See update below
Those crazy spring breakers, bringing their cases of mineral water and Coca-Cola on board the cruise ships! They’ve simply gone too far! …huh?
Carnival Cruise Lines is clamping down on passengers who bring beverages on board. Their new policy prohibits passengers from bringing beverages onto the ship. That means alcoholic AND non-alcoholic beverages.
Is it because of the seemingly monthly reports of passengers who fall off a ship in an apparently drunken stupor? No.
Is it terrorism fears, the 3-ounce bottle-makers’ lobby, and the TSA-ification of the seas? Nope.
The reason is economics, pure and simple. The cruise ships weren’t selling as many drinks on board as they wanted.
Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen said guests had been bringing on too many nonalcoholic beverages. “There had been some abuse of the previous policy which is why the new policy is more restrictive,” he said.
Nonalcoholic beverages? I’m sure people are bringing in cases and cases of Evian.
Maybe they’re trying to play down the fact that their margins on umbrella drinks are astronomical. And by banning non-alcoholic beverages, they can be sure to milk some more money from alcohol-free cruises too, like the Christian cruises they book wholesale.
Rum runners will undoubtedly be upset: Duty free purchases of liquor from dockside shops will be taken and held by the cruise line until you leave the ship. Other beverages brought on board “will be confiscated and discarded without compensation.”
One sole exception remains: “guests (21 years and older only) may bring one bottle of wine or champagne per person on board only during embarkation at the beginning of the cruise. A $10 corkage fee per bottle will be charged should you wish to consume this wine in the dining room or a $14 corkage fee per bottle in the Supper Club.” How generous.
Extortion, thy name is Carnival!
Update: After taking heat, Carnival has backed off their non-alcoholic beverage ban, but the ban on alcohol stays. Here’s the revised policy on beverages:
Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages onboard. However, guests (21 years and older only) may bring one bottle of wine or champagne per person on board only during embarkation at the beginning of the cruise. A $10 corkage fee per bottle will be charged should you wish to consume this wine in the dining room or a $14 corkage fee per bottle in the Supper Club. Guests may bring a small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages.
All alcohol, additional quantities of wine/champagne or excessive quantities of non-alcoholic beverages will be confiscated and discarded without compensation. Guests may purchase a variety of beverages on board the ship. Alcoholic beverages will not be sold or served to anyone under the age of 21. We reserve the right to refuse the sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone. Alcoholic beverages purchased in the ship’s gift shops or in ports of call will be retained by Carnival until the end of the voyage.