6 best cruises for teenagers that are actually cool

The phrase “bored to death” doesn’t exist on these teen-friendly cruise lines.

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Teenagers can be some of the hardest people to please. They’re at that time in their lives where the worst thing in the world is to be seen with their parents. So being stuck with the family on a cruise ship can seem like a nightmare.

If that’s the case with your teen, then turn their frowns upside down with the plethora of activities on these cruise line.

They offer everything from wicked waterslides to teenage lounges, so they won’t have to “hang” with you if they don’t want to.

Arcade in Carnival

1. Carnival Cruises via Flight Centre

High schoolers get to be independent onboard and onshore with Carnival Cruises' specially designed teen-only shore excursions.

Some cruises have stacks for teens to do onboard on their own, but when the ship docks it's likely they'll be moaning and groaning about having to do boring tourist stuff with the folks. Not with Carnival. This cruise has supervised shore excursions exclu

  • Teenage lounge? Circle C for 12–14 year olds, O2 Club for 15–17 year olds
  • Teen activities: Dive-in movies by the pool, sports deck, WaterWorks, Hasbro – The Game Show
  • Teen-only parties? Occasional pool parties
Go to Carnival Cruises

RCL ship view from the top

2. Royal Caribbean via Flight Centre

With its award-winning youth program and separate youth clubs for kids and teenagers, pleasing everyone in the family is a breeze with Royal Caribbean.

The kids will be happy to know that inside the teens-only lounge, there are no set activities or programs. All there is are spaces to hang out, games to play and parties to attend. If they choose to sit in a corner and twiddle their thumbs, that's their p

  • Teenage lounges: Yes
  • Teen activities: Teen spas, video arcades, rock climbing, DJ academy
  • Teen-only parties? Yes. Theme dinners, pool parties, teen-only nightclub
Go to Royal Caribbean

Bungee jumping in Norwegian

3. Norwegian Cruise Lines via Flight Centre

Dedicated family cruise packages and unique activity programs is only the tip of the iceberg for teens sailing with Norwegian.

If artistic and fun is your teenager's style, then Norwegian is the perfect fit. On top of its supervised hangout space, which is filled with video games, music and movies, the liner offers activities from sports and music jams to circus tricks and graffi

  • Teenage lounge? Yes
  • Teen activities: Music jams, balloon sculptures, graffiti workshops, circus skill workshops, acting workshops, dodgeball, soccer, swimming
  • Teen-only parties? Norwegian hosts supervised College Night, White Hot Party and Glow teen-only parties
Go to Norwegian Cruise Lines

Kids playing instrument in P&O

4. P&O Cruises

Hailed as the Best Family Cruise Line by Out And About With Kids magazine in 2014, P&O Cruises caters to all members of the family with four dedicated kids clubs to suit various ages.

For tweens 11–14 years old, the place to be is HQ. It's the ultimate chillout space with movies, video games and karaoke sessions. For teenagers 15–17 years old, there's HQ+. It's a more adult version of HQ that features a movie-making studio and teen jam

  • Teenage lounges: HQ and HQ+
  • Teen activities: Jam bands, movie-making, movies
  • Teen-only parties? No.

Teens playing videogame

5. Celebrity Cruises via Flight Centre

From dedicated XBox stations to GoPro movie projects, the tech-savvy iGeneration is bound to flip when they get wind of the interactive experiences that await them on a Celebrity Cruise.

The fun begins once they get their hands on the console. From there they can participate in gaming theme parties and tournaments against their peers. They also have a private hangout space where they can make friends, play sports and chill.

  • Teenage lounge? The X-Club
  • Teen activities: iTake GoPro video projects, Cooking@Sea, gaming time
  • Teen-only parties? Celebrity Cruises hosts late-night teen-only dance parties
Go to Celebrity Cruises

At MSC Cruises

6. MSC Cruises

Teenagers aren't kids. Fact. So MSC doesn't treat them like they are. Instead the cruise line gives them the freedom to play it their way.

MSC offers a teens-only club space, which is open until 11pm, as well as activities such as sports, video games and spa and hair treatments. Teen-only events include a white teen party, MSC flashmob and formal night.

  • Teenage lounge? Yes
  • Teen activities: Sports tournaments, dance contests, teen spa treatments
  • Teen-only parties? Yes. Includes a white teen party, formal night and special Generation Dinner
Go to MSC Cruises

Top teenage friendly cruise features and which lines have them:

If your teen things cruising is for an older crowd, just refer to this list of teen-approved activities you can do onboard ships. Depending on the line and package you book, they're not all included in the cruise fare, so we'd recommend checking with the line directly to see if there are any extra costs associated with the activity.

ActivityCruise line(s)
Zip lining/Flying Fox
  • P&O
  • Royal Caribbean
Laser tag
  • P&O
Rock climbing
  • P&O
  • Royal Caribbean
Waterslides/Waterpark/Splashpads
  • Carnival
  • P&O
  • Royal Caribbean
Segway obstacle course
  • P&O
Surfing
  • Royal Caribbean
Ropes course
  • P&O
Indoor Skydiving
  • Royal Caribbean
Dodgems/Bumper cars
  • Royal Caribbean
Ice skating
  • Royal Caribbean
Basketball court
  • Carnival
  • P&O
  • Royal Caribbean
Video arcade
  • Carnival
  • Royal Caribbean

Importance of cruise travel insurance

Family holidays are expensive enough and a lot of work goes into planning the perfect getaway - especially when it comes to hard-to-please teenagers. You shouldn't need to worry about any added expenses or stress if your trip doesn't go according to plan.

Getting cruise travel insurance can cover you in more ways than just a regular travel insurance policy, including cover for missed shore excursions, cabin confinement and even medical evacuations if an emergency happens on board. Having the right cover will also come in handy if something were to happen to anyone in your family on the holiday - not just your teen.

Top teenage-friendly tour deals and flights

Deal

Up to 48% off Australia holiday packages

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select dates until December 2022. Destinations include Adelaide, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, Cairns, Canberra, Hunter Valley and more.
Code

13-day New Zealand cruise from $1,399

Verified Today Expires 30 Nov 2021
Available for travel on 20 February 2022 departing from Sydney. Includes accommodation and onboard meals.
Deal

Up to 60% off 2nd guest + Up to USD$1,000 OBCs on worldwide cruises

Expires 10 Aug 2021
Available on select voyages with Royal Caribbean. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, Vanuatu and more.
Deal

Up to $250 off worldwide cruises with Norwegian Cruise Line

Expires 12 Aug 2021
Available on select dates in 2022. Destinations include Iceland, Germany, Spain, France, Italy and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 50% off deposits + up to $100 OBCs on Great Barrier Reef cruise

Expires 14 Sep 2021
Available on 12 June 2022 departing from Brisbane with Carnival Cruises. Includes onboard meals. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to $300 OBCs + $1 deposits on Tasmania cruise

Expires 14 Sep 2021
Available on 2 December 2022 departing from Melbourne with P&O Cruises. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to $300 OBCs + $1 deposits on 10-night Vanuatu cruise

Expires 14 Sep 2021
Available on 25 July 2022 departing from Sydney with P&O cruises and includes onboard meals. T&Cs apply.
Deal

8-night New Zealand cruise with Princess Cruises from $1,819

Expires 31 Aug 2021
Available for departure on 25 October 2022. Includes one-way flight from Sydney-Auckland, up to USD$300 OBCs and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

New Zealand cruise with pre-cruise stay and flight from $2,345

Expires 31 Aug 2021
Available for travel on 22 October 2022 departing from Sydney with Princess Cruises. Includes one-way flight from Sydney-Auckland, stay at The Grand at SkyCity, onboard meals, up to USD$200 OBCs and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Free drinks and Wi-Fi on cruises

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Plus get flexible bookings on cruises until 30 September 2022. Destinations include Bahamas and Caribbean. Cruises depart from Miami and Orlando. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Brisbane: 7-night Barrier Reef cruise from $849

Expires 14 Sep 2021
Available on 30 July 2022 with P&O cruises. Includes onboard meals and up to $200 OBC. T&Cs apply.
Deal

3+ nights last-minute cruises from USD$180

Available on select travel dates with Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night Caribbean cruise with MSC. Destinations include Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Italy, Alaska and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to $400 shore excursion credits on cruises

Expires 31 Aug 2021
Available on select cruises until November 2022. Destinations include Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Japan, Alaska and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to $1,500 off 2023 cruises

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on select cruises to France, Danube, Paris, Portugal and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 10% off advance purchases

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on cruises in 2023 when you pay in full within 3 days of booking. Destinations include France, Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to $4,000 off 2022 cruises and rail trips

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on select travel dates when you pay in full within 3 days of booking. Destinations include Russia, Italy and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to $1,500 off Europe cruises

Expires 30 Sep 2021
Available on select voyages in 2022. Destinations include France, Prague, Amsterdam, Paris and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Australia and New Zealand cruises from USD$228

Available on select dates in 2021-2022 with Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night cruise with Carnival Cruises.
Deal

$1,199: 7-night Queensland cruise from Brisbane

Expires 31 Aug 2021
Available on 7 March 2022 and includes onboard meals. Plus get $100 shore excursion spending money. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Greece: 20% off trips with Blue Star Ferries

Available on economy class on select travel dates. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Greece: Blue Star Ferries tickets from EUR€20

Available on select travel dates for economy class. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 50% off worldwide cruises

Expires 31 Dec 2021
Available on select travel dates to Croatia, Greece, Egypt, London, Turkey, Italy, France and more.
Deal

Up to 50% off river cruises

Available on select travel dates. Destinations include Egypt, London, Morocco, Jordan, Vietnam, Germany, Austria, Brussels and more.

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