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Gem vs Encore for teens


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I'm hoping for some advice. I'm deciding between two cruises, both Eastern Caribbean for next March. A 10 day on the Gem vs a 7 day on the Encore. Obviously 10 day is preferable to 7 day, so that's a point to the Gem. 

However, my 14 yr old does love the water slides and other activities so I'm wondering if the Gem might be too boring? The 10 day itinerary has 4 sea days.

I know a lot of this is personal preference but would be interested in what other people with teens might advise.

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1 hour ago, Xyla said:

I'm hoping for some advice. I'm deciding between two cruises, both Eastern Caribbean for next March. A 10 day on the Gem vs a 7 day on the Encore. Obviously 10 day is preferable to 7 day, so that's a point to the Gem.  However, my 14 yr old does love the water slides and other activities so I'm wondering if the Gem might be too boring? The 10 day itinerary has 4 sea days.

I know a lot of this is personal preference but would be interested in what other people with teens might advise.

Well the Encore hasn't done any sailings yet so the nearest comparison would be Gem vs. Bliss. I have sailed on the Gem and loved it. However we were with a 5 and 7 year old. They loved the kid's program. The Encore does seem to have more wow factor with the go karts, laser tag, and water slides for older kids. My gut feeling is 4 sea days for a 14 year old might get a bit old for her however if she makes friends easily  that would make a difference and might be easier on a smaller ship.

Edited by Peachypooh
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While my kids love water slides, they're also perfectly happy playing with other kids in the pool.  You can also bring blow up pool toys to increase the fun.

 

Of course, they also like lazing in their beds and playing on their phones and tablets.

 

And there's Entourage, as well.  To say a Jewel-class ship has nothing to entertain a teenager is a bit laughable in my opinion.  Unless they're ridiculously spoiled they should be able to find entertainment.

 

We do make sure that the port days are full of entertainment.  That way the sea days are sort of resting up for/from the port days.

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36 minutes ago, dcruiser50 said:

I would go with the encore and it's many activities. The Gem really has nothing to entertain 14 yr old kkds

Disagree based on our spring break cruise on the Bliss with a 17yo dude.

 

Carts and tag run thin early in the cruise. There's no sports court, free activity and easy place to meet. We didn't recall shuffleboard either. Teen was borderline bored on the Bliss at the end. He uses teen club on a daily basis. 

 

I think the Gem has lots of activities and the teen club. 

 

Also compare the shows. Bliss had adult shows, not really family oriented shows. Bliss shows are good but not for teenagers or kids. No acrobats, magic, etc. 

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You didn’t say if your 14 year old was a girl or boy.  I have not been on the Gem or any of those class ships but I have been on the mega ships including the Bliss.  At the time of the Bliss cruise my son was 14.  He enjoyed the Bliss but not as much as you would think.  He is very active and very athletic.  He isn’t one to lay around by the pool but he occasionally likes to go on the slides.  He really missed the basketball court and ropes course.  He thought the go karts were just okay but that there weren’t enough laps and with all the smaller kids who were having trouble they had the speed way too slow.

 

The Encore I am sure will be a very nice ship.  Remember that the go karts, laser tag and galaxy pavilion are all additional fees so that expense will add up quickly.

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Do you like an intolerably crowded pool deck, a spillover crowd that will ruin the once-quiet Waterfront, no free Adults Only area with no SpiceH20, no outside views from the front of the ship unless you're in the Haven, an observation lounge full of sleeping chair hogs that resembles a disaster relief shelter, and a giant up-charge needed for access to huge swaths of the formerly public upper sundeck that is now a giant 2-story Vibe? 

 

If so you'll love the Encore!

Edited by PortFees45
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With my kids, I wouldn’t want to sail on a ship without a sports deck, that’s where they spend a lot of time. All of my teens/young adults enjoyed the Gem, even on the Breakaway they didn’t use the slides/ropes course much. Hanging out with other teens was their focus.

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My 14 yr old is a boy. He has enjoyed the ropes course and rock climbing walls on previous cruises.

Thanks for the varied opinions. We haven't (yet) done one of the newer megaships and I'm a little leery for the same reasons mentioned by others, namely way too many people. We have sailed on the Pearl, I think that is a sister ship to the Gem? 

 

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