Royal Caribbean Age Limits – What You Need to Know

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Royal Caribbean is considered one of the most family-friendly cruise lines around. However, just like any other cruise line, Royal Caribbean imposes strict age limits for certain activities and areas of the ship. Knowing those age limits before you embark is essential to ensure you plan correctly.

In this article, you’ll learn the Royal Caribbean age limits to know what you can and can’t do on your next cruise.

What Are Royal Caribbean Age Limits?

Knowing the age restriction for activities on your cruise will ensure that you’re prepared and not met with unwelcome surprises. To help you out, here is a list of Royal Caribbean’s age limits for various purposes to ensure that everyone enjoys the cruise equally. 

Minimum Age to Sail Unaccompanied

Royal Caribbean’s minimum age to sail unaccompanied varies depending on where the ship departs.

For sailings departing from North America, the minimum age requirement for unaccompanied sailing is 21. In contrast, Royal Caribbean’s minimum age to sail unaccompanied on sailings departing from South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand is 18.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships
Photo Credit: Captain Wang / Shutterstock

There are further rules when it comes to the assignment of staterooms. For voyages originating in North America, a guest younger than 21 can only be assigned to a stateroom if accompanied in the same stateroom by an adult over 21. However, this minimum age requirement is waived in a few circumstances, including:

  • For underage married couples
  • For children traveling with their parents or guardians and who have connecting staterooms
  • For active duty members of the United States or Canadian military

Proof of marriage or military status is required to take advantage of these exemptions. Guests in the above category must still abide by the other Royal Caribbean age limits.

Read Also: Are Royal Caribbean Cruises All Inclusive?

A guest’s age is considered the age they will be on the first day of the sailing and not their age when you make the booking. Royal Caribbean International retains the right to raise the minimum age limit to sail unaccompanied when local laws permit or require this change. However, this would be a very rare occurrence. 

Minimum Age for Infants to Sail

Babies are always welcome on a cruise, but only over a certain age. Infants sailing on a Royal Caribbean cruise must be at least six months old as of the first day of the cruise.

That said, there are few Royal Caribbean cruises where you can bring a six-month-old onboard. The age limit is higher for some cruises offered by Royal Caribbean. For transpacific, transatlantic, Hawaii, select South American, and other selected cruises, an infant must be at least 12 months old as of the first day of the cruise.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock

Generally, any cruise with three or more consecutive days at sea requires infants to be a year old on the first day of the cruise, so it’s essential to check the cruise’s itinerary carefully to ensure that your little one can come along.

Moreover, guests traveling with an infant not meeting the age limits will not be allowed to board. If this is the case, no refunds or other compensation will be provided.

Minimum Age for Alcohol

Here are the guidelines for the minimum drinking age for Royal Caribbean cruises:

  • On a Royal Caribbean ship departing from North America or the Caribbean, the drinking age is 21.
  • On any Royal Caribbean ship departing from South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, the legal drinking age is 18.
  • The minimum age to consume alcohol at all private destinations is 21, regardless of where the sailing departed. 

Once again, Royal Caribbean retains the right to raise the minimum drinking age when local laws permit or require it, but this only happens on rare occasions. If a guest under 21 is caught with alcohol, they will not have it returned to them.

Cruise Drink

In accordance with Royal Caribbean’s Guest Conduct Policy, guests who violate any alcohol policies may either be asked to disembark from the ship or not be allowed to board. This includes providing alcohol to passengers under the age of 21. 

Minimum Age for Gambling

Royal Caribbean’s gambling age requirements are pretty easy to remember. The casino is open for guests 18 and older to play, except for Alaska cruises, where guests must be at least 21 or older to play.

Does Royal Caribbean Ask for Proof of Age?

Don’t think you can get away with asking for a drink at the bar by simply asking for one. Royal Caribbean always reserves the right to ask for proof of age throughout the ship – whether at the bars or the casinos. 

Royal Caribbean Age Limits FAQ

How old do you have to be to go on a cruise without a parent?

To go on a Royal Caribbean cruise without a parent or guardian, you must be at least 21.

Are kids allowed in bars on Royal Caribbean?

Kids are allowed throughout the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, except at kid or teen-specific spaces with age limits, the casino, and the Solarium (16+). This means that, for the most part, your kids can join you at the bars and pubs, although they’re still subject to the drinking age requirement. 

Can you take a child that is not yours on a cruise?

Yes, taking a child that is not yours on a cruise is possible, but you must take a few precautions first. Adults traveling with a minor must present an original, notarized letter signed by the child’s parents when their parent is absent. This letter must show the adult is permitted to take and supervise the child on the specific cruise and allow emergency medical treatment if necessary.

What happens if you turn 21 during a Royal Caribbean cruise?

According to Royal Caribbean, if a guest turns 21 years old during the cruise, the guest may ask the Guest Services Manager to update the ship’s records to let them drink alcohol during the rest of the cruise. The guest must come with a parent or guardian and show ID for proof of age and birth date.

Summary: Royal Caribbean Family Fun

In summary, Royal Caribbean cruises provide entertainment for the whole family, no matter what your age is. To access all of the amenities that your Royal Caribbean ship offers, you must be aware of the potential age limits your family may be subject to.

The good news is that even if you can’t enjoy a drink at the bar with your 20-year-old child, there are still several activities that you can do as a family.

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