Kids Gone Wild: How Do I Cope With Children at Sea?

July 12, 2011 | By | 154 Comments

Even before summer vacation season began in earnest, our Sea-Mail in-box was full to bursting from soon-to-be passengers already anxious about this deadly force: Kids on cruises.

Rick Giannini’s plea to Sea-Mail was a tad more moderate than most. “I understand that cruises are family vacations, and that there are going to be passengers on board that leave a lasting impression on you (drunk loud people at dinner, etc.), but I really would appreciate the cruise lines to enforce their rules and regulations for all passengers so that the trip is enjoyable for all onboard.”
It says a lot about the rapid transformation of cruise travel that its traditional demographic (essentially described in a somewhat revolting manner as the “nearly dead and newly wed”) now revolves around young travelers quite some distance from voting age. Certainly we’ve seen it onboard as cruise lines ramp up their family-friendly options with hard-to-resist features like cartoon characters from Disney’s Mickey to Royal Caribbean’s Shrek, deck space given over to activities such as surfing and water slides rather than aqua aerobics and hairy chest contests, and kids camps that rival, if not exceed, ship’s spa facilities in size.
In fact, the very existence of so-called “adults-only” areas, like Princess’ Sanctuary and Carnival’s Serenity, would have been unheard of a couple of decades ago when children-at-sea were a rarity and all spaces onboard were already assumed to be adult-only in orient.
But here’s the rub: It’s one thing for cruise lines to adapt to this powerful new travel constituency and quite another to pander to it by turning a blind eye to egregious behavior. Factor in the additional complication of parental responsibility. Sea-Mail correspondent Ilene Karp doesn’t mince words. “I stopped going to the pool because of the inconsiderate and ignorant parents who think their little princesses and princes can do no wrong.”
Would you agree, then, that the real problem is that there’s no clear definition on whose fault it really is when bratty kids run amok on a cruise ship? In a terse note to Sea-Mail, Unhappy Diner sums it up:
“We were at a late sitting for dinner (8:30 p.m.) in the main dining room and a family group of about 6 adults and one child about 18 months old in a high chair emitted loud screeching noises every few minutes every night. What should have been done and by whom?”
You tell us.
Have a blood-boiling pet peeve you want to see addressed via Sea-Mail? Send your question to
Get all the facts on cruising with kids, including a planning primer, on our Family Cruises page..
Read other Sea-Mail columns on the morality of saving tables in buffet, the death of cruise traditions and bad balcony behavior.
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    154 Responses to “Kids Gone Wild: How Do I Cope With Children at Sea?”

    1. Susie Newburn
      July 12th, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

      We always ask for the late seating, hoping to avoid other people’s little darlings. Still some families insist on bringing small children to dinner at 8:30. I think, perhaps, a screaming child at the late seating should be addressed by the Maitre d’. A discreet mention to the parent that their ‘angel’ may need to be quieted? I don’t know. My children would have been taken out of the dining room.

    2. Janet Schumacher
      July 12th, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

      I think ALL cruise ships should do as my favorite restaurant does….Post a sign (or several signs in large areas) that says something like this..

      For the enjoyment of all our guests, you are responsible for your child’s behavior. In the event of disruptive or unacceptable behavior, you will be requested to remove the offending child from the dining room.

      This could be adapted for other areas such as the swimming pool, etc.

      I resent having to pay extra to get a peaceful hour or two by the pool at “Sanctuary” or “Serenity”

      July 12th, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

      i had the same experience with a screeching child. the waiter did nothing about it nor did the head waiter. so what chance does a passenger have with them looking the other way and picking up off of the floor what the child threw down there. food, silver, etc.

    4. Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem
      July 12th, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

      I really like Janet’s idea of the sign and the policy being enforced. I believe all passengers with children should receive a code of conduct card with their tickets and staff should be trained on coping with parents who are selfish enough not to teach their children proper manners. Perhaps all passengers could also be given ways to deal with problems including who to report the offensive behaviou to when it occurs. The person who enforces the rules could also enforce the one about saving seating with towels all day. A cruise cop!

    5. Jan Rogers
      July 12th, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

      We once witnessed two old men nearly duke it out over the unruly dining room behavior of some rowdy brats that weren’t even related to the old guys, while the mother yakked it up with the waiter completely oblivious to the ruckus her kids were causing. So we invented a new game for the kids – it’s called “Walk the Plank”. Sometimes the parents need to play along. We dearly love kids – but not on cruises.

    6. Laura
      July 12th, 2011 @ 1:31 pm

      On a recent NCL cruise, my hubby chased a couple of kids out of the adults only pool and then went to a staff member to complain after even more kids came in (with parents sitting poolside chatting). A ship’s officer DID come over and tell the kids to vacate the pool and adults only hot tub, which was very nice to see. Not always the case though, so we try to travel mainly when kids are in school to cut down on the risk of encountering that type of bad behavior.

    7. Rose Umo
      July 12th, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

      Sigh. True story – 8:30 pm, main dining room. Children (@ 6 yrs. to @ 10) at one 10-top & adults at another 2-3 tables away. Every 20-30 mins. adult would come to visit. Children were walking around table & were not shouting but louder than the situation warranted. Felt sorry for the waitstaff, who were making the best of it. Headwaiter should have refused to seat children & parents/adults apart, & IMHO deserved a dressing down.

    8. Tammy
      July 12th, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

      I am a teacher and love children. However, I do not love them when I’m on vacation! On land, I stay at adults only resorts. I really enjoyed my first cruise with Holland America last summer, even though I was annoyed that children were in the pools(I thought there was supposed to be an adults only pool) and underfoot at some meals. I deliberately cruised with Holland America as it is known to have an older crowd. I think that the only way to combat rule breaking is to politely insist that the cruise staff enforce rules and to tell the cruise line that you’ll take your business elsewhere if you don’t see a change in the future.

    9. Diane
      July 12th, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

      I, too, travel when most children are usually in school. I disclipined my child and expect others to do so…and am very disappointed with today’s parents of those bratty princes and princesses. Good manners and common courtesy SHOULD begin at home at a very young age. However, it’s easier to give in than to expend the energy to correct your child. That being said, occasionally I do have a good experience with well-mannered children and am stunned to say the least. What does that say about the parents of today?????? Think about it.

    10. Darlene
      July 12th, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

      I have seen so many unruly kids on board cruise ships. There was one time that a teenager knocked down an elderly gentleman, laughed and ran off. The same cruise we could not get an elevator because kids were riding the elevators up and down and would not let people in (packed in like sardines). I have also witnessed young kids (8-11 year olds) unsupervised in the Cafe Promenade at 1am getting pizza, ice cream and cookies and just smashing them all over the place. WHERE ARE ALL THESE KIDS PARENTS??????
      Do we have the right to ask security to remove these kids from public places?

    11. Ron
      July 12th, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

      Parents/guardians are responsible for their children, period! Cruise staff should enforce the rules and acceptable behavior by addressing these issues to the parents. I suggest that a letter be included with cruise documents, informing parents that they are responsible for and will be held accountable for their childrens’ behavior. A second copy of the letter should be posted in a conspicuous location in all family staterooms.

    12. Cheryl
      July 12th, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

      My solution is to cruise at times when kids are in school; and even that doesn’t result in a kidproof cruise. In addition, my cruises are 14 days or longer.

      When I do encounter an out-of-control child/teenager/college student, I take their picture, print it, and write my complaint on that same paper; then turn it in to Guest Relations or Security. It is not my job to discipline these people; but it is my duty to report them. If I come across a repeat-offender, I take this issue up with the Hotel Manager.

      When I get into an elevator that children are on and all of the buttons are pushed, I block the door so that they cannot exit, and make them ride with me, as I sing at the top of my lungs. My motto is, if you do the crime, you will do the time!!!!!

    13. rich
      July 12th, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

      I sail in the winter when kids are in school. Almost a guaranteed peaceful experience. Even though having cruise staff ask a noisy kid to quiet down would be nice (I’ve seen it done), parents should be completely responsible for their kids behavior. You bring ’em, you watch ’em.

    14. Arlene
      July 12th, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

      the cruise lines really don’t care. there is always someone wanting to cruise. I think the parents should be made to stand in the corner with a sign that says ” i am sorry I let my children misbehave and I won’t do it again “.

    15. Ann H
      July 12th, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

      Heavy sigh – how about some solutions to deal with bad behavior perpetrated by adults on cruises. I’ve had far more bad experiences due to adults’ boorish behavior than I’ve ever had issues with kids’.

    16. Harris Wilensky
      July 12th, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

      After a week long cruise on Freedom Of the Seas,Being in a motorized scooter.It was quite impossible and very difficult to enjoy alot of the various parts of the ship,Children ran wild,all ages. Going from floor to floor.the elevators at times were impossible to us.Kids were out late on decks,just hanging out or running around.Even when some were stopped and brought to there suites,they would be out and about a few minutes later.I saw fighting in the childrens pool and Parents just seem to ignore things and let kids do there own thing.With such a very large ship and so many families and with all ages of was so tough for many seniors to get around,In the dining room,some kids would run around while families ate and was ignored by the staff and the families as well.It was amazing no one was really hurt by the children running up and down stairs.I guess the staff,didnt want to upset the customers.and so they avoid trouble. I staff member,told me her job was to round up kids asfter 1:30 am and bring them back to their rooms.more times then not no one was in their rooms so,of course,after she left their on the loose again.I know,that i will never cruise on any family cruises in the future when kids are out of school.The cruises lines are going bigtime after families and they have a major job to do to solve this madness on the ships.For sure they dont have enough staff to work on crowd control when at a day at sea and that many kids on the loose.Seems parents enjoy letting the kids do their own thing.If you are smart,trust me dont cruise when kids are out of school.

    17. Tina
      July 12th, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

      I agree with Ron, but will take it a step further. It should be labeled in all brochures what behavior is expected of all children and the parents should have to sign something upon check-in regarding proper behavior and additional cost to the parents for any damages made to the ship by their children.

      I sailed on Celebrity for a 14 day South-Americarn Christmas/New Years cruise. I was surprised by the number of Venezuelans on board that had nanny’s with several kids. Those kids destroyed the ship!!! They dumped their ice cream cones up and down every stairwell on the railings, broke several elevators – some of the kids would sit and camp out in the elevators all day and night playing cards! In the theatre they were running around jumping on all the furniture going from row to row. And anyplace that was supposed to be adults only was never the case. These kids owned this ship! There were 800+ on the cruise -> I finally asked just out of curiosity. Needless to say, now we are avoiding Christmas/New Year cruises like the plague.

    18. Mandy
      July 12th, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

      We will be sailing with our kids (10 & 12) on Freedom next January, along with two other families with kids. We will take responsibility for the behaviour of our children, and WILL follow the rules for adults only spaces. However, kids are kids, and I’d suggest that if you don’t ever want to see or hear kids around, don’t sail with a cruise line that so heavily markets itself to people of all ages. I totally agree with Ann H’s comment: “I’ve had far more bad experiences due to adults’ boorish behavior than I’ve ever had issues with kids’.”
      All of that being said, I do agree that cruise lines need to have policies and enforce them, regardless of the age of the person breaking the rule.

    19. Jan
      July 12th, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

      seems the minute they get on a ship the parents let go and the KIDS go WILD–i AGREE with all who said signs and Code of Conduct Cards and that the cruiselines MUST ENFORCE and specially if OTHER PASSENGERS COMPLAIN.

      nothin worse than having kids running up and down the aisles in the MDRS–i feel like we are back at home dining out.
      or screaming at the top of their lungs and the parents do NOTHING–i feel we are at the grocery store or Walmart.
      or the kids misbehaving at the pool–i feel like we are at the neighborhood pool.
      or the kids playing in the elevators–i feel like we are in the mall.


      unfortunately i only have a certain time of the year i can cruise and sometimes that means 1,000+ kids onboard.
      so i take longer cruises, but with B2Bs unfortunately that is still taking 2 7 day cruises.
      the BEST cruise ever was to the Panama Canal
      in December –2 weeks
      30 kids under the age 18 it was WONDERFUL!!!

    20. Ann
      July 12th, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

      Wow, amazing then that on my (only) 6 cruises I have never, ever had any problems regarding any children. On one of my first cruises I was shocked at the adorable “We Are The Pirates” march from the Adventure Ocean kids’ group that there were that many children aboard — where had they been? I wondered. They’ve been in the pools, but never to a problematic extent. I must have been very, very lucky!

    21. T. Hobbs
      July 12th, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

      I do most of my cruising while most kids are in school. We do not have children and hate when we have to deal with them on a cruise. They run up and down the halls, playing on the elevators, crowding the pools and spas and of course the ones that scream and yell or cry. I do not hate children, I just do not like to cruise with them. I have no problem in getting the attention of a crew member and make my complaints and if the first one does not work I will continue until the issue is resolved or I am happy. I cruise by the rules and want all to enjoy their vacations, even children. You just have to find the right time to cruise and the best ships to cruise on. The longer the cruise the better chance you have of not running into many children. Shorter cruises are the worst.

    22. Sandra Pickett
      July 12th, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

      We have never had a problem with other people’s kids on a cruise.We never had the luxury of bringing our kids on a cruise when they were small.The only thing I saw on our last Carnival cruise was an extended family at dinner one night with a small guy about 18 months old. He started to cry a bit and one of the staff starting playing with him and then carried him around while the parents and grandparents eat. I thought that was great service, Everybody got to enjoy dinner.

    23. BJBrown
      July 12th, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

      Our first two cruises to Alaska was wonderful, very few if any children and those that were there spent most of their time in the Loft (HAL Kids Club). Our last cruise to the Mexican Riveria (in April – real stupid) was a total nightmare. There were a number of boys who behaved more like a pack of rabid dogs running through the hallways, up and down the stairs, hogging the elevators and generally being extremely rude. I use a cane because of arthritis and several occasions one or more would come up behind me and yank on the cane, in an attempt to make me fall down. When the deed was finally accomplished, they laughed and ran off. When parents were approached about the behavior, the person reporting the misbehavior was called a liar. Since the parents felt that since they paid for the cruise, the child should be allowed to do as they wish. There was little and no supervision during the entire trip.

      Personally, I will never cruise again when I know there is a chance that there will young people on the same ship. I wonder what those kids will be like when they grow up….. that is the most frightening thought.

    24. Michelle
      July 12th, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

      Even as a parent, I tend to agree with most people, but it also goes to how a child is raised.

      My boys will be 13 and 10 on our next cruise, and it will be a school year one, as my husband works more seasonally and spring/summer is 80+ hour weeks at his company (event planning).

      I have told my oldest some of the things people have reported kids his age doing on cruises. He literally /facepalms and asked me “Where were their parents?!?”

      In this day and age, you never know who is on the boat with you! I would never take the chance that some drunk random person is going to invite/force my kids into their cabin in some random location on the ship. Maybe I am a worrier, but yeah, it could and I am sure it DOES happen.

      I would never let my kids in the “adult only” area’s, heck I don’t even use them myself since I have kids and want to be available to them.

      It’s the world of “entitlement” for a lot of people. Well I spend $XXXX for my family to be on here! They should be able to do what they want! What about the other 2000+ people who ALSO spent money to enjoy their vacation?

      My kids I swear at times scare older people, holding doors, saying please and thank you, even offering themselves (w/o me saying anything) to help older people with their groceries and such to their car! I am happy knowing that my kids at least behave in public and know when they better not act up or they will be in real trouble! And who wants to sit on the balcony with Mom for days on end on a cruise? =)

    25. Tina
      July 12th, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

      Oh hey! I forgot one more thing. Celebrity allowed underaged gambling on the South American Cruise! Again – kids and teenagers ruled the ship.

      @BJBrown – so sorry you went through that! How rude! But you sound like the kinda person I want to cruise with!

    26. Ken
      July 12th, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

      Well, to be fair, I am a CruiseCritic parent whose kids have gone on several cruises. Our kids are already Platinum cruisers with RCI… I think the problem lies with the parents, not the children. I firmly believe that the parents who come to CruiseCritic to ask for advice, or read and post reviews are very thoughtful cruisers.
      Parents who don’t attend to their kids?
      Not so thoughtful.
      Our last cruise, there was a multi-family group who had two tables in the Main Dining Room. An adult table and a kids’ table.
      I kept asking myself “Aren’t those people EMBARRASSED by their kids’ behavior?”

      The answer was this: They are obviously NOT CruiseCritic members.

    27. Darcie
      July 12th, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

      Believe it or not, age rules do not apply to kids. If any entity wants to refuse admittance to children in a specific age group, they may do so, just like a restaurant in our area recently did. Children under the age of nine are no longer welcome in the restaurant. Like others have said, it’s not the kids, but the parents who have no parenting skills. The children rule the roost and parents are too afraid to set limits for fear of their kids not loving them. I’ve been on a number of cruises where kids were totally out of control, doing things like putting feces in the pool, swearing at the activities staff, getting into food fights in the MDR and buffet and things too numerous to mention. Perhaps if cruise lines weren’t so totally afraid of confronting parents, perhaps if families with out of control kids were thrown off at the next port, perhaps if parents had to sign a code of conduct contract, things could be different. But many of today’s parents refuse to see that although their little angel might be their universe, they are not part of ours.

    28. laura jones
      July 12th, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

      I have usually had good luck on cruises regarding kids. Only once was the elevator hijacked by a bunch of kids (it was really annoying). I tend to travel on Princess cruise line (which is known to have an older crowd) and at times when school was in session. As stated before by someone else, sometimes you just have to travel during school breaks. It all comes down to parents being responsible for their children

    29. Nita
      July 12th, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

      I have done 6 cruises on Princess and 2 on RCL and had a bad experience with children on the RCL Mexico trip. We had lake dining and two families with children let their kids roam the dining room and nothing was done by staff or parents. Only one time on Princess with a crying baby and the staff asked the parents to take the baby out til she calmed. Obviously we only do Princess now.

    30. Nancy
      July 12th, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

      I’ve never personally seen really poor behavior from kids, but, as seniors, we tend to cruise mostly while they’re in school. One cruise line, however, disembarked a family in Hawaii (on a 15-day cruise) to find their own way home after they and their kids ignored many warnings and were, from what I heard, really, really horrible. Luckily I never ran into them. I love seeing families cruising but would never cruise when they offer kids cruise free. That’s asking for trouble.

    31. Patchycat
      July 12th, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

      On NCL’s Epic we paid to go to the Cirque dinner show, most of which we could not enjoy due to the small screaming child right behind us. Suffice it to say, the loud noises, flashing lights, and strangers running by the table didn’t go over too well with the toddler. The mom finally took the child out with only about 20 minutes left in the show. I don’t know if she got tired of the glares from folks all around or staff asked her to leave. If you’re going to have “pay extra” events it is certainly fair to offer at least a few adult only sessions, whether it is entertainment or dining.

    32. Kim
      July 12th, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

      You asked,…Who’s fault is it when bratty kids run amok? Why, it’s the PARENT’S FAULT, of course! Who’s fault is it when the parent’s refuse to control their brats? It’s the cruiseline’s fault, of course! The reason there is so much bratty behavior these days is because the parent’s tolerate it. Poor parenting. That’s when the cruiseline needs to step in and MAKE the rules, then ENFORCE the rules. I grew up with six siblings and we always managed to have a good time without running, shouting, or disrespecting others or property BECAUSE the very first time we did any of those things we ALL were removed from the fun to sit in our room. I guarantee you that if ALL parents did this, their kids would learn to be polite and respectful of all. Here’s the secret: Do it consistantly – each and every time. By day 3, 95% of the rude and unsafe behavior will be GONE! Guaranteed. As for the ADULTS with bratty childlike behaviors? Staff should BAN them from whatever area they are causing a problem in. Let them come back the next day. If they do it again, BAN them again. Problem solved. As for me, I’ve learned that if a parent doesn’t correct their child, then I’ll do it. Many parents don’t like this, but if enough of us do it, it may finally dawn on the parents that they obviously are either too lazy or too lienient and they just may learn a thing or two about proper parenting after all. Bill the parents for any damages and blow frickin whistles like lifeguards do if you have to. On the second whistle, the kid is out of there for the day. I was truly shocked to read that any cruise staff would seat children at a separate table from their kids! Are you kidding me?!? That one is simple. NO CAN DO! If their own parents need a break from them, what does THAT tell you?!? Unreal.

    33. Beth
      July 13th, 2011 @ 2:15 am

      My children are fairly well behaved but surely every 2 and 3 year old have their moments?

      I know the difference is how the parents respond to those ‘moments’, but now I’m going to be stressed after even the slightest misbehavior from my children, which will probably make them play up even more.

      All children love to get a reaction. If i felt relaxed about other people’s perception of me/my children and reminded them nicely to behave, I expect things would be fine but having read these response if they can see that I feel stressed and therefore I am short-tempered with them they are less likely to respond positively.

    34. Heather
      July 13th, 2011 @ 4:23 am

      Well, I’ve just come from a 25-day Cruise of SE Asia and while all the kids I saw were clearly used to travelling and knew how to behave I did hear that a family who had kids who mis-behaved big-time were put off at the next port to make their own arrangements. We shouldn’t have to plan our holidays around times when kids might be at school.
      One littly who was playing up was told she wasn’t going into the Dining room behaving like that (by her Mum) and was taken back to the cabin by Dad. Well done folks.

    35. Maree Menz
      July 13th, 2011 @ 8:00 am

      The very first cruise i went on had revolting children with just as revolting parents. A queue at the pursers desk all the way down the hall to complain. This cruise was taken out of school holidays. I have had 3 children and my children would have been piunished if they behaved like some children and their parents behave. I have also unfortunately witnessed a passenger who deserved to be jetisoned overboard for her behaviour towards a mother and her children who i might add were in the childrens pool. This passenger had made trouble everywhere on the ship and even caused a scene in the lido a few days later. I can see bothe sides but how about WE ALL HAVE CONSIDERATION FOR EACH OTHER. DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT WE WISH DONE TO US. If we could all follow this advice maybe we caould ALL enjoy our cruises. If you cannot follow this advice dont cruise or holiday because you ruin everyone elses.

    36. Carole Rosenthal
      July 13th, 2011 @ 8:35 am

      I cruised on the Dream and the kids were running all over the place. Two issues: cruise personnel reminding these kids where they are & where are the parents? Most kids (like on the Epic) will apologize (teenagers) if they think they annoyed someone, but I watched my kids “like a hawk!” My kids knew their parameters and always used please, thank you and excuse me. Up until recently, the only time I could cruise would be school holidays. You sometimes have a choice, price versus cruise choices. At some point, we need to either say something and risk the scorn of the parents or mention it to someone of authority on the ship! You can pick a cruise ship w/o a lot of young people, but you risk having (I’m 63)a boring cruise! You could also pick a cruise line that has strong children’s programs. Trust me, kids would much rather have something to do. Otherwise, they will be roaming.

    37. Carole Rosenthal
      July 13th, 2011 @ 8:43 am

      Please let me add, when my kids were unruly in a restaurant or such, they were taken by me to the ladies’ room and explained to if they wanted to fuss, they could do it there, and no one would be embarrassed. They were then asked where they wanted to be, and it was always at the table where my husband and I would always make sure they had crayons and something to draw on, or he played the quarter (25 cents) hockey game with them on the table! It’s parents responsibility to discipline kids of all ages, not strangers! We feel the same about our grand daugher’s behavior.

    38. Greg
      July 13th, 2011 @ 8:49 am

      Folks, it is the parents! Crews and Captains do have the right to run the ship for the safety and enjoyment of all. By avoiding the brats and their equally stupid parents puts everyone on edge.

      I was thinking that if any brat tried to trip me or hog an elevator — I’d become “passenger obnoxious” and be all over the Captain and the Crew.

      If the ship has the right to refuse service to drunk/disorderly travellers — the children’s behaviour should be held to the same standard as their parents.

      We know the drill — only when something happens — an injury +lawsuit will things change.

      To that end, when my son was a toddler — we prepared for the “order and run drill” at any restaurant. If he was melting down — we took our meal to go. If he was behaved — we stayed. Only when I saw the relief in the server’s eyes did I know we did the right thing. Is this to difficult for parents — especially when we see more babes in arms lining up on the dock for a cruise? Come on folks, I like babies but in the middle of the ocean on a cruise ship is not probably the best place for little Susie’s first trip if she’s barely able to toddle around!

      On our last cruise (Disney — we expected kids), the children seemed to be right in line with the expected behaviours. Loud when necessary and quiet when required. Elevators used properly and nothing crazy during the dining experiences.

      Perhaps there is a corresponding “price paid for a trip and expected behaviour” ratio. I would guess that if you pack a cruise ship with as many families as possible and promise them a non-stop party, you get parents that get to the party first and forget their parenting responsibilities on the dock.

    39. Carol
      July 13th, 2011 @ 9:43 am

      We are diamond members on RCI however have cruised a total of 35 cruises on varios cruise lines and we see an increasing problem with unsupervised kids on board. Aside from the dispicable behavior that is becoming all too common these kids create great tremendous safety risks for other cruisers. The running in the hallways and common areas causes falls and injuries to adults of all ages. We have seen several adults fall because of running and pushing. The cruise lines should be concerned about their liabiliy but thus far I haven’t seen this matter addressed with much concern. Parents that allow free roaming on board are not thinking that the kids could also be at risk. Yes there are irresponsible and often intoxicated adults onboard that could do harm to young kids. That’s the world we live in and I doubt these parents would drop thie kids off at the park alone and not check on them for hours!

      Our worst cruise ever was New Years Eve cruise on Voyager of the Seas. We thought of that as an adult holiday however we experienced a 7 day nightmare. In the dining room on New Years Eve several of us had to leave the dining room because the staff had placed party favors on the tables that included horns. There were over 1000 kids on board and they blew those horns all through dinner with the parents smiling as tho it was cute! It was horrible ruined our dinner and was follwed by underage drinkers being rude rowdy and sick on the Promade deck!
      We will never do another holiday cruise so let these families have the ships and use the cruise staff for babysitters. Only problem I see is these families cruise once a year and people like us do several cruises a year so you would think the cruise lines would consider their bottom line.

    40. godelieve carron
      July 13th, 2011 @ 9:53 am

      We simply avoid going on ships where the children are free till 18 years old !!
      We did it once and we could not get food, because all those youngsters ate like mad , and we had to pay for that .
      It was on MSC , there were 1.400 children . No way to go in any pool, or to be quit anywhere.
      So, if you don’t have children on the ship avoid MSC .

    41. KC
      July 13th, 2011 @ 10:52 am

      My child has been on 4 or 5 cruises. She flew a lot, as her dad worked for an airlines. People were often horrified to be near her on an aircraft or seated at the same table for dining, etc. But guess what – she’s extremely well behaved. She constantly received compliments, encouragement, included in conversations – it has helped her become who she is today. You do your child no favors by allowing them to behave in this manner. You are ‘handicapping’ them in their ability to succeed. I call it the BAD DOG SYNDROME. It’s not the dog, it’s the owner. It’s not the child, it’s the parent(s).

    42. Linda Hahn
      July 13th, 2011 @ 11:39 am

      We purposely cruise when the kids are in school. One of my biggest issues is parents not supervising the kids at the pool – jumping, splashing (more than “normal”), running, screaming and the biggest of all – DIAPERS! I’m middle aged (admitted reluctantly) and am very irritated at the disrespect children show today. When I was a kid, if I was dis-respectful to an adult my parents would march me over to render an apology – now…the kids demand an apology from YOU!! Parents have the “not my kid” syndrome.

      Would you let your kid drop/throw food on YOUR dining room floor??? Or open tons of sugar packets all over the table in YOUR house!! Most likely not.

      Off the soapbox…

    43. MC
      July 13th, 2011 @ 11:40 am

      As Mandy said yesterday,
      “kids are kids, and I’d suggest that if you don’t ever want to see or hear kids around, don’t sail with a cruise line that so heavily markets itself to people of all ages.”

      Don’t want to be around kids? Choose a premium or luxury cruise line. It’s that simple. Otherwise, let it go…

    44. Marcia
      July 13th, 2011 @ 11:46 am

      I will be taking my son on a cruise for his first birthday. I’m sure that some of you may think that I am horribly inconsiderate for doing this and I will not attempt to change your feelings. However, rather than blaming a whole group of people without distinction (children & parents) lets focus on what to do should someone cause a problem. I am all for reporting rude, dangerous, disruptive behavior ot the cruise staff and would expect that they will consider the situation.
      That being said, there are parents out there that cruise and vacation with children repsonsibly. In our case, we are spending almost $1,000 more than we would otherwise have to so that we are able to sail a ship that provides nursery services for our 1yo. We will not be dining in specialty restaurants with DS and likely will stick to the buffet the majority of the time. That being said, if DS starts to be disruptive in the buffet one parent will take the baby and leave while the other eats. Acting responsible is not hard to do and it is a shame that some parents neglect to encourage proper behavior in their children.

    45. Kathy
      July 13th, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

      We just returned from a 7 day Alaskan cruise on Princess. There were more children than I expected on the ship (including my own 15 & 17 year olds). But I found it to be quite different than previous Caribbean cruises we have been on. The Alaskan group seemed to be more extended families, traveling together, and enjoying family time together. In the Caribbean, we’ve found that it seems to be parents, wanting to \get away from it all\ and their kids are just left on their own to do as they please. In Alaska, families toured together, played cards together etc. You don’t see much of that in the Caribbean.
      Our main complaint in Alaska was the Diamond Princess itself- there were 4 hot tubs and never more than one open at a time. The indoor pool was closed once during a long day at sea. Though this was mostly an older crowd, this ship seemed to disregard the fact that some of the younger travelers would like to be using the facilities.
      Our worst cruising/kids experience was on the Oasis of the Seas. A beautiful ship, but the passengers seemed to be about 1/2 foreign- so maybe language was a barrier (?) but these large family groups would camp out in the \Serenity – adults only\ area for the day and the kids would be all around, running in and out and completely ignoring the adults only restriction. It was noisy, messy, and I never saw any staff person say a thing. These same kids spend the evenings running around the ship in little teen or pre-teen \gangs\ each evening. One night a group decided to sit on the floor in the hall right outside our cabin and play cards. I called security, but it took them at least 1/2 an hour to show up and by then the kids were gone.
      These kinds of things are especially annoying to us, as we’ve always traveled with our children, but have always kept them under strict control and insisted on manners and consideration for others…. a lost are it seems ) :

    46. Jim G
      July 13th, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

      We booked a summer cruise to Mexico. We knew there would be a lot of kids and there were; however, we all commented how well behaved all were. We were quite shocked to say the least. I think it all depends upon the kids and the parents. Cruise must have organized kids activities and security to watch that they don’t run in the hall or around the pools or play in the elevators. They are kids and kids horse around; however, the parents must be parents and watch where they are and what they are doing at all times unless they are in ship supervised activities. Anything less is unacceptable. Period. Babies should never be taken onboard aircraft. They cry and make the experience horrible for everyone.

    47. Dylan
      July 13th, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

      Families are free to cruise if they wish with their children, and the simple fact of the matter is that kids have much more energy than most cruisers who tend to be of an “older” age.

      If you don’t want to deal with kids, stop sailing lines that market to families, period. There are plenty of cruise lines that you can choose from and not run into the problems you complain of onboard. Consider Celebrity, Holland America, even Princess. These lines attract fewer families with kids than Royal Caribbean, Carnival and NCL. Do your research ahead of time and I’m sure you’ll be happy as clams.

    48. Greg
      July 13th, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

      To Dylan.

      Research is key to pick the right cruise for each person or family. That said, no one should be allowed to roam a ship like a pack of hyenas throughout the night. No child should be un-supervised anywhere on the ship. You do not absolve yourself of parental responsibilities because you cross a gangway.

      I don’t care what cruise line you are sailing — the expected behaviours of civilized people on land should be the expectation on sea.

      I just wish those that are guilty of letting loose the hyenas on board would read these posts.

    49. John B
      July 13th, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

      I think Ann H.’s (post 15) argument is disingenuous and invariably comes up in these “unruly” kids discussion. While I have occasionally observed boorish adult behavior (rudeness to staff, line jumping), it rarely affects me or my enjoyment of the cruise. Yet I have never been on a child intensive cruise where their ill mannered behavior has not affected me (elevators, screaming, adult areas).

      I am in the camp of those who place the fault squarely on the shoulders of the lazy and/or “ignoring” parents. I also feel that staff should step in “when necessary” and stop the disruptive behavior, but understand their reluctance to do so (including the bottom line).

      Finally, I have yet to see one of these discussions yet (ever) where even one parent has admitted that their little Johnny/Susy were brats. Seems like all the parents who post in these discussion have little angels who are always well mannered. I guess anything is possible, but odds are against that being the case.

    50. Maria
      July 13th, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

      I too, take my cruises when the kids are all in school. I think posting rules is a great idea, but they HAVE to be enforced by both the parents and the cruise line. I also think that more families should consider cruising with the Disney line or doing land based theme park vacations when traveling with the kids(something experienced cruisers like myself would choose to avoid), leaving them home is also an option, an infant/toddler will never appreciate a cruise vacation or any other for that matter. Another suggestion is late dinner seatings should be reserved for adults only as there are plenty of other options for families with kids to dine. I have kids (now grown), but today’s generation raises their children in a matter much differnt from the baby boomers and the disipline level is just not usually there or enforced.

    51. Amanda
      July 13th, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

      I know I will get flamed for this, but here it goes…

      This thread has made me beyond angry. Most of you are coming across as child haters. Dylan…great post! If you don’t want to cruise with kids…find a line that does not encourage children. But I am not sure that I agree with lines that you mention. Holland America, Celebrity and Princess all advertise to families. They have extensive kids clubs and services. Instead, try Oceana…they say right on their website that children are not encouraged and there are no facilities for them.

      Personally, our family travels on Holland America. I have a 3 yr old and 5 yr old who are both exceptionally mild mannered and well behaved. I choose this particular line because the kids club is smaller and more personal. My kids prefer it over Disney. If you have a problem with children…be forwarned…I take cruises with my young children. They are typically longer cruises (the last was 14 days). We go a lot. It is an easy vacation (and very appropriate) for us. Our next cruise will be a 35 day. Holland America markets to children, offers facilities and is therefore fair game in my opinion.

      Just a few side notes about our experiences on the last cruise. First night in the MDR, we got seated next to an older couple. The wife’s first (very loud) comment to her husband was “Is THAT going to bother you?” Then she made some comment likening our children to her dogs at home (ie: Don’t want to dine with them at home, why should I dine with them here)…this was all done loudly in front of my 5 yr old who hadn’t uttered a word yet. He was on the verge of tears. Later she said “honey…did you remember to put your teeth in?” My husband turned to her and said “don’t worry, you won’t bother us either”. Bless his soul.

      Another instance…we were in an elevator. All the buttons were pushed. Everyone who got on assumed it was our children who had done the pushing (it was not!). Surprise Surprise…it was a shabbat elevator. Think before you accuse the nearest child.

      Many people mentioned that they like children…just not on cruises. Well then, where is it ok for families to vacation? Their bathtubs or closets perhaps?

    52. Lori
      July 13th, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

      I made the mistake of booking a cruise the first week of November out of Cape Liberty, NJ – had forgotten it’s teacher’s convention week in NJ, and that many kids are out of school. The little ones were no trouble, but the teenagers were horrid. Foul language, vandalism, unsupervised teens up till all hours – 3 families were kicked off the ship due to bad behavior. I was glad that Royal Caribbean handled the bad behavior, and I’ve also learned to be wary of cruising out of NY/NJ.

    53. Gene
      July 13th, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

      I ask – why must we, who pay full-fare Adult rates, have to contend with the obnoxious behavior of the PARENTS who refuse to corral the mischievous munchkins? Our son started cruising with us at age 6, and did NOT misbehave. But then again, that was an era before all the stupid portable electronics that substitute for parental supervision.

      I was intrigued by the comment posted here about the 18 month old making consistent noises at dinner. We too had a similar situation – and the surrounding tables mandated that our Head Waiter resolve the issue. Fortunately, he did – but I’ve got to ask why did it take until fellow passengers complained for him to act on the issue?

      We previously cruised on the now-defunct American Family Cruise line (ex-Costa) – and in their brochure on page 2 it basically said “if you don’t have kids, we don’t want you on board.” Perhaps it’s time for the major lines to do the reverse on select sailings – “if you have kids, don’t sail this departure.” After all – if smoking is being addressed, why can’t bad behavior be next?

    54. Kerri
      July 13th, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

      I have witnessed kids getting ice cream out by the pool, and then taking it and sticking it on the columns, basically to see if it would stick. One dining room experience, there was a family of about 4 kids with their parents. They were sitting across the isle from our table. The youngest who was probaly 3-4 roamed all around the dining room. She would sometimes get as far as out in the hall where people enter the dining room. I kept an eye on her more than her own mother did. After about 5-10 minutes the mother would send the next oldest about 7 to fetch the little girl. When they didn’t come back, she would send the next oldest who was probably about 9, and then she would send the oldest who probably was about 10-11. This would happen every night, several times. It was very nerve racking because I was generally concerned about the littlest.

    55. joni jones
      July 13th, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

      My husband and I (and most of our friends) will NOT even consider taking a cruise when it is advertised with, ” Kids Cruise Free “.

    56. Leanne
      July 13th, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

      We just had our honeymoon in early April, 10-day Eastern Caribbean on Star Princess. There were probably 50 children on board and all were well-mannered with no incidents. There were many multi-generational families and the children were very respectful. I only travel when kids are in school, like late April (not Easter) and early May. We love Carnival and Princess. My 7-day cruise on Carnival Glory was the worst as far as children, and this was during the school year. Teenagers running all over without supervision, stealing sushi, acting like they were stripping at the pool (yes – 12 y.o. girls), just out of control. That isn’t going to happen to us again. We like the 10 to 14 day itineraries.

    57. Hawaii Dan
      July 13th, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

      Because of the less than responsible parents I see today, my wife and I will not take a cruise with any ship or line that caters to kids of families. Nor will we go on cruises during holidays or vacation time.
      Sorry, I am tired of seeing some ones little spoiled brat ranting and raving while the parents do nothing
      I have seen very few ” well behaved children on ships”
      If there were some incident in the dining room and the staff did noting I would stand up and leave…
      Mu feelings are cruises are for adults and something for kids to aspire to… It is an adult environment and experience that children do not fit in well.

    58. Joe
      July 13th, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

      Yup more signs and more warnings. That’s gonna really work. The cruise docs and ships are already chock full of rules and regs and policies that are not followed by many. Like smuggling booze aboard, smoking restrictions, hogging loungers at the pool, saving seats in the theatre, dress code in the DR, shall I go on.

      Why should you expect the kiddies to “play by the rules” when the parents don’t! And as others have stated some of the “parents” are worse than any of the little kiddies.

      I have no problem with anyone on any cruise, just act as you expect the other person to act.

      Nuff said.

    59. Joe
      July 13th, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

      As and additional comment, children out of their nature will always be \testing the waters\ to see how much they can \get away with.\ If a parent nips the testing in the bud the first time and consistently every time then you will have a well behaved child. However a parent who aspires to be their child’s \best bud\ or a parent who just does not care can never get control of their child. Yes there are ALWAYS exceptions, and I’m sure I’ll see a post about each and every one here but for the large majority of kids what I have posted rings true!

      And also I would wager that many of the so called \crabby adults\ will even react in a negative manner to a \kid just being a kid.\

    60. Darcie
      July 13th, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

      MC, even the luxury lines market to families, and even if they don’t, a lot of families take luxury cruises nowadays. So telling people to either take an expensive luxury cruise or get over it is way simplistic and unrealistic. The simple answer is for parents to parent and not be their best buddy.

    61. Rebecca
      July 13th, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

      Unfortunately I have been on a number of cruises where children are not monitored resulting in behavior that unacceptable. The curfew is rarely enforced from my observation. As a parent I don’t understand how other parents can be so out of touch with their children. I think they take for granted the safety of the ship and put a great deal of trust in fellow cruisers and crew.
      As regards dinner I know my kids and my son really does not like sitting that long. I am really looking forward to taking advantage of Royal’s new Family Dining option so that the kids can eat and return to having fun at camp.
      All of us want to have fun but it should be without infringing upon the enjoyment/ comfort of others.

    62. Amanda
      July 13th, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

      If cruises are an \adult environment that kids do not fit well\ into, then how do you explain the presence of water slides, kids clubs, water play areas etc.?
      Cruises are for anyone and everyone.

    63. Darcie
      July 13th, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

      Amanda, we are NOT child haters. But we are people who cannot stand when kids are out of control, with no parent to be found. Let me ask you this…would you allow your child free reign on a ship at all hours of the night? Would you allow your child to grab food off the buffet and throw it at your other child? Would you allow your child to run the hallways at 3am, taking the room service menus from the doors and tearing them up? Would you be proud if your child threw feces in the pool, causing it to be closed for two days? These are just a few examples I’ve seen on ships, so don’t paint everyone with the “You hate kids” paintbrush. Just like you dont like your kids to be pre-judged, just read these posts and understand the terrible things that we’ve witnessed on ships. And, like many parents like to say, we paid good money to cruise, so we should be able todo whatever. Well, child free people also pay to cruise, and we have a right not to be subjected to parentless kids.

    64. Stu
      July 13th, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

      My wife and I are both recently-retired high school teachers. For years, we’ve only been able to cruise during school breaks, especially Spring Break. We’ve cruised with Princess almost exclusively, and have noticed that the children aren’t too much of a problem on most cruises. Yes, we’ve encounter the occasional screamer at dinner, bored teens hanging around various places, and running children in the hall. But it honestly has not been that much of a distraction. We both have developed the “stern teacher look” to the point that it alone often prevents problems. My wife, being a librarian, is especially good at it.

      Then again, we’ve also seen the Princess staff take some preemptive steps. On one cruise, we witnessed a “trial” of one young man who had hit another child in the children’s center on the ship. The Captain acted as the judge, listened to both sides, and issued his judgement. (We never heard what that was.) Apparently everyone was pleased with his objectivity, and we saw the family often during the 2-week cruise. The captain even sent a note out to other families in the next Princess Patter (daily newsletter) reminding parents of their responsibilities. On another cruise, the captain published the same sort of parental reminder in the first issue of the Patter.

      One trick that we have found useful while staying in hotels is to use the camera in your phone to take a photo of any kids who are doing things they shouldn’t be doing. That act alone will often scare them off. And if they persist, you can take it to the front desk. It’s difficult for parents to argue with a photo or video of their little angels in action, and the staff will have a stronger case to make against them.

      A few years ago, we were told that Princess limited the number of under-21 passengers on each ship. While that policy may not hold true any longer, I don’t think Princess goes out of their way to lure families on board. They let their partner company Carnival go for that crowd. That’s just fine with us. The children who do come on board are often bright and very interested in the cruise activities.

      Finally, while we haven’t seen too much misbehavior among children, we DO love the Sanctuary. It’s as much a respite from the loud adults as it is from the children! I don’t mind paying a nominal fee for the peace and quiet, as well as the peace of mind that comes with having my own chair whenever I want it. And the Sanctuary staff is first-rate.

    65. Marg
      July 13th, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

      Just home from a RCI cruise from Hong Kong. Kids were allowed to run free on the ship ( literally running). The over 16 pool was dominated by children, including those not toilet trained. There were tables of ten children while parents sat away from them. Fortunately, we had pre-paid tips, so we accessed anytime dining where we could sit at a table for two away from the little ones. By the way, I was with my 18y.o daughter who has been a courteous cruiser since she was 8y.o. Staff didn’t act to contain children or parents who ignored reminders in the daily bulletin.

    66. Model T
      July 13th, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

      Our favorite cruise (we’ve taken 29) was on the R4 to Tahiti 10 years ago. Their policy was \no childrfen, no smoking\ anywhere on the ship. It was wonderful!

    67. Debi
      July 13th, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

      I just came back from a cruise on the Carnival Liberty. On Carnival and Royal Caribbean, kids running wild down the hall is a given that I have accepted when I travel during summer vacation, but on this last cruise, we had kids running and screaming into the wee hours of the morning. I blame the parents: one, for not insisting that their children be polite and two, for letting their kids run while at all hours. Don’t they care about their safety? I’m not sure that anything can be done. I like the code of conduct idea, but the parents of these kids are probably the same people who don’t pay attention to the dining room dress code. They certainly won’t read or pay attention to a code of conduct for their children. I even saw one teen cut the buffet line and snatch a chicken nugget from the pan -no tongs, no plate, no napkin, just a nasty, grubby hand reaching in to grab a nugget.
      My next cruise will be while school is in session. Never cruise during Spring Break – that’s another story for another day.

    68. KAS129
      July 13th, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

      The worst cruise I ever had was a ten (10) day “stint” on a “floating juvenile detention facility, also also known as the Norwegian Dawn” – It was so bad that the captain made three shipwide announcements and sent two letters to the “guests”,LOL. with children – they finally put one family, I personally thought it was too little too late, off the ship. I needed a vacation to recover from the vacation. No it was not a cruise during Spring Break or Summer Vacation.

    69. Rachel
      July 13th, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

      I have cruised for 10 years, always around the same time in the spring. Our last cruise was on the Carnival Dream, which should have been called the Carnival Nightmare due to the unruly kids on board. Never have I seen such disrespect, loud behavior and utter disregard for others. Kids were running up and down the halls at all hours, knocking on doors, throwing food, sprawling arcross all the seats in the theater. Even small children with parents in the lido buffet were allowed to scream and cry incessantly while the parents were also loud and obnoxious. It cured me of wanting to take Carnival anymore. I’m going back to Princess. I’d rather pay more so I can enjoy my vacation.

    70. Lisa
      July 13th, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

      I think it comes down to two things: 1 – ineffective parenting and 2 – it’s much easier to remember the negative experiences than the positive ones. Children who are behaiving don’t stick out; they’re not loud, distructive or disrespectful. There is nothing about their behaivor that makes them memorable to the average person. Unless you are actively involved with them, you just don’t notice them. Try not to notice a child who is misbehaiving! You’d have to be blind and deaf to miss them. The next time you are cruising with children aboard, I challenge you to count how many times you see a child who isn’t misbehaiving. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    71. rsmama
      July 13th, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

      Why would they have late dining when they have a toddler with them? That just sounds like a recipe for disaster.

      As for posting something specifically for children – I think instead making sure all passengers are aware that the code of conduct applies to ALL ages would be more appropriate. I’m sure that neither the cruise line nor the passengers would want to feel that they were targeting and/or discriminating.

      As for who’s job it is: I work in retail management and while our store caters to women, of course children are brought in daily. When children misbehave in our store, I watch to be sure the parents are handling the situation. If they are not and it comes to a point where either the product or the child will come to harm – I step in. If I can see that the children are frustrating other clients in an obvious way – I also step in. This mostly involves redirecting the child and giving the mother a friendly reminder about safety.

      As for the woman who said she takes pictures of children and makes them stay in elevators with her…not only are you creepy – but I’d file a complaint against you in a heartbeat if I saw you taking pictures of underaged children or forcing them to stay with you against their will. It’s illegal. For a reason.

    72. steve
      July 13th, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

      I’m 43 and I remember being a kid and being at that age when we’d be out late, having an underage drink, or meeting with a bunch of our friends. It was a different time then, and we didn’t cause the kind of trouble that some kids cause now. But I like to see everyone have a good time on a cruise, and the kids, in my opinion, should be enjoying everything of their youth, but learning boundaries at the same time. While recognizing that only some of the kids will be the ones causing trouble and also recognizing that all of them want to have as good a time as the adults, I think it’s important to point out the ones who are acting out extremely innapropriately, and if necessary use your camera or smartphone to record any activity you think is so terrible that it should be reported. Then show it to the powers that be on the ship and/or the parent(s) of the offending kids. Alternately, you could show it to the kids themselves, provided they seem old enough to understand that they’re to behave or will be reported next time.
      That said, kids are people too. Yes, a screaming young one should be removed from a dining room, as should a wild one wiping down the handrails with ice cream or shoving the elderly. The teens are likely having access to alcohol while pondering the lack of parental supervision and perhaps deciding to see how adult they can live their lives. I suspect that if someone quietly shows one of them a short little movie of them behaving like a total jerk, and tells them that repeated behavior will result in this section of vaction video being forwarded to the ships security and/or parents, while also relaying the little fact about how ship security is pretty much the police on the ship and the captain has all kinds of powers over the people on board while at sea, they may choose to rethink their behavior, while earning themselves an opportunity at redemption.

      If you find it necessary to speak with the parent(s), the best way in my opinion would be a non-threatening friendly approach. Banging on a door and yelling at them, unless something really super bad has happened, is probably not the right approach. Smile, say something like “I know you’ve probably been off enjoying the cruise and had no clue this was going on, BUT, your son/daughter has been causing a bit of a problem, which I was hoping perhaps you could resolve so we don’t have to involve ship security”. This lets them feel like you don’t blame them, and therefore they (hopefully) won’t start off getting defensive. Talk to them as if you know already that they will take care of it and that you don’t expect it would happen again, but in such a way as the person you are speaking with feels that you’ve done them a favor by going to them and not the ships staff.

      Maybe I’m a softie, but I think that most people are good at heart, and might just need someone on occasion to point out their bad behavior if it’s too out of control.

    73. Angela
      July 13th, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

      Well behaved children are a joy, but ill behaved are not. The same goes for adults.

      Having taken twelve cruises on Holland America, I talked my husband into booking a 14 day Panama Canal Holiday Cruise on HAL’s MS Amesterdam.
      On many of the previous cruises there were children, well behaved with responsible parents.
      But on this holiday cruise there were many multi-generaltion groups.
      What a nightmare. I walk with a cane and was fearful to walk the corridors with teenagers racing around corners, up stairs and just appearing in front of or behind me, so I backed to the wall. I became very uncomfortable walking the corridors. also the children and teens would run flat out through the Lido at peak lunch hours…
      Parents and grandparents would watch this behavior and say nothing.
      For many adults,swmming is one exercise that we can do. On this cruise, it was impossible…too many children in both pools from opening to closing. One man tried to swim his laps and was bombarded 6 times by canonballing children. With evident dismay, he got out of the pool and tried the hot tub, three girls followed him and continued jumping in and out of the hot tub.
      He got out, spoke to one of the waiters, nothing was done.
      Late dining was a nightmare..with out of control teenagers and 6/12 year olds..maitre d’ did nothing,,
      We went to the front office, unfortunately without fotos and they did not want to believe us.
      I spoke with the Future Cruise consul
      ant Char, cancelled our next Holiday cruise and told her why.
      Well behaved children are a joy, but ill behaved are not.
      With a little respect on everyone’s part all can enjoy their cruise.
      BTW, the only time the teens were disciplined by the staff was one night about midnight they were skinny/dipping in the aft adults only pool.

    74. sandyh
      July 14th, 2011 @ 3:40 am

      Because there are supervised children’s programs on board, you get the feeling that some parents believe their children are attending camp the entire time and that others will be watching them. So they don’t even make an effort?

      Very foolish. Like anywhere else in society, bad things can happen to young children who are left unattended to fend for themselves. You really can’t trust strangers on vacation any more than you can trust these clueless parents to figure it out.

      That being said, most children I have encounter seem to be really happy to be on board and friendly to adults if you are friendly to them.

    75. Carole Rosenthal
      July 14th, 2011 @ 9:01 am

      This post has been about children, and out of 17 cruises, only one was there a problem with large #’s of children. How about the cruise we took on an Italian/American based line where foreigners almost took my eye out while I sitting reading inside with his cigarette. Obviously, they were smoking everywhere and ship personnel ignored it. How about rude foreigners jumping to the front of a line “because they were entitled?” How about these men walking about the ship (not pool area) in mini-speedos and they were not ‘attractive’ but commonplace in Europe. When Americans visit another country, they observe the rules. No rules were adhered to. Actually heard another foreign group comment at the end of the cruise that there were too many dam ” ” on board. Swore we would never use this cruise (Costa) again! Couldn’t wait to get off the ship. We also waited a long time before we did Princess again. On the Alaska cruise, due to the older age group, “the sidewalks” were pulled in at 12:30 am. Boring!!! Even Motown music turned into Sinatra as the DJ admitted that there were more older passengers on board. Trust me, if a child(ren) are acting poorly, I will say something, but adults are “equal opportunity offenders!” Every situation needs to be addressed individually. We do have to remember that sometimes children are just what they are children. And, yes, in most situations, it is the parents, not the children who need to do “their job!”

    76. Ro
      July 14th, 2011 @ 10:12 am

      I’m planning on taking my kids on a cruise next summer. It will be their first. I waited until I felt that my youngest would be capable of controlling himself. He will be 10 next summer and my oldest will be 16. They are pretty much well behaved at most times, but every once in a while I will have to give them that “look”. You know the one!!! Sets them straight and back on the right track. LOL

      I would NEVER allow my children to be disruptive and rude and they have learned that behavior like that is totally unacceptible. If we are out in public and they see kids running around like manics and acting up, they will both look at each other and say “Wow, mom would NEVER EVER allow us to act that way”. They open doors and say excuse me and yes or no sir or ma’am. I think that somehow a lot of that is lost with the world. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about how people have encountered a number of rude individuals on thier cruises. It’s really said.

      My boys used to get their feelings hurt when the would hold open a door for a stranger and they would even get an accknowledgement at all. But they understand that some people just feel priviledged and they it is owed to them and my boys know better. They continue to use good manners and be respectful of others because that is the way we are raising them.

      I blame the parents of those children that have no control or consequences for thier actions for their upbringing. My mom brought me up to respect everyone, even if it is frustrating and that includes, your body language as well as any verbal communications, noises, etc. I have passed that on to my children and nothing makes me beem a smile faster than someone that comments on what respectful gentlemen my boys are.

      The parents need to take responsibility for their children. I think that the person that commented on the signage was right, I think it would be a good idea, but not only should the child be removed, but those that are responsible for those children as well. It starts with the parents. If they don’t teach their children, then the children will not know any better and will continue to make the wrong choices that often affect others in a negative way.

      Just my two cents!

    77. JoAnn
      July 14th, 2011 @ 10:17 am

      We are sailing in October for a week when school is in session, hoping that there will not be a ton of children on board. However, we are bringing our 4 year old with us. She is very well behaved and learned manners from a very early age. Some of her first words were “please” and “thank you”. When she sees achild misbehaving, she will tell them that they are not acting properly. It is quite funny to see. I also agree that it is up to the parents to supervise their children and they should remove the offending children immediately. I do not want my own or anyone elses vacation ruined because parents think it is not their job to watch their own children. It is. Vacation or not.

    78. Jen
      July 14th, 2011 @ 11:07 am

      Parents who have no control, or choose not to control their kids, are at the heart of this debate. However, some parents really just don’t realize what their older kids and teens are up to. It is a vacation for everyone. Those with and those without kids. I think perhaps it’s also a situation where people forget the old adage “Pick your battles.” Some behavior, while slightly annoying, is really no cause to pick another cruise line or ban kids.

      We should not have to pay more to enjoy our vacation. We should not have to choose only luxury lines if we want to either avoid kids or see well behaved kids. The fact is that ALL of the small children on cruise ships are there with some adult who is not being responsible. These little tikes are not purchasing cruise fare, finding transportation to the ship, walking up and checking themselves into a cabin. It’s not happening. So, parents need to be on the ball.

      Quite frankly, we have no children but do not mind children at all. I have seen far more disgusting behavior by adults on most cruises. Adults who curse in front of kids. Adults who behave boorishly at their tables and overindulge in alcohol. People who cut the line and shove others out of the way. We cruised with my six year old niece. My niece was waiting patiently at the pasta bar with me, out of the way and not doing anything but standing there. She had gotten her plate and we were waiting for mine. Some lady came up and pushed her over to the side. It knocked her over and knocked her food out of her hands. She spilled marinara sauce everywhere. Then the woman yelled at her and said she hates little kids who make messes on “Her” cruise. Really? The cruise was “hers?” I told her that my niece was doing nothing but standing there and that she wouldn’t have dropped her plate if this woman hadn’t shoved her. She was not pleased. Several other passengers confirmed that this woman knocked my niece over, and that my niece was not doing anything but standing there waiting for me.

    79. Laura
      July 14th, 2011 @ 11:28 am

      We exclusively sail HAL mainly because it caters to the older crowd (I am 51 and my husband is 49 and we enjoy peace and quiet) and our first 2 cruises were scheduled during the school year so kids were not an issue. The few we saw on board were well behaved and polite. However we made the dreadful mistake of taking a summer cruise last year and believe me it is a mistake we will not make again! Because HAL does cater to the older crowd the ships are not designed for kid use. No rock walls. No skating rinks. Etc etc etc. All they have is a kids club and a teen room and it is NOT enough to keep the kids occupied. The pools were always filled with screaming children and the hot tubs were always filled with obnoxious teenagers. We were on a 12 day cruise and I had one day where I was able to get into a pool & hot tub – a port day that I decided to stay on ship for. Many meals were ruined by screaming toddlers (2 of them at specialty restaurants that we paid extra for – yeah that really pissed me off) and all of the complaints listed in these posts were experienced by me and my fellow passengers. Never again! We are cruising the Caribbean on the Nieuw Amsterdam this December a couple of weeks before school lets out for the holidays – I hope it is as kid-free as possible!

    80. Joe
      July 14th, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

      DARCIE & ANYONE ELSE === Have you ever witnessed ANY kids being good and well behaved on a ship?????????

      I have seen both sides of that proverbial fence and the good outweighs the bad by a proverbial country mile!!!!!!!!!!!

    81. Catherine
      July 14th, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

      What I have just read seems to be extremely exaggerated! I highly doubt that anyone witnessed kids tripping seniors and people using canes!

      I have just recently returned from a 5 day Carnival cruise, with nearly 1000 kids on board (that made half of the passengers under 18).

      I interacted with several of them at the pool, (a few were jumping in and splashing, but its a pool what do you expect?) also at the buffet on the Lido deck. I witnessed some rude children, one in particular ramming her plate into mine in an attempt to make me move faster I guess, I told her if she wanted to go a head of me she could but otherwise to stop ramming her plate into my tray, she was immedately corrected by her dad, who had been talking to his wife an didn’t notice his child’s behavior. But I also sat at lunch with some very polite and respectful teens. We encountered them in the elevators as well, going for joy rides, buttons for all the decks were pushed. So I had to wait an extra minute or two for the elevator or to get to the floor I wanted? Your on vacation what are you going to be late for??? My husband took the elevator time as an opportunity to have fun with them and tell them not to get to close to him, cause he was contagious. They quickly got off at the next floor.

      As big as a cruise ships are, I doubt that the cruisers that have complained here really encountered the “same” rude kids over and over again or that every child on board was a heathen as described. I traveled with a 15yr old, 13 year old and 3yr old. The youth programs kept all my kids active and supervised as well as entertained in their own club areas. My 3 yr old had at least a dozen melt downs a day, lasting for all of 2-3 minutes. Some were in our cabin and some were in public (such as the mini-golf course), but non were in the dinning room (and I had the early seating with most of the families with kids). I also never witnessed meltdowns of other toddlers in the dining room or public entertainment areas.

      I agree with some that have stated here, ruder behavior was seen from more adults than children. Smokers not following the rules, drunken misconduct, people in scooters who ran into my ankles or slowed down a buffet line.

      If you want a cruise without kids, than pick a more expensive line. Travel when they are in school, or hang out in the adult only areas. Have breakfast and lunch in the dinning room, (I didn’t see kids there without parents or misbehaving).

      You are going to run into rude, obnoxious kids probably anywhere you vacation. Complaining about them or the lack of control their parents have is not going to change a thing. If you plan on cruising during summer, Christmas, or spring break than be prepared that half of the ship will most likely be children. Better yet maybe you might consider Branson MO., that seems right up the “I hate kids” and people in scooters vacationers alley!

    82. Anonymous
      July 14th, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

      I want to share this experience with the parents and non-parents. First I don’t have kids and I did cruise as a kid. On one cruise in Hawaii, I was 11 and my parents left me with the cabin stewardess and her husband (who was a cabin steward) for part of a day to go fishing with them. I got to go to a part of the ship for only cruise employees (that I could tell) and fish off the boat!!! Awesome! I caught a Humuhumunukunukuapua`a!! It’s Hawaii’s state fish and I spent the rest of the cruise learning how to say it (well maybe only 30 minutes). We threw it back of course. I recall eating wonderful meals at dinner and getting all dressed up with matching hats and all. My parents made sure I followed the dress code and looked as good as them. My parents were the type that always taught me to say please and thank you and to keep patience.

      Now flash forward to when I was 16 years old. I was an honor student, had the world in front of me and was on another cruise! This time our waiter took special interest in me. He also brought me to an area of the ship that employees only were allowed after a formal dinner. Looking back, I’m so thankful that nothing more than kissing happened! Today I hear horrible stories about crew members playing games of who is gonna nail who by the end of the cruise. If I had a daughter, I would warn her and pay a little more attention than my parents did. I’m in my 30’s now and I sometimes see behavior from crew members to teenage girls and get the creeps. I can’t help it. I think it’s important to realize just because you are on a cruise ship that doesn’t mean your teenager daughter (or son) shouldn’t have a curfew. Bad things can happen anywhere. Parents need to enforce the curfew on their kids and need to know what they are doing and with whom. They should take the time to learn their friends and even their friends’ parents.

    83. Jim
      July 14th, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

      I have to say that I have not witnessed any kids’ misbehavior on the cruises I have taken. However, I did see a misbehaving parent with a kid. A mother and 8-year-old girl were in the adults-only pool area. To be honest, the child was behaving fine, but that wasn’t the point. Someone complained, and the pool attendent asked them to leave. The mother refused, saying she had a right to be there. The discussion went on for a while, and the pool attendent left.

      Then, security came over and said they had to leave. The mother refused saying she had a right to be there because she paid for this cruise. The security guard said, “So did everyone else”, but she still wouldn’t leave. The security guard left, and finally the woman got up, grabbed her daughter’s hand, and left, complaining all the way out.

      And you expect kids to behave when their parents are setting THAT kind of an example?

    84. Joe
      July 14th, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

      It IS amazing how Cruise Critic manages to attract a majority of cruisers who never seem to have a good time on their vacations!?!?!?!?

      Funny the only CC members I’ve ever seen on numerous RCI meet & greets, etc. are ALWAYS having a fantastic time and very few have complaints about much, except that they can’t seem to understand why we all have to get off the ship at the end of the cruise!?!?!? LOL!!

    85. Lonna
      July 15th, 2011 @ 12:52 am

      We will be crusing during school time with our 3 children ages 3, 3 and 7. I have to say my kids KNOW not to act crazy in public. Yes they may be little devils at home :) but when in public my 3 year old twin boys do their best to hold the door open for others. They say please and thank you (even to each other) and know if they act crazy they will get smacked. I am not afraid of my children not “liking” me. One of my 3 year olds actually told me one day “I not love you anymore”. Did it hurt me, not at all, I looked at him and said “that’s OK mommy still loves you”. People need to supervise their children, not only for the enjoyment of other guest, but also for the safety of their own children. Just because I am on vacation to relax doesn’t give me, or them, the luxury of being on vacation from being a parent!!

    86. John Montgomery
      July 15th, 2011 @ 3:04 am

      I endorse comments made by many cruisers that ill mannered children,undisciplined by their parents or the ship’s staff are ruining many cruises. In April 2011 we were on the Eurodam (HAL) on a transatlantic cruise with a further seven days on the same ship cruising the Med. The seven day section was horrible with approximately 75 children running amok and staff and parents doing little or nothing to address their bad behaviour. Pools and spas were taken over by children and adults avoided them like the plague. I will never again take any short cruises or extensions to longer cruises; I can do without the hassle.

    87. David Ricker
      July 15th, 2011 @ 7:58 am

      Leave the little children at home with a sitter. Especially on longer cruises. The cruise is bad enough dealing with brats but then you have to deal with that on the jet going home.

    88. Maria
      July 15th, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

      I will be on the Carnival Glory during Feb. vacation with my husband and two kids – 13 + 14. I am already starting to speak to them about their behavior on the ship. I want them to have fun, but I refuse to let them run wild. I know the ship will be filled with kids and I just hope that parents will take responsibility for their behavior. We, as a society, let kids get away with way too much. Not in my house or anywhere else……..

    89. Susan
      July 15th, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

      I love the idea about taking photos/video of misbehaving children AND adults in public areas. To the person who would report me for taking pictures of their \little darling\ acting like a rabid pig….bring it on!!!!
      Also, I will reduce tips if misbehaved children are allowed to continue without discipline, that will hit staff where it hurts. If they get their full tips why would they expend any energy to do anything about bad kids/parents. Just go to the pursers office before you leave the cruise and ask to change your tip amount on your bill. We often add to our tips, but you can reduce them too..

    90. nels ingram
      July 15th, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

      The most important aspect of any ‘control’ is to ENFORCE the basic rules as outlined. Just once (daily really) enforce the lounge hog rule, drunk rule or child rules and adults will either comply or choose to take their behavior elsewhere!!! Enforcing rules is not a challenge, it simply must be done and needn’t take the form of cruise cops. Polite but firm and relevant to the behavior and everyone, passengers/crew, will have a more stress free experience.

    91. Jennifer
      July 15th, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

      Children need to be made to behave by their parents or grandparents while on board but if the parents decide not to then the cruise line needs to step in. I have seen many children of all ages in areas that they are not allowed but never did I see a cruise employee in the area ask them to leave. This is the casino and adult only areas such as the pool or lounges.
      As far as children misbehaving in the dining room part of the problem is that priority is not given to cruisers with young children for the early dining times. Every cruise I have booked recently only has late dining as an option for assigned dining times. My family enjoys this time together after doing our own thing all day but since early dining is not available we deal with the late time by taking naps. My granddaughter has been on two cruises before she was three and had so many compliments on her dining room behavior. We have even had people stop by our table and say they wished they could sit with her since she acted better than their assigned table mates.
      Bottom line is parents and grandparents traveling with a child of any age need to throw the “what the heck I’m on vacation” mentality out the door and discipline their children when needed. But also remember that child’s ticket may have cost the same as your ticket so they do deserve to use the facilities on the ship appropriate to their age and responsibility.

    92. George
      July 15th, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

      Our first serious cruise was 12 days in May from San Francisco to Alaska. Regent Navigator. Nary a child on board. We didn’t give it thought at the time but we’ve been reminded since what a fortunate choice that was. We went for the elegance in service and for fine food. Our next cruise is 10 days on Jan 6th to the Caribbean, also on Regnet. We kind of enjoy it when the ship sorts of shuts down at 10PM or so. It costs a bit but it sounds like the way for us to sail.

    93. Sarah
      July 15th, 2011 @ 10:16 pm

      I think that all parents should consider others in spaces where they are going to bother others. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean that you’re on vacation from parenting.

    94. Nikki
      July 15th, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

      FIrst and foremost I agree with many of the comments that have been presented here. It is the Parents and not the child. With that being said we are taking an \off season\ school time cruise with my 4 and 5 year old. We selected a cruise that was A. family friendly B. Had a special kids club and C. offered the club during the first seating dining time where the kids would be served first and then when finished whisked away by the Kid’s Club so that myself and other diners could enjoy their meals.

      Looking at many of my friends and the way the choose to raise their children I realize that my family and the concern we express for others is in the minority. However, let’s also take into consideration the \other\ adults on a cruise who drink and fall down the hallway stumbling. The old grumpy grandpa (I think you know who you are) that doesn’t like kids but likes a good deal and thus books a cheap cruise then complains when there is splashing in his dry martini.

      My point is that everyone can be disrespectful and instead of having the ship \raise\ the kids or quite the old grouch, there needs to be a solution of compromise. Here is my proposal.

      There are rules of conduct listed and gone over after the lifeboat drill, which is for those traveling with children. All children will have a computerized identifying bracelet. One offense receives a warning. The infraction can be seen on the Sea Pass Account and can be taken up with staff at that point. Second infraction and every one there after will have a penalty charged directly to the Sea Pass Account. I guarantee that after \Little Jimmy\ costs mommy and Daddy additional un-budgeted money EVERYONE will have a much nicer cruise!

      As far as the old grouch. Well every ships gonna have one. Just try to identify him as soon as you can and stay the heck away! :) CHeers! :)

    95. Anne Anderson
      July 15th, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

      I feel as if I have been in another world. I have seen children on the cruises I have taken (mostly Royal Caribbean International) and I have even seen them in the hallways of the ship. But, I have never seen rude, dangerous, or loud obnoxious behavior. Sure, children get restless while dining and they take over the pools, but they are children and just as we adults once were (I am 62) they are not perfect. Still, I think the hotel managers aboard ship should be able to enfore rules if something ontoward takes place. Otherwise I always go with the belief that I will have a good time and enjoy my fellow passengers and so far through five cruises it has worked.

    96. RL
      July 15th, 2011 @ 10:49 pm

      I have just read through all 90 posts and wonder what cruises have had this many out of control children. We have only had one minor issue, when one boy through out 12 year old out of a hot tub, we saw it and found security. Security took care of it, and no more problems. But I have never had every elevator have all of the buttons pushed, all of the hot tubs and pools full of kids and so forth. FYI- my boys would love to swim laps in the pool, but can’t not because of jumping kids but older adults ignoring their lap swimming (they swim club and the coaches don’t like them to be out of practice when we vacation).

      Our kids have been on a total of 4 cruises, we started with Disney, two on RCCL and one on HAL to Alaska which we just got back from.

      On one RCCL cruise (this past spring) we were seated with two couples, older than us and with out children. Our boys are 17 and 12. When they saw us at the dinner table I could tell they were worried. By the end of the 5 day cruise we were receiving complements on our boy’s manners and what great conversationalists they were.

      Our HAL cruise had over 200 kids on it and yes the Lido was crowded with kids looking for pizza and ice cream- but I think that was because this ship seemed to have all of the food in one location and not as spread out as other ships we have been on.

      I do believe parents can and do set expectations. We don’t all cater to our kids, but enjoy spending time with them.

    97. RL
      July 15th, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

      One more thing, those families with the later seating might not like it any more than you- but maybe booked later and that is what was left for them and they weren’t able to change times. Why should they eat at the Lido every evening? I agree the lines should try to put families in early seating but that is not always possible.

    98. Larry
      July 16th, 2011 @ 7:34 am

      On a recent Freedom of the Seas cruise it was kids constantly on all of the elevators very late at night. We complained several times because they would stop at every floor and no one would get off or on, just keep the elevator full.

    99. Debra G.
      July 16th, 2011 @ 7:37 am

      I wish the cruise lines were seeing these replies so they would stop turning a blind eye to the pandemic of bratty kids. When you see kids on a cruise ship that are well behaved, you don’t really even notice them. There ARE good kids on cruises; however, these are far overshadowed by the monsters and brats being “parented” by people who probably shouldn’t have had them in the first place. LOVE the idea of contractual agreements to follow cruise ships rules, enforcement of the rules, and the sandwich sign for parents who allow their kids to trounce all over every one else’s vacations!

    100. Lucinda
      July 16th, 2011 @ 11:51 am

      Gosh, I realize how lucky I am, now, after reading the previous comments on my way to writing a comment. My worst Kid experience was a Carib cruise on which I never used the pool….because several parents took their diapered babies in the pool with them every day. Ugh! Please, parents, think beyond your little darling.

    101. Harris Wilensky
      July 16th, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

      Catherine.someday you will get old and might have to use a scooter,to get around,It is not very nice to suggest,becuase i use a motorized scooter,i use only go to Bramson,Mo. If parents tried being parents not friends to their children. And tried saying no,from time to time.And kids had RESPECT.something todays,world seems to forgot to teach.Thier wouldnt be some much rude and disrespected kids and parents as well.It isnt cute to be out of control and at times act like an angry mob.It isnt cute to run wild in a dining room up and down stairs.Throwing food.I know staff,usally try not to get into any probnlems with people to anger them so they shut their eyes usually.They do everything possible not to anger the people,They rely so heavily on the tips.But Parents should thinkof the other people around them.They are trhe first ones to complain and look to sue the ship if their children get hurt.

    102. John T
      July 16th, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

      I expect children to be children and parents to be parents. With children, I would expect “excessive” energy on a whole with some being rude and obnoxious. I expect parents to temper the excess energy but not to stifle it. After all, the children are also on holiday. Rude and obnoxious manners may have to be tolerated by your fellow passengers but, as a parent, some corrective action with your children is necessary responsibility.

      When we book a cruise we evaluate the passenger possibility. If we choose a cruise where children will be a large percentage, we do so with the full acceptance that “kids will be kids” and enjoy the ambiance of youth.

    103. Peter
      July 16th, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

      Let’s see,we are fighting two separate wars.Crime in the rampant.People’s houses are being foreclosed in record numbers,etc ,etc,etc and you’re worrying about some kid cutting up at dinner.GET REAL!!!!

    104. Bob Stambaugh
      July 17th, 2011 @ 1:46 am

      Cruise lines should offer some adults-only cruises. They seem to think they need families to fill up their ships, but I would venture to speculate that all adults-only options would sell out quickly. At least one airline bans children from first class and others have or are considering adults-only sections. Restaurants that have banned small children are prospering.

    105. robin
      July 17th, 2011 @ 6:10 am

      I have been on 49 cruises, both as a child and as an adult. If you do not like to cruise with children do not sail when schools are out; do not sail when there is a sale going on and many people can fit into 1 cabin; do not sail on the lines that have extensive children’s programming, that is what we look for when choosing which line to go on; choose Celebrity which does not have children’s facilities; but do not expect that families will not eat together even at the late seating. Additionally, I have seen more gross behavior from adults then children on board, and I have cruised a few times.

    106. Chuck
      July 17th, 2011 @ 9:09 am

      Because I cruise during off-peak times, I’ve never encountered a serious problem with ill-behaved children on board. (I do question the priorities of parents who pull their kids out of school for a week, but that’s another discussion for another time.) If I were to encounter some of the behavior described in other posts, I’d go to the ship’s staff as often as I felt it necessary.
      And for those with the attitude of “I paid my money; I and my family will do what we bleeping well please”: charter a boat so you won’t be sharing space with a few thousand others, most of whom don’t want to deal with boorish behavior.

    107. sandyh
      July 17th, 2011 @ 11:53 am

      Maybe the cruse lines could take video of disruptive children not being supervised by their parents just like they do other candid shots around the ship for the Cruise video?

      Then these videos would be shown at the Going Away show on the last night? The threat that it might be you and your family being embarrassed on a future cruise might make more parents watch their kids closer?

      They could throw in a bunch of shots of car hogs hard at work and people butting ahead in line at the lido, too? I bet it wouldn’t take long for everyone to act more polite.

    108. Catherine
      July 17th, 2011 @ 12:48 pm


      My suggestion was not rude. For those of you that complain about children, yet choose to cruise when they are out of school and with lines that encourage families, Branson is a great option for you. Especially if you choose to cruise with Carnival, one of the first things you see are water slides. They don’t call them the Fun ships for nothing. :)

      Like I commented, there were 1000 children on my cruise and not one time did I see or hear of a kid trowing food, tripping people especially elderly with canes. Branson attract an older crowd you will have fewer kids to ruin you vacation.

      And if I ever become crotchety and a curmudgeon and have to rely on a scooter to get around, there will be a good chance I will not be boarding a cruise ship that caters to children and young families and you will likely not see me at Disney World either.

    109. stormyitaly
      July 17th, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

      I travel with my kids on cruises. They behave and we are always complimented. I think the few poorly behaved children give the good ones a bad name. Many parents tune their kids out and don’t have respect for others, but I think most do a really good job. I hate a screaming baby in a show or dining room like the rest, but children with manners can be a delight. When pool rules etc are broken, the problem is usually with the parents. Enforce the rules and there is no problem.

    110. September
      July 17th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

      My husband and I have cruised two times alone and have decided to take our son (11) and daughter (6) on their first cruise during fall break. On the two cruises we took alone we did go during the school year and I never noticed any behavior BUT I was on vacation and not paying attention. Now I have been to a family friendly resort just this summer and I refuse to let my children go off by themselves (even in the children’s pool are!) I, too am frightened by the “what if.” I also reprimanded, politely but sternly, two children while I was there. One kept spitting pool water on my husband. I told him that he needed to stop and that it is very inappropriate. Guess what!? His parents were right there but not paying attention. I try to watch my children at all times and although they are good they can be, well, kids. They can have a lapse in judgement and I the parent do not mind if you politely but sternly remind my children that what they are doing is bothering you or someone around. I have found that a stranger telling a child that their behavior is inappropriate is quite effective.
      iPad would not let me go back…could be some errors. ;)

    111. Jennifer
      July 17th, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

      My husband and I are going on a cruise this Christmas with our 8 year old son and our adult daughter. Since this is a ship that holds over 3,000 passengers, I am certain that we will witness bad behavior. I will not suffer in silence on my vacation. I’m sure that I will need to speak to a parent about their child just as much as I’ sure that I will need to speak to a smoker who is not following the rules regarding where to smoke. I speak up in public and in my experience, speaking with parents about their children usually results in them getting involved and taking care of the situation. On the other hand, asking someone to not smoke outside of the designated area is almost always met with hostility. I will not do what Cheryl (posted on July 12th at 2:32pm) said – that is a hideous response – to confront bad behavior with more bad behavior.

      In terms of how to handle the situation:

      I think that each person should have to initial each item on a code of conduct – stating their understanding of each rule.

      I think that if a person does not follow the rules, then the cruise line must take appropriate action.

      It’s like when we go to a public pool and a guest does something they shouldn’t – the lifeguard blows the whistle at them and they are told how to behave. If the do it again, they are kicked out of the pool.

      It’s about enforcement – and the cruise line has a responsibility to ensure that the rules are enforced.

      It’s also about speaking up and not letting someone’s behavior ruin your well deserved vacation!

    112. Jeanne
      July 17th, 2011 @ 11:45 pm

      Of course parents should remove misbehaving children from the dining room, and if they don’t, then the maitre de or waiter should request it. However, please be aware that kids don’t get a price break, and they have some rights too. They have the right not to be subject to some of the rude adults on this comment board for one. Drunks should also be escorted back to their cabin when they get out of line. Frankly, if you don’t want to encounter children, then book one of the old-timer ships like HAL, avoid cruising during the summer months when school is out, and take a deep breath because I’m sure either you and/or your children have acted up at times. Ultimately, you are responsibe for your own enjoyment and annoyance levels. To even say that an unruly child would RUIN your vacation is unbelievable!!! Chill out and bon voyage.

    113. Catherine
      July 18th, 2011 @ 11:56 am



      and Amen!

    114. Ken
      July 18th, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

      As I stated previously, I don’t think the parents of unruly kids come to CruiseCritic, so I would assume that they can’t share their experiences about how awful their kids were on such-and-such a cruise.

      I know, for myself, that I am proud of my kids’ behavior for the most part when we’re away on vacation… and it’s not the whole \NOT MY KIDS\-syndrome… I’m genuinely proud of them.

      Although while OTHER peoples’ kids can create a minor distraction, the ONE incident that brought my wife to tears wasn’t from rude, awful children running amok. It was from a rude and awful senior citizen.

      We were aboard the Grand Princess going to see the show in the Main theater. We had attained permission to sit in the front row despite Princess’s request that children under a certain age not sit in the first few rows. This is because my eldest son suffers from Stargardt’s Disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration that has left him legally blind with no central vision and limited peripheral vision.

      One the 3rd or 4th night of the cruise. An older passenger decided to take it upon himself to remind us of the sign that requests children under a certain age to not sit in the front few rows. He curtly told my wife \You should be teaching the child to FOLLOW THE RULES!!\ and when we informed him that we had permission because of my son’s visual impairment, he told us \You should have him DEAL WITH IT, NOT BREAK THE RULES!!\

      After that, I decided to ignore the raving man trying to start an argument with us. We were there to watch the show, not get into a debate over the American’s with Disabilities Act, maritime law, and Princess Cruise Lines.

      It was the most unpleasant experience I had ever had on a cruise line. Worse than the loud \kid’s table\ in the MDR that one cruise (they weren’t there all the time, and the head waiter eventually spoke to the families… late in the week).

    115. Thunder
      July 18th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

      We cruise during the school year with my 6 year old and this will be her 4th cruise. She is well mannered but as a child she has her momments like all children. Then I and only I will correct her.
      I find most adults on cruises drunk, loud and offensive to hear and smell. They over drink and state its MY VACATION I worked all year so I can become an Arse on a ship and cuss around ladies and small children…They start up drinking at the crack of dawn and lay passed out on the deck chairs looking like a bum in an alley…So being that said I hope to remind people that there are worse things that a child vacationing with their parents

    116. Thunder
      July 18th, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

      Just to mention our child is not pulled out of school..We have a cert. teacher/Nanny at home thst allows us to vacation whenever the fancy strikes us..Just wanted to add that before I get flamed for taking her out of school.

    117. Narelle
      July 19th, 2011 @ 3:02 am

      I am really saddened by a lot of the coments that have been posted on this board. I feel that there are so many people out there that are convinced that all children will run amuk and ruin their holiday, that its a wonder they leave home at all.
      I am a mother of six children. I do not believe that my children are perfect angels at all. In fact, our 6yo son is physically disabled and can have moments of frustration at not being like everyone else. (he can’t walk without a frame. How would the average under 50 adult cope?) Does that mean that I should not take him on a holiday with the rest of the family, but hide him away like a secret?? I think this is harsh in the extreme, and would be hailed down as bad parenting by most if not all – and quite rightly! I do, however, expect him to behave as his siblings do when we are out, and all my children are taught that there is always a consequence to your decisions and actions. And this mum ALWAYS finds out. Bad behaviour is instantly rewarded with a day in the cabin – no exceptions! Combine that with siblings who are always around (even if mum or dad are temporarily not, there are 6 of them after all lol) and are too eager to “dob in” the offending child, and this is more than enough to ensure good behaviour by all. I may not be able to control others peoples children, but I certainly can control my own.
      Here in Australia, we do not have a huge choice in cruise companies, though it is slowly getting better. We also pay substantially more per person than Americans seem to (around $1200 – $1500 per person per 7 day cruise). But what I have found is that different companys attract different clientelle. A cheaper cruise will ALWAYS attract the adult that is out to party/drink/run rampant – with or without children in tow. If they are with children, that child/ren has learned by example FROM THE PARENT! I will gladly pay extra to cruise on a company like RCCL (a premium service in Australia) than the alternative that is dominated by under 35’s getting plastered each and every day. This is far more offensive than the behaviour most children could ever dream up. I do agree with one thing though, we do not holiday during school holidays. I’m one of those terrible parents who will gladly pull their children out of school to experience something new. Children do not just learn at school, but can learn in all situations with the right upbringing. A well rounded child that is exposed to many different experiences and learning opportunities is far more likely to turn into a well rounded adult. At the end of the day, this is what we all hopes (or should hope) for.

    118. Crystal
      July 19th, 2011 @ 9:51 am

      Why do parents think that everyone should leave to the luxury lines? Or that we should all just get over it? If I went to Chucke Cheese and started negatively impacting your family could I tell you to leave or to get over it?

      My first cruise with my husband was while school was in and since we spent a LOT of time on our balcony we didn’t notice too many problems. The one problem were children playing in the elevators. They would press all the buttons and then run giggling from the elevators.

    119. Andrea
      July 19th, 2011 @ 7:27 pm

      My husband and I went on a New Year’s cruise and couldn’t believe the parents who would bring very small children into the lounges. The band is playing and the small child is crying. My husband war very angry. That is unacceptable. If the parents want to drink and listen to music, then get the ship’s babysitting service. I don’t blame the child, I blame the parents. That child belonged in bed at that hour.

    120. Cindy
      July 19th, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

      I have been in education for 34 years. Times have changed! The majority of parents do not properly discipline their children anymore. My father always told me that “my rights end where another person’s begin”. In other words, yes, you paid x$$ for your children to cruise with you. BUT, I have a right to enjoy the cruise that I paid x$$ for, too. Just because you think your children are safe on a contained ship, they may not be safe running wild. You can only be sure they remain safe IF they are properly supervised.

    121. Joe
      July 20th, 2011 @ 8:10 am

      Some people with children have no way to cruise unless they take their children.
      If the children don’t like to cruise then the parents will not be going cruising.
      Enforcing some standards of behavior may sour the kids on cruising.

      Letting the kids run wild is no problem for the parents and it ensures that the kids will have a great time and want to go cruising again.

    122. Wavy
      July 20th, 2011 @ 9:15 am

      I agree with a lot of the comments re unruly behavior, but with a couple of caveats.
      Children will behave like children and cannot be expected to be perfect at all times. If one child does something a little noisy or is somewhere they should not be does this really spoil a holiday? It is only the “packs” of roaming and rude teenagers that would bother me and fortunately I have never encountered this on a cruise yet.
      For those who want to avoid kids, try some out of the box thinking. I went on a Disney cruise in the Med last year with 800+ kids on the ship. Despite some concerns their child management schemes are incredible:
      No kids in the adult pool area means just that.
      No kids in the coffee shop means no kids.
      No kids after 9pm in the bars means no kids.
      Kids in the main dining room eat first and are collected after 30mins – so quiet dining.
      Tours come in 2 varieties – adult and family.
      Sure you see the kids but where you would expect to – character meetings, infants pool, main pool etc….
      All cruise companies take note from masters in managing family cruising and adult cruising successfully.

    123. Karen
      July 20th, 2011 @ 10:46 am

      I am leaving for my first cruise in a week. I have been very actively reading CC and just read thru all these post. My DH and I will be traveling with our DS (11) and DD (14). My children are very well mannered and respectful; maybe it’s a southern thing but we were brought up with manners and teach the same good manners to our own children! I love kids but I do have a MAJOR pet peeve, it is BAD Kids, they drive me insane. It is the parents’ responsibility to control their children. I am now worried that I have made a bad choice in booking the cruise. I would never have allowed my kids to cry in a restaurant without taking them out, that is just rude.

    124. Marta
      July 20th, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

      We were on our first cruise sitting on the lido deck having a late lunch, 3 kids and their nanny? showed up she acted like they weren’t with her the kids ran around screaming at the top of their lungs throwing whatever they could, I finally had enough and when they came by our table I said just loud enough for them to hear “no running” that was the end of that, they went back to their table and we did not hear another word out of them, when we stood up to leave several people told me thank-you and one older couple clapped!!!

    125. Art
      July 21st, 2011 @ 10:36 am

      I guess my original comments were a little too strong. If a child or children get out of hand, the Cruise Line should take it up with the parents immediately if not sooner. MAybe surcharges of say $1000.00 might deter bad behavior. A Cruise was something to aspire too. People wait a lifetime to enjoy, usually for the less fortunate(myself included) only once a year and to have it disturbed by misbehaving miscretants should not need to be tolerated. Maybe ALL ADULT Cruises????
      I know there are Lifestyle Cruises why not NO CHILDREN.

    126. Doug
      July 23rd, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

      I love Holland America. I love that they have a reputation for being an old fogey cruise line. They are always my first choice when booking a cruise. I’m 49 and have been cruising since I was 39. When ever I read a cruise review by some mother who is mad at Holland America because there was not enough entertainment for her brats and she will never sail with them again, I, literally, thank God for Holland America. Best cruise line in the world for anyone wanting a great cruise experience without having to listen to or deal with obnoxious parents and their brats…very much.

    127. Mike McGaha
      July 24th, 2011 @ 1:24 am

      I am a retired postal supervisor and my wife is a retired teacher. We embarked on the Carnival Fantasy in Charleston, S.C. We had a wonderful time. Our room was E-4, porthole up front. The service was great by the cabin steward and the dining staff. My one complaint is the unsupervised children running wild through the ship, especially in the main areas of travel, such as: the atrium area, the elevator lobby areas, the glass elevator areas. These children approximately 10-15 years old were running from floor to floor, punching the elevator buttons, racing from the main elevators to the glass elevators, dropping ice cream cones in the elevators, actually wrestling in the elevator lobby area ( a group of 6), screaming and yelling. Inquiring to the Help Desk about a children’s policy we were told that Carnival does have one. Asking what that policy was the attendant, said it was up to the parents. That is a shame because I would guess that the majority of the ship was made up of people that did not bring children, therefore, the majority had to be subjected to the unsupervised children of irresponsible parents. I would hope that Carnival could have a firmer control of this type of behavior.
      The boarding and unboarding at Charleston was a breeze, my hat is off to the people working there.

    128. xhasox
      August 5th, 2011 @ 3:27 am

      I have most problem with 0-5 year olds since they can be simply \impossible\ sometimes.

      I just give up when being in a public place and a kid starts screaming – I just walk away.

      Older kids are ok, it is just the unstoppable screaming-your-lungs-out I cant cope with. Probably because I have no kids of my own yet! ;)

    129. mary washington
      August 17th, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

      WOW, great job everyone of speaking out, however, how many of these comments will be seen by the cruise line big shots, I agree that every one who loves to cruise, will do so, but still at the expense of the rude, unruly children and ignorant parents. Granted we all pay the cruise fare, and most of us follow the rules, but, those that don’t, pay as well and the cruise line doesn’t want to “offend” future business, so thats why they don’t say anything to them. BUT, reading above, finding a group of kids deliberately knocked over someone, I would find the highest authority on board and pressed charges for assault. IF anyone ever challenges me onboard by preventing me passage in hallways or elevators, decks, service or anything else, I will immediately be in someones face about it and have the offending person(s) put off at the next port.

    130. Geri
      August 17th, 2011 @ 4:25 pm

      “Don’t want to be around kids? Choose a premium or luxury cruise line. It’s that simple.” Or so opined a previous poster. Believe me, I would never have expected the number of kids under 12 on our Silver Whisper Athens-Istanbul cruise last month. It would seem that Silver Seas has broadened its target audience, based on the young parents with children on board. Don’t get me wrong-I am not allergic to kids; I thoroughly enjoyed teaching 8th graders for over 30 years. But in planning a vacation/learning experience to such destinations as we visited on this itinerary, there is no way we anticipated sharing the ship and excursions with young children. As fifty-somethings, we don’t believe we have quite achieved official old fogie status. However, we did not appreciate a rather rude parent confronting us for asking his little boy not to take running jumps into the pool near us. Nor did we expect to see an army of kids playing attack ping pong outside in an area we had to walk through to get to the upper lounge at night. Maybe SS is having an identity crisis or needs the young ones to fill its ships. Whatever the cause, I know that we will do our darnedest to avoid summer cruising and hope that parents of young ones look for more age-appropriate vacation options.

    131. Florence
      August 17th, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

      We recently returned from a 9 day cruise with 700 children below the age of 21 on the ship. The two main pools were so full of kids jumping, diving, screaming and running that we went to the back of the ship to the adult pool. The first two days were quiet and fine. After the third day a father or grandfather (?) brought his young child into the pool. He saw the sign stating it was an adult pool and ignored the sign. After that it was a free for all and more children started coming to the pool. We reported it to the ship’s crew but nothing was done about it. I blame the parents for not adhearing to the rules. Also when we were young if we did anything like some of the children of today we would have been spanked and put in our room until we learned how to behave. It seems like when the famillies get onboard the parents go on their own vacation and the kids are left to do whatever they want to. Very sad, there is no discipline today. If these are our future leaders, we are in trouble.

    132. Peggy
      August 18th, 2011 @ 8:33 am

      Just think, the kids we see today are tomorrow’s adults/voters/drivers, you name it. The issue of kids on cruises is NOT on on cruises. It is everywhere-grocery stores, malls, airplanes, and yes, cruises. There is no escaping, as some have tried and sad to see that people feel the need to go to extreme measures to avoid children. THANK YOU to all who have said they speak to the kids. THANK YOU! Obviously this means their parents are NOT and they need someone who care for them and their boorish behavior enough to SAY something.

      Now, that said, I too do not like being around loud, rude children. One poster said training in manners and such beings at a young age. I agree. However, with today’s philosophy of \You can’t force your morality on me!\ who is to say HOW to teach manners? Our society is changing folks!

      NOT IF I CAN HELP IT! We have 5 children. Yes, 5. We know what causes it-perhaps that’s WHY we have 5! ;)(and no, we’re not \done\-we want to raise MANY children who are polite) We do train our children in manners and being polite and THINKING ABOUT OTHERS! Imagine! So, when we embark on our cruise next week, with all 5 of my children (ages 7 months to 13 years) please, do not shy away or run away screaming. There will be no need. You will see pleasant children who are well-behaved. (I’m not the only one who says so.) If they do happen to do something that is, well, childish, feel free to speak to them. They are also taught to respect adults!

      I am undecided if I will put my kids in the kids program for the simple fact that I don’t want my kids picking up bad habits from the other kids in there! Of course, that means, some adults will actually SEE my kids. (It is the same in church-people don’t know others HAVE children because they moment they step in the doors, they pass off training of their kids to the other professionals who ARE NOT ALLOWED to train the kids and it is next to impossible as the kids don’t respect authority!)

      There, I’ll step down from my soap-box now!

    133. Michelle
      August 20th, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

      I am one of those despicable grandmas that believes children in groups should be banned from all public places. And on a padlocked leash when around me.
      Go ahead, flame me, but I come from a different generation that did not tolerate the foul mouthed backtalkin outrageous behavior that “social worker pop-psychology” mommies allow their children to engage in today.
      I have found a remedy that works everytime; scream at the little rats as loud as I can and threaten to give them the lickin of their lives.
      Will they run and tell mommy? You bet! Will mmommy come over to me very angry? OHHHH, I HoPe so, and I hope she brings ship staff with her!

    134. s57126
      August 21st, 2011 @ 5:54 am

      Maybe if we were all to go to the front desk and complain, instead of waiting for someone else to complain it might have a greater effect. Even stronger, report you will not be paying any gratuities due to lack of respect. I feel if a staff member watches disrespectful behavior without response, they too, are being disrespectful to all those around.

    135. Go Getter
      August 22nd, 2011 @ 11:23 am

      It is definitely the parents’ responsibility to supervise their children, however, as we all know, many parents don’t. In these cases, it is up to the cruise staff to enforce the rules and expectations. Unfortunately, too many of them are afraid to speak with guests about their children’s behaviour, leaving the rest of us to suffer.
      On a recent Christmas Panama Canal cruise, I was appalled at the behaviour that was permitted by the numerous young people aboard. A small child about 14 months old was continuously running around the buffet and dining room unattended, while her parents enjoyed their meals. Not only was this dangerous for the child but also for the servers carrying large trays, etc. When we brought it up with our server, the maitre d’, and guest services, we were told We have spoken to the parents and they refuse to do anything about it so what can we do?. Other staff members told us (and the many others complaining about the behaviour of the children and teens) They are on vacation too and have the right to enjoy themselves. I guess those rights don’t extend to all guests. I haven’t cruised with this line again because of the negative experiences of this trip.
      One suggestion which seems logical and yet no cruise line has adopted is to have an Adults only dining room where people must be over 16 to eat there. This would easily solve the problem. Another option is to have a minimum age limit on the late seating.
      As for the Adults Only Pools, this should be strictly enforced. I also agree that one shouldn’t have to pay to be in an adults only section to insure some peace and quiet away from kids.
      There are numerous Adult Only resorts. It’s interesting that none of the cruise lines have decided to do the same, especially during school holidays (the only time I can travel). I’m sure they would have no trouble filling the ships.

    136. Michelle
      August 24th, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

      Chiuld in the Adults only pool or hot tub? Doesn’r Get OUT when I yell it in their ear? If small enough I will take the little rapscallion to the nearset crew and tell them “this is not my child. This child was in the Adults only area/pool/hot tub. This child is affecting the enjoyment of my cruise and YOU will not allow this or any other child in those areas when I am there. ARE WE CLEAR??”

    137. Michelle
      August 24th, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

      Teenagers in the Adult only area/pool/hot tub, get crew, if they don’t leave when I YELL at them to Get OUT. Tell crew same thing(above) in front of teenagers. (yes I am an abominable 50ish grandma with absolutely no patience over lazy or pop-psychology parenting)
      Were I to witness the MDR behavior I have read about in this blog, I would be compelled to do and say something not nice at all, to the child, to the parents, and to the maitre’di.
      If that didn’t get the behavior removed or stopped, I will pull out my e-cig and ask them then “Is a rule a rule a rule”? I paid 200% for my solo cruise and have as much right to enjoy it as any child!”

    138. Ed
      August 30th, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

      April 11, 2008, Explorer of the Seas. LOADS of kids, smashed ALL the phones on the ship (at the elevators) so we couldn’t call anyone in the rooms. Partied in the hot tubs leaving glasses floating in them, ignored the adult area’s. It was a nightmare. I can go on and on but I’ll mention this one instance… Often, they would sit on the stairs, so you had to go around them. One time a few were laying on the stairs and my Wife had to step over one little darling since he had the entire stair. After she moaned about having to do so, he said “F__ck You” to her. I had to be held back from pummeling the little brat, and if I were alone with him, and no cameras, i don’t even care how young he was, I would have knocked him out. Considering I would have been tossed in lockup and our vacation would have been ruined, i opted to just leave after telling him off.

    139. Aaron
      September 8th, 2011 @ 9:15 am

      We are avid cruiser and waited a long time to take our son on his first cruise. Little history: I refused to eat in public when he was younger until he was behaved enough and didn’t act up, meaning if he could sit in a highchair and we could enjoy a meal then we did went out; otherwise we ate in. This went on for 3 yrs (no eating out other than kid places for 3 yrs).

      My son and I made a pact to try everything once and he is held to it. He loves the dining room and absolutely loves escargot and other out there things that most kids snub. We waited until his 5th birthday to take him on his first cruise. Now he is 7 and is scheduled for his 4th cruise and is hooked. He knows how to act like not to run and every adult is a mam or sir.


      I will gladly have you sit with us at a meal and love to see the face on the first seating at dinner and then the comments at the last on a cruise. You know what I am talking about, \I cant believe we got a kid!\, last day \I am so impressed young man!\. I am privileged to say I am proud of my boy. It has become sort of a game for us and I look forward to seeing you all on a ship sometime!

    140. Pat
      September 8th, 2011 @ 9:59 am

      We were on a ship at late dinner seating and were seated near the stairs that led into the dining room. Three children were playing on the stairs, jumping, running up and down, sliding down the railing, etc. The Matre’d stood there not doing anything. Their parents sat enjoying dinner, oblivious. The stairs were hard, marble and if a child fell could have been injured seriously. A couple at the table next to ours mentioned that if one of the children were to get hurt he would side with the cruise line. He then got out a camera and took a picture of the kids and the parents watching them, not caring. He then went over to the parents and said when you sue, I have the pictures. The parents glared and said a few choice words but left the dining room shortly afterward.

    141. Frank
      September 8th, 2011 @ 11:33 am

      After dealing with young people for 30 years in the classroom, and retiring early because of the parents, not the kids, I want to enjoy a cruise without kids, so I travel ALWAYS, ANYWHERE from September to May only when the darlings are in school and the parents are back to work. Signs should be posted on board warning parents about disruptive children, and I do say “warning” because these days, the parents are coddling their kids with the attitude: “not my child”. Just try to tell a parent that his child is unruly, then run for your life! AND, as I’ve seen during 30+ years of teaching, it’s the parents who will raise these monsters if they can’t control their behavior when they’re young. I’m waiting for the “all-adult” cruise ship to emerge. Sign up now because they’re going to see out fast!

    142. Lea Beckett
      September 8th, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

      We have traveled extensively including an around the world cruise and have elite status on Princess with over 150 days cruising. We have seen both well behaved kids and monsters. The monsters have parents who don’t and probably can’t control them (Watch Super Nanny on tv sometimes!) As a mother of 4 boys (now men) and grandma to 8, if no parent is around, I correct the child with a stern voice and a warning that I will go tell the Captain of the ship who will put them off immediately. Rarely, have I had one talk back. If they do talk back I follow them, get their name and do report them to the captain. (Be advised to never touch another person’s child….just verbal). Kids disciplined by an unknown adult are wary…and usually comply. Most are not accustomed to any discipline. Remember, “it takes a village to raise a child”. The impact of verbal correction probably did the kid a favor…most don’t know good behavior…they must be taught.

    143. Maria
      September 8th, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

      I cruise a lot, always on Celebrity. The ONLY rude passenger I ever encountered was an elderly lady on the excursion bus in Bermuda. Because I boarded the bus early, I took a window seat. At the end of boarding, a lady sat next to me. Since there were no double seats empty, her husband sat forward. We had pleasant conversations on the ride to St. George.
      After our stop there, when I got on the bus (early) I thought I’d be kind and give up my seat so they could sit together on the way back. I chose a seat towards the back. The bus filled up and people who were obviously all in a family came to the back. An older lady, clearly the mother, looked around and said, “Why is someone in husband’s seat?”

      I ignored this. There were seats, and her own adult children could have gotten up for her. When the bus started, I turned to her and kindly asked, “Did you enjoy the excursion?” “Yes, but I am NOT enjoying not sitting with my husband, and you are in his seat!”

      “Actually,” I said, “There are no reserved seats on this bus and I moved to accommodate some other passengers so they could sit together.” “No, this is my husband’s seat!”

      Her adult son tried to intervene and she rudely told him to “shut up!”

      I figured if she was willing to be that rude, in public, to her own son, it was not worth it to me to continue to sit next to her. So, I said, “Since it means so much to you, when the bus stops I will move to the empty seat in the front.” Which I did, but I’m sorry I did because it was the WORST seat on the bus, I couldn’t see much, kept having to twist around. And I was the first one on the bus!

      People get to be bullies because other people won’t stand up to them. I should have just smiled at her and looked out the window.

      Rude OLD PEOPLE. Why don’t we write about them some more?

    144. Steve
      September 8th, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

      Like Adult only condo complexes in Florida there should be adult only cruises offered by the higher end cruise lines like Celebrity. They can create a charter cruise for adults only and charge a slight premium to keep it all legal. Like the only cruises I go on these days are exclusively adult with great theme parties and ports of call not offered on regular cruise itineraries. As far as kids go I like them as long as they belong to someone else. I’ve yet to find at least a hand full of them that have the respect we had as kids toward others. As a child we where so disciplined that we would only speak when spoken to in public places especially dinners out…

    145. Susan
      September 8th, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

      I’m a mother of three and grandmother of six. There have been many times when I have greatly enjoyed being with well-behaved children on a cruise. Children who have been taught manners and social skills by their parents. Sure there are screams and splashing at the pool, but not at dinner. I love children, but hate unresponsible parents. They are ones who should be held accountable for their children’s behavior. If they will not take the responsibilty than the cruise line should see that they do. Especially when there is possible harm to other passengers and Adult only areas. When we sail with our grandchildren they behave or go to their cabin. Nothing like isolation to improve the behavior.
      I do like Janet Schumacher’s idea of posting a sign that says..”For the enjoyment of all our guests, you are responsible for your child’s behavior. In the event of disruptive or unacceptable behavior, you will be requested to remove the offending child from the dining room.” and agree that it should also be posted poolside and near elevators.

      I also like Marilyn’s idea that “all passengers with children should receive a code of conduct card with their tickets and staff should be trained on coping with parents who are selfish enough not to teach their children proper manners.

      and Tina’s idea to “take it a step further. It should be labeled in all brochures what behavior is expected of all children and the parents should have to sign something upon check-in regarding proper behavior and additional cost to the parents for any damages made to the ship by their children.” We have to agree to alot of other regulations why not parents of children also being held responsible.
      Maybe the cruise lines should take note! After sailing on many other line we recently cruised on a Carnival ship, which we will not do again. Even after registering a “concern” about children running thru and jumping into the adults pool area, they sent a security officer who talked on her cellphone and ignored the offenders. I will register my complaint by sailing with another cruise line!

    146. Maria
      September 8th, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

      Someone wrote it’s illegal to photograph children/people on board. Really? Are ship hallways and dining rooms now considered “private” like cabins? Or, are they “public” spaces? And, if they are public, what’s the problem with photographing people there? This seems silly to me, but, I am not an attorney.

    147. Mary
      September 9th, 2011 @ 12:08 am

      I just came back from a 12 night Med. cruise and for the most part, it was wonderful. I have cruised many times with a variety of different cruise lines. I teach and do not have the opportunity to take vacations when school is in session. This also means that I cannot take advantage of the great discounts in air fares and cabins during those times. I pay a premium for my travel.

      My husband and I had avoided cruises for the past few years due to the problem of unsupervised, even when the parent is right there, children and teens. However, we love cruising and decided to try it again. This was an RC cruise and again, we enjoyed it. Yes..I did notice the polite children. I am a teacher and have many polite and wonderful students who continually remind me why I love teaching.

      However, the majority of children in the pool were jumping and diving into it directly in front of the NO Diving/Jumping sign. They were also running around the slippery pool area. It became a free for all. I kept wondering how parents could let their children do this. I kept thinking that one of these kids was going to fall and split his skull open and we would be rushing the boat to meet a medi copter. It was annoying to me because I wanted to enjoy the sun pool;however,it also gave me the chills to watch the dangerous behavior that could have resulted in a terrible injury to a child and in the entire ship missing out on part of the vacation. If you must dive into a pool, do so in your own pool not in a ship’s pool. You do not own the pool just because you paid the price of the cruise.

      We enjoyed the spa pool for adults only and were happy to see it was enforced by the staff. We also noticed that those teens who were old enough to use this pool seemed happy to be away from those obnoxious kids who were dive bombing the regular pool.

      I remember on one cruise getting into an elevator with two kids…brothers…who had pushed all the buttons. Once the elevator started to move, I asked them if they knew what “the brigg” was and then defined it for them. I also told them all the power a captain of the ship had at sea to put misbehaving people in lock up. The younger brother immediately pointed his finger at his older sibling and blurted out, “he did it!”

      I live by the ocean and the first thing we learn on any ship is that there is no running onboard a boat or ship. Yet, on cruises, parents let their kids run on decks and in halls with all the hard surfaces and edges…I have seen a kid bang his head hard on a bar rail of a ship because he ran right into it. It also seems like parents do not think that their kid might fall overboard…kids up late at night, alone after dark and running with their new pack of buddies. The best of kids get caught up in trying to prove themselves to a new crowd and yes, girls are continuously hit on by the crew members and I really do not expect that boys are totally exempt either.

      As for my husband and myself…kids screaming in dining rooms,crazed and pushing in buffets, and screaming at the shows, running throughout halls, sitting all over stairwells, …running wildy and unsupervised on ships are the main problem we find with cruising. We are in our 50’s and so I thought this year…ok we are just old cranks when several young couples on the ship happened to express their same feelings to us.

      For us, monitoring the regular pool area would be a big plus. Ban them, fine them, and then show them the door if need be. ie…follow the rules that are already posted.

      As for rude adults, the rudest are those who do not parent their children. Children are not adults. That is exactly why they need supervision.

      Also, citing rude adult behavior does not condone nor excuse the rude behavior of children: that is the topic of response here.

    148. Maria
      September 9th, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

      Well, I have never experienced any of the rude behavior mentioned here on my many Celebrity cruises. Is it the demographic? The timing of the cruises (I go at all times)? The cost of the cruise, or its length (we prefer longer)? Or is it that Celebrity just doesn’t tolerate this behavior? Whatever it is, I am GRATEFUL!

    149. GypsyEye
      September 11th, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

      “Kids will be kids.” I disagree. Kids will be the kind of kids their parents allow them to be.

      I have three children, one handicapped. We got stuck with late dining, but I dressed my children appropriately, they behaved themselves, and ate quietly. The third night, my husband took the boys back to the room early because they were tired (but still not misbehaving). It’s called avoiding a problem.

      I have always expected my children to behave themselves in public. I have had people come up to me many times over the years to compliment my children’s behavior. When you procreate, it is your job to raise your own children properly, not let them run amok.

      This was our first cruise, and while my husband visited with his coworkers at night, I stayed in the room with our children. I would have liked to visit also, but I am their mother and their safety is my responsibility. I was amazed at the little girls running around the ship unsupervised. Their mothers were not afraid they might get molested or fall overboard? Really? Wow.

      (Reading some of the above comments, I always wondered if that staff member who came over to talk to me from the liquor store was actually hitting on me. I was talking to a female staff member selling jewelry. He came over and was talking up a storm and telling me that he and I would have a very good time together. No wonder the female staff member was reprimanding him as I walked away. I guess my manners make me a bit naive. Oh my goodness.)

      Male passengers walking by were telling me I should go have a bunch of drinks. I may have been on my first cruise, but I am first and foremost a mother. I do not drink around my children.

      We got room service, sat on the balcony with our fancy desserts from the coffee shop, and looked at all the other cruise ships lit up at night. I made sure my kids got to bed at a decent time so they were not crabby the next day. Just because you are on a cruise does not mean it should be a free-for-all!

      If you are a bad parent at home, you are going to be a bad parent on a cruise. I think if they are going to have separate cruises, they should have a “Bad Parent Cruise” and let them all have at each other.

    150. mariann
      September 14th, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

      at 56..i love kids…have 4 grandkids myself…but the parents…just sit there oblivious..if they are there at all…ships need rules and enforce them…always kids in adult pool… one person said most of the time you can forget the pool….

    151. Cruiser
      November 29th, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

      With all of the negative comments about the kids on board ships, I figured I would share a plesant one. Now some of the kids on the cruise I was on were in the Adult spaces with thier parents so not all the kids were angels but niether were the parents. This one young man floored me. I was walking the promenade deck as my hubby slept in our room and came across a nice elderly couple sitting back in a few of the chairs enjoying the peace and quiet. A young man maybe 12ish was walking the other way with an older man ( father , uncle, cousin who knows) and these teen aged boys came out of the door loud and one dropped the f-bomb. The young man turned to them and said” dude, not cool have some respect for the older generation who don’t want to listen to your potty mouth”. I was so asounded that I saw the young man with his mother later and had to tell her all about it.

    152. Dawn
      December 27th, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

      LOL! GypsyEye what a great marketing idea! A ‘Bad Parent Cruise.’ :) I suppose then we’d see what those cruise employees are made of, and who might be first in line to take THAT charter….hahahahha (makes me laugh just thinking about it–anyone know a scriptwriter or a tv show producer who might be interested?)

    153. Cynthia G.
      August 12th, 2015 @ 10:50 pm

      I am a mother of FIVE children- 19 and 17 (adopted, and 7 YO triplets. I also cruise a lot. 3-5 times most years. When my triplets are cruising with me, the biggest 5 rules are (1)- If you misbehave during dinnertime, we leave. Even if it is a specialty restaurant. I will settle the bill. (2) NO USING ADULT FACILITIES! The rule is if you are in an area that is for older kids and adults only, you are escorted straight to the stateroom/suite NO MATTER WHAT, and you stay there for 2 hours. (3)- NO RUNNMG, SCREAMING, OR MISUSING ELEVATORS. DISRESPECT INCLUDED. If you are misbehaving in any way that disrupts other cruisers, GET TO THE SUITE ASAP AND DON’T COME OUT UNTIL I SAY YOU DO! This rule is my biggest one, as I consider others to be of equal importance, so if you are disrespectful, annoying, or just breakimg rules, you don’t enjoy vacation. (4) Do not waste food at the buffet. We do not get up until you finish or you get sent to the suite for 2 hours. (5) NEVER spend money with your keycard. I do not get it locked out of trust, but you are going to lose a lot of priveledges. I will just lock up the DS, XBOX, PS2, and change the wifi password once they get home for a week or so. If they have online HW, they use my computer. Also, an unspoken rule is that you always obey cruise staff. That should be self-evident, though. I have one or two incedints every time I cruise, and the eldest 2 (boys) have run of the house, as they hate cruising and avoid it like the plague.

    154. Cynthia G.
      August 12th, 2015 @ 10:51 pm

      I am harsh, but there is nothing wrong with it, I do not deliver empty threats.

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