Holland America bars young married couple from sailing, then reconsiders

There are two very happy people out there tonight: Austin and Kelly.

The two had booked their honeymoon cruise on Holland America Lines and were set to sail on a long Mediterranean cruise May 29, seven days after their wedding. But there was a problem: Kelly is only 20, and Austin is 25.

The couple fell victim to HAL’s rule that passengers under 21 must be accompanied by an adult older than 25. While a lot of other cruise lines make an exception for married couples, HAL does not. The cruise line initially contacted the couple and told them that they could not board the cruise. To add insult to injury, it also appeared that the couple was going to lose most of what they paid for the trip, since HAL was not going to wave cancellation fees in this case.

What happened? It appears Austin and Kelly managed to get the company to change its mind, given their marriage status. A plucky travel agent liaised with HAL, and the company has agreed to allow Austin and Kelly to sail.

The question is whether this reversal is a one time exception from HAL or a permanent change in the cruise line’s policy about allowing passengers under 21 sail if they are married, regardless of the age of their spouse.