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View Full Version : Help me to stop worrying about this


Jillpie
06-14-2004, 09:49 PM
Next April is our first cruise, a 4 day. Since we have 3 boys, I worry about keeping in touch with them all day on the ship. They will be 16, 13 and 12. I have these visions of the youngest ones wondering around alone or just not being able to get in touch with us. We have the radios and plan on upgrading them to get the ones that vibrate, so we'll have extras. Do you go crazy wondering where everybody is for those of you that have 3 kids? The 13 and 12 yr. old will be in the Lab (will try to get the older with his younger brother, I don't think the 13 yr. old would be comfortable with the older teens). How do I relax about this?? And enjoy myself for a change! :D

KYCruiseCrazy
06-14-2004, 09:53 PM
dont worry. its not like they can just leave the ship.

dletz
06-14-2004, 09:54 PM
For starters if they are in the kids clubs they when you register them they give you a pager. If your child wants you for any reason they will page you. If they are with the clubs then you will know where they are by looking in the navigator. If you don't have it with you, just go to the lab and ask the person there. If I remember correctly (unless something has changed) they always have someone in there even if the rest of the kids have gone somewhere else, so they will be able to tell you where they are.

If your kids are roaming the ship free, then maybe have a meeting place every couple hours or so. I doubt you'd have a hard time finding them anyway. If there on their own, they're probably on deck 9 somewhere, or the movie theater.

ann-e-mator
06-14-2004, 09:56 PM
Hey, don't worry at all.... we did 8 days (yes 8) in the park and then did the 4 day cruise last year... we have a 6 year old and a 15 year old, both whom we never saw on the ship... Disney had them so entertained... they really do an excellent job catering to the specific age groups... we couldn't even get them to join us for dinner!!! And it's not at all like letting them loose in the theme parks... it is a big ship, but really, it's not like they can go far on a boat.... that is absolutely the last thing I worried about on the Disney cruise ship... plus, it is mostly families like yourselves, so I think safety wise, they couldn't be in a better place to be on their own, without the worry of something happening... let go of this one and start relaxing... Also, don't let them miss the Wild Side excursion on CC...but book it as soon as they let you on day 60, because it can book up in just a few hours... Junkanoo jam was also awesome for our teen!

Jillpie
06-14-2004, 09:57 PM
Thanks. I didn't know that the Lab people took the kids outside of the lab for activities. What do they do when they take them out? I just thought they stayed inside that room the whole time. Not that its a bad thing, actually its great, but I'm curious.

momm2four
06-14-2004, 10:01 PM
I liked an idea I saw in Passporter (I think that's where it was) for keeping up with each other.

Keep a notepad on your room door or in the room. Whenever a person passes the room for any reason, they simply write down the time and where they are going. Gives you a running log of the best place to look for someone if needed. (You could require this every few hours even if they aren't just passing by)

Lori P. :)

PizzieDuster
06-15-2004, 12:55 AM
Originally posted by Jillpie
Next April is our first cruise, a 4 day. Since we have 3 boys, I worry about keeping in touch with them all day on the ship. They will be 16, 13 and 12. I have these visions of the youngest ones wondering around alone or just not being able to get in touch with us. We have the radios and plan on upgrading them to get the ones that vibrate, so we'll have extras. Do you go crazy wondering where everybody is for those of you that have 3 kids? The 13 and 12 yr. old will be in the Lab (will try to get the older with his younger brother, I don't think the 13 yr. old would be comfortable with the older teens). How do I relax about this?? And enjoy myself for a change! :D



The best tip I got on our first cruise which was a 4 day was to bring post its. We constantly left post its in designated areas. The boys will have the time of their lives - going in and out - and will most likely always be at the basketball courts. It they are used to looking for you - leave post its. We taped one of the hand outs we got when we checked in in port - it had the decks printed on it and we taped that onto the entrance door too. With arrows ---- and post sometimes.... --- "We are here - Deck 5 for dinner at ____"

We had a post it on the door when you exit - "DO YOU HAVE YOUR KEY TO THE WORLD CARD?"

I had a post it also stating - "BE BACK AT THE ROOM BY ____ TIME FOR DINNER"

It's not hard to find a parent or a child. I had a 13 & 10 yr old on our first cruise - always found them on the sports deck - this last time - a 14 & 11 year old on our 7 day - still always found them on the sports deck and they always found us.

Remembering to take their Key to the World Card and putting it in the same place everynight was a key!

They are going to have the best time! Wow..... how fun is it in your house with 3 boys that age! ;) My sons loved the chicken fingers, the movies, the sports deck and their clubs.

And be prepared........ you and your family will realize that you want to do a 7 day the first day you are on board.

lookingforward
06-15-2004, 04:18 AM
I have two boys, 11 and 14, and so I understand your concern. We have been on numerous cruises (not DCL until September!) but here a few things we do (RCCL, Celebrity, etc)

First, I know that it is Disney but it is important that we all remember that there are about 2000 people on these ships (not including crew). It is urgent that you talk to your kids about safety. First rule we set was that they never enter anyone else's cabin without speaking to us first and letting us know where they were and with whom. The kids will meet others and they will tend to enter thier new friend's cabins on the way to an activity, etc. I told them that this was like entering a strangers house. The few times they did they contacted me. Once they couldn't find me so they just waited in the hall. Over cautious perhaps, but I work for a police department so my kids can honestly say "my mom is paranoid".

At night we set a curfew which is liberal. Our teen son came with us in March on Celebrity and if he was going to be late he just called on the house phone and either spoke with us or left a message as to where he was (usually playing basketball). I would always tell them my plans (often the casino ;) and they would walk through and check in with me at times.

It is rather easy to keep in touch and I find that the important thing. Simply knowing each others plans, using radios (or post it notes ..a Great Idea) can keep you from worrying. To be honest, though, I never slept very well until they are all back in the cabin with me. I honestly don't know what I am going to do when they start driving...maybe move to new york city so they can't! Just kidding.

Have a great time and just lay down the ground rules that are comfortable to you. You and your kids will have a fantastic time.

mhb
06-15-2004, 06:40 AM
Our 1 st cruise will be in Oct. Our children 15, 13, and 11 will have to go to dinner with us every night. Rules!!::yes:: After that I think they will be on their own, but will have a curfew. They will have to be in by 12:00. If not they will be attached to my side the whole next day. Maybe that way they will remember to watch the clock.

I really like the idea of notes whenever you pass/or in the room.

I'm thinking with all the activites DCL has planned they will be easy to find. It might be me that is hard to find. ::yes::

Jillpie
06-15-2004, 10:38 AM
PizzieDuster, Looking Forward and mhb, thank you!! That was very comforting and great tips. Can't thank you enough. :D

minivan3
06-15-2004, 10:57 AM
Originally posted by ann-e-mator
.. Also, don't let them miss the Wild Side excursion on CC...but book it as soon as they let you on day 60, because it can book up in just a few hours... Junkanoo jam was also awesome for our teen!

Just curious, what is this Wild Side Excursion? Is it an extra cost?
Thanks.

Griffin33
06-15-2004, 02:09 PM
It's a big ship, but you have to realize that there are not that many places a kid will be. Firstly, a large part of the ship is staterooms...chances are they will only go to your room. Next, there are the theaters and dining rooms....they won't be in there unless it is for a specific reason you'd know about. They won't be in the adult areas so you can ignore all the bars, adult pool and Palo.

The rest is not that huge. So, you have the deck with the swimming pools, sports deck, game room, hot dog place, scoops and kids clubs. You could make those rounds and check all those areas in about 3-5 minutes.

If they weren't there, check the shuffleboard courts and the stores.

jrabbit
06-15-2004, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Jillpie
Thanks. I didn't know that the Lab people took the kids outside of the lab for activities. What do they do when they take them out? I just thought they stayed inside that room the whole time. Not that its a bad thing, actually its great, but I'm curious. They to go animator pallet for drawing classes. They will take over topsiders for talks with bridge officers. Sometimes they go to the movie in the Buena Vista Theater and sometimes they go up to the sports deck for some outside activities/games.

To get from one place to another ...
They line up the kids with a councelor in the front leading the way and another in the back to bring up the rear and keep all the kids together.

ksjayhawks
06-15-2004, 03:02 PM
We were on the Magic in February. Our 11 year old was in the club. They got a kids passporter at the beginning and each night we would go over the next day's activities so we would know what he wanted to do and he would know where we would be. Plus you get the beeper, so he could always get in touch with us. He was old enough to check himself in and out, so sometimes he and his new friends would check out for awhile and go to decks 9 or 10 or to the theater, but they would always tell the counselor where they were going.

We didn't require him to eat with us every night--sometimes there was something in the club that he really wanted to do. He had to eat with us certain nights, but we were flexible on that.

kcashner
06-15-2004, 03:48 PM
Ok, your 12 year old will be in the Lab, so you will have a pager. Any of the kids can go to the lab and ask to have you paged any time.

My DD turned 13 on our last cruise, and LOVED the program in The Stack. No way she would have wanted to be back in the lab. The kids in the Stack are divided into a 13-15 and a 16-17 age group, the same way the Lab kids are divided 8-9s and 10-12. You will probably be allowed to move your 13 year old down, but you are only allowed to move him once, and it is then a permanent thing. I'd suggest that you start him in his age appropriate program, and then move him down if that doesn't work for you/him. I just can't see a 13 being happy in the 10-12 program. DD at 12 thought it was "lame." (We have done the Magic 10 times, so she's been in all kid locations and most age groups.

The Wild Side is a teens only excursion on Castaway Cay. It is a 4 hour thing and includes snorkeling, kayak, biking, and fun time all with the teen counsellors.

THe kids in the club and lab are sometimes in other locations--these are noted on the kid navigator which you will get when you register the kids. They go to Topsiders for meals, they go to Animator's Palate for some craft activities, etc. Also, the club kids have some time in the lab and the lab kids "invade" The Stack before it opens for the teens (the teen program starts at noon!)

We do the deal where DD has to be either in THe Stack, in the cabin, or leave me a note in the cabin telling me where she is. 12 is plenty old enough to have the run of the ship on their own...especially with brothers. I'm sort of hyper and super conservative (according to standards of other parents around here), and I feel very comfortable with DD being free on the ship. Of course, after 10 cruises, she feels like she should be a crew member!

Jillpie
06-15-2004, 09:06 PM
kcashner, thanks. I'm probably worried about nothing here. It sounds like they will be plenty busy. The only thing with my 13 yr. old with the teens, is that he would "hang" with his almost 17 yr. old brother there. He is much more compatible and close in age with his 12 yr. old brother, so thats why I would put him in the Lab. But we'll see when we get there. I'm willing to try anything.

greytlady
06-16-2004, 07:53 AM
We used the advise of the notepad to let each other know where we'd be - I also had a pager. My kids are 10 & 11 and so were able to check themselves out of the clubs. The notepad was great - it also let the kids know where I was in case they needed to find me. And they always knew to be back to the room by a certain time to get ready for the show & dinner - that was my one requirement that we share as a family. Everybody had a great time.

NYGiantsRule!
06-16-2004, 10:07 AM
As someone else said, the activities for the teens are divided into two age groups. Your 13 year old would not really be "hanging" with the 17 year old. The younger teens tend to hang more with the counselors (at least my DS14 did).