Set Sail on a Cruise and Celebrate

Cruises are another way of providing entertainment and flexibility to a group of people with different ideas of how to have fun.  Parents and graduates alike will find plenty of things to keep them busy on a cruise even if they aren’t always doing the same thing, and parents can feel comfortable allowing their teens to go off on their own.

Caribbean cruises epitomize what everyone dreams about when they think of cruising.  White sandy beaches, diving and snorkeling adventures, lively island music and parties, and beautiful vistas everywhere you look.  Each region of the Caribbean has something a little different to offer besides these common features.

  • The Eastern Caribbean features ports like St.Kitts, St. Maarten,  and St. Thomas.  The teens can take a kayaking trip or rainforest walk while their parents tour the elegant homes of former sugar plantation owners.   Everyone will enjoy the Rockland Estate Eco Park on St. Maarten.  (Well, Dad might prefer to check out Topper’s Rum Distillery.)  Take the SkyRide to Paradise Point on St. Thomas and visit Coral World where you can pet sharks and stingrays if you feel daring. 
  • Western Caribbean cruises visit the ports of Belize City, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman among others.  In Belize City enjoy tubing through underground rivers in ancient Mayan caves or take an airboat ride (fast!) or river boat cruise (slow!) in the marshes and jungles teeming with wildlife, crocodiles and jaguars included.  Cozumel is an ideal location for snorkelers and divers and is also a prime stepping off place for visits to spectacular Mayan ruins like Coba, Chichen Itza and Tulum.  One of the Yucatan’s most popular attractions is close by – the theme park Xcaret, which has activities for everyone.  On Grand Cayman you will find the Cayman Turtle Center, dedicated to the protection of sea turtles.  Submarine rides here are a great way to explore the amazing coral canyons populated by hundreds of species of colorful marine life.
  • Southern Caribbean cruises tend to be a bit longer because they travel further, but the ports of call are a little more “off the beaten path” and tend to be less touristy.  San Juan, Puerto Rico, is full of historical monuments, some dating back to Spanish rule in the 16th century.  The El Yunque Rainforest (actually five different forests), and the Caguas Botanical Gardens are full of rare and beautiful plants.  If the graduates want more excitement, canopy ziplining, horseback riding and kayaking are all possibilities here.  On Martinique, take a 4X4 adventure safari through the jungle and past vast banana plantations, enjoying exceptional ocean views.  On Guadeloupe, hike through the jungle to Crayfish Falls, and swim in the clear pool beneath.  St. Anne’s Marketplace is also found in Guadeloupe.  Exotic spices and all kinds of colorful local artwork and souvenirs will delight every shopper.

Hawaiian cruises allow families to visit several of the Hawaiian islands without the hassle of plane travel from one to the next, saving time and energy for exploring these amazing places.  Typically, these cruises begin in Honolulu, Oahu and visit Maui, the Big Island (Hawaii) and Kauai. 

  • In Honolulu you’ll have a chance to visit Pearl Harbor and stroll the length of Waikiki Beach, people watching heaven!  You can take a drive along the north shore of the island to watch surfers attempt the Banzai Pipeline, and stop at the Macadamia Nut Outlet for treats to take home.
  • On Maui you can travel the Road to Hana with all its twists and turns and waterfalls galore.  If you’re a snorkeler, take a day trip to Molokini, one of the best snorkeling sites in the world.  Drive to the top of Mt. Haleakala to view the sunrise. (If you’re not an early riser, you can return in time for the sunset.) 
  • Visit Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island followed by a visit to the Volcano winery.   Kona is the spot for a Zodiac adventure along the coast, whipping past the shoreline looking for dolphins and other sea creatures.
  • On Kauai attend a spectacular luau featuring a meal of local delicacies followed by a cultural show of Las Vegas proportions, highlighting native drummers, hulas and fire dancers. Take a helicopter ride over the Waimea Canyon – the Grand Canyon of Hawaii.

In almost every location there are options for water sports, golf, biking, hiking, and ziplining.

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