This Easter half term has been a particularly adventurous one, for one particular member of The Jones household this week, my 14 year old son! He travelled to the other side of the world with his school friends on a G.C.S.E Geography trip of a lifetime! The week flew by for him, although not so much for my wife who became his twitter stalker!
He visited San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley (as shown in the pic), Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Los Angeles….yes this WAS a school trip! Anyway i thought it would lead nicely into a subject I sometimes touch upon, and that’s the rules and regulations of unaccompanied minors travelling and the rules and regulations of children on ships!
The basic flight travel rules for unaccompanied minors are as follows – Children aged 12-15 years old, May travel unaccompanied, however, an adult must sign the Form of Indemnity the day of flight departure at the airport check-in desk. Children without this completed form will not be allowed to fly. Children under the age of 12, Must be accompanied by an adult 16 years or older. Airlines I’m positive will want us parents to rest easy, and take great care of our children while they’re flying on the Unaccompanied Minor Service. Expect the airline to do the following –
Cruising however is a different ball game, not necessarily talking about unaccompanied minors but age restrictions on cruising aren’t talked about that much, but they’re essential information for cruising families and young adults looking to sail on their own. While many lines have restrictions about kids and teens occupying a cabin by themselves, many cruise lines let you get around this by letting you request additional sets of keys to cabins under the same reservation. You can then book one parent, or adult, in each cabin, and then switch up who sleeps where once on board. For connecting cabins with an interior door open between the two rooms, you could do sleeping arrangements however you like without needing to change keys.
You don’t want to plan that big family summer cruise, only to find out that your baby will be too young to sail, teenagers and the 18- to 21 year olds will want to know which adult activities they can join — or whether they must wait a few years before they can gamble or visit the on board clubs late at night, don’t assume mother and daughter can have a girly day in the Spa together of that your teenage boys can burn off steam in the gym – their are rules, lots of rules and they’re there for the benefit of everyone enjoyment.
Children under age 18 who are traveling out of the country accompanied by only one parent (or neither parent) may be required to obtain a notarized letter of consent signed by the parents who are not traveling. Rules vary by country visited and cruise line travelled on and are worth investigating. When it comes to babies , many cruise lines adopt a similar rule – Babies must be six months to sail on most cruises. The exceptions are longer cruises (such as transatlantic sailings), where the minimum age is 12 months. P&O Cruise and Cunard adopt the rule that passengers must be 18 years old to travel on their own. Travellers under the age of 18 must travel with an adult over the age of 18. Children under age 16 cannot occupy a cabin without an accompanying passenger who is 16 or older. Royal Caribbean the rule is slightly different , passengers must be 21 years old (as of the day the ship sets sail) to travel on their own. Travelers under the age of 21 must travel with an adult over 21 years old in the same or an adjacent cabin. Exceptions are made for legally married couples, who must provide a copy of their marriage certificate.
Please , Please check the rules with the airline, cruise line, whoever you or your family are travelling with, never assume, we want you to make the most of your holiday and its not our responsibility!