|Family Cruise Vacations are wonderful for families with Teens|
We've covered kids, toddlers and babies in previous posts of the Cruising with Family series, now let's look at the opposite end of the childhood spectrum: the t(w)eenagers. Family vacations can be a challenge when some family members are (ahem) less than thrilled with the idea of never-ending family togetherness. A cruise allows for a nice balance of fun, kid-centric activities with just enough of family time. Plus, the relatively safe confines of a cruise ship can be a wonderful place for an older kid or teen to experience some independence.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you and your teens prepare for your cruise:
- Well before your vacation, determine how long their leash will be and talk it through, so kids and parents all have the same expectations.
- How will you stay in touch when kids are off doing their own thing? One option is to set a meeting place, and meet up at predetermined times throughout the day. Another idea is to bring a set of walkie-talkies for easy communication.
- Research the kids program options for their age group; depending on your teen’s personality and interests it may – or may not – be a good fit.
- The kids program may allow kids over a certain age to sign themselves in and out. Determine if this is appropriate for your child.
- Establish ground rules for safety: for example, you may require that they don’t go into staterooms other than your own.
- Be sure your kids are familiar with the ship’s safety procedures. Point out crew members that they could go to, if they’re lost, in trouble, or simply have a question.