Cruises and teens. Many thoughts may be running through your mind right now, but rest assured: it’s a winning combination. There are teen clubs to unleash them in, adventure activities to wear them out on and space aplenty so they feel relatively independent (and you do too).
The Carnival Spirit and the Carnival Splendour are a veritable teen dream. With the biggest at-sea waterpark in Australia (Carnival Spirit), teen-only excursions, internet and social media packages. The kids are sorted. Plus, they haven't forgotten about parents either.
The Norwegian Joy is another teen go-to. There’s a go-kart track that spans two decks. Plus it has virtual reality experiences, mini-golf and laser tag. Norwegian Star, Norwegian Jewel (which travels to Australia) and Norwegian Joy also have a hang-out space called Entourage so the teens can escape the old folk and stay entertained with people their own age. And with a range of bars, lounges and spa facilities, there's plenty on offer for parents.
Disney Dream’s AquaDuck is another top contender. It’s a heady hybrid between a roller coaster and a waterslide that arches over the water at one point in its epic journey. Or, Disney Magic’s Marvel wonderland has the AquaDunk (“dunk”, not “duck”) - a high-speed waterslide that spans three stories. Either way, there’s some fast-moving fun to be had. There’s also the Vibe club on both ships. It’s for teens over 14, which has its own dance parties and karaoke, as well as other teen-oriented activities. Unfortunately, Disney does not travel down under, but check out the departure ports.
Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas could suit the more outdoorsy teenager. Select ships offer trapeze school, ice skating rinks, surf simulators and rock climbing walls, so even the most active teens are covered. There’s also ‘Johnny Rocket’s’ for a burger hit and a speedy internet connection. Or, if your teen is into a spot of pampering, the Oasis-class ships have a the teen-specific YSPA spa area.
P&O Cruises also have a lot to offer on the adventure front. Their Pacific Explorer, Pacific Aria, Pacific Eden, Pacific Jewel and Pacific Dawn cruise liners all cater to adventure-loving teens with zip lining, rock climbing walls and waterslides. There’s also HQ+ for teens between 14 and 17-years where they can chill out with other teens. Plus, parents can relax in The Oasis - an adults-only retreat that's available across most of the fleet.
Princess Cruises takes things to another level with the Rock the Boat Party that lets teens glam it up with their friends. They can even opt for a makeover beforehand. There’s also dodgeball, basketball, air hockey and video game tournaments, dance parties and movie nights to keep those teens happy and harmonious. And when it’s time to chill out, The Beach House, for 13 to 17-year-olds, is a meeting place designed just for teens.