Holland America: Sorry, You And Your Wife Are Too Young To Go On Your Honeymoon

Reader Austin and his fiance will be married on May 22, and their honeymoon cruise leaves May 29… without them. Holland America says that Austin (23), and his bride to be, Kelly (20) are too young to sail. Austin says he wasn’t told about this restriction when he booked and paid for the cruise.

Austin writes:

I don’t know if you can answer or can help in anyway, but I’m desperate.

I booked a 20 day Mediterranean Cruise with Holland America back in February for my Honeymoon. My wedding is May 22 and the ship leaves May 29. I am 23 and my new bride to be is 20. I have paid for everything already, the airlines, hotel in Rome, and cruise.

However, they have just informed me that they are not going to let us sail because Kelly, my wife, is too young. We are 2 weeks away from our wedding!!! They didn’t inform me of this before, nor do they say anything on their website. Because I am not over 25, they are denying us. On other websites, age requirements are waived for married couples if they are both over 18 and can show proof of marriage.

What should I do???

Well, Austin. We contacted Holland America for a comment on your situation but our requests for information were ignored.

We then took a look at their policy on passengers under 21 (which is on their website, but it’s buried):

Guests under 21 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone who is at least 25 years old; one adult chaperone is required for every five people under the age of 21.

It seems that, unlike other cruise lines, they do not make an exception for young married couples. This is something they really should have told you when you booked the cruise.

We then took a look at their cancellation policy and have some more bad news, unless you paid for a “Cancellation Protection Plan” you may be in trouble. Holland America’s website doesn’t disclose how large the cancellation fee will be, but they do say: ” Cancellation fees apply regardless of the reason for cancellation, including medical and family matters. “

We’re not travel experts, so we’re going to toss this one out to the crowd. Anyone know how to get Holland America to make an exception? Anyone want to be Austin and Kelly’s chaperone?

(Photo: Todd Stewart )

UPDATE: It seems Austin and Kelly have a heroic travel agent:


My travel agent drove over to tell me the news, because she was so excited and couldn’t do it over the phone. She had got a call from her HAL rep at 8AM, 6AM Seattle time, who had been pushing this case with Holland America.

The HAL rep’s name was Alicia and I want to give a big thanks to her for really sticking it out for us. I know she had to reopen our case and go above and beyond to find someone who would listen. She said she got a call at 1AM from her director who was told that we would be allowed to board. I am so excited!!!

I can’t thank all of you enough, who kept posting all day yesterday and last night. There was so little hope because HAL had faxed over our cancellation notice yesterday afternoon and were only going to refund $400. But you guys kept talking and spurring debate on this arbitrary age requirement rule of being 25. I know they were listening to all of us, even if they didn’t say so.

If we had gotten no response by this afternoon, I had planned to start using all of your great ideas out there. I’m just so happy it didn’t have to make it to that stage. I’ve been on three HAL cruises with my family and always considered there service the best. That is why I selected them for my honeymoon. I’m so glad they didn’t let me down.

Alicia said it had made her day being able to come in to work early and make that call. It is her birthday too, so an extra Happy Birthday to you and a big thanks from us Alicia. Enjoy the flowers!

And thanks again everyone for your support, ideas, and help in this matter!!!

(Thanks, jamesdenver!)