Wow! Making the assumption that you give them a little bit of freedom and they turn into hoodlums is not a great way to start out with any child. And assuming that the parents are checked out or don't care if they make the decision to allow their child certain freedoms is not appropriate. Great, you know your child. Obviously your child isn't ready. I am happy that you can make an appropriate decision for your child. But my child, at the exact same age, was ready. And no, I am not in denial about what he was doing and I am confident that he did not ruin anyone's vacation. He would text us where he was and what he was doing and occasionally we would physically check to see the accuracy of his statements. Guess what? Completely doing what and where he said he was. He made great friends during that week and I am glad that I could allow him this space for him to try 'growing up' without me hovering over him. You know, my mother grew up on the Stanford campus and told stories of walking and playing all day unsupervised. The one rule was to be back before dinner. My childhood: I was allowed to go to the library down the street by myself and with friends I could go to the park a few streets over. Today, what space do I give my children? My eldest (now 13) can go 4 houses down and I either watch him as he goes or he calls me from their telephone to say that he is there and we live in a gated community!. As an educator, I worry about the lack of opportunity to develop into functioning independent adults because that takes time. As a teenager, about to get my driver's license, I asked my mom how she knew where to go as she was driving. Yes, I figured it out and now consider myself to have a good sense of direction but would that have been developed earlier if I had been given the freedom to explore earlier? Yes, we live in a world of very bad people and yes, we do need to make decisions that make our children's safety a priority but on a Disney ship, these kids just want to be together and most of them are carrying a wave phone with instructions to check in and are participating in the planned activities. So, yes by all means do what you feel comfortable but don't make the assumption that the parents who have allowed their kids more freedom are somewhat lacking in parent prowess: just perhaps, they know their kids too.