Carnival Cruise Line has made an about-face over an alcohol policy change that it initially said it wouldn’t budge on.
Just last month, Carnival announced that it would no longer be offering pre-cruise sales of bottles of alcohol, which were previously delivered to guests’ cabins for private consumption.
At the time, Carnival’s brand ambassador John Heald said that the line was firm in its decision: “Respectfully, we won’t be changing our minds on this,” he said. “This has nothing to do with making money in fact we’re losing money by doing this but we have to monitor the alcohol content of our guests and keep everybody safe.”
Despite the comment, the line is now reversing that decision… somewhat.
Starting Thursday, December 1st, passengers will once again be able to pre-purchase alcohol for their cruise, but there’s a new limit of one bottle per cabin — no matter how many people are staying in that stateroom. They will also only be available to purchase on voyages that are seven nights or longer.
Today, a guest on Facebook pointed out Heald’s comment about the line not budging on the change. Heald replied, saying “Yes, at the time that’s absolutely correct that’s what we said and we still believe that to be the case, which is why we’re only doing this now on a seven day or more cruises and limiting it to one bottle. We also looked at the vast majority of experienced Cruises [sic] who felt that they were being punished by the behavior of the few. So this is what we will do, we will monitor the situation, and if need be, we will revert to the previous decision.”
The decision to not sell bottles of alcohol to passengers on shorter cruises is likely due to the fact that shorter voyages, as a general rule, tend to draw a more party-centric crowd that drinks more heavily. Carnival Cruise Line has dealt with several incidents this year, including multiple large-group altercations. Because of that, the line has implemented a $500 fine for anyone who breaks its code of conduct, and also put into place a curfew for kids and teens after 1 am unless they’re accompanied by an adult or involved in the kids’ clubs.
For anyone who’s wondering how the new alcohol policy works with back to back cruises, separate bottles can be preordered for each leg of the voyage.