Cruising with teenagers presents its own set of challenges. They want their freedom and parents want to ensure their safety. Other cruisers rely on sound parenting principles, not just personally but from other parents, to ensure they get to enjoy their cruise and that disrespectful teens don’t end up diminishing their vacation. A cruise vacation is NOT a vacation from parenting. Some common courtesy and common sense goes a long way to make sure that your teenagers are welcomed by other guests and crew of whatever ship they sail on.
Of course, younger teens will have slightly different rules compared to an older teen and every parent knows which rules will apply to their own child best. The idea of ‘rules’ is not all encompassing but ensuring that parents and teens are on the same page in understanding that you must be respectful of others while traveling and while on a Cruise Vacation. Ensuring your child knows the basic cruise etiquette rules and follows them, will improve how others perceive them on-board as well as assists with their safety.
Accidents can happen anywhere to anyone, even the most guarded and meticulous planner. Pre-planning a strategy towards success helps to mitigate the environment so that parents help alleviate their worry and teens get to have as much freedom as they can handle. Remember that a cruise ship has as many people on it as a small village. Depending on its size, you have anywhere from 600 to 5000 people, strangers, you don’t know.
Most people on-board are just like your family. Eager normal, vacationers looking to spend time with family or friends, looking to meet new people and have a vacation experience of a lifetime. But just like in any small community, there may be those who’s intent is not so pure of heart and it’s our duty as parents to protect our children by sharing our concerns and experience with them.
The below list of compiled rules, comes from reading comments on various blogs and cruise message boards as well as vast personal experience of what works when cruising with teens.
These parental rules are not up for discussion or debate. Failure to follow these rules will have a consequence: you will spend the rest of the cruise with one or both parents
1. Do not go anywhere by yourself, including the balcony if you are alone in the cabin. The buddy system is for your safety and to give you as much freedom as possible while still having support if needed.
2. No running on the ship, unless it is part of the Teen club activity you are participating in. Use public areas to walk between places and avoid ships corridors as thoroughfares unless going to your cabin.
3. Leave immediately if you are around anyone defacing or destroying anything on the ship otherwise you are guilty by association.
4. If you plan on changing locations from the teen club to another venue, use a ship phone to leave a message in our room, so we know your whereabouts, so you have your freedom and we don’t worry.
5. Do not go into anyone else’s cabin as it’s a major safety concern. Do not bring anyone into our cabin for the same reason, unless we are there and the other person advises their parents of their location.
6. Absolutely NO sitting on, climbing on, leaning over any ship railings. Ever. This includes the stairs
7. Do not ask anyone other than family to buy you anything or give you anything, on ship or shore.
8. Do not accept any food or drinks from anyone other than the ship servers, the people you are travelling with or what you got for yourself. Don’t take more than you can eat.
9. Elevators are for transportation between decks, not joy riding. Never get on an elevator when you are alone or when it has a drunk, rowdy person inside. Take the stairs.
10. Always allow people off the elevator before you get on. Hold the door for the elderly, disabled, women, children or people older than you are. Just hold the door. Give up your place in the elevator if someone else needs it more than you do and take the stairs.
11. Dinner every evening as a family is Mandatory. Time and place will be provided to you.
12. The teen club closes at 1AM and you must be in the cabin no later than 1:15AM.
13. It’s not your cabin attendants job to pick up after you. Keep your cabin tidy.
14. Your spending limit per day will be set before we embark, if we gave you one; do not abuse the privilege or it will be taken away.
15. Tip your cabin attendant and for room service, if you use it. We will discus amounts.
16. Always be respectful of other cruisers and give adults/elderly/handicap/children the right of way. Be an example to others of how to be kind and respectful.
17. NEVER disembark at port with anyone other than your family, unless it has been pre-arranged. Get permission from us to go back to the ship early, without us. Once on-board, use the ship phone to leave a message on our inbox saying you are back and where you will be.
18. Alcohol rules apply on-board. If we allow you wine or beer at meals when you are with us, that is a family decision. You are not to accept drinks from others or to drink others alcoholic drinks left behind from another cruiser or accept alcohol from anyone else. Do not sit at bars.
19. It is not a game to knock on cabin doors and run away, it’s called harassment and will be caught on security cameras when guests report your actions.
20. Be respectful of your neighbors and do not play loud music or be loud in the room
21. The price of a teens freedom on a cruise, is personal responsibility for their actions and ability to keep their parents from worrying about them. when out of their sight.