So what family cruises make the best ships for teenagers? The following are an excellent choice for many different reasons. Again depending on your family and on your teens personality, you can choose the best one for you:
Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian Dawn
With Freestyle Cruising in this best family cruise, you’ll discover something you won’t find on all cruise lines, freedom of choice. A Norwegian Cruise Line Freestyle Vacation cruise offers diverse and exciting restaurants, a more relaxed dress code and more things to see and do. In fact, there are ten different restaurants, each with its own unique ambiance, over a dozen bars and lounges, a superior collection of amenities and a wide variety of accommodations.
This impressive ship offers the ideal way to escape to Caribbean with more dining options, more balconies, more ocean-view staterooms, new activities and more flexibility than ever before.
Teens will be attracted to the teen-only club/disco as well as the ship’s video arcade, basketball court, paddle tennis and giant chessboard. Organized social activities include a farewell teen party the last evening, an afternoon dance party and a pool party. Definite plus for best ships for teenagers
A discounted beverage card is available — for $34.50, your teen can order 20 smoothies and other non-alcoholic drinks. Another plus, particularly for families based in New York and the mid-Atlantic? The ship sails, year-round, to the Bahamas and Caribbean from New York — which means no trips to Florida to get on-board, making it a best family cruise for anyone on the east coast!
Carnival Cruise Lines – Fascination
This best family cruise ship is great for or older teens, 16 to 18 years old. It is easy to meet and mingle with other teens as there is a mixer on the first evening, a Mocktail Party in the disco on the first formal night, and an afternoon Ping-Pong tournament. Each night, the Disco Dance Club opens from 9:30 to 10:45 p.m. for teens 12 to 18. At 10:45 p.m., the DJ announces that the Disco will reopen at 11 p.m. for guests 16 to 18. Younger teens can shift to another activity — like a movie, Karaoke or a swim.
There are also teen spa services and a discounted teen shore excursion program where the kids vote on which tour to take. The Fascination sails affordable, three-night weekend getaways to the Bahamas and Key West/Cozumel year-round.
Windstar Cruises – Wind Surf
Sail the Wind Surf, one of three Windstar Cruises sailing yachts cruising to over 47 countries worldwide offering an affordable luxury vacation – an alternative to the typical cruise or resort vacation. The combination of a cool, five-masted sailing vessel and a can’t-be-beat exotic itinerary makes it a best family cruise. If your teen is into water sports, an interesting mix of shore excursions and complimentary water sports activities are available. Water buffs can enjoy complimentary water-skiing, windsurfing, snorkeling, kayaking and “banana boat rides from the ship’s aft Water Sports Platform.
Wind Surf also offers a Discover Scuba Diving Program, gliding by manta and eagle rays, turtles, dolphins, barracuda and reef sharks. The fairly priced dive program ($140) features a class by the pool, pool session, and supervised dive. The program is open to teens (the rule is 12 and above) though they must be accompanied by a parent. This is definitely not a ship for younger children or pre-teens as there are no planned activities or facilities on-board for kids of any age, but older, more independent teens will love it.
Princess Cruise Lines – Grand Princess
Rated as a best family cruise, this 2,600-passenger ship, which the cruise line dubs a “floating city,” offers something for every conceivable age group. For teens in particular, there’s a dedicated teen facility, a video game arcade, four pools, a huge gym, a sports court, and a nine-hole putting course complete with golf simulator. Its voyages are ideal for more adventurous kids and teens who would love snorkeling with stingrays and swimming with sea lions. In summer, the ship sails European itineraries which are also popular with families.
The teen center on this ship really is well equipped. It has a private whirlpool and sun deck, big-screen television, Nintendo, Karaoke and jukeboxes.
Another plus is Princess’ fabulous outdoor theater, “Movies Under the Stars.” Also offered is the flexibility of dining options offered by Princess’ Personal Choice so that families can dine together some nights but kids can eat with other kids on other nights.
Crystal’s Cruises – Symphony and Harmony
Crystal is really trying to appeal to the multi-generational family vacations. It offers top-notch kids programs with facilities that have been revamped and upgraded on both ships and this may just be the best family cruise for you, depending on what you are looking for. Especially during sailings in destinations like Alaska and during school holiday seasons when there are more kids and teens on-board. As a result, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Harmony are great choices for grandparents, parents and kids all travelling together. The cruise line’s Junior Activities Program divides kids into three categories (3 – 7, 8 – 12, and 13 – 17). Ships offer a teen’s video arcade beyond the usual kid-oriented facilities.