It is still 18 with permission. RCCL put out a proposal to go to 21 - this on a part of their website not generally accessed by consumers. It was a trial balloon and after word spread across the internet they suddenly pulled the memo. So - it does appear they are considering it but have not put out any official word.
I think the whole thing with RCCL is silly. Beer and wine at 18, but you have to be 21 to order liquor? As we have all heard before - a can of beer will get you there just as fast as a shot of tequila. These policies make beer and wine appear more harmless than a cocktail.
I also heard RCCL may be updating their bar computers to track how many drinks one orders in a specific time - the goal being to cut people off if they order too many drinks. Well that will certainly be a mess. What if one orders a round or two for a table? Will this be noted when the order is entered? And there will be endless ways around it for those bent on getting trashed. Have friends or spouse order drinks and take turns using whoever's card.
According to an aticle in the Miami Herald on July 2, RCI recently did away with a policy allowing passengers between 18 and 21 to drink wine and beer so long as a parent or guardian signed a waiver. Based on this report, now only passengers 21 and up are allowed alcohol on cruises departing North America. (This same information was also posted on a travel professional organization's e-newsletter.)
O.K. then I'm confused. I just had to either sign the waiver or not, in order to allow my 19 year old to drink onboard for an August 5 cruise. Have they officially changed the policy or not? (And no, I did NOT sign the waiver for him to drink on board!)