Carnival Cruise Lines, one of the leading cruise lines both in terms of selling drinks on board and in trying to keep passengers from bringing their own on board, is at it again.
Yes, this is a bit tongue-in-cheek. But maybe not so much.
The cruise line has long been vigilant in this area. In fact, in Puerto Vallarta they even set up a checkpoint outside the ship where security guards will open all unsealed bottles and throw out any they deem potentially suspicious, i.e. if they smell of alcohol. And security on board the ship will confiscate any sealed liquor, wine or beer bottles upon reboarding.
Many passengers try to get around the rule by packing beverages in their luggage when they embark. Which has prompted the latest Carnival directive — that bags should be left unlocked “in order to avoid any inconvenience or delay in the delivery of luggage to the cabin.”
If passengers disregard the directive, including by using TSA locks and security believes they see something prohibited, the cruise line will simply hold onto the luggage.
Then those affected passengers can only get their bags back by opening them with security personnel present, which may well be at the end of the luggage delivery process and after the ship has actually sailed. (Sorry if you need a chance of clothes for dinner.)
Carnival’s specific wording states: “All luggage must be unlocked before turning over to the porters in order to avoid any inconvenience to you or delay in delivering the luggage to your stateroom.” And, if a prohibited item is found, it will be confiscated.
The cruise line also states this is not a policy change, but simply stricter enforcement “in the interest of guest and crew safety.” Yes, and in the interest of Carnival’s bottom line.
No doubt cruise line security has found other prohibited items besides alcohol. Drugs come to mind, but they are difficult to catch with an X-ray. And presumably at least a few passengers have tried to bring weapons aboard. But booze is the biggie. There’s a lot of profit in those Bahama Mamas.
Since it’s really about money, this does get back to my original tongue-in-cheek suggestion, maybe we should hire Carnival security at the airport and pay them for any prohibited items they find. Potential terrorists may not know what hit them.