Cruise with Kids. Just MHO. Don' get me wrong,I love kids, I even managed to collect 5 of my own. I took them on 1 cruise and will never do it again. They were 18,17,16 and 2 were 14 at the time. ALL generally well behaved children. I don't know what happenedm weather they were overwhelmed with the ship or what, but they were all over the place, couldn't find 1 with another. Drove me and their mother nuts and the supervision in O2 wasn't what I would claim to be the best. I (personally) just have a better vacation without children,once again,just MHO.
Originally posted by MACLEODC:
I have never sailed it either. We don't have a special needs child, but I do work for a Children's Hospital & we always have parents looking for vacations that will accomadate a child with more needs than others. I happened to stumble upon this when cruising the internet at some point. I would also love to hear from anyone that may have taken one of these cruises.
Our son, now a young teen, has special needs (mild hemiplegia and moderate cognitive impairment). We haven't used this program - in fact, this is the first I've heard of it. (And, thanks for the info!) Yet, he has a super time on all of our cruises. When he was younger, and his cognitive abilities were close to those of his peers, he used the kids' programs a few hours a day, mostly on sea days. Since about the age of 10, he's preferred to hang out with us. Even so, the Youth Counselors almost always greet us and ask if he'd like to join the program. During the summer, when we typically cruise, it seems that there are are additional staff to work with kids, and some of these are teachers themselves.
In my experience, cruising with our son has been a lot easier on all of us than our land vacations.
charlene, just got back today from the carnival conquest. I booked this cruise SPECIFICALLY because of the "award winning" camp carnival. I have a 2 year old and a 21 year old and this was my 40th birthday present to myself. I have never had a problem with my 2 year old and his ability to adapt to adults or caregivers, which is why I was comfortable bringing him. He did not like the caregivers, cried and they refused to take him causing us to miss our prepaid for excursion. I did not see the counselors playing with the children only sorting toys or cutting out butterflys, they did not comfort or attempt to comfort my 2 year old and then they rush you out and tell you, you cannot stay. they block the windows off and lock the gate on the outside so a parent is unable to view their children. I would not feel comfortable leaving my son with them and he is very active and busy. I am very disappointed with camp carnival and I am so glad that I enjoy the company of children because the entire vacation was spent with them
We just got back on Sunday from Conquest. I have 2 kids 14 and 17. They don't have special needs other than one has a severe dairy allergy and the other is ADHD (ok with medication). They were not that impressed with the Club 02 or Circle C. I'm thinking maybe the 14 year old was too old to be with most of the 12-14 age range. There is a significant maturity difference between a 12 yo and a nearly 15 yo. (Maybe they should have a group just for 14 and 15 yos?). He found no one to connect with. His bro might have enjoyed the O2 better had some of the other young people in our group also participated. Oh well. I recommend having the teenage kids try some of the teen activities to begin with and see what happens. Oh..... we found that bringing walkie talkies to keep track of the kids was a complete waste of luggage space. Too many people were trying to use too few channels. We eventually just set check-ins during the day and curfews at night. As for the camp for the younger ones... well you can take kids to camp but there is no guarantee any kid is going to like it or get along with everyone. When you travel with kids you just have to take into concideration that they may not want to be left at "day care," even if its on a "fun ship" cruise.
Once again I wish to thank everyone that has contribute with their own experiences of cruising with kids. We took the plunge and have booked ourselves and the kids on the Valor for Aug 9-16,2009, so hopefully with alot of time before sailing we will have some of the bugs worked out.