Comparing DCL and RCI kids clubs for older kids

Thanks to this forum (thank you!) I thought of looking up the larger Royal Caribbean ships from ports other than Baltimore and I am very impressed with Anthem of the Seas leaving from NJ. However, there is one big sticking point: their kids club for ages 12 - 17 sounds basically unsupervised. I have two older boys who are currently almost 11 and 12; if we did this I’d wait until the younger one was 12 so that he wouldn’t be put into the 6 months to 11 yrs club, which would be torture for him. I was so impressed with the Anthem that I was ready to seriously consider a booking until I found out about this. I just don’t think that I want to leave kids that young to have their run of a 4,000 person cruise ship when they haven’t been on a cruise before (I might feel differently when they are actual high school age). Can anyone who has experience with this from RCI give advice? By comparison DCL sounds perfect b/c they have much longer kids club hours and it sounds like the kids are supervised and can’t leave the club without a parent. I wouldn’t leave them there for hours and hours on end, but I would want some time for my husband and I to enjoy the adults only areas of the ship and would hope that they would be having a nice time in the kids clubs. I also have a DD7 who would be in the younger club. The cruise I really want to take is one on the Disney Dream out of Port Canaveral, but that is much further away from us; NJ port is a few hrs drive.

Where are you seeing the kid’s club is unsupervised ? I think for some of the older kids there are so many activities they may opt out but have you looked at Royal Caribbean Blog?

It said somewhere on the RCL website for Anthem that for the club for the 12 - 17 yr old kids they could come and go as they pleased.

I think that is only because of the sports plex being connected to it?

Did you see cruise critic?

older kids on DCL can also come and go at will… my DD was 11 and DS was 13 - one in the Edge, and the other in Vibe. Both could check themselves in and out. I think its only Oceaneer that requires parent check in/out. DD had to call to check out the couple times she went there with younger cousins - she was on the bubble age wise so was able to visit both oceaneer and edge. So, had to check out of Oceaneer with parent permission but not Edge. BUT DCL had a nice app that allowed texting for free using ship’s wifi without extra internet costs to us (only worked within the app - so only texting with other people on board). So they were able to let me know when got somewhere, when leaving, where going next etc. RC is in BETA testing of a similar feature but it’s not available on all ships yet (as beta) and the one’s that it is available on its not DCL level yet, some bugs to work out, so I’d need to pay for texting so I knew where kids were. If you go DCL - your 11 year old would be able to go to Edge with the older sibling - you’d have to sign a waiver the first time though (at least that was my experience)

Thanks I had no idea it worked like that. I thougth that on the Disney ships only a parent could check them in or out until they were 18. I guess it makes sense though.