Feedback Friday: The Adults-Only Exodus

September 27, 2013 | By | 7 Comments

Feedback
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Every other Friday we will bring you a piece of reader feedback and our response. Have a question about cruising? Notice an error on our site? Want to just drop a comment for our consideration? Submit your own feedback by e-mailing feedback@cruisecritic.com, and maybe we’ll select your submission for our next Feedback Blog.
This Week’s Feedback:
“After a recent small ship cruise marred by misbehaving young children, have you thought about doing one or more stories on how ships/lines of various sizes handle kids?  Is there such a thing as an adults-only ship or voyage?  What about adults-only areas within larger ships?  Based on CC threads, there is a lot of interest.”

Our Response:
This reader was in luck, as we have recently updated our adults-only cruising feature. One of our top suggestions for kids-free cruising is to try a smaller, luxury line.
However, in a response from our reader, he noted, “Ironically the venue for our kids-plagued ship last month for two weeks on the Black Sea was SeaDream ….  We have been on many SeaDream cruises and the kids are increasingly a problem so much so we canceled at least one upcoming voyage we had booked.  There is a lively thread on the SeaDream Cruise Critic forum on this very topic.”

As opposed to their first SeaDream cruise in 2008, he said, the line now openly welcomes families and even large groups with children. “Kids just don’t fit literally and otherwise on a small luxury ship but we see more and more parents bringing kids – even young ones – without regard for the impact on other passengers,” he wrote.

The trend of more children onboard is not just confined to one line — cruisers are increasingly hard-pressed to find cruise lines that promise little to no youthful interference. The few true adults-only lines are mainly British — Saga Holidays, and three ships on P & O Cruises — with the exception of Grand Circle, a U.S. line rooted in its history with AARP.

The best advice for some refined and relaxing travel (sans rug rats) is to follow a combination of tips in our article for your safest chance at an off-(kid)-season sailing. If there are still a bunch of tikes totting around, at least be sure to sail on a ship with ample adults-only lounges and areas for a safe retreat.

Get your very own Lido Deck subscription.

    Comments

    7 Responses to “Feedback Friday: The Adults-Only Exodus”

    1. ACruiseGuy
      September 27th, 2013 @ 10:44 am

      Finding a traditional cruise experience on mass-market and even luxury ships is getting harder and harder to do. The cruise lines are aggressively marketing to families — they have to in order to fill those big ships. The cruising world is changing; the past ten years shows a marked difference in who is on board!

      Best bet — travel when it is most difficult for families (even those with babies) to travel — like the dead of winter when kids are in school.

      Me? I like all ages on board my cruises!

    2. LYNN
      October 2nd, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

      SAIL ON DISNEY IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE BOTHERED BY KIDS. THEY HAVE THE BEST DEAL FOR KIDS AND KNOW HOW TO KEEP THEM HAPPY. HAPPY KIDS ARE NOT SCREAMERS AND NOT PLAYING IN THE HALL. KIDS LOVE THE DISNEY EXPERIENCE SO MUCH, THEY DON’T WANT TO LEAVE AND MEET MOMMY AND DADDY FOR DINNER. WE HAVE BEEN ON DISNEY MANY TIMES AND HARDLY SEE ANY KIDS. THEY ARE NOT RUNNING ALL OVER THE SHIP – THEY’RE EITHER IN A “KIDS CLUB” OR STANDING IN LINE WITH A PARENT TO MEET A CHARACTER AND GET A PIC. AND DISNEY HAS ADULTS ONLY AREA POOLS – BECAUSE THEY ARE AT THE POOLS TOO.

    3. Sue Atherton
      October 2nd, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

      When I travel with my family (3 kids), I cruise with MSC. Large ships with family cabins and kids clubs, best of all – kids sail for free up to age 18.
      When travelling as a couple I sail with Azamara Club cruises. Smaller ships, cabins not really suitable for more than one child. No kids programmes, certainly for us too expensive to consider taking the kids, not to say that they are not welcome but from my experience, very few kids on board, those that were tend to be family of crew.
      So my advice to avoid children is to avoid school holidays and also avoid large ships with extensive facilities especially geared towards families sailing with children.

    4. Loretta Machado
      October 2nd, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

      The only complaint I have is the kids parents. They put floaties on their kids, dump them in the pool then go to the bar. They don’t even watch the kids while they’re in the pool. One little girl told my grand daughter her mother said she could pee in the pool but couldn’t poop! You can’t blame the kids for their idiot parents.

    5. Peggy Droesch
      October 2nd, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

      Best way to minimize the impact of children is to make sure you have access to at least one no-children-allowed area of the ship. For us on Holland America’s Amsterdam, it was the thermal suite of the Greenhouse Spa. Best investment of the entire cruise was the ability to soak in a mineral spa, enjoy the sauna & watch the scenery go by from the confines of a quiet therapy room without having to dodge other people’s kids.

    6. MB
      October 2nd, 2013 @ 11:58 pm

      Have been on 3 Oceania cruises and only 1 had any children. And that was just 2 pre-teens I occasionally saw in the main dining room, they didn’t cause any disruptions that I saw or heard of. On the other 2 cruises I was just about the youngest passenger (40′s) on board.
      Another adult-only cruise was a French river cruise. I don’t remember there being a specific ban on kids, there is just no room for child friendly facilities and the itinerary is geared to adult activities.

    7. MrChocoholic
      October 4th, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

      Having just turned 60 with an 11 year-old daughter, I understand both sides of the kid-free cruising issue completely. I’m also a former schoolteacher so I value parents who know how to nurture and discipline (it doesn’t mean “punish”) children. My daughter and I have been on three cruise lines so far and intend on experiencing as many as we can. As someone said about Disney, keeping children as busy and engaged every minute is the key. Camp Carnival aboard the Destiny (now Sunshine) was her favorite, followed by the kids program on Liberty of the Seas. Cruise staff “counselors” vary in quality, yet the best know how to schedule activities where contact with adults is minimized. Nevertheless it is unquestionably a parent’s responsibility to be aware of his/her child’s whereabouts and to monitor the child’s behavior. Parents are a child’s most influential role model. I am always in shouting distance of my child when she’s not under ship’s staff supervision. If and when she acts in a way that really bothers others at all, as the parent I’ll correct the behavior, shut up and take responsibility if fellow passengers display their displeasure.

    Leave a Reply





     
  • Subscribe to the Lido Deck by E-Mail








  • About the Lido Deck

    Welcome to the Lido Deck, where Cruise Critic readers and editors gather to share ideas, news, photos, videos and opinions on everything from ship etiquette and past voyages to happy hours and excursions. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

    Click here to meet the crew.



  • Recent Posts


  • What’s Your Cruise IQ?


  • RSS Cruise Critic News




  • Categories