There was another topic that I can't find now that discussed the unruly children on the 12/20/04 Island Princess cruise to Hawaii. I wrote a letter to Princess with recommendations of how they could better handle the situation. Surprisingly, they did answer quickly. Not so surprising, it seems like nothing will be done. Here is an exerpt from their response:
"While we are confident that you found many aspects of your recent ISLAND PRINCESS cruise enjoyable, we regret to learn that you observed a large number of apparently unsupervised children during your cruise. We try to make our underage passengers and their parents or guardians aware of the guidelines for acceptable shipboard behavior. Although senior shipboard personnel will intervene to resolve a specific problem, we must ultimately rely upon our guests to exercise proper control over the minors in their charge. However, as we are certain you will agree, and as was demonstrated on your sailing, all families do not impose the same standards of discipline on their children. Unfortunately, during holiday periods, spring breaks, etc., when the number of minor passengers is higher, the situation is exacerbated. We are sorry that this was the situation you experienced and we will forward your comments and suggestions to the appropriate
senior management for their review and future planning."
It seems like they expect this to happen and have no motivation to change anything since these cruises sell out anyway. Moral of the story is to avoid such cruises.
You can forget the cruise lines doing anything to keep down the unruly behavior of kids. All the ( mass market ) cruise lines are after the family business and the almighty dollar it brings in. Therefore, they simply do not want to get a reputation as being hard to deal with or " anti- kids ". Sooner or later, some cruiseline will pay out a huge settlement due to something involving an unsupervised kid or kids, and then they may wake up.
A few years ago, one could choose to cruise when school was in and be fairly sure of not having the problems to which you refer but now it seems parents take their kids out of school anytime they so desire and nothing can be said or done by the school.
Also, a few years ago you could expect to have this problem on a couple of the cruise lines but now, as I said earlier, all the major lines are after the family business so expect it to get worse before it gets better, if it ever does.
Even Holland America has started to zero in on the family and kids whereas for years it was basically known as a line for mature cruisers.
Longer cruises on more upscale lines are a way to avoid the problem, at least for the present.
As there are now some parts of the country where the kids to to school year round and have "breaks" of about three weeks four times a year it's become impossible to tell when kids are out of school. We have a private school in our area that runs on a four quarter year and the children have to attend three quarters a year. The family can pick which quarter their children will not be attending.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
Its not the crew's job to "babysit" unsupervised kids, that's what the kids/teen clubs are for. Its up to the parents, and unfortunately when the parents decide to take a vacation from parenting that's when you get the unruly kids.
Very easy way to not have to deal with unruly children.. Go on top priced upscale cruise lines, to exotic ports, that last for a minimum of a couple weeks. Then you can be reasonably sure you wont get a younger crowd. Regards,
I agree with Lisa, have been on cruises when it was spring break. Teens were stacking chaise chairs and asked why, they said they had nothing to do. Imagine that!! It is a shame that parents don't know how to parent. Although I've seen some adults that had a few too many and had questionable behavior. Maybe they were the parents of the unruly kids!! Cruising is still a great way to vacation and we are hooked on it.
Just paid our final payment for our 10 day in April on the Sun. We live in the East so winter is upon us. Counting the days. Have a great day everyone.
>Actually, longer cruises on any ship during times when schools are in session are the best way to avoid the problem.
However, then you are ikely to encounter large numbers of us rude older people.(VBG)<
Actually, both statements are quite true. I agree and usually avoid traveling at times when schools are out. This is harder, as was mentioned, as there are many schools that run all year with quarterly breaks. The answer is to shell out more $ for a more upscale experience. It's only the kids' inheritances anyway. (G)
>Its not the crew's job to "babysit" unsupervised kids, that's what the kids/teen clubs are for. Its up to the parents, and unfortunately when the parents decide to take a vacation from parenting that's when you get the unruly kids.<
It is always the parents, who have not done a proper job in raising their children, that are ultimately to blame. But having agreed with that, I believe the cruise line also has an obligation to all the cruisers, children and adults, to have appropriate facilities for them to occupy themselves. Princess knows from the get go that allowing 129 teens on board when their teen area only holds 30 is asking for trouble. Of course they wouldn't shut down one of their bar areas to make it a teen disco or hangout would they as that would deprive them of some drink revenue.
Just like they need to keep adults entertained with a variety of options from shows to gambling, I contend they are obligated to make an attempt to also provide an outlet for the youngsters they allow on the ship. JMNSHO.
Hundreds of posts have been made about unruly kids and as far as I know we are not anywhere near a solution nor will we ever likely be. I don't mean to stir the pot but most people do seem to agree that it's the parents of the kids that basically let them do as they wish, thereby creating the atmosphere that leads to the problems.
If a family of , say 4-- 2 parents and 2 kids, went to a nice hotel for a few days and the kids were allowed to damage the hotels property, run up and down the halls knocking on doors, yelling, using foul language, riding the elevators for an hour or two, etc., etc,
what do you think the hotel management would do and how long would it take them to do it ? I dare say it would very quickly be taken care of. So, why should it be any different on a cruise ship ?
Where are the parents of these kids we hear about and do they never read these boards? If there is a parent out there that allows his / her kid / kids to behave badly, please post and let us know why.
I defend a kids right to cruise as much as I defend my right to cruise. However, no one, adult or kid, has the right to damage property and disrupt other peoples cruise or vacation and should be accountable for what they do.
I agree - a hotel would not allow this and neither should a floating hotel.
My suggestion to Princess was that they issue a code of conduct document to every parent or guardian that has anyone under 18 with them. This document should be sent with the other cruise documents so that they have it before they ever board. Plus, it should be a requirement that the document be signed and presented as part of the boarding process and kept on file by the cruise line. (They have everyone sign a document about not being sick before they are allowed to board, they can also require this document.) The code of conduct should include the fact that the family of those found not conforming can be asked to leave the ship at the next port and required to find their own way home.
They only need to have such a procedure when the amount of children being allowed on board exceeds the capacity of the childrens' areas. But they should do it for every cruise because they won't remember to do it on the holiday or break cruises.
One other proof that Princess does not intend to do anything about this - they have a canned letter that they seem to send to anyone who complains about the behavior of children on board. I and another party, both were on the same Island Princess holiday cruise and both wrote letters to Princess about this. We both recieved the same answer which I am quoting below:
" While we are confident that you found many aspects of your recent ISLAND PRINCESS cruise enjoyable, we regret to learn that you observed a large number of apparently unsupervised children during your cruise. We try to make our underage passengers and their parents. or guardians aware of the guidelines for acceptable shipboard behavior. Although senior shipboard personnel will intervene to resolve a specific problem, we must ultimately rely upon our guests to exercise proper control over the minors in their charge. However, as we are certain you will agree, and as was demonstrated on your sailing, all families do not impose the same standards of discipline on their children. Unfortunately, during holiday periods, spring breaks, etc., when the number of minor passengers is higher, the situation is exacerbated. We are sorry that this was the situation you experienced and we will forward your comments and suggestions to the appropriate senior management for their review and future 'planning."
I wonder how many years and to how many people they've sent this canned response. I doubt it ever gets to senior levels. It what we once referred to as the "bed bug letter" that hotels would send And it didn't matter that both I and the other party were Elite members except maybe that we received faster responses of the same letter..
Princess used to Limit the amount of kids on a cruise but not anymore. A friend of mine took a 7day Mexico over Easter and they had over 500+ kids on board which I am sure made that cruise very interesting. Princess and Holland America have sold out the people that made them strong. They all just care about making money. Why don't they just raise the prices and those type people will go on the circus atmosphere of Carnival.
I think that Princess does limit the number of children. I tried to book a cruise on the Diamond Princess for easter week this year and I was told that they could not accept anymore kids on the ship. I think I got one of the last spots for kids on the Star for that week.
Also, not all children act unruly. I agree it the parent's who should be controlling that. However, you can have bad parents in all socio-economic groups. I am sure plenty of wealthy parents can afford a higher priced cruise and would bring unruly, undisciplined kids on board.
I think they do both - limit the number of kids except for holiday and break situations. I've instructed my TA not to book me on any cruises where the number of children exceeds that capacity of the children's areas.
Franknca: I truly feel sorry for you and your experience with the "unruly" kids, especially when you and your family were looking forward to the holiday cruise to Hawaii. Hopefully your TA will work with you on future cruises. I am going to remember what you said about not booking with a lot of kids on board. Not that I don't like kids, have some of my own and grandkids, but when you pay for a vacation you expect to have people on board who respect others and themselves. Enough said!! Hope your next cruise is much better!!!!!
Just to clarify, our cruise was not ruined by these unruly kids. It was still a wonderful time with our children and grandchildren. The food, entertainment and service were very good and it is a lovely ship as is the sister ship, the Coral. We enjoyed the many days at sea and we enjoyed showing the grandchildren various things about Hawaii. We will relive it all again when I make a DVD movie out of the video tape that was taken.
Some people did have worse, direct experiences with a few of these unruly kids. But we were mostly on the periphery and did notice some of the situations. My suggestions to Princess, which they will not take, would improve the situation for both adults and the children cruising. There were a few blips due to this but we didn't let it ruin our trip. I hope I didn't sound too negative in covering this aspect of the cruise.
Frank you were not negative at all. I appreciated your comments and I feel that a cruise is what you make it. We have had some experiences ourselves and it didn't ruin the cruise. I feel there are many people on the ship who really try to please the passengers, they make you feel special. Its great that you were able to spend time with family, our grandchildren are ages 5 and under so we will have to wait for a few years to cruise with them. We have never encountered a rude crew as some posters have reported. I find that hard to believe!! We treat them with respect and we are treated royally. Have a great day. We would love to do Hawaii as I posted before, doing a 10 day in April on the Sun and actually looking forward to it. It is 27 degrees out today, BUT the sun is shining. Thanks for your posts they are always informative.