I do not have any children but was on the May 17th sailing of the Zuiderdam. The ship has a private area devoted to teens and from the daily activities, something was always posted for them. It appears all you have to do is ask on the ship what programs are available and they will wisk your grandchild away! I saw several activities for them.
We won't bee on this cruise but we've been to these ports with teenagers.
The catamaran & snorkeling excursion are great for the whole family. Our kids were surprised to learn that we adults could have fun too.
You will be very dissapointed taking a teen on this ship. We just finished a cruise may 17-24. There were 2 cruise directors for the kids on this ship. The program was almost completly canceled. They felt there were not enough kids to support the program. I chose this ship because of the "great kids and teen program" Ha, ha it did not exist. This ship is poorly ran with no control over anythings that happend on it. My 12 year old daughter and 4 friends she had met were playing in the children and adult pool mid ship. A woman who was well over 35 assulted my daughter. She jumped up and hit my daughter so hard in the back that my daughter breath was knocked out of her. She almost hit her head on pool ledge, and did get her foot caught in the water troff along the side of the pool. When she surfaced the pool scared and out of breath the woman began to screem obbsenities at her. The woman and her little group of friends were yelling at my daughter that she was a slut, an f----n *****, white trash scum and everything else they could think of. this was a good 3 hour ordeal, I demanded that security come up. He did and listened to what happend with many other passengers offering him their names because they had seen what had happend. they proceeded to tell him that they were ready to throttle her and can not imagian anyone doing this to a child. Now if this were to happen in any state in the US we could have had her arrested. Instead security officer said there was no law at sea , that she could do what ever she wanted todo to my child. I do know for a fact the there is laws at sea and the captian is law on his ship. they did nothing to difuse this situation and it just kept getting worse. for the next 2 days these people would stick there toung out at my daughter and call her nasty names. I will never sail with holland america again on account of this. Everyone needs to be informed of their policy or lack of policy before they take their kids on any of thier boats.
To kid@hart: I read other posts on this incident from thrid parties that differ in what the mother of this child stated. Not having been there as a witness, I am not sure what really happened. As this mother said in another message she plans to sue Holland America, so obviously she is not personally happy with them. Know that I have also read excellent reviews from many families who have taken their children on this ship so I would not judge your vacation plans on this single post.
However, that said, if you are not taking the children during Spring Break or the summer school break, there probably will not be as many youngstwers onboard just because there will be less children off from school.
There is much more info available on message boards on the Cruise Critis , HAL web site. You may want to also read and post there. I am going on the Zuiderdam next week and am looking forward to it. I have cruised Holland America before and find their product more than meets our needs. Enjoy your vacation.
Actually, Holland America is doing a much better job with kids! They are always adding more and more activities for kids and teens and they have great first-run movies with free popcorn all day and evening, great formal programs with activities for each age group, and the crew and officers love to pamper the kids and give them all sorts of fun perks. Adults are just adults! Kids and teens are VIP guests!