I know this may sound old-fashioned, but I am very troubled by sme of the things I read in Lauren's review. I'm sure her parents feel they can trust her, but how could they let her stay out all night in hot tubs and cabing with boys she has just met. Were they also aware that she was sneaking into casinos? This may seem trivial to some, but I can't imagine letting my daughter stay out anywhere from 1am to 5am even if I was on the ship. I'm also confused because she was not in school for final exams. This isn't really showing school to be a priority if you skip exams for a cruise. I am really looking forward to my 1st cruise, and am a parent myself. I just think a litte more parental judgement could have been used. Am I alone in this thinking?
I didn't read the review (where is it?), but your points all appear to be valid. I agree that from what you've said, better judgement on the part of the girl's parents should have been used. I'm a parent also, and back in 1988 my ex and I took our two teenage daughters on a cruise. They had to be back in the cabin by 2:00 am, and they always were. I also found out later that my 15-year-old had not only tried out the casino, but had also been served a couple of alcoholic beverages, and I was appalled. We'd all like to believe that our children always will use common sense-- but let's face it, teenagers have always done what we now know to be stupid things. More guidance (especially in priortizing the importance of school exams!) seems to be needed.
And y'know, although I don't want to go back to the strict moral times of the 1950s, I think Beaver and Wally turned out a lot more mannerly and appreciative of everything they had than many of today's kids. The Cleavers must've been doing something right (but I'll *never* vacuum in pearls...).
My guess is that Lauren took her exams in advance. From what I know about her, she's a top-notch student and very achievement-oriented. You can tell from her writing that she probably wouldn't have any trouble with her English final.
I went back and re-read her story. It seems that she was in by 1:00 most nights except the last one.
It also looks as though she was fairly well-supervised. As in, her PARENTS took her to Carlos & Charlie's and were with her at the beach. In either place, she could have gotten into a lot more trouble than on a cruise ship.
Also, by the end of the cruise when she did stay out REALLY late, her parents probably had the opportunity to meet the kids she was hanging with and decide if they were good kids or not. It also read like she was travelling in a "pack" with at least two other girls ... there is safety in numbers for teens.
The casino part doesn't bother me as long as it's her money. My daughter would have tried it and, truth told, so would I have done.
Hey I read and re-read Lauren's review and thought what a great daughter she must be.(I have a 13 yr old) Sure I have thoughts and concerns as a parent but the bottom line is to what extent do you trust your child to make the correct decision when faced with life's situations. I do not know Lauren but it appears she has a grasp.
I think Lauren did a great job on her review. She seemed to have a good time and be a very responsible girl. And of course she would stay out later her last night don't we all. Also that was very brave of her to write a review for this sight and give a new look at everything. Bravo Lauren.
I enjoyed reading her review. It brought back memories of cruises I took some 25+ years ago when I was 16 and cruising with my parents. The freedom was great and we always hung out in groups and had a blast! Oh to go back to those fun days - on second thought I think I'll pass - I'd have to live the next 25 again.
Glad you had a good time Lauren - keep up your writing.
Well. Back when I was in high school, no parent in his/her right mind would have let a child stay out even as late as 1:00. Why do you think we snuck out so often? Of course I never did. I was the perfect teenager. (Yeah, just like now I'm the perfect adult.) Heck, I can't even remember much about high school. I DO know that Lauren sounds (reads) to me like a pretty reasonable young lady, and besides, what she and her parents do or don't do, whether at Carlos n Charlies or on a cruise ship, isn't really much of our business anyway. I think that she DID post a pretty good review from her own, very special, perspective. :o)
Lauren is a very fortunate young lady.... that she wasn't my daughter<G>
I was lucky to have two boys. If I had a daughter not only wouldn't she have been on a cruise yet, she would still be sitting in her room until she turned 30, or was married, which would have been pretty hard to accomplish by sitting in her room.
My boys, on the other hand, have free reign to go anywhere on the ship, and come in any time they like. They're pretty good.. they know the family rule.... I am the only who is allowed to do anything which will embarrass the family.
Let's clarify some things first, I am a 17 year old girl, my mother is a cruise agent, and I've been on 11+ cruises in my life time. Yet, NEVER would my parents let me wander around a ship until 4 in the morning without them knowing where I am and who I'm with. Going into a boys cabin is absolutely ridiculous, sure they may be nice young men, but that is a chance you should never take. From a teenager's perspective (and being an only child myself) it's hard to make friends on a cruise. That's why they have teen activities, grab a flyer, lay out your schedule for the day with your parents and have a blast! Cruising is not about roaming around the ship complaining. I wonder what happened to Lauren when her parents read that. If it were me, I'd probably be locked in my room. Sigh.
It sure didn't look as though Lauren had a hard time making friends. It also seems that the parents of the friends she made connected well with HER parents, which would establish a trust level. I'm guessing that her parents probably knew exactly where she was and exactly with whom she was hanging and what her plans were.
I also didn't see, from her article, that she was "roaming about the ship complaining."
If I were Lauren's mom, I would be extremely proud of my daughter for writing that article. She is a fine young writer and seems to have a very level head.
I agree with you that going into a boy's cabin ALONE is not the wisest choice and I'd be quite upset if my daughter had done such a thing. But in a group? No harm, no foul. Sitting around talking or watching TV in a group setting doesn't sound all that dangerous to me, whether on deck or in a cabin. Last I knew (after raising four kids) teenagers travel in packs of friends and tend to self-police for unacceptable beahvior. I don't think anyone is going to "do the nasty" with six or ten other people sitting around.
How it appears is that a bunch of teens conected, made friends, spent time, and had a great time together.
I'd be a heck of a lot more worried if my daughter took up with a crew member.
I hope you have as much fun on your next cruise as Lauren seemed to have on this one !!!
I honestly didn't mean to offend anyone. I was merely stating that I was amazed at some of the things that Lauren did on her cruise. I also never said that she had trouble making friends, in fact that was one of HER worries. I was just saying that I understood the feeling. It's actually relatively easy to make friends on a cruise, I still keep in touch with several that I cruised with years ago, but it's always scary to be thrust into a situation with no one that you know.
I didn't touch on this subject earlier, and I don't want to start a controversy, but the fact that Lauren went into the casino and was able to use it reflects very poorly on the cruise line itself. One of the main reasons adults cruise is to gamble, and how many adults want children (yes, I admit that I am a child) using their slot machines? I was under the impression that casinoes were tightly controlled.
Pamda, thank you for wishing me a good time on my next cruise, I'm sure I will have a blast, just like everytime I cruise.
Would you guys leave her alone? Lauren's a good girl and she was just having a good time. I'm going to be going on my 9th cruise on Sunday, and guess what... i do a lot of the same things, never get in trouble, get straight A's in school and have had a blast on each and every cruise i've been fortunate enough to take!
Don't pick on Lauren, i as a teen myself take serious offence to that, since i've been speaking to her quite frequently in the past year. She got home safely, had a great time, end of story.
I am Lauren, the teenager who wrote this article. Apparently, I've stirred up some controversy over some very trivial things.
First of all, I would like to say that I am offended by some of these comments made. If I was a horrible child who went and drank and did drugs and such, I would understand. However, I really don't do anything wrong other than some typical teenage things. (Before I turned 17, I would sneak into R-rated movies. Forgive me! Other than that, I don't think I've commited any serious crimes.)
I missed the last day of school, and had to take my final exams early. When we first booked the cruise, school was scheduled to get out on June 13th. However, I do live in Michigan where it tends to snow quite a bit, and because of several snow days the last day of school got bumped back. We weren't going to cancel the cruise because of this. I took 2 of my exams early, and did very well on them as a matter of fact.
Yes, I stayed out until 1am some nights, and on the last night I stayed out until nearly 5am. I was simply out having fun with the new friends I made. We danced in the disco, got pizza, and watched movies in people's cabins. Is there a problem with these activities? If there is, I guess I've done something wrong. I was never in the boys cabin alone, their cabin was where the majority of teens I met hung out when we wanted to just sit around and talk or watch TV without being interrupted.
My parents are fine. They realized that they could trust me not to do anything stupid or get myself into any situations that would be harmful to me, so they let me stay out until 1am. Let me tell you, there were teens that stayed out MUCH later than I did, most on the ship didn't even have curfews. I'm not justifying this in any way, I'm just stating the facts. Compared to many teens on board, I was actually a really good kid.
Yes, on the last night I went into the casino and my parents did, in fact, know about it. I've never gone to a casino before and wanted to see what the big deal was. I found out that there was no big deal. I gave myself $10 to spend on the nickel slots, and that I did. I didn't spend any more money, I didn't join any tables illegally, I didn't impose on anyone that was lawfully allowed in the casino. I sat at a slot machine for 30 minutes and left.
Deena - The boys I met were very nice young men. Yes - I went into their cabin. If anything had been wrong I would have left immediately. Maybe it wasn't the greatest decision on my part, but when I was with a group of people, including several other girls, I really didn't feel very threatened. I am also a teenager and an only child. Does this make you special as far as making friends? I have never in my life had a single problem making friends. Why is it difficult to make friends on a cruise? I simply was friendly to those teens that I came in contact with, therefore becoming friends with them. Where is the difficulty in that? I personally do not see it.... I didn't roam about the ship complaining. Yes, we were bored while on the ship docked in Cozumel because there were no activities planned and everyone we knew was in port, while myself and the 2 girls I was with were just hanging out on the ship. This was a review, and I thought the ship could improve in this area. They could have at least put a movie on in the lounge or something. If I saw room for improvement, I wrote it in my review. Overall, I found your comments to be very offensive, moreso than anyone else's.
Thank you so much to everyone who defended me. I don't mean to sound uppity, but I consider myself to be an excellent student and overall a pretty good kid. I know the difference between right and wrong, and while I sometimes waiver, I really do stay on the good side. I don't see anything wrong with my activites on my cruise. I had fun, I didn't break any laws (other than going to the casino), and I met a lot of good friends with whom I am still in contact with.
To those who say "In high school, I never would have been allowed to do this!"... I would like to ask a few questions of you. How old are you? Times have changed... if you went to high school in the 1950's, of course things are a lot different today than they were then. What kind of child were you in high school? Were you a good student? Did you get into trouble? Did your parents trust you? I am a good student, and I really don't get into trouble. My parents trust me and my judegment. They also realize that I will be going to college in a year, where they will have no control over my actions. I think that they are doing the right thing by giving me some freedom now so that when I do go to college, I won't be in total shock at the freedom I am granted. (Hopefully this is making sense to you, it makes sense to me!)
Well, I think I've gone on long enough. I hope to hear some responses, although I'll be gone at cheerleading camp until Saturday. I'll definitely check back then.
Well said Lauren. I personally found some of the attacks at you very very out of line and rude! Your a good girl and have earned the freedoms you were given on the cruise ship. I really do apologize to those of you who do not agree with what she (in fact, WE) do on cruises, but to be honest with all of you, times have changed!!! I can only hope to have as good a time on the Destiny next week as Lauren had on the Triumph. Am i going to be smoking weed and running down the hallways at 3am banging on doors? NO.... and neither did Lauren, so don't portray us as troubled teens destined for a bad life. THAT offends me more then you understand, and i'm not going to put up with it. *cough cough* deena *cough cough*
Well i've gone on long enough, and all i did was speak my mind. I'm a good kid, an 'A' student but i party hard on my cruises (within the rules of course). If you still don't like me, then i honestly and truely don't care!
For those of you who are cruising soon, i hope you have a great time.
I think it's a good idea to step back and realize the comments made here should not be, and from what I read, weren't any kind of personal attack on Lauren. So, in my view there's really no need for anyone to defend Lauren, or even for Lauren to defend herself.
The web site is public, the writings are public, and we ask people to comment. Comments may agree and applaud, or disagree and question. We have to be willing to accept critiscism of our views, as well as praise. The combination of those should lead to interesting discussion.
I have two teenage sons who cruise with us quite a bit. Like Lauren they are very good kids, and over the years they have earned the right for me to trust them implicitly. I've certainly seen the flip side of the coin on cruises, where kids are uruly, disrepectful or drunk. So, I do understand people's trepidation about some of the situations Lauren talked about in her article.
Lauren, the very little bit I know you from your work on CruiseMates, would lead me to believe you are indeed a wondeful young lady, and that you've earned the same rights and respect from your parents, as my sons from me.
However, I don't think you should be surprised that some people would have concerns, about teens in general in some of these situations.
I'm sure you've witnessed the flip side of the coin yourself on some of your cruises, and I'm sure you avoid those kids and those situations.
But, honestly, I don't think it's out of line for people to question some of situations.
Nor do I think the comments were any kind of personal attack.
Carry on with your great articles. It's terrific to see a teen's perspective.
Well said, Kuki. I do remember when I was a teen and nothing Lauren did seems outrageous or troublesome....I wish I had the energy these days to stay up til 1:00am!
Lauren - enjoy your time as a teen - all too soon adulthood will intrude and you will look back at these days and say, "Man, was I lucky to be able to do what I did and to have parents who trusted me to do it."
I really didn't mean to hurt your feelings and I'm sorry that you found me offensive. I'm glad your parents trust you enough to make good decisions and I'm glad you make them. I just found some of the situations questionable. I agree with Kuki and I say we just agree to disagree and move on from there. Take care and I hope you continue to have a wonderful time cruising!
I am sorry if I caused any hard feelings. I have never been on a cruise before and am not familiar with all of the differences from being on land alone with boys or curfews. I was just making an observation based on what I allow and expect from my kids. I am sorry if I caused any hurt feelings. That was never my intent. I just wanted to hear opinions from other parents and teens, which obviously occurred.
You go girl! Glad you had a great time. As I've been on a dozen cruises, on serveral different cruise lines, on several different iteneraries- I don't find anything unusual or unacceptable. There is a huge difference between being a teenager out driving around a city at 4AM and socializing around a floating hotel with all the public places like discos and diners at 4AM- that's what they are there for! I'd rather have teenagers be up in a disco having a grand old time, rather than them having a party in the cabin next to mine...especially if I were trying to sleep! :o) Enjoy vacations while you can- and use what you paid for- might as well take advantage of an entire cruise ship- with public places open 24 hours a day the entire itenerary! Hope to see more reviews from you and your friends.. great to get different perspectives on all these different cruises!