Carnival Cruise Line Shuts Down Drinking-Related Rumor

Can people who are technically under age drink alcohol on a Carnival Cruise Line ship if their parent or guardian signs a waiver? That’s the question the company’s Brand Ambassador, John Heald, was asked by a cruiser planning to set sail with two young women under the age of 20.

Two glasses of tropical drinks, one milky white with a pineapple garnish, the other strawberry red with a cherry, against an ocean background, perfect for passengers 18 to 20.

The “Young Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver” Myth

Heald used his Facebook page to respond to an email he’d received from a parent regarding the availability of a “Young Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver form.” The parent hoped the document would allow her daughter and a friend, both of whom were under the age of 20, to enjoy alcoholic drinks during their upcoming Carnival Panorama sailing.

Message: We are taking a cruise with our 19 year old daughter and her 18 year old girlfriend. I was told that Carnival Cruises has a Young Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver form available at the Guest Services Desk for parents to sign to allow their 20 year olds to drink on the Panorama. I called Carnival and was told the form was not available on they were sketchy about if this could be done or not. Can it and if not why not because my daughter and partner are not children?

As is his way, Heald was both forthright and slightly sarcastic in response to the “kind request from a parent.”

He then declared that it was “certainly not my place to judge how other parents, um, parent. However, I find it a wee bit strange that a parent would ask for his.”

After sharing a booze-soaked anecdote from his youth, Heald got to the heart of the matter. “Well then,” he wrote, “we don’t have a waiver and will not be allowing these ladies to be served alcohol.”

In other words, the mysterious waiver giving underage cruisers permission to drink is the latest rumor to be busted by Heald. The vast majority of commenters agreed with the sentiment that those beneath the legal drinking age were too young to understand the consequences. Others mentioned the liability issues the cruise line could face were they to put such a program into place.

Activities for 18 to 20 Year Olds Coming Soon

Vista Atrium and Bar
Carnival Vista atrium. (Photo via of Carnival Cruise Line)

Heald also used the post to announce that, in response to passenger requests, Carnival is rolling out a meet-and-greet specifically designed for the 18-20 year olds sailing onboard Carnival ships. “On every ship,” he explained, “on the first sea day (not embarkation day), there will be a meet-and-greet under the supervision of one of the brilliant Fun Squad members.”

He added that those wishing to participate should check the Fun Times (or app) for information on any individual sailing.

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