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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 Take a teen on a cruise? What, are you nuts?
 Which cruise lines are best for teens?
 Is there a cruise discount for teens?
 What kinds of shipboard activities are there for teens?
 Do soft drinks cost extra? What's a "Soft Drink Card?"

 Take a teen on a cruise? What, are you nuts?
      We’re not nuts - we're smart. Think about it: what do teens want most from a vacation (if not from life)? Independence and fun! On a cruise, they’ll have both. They’ll have almost total run of the ship with very little chance to get into trouble. And if they’re on the right cruise - and we’ve already taken care of that for you in these “Best Cruises for Teens” pages - they'll have more fun things to do than they’ll have time to do them!
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 Which cruise lines are best for teens?
      First, check out our list of "Best Cruises for Teens." Aside from that list, here are some factors to consider when matching a cruise to a teen:

  • Ask where, not which. Where the ship is sailing is about as important as which cruise line you’re sailing on. For example, an Eastern Europe cruise on Royal Caribbean (a cruise line known for its excellent teen offerings) is not going to offer as much for traveling teenagers as a Caribbean cruise on Holland America (a cruise line not especially known for its appeal to teens).
  • Keep it short and warm. All things being equal, teens prefer shorter (3-7 days), and warmer (the tropics, for example) cruises. Your teen would probably enjoy a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas more than a 12-day journey to Scotland, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands.
  • Keep it cool. Ships or ports that offer cool things to do, like bungee trampolines, DJ lessons; swimming with dolphins or hiking across ancient, crusty lava flows - these things rate high on most teen lists.
  • Bigger is better. All things being equal, your teen is more likely to find others in his or her age group - and more onboard activities geared towards this age bracket - on the larger (80,000+ tons) ships.
  • Teens aren’t cut from the same mold. Some are into sports and games, some are into the Internet and history, some are into both. Talk to your kids about the ship’s itinerary and the onboard options to get an idea what it is they're looking for. Maybe that Scotland cruise does sound perfect!
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 Is there a cruise discount for teens?
      No, there isn't. Passengers age 13 and above are priced as "adults," although they do receive the standard third, fourth or fifth passenger discount (where available and when applicable) if they're traveling with two full fare guests in the the same stateroom.
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 What kinds of shipboard activities are there for teens?
      Teens can smell overly-structured activities a mile away. The cruise professionals know this so they're careful not to "over program" teen activities. With this in mind, here's what's out there for teens sailing on the larger ships of major cruise lines:

  • Teen-specific spaces. "No adults allowed." Teen-only discos and teen-only bars (coffee, soft drinks, etc.) allow your teen to go out "clubbing," if they're so inclined.
  • Teen get-togethers. Parties, talent shows, pizza parties, karaoke contests, beauty make-overs & spa packages, Jacuzzi parties, nightime outdoor movies, virtual reality theaters - all bring teens together in unstructured fashion.
  • Hi-tech stuff. Internet cafes, video arcades, computer workshops, science and technology projects, nightime star-viewing - these all work, too.
  • Sports. Sports courts (volleyball, basketball, deck tennis), ice-skating, bungee-trampolines, Ping Pong, rock climbing walls, inline skating, pool games - these are some examples.
  • Hanging out. The most popular teen pastime of all! A lot of ships have restaurants that appeal to teens - retro 50s-style diners, coffee shops, ice-cream parlors - as well as the buffets and poolside grills. And some of the biggest ships (notably, Royal Caribbean's largest) have "virtual malls" onboard - a city block of shops and eateries to hang in!
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 Do soft drinks cost extra? What's a "Soft Drink Card?"
Cruise Line
Soft Drink Card Program?
Price for Soft Drink Program
Yes- Fountain Fun Card Check for price once onboard Available for purchase at any bar
Yes- Celebrity's Soft Drink Program $5.00 per day per person plus 15% gratuity Purchase of package must be for entire cruise
Yes- Costa Kid's Card $34.50 for 20 soft drinks or non-alcoholic drinks throughout entire cruise  
No- Soft drinks are free!
Yes- Cunard Soft Drink Package $3.75 per day pus 15% service charge for unlimited soft drin ks, water and juices by the glass Purchase of package must be for entire cruise
No- Complimentary Sodas at beverage stations (but not at bars!)
Holland America
Yes- Fountain Soft Drink Card 7 days=$26.25
10 days=$37.50
Yes- Kid's Crew Program 4-5 days= $10
7ays or more= $39.50
Available for kids ages 3-12
Yes- Soda Package less than 7days=$10
7 days=$20
10 days= $22.50
With a reusable mug add $2.50
No- All soft drinks, hot beverages, mineral waters and juices are complimentary onboard
Royal Caribbean
Yes- Fountain Soda/Juice Package $4.00 per person per day
- a 15% gratuity charge will be added
Good for sodas (no cans) and juices. Includes Coco Cay and Labadee!
No- Soft Drinks are complimentary onboard
No- All Soft drinks are complimentary onboard
Note: All information noted above is subject to change at any time and without notice
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