While cruises are built for people of all ages, there are some specific rules that apply to children. These rules fall into two categories:
Cruising without a legal guardian
Most cruise lines have a minimum requirement of 21 years of age for young people traveling without their parents. If any occupant in the cabin is under 21, then a passenger at least 25 years old must be booked in the cabin with them. This rule applies to married couples, as well.
The only exception is children under age 21 may be allowed to have their own cabin as long as the parents are booked in the cabin next door or across the hall. In other cases, the cruise line will require that, for booking purposes, one parent is placed in each cabin and then guests can switch around once on board.
Minimum age to cruise
Some family-oriented cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney may have Minimum Age Restrictions on their very young guests traveling with their parents. In other words, they require that babies have to be at least 12 – 16 weeks old to travel and maybe older for longer and exotic itineraries. Even if a child meets the age restriction, some lines require that they are at least 2 – 3 years old to join the children’s activity program. Other lines, such as Princess and Disney, capacity-control the number of children of any given age on every sailing, especially over holidays. Some cruise lines, such as Renaissance, do not accept any guest under age 17. As each cruise line is different, if you have any questions about traveling on a cruise with your child(ren) you can always ask me.
Facilities for children and families can vary widely. Budget and contemporary cruise lines usually have the most to offer and may even have a child’s fare based on age. Some cruise lines charge the children’s fare based on the cabin type being purchased, while the luxury and specialty products may not offer third or fourth occupancy in a cabin or even a reduced fare for extra guests. Once again, let me know your plans and I can help select the right choice for you.
** While not an age requirement, I would also like to note that cruise lines have rules around women cruising late in their pregnancy. If you are planning on cruising, please let me know if you are expecting and when.