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6 best cruises for teenagers that are actually cool

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

Updated

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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

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

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

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.
Go to P&O Cruises website

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

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

Luxury Escapes Luxury Escapes

Up to 61% off Australia holiday packages

Available on select dates until December 2021, including over Christmas and New Year's Eve. Destinations include Adelaide, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney, Cairns, Canberra, Hunter Valley and more. T&Cs apply.

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Uniworld Uniworld

Up to $1,750 off worldwide voyages

Available on select 2021 dates. Destinations include Cairo, Cambodia, Peru, India, Russia and more. T&Cs apply.

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Uniworld Uniworld

Up to 10% off 2022 worldwide cruises

Available on select travel dates when you pay in full within 3 days of booking. Destinations include France, Amsterdam, Paris, Egypt, Vietnam, Cambodia and more. T&Cs apply.

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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

Short break cruises from $236

Available on select dates in 2020 and 2021. Destinations include Auckland, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night Comedy Cruise.

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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

School Holiday cruises from $436

Available on select dates from December 2020 - September 2022. Destinations include Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Fremantle and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

Australia and New Zealand cruises from USD$365

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

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CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

Up to USD$1,000 OBC with Carnival Cruises

Available on select dates in 2021. Destinations include Los Angeles, Mexico, London, Canada and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

Up to USD$1,300 OBC + free drinks and WiFi with MSC cruises

Available on select dates in 2021. Destinations include Miami, Costa Rica, Barbados, Jamaica, Mexico and more. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

Up to 60% off 2nd guest + kids sail free on worldwide cruises

Available on select dates in 2021 with Royal Caribbean Cruises. Plus get 30% off 3rd and 4th guest and up to USD$1,000 OBC. Destinations include Mexico, Bahamas, Alaska, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and more. T&Cs apply.

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Travel Talk Travel Talk

Up to 50% off Turkey sailings

Available on select travel dates in 2020 and 2021. Package includes accommodation, meals, transfers and guide. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

Up to USD$1,300 OBC with Celebrity Cruises

Available on select dates in 2021. Destinations include Bahamas, Japan, Argentina, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

Up to USD$1,000 OBC with Princess Cruises

Available on select dates in 2021. Destinations include Los Angeles, Australia, Canada, Spain, London and more. T&Cs apply.

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Uniworld Uniworld

No Single Supplement for solo travellers

Available on select 2021 trips to, Germany, Venice, Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest and more. T&Cs apply.

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Uniworld Uniworld

Up to 10% off 2021 cruises

Available on select 2021 dates when you pay in full within 3 days of booking. Destinations include Asia, Europe, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Russia and more. T&Cs apply.

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Deal ends

G Adventures G Adventures

Up to $427 off worldwide sailings

Available on select sail dates from October 2020 and May 2021 to Cuba, Croatia, Maldives, Thailand, Geece and more. T&Cs apply.

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Uniworld Uniworld

Up to $700 off River Heritage Club members

Available on select 2021 dates. Destinations include India, France, Portugal, Spain, Egypt and more. T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirect CruiseDirect

Last minute cruises from USD$109

Available on select dates in 2020 to Australia, New Zealand, London, Amsterdam, Italy, Greece and more. T&Cs apply.

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Destination International Destination International

Up to $200 19-days Antarctica cruise with flights

Available on select dates from 28 January - 25 February 2022 and 27 January - 24 February 2023. Includes return economy airfares from Australia to Buenos Aires, airport transfers, accommodation and on board meals. T&Cs apply.

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Destination International Destination International

10-night Papua New Guinea cruise from $1,059

Available for travel on 21 November 2021 departing from Brisbane. Includes on board meals. T&Cs apply.

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TourRadar TourRadar

Up to 50% off worldwide cruises

Available on select travel dates to Croatia, Greece, Egypt, London, Turkey, Italy, France and more.

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TourRadar TourRadar

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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P&O Cruises P&O Cruises

One-way cruises from $236

Available on select dates in 2021 and 2022 to Adelaide, Brisbane, Albany, Thailand, Singapore and more. T&Cs apply.

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Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
21 Oct 2020 Up to 61% off Australia holiday packages ********
20 Oct 2020 Up to $1,750 off worldwide voyages ********
19 Oct 2020 Up to 10% off 2022 worldwide cruises ********
16 Oct 2020 Short break cruises from $236 ********
8 Oct 2020 School Holiday cruises from $436 ********

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