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A Grand Cruise

Make Memories with a skip-gen vacation

If you have a teenager in your life, you know firsthand that busy social lives and after-school activities often take up a bulk of their time. As a grandparent to a teen, your opportunities to spend quality time may be even more sporadic. If only you could have them to yourself!

Good news: You can! Unplug and reconnect on a cruise. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents sixty cruise lines and 95 percent of the world’s ship capacity, reports that multigenerational cruising continues to grow each year. “Skip-gen” travel, where grandparents take grandchildren on a special trip, leaving mom and dad at home, is
especially popular.

On a ship with endless activities and fascinating ports, there’s a natural balance between individual and shared interests. Excursions provide an opportunity for exploring together, while the time at sea allows each person to choose from the day’s events.

The ease and simplicity of cruising makes travel less stressful for grandparents. Adolescent appetites are bottomless! Food is always available and included in the cruise price. Separate programs and gathering areas encourage teens to meet peers and make new friends from all over the world.

Last year my grandchildren (ages 15 and 16) and I cruised together with AAA Travel Partner, Royal Caribbean International. It was the most time we’d had together since they were in elementary school. We relaxed by the pool and explored Caribbean ports. We ate dinner in the main dining room each evening. Conversation was happy and lively. I wanted the trip to last forever.

They quickly mapped out the ship, including all the snack spots. They carefully examined each day’s schedule deciding what to do. They even surprised me by joining karaoke sessions and Zumba workouts on their own.

Henry Dennis, a repeat winner of the AAA Superlative Travel Awards and top agent in North America, agrees that skip-gen travel is trending. He advises, “Check the school calendar and book reservations early. Choose a cruise line that offers plenty of activities for everyone, not just the teens.”

Note: Taking minor grandchildren on a cruise without parents calls for gathering a few legal documents. For example, travel outside the U.S. requires a passport; if they don’t have one, be sure to allow time to process the application before departure. Your local AAA Travel Agent can provide more information about proper documentation.  

10 Teen-Approved Cruise Activities

  1. Contests, Tournaments if there is a prize, they’ll be there
  2. Karaoke it’s surprising how much they like to do this
  3. Excursions exploring a new port is always a hit
  4. Climbing Wall some ships might offer their first experience
  5. Ship Tour informative & not boring, they said
  6. Teen Club — a good way to meet FRIENDS
  7. Entertainmentsomething different every night
  8. Daily schedule teens like to plan their own day
  9. Pool including poolside activities
  10. Shopping onboard & onshore

Member Savings: Exclusive member benefits for your Royal Caribbean vacation include: priority check-in on embarkation and complimentary specialty dining experience for two. Call your AAA Travel Agent at 800-398-0379 for more details!

(Go Magazine January/February 2019)

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