Cruising with Tweens on the Carnival Dream

This post was written by the Experimental Mommy in partnership with Carnival Cruise Lines. All opinions remain 100% my own.

Snapchat. Selfies. Friends. Instagram. Facetime. These are the staples of my tween daughters’ lives. While they loved cruising with Carnival 3 years ago, I was not sure how they would take to being unplugged and disconnected from friends for an entire week.  Last time we sailed on the Carnival Dream, the girls loved participating in Seuss at Sea, hanging with Mom and Dad at the pool, and learning to make towel animals. But this time I knew would be different.  I knew my two tweens would want a little more independence (which is scary for Mom) but I was also excited to experience the new adventures available to us now that the kids were older. While this cruise visited ports we have already explored, I knew it would be a whole new World!

How to Keep Your Tween Entertained while Cruising (and even forget about Snapchat!)

  1. Hit the Slides: Not only is Carnival’s WaterWorks a great way to cool off in the summer heat, this activity is one way I was able to give my tweens a little independence. Many lounge chairs within sight of the water play area, so I picked a home base and off they went! Bonus: I brought my favorite book and enjoyed a few hours of relaxation myself!
  2. Laugh it Off:  After dinner, my tweens loved attending the family friendly comedy nights at The Punchliner. There’s nothing like making fun of parents to put a smile on your tween’s face.
    Zero Proof Drinks on Carnival
  3. Head to the Bar: For non-alcoholic drinks, of course! My tweens loved the frozen zero-proof beverages and they are still asking me to make the infamous Nutella Pizza.
    Nutella Pizza
  4. Get Pampered: Being without your iPhone can be stressful. Tweens can chillax at Cloud 9 Spa aboard the Carnival Dream during the one hour Teen Pamper Party (additional fee required).
  5. Go for the Gold: There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition. Take your tween to the onboard arcade, mini golf course, foosball tables or basketball court….and maybe “let them win” once or twice.
  6. Team Up: We all loved cheering on teams consisting of other Carnival passengers as they competed in “Hasbro, The Game Show”
    Monkey Encounter
  7. Go On An Adventure: Because we were traveling with tweens, there was a ton of shore excursions to choose from since their ages did not exclude them from much. We decided on excursions that would take them out of their comfort zones such as braving the zipline, cave swimming and encounters with monkeys. Watching them conquer fears and support each other was worth every penny.
    Canoeing in Mexico
  8. Go On a Hunt: Circle “C”,  a dedicated lounge just for kids ages 12-14, hosts Scavenger Hunts in the evening. It was a great way for my tweens to make new friends and have some parent-free time.
  9. Dive-In to the Big Screen: Catch a movie at night under the stars on the Lido deck while swimming in the pool! Mom and Dad can lounge on the deck and enjoy some popcorn, too!
  10. Eat It: Unlimited ice cream. Enough said.

In the end, my tweens survived an entire week disconnected from their screens and actually enjoyed spending time with family and living life to the fullest. While wifi packages are available on board, we managed to keep that secret hidden well! To learn more about cruising with Carnival, visit www.carnival.com.

cruising with tweens

Comments

  1. There’s a way to get them to forget about Snap Chat? What manner of sorcery is this?! Seriously, though. Great post. It’s always nice to get the kids interested in family instead of a screen.

  2. robin rue says:

    I have been wanting to go on a cruise with my kids for a long time. I think they would love it.

  3. It is great to have an excursion with no phones for a change. I don’t know if my kids could make it but I would love a week off. All you can eat ice cream must be a little risky but I will live on the edge, sounds like an amazing vacation.

  4. Catherine Sargent says:

    It looks like you had a great time. I have been on several Carnival cruises and it is always a blast. I always eat too much ice cream.

  5. These are great ideas! It might actually be refreshing when the kids are able to step away from the phones and have some real life fun!

  6. This sounds and looks like such a great time! I am certain my family would enjoy something like this, loads of fun on the water!

  7. I have been considering going on a cruise with my family. It seems like cruises have something for every age range.

  8. Ya’ know, I’m going to consider a cruise JUST to get the kids away from their phones. LOL!! So not kidding.

  9. It’s definitely different when you have tweens versus little ones. It sounds like you handled it well!

  10. Going for the pampering is a gold mine. They’re definitely into that.

  11. I have some nearing this age. Boys are pretty easy most of the time lol

  12. Wow looks like you had a great time and you got to do so much! These are great tips for parents with tweens! Now that my kids are grown I just worry about pool time, beach time and what drinks I want LOL

  13. This is a good way to get the kids out and away from the social media life. But it really looked like you guys had fun!

  14. I love this write up on Tweens on a Carnival Cruise. I am going on a Carnival Cruise next month myself!

  15. That’s so awesome that you got to take them on a cruise! I would love to take our kids on one someday.

  16. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    Your tweens sure had a blast. It is always good to be able to take the kids to experience something new during the summer. Like you, I did take my kids on a cruise when they were that age, and another time when they were in their late teens. They loved it and I know they’ll be taking their future families on cruises too.

  17. Our next family vacation is hopefully going to be a cruise. My oldest is totally screen-obsessed and I love the idea of unplugging her a little! Looks like your girls had fun!

  18. My Teen Guide says:

    Thanks for your tips. Reading this post came just in time. My sister will be taking her tweens on a cruise next week and she is worried about activities to entertain her kids. I will share this post with her.

  19. Amy Desrosiers says:

    Our family would totally love to cruise with Carnival. It is on my bucket list of things to do with my family.

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