Why Cruises Make for Great Family Vacations with Teenagers

Most parents of teenagers will recognize the on-again/off-again nature of their relationship. First, the kids want to spend time with you and suddenly, they don’t. It’s tough enough to juggle that at home, to say nothing of doing it out of town while on a family cruise vacation. Fortunately, cruising offers families seeking vacations with teenagers a lot of flexibility in that teens can get some freedom but within limits, making it a trip that everyone can enjoy.

Teen-Oriented Programming

Nearly every cruise ship has some activities for children and young adults organized by age group. Teen programming is often quite separate from that of the smaller children, giving them their own space on-board the ship. Things like scavenger hunts, gaming tournaments, movie screenings, and dance parties ensure that there’s always something for teens to do. It’s a chance to break away from mom and dad for a bit but in a safe, supervised environment, and meet new people, too.

A Little Freedom for Teens – and Parents, Too

Let’s face it, there’s only so far a kid can go on a cruise ship before he has to turn around and come back. The configuration of a ship and the availability of inclusive core amenities like the buffet make it possible for parents and older teens to go their separate ways from time to time. If parents are lounging at the pool, the kids can go grab lunch together in the buffet before heading off to a basketball game or teen skating session. What’s that saying about distance making the heart grow fonder? On a cruise ship vacation, both parents and teens can enjoy a little freedom and relaxation.

Exciting Variety of Shore Excursions

Kids often enjoy adventures, and the shore excursions available on most cruise ship vacations can provide activities they just won’t get at home. On a Caribbean cruise for example, ports of call might offer things like zip lining, snorkeling and diving, hiking or paddle boarding. They may also find one-of-a-kind excursions based on interests like photography, cooking or art.

Vacations with Teenagers Changes the Dynamic

So much of the friction between teens and parents is situational. At home, there are chores to be done, homework to do, chauffeuring of kids from here to there… and on a cruise ship vacation, both parents and teens can let go of all of it. There’s no asking for help to clear the dinner table or calls for forgotten sports equipment. No need to argue about making the bed or taking out the trash. It sounds corny but taking a cruise as a family allows parents and kids to reconnect as people, removed from all of the daily drama that’s often part of family life. With a little luck, some of that goodwill might last beyond the pier when the ship docks at the home port.

Vacations with teenagers can provide a special kind of challenge because they’re at a tough age – not quite little kids but not quite adults. A cruise ship vacation can offer teens activities geared to their interests, as well as some freedom, exciting excursions, and even some release from typical family drama, ensuring a good time is had by all.

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