6 best cruises for teenagers that are actually cool

The phrase “bored to death” doesn’t exist on these teen-friendly cruise lines.

Teenagers can be some of the hardest people to please. They’re at that time in their lives where the worst thing in the world is to be seen with their parents – so being stuck with the family on a cruise ship can seem like a nightmare. But with the plethora of activities offered on these cruise liners, your teen will be anything but bored.

They offer everything from wicked waterslides to teenage lounges and parties, so they won’t have to “hang” with you if they don’t want to.

Carnival Cruises

High schoolers get to be independent onboard and onshore with Carnival Cruises’ specially designed teen-only shore excursions.

Some cruises have tons of activities for teens to do onboard on their own, but when the ship docks, it’s likely they’ll be moaning and groaning about having to do boring tourist stuff with their parents. Not with Carnival. This cruise has supervised shore excursions included.

  • Teenage lounge: Circle C for 12–14 year olds, O2 Club for 15–17 year olds.
  • Teen activities: Dive-in movies by the pool, sports deck, WaterWorks, Hasbro – The Game Show.
  • Teen-only parties: Occasional pool parties.
Go to Carnival Cruises via Cruise Direct website

Royal Caribbean

With its award-winning youth program and separate youth clubs for kids and teenagers, pleasing everyone in the family is a breeze with Royal Caribbean.

The kids will be happy to know that inside the teens-only lounge, there are no set activities or programs. All there is are spaces to hang out, play games and attend parties. If they choose to sit in a corner and twiddle their thumbs, that’s up to them.

  • Teenage lounge: Yes.
  • Teen activities: Teen spas, video arcades, rock climbing, DJ academy.
  • Teen-only parties: Yes. Theme dinners, pool parties, teen-only nightclub.
Go to Royal Caribbean via Cruise Direct website

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Dedicated family cruise packages and unique activity programs is only the tip of the iceberg for teens sailing with Norwegian.

If artistic and fun is your teenager’s style, then Norwegian is the perfect fit. On top of its supervised hangout space, which is filled with video games, music and movies, the liner offers activities including sports, music jams, circus tricks and graffiti classes.

  • Teenage lounge: Yes.
  • Teen activities: Music jams, balloon sculptures, graffiti workshops, circus skill workshops, acting workshops, dodgeball, soccer, swimming.
  • Teen-only parties: Norwegian hosts supervised College Night, White Hot Party and Glow teen-only parties.
Go to Norwegian Cruise Line via Cruise Direct website

Disney Cruises

With both onboard and onshore events, a Disney Cruise has something for the entire family. Head to the teen only lounge or enjoy onshore adventures on Disney’s own private island.

Disney offer two different lounges that cater to teens of all ages. With no set activities, your teen can play video games, sing along at karaoke, hit the dance floor or just chill out and eat snacks. What’s probably more exciting are the onshore adventures offered to teens. They can join friends on Castaway Cay, Disney’s own private island, or group up with other teens to head on teen-only Port Adventures excursions.

  • Teenage lounge: Vibe lounge for 14-17 year olds, Edge lounge for 11-14 year olds.
  • Teen activities: Play video games, watch TV, chill out, eat snacks, hit the dance floor, scavenger hunts, themed nights.
  • Teen-only parties: Teen-only dance parties and karaoke nights.
Go to Disney Cruise Line via Cruise Direct website

Celebrity Cruises

From dedicated XBox stations to GoPro movie projects, the tech-savvy iGeneration is bound to flip when they get wind of the interactive experiences that await them on a Celebrity Cruise.

The fun begins once they get their hands on the console. From there, they can participate in gaming theme parties and tournaments against their peers. They also have a private hangout space where they can make friends, play sports and chill out.

  • Teenage lounge: The X-Club.
  • Teen activities: iTake GoPro video projects, Cooking@Sea, gaming time.
  • Teen-only parties: Celebrity Cruises hosts late-night teen-only dance parties.
Go to Celebrity Cruises via Cruise Direct website

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Teenagers aren’t kids. Fact. So MSC doesn’t treat them like they are. Instead the cruise line gives them the freedom to play it their way.

MSC offers a teens-only club space, which is open until 11pm, as well as activities such as sports, video games and spa and hair treatments. Teen-only events include a white teen party, MSC flashmob and formal night.

  • Teenage lounge: Yes.
  • Teen activities: Sports tournaments, dance contests, teen spa treatments.
  • Teen-only parties: Yes. Includes a white teen party, formal night and special Generation Dinner.
Go to MSC Cruises via Cruise Direct website

Top teenage friendly cruise features and which lines have them:

If your teen thinks cruising is for an older crowd, just refer to this list of teen-approved activities you can do onboard ships. Depending on the line and package you book, they’re not all included in the cruise fare, so we’d recommend checking with the line directly to see if there are any extra costs associated with the activity.

Activity Cruise line(s)
Zip lining/Flying Fox
  • Royal Caribbean
Rock climbing/Ropes course
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
Waterslides, waterparks and splashpads
  • Carnival Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • MSC
Surfing
  • Royal Caribbean
Indoor skydiving
  • Royal Caribbean
Laser tag/Archery/Laser games
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Celebrity Cruises
Bumper cars/Go karts
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
Ice skating
  • Royal Caribbean
Basketball court
  • Carnival Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • MSC Cruises
Video arcade
  • Carnival Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line

Importance of cruise travel insurance

Family vacations are expensive enough and a lot of work goes into planning the perfect getaway – especially when it comes to hard-to-please teenagers. You shouldn’t need to worry about any added expenses or stress if your trip doesn’t go according to plan.

Getting cruise travel insurance can cover you in more ways than just a regular travel insurance policy, including coverage for missed shore excursions, cabin confinement and even medical evacuations if an emergency happens onboard. Having the right coverage will also come in handy if something were to happen to anyone in your family on the vacation – not just your teen.

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