Ever had a difficult time picking a vacation that will please the entire family? Try adding your teenager into the mix, and it can become even more challenging to find a vacation that doesn’t feel like a compromise. The answer? Take a cruise. Teens love hitting the high seas on vacation! Here’s why:
Eliminate Are We There Yet
Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Long road trips can be exhausting when it come to teenagers. Handheld electronic devices can only pacify for so long until you hear that inevitable vacation question “Are we there yet?” Leave the driving to the ship captain on a cruise vacation and take advantage of travel time. Instead of mind numbing billboards and fast food drive-thrus, try swimming, mini golf, ropes courses, shows, bowling, movies and dancing. No one wants to sit on their butt confined to a tiny car for half their vacation.
Let Them Choose The Itinerary
Teens want to be heard. There are so many cruise options available. Let your teen pick the itinerary that appeals to them most. There are so many destinations and excursion options. Establish a budget and let them select the departure port and destination based on what the family can afford.
My husband and I would prefer to travel off season when cruises are more affordable and there are fewer people on the ship. My teen wants to travel during peak seasons like Summer and Spring Break. Why? There are more teens on the ship during these times and more chances for her to interact with her peers.
Supplement Life Experiences with Excursions
Some teens would be terrified to throw themselves down a zipline while others might think that would be the ‘best day ever’. Maybe your teen is a foodie and would like a culinary tour. Perhaps they’re a beach bum or into scuba diving. Each cruise port is a chance for your teen to expand their horizons. Getting your teen out of their comfort zone on a thrilling cruise excursion can be life changing.
My teen is really into agriculture. While in port she would rather take the Ostrich Farm and Sightseeing excursion than the Family Beach Escape excursion. This is a time where the family can compromise. While I might enjoy lounging at the beach sipping a cocktail, I would get just as much joy watching her in her own element on the excursion of her choice, making memories and learning new things she can take back home and apply to her own mini farm.
They Have Their Own Nightclub for Pete’s Sake
Seriously one of the biggest draws for teens is the exclusivity of their very own club, like Carnival’s Club 02, to hang out in and meet other teens their age. And these clubs are “off limits” for younger kids and parents alike. Shipboard teen clubs offer your teen a chance to make new friends and daily schedules often include dance parties, comedy hours and games. They aren’t rigorously scheduled events like “kids club” activities are and teens are free to come and go as they choose based on what events appeal to them.
It’s been our family’s experience that our daughter will hang with us during the day and then have dinner with us, but then after dinner and until the wee hours of the morning, she hits the teen club and dance parties. This gives all of us a great balance of family time as well as “me time”. She gets to hang with her “cruise friends” and my husband and I can hit up a lounge or the blackjack tables.
Always Something To Do
You’ll never hear “I’m Bored”. There is always something to do on a cruise ship…always. Believe it or not, your teen may even want to hang out with you during the day. Sure, at night they will probably opt to hit up the teen club, but during the day you can do things like trivia challenges, games up on the sports deck, share meals together, shop, watch shows, take a ride on a water slide, etc.
Unlimited Food All Hours of the Day and Night
You’ll also never hear “I’m Hungry”. Feeding a teenager can be costly. They’ll eat you out of house and home. Cruises offer multiple dining options at all hours of the day and night. Teens especially love the unlimited pizza and burger stations on cruise ships as well as the all-you-can-eat ‘grab and go’ soft serve ice cream. Cruise liners are sure to satisfy.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should choose cruising as your next family vacation with your teen. Trust me. They are going to love it!