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Traveling with teens which cruise line to choose?


DimSum
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I'm planning a cruise for my family.  My kids are teens 17 and 15 so they no longer want to waterslides or the rope course.  Why cruise line would you suggest to sail on?  We have done Disney, NCL, MSC and Princess.  We do not like the mega ships (5000+ passengers). But we are a foodie kind of family.  We love good food and lots of varieties.  

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If they no longer need the bells and whistles, it might be time to choose by itinerary.  If you do don’t like the biggest ships, try some of the older, smaller ones.  The Spirit class and Dream class of Carnival, or the S and E class of Celebrity.  EM

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16 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

If they no longer need the bells and whistles, it might be time to choose by itinerary.  If you do don’t like the biggest ships, try some of the older, smaller ones.  The Spirit class and Dream class of Carnival, or the S and E class of Celebrity.  EM

 

Yes they no longer want the bells and whistles.  They want a ship that has great food and lots of choices of places to eat. Itinerary is second in their opinion.  I will look at the ships you suggested. I have not been on those cruise lines.  Thank you!

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If food is your priority, not NCL.  On my last NCL cruise 6 years ago, the food in the MDR was not great but the specialty restaurants was amazing, so my review basically said if you care about food, just compare the basic fare on another line to NCL with the dining package since the specialty food is amazing.  But on my cruise last January, NCL now includes specialty dining in a "free" at sea package in which you only pay taxes and tip and get some specialty meals, and the quality was much lower than it had been.  We were served ice cold steak and ice cold sides at Cagney's, the specialty steak restaurant.  The steak was cooked perfectly, but served ice cold.  Only one of the specialty meals was worth the upcharge and was better than the free included food on the other lines we'd sailed (Cunard, Princess, RC); for the other 5 specialty meals the free food on the other lines was better.

Edited by kitkat343
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  • 3 weeks later...

I feel like most cruise lines are not going to have that "wow" factor for the included food. They have to cook for a large amount of people. However, maybe you can consider a dining package on a ship such as Royal Caribbean. We did that on a longer cruise on RCCL on a smaller ship so we would not be bored in the Main Dining Room and the specialty restaurants were good. Oasis class is going to have more variety of specialty restaurants though so it is a larger ship.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a 15yo g & 17yo b…we have always booked one cabin for all for of us, focus is family vacation since we know times are changing and they are growing up and we will only have so many family trips left of our core unit.

 

Here’s our takeaways from what they told us after our last cruise (they’ve only done carnival):

-This cruise was way more fun than the others when we were younger

-more independence, we let them pal around together and our older son was happy to keep his younger sister safe (but they get along really well and are close)

-we didn’t force them to go to the camps for teens

-bored of the ship (did this one more than once)

-favorite part was visiting the ports and doing the AIs at the beaches

-never do spring break again it was awful

-they actually enjoyed the time we spent playing yahtzee and eating evening dinners as a family

-they thought that bringing a 12 pack of their favorite soda was awesome and didn’t even care about the bottomless bubbles packages

-they loved that we got them each a $100 gift card (using points elsewhere) for carnival to spend as they chose on what they wanted without having to check in. anything above was their expense

-since they’ve been traveling since they were little they kind of know the drill and don’t make it a huge deal if a curveball gets thrown our way. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

 

So, this upcoming cruise the main goal was to do a completely different kind of ship on Carnival. I don’t think the line you choose matters as much as how your kids handle travel in general. They are all pretty similar with activities and food, because that is what works and what sells. 

Edited by Sundsgn
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