We just returned from our cruise on Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas. I wasn't aware of this but chidren ages 18-21 can legally drink beer and wine once the ship enters international waters. I signed a form indicating I did not give my 19 year old son permission to charge or drink any alcohol. My head strong son pretended to lose his card and went to the Guest Relations desk where he requested a replacement card. The cruise staff at the desk did not check the computer to determine if his card should be punched. Consequently he was given permission by Royal Caribbean to drink, violating the form I signed. At the end of our stay we received our bill showing all the beers he charged on the last night. . I was furious. The Guest Relations manager cancelled the charges and apologized for the error. I took home an intoxicated teen that morning. Other parents should be aware of this situation. Check your account at least every day. You can ask for a printout. Royal Caribbean should have a policy that requires two staff to approve the replacment of a card when it is requested by a young adult (older teen). The cards given to teens should have a daily spending limit. And parents should be issued a room key to rooms they have purchased for their children. Guest relations would not give me a key to my son's room without HIS permission. Imagine that! I paid for it, I should have a key for it.
Oh... my...goodness...let's blame EVERYONE BUT YOURSELF. If you can't trust your 19 year old, who is legally an adult, to handle himself responsibly, then you better prepare to baby him for many more years to come. Does he go to college? Do you walk him around campus so he doesn't get lost? Why the hell do you think you were signing a waiver concerning 18-21 year olds and alcohol drinking? If it was illegal, there would be no waiver to sign in the first place.
Blame yourself for taking him on the cruise in the first place, where he obviously knew how he could get past the waiver process. Blame yourself for not familiarizing the rules about international waters - just because in the US the drinking age is 21 doesn't mean it's the same across planet Earth. Blame your son for purchasing the alcohol even though he knew you did not approve of it. DO NOT blame the cruise line...maybe they did miss something, but your son obviously knew he shouldn't be drinking - whether the cruise line gave him permission or not, he shouldn't have done it.
Here's what you should do: Register your son in AA - he's obviously going to be needing it. Go to therapy yourself - you obviously can't control your son, and need help doing so. And quit trying to baby him...unless you want a grown man waking up every morning in your house with no money and no future.
Oh mercy! Calm down! Do you have children? I hold sonny boy fully responsibile for his actions. He certainly had a plan and followed through on it without our knowledge. We were on our first cruise and frankly couldn't know everything there is to know about cruising.
I signed the form. It is a legal document. The RC folks did not honor that legal document. Essentially it was a waste of paper. I posted this information for other parents like me who
were unaware of this little tidbit of information. (I did not read this anywhere on the cruise lines' website.) I did not post this message for people like you who apparently have written their books on how to cruise with and raise teens.
Just remember Janice, everyone knows better how to raise your son than you. This person obviously has some serious issues, and probably has the child from hell, so they have to take it out on someone else. RCCL has the form for a reason, and they have certain guidlines to follow, and if they fail to uphold those guidlines, they are responsible. Yes, your son is responsible as well, but if RCCL had followed their rules, it would not have happened. I appreciate your feedback so that others will know to check in the future. Isn't it amazing how bitter some people can be. Imagine trying to tell someone else how to raise their child, and to say the arrogant, nasty things that they have said. Roadnut, you should be ashamed of your trashy self.
It is possible to view your online statement ANYTIME during the cruise. I think a couple of charges at the pool bar should have sent a redlight -- maybe this is something you didnt realize you could do.
I just took 3 teenagers on a 12 day cruise, where it was "legal" for the 18 and 20 year old to purchase all alcoholic beverages. I did not feel the need to sign any type of permission form because I trusted the kids -- I also reviewed their charges daily and also checked in with them at night. I think they purchased 3 drinks total. My kids know the guidelines about onboard charges -- whether its internet, ice cream, or sodas. Probably because it was your first cruise you made some assumptions -- I don't -- we pretty much know up front that the charges add up --
Next time take another cruise line -- most others have a 21 age limit. Also check your charges on the TV every night and maybe one adult should sleep in the same room with your son.
She might have checked everynight. As she stated, it was only on the last night that her son drank...and she found out the very next morning. I wish people would read the post before making assumptions.
Individuals and companies are "conned" often, irregardless of the systems put in place.
Though RCI's system may have failed in this case, it was tricked by a "con". I'd be much more concerned by my son ignoring all instructions, and pulling off the con, that I would about the cruise line being unable to control him.
Personally, I would have made my son pay the bill for the alcohol he "bought" , not required the cruise line to remove the charges. The end result here was that the son got away with it.
There are way too many parents walking onboard and then releasing their kids for the week on the ship thinking it's the cruise lines responsibility to take care of them.
Of course, everyone will swear their kids are angels, and the troublemakers onboard were someone elses kids.
We've cruised with our teen boys quite a number of times, and have never had a problem getting an extra key to their cabin. In fact, unless traveling with family, no one under 21 can be in a cabin by themselves, so they wouldn't even be onboard without a guardian being present.
Thank you Fitza, I appreciate your understanding. This parenting stuff is not as easy as it looks. Roadnut does seem to have a few issues of his own to address.
To Kuki, We did check in on our son every night at dinner, when we retired for the evening, and as often as we ran into him on the ship. He knew our rules but chose to ignore them and he did, indeed, con the guest relations attendant. It was a long ten hour ride home with him in the backseat as we lectured him all the way home. He didn't exactly get away with it. He is required to pay us double the amount he charged. He doesn't know the charges were taken off our bill. I asked for a copy before they were removed to show to him.
My husband and I are both school teachers, teaching nearly 30 years each, and accustomed to dealing with all sorts and ages of kids. We were just new to cruise experiences and have gained an education! The first time I was aware he could have drinking privileges was when we were first issued our seapasses. The clerk handed me the form and told me what it could prohibit or permit. With my son standing there, now expectantly waiting for me to be the cool parent, I checked "no" and signed the form. He was quite disappointed. I told him I would buy a beer for him as long as he was in my company, but he didn't think that was such a great idea. He abided by our rules until the last night. I went to sleep that night thinking that the trip had gone well. I didn't know until the next morning that he had spent the night (all night) drinking. It is interesting that both my sons, ages 19 and 17, were assigned the same room, without an adult, RC didn't indicate to me they couldn't do that. My younger son had a great time without any problems.
I just wanted other first time cruisers of teens to be aware of the experiences we had. I felt this message board was a good place to do that. Sorry Roadnut if you are offended by my parenting skills. You can't become an expert in parenting unless you have been in the trenches sweetie.
We are sailing on the Navigator on 7/30 and have 5 Adult cabins with 5 inside teen cabins in the same hall. As long as you are close by and sign the wavier that you are responsible since there is no one 25 or old in the cabin, they don't have a problem with it.
Janice I think you absolutely did the right thing w/ your post -- just to warn others who might not know/ might feel the same as you do. I loved the description of the 10 hour ride home and him paying double. Way to go Mom.
Now, to Finz2u -- when did you see the documentary on refurbishment? We were on the final cruise before the Sovereign went into dry dock and were all around when they were filming some parts. I've been dying to see it, but haven't yet. Travel Channel? Any idea if it will be re-shown?
It was a 5 part show on TLC. It has already been shown again-like in a mini-marathon. It was really interesting and it is still unbelieveable to me that they did it in 23 days. I just checked my cable listing and it lists DRYDOCK: A Cruise Ship Reborn(Disembark) as being on 8/4 at 8pm (CST) but this time it's on the travel channel. I think that may be the first episode so keep watching the cable listings.
Okay, why are you so concerned that your 19 year old son was drinking? Can anyone explain that to me? He's probably smoking cigarettes and pot as well as sexually active for quite some time. Is it that big of a deal that you had to make such a stink about it? Are you just upset that you could not control him? Whatever it is, lighten up, he could have thrown someone overboard in that drunken stupor. I can't believe that someone would find this to be such a problem? If it was a matter of the money, should you really be going on a cruise no matter how much you deserve it? This is why we stay away from the less than 7 night cruises, less people with "issues".
Sounds like you baby him too much and he was lashing out against you guys because he new you would be upset. You gave him what he was looking for and I think it's time to let him be a man.
Miamicruiser........that was a bit harsh. I do agree that he is a man now at 19, But parents have a god given right to raise thier kids as they deem fit. His choose not to allow him to drink while on board, that's thier choice. The ship should have put some sort of set up in place to controll this for the parents. This could not have been the first time something like this has happened on a cruise line.
I brought my 18 yr old on a cruise last year. I gave him my permission to drink the beer or wine. I would rather he drank in my presence than behind my back. I don't condone drinking, but I also knew realistically he would end up with some at some point in time.
If there is a will, there's a way! I set up a cash account on his sea pass card. $200.00 was the min. amount, at the end of the cruise he got back $125.00, so I let him keep the money as a reward of not over doing it.
Clearly, the safe guards failed these parents. The cruise line did screwup here.
What if the kid was only 15-16, but looked older? then what would we be saying?
Sorry we let your son get trashed and you owe us this much money for it ! ; - (
MiamiCruiser, so because her son went around the system, you're congratulating him on a job well done? Do you have children? Do you get upset when they do something they are told not to do and know that is wrong or do you just pat them on the back and say, "Good job, way to be creative!" I think not...