I have just recently returned from a cruise onboard Royal Carribbean and was very upset about the whole 18 year old & drinking age rules onboard the ship.
First of all, in the RCC brochures they specifically say that unless a parent signs to allow teens to drink, they will not be served alcohol onboard the ship. Keep in mind that the drinking age in international waters is 18. But, they did assure us that if they were traveling with us, we could sign for them not to be served.
So, upon registering & getting our ship room cards, we were asked if we would like to sing this waiver saying that our 18 yr. old would not be served alcohol....in which we did.
So, they then put 2 punches in his ship card indicating that he will not be allowed to purchase alcohol.
We were on the ship an hour before he was served a drink. Then at dinner, his waitress served him 3 more drinks! We were traveling with a large group, so we were not all sitting together at dinner. I noticed in our room that night on the TV room charges that he was being served, and brought this matter to the pursors desk. She informed me that it was Royal Caribbeans policy to check the cards prior to serving them alcohol.......but they continued to serve him throughout the next day.
Royal Caribbean was totally out of control over how this was being handled. They continued to assure me that his card would be checked....that was not happening!
Now, I understand that if teenagers want to have a drink, they can find someone of age to get one for them. BUT, for them to have a card that clearly indicates that they are not to be served alcohol....and the RCC staff continues to disregard this......then why even have this policy?????
Has anybody else had a problem with this??
This was our first RCC cruise, and will be our last. This experience was very un-necessary.
Royal Caribbean seems to have no handle on their own policies enstated.
Hmmm, Before our son turned 21 we would always sign the waiver and had his card punched and never had a problem. Did you ask your child not to drink on the cruise? Did you confront him about the charges and what did he say?
I think I would have taken his right to charge away and simply gotten a room key without the ability to charge anything if the understanding was that he was not supposed to purchase alcohol.
I get them all the time for folks in our group that want to use my computer. This way they can use it and I don't have to worry if it is lost or stolen.
Sorry to hear about your problem. We sailed the Sovereign Easter week with 5 children. Well, one is 21 going on 22 next month. They would not believe her that she was 21 - even after showing her card. They still would not serve her a drink. At dinner, I ordered 2 drinks (one for her and one for me). Again, they questioned her age. Only after telling them that I was her mother and Yes she is 21 they served her. I guess maybe being Easter week (alot of kids) RC was alot more careful serving drinks. Too bad they don't continue being this careful other times.
JM, Although I can empathize and sorry to hear that bar staff chose to ignore the rules and serve your son alcohol - I tend to agree with Tom's sentiments. Most of the blame must be placed squarely on your son, since they would not have served him - if he didn't ask. As the parent, it may have been better to have handled this situation directly with your son and NOT place the responsibility on Royal Caribbean.
Although I can understand your disappointment in the cruise line's staff not following through with the policy, I as a parent of teenagers feel as much responsibility or more falls on the parents and the kids. My husband and I travelled with a 14, 17, and 20 year old last summer on RCI. We reminded them our rule was the drinking age on the ship and in other countries was the same as it applied and there would be no sneaking any liquor from anyone on the ship, plus if they managed to charge it to our room account in any way, we would personnally see that they would have to pay for it, whether it be from their savings account or other. We also forwarned them if they drank and did something that resulted in damages to the ship, they would get to pay for it out of their pocket.
We actually approved our 20 year old son's card to be punched, but told him he could only have an occasional beer, since we knew the rates were not cheap and the tab could add up. He abided by our our rules, and was very mature about it.
We teach our kids to learn to be responsible for their actions and be accountable for the consequences for not following the rules. Our kids know life can be miserable if they don't follow the rules, i.e. taking privileges away that mean a lot to them. They have turned out to be responsible kids, thus far, and I am very proud of them.