Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1
It is always a shame to see these new rules implemented.
And there is never a really good way to do it.
But there is always a Good Reason do it.
HAL was the only mass market line left that had a liberal policy with passengers bringing wine aboard.
And many passengers took full advantage of it.
When I worked over there, it was not uncommon to see an elderly man or woman, barely able to walk, trying to drag a handtruck with 4 or 5 cases of wine up the gangway on embark day. It was so sad, it was funny.
Or even worse, they handed over a few cases of wine to the union stevedores for delivery to their cabins. The stevedores promptly stole some or all of the wine, and the cruise line then had to replace it.
Then on the first night of the cruise, all the bars on the ship would be empty of wine glasses (and people) by 7pm.
One by one, passengers would visit the bars and ask for a few wine glasses to take back to their cabins.
Then, 2 hours later, those same people went to the dining rooms with wine glasses filled to the brims (sometimes one glass in each hand), claiming that they had just come from cocktail hour in the bars. We always had a great laugh at this, as we never sold a 10 ounce pour glass of wine in the bars.
By the middle of the meal, those same people stood up, took the empty wine glasses back to their cabins, re-filled them to the brims, and returned to the dining rooms, once again claiming that they had just visited the bar for another 10 ounce glass of wine.
Playing games like this just dares the cruise line company to change the rules to protect itself.
All the other lines felt forced to change the rules already.
HAL, in typical fashion, was a bit behind the curve.
Going to another mass market cruise line?
They all have just about the same rules - for the same reasons.
Do the cruise lines realize that making rules like this will discourage a certain demographic from cruising with them?
Absolutely, they do. That's the entire point.
With today's marketing and profit models, we simply cannot afford to have those people sailing with us.
I've seen this again and again and you describe it exactly as I have witnessed.
For those who brought two or three bottles for a 14 days cruise and, indeed, drank it on your verandah, I'm sorry for the change in policy.
For those who so blatantly flaunted and abused the leniency of HAL's policy, no one should be surprised HAL finally was forced to change the policy.
We never bothered to lug wine. We found more than enough adequate and far more than adequate wines to order from HAL's wine lists and enjoy being served properly in the MDR by a lovely wine steward(ess) and nothing will change for us.
For those who now must buy HAL on board or do without, you have decisions to make.
Thank you, BruceChafkin, for writing what needed to be said.