I am writing this post live – aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. We boarded in Baltimore yesterday for a special 50th birthday celebration for my husband. I have cruised this line before but never with a child.
Well, I can tell you that we are VERY UNHAPPY with their “Adventure Ocean” kids’ clubs. One of the reasons we truly enjoy cruising is that there is a safe place for my daughter to go and have fun with other kids (while us adults have our time). From the first day at registration I knew it was all downhill. They ran out of registration forms and people had to wait while someone went to another part of the ship to make copies. The first day we also showed up for the open playtime and after waiting in line for 20 minutes we were turned away due to full capacity. They only allot so many spaces for each age group. IT’S NOT ENOUGH. For the next session we showed up 30 minutes early and it took almost 20 minutes just to get in after the doors opened. One parent said they waited an hour and then were turned away due to “child safety ratios”.
They tout their Adventure Ocean Club on their website but they don’t say anything about “first come, first serve” – or about 30/50/50 child limits (NOT MUCH FOR A SHIP OF THIS SIZE). They also have a problem as the Royal Caribbean website states the after hours group sitting is $5/hour while the papers circulating around the ship say $7/hour.
The kids clubs are so understaffed, undersized and so poorly run. I actually checked out my daughter with her sister’s ID because we had mixed them up. They didn’t even check my photo – I just had to initial a form. Kind of scary.
I have to give kudos (especially to Disney) but also to Carnival who very pleasantly surprised me with a better run kids program. If Royal Caribbean expects parents to cruise on their line, they better listen up. I would recommend you travel another line if you have kids or you and your kids might have a very disappointing trip.
Hi Laurie! We met on the cruise! We had a wonderful time but I completely agree with you about the kids club. We were so disappointed. It was very stressful to even think about taking the kids there at any open time, knowing we’d have to show up very early, stand in a long line and possibly be turned away. And sadly, neither of my boys enjoyed their time in the club all that much. My 6-year-old was lumped in with 11-year-olds for a physical and competitive game, when the advertising materials state that 6-8 year olds would have separate activities from the 9-11 year olds. I think part of the problem was that the Thanksgiving cruise was packed with kids. Some crew told me there were over 600 children on board, when just weeks earlier they had 30-40 children. Still, surely they knew this in advance, and they should have prepared for it.