January 20, 2020

44 Comments

For many people, a cruise is a holiday of a lifetime. But while a family friendly cruise is an attractive option, these trips are turning into nightmares, with many guests saying that they will never cruise again.

It is no surprise that many are opting for a family friendly cruise holiday. It’s an all-inclusive floating hotel, with incredible entertainment, activities and never-ending food at your fingertips.  After you’ve booked your cabin, there is really no need to spend extra money, which is why cruising is particularly popular with families.

Paradise

Oh…that and the kids’ club of course. A veritable paradise for children of all ages. A dedicated space where parents can leave their kids to supervised play while they escape into all the fun the ship has to offer.

Many grown-ups take up the offer of a drink package. They don’t come cheap these alcohol packages, so the mums and dads tend to let their hair down and make sure they’re drinking up the value in fruity cocktails, wine and beer.

Problems In Paradise

On the surface, a cruise holiday appears to be the most fun in the world. But scratch beneath the overflowing drinks, buffets and hairy chest contests and you’ve got some very disgruntled guests who swear they’ll never cruise ever again.

The issue is that these so-called family friendly cruise holidays are being plagued by gangs of misbehaving, renegade kids, who are running around the ships causing complete havoc.

Unruly Rogues

The issue is that kids can sign themselves in and out of kids club from around the age of 8 or 9 (depending on the cruise liner’s policies) so while parents are unwinding in the pool with four or five cocktails without a care in the world, their children are galavanting around the ship making mischief.

This problem is exacerbated during school holidays where a large number of passengers (sometimes even half) are kids. So in a cruise liner with a capacity of 3,000 people, you could have 1,500 kids on board. Of course, not all of the young ones are creating chaos and I’m sure the majority are actually respectful, good kids. But it only takes a pack or two of bad eggs to smear the whole lot with the same brush.

The stories that passengers have been sharing are shocking. And it’s not limited to a specific cruise liner. It looks like all family friendly cruise ships are plagued with the same problem.

Shockingly Disgusting Behaviour

Travellers have shared comments of kids hogging the lifts by pressing all the lift buttons (annoying!). They run around after midnight ringing doorbells and scarpering. One disgusted passenger even reported that they saw a bunch of teens sniffing salt near the lifts, chests literally bursting with bratty bravado.

Another saw a bunch of kids adding pepper to the salt shakers and one even had a bread roll hurled at their head. The horror stories continue.

family friendly cruise ship packed

Where Are The Parents?

I’m going to say it! The BIG elephant in the room here, is that the parents are nowhere to be seen. Kids should not be allowed to run around the ship without any supervision. The parents do not care! They are too busy stuffing their faces with food and drink to spare a single worry that their boorish punks are spoiling the holidays of many fellow passengers.

“Never have I seen so many rude kids who act as though they are so entitled, ” said one disgusted passenger.

“The parents need to have taken more responsibility for their young children it was absolute mayhem, they are all rude, holding up lifts, getting into life rafts, running up and down the hallways knocking on doors at all hours, throwing food from the top levels to level 5, opening the elevators without it being there bloody mayhem,” said another cruiser on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

“I question what type of parents would let their children do this & it’s a worry, because if they are into destroying things now, what will they do in the future,” yet another passenger shared.

As soon as parents step on board, it seems that they relinquish all responsibility for their kids and assume it’s up to the ship to police their children’s behaviour.

Should Security Take More Responsibility?

One passenger reported that the security aboard their 10-day cruise to the South Pacific in early January did their best to defuse the kids’ behaviour but towards the end of the cruise had just about given up policing the packs. Some passengers have reported that security are oblivious to just choose to turn a blind eye to the deplorable behaviour of the younger cruisers.

Royal Caribbean is pretty strict at enforcing a curfew of 1am on kids under 18 years old (which I support 100%), while Carnival does not have any curfew. But even a time limit doesn’t put a stop on these teens making a nuisance of themselves.

Never Again!

In fact, all the cruise groups are full of seasoned cruisers absolutely disgusted with the behaviour of these kids during sold-out Christmas and popular new year cruises and refuse to ever take a cruise over school holidays again.

“I would never take another school holiday cruise – and I have kids!” commented a cranky traveller.

Is There A Solution?

So, what’s the solution? Up the security on these cruises? Kick the parents off the cruise if their kids misbehave? Cap the numbers of kids on the cruise? Whatever the answer is, the family friendly cruise companies really need to start addressing these issues before passengers make a mass exodus off the ship.

Have you ever encountered any of these issues on a cruise before? Would this put you off cruising? Tell us in the comments below.

 

 

  • I have never and could never go on a cruise. Being trapped at sea with strangers on a floating petri dish would kill me

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  • I haven’t experienced this and I’d hate to. It really is up to the Companies of these ships to introduce strong, strict guidelines regarding children running amok. Perhaps start fining the parents. That would make them sit up and take notice!

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  • I would never take my children on a cruise – it seems to be spoiled brats who are on these cruises and it makes it very hard for the good parents to keep their children in check when others are running riot. Do this at your own peril.

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  • I say don’t let the kids be able to sign themselves out of kids club. And any kid with a wrist band must be accompanied by an adult.

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  • I have never been on a cruise but if I was to take my kids then they would need to be supervised. I’d hate for my kids to be a nuisance and wreck someone else’s holiday. It is a lot of money so everyone should be enjoying it!

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  • I must admit, I didn’t love the cruise we went on. We took our 13 year old son and he struggled with the Teen Club that always adhered to the minority and cancelled activities regularly to defer to the playstation (which only 2 at a time can play). Our son hung with us most of the time. The kids pool was full of really young kids and the adult pool full of young drunk adults, there were never any spare banana lounges. It was probably my least fave holiday ever.

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  • We had a horror cruise in December with Royal Caribbean, and I hold them responsible for it, not the kids. There were 400+ kids on board but only 50 places in kids club, something there is no warning about prior to boarding. There is little to do on board for kids, with only packed pools, which we chose not to use due to cases of gastro on board. I was stuck in the room with my kids for 8 days, paying $12US per movie due to poor free TV. Queue for 1 hour to actually get them into kids club, queue for 2 hours to play 7 minutes of laser tag. For our family it was a floating prison. (We have cruised previously with another line, and had no such problems).

    Reply

  • We had a horror cruise in December with Royal Caribbean, and I hold them responsible for it, not the kids. There were 400+ kids on board but only 50 places in kids club, something there is no warning about prior to boarding. There is little to do on board for kids, with only packed pools, which we chose not to use due to cases of gastro on board. I was stuck in the room with my kids for 8 days, paying $12US per movie due to poor free TV. Queue for 1 hour to actually get them into kids club, queue for 2 hours to play 7 minutes of laser tag. For our family it was a floating prison. We have previously cruised with another line and had a fantastic time.

    Reply

  • There is no way I’d let my kids misbehave especially on a cruise ship. No one deserves to have their holiday ruined by other peoples kids. I’ve never been on a cruise and now I definitely won’t be even thinking of going on one

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  • now that is something real! was thinking of a cruise but might rethink now.

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  • It’s not the security personals jobs to constantly watch these kids. There is only so much they can do. I would be horrified if that were my kids

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  • First of all kids should not be able to sign themselves out- especially not at that age and parents should be checking on them periodically- not forgetting they exist!

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  • Can’t they just make the kids have to be signed in and out by parents to stop this?

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  • I could never let my kids roam around unsupervised, anything could happen!

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  • Oh wow I wouldn’t have thought that the kids could possibly sign themselves out of the kids club.. makes me feel at unease as who knows where they could end up


    • Yes, scary ! My 9yr old would definitely misuse this !

    Reply

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