first cruise, with 2 teenagers

Old Dec 30th, 2002, 06:06 AM
  #1  
catherine
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first cruise, with 2 teenagers

We have 5 days available at the end of March. Have traveled extensively (Asia, Europe, Middle East) but never on a cruise. We'll be taking our 13 year old daughter and a friend of hers.

I'm looking for a ship that we can all enjoy (that means no disney!) - the adults like peace and relaxation, good food and wine. Kids need to be entertained as well. Do not want ship that caters to wild partying. Don't want "cheesey" entertainment.

Any suggestions??
 
Old Dec 30th, 2002, 10:52 AM
  #2  
Robin C
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Try one of RCCIs Voyager class ships (Voyager, Exploere, Adventure, Navigator). They have tons of activities for the 13 yesar old to enjoy (rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, mini golf, etc) and a terrific teen program that my kids love. The adults will also love it.

We sailed on Voyager last year and can;t wait to go on another one of these ships.
 
Old Dec 31st, 2002, 01:20 AM
  #3  
Paul Therault
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Hi Catherine,

I would definitely stay away from Royal Caribbean. The Disco and liquor is available to teens through older friends. All mass-market ships are party-type ships. Also the food and wine is only average.

Best to look at Celebrity or the new ships of Holland America who now has an excellent expanded children's program.

Most 13 year olds will get to meet others and hang out together. They are not really into structured programs. When they get together with their new friends they decide as a group which programs itnerest them.

Keep in mind, a ship like a large city and a child can get into trouble. Keep one eye open. They will have a wonderful time with your supervision.

Paul
 
Old Dec 31st, 2002, 03:25 AM
  #4  
Theresa
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The kids are going to be bored on HAL and Celebrity. I would avoid these lines, personally with (2) 13 year olds. My friends who have brought kids on Celebrity have deeply regretted it.

I would look into Princess. RCCL's Voyager class of ship would be a second choice.
 
Old Dec 31st, 2002, 03:42 AM
  #5  
Tracey
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Princess is my suggestion. I am in my mid 30's and I was bored on Celebrity and Holland America. I can't imagine being 13 on these ships. We also found the entertainment lacking on Celebrity (but better on HAL).
 
Old Dec 31st, 2002, 12:39 PM
  #6  
Peter
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catherine - if you had more than 5 days I would heartily recommend one of the voyager class RCCL ships. We have two teenage girls and they would vote the Explorer their best of 13 cruises. Disregard Paul's comments - he certainly doesn't have the perspective of a parent of teenagers sailing the voyager class ships. When his kids were teenagers, the Norway was brand new. What he fails to realize is that ill-behaved teens will find alcohol and mischief on a garbage skif if they want to - it has little to do with the cruise line, ship or anything else.

Since you only have 5 days, I would heartily recommend the Monarch of the Seas. RCCL is a good family cruiseline and the ship, while not of the most modern era, is very clean, and well maintained. It does the western caribbean giving you good ports for active teenager excursions. If you're interested, I and others on this site (excl Paul) can give you advice on excursions.
 
Old Jan 1st, 2003, 01:21 AM
  #7  
Paul Therault
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If one reads carefully Catherine's post ..... good food ... good wine.... peace and quiet .... daughter that has traveled with them in Europe, etc.

Celebrity has an absolutely wonderful children's program with quality staff and quality prizes (not cheap plastic trinkets). I have sailed many Celebrity ships with my family. It is a country-club experience.

Holland America is gearing towards famlies. The Maasdam had more than 20,000 children aboard in 2002. The new Zuiderdam is projecting 30,000 children in 2003. The staff to children ratio is 1 staff to every 30 children. The Waverunner Teen Club has a dance floor where they can dance to a booming sound system and special lighting effects. They have their own game room to play video games, watch movies on a big screen TV, compete in teen games for cool prizes or just hang out with friends. The club also has a pantry with juice and soda machines. Half Moon Cay (private island) has swimming snorkeling, sailing, volleyball and frisbee.

So when parents enjoy elegance, the kids will have a blast.

Think twice about RCCL Voyager since I sailed both the Voyager and Explorer and it is a fact that teens are drinking in and out of the disco. It is a fairly large city, boys and girls. They are fun ships with plenty to see and do but not the experience that Celebrity and Holland has.

I am sure parents know that teens do not tell parents everything and if parents think they do, they are naive. Of course you can trust them ...... up to a point.

Princess has great ships and good food along with a great children's program but I do not believe it is up to Celebrity or Holland's standards. I am sure many will agree.

Paul
 
Old Jan 1st, 2003, 05:51 AM
  #8  
Sara
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As a voice of a mother with teens, we have sailed on all the major cruiselines that our family can afford (HAL, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, RCCL, NCL).

They hated Celebrity. They were so bored. They couldn't wait to get off the ship. Their teen program was lacking a year ago when we sailed. I had heard that their program for 5 year olds was decent but did not compare to Carnival, Princess or RCCL.

The teen program was a little better with HAL, but the teens had far more fun on our trip on Explorer of the Seas and on the Grand and Sea Princess.

I can say that we experienced no problems with alcohol with my teens.

Personally, I wouldn't listen to Paul. We have yet to sail on the new HAL ship (only a few weeks out) and may consider that but the older ships we will not sail on as a family again. My kids felt like the average age on the ship was 80 and I couldn't disgree much with them.

They also enjoyed Carnival's teen program but we as a family didn't like the ship. It wasn't one of Carnival's newer ships.
 
Old Jan 1st, 2003, 06:45 AM
  #9  
xxx
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My girfriend recently sailed on HAL and was bored to death. She said never again. By the way she is 55!! What will a 13 year old think?? She has sailed twice Carnival and wanted something different. If Carnival isn't quite what you want, then I would stay with RCCL. They are a fine line, but of course as in anyplace, you would keep an "eye"out for you child. That is only common sense. Alcohol is easy to obtain on any line.
 
Old Jan 1st, 2003, 11:38 PM
  #10  
Paul Therault
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Please read Catherine's post again.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 06:20 AM
  #11  
catherine
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Thanks to all for your input. But I'm confused as ever. I'm wondering if a cruise is even what we should be considering??

We like to travel fairly loosely - lived in Japan for a couple years, drove everywhere; went to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea with the kids (ages 5 and 9) without an itenarary or reservations. Not crazy about guided tours, unless absolutely necessary- like in Lebanon. Didn't care for Disney at all. Hate waiting in lines or being treated like cattle. Generally rely on local transportation or rent a car when we're in Europe. Don't like to be stuck.

We originally were considering a nine day trip to either France (daughter studying French in school) or Scotland (she loves castles), but schedule dictates only 5 free days.

Our family loves the beach, spent several summers in panhandle of FL - back when it was quiet sleepy place. Didn't care for Cancun, but loved the quieter beaches in Mexico. Didn't much care for all-inclusive resort in Dominican Republic, though beaches were nice. Costa Rica all-inclusive was better as we were able to rent a car and go off on our own. Have not been to Caribbean.

My in-laws suggested a cruise as they have been on many and greatly enjoyed. They've not traveled with kids. Our daughter is quite level headed and am not worried about her drinking or getting into usual teen trouble. She'd be interested in snorkeling, rock climbing, swimming, and so on. She is on the kid side of 13, playful rather than into boys, drinking, clothes. (I know that is gonna change one of these days, and I'm enjoying this while it lasts.)

We were looking for a nice relaxing few days, where we (mostly me!) didn't have to plan a bunch of activities to entertain our daughter and her friend. Where the adults could relax and enjoy a few days as well.

So what do y'all think? Is a cruise for us or should I be looking to plan another type of vacation??
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 06:35 AM
  #12  
thulewx
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Have you considered Windjammer? Good if you can squeeze one more day. Totally different than mainline cruises but still loads of fun and a lot less luggage to hassle with.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 09:08 AM
  #13  
Peter
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catherine - the Monarch would be a wonderful cruise for you and your teens.While the ship is a few generations back, it still has the modern features such as the atrium and modern teen facilities (teen club, etc.). We sailed her sister ship the Majesty when my daughters were 14 and 11 and they had a ball. You can get several different western caribbean itineraries that will be "active ports" with snorkeling, scuba, waterfalls, etc.

As an alternative (pricey but worth it) I would suggest the Radisson Diamond sailing out of San Juan (5 day cruise) that included Tortola, St. Barthelemy, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. Radisson has most everything included in their price to include water sports (wave runners, snorkeling, etc.) and they do it right from the ship. Check it out on their website or go to Expedia for the pricing.

Cruising can truly be relaxing and someone once said "its like waking up in a different five star resort every day."
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 10:37 AM
  #14  
nic
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i have to agree w/ peters last post both recomendations are great choices... Radisson although a litle more expensive has a higher level of service and food and a more interesting itinerary than the standard w. carib. as for paul's last comments HAL would NOT be enjoyed by 13y/o's (and as for his misleading statistics... 30,000 children in a year
compared to the number of overall passangers isnt a very high precentage.)
and besides that fact.. HAl and CEL do not offer 5 night sailings. (paul... before you tell other people to read the origional post more thoroughly you should do the same before posting as the post clearly said they had 5 days!!)
but a cruise is definately a GREAT vacation option that will please everyone.
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 11:39 AM
  #15  
Mary
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I'm sorry I have no advice. You see, we are planning on taking our girls (18 and 16 when we go) on a cruise. I'm already researching so am really interested in what you decide to do. Would you please post a message when you return and give a report?
You can e-mail me that's easier.
Thank you!
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 08:11 AM
  #16  
John
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To Mary;
We have sailed with our two teenagers on eight cruises and the best for teens would have been the Voyager class ships of RCL. They are the ones with the rock climbing, ice skating, etc. Their teen programs are excellent and I would have to disagree with Paul and his comments about alcohol and the disco. Neither I or my wife heard or saw any instances of teen drinking in or out of the disco. Actually, the teens on that cruise were better behaved than on most of the other ships we've been on. You need to take Paul with a grain of salt sometimes.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 08:34 AM
  #17  
greggs travel
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Actually Disney is very nice, with good food and wine. Their adults only deck is ideal to get away from the littler ones, they have a great spa and excellent shows. Their private island, Castaway Cay, allows you to be distanced from all the activities. On my sailing we saw older couples, younger couples and singles. So there is something for everyone,I loved it!
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 09:06 AM
  #18  
jette
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Catherine, reconsider the cruise. Since you've posted on the cruise forum, you're not likely to hear anything other than how wonderful they are. I think I'm a traveler with similar tastes as your own (like to be independent and actually experience places). I tried the cruise thing once. Never need to do it again. What cruisers and cruise lines never tell you is that they are NOT FOR EVERYONE regardless of the ship/itinerary.
There have been lenghty threads on "to cruise or not to cruise". Try a search or repost a similar question on another forum. You'll get a more balanced perspective.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 10:39 AM
  #19  
xxx
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We went on a Disney Cruise for 3 days. 4 in the park and 3 on a cruise. I thought it was great, and we are in our late 40's. Hmmm!! Not sure what that means, but the Castaway Island was a great day. The food was o.k. but I thought it was a nice family type atmosphere. I am not sure I would go Disney again, but I enjoyed my 3 days kids and all. A vacation is what you make of it. Some folks enjoy most things, and some people dislike almost everything. It just depends on ones outlook I suppose.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 10:22 PM
  #20  
sandi
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HEY, WE TOOk two teens, (age 14 and 16) on a 10 day cruise (Princess) and we never saw them. They had the time of their lives, and were busy with new friends...had to force them to show up at dinner just to know they were still with us. Go for it.
 

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