My son will be 13 and a half on our cruise and will be given some freedoms with rules. He will be allowed to check himself in and out of the Edge - provided he keeps in touch with us, via the wavephones, and let's us know where he is (and who with) all the time. He will have ground rules too. The most important being you never enter anybody else's cabin and allow NOBODY to enter ours without us being present. We live in a very safe small village in rural England and, although DS is used to certain freedoms, he is also aware of the acute dangers that some adults can present. He would never allow himself to be alone with an adult or engage in social interaction with adults he doesn't know (except the likes of policemen, teachers or in the case of the cruise, youth councillors). I feel it is you who knows your children best, and depending on their age and personalities, maybe a cruise may be a good opportunity to allow them small freedoms in a relatively controlled environment. Sometimes, when a child is of a certain age and nature, one can do more harm by clinging on too tight, and one needs to safely, gradually and sensibly begin to let go. This is the stage I am at with my son, but I really do not feel I am 'giving up my parenting skills' during the cruise. Quite the contrary, in fact I am using them to help my son move gradually on to the next stage of his life.