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We are looking at a Royal Caribbean cruise and my youngest would turn 3 on the 2nd day of the cruise. Does anyone know if she'll be allowed in AO once she turns 3? It's a long cruise with a lot of sea days at the end, so this is a very important detail. Should I get written confirmation from RCI of their policy? I don't want any surprises once I get on board.
On most ships, the age you are on BOARDING DAY, is the age you'll be for the duration of your cruise. It's really up to the staff if she'll be allowed to use the facilities. Any way you can postpone til she's actually 3?
If not, you'll be taking your chances. I'd say, they may allow her to join in...but they do not have to allow it...it's in the cruise docs about ages!
Oh, that complicates things. It's a transatlantic, so postponing means waiting another year. However, the ship does have a nursery so I guess if they don't let her in AO, then we'll just have to pay for the nursery. I don't expect there to be a lot of kids on the cruise, so may-be the staff will be more likely to let her in? My older daughter will be there.
My impression is that there is a lot of freedom for the staff to make decisions. I suspect that once your child turns 3 he/she would be able to use the club as long as the child is potty trained. I have heard of children younger than 3 being allowed in after a trial IF the staff is able and willing to accommodate. On a TA there will likely be a smaller number of children onboard, so the staff may have more leeway, and particularly when the age in question will be obtained within 1 day. Ultimately you probably won't know for sure until you board, because it can be difficult to get a straight answer on questions like this - you can try. But, as you say, if it's an RCI ship with a nursery at least you have a backup plan!
My BIL had a similar situation about five years ago. His DD turned three on day two andwas not allowed in AO program even though she was pottytrained et.al.
Director of AO indicated it was an issue with their insurance. That if it were simply an issue of age groups w/i AO he had discretion - but since she was not 'old enough' in the eyes of the line at the beginning of the cruise.
I have heard of folks allowed in in similar circumstances, but as long as you asked if anyone HAD been denied - the answer is yes.
Thanks, everyone. I appreciate all the insight. Our last cruise she was 18 months old and we went counting on using in-cabin babysitting at $8/hour only to discover that it had increased to $19/hour (and no nursery option). That was a very unpleasant surprise, so I want to have a better idea of what to expect this time. I'd really like her to be in AO, but the nursery will do if we have to.
If anyone else has a recent experience with a newly turned 3 or younger being allowed in Adventure Ocean, I'd love to hear it.
Update: I just pulled out my Compass from our last cruise in Feb 2012 and at the bottom of the kids' pages it says "It is Royal Caribbean International's Policy that all children must be 3 years old by today and fully potty trained to participate in Adventure Ocean's activities." That makes it sound like she would be allowed? (Every compass has that printed on it at the bottom.)
We were recently looking into Royal Caribbean and from our reading of things it looked to us that if your child turned 3 on the cruise, then they were allowed in AO from that day onwards (as long as they were potty trained, of course).