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  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2005, 04:25 PM
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Default Teens & Alcohol

Okay, so it's my first cruise with my kids (I have been on 3 others w/out them). They are 14 and 15. I was so excited to see your teen forum where they could "connect" with other teen cruisers and immediatly sent them the forum link so they could check it out. I then started browsing through it myself and got worried. There were a few posts on there about how to "sneak" alcohol onto the plane and ship as well as how to hide it from your parents. The posts had several threads attached with yet more advice on how to accomplish this task. I have never had "alcohol issues" with either one of my kids but have avoided putting them in situations where it might be readily available to them. Is this a problem on cruises? I had hoped to be able to just turn them loose and not worry. HELP!!!

I may have over-reacted and "reported" these posts but kind of panicked initially.

Thanks! Tina
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Old February 19th, 2005, 05:26 PM
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Well, you shouldn't just turn them loose, but I know what you are saying (I have 2 teen boys). I previewed the teen board before deciding to tell them about it and decided not to tell them. You know your kids.......if they don't want to drink and party, they will find the right kids on the cruise to be friends with. Just let them know what is expected of them and tell them what they might encounter and how to deal with it. It's just like here at home, I tell my kids that one day, they will be somewhere where somebody is drinking and that person might have been their ride home. I tell them they will not be in trouble.....no matter where I have to pick them up, they know to call me and not get in a car with somebody who has been drinking. They think none of their friends will do this, but I tell them you just never know who will start to drink or do drugs.

Anyway, enough doom and gloom. I have never seen out of control teens on any of our cruises. My kids have always found friends that share their interests. On one cruise, my son met a group of kids the first night, but then found a better match for him the next day. I asked him what happened. They were a couple of years older than him and he could tell they just wouldn't be into the same things he was into. It worked out fine......he met a great group of kids and spent his days playing ping pong, swimming, playing cards, participating in some Camp Carnival activities and EATING! The good teens will far outweigh any bad seeds!
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Old February 19th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

Tina,

The bars won't serve anyone under 18 or 21 (depending on the cruise line) alcohol.

The posts about smuggling alcohol aboard are in violation of our terms of service and should be deleted but it could be a good thing that you saw the reality that there are some teenagers (with irresponsible parents) who are smuggling booze and drinking on cruise ships.

Parenting doesn't take a vacation when you get on a cruise ship. Rules need to be set up before boarding and have regular check in times and curfews for the kids. Even though my children were quite responsible at those ages I wouldn't have turned them loose until those rules were understood.

I would not worry about this too much. Most of the kids on cruises have a great time, enjoy themselves and don't drink or get in trouble.

Take care,
Mike

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Old February 19th, 2005, 07:17 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

Thanks for the replies...

"Turn them loose" was probably the wrong verbage. I hold onto the reins pretty tightly at home (10 pm curfew, no R-rated movies etc) and just thought I could loosen them a little while onboard. We have had many long discussions about peer pressure etc. Their activities are pretty much limited to Youth Group stuff so, I guess I just have never really thought about them being somewhere that alcohol may be an issue...
Oh well, guess it's time to face the realities of teenager-dom! Thankfully they are really great, responsible kids. Still looking forward to a great cruise and lots of awesome memories!

Tina

Carnival Elation 3-20-2005
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Old February 19th, 2005, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

Have fun.........we were on the Elation when my boys were 11 and 13 (their first cruise!). It's a very nice ship. You'll be fine as long as they know what you expect of them. I'm glad nobody jumped on you about the "turn them loose" phrase. Reading the rest of your post I knew you didn't mean that literally! They sound like good kids and, of course, you'll be able to loosen up a little bit because through their actions at home, they've earned it.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

You really should have no problems. Like Mike said, they cannot purchase alcohol as their Ship cards are coded with their age and will no work for alcohol. Even if the bartender wanted to, (and they won't as it is their job on the line), they could not serve them. The kids on these boards are just like kids everywhere, they tend to exaggerate and the ones that talk the most are usually the ones that would never do anything. If you believed kids you would think that all are involved in sex orgies and drunken wild parties <G> In truth most are really good kids and the worst thing they do is mess with the elevators. If you raised them properly then you have nothing to worry about.
Jim

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Old February 20th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

We are taking our daughter on her first cruise for her 18th birthday and I saw some of the same posts on the teen page and I too was a little worried about the teens and alcohal. I know that on the ship she will be legally allowed to drink beer, This is not something that at home we would allow and she knows that same rules apply. It does throw fear into the parent of a teen though to see that kind of post.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

You got a lot of good advice on this from all of the previous posts. As a mother of four, I know your concerns, but your children seem to have been taught some morals. Hope you all have a great time.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate all of the great "advice". I feel much better. Just 28 more days!

I really want some cool icons and a countdown on my posts. I'll figure that out for next time.

Tina
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Old February 26th, 2005, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

I have a teen who's now been on 3 cruises. He is very straight and narrow, doesn't drink, smoke do drugs, or go anywhere near peers who do. He "cruises" each new ship until he finds the "right" group of kids to hang out with. Sometimes it takes a little longer to find them, but he's always had a great time and never gotten into any trouble.
I'm sure your teens will be fine too, just lay down the rules ahead of time, and stick with them.

donna

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Old February 27th, 2005, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

The last two cruises our children have been teens. We've set the ground rules, ie no going into someone's room, no accepting drinks from anyone, if you leave your drink (soda) unattended get a new one, etc.. We also bring walkie-talkies and they have to check in every hour by walkie talkie and several times a day in person. They have a 11:00 p.m. curfew unless they're with us. They know if they get caught breaking any rules they will be by our sides for the rest of the cruise. They're good kids and we've never had any problems. They've always found other friends to hang out with and like Donna said, the good kids gravitate to other good kids.

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Old February 27th, 2005, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

I asked my son if he'd ever seen teens drinking onboard and his reply was "Nope!"

I think most of the teens bragging about drinking onboard are doing just that - bragging, but without the real experience. That being said, there are probably plenty of early 20 somethings who are willing to order drinks for the younger set.

It doesn't sound as though your teens will have a problem - they know what is expected of them, etc. And you are correct, you *can* allow them a bit more freedom as long as your ground rules are established.

My son's favorite part of cruising (well....almost) was just walking around the ship. He was experiencing a bit of freedom that was good for him - and for his parents!

dorothy

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Old February 27th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Re: Teens & Alcohol

Hi we went on several Carnival cruises.. the last was a four day out of LA. three years ago with 9 and 16 year old daughters..coming back to ship from Ensenada a young teen boy about 15 had some lumps under jacket....the ship people frisked him and found three bottles of alcohol...the kid looks at dad..Dad says son i am shocked you are in so much trouble buddy...thank you sir for finding it.....we get on board we are in elevator....son turns to dad and says omg dad why did you make me do that..Dad says Oh shut up it was worth a try..we pay to fkng much for booze on this boat...nice family...my older daughter said....i would disown you guys if you did that lol......yes the kids do drink be careful...but you really need to watch out for those idiot parents....
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Old March 1st, 2005, 04:29 AM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

How Sad! I hope the parents have a "therapy-fund" 'cause chances are...that kid will need one thanks to dear ole dad.
My kids think it's funny that I even brought alcohol "thing" up. They have both voiced loud and clear that they have no intention of drinking anything not available on the soda-card! Both have said that if they were going to start drinking, they would not ruin their first cruise by doing it there!
I am feeling a little guily right now about looking forward to a few champagne cocktails myself while there but am a responsible drinker and prone to a few guilty pleasures while baking by the pool!

19 more days!!!!!

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Old March 1st, 2005, 06:58 PM
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OK... I'll be the one to say it. I am an extremely responsible parent, incredibly (he would say overly) involved in my son's life. He is a leader at school, well respected among his peers, plays premier sports 12 months a year, gets amazing grades in AP classes, is active in all aspects of the school, is considered one of the cool kids and has never been a follower. He has tons of privileges that are all based on 3 things, attitude, choices and grades. When one of those is done poorly, he loses privileges. We've gone on numerous vacations with him and he has had amazing opportunities. With that being said, on our first cruise, he was 15 and met some great kids who he is still in touch with today. On our second cruise, at 16, for some freakish odd reason, he was peer pressured into drinking. Another boy took alcohol from his parents room and they drank it before dinner. Our son is not allowed to roam the ship randomly, he has to report to us frequently. We had strong ground rules to follow. He even came back to the cabin on time for dinner... drunk, but on time. If you had asked me 6 months prior to that if he would drink, I would have said nope. It truly made me open my eyes. Needless to say he spent the remainder of the cruise no more than 20 feet from Dad or I at ALL TIMES. And is truly regretfull of his actions (I bet... it's embarrassing to ask if you can grab ice cream from the Lido and have your dad say, hang on son, I'll go with you). So, please be mindful. It's not easy being a teenager's parent.... lord help us all !
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Old March 1st, 2005, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

Amen Jodie! A good reminder that ALL of us think our kids are beyond such horrid behavior, but the mind of a teenager is a strange and unusual thing.....

Do I trust my teen? Absolutey! Does that deserved trust guarantee he will never make a mistake? Nope...

dorothy

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old March 1st, 2005, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

Thanks Dorothy ! It's hard to look at what I think is my perfect son and see a kid who screwed up, even though we've taught him better. But, I guess you can't learn how NOT to make a mistake if you never have to deal with the consequences of making one. Hard, hard lessons to learn. At least he learned ( I hope !!).
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

I sooooooooo love this board! Thank you guys so much! I know that I am completely blessed with teens who are so far, no trouble or have not succumbed to what I must admit that I did long before their ages. This real life...not the stage that I have created and protected thus far for them to play it out on. Here we go!
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

I have 3 teens. A few years ago I asked my father (who raised 10 children in NYC) "Pop, how did you live through all those teen years?" He gave me 2 pieces of advice.
1. Remember they are teens and they're going to do things (foolish things).
2. Don't ever blame yourself.

I try to think of that whenever I am less than pleased with one of my kids. As long as you love them and stick by them, they will become successful independent adults. That is after all the goal of parenting. Of course, lately I need more & more hair dye to cover the gray. Happy cruising and happy parenting.
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 07:49 PM
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I'm 18. No diss to anybody, but I think holding the hand of a 15 year old kid who just tries drinking one time on a cruise is harsh. The only lesson I would have taken from that is "if you ever drink again, HIDE IT AT ALL COSTS!" A cruise seems like the safest place to experiment. Did you ask him if he liked it? hated it? craves it? got a hangover? etc.

I so respect and love my dad. I tried alcohol for the first time too in 10th grade, but never got "caught". Right after I got my drivers license, he sat me down and said "I know you might experiment with liquor. I wish you wouldn't but I know you might. There is only one almighty, unbending, no-exception rule: you must never drive after drinking. Never. If you have ever been drinking and need to get home, call me anytime, anyplace, even in the middle of the night or at work, and I will come get you, with no questions and no punishment."

I never needed to take him up on that. His disappointment would have been a million times worse than any punishment he could give.

I think almost all teens try drinking, at least once. That doesn't mean parents are any kind of failures, its just human nature a fact of life. When I'm a father, I'm going to handle things like my dad did: accept reality and deal with it in a loving way.
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 09:37 PM
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Oh honey... he had a huge hangover and was sick most of the day. The best lesson of all...
as for making him stick by us... that played a huge part in the trust factor. He's had alot of trust and alot of opportunities that alot of kids don't have, trust is a huge factor in that. Trust is based on honesty, so the "hide it" option is completely down the drain... if you want me to trust you to do things on your own, then you have to be honest with me about it. And yes, he goes to parties, and yes he leaves if there's alcohol (because of the athletic code at school and our expectations) and he comes home and tells us he ditched the party because of the drinking. He is more dissappointed in himself than we were in him, because of two things, the bending to peer pressure and dissappointing us. As for the drinking and driving, your dad gave you good advice, we tell that to our son too, his father is a lieutenant in the fire service and scrapes people off the road all the time.... what we didn't tell him was what else could happen if you drink. Check out www.samspadyfoundation.org
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Old March 4th, 2005, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

The athletic code is a good incentive. Did he stop athletic training before the cruise or only begin after the cruise?
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Old March 4th, 2005, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

Hey, I am 17 and I have been on two cruises and I am leaving Sunday for my third. I would say I am a pretty well behaved child, as would my parents. My parents know on cruises it is quite easy for teens to get alchohol, and I will be drinking. And then when teens get off at ports, say in Mexico, literally, almost every single teenager got back on the boat drunk, and some bought alchohol and brought it back on the boat.
I am not trying to anger you or anything, but all teenagers will do stupid things, but it is better on a cruise where they are more under-control because if staff see's that they are too rowdy, they will send them back to there rooms.

Hope everything is ok.
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Old March 4th, 2005, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

Thanks Casey - he's doing great !! And it sounds like your parents are lucky to have you ... and you to have them Ciaran - the athletic code for school is during that season (which for us is spring), however, his varsity coach is also his History teacher and needless to say, our son is kept on best behaviour all the time ! He also has 2 Brit soccer coaches that trained him for a year, while one is in Canada now, and one is back at home in Leeds, they also manage to keep a watch on him via email, text messages and phone calls.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: Re: Teens & Alcohol

I read somewhere that if you have an 18 year old (which I will) that they still have to get parental permission to be allowed beer (and wine maybe?). Is that true? it sounded like something the teen had to ask the parent to sign at the outset of the cruise. ?
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Old March 5th, 2005, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

mishdoob - only on Royal Caribbean. All other cruise lines have a strict policy of being 21 to drink.

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Old March 27th, 2005, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Re: Teens & Alcohol

our family reunion cruise includes 3 teens...ages 18, 19, & 20. None of them old enuff to legally drink on carnivals ship. i am told however, that the ports of call we are going to have drinking ages of 18. My husband is torn about this. i think if its legal there, i'd rather have them dirnk a beer or two With is rather than Without us in port. what do you think?
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Old March 27th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

It is an individual choice and nobody can really tell you what to do. I would rather be there to watch my kids drink than not but that is just me and my opinion.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Teens & Alcohol

Tina . . . . . Well, how did everything turn out? I'm anxious to hear how your cruise was!

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