Children's Safety on Cruise Ships
If you have children under the age of 12, part of the appeal of a cruise vacation is that you can all spend special time together, splashing in the onboard pools, playing games on deck, enjoying delicious food in the dining room and exploring on shore. However, most parents also like the fact that a cruise also allows you to spend some time apart from your kids, knowing that they are well taken care of.
Most cruise lines have special programs for children, supervised by crew members who are specially qualified and trained to work with kids. These programs group children by age and provide plenty of fun activities on board and sometimes on shore. These "kid’s clubs” are popular because kids enjoy having fun with their peers, and because they give parents time to enjoy spa treatments, lectures and other activities that don’t appeal to kids.
Age requirements for kid’s clubs vary a bit by cruise line – some start at age three, while some accommodate younger toddlers. If you are traveling with a baby who is too young for organized activities but would love some time to yourself, note that many cruise lines offer babysitting services, either in a central nursery or right in your stateroom.
While cruise ships offer plenty of opportunity for children to have supervised fun, many kids still want some time to explore the ship on their own, with their siblings or with the new friends they meet on board. While parents can decide how much independent exploration is appropriate for their children, there are some common-sense rules that apply to everyone:
- Deck railings on cruise ships are designed to be child-safe, but should never be climbed on.
- Decide on a meeting time and place. Make sure your kids are familiar enough with the ship to be able to easily find your stateroom or other designated meeting place.
- Tell your children to talk to a uniformed crew member if they need help and you aren’t nearby.
If you want to be able to touch base with your kids at any time while on board, consider investing in a set of walkie-talkies. Or, sail on Royal Caribbean’s ship, the Oasis of the Seas, where all children aged three to 11 wear wristbands equipped with an electronic tracking device. For $17.50, parents can rent a "RoyalConnect” device that tracks their children’s location and allows them to text back and forth. Otherwise, parents can check in with guest services, where the security crew can provide the location of their children.
For more tips on having fun and feeling secure while cruising with kids, talk with your personal cruise expert at Cruise Holidays.