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Disney Cruising with Family (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)
Disney Cruising with Family (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Cruise Line Age Policies

Age restrictions on cruising aren't much fun to talk about, but they're essential information for cruising families and young adults looking to sail on their own. Here are age policies from the major mainstream cruise lines in the U.S., U.K. and Australia -- including minimum age to cruise, rules for cruising alone, minimum age to leave the ship and shipboard venues with age restrictions. You can find drinking age restrictions in our story on cruise line alcohol policies and information about additional cruise lines in our story on luxury cruise line age policies.

A couple of notes before we begin:

While many lines have restrictions about kids and teens occupying a cabin by themselves, many cruise lines let you get around this by allowing you request additional sets of keys to cabins under the same reservation. You can then book one parent, or adult, in each cabin and then switch up who sleeps where once onboard. For connecting cabins with an interior door between the two rooms, you could do sleeping arrangements however you like without needing to change keys.

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 signed by the parents who are not traveling. Rules vary by country and are worth investigating.


Carnival | Celebrity | Costa | Cunard | Disney | Holland America | MSC Cruises | Norwegian | P&O Australia | P&O | Princess | Royal Caribbean | Marella


Updated February 28, 2019

Carnival

Carnival Paradise (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months 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.

Rules for cruising alone: Passengers must be 21 years old (as of the day the ship sets sail) to travel on their own. Travelers under the age of 21 must travel with a relative or guardian who is at least 25 years old. Exceptions are made for legally married couples, including same-sex couples and qualified military personnel.

Passengers ages 12 and younger do not have to be in the same cabin as their parents or guardians, but must be in an adjoining cabin or directly across the hall. Passengers ages 13 to 17 can occupy a cabin up to three rooms away from their chaperoning adult.

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

Shipboard venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 or older to enter the casino, play table games or slot machines, and play bingo; use the fitness center on their own; use spa facilities, such as steam and sauna rooms, thermal suites and thalassotherapy pools; enter the dance club after 10 p.m.; and attend midnight shows. Passengers must be 21 or older to enter Serenity adults-only deck spaces. 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, but only if an adult is present. (Passengers of all ages can access salon services, such as manicures and hair styling.)


Celebrity

Celebrity Edge (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months old by the first day of the cruise or cruisetour. The exceptions are 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: When sailing from North America, passengers must be 21 years old (as of the day the ship sets sail) 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 must share a cabin with someone who is 21+ unless the couple is married (i.e., a 17 year old and 18 year old can only share a cabin if they are 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 directly across the hall. If adults wish to bring non-related kids onboard and have them stay in a separate cabin with no adult, 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 the 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.

Shipboard 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 or book a spa treatment. Teens ages 13 to 17 have access to a special spa menu, but they can only be in the spa when it's time for their treatment. Kids ages 16 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 a guardian to enter the theater, use the whirlpools and play bingo.


Costa

Costa Venezia (Image: Costa Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months to join most sailings. They must be 12 months to sail on cruises 15 days or longer, world cruises, transatlantic cruises and itineraries that may pose risk for infants requiring emergency medical care.

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

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

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


Cunard

Queen Mary 2 (Photo: Cunard)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months to sail on most Cunard cruises. The exceptions are transatlantic, "exotic" and full world cruises, where the minimum age is 12 months.

Rules for cruising alone: Passengers must be 18 years old to travel on their own. Travelers ages 16 and younger cannot book a cabin without an adult 18 or over traveling in the same room. Children ages 16 and 17 can be in a cabin by themselves; however, they must be accompanied by an adult age 18 and over in a separate cabin.

Minimum age to leave the ship on your own: Passengers must be 18 or older to go on a ship-sponsored shore excursion on their own. Parents and guardians cannot leave anyone younger than 18 onboard the ship by themselves; an adult must stay on the ship with the minor at all times.

Shipboard venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 or older (21 while in U.S. waters) to enter the casino and gamble and use the fitness center on their own. Children 16–17 may use the spa and gym if accompanied by a parent or guardian but are not allowed to use the weights.


Disney

Disney Magic (Photo: Disney Cruise Line)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months 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: Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older. At least one adult 18 or over must be booked in every cabin.

Minimum age to leave the 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 age 18 can get off the ship in port on their own, as long as parents have signed a debarkation authorization form.

Shipboard venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 or older to use the spa and fitness center on their own; there is a separate Chill Spa for teens ages 14 to 17 on select Disney ships. Passengers must also be 18 or older to frequent the adult entertainment districts onboard after 9 p.m.


Holland America

Veendam (Photo: Holland America Line)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months 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: Passengers must be 21 years old to travel on their own. An adult over 21 years must accompany every five passengers under age 21 on the same reservation. For organized student or youth groups, the minimum age requirement applies.

Minimum age to leave the 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.

Shipboard 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.


Marella

Marella Explorer (Photo: Marella Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months old to sail.

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

Minimum age to leave the 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, led by trained youth staff.

Shipboard 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. Teens ages 13 to 18 can use hot tubs, but must have adult supervision.


MSC Cruises

MSC Bellissima (Image: MSC Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies under 1-year-old require a "fit to travel" certificate.

Rules for cruising alone: Passengers must be 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 age, with no exceptions, and must be booked in the same or connecting/nearby cabin as an adult over age 18 or 21.

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

Shipboard venues with age restrictions: To use the casino, passengers must be 21 on U.S.-based sailings and 18 on other cruises.


Norwegian

Norwegian Getaway (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months 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: Passengers must be 21 years old (as of the day the ship sets sail) 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. Exceptions are made for legally married couples who are younger than 21, but they must provide proof of marriage when boarding.

Passengers 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 or guardian to authorize their travel.

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

Shipboard venues with age restrictions: Passengers 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.


P&O Australia

Pacific Aria (Photo: P&O Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise: For Australian domestic and New Zealand domestic cruises, passengers must be at least 6 months old to cruise. For all other itineraries, babies must be 12 months to sail.

Rules for cruising alone: 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 16 years old or over.

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 additional passengers under age 19 will need to share a cabin with someone 19 years old or older.

Minimum age to leave the ship on your own: Minimum age requirements on shore excursions may vary depending on the activity involved, but in general, passengers 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 a written consent to the Shore Tours Manager/Operator once onboard. Consent is given on a case-by-case basis by the shore excursion manager.

Shipboard venues with age restrictions: Children 12 years or younger must be accompanied by an adult in all public areas after 9:30 p.m. Passengers 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.


P&O Cruises

Britannia (Photo: P&O Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months to sail on most cruises. The minimum age is 12 months on select cruises with remote itineraries or numerous consecutive days at sea. Adults-only ships -- Arcadia, Oriana and Aurora (adults-only status will take effect after April 2019 refurbishment) -- require passengers to be 18 years to sail.

Rules for cruising alone: Passengers must be 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 age 16 cannot occupy a cabin without an accompanying passenger who is 16 or older.

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

Shipboard venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 or older to enter the casino, and book spa treatments and use spa facilities (thermal suite, hydrotherapy suite and The Retreat) on their own. Passengers 14–16 years can use the cardio equipment in the gym if accompanied by a guardian 18 years or older; only passengers 17 years and over can use the weights. Passengers under 18 years might have restricted access to specific pools.


Princess

Pacific Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months to sail, 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: Passengers must be 21 years old (as of the day the ship sets sail) 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 or older; for all passengers sharing a cabin to be under age 21, their reservation must be linked to that of a parent or legal guardian in another cabin.

Minimum age to leave the ship on your own: Passengers must be 18 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.

Shipboard venues with age restrictions: Passengers must be 18 years old to use the casino (20 years in Japan). Passengers must be at least 18 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 (but must be accompanied by an adult). Children under 13 can attend evening entertainment shows when accompanied by an adult.


Royal Caribbean

Enchantment of the Seas (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

Minimum age to cruise: Babies must be 6 months 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: Passengers must be 21 years old (as of the day the ship sets sail) 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 provide proof of their active duty status.

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

Shipboard 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.

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