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Keeping Track of the Kids


Kfitz59
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Hello All,

We are taking our first cruise in April on the Independence of the Seas. Our kids are 13 and 16 and can probably navigate the ship without us at times. Is there a way to communicate with them, maybe via an app or something, instead of purchasing internet.

Thanks in advance!

Kevin

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I had mixed results the one time I tried to use a walkie talkie.  Half the time the signal didn't penetrate the large amount of metal around us, and then you have to carry it around with you and have it out in order to hear that someone is trying to talk to you.

On our most recent cruise, iMessages and GroupMe both worked without purchasing the internet package but I don't know that I'd count on that.

Sticky notes work the best to say where you PLAN on being.  But doesn't help if you change your plans

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We've been cruising with our now college aged kids since they were 4 & 2.  Once they were old enough to be able to sign themselves in and out of the kids programs, we started using white boards to leave notes for each other.  We wrote where we were going to be, and tried very hard not to deviate from that.  If we did, we came back and wrote our new destination.  It worked pretty well.  I also would bring 2 different colored highlighters, one for us and one for them.  We'd highlight what activities we were doing that day, and they would also highlight what they wanted to do.  

They learn quicker than us to navigate the ship - they will be the ones telling you where things are and that you've turned the wrong direction, haha.  We never had internet for all of us until our most recent cruise together - May 2018 - and they were 18 & 20.  So if you're not interested in a multiple device plan - white boards and communication are the way to go. 

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6 hours ago, Brobbins246 said:

It doesn't have push notifications yet so it might not work if you need the other person to see or respond to messages quickly.

Oh okay. Gotta love RC technology lol. I haven’t been on a ship that works with the app yet so I have no idea how it works. I’ve just read about it patiently waiting for the day it gets rolled out to the smaller ships.

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I use a GoTenna Mesh when we go hiking.  I have seen several reviews of it working for many different people on a cruise ship.  I will be taking our when we sail on Liberty in May.  If you go this route I would suggest that you get one more than needed to use as a bridge in your cabin.  Many people have hung one out on the balcony and use it in bridge mode to make sure signals are getting around.

 

https://www.gotenna.com/pages/mesh

 

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2 hours ago, Susie said:

Not sure anyone here use Google voice. It works without any Internet package (YMMV disclaimer: works on Anthem OTS  last week). Just send a text on Google voice.

Harmony, Ovation and Quantum as well.  The rest of the fleet, no.  

It's a side effect of making push notifications work for the chat feature in their RoyalIQ app.  Once they overcome that loophole it won't work anymore.  If they can overcome that issue.  Forcing Apple to change isn't very easy.  That's exactly what's holding up the new app chat feature.

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17 minutes ago, twangster said:

Harmony, Ovation and Quantum as well.  The rest of the fleet, no.  

It's a side effect of making push notifications work for the chat feature in their RoyalIQ app.  Once they overcome that loophole it won't work anymore.  If they can overcome that issue.  Forcing Apple to change isn't very easy.  That's exactly what's holding up the new app chat feature.

Do you try on Symphony?

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@Kfitz59 I was right around your kid's age when I went on my first cruise (13 or 14), so I can bring a perspective from that side. Reminder, this was about 12 years ago so technology usage has changed quite a bit with smartphones being more prevalent. My parents tried the walkie-talkies and let me navigate my own. Most of the time when I was not with them or at the pool, I was up in the arcade/teen lounge area which were located on same deck so I wasn't too hard to find.  The walkie-talkies were hit and miss as @averbeck said.  Ours had a "call" feature that if you hit it, the other one would beep until they responded so if I didn't hear my parents radio me due to bad connection, I always heard the beeping and knew to go find them or go outside for better reception.  Luckily, my parents were the lazy type of cruiser, so normally it just required me to go to the pool to find them :D

I like the idea of the whiteboard though, that's smart.  I'm going with 3 of my best friends in April and our 2 rooms are on different decks.  Been thinking of how we can communicate to schedule when to meet in morning or when plans change in case of emergency.  In all likelihood, we will be together most of the day except when sleeping so it shouldn't be too hard to just say "see ya at breakfast tomorrow 8am" and be good to go. Might bring a few sticky notes though to slap on the door should plans need changing. I'm trying to avoid buying Voom, just want to disconnect for the week without emails and notifications 10x an hour on vacation.

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Two teenagers? I assume all of you will have the internet package, as teens cannot go 5 minutes without a phone. Use Google hangouts, Facebook messenger, whatsapp or any messaging app of your choice.

I could only imagine the major eye roll even suggesting walkie talkies or a white board. You really think they will come back to the room to read something when you can easily send a message on their phone?

For it to work, you have to adapt to the teen, not the other way around.

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@alamode123 This is probably a very fair point! lol As I said, my experience was 12 years ago or so (2006-ish).  I think I had the Motorola Razr or Evergreen (sideflip keyboard-big tech), so wifi messaging wasn't a huge thing then. I didn't even get FB until 2007.  If you don't mind paying for the wifi service, definitely the easier way to go these days. The whiteboard just seems like a smart alternative too or in addition too.

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29 minutes ago, Aneedels said:

Walkie Talkies ! you can get a 6 pack on Amazon for around $40.00

I strongly advise against walkie talkies.  With all the metal bulkheads and radio interference, their effectiveness is limited. 

Arguably more importantly, they are quite annoying to other guests around you.

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19 minutes ago, alamode123 said:

The eye roll would be deadly.

I've narrowly survived a few of these from our oldest ?

We used post-its stuck to the door on our last cruise. It was imperfect, but at least it was something. One time I forgot to be very specific about where we were going to be, which led to a mini-meltdown from our teen when she couldn't find us (we were about 20 feet away from where she looked, but not exactly where I had written on the note)

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13 minutes ago, Auto said:

We used post-its stuck to the door on our last cruise. It was imperfect, but at least it was something. One time I forgot to be very specific about where we were going to be, which led to a mini-meltdown from our teen when she couldn't find us (we were about 20 feet away from where she looked, but not exactly where I had written on the note)

We tried this for 1 day our first cruise on Brilliance.  It was painful!  We would constantly just miss each other.  It is amazing how big even a small ship can feel when you are looking for someone.  After that, we always did Voom.  I typically can buy Voom for 4 for under $25 a day and it is worth it to us!  

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I met a couple on my recent cruise who I had to coordinate with for our meeting time and place. The voicemail on the stateroom phone worked for us.

I’m thinking, if the parents and the kids are staying in the same stateroom, they can use the phones in the public areas to call the stateroom phone and leave a voicemail. The intended recipient can then access the voicemail.

If they’re in separate rooms, they can call each other and leave voicemails.

 

 

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