Forum Fire: Kids in the Concierge Lounge? Readers Won’t Drink to That

September 1, 2011 | By | 42 Comments

A perk certain Royal Caribbean passengers love: Every evening from 5 to 8:30 p.m., top-level suite guests and the most loyal RCI-ers enjoy a complimentary open bar in the concierge lounge. The kid-free concierge lounge.
The invite list has just expanded, and the specter of a slew of new attendees has many loungers crying into their drinks.

According to a statement from the line, under 21’s are now allowed to join a parent or guardian during that time, where before they had access only until 5 p.m.. Royal Caribbean explained that the change was made “to reflect the desires of guests who have access to the lounge.”
The intrusion of children — into adults-only deck spaces, hot tubs and bars — always roils. Kids at the previously adults-only cocktail hours has proven no different.
“I love my grandkids dearly,” wrote BRMO Queen, who initiated a thread that’s ballooned to 250-plus posts in two days, “but there is a time and place for kids … Cocktail hour is NOT for children.”
Bmarchal agreed. “We go in there for a little bit of quiet time and to have a nice conversation with other passengers before dinner,” she wrote. “We just want to get away from all the kids … Kids are allowed in just about every other venue on the ships,” she added referring to Royal Caribbean’s family-friendly rep.
“Can you imagine toddlers in there?” posted Cruisinmama06, who indicated that the thought was shudder-inducing like so: “{shudder}.”
The potential change in ambience was the sticking point for SusieV. “I shouldn’t have to censor myself because someone’s little darling is there if I don’t wish to,” she wrote. “And by that I mean if I feel like telling an off-colour joke or some other topic that is fit for adult ears.”
RCI acolytes had another issue: The lounges can already get crowded during cocktail hour — and now the line is expanding access.
“It’s the fact that there will be nowhere to sit as parents will feel their kids are entitled to sit on all the chairs and sofas,” wrote BND. “So families will take up multiple seats instead of just two when the adults are only there.”
A healthy debate is never one-sided. Enter grand isle joe, who labeled the new regulations fine by him. “If I’m paying $2000 for my daughter, then I would expect she should be ‘allowed’ to accompany us into the concierge lounge for an after-dinner coffee,” he explained. Not wanting to worry his fellow loungers, he added a caveat: “…as long as she acts as a young lady….anyone should expect nothing less….”
“I have paid significant costs for my daughter … to be with us in our Owner’s suite,” said HerculesPP, who likewise found the new policy only fair. “If people are so anxious about being around children on a cruise, they choose a better carrier whose offering is focused on their preferred demographic.”
Somewhere in the middle, a number of readers felt that, in practice, the policy changes would be largely academic. “I don’t think there will be huge amounts of children in the CL because of this policy,” posted marci22. “Some parents with very young children may bring them in if they don’t have another alternative. Older children may come in the first night and when they see that it’s boring, they won’t return.”
Asked Puffinater rhetorically, “Would you like to join us in the CL for happy hour or would you like to head up to the kids’ club?”
“I don’t expect a bunch of wild children every time I step into the CL. If there are noisy and disruptive kids there, it’s the Concierge’s responsibility to ask them to leave,” agreed pcur. And indeed, Royal Caribbean said it’ll be up the concierge to maintain “decorum” and enforce “adherence to the lounge policies to ensure a welcoming atmosphere at all times.”
There’s one last matter to address: Ogres sliding down slippery slopes. “Let’s just hope Shrek doesn’t make his way into the CL soon,” wrote julie91165.
Curious about what what perks you get for being loyal? Check out our run-down of cruise line past-passenger programs.
See what else readers are debating, from Carnival’s disrespect for shrimp cocktail to why late-comers to dinner are irksome.
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    42 Responses to “Forum Fire: Kids in the Concierge Lounge? Readers Won’t Drink to That”

    1. Ian Glenday
      September 1st, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

      Just wanted to say that a Crown and Anchor member with 175 cruise nights or more (Diamond Plus level) is the RCL requirement for using the Concierge Lounge – NOT “25 Cruises plus.” I think this new policy (if it is indeed true as we have not seen an official announcement from the front office yet) is not well thought out and will cause many loyal RCL C&A members to jump ship.

    2. Cruise Critic
      September 1st, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

      Thanks Ian … hard to explain the system in a parenthetical so we’ve dropped the qualifier. Had 25 7-night cruises on the brain … it’s 175 points — one point per standard accommodation night and two points per suite accommodation night.

    3. Ellen OByrne
      September 1st, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

      This is an absolutely awful decision. Children do not belong in a cocktail lounge.

    4. Ron
      September 1st, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

      Interesting. Carnival, Princess etc. will begin accommodating passengers by prohibiting smoking on balconies. RCCL will begin accommodating children by welcoming them into the adults only hours at the concierge lounge. Quite a difference in focus. I’ll continue my allegiance to Princess.

    5. David Stern
      September 1st, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

      Royal Caribbean charges the same price for kids as adults, so kids should be allowed anywhere that the law does not prohibit, otherwise it is age discrimination. All guests, minor or adult, should behave appropriately. I would rather be in the Concierge Lounge with a well behaved child, than a loud, intoxicated adult.

    6. TOM
      September 1st, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

      Parents have to stop trying to be their kids friends and buddies, No kids means NO KIDS IF You cannot abide find a different ride.

    7. Jim moore
      September 1st, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

      Another sign that management cares more about the feelings of the occasional cruiser who can book a suite than the feelings of their loyal supporters who worked their way up to the status of being able to enjoy a few perks given to frequent cruisers. In time, concierge lounge use will most likely be reserved exclusively for suite guests. A sad sign of the times!

    8. Randy Bacchus
      September 1st, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

      Another bad decision by RCI. Who is making these decisions? There are places for children and this is not one of them.

    9. Steve Graham
      September 1st, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

      My feet will answer this question….. I’ll stop walking when the little children are put back in their place… Which is not in mine!

    10. Hedy First
      September 1st, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

      NO KIDS during cocktail hour!! PLEASE!

    11. Beverly
      September 1st, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

      I think that children should not be allowed in the Concierge Lounge. I am a “senior” and travel alone and enjoy meeting and talking with others of a similar age or younger, but not a bunch of children. It is just very nice to relax and have a couple of drinks and talk before dinner and not have children around.
      I hope it won’t cause a problem.

    12. Lori
      September 1st, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

      I’m a diamond plus member, my has been my room-mate but RCCL won’t let her accompany me in the lounge because she’s not diamond plus status, but now they will let in under aged children? I don’t understand their logic..haven’t been back on board since they told me to come into the lounge alone…just the way I wanted to spend my vacation.

    13. LuvvaBargain
      September 1st, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

      Tried RC/1X was enough. RC does not move crowds well-onto the ship, off for excursions, or for debarkation. Evidently, RC doesn’t provide adequate activities for under-agers, while their parents go out to play. After teaching gr/1-6 for 25 yrs, I’ve witnessed damage done to children, experiencing too many adult situations/alcohol involved activities. If adult cruisers have earned & reached the goal of a childless \happy hour\, then go forth-enjoy, & do not expect other revelers to endure your under-aged cherubs.

    14. Laurie Bester
      September 1st, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

      It’s OK till 5pm. Then off to bed with them!

    15. Vinz Clortho
      September 2nd, 2011 @ 11:26 am

      The Blue Collar snob in me sez \Who Cares?\.

    16. Susan
      September 2nd, 2011 @ 1:41 pm

      I’m a parent of 2 small children, and I would NEVER want them in a cocktail lounge. They don’t belong there. They wouldn’t have fun, and neither would I. If a parent wants to enjoy the lounge, then they need to spring for a babysitter.

    17. Kids in the concierge lounge on RCL
      September 3rd, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

      […] QUOTE: Eh! Where 'dyou read this! I read many forums Forum Fire: Kids in the Concierge Lounge? Readers Won’t Drink to That : The Lido Deck Reply With Quote + Reply to Topic « Previous Topic | Next Topic […]

    18. Sabrina
      September 6th, 2011 @ 11:04 am

      Points to consider:

      1. What child has 175 cruise nights or more? They bank on their parents points until their 18? Then once they get their own cabin they drop to their less number of cruise nights?

      2. Age discrimination? Whatever. Cruise lines own the ships and they decide what the rules are. If you don’t like it, find a different cruise line. Last I saw there was a teen only zone (no adults allowed). There are rules about babies and diapers in pools. And younger children are either not allowed in some workout areas or classes.

      3. Why would parents want to expose their kids to this? They shouldn’t be in the lounge or the casino.

    19. Deb
      September 8th, 2011 @ 6:31 am

      Well, perhaps we should just all take our drinks and adult talk to the teen only zone. It seems only fair. I mean, if we can’t have our kid-free space, then they shouldn’t have a kid-only space. Otherwise, it would be age discrimination, wouldn’t it?

    20. Jerry
      September 8th, 2011 @ 10:47 am

      As a diamond plus member we always get a junior or grand suite when we cruise even though we do not have too.
      Allowing children in the lounge is a terrible decision by RCL. What are they thinking?
      We may have to switch to Celebrity as we are elite and they do not allow children..hope they do not change….The main reason, we were told as diamond members, they changed the rules for diamonds not to be allowed in lounges was that the d plus members were complaning about overcrowding now RCL is filling up the lounges with children?? someone should reverse this decision..immediately.

    21. Lillian
      September 8th, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

      I am sure that the kids will not want to go into the Lounge as it can be quite boring for a Teen or younger. Lets just see how it works out. Question? Can the Diamond Plus members bring their children into the Lounge? This was never addressed.

    22. GiGI
      September 8th, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

      Adult only means exactly that. Conversely though, adults need to stay out of the child-only hot tubs and stay in the adult-only ones. I was on a Norwegian cruise last December and noticed the four main hot tubs had “adults only” signs on them so we went to the hot tub adjacent to the child’s pool and this hot tub is supposed to only be for children’s use and there were adults there constantly.

    23. Glittergirlfl
      September 8th, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

      This policy may encourage under age drinking waiters do not always watch who drink when they serve you
      Little ones cry and parents d not even realize it may bother others, they are so use to hearing there angles cry or run around they may not even realize it is disturbing

    24. Justme
      September 8th, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

      Children? Slimy, grimy, happy little kids running around? The horror! Thank goodness we were never anything so uncouth. Oh. Wait.

      Honestly, I’d rather be alone on a ship full of kids than spend 5 minutes around most of you. You sound like you were born old and revolting. Shame on you and good for RCL.

    25. Kim
      September 9th, 2011 @ 12:48 am

      You’re gagging me, #24, just above. You’re also missing the point. It’s not appropriate for children to be in bar/lounge/adult only environments. Not to mention that those adults who have racked up 175 points have PAID dearly for their adults only lounge and complimentary cocktails. “Good for RCL”, you say? Not at all. They’ve been screwing up left and right lately and they won’t be “good” when they’ve lost so much business. I just read where they “reversed their decision on the reimbursement issue” for the guests they didn’t bother trying to notify during the storm. The RCL spokesperson said they wanted to give the customer the opportunity to sail with them!!! HA!!! What a crock!!! No, what they wanted was to save face after they treated their guests like crap and this kids in adults only areas is also a crock. Tell me,Justme, would you want a booze drinking middle aged man in the kiddie pool with your little darlings?! Would that be appropriate – even since he paid for his cruise just as the child had?! Of course not! But you’re right about one thing: it IS “just you” and a few other people without reasonable reasoning skills. I’m NOT a member of Platinum Plus, but I have cruised RCL in the past and between THIS ridiculous decision and the one they made last month, they’ve lost ALL of my family’s business – usually two to four cabins each cruise. Even though I personally have not been treated like crap by RCL, if they would pull this on their MOST VALUABLE customers, they’d pull it on anyone. There are certain things that are simply unforgivable. I hope you are surrounded by tired, whiny, bratty children at every moment on your next RCL cruise, “Justme”. Some folks have to choke on their humble pie…especially those that don’t stick up for loyal others who’ve done nothing to deserve the crappy treatment that’s being doled out to them.

    26. Alan (UK)
      September 9th, 2011 @ 3:48 am

      My wife & I have been loyal RCCL cruisers for years and always enjoy the concierge lounge for pre-dinner cocktails. We look fwd to being able to bring in our two 17 yr old nieces on our next cruise. Both are extremely polite, beautiful and elegant young ladies who do NOT drink alcohol, but can still join us before dinner! Nonsense not to allow under 21s . Surely it is how the lounge is managed ? If children run riot ? Ask them & their parents to behave or Leave ! We’ve seen Adults entering the lounge wearing only their bathrobes, drunk and loud, spilling drinks etc .

    27. Upset
      September 9th, 2011 @ 11:06 am

      It is your decision to have/travel with your children. I should not be punished by it. I DON’T want to travel with your children, well-behaved or not. VERY bad decision RC.

    28. Linn
      September 9th, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

      We are Diamond members that purchase suite accommodation. I work in a high school and when I go on vacation I feel that the adult areas of the ship give those of us w/o kids a place to enjoy adult company without kids interrupting. Adults don’t join the kids activities so why can’t we have some adult time? RCCL has to realize that pleasing both parents and non-parents equally is very important to business. Maybe those that travel with kids should realize they may have to give up adult areas till they raise their children, not a bad concept.

    29. Lamar Bates
      September 10th, 2011 @ 8:27 am

      Who is making these stupid decisions. The CL is crowded enough as it is and adding kids to the area will only worsen the problem. Besides, a lounge serving liquor is no place for children. Come on RCL officials, get your brain in gear!!!

    30. AJ Cruiser
      September 10th, 2011 @ 8:46 am

      One more reason to avoid the mega cruise ships and stick to the smaller ships and river cruises. I don’t go on vacation to have to put up with someones spoiled brat 24/7, it is nice to have places to escape.

    31. diana hochman
      September 10th, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

      As Diamond plus cruisers and also Junior Suite passangers we must say children DO NOT belong in th CL. Stop being so politically correct RCI and do the right things-only those 21 years and older belong in the CL>

    32. Linn
      September 10th, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

      Come on #24, do you take your kids to the bar when you go? No one is saying that kids are not welcome on the ship. Why are you arguing that kids should be everywhere? Can’t we just agree that there should be a place for those that want a little adult time and a place where kids can do what kids like to do, make noise and run. RC you better fix this soon or you won’t have any guests. Adults don’t want kids everywhere, pretty soon you will be running a day care center.

    33. Priscilla Kahn
      September 12th, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

      It’s alll well and good for people who say the concierge should enforce proper behavior or throw them out. Since when has anything ever been enforced??? People not dressed right for dinner – Children in the adult only hot tubs – Those who wear the bathrobes to walk all over the ship, etc. Most of the cruise lines are guilty of not enforcing their own rules !!!

    34. Christine
      September 13th, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

      My husband and I are very unhappy with this new policy about children in the Concierge Club after 5:00PM. If people want to have a drink they should arrange to take their children to one of the many children supervised activities that RCCL offers. This is an adult time where we have met many new friends to share our cruise time with. We are not looking to mingle with children however well behaved they are. I will also write RCCL how unhappy I am with this policy. I have never seen too many children in the Schooner Bar or Viking Crown Lounge where the parents would have to foot the bill. Leave some activities for adults only and the Concierge Club is one of those few places.

    35. Edward
      September 26th, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

      RCL’s President & CEO, Adam Goldstein has gone too far this time and I am fed up with his decision making abilities. I am close to Emerald status, spending over $100,000 for ticket’s, booked six cruises over the winter and he expects me to drink with kids in the Concierge club. He never stops annoying the loyal customers. He started out by taking away stock credits, eliminating pillow mints, eliminating departure gifts, taking the lounge away from diamond members and downsizing coupon books and now this. As a stockholder, I request the board of directors fire Mr. Goldstein for refusing to learn what loyalty means to a business. If people can afford a suite, they surely can afford a babysitter. They also should request help to learn proper dress etiquette. Thanks to Princess, we will have another choice in Galveston in the fall of 2012.

    36. Beth
      October 6th, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

      UGH!!!! Again RCL with another bad decision? We just enjoyed the CL for the 2nd time. Our 1st time was when we had just made it to Diamond level and qualified to sit in there. Half way through that cruise we were told we would no longer be welcomed in the CL because they changed the rules. The 2nd time was in July when we were cruising for the 1st time as Diamond Plus level guests.
      We are cruising again in December. It will be difficult for us to try to enjoy ourselves with my or anybody elses children around.
      As it has been said before, this is not a place for kids, well behaved or not. Please RCL, I cruise to get away from kids, not to have them forced on me.

    37. debbie starks
      November 5th, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

      took a cruise on RC in europe in oct this yr.had a grand suite.went to cc.alot of kids taking up alot of seats so we had to grab a drink and sit in out room till they cleared kid was standing on his head and no one said a thing.been on many rc cruises,love them,but next time ill find another ship that i can get away from kids.dont have any or want any.i babysit when im home and thats cool..i dont take them to a bar!please dont tell me it doesnt matter,there was no seats left after a few families took up the whole area or couples who brought in their kids then sent them to the other side of the room to run around.very annoying..we cruise twice a yr always in a suite.

    38. Karen
      November 21st, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

      Our next cruise on the allure will be our 9 year old daughter’s 11th cruise. Since we always book an owners suite she would be at least a Diamond member. We dress up and have a cocktail while she has a Shirley Temple before dinner. I think that disruptive children AND adults should politely be asked to leave. Celebrity had a nice compromise where we could go in the adult concierge lounge, get a drink and snack and then sit in a nice area outside of the actual lounge to relax before dinner. The waiters would bring out chocolate covered strawberries for our daughter. Too bad RC didn’t think of this.

    39. Mary Thorpe
      December 17th, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

      My first cruise was on a R.C. ship and have been on Norwegian and Holland America since then and am booked on a 19 day cruise in November. Although I am not qualified for elite lounges I would be quite upset to have misbehaved brats sharing my space. There is a time and place for children but not in an adult lounge. I won’t be booking R.C. until their policy is changed.

      March 15th, 2012 @ 9:11 am

      Fully agree with MARY THORPE.This is an adult’s lounge. I have taken this up with RCI
      twice (ADVENTURE OF THE SEAS) with
      no response. I am considering HAL and NCL for
      future cruising. Furthermore, I very much get the impression that suite guests, like myself but also a diamond member, are paying for free unlimited drinks during three hours for
      diamond members in much cheaper cabins,and now accompanied by their off-spring! Might be a good idea to close the concierge(punishment)lounge completely, and replace this with free laundry and wifi for suite guests and drink coupons depending on how much you have paid.

    41. sue
      April 1st, 2012 @ 11:29 am

      An interesting debate. I came acroos it whilst looking to see what facilities are available to us sailing in a grand suite. We have sailed several times with RCI and are now platinum members. I am surprised children are allowed in the concierge lounge and am now in a dilemma as to whether we will take our grandsons in there. We are taking them on their first cruise and would hate for them to be met with hostiliy from passengers opposed to children being in there. I must say it sounds boring for children and I am sure they will find better things to do and we will forgo our complimentary drinks.

    42. Ross v
      August 24th, 2015 @ 6:10 pm

      Omg you old farts need to get a life if behaved children are going to ruin your cruise may be time to check into the old farts home. I have been on several cruises and the people like you that are complaining about kids are the one I find that complain about everything get a life better yet don’t cruise it would make it more injoyable for the rest of us

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