The carnival’s over for youthful cruisers.
Starting with the new year, Carnival Cruise Line will ban passengers under 21 unless they are accompanied by someone 25 or older.
“The biggest complaint we get is on the spring break cruises when people say the young people monopolize the ship,” said Jeff Kivet, owner of the Cruise Value Center, a travel agency in East Brunswick, N.J.
Passengers complained of loud music in the middle of the night and young adults drinking too much and being boisterous by the pool, Kivet said Friday.
“The response from the travel agents was overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive,” said Mike Brown, editor of Cruise and Vacation Views, a trade magazine for agents. “For the most part, most adults don’t want to have to deal with other people’s kids.”
Although cruise lines encourage passengers to let down their hair with special drinks of the day, multiple bars and poolside drink service, cruise ships are known for their close quarters and depend on the civility of passengers.
“We encourage them to go out and have a good time and go to the shows and go to the discos, but you can do that with a reasonable amount of decorum,” Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher said. “We’re not asking everyone to go to bed stone-cold sober every night, but there are limits to what you want to put up with.”
Unruly young adults have been shunned before. Fort Lauderdale was the spring break mecca for years until drunken students and booming arrests persuaded city officials to yank the welcome mat.
Daytona Beach inherited many young travelers, but cruises presented exotic alternatives and Carnival saw a boost in bookings by college students on spring break over for the last two years, Gallagher said.
Other cruise lines don’t expect to follow suit.
Royal Caribbean’s policy for several years has required anyone under 18 to stay with or next door to their parents or to share a cabin with someone over 20.
“It’s working,” said spokeswoman Lynn Martenstein. “If it ever gets to the point where we don’t feel it’s working, we’ll review it.”