Alaska with a Teen

Old Jun 14th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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Alaska with a Teen

Suggestions please.... I am looking to take an alaskan cruise with my 15 year old daughter this August. We've cruised before and I'm a little bit of a travel snob, need to feel like most stuff is top line. In other words, I'd never go on a Carnival cruise again, but Royal Caribbean just fine. Bigger concern is that it be teen friendly, my daughter has always come away from these vacations with a new bunch of friends, and so I want to make sure its teen heavy, and I'm not sure if the Alaskan cruises fit the bill. Thoughts? Or questions I can answer to help with my planning?
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Old Jun 14th, 2010, 01:23 PM
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Royal Caribbean is fine for a snob?? Are you confusing it with Princess lines?
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Old Jun 15th, 2010, 04:34 AM
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I seriously doubt you will find any "teen heavy" Alaska cruises. We cruised Princess to Alaska 2 years ago and our 18 and 22 year olds felt lilke the youngest passengers - although there were a handful of younger kids - absolutely no one near their ages.

We have done about 6 cruises on a variety of lines - Alaska is unique. Much less attention on part of passengers to clothing and activities - the least dressed-up evening crowd I have seen and also not late night oriented. Were looking for bar to have a drink with son at about 11 PM and found one bar open but arrived to "last call". Halls were empty at that hour. Daytime wear was fleece, jeans, sneakers.

Over the years, I believe quality has fallen a bit on all lines from where it was - all in an attempt to keep business while adjusting to the economy. We found Princess quality very good, but I don't think I would call it "top line". HAL is supposed to be a bit higher, but their demographics are an even older crowd.

Depending on personality, I think your daughter could have a good time on an alaska cruise- just don't expect to have her disappear in AM with new friends and reappear in the evening - based on our limited experience and research prior to our cruise, not likely to happen.
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Old Jun 15th, 2010, 03:18 PM
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Gail is right ... Alsakan cruises are unique, less attention on clothing and activities and not much night life. You will see some families in July and August but that maybe a minority. The only exception I came across was on an inside passage cruise last year in mid August where there were almost 500 children (under 18) on a Celebrity ship. We hardly notice the children until they have the talent show. There were some teens but mostly younger ones.

Gail is also correct on the quality of all the lines has gone down. The price has come down, the cost has gone up, something got to give. RCCL is not top notch by any stretch of imagination. If you are okay with RCCL, you will definietly like Princess, HAL and Celebrity better. I would rank all three of them about the same, each with their own advantage and demographics.

Your teenager will not like HAL and it will the least likely cruise line to see teenager. On the other hand, both Celebrity and Princess offer decent teen program and designated teen area.

Overall, I give Princess a slight edge on the education component and their naturalist on board. I used to give Celebrity the edge on food but I was really disappointed on their new menu. HAL is good overall and is the one that least "nickle and dime". On our last trip with Celebrity, we found that they were flogging booze too much. I don't mind the champagne and orange juice but someone was walking around with Bailey's during breakfast. That's a bit much.

For Alaskan cruise, the big thing is the scenic portion. On shore excursison days, you are off the ship with your daughter. On sea day, it usually is scenic cruising so you want to be at your balcony or open deck and enjoy the view. We usually sit close to the bow at the observation area and look at view and wildlife, read a book when not much is going on. On a 7 day Alaskan cruise, there maybe one day of "lure" if you can even call it that, to take on on-board activities.

As to the evening, it's usually dinner and show time and more rest and relaxation. Your daughter may make some friends but there will be so much to see that she may not have time. But then kids makes friends fast anyway ....
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Old Jun 16th, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Why would anyone want to travel any where with a teen? It's an ordeal to drive to the grocery with one.
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Old Jun 18th, 2010, 09:31 AM
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Alaska and "teen heavy" just don't go together. The Alaska cruise population is decidely older, like retirement older or thereabouts. That being said Alaska is a magnificent place to see so if you think you teen would be blown away by breathtaking scenery and from taking great excursion then it may be worth it. However for teen heavy and fun consider a summer Caribbean cruise, esp. the southern route. Most sail out of Puerto Rico which is very neat to see by itself. The islands are fun and though I think the newer CCL ships would be fun if you don't prefer that than consider ships from the Voyager or Freedom class offered by RCL or their biggest and baddest Oasis and Allure. Cheers, Larry
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Old Jul 5th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Sounds like maybe an Alaskan cruise makes more sense when shes 20, and will have less interest in being entertained and more interested in the awe of the surroundings

Thanks all
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Old Jul 6th, 2010, 03:37 AM
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Our Holland America cruise had lots of kids. I havent been on any other line so I cant compare, but would say that HAL was kid friendly. Our teen absolutely loved the cruise, and the activities at the 'Loft.'
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Old Jul 6th, 2010, 09:00 AM
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i went on my first cruise to Alaska when I was 27 and I have to say there were definitely a lot of seniors on board and not much going on at night. I still think your teen can have a great time with some of the activities onboard as the Serenade of the Seas royal caribbean ship I was on had some pretty good food and some activities for teens.

Just spend the money to do the onshore activities like the train ride in skagway, dog sledding, kayaking by the glacier, lots of fun stuff.
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