Our teen editor Dan answers specific questions for teen cruisers
So summer vacation is right around the corner, and it seems like a couple of times a day the same Question:s keep popping up from teens on the CruiseMates message boards. So in this article I figured I would Answer: some of the most frequently asked Questions about teen cruises.
Question: Can I cruise at 18 by myself?
Answer: Yes -- but only on one cruise line, Princess. Princess allows guests who are 18 and older to book a cabin alone. However, everyone in the cabin (all your friends) must be at least 18! If you have anyone under age 18 coming along, you must have an adult over 25 in the room. But don't expect a major party time on Princess if you're 18. The line's drinking age is the same as on land -- 21.
Question: What is Club O2?
Answer: Club O2 is the new teens-only club created for Carnival Cruise Lines in July of 2005. It is currently featured on Carnival Conquest, Glory, Destiny, Legend, Liberty, Spirit, Triumph, Valor, Fantasy, Sensation, Ecstasy and Fascination; but by the end of 2006, every Carnival ship should feature a Club O2 -- a teen hangout during the day, and at night a teen nightclub. Each club has a teen director who is in charge of 02 activities, which vary from one ship to another depending on the style of the director.
Question: How old do I have to be to get into Club O2?
Answer: Club O2 was designed for 15-17 year olds. However, if you are 18 and still in high school, and can prove that you are still in high school, chances are they will bend the rule for you. However, if you are 13 or 14, sorry! Carnival is really trying to appeal to older teenagers and get away from the whole "Camp Carnival" assumption that youth programs are just for younger kids.
Question: What do most 15-17 year-olds do on the cruise besides go to the dance club and meet other people? Is there anything else?
Answer: Well, I don't know what else you would want to do! Typically, if I am not hanging out with my new friends, I hang out with my family or do stuff on my own. I enjoy taking naps -- something I don't usually have time to do at home! You can also use the gym to work out, play basketball or miniature golf, lay out by the pool and get a tan, eat lots of food and spend time in ports.
Question: What can you say to break the ice? Is it hard to meet people on a cruise?
Answer: No! It is not hard at all to meet people. You just have to go with an open mind and eventually things will work out. Don't freak out if you don't meet someone the first night; it takes people a few days to warm up. As for an ice-breaker line -- trust me, you don't want my pick-up lines. Some teens who are more outgoing than others, and they are the ones who can bring a bunch of people together.
Question: How are the arcades?
Answer: I am not an avid arcade game player, so I can just give you some passing observations. It really varies from ship to ship. Obviously older ships have games that are not as cool; the newer ones have better games, but it seems like some cruise lines aren't too big on the upkeep and maintenance of the games. It drives me nuts when I want to play California Cruising' and the shift knob is broken off! Back to the Question:, the biggest arcade is probably on Princess Cruises' Grand Class ships. In second and third place, respectively, would be Carnival Conquest and Royal Caribbean's Voyager Class ships.
Question: What if your first group of friends is a dud?
Answer: LEAVE! It's your choice who you want to hang out with on vacation. If they don't seem to be your type of people, find some other teens. You only have a week, and I doubt that there will be any "drama" resulting from it. One thing to remember is that the older you get, the harder it is to meet people. So if the teens in your first group aren't your type, just try to find some other people.
Question: What can't teens under 18 do?
Answer: Teens under 18 are unable to gamble in the casino or drink liquor. However, on Royal Caribbean guests who are 18 years and older can consume beer with parental consent. Currently Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are the only lines with this rule. Also, guests under 18 are not allowed to use the adult nightclubs.
So there they are, the most "frequently asked Question:s" about teen cruising! Hopefully this article has Answer:ed your most common Question:s. Remember, though, if you have a Question: that wasn't covered, post a thread on the teen boards and you will get a prompt message back!