Since my original post here (and a similar post on cruisecritic.com under the name of "Dolebludger") , I have learned that beverage availability and cost are of different priorities to different cruisers. But the responses questioning my drinking habits (at home 10% beer 90% Diet Coke, with added rum on tropical cruises), and my financial status (about 40% of what it was two years ago, thanks for reminding me) are off the subject. The subject is what are RCI's policies on beverages you can bring onboard (hard and soft and water), and what you can do with on-board liquor purchases.So let's concentrate on RCI, please.
Let me restate. RCI has developed a large number of repeat cruisers, to its credit, who have lawfully come to expect that certain restrictions will apply and certain will not based on past business dealings. These (including me) hare a right (check with your lawyer) to expect the same policies on cruises booked now, unless given notice to the contrary by RCI. And people who booked six months ago certainly have a right to notice of any such changes before their cruise date, and the right to cancell penalty free. Problem is, RCI has been changing policies several times over the last couple of months, and has failed to notify. RCI has refused to furnish me with a complete list of all its restrictions. Email and phone communications have resulted in a list of restrictions that does not at all match the responses on these boards from recent RCI cruisers. To the contrary, cruisers say there really weren't any restrictions. But a few weeks ago, posts on these boards were a different story, describing everything but body cavity searches and removal of drinks (soft and hard) from cruisers' possesion until after the cruise. This is the most confusing mess I have ever seen in the area of vacation travel.RCI's president will be on this board for a live chat Nov 5 at 9:00 EST. Let's ask him. After all, I really don't care what restrictions RCI imposes, as long as I have notice of them and can make my decision in light of them. Remember the Carnival Paradise -- the non-smoking ship? Everyone seeking a booking was not only informed of this policy, but was required to sign a statement that they understood it. That's great with me, because it allowed the consumer to make an informed decision. Too bad RCI hasn't been as clear.