Carnival Cruise Line Responds Over Adults-Only Area Concern

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Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has responded to guest concerns about an unusual – and tricky – situation onboard. Should children be permitted in the adults-only Serenity space? Specifically, what about a young infant that may be breastfed?

The issue was brought to Heald’s attention through his popular Facebook page on Friday, June 28, 2024. Heald responds to hundreds of comments, questions, and requests daily, but this is a more unique one to have been raised. Furthermore, the answer is not a simple one.

Carnival Cruise Line Serenity Adults-Only Area
Carnival Cruise Line Serenity Adults-Only Area (Photo Credit: Emrys Thakkar)

The initial comment was posted by a woman as a direct comment to Heald, the simplest way to reach out to the brand ambassador.

“This is a mother that is carrying their child in a sling. They are not continually feeding. It is a breaking of the rules because it is only a convenience for the mom. Not having to have a sitter while on serenity. You don’t allow it for any age that is bottle fed,” the poster said.

From her comment, the poster may have initially attached a photo of the mother with her child in a sling or baby wrap, but that photo was not available.

Heald typically removes photos where guests might be identified, unless someone posts a photo of themselves. Otherwise, privacy considerations apply and such photos are removed.

No further details are provided about the incident, such as which ship it is on or when it may have occurred. With the fast Starlink Wi-Fi access now available onboard all Carnival cruise ships, it is possible the photo was sent to Heald just moments after being taken, or it could be several days or even weeks after a cruise has ended.

Heald does respond to the inquiry, albeit with caution.

“If a mother is breast-feeding a child we are not going to have a crew asked them to stop,” Heald confirmed. “Honestly, I’d can’t say any more than that until somebody gives me a specific detail about when this is happening and if it’s happening now, I will pass it onto the management.”

Carnival Cruise Line’s website also directly notes the breastfeeding policy.

“Nursing mothers have the right to breast feed in public or private areas and are not required to cover themselves while doing so,” the website reads.

However, the issue does not seem to be whether or not the woman was breastfeeding, but the fact that she had the young child in the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, which is designated for adults age 21 years or older.

Infants Onboard

There could be many other factors at play with this type of incident. For example, was the woman with her child just passing through the Serenity space, perhaps looking for another traveling companion? Or was she lounging at the time? Was the child fussing, crying, or otherwise disturbing the peaceful area, or simply sleeping?

From the limited details available, it is also unknown how old the child may have been. According to the cruise line’s “Traveling With Infants and Toddlers” information, infants must be at least 6 months old at embarkation for all sailings, and at least 12 months old for any transatlantic or transpacific cruises, or if the itinerary has more than two consecutive sea days.

Carnival Cruise Line Lido Deck
Carnival Cruise Line Lido Deck (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Responses to the situation have varied, with most commenters believing the Serenity space to be fully reserved for adults.

Parents can easily enjoy cruise time with their child at a wide range of other public spaces onboard, including Carnival WaterWorks, the arcade, the miniature golf course, and the public pool and open deck areas.

Read Also: What Are the Best Cruise Lines for Families?

Commenters also noted that there are plenty of other quiet spaces onboard any ship if a child needs to be breastfed in peace, such as unused lounges, niches on the promenade, or the lovely hidden garden walks on Spirit-class ships.

Carnival Cruise Line does not offer in-stateroom babysitting services. There is a Night Owls program available for evening babysitting for an extra fee, but it is held in the Camp Ocean area rather than private cabins.

Other than Night Owls services, children under 2 years old are not permitted to participate in most youth activities, except during designated “Under 2” times.

Do you think infants should be permitted in Serenity? Share your thoughts on the Cruise Hive boards!

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