Cruise lines offer families great options to keep teens safe and happy. Cruise lines offer a variety of programs geared towards younger cruisers. Teens represent a unique demographic and cruise lines that offer programs designed for them allow a safe place for teens to hang out and meet new people.
Cindy Richards, the Editor of TravelingMom.com, recently commented about her experience traveling with a reluctant teen. Richards said that “cruises offer teens some level of autonomy. On a cruise ship, it’s easier to relax as a parent because there aren’t that many places teens can disappear (the boat is only so big), and there is one worker for every two cruisers (or so it has always seemed to me). That’s perfect for a tween or teen who wants to exercise independence and a parent who wants him to think he’s being independent but isn’t really.”
While most cruise lines offer some amenities for teens, some cruise lines excel at specially designed programs for this age group.
- Carnival separates the teens into two groups, Circle “C” for ages 12-14 and O2 for ages 15-17. Activities include dance parties, karaoke, sports tournaments or just hanging out.
- Carnival ships have dedicated teen facilities featuring plasma TVs for movies and music videos, gaming systems, high-tech lighting and sound systems, a dance floor with DJ, and internet stations.
- There are teen spa treatments and teen-only shore excursions. And Waterworks Park features waterslides, squirting fountains, and splash zones.
- Guests aged 13 to 17 can participate in animation lessons, pool parties, game challenges, Karaoke or just hanging out.
- The Stack (Disney Magic) and Aloft (Disney wonder) are teen lounges complete with couches, a soda bar, computer stations with internet, and plasma TVs to watch videos.
- For ages 13 to 17, teens enjoy sports tournaments, video games, karaoke, or just hanging out with their peers in the teen center, the Loft.
- The Loft resembles a New York artist’s loft complete with overstuffed chairs, a big screen TV, music, videos, and a state of the art sound and lighting system for dancing.
- On select ships, a special passageway upstairs from the Loft leads to a secluded, teens-only sun deck called Oasis. In addition, teenagers aged 15 and up can participate in adult culinary workshops in the onboard demonstration kitchen.
- Teens are separated into two age groups (ages 12-14 and 15-17). Activities vary with ship class but may include DJ classes, surfing lessons, rock wall climbing lessons.
- The Living Room on the Oasis of the Seas offers a lounge packed with gaming systems, a plasma TV to watch movies, and a mock-tail bar with sodas and juices. Fuel is the teen disco complete with dance floor, and computer games.
When considering a cruise with teens, make sure that the potential cruise line offers organized activities and adult supervision. On the first night of the cruise make sure that you go to the teen club to register your child and to check out the space. This is a great opportunity to meet peers and to learn how the teen club works.