A family cruise is really an ideal vacation choice for families with teens. In 2012 over 1,600,000 kids took a cruise with their parents. Besides all of the obvious reasons why a cruise is a fun vacation idea, there are some particular reasons why parents with tweens and teens should really pay extra particular attention and consider planning a family cruise vacation:
1. Food is included - Parents who have tried filling up the belly of a teen age boy will certainly appreciate how much of a savings this can be! ALL of your family's meals are included in the price of your cruise. The choices range from unlimited buffets, to fine dining venues, unlimited snacks and 24 hour room service. Often parents don't calculate the cost of food in their vacation planning. Many parents feel they have to pay for food whether they are at home or on the road. Most fail to appreciate how much extra food costs in vacation destinations, especially Caribbean islands where much of the food has to be shipped in. With a cruise, your teens can eat as much as they want, whenever they want.
2. Most Cruise ships Charge By The Number of Passengers In a Cabin - Not by the ages of each passengers. By contrast, most hotels have adult and kid rates. A "child" is usually defined as "under the age of 12". This means as soon as your kids turns 13, they will be required to pay full adult rate.
Cruise ships charge by the number of guests sharing the same cabin. The first two guests pay 1st & 2nd rate which would be comparable to "double adult rates". After that 3rd, 4th, 5th and even up to 6th passengers would pay LOWER rates. It doesn't matter if those passengers are age 3 or 103. This means parents with teenagers can really save BIG BUCKS on a cruise vacation compared to a hotel stay.
3. MORE SPACE FOR LARGER FAMILIES - Most of the newer cruise ships have been built with family suites. Some will accommodate up to a family of 6 very comfortably. Again, most of the family of 5 or family of 6 hotels limit the number of adults & children that can share the same room. Again, because cruise ships do not charge by age, not only are your teens charged a lower fare but everyone would be allowed to share the same cabin, no problem.
4. You Can Pick Your EXACT Cabin - Regardless of costs, some families would prefer more privacy, space and not having the entire family try to share the same bathroom with teenage girls. The cruise lines will allow guests to select the EXACT cruise cabins they want to stay in when they make their deposit. Of course this is based on availability but it means you CAN select adjoining cabins with a door (so that you can keep an eye on your teenage girls). With hotels, guests cannot select their specific rooms. This means, just because you pay for 2 hotel rooms it does not mean they will be adjoining or even close to one another. With hotels, adjoining rooms is a "request and never a guarantee".
5. More Activities for Teens - Family cruise lines have invested heavily in supervised teen activity programs. The cruise ships offer age specific lounges and clubs for tweens and teens. The activity list is long with everything offered like craft classes, DJ school, video games, movies, surfing lessons, cooking classes, Dance parties, zip lines, private teen pool & deck area, even teen supervised shore excursions. Most resort kid programs end at age 12. A cruise ship offers teens some supervised independence.
Although a cruise is an excellent vacation choice for families with teens, not all cruise ships are created equal. It's best to work with a knowledgeable and experienced travel agent who can help you choose the sailing and ship that is best suited to the likes and needs of your family.