Hi, I am a single dad with a 13 year old daughter. I want to take her on a cruise but have need some advice. Are there any single parent cruises ? Should I let her bring a friend or are there plenty of group activities for young teens?
I have been on cruises but have always been " with" someone. any advice would be greatly appreciated..............Thanks, Tim
Tim, I am sure she would find someone to enjoy her time with but if she has a special friend and you can afford it then that is a great option as well. A few hints though. Make sure you have not only her passport or birth certificate and if possible some sort of photo ID, (a school photo is great), AND a letter from her mother stating you have permission to remove her from the country and allow her to accompany you on this cruise as well as the right to authorize any and all medical decisions for her. This needs to be in a notorized and signed letter. The same would go for any friend that may go with her. If you do not have these letters you will probably be turned away at the peir as they are quite strict about it. If unfortunately the mother is deceased then a death certificate is required for her.
There is an article I wrote on this subject called "Single PArent Cruising." Go back to the main page of CruiseMates.com's family section and scroll down until you see the title above.
Hope this helps.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor
As for the friend, it would depend on when you cruise. If its during a school break (summer, holiday, etc) then she probably would have no problems finding someone her own age on board. If not, and you can swing it, bringing a friend along might be nice as well. Just remember they will be together 24/7 for however long the cruise is and girls can get into it with other girls. Be sure shes a really good friend and you can stand to be around her as well (I know, terrible to say, but its something to consider). My parents used to bring a friend along for my brother. Long story short, it got to be pretty bad after a few days! You might consider just the two of you going for some bonding time (if you dont see her often). Do some fun excursions together, etc. Those would be the times I remembered most when I was older!
Tim, so much depends upon your daughter. Is she open, friendly and gregarious or is she shy and reserved and doesn't make friends that easily. If she is shy then i would definatley suggest that she bring a friend if her friend's parents can afford it. If she is bubbly and outgoing she will have a great time doing all the teen activites during the day and may just want to relax and hang out with Dad for dinner.
My top two picks for cruise lines for teens would be Princess(Grand Class Ships) and Royal Caribbean (Voyager Class Ships) book during school break and there will be plenty of teens aboard.
Hi Tim , I think Lisas post was good, I would also take into consideration what exactly you want out of the cruise, if your daughter brings a friend you will have more responsiblity and exspence, but while actually on the ship you may have more time to yourself, mind you, unless you get 2 cabins , you will also have to be more careful about getting ready and sharing a bathroom. The cabins are small remember.
On shore you will have 2 girls to watch, but on the ship they will most likely never hang out with you( ) this may be a good thing, but ,if you want some serious bonding time with daughter then bringing a friend may interfere.
I think Lisas point regarding your childs personality is important, a shy child is not as likely to make a friend on the cruise, but many kids make friends very quickly on board.