WANTED: Upscale Cruise for Families with Teens

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#1
Oakville, Ontario
11 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
My husband and I are professionals in our late 40's. Our two sons are 12 and 14. We have sailed aboard the Disney Dream and Celebrity Silhouette.

We found Disney nice, but a bit young for our boys and it felt very crowded. Celebrity was amazing for us, (although fellow adult passengers were much older than we expected) but not for our boys. Our boys were bored silly with not enough for them to do around the ship. Other teens didn't show up to the X-Club on board during prime Spring Break sailing because there was nothing to do. Since we have only cruised twice, we are wondering if there's a cruise line out there for us.

We are looking for an upscale cruise experience similar to Celebrity that doesn't feel too big or crowded. Lots of great ports since we love active shore excursions. Fun things to do on board for families on sea days. A balanced cross section of passengers from ALL age groups. High quality food and service. Well appointed staterooms.

Does this exist or are we asking for too much?
#2
14,220 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I am not familiar with any big cruise line that will offer everything you want. Where have you cruised before? The Caribbean? If so, perhaps choosing a smaller line or ship and taking a Mediterranean cruise would help. They are so port intensive and usually have so few sea days, you will not really need a ship that offers lots of activities. Alaska may be another good itinerary for you; lots of activity on shore.

Consider looking at Windstar; absolutely no children's activities, but I have seen well behaved teens having a great time on a Med cruise on Windstar. They are off the ship most of the day anyway. Food is great, lots of activity, wonderful service, etc. Usually a good cross section of sailing passengers and most tend to be pretty active.
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#3
Ontario, Canada
1,828 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Just some thoughts ...

Suites on Disney cruises going to the Med, or Southern Caribbean?

NCL suites in one of their newer ships?
#4
Toronto
3,516 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Royal Caribbean is the more family friendly counterpart of Celebrity. Royal Caribbean will have the most things for active teenage boys to do during the day. Royal also has more active shore excursions. The Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas would be the ones I would most recommend for the Caribbean. Freedom of the Seas or Independence of the Seas would be good options too.

Have a look at Alaskan or European cruises as well. Both will have more educational and active shore excursions. These cruises also tend to attract more families with teens than the Caribbean cruises. We (mom, late 40's, ds17, dd14, ds7) have been on a Disney Med cruise and a HAL Med cruise and had good times on both. I too found Disney a little too "young" for us. HAL tends to have more interesting itineraries than other cruise lines. We've also been on a Princess and a Royal Caribbean Alaskan cruise. Both were good as well.

Celebrity, especially the class of ships that Silhouette is in, tends to be the main recommendation for cruisers looking for a family friendly experience on an upscale ship. Good luck.
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49 nights with RCCL, 7 nights with Carnival, 11 nights with Disney, 14 nights with Princess, 45 nights with HAL
#5
Michigan
6,713 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by oakville99
My husband and I are professionals in our late 40's. Our two sons are 12 and 14. We have sailed aboard the Disney Dream and Celebrity Silhouette.

We found Disney nice, but a bit young for our boys and it felt very crowded. Celebrity was amazing for us, (although fellow adult passengers were much older than we expected) but not for our boys. Our boys were bored silly with not enough for them to do around the ship. Other teens didn't show up to the X-Club on board during prime Spring Break sailing because there was nothing to do. Since we have only cruised twice, we are wondering if there's a cruise line out there for us.

We are looking for an upscale cruise experience similar to Celebrity that doesn't feel too big or crowded. Lots of great ports since we love active shore excursions. Fun things to do on board for families on sea days. A balanced cross section of passengers from ALL age groups. High quality food and service. Well appointed staterooms.

Does this exist or are we asking for too much?
NCL Haven Suites on Epic or Breakaway?
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Warm Breezes





Cruise History Summary: 15 Cruises, 86 Nights, 12 ships, 4 Cruise Lines,19 Ports of Call, 6 Embarkation Ports
Carnival Sunshine 10/2016 - 5 Night Canada, Carnival Dream 5/2016 - 7 Night Western,Carnival Splendor 4/2015 - 7 Night Eastern, Ruby Princess 3/2014 - 5 Night Western, Norwegian Jewel 10/2013 - 7 Night Western, Carnival Freedom 8/2013 - 6 Night Western,Norwegian Epic 12/2011 - 7 Night Eastern, Carnival Glory 7/2011 - 5 Night Canada, Carnival Destiny 11/2010 -4 Night Western, Carnival Freedom 7/2009-8 Night Eastern, Norwegian Jewel 11/2007-5 Night Western, Carnival Elation 12/2006-5 Night Eastern, Carnival Inspiration 11/2005-5 Night Western, Disney Magic 6/2004-7 Night Eastern, Disney Wonder 11/2001-3 Night Bahamas
#6
Overland Park, Kansas
768 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by boulders
Royal Caribbean is the more family friendly counterpart of Celebrity. Royal Caribbean will have the most things for active teenage boys to do during the day. Royal also has more active shore excursions. The Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas would be the ones I would most recommend for the Caribbean. Freedom of the Seas or Independence of the Seas would be good options too.

Have a look at Alaskan or European cruises as well. Both will have more educational and active shore excursions. These cruises also tend to attract more families with teens than the Caribbean cruises. We (mom, late 40's, ds17, dd14, ds7) have been on a Disney Med cruise and a HAL Med cruise and had good times on both. I too found Disney a little too "young" for us. HAL tends to have more interesting itineraries than other cruise lines. We've also been on a Princess and a Royal Caribbean Alaskan cruise. Both were good as well.

Celebrity, especially the class of ships that Silhouette is in, tends to be the main recommendation for cruisers looking for a family friendly experience on an upscale ship. Good luck.

Hi! For your Alaskan cruises which did you prefer? I am in the thinking about it stage...I know itinerary is way more important then line, but was wondering how you would compare Princess vs Royal.
Thanks
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Laura





X Millenium 2001
X Galaxy 1999
CCL Fascination 5/96
RCI Majesty of the Seas 1/95
#8
Glendora, California
44 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Sounds like Norweigan Breakaway trip to Bermuda has a lot for teens. The ship itself has the Entourage club just for teens, 5 great waterslides, a rope walk course, mini-golf, basketball. Bermuda also seems to have a lot of cool activities, such as the Crystal caves, bike tours of the island, swimming with dolphins etc. We are setting sail June 5th with our teens who are 14 & 15, so we are sure hoping it all keeps them busy!
#9
Toronto
3,516 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by mollanjake
Hi! For your Alaskan cruises which did you prefer? I am in the thinking about it stage...I know itinerary is way more important then line, but was wondering how you would compare Princess vs Royal.
Thanks
I liked the Royal Caribbean ship, Radiance of the Seas, better than the Diamond Princess. The kids club on Diamond Princess was better for my ds6. Although "everyone", at least on the Alaskan board, says that Glacier Bay is a must, I didn't feel that way. I really preferred Hubbard Glacier. Although Hubbard was also on my Princess itinerary, we didn't get there. I really liked Whittier on the Princess itinerary. We went on the 26 glacier cruise which was great. Overall, both had pros and cons and they come out pretty much equal.
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49 nights with RCCL, 7 nights with Carnival, 11 nights with Disney, 14 nights with Princess, 45 nights with HAL
#10
Tasmania
574 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
We are in a similiar position ,a forties couple with a teenage son who have done alot of independent travel ,we have never cruised before and in the end we booked a 12 day med cruise with only 2 sea days on the Royal Princess as the ports of call appealed and we can pre stay Barcelona and post stay Venice .
We think it unlikely that we would utilise any of the organised activities on the ship but rather do things as a family ,our son is 15 so he dines and socialises with us as a rule.
I am somewhat of a sceptic in regards to cruising but we will give it a try and see how it works out.Regards Anthony
#11
Overland Park, Kansas
768 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by boulders
I liked the Royal Caribbean ship, Radiance of the Seas, better than the Diamond Princess. The kids club on Diamond Princess was better for my ds6. Although "everyone", at least on the Alaskan board, says that Glacier Bay is a must, I didn't feel that way. I really preferred Hubbard Glacier. Although Hubbard was also on my Princess itinerary, we didn't get there. I really liked Whittier on the Princess itinerary. We went on the 26 glacier cruise which was great. Overall, both had pros and cons and they come out pretty much equal.

Thanks! Have been doing tons of reading and am leaning toward RCI Radiance..... When did you go that you missed Hubbard?

Sorry this is off the original topic
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Laura





X Millenium 2001
X Galaxy 1999
CCL Fascination 5/96
RCI Majesty of the Seas 1/95
#12
Toronto
3,516 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by mollanjake
Thanks! Have been doing tons of reading and am leaning toward RCI Radiance..... When did you go that you missed Hubbard?

Sorry this is off the original topic
It was mid-August, 2011.
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Previous Cruises

49 nights with RCCL, 7 nights with Carnival, 11 nights with Disney, 14 nights with Princess, 45 nights with HAL