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Cruising together

Cruise ships aren't just for older people anymore; there's plenty for teens to do, too

Cruise ships aren't just for older people anymore; there's plenty for teens to do, too

March 10, 2009|By LAKIN THOMAS / Pulse Correspondent

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel to a multitude of exotic places all within a week or so? Just imagine: Swimming with the dolphins, snorkeling, laying out on the beach or maybe just relaxing with a cool island drink. These are just a few of the exciting things you can do while on a cruise.

Every summer, and sometimes in the winter, my family and I enjoy going on a cruise for a vacation.

So far I have been on eight cruises. It is exciting for me to go on a cruise because I know I will be going to places that not many people have been to before. Some of the places I have been to include San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Bermuda, St. Thomas, St. Marteen, Mexico, the Caribbean and Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean's private island). The reason I enjoy going to these places is because they are warm and I really don't like the cold, so all these places provide for a warm getaway.

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As exciting as it is to visit the different ports of call, I think being on the boat is just as entertaining. There is a wide range of activities for kids of all ages to enjoy. On every Royal Caribbean boat, there are lounges or hangouts designated to certain age groups. For teens, there is usually a lounge with comfy chairs and sofas, and other teen-friendly things.

Every hour the crew has some kind of activity scheduled that could range from a water balloon fight, to a scavenger hunt around the boat. I remember one time we had to partner up with another person and go around the boat to get signatures from employees. I thought it was fun because it gave us a chance to explore the boat a little and also meet some of the interesting people who work there.

Every employee has a name tag that says who they are and also were they live. I love looking at everyone's tags because many of the people who work on these cruise ships don't live in America. You might see someone who lives in California, and then the next person you meet is from Africa. I also enjoy talking to them to learn about what it is like where they live. It provides a cultural experience as well as a factual one.

Aside from the teen activities, there is much, much more to do on the boat. On some boats they offer an ice cream counter. So if you are tired of lying on the deck and roasting in the sun, you can go down and get some ice cream to cool you off.

There is also an arcade where you can use your cruise pass to play games and sometimes win prizes. Every night there is a show that displays a range of acts from magicians to comedians. There are also the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers, a group of people who are always on the boat. They perform at least two shows each cruise. It's suspenseful to find out what show they will be performing each night.

All together, I can say that I think cruising is the best vacation you can take with your family. You can enjoy spending time with them and going on exhilarating adventures at the same time. I like the idea that there are programs just centered around teens because it gives me a chance to hang out with kids my own age and meet some new friends.

Cruises provide everything that a family vacation could ever need. So if you are looking for that out-of-the-ordinary vacation, bring along the family and enjoy a relaxing and adventured-filled time spent together.

Lakin Thomas, 14, is a freshman at North Hagerstown High School. She loves going on cruises.

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