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Communicating with teens on board


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I was curious what other members here do regarding keeping up with their teens on a cruise.

 

I'm planning my first cruise with my 12 and 6 year old daughters.  The 12 year old has Type 1 Diabetes, and so while we are fine with her being off and doing her own thing on the ship, we would like to be able to at least communicate via text with her to make sure her blood sugar numbers are good.  All excursions would be family events, so not as concerned with off ship.

 

Thanks,

Neil

 

 

 

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I was curious what other members here do regarding keeping up with their teens on a cruise.

 

I'm planning my first cruise with my 12 and 6 year old daughters.  The 12 year old has Type 1 Diabetes, and so while we are fine with her being off and doing her own thing on the ship, we would like to be able to at least communicate via text with her to make sure her blood sugar numbers are good.  All excursions would be family events, so not as concerned with off ship.

 

Thanks,

Neil

 

Hi Neil,

 

Will your 12 year old be exploring the ship by herself or participating in the Adventure Ocean or Teen programs? There are different devices like walky-talky's and cellular based phones that you can use onboard the ship. Cell phone usage might incur a separate charge for using the ships wifi internet.

 

Because your 12 year old requires medical assistance during the day, it might be a good idea to meet up a specified locations to check blood sugar levels. Older kids typically roam free, but teens in my group normally stick close to the family during the day and night.

 

The ship you are sailing on will make a difference too. Some ships are huge and you don't want your children getting lost. 

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Don't know what carrier you use but Verizon is $0.05 per received text and $0.50 per sent text on most ships and most international locations if you activate international service and if your phones can connect to the ship's service and the cellular system in the countries you visit.  Chat with their reps at verizonwireless.com - contact us (top right) - live chat (bottom left) - Traveling abroad.  They can tell you if the ship is covered and give rates and dialing instructions for the ship and ports and email you a spreadsheet with the info.

 

Something to keep in mind is you may not be able to connect to some networks even if you have a global phone and activate global service.  Ports were hit and miss with my old phone even tho it was supposed to work with GSM networks.  Since you're not worried about communicating off-ship, that shouldn't be an issue.

 

Also, if you don't want to pay for data usage, make sure it's shut off.  Seriously.  Verizon charges somewhere north of $20/megabyte if you don't have a global data plan active.  The data plan is $25/month to activate and $25 per 100 megs of data.  They make it sound like $25 gets you a 100 meg block of data but that's not how it's billed.  Having the service active costs a flat $25/month whether you move data or not.  Data usage is billed in very small increments, not 100 meg blocks.  So having it active for a billing period and moving 83.000 megs of data (in a ship or country covered by the plan) will cost $45.75.  That's for a single line.  I don't know how they handle family plans.

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Using a whiteboard on your stateroom door is a good, low-tech way.

 

I've heard walkie talkies dont work so well due to interference/metal bulkheads.

 

If you get the unlimited wifi plan for multiple people, you could use iMessage or whatsapp or any other messaging app to communicate.  Granted, that is an expensive option.

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Hi Neil,

 

Will your 12 year old be exploring the ship by herself or participating in the Adventure Ocean or Teen programs? There are different devices like walky-talky's and cellular based phones that you can use onboard the ship. Cell phone usage might incur a separate charge for using the ships wifi internet.

 

Because your 12 year old requires medical assistance during the day, it might be a good idea to meet up a specified locations to check blood sugar levels. Older kids typically roam free, but teens in my group normally stick close to the family during the day and night.

 

The ship you are sailing on will make a difference too. Some ships are huge and you don't want your children getting lost. 

We will be sailing on the Navigator of the Seas out of Galveston.

 

I expect her to participate in the young teens program part of the time, be with us part of the time, and maybe give her a little time to explore the ship on her own or with a friend.

 

She's very capable of checking her own blood sugars and using her insulin pump without assistance, so primarily just want to have the ability for her to check in throughout the day.

 

Thank you to everyone for the links and ideas.

 

Neil

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Glad you are going and she will love it - I too have Type I- diabetes and like matt said I use a white board or notepad

on the cabin to leave messages- I have not taken walkie talkie's but I know the crew has them and can use them

for emergencies I'm sure - but I also buy internet minutes in case we have to turn our phone's on and use them

then the kids have some money -etc.  Have a blast

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just saw this about Royal Caribbean Connect phones for onboad use.  Not sure how old/new it is.  Might be helpful.  http://www.royalcaribbeanincentives.com/docs/rccl-pdfs/connect-brochure.pdf

We used the Royal Connect phones.  Great idea although they're expensive and if you break/damage one you are in for a big bill  :lol:

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I don't consider 12 and 6 to be teens (6 is still a sweet baby to me :unsure: )... but between us we have 4 kids - 11, 16, 17, & 18. The older 3 get their own room and are free to go about the ship. We usually see them around throughout the day anyway and we have dinner and see a show together. As for my 11 year old, I was hesitant on our first cruise when he was 9, so he did the kid's club when we wanted adult time, but now at 11 he didn't want to do the kid's club (on Carnival) and we didn't force him. I wasn't too worried about him walking around by himself, but he stuck to us most of the time. My short answer... I think it's easy to find your kids throughout the day - and other travel companions for that matter. When my husband went missing I could usually find him in the casino.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Using a whiteboard on your stateroom door is a good, low-tech way.

We saw a number of people using the magnetic whiteboards on their cabin doors and thought it was a good idea, unless you are concerned with privacy.

 

One other option similar to the whiteboards but more private is to simply leave a message on the stateroom phone. The other person has to check it but it does work well for letting people know where you will be if they want to meet up. You can dial the stateroom number from any house phone, such as in the elevator lobbies. When you dial, the phone displays the name of the person who booked the cabin so you get confirmation that you dialed the right number.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Found this article online.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/marcwebertobias/2013/05/10/finally-cheaper-calls-for-cruise-ship-passengers/.  Might be easier (and cheaper) to use the Family Radio Service walkie talkies sold at dept. stores.  I used them some years back and they were pretty good.  Not 100% but pretty good.

My family (8) will be cruising late November 2014. Its our first for each of us.  I am considering purchasing walkie talkies to keep in touch while on board.  Are they worth the purchase to bring on board and do they work well enough to justify purchasing?  Also, what brand and range type did you use?  Thanks!

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My family (8) will be cruising late November 2014. Its our first for each of us.  I am considering purchasing walkie talkies to keep in touch while on board.  Are they worth the purchase to bring on board and do they work well enough to justify purchasing?  Also, what brand and range type did you use?  Thanks!

I've never found walkie talkies to be reliable.  

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  • 1 month later...

The RC phones will eventually be phased out to be replaced by the Royal IQ app.  

 

On Quantum class now and Oasis class later this year (maybe)... But I have trust issues.... After all, when I was in a kid they said we'd have flying cars, colonies on the moon,  and a 25 hour work week by the year 2000...

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The RC phones will eventually be phased out to be replaced by the Royal IQ app.  

 

The Royal IQ app doesn't seem very widespread.   I'm looking for a solution that will be working in November 2015.    Don't even know if we'll be able to use Ripple at this point because its only iOS platform right now and we have Droids.  

 

We do have iTouches that are still useable though collecting dust.  The app states it works with them, just trying to figure that one out before I download it -- plus seeing comments about how other cruisers got on ship only to find out the service was blocked.  :-(

 

My son is special needs and I'm trying to give him as much freedom as I can.   We live in a rural area and letting him walk around a "city" by himself is never something he's done before.   Not keen on this being the first time.

 

 

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