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Life onboard as a teenager

2nd July 2015

Updated December 2017

 

 

There is no better account of cruising than from a first person perspective, and we are always interested to hear about your experiences.

To gain a new point of view, we had guest blogger Henry Dalton offer us the teenage angle on cruising with the family...

 

As a fifteen year old boy, I’m lucky to say I’ve already been on four cruises. If you’re a teenager who instantly says no to cruising, think again.

Are there many other teenagers?

You might think that cruising is a dull holiday, full of old people strolling around, but that’s not necessarily true. Onboard alone, there’s a wide range of activities for us teens. For a start, almost every cruise line will have a teen club where you can meet people your age and do different types of activities. You can meet people, play snooker, Xbox or whatever it has to offer. Usually these clubs have a detailed schedule of more planned activities throughout the week, that are not confined to one room.

Royal Caribbean's FlowRider

 

What is the food like?

If you’re a food lover, a lot of ships have free pizza services running throughout most of the day, as well as the breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets that go on for a long time. The food tastes brilliant and you’ll probably miss it when you go home.

What active things are there to do?

If you think being on a ship is limiting in terms of doing sports, you’re wrong. Most ships have fully equipped, air conditioned gyms, which will help you keep fit. Usually positioned at the front of the ship, the treadmills, striders, and more, tend to have TV screens with Sky Sports, BBC News, and other main British channels. As well as gyms, sports courts are frequent on big ships. There are sometimes free to use 5-a-side football pitches, basketball courts, mini-golf (if that counts as a sport!), rock climbing, ice skating, and even surfing!

 

 

Are there places to chill out?

You can book to go to the spa for a relaxing massage or treatment, although prices tend to be quite steep from a teenager's perspective. If you want entertainment, a lot of ships have theatres with free shows every night - including magicians, comedians, musicians, and more.

On the outdoor deck, there are swimming pools surrounded by loads of deck chairs, perfect if you’re a lazy sunbather. On a Princess cruise that I went on, I watched Divergent on a big screen, lying on a deck chair under the stars.

 

 

What about the destinations?

As well as activities on the ship, many underestimate the magnificence of arriving in a port with beautiful views. One of my personal favourites was waking up and having breakfast whilst looking at the city of Monte Carlo, Monaco. Lots of teens would find the idea of walking around cities very boring, and admittedly, I thought that at first. But you start to appreciate the iconic features that every place has to offer, and very soon you start looking forward to the next place. If you absolutely can’t walk around, I suggest going on a summer cruise to a place with lots of beaches.

 

 

Overall, cruising is a very fun experience. You get to visit lots of world-famous places without spending too long there, whilst living on a ship that has loads of brilliant activities. So before you associate cruising with veterans listening to classical music, do your research!

Browse our family cruises departing during school summer holidays.

 

Cruises for Young Adults

There are also more and more options for slightly older guests who don't necessarily want a traditional cruise experience. Uniworld River Cruises have introduced their incredible and innovative U by Uniworld brand; a brand which is designed with the needs and wants of 21 to 45 year olds in mind. Think stunning and vivacious European cities, a range of excursions from wine tasting to kayaking, and top international DJs onboard. See what U by Uniword itineraries you could enjoy.


My Regent Seven Seas Voyager Experience

9th September 2013

Updated August 2019

 

We sent Sarah from our sales team out to go and find out more about the highly-esteemed Regent Seven Seas Cruises ship, Voyager. Find out just what she thought of the ship in her detailed review below.

 

seven seas voyager

 

Looking beautiful…

As I arrived at the port of Southampton, the beautiful Seven Seas Voyager stood before me, gleaming in the bright sunshine. The ship looked striking from the outside, boasting stunning balconies and a clean, pristine exterior.

The boarding process was easy and there were no queues or frustrated passengers in the terminal, which has a small café and comfortable waiting chairs where you could watch the passengers waiting eagerly to board the ship. It was lovely to see people looking so happy and ready for their holiday.

Entering the ship was a different experience to what I've seen before.  With many ships, you enter into a large Atrium area, whereas on Voyager there was a much smaller, more elegant looking Atrium.  This set the scene of a stylish, sophisticated and graceful ship and I could not wait to see more.

Sophisticated interior…

From the entrance I took the elevator up to the top so that I could work my way from top to bottom. The pool deck was beautiful. I was blown away with how clean and pristine everything looked - the onboard crew must work extremely hard to ensure every single inch of the ship looks immaculate.

 

seven seas voyager pool

 

A large pool and two Jacuzzis glistened beneath the sun rays. It was 28 degrees at the time, so you can imagine how much I wanted to just take a dip! Sun loungers lined with pure white Regent towels stood perfectly around the pool. There was also an outside café that had a selection of foods and a BBQ. I could imagine enjoying this beautiful deck while cruising around an exotic destination - my idea of a dream holiday. I could have stayed by the pool all day, but I needed to go and explore the interior, so from here I headed to go and see the restaurants.

La Veranda offers a more casual style dining venue compared to the other restaurants onboard. A variety of dishes presented in a buffet style showcased a diverse range of food including grilled lamb chops and sea bass. I didn't want to stare at people eating, but I couldn't help notice everybody appearing to greatly enjoy their food.

 

cruise ship buffet

 

I then took myself to Signatures which is Regent’s famous French restaurant. The décor within this venue was breathtaking. Deep blues and gold's created a luxurious French cosmopolitan restaurant feel. The menu sounded divine with dishes including Quiche au Camembert and Melted Potato Garnishes.

The second speciality restaurant onboard, Prime 7, was my next stop. Upon entering the restaurant, I had to remind myself I was on a ship! Its glamorous, luxurious. and immaculate décor made me feel like I was in a high-end American steak house. The deep brown colours accompanying burnished wood tables and large leather seats create the ultimate setting, before even looking at the menu. The menu had my taste buds going wild; oysters, jumbo lump crab cakes, and 28 day aged prime beef just to name a few.

Looking at all of this made me hungry but I wanted to explore more of the ship before I went to lunch.

So much to see for a 'small' ship…

The Observation Lounge is a quiet, relaxing venue with spectacular views. With panoramic windows covering three sides of the lounge, it is the perfect place to catch the best views of the spectacular destinations that Voyager sails to. The Voyager Lounge and Horizon Lounge are perfect venues to hang out with friends, grab a cocktail and enjoy a variety of entertainment. Again, decorated in luxurious, neutral décor and boasting immaculate, stylish furniture. The Connoisseur Club is a stylish and inviting space, perfectly adorned in dark woods, leather furnishings and deep colours. Here smokers can enjoy a fine cigar and a cognac.

 

seven seas voyager smoking

 

The Constellation Theater appeared smaller than theaters I had seen on other ships, however presented an intimate and comfortable venue to watch a variety of shows. The library, art gallery and internet café were all a reasonable size and provided up-to-date facilities. The casino was small but created a fun, intimate area that I can imagine hosts many fun-filled evenings. The spa was beautiful and definitely somewhere I would want to spend my time. Decorated in warm, neutral colours it created the ultimate relaxation for people going for a treatment. The private treatment rooms were warm and tranquil and would easily allow people to switch off from the stresses of everyday life.

 

Rooms fit for Kings and Queens…

I was lucky enough to go and see the various categories of rooms, and couldn't wait to get back and share with everyone how amazing they are. From all the ships I have been on, these were some of my favourite rooms. All categories boasted spacious, beautiful rooms with the best range of amenities.

The Grand Suite is my favourite of all the rooms, maybe due to the fact it has an area with a private hot tub. The bedroom area is huge - with a large bed that was made so nicely I was scared to touch it. The marble bathroom is stunning, boasting luxurious bathroom amenities and amazingly soft towels. The large living area is perfectly arranged, and it's easy to imagine spending an evening in here, snuggled up watching a film in comfort.

 

regent seven seas penthouse

 

I was also lucky enough to see the ultimate room - the Penthouse Suite. This is huge, boasting a very large living area, private bar, eight-person dining table, and two large bedrooms. Definitely a room for those who are looking for the best in luxury cruise accommodation.

Food as amazing as the ship…

After my full morning of exploring it was now time for me to see if the food was as amazing as the ship. 

The dining room is beautiful, I could certainly tell I was on a luxury liner. With its warm coloured décor, perfectly laid tables and intimate lighting it offered an impeccable atmosphere for the ultimate in cruise dining. The friendly staff assisted me to my table and explained the menu, as well as offering me a choice of wine and water.

The five course meal was one of the best I have ever had on a cruise ship, I could not fault one thing about it and everything was cooked to perfection. The first course was a lobster timbale with melon and guava dressing, followed by a pumpkin soup with lemon grass and ginger. Both dishes tasting out of this world. For my main course it was a choice of halibut with roasted fennel, plum tomatoes and spinach or roast tenderloin with porcini jus. I opted for the tenderloin and was more than satisfied. It actually melted in my mouth and had the most delicious, unique taste.

 

regent seven seas dining

 

I could not resist the Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake for dessert which again, was unbelievable. The warmth of the cake with its melting centre accompanied with vanilla ice-cream was a dining experience hard to put into words. Finally, friandises and coffee completed our meal perfectly.

My Regent Summary…

My day onboard Regent Seven Seas Voyager could not have gone any better. I was truly blown away with all it has to offer. The pristine and elegant open spaces give you a feeling of warmth and remind you exactly what luxury is within the cruise world. The rooms are perfect and some of the best I have ever seen on a cruise ship and the food was truly divine. Regent Seven Seas are an all-inclusive luxury cruise line who will offer you the best in luxury cruising. Flights, transfers, excursions, food and drink are all included within your price so it allows you to have a stress-free time with no hidden charges or large onboard spend bills. I can now see why people choose to sail with Regent again and again and they certainly offer a truly outstanding product. I cannot express enough how much I know you will have the cruise of a lifetime if you choose to go with Regent Seven Seas and I certainly hope I will be back on Voyager one day.


Take a look at our cruises onboard Regent Seven Seas.

More information on Regent Seven Seas.




The Day I Switched On Fun!

3rd September 2013

Updated May 2019

 

One of our most experienced Cruise Advisors Sally had the opportunity to get onboard Carnival Cruise Line's amazing ship, Carnival Legend. Find out all about her experience, and see whether or not this could be the cruise line for you and yours.

Carnival Anticipation…

It has always been my goal to experience every single cruise line out there, and with a list not too far from complete, I was delighted at the invitation to see Carnival Legend so I could tick off Carnival Cruise Lines! The opportunity came while the ship was docked in Dover, and when the morning of my visit came, I packed my camera, donned my 'fun' hat and boarded the southbound train.

 

 

Fun button – On…

After a picturesque journey down to the historic port town of Dover I could see Carnival Legend standing proud in the distance, waiting for us to come and explore her. The boarding process was very convenient, and I could see people did not have to wait in long lines. Everyone had their sea cards in no time. After receiving my pass, myself and my colleague walked up the gangway and could already hear the bass of party-style music. This would certainly put anyone in a happy mind set and ready for a week of fun!

As I stepped onboard the ship I was instantly drawn to the large, striking Atrium. Boasting lit-up elevators, glass spiral staircases and inviting, stylish décor, it was stunning. The Atrium is always an area of a ship that catches your attention first, and I would go as far as to say this was one of the most unique ones I have ever seen.

So much to see…

Soon it was time to begin our tour of the ship, and first we head towards the outer decks. Carnival Cruise Line is famous for their signature water slides, and I was eager to see how fun they really looked. Located at the top of the ship, a large twisted water slide stood waiting for overexcited children to jump in. If I had my swim suit I would definitely have had a go!

 

 

The adult-only retreat area - Serenity - was absolutely idyllic. Decked out with large comfortable lounge-style chairs, plus a private pool, this space offers the ultimate escape. 

The gym was of a large size, and equipped with lots of different weight and cardio machines. Just behind the gym was the spa area, which was decorated in warm orange colours creating a welcoming and tranquil environment. The menu comprised an extensive range of treatments which could be enjoyed in peaceful rooms and carried out by skilled therapists.

The indoor pool is perfect for those who prefer a serene and peaceful environment. The comfortable lounge chairs were set out around a large swimming pool and a number of Jacuzzis, and there was an attentive team of waiters offering bar service so you can easily find yourself with your favourite cocktail in hand.

 

 

From the outer decks we went to see the children and teen areas. Families who go on cruises want their children to have as much fun as they can, and rest assured on Carnival your children will not be disappointed. Zones are split into three groups, 2 to 5 years, 6 to 8 years and 9 to 11 years, and there is so much for them to do. As well as the highly trained, fun staff that take care of them, the children’s areas are inviting and entertaining. The teens area was the perfect hangout for young adults to feel at home while making the most out of time away from mum and dad. The area is equipped with table football, large TV screens and funky seating areas.

The casino was large and hosted a range of tables and slot machines, offering all sorts of gambling games for fun-filled evenings. Alternatively, adults can explore the various bars and lounges - the choice of which is extensive. It's fair to say there is something for everyone, from lively karaoke venues to the more chilled out lounges. 

We were also lucky enough to see the various categories of staterooms. They were all a reasonable size and set out immaculately, containing all the amenities you would need in a stateroom. I was particularly impressed with the size of the bathrooms, they appeared larger than the ones I have seen on many other cruise ships.

 

 

Time to dine…

Before this trip I had heard mixed reviews about dining with Carnival Cruise Line, so I did not know what to expect.

The dining room was stunning and boasted vibrant décor that created the feeling of being in a large modern city restaurant. A friendly waiter showed us to our table and we sat down to a perfectly laid spread and enticing menu.

The salmon we had to start was divine, accompanied with candied tomatoes, grapes and apple. I had never tasted such a unique fish dish. Following this we were delighted with wild mushroom ravioli coated in truffle oil. It is hard to put into words how amazing this tasted. During this meal everyone sitting at my table collectively said how impressed they were with the food. It was then on to our main course which was a fillet mignon, served with sweet potato mash and roast vegetables. I chose to have my beef well done - something I know many people disagree with! - but rest assured it still melted in my mouth and tasted out of this world. I was more than satisfied and about to give the dessert a miss…until they told me it was warm chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice-cream. How could I resist? Again, this tasted perfect.

 

 

Just as I was finishing my last spoon full, the fun continued in the dining room! In true Carnival-style the dining staff broke out in a dance that all of us were thrilled to watch. It was a great added touch that reminded us of the fun, happy persona that Carnival Criuse Line exude.

Can I stay...

It is normal to want to stay onboard after a ship visit, but I really wanted to stay onboard Carnival Legend for a cruise. I was pleasantly surprised by all it had to offer and the variety of public areas that offer a brilliant selection of entertainment for everyone. The food was excellent and gave me only a taste of what else is offered in the dining venues onboard Carnival Legend.

Carnival Crusie Line advertise a fun, relaxing, and innovative experience and I believe they could not be truer to their word. I will definitely be back onboard for a cruise one day, and I can not express enough what a fantastic time you will have onboard should you choose a cruise onboard Carnival Legend.

 

 


A Taste Of Luxury

20th August 2013

Updated August 2019

In order to get better understanding of what luxury cruise line, Oceania Cruises, are all about, we sent a member of the team - Jo - out onboard their ship Nautica. Find out everything she thought in her review below.

 

oceania nautica exterior

 

When we first arrived at Southampton cruise port and spotted Nautica, I thought she looked beautiful, elegantly sat waiting for us to come onboard.

The first thing we said to each other was how different check-in appeared. There were no queues and the terminal appeared empty - it was so nice to walk straight up to check-in and have our passes within a few minutes. Due to the ship only carrying around 700 guests there is were no apparent crowds or check-in lines, which was extremely pleasant. There have been times where I have spent up to an hour in lines at check-in to board ships due to the volume of guests.

After check-in we were escorted onto the ship and the luxury was evident straight away;

 

Oceania Nautica: Ship or Country Hotel?

 

From the minute I stepped onboard there was a very different atmosphere to anything I'd seen onboard a ship before. Where usually you'd step into a grand atrium or a shopping-centre inspired Boardwalk, this time it felt like I had just stepped into a quaint country hotel. I gained a sudden feeling of warmth. A very smartly dressed crew member wearing white gloves then escorted us to an elevator and took us up to Deck 10 where we were served welcome drinks in the Horizons Bar.

 

welcome drinks

 

The itself had a tradition mahogany style décor and boasted three walls of panoramic windows that allowed views of the surroundings from wherever you were sitting. This would be a perfect place to be as you go in and out of the stunning ports of call that Oceania visit. I could picture myself sitting here with a cocktail as you sail out of Venice during an evening time….wow!

While we enjoyed the drinks, we were given a short presentation about Oceania including information about their destinations, ship upgrades, and a general insight into the company. Oceania claim to have the finest cuisine at sea, and boast that the food onboard is one of their main focal points. It was clear that they invest a lot of time and money in their onboard food selection and it was really exciting to hear about their array of dining options - including the famous 28 day aged beef that is cooked in a water bath for 72 hours. After hearing this we were all hoping that this was going to be on our menu for lunch!

Time to explore…

It was now time for us to go and explore the ship. I really wanted to visit the pool deck as I had wondered how it would compare to the larger ships. It was stunning, I can honestly say it was one of the prettiest pool decks I have seen. The deck chairs were perfectly set out around the pristine pool and Jacuzzis. The wooden deck chairs all had soft Oceania logo towels perfectly laid on them, with a head rest and a place to put your cocktail! I particularly loved the double deck chairs -something I have never seen on a ship before.

 

oceania pool deck

 

From the outer deck we went to check out the Canyon Ranch Spa. Upon entering it felt like walking into a traditional spa in an old country hotel; it was beautiful. The spa was again of traditional dark wood décor and had a range of treatments. It also had a selection of clothing items to purchase, including country style ‘Canyon Ranch SpaClub’ logo-ed apparel.

I really loved the traditional, homely feel the ship gave and felt a sense of tranquillity as I walked around. I think it would be a wonderful experience to feel like you are staying in a country hotel while sailing the ocean to some of the most amazing destinations in the world.

We also saw the elegant library, card room, casino, and internet café. They all had such a homely feel and gave a real sense of comfort and relaxation.

 

oceania nautica library

 

We then took a peek at all the speciality restaurants, as these are something Oceania are very proud of. All the restaurants are complimentary onboard and no pre-booking is necessary. Our first stop was Toscano, an Italian restaurant. It boasted neutral décor that instantly gave you the feeling of a being in a luxurious fine dining venue. The menu and accompanying wine sounded divine. Decked out with Versace plates and the finest selection of cutlery, it looked magnificent.

We then went to Polo Grill, the onboard steakhouse. The décor here was very different to Toscano, with mahogany carpets and deep red cutlery, it's more of a modern, sheek restaurant. Again, the tables were laid out to an extremely high standard and clearly displayed high quality cutlery. This was starting to make me hungry and it was approaching lunch time, so we made our way to The Grand Dining Room.

The 'Finest cuisine at sea’...

This was the moment we had all been waiting for, after all the talk about the food it was time to see if it lived up to expectation!

The dining room was of very classic décor with pastel, floral curtains, patterned carpets, and classic chandeliers. As I sat down I was scared to touch anything on the table as it had been laid out immaculately! The plates, cutlery and accompanying dinner service were set out perfectly, not a millimetre out of place.

The Versace plates which we were told cost $300 were beautiful - definitely an extra special touch to the dining table that made us feel like guests at Downton Abbey.

 

versace crockery

 

As the waiter handed me my menu, my eyes lit up and I think yours will too when you see this; a six-course lunch including:

1. Fingerling Potato – with Sturgeo Cavia Echire Butter and Fresh Chives

2. Risotto All’Aragosta – Arborio Rice with Roasted Lobster Medallions in a Lobster Broth Reduction

3. Den Miso Glazed Seabass – Wrapped and Cooked in Hoba Leaf

4. Slowcooked Sjort Rib Perigourdine – Semolina Gnocchi, Vegetable Casserole and Crispy Parmesan

5. Zen – Manjari Chocolate Bar with Milky Gianduja-Yuzu and Hazelnut Croquant

6. Petit Fours and Macaroons

And believe me, it tasted as amazing as it sounds. Every dish was cooked and presented perfectly and it all tasted delicious. Plus the red and white wines that accompanied the meal were also perfectly matched.

It was certainly a dining experience I will never forget - it's not every day you get to eat caviar off a Versace plate with a mother of pearl spoon!

With our stomachs well and truly satisfied it was time to say goodbye to our Oceania experience and share our thoughts on the experience.

Final thoughts …

This ship visit was a completely different experience to the others we'd been on, and it's clear to us that Oceania offer a unique and special experience.

 

oceania nautica staircase

 

Overall the ship was very elegant and homely; sitting in front of an open fire in the library on a ship, what a beautiful thought! The deep, traditional décor gave it a very warm and relaxed feeling, and I can certainly see why people choose to cruise with Oceania again and again. I would definitely recommend a holiday on Nautica for the ultimate escape in a home away from home!

If you'd like to experience this stunning style of cruise for yourself, browse through our range of Oceania Cruises' Nautica itineraries to find your own special getaway.


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