An unhappy teenager is the last thing you need hanging around on your family vacation. But you can keep the frowns at bay by planning a cruise on a teen-friendly ship. Cruises, many of which offer a wide range of activities for everyone from 2-year-old tots to bingo playin' grandparents, almost always feature something special for older kids and teens -- especially nowadays. Of course, some ships are more suitable for teens than others. These are the best cruises for teens.

Written by Caroline Costello

Disney Fantasy

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
1067 Family Reviews
Nearly identical to Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy also offers AquaDuck, as well as Goofy's Sports Deck, where teens enjoy mini-golf, basketball and virtual sports simulators. Vibe is also available on Disney Fantasy, and teens get to participate in ghost tours, perform in plays, relax in dim-lit, personal pods or swim in a pool of their own. No matter their age, teens, along with their families, will like "Disney's Aladdin -- A Musical Spectacular," too.

Port of Call: Port Canaveral
Recommended Hotel: Country Inn & Suites Cape Canerval

MSC Divina

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
580 Family Reviews
It's an exciting time to sail with MSC. The cruise line recently announced a private island in the Bahamas and the upcoming addition of LEGO-themed playrooms on select vessels. In 2017, select ships will also feature shows by Cirque du Soleil.

Want to cruise on MSC? MSC Divina is an excellent choice for families with teens, who enjoy Y-Team for ages 12 to 14 and MSC Generation Teen Club for those ages 15 to 17. Activities include sports tournaments, dance-offs, karaoke and more. Plus, the ship features the Formula 1 Simulator -- teens will feel like race car drivers in this unique experience! They'll also like the virtual roller coaster in the 4D movie theater.

Port of Call: Miami
Recommended Hotel: EPIC - A Kimpton Hotel

Anthem of the Seas

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
76 Family Reviews
Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas has redefined what it means to cruise, particularly for families, and even more so for families with teens. One of the newest mega-ships to hit the high seas, Anthem features a SeaPlex, with bumper cars, roller-skating and even a trapeze; RipCord by iFLY, a flight simulator; FlowRider, a surf simulator; and the North Star, an observation capsule that rises high above the ship. And those activities don't even include the Scratch DJ Academy, open mic/karaoke events, parties and night clubs just for teens. The high-speed Wi-Fi is a hit with teens, too.

Port of Call: Bayonne, New Jersey
Recommended Hotel: Courtyard Newark Elizabeth

Carnival Sunshine

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
454 Family Reviews
Carnival Sunshine features a ropes course (Sky Course) atop the ship (talk about an adrenaline rush), water park, video arcade, mini-golf and sports complex... and that's just the beginning. Other fun for teens includes Circle C for the 12- to 14-year-olds and Club O2 for ages 15 to 17. Activities include video games, karaoke, and teen-only parties.

Port of Call: Port Canaveral
Recommended Hotel: Residence Inn Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach

Norwegian Breakaway

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
331 Family Reviews
Launched in 2013, Breakaway is decidedly Norwegian Cruise Line's most innovative ship, and one that will certainly please your teen. In fact, it has the line's biggest youth and teen facilities. On Deck 16 (and conveniently located next to the video arcade), Entourage offers everything teens want: foosball, air hockey, a dance floor, lounge and large screens for video games and movies. The shows on board are top-notch, too, and something the whole family -- teens included -- will enjoy. We recommend "Rock of Ages" and "Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy."

Port of Call: Manhattan
Recommended Hotel: Ink 48, A Kimpton Hotel

Disney Dream

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
367 Family Reviews
Don't let the name discourage your older kids who think they've outgrown cartoon characters. There's tons that teens will love on Disney Dream, and much of it doesn't even involve Disney. The AquaDuck, for one, is cruising's first "water coaster" at sea. It runs the span of 2.5 football fields with hair-raising twists and turns, even zig-zagging over the ocean! Dream's tween club, The Edge, feels grown-up and sophisticated (cool fact: it's located in the ship's funnel), with a massive video wall for gaming. Teens ages 14 and older can enjoy Vibe, which has its own splash pools, lounges and club far removed from adults and little brothers and sisters. And social media-addicted teens will be ecstatic when they discover the computers that allow them to post pictures of themselves splashing down the AquaDuck.

Port of Call: Port Canaveral
Recommended Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites Port Canaveral

Carnival Dream

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
395 Family Reviews
Another "dream" for teens is Carnival Dream -- it's as teen-friendly as they come. Carnival wisely created two separate clubs for teens on board Dream: a special tween-only club for 12- to 14-year-olds, called Circle C, plus Club O2, a hang-out for older teens, ages 15 to 17. Circle C boasts a dance floor and movie screenings, while Club O2 kicks the sophistication up a notch with its own dedicated DJ and a cheeky soda bar.

For spa-going teens, Carnival's fleet-wide youth spa is tops. Treatments include Surfer's Scrub, a sea salt body scrub that incorporates seaweed and mint, and Y Care for Your Hair, a conditioning hair treatment with a French braid styling session.

Port of Call: Port of New Orleans
Recommended Hotel: New Orleans Marriott

Oasis of the Seas

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
1277 Family Reviews
The world's second largest cruise ship (behind Allure of the Seas), Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas offers all the bells and whistles for passengers of any age -- and teens are certainly no exception. There are two teen centers, divided by age -- 12- to 14-year-olds and the 15-to-17 set. The clubs are equipped with DJ lessons, a juice bar and hip lounges, plus a youth spa with treatments geared toward teens. Ship staff also host fun theme nights and events just for teens, such as karaoke competitions. This is all in addition to a spate of activities the whole family -- including your finicky 15-year-old -- will enjoy, like FlowRider, an onboard surfing simulator; a rock-climbing wall; a zip-line; the AquaTheater, with jaw-dropping, water-themed performances; and even a cupcake shop.

Port of Call: Port Canaveral
Recommended Hotel: Radisson Resort at the Port

Ruby Princess

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
677 Family Reviews
Older kids who aren't into typical teen stuff like video games and dance clubs may be interested in Princess Cruise Line's fleet-wide ScholarShip@Sea program. Various enrichment sessions are offered on board each Princess sailing, from pottery classes to cooking demonstrations. As many as 40 classes may be available on every Princess cruise. On Ruby Princess, teens will also find Nintendo Wii and Sony Play Station 3 in the well-appointed teen center, Remix (for kids ages 15 to 17). Princess Links, an onboard mini-golf course, is a fun diversion for teens (or even the whole family), as well as Movies Under the Stars, during which films are shown beneath the night sky.

Port of Call: Vancouver
Recommended Hotel: Pan Pacific Vancouver

Carnival Splendor

TripAdvisor Rating: TripAdvisor Owl
1198 Family Reviews
The massive Carnival Splendor lures teens with zany attractions and activities that are sure to please even the pickiest youths. A 3-deck high waterslide, a huge seaside theater, a mini-golf course and even singing Maitre D's can be found onboard Splendor. If your teen pretty much lives in a swimming pool, Splendor is a good choice, as its pool is covered with a retractable sky dome and is open no matter what the weather. Splendor offers the same top-notch teen clubs as the aforementioned Dream, which are divided into two age groups. From dance classes to late-night movies to smoothie tastings, both teen clubs have plenty to offer the 12- to 17-year-old set.

Port of Call: Miami
Recommended Hotel: InterContinental Miami

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Country Inn & Suites Cape Canaveral Reviews
kmossman - Apr 28th, 2011

We stayed two nights at the Country Inn & Suites in Cape Canaveral prior to our cruise on the Disney Dream. It was convenient to Port Canaveral and the hotel offered a free shuttle service to the port. During our visit we had the opportunity to... read more
Country Inn & Suites Cape Canaveral reviews
EPIC Hotel – A Kimpton Hotel Reviews
cruisinggirl - Sep 16th, 2009

We decided go on a cruise and have a few days stay in Miami pre-cruise. I found out about the Epic from a friend and found a good rate, although this 5 star hotel can be pricey. We flew into Miami International and took a taxi to the Epic. A porte... read more
EPIC Hotel – A Kimpton Hotel reviews
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dawnstreeter - Nov 14th, 2011

This was a wonderful hotel in the middle of it all and then some. We cruised out of the port and needed a nice clean place to stay but was amazed with the value. The pool is amazing in design and function. The hot tub had a warm water fall with a bar... read more
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