By Ernest Blum
MIAMI -- Royal Caribbean International said it no longer is
accepting student group bookings or bookings made by those under 21
unless accompanied by an adult 25 or older. The moves, which are
effective immediately, follow actions taken by Carnival Cruise
Lines last year in an effort to clamp down on youthful revelers,
once identified exclusively with spring-break land
A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman said problems had arisen on the
line's three- and four-night cruises as well as during spring-break
periods for seven-day sailings.
The line defines a student group as one in which half or more
members are under age 21. However, Royal Caribbean said it would
honor student groups already booked for 1997 and 1998 sailings
provided they meet new restrictions. For example, such groups will
be required to increase the ratio of chaperones to group members,
with one chaperone who is at least 25 years old for every seven who
Additionally, Royal Caribbean is requiring a "damage deposit" of
$75 per group member. The funds will go into a pool to cover
damages by any group's members, a line spokesman said. Carnival has
been requiring $50 "damage deposits" from youth groups.
On individual bookings, Royal Caribbean's rules mirror
Carnival's by requiring guests under 21 to accompanied by an adult
who is at least 25. And like Carnival, Royal Caribbean waived the
requirements for married couples who are both under 21 years old.
For children traveling with parents in separate cabins, Royal
Caribbean said it will require adults to be in "adjacent" cabins, a
stricter requirement than Carnival's.
At Princess Cruises, a spokeswoman said the line's only age
limitation is that individuals under 18 must be accompanied by
someone over 21. Stating that the line has not incurred spring
break or other problems with youthful groups, the spokeswoman
added, "We don't offer the kind of product that youth groups are