10 Best Cruise Ships for Teens

Chart a course for fun with your teens on a family cruise. Here are a slew of ocean cruises that will appeal to even the most jaded teens.

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March 02, 2020
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Photo By: Disney Cruise Line

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Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Photo By: Royal Caribbean International

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Photo By: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Photo By: MSC Cruises

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Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line

Sail Away on a Teen-Friendly Adventure

There's something for everyone on a cruise ship, even for discriminating teens. From dedicated teen clubs with loads of virtual-reality games to adult-free offshore excursions, today's cruise ships bring the fun for teenagers. Look for water slides, race tracks and massive open-air laser tag arenas, and even the first-ever roller coaster at sea. We've compiled the most fantastic cruise ships and sails that are so amazing teens won't be able to keep themselves from having a good time.

Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Panorama

The brand-new Carnival Panorama sails the Mexican Riviera year-round from its home port in Long Beach, California. Onboard this mega-ship, teens enjoy age-specific activities, like Circle C (ages 12 to 14) and Club O2 (ages 15 to 17). Think dance parties, video games, karaoke and dodgeball tourneys. In the high-flying Sky Zone, the first-ever trampoline park at sea, teens jump, bounce, flip and fly across a gigantic 12-lane trampoline court. Meanwhile, the ship's water park wows with two massive corkscrew water slides There's also the uber-popular SkyRide bike-in-the-sky aerial attraction and Sky Course, a suspended ropes course.

BOOK NOW: Orbitz, From $549 per person

Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian Encore

Chart a course for Bermuda from New York onboard the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Encore, which was Cruise Critic's pick for best new ship in 2019. Teens navigate hairpin turns and race laps at speeds up to 30 miles per hour at the Encore Speedway, the largest race track at sea. There's also an open-air laser tag arena, virtual reality, simulator rides and an escape room. At the Aqua Park, teens can chill with a frozen drink or take on the Aqua Racer, a tandem water slide. In Entourage, teens find a dedicated adult-free zone where they can play video games, listen to music and watch movies with other teens. Order up an over-the-top milkshake from Coco's on deck six. Delicious.

MSC Cruises: MSC Seaside

Sailing to the Caribbean year-round from its home port in Miami, the MSC Seaside wins raves from teens for its adrenaline-pumping onboard activities, like dueling water slides, a full-scale Formula One simulator for high-speed racing and two of the longest zip lines at sea. There are even two full-size bowling lanes (no duck pins here). A brand-new thrill for teens is Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, MSC's private island in the Bahamas, which will make its formal debut in May. Here teens can lounge on eight pristine white-sand beaches, explore the waters on a guided kayak tour, go on a snorkel safari and, importantly, learn about marine life, coral restoration and good environmental stewardship.

BOOK NOW: Orbitz, From $449 per person

Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Radiance

Fresh off a $200 million reno, the newly refurbed Carnival Radiance (formerly Carnival Victory) makes its grand debut in April 2020, sailing summer voyages from New York to the Eastern Caribbean. It's the first Carnival ship with a Big Chicken, an ocean-going version of former NBAer Shaquille O'Neal's popular on-land fried chicken restaurant. Be sure to order the Shaq Attack crispy chicken sandwich. At WaterWorks, the ship's water park, teens can splash and speed along the 203-foot-long AquaTunnel slide and 212-foot-long Twister slide. There's even a massive 75-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket. At the SportSquare, teens navigate a suspended ropes course and get in a round at the nine-hole mini golf course.

Royal Caribbean: Oasis of the Seas

On Royal Caribbean's newly revamped Oasis of the Seas, line up for the Ultimate Abyss, the tallest dry slide at sea. As in, 10 stories of twisty, turny fun. On the top deck, a trio of wet and wild multi-story water slides, including Typhoon, Cyclone and Supercell, wow thrill-seeking teens. Sidle up to Portside BBQ, Royal Caribbean's first-ever barbecue concept. Yum-o. Teens can lounge at Social298, a new youth-centric space with video games, music, movies and a private outdoor deck. Get in a game of glow-in-the-dark laser tag before disembarking at Royal Caribbean's private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay. Here teens will be awed by the tallest water slide in North America and the largest freshwater pool in the Bahamas.

BOOK NOW: Orbitz, From $743 per person

Disney Cruise Line: Disney Magic

After a five-year hiatus, the 2,700-passenger Disney Magic returns to Greece this summer with three Mediterranean voyages departing from Rome. Port stops include Santorini, Mykonos and Piraeus (Athens). Teens can marvel at archaeological wonders like the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Parthenon. Back on ship, teens can sing along to live Broadway-style musicals, such as Tangled: The Musical and Frozen, A Musical Spectacular. The AquaDuck is another fan favorite among teens. This heart-pounding three-story body slide drops riders into a watery tube through a trap door over the side of the ship. At Vibe, kids can chill out, watch television, play video games or simply socialize with other teens.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Seven Seas Mariner

The Seven Seas Mariner may hold just 700 passengers, but there's more than enough onboard — and offshore — to keep teens engaged on this upscale cruise ship. During the summer, this small ship spends its days sailing seven-night cruises between Vancouver, British Columbia and Seward, Alaska. Teens love the "Inside Alaska Program," a brand-new upgrade to the Club Mariner Youth Program. Look for youth-only (as in, no parents allowed) counselor-led excursions in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka and Icy Strait Point. Teens watch artisans hand carve totem poles in Ketchikan and meander the lush, green trails of Tongass National Forest in Juneau. Of course, there are mini golf tourneys and movie nights on the ship, too.

BOOK NOW: Orbitz, From $5,549 per person

MSC Cruises: MSC Meraviglia

There's a lot for teens onboard the MSC Meraviglia, which sails Northern Europe this summer from Kiel, Germany, with port stops in Copenhagen, Helsinki and Tallin. Teens love the winter-themed aqua park with three super-twisty (and super-fast) water slides. There's also a ropes course, a flight simulator, virtual reality race cars and the first-ever Cirque du Soleil at Sea, which wows twice-nightly with world-class acrobatics in the Carousel Lounge. Teens can even make their own chocolate bar and print a message on top at Jean Philippe Maury's Chocolat & Café. Two teen-centric clubs onboard provide an adult-free space to pair up for ping-pong or foosball, play video games and get their jam on at the evening disco.

Disney Cruise Line: Disney Wonder

This summer, the 2,400-passenger Disney Wonder will depart from Vancouver, British Columbia, for seven-night cruises to explore the natural wonder and beauty of Alaska. Teens looking to chillax on their cruise adventure can do so at the onboard Chill Spa. This oasis for teens offers a variety of wellness services, like a hydrating body bronzer for a healthy glow and an invigorating body scrub with lime, lemon and ginger. Teens can also check in at Vibe, an urban, open-plan space to relax. Here they can play video games, sip on smoothies and listen to music with fellow teens. In the evening, look for dance parties and karaoke contests.

BOOK NOW: Orbitz, From $1,965 per person

Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Mardi Gras

Set to debut in November 2020, the brand-new Carnival Mardi Gras is gearing up to wow cruisers — especially teens — with Bolt, the first-ever roller coaster at sea. Expect speeds up to 40 miles per hour as the thrilling coaster twists, turns, drops and drives across 800 feet of metal track. The sea coaster is the focal point of the mega ship's Ultimate Playground, which also includes three colorful water slides, a mini golf course, a full basketball court and a ropes course. The new ship is home to Emeril Lagasse's first-ever sea-going restaurant, Emeril's Bistro 1396, featuring signature dishes like jambalaya and barbecue shrimp (bam!). The ship will claim Florida's Port Canaveral as its home port for tropical voyages to the Caribbean.

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