How to Meet Other Teens on a Cruise

Tired of seeing Dad shovel down cold shrimp at the buffet? Wish Mom would stop pointing out how beautiful every feature of the ship is? Want to hang out with people your own age? Here are some tips from a veteran cruiser.


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    Show up at the first teen orientation meeting. If your cruise caters to teens and families, there should be a designated teen hangout where this takes place. Aim to be there a few minutes late to avoid being the only one there, but be sure you have an idea of where the hangout is located. Be confident and not shy, chances are you aren't going to see them again so if you say something stupid WHO CARES? Dress casually and comfortably.
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    Keep in mind that cruises do not follow the same social rules as high school. You need to make yourself stand out. Take a half second pause by the door without looking too desperate, and if you want to be subtle and avoid looking like a loner, now is a good time to take out your cellphone or iPod and pretend to text or fiddle with it. Casually scope the crowd till you see a group that looks like fun. Avoid choosing the quiet, nervous, and, in all honesty, boring group by the corner because you'll be accepted easily - this defeats the point of a cruise, to have fun! Your ideal group should be:
    • a mix of guys and girls
    • talking to each other
    • a fair amount of people (at least more than three)
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    Take a closer look. Is there one who seems to be the leader? Generally this would be a cocky guy who is chatting up all of the group and keeping the conversation going. Go over and introduce yourself, making sure you make eye contact with the leader (But do not stare! Do not make yourself look like a freak!) Do a semi-smile that reaches your eyes and speak clearly but confidently and casually ask if you can join them. It is important to look at the entire group but focus on the leader. This will fan his ego (just a little) and give him an instant favourable impression of you. Note: For guys, this should be toned down a bit. Be a bit less shy- guys can pull off a bit more attitude.
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    Chances are, the group will let you join them. Once you've introduced yourself, sit (Note: Girls, if you are wearing a skirt/dress, be conscious of this!) and ask the names of those sitting closest to you and introduce yourself, smiling and making eye contact. Most likely, at this point the leader will grill you to feel you out a bit. Try to make your answers fairly short, but intelligent. If you have some jet lag and aren't able to pull off something witty at the moment, at least try to sound nice.
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    Remember, you are now part of the group and you should consider yourself thusly. Don't be afraid of getting friendly quickly; you can even get goodnight hugs by the first day. However, your friendliness should be purely platonic with minimal flirting. Do not get too clingy or creepy -- no one likes a stalker. Also, try not to lie (especially if you have a sibling with you!) This has a habit of totally biting you in the rear end later.
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    Make sure you show up at planned times agreed on by the group and try to make yourself available. If you are going on many excursions, this may be more difficult, but there are always nighttime activities. Some fun stuff to do (depending on your ship) is to go dancing during teen hours, go tanning, go ice skating and hit the pool.
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    If you have become fairly good friends with your cruise group, then on the last day you may want to exchange e-mails or Facebook addresses with one another. You can then tag them in all the awesome pics you took having a blast on the high seas.


  • The number one rule of dress is know thyself. Dress in something cool, but comfy. There's no way a tomboy can fake confidence in heels and a mini. Work within your style, not against it. One would not go amiss to read some other wikiHows about beauty and style to get some ideas. In the meantime, here's a few tips:
    • Boys: Decide on your style. Are you more artsy or jock-y?
      • If you're a bit more creative, try dark jeans or dark cargo shorts that reach below the knee, with a plain v-neck tee and a flannel button down. Some shoes like low top converse or candy-coloured sneaks would be pretty cool. Basically, understated hoodies and graphic tees complete this look
      • If you're more athletic, chances are you have some school team tees you can wear (probably not jerseys though- you're here to relax, not kick field goals). You can go for the all-American Hollister-esque look with tees, bootcut jeans, cargo shorts (Again, below the knee!) and some runners- the Lacoste style ones, not actual trainers. Incidentally, if you do wear low top runners, ankle socks are a must to avoid the tourist-socks look. Some shell or leather necklaces could be cool. Just make sure your clothes are less about the label and more about how well they fit you- maybe ask a girl friend (with style!) for her expertise.
    • Girls: Chances are, you probably have a fairly defined style already.
      • Do not change your whole style for this vacation. (comfort=confidence)
      • That said, don't be afraid to switch it up just a little. How about tucking that graphic tee into your denim skirt and adding a cool belt? A sundress gets an update for evening with a cute cardigan over it with some heels- and you're dinner ready.
      • Don't dress too experimentally the first day- but have a little flare. Observe the girls whose style you like the best and incorporate it into your own.
      • There is a lot to be said for natural makeup. If you want to edge it up a little, you could use a different eyeliner colour sparingly on your lower waterline.
      • Bikinis should actually be larger than the price tag they came with.
      • Don't wear anything too short or revealing, but it is like summer (unless you're on an Alaskan cruise. Then you're on your own!) Break out the denim shorts, breezy tees and cute halters.
      • Accessories are your best friends. But, like friends, if you have too many with you at once, they overpower you.
      • Clothes should be temperature appropriate. No matter how smoking you look in those high heeled pleather boots, the Caribbean is not the place to show them off.


  • Spend time with your family. They may not know how to send a text, but if they brought you on this cruise, they expect to see you. If your parents are strongly hinting about an activity or meal they want you to join them for, agree and try to act cheerful and not sulky when you go. Family time is to be expected.
  • Sometimes excursions make it impossible to hang out with your new buds. Don't whine about this. Seriously, "Urgh, I have to go to this fun and expensive once in a lifetime experience with my parents, woe is me!!" is just pathetic.
  • Don't do anything you're not comfortable with to be accepted. Respect yourself, and people will respect you.
  • Ship-wide curfews for minors are generally in effect. This is usually around 12-1 o'clock in the morning. Your parents may want to set a curfew for you as well. If their curfew is radically unfair (e.g., nine o'clock when you're 14), use a logical, intelligent argument to wear them down. Do not go the pull-a-tantrum route, as this rarely works. The curfew time you may need may sound late to parents, and it is, but many of the activities don't start till late. Just make sure you get to bed earlier if you have an early debarkation the next morning.
  • Beware of any creepers who are looking to get laid in a way that has nothing to do with flowers. These people are not who you should hang around with.

Things You'll Need

  • Summer clothes
  • Swimsuits
  • A lanyard - helps to carry your key card when you are out. You can get a hole punched in your card at the purser's desk
  • Cool sunglasses, e.g., Wayfarers or Aviators.

Article Info

Categories: Travel Cruises | Teen Holidays