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Carnival Cruise Line Sheds Light On a Key Drug Policy

The cruise line’s brand ambassador wants to make one rule that people have questioned very clear.



The cruise line's brand ambassador wants to make one rule that people have questioned very clear.

Cruise lines have very strict rules about what you can and can't bring onboard. Some of those rules are safety related. You can't bring candles or most plug-in devices because they represent a fire risk.

In other cases, the cruise lines want to protect their own bottom line. For example there are rules about bringing on outside water or soda (they vary by line). That's not about protecting passengers from drinking too many Cokes or being too hydrated, those rules are so you have buy beverages from the cruise line.

DON'T MISS: Carnival Cruise Line Issues Warning for Passengers

All cruise lines also have very specific rules about alcoholic beverages. Royal Caribbean (RCL) - Get Free Report, for example, just changed its rule regarding bringing wine onboard its ships. Previously, every cabin was allowed to carry-on two bottles of wine. Now, that rule has been updated to make it one bottle per adult in the room.

In theory, that rule is partly about passenger safety (cruise lines don't really want passengers drinking where it can't be monitored), but it's mostly about making you pay for your drinks onboard. Both of those things also factor into why alcohol bought in port is confiscated and returned late the last night of your sailing on both Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) - Get Free Report.    

Appliances, open flames, and alcohol are not the only things regulated by the cruise lines. You also can't bring weapons onboard and there are rules about drugs.

Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald recently gave some clarity on a key question regarding drugs onboard Carnival ships. 

The Carnival Mardi Gras at sea.

Image course: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Provides Prescription Drug Feedback

Heald often answers emails on his Facebook page. He answered one on March 24 that cleared up a question a lot of passengers have. (The name was redacted by Heald).

Name: D—

Message: YouTuber —— said that the new regulation for all cruise lines is that any medication must be in the original prescription bottle.  

That may seem like a small question, but it's one that many cruise passengers have. Heald provided a very direct answer, with a small caveat.

Thank you for writing and I wanted to share this because it will help get the correct message across. You may take your medication prescription or otherwise in a daily planner. It does not have to be in the original bottle or packet . You can take photographs of the bottle and the name of the medicine to show should you be required to do so which is very, very unlikely.

Heald speaks for the cruise line and his advice is true based on Carnival's expectations. It does not address, however, that customs could search a passenger's bags when they return and loose pills may raise questions.

If customs opts to detain a passenger due to a suspicious pill, they have the right to do that, so while the cruise line may allow for daily drug planners, having the original bottle is never a bad idea.

Many of the people who responded to Heald noted that they may not bring the original bottle but do print out the prescription. That could be beneficial if questioned by customs and in the event of a medical emergency so anyone attending to a non-responsive passenger knows what medication they are on.

Does Carnival Allow Cannabis On Its Ships?   

Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and the other major cruise lines have also run into issues with both medical and recreational marijuana. In some states, including Florida where many cruise ships leave from, have legal medical marijuana. That lets passengers think that they can bring their cannabis smoking onboard.  

Heald actually commented on Carnival's cannabis policy back in January, 

"I do of course realise that people take it for pain relief and I understand and appreciate this so much. However, let me be clear if I may and say while it is legal to purchase in many parts of America it is not allowed to be brought on board regardless if it used for pain relief or not. Yes, we really have made a huge effort to stop this being used on board and while it may not be foolproof it is making a big difference," he shared on his Facebook page.

The brand ambassador noted that the cruise line was following federal law.

"It is a federal law that marijuana cannot be brought and used on the ship and yes we will fine guests and possibly take further action as well. So please, I ask respectfully, do not bring it on board and for those who need it for pain relief I hope you will be able to find an alternative for while you are on your cruise," he added.

Royal Caribbean abides by the same policies and while neither cruise line seems to go out of its way to search for cannabis during boarding, both have recently kicked passengers off their ships when it was smoked onboard.

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