Education - School Cruise(12 Posts)
The school my ds goes to is offering a cruise trip to Greece and the Red Sea. Does anyone have any expereience of these kind of educational cruises? He will be 12 years old and the cruise ship has kids from primary and secondary schools. Looking to find out how well supervised they are and what the experience was like.
I would be a nervous wreck the whole time if it was my child - bad enough when thety are on dry land....
I'm panicking over a day trip to France LOL
12 seems a bit young imo. I went on the SS Uganda many moons ago when I was 15, and in the lower 6th. It was 2 weeks in the eastern Med (and cost 220 quid, all in...). I had an absolute ball, was seasick, a bit homesick, and was harrassed by Arabs in Egypt and Turks in Ephesus as we sweltered in our St Trinian's style uniforms! BUT I really feel I was JUST old enough to get some real value out of the experience. Our 5-7 year olds go 'Oh yeah' when we show them things like frost on leaves, star spangled heavens, beautiful butterflies, etc. because they haven't had time to form meaningful yard sticks by which to measure each new experience, and, whilst obviously each child is different, I feel the majority of 12 year olds will regard acres of Roman ruins/Greek temples etc as just a pile of old stones, especially by the 5th one, but, 10 years later, they'll regret that they didn't get more out of the trip. There were 10 year olds (!) on our cruise, and it'd be fair to say they spent most of their time crying with homesickness or looking completely dazed and terrified on shore trips! They (and we) were well supervised and us 'older' ones were given more freedom that the little kids. I don't think safety is a major issue at all- the companies who run these trips have done it all before-, it's whether a 12 year old is ready for the challenges a cruise would bring- and, when all is said and done, whether that money would be better saved then spent 4 years later when the child has the maturity, understanding and education to really enjoy the experience.
Friends went on them in our teens (think youngest our school allowed was 14/15, Year 10 ish) and had a great time . I was very However they also came back with stories of being mauled by traders in Egypt and North Africa. btw the cruise ship used to be open for booking by the general public as well as school parties.
We went on one of those cruise school trips when we were 13 and it was boring going round all the ruins nd temples, mosques and churches. I would love to go back because we just weren't old enough to apreciate any of it. Things we remembered most was who got to have a kiss at the disco on board and how bad the food was. 4 or 5 of us also used to sneak into part of the ship that was not for guests and cringe at the thought of how we leaned over the railings with no teacher in sight, boy were we lucky that nothing happened!
oh and they were all sick (common on a cruise), not sure how I'd have dealt with that away from home at 12.
I went on a school cruise when I was 13 (1988). It was run by Schools Abroad and it was the SS Jupiter. The ship sunk exactly a year later in Piraeus Harbour.
Having said that, the cruise was a fantastic experience. We flew to Turkey and sailed to Rhodes, then Israel (visited Jersualem, Bethlehem & Dead Sea in one day), and then Egypt (saw Nile, Pyramids, Cairo & British Museum, ending at Port Said) another day. Then returned to Greece, visited Athens & flew home.
It gave me a life long love for the Middle East - still my favourite holiday destination - and I appreciate how lucky I was to visit these ancient historical cities / sites / buildings, especially when they are now, again, the scene of fighting and bloodshed.
I agree with those MN'ers who have commented on the things which make you cringe now when you think back. The Arabs at the pyramids were a little frisky (!) and I was somehow able to wander around the market in Port Said - Cairo's port - on my own, buying leather bags as gifts.
Safety seemed fine on the ship but no harm in making sure your DS thinks about safety(without scaring him) -
i'l have a think about any other tips (which I think would mainly apply to girls) - and will write back
the main tip is - it's a wonderful experience & i'd recommend it to anyone
agreed about the sea sickness - a teacher who'd organised the cruises at our school for a few years told everyone to stop being silly when we were at sea for a day between egypt & israel - everyone was throwing up. a few minutes later she was too - lovely cardboard funnels permanently attached to the mouth all day.
still wouldn't have missed it for the world.
My father was a headteahcer who led a number of school cruises in the 1960's and 1970's. I went on one as a teaching assistant (aged 19) in 1979, on the SS Uganda, Eastern Med.
There is a website about the ship which says
"Although over 20 years old, she provided an exceptionally reliable service, her only major mishap being a grounding off Alexandria in 1979 that necessitated a dry docking to replace damaged plating. " - that was the cruise I was on. At 6.00am we were leaving Alexandria harbour when there was a jolt - not a normal motion on a ship. We heard 6 bells (7 means Abandon Ship). The ship continued sailing, but developed a big list. We were told it was diverting to Athens, which has the largest dry dock in that part of the world. The children were evacuated from the lower decks to the library, and they deliberately flooded the other half of the ship to bring it back to an even keel. It took 3 days of slow sailing to get to Athens (with carpenters painting the lifeboats continuously), and we completed the holiday from hotels in Athens. Someone saw the ship in dry dock - the hole was over 6 foot high.
It is a great experience for children, even if they do not make the most of it. Take the opportunity if you possibly can.
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