In a surprising change to its Minor Guest Policy that applies to passengers under 21 years of age, Carnival Cruise Line has instituted an onboard youth curfew for all its vessels.
The curfew will only apply to travelers 17 years of age and younger, and goes into effect immediately across the entire fleet.
Curfew for Young Guests
Outlined on the cruise line’s Minor Guest Policy page, the new curfew is as follows:
“Guests 17 years of age and under who are not accompanied by an adult in their traveling party, 21 years of age or older, must be clear of all public areas by 1:00am each evening unless involved in a Club 02 or Circle C teen activity.”
Cruise passengers have long been divided on the subject of young cruisers, with some travelers reporting younger guests taking over elevators, playing in hallways or stairwells, pounding on stateroom doors, or otherwise causing excess noise and disturbance, particularly late at night.
The last day of a cruise, when youth programs have typically concluded, is often a more raucous night for young cruisers and their newly-made onboard friends before they part ways the next morning.
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald clarified the consequences of violating this new policy on his popular Facebook page.
“Any guest in violation of the curfew or whose behavior contradicts our rules could be disembarked in the next port at their own expense and not be allowed to have a cruise with us again,” Heald said.
This does not mean, however, that young travelers would be put off the ship without their parents or guardians.
Any reported incident is sure to be investigated before consequences are applied, and it is likely that a warning could be issued before such drastic action is taken, depending on the individual circumstances and the severity of the incident.
Furthermore, the curfew will not apply when young cruisers are involved in a supervised Club O2 or Circle C activity, or when they are accompanied by their parents or another member of their immediate traveling party over 21 years of age.
More Emphasis on Respect
This change comes just days after Carnival Cruise Line updated its “Know Before You Go” information to emphasize respect, courtesy, and other values expected of its guests.
“No one will ever confuse a Carnival Cruise Line ship with a school library, but our experience has taught us that everyone has a better time when children are supervised, noise in the hallways is kept to a minimum, guests follow queues, and that a spirit of community and neighborliness is shown by all,” the new policy reads.
Similarly, the consequences for excessively disruptive behavior is the same as for breaking the new curfew: disembarkation at the next available port at the guest’s expense, and a ban from sailing with Carnival in the future.
It has not been clarified as to whether a guest could also be banned from all Carnival Corporation & plc cruise lines, which would also include multiple other popular lines, including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Costa Cruises.
These changes come after there has been a rise in onboard incidents in recent weeks, with physical altercations between groups of guests that escalate to violence.
In June and July, separate incidents occurred aboard Carnival Magic from New York and Carnival Elation from Jacksonville, Florida. Such incidents, however, are not confined to Carnival Cruise Line. Royal Caribbean International’s Navigator of the Seas had a similar incident in early July.
Furthermore, smaller incidents that involve fewer parties and are quickly broken up are rarely reported, but do happen on occasion when guests may be involved in misunderstandings or other unfortunate circumstances.
In many cases, excess alcohol consumption and the uninhibited atmosphere of a cruise vacation may contribute to such incidents, though all cruise lines do take steps to ensure a safe, enjoyable getaway for everyone onboard.