Water, Water Everywhere, But Not a Drop to…

Carnival Bans Carry On Bottled Water
Carnival’s 12-pack of bottled water. Order before your cruise for $2.99 plus tax. Buy it on board, it’s $4.99 plus gratuities.

…Bring onboard a Carnival Cruise!

As of July 9, guests cruising on any Carnival ship will not be allowed to carry aboard any bottles of water. That’s right. Carnival bans carry on water bottles.

What about alcohol?

Here’s the short and sweet original guideline for bringing booze on a cruise: You can’t. Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages on board. The exception: guests 21 yrs or older may, on embarkation day only, carry on one sealed and unopened 750 ml bottle of wine or champagne. If you drink it in your stateroom you can avoid the $15 corkage fee for wine brought to any dining room or bar.

Carnival’s new bottled water rule.

As the cruise line stated earlier this week, beginning on July 9, 2015, guests are also prohibited from bringing water, sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages that are in bottles. Doesn’t matter if they’re sealed or not. No bottles.

However, guest may, on embarkation day only, carry on non-alcoholic beverages that are packaged in either cans or cartons. Never fear…kids still get their juice boxes.

The definition of a small quantity is a maximum of 12 sealed, unopened cans or cartons of not more than 12 ounces each, per person. By my calculations, that means two kids and two parents equal 48 sealed, unopened juice boxes. More than enough juice for a 7-night cruise.

As always, any hard liquor, beer or other forms of alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic beverages that do not meet the above-mentioned guidelines will be confiscated and no compensation provided.

Buy your water from Carnival.

Now before you get all in a huff about the water ban, Carnival has a solution. Guests can purchase water online, before their cruise. A 12-pack of bottled water (16.9 ounces each) is only $2.99 plus tax, or $4.99 plus gratuities if purchased onboard.

The larger choice, an 8-pack of 50 ounces bottles of water (1.5L) is $20.00. That would almost last me for one 7-night cruise…at about $2.50 a bottle.

Carnival Bans Carry On Bottled Water
Carnival 8-pack bottled water. 50.72 ounces equals 1.5 liters.

To me, that’s cheaper and a lot better than hauling water from the parking lot to my stateroom, along with my overloaded carry on bag. And, as someone who drinks two liters of water a day and always orders a $19.99 or more water package on day one, I think this less expensive option is great.

Buy bottled water at the ports?

Not anymore. Even in the ports, no one can bring on water, soda, juice…nothing.

So it’s Carnival’s water, or find and carry on 12 cans or cartons of water. I read that after the floods in Texas, the Red Cross was handing out cans of water packaged by Anheuser-Busch. Sorry, they’re not available for purchase…yet.

Carnival Bans Carry On Bottled Water
Photo credit: David McNew/Getty Images

Why is this happening?

Carnival says that it’s because so many people are sneaking booze inside water bottles that:

  • It holds up the embarkation process as screeners check each bottle for booze.
  • It’s a contributing factor to out-of-control drunks and drinking. They see this as a way to try to curtail “behavioral issues associated with the unmonitored consumption of alcohol that has been smuggled onboard.”

It is what it is. Safety, revenue and efficiency all seem to be part of this decision. Each adult over 21 can still carry on a bottle of wine or champagne at embarkation. That hasn’t changed.

For me, while I enjoyed bringing a couple of liters of water back onboard after a long day in port, it just means that I’ll have to buy Carnival’s water. Let’s see…costs less and I don’t have to schlep water onboard. And the problem is what?

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One Comment

  1. This may not be an issue if Carnival offer different brands of water. While the brand type may not be a factor for some, it is for others. I hate that some have messed it up for others who did NOT have a problem with carrying their water onboard.

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