Should I Worry about Cruise Ship Child Care Centers?

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  • Many families choose to take cruise vacations, thinking that they are a relatively safe way to travel.
  • When traveling with small children parents should not let their guard down.
  • Parents should remember that the same kinds of risks and hazards which are found on land are also found on cruise ships.

One of the best aspects of a cruise vacation is that families can travel together in a relatively controlled environment. Anyone who has been on a cruise has likely seen teens and pre-teens roaming around the ship freely, in a way that would probably not be possible back home. But when it comes to younger children, parents are often caught in a catch-22 situation: they wish to take their kids along, but they also want some adult time.

Many parents of young children trust cruise ship childcare centers to care for them while the parents enjoy some alone time. But one of the most important aspects of leaving children in cruise ship child care facilities is to remember that such services are staffed by fallible human beings, just like back home. While the cruise company may have gone to every expense to convince its customers that the ship will carry them to another world, the truth is that all of the same problems found on shore are also found on cruise ships.

Years ago, we blogged about a cruise ship childcare center manager who had filmed himself physically abusing nearly a dozen children in his care.  While this is a particularly horrific example, it is illustrative of the fact that parents must not let their guard down while cruising with their kids. More recently, we blogged on a pair of unrelated cases in which cruise ship employees did not exercise proper care over the children under their supervision, resulting in accidents which left children injured.

If you are planning to cruise with your children, take some time to investigate the childcare facilities aboard the ships you are considering selecting. Read reviews and pay particular attention to complaints. Though there is no foolproof way to eliminate the hazards associated with sailing with your children, by doing your research you may be able to significantly reduce them.