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So I like the new look of Adventure Ocean on the Oasis.

 

BUT

I find the age grouping of 6-12 worrisome.  12 year olds are obviously at a different level of maturity than 6 year olds.

Previously putting 6-8 year olds together made sense.

12 year olds use different language and are exploring with different things that no 6 year old should be near ( my ex is an educator in a primary school- and I obviously work in law enforcement).

A CSR on Twitter told me that it was done to keep family members together.

I get that. I really do.. BUT I'm not sure what ( if any) safe guards are in place to protect an overzealous 12 year old from doing something inappropriate ( whether intentional or not) with a younger child.

Full disclosure- my heightened concern is due to the fact my daughter is 6. Any parent will know that despite their best efforts, things can happen.

 

Does anyone have any experience on the new AO on Oasis that will help quell my fears?

 

Thanks!!!

 

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@constable145 good to see you back on the message boards!

I have no advice for you here with AO. We’re at the opposite end where my 11, almost 12 year old is upset that now she has to wait another year before she can go to the teen club with her sister. 
 

Are you sailing Oasis soon? March break is coming up. 😉

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

@constable145 good to see you back on the message boards!

I have no advice for you here with AO. We’re at the opposite end where my 11, almost 12 year old is upset that now she has to wait another year before she can go to the teen club with her sister. 
 

Are you sailing Oasis soon? March break is coming up. 😉

We're on her in May- my ex ( the early child hood educator) suggested I pull her out of school when it is easier to do ( in SK) and when prices are better.

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30 minutes ago, constable145 said:

We're on her in May- my ex ( the early child hood educator) suggested I pull her out of school when it is easier to do ( in SK) and when prices are better.

That is a good point. When she gets to the higher grades it is harder to pull her out. 

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On DCL I was constantly concerned about my 5yo getting trucked by a 12yo in the Oceaneers club. Never happened (in part because 8yo big sister was with her) , but still I was concerned about the fact that the age range was 3-12 

Royal's new 6-12 range basically covers grades 1-6 and I'm ok with kids in this range being grouped together. It's not as well divided as the smaller groups were (IMO) but I can live with it.

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@constable145~  Wow, after reading this today I had the before school breakfast discussion with my 13 year old daughter who practically grew up in these kids clubs. A little background, my husband and myself both L.E. and she is an only child. First me, I closed my eyes and thought if it was her at 6 years old okay answer is no. My 6 year old daughter with 12 year old's, not a chance. As it was we visited the club every time to get a "feel" for the environment and or sub group we were leaving her with. Then I went to the expert, 13 year old pretty tough secure in herself, quiet yet sometimes outgoing and very nurturing (wants to teach and tutors now 1st graders) She told me almost always the kids were friendly and kind, but there were also always at least one or two who had "potty mouths" Thinking back she said she always felt comfortable with the girls but not the boys who sometimes rough housed. So surprisingly NO from her also, unless the 6 year old had a "buddy" Hopefully when you sail you can go there and check out the situation and they have a separate area/games/focus for the 6 to 8 set maybe they will, but if not, hard no from this cruising family. 

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We wouldn't hesitate to use it, but we're used to kids being grouped all together. We have a drop in, hourly playcare here that we have used instead of a babysitter since our now 11 year old daughter was 6 months old. The infants have separate room. The toddlers have a separate room. Once they are 3 and potty trained, they can go in with the big kids who are all together. Sounds like RC's new model is the same. What I noticed at our land based playcare is that the kids group together on their own. You typically won't have a group of 11-12 year olds trying to engage with the younger kids because they play differently. For instance, my 11 year old would rather play a video game than have a tea party. The exception of course is where siblings are involved, and then the younger usually follows the older to their preferred activity. Will there be issues with the occasional kid who uses foul language or wants to cause trouble? Sure, just like in the halls or recess at school or out at the mall, but it also goes the other way in this situation. You'll have a 6 year old with poor impulse control occasionally throw a toy that accidentally hits an older kid because his purple crayon goes missing. Our land based playcare has always been really good at keeping an eye one both ends of that spectrum, and keeping a variety of activities available so everyone is engaged which also keeps potential troublemakers at bay. Hopefully Royal finds a good rhythm with this, because it can work.

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My kids are 9 and 5, and I know on some cruises my oldest told us some of the older kids were a bit over zealous, but, I have no doubt what the person at RC told you is absolutely true. Time and time again, families want their kids grouped together.  

In my experience on RC, the older kids tend to play with the older kids, and the younger kids hang out together. 

It ends up being more harmonious than I thought it would be.

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Echoing another poster - is this on all ships??

I'm doing a New Year’s cruise on Anthem with my 12 and 14 year old sons, who will be in 7th and 9th grades. Part of the appeal was that both would be in the same group and could do fun activities with kids their age and experience a little bit of freedom. No freaking way will my middle schooler want to do anything with 1st graders. Sigh. 

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59 minutes ago, BunnyHutt said:

Echoing another poster - is this on all ships??

I'm doing a New Year’s cruise on Anthem with my 12 and 14 year old sons, who will be in 7th and 9th grades. Part of the appeal was that both would be in the same group and could do fun activities with kids their age and experience a little bit of freedom. No freaking way will my middle schooler want to do anything with 1st graders. Sigh. 

I think it may just be the ships where they've configured into the new Ocean Adventure area which is more of a big room over having the groups broken down more.   

From what I've heard, though, the teen activities are a little less structured than for the younger set.  The teens use the teen area as a meet up and hangout and while an older kid (but too young for the teen group) may not be able to access that area, they can certainly benefit from your older one making friends there..the teens tend to group up and go hang out all over the ship together.  I see it on all of my cruises.

From the Cruise Compass archive, Anthem still had the teens group being ages 12-17:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/cruise-compasses/anthem-of-the-seas/thu-2019-07-04-0000-0

 

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It doesn't matter how you group the ages, you will never please everybody.  If you do smaller groups people are mad that their kids can't be together and if you do larger groups people are mad that the range is too large.  (I am not saying that anyone's concerns here are not legitimate just that it is impossible to meet everyone's expectations)

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No matter how they divide the groups, someone's child will always be right on the "wrong" side of the age boundary.  Most reports I've seen say Royal has historically been flexible with the age ranges.  That flexibility depends on how many children they have in each age range so the answer to "will my child age X be allowed to Y" will probably not be consistent.  That said, it never hurts to ask especially when dealing with siblings.

Edited to add:  I mean ask on board.  If you ask before the cruise, the customer service agents are simply going to read you the rules as written.

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As someone else said, this is how Disney does it.  We did one cruise last year on the Dream, and our kids (6 and 10 at the time) were not fans.  While DCL had a great interactive area, it was simply too many kids and too big an age range for them to make friends and enjoy themselves like they do at AO.  The Disney staff had very little interaction with the kids, they were mostly there to handle pickup/dropoff and general crowd control.  Shocking to us our kids were one and done with DCL and (fortunately for us) they choose Royal every time now.

I teach all grades in a K-6 elementary school so I see these age ranges on a daily basis.  The students love when they get to work together with higher or lower grades, but most of the time they are obviously separated and for good reason.  My 12 year olds are ready to be middle schoolers while my kindergartners are just learning to be students.

Would the fear of something bad happening stop me from letting my kids go?  No, as that can happen anywhere, even in age restricted groups.  Do I think this is the best way to group them?  No, and I think my kids would likely opt out like they did on Disney.  This would be a shame as AO is one of the things they look forward to most on a cruise (as do we).

This is likely in response to the many parents who won't split their kids up, as well as the kids who won't go alone without a sibling.  We were on Mariner a few weeks ago and there weren't enough 9-11 year olds so they combined with 6-8.  It worked okay but our 11 year old didn't enjoy it nearly as much as she had in the past.  There's just something special about them having their own group and counselors.

Count me as one hoping this doesn't get expanded fleet-wide.

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20 hours ago, BunnyHutt said:

Echoing another poster - is this on all ships??

Just on Oasis right now

20 hours ago, Winston Wolf said:

I had a post on this in another thread a couple days ago.  Can a 12yr old be "waivered" into the teen area?  I'm not sure my 12 year old will want to be with the little kids any more than the little kid parents want him there.

It will depend on the AO Staff. You can ask them on day one about it. They may or may not allow it.

18 hours ago, mook1525 said:

My son is 12 yr and 10 month when we will be on Allure of the Seas -  Is there any chance he will be allowed to go to teen club on board? 

You can certainly ask on day one, but it's up to the staff.

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