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Live-aboard with kids?


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#1 Fontaine

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 07:48 PM

Just wondering if anybody out there has done a live aboard trip with their children.

How was the experience? Do you regret it?

I reaaaalllly want to do a Raja Ampat LA but am thinking land based wakatobi is probably a better option, gotta love the free babysitter service!


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#2 oneyellowtang

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 10:02 PM

Great topic...

We have two kids, ages 9 and 7, and we're considering what the right age is to take them on a liveaboard as well. We want to do Galapagos sometime in the next 3 years, and we would do that as 1 week on a dedicated dive boat and one week on a tour boat. Right now we're thinking that two weeks on boats will be too much, so we've been looking at other alternatives. Daughter is itching to learn how to dive, but that's still 3-4 years away.

We are now looking at a 5 day trip to Komodo next summer on a semi-private charter... seems like a good way to introduce them to the experience. Wife is a little concerned about the 7 year old and any Komodo Dragons we may encounter. My answer - he only has to be faster than his 9 year old sister :D

Edited by oneyellowtang, 08 October 2011 - 10:04 PM.


#3 Drew

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 11:20 PM

I've done a few family trips in Indonesia and it mostly depends on a few things:

1. How old are the kids? Kids are easy to keep busy after a certain age. But I've seen a few 5-6 yr olds get scared when their parents go diving for a long time. I don't think it's fair to put the child caring on the boat staff, but depending on the boat, it's possible to pay the staff extra for that. Infants are fine, if they aren't cryers... but that brings up the bigger issue...

2. How are the parents? My god daughter was 8mths old, had a bit of a fever, and her mother had post-natal induced fit and demanded the boat be turned around in the middle of the Banda Sea. My god daughter survived, her mother still brings it up after 12 years and her husband is still useless, and he's the doc!

3. How spoiled are the kids? If they are demanding of attention, you won't enjoy the trip and will end up skipping dives. Eveybody's kids are angels in their own eyes, but this is an assessment you'll have to be honest to yourself about.

I'd do a private charter of a smaller boat and bring 2 to 3 families with kids. The kids can terrorize the boat while you dive. Oh and if there's a time to tip the staff in Indo, it'll be after a family trip, but somehow most liveaboards note that photog trips tip better than family style trips. Hmmm. Quite a few boats doing that in Komodo. A smaller boat like the Shakti does R4, except the boat isn't very childfriendly (shared small baths etc) but the staff are fun. You may also consider the Grand Komodo and Temu Kira for R4.

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#4 folivier1

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 03:06 AM

The Nekton Pilot used to have a special trip each year just for families. They had more snorkeling guides for the young 'uns.
But I don't think I'd want to be on a boat for a week or longer with somebody else's kids. (to be fair, when my kids were younger, I wouldnt have wanted to be stuck on a boat wiTh them for a week) No offense but my vacations are a time to relax.

Edited by folivier1, 09 October 2011 - 03:09 AM.


#5 NWDiver

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 07:19 AM

I would not consider bringing children that cannot take care of themselves on a live-aboard, unless you are bringing your own nanny. We were on a boat with a woman, friend of the boat owner, who brought her 6yr old and I will admit it got old. The saloon TV was always playing cartoons, the child had meltdowns, etc.... In addition even in some of the most calm regions weather can turn rough which can be scary for kids. Like others mentioned I will admit I go on these trips to relax, no offense but kids + boat/confined area does not equal my ideal vacation.

#6 johnspierce

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 07:32 AM

They don't have anything geared to Raja Ampat, but Aggressor has "family weeks" on their boats:

http://www.aggressor...ries_family.php

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#7 Fontaine

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 09:43 AM

Looks like the Pindito also has family trips, but for 5 grand a pop i think id rather leave them with grandparents and milk every dive i can possibly get out of the trip. Having said that if I paid 10 grand for me and my wife to have a nice relaxing diving holiday with a bit of peace and quiet between dives and found out that a bunch of kids were going to be running around raising hell I would most likely not be very impressed.

I have phoned up LA ops and asked this question and they usually have told me that all the other passengers need to approve first, sounds like Drews suggestion of doing a private charter would be the way forward.

My kids are 9 months and 3 years old, so unless we wanted to pay for an extra bed for a nanny to come along a LA is out of the question (and it would be pretty boring for our 3 year old). My problem is that the grandparents are at nearest a 14 hour flight away...

Having said all that if my children were of diving age and they were into it (which they will be hahaha) I would have no problem whatsoever about taking them along, except for the cost...

Wakatobi, here I come :D
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#8 Fontaine

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 09:52 AM

2. How are the parents? My god daughter was 8mths old, had a bit of a fever, and her mother had post-natal induced fit and demanded the boat be turned around in the middle of the Banda Sea. My god daughter survived, her mother still brings it up after 12 years and her husband is still useless, and he's the doc!


Sheesh! If that happened to me I would be furious!!! Think a mutiny would be in order! I take it the boat did not turn around....

Edited by HappyBubblz, 09 October 2011 - 10:12 AM.

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#9 Longimanus1975

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 11:16 AM

I have 2 young children and was thinking when I can do a liveaboard with them, but didnt really think about how everyone else would feel, if I was on the other foot I dont think I would be happy, therefore I am looking at landbased hols now, not worth it ona liveaboard in my eyes

Edited by Longimanus1975, 09 October 2011 - 11:17 AM.


#10 folivier1

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 01:49 PM

Check with Anthonys Key Resort on Roatan. We took my sons 9 & 12 for a week a few years ago. 12 yo got certified there, 9 yo did the dolphin camp and had a blast!

#11 reubencahn

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 02:18 PM

Check with Anthonys Key Resort on Roatan. We took my sons 9 & 12 for a week a few years ago. 12 yo got certified there, 9 yo did the dolphin camp and had a blast!


We've been taking our son on liveaboards since he was 12, but as a diver. I tend to think it would get pretty boring for him if he weren't. And a bored kid is usually a problem.

#12 scubamarli

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 07:10 PM

Reuben's son was a seasoned traveler when I met the family in the Solomons. As a teacher, I am really sensitive to escaping kids while on holiday, and Mr. Cahn junior is an exception to most children that I have encountered on liveaboards. I have been on a liveaboard in PNG (no longer in business) where the Guides/ DM's were entirely monopolized by two young divers, aged 12 and 13. They had no interest in the dive; trying to pull out regulators and horsing around was the rule of the day. The rest of the guests (14) were on our own. The parents certainly enjoyed their freedom. I am sure that the DM's thought a huge tip would be coming from these two Swiss doctors for the careful babysitting that took place. They stiffed the crew entirely, citing that it was already expensive enough to bring a family of four. If a child is on their own, there is no one their own age to relate to. They can inadvertently and innocently monopolize the tv/video, common areas, and jeopardize camera equipment (I have had a kid dump their wet mask more than once next to my open housing). They are teens or children, and cannot know all of the issues that can occur even with adults that should know better. Who would want to have their child annoy other guests? Who as a vacationer wants to be put in the position of complaining to a parent about their child's behavior? I certainly don't. I think that it would be most uncomfortable. The worst situation was when as a single female traveling solo, I have had to share a cabin with a young teen, while Mom and Dad could have had them in the upper bunk in their cabin. They were unhappy, lonely and I spent my week counseling a teen that constantly complained. So, as you can guess, my recommendation is to aim for family weeks or land based family oriented resorts. Unfortunately, resorts in far flung areas are not family oriented. The Caribbean resorts are. Roatan, in particular, has resorts with lots of family oriented programs. Try Anthony's Key. I know it is not the home of the six gilled pygmy blue ringed nudibranch, but your kids will have a great time and you won't annoy anyone. Then everyone in the family will be relaxed and enjoy a well deserved vacation and diving experience. :)
Cheers,
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#13 Drew

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 04:11 AM

This is a fun thread. I've always been fascinated how much people will put up with and not react for fear of "rocking the boat"

Marli, was that the Paradise Sport back in 2001? :)

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#14 chavala

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:12 PM

My husband and I are on our way to Raja and The Seahorse. After flights, stopovers, hotels etc, it's probably costing us close to 20k usd. If there are little kids on that boat I'm gonna be LIVID. It amazes me that anyone would even consider it.

#15 scubamarli

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:19 PM

This is a fun thread. I've always been fascinated how much people will put up with and not react for fear of "rocking the boat"

Marli, was that the Paradise Sport back in 2001? :)



Oh, my. They must have annoyed even more people than us two teachers. You are either telepathic or have heard stories from Josh or others on board. :uwphotog:

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#16 tdtaylor

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:43 PM

I was recently on a live aboard in the Bahamas, and the passengers were quite fun- a number of younger folk and English chaps who were interested much drinking and whatever. Didn't bother me and my wife, and they were quite well behaved, but would have considered it not appropriate for young children. I now have a 17 and 22 year old, the youngest being a serious diver pursuing Marine biology, and they would have been fine, but I can't imagine a 7-12 year old on the trip. I am sure the crew would have gone out of their way to accommodate, but it definitely would have been a damper on those who wanted to enjoy the "drink deck" and skip the night dive!

#17 TomR1

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:52 PM

Wakatobi is AWESOME for kids and the diving is just as good as a liveaboard. Depending on their ability, the snorkling is unbelievable and Wakatobi could probably supply a divemaster to go with them. Even if boat snorkling to too much snorkling just off the resort is pretty good. Plus, the boats are HUGE and stable so kids wouldn't bother most people.

#18 Fontaine

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:33 PM

Wakatobi is AWESOME for kids and the diving is just as good as a liveaboard. Depending on their ability, the snorkling is unbelievable and Wakatobi could probably supply a divemaster to go with them. Even if boat snorkling to too much snorkling just off the resort is pretty good. Plus, the boats are HUGE and stable so kids wouldn't bother most people.



$1,000 bucks a night, no thanks!!! I am actually trying to get on the Mermaid II to Komodo right now, they have a nanny onboard and am getting a separate room for the kids and nanny, still works out cheaper then wakatobi. Sorry I dont want to wait 10 years to dive Komodo properly, gonna have to go ahead and give it a try, our kids are young enough that they are still easily occupied and they are very well behaved, not to mention super cute which helps, we will see how it goes. You know what they say, you dont know until you go!

FYI are kids are 3 years old and 10 months old, probably better to take them at this age then when they are 7...

Edited by Fontaine, 12 December 2011 - 08:36 PM.

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#19 Drew

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:25 AM

Oh, my. They must have annoyed even more people than us two teachers. You are either telepathic or have heard stories from Josh or others on board. :)

Marli

Yes I'd met them on another trip! I was on the trip before you and after you. :uwphotog: Wade, Tara, Fidelis and others had a "good" time talking about it!

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