir in middle and high school, and overnight trips, taping the doors is very common. The tape doesn’t lock them in, it just stops them from leaving the cabin after curfew imposed by the school (tape must stay intact). A security guard in the hall is also standard. Generally chaperones don’t stay in the same room.

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As others have stated, unless you can get an exemption you need to have one adult in each room based on the age of the kids.

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Chaperones in the same room is a major no-no unless the chaperone is the parent of said child or children. All major youth organizations now have rules about non-relatives sharing a tent/hotel room and even car rides with non-related youth! Seriously, would you let your child stay in the room with an unrelated adult? 

 

And there are organizations that do this, a quick search found a group willing to organize a cruise for marching bands and Royal, Carnival and Norwegian were all listed as lines who they have worked with. OP, I would suggest just working with one of those companies who will help you. I would ask them what they have done in the past to ensure that the participants follow the rules. They would not stay in business very long, or have continued relations with these cruise lines if the students/bands involved were a problem. The several sites I saw state that they do not put a parent in each cabin, so obviously when there is an official group tour booked the rules are different than if a bunch of kids wanted to do this on their own.....

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Posted (edited)

We got talked into doing this very thing a few years back

 

my suggestion is RUN, RUN FAST NOW .... run away and don't look back

 

our experience was a disaster from 4 hours in on a SEVEN NIGHT CRUISE and I would NEVER do it again.  These were same kids I'd chaperoned to Universal Studios Orlando on annual trips for 3 years and then there was a graduation cruise ..... NEVER AGAIN

 

worse part was the kids were only half the problem .... a significant portion of the other chaperones felt their main purpose was to buy booze for the kids . . .  . got to know the security staff well and was threatened with removal from the ship.

 

if you think "our kids and parents would NEVER ........ "  the need for additional chaperones and the lure of a cruise brought in a number of parents who were not 'regulars' if you know what I mean .....

 

nope ... I'll never make that mistake again . . . and won't need to as we're well past 'band years'!!

Edited by Capt_BJ

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