Point one: More and more Baby Boomers have taken to cruise ship vacations as their favorite way of getting away from it all.
Point two: Most Baby Boomers have kids, and most of those kids are approaching or in their teens.
Point three: Most Baby Boomers are reluctant to leave their teenagers behind when they head for the high seas, and prefer to vacation as a family.
The cruise industry is fully cognizant of all of these points, and they are doing their best to make sure that every member of their Baby Boomer families are provided with exactly the sort of cruise experience which will be entertaining, relaxing, and most of all, FUN. Most cruise lines now offer planned and supervised activities geared for teenagers throughout the day, because they know that the happy teen customer of today will be the paying adult customer of tomorrow.
Teen centers and video arcades are standard on all ships offering family cruises, and many cruise lines have age-based programs which will tempt your reluctant teen from spending his or her time moping about in the cabin dreaming of the friends or love interest left behind. Ships with good teen activities will schedule nighttime dances or pool parties where the teens can escape from Mom, Dad, and their annoying younger siblings. Many of the best cruise lines also have Internet cafes so your teen’s email lifeline is never far away.
Some cruise lines, including Carnival and Disney, go out of their way to make their cruises fun for family members of all ages. For teens in particular, Carnival Cruise Lines offers Camp Carnival for kids up to age 15, and a Fountain Fun card, which will let you tens drinks as many soft drinks as they like at any hour of the day or night. They also have 24-hour pizzerias.
Carnival’s Destiny-class ships have high-tech video game arcades, and its Fun Ships have 2,400 square foot Fun House activity centers. When it comes to catering to the kids and teens, however, few cruise lines have as much to offer as Disney.
The cruise ships Disney magic and Disney Wonder each have almost an entire deck (1500 square feet) set aside for kid and teen activities, including a teen club with its own coffee bar and video arcade. Disney debuts its latest theatrical releases aboard ship on the same day that they are released into theaters, so if there’s a teen offering from Disney studios while you’re on your cruise, your teenagers won’t have to wait to see it!
Royal Caribbean will keep your teens busy in their own nightclubs and huge video arcades, and keep them happily fed with burgers and shakes at their Johnny Rocket’s restaurants. Their latest ships also have a teen pool complete with water slide and (for a small fee) the use of a rock climbing wall to provide a crow’s nest view of the surrounding sea. Organized activities for teens are held throughout the day beginning at 10:00 AM. Karaoke contests are open to passengers of all ages, and the teens are often the most enthusiastic performers!
Royal Caribbean is also among the handful of cruise lines which has onboard skating rinks of some of its ships, where your teens can either skate or enjoy a replica of the Ice Capades. They will love the contrast between ice skating and the surfing experience they’ll get on Royal Caribbean’s Flowrider, where the surf’s always up!
Cruise vacations are no longer the domain of honeymooners and retirees. They are genuinely family-friendly experiences, with entertainment and social activities to appeal to even the most sophisticated teens!