Carnival limits bottled beverages at embarkation

Carnival Cruise Line said it will put new limits on the type and quantity of beverages that passengers can bring with them when boarding a cruise.

Effective with cruises departing July 9, passengers will no longer be able to bring beverages packaged in bottles, with the exception of a single bottle of fine wine or champagne.

Beverages packaged in cans or cartons, including sodas, waters and juices, will be permitted but limited to 12 or less brought aboard in carry-on luggage.

Carnival said it was making the change because bottled beverages have become a main method for smuggling unauthorized alcohol onto ships.

In recent years, some passengers have started bringing multiple cases of bottled water onboard. Inspecting the contents of the bottles is slowing down embarkation, Carnival said. Passengers who smuggle liquor are more difficult to monitor for excess consumption, Carnival said.

Incidents of bad behavior on cruises have often been traced back to smuggled alcohol, the cruise line said.

Concurrent with the policy change, Carnival said it will lower the price of bottled water on its ships to $2.99 per 12-pack if pre-ordered and $4.99 once the cruise begins. Current prices are around $12 per 12-pack, with higher per-bottle prices for individual bottles.

The pre-ordered 12-packs will be delivered to a customer’s stateroom, Carnival said.

Carnival will also restrict the size of coolers that can be brought aboard to 12x12x12 inches.  It said screening and movement of large coolers through embarkation is an impediment to the boarding and security process.

Carnival said it doesn’t expect the changes to result in any net new revenue.

The policy change has been under consideration and review for many months, and Carnival said that it was confident it had arrived at a permanent solution.

“We sincerely apologize for any disappointment these changes may cause,” wrote senior director of solutions and special services Arlene Marichal in a letter that will go out to booked passengers explaining the change. “However, we firmly believe this will result in a safer environment while also improving the embarkation process and the overall guest experience. ”

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