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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.