Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Special Interest Cruising > Family Cruises
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Family Cruises Cruising with kids? Best Family Cruise Advice
Cruise Critic's Family Cruising Resources
Traveling with kids? Best Family Travel Advice
Family Vacation Critic's Family Travel Site

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 30th, 2013, 04:13 PM
Summerlove4ever Summerlove4ever is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 47
Default Cruise with 13yr old Girl

Long story short, I am the guardian for my 13 year old niece and thinking of going on a cruise with my DH and niece on NCL's new ship Breakaway. I have been on several cruises and enjoy them very much.

Never having cruised, nor vacation that matter, with a child (or tween in this case) I am not sure what to expect. My hope is that she will love the teen center and I will enjoy some adult time.

One concern is because she is 13 she can come and go in and out of the teen center on her own. She is a young 13 so this worries me. Any advice? Suggestions? Looking to hear from other parents out there about their experience with their tweens.

Reply With Quote

Old January 30th, 2013, 06:26 PM
rebeccalouiseagain rebeccalouiseagain is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Timonium, Maryland
Posts: 3,792

When you board the youth staff will be positioned somewhere in your path to discuss the youth program and give you the list of activities. Once you board you probably will want to explore the ship and take a peek in the teen center. There will normally be a counselor there to welcome you. The teens will be there in the evening for the various activities. I have a feeling she'll meet people there- in the video arcades and the hot tubs and pool. So she'll find her way. If it's too much for her- she'll hang out with you more but encourage her to give it a try.

Remember to take a notarized letter allowing her to travel with you. If you are the legal guardian call your travel agent of cruise line to make sure you have the necessary paperwork.

You'll also need a copy of her birth certificate with the raised seal or a passport.
Holland America Veendam Canada/New England 4/28/16-5/7/16, Regal Princess 3/27/16 Eastern Caribbean, Holland America Maasdam Canada New England 8/15/15, Celebrity Summit Bermuda 7/26/15 Star Princess Alaska 7/13/15 Norwegian Pearl Pacific Coast 5/3/2014 My Birthday! Celebrity Solstice Alaska 5/8/2014Enchantment of the Seas 12/6/13 Bahamas, Grand Princess Alaska 7/19/13, Celebrity Solstice California Coast 5/13, Serenade of the Seas Western Med (1/4/13)Celebrity Summit Bermuda(8/12/12),Celebrity Infinity Alaska 7/6/12
Caribbean Princess New England (8/11), Holland America Maasdam New England (6/11)Celebrity Equinox Norway (7/09), Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas (4/09) Grand Princess British Isles (08) Holland America Zuiderdam Greece/ Turkey (08) Oceania Regatta Caribbean Southern Caribbean (08) QM2 Transatlantic (07) Celebrity Millenium Western Med (7/07), Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Eastern Caribbean(4/06), Disney Wonder Bahamas (8/05), Celebrity Constellation (4/06), Sapphire Princess Alaska (5/24/05) Celebrity Millenium Transatlantic (5/1/05), NCL Spirit Eastern Caribbean (3/05), Celebrity Galaxy (10/04), Carnival Victory (6/04), Celebrity Zenith Bermuda (10/01), Celebrity Zenith Eastern Caribbean (4/01),NCL Dynasty (12/00) NCL Sky Alaska (7/00), NCL Wind Alaska (5/98), Crown Princess Pacific repo (5/98), Royal Sovereign of the Seas Bahamas (10/97), Costa Victoria Western Caribbean (3/97), Crown Princess Alaska (6/96), Vera Cruz Christmas (1981), Holland America Volendam Christmas (1980), Holland America Veendam Christmas (1975).

Upcoming cruises: Anthem of the Seas Bermuda August 6, 2016, Regal Princess Canada October 2016, and Golden Princess Transpacific July 7, 2017


Last edited by rebeccalouiseagain; January 30th, 2013 at 06:29 PM.
Reply With Quote

Old January 30th, 2013, 07:34 PM
rm1247's Avatar
rm1247 rm1247 is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 209

If you are concerned about her traveling alone back to your room, you can have her call you from the youth center when she is ready to leave. Then you could either come meet her or simply wait in the room for her. When my kids had sign-out privileges in AO, we always required them to call first, use the stairs (no elevators) and they had to stick together. Since she'd be alone, you might want to come meet her when she is ready to leave.

The important thing is that you always know where she is and she knows how to reach you or find you. We never had much luck with walkie-talkies, but phones are usually easy to find and you can call to the room or the teen center. Definitely set some rules for her safety - no going into anyone's room, bringing anyone into your room, don't take food or drink from anyone, etc.

When my son was that age he didn't want to be in the teen program (he prefers to do his own thing - my girls love the kids' programs), but he did enjoy some of the other activities - ping-pong tournaments, trivia, etc.

She'll probably love the youth center and will make some new friends!
Reply With Quote

Old January 31st, 2013, 04:10 AM
dijid dijid is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Midwest America
Posts: 572

How's your daughter's sense of direction? One thing might be to make sure she understands the ship's layout and how to get from the teen center to your room before you let her go. You can have her practice the route if you want. You can also try letting her go out a little on her own in your home town before vacation to give her self-confidence and learn to be a little more savvy. Is she comfortable asking for directions or help? Maybe try reading the book "Free Range Kids." I did, and realized that when I was younger, my friend and I used to walk to the drug store to buy candy - at age 9! We walked to school on our own (in small groups) starting at ag 6. But yet I was hesitant to give my kids the same freedom. Started out slow, but they've built up trust and gained more freedom and everyone's comfortable with it.

You can also have her sign a cruise contract. Here's my favorite thread with examples:http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1199310
Reply With Quote

Old January 31st, 2013, 06:24 AM
topspot's Avatar
topspot topspot is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,198

This is around the age we started cruising with DD (she was 12). We found it best to go the the Teen program the first night, when no one knows anyone. They usually do some activities to help the kids get to know one another. She is still in contact with one of the girls from this first cruise (She is now 17). Cruising is a great way to spend family time, with just a hint of alone time.

July 1992 - Alaska - Regent Star
November 2006 - Bahamas - Disney Wonder
November 2007 - Western Caribbean - Grand Princess
November 2008 - Eastern Caribbean - Eurodam
November 2009 - Eastern Caribbean - Eurodam (dove the Wall)
August 2010 - Alaska - Golden Princess
January 2011 - Southern Caribbean - Westerdam
July 2011 - Eastern Caribbean - Caribbean Princess (Girls only!)
November 2011 - Western Caribbean - Crown Princess
November 2012 - Eastern Caribbean - Emerald Princess
March 2013-Western Caribbean - Crown Princess
January 2014-Western Caribbean - Carnival Dream

May 2014 - Western Caribbean - Carnival Legend
October 2014 - Western Caribbean - Caribbean Princess
July 2015 - British Isles - Royal Princess
Reply With Quote

Old January 31st, 2013, 08:22 AM
dsrdsrdsr dsrdsrdsr is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Lancashire
Posts: 2,679

If she's a young 13, you probably won't have as problem. It's the 13-year-olds who think they're grown up that are likely to get into trouble.
Reply With Quote

Old January 31st, 2013, 08:54 AM
Summerlove4ever Summerlove4ever is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 47

Thank you all so much! Wonderful advice and tips. I feel much better.
Reply With Quote



Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:49 PM.

© 1995 - 2016, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.