You will not be able to do it the way you are wanting to. You will only get all of you on the ship if you get two staterooms. One room can be your wife and the three girls and one room can be you and your son. (My family calls this the on paper rule). Once on the ship they can sleep where they want to. You'll just have a heck of a time keeping up with room cards. Example, you use the example above and once on the ship your wife stays in your room and the son goes to the girls room; well, all week long the only way your wife can get in your room is to either have you or your sons card and your son would have to have your wifes card to get in the other room. It sounds simple but wait, If your wife has your sons card she would be in the ships computer as a 16 year old male and wouldn't be able to get an adult bev. or go to the casino or buy a bingo card, etc,etc,. Your son on the other hand, well you get the picture.
Also the 16 year old friend needs a letter from signed by both parents that is BONDED and states 3 things: That they allow you to take them on this specific cruise:2. That they allow you and your wife to take the child out of the country.:3: and that they give you complete authority to make any and all medical decisions for the child.
It sounds like an inconvenience but a cruise is still worth it.
By the way, the reason this rule is in place is to prevent a bunch of spring breakers from taking over a ship. Can you imagine every cabin on the ship taken over with 16 to 24 year olds. That's one party I don't wish to be at.
Check with Royal on the 3rd room with your son they may allow him by himself if your in the adjoining room. I think I do remember that conversation with them. You and your wife will still have to split up.
There is an exception to the rule requiring guests under 21 to be booked in a stateroom with an adult who is 25, that may be helpful in this case. Royal Caribbean waives the age restrictions for minor children traveling with their parents or guardians in adjacent staterooms.
<<we will be traveling with our 3 children ages 12-18 and a friend age 16. do we need to get her parents to write a letter that she has permission to go on the cruise?>>
Boy have I had experience with this question! If you are taking a minor out of the country, you will need to have letters of authorization from both parents that are notarized and originals. You will need the child to have a birth certificate with a raised seal and/or a passport, as well.
If the parents are divorced, you must have BOTH of them agree as mentioned above. If the father is a stepfather that has adopted the child, you will need a copy of the adoption papers to go along with the above documentation.
Lastly, as the responsible parent, I would require the parents of the child that is traveling with you to provide complete insurance for every possibility, including medical evacuation.
I don't mean to be an alarmist, but unless the parents of your daughters fried are close friends, I would dot you i's and cross your t's just to make sure something doesn't go wrong.
Tom is right. I had clients that did this - they made sure to have all the correct documentation (remember the friend will have to provide her original or certified-copy birth certificate too, if she hasn't got a passport). I also insisted on a meeting with all of the parents (there were in this case 2 teen friends going along) and discussed all sorts of issues with them, including advice, warnings, behavior issues, etc. I'd recommend that you ask your TA to do the same for you.
Hello again everyone!!
I am back from my trip and all was well, I took my letter signed and notarized and I wasn't even asked for the letter! I kind of thought that was a little strange after it was bolded and highlighted in every place possible.
And the only way I could drink was if someone on the ship over the age of 25 would sign a waiver for me, which was no problem because we had a big group.