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Royal Caribbean ups the age limit to its adults-only pool on its cruise ships

26 Sep 2023
Matt Hochberg

You'll need to be a little bit older to access the adults-only pool on your next Royal Caribbean cruise.

Solarium on Allure of the Seas

It looks like Royal Caribbean has changed the minimum age to access the Solarium area on its cruise ships.

In an update sent via email, the cruise line indicated it is responding to guest feedback by changing the minimum age.

Vision of the Seas solarium

Going forward, guests will need to be 18 years old or older to access the Solarium. Prior to this change, guests had to be at least 16 years old.

Solarium age change

"At Royal Caribbean, our guests' feedback matters. This is why we have decided to keep our 'adults-only' areas consistent, and update the Solarium age restriction from 16+ to 18+ years old."

The update was sent to travel agents.

While the age limit has changed, kids are still allowed to walk through the Solarium, such as to access the Solarium Bistro restaurant.  The difference is they cannot stop and spend time in the venue or its pools.

Solarium on Quantum of the Seas

Historically, a ship will waive the minimum age for cold weather cruises when the public pool for all guests is too cold, such as on Alaska cruises.

Why make the change?

Harmony solarium

The minimum age of 16 years old to access the Solarium has been in place for many years.

The subject of changing the minimum age has been a hot button topic for years, and it usually comes up as a question to Royal Caribbean executives on a Presidents Cruise event.

Perhaps related is the fact the change comes just a few months after the 2023 President's Cruise, when some guests voiced their concern regarding the minimum age in the Solarium.

It's not clear exactly why the change was made now after so many years with 16 being the minimum, other than "guest feedback".

Hideaway Beach Club render

One benefit of making the Solarium only available for 18 year olds or older is that aligns better with other adult-only areas. 

Some guests expressed frustration in that the Solarium allowed 16 and 17-year-olds, but the minimum age for adults at the new Hideaway Beach area of Perfect Day at CocoCay is 18 and above.

What is the Solarium?

The exact offerings depend on the ship, but inside the Solarium you will often find a pool, hot tub, seating area and a bar. Some ships have food inside the Solarium at a Park Cafe or Solarium Bistro location.

Another difference between the Solarium and the main pool are the loungers tend to be padded.

Some ships have a totally glass-enclosed Solarium area, while other ships are open-air. The glass keeps the heat in, and often, the Solarium is one of the warmest spots onboard.

Solarium on Oasis of the Seas

On Royal Caribbean's newer cruise ships, you'll find a greater variety of seating, included padded couches and other comfortable seating.

There is no additional cost to access the Solarium.

Reader reaction


With a topic like age restrictions, there's no shortage of opinions on Royal Caribbean's policy change.

Pippa Madden wrote, "I really had no idea it was such an issue."

Many readers celebrated the news, but questioned how effective it would be in terms of the rules being enforced. Tom Thomasson exemplified many comments, "About time. Now if they will enforce it."

There are a few well-known guest conduct policies that are policy on paper, but rarely enforced.  The so-called "chair hog" problem of guests reserving pool loungers, dress code in the main dining room, and curfew rules at select venues are examples of such long-standing gripes cruisers have with a lack of rule enforcement.

Read moreHow to beat the chair hogs on your cruise ship

Ryan Longo thought the cruise line should have gone further, "Should be 21 but 18 is good enough."

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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