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Your Guide to Cruise Line Age Policies
Disney Cruising with Family (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Your Guide to Cruise Line Age Policies

Your Guide to Cruise Line Age Policies
Disney Cruising with Family (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)
Andrea M. Rotondo
Contributor
Melinda Crow
Contributor
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Cruise line age policies are surprisingly strict and vary greatly from cruise line to cruise line. That's why getting acquainted with them all prior to each individual sailing is so essential for all cruisers.

Here are cruise line age policies for 14 of the most popular cruise lines in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, which include minimum ages to cruise, rules for cruising alone, minimum ages to leave the ship and shipboard venues with age restrictions.

A couple of notes on cruise line age policies before we begin:

While many cruise lines have age restrictions regarding kids and teens occupying a cabin by themselves, you can usually get around this by requesting additional sets of keys to cabins under the same reservation. You can then book one adult in each cabin and decide who sleeps where once onboard.

Children under 18 who are traveling out of the country accompanied by only one parent (or neither parent) may be required to obtain a notarized letter of consent or other documents signed by the parents who are not traveling. These rules apply to children traveling with grandparents as well. Rules vary by country and are worth investigating because some cruise lines check these documents prior to boarding.

1. Carnival Cruise Age Policy

Carnival Paradise (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

Minimum age to cruise with Carnival: Babies must be at least 6 months old on the day the ship sails (embarkation day) to sail on most Carnival cruises. The exceptions are trans-ocean crossings and remote itineraries with more than two consecutive sea days, where the minimum age is 12 months. On cruises from Australia, if it includes any foreign port (Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hawaii), infants must be 12 months old at embarkation.

Rules for cruising alone on Carnival: Passengers must be 21 years old as of embarkation day to travel on their own. Travelers under the age of 21 must travel with a relative or guardian (doesn't need to be a legal guardian) who is at least 25 years old. Exceptions are made for legally married couples, including same-sex couples and qualified military personnel.

Passengers who are up to 12 years old do not have to be in the same cabin as their parents or guardians. However, they must be in an adjoining cabin or directly across the hall in a non-balcony stateroom unless there is a relative or guardian at least 25 years old. Passengers ages 13 to 17 can occupy a cabin up to three rooms away from their chaperoning adult.

Minimum age to leave a Carnival ship on your own: Passengers must be 18 or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own. Minors aged 16 and older may debark the ship without a parent or guardian unless the parent or guardian specifically raises the age limit, which can only be done by contacting the security department. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (18+) within the same travel group to debark the ship.

Carnival cruise venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 or older to do the following: enter the casino, play table games or slot machines, purchase a bingo card, play bingo, use the fitness center on their own, use spa facilities (steam and sauna rooms, thermal suites and thalassotherapy pools), enter the dance club after 10 p.m and attend late-night comedy club shows.

Passengers must be 21 or older to enter Serenity adults-only deck spaces (a quiet outdoor deck area dedicated for the sole use of adults). Teens ages 12 to 17 can use the fitness center when accompanied by a parent or guardian, and teens 13 to 17 can book ZSpa treatments (spa services that offer adult and teen-specific options), but only if an adult is present. (Passengers of all ages can access salon services, such as manicures and hairstyling.)

2. Celebrity Cruises Age Policy

Celebrity Edge (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise with Celebrity Cruises: Babies must be at least 6 months old by the first day of the cruise or cruisetour on Celebrity Cruises. The exceptions are select South America cruises, ocean crossings, Hawaii and any sailing with three or more consecutive sea days, where the minimum age is 12 months.

Rules for cruising alone on Celebrity: When sailing from North America, passengers must be 21 years old as of embarkation day to travel on their own. When sailing from Europe, Asia, South America, New Zealand or Australia, the minimum age to sail on your own is 18. Anyone younger than 18 years of age must share a cabin with at least one cabin mate who is 21+ unless the couple is married.

Travelers who do not meet the minimum age requirements must travel with another adult who does, except for children staying in connecting staterooms (i.e. directly next door or across the hall) with their parents or guardians. Exceptions are also made for legally married couples, who must show proof of marriage, and active-duty members of the U.S. or Canadian military, who must show proof of their active-duty status.

Minors do not have to be in the same cabin as their parents or guardians but must be in an adjoining cabin or in one that is directly across the hall. If adults wish to bring non-related kids onboard and have them stay in a separate cabin with no adult present, the total number of non-family members must be equal to or less than the number of the adults' own children.

Minimum age to leave a Celebrity ship on your own: Passengers must be 18 or older to leave the ship on their own, unless they fall under the married couple exception.

Celebrity cruise venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 or older to use the casino (21 and above for all Alaska itineraries), enter the dance club, play bingo, or book a spa treatment.

Teens between the ages of 13 to 17 can only be in the spa when it's time for their treatment. Kids 16 years of age and over may use the fitness center and the thalassotherapy pool. (During inclement weather and select hours, passengers under 16 may be allowed access to a covered Solarium Pool provided they are directly supervised by a parent or guardian.) Kids under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to enter the theater and use the whirlpools.

3. Costa Cruises Age Policy

Minimum age to cruise with Costa Cruises: Babies must be at least 6 months old to join most sailings aboard Costa Cruises. They must be 12 months old to sail on cruises that are 15 days or longer, world cruises, transatlantic cruises and itineraries that may pose risks for infants requiring emergency medical care.

Rules for cruising alone on Costa: Passengers must be 21 years old to travel on their own or 25 years of age during peak season and holiday cruises. Travelers under the age of 21 must share a cabin with a parent or guardian. Certain cruises require passengers 21 to 24 years old to be accompanied by someone 25 years or older.

Minimum age to leave a Costa ship on your own: Passengers must be 18 or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own.

Costa cruise venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 or older to use the casino and any spa facilities.

4. Cunard Line Age Policy

Queen Mary 2 (Photo: Cunard)

Minimum age to cruise with Cunard: Babies must be at least 6 months old to board most Cunard cruises. Transatlantic and world cruises are exceptions to this rule as the minimum age aboard these types of cruises is 12 months.

Rules for cruising alone on Cunard: Passengers must be at least 18 years old to cruise on their own with Cunard cruises. An adult who is 18+ years of age must be staying in the same room as a minor who is at or below the age of 16. Children who are 16 and 17 years old, however, can be in the same cabin together and alone, but there must be an 18+ year old adult in accompaniment in a separate cabin.

Minimum age to leave a Cunard ship on your own: In order to attend ship-sponsored shore excursions alone, guests must be 18 years of age or older. No minor can be allowed to stay onboard without adult supervision.

Cunard cruise venues with age restrictions: The casino, gambling altogether and the fitness center are only to be used by passengers 18 or older or 21 in U.S. waters. Children can utilize spa services and the gym if they are 16 to 17 years old, but only if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian (they cannot use the weights in the gym whatsoever).

5. Disney Cruise Line Age Policy

Disney Magic (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Minimum age to cruise with Disney Cruise Line: Babies must be 6 months or older to sail on most Disney cruises. The exceptions are longer cruises (such as transatlantic and Panama Canal sailings) where the minimum age is 12 months.

Rules for cruising alone on Disney: Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older. Children who are under the age of 18 must have an adult traveling with them who has both control and custody over them. A parent or guardian is required to complete and submit a minor authorization form prior to embarkation.

Minimum age to leave a Disney ship on your own: Passengers must be 18 or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own. Exceptions are teen-only shore tours, for which an adult guardian has signed a consent form. In addition, passengers under the age of 18 can get off the ship in port on their own, as long as parents have signed a debarkation authorization form.

Disney cruise venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 years or older to use the spa and fitness center on their own; there is a separate Chill Spa for teens who are 14 to 17 years old on select Disney ships. Passengers must also be 18 or older to swim in Quiet Cove Pool, frequent the adult entertainment districts onboard after 9 p.m. or to dine at either Palo or Remy.

6. Holland America Line (HAL) Age Policy

Veendam (Photo: Holland America Line)

Minimum age to cruise with Holland America Line: Babies must be 6 months or older to sail on most Holland America cruises (Alaska, Canada/New England, Caribbean, Europe and Mexico). The exceptions are trans-ocean crossings and remote itineraries with more than two consecutive sea days, where the minimum age is 12 months.

Rules for cruising alone on Holland America: Passengers must be 21 years old or older to travel on their own. For every five passengers under the age of 21, there must be one adult over 21 years in accompaniment on the same reservation. The adult who is over 21 years of age must be a parent, guardian or chaperone. For organized student or youth groups, the minimum age requirement applies.

Minimum age to leave a Holland America ship on your own: Passengers must be 18 or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own. Minors under 16 can go ashore without adult supervision provided parents and guardians inform the ship’s security officer of their decision.

Holland America venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 or older to enter the casino and gamble. Use of the fitness center is restricted to passengers 16 and older. The SeaView Pool is restricted to adults aged 18 or older. Children are allowed at the World Stage shows when they are accompanied by a parent or guardian but they must be 18 or older to sit in the first two rows.

7. Marella Cruises Age Policy

Marella Explorer (Photo: Marella Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise with Marella Cruises: Babies must be at least 6 months old to sail with almost all Marella cruises. However, Marella Explorer 2 is exclusively for adults aged 18 and older.

Rules for cruising alone on Marella: Passengers must be 18 years old to travel on their own. Families are encouraged to book cabins next to or opposite one another. Children aged 13 or under need to share a cabin with an adult.

Minimum age to leave a Marella ship on your own: Passengers must be 18 or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own. The exception is designated teen tours that are being led by trained youth staff.

Marella cruise venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 or older to use the casino or bars, and 16 or older to use the spa and gym unaccompanied by an older adult. Children must be toilet trained to use the swimming pools. Guests aged from 13 to 18 years old can use the whirlpool baths if they are accompanied by an adult.

8. MSC Cruises Age Policy

MSC Seaside (Photo: MSC Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise with MSC Cruises: Infants traveling on MSC cruises must be at least 6 months old.

Rules for cruising alone on MSC: Passengers must be at least 18 years old to travel on their own, or 21 on U.S.-based itineraries. Travelers under the age of 18 (on cruises with no U.S. port) or 21 (on cruises with U.S. ports) must travel with an adult over that specific age, and must be booked in the same or connecting/nearby cabin as an adult over age 18 or 21.

Minimum age to leave an MSC ship on your own: Guests must be 18 or older to leave the ship on their own. Otherwise, they must be accompanied by an adult.

MSC cruise venues with age restrictions: To use the casino, guests must be 21 years of age or older on U.S.-based sailings and 18 on other cruises. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at the swimming pools; babies in diapers are not allowed in the pools.

9. Norwegian Cruise Line Age Policy

Norwegian Joy (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Minimum age to cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line: Babies must be 6 months old on embarkation day to sail on most Norwegian cruises. The exceptions are cruises with three or more consecutive days at sea, where the minimum age is 12 months.

Rules for cruising alone on Norwegian: Passengers must be 21 years old to travel on their own. Travelers under 21 must travel with an adult over the age of 21 in the same cabin or a connecting one. The one exception is made for legally married couples who are younger than 21, but they must provide proof of marriage when boarding.

Guests younger than 18 who are traveling with an adult who is not their parent or legal guardian must provide a consent release form from their parent(s) or guardian (along with a copy of government issued identification) to authorize their travel.

Minimum age to leave a Norwegian ship on your own: Passengers must be 18 or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own.

Norwegian cruise venues with age restrictions: Guests must be 18 or older to use the casino and spa, and 21 or older to attend the nightclub past 11 p.m. Passengers younger than 16 cannot use the fitness center and must be accompanied by a parent or an adult in onboard hot tubs. Some ships have adults-only pools. No children in diapers are allowed in any pool.

10. P&O Cruises Age Policy

P&O Cruises UK

Minimum age to cruise with P&O Cruises: Babies must be at least 6 months old to sail on most P&O cruises. The minimum age is 12 months on select cruises with remote itineraries or numerous consecutive days at sea. Adults-only ships (Arcadia and Aurora) require guests to be 18 years or older to sail.

Rules for cruising alone on P&O Cruises: Passengers must be at least 18 years old to travel on their own. Travelers under the age of 18 must travel with an adult over the age of 18. Children under the age of 16 must have a passenger who is 16 or older share their cabin.

Minimum age to leave a P&O ship on your own: Guests must be 17 or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own.

P&O cruise venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 years or older to enter the casino, book spa treatments and use spa facilities (thermal suite, hydrotherapy suite and The Retreat) on their own.

Spa treatments are available for ages 14 to 17 years old with parental supervision. Salon treatments are also available under age 14 with parental supervision. Guests 14 to 16 years old can use the cardio equipment in the gym if accompanied by a guardian 18 years or older, but only passengers 17 years and over can use the weights. Passengers under 18 years might have restricted access to specific pools.

11. P&O Cruises Australia Age Policy

Britannia (Photo: P&O Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise with P&O Cruises Australia: For Australian domestic and New Zealand domestic cruises with P&O Cruises, guests must be at least 6 months old to cruise. For all other itineraries, infants must be 12 months old to sail.

Rules for cruising alone on P&O Cruises Australia: At least one passenger in every cabin should be 18 years or older. Children traveling with their parents may stay in a separate or interconnecting cabin, but at least one child in the cabin must be at least 16 years old.

The exception to this rule is that from Nov. 1 through Jan. 7, the minimum age to cruise on your own jumps to 19, and every cabin should have at least one passenger who is 19 or older. In addition, from Jan. 8 to 31, the age minimum goes back to 18, but there's a limit on the number of 18-year-olds who can travel on their own. When the limit is reached, all added passengers under age 19 will need to share a cabin with someone 19 years old or older.

Minimum age to leave a P&O Australia ship on your own: Minimum age requirements on shore excursions may vary depending on the activity involved (snorkeling, scuba and bike tours have age restrictions), but in general, guests must be 18 or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own.

Kids under 18 years old are allowed to join shore excursions on their own provided their parent or guardian submits written consent to the Shore Tours Manager/Operator once onboard. Consent is given on a case-by-case basis by the shore excursion manager.

P&O Australia cruise venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 to enter and play in the casino. Children 12 years or younger must be accompanied by an adult in all public areas after 9:30 p.m.

Guests younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in the entertainment venues and may have restricted access to pools, spa, gyms and beauty salons. Children must be toilet trained to use the swimming pools and whirlpools.

12. Princess Cruises Age Policy

Pacific Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise with Princess Cruises: Babies must be 6 months to sail on Princess Cruises in general. However, they must be 12 months to sail on trans-ocean crossings and remote itineraries with two or more consecutive sea days.

Rules for cruising alone on Princess: Guests must be 21 years old to travel on their own. Travelers under the age of 21 must travel with a passenger who is at least 21 years old. At least one passenger in every cabin must be 16 years old or older; for cabins with solely guests under the age of 21, their reservation must be linked to that of a parent or legal guardian in another cabin.

Minimum age to leave a Princess ship on your own: Guests must be 18 years of age or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own, although a few operators may allow an unaccompanied passenger under 18 with a waiver signed by the parent or guardian in the operator’s presence.

Princess cruise venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 years old to use the casino (20 years in Japan). Guests must be at least 18 years old to get a body treatment at the spa and enter the disco after 10 p.m., 16 to use the gym and 13 to access spa services (adult supervision required). Children under 13 can attend evening entertainment shows when accompanied by an adult. The Sanctuary and Retreat are for adults over age 18 only.

13. Royal Caribbean Age Policy

Majesty of the Seas TA Listings Page Image

Minimum age to cruise with Royal Caribbean: Babies must be at least 6 months old to sail on most Royal Caribbean cruises. The exceptions are Hawaii, select South America cruises, ocean crossings and any sailing with three or more consecutive sea days where the minimum age is 12 months.

Rules for cruising alone on Royal: Passengers must be 21 years old to travel on their own from North American ports; they should be at least 18 years old when sailing from South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Passengers under the age of 21 must travel with an adult over 21 in the same cabin, unless they are traveling with parents or guardians in connecting staterooms. Departing from non-American ports, passengers under 18 must be accompanied by someone 18+ in the same cabin.

Exceptions are made for legally married couples, who must provide a copy of their marriage certificate, and members of the U.S. or Canadian military who must supply proof of their active-duty status.

Minimum age to leave a Royal ship on your own: Guests must be at least 18 years old to disembark the ship alone. Age minimums for ship-sponsored shore excursions vary based on the tour. For example, you must be 21 or older to join a scuba diving excursion.

Royal cruise venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 years old to enter onboard nightclubs (there is a separate teen dance club for kids ages 12 to 17). The minimum age to gamble in the casino is 18, except on Alaska cruises where it's 21.

The Solarium pools and whirlpools have a minimum age of 16 except on Chinese sailings. Teens ages 13 to 17 have a special YSPA menu that includes massages and salon treatments while those who are 16 and up have access to “Fitness Frenzy” classes (fast-paced fitness classes for teens).

Parental consent is needed, bathing suits must be worn during treatments, and parents must be present for private treatments for minors under age 16. Only services listed in the YSPA menu are allowed for guests under the age of 18.

14. UnCruise Adventures Age Policy

Safari Explorer TA Listings Page Image

Minimum age to cruise with UnCruise Adventures: Guests must be 8 years or older at the time of sailing on UnCruise Adventures, except Safari Quest which has a minimum age of 13. Documentation of parental consent is needed when traveling with children not your own (including grandchildren). However, exceptions could be made for children who are 7 years old or younger with the special pre-approval.

Rules for cruising alone on UnCruise: Because children are expected to be under the supervision of accompanying adults at all times, there are no specific policies regarding children in separate cabins. Most vessels do not have adjoining rooms, but adjacent rooms or rooms across the hall are recommended for families traveling with children.

Minimum age to leave an UnCruise ship on your own: There is no minimum age to leave the ship, but most disembarkation is done in activity groups, so which activity a child takes part in would be discussed and arranged with the parents and the onboard guides.

UnCruise Adventures cruise venues with age restrictions: Children are allowed use of all shipboard facilities while under the supervision of accompanying adults.

Updated September 27, 2022

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