I know that the "can't bring liqour aboard" issue has been discussed to death. And after all, you could buy a bottle in the ship's shop for only a $9.50 up charge, right?
Wrong! I called RCI today (11/01/01) and was told that now, you cant buy a bottle to take to your room, period. And this same policy applies to beer and wine of course. AND, the list of what you can't bring onboard has grown to include the following: chips, soft drinks, juice, and (for God's sake) bottled water (which some people need medically). I asked if any of these draconian restrictions were mentioned (even in fine print) in any of RCI's ads for supposedly cheap fares, and was told "no". As a Crown and Anchor member, I asked If RCI would send me a list of ALL their rules and restrictions, and was told "no". I asked if one who booked months ago before these rules were invented could be exempt from them, and was told "no". I asked if I could be guaranteed that no more restrictive rules would be applied to me if I booked today for a cruise next summer, and was told "no". Now I know from these boards that RCI's new restrictions are applied in a manner that is far from uniform. But still, after paying thousands for a cruise, I don't want to take a chance on being treated like a refugee. It should be clear to everybody that these rules have nothing to do with needed security. If RCI would prohibit any glass bottles over a certain size (regardless of what they contained, if anything) this could be justified by security concerns. But who ever could commit terrorism with a soft plastic bottle of water, rum, Diet Coke, or juice? Who could ever do so with an aluminum can of beer or soft drink? No one, of course. Rather, what RCI is doing is creating a captive market for its overpriced $3.50 bottled water, etc. And it is doing so in a completely arbitrary manner, with no notice to the consumer, even those who booked before the rules. For those, this amounts to fraud, pure and simple. If you are like me and used to love RCI, I'm afraid it's time to start looking for a new cruise line --- one that will at least put its rules in writing, send them to you, and stick with them for your later cruise if you book now. And if you doubt anything I have said, just call RCI at 1-899-327-6700 and ask the questions I did. And, you might want to think twice before buying or holding any RCI stock! Finally, in my call to RCI I was asked if I would care to book a cruise. My response is unprintable.