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I am a parent of a 24 and 27 year olds so It hasn't been so long that I can't remember what it was like to have children that age.  At 58 I would have no issue cruising solo. I have the CC roll call or FB to connect with others who are sailing the same cruise. I have had enough social experience to strike up a conversation with other adults who may also be traveling solo or with anyone at a bar, with or without a drink in my hand.  Young adults are like fish out of water when not around their usual surroundings and friends. I think it is really key to try to establish relationships pre cruise. There were plenty of parents of 18-20's on the FB group reaching out to others to find out if they were traveling young adults and trying to arrange a meet up. Granted it would be better if 20 somethings would take the initiative but sometimes they need a nudge.

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My kids are a few years away from this.  I can see at organized activities might be poorly attended.  But if they just did a few on the first sea day, it would probably help introduce the kids to each other.  Something simple like an organized scavenger hunt or meet at the sports court for games.  On the more enhanced ships, maybe offer a dedicated hour on the flow rider, ropes course, rock wall, etc on day 1.  

 

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8 minutes ago, CharmCity2000 said:

My kids are a few years away from this.  I can see at organized activities might be poorly attended.  But if they just did a few on the first sea day, it would probably help introduce the kids to each other.  Something simple like an organized scavenger hunt or meet at the sports court for games.  On the more enhanced ships, maybe offer a dedicated hour on the flow rider, ropes course, rock wall, etc on day 1.  

 

Adults sign up for the connection party or meet and greet pre cruise. Maybe the cruise line could set up one that is targeted to young adults 18-23 and email them or text them an invitation pre cruise. They are all attached to their phones so perhaps the Royal App could be used in planning events or games.   

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My daughters went through this...3 years apart so youngest was still in teen club and oldest was left to figure things out on their own.  It has nothing to do with being able to drink alcohol.  Not every kid is comfortable making friends with strangers in one day, or trying to join a group of kids that has already formed without them.  I recall that Royal did some informal meet and greet stuff for the 18-20 range but it would be helpful if they could do more.  They do a fantastic job with teens, and they have a lot of activities for adults, but the adult activities don't always look good to that 18-20 range.  Bringing a friend on the cruise is a good but expensive option.  Hanging out with the parents is often the best choice, but that usually doesn't make either the young adult or the parents happy. 😁

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My oldest were 19 and 20 on our last NCL cruise. There were young adult meet ups, plus they are outgoing and made it a point to try and form a group, which they did. They had been on previous cruises in the teen club, and meeting others was a priority. They did say it took more time than meeting other teens.

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The majority of my twelve cruises that I have been on, I have been in the 18-22 year old age range.  The difference between this age range and adults on the ship is that this age range is usually traveling with their families.  Therefore, their parents/guardians have a partner or friend that they traveled with and the young adult does not.  When adults go to the events, they know someone and have someone to interact with, while the young adult does not have that companion.  I think that the cruise line should have a structured event in the beginning that has a staff member actually there and facilitating an event, instead of it being a casual meet-up.  Possibly have ice-breakers and other activities that are utilized during college/university orientation that can be recreated on a cruise.  I don't think that the structure and "host" need to be continued after the first event, since those young adults can take it from there.

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While not a solo traveler, could the 20 yo attend the solo cruisers meetings? 

 

I know there will be quite an age range that will probably skew older but we've met some young people cruising alone in the past.

 

Worth a try at least once.

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12 minutes ago, Crazy planning mom said:

What about bringing a friend on the cruise with them?

 

We considered that, but only briefly.  Would add an incredible amount of cost and make the trip not within our vacation budget.  If my 19 year old daughter were the only child going with us, it wouldn't be too bad.  But we also have our 17 year old son.  So not only would we have the cost of an additional person,  but it would make the room situation awkard and the deal we got on two inside GTY rooms wouldn't be possible.  It would also make our hotel requirements different for the night before & one on the drive home different.  I haven't booked those yet, but booking for 5 isn't nearly as simple as booking for 4.  Oh and our vehicle for the drive only seats 4 comfortably, so yeah it took me longer to type this paragraph than it did for me to consider bringing a friend along.  

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2 minutes ago, HBE4 said:

While not a solo traveler, could the 20 yo attend the solo cruisers meetings? 

 

I know there will be quite an age range that will probably skew older but we've met some young people cruising alone in the past.

 

Worth a try at least once.

 

My last few cruises have been solo - only 1-2 people showed up for the solo events, which were announced in the Compass.  

 

Table mates on the Navigator this year had a 19-year-old. There was a meeting for 18-21 young adults and he said no one showed up.  

 

Not sure there is an answer other than taking a friend along, or making friends ahead of time on the roll call, or during the day at events where young people are more likely to spend time. 

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We have only been on one cruise and we had our 4 children with us.  Our oldest is 17 she will be 18 on Nov 22 and I think she would have been a little lost if she didn't have the teen room.  I honestly don't see her ever being into drinking but she could get up on any dance floor and have a great time.  However, I am more worried due to other issues.  She is a bit delayed so number age doesn't match mental age so I can understand how some could feel uncomfortable in that 18 - 20 age especially if going to a club or show is just not something you are into.

 

To OP  - Hopefully next time she is a little more out of her shell and ready to have a good time with or without special drinks.

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On 11/1/2019 at 1:04 PM, Iamcruzin said:

I don't believe that has anything to do with it. They can't drink at home yet they still have a social life. It comes down to the cruise line not having a organized event for this group like they do for the adolescents. They can go anyplace on the ship but a 20yr old isn't going to go off into a bar by themselves whether they can drink or not. It's just awkward. 

Totally agree! Nothing to do with drink, in fact it is no novelty to drink as daughter can drink from age 18 in UK! So she doesnt need to br on holiday to drink! She was more than happy at the silent disco, love and marriage show with us, ice show etc but I think it's more to do with what others have found - a structured fab cruise experience (if teens want that) until 17 then nothing from then, meaning a very different cruise experience than what she was used to! Nothing wrong with her socially, just the fact that she would have enjoyed company nearer her age in sure. Also the Diamond benefits for her seemed different from ours and our teen daughter - not sure why? 

Anyway, thanks for all the constructive replies and to the folks that had found similar. As we live in the NE Scotland and choose to cruise in Caribbean very few of her student friends would afford to come or have time off then either, also (like already pointed out by a great post!) taking another would have been awkward for numbers in rooms etc etc! 

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When people come looking for advice for their 18-20 yo kids, it's not helpful for a bunch of old people to say, 'if you have a problem with it don't cruise'. Some of the responses are rude. This question and comments about the 18-20 yo group come up here on a regular basis, so it is obviously a problem to some.

 

I found that the 18-20 age range is kind of a dead zone in terms of activities. As my 3 children progressed through this, it was not their favorite time to cruise, but they had each other so it wasn't bad. 

 

There is usually an 18-20 meetup group scheduled and you can find it on the 'meetings' posting area they usually have in front of guest services (few may show up and sometimes it is held in a place where all age groups are present). If your 18-20 likes sports that also helps, as they can meet people on the sports deck. Otherwise, I agree that it is an awkward age to cruise but it does get better.

Edited by marci22
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On 10/31/2019 at 10:00 PM, Grandma Dazzles said:

I can never understand comments about 20-year-olds who suddenly can no longer have fun on a cruise.  They can do anything anyone else can do, except drink alcohol.  So sad that alcohol should be part of the equation.  Lots of people of all ages do not drink!  There’s plenty to do for all ages.  If young adults cannot have a good time perhaps they shouldn’t cruise.  What do they do for enjoyment/socialization at home?  

This is just rude.

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On ‎10‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 6:13 PM, Ourusualbeach said:

An 18 or 20 YO can do anything on board that a 22 or 25 YO can do except drink alcohol. They are welcome at any of the bars or events.

Good point.  Some of these comments seem to assume a 20 year old has no life if they can't drink...….:classic_rolleyes:

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42 minutes ago, Grandma Dazzles said:

 

Why?  It’s the truth!  Cruise Compass on every cruise I have been on shows a get together for 18-20 year olds. If they choose not to attend you cannot blame the cruise. 

 

My daughter tried going to this meet up when she was 19.  It was held in the disco at about 5.  I went with her just in case, when we got there about 5 older people at the bar.  We waited for about 10 minutes then left as nobody her age showed up. Later in the cruise she did meet a few others her age but all they were interested in was finding drinks.  She ended up hanging out with us.  Did she enjoy her cruise, yes, but ranked it as one if the lowest from an enjoyment perspective, her next cruise she brought a friend and had a blast.  I am not sure what the answer is but do know this is a tough age for cruising.  If you don't or haven't had kids that age please don't assume you know what it's like for some of them.  A more organized or widely advertised meet up could help many.

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59 minutes ago, akcruz said:

 

My daughter tried going to this meet up when she was 19.  It was held in the disco at about 5.  I went with her just in case, when we got there about 5 older people at the bar.  We waited for about 10 minutes then left as nobody her age showed up. Later in the cruise she did meet a few others her age but all they were interested in was finding drinks.  She ended up hanging out with us.  Did she enjoy her cruise, yes, but ranked it as one if the lowest from an enjoyment perspective, her next cruise she brought a friend and had a blast.  I am not sure what the answer is but do know this is a tough age for cruising.  If you don't or haven't had kids that age please don't assume you know what it's like for some of them.  A more organized or widely advertised meet up could help many.

 

I don’t disagree that for some kids it’s an awkward age.  Cruised with my kids when they were in high school and college and they tended to meet others at the sports court or disco.  The get togethers are in the Cruise Compass - just like they advertise pool activities - I honestly don’t know what else can be done.   You can’t “make” them participate.  I agree that having a friend along can help.  

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As a Mom whose kids are now a bit older I will offer some advice not only for the 20 year olds but also for the 40, 50, 60 year olds... A cruise is a great opportunity to practice some new networking skills. 

 

Put yourself out there and say Hi to the person sitting next to you!  If your at the pool - say Hey! I'm XYZ from New York-- isn't the weather great??? I was thinking of trying that rock wall wanna go check it out with me? 

 

Many people want to make a friend! And even if they don't what the worse thing that happens? they say no? its not like you will ever see them again right?

 

If your into Karaoke- maybe suggest trying to get a group of other folks together while you are hanging by the pool and suggest a time for later at night? Or suggest a hot tub meet up? Again be that person to try and wrangle folks!

 

So maybe discuss this with your kids and make it into a game to try to find friends... 

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