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COBEERGAL
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My husband and I are going on our first cruise the last week of August, for 8 days.

My thinking is that most kids will be back to school, and probably not on an 8 day cruise, so there won't be pre-teens and teenagers running around all hours of the night.  What do you think? 

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Welcome to Cruise Critic!

 

What cruiseline and port of departure?

 

In the US West, schools tend to re-start last week or so of August, but in the NorthEast we always started the Wednesday after Labor Day. So it might depend on where you are sailing from... but then again, not many parents would take their kids on a cruise the week before school starts (they would be buying school supplies). So you are probably safe!

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It also would be dependent upon which cruise line you are sailing.  For instance, NCL, Disney, and RCCL's primary demographics is families and the likelihood of a lot of children on board then would IMO still be pretty high.  MSC would likely fit with them pretty well also.

 

8 nights is still a relatively short cruise when it comes to families with children, even that time of year close to the resumption of school.  If you were on a 9 or 10 night+, for instance, that likelihood would diminish. 

 

Other lines such as Celebrity and Princess's primary demographics is adults, with HAL as older adults.  While all of these can have children included, there is a lower likelihood with them.

 

In general in that timeframe IMO, I think you may be in for a fair amount of pre-teens and teenagers on board, especially if you are booked on any one of the first four cruise lines mentioned.  Usually they are involved with ship-planned activities in certain venues, so hopefully that would keep the "running around" to a minimum. Most of these lines also have an under age 18 curfew of around 1:00 AM, however.

 

But either way, enjoy your first cruise.  It likely won't be your last.

 

Edited by leaveitallbehind
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22 hours ago, COBEERGAL said:

My husband and I are going on our first cruise the last week of August, for 8 days.

My thinking is that most kids will be back to school, and probably not on an 8 day cruise, so there won't be pre-teens and teenagers running around all hours of the night.  What do you think? 

we always cruise with our school aged kid during school breaks, and we've never encountered pre-teens and teens running around all hours of the night. Seriously.

 

The only unpleasant kid related experience we had was when we sailed in a guarantee inside connecting cabin next to some people with a young kid who screamed bloody murder every evening for about an hour before falling asleep. Since the cabin was connecting (as in - with a door between the cabins for those traveling for the first time), the sound was much louder than it would have been if the cabins were not connected. 

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On 2/5/2024 at 2:12 PM, COBEERGAL said:

My husband and I are going on our first cruise the last week of August, for 8 days.

My thinking is that most kids will be back to school, and probably not on an 8 day cruise, so there won't be pre-teens and teenagers running around all hours of the night.  What do you think? 

Late August?  You're likely to have fewer kids than in summer /on holidays, but more kids than September or October.  Even parents who are fine with taking their kids out of school balk at missing the first couple weeks -- but not all school systems will be back in the classroom.  Consider, too, that more and more kids are in non-traditional year-round classrooms, and more are homeschooled or enrolled in online classes.  

 

Personally, we like September, October and early November best.  The weather is perfect, and the ticket prices are at their lowest.  

 

You're likely to encounter fewer kids on an 8-day cruise.  You're either sailing or disembarking on a weekday, and that cuts into two different weeks.  Couple in your travel, and that's just not a choice parents tend to make once their kids are in high school.  And most people with kids this age don't have unlimited vacation -- so you're likely to encounter a slightly older crowd on an 8-day cruise.  

 

Consider, too, that kids tend to stick to the kids' clubs or the main pool.  That leaves a lot of real estate for you.  

 

In theory, kids should not be running around "all hours of the night".  The ship has a curfew (extremely late, in my opinion -- we always gave our kids a much earlier curfew), but it's not strictly enforced.  

 

Finally, one of my favorite sayings is, Don't bleed until you get shot.  That is, Don't start worrying 'bout things that haven't happened yet.  Something similar is in the Bible:  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  Or, today's troubles are enough; don't go worrying over what might happen tomorrow.  People on this board tend to complain about kids' behavior onboard -- yet I've not seen most of what they describe -- maybe because I don't cruise summer or holidays.  We ONCE had a group of kids who were knocking on our door, waking us up, but when my husband jumped up and snatched the door open, they were shocked and fell all over themselves apologizing -- they thought they were knocking on a friend's door /pranking a friend.  Not okay, but they stopped immediately.  And ONCE I took my then-young children out to the pool for a late-night swim, and we encountered a group of boys who were doing flips into the (shallow) pool off the handrails -- very unsafe.  I asked them to stop, saying I was afraid they'd be hurt, and when they just laughed, I went to security.  That stopped it.  But in 20 years of cruising, those are my only personal examples of kids engaging in bad behavior.  

 

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34 minutes ago, Mum2Mercury said:

You're likely to encounter fewer kids on an 8-day cruise.  You're either sailing or disembarking on a weekday, and that cuts into two different weeks.  Couple in your travel, and that's just not a choice parents tend to make once their kids are in high school.  And most people with kids this age don't have unlimited vacation -- so you're likely to encounter a slightly older crowd on an 8-day cruise.   

 

This is not necessarily true as in our experience many 8-day cruises depart on a Saturday and return on the next weeks' Sunday.  (These are frequently followed by 6-day Sunday - Saturday cruises. This 8 / 6 cycle often repeats allowing for weekend to weekend itineraries for both).  

 

Again, in our experience, this has 8-day itineraries similar to 7-day ones in terms of the likelihood of families with children on board. 9+ day cruises would cut into two weeks and would have the greater likelihood of less children and older demographics, depending on cruise line.

 

Not challenging you - just pointing out what our experience has been.

Edited by leaveitallbehind
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37 minutes ago, Mum2Mercury said:

Personally, we like September, October and early November best.  The weather is perfect, and the ticket prices are at their lowest.  

it's still very much hurricane season in the Caribbean....

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2 hours ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

it's still very much hurricane season in the Caribbean....

That is true, but cruises are not often affected by hurricanes -- doesn't mean it's not possible. 

Things to know: 

- If you must fly to your departure port, you are more likely to be affected by a hurricane.  The real danger is in whether you can reach the ship.  

- Your captain has the authority to skip or change a port of call for the safety of the ship.  Once you're on the ship, you're not going to be affected by the hurricane.  

- It's possible that  in an extreme situation you could return to port a day early /stay an extra day -- again, for the safety of the ship.  This is not common.  If you have a job (or children or pets) to get back to, this could affect you.  

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2 hours ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

it's still very much hurricane season in the Caribbean....

So is August - the OP's planned cruise timeframe.

 

And to further echo the comments by @Mum2Mercury, hurricane season only refers to the seasonal timeframe (June 1 - November 30) when conditions are most favorable for storm development, not that they will occur with certainty.  Clearly during those months historically many have occurred, however.

 

I guess we have been fortunate as we have taken many cruises over our 32 year cruising experience during hurricane season and have never had any cruise or itinerary directly affected by one.  Not to say it can't or won't happen at some point.

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On 2/5/2024 at 2:12 PM, COBEERGAL said:

My husband and I are going on our first cruise the last week of August, for 8 days.

My thinking is that most kids will be back to school, and probably not on an 8 day cruise, so there won't be pre-teens and teenagers running around all hours of the night.  What do you think? 

 

"What do you think?"

 

Well, since you asked. 😄  I think the issue of young folk on cruise ships is greatly overblown, especially here on CC.   I would take the cruise when I wanted.  However, if you truly will be unhappy with teenagers around, then you have already been advised. 

 

 

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On 2/5/2024 at 4:17 PM, crystalspin said:

Welcome to Cruise Critic!

 

What cruiseline and port of departure?

 

In the US West, schools tend to re-start last week or so of August, but in the NorthEast we always started the Wednesday after Labor Day. So it might depend on where you are sailing from... but then again, not many parents would take their kids on a cruise the week before school starts (they would be buying school supplies). So you are probably safe!

And here in Nebraska schools start around August 10th!  Much too early, IMO.

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13 hours ago, Nebr.cruiser said:

And here in Nebraska schools start around August 10th!  Much too early, IMO.

Oh, no -- as a high school teacher, I much prefer school to start in early August: 

 

- Assuming you're on block scheduling -- I think most schools are -- starting in August means you can complete the fall semester in December /take exams /return textbooks /go home for Christmas break 100% done with classes.  Then you come back in January and start anew. 
- Students who finish their classwork in December ("graduating early") can take community college classes beginning in January.  No overlap between high school and college classes.  

- Our kids graduate the weekend before Memorial Day in May.  They never go to school in June at all. 

- Families can vacation those first two weeks of June, when prices are a little lower and weather is a little more mild.  

 

May or may not be good for elementary school -- I don't claim to be an expert on that age group -- but I'll choose early August every time for high school.  

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56 minutes ago, Mum2Mercury said:

Oh, no -- as a high school teacher, I much prefer school to start in early August: 

 

- Assuming you're on block scheduling -- I think most schools are -- starting in August means you can complete the fall semester in December /take exams /return textbooks /go home for Christmas break 100% done with classes.  Then you come back in January and start anew. 
- Students who finish their classwork in December ("graduating early") can take community college classes beginning in January.  No overlap between high school and college classes.  

- Our kids graduate the weekend before Memorial Day in May.  They never go to school in June at all. 

- Families can vacation those first two weeks of June, when prices are a little lower and weather is a little more mild.  

 

May or may not be good for elementary school -- I don't claim to be an expert on that age group -- but I'll choose early August every time for high school.  

No block schedule here, the majority of classes are a year long, starting after Labor Day. My biggest issue is with AP classes, where the AP exams are in May but school goes to the end of June, less prep time for exams, and then 6 more weeks, usually the teacher gives a final too.

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The last two weeks of August are prime vacation season on the East Coast. There will be plenty of children as others have said. Washington, D.C. is a ghost town before school starts the day after Labor Day. We moved to Texas years ago and it was a shock to see the kids back to school in early August.

 

Are you aware that is hurricane season?

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On 2/15/2024 at 9:12 AM, Mum2Mercury said:

Oh, no -- as a high school teacher, I much prefer school to start in early August: 

 

- Assuming you're on block scheduling -- I think most schools are -- starting in August means you can complete the fall semester in December /take exams /return textbooks /go home for Christmas break 100% done with classes.  Then you come back in January and start anew. 
- Students who finish their classwork in December ("graduating early") can take community college classes beginning in January.  No overlap between high school and college classes.  

- Our kids graduate the weekend before Memorial Day in May.  They never go to school in June at all. 

- Families can vacation those first two weeks of June, when prices are a little lower and weather is a little more mild.  

 

May or may not be good for elementary school -- I don't claim to be an expert on that age group -- but I'll choose early August every time for high school.  

We don't have block scheduling here, at least where I live.  Most schools get out around May 20th, Seniors graduate a week or two earlier.  I just object to kids (and teachers) losing summer days in August being in school, and not all families can vacation in early summer, especially farm families.    I taught elementary, at that time school started later in August, but some days were 90 degrees in my classroom.  Guess how much learning was achieved?  At least most schools are air conditioned now.

 

I do appreciate that the early August start probably works better in some circumstances.  I guess because I love summer, I don't like to see kids missing nearly a month of it.

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  • 2 months later...

I think that many parents will definitely take their children - both schoolchildren and preschoolers. For example, when I went to Italy or Greece just to warm up by the sea, I saw a surprisingly large number of children even in September. As it turned out, many parents tell teachers and school administrators in advance that they have a vacation planned and they take their children with them. So this is a common practice. When I was on a cruise, I also saw school children aboard the ship even in September

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Northeast and Canada don't return until September and are often still enjoying vacations at this time.  I also admit, I have no problem taking my kids out of school to go on a vacation.  The only time I found it to be an issue was when we tried to do it the last week before school break in December, due to exam scheduling.  Otherwise, we ask for school work ahead of time and work on it in the cabin throughout the week and finish it when we are home.  This year I will be taking them out in September to sail on Icon of the Seas.  I booked it on opening day and literally looked for the lowest priced sailing.  Sailing during school breaks is way over my budget, so this is how we are able to go and enjoy.  Oh, and we also always book 7-8 night cruises to get the most out of it.

 

No matter when we have gone, there have always been plenty of kids on board.  If you don't want to be bothered with teens running around, I would suggest looking to one of the adult only cruise lines.  Otherwise, there is no guarantee that there will be few kids (pre-teens/teens) on board.  

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On 2/16/2024 at 10:28 AM, Nebr.cruiser said:

I guess because I love summer, I don't like to see kids missing nearly a month of it.

Starting in early August doesn't take away a single summer vacation day.  It just means kids have ALL of June and July, whereas with the old system they go to school the first two weeks of June and don't return to school until the third week of August.  

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I realize this is true in some areas, but here in Nebr. we literally have lost about 3 weeks.  Historically we got out about May 15 and went back to school around August 30--a few days either way.  This schedule was at least partly because we are a rural state and it fit the farming Calander better.  Farming is different now.

 

Now we get out around May 20 but go back around August 10.  It is possible that there are a few more days off during the school year, but not 3-4 weeks.

 

So kids used to have 10-15 days in May, all of June and July and almost all of August.  School used to start after the County Fairs were ove, which was usually the last weekend in August.  Now, County Fairs have had to reschedule in July because of the earlier school start.

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17 hours ago, Nebr.cruiser said:

I realize this is true in some areas, but here in Nebr. we literally have lost about 3 weeks.  Historically we got out about May 15 and went back to school around August 30--a few days either way.  This schedule was at least partly because we are a rural state and it fit the farming Calander better.  Farming is different now.

 

Now we get out around May 20 but go back around August 10.  It is possible that there are a few more days off during the school year, but not 3-4 weeks.

 

So kids used to have 10-15 days in May, all of June and July and almost all of August.  School used to start after the County Fairs were ove, which was usually the last weekend in August.  Now, County Fairs have had to reschedule in July because of the earlier school start.

Most states require 180 days but there is no such requirement in Nebraska. Here students get out the end of June and go back Labor Day week. It looks like Nebraska added weeks on to make it more like other states.

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