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Old 09-01-2014, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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I am thinking about taking my son on a cruise in late-March 2015. He will be 17 years old, and it will be our first time cruising.

Do any of you have any recommendations for cruise ships to consider with an older teen, or ones to stay away from? I did some research online, but am looking for some personal experiences.
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Florida -
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I suppose it depends on what you are looking for -- or think he will enjoy. It's probably also important not to forget the land excursions at different ports (Where are you going?).

We took our younger teenage grand kids on Royal Caribbean (Freedom of the Seas) to BVI/St Martin last June (after school was out!) -- and they had a ball. Our granddaughter danced to Reggae on the upper deck for half the night and our grandson really enjoyed the open-court basketball and wave surfing machines. Both liked the food and entertainment, along with diving and shore excursions.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:03 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Almost all the mass marketed lines have lots of offer the teen group. I would stay away from Princess and HAL. they are geared to the over 60 age group and even older. Carnival, RCI and NCL all have great teen programs, but it has been our experience kids past about 16 or so, will find kids their age to hang out with and not spend a lot of time in the actual teen club. What is important probably is to decide if your son will be content to dress up a few nights; if the answer is yes, I think I would lean toward RCI, they have great ships and decent food, but they still have the formal or formal optional nights. If you think he would rather live in shorts and a t shirt for 7 days, try NCL. I do not happen to be a fan of Carnival, but that doesn't mean it is a bad line or won't work for some families. Everyone is different.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:44 AM
 
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My brother and his family (two teens) just got off NCL. They didn't like it at all. The kids refused to go to the clubs. They were on Princess last year and liked that cruise a lot, and said there were a lot of families with teens on board. They thought Carnival had too many riff-raff types and didn't want their kids associating with them. They loved Disney, although their son (18) no longer wants to cruise on Disney as there isn't much for his age group (daughter is 15 and still does.)

They are going to try Celebrity next year.

We sailed on Royal Caribbean--worst vacation ever and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. The food was terrible, entertainment was lackluster, cabin had tons of problems, too many teens puking in the hallways after getting drunk in some of the ports, just bad all the way around.

I agree with nmnita that HAL is generally referred to as the nursing home of cruise lines.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
My brother and his family (two teens) just got off NCL. They didn't like it at all. The kids refused to go to the clubs. They were on Princess last year and liked that cruise a lot, and said there were a lot of families with teens on board. They thought Carnival had too many riff-raff types and didn't want their kids associating with them. They loved Disney, although their son (18) no longer wants to cruise on Disney as there isn't much for his age group (daughter is 15 and still does.)

They are going to try Celebrity next year.

We sailed on Royal Caribbean--worst vacation ever and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. The food was terrible, entertainment was lackluster, cabin had tons of problems, too many teens puking in the hallways after getting drunk in some of the ports, just bad all the way around.

I agree with nmnita that HAL is generally referred to as the nursing home of cruise lines.
for the most part, people with kids over about 10 do not like Disney; everyone has his/her idea, but I have never met anyone over about 10 that would choose Disney. As for NCL, this is the reason there are so many choices; it is rare to find a teen that doesn't enjoy NCL or RCI for that matter, but I am sure there are some who prefer other lines. You mention they enjoyed Princess, it really depends on the itinerary for many. Yes, the Caribbean destinations and summer months will find more families on all lines. Do you have any idea what ship your brothers family was on or what itinerary they did on NCL?
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
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I don't have kids, so I've no bone in this fight. (Hell, I don't even like kids all that much and would consider paying more for an adult only cruise). But I think itinerary and time of year makes a bigger difference for teens than the choice of cruiseline.

Teens want to hang with teens. Select a cruise that is likely to be filled with teens and they will have a good time. Most of our friends have traveled with their family including grandchildren. They all pretty much stick to NCL and RCCL for their multi generation trips, but select other lines when they go on their own.

I fo not find HAL or Celebrity attracting hoards of kids. Which is probably one readon they tend to be our preferred lines.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
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Carnival has bunches of kids especially during the summer, spring break. Lots of activities and they will form groups. Also much more of a party atmosphere.
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:55 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 58,376,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
for the most part, people with kids over about 10 do not like Disney; everyone has his/her idea, but I have never met anyone over about 10 that would choose Disney. As for NCL, this is the reason there are so many choices; it is rare to find a teen that doesn't enjoy NCL or RCI for that matter, but I am sure there are some who prefer other lines. You mention they enjoyed Princess, it really depends on the itinerary for many. Yes, the Caribbean destinations and summer months will find more families on all lines. Do you have any idea what ship your brothers family was on or what itinerary they did on NCL?
They were on NCL in Alaska, I don't know what ship. They thought the ship was dirty, food was atrocious, and our niece said the clubs were beyond boring and wouldn't go after the second day. (I made a mistake in my earlier post, our nephew didn't go to a club, but rather said it was really boring because there were few to no other people his age on board to meet or hang out with.) They loved Alaska but were really unhappy with NCL.

They went to Hawaii on Princess, sorry, I don't know which ship. They are still raving about how much they liked the ship though.

We cruised on DCL when our son was 16 and he loved it. We thought about going back when he was 18, but they just don't really offer anything for 18-20 year old's. They can't go to the teen club and can't go to the adult areas, so are just kind of in limbo.
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Old 10-27-2014, 04:37 AM
 
1,509 posts, read 2,219,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chellemi808 View Post
I am thinking about taking my son on a cruise in late-March 2015. He will be 17 years old, and it will be our first time cruising.

Do any of you have any recommendations for cruise ships to consider with an older teen, or ones to stay away from? I did some research online, but am looking for some personal experiences.
I'd highly recommend any of Royal Caribbean's three Freedom class ships - Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, or Liberty of the Seas. All three are great ships and tons for teens to do - ice skating, surf simulators, rock walls, tons of shows and dining venues - all without being quite as large or intimidating as the Oasis class ships. My wife and I have sailed on Freedom and they do a great mix of ports (we did the Eastern Caribbean itinerary out of Port Canaveral that stops at St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Coco Cay) and sea days. Beautiful ports, too, especially St. Maarten.
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,807 posts, read 94,633,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garnetpalmetto View Post
I'd highly recommend any of Royal Caribbean's three Freedom class ships - Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, or Liberty of the Seas. All three are great ships and tons for teens to do - ice skating, surf simulators, rock walls, tons of shows and dining venues - all without being quite as large or intimidating as the Oasis class ships. My wife and I have sailed on Freedom and they do a great mix of ports (we did the Eastern Caribbean itinerary out of Port Canaveral that stops at St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Coco Cay) and sea days. Beautiful ports, too, especially St. Maarten.
Freedom class ships are a good bet for families. One thing for everyone to remember and this goes for all the mass marketed lines, many of the activities the kids enjoy do have a price tag attached to them, so check to make sure what the cost is or if there is a charge.
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