Discovery for Families
This was the easiest category to rate because the company's written policy is direct and unambiguous: "There are no recreational facilities for children aboard the MV Discovery, and reservations for those under eleven are not advised." The interesting itineraries and varied activities present an opportunity for an out-of-the-ordinary multigenerational bonding experience for adult family groups -- if the younger members have time for the longer-than-average voyages -- but this definitely did not seem to be a crowd that would appreciate the presence of O.P.K. (other people's kids) acting their ages.
We did get an opportunity to talk with 12-year-old Ryan and his father. Ryan was one of the few young passengers on the voyage, and while he assured us (none too convincingly) that the lectures were "alright," it was evident he really did enjoy the Antarctic Zodiac and shore excursions. He was particularly well behaved and unobtrusive around the adults on the voyage. ("He's an only child," his dad told us), but I had to wonder if he felt an isolation these two weeks that had nothing to do with the remoteness of the continent we were visiting.