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Cherylynn123

Is cruising even the way to go?

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2 hours ago, BensonFan711 said:

I lock my phone in the safe and don't take it out until the last night to charge.  First of all, there's the risk of insane international roaming charges if you leave it on.  Actually, thinking about it, I see very few phones onboard at all.  And, as for the internet/gaming areas, many come with an extra charge.  I'm cheap, so I avoid those like crazy.  There is PLENTY to do onboard a cruise ship that doesn't involve sitting around.  There are also things that do involve sitting around, since the ship is trying to cater to all sorts of tastes.  Many ships have rock climbing walls, zip lines, mini-golf courses, etc.  

 

I find it interesting that you find extreme risk in carrying a phone with you (which is a lifeline in time of need), but don't see risk in carrying your passport ashore when swimming/snorkeling/zip-lines, etc. Not at all judging, just intrigues me the paradox there. 

Cheers!
Matt
 

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3 minutes ago, Icon901 said:

 

I find it interesting that you find extreme risk in carrying a phone with you (which is a lifeline in time of need), but don't see risk in carrying your passport ashore when swimming/snorkeling/zip-lines, etc. Not at all judging, just intrigues me the paradox there. 

Cheers!
Matt
 

 

Oh, it's really very simple.  My phone won't be of any help whatsoever, since I don't get international service on it.  So, why would I carry it with me at all?  I don't need the camera; I have an actual camera for pictures.  There's no paradox at all - I take things that I need or might potentially need (passport).  I leave stuff on the ship that's useless in that particular port (phone with no service).

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3 hours ago, BensonFan711 said:

 

Oh, it's really very simple.  My phone won't be of any help whatsoever, since I don't get international service on it.  So, why would I carry it with me at all?  I don't need the camera; I have an actual camera for pictures.  There's no paradox at all - I take things that I need or might potentially need (passport).  I leave stuff on the ship that's useless in that particular port (phone with no service).

I see.... for me, personally it seems unnecessary to risk leaving yourself without a means of communication. All major cellular providers now offer day by day international service that is only triggered when you use it.

 

The phone could easily be left in airplane mode when ashore, then IF something happens and you need to contact the ship, someone in your party, a taxi service, US Embassy, or anyone else for that matter... You can simply turn off airplane mode and for less than the price of a margarita you'll have internet and phone for the entire day (and possibly some of the next).

No way I'd go without my phone if not for emergency purposes alone. The fact that it shoots far superior video/photos than most cameras, and provides GPS navigation, Holds waterproof copies of all important documents, as well as providing contactless payment all in one pocket sized device, are just some other bonuses :) 
 

It's great that we all have options that fit our needs. :) 

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My phone is a company phone, so no, it actually doesn’t have international service. Corporate plans are different. So nice that you keep making assumptions that are wrong. It’s literally useless abroad, and my camera is superior to the one on my phone. 

 

Like I said before, you clearly know everything, so perhaps you can go find someone else to criticize. I’m done. 

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On 8/1/2019 at 8:51 AM, Cherylynn123 said:

I am considering Atlantis, a Caribbean AI, trip West in US for national parks... I'm open to anything! We like to try anything once, that's why a cruise is being considered, but my number one issue is that darn lure of the gaming rooms! Not a perk in my eyes! 

 

I am less worried about their phones- yes, I would probably leave them at home then - than I am about them hanging in a club and staring at a gaming console.

 

The kids clubs and gaming areas are really a very small part of the cruise experience, there is much more to do on modern ships both for teens and the whole family.  Of course, if you think that the gaming options are going to be a big draw to your kids, that might still not matter.  If I understand correctly you are trying to avoid pressuring them to avoid certain activities in a way that could cause tension on vacation.  You know them better than anyone on this board; perhaps you can review the various on board activities of the ships your considering and see if you can gauge their level of interest.  I started cruising around there age and found myself spending very little time in kids clubs and gaming rooms; the games may be a bit more enticing than what I was presented with in the 90s, but so are the other activities.

 

You may also want to consider a port intensive cruise.  Less time at sea means you need to cram everything you want to do into a smaller period.  Perhaps gaming time will get pushed aside when they realize they only have a day or two for obstacle courses, surfing, etc.

 

Just a few thoughts... best wishes on finding what works for your family!

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:56 PM, Cherylynn123 said:

Considering a cruise, reading a TON. have a 15 and 17 year old, oldest will be 18 at time of vacation. We are active, and the number one thing holding me back from booking is the big emphasis on "internet/PlayStation" areas for kids. I am NOT paying a ton to have them sit on their phones or glued to a screen, especially in a club where I can't see them. 

And since the oldest will be 18.. while other considerations. I would go anywhere, but I want active family time, exploring and playing. No shopping trips for us! Any suggestions at all? Places/ships to look into? Is cruising even a good choice? Thanks! 

 

I found some of the responses on this thread kind of harsh...I think it's a really good question and we don't have kids but we asked ourselves if cruising is for us and still don't know even though we booked one. I've been reading these boards a TON to try and maximize our trip... seems like people take cruises for many different reasons: some for the adventure, some to feel pampered, some to party, some to be able to relax and let someone else take care of logistics. 

 

To me, the draw is if you can get to places you can't access as easily via land - you're traveling while you're sleeping! I am sure there are smaller ships or cruise lines that don't lean on digital entertainment for the kids (not sure which ones those are though, sorry!), and some that cater to active passengers (kayaks on board, etc.). For an active family, I would think a cruise with lots of port time and nature opportunities would be the way to go. I don't know what all those options are...Alaska, maybe Hawaii, Central America? https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=187

 

Whatever you decide, hope you have a great family vacation. 😃

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Posted (edited)

If the teenage boys meet some other kids to hang with, the OP may not get much family time.  Set up guidelines, like we're doing these shore excursions together, and we'll have dinner every night as a family.

 

They are old enough to have some free time on the ship, just have them check in periodically and set limits.  Unless they are zombiefied video game freaks, once they meet a few bikinis the OP might have other issues to worry about.

 

If the 18 yr old can't be without video games, keep him out of the casino as well!

Edited by evandbob

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3 minutes ago, evandbob said:

once they meet a few bikinis the OP might have other issues to worry about.

lolololol 

 

i guess i read the original question differently...like the OP's hesitation isn't that the kids are glued to their phones normally but the marketing s/he is seeing from the cruise lines pushes the digital games as the main source of entertainment for kids

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You won't know for sure if your family likes cruising, till you try it. 😉 My husband was very skeptical, and it took me years to convince him, but on our first cruise he realized there's so much to do on the ship and on excursions, that he loved it. Your kids will get to meet others around their age, and will find lots to do to keep them off their phones. My suggestion is to let them know they don't have the internet package, so phones must be kept in airplane mode. That way they can still use the camera. They will be able to play games, but hopefully won't want to. Also, if they are aware that if there are any long distance charges on the phones during vacation, which are a horrendous cost for wifi at sea, they will be responsible for paying those fees.  

RCL's Adventure of the Seas is the only RCL ship we have been on, but there's a big climbing wall, flow rider wave pool, waterslide, basketball court, mini golf and pools for outdoor enjoyment. The Carnival ships we've been on have had some similar outdoor activities, but it really depends on the ship. Excursions in ports vary, as you've read in your research, so you can choose anything exciting like ziplining to a relaxing beach day, or learning about history at ruins, giving back to the communities by doing volunteer work etc.

Hope you have fun choosing a cruiseline, ship and itinerary.

in my opinion, cruising offers something for everyone, and really special family times over dinner each evening to share in favourite moments from the day.

 

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Posted (edited)

 

On ‎7‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 7:56 PM, Cherylynn123 said:

... but I want active family time, exploring and playing. No shopping trips for us! Any suggestions at all? Places/ships to look into? Is cruising even a good choice? Thanks! 

 

I sincerely hope you and your family DO take a cruise and all fall madly in love ❤️ with cruising. Just like the rest of us here on Cruise Critic!! 😉

 

Perhaps you will find something in the following Cruise Critic articles to help with your decision:

 

Fun Cruises for Families: 5 Cruise Lines That Bring Kids and Parents Together

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=422

Best Cruises for Kids

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2

What to Expect on a Cruise: Family Cruises

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=183

What to Expect on a Cruise: Visiting Cruise Ports

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=1161
First-Timers' Guide to Onboard Activities

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=153

First-Timers' Guide to Shore Excursions

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=79

 

Glad to have you aboard Cruise Critic! 😊

 

Kat 🐱

Edited by TxCityKat
Typo due to fat fingers & skinny keys!

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Thanks to many of you for your helpful replies! The others who felt the need to jump on my parenting abilities- I sincerely hope we don't share ship space one day in the future. 

After reading and more research, I think we've decided to try out a shorter cruise on RCI. Now seems like actually the best time, since my oldest will be 18 and not able to be in the teen clubs, so I feel like I have more control over family time and togetherness.

Btw, to clarify, my initial reservations were due to numerous friends who have taken cruises over the years with younger children,  and raved about how much free time they had as parents while their kids were in the clubs enjoying Wii and PSP with their new friends. If I'm paying a ton of money, I don't want the hassle of playing mean parent on vacation (I am fully capable and do that enough at home, thanks). They can play games at home for free. 

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3 hours ago, Cherylynn123 said:

Thanks to many of you for your helpful replies! The others who felt the need to jump on my parenting abilities- I sincerely hope we don't share ship space one day in the future. 

After reading and more research, I think we've decided to try out a shorter cruise on RCI. Now seems like actually the best time, since my oldest will be 18 and not able to be in the teen clubs, so I feel like I have more control over family time and togetherness.

Btw, to clarify, my initial reservations were due to numerous friends who have taken cruises over the years with younger children,  and raved about how much free time they had as parents while their kids were in the clubs enjoying Wii and PSP with their new friends. If I'm paying a ton of money, I don't want the hassle of playing mean parent on vacation (I am fully capable and do that enough at home, thanks). They can play games at home for free. 

I don’t think my kids ever played video games on a cruise, even though ds16 and ds21 love their Xbox. All of them would much rather play on the sports deck, swim, get food, etc. than play video games.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Cherylynn123 said:

Thanks to many of you for your helpful replies! The others who felt the need to jump on my parenting abilities- I sincerely hope we don't share ship space one day in the future. 

After reading and more research, I think we've decided to try out a shorter cruise on RCI. Now seems like actually the best time, since my oldest will be 18 and not able to be in the teen clubs, so I feel like I have more control over family time and togetherness.

Btw, to clarify, my initial reservations were due to numerous friends who have taken cruises over the years with younger children,  and raved about how much free time they had as parents while their kids were in the clubs enjoying Wii and PSP with their new friends. If I'm paying a ton of money, I don't want the hassle of playing mean parent on vacation (I am fully capable and do that enough at home, thanks). They can play games at home for free. 

 

A short cruise on a medium to larger mainstream ( Carnival, RCCL, Princess, NCL etc. ) would be a good sampler.  I have loved cruising with family and kids from when they were 2 and then are now 18-23.  Our most recent cruise they were 18/21 and we thru the years time at dinner evolved.  You'll find at every stage the value/activities and interest could change.       You'll get to sample the sit down meals, entertainment, pools, lounges etc. etc. enough on the shorter 3 day yet if it isn't your cup of tea no it is but a short time.

 

We had a good friend who only cruised once a decade ago and decided it wasn't for them, but thru lifestage you and your children could change their opinion.     

 

We love cruises, but could never dream of it as our only exciting getaway and sprinkle them in depending on our fancy.   

 

Unlike what your friends rave about we treasured to extra time with our kids, wow we go on vacation to spend family time, never to get away from our kids, that sounds like the basis of the problem. 

 

To be honest each element of it is so easily and better superceded by many other types of vacation by orders of magnitude!

Edited by chipmaster

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On 8/1/2019 at 8:51 AM, Cherylynn123 said:

I am considering Atlantis, a Caribbean AI, trip West in US for national parks... I'm open to anything! We like to try anything once, that's why a cruise is being considered, but my number one issue is that darn lure of the gaming rooms! Not a perk in my eyes! 

 

I am less worried about their phones- yes, I would probably leave them at home then - than I am about them hanging in a club and staring at a gaming console.

 

Since the gaming rooms are not free, limit the amount they can spend each day.  I believe, on their first cruise, your kids may be more interested in exploring the ship than playing games.  I've only cruise Carnival so far, you cannot hook-up video games to the televisions. 

 

As others posted, your kids will meet new friends and kids their age to hang out with going to the clubs. I remember being on one cruise and the teens were doing a scavenger hunt - it looked like they were having a ball. 

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I agree with chipmaster, tests the waters with a short cruise. Some of you may like it, some may not - but at least you tried it.

 

Happy Sails!

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 7:10 AM, John Bull said:

"Sorry, kids - I forgot to pack your phones"

 

JB :classic_smile:

Parents have been murdered by their own children for a lesser reason :(.  And consider that in order to use that excuse you first have to get their phones out of their hands....which is very unlikely :(.  Even our 2 year old Grandson goes after the phone!

 

Hank

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11 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Parents have been murdered by their own children for a lesser reason :(.  And consider that in order to use that excuse you first have to get their phones out of their hands....which is very unlikely :(.  Even our 2 year old Grandson goes after the phone!

 

Hank

If they are on a ship, and have no cell service, it isn’t even an issue. I’ve cruised several times with my teens/young adults, have never purchased an internet package, it’s a non issue. On land, if I say put the phones down, they put the phones down. 

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2 hours ago, mjkacmom said:

If they are on a ship, and have no cell service, it isn’t even an issue. I’ve cruised several times with my teens/young adults, have never purchased an internet package, it’s a non issue. On land, if I say put the phones down, they put the phones down. 

No longer that simple.  Consider that Princess is in the process of expanding their "Ocean Medallion" system fleet wide.  With that system you need your phone if you want to take advantage of the various on-board functions (such as ordering food and drinks to be delivered to your position).  These new "intraship" systems also allow some onboard texting, location finder ability, etc.  I have seldom carried a phone while onboard a cruise, but with this medallion system find that the phone is becoming an integral part of the cruise experience.  It does not make me a happy camper (cruiser) but as somebody once said, "you have to get with the program!"  And since we have T-Mobile (it just works) as our carrier our phones will generally work (worldwide) when we are within 10 miles of most ports.  T-Mobile does not charge extra for worldwide roaming (there are data limitations) and our phone will function in well over 100 countries.

 

Hank

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22 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

No longer that simple.  Consider that Princess is in the process of expanding their "Ocean Medallion" system fleet wide.  With that system you need your phone if you want to take advantage of the various on-board functions (such as ordering food and drinks to be delivered to your position).  These new "intraship" systems also allow some onboard texting, location finder ability, etc.  I have seldom carried a phone while onboard a cruise, but with this medallion system find that the phone is becoming an integral part of the cruise experience.  It does not make me a happy camper (cruiser) but as somebody once said, "you have to get with the program!"  And since we have T-Mobile (it just works) as our carrier our phones will generally work (worldwide) when we are within 10 miles of most ports.  T-Mobile does not charge extra for worldwide roaming (there are data limitations) and our phone will function in well over 100 countries.

 

Hank

I don’t mind those functions, we used the NCL app to keep in contact on the ship, very valuable for our family of 7 who split up during the day and evening. What my kids couldn’t access were their social media apps like Snapchat or instagram, or texting their friends at home, no YouTube videos, no Netflix... We all have Verizon’s international plan on our phones ($10 a day unlimited if you use it overseas), but it doesn’t work on cruises.

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35 minutes ago, mjkacmom said:

I don’t mind those functions, we used the NCL app to keep in contact on the ship, very valuable for our family of 7 who split up during the day and evening. What my kids couldn’t access were their social media apps like Snapchat or instagram, or texting their friends at home, no YouTube videos, no Netflix... We all have Verizon’s international plan on our phones ($10 a day unlimited if you use it overseas), but it doesn’t work on cruises.

We have been cruising since the mid-70s (before cell phones) when folks used to head for phone booths in the ports :).  Until last year we would turn off our cell phones and lock them in our cabin safe around dinner of embarkation day.  We might take them out of the safe in one or two ports but never carried a phone on a ship.  Now, it is becoming like home where we seldom go anywhere without having our phones.  To be honest, I resent the intrusion of the phones (both mine and other passengers) on our cruises but accept it is just our "now" way of life.  The cruise lines have finally woken to the fact that most folks want device services and are finally "beginning" to meet passenger demands.  The excellent Medallion Net (Princess) and comparable services on MSC and some RCI vessels are a quantum leap forward for ships.   Within a few short years we expect digital services on ships to rival or exceed what we all expect on land.  I do not look forward to sitting on deck near others who are constantly chatting on their phones, texting, etc......but it is the way it is!   Where I do draw the line is in the MDR on our cruises.  If tablemates want to chat (on phones) or text during meals we will quickly excuse ourselves and move elsewhere.  We have also seen some cruisers (with relatively large screens) texting and playing games in the main showrooms while the lights were out and the show was in progress!  The light from the large screens can really be annoying to those around and behind such folks and we have witnessed one incident where it almost caused a fight.  ARGH.  We used to see our cruises as a way to escape much of the everyday life but now we have taken all that stuff with us on ships :(.

 

Hank

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We took our kids on their first cruise when they were 9 and 16.  They had a great time.  No phones were used.  They loved the kids & Teens clubs.  DS could check himself in and out, he would start there, to meet up with the friends he made, but we always  found him on the basketball court, miniature golf course, or swimming.  He did not have charging privileges on his card, so if he wanted something, he had to check in.   DD had the best time of all of us.  She loved the Kid's club.  So much to do.  When she didn't want to be there, we did family things.   They loved eating in the MDR with us every night.  They never wanted to miss seeing our wait staff.  They were awesome.  The kids hung by the pool with us some of the time, and we explored the ports together.  It was some of our best family vacations we have taken.   If you stay engaged with them, they want to stay engaged as well.

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