Some Cautions

Some of this may matter more to some parents than others, but please at least skim what follows. Thinking about these things in advance may make it easier to decide what to do aboard the cruise ship, and certainly will help lessen those pleasant hallway conversations in loud whispers we Moms and Dads sooooooooooooo enjoy when making spontaneous parenting decisions.

  • Casino Fun: The cruise ships make massive money off gambling, and all have big casinos full of chances to lose money. Kids are not allowed to stay in the casinos or gamble, but we saw many kids taking short cuts through the casino and no one would have likely stopped them from throwing a few coins in the slots. Indeed, the video arcade (the usual violent and driving games, not gambling) was co-located with the casino. Outside of the casino, however, there was no gambling and so it is easy to avoid if you wish.
  • Bars: The cruise ship probably makes most of its money off drinks. Bars are everywhere, though can be avoided entirely for the most part with some careful navigating. The only unavoidable bar was located at the pool, open counter style, and it seemed most adults at the pool had drinks in their hands. Waiters also circulated at the pool with trays of drinks; a lot of the waiters would say “Boozey-boozey, who's ready for some booze?” as they walked around after breakfast.
  • Getting Lost: And yes, I mean not involving drinking you naughty mind person. Seriously, the ship is a big place and a lot of it looks the same. Despite the size, there are areas where surprisingly you don't find many people. Kids on their own can easily get turned around, even in the hallway near your room, so take care. Maps are everywhere for those who can read them.
  • Shows: Every night there are shows on the cruise ship. The ones labeled “late night” or “adult” were mostly comedians making jokes with double meanings, nothing too naughty. The earlier shows were primarily music revues, though had occasional jokes that might be considered risquâ€Ã...¡ for older kids. Younger children, like our 8 year old, didn't get the jokes and watched them go by fast enough that there were no questions later about “what are those special ‘balls' the juggler kept laughing about, Mommy?” It is always hard to judge these things, but most parents probably would prefer to keep below junior high kids out of the shows, but could survive it if the kids showed up somehow anyway. If you wish, there is usually an early and later edition of the same show; one parent could look in early and make a judgment. Keep in mind that the same shows are re-broadcast unedited on the ship's internal cable TV system the next day.
  • TV: Speaking of TV, you get a gazillion channels in your room, including for us Cartoon Network. We didn't watch a lot of TV anyway, and didn't see anything inappropriate when we did, but do take a look at the on-screen schedule if this is a potential concern for your family.

cruise ship pool

  • Pool: The pool(s) are small and sort of shallow. The main pool will be over the heads of anyone in your family not in the NBA however. A kids area is available, well-fenced off from the rest (people called it the “shark cage”). There are hot tubs nearby which were pretty hot. As noted above, people did their share of drinking around us, but no one bothered us or our kids in any way and smoking was wonderfully kept to a minimum.
  • Seasickness: Didn't happen, even a little, and I am one prone to seasickness sloshing in the bath. The ship had a nice rolling effect at night which was very womb-like and smooth. As noted, we ate our weight in desserts six times daily and nobody in our family felt like puking except once when one child realized she could indeed fill an entire water glass with butterscotch syrup from the ice cream area and temporarily drink it. I did see some adults walking around with those little seasickness patches behind their ears, but honestly I'm not sure why. I think they were actually like the Hawaiian Tropic Bikini tan models, but to appeal to the perceived needs of chubby middle age people instead.

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