First-Time Teen Cruiser 101 (Part 2)

| February 2, 2009
CruiseMates Teen Editor

Never been on a ship before? Here's what teens need to know and can expect.

Teen Clubs -- What Are They Like? For teens on a cruise, the ship's teen club is usually the best place to meet and make friends. On the first night of every cruise, there's a teen meet-and-greet where you can break the ice and mingle with other teen cruisers. Granted, the initial teen meet can be awkward and uncomfortable because there are plenty of shy-at-first people. But once the ice is broken, you usually have a new group of friends by the end of the first night. And once you do, you're pretty much set for the week. As long as you are pleasant and open to the experience, you're bound to make friends. It's easy because you're all (literally) in the same boat -- you all are looking for some teen interaction.

As for teen activities, most ships offer dance parties (most nights), games, scavenger hunts, pool parties, disco/theme nights, video games, etc. As the cruise goes on, most teens use the teen room as a meeting place from which they go off on their own to hang out and "do whatever." However you choose to use it, the teen club is a great facility to have onboard.

What To Do All Day Most days, your ship will visit a port of call. Before you depart for your cruise, go online with your parents and look at the shore excursions that your ship offers. That way, you can collectively decide exactly what is best for all. If the official shore excursions aren't your thing, no worries -- there are usually other things to do in port. Try researching the destinations ahead of time so you're not scrambling with what to do the day your ship pulls into port.

When your ship stays out at sea all day, these "sea days" have more of a rhythm to them. A typical sea day for me would be: wake up, eat breakfast, hang by the pool until lunchtime, lunch with family (or friends if you run into them), more pool/friend time, back to the cabin to get ready for dinner, dinner with the family, up to the teen club to find friends, and hang out with friends until curfew. I'm not saying that your sea day schedule will be the same, but a lot of people tend to spend their days at sea like that. Don't forget about the onboard activities: All cruise lines have a daily schedule with all the activities listed for the day -- things like bingo, poolside games, shows, and lots of ways to win free stuff.

Think you're an expert now? You might be, but before you leave, check back here to read some questions fellow first-time cruisers have. Maybe yours will be the same as theirs.


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