Celebrity Cruises has made an interesting decision that may not be too popular with some guests, as the cruise line has decided to open the adults-only Solarium venue to guests under the age of 16.

Young cruisers will only be permitted in the space during certain hours on certain itineraries, however, in a way that makes sense given the conditions of each sailing.

Many cruise travelers enjoy adults-only spaces as quieter venues onboard and may look forward to some relaxation away from their own younger cruisers on a family getaway.

Aboard Celebrity Cruises’ ships, there is the Solarium space, which features a pool, hot tubs, and luxurious loungers enclosed under glass panels for use in all weather, perfect for those quiet moments.

The cruise line has now announced, however, that the Solarium will be opened to guests under the age of 16 for certain hours on certain sailings. The announcement was made in a newsletter sent to travel agents on February 20, 2024, and will undoubtedly be posted in the cruise line’s app and with onboard signage.

“To accommodate guests under the age of 16 during colder weather, Celebrity Cruises’ adults-only Solarium will offer Solarium Kid hours on select sailings in Alaska, The Baltics and Antarctica from 5-7 p.m. daily,” the announcement read.

No further details about exactly which sailings will offer Solarium Kid hours have been confirmed, but it should be noted that this offering will not apply to warm-weather destinations such as the Caribbean or the Mediterranean.

Celebrity Cruises Solarium

It is possible, however, that the Solarium Kid hours could be expanded to include either more time or more destinations in the future, or it may depend on individual conditions on each cruise.

For example, if a sailing experiences extended poor weather that might close outdoor pools for long periods, or if outdoor pools are closed for maintenance, the Solarium might offer an impromptu Solarium Kid opportunity.

The Solarium is a featured space aboard all Celebrity Cruises ships, including the upcoming Celebrity Xcel, the fifth ship in the innovative Edge class due to join the fleet in November 2025.

While this new policy has not been extensively tested as yet, and there is no strong guest feedback, it is sure to generate both positive and negative reactions.

Families may appreciate the opportunity, as it will give young cruisers on very unique itineraries to still enjoy pool time on the impacted sailings. Because the hours for kids to use the Solarium are limited, the impact on adult usage may be minimal.

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Cruisers without children, or even parents who prefer some adults-only spaces, however, may resist the change as it definitely makes the space different if young passengers are playing in the area, and could destroy the quiet, relaxing vibe the Solarium is supposed to offer.

Celebrity Cruises Deck (Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz / Cruise Hive)

Furthermore, it could be challenging to adequately keep to the stated guidelines. While the Solarium is supposed to be open to kids only from 5-7 p.m., will onboard crew members really prohibit children from entering at 4:45, or staying until 7:15? This might be especially true if they are accompanying their parents already. How strictly the policy will be enforced is something that is yet to be determined.

With one adults-only space opening up to children, even if only in a limited capacity, this may also lead to other venues or activities permitting children in different ways, such as if accompanied by adults or during certain hours.

It is also possible that if this pilot program is successful, it could be expanded to other cruise lines in the Royal Caribbean Group, the parent company that owns Celebrity Cruises.

What do you think about opening the Solarium to kids for limited times on some cruises? Share your reactions on the Cruise Hive boards!

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