Last month we took five kids on the Disney Dream, four teenagers ages 15, 13, 13, and 13, one tween, 11. This was an experiment in how teens do on a Disney Cruise. Only one 13, our kid expert, had even been on a cruise let alone a Disney cruse. The 15-year-old is a boy and didn’t want to go. He thought he would be bored, wanted to stay back with his friends, etc. When he was in the terminal waiting to board the ship, he kept looking around and seeing only little kids. He was getting more and more nervous. When we boarded and he saw the lobby his mood began to change. As we toured the ship, he saw the opportunities to have fun. The smiles broke out while testing out all the kids club activities in the different areas and really got big as he coasted on the Aqua duck. At the end, he stayed out with friends he met on Pirate night until after 1 and was seen jumping around troy got get on the jumbo Tron at the DF party on the pool deck. I had a feeling this would be the case as my oldest still got super sad last year at age 17, when it was over and can’t wait to go back in May after her freshman year in college is over. These are true testaments to the truth, Disney Cruise Line really is for all ages and teens will have fun, it is all in what they make of it. Below I will highlight some of the things teens find most fun and I will base it on a shorter Bahamian cruise on the Disney Dream. I do this because most teens cannot take 7 days off unless it is around vacation time and this is a great quick getaway for a family to reconnect and have a little fun away from the overscheduled routines we all have every day.
There is a teen only area on both the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream called Vibe. This is teen only for those ages 14 to 17, no adults. There are chaperones buy counselors that understand the need for teens to be laid back and have some freedom but still allow for supervision. It has the look and feel of a city nightclub. They have a chill area with a 103-foot screen and modular furniture so the teens can feel free to move it around to hang out, there is a smoothie bar, video games and old school video machines like Pac Man. In a separate stage area, talent shows, karaoke contests and dance competitions let teens own the spotlight. A dance floor and video wall set the stage for day-and-night dance parties, and aspiring DJs can even spin and mix tracks! For some mellow time, recline in your own built-in oval wall pod and game or watch a movie on a personal video screen. The Vibe’s outdoor sundeck at the ship’s bow has retro-mod chairs and chaise lounges for sunbathers while splash pools, pop jets and misters help teens maintain keep cool. Deck games such as ping–pong, foosball and “old school” board games set on a giant checkerboard floor offer further amusements. Our younger kids liked this are a as well and it does have open house hours daily so they can all hang together.
What do teens do at port you ask?
Nassau-We did day passes at Atlantis. Although this is pricey, the slides are crazy for teens and the rapids lazy river is super fun. We had fisherman with us and they LOVED the aquarium areas and stingray lagoons. AS we left, one of the 13 year olds said to me, “I have seen this place on commercials before and thought, yeh I will never get to got here and now I am here!” That made it all worth it to me! More info on the Atlantis day passes is below. UI would suggest waiting until you are docking or at least onboard and assured you are going to Nassau on the day scheduled. Disney Cruise Line can change the itinerary to optimize weather in Castaway, fireworks show, etc. You can also take a cab over and walk up to pay once there but they only offer so many a day. Either way, you will take a cab and currently that is running $4 per person one way. When you are ready to go back into town, there are cabs waiting to take folks back as well. http://www.atlantisbahamas.com/daybooking
Castaway Cay-Teens ages 14 to 17 have a very unique shore excursion at Castaway Cay. They start by biking along the Castaway Cay airstrip and bike path by Serenity Bay to the northern side of the island. They then board a rigid-hull boat for a thrilling, high-speed ride on open waters. After debarking the boat, they bike back to the Family Beach, where a snorkeling adventure awaits. First-timers and avid snorkelers alike will enjoy a 22-acre snorkeling lagoon featuring beginner and advanced trails, and loads of exotic sea life! It ends by heading to the Teen Hideout, where they can join friends and counselors for lunch or meet up with family. This runs $50 per teen.
Our teens just snorkeled instead. The beauty of the snorkeling lagoon was they all saw different things! The barbecue lunch on the island was a hit as well.
More fun onboard for the older kids
Chill spa-Guests ages 13 to 17 can indulge in an array of beauty services designed just for teens, including facials, massages, manicures and pedicures.
Cast members keep it interesting. Our servers kept the oldest engaged as well as the rest of the table with their puzzles and brain teasers. He totally got into it.
Grab n Go food-We all know teens have big appetites and food is plentiful on the Disney Dream. From Luigi’s Pizza, Fillmore’s Favorites, and Tow Mater’s Grill on the pool deck where they can grab a slice of pizza, wrap, salad, or burger and head back on the Aqua Duck to Cabanas full buffet that has everything from seafood, soup, salad bar, international foods, and even room service. It is all include in your cruise price and makes keeping those stomachs happy and full.
The unlimited soft serve ice cream is a huge hit with the kids as well!
From a nominal charge, you can grab a gelato at Vanellope’s Sweets and Treats. Not sure what flavor? They are generous with the samples.
For the active teen
Deck 13 has a sports deck where you can find kids playing hoops and at the back of the ship ids Goofy’s miniature golf course.
As you can see, teens have a TON of options and the ability to have fun starts the moment they board. You will see these typical teen sullen faces go to smiles in no time!