I'll put up with whatever lambasting is due me after this post, but- Holy Cow!!! I just returned from the Carnival Spirit 3/27 - 4/4 Southern Caribbean Itinerary. It was my first cruise and although I had the initial concern about lots of kids on board that particular week, I wanted that itinerary and it was the last time the Spirit was doing it this year.
I seriously was unprepared for what I saw with my own eyes! There were young kids (8 to 10 year old range) running all over the ship unsupervised, yelling and screaming, and knocking people over! There were parents allowing their young children to fill up the "adults only" hot tub on the Fan Tail pool deck. They were running around and downright rude.
One day, a group of about 8 children took plastic cups from the buffet service in the La Playa Grill out to the pool. They were running around screaming, filling the cups with water and throwing them at each other, splashing everyone within range. The parents sat smoking their big fat cigars flicking their ashes on the deck, ignoring their kids!! Other people were yelling at them to stop. The parents did not move! Security came to clear the hot tub of children and stop them from running around. As soon as the security guard left, back they were, encouraged by the parents to get into the hot tub. Others picked up their buffet cups and glasses and started to run and scream and throw water at people again. The parents actually allowed these kids to take the cups and play with them, laughing when other adults yelled at them to stop.
You may ask me why I didn't move. Well, that was the only deck area possible to find a chair! The others were saved.... and saved.... and saved....
Do people actually get up at the crack of dawn to save a deck chair? Apparently, yes!
On a previous day I was alone sun bathing on the same deck. I had ordered a drink and placed it just next to my chair on the deck floor. My shoes, hat, little strap wallet and book were under the chair. My towel and lotion were on the chair. I got up to go into the pool (ugh- I mean, get splashed in the face in the pool- ). Upon my return to my chair... someone had shoved it out of their way to make room for other people. Spilled my drink all over my shoes and dropped whatever was on the chair onto the deck. Everything was soaked with Pina Colada. That was totally uncalled for, and showed total disregard for someone else's belongings. Did they care? No.
The night of the Captain's whatever- big deal midnight buffet was just unreal. I hadn't done a midnight buffet yet and decided to check that one out since they had made a big deal of the presentation, etc. When we arrived people were stacked at the door waiting for it to open as if it was the only food they will ever get again (lol). We waited in line to be herded past the tables. They had lovely ice sculptures; the boat carved from cheese... it was a nice presentation. Some children in front of us had taken the letters SPIRIT that was carved in cheese and placed in front of the cheese ship and spelled SPIT out of them. A few kids later actually picked up the SPIT and ate them!
There were sculptures made from wax that looked like chocolate. Adults and children had hacked and sawed them to pieces with knives leaving the chewed into chunks, teethmarks and all, tossed back onto the table in sad gross little heaps.
They were touching and handling everything. I was so disgusted I didn't touch a thing. Is it too much to expect that children be taught some manners? To see dirty little hands touching and mauling food, then throwing it back on the table was sickening. I won't even get into the encouraged gluttony. Is it too much to ask that adults have some manners? ugh
After trying to see a couple of shows and wandering through the lounge being told "Sorry this row is saved".... "This ship is saved..." became our laughed at motto.
At debarkation we went to sit down in the lobby area only to be told by an elderly woman... "This area is saved." All we could do at that point was walk away laughing.
Sorry for the lengthy rant! I'll wrap it up with this...
I have never seen more ill mannered children led by their ill-mannered parents all in one place in my entire life.
We did not let it ruin our vacation! We laughed and shook our heads and went on making our own good time. What I mentioned above was only the tip of the proverbial ice burg of rudeness.
I can't wait to cruise again and I am already looking into booking my next. It won't be on a ship full of children.
Unfortunately you were bitten by the "it's my vacation and I paid for it and I'll do whatever I want" group. I don't think the kids are at fault as much as the adults since the kids were just being kids, but the adults were not acting to corral the intruding behavior. You'll find this behavior, to some degree, on every cruise.
Sorry to hear about your troubles with ill mannered children and adults. As cruising has taken on more of the preferred choice of vacation, many people generally take their at home attitudes. They have no concern over anyones privacy. I have never seen anyone hold a whole row of seats before! You have the perfect attitude and did not let it get to you. Drunkeness, pushing and yelling can some times be hard to ignore. Peace to you. Your a real trouper. Explorer of the Seas in 9 days
Sounds like it was just awful. I have never seen it that bad on any of our cruises. of course, we stay away from the pool and never make it to the midnight buffets. Have never really seen the deck chair saving problems either (just lucky I guess). Not sure if there are really any good answers or solutions to rudeness and bad manners.
We cruise twice a year. WHEN KIDS ARE IN SCHOOL. Understand I am a parent and a grandparent. My world sometimes revolves around little people. That said ,we avoid travelling spring break, summer and Christmas vacation times as we want to avoid what you experienced. I love children, but, not unsupervised , ill mannered children and their "it's my vacation and we paid as much as you did" parents. When we did travel with our children ( and the grandchildren) we picked appropriate vacations, supervised our children and saw to it that they had plenty to do that was appropriate for their age and for the surroundings . I will cruise with my grandchildren at some time in the future . The cruise will be appropriate for them and I guarantee that they will be the kids you come by and complement on their behavior.
Here's how to get the best of the chair savers. It was something done by a travelling companion on a previous cruise and it yields some hysterical results. When chairs are clearly being saved by "belongings " left on them, move them. Separate each set of belongings by a few chairs . It is absolutely hyterical to watch the reaction of the people when they come back. Who can they complain to? They can't walk up to a large group sitting in the chairs in between and announce they were saving the chairs , nor can they complain to the crew. After a day or two, they usually find someplace else to sit.
You might consider a line other than Carnival and cruises longer than 7 days. You will
find less children on Celebrity, Holland America etc. and less children on the longer cruises.
No matter what , keep enjoying cruising.
We also travel when kids are in school. However, I would not advise anyone to use Bill's suggestion about how to deal with saved chairs......scenario.....someone is in pool for a quick dip and you move their stuff all around.....not good. Anyone messing with my stuff will wear finger splints for the remainer of the cruise <G>. Seriously, that solution is very juvenile and I would not recommend it. Now, Deja's point about someone saving a whole row in the theater.......oh well I would HAVE to sit in that row...lol.
Regarding the ever lasting problem of saving deck chairs, couldn't a pool attendant put a time limit on how long a person could vacate a chair until the chair becomes fair game? Say, for instance, hang a tag on the vacated chair stating that the belongings on the chair will be moved to lost and found at 1:30 p.m., or something similar? If these rules are well posted I think the majority of the cruisers would appreciate the policy. The ones who would object are the ones guilty of the crime.
I usually try to inject some humor in the gripes section, but your gripe is really legimate. I have never found both adults and children as rude as those you describe, and I hope I never do.
Our children are both grown, but we never allowed them to behave as those on your cruise.
Since we can cruise when we wish, we try really hard to avoid travelling during summer, spring break or Christmas when there are likely to be a lot of children on the ship. We also take longer cruises whenever possible. Deja, you have a great attitude, and I hope you will encounter a nicer group of people on your next cruise.
It was because of you and all the information I gathered here that my first cruise was great! I will never travel over school holidays again! My three kids were at home and it would have been the perfect cruise for them to be on. However, they would not have been among the rude rowdies!
I thought Carnival did a great job keeping that many people, the majority cruising with children, organized and entertained. My next cruise won't be on Carnival (unless we take our brood along- can't beat the bang for the buck feature and the potential friends they could make). Nothing against the line- I think I'd just appreciate a little more sophistication all the way around.
I tried to make my post funny! Honestly - it was great people watching and we did a lot of laughing at the displays of downright lack of class and manners.
Bottom line still is - I am addicted!! Cruising is the only way to vacation- hands down. I am looking into my next cruise already!
I still have other gripes!! (and I am a low key tolerant person) I'll post them seperate. I think some of them are pretty funny.
Thank you again everyone- if not for you I would have felt like a total newbie out there- but I walked into the entire experience as if I had done it before many times! You are all great! I can only hope to be on the same cruise as you all some day.
The only times I have ever seen a time limit enforced for chair saving were on two different NCL cruises. Their pool attendents would rather quickly vacate the belongings of an obviously saved chair and put them near the pool towel bins. The pool attendents were very attentive to the comings and goings of the pasengers and I never saw them make a mistake. The policy was clearly stated in the daily news letter and in signage around the pool area. I'm not sure whether this is something they still do. These cruises also had the least children I had ever seen on a ship. Bermuda after Labor Day from NY and Hawaii in October.
There was a passenger on my last cruise who had all his fingers in a cast. He said he had moved a towel belonging to a fellow passenger named Rick.
I wholeheartedly agree with Bill. Book when kids are in school. We generally try to book around finals time so that it is less likely that there will be an overabundance of kids on the ship. Stay away from booking in March due to Spring Breaks covering virtually every week. Easter week is also a very bad week for kids. We generally book the first two weeks of May or just after school begins in the fall and have never had a problem with rowdy and uncontrollable kids. I am so sorry that you had to deal with that, but again, it is all in your attitude and how you choose to react to the situation and you did the best you could (but it still always makes you feel better once you let it all out).
Sorry to hear you had all those un-rulely kids on your cruise, beleive me, they aren't all like that, but you do find more of that during school breaks Glad you took it all in stride and are already looking at booking your next one, good for U!
Rick I can understand your view. Well to be honest with you, when Cinn and I traveled on the SOS when she did seven day cruises I was ticked off by some of the kids who were running around and playing on the lifts. I have kids now and am pretty strict about their behavior. Some parents just tune out but I can't. I feel I have to be on the alert with the kids all the time. Yes just 8 days buddy. 8 days. The hell with work for a week. Hope you get calm seas and pleasent company. Peace Mike
Deja, I'm glad to see you didn't let the rowdy kids and un-caring parents spoil your trip.
I think the cruise lines need to take a firmer hand in enforcing their own rules, but I doubt that it will happen until there is an injury, lawsuit, etc. that hits them in the pocketbook.
I think most kids and parents are o.k. but you always have some like you described.
What I have always wanted was for some of these "parents" who let their kids run loose and wild to post a message to all of us and explain why they do this--exactly what they are thinking, not thinking, etc. It would be interesting I'm sure!
Happy Sails to you!
I stayed home for 15 years in order to raise reasonable kids. Yes I lost a lot of time/$$/experience in not working and I'm paying the price today as hubby is collecting Social Security disability and our only income is mine. However, we raised kids to respect other people's rights. We did take them on several cruises and NEVER were they so totally unsupervised. We saw them/checked on them every hour or 2. ALL meals were together. Maybe we need to issue "parental licenses." It's even more important than driving a car or fishing. Too many parents today think the day care or school are responsible for their kids (both mine are teachers, 3rd grade and at-risk Hi-school). Most of the problems appear to be uninterested, uncaring, uninvolved and uneducated parents. the biggest problem both the kids and I see is "don't give a $%(&^$%>
I have a child and will be taking her on her first cruise soon. HOWEVER, I sincerely hope that I don't see any children being as rude as the ones you described! Even as a mother myself I can't stand to see badly behaved children in public with parents who just don't care. I'm glad you didn't let it ruin your time.
I hope that when I am blessed enough to be able to take my children on a cruise that I remember and heed what I have read here. I have a teen, preteen and toddler. How much fun would that be??? Hmm. Well, I will keep on trying to instill manners on them-they are usually civilized around other people. My son says he is cool with other people, saves his "uglies" for me, cause I will still love him. In a way thats good, in another way, I am sure we both need therapy!
I am going on a 12 nite cruise with just my mom in May on the CCL Spirit. I was assuming that I would mostly meet up with older people, but the only person I have met so far on cruisemates that is going is a year younger than I. So I am not going to assume any more.
the real problem is parents who care. We took ours on their first cruise at ages 10/14 and in their own cabin a decent way away rom us. Today both are teachers (3rd grade and hi-school at risk kids). We had rules and responsibilities. We met for ALL meals and discused all activities. We checked in/on each other every couple hour.s We were on a 12/99 x-mas cruise and the kids were well behaved. Maybe because of multi-generational groups. The hot tub/elevator/running/ general carousing problems currently being discussed on various boards would have resulted in my kids being tied to my apron strings for the remainder of the cruise. But then, I care and realize many people save 1, 2, even 3 years to do a cruise and I will NOT allow my kids to ruin their vacation by being inconsiderate or crazy. But I'm old, out of fashion, and generally not with it. I'll cruise nov 15-Dec 15 for good $$$ and less crazy kids/unconcerned parents and the associated problems. HAL is begining to sould good and I'm only 55.
Glad to hear you made the best of the situation, Deja.
Just wanted to add that it's not just kids that can cause problems. As you mentioned there is the issue of saving deck chairs. We usually cruise in November (both with and without our kids) and have never had a problem getting a deck chair.
At times I get frustrated with adults who are drunk and obnoxious - yes, they spill drinks on people, use foul language within earshot of my kids and think they can do whatever they want. Perhaps this is the grown-up version of the kids you describe.
I often make the comment that my kids are better behaved than many adults and, trust me, my kids are no saints - they just know the boundaries and know that some things are not appropriate.
Hi...Deb and I are going to book the Legend for Apr 03 just as soon as prices are posted in CCL computer for that date. I know it is a ways off but please tell us about her after your Nov sail...Thanks