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shahram72 May 20th, 2013 09:24 AM

Can I get my 8 year old in the 9 year old Adventure Ocean group?
My 8 year old boy is turning 9 about a month. We are cruising on the Enchantment this Friday. He is quite smart for his age and is going to feel old and quite left out when he sees the facilities for the older kids. He felt this way 2 years ago and was only 6. Can I just tell the AO staff that he is 9 or just tell the truth and ask nicely if they would be willing to let him slide? I don't want him to feel like he is missing out (I'm not having any of this conversation in his presence) on this vacation that he has eagerly waited for. I have a 3 year old girl as well who talks like a 5 year old (better, actually), but I think she'll love her first cruise and is well within the age group for Aquanots.

Dave Beers May 20th, 2013 09:47 AM

The youth staff has access to the ages of every child aboard so be honest with them and ask if you can put him in the older group. If the child is close age-wise they have been known to allow it.

shahram72 May 20th, 2013 10:06 AM

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, my instinct was to just be honest and ask. He will have fun either way. We will go EARLY to the open house when it's not busy and ask. One issue is he is a video game nut and they have better games for the older kids. Xbox and PS3 in the older room while there was just a Wii and PS2 in the younger room. Computers for the older ones too. I actually tell them to use their discretion and limit his game time or he'll sit there all day. The activities are also geared more for his age. I hope they do it. May 20th, 2013 01:34 PM

I agree with Dave. Just be honest and ask. They're very accommodating and very attentive to the children.

On numerous occasions we've had families where their children are on the verge of the next level and would like to keep the siblings together - the staff has taken care of them without any problems.

I've had long conversations on several ships with the children's program supervisor since it's important for us to feel comfortable with the program and recommend it to our clients. And the one overwhelming thing that has always struck us is how much they sincerely care about the children and how hard they work to keep the children entertained. We've never gotten any complaints from any of our clients, which speaks volumes about how good they are. And, as we all know, if the kids aren't happy, the parents aren't happy. It takes a special person to do what they do day in and day out, and they have all my respect. I love children and they've always loved me, but that job is something I just couldn't do. So my hat is off to these wonderful people who do such a great job with the children.


shahram72 June 2nd, 2013 01:13 AM

Thanks for your help guys. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. I wanted to note for future reference that in Adventure Ocean on this ship that the two groups Explorers and the one above are combined, so this was a moot point. Honestly I was a bit disappointed with the Adventure Ocean rooms (but not the staff, who are wonderful), They were nicer on the Monarch. But my kids had a ball and did not want to leave, which says it all! These kids programs are as important to me as a cruiser as the main dining room and everything else... We love to spend time with our kids, but it's nice to get away too. From the wife too! After they all go to bed, I go to the Casino bar and just hang and talk to the bartenders. Great fun, but not so great in the morning! (Oh my head!) The Turkish bartender noticed my name, so I talked to him for quite a while, we both had a lot in common actually, both being from the middle east living in the states and both having American wives. Geez each cruise gets better and better.

All I can afford are the cheapest cruises, but $1500-$2000 for a 3 or 4 night for a family of 4 is still a lot of money, but consider myself damn fortunate to be able to go on the smaller ships, which are really amazing when not compared to Oasis. Loved the Indian food in the buffet, and the main dining room had good food but it was the same stuff from two years ago. But this time my 8 year old son joined us. He loved it and acted like a perfect little gentleman. You should have seen the look on his face when they put the napkin on his lap and used that little card to clean the crumbs from the table between courses. We didn't get to sit with others, but having our son with us was new for this cruise... Little girl was in Adventure Ocean, where her crazy butt belongs! We were worried about her in that top bunk in the stateroom but shortly she was swinging upside down from the top bunk, I need to show you guys a picture of this. My kids are hardy. Hyperactive, but hardy! June 2nd, 2013 02:22 PM

That's awesome! Glad they enjoyed it.

It's not unusual for them to combine groups if there aren't alot of kids on board. Always makes sense to better utilize the resources.

But as for the size and amenities of the program, that's the one problem with the smaller ships; they just don't have the space available to do it right.

By comparison, the kid's programs on the Oasis-class ships are amazing! They have all the space they need and it's quite remarkable. But those are huge ships, so you also have the crowds.

There's alot to be said about the smaller ships as you do get a more intimate and personalized experience, but you do give up some of the amenities.

We've been on the Enchantment and found it to be one of the nicer ships in the Vision-class, especially since they cut it in half, pulled it apart, inserted a 75' section, and then glued it back together again. Definitely gave it more space on the Lido Deck than the other ships in the class.

Thanks for the feedback!


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