First of all: If there is an announcment at the beginning of the trip that includes "And please do not stand on the seat benches, sit on the seat backs, or sit on the railings, please keep at least one foot on the ground" and numerous signs around the vessel saying the same thing, why would you STAND ON THE BENCHES AND SIT ON THE RAILINGS? We are not just saying this to ruin your fun. We don't want you to fall off the boat, because if you do, it means we will have to rescue you, and that means more work for us, and lots of paperwork, and probably you suing us for letting you fall off in the first place. And no, it's not okay for you to do it "just to get a picture." You think that it's impossible for you to fall off a boat while taking a picture? It's not.
PAY ATTENTION to your crewmembers when they tell you not to do something. Do not get off the bench when we ask you and then turn right around and climb back on the second our backs are turned. Just don't, or I will shove you overboard and pretend I don't know what happened to you.
Whew! Mini-rant over.
For the most part, the kids we got on the boats were fairly well-behaved, but there were some who were not. But even worse than the kids were their parents.
AG: Autistic girl
AGM: Autistic girl's mom
I have nothing against autistic people, but this girl was severely autistic, to the point where she couldn't read and didn't acknowledge what we said. Her mom was fairly attentive for a while, but then she came and was talking to me in the galley, and when AG went outside, her mom said, "Oh, well, I guess I don't have to watch her all the time on the boat. Where could she go?" And I thought, Gee, I don't know. Over the side, maybe? A while later while we were at the glacier, the girl got up on the benches on the bow and started running along the curve of the bow, and there were people lining the benches so we couldn't get to her till someone caught her and lifted her down.
Nina: (to AGM) She's going to have to go inside.
AGM: (sternly to her daughter) THAT'S IT! (grabbing her arm) INSIDE.
Throughout the day, one of us crew had to follow the girl whenever she went outside, because she kept climbing on things. It would have been nice if the mom or dad had followed her instead. And, to be fair, sometimes they did. But sometimes they didn't. And it was frustrating.
Then there was the time some little kid fiddled with the boat controls on the wing station and didn't tell anyone, so it took us 20 minutes to dock the boat amid the sound of grinding gears and the acrid smell of the black exhaust coming out the back of the boat and floating on the water.
We were on our way to Meares glacier, had just made the turn up Unakwik Inlet. We were just starting meal service. I was upstairs holding a tray full of drinks when a girl probably about my age ran upstairs screaming "WHALE! WHALE!" and pointing behind the boat. I swung around, this heavy tray in my hands, and tried to see out the window while everyone spilled outside and the Captain started to turn the boat. "What? A whale?" I asked.
A few minutes later, a middle-aged woman called me over to her and said, "I just wanted to let you know how sorry I was about what that girl said to you. It was rude and unnecessary."
I hadn't heard the girl say anything to me because of all the people yelling and running outside, but APPARENTLY, after I said, "What? A whale?" she snapped at me, "YES, a WHALE, do I have to do your job for you?"
If I had heard her say that, I like to think that I would have been quick enough to say, "Yes, why don't you do my job for me. Then you could lug this tray around while I ran around screaming with my fancy new camera in a boat that is so full of people there's nowhere for the crew to sit down all day. That would be SWELL."