I understand what jlandrews has said, I now time my cruises, atfer many misteps, so there are fewer families on board. I know my Med cruise was a very adult group, and my fav cruise so far. Although I enjoy children and have befriended many on the cruises I have been on. When an area such as the solarium, or bars at night are not adult only, it seems unfair for those who appreciate adult activities. We are quick to ban "the spring break partiers" for good reason, but to suggest that a cruise with so many children wouldn't be as fun for couples or singles, seems to produce shock from others. That said I understand why a cruise line can't send bulletins about large groups of any kind, not PC, and not good for business.
Monarch of the Seas-1993
Song of America-1994
Majesty of the Seas-1995
Splendour of the Seas-1996
Empress of the Seas-1998
Rhapsody of the Seas-1998
Legend of the Seas-1999
Monarch of the Seas-2000
Grandeur of the Seas-2006
Enchantment of the Seas-2006
Adventure of the Seas-2007
Enchantment of the Seas-2007
Grandeur of the Seas-2009
Radiance of the Seas-2009
There are cultural differences, that can be a very good or bad thing depending on your perception and attitude toward it. While visiting the Med, to not expect cultural differences is to be naive. On European cruiselines like Costa and MSC, these differences will be present not only at port but also onboard the ship. Isn't some cultural diversity part of what makes traveling so enjoyable.
On the topic of children, both Costa and MSC frequently run promos where children as 3rd or 4th passenger in the cabin sail free (just pay tax). On sailings with such promos you can expect there to be an abundance of children. I am very cautious about when I sail and what cruiselines I chose. I don't care to be on a ship with 700 to 900 of the passengers 17 and under. If I wanted a family vacation with children I'd have different priorities on when and with whom I chose my cruise. Families want and deserve to travel and have their children have friends and activities onboard also. A little research, questions on these boards and a T/A familliar with the ships, promotions, sailing dates, etc. can also be very helpful in steering you to the right cruise for your needs.
I don't know what it was that made you decide on the specific cruise you chose but it was obviously the right choice for many onboard and the wrong choice for your needs and expectations. A good and perhaps costly lesson learned. Since you've now found this valuable resource in Cruise-Chat, I'd recommend you visit often before planning your next cruise and find a good T/A who specializes in cruises to avoid similar disappointments in the future.
Thank you to /TrvlPro and Queen of Cruising. While I appreciate that everyone is entitled to enjoy cruising no matter what age, there should have been some avenues for adults with no children to also enjoy the ship and its facilities as well. Families are extremely important, but most of the parents were allowing their children to be rude and run rampant without a word. Instead of smiling at little Johnny climbing over our table in the disco and not doing or saying something about it, I feel is wrong no matter what the culture, children should be taught to respect other people.
Unfortunately, this was my partners first cruise and he has advised his last due to the experience. I will be speaking to our T/A so that she can be sure that she knows what to look for etc when assisting anyone with a cruise in Europe. Yes, this was a very costly lesson, it saddens me that this was my last cruise, I loved cruising before this. Anyone I knew that were trying to decide on what/where to go on vacation I went on and on about how wonderful cruising was.
I have nothing against children on a cruise, had I wanted to be amoung children I would have booked a Disney Cruise.
What I objected to was having no where to escape the children. Children should be in their beds at midnight sleeping not in a bar
ok since there seems to been a huge indignations on why I have a problem with children
We were clearly advised children were not allowed on the elevators with out a parent or guardian. Everytime the elevator door opened I feared that there was a swarm of children ready to run onto the elevator or off the elevator, so that they could run to the the other side and try to catch the elevator going up or down.
As far as I am concerned the safety of all passengers should be the concern of the cruise line. Baby Buggys should not be left in the passage ways and children should not be left to run at will.
I have to agree totally about Costa Cruise lines as the previous writer about the number of kids and baby buggies in the hallway etc. We unfortunately had the same experience , first time 'cruisers' and were very disappointed by the food at dinnertime and also the buffet food. It didn't help matters when we got sick (we believe from the food) but of course the ship doc said it was from other passengers - by the way, a cabin visit by medical staff ranges from $60-$70 Euros, depending on what time of day, morning or night it is - that's not including drugs and shots they make you take - you have no choice unless you refuse it then they can't charge you for it - the only reason we had the doctor visit was they would not refund our money for an excursion we were supposed to take unless we had an 'official' paper from the ship doctor saying we were actually sick - the Christmas cruise we took was on the new ship Costa Concordia and we were given the same 'speal' re: "no excellence" on the survey at the end of the cruise, no 'tips' for the staff - when i read the back of the survey i realized what a scam it was - most people probably give an excellent so the staff get the tips - we did the same as the previous people did - went around and gave out our own tips to these people -(in addition to the arbitrary way they imposed the 40 Euros on everyone;s bill at the end of the cruise) i can only attribute their 'excellent' rating that they advertise is from all these surveys which the marketing dept gets as they 'play' on the sympathetic side of the passengers - be careful about the last day of the cruise - we were to disembark in the morning - when i reserved all our excursions online (which i suggest people do to avoid the long line ups to get them onboard ship with their limited open times for booking each day ) you aren't told you cannot take the last tour and is only good for those passengers who got on a day later at another port - Only good things were the evening entertatinment in the theatre - excellent - and the daily paper giving you all your info in English plus on your cabin TV one of the channels shows you where you are -very disappointed , will not be sailing with this line again - no activites for adults especially when you have 2 days straight sailing - much better for kids except the smoking almost everywhere on the ship - we had an 'inner' cabin - tiny in size and full of ship fumes every time we came into port - will go back to bus tours where the food was much better quality and more selection -
Jlandrews, I know excactly what you experienced. I had the same on a Carnival
Cruise. Had used this company twice but will
not use it again. Complained about the noise of children running and screaming in the cabin hallways twice and nothing done about it. there were no signs of any parents. think the children babysat themselves. (these are pre teens) they slammed doors and banged on doors night and day. when you were leaving your room sometimes they would be congreated in one area and would not move to let you walk by. You had to walk over them!! Thanks, but no thanks, for that kind a cruise ever again. Last cruise was with HA and there were two children (both under one year) What a lovely relaxing time....... don't give up there are cruise ships out there that are not so child friendly. I almost quit cruising as well because I had heard the cruise lines were all vieing for the "family" market. But was persuaded to try HA, glad I did!!! Hope your future sails are all smooth
I would like to make some comments about Costa Cruises for the benefit of english speaking people, my wife and i have just returned from a med, cruise over easter and couldn't be more dissatisfied, the bottom line is that if you are english speaking then forget it.
Costa is 95% geared to all that is Italian, the daily english speaking assistance period is 45 mins. and although very helpfull the girl was the time restriction made it pointless waiting to see her. On our second night we had winds (in accordance to web cam information from the ship) in excess of 95 KPH, and the following morning it was obvious that a high number of people had experienced a bad night, I was shocked at the absence of any senior ships officers who obviously didn't think it necessary to show face and find out about the passengers welfare (strange when we are talking about a ship with a huge passenger capacity)
Your comment about children on tables seems to be an accepted way of life for Costa as we also saw many instances of this, we also had a high number of young Italian young people who were finding a source of pleasure in having ice bucket fights at three and four o'clock in the morning.
After a holiday best forgotton we left the ship after being given the wrong colour coding and times to find that my wife's new suitcase which was key locked, had a combination and was also tightly secured with a luggage strap had been broken into and had items stolen from it, we were soon surrounded by no fewer than seven costa reps. demanding that we get on the bus and leave, only after being left with no options but to raise my voice to them a report was filled out and a roll of cheap stickly tape produced to secure the luggage until we got to the airport and had it shrink wrapped.
We are now in the process of seeking compensation from the company and will post the result of that if there is anything to report.
to jlandrews on a personal note, bet you haven't eaten a melon for months.
As you say I cant believe what I've just read, you go to the U.S.A. to watch Italians loving their children, and don't think that Europeans do, the fact that you live less than 500 miles from Milan would make it a lot easier to go and watch Italians in Italy rather than in America, after all it is where real Italians live.
On the subject of loving children, part of the duty of parenthood is the obligation to teach them to be respectful of other people and behave like human beings, I don't know of anyone who would dispute this but somehow you seem to support the opposite.