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MaddyandMax

Thoughts on Sign Out Privileges at Adventure Ocean

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Hello Everyone,

 

My family and I are cruising on the Adventure next month.  My daughter is 11.5 years old.  I recently learned we can give sign out privilege to her as she is over 10.  My first response was a hard NO.  But I've been reading some reports of people who have children younger than mine who have allowed it so now I am second guessing my immediate response.  I don't want to be "that" parent LOL.  It's not her I distrust, it's others I don't trust.  She is far from a shy child and has no problems talking to strangers.  Also, crime happens on ships, we all know that.  I'm also not willing to pay for all of us to have internet so she can text us to let us know when she's leaving and where she is going.  But on the flip side, she is also not the type to leave to go do something on her own.  If she was bored she would probably just search us out on the pool deck.

 

So I thought I would come on here and see how other parents feel as, other than a few recent trip reports, I haven't really seen it mentioned in recent posts.

 

Thanks for opinions and information

 

Sara

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One rule that is almost universally mentioned is to make sure the child knows never to go into any other stateroom.

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I'd also ask your daughter what parameters she'd like, of course within reason.  But you may find she'd prefer to be able to check herself out and find you as you mentioned, then it may be you have a whiteboard on your cabin door to update where you are likely to be - or just get a 2 device plan and turn it on when she's in AO so she can text when/if she wants out?  Mine loved exploring at that age but knew they couldn't go into other cabins and had to be respectful of all.  Also they only got to venture about during the day - and only one of mine ever liked doing AO anyway but she knew her limits and respected them.  You know her best 🙂

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35 minutes ago, Host Clarea said:

One rule that is almost universally mentioned is to make sure the child knows never to go into any other stateroom.

 

Oh boy, I never even thought of that.  Though she's friendly I think she would know better...  I do credit myself as a good parent but really you never know what your children will do when you aren't around and are getting peer pressure.

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7 minutes ago, MaddyandMax said:

 

Oh boy, I never even thought of that.  Though she's friendly I think she would know better...  I do credit myself as a good parent but really you never know what your children will do when you aren't around and are getting peer pressure.

This!  So true!  I still find myself saying things I never thought I'd say as a parent and mine are now all young adults!  I think a key thing for her will be knowings she's fine to stay or take a break and find you or check in with you to let you know if she wants to do something else.  She'll have supervised freedom so to speak and keep communication lines open because what you anticipate now could completely change on board.  I have a brain that can worry in hyperdrive and cover a thousand possible things at once so I've learned it's better for me and my offspring if we check in with the reality - once on board do they still want to go to AO? want to check out?  Do you feel more comfortable on board or is something making you think twice?  Stay in touch of worries and reality and you'll find the right balance 🙂

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Posted (edited)

I am not a parent but these are things I have seen more than once...

 

A group of kids meet at Kids Club. They decide to go "exploring". This group now wanders the ship doing "kids stuff" (think dropping stuff over railings, getting soft serve but making a mess, making noise in hallways, pushing all the buttons in an elevator, etc).

 

Again, nothing overwhelmingly bad. I like what @ShillyShally said about having a discussion with her about parameters.

Edited by JennyB1977

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5 minutes ago, JennyB1977 said:

I am not a parent but these are things I have scene more than once...

 

A group of kids meet at Kids Club. They decide to go "exploring". This group now wanders the ship doing "kids stuff" (think dropping stuff over railings, getting soft serve but making a mess, making noise in hallways, pushing all the buttons in an elevator, etc).

 

Again, nothing overwhelmingly bad. I like what @ShillyShally said about having a discussion with her about parameters.

Yeah mine wouldn't have gotten far if they did some of what I see now!  

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10 minutes ago, JennyB1977 said:

I am not a parent but these are things I have scene more than once...

 

A group of kids meet at Kids Club. They decide to go "exploring". This group now wanders the ship doing "kids stuff" (think dropping stuff over railings, getting soft serve but making a mess, making noise in hallways, pushing all the buttons in an elevator, etc).

 

Again, nothing overwhelmingly bad. I like what @ShillyShally said about having a discussion with her about parameters.

 

Yeah that would never fly with my kids and they KNOW the consequences of that.  On our last cruise on Explorer we actually saw a group of kids (13-16) all over the ship all the time.  Myself, my husband and my parents all saw them at different times stealing or trying to steal from the stores. They were reported multiple times but we never saw any of them with parents... Ever. We also saw them taking stones out of the flower pots near the elevators and leaving them strewn on the ground for people to trip and interrupting multiple shows to come sit at the very front row on the floor, half way through the show...

 

My dd likes to spend time with us so I'm not so much concerned about her roaming the ship with other children, but you just never know.  I don't want to be that parent who says after the fact, "I never would have thought my child would do that", because when push comes to shove they are all capable of being "that" child.

 

Maybe at first I won't allow the sign out and see how she likes it.  If she's not having fun and things seem to be going well maybe I'll reconsider allowing it. Because I also don't want to be the parent who doesn't allow any freedom.

 

Parenting sucks sometimes.

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32 minutes ago, MaddyandMax said:

Parenting sucks sometimes.

HAHA, yes it does, it is the one job that will cover EVERY possible emotion and thought at some point, some you are prepared for, some you think you can handle and then so many you never thought you'd encounter or have any idea at first thought what to do with it!

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This clearly depends on the kind of responsibility/freedom your kid is handling on the daily basis.  My 9yo has been allowed to sign himself out on at least the last two cruises.  Before that time I was allowing my older son to sign him out - not because I trust my older kid so much, but because I trust my younger.  He has been walking to/from school for two years now.  He is allowed to go to the park with his friends since last summer.  My kids are allowed to stay home alone since about two years ago, when they were 7 and 12.  So, for me, I am not going to limit his freedom on vacation any more than I do at home.  I do require knowing where they are - and I am willing to pay for wifi to give me the ability to find them at any moment.     

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6 hours ago, ZandZ said:

This clearly depends on the kind of responsibility/freedom your kid is handling on the daily basis.  My 9yo has been allowed to sign himself out on at least the last two cruises.  Before that time I was allowing my older son to sign him out - not because I trust my older kid so much, but because I trust my younger.  He has been walking to/from school for two years now.  He is allowed to go to the park with his friends since last summer.  My kids are allowed to stay home alone since about two years ago, when they were 7 and 12.  So, for me, I am not going to limit his freedom on vacation any more than I do at home.  I do require knowing where they are - and I am willing to pay for wifi to give me the ability to find them at any moment.     

This 👆, right here.  You know your kids and know what they can and can't handle. And what they might or might not do.  The only parent you want to be is "that" parent your child needs you to be.  Only you can answer that question.

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My daughter was 10 on our last cruise and I allowed her to sign herself in and out.  Best thing I ever did.  She liked to hang out with us during the day, even in sea days, so we did flow rider, swam, hung out, etc.  in the evening if she went to the kids club, she would leave at 10 with specific instructions on where to meet us, which was usually the schooner bar, where grandma and grandpa would hang out.  She would meet us, snack in hand from the cafe.  I loved not having to leave the fourth floor and go all the way up to twelve to fetch her.

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Only you know your child and what they are capable of.  I will see if I have still have it but not sure, do a search 9n the family board for teens/kids rules, contracts, etc for things to think about.  My kids are older now with kids if their own but we used these as talking points when they were younger.  One took them very well, the other had to push and had consequences once, after he realized we were serious he followed our rules much better but still was a constant challenge.

 

One thing I will add that is a newer thing than when our kids were younger us the whiteboards on the doors.  Personally I don't want others to know where my kids or I will be when, just too much for me.  We got extra keys for all cabins and designated one as the message central where we left notes for each other if necessary, yes we traveled before cell phones were prevalent.

 

Bottom line go with your gut and if you are nervous go slow and start within your comfort zone and go from there.  

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Posted (edited)

I did have one saved.  It is more geared to teens and a bit older but a good read to see what you feel is important.

 

 

Edited by akcruz
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Mom of 2 here. Last cruise kids were 6 and I0. I gave my 10 year old sign out Privileges and also gave him permission to be the person picking up his sister. We were on Liberty.

I know - that sounds CRAZY - I get it! But - it was PERFECT for us.

First - anytime you drop a kid off at AO, you have to indicate if they have permission to use their sign out privileges. There were times when we just said NO - we would get him. (Maybe because we wanted alone time or because we were at the pool and didn’t have a good meet up spot)

Second - we established family rules that my oldest had permission to sign out but only when it was agreed to ahead of time...’when the morning session ends - get your sister and meet us at the pizza place’ ‘when they shut down at 5pm come to the room to get dressed for dinner’.

Third - probably the biggest thing we did was establish that at night he would sign himself/my daughter out ONLY when we called AO. AO has no issue with us calling when we were ready for them to come back and then they could sign out and the kids could follow our plans (sometimes this meant straight to the room - other times this meant stopping for pizza and then heading back).

We made it very clear that making anything but good choices with their ‘freedom’ would have significant consequences- on the cruise but also at home. My 10 year old was looking for more freedom at home - occasionally staying home alone etc instead of being dragged everywhere for errands etc. This was the perfect trial run and he did a great job and was very responsible.

Fast forward - he is 12 now. I am very glad that at 10 we started to practice these small acts of responsibility. In middle school there is so many more choices and freedoms and so much more alone time that I am glad he is not new to it. Last week he had to come home from school every day and he was alone in our house for over 3 hours each day - this is much scarier than his freedom on our cruise! He has to get off the bus, into our house, not leave the garage door wide open, get himself food/snacks, and deal with the associated delivery men, random door knockers, or phone calls.

Only you know your kid and whether they will follow your agreed upon rules and behaviors and make good choices - but as long as you have the right talks and guidelines, I think that a child that is almost 12 can totally be trusted with sign out privileges and I would encourage you to give it a try.


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Everyone is being so open and they’re giving good advice.

I’ll offer the other side.

Just for some food for thought.

Our 10 year old is asking for the privilege to sign herself out.

She just turned 10 the week we got on Vision for Spring Break.

Like you. An absolute “No” was our response

Like you, she’s an awesome kid, but I don’t trust the world.

I just don’t want to find she she signed herself out, just because she could and it’s 10pm and she didn’t show up in the cabin as directed.

Then what?

Panic Dad time for me.

I just don’t think the leisure of it having to leave the bar, or caving to her desire to be like the cool kids is worth it to me.

We were on Vision which is a very small ship, nothing like Oasis which were used to.

One of our big preferences for the smaller ship was that we felt safer with her.

So we did allow her some small freedoms.

One day while in the formal dining room, my daughter finished eating and we were still waiting on main course.

I gave her my phone and told her she had a challenge to find Ben and Jerry’s on the ship. Take a photo and bring it back to me in 10 minutes.

She loved it

It gave her some freedom, and more than anything got us used to the idea of her traversing the ship alone.

By the end of the cruise, we were sitting at the R bar and allowing her to take elevators up to the cabin to get something and come right back.

We had to be ready for it.

I will say. We had a bump.

She left one day and went to something that should have been 5 minutes away.

After about 20 minutes of no her, panicked dad went searching.

Turns out she got lost

Then wound up on an elevator with a kid who bunched every single button.

She knew she was going to be late and I would be worried. And got upset

But didn’t think, “ let me step off this elevator and catch another”

I told her it was a sign she may not be quite ready.

One night while my wife and I were walking around alone and the kids were in AO we met two kids our daughters age, brother and sister,wandering alone.


They started chatting in the elevator and then a little while later they showed up in the Viking crown and sat and talked to us.

They were smart and polite and sweet.

But I just thought man, I don’t know how I’d feel about my kids sitting alone in the Viking crown on a couch in the corner talking to two adults.

I would feel better if my daughter had a sibling her age or a friend I knew and trusted to sign herself out with. But for me, it’s just not time yet.

I’m sure she could handle the rules a previous poster listed.... only check out at this point and you must go straight here....

But dad just isn’t comfortable just yet.




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Posted (edited)

My 12 and 8 yr old had sign out privileges at Adventure Ocean the one sailing we tried using it.

They really didn't like it....mostly because they have been going to day care their whole lives and the first day they were like "Dad/Mom its like we're at day care on a boat"....

 

It also helped on that morning when we had high seas and one of the kids puked everywhere....my two where just like "check please" and signed themselves right out and went back to the room so they wouldn't have to deal with the invertible domino effect that would have 😉

Edited by dodgestang

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I will say. We had a bump.

She left one day and went to something that should have been 5 minutes away.

After about 20 minutes of no her, panicked dad went searching.

Turns out she got lost

Then wound up on an elevator with a kid who bunched every single button.

She knew she was going to be late and I would be worried. And got upset

But didn’t think, “ let me step off this elevator and catch another”

I told her it was a sign she may not be quite ready.



I know that this incident made you panic - and I totally get that! My DH would too! So please don’t take this is a judgement on you in any way because I quoted your post! Parenting sucks and is hard and everyone is entitled to their own approach and opinions!!

........

this incident is EXACTLY the type of learning experience that I want my kids to have before the REAL life situations happen and the realize they don’t know how to handle them. And I’m sure we had a few of them on cruises (why did you stop for pizza without telling me you were going to? Etc)

For me - this would have been a telling moment...did my kid realize that they were ‘late’ (or more importantly not meeting my expectations)? This ability to recognize that is not something they are born with and it’s something they need to learn to feel...and if they didn’t feel that, they need to learn to!

Next up it becomes a teaching moment about what else they could have done. There are crazy people all over the world but cruise ships still are a fairly controlled environment for these types of practice runs. I much prefer them to the local mall which is the closest we have been able to mimic - as there really are many more entrances and exits and varied clientele at the mall.

In all fairness - my mother is a retired 4th and 5th grade teacher and has stressed the importance of Developing Capable People to me for decades. Before we know it - our once ‘little’ one will be driving and out in the great big world and will need to have some practical experience for how to handle a huge traffic jam, a road closure, and unexpected long line at the super market...all of which can make them late for school or work or picking up their little sister ...and I really want my kid to be able to triage most of those things in a socially appropriate way - ideally without texting us parents for help

This takes us back to....parenting is hard work! Why are there so many choices for us to make!


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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, MaddyandMax said:

Hello Everyone,

 

My family and I are cruising on the Adventure next month.  My daughter is 11.5 years old.  I recently learned we can give sign out privilege to her as she is over 10.  My first response was a hard NO.  But I've been reading some reports of people who have children younger than mine who have allowed it so now I am second guessing my immediate response.  I don't want to be "that" parent LOL.  It's not her I distrust, it's others I don't trust.  She is far from a shy child and has no problems talking to strangers.  Also, crime happens on ships, we all know that.  I'm also not willing to pay for all of us to have internet so she can text us to let us know when she's leaving and where she is going.  But on the flip side, she is also not the type to leave to go do something on her own.  If she was bored she would probably just search us out on the pool deck.

 

So I thought I would come on here and see how other parents feel as, other than a few recent trip reports, I haven't really seen it mentioned in recent posts.

 

Thanks for opinions and information

 

Sara

From what I've read and understand, the app is available on Adventure so you can use the ships Wi-Fi to connect the app (which supposedly has the chat feature) without purchasing any internet plans.  

Edited by Mr. Candyman

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1 hour ago, Mr. Candyman said:

From what I've read and understand, the app is available on Adventure so you can use the ships Wi-Fi to connect the app (which supposedly has the chat feature) without purchasing any internet plans.  

The only 2 ships that have the chat feature activated are Allure and Harmony.

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29 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

The only 2 ships that have the chat feature activated are Allure and Harmony.

Thanks for the clarification.  I knew the app was available on the ship but now know the chat feature isn't yet.  

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Thank you everyone for your responses.

 

I do allow her freedoms at home.  We've allowed her to stay home by herself since 10 and with her brother since she turned 11 while we run errands, grocery shop, etc.  That said, we also have an alarm system and I receive text messages when any door in the house is opened.  She's never misbehaved or done anything bad.

 

I think we are going to see how it goes and do it on a day to day basis.  It certainly be handy to have her be able to sign herself and her brother out at 5:00pm to come back to the room to get ready for dinner.  So those are something I am considering.  Her older cousin who is 16 is cruising with us.  I'm going to allow her sign out privileges so they can hang out without her "annoying" younger brother.

 

Like I said in my original post.  This has nothing to do with my lack of faith in her of doing the right and responsible thing.  It's the rest of the world I don't have faith in.  Boats are floating large cities and anyone who doesn't think bad things can and do happen on them is wearing rose coloured glasses.

 

I sincerely appreciate all the input.  It's definitely made my decision harder.  I've gone from a hard no to a I don't know.  So I think we'll go, see how she likes it and then decide.  She's always LOVED Adventure Ocean and never wanted to leave before.  But I also know she's at the horrible age where she is no longer a kid and not quite a teenager and it always makes this gray area in these situations.

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I let my almost 11 year old boy sign himself out.  I had an 8 year old also and his siblings could also sign him out (11, 13, 15).  My little guy is 10 now but I don't think he would sign himself out alone but with other kids maybe?  He is sort of anxious.  We also had the no one in the stateroom rule as well as don't go in anyone else's stateroom.  The 13 and 15 year old could go in the pool by themselves but the 10, 11 year old could not.  We did not have a phone or white board.  We tried the sticky note pad but it was somehow always gone.  In the morning we would let the kids know our general plan.  I would say the 8 year old was with us most of the time and the 11 year old boy was in the Seaplex (Anthem) most of the time.  The girls had their own stateroom and I saw them at dinner lol. (Maybe).

 

The 3 older kids spent no time in a "kids club" except the first day/evening to hook up with their "crew" for the cruise.  That is a must--first night!  My little guy probably spent an hour in there and then we got paged.   

 

You know your kids best.  We also did a brief overview of the ship together and showed them how to find the maps and guest services in case they were lost or needed us and could not find us.   Not sure how that would have happened (it didn't) but I figured we needed an emergency plan.  The kids loved the freedom.  We have an upcoming cruise with two balcony cabins.  The two (13, 10) will not be allowed to be on the balcony without an adult.  The 13 year old is a boy and he does some really dumb things.  Luckily he is afraid of heights so we have that in our favor lol. 

 

Oh we also did a drill lol.  Dropped the younger guys off together and they had to find us at a certain location--they did so I felt confident.  I hope you enjoy your cruise!

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It is awesomely refreshing to see the positive spirit is on this post!  Really!!

 

My daughters - 10 & 12 at the time - were on Radiance to Alaska (and since them Liberty our of Galveston).  We gave the youngest sign-out privileges and we held a strict curfew and required that they leave notes in the cabin so that we could find them.  We put no restrictions on their charging, but also had great confidence that they would not abuse them. 

 

The coolest thing that came out of our experience with OA was that my youngest befriended a girl of the same age from New Zealand.  That led to the parents meeting, and we all have continued a wonderful friendship from half-way around the world.  We planned an additional cruise on Liberty last year, and are looking forward to visiting them in NZ next year.

 

I completely agree with the advice that ultimately you know your child best, and also know what you - as a parent - can live with.  I sincerely wish you the best!

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On 3/28/2019 at 10:13 AM, MaddyandMax said:

 

Oh boy, I never even thought of that.  Though she's friendly I think she would know better...  I do credit myself as a good parent but really you never know what your children will do when you aren't around and are getting peer pressure.

Also, don't just assume that she knows better not to go into other staterooms. One our last cruise, there were several youngsters wandering together and some decided to sit on the ship's railing. We told them the dangers of doing that and to get down and sit in a chair or on the floor. We have always told our own children and now grandchildren about not going into staterooms and sitting on the railing. Like others have mentioned, just discuss expectations beforehand

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