When children reach their teenage years, some parents can find taking them on holiday to be a bit of a tricky task. Where is the best place to go? What activities are going to be suitable for them now they are older? Is it possible for all of your family’s needs be catered for on one holiday?
In short: yes!
More and more people are picking a cruise as their family holiday of choice nowadays because there is something for everyone onboard, not to mention the array of destinations you can explore. Not only this, but cruises offer a large choice of excursions that range in activity level, so no matter what destination you find yourself at, your teens are sure to have a great time.
So, if you think a cruise might be on the agenda, look no further - because here at Cruise Nation we have put together this guide that is designed to tell you everything you need to know about cruises for 13-19 year olds.
Taking your teenagers on a cruise ship holiday is a brilliant idea for introducing them to a range of activities that may not necessarily be available to them at home. It’s a great chance to open their eyes to new experiences, make friends with other teenagers and try their hand at a variety of on and off board opportunities.
Many cruise lines host clubs and hangout areas exclusively for teenagers. This gives them the opportunity to spend time with people their own age onboard and get involved with a variety of activities from video gaming to pool parties.
If your teen craves independence, then cruise ships offer plenty of places for them to venture onboard whilst also giving you peace of mind that they won’t be able to wander too far. Some cruise lines also offer payment cards for teens which you can top-up so that they have their own spending money whilst onboard, giving them ultimate freedom to make their cruise experience their own.
There are several cruise lines which provide a multitude of facilities for teenagers, so to help narrow down your search, here are some of the most popular:
Royal Caribbean is a cruise line that is renowned for providing teenagers with endless amounts of entertainment. In fact, these ships are like floating playgrounds and include the likes of ice rinks, rock climbing walls, sport courts and high ropes courses.
One of the best advantages of Royal Caribbean is that they divide their teen programmes into two categories, so that every teenager can attend a club that is age appropriate. Those aged 12-14 fall into one group whilst 15-17 year olds fall into another. Both of these groups can get involved with activities like dive in movies, pool parties, the Scratch DJ Academy, Mocktail competitions and unplugged jam sessions where teens can demonstrate their musical prowess. If that wasn’t enough, every spa on a Royal Caribbean ship offers treatments that are especially suitable for teenagers, so they can enjoy both an active and a relaxed lifestyle whilst onboard.
Carnival cruise line is firm favourite for families with children of all ages – teens being no exception! Equipped with a wide range of activities and facilities for every age range, Carnival have a clear understanding of what teenagers are seeking in a holiday experience.
First and foremost, Carnival ships are equipped with some of the best waterparks at sea featuring slides, splash pools, hot tubs and more. On the top decks there’s also high ropes courses, mini golf and giant screens for movies under the stars.
For teens aged 15-17 Carnival there’s Club 02 where they can do their thing whilst you do yours. Club 02 lets teens hang out, play sports and video games, watch movies, listen to music and even get involved with karaoke. Come evening, there’s an exclusive Teen’s Party Time where there’s different themes such as the highly fashionable Dress to Impress Party, Red Carpet Party and the spicy Mexican Fiesta.
The fun doesn’t stop outside of Club 02 either. Teens will love the 4D theatre, IMAX cinema, Video Arcade and sports courts which can be found on most ships in the Carnival fleet. It doesn’t have to be all go, go, go for teens though - Carnival has a spa especially for teens called ZSpa where there is teen-friendly treatments to pamper and relax.
Norwegian cruise line attracts many passengers due to its casual, laid back ambience, which a lot of families find extremely appealing. The Norwegian ‘Freestyle’ ethos of cruising and variety of dining venues and entertainment options onboard means that teens have a wide choice of options to make their cruise experience their own.
By day teens can hit the waterslides or relax in the swimming pool, play video games in the arcade, learn circus tricks or master improv skills in the acting workshops or challenge their friends to a game of basketball, dodge ball and tennis in the sports court. Come evening there’s just as much entertainment to choose from including theatre shows, cinema viewings, bowling and even the chance to play Wii on a giant 2-storey tall screen!
Teens will love the selection of restaurants and lounges available on Norwegian. Whether it’s the traditional and welcoming O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill serving up delectable burgers and crispy onion rings or Teppanyaki where the chefs whip up your meal before your eyes in a dazzling display – teens are sure to find their favourite food onboard an NCL ship!
Princess’ newest ship, Regal Princess, which began its voyage in June 2014, has an exclusive Teens Lounge for 13-17 year olds where they can get involved in a variety of activities such as dance parties, talent shows, hip hop dance classes and late night movies.
Despite being considered one of the most regal cruise lines as sea with decadent decor and a more formal atmosphere, Princess have a whole host of entertainment options onboard that teens can get involved with. There’s Voice of the Ocean which is inspired by the BBC TV show ‘The Voice’, guests can enter this talent competition and be mentored by the professional entertainers onboard before delivering their finale performance! There’s also spectacular and original theatre shows like ‘Magic To Do’ which was created by the multi-award winning composer of Wicked – Stephen Schwartz.
For something a little more low-key, teen guests can head to the movie theatre, go shopping in the onboard boutiques, relax poolside or play a game of tennis in the sports court.
If you have a question about cruising with a teenager that we haven’t managed to answer for you on this page, get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter and ask away for a quick response.