In a move designed to prevent illicit alcohol being smuggled onto its ships, cruise giant Carnival is to ban passengers from bringing bottled water and fizzy drinks on board.
Only limited quantities of sealed cans or cartons will be permitted after July 9, and passengers will be given the chance to pre-order bottled water for their cabin at a reduced price.
Without referring to any specific event, Carnival spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz said the new policy was designed to prevent security incidents “often with tragic consequences” which have been blamed on passengers getting drunk on alcohol not bought in the ships’ bars.
She said that security checks as guests arrived at the ship slowed the boarding process, and denied the new rules were intended to increase in-board revenue. Passengers will still be permitted to bring one bottle of wine per person in their hand luggage.
Current policy allows for alcohol confiscated at check-in to be returned to the guest at the end of the cruise. Under the new rules, it will be destroyed.
The move – which provoked an angry reaction among some regular travellers – follows a similar ban imposed in 2007 but lifted after just a month, and it comes in the wake of U-turns from two other cruise lines.
Royal Caribbean has dropped its a la carte pricing for the Jamie’s Italian on board Anthem of the Seas, which is sailing from Southampton throughout the summer. The restaurant has reverted to a set cover charge per person rather than billing for individual menu items.
Norwegian Cruise Line reversed a ban on food being taken from buffet restaurants to passenger cabins.
It remains to be seen whether Carnival can make their ban stick this time, or whether passenger power will force them to think again.
P&O Cruises, part of Carnival Corporation, has no plans to change its drinks policy, which permits ”reasonable amounts” to be carried on board for in-cabin consumption. Wine taken into restaurants is subject to a £15-a-bottle corkage fee.