Celebrity Cruises have today announced changes in their onboard alcohol policy, changing the minimum drinking age onboard to reflect the local laws — meaning passengers on cruises throughout Europe will be able to purchase alcohol onboard from the age of 18, as opposed to 21. Update (18/02/13): Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises' sister line, have also announced they will be making the same changes onboard.
Previously the cruise line had kept to American standards onboard, maintaining a minimum drinking age of 21 — though there were some cases where adults over the age of 18 could purchase alcohol onboard with written parental consent and when sailing in locations where the minimum drinking age in port is 18.
This marks a modern approach from Celebrity Cruises and shows how important the European market is becoming to them, where the legal drinking age is much younger. As a 5* cruise line, their target market isn't revelling teenagers, so they are merely allowing people travelling with families to enjoy the fantastic wine selections, cocktails and lounge bars that Celebrity offer.
Here are the official ages to purchase alcohol onboard with Celebrity Cruises:
- The minimum drinking age for all alcoholic beverages on Celebrity Cruises ships sailing from South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand is 18.
- The minimum drinking age for all alcoholic beverages on Celebrity Cruises ships sailing from North America remains at 21.
- In certain circumstances where local laws permit or require [it], Celebrity Cruises may modify this policy which may also require parent/guardian request/authorization [sic] for guests between 18 and 20.
So, if you are a young adult who likes 5* luxury or regularly travel with your family, then this is great news for you. Enjoying cocktails on sea days, heading to the Michael's Club to sample their collection of craft beers, or enjoying a bottle of wine over dinner with the rest of the family, adults over 18 can now enjoy a Celebrity cruise in full.
Update (18/02/13): Royal Caribbean's popular 4* American cruising will no doubt also be a hit with families and young adults heading to the Med, as they will operate the same policy of allowing adults 18 years and older to purchase alcohol onboard as advised above.
Written by Charlie Hamilton-Beaufort