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don't want to sound like an overprotective parent

don't want to sound like an overprotective parent

Aug 16th, 2008, 05:20 PM
  #1  
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don't want to sound like an overprotective parent

particularly as it's my 1st time to post on Cruise Forum, but here goes...My 13 yr.old daughter has been invited to accompany her Aunt,Uncle, and cousin on a Disney Cruise in December.

In the past,we have traveled as a family to Europe, Canada, and throughout the U.S. Usually in a back door manner (local metro or velibs and apartments) so she is somewhat accustomed to managing travel. However, she has never been away on her own...not even to camp.

my sister assured me it would be great, everything on the cruise will be well supervised AND that she needed to make the reservations as soon as possible... so I agreed.

She originally told me that the cruise will go to an island that belongs to Disney, but after she booked she mentioned that it also goes to Jamaica!

Can anyone offer experience or information about sending children on a Disney Cruise with friends or family?




Tx_lv2trvl is offline  
Aug 16th, 2008, 08:53 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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I guess that I wouldn't consider travelling with her aunt & uncle to be away on her own--it'd be pretty much like being with parents.

Cruise lines wouldn't stop at islands that aren't safe, but if you're worried, talk with the aunt and uncle about their plans for sightseeing in Jamaica--with a ship's excursion, a private company, or on their own.
abram is offline  
Aug 16th, 2008, 09:41 PM
  #3  
 
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First off, I really do not think that Disney goes to Jamaica.

The three day Disney cruise igoes to Cast Away Car (Disney's Private Island), a day at Sea and to the Bahamas. The four day has an extra day at sea or an extra day at Cast Away Cay. But there is seven day cruises and one of those might go to Jamaica.

Is your daughter staying in the same cabin with an adult? This is key. Now on board you have nothing to worry about, it is not like she can go anywhere. You could tell her that when in port at a strange land that you want her to stay with an adult.

Cataway Cay is a private island, designed for the cruise ship passengers. There is an adult section and a family section. With plenty of life guards and staff members around. So you really o not have anything to worry about there.

Or ultimately, just go with her.
Angelo721 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 01:02 AM
  #4  
 
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It really does not matter much if it is Disney cruise or some other cruiseline. And as far as Jamaica, most cruises go someplace other than cruiselines "private island". You have some things to consider other than just ports.

It is up to the adults who accompany your dtr, not the cruiseline to supervise your daughter. This is not school, camp or your neighborhood. As far as the cruiseline is concerned, your daughter will be a free-range passenger, with no restrictions as to where in passenger areas she can go. She can even get on/off ship at port alone. (Unless Disney has some special rule about minors doing this - but our dtr has, as a teenager gone on/off cruiseship alone).

Alcohol - she won't be able to purchase any, at least and cruiselines are strict about this.

Teen Club - check with Disney. Beyond a certain age, teens can come and go from Teen Club at will.

Roaming the Ship. This is always a tough one with teens. The ship has 2,000-5,000 people on board that accompanying adults have never met. The overwhelming majority are fine people. But with that many, law of averages indicate to me that there are sure to be some losers and perhaps some who are creepy or even dangerous. How much freedom do YOU think your daughter should have under these circumstances. There is no correct answer - it is up to you and then up to your sister to enforce this.

Some parents of young teens give them freedom at all hours on the ship, perhaps meeting for dinner. Some insist their teen stay with them the entire trip. You and your sister need to come to some agreement on which works for you.

Cousin - how old is this cousin? That may effect the ease of enforcement of any rules.

Some other things to consider. Your dtr is traveling out of the US without parents. She will need letter, preferrably notarized, signed by both parents authorizing her to do so. Your sister will also need some sort of release for medical treatment for her. Since she has been to Europe, you probably have the passport thing taken care of, but check expiration date since kid's passports expire fast. Also, check on Disney cruise site to see if the cruiseline requires any other sort of signed-by-you documents. She will also need some access to money on cruise - and since cruises are cashless and operate on credit card/cruise card, you will have to work that out with your sister. This money covers such things as sodas not included in cost of cruise.

Not over-protective, just become informed and it can all be worked out.
gail is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 11:26 AM
  #5  
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Hello,
Thank you all for the valuable advice and info. You answered questions I had not considered, and those I had, but did not ask.

Abram, I had considered that being with her Aunt and Uncle would be the next best thing to being with parents. Also, a good step in allowing me to let go of her a bit. Thank you for mentioning questions about how they plan to carry out excursions.

Angelo, I think that you may be correct in the itinerary as I spent much of last night looking up cruises and they only mentioned Bahamas. My sister left on a business trip so I can't confirm with her, although to be honest it doesn't sound like she even knew at the time....it was simply a "Disney Cruise" and "will be so much fun","it has excursions, to a Disney Island" and later she mentioned Jamaica. That's really how she travels; basically lets her TA handle everything and shows up.
They will all be in the same cabin so as far as that goes I feel okay. My main concerns are excursions, and of course the idea that it sounds like it is a small city floating along...therefore, a few bad apples in the bunch.
Oh yes,I did consider going with her, but we will be taking a month long trip to France in the fall and I'm not quite sure how the euro is going to hit our pocketbooks. My daughter will be a guest of theirs, but if I went along of course that is different.

Gail, That's exactly what I had wondered...notarized letters and release forms and I will check with Disney Cruiselines myself rather than relying completely on the TA.

My niece is 11 yrs old and DD offered to stay with her in her age group as they are only two yrs apart and enjoy much of the same things. DD is a young 13 1/2 as she just gave up her American Girl doll a few months ago....problem is she looks like she's 16 and this summer, at the neighborhood pool, was an eye-opener as 15-17 yr old boys kept coming around. Fortunately she would scurry to her brother or Father's side...but of course all of this is in the back of my mind.

I appreciate your help immensely. I've never been on a cruise (as I'm sure you can tell)and have not ever considered one so I was pretty much at a loss when this came up. Hopefully, when DD comes back she will have enjoyed it so much that she will be able to talk her Father and Brother into taking us on one as a family.

Sincerely,
Priscilla



Tx_lv2trvl is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 01:37 PM
  #6  
 
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Does she want to go? Does she know how to handle unwanted advances and how to avoid them?
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
Aug 17th, 2008, 03:32 PM
  #7  
 
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Another thing to worry about. Most cruiselines are fairly strict about age groupings of their kids activities, even for siblings, cousins. She may not be able to age-down to her cousins group.

Rationale is - would you want some predatory 16 year old boys in you dtr's age group? As well as age-appropriateness of activities. Check before you assume this would be allowed and do not take word of TA
gail is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 11:25 AM
  #8  
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Thanks Gail,
I had no idea that the rules might be that strict...but I can understand the rationale behind it. Perhaps they will consider allowing the 11 yr old to move up to age 13 group. I will check with Cruiseline.
Tx_lv2trvl is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 01:45 PM
  #9  
 
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I think that you might have to sign a "release" form of some sort allowing your daughter to travel outside the country with persons others than her parents. Also one for medical treatment.

You should check into this. Maybe other Fodorites will have details.
GBelle is offline  
Aug 18th, 2008, 03:57 PM
  #10  
 
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This is a fabulous opportunity for your daughter. Cruising is very safe and she will have the time of her life. I have no doubt her aunt and uncle will keep a good eye on her.
Theresa is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2008, 07:18 PM
  #11  
 
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We did a Disney Cruise a couple of years ago. The 8-12 yr old group has activities going on most of the time. The kids are allowed to sign themselves out of the club themselves if the parents sign a form. Parents are given a pager so that their child can let them know when they leave the club and where they are going. It worked out beautifully for my daughter who was 10 at the time. We always knew where to find her. She had a fantastic time.

Your daughter will be able to move down to the 8-12 group to be with her cousin, but her cousin will not be allowed to move up to the teen group.

Hope that helps.
lisale is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 06:50 PM
  #12  
 
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When our boys were younger they loved to cruise. They are 2.5 years apart and our rule was that they had to ALWAYS stay together on the ship. Where one went the other went. It is always better in numbers. Cruise ships are very safe and there is no where for them to go but you always want to be safe. We insisted that they check in with us ever so often. We also got walkie talkies to communicate. Of course the boys would have rather not had them but we had fun with them. They work on the big ships perfect. As a matter of fact, I don't go on a cruise now without them. My husband and I can let each other no where we are when apart doing our own things. We also got a magnet easy-erase board and put it on the door to leave notes for each other. Like "up at buffet and the time". She will have a wonderful time. I don't think I would want her to go to Jamaica though. The last time we were there we stayed on the ship and there were some disturbances and one of the excursions got back 2 hrs late because they have to go around some violence. All the other island I have no problem with. Hope this helps!
Shopinful is offline  
Sep 6th, 2008, 07:49 PM
  #13  
 
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Here's a link to a website that gives you the information on what documentation your daughter will need to have in order to travel outside the U.S. with her aunt and uncle (and the reasons for requiring these documents): http://www.familytravelforum.com/articles/article/10545

Also, you can take a look at the form required by the Girl Scouts of America for girls traveling abroad on Girl Scout-sponsored trips. You could use it as a sample for your own daughter as it includes all the required information. (And don't forget the medical authorization form too!)
http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs...vel_minors.doc
longhorn55 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2008, 03:59 PM
  #14  
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Just thought I'd take another look at previous postings and found these added suggestions. Thanks everyone!

Theresa & Lisale. Thanks for the encouragement and info. I did speak with Disney and they stated that DD should be able to move down to the lower age group however,it is something that is handled with ships camp counselors. But L. since you've experienced D. cruise, this does offer confidence that they will allow it.

Shopinful, I told my daughter this exact thing, "stay together". I think this is a good age for her and cousin to do this, as at 13 DD has not seemed to consider that a 10 yr old may cramp her style.

Longhorn55, vous etes tres gentils. Thank you much for the websites.
You aren't a Texas (U.T.) fan by any chance? It's my alma mater.
Tx_lv2trvl is offline  
Sep 12th, 2008, 12:50 PM
  #15  
 
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Hook 'em Horns!
longhorn55 is offline  

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