When cruising with teens, it’s an excellent solution for finding a family vacation where you can spend time together and apart. At this age, they are old enough to have some freedom but at least on the cruise ship, you know they can’t go too far! Teens will love the opportunities to meet kids their age from all over and special areas and activities just for them. Let’s look at the top ten tips for cruising with teens to help everyone plan for a fun and safe trip.
1. Boredom Busters
Encourage your teen to bowl, climb rock walls, ice skate, surf on a simulator, watch movies, or other activities the cruise line offers. Sitting in the cabin on their cell phone should not be an option!
2. No More Long Road Trips
While visiting multiple locations sounds fun on paper, they often include cramped vehicles and long trips. Going on a cruise means you can unpack everything as soon as you board the ship. You can leave the driving at each port to someone else by using busses, shuttles, or walking.
3. Reduce Food Costs
Meal costs add up quickly, especially when you’re traveling with a growing teenager. One of the best things about a cruise is the endless food choices, and many of your meals are included. So, your teen can eat as much or as little as they want without it costing you anything extra.
4. No More After Dinner Arguments
Traveling from destination to destination by car involves staying at hotels. The last thing your teen is going to want to do is sit in the hotel room watching movies. Cruises are a different story. Many cruises offer clubs and other entertainment specifically for teens.
5. Let Teens Help When Planning
Ask your teens which destinations they want to explore the most. For example, if your teen loves the beach, they’ll prefer white sandy beaches, kayaking, and snorkeling. If your teen loves history, they might choose to explore ruins, go cave exploring, or visit old European cities.
6. Choose Age-Appropriate Activities
Choose a cruise line that separates tween and young teens from older high school students. For example, you’ll find that Princess Cruises’ Shockwaves is ideal for children and pre-teens ages eight to 12. Norwegian Cruise Lines also have pre-teen and teen-specific groups. For example, Dolphins are for pre-teens ages ten to 12, and their teen club, Entourage, is best for teens ages 13 to 17.
7. Get as Much Space as You Can Afford
Parents and teens benefit from having separate spaces when traveling. That way, everyone has the privacy they want. You’ll also be able to turn in early, even if your teen has other plans. Plus, parents don’t have to see their teen’s dirty clothes and other things that might drive them crazy. You can opt for 2 connecting cabins or a suite with room for everyone!
8. Keep in Touch
While teens can experience a significant amount of freedom on a cruise, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t communicate with parents. Before boarding, create a communication plan using cell phones to ensure everyone is safe and accounted for daily. Many cruise lines offer wi-fi plans to help make sure you are always connected.
9. Lay Out the Rules
No trip should be free from rules, including the use of alcohol and drugs. Your teen might think of the cruise as a non-stop party, so you want to be proactive. Laws in other countries are different for drinking, so port adventures may be a time you want to spend together if you have any concerns.
10. Don’t Forget About Family Time
It isn’t uncommon for teens to disappear right after breakfast and come back to the cabin right before bedtime. If you don’t carve out family time ahead of time, then it might not happen. Have dinners together and participate in some of the activities or events they’re enjoying.
High school graduation is right around the corner and, before you know it, your teen will be off on their own. Plan a cruise today to relish in these last few years with your teen! When you’re ready, reach out by phone or email, or use our travel inquiry form and one of our travel experts will be in touch shortly to help you plan your family cruise!
Looking for more tips on cruising with teens? Read our article Ten Tips for Traveling with Teens!