Ok someone please set the booze issue straight. Has Princess changed their policy about bringing in on board? We have sailed with them every year for the last 11 years and have never had a problem regardless of where we embarked or stopped. There are 10 of us going on the Grand 2/24/02 and there are going to be some very very unhappy folks if they stop us. No guessing please, just the correct answer. Thanks!
I'm not sure that Princess has officially changed any policy. If I recall correctly, there has always been a policy saying that passengers may not bring their own booze aboard, but I have yet to see anybody enforcing such a policy very stringently. Rumor has it that some ships are now enforcing the policy.
Prior to September, Princess' 'policy' was they had NO policy against bringing alcohol onboard. This has changed. Here is official 'word' -
Effective September 2001, we have revised our policy with regards to passengers
bringing their own alcoholic beverages onboard (excluding wine and champagne).
Passengers are requested to NOT bring Alcoholic Beverages of any kind onboard
for consumption. Alcoholic Beverages that are purchased duty free, from the
Ship's Gift Shop or at ports of call will be collected for safekeeping and
delivered to the passenger's stateroom on the last day of the voyage. A member
of our security staff will be at the gangway to assist passengers with the
storage of their Alcoholic Beverage purchases.
However, we do offer passengers a fine selection of liquor by the bottle
available for purchase during the course of the cruise for consumption in the
passenger's stateroom.; A variety of bottled spirits are offered and are listed
in the stateroom information portfolio.; The Stateroom Steward or Bell Box
Attendant will be pleased to assist by arranging for bottles to be delivered
with mixers/sodas as required.
There is a $10 per bottle corkage fee charged for all wine and champagne brought
onboard ship by passengers for consumption in the passenger bars, dining room or
any other public area.
Bottles of alcohol purchased from the onboard gift shop are not intended for
onboard consumption and therefore will not be available for collection until the
last day when the shop is open. Please see the Princess Patter for opening hours
or consult with the shop staff onboard.
While it is their policy it is not widely enforced. From what I've read they have not been enforcing on all cruises leaving Port Lauderdale. Several folks have posted it was no problem to bring it on board checked or otherwise and I will find out on 11/17.
I just sent an email to Princess. I am concerned that this is just the beginning of their restrictions. This seems a little petty. I wonder what they will charge for next. Perhaps they could charge for Dessert. It makes you wonder about their financial stability.
I contacted Princess directly and was informed that effective 9/1/01 their policy is to collect all liquor purchased on shore or in the duty free and hold it until your last day on board. I explained I was a frequent past customer and was very unhappy about this. I questioned who I could complain to and was told it would not do any good, as this was now their policy. I explained I could do something by choosing not to sail with Princess again, because I feel this is a very petty policy. The Customer Service Rep said "Since this is so petty, why are you concerned?" I explained I thought Princess was being petty. She told me then we could purchase liquor by using Room Service. Of course the prices would not be the duty free price, but a marked up price. I was informed this was probably being done to increase revenues.
I think everyone concerned with this issue should contact princess.
I feel that entertaining in your cabin is one of the perks of sailing.
What does everyone else think???
Connie - Bumble Bee and all
Thanks so much for the information. No our group, all 10 of us are not happy. It's not that we don't purchase drinks at the inflated prices from Princess on board. It's more an issue of being able to have a get together on our balconies and have a drink when we want it. Paying for Ice Cream on the deck is bad enough, but now they may have stepped over the line. I'm sure our group changing cruise lines might not make a dent in their normal profit line, but since travel is down due to 9/11 you would think they would have rethought their policy. Guess it's time to write letters!
Thanks again for the help.
I agree with you. I can tell you that we have always spent money in the lounges and casino on drinks and never thought much of it. We also enjoyed entertaining in our cabin and having a few cocktails with the people we are sailing with. It isn't really the matter of the cost of purchasing the liquor from Princess, it is really the principal of the matter.
I feel they are becoming too concerned about revenue and want to nickel and dime the passengers.
I will be writing a letter also. If they continue this, next year we will choose another cruise line and they are certainly some great options out there. I have been sailing with Princess since the with Sitmar. How sad.
Whats all the fuss about? After September 11th I will go along with any change ANYONE makes to secure my safety. Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe they are afraid someone could bring something other than liquor on in those bottles. Good God we have anthrax who wants something else to worry about.
Barbara - This had nothing to do with September 11.
They put this policy into place on September 1 -
This policy was put into place to increase revenue, not for security purposes.
I confirmed that with Princess directly.
If it was due to security measures I would agree with you. This was not done for that reason
The idea the the policy change has anything to do with security is rediculous. If that was the case, they would have to also ban all luggage and its contents: shaving cream cans, perfume bottles etc. - the list is endless. You would be allowed to board with only the clothes on your back (after being strip-searched at embarkation).
I'll take the likely less popular position in this discussion.
The fact of the matter is cruises are much less expensive now, even before 9-11, than they were even 5 years ago. Some of this may the cruise line's own doing with their quick expansion of their new build programs, but the reason's don't change the fact that rates are DOWN.
As a result, they're searching for more onboard revenue sources.
In the case of bringing liquor onboard I believe what's happened is enough people are using their liquor beyond in cabin consumption, that it's become noticeable to the cruise lines.
I know I've been saying many more "cooler cups" around the pools on my cruises lately!
They don't seem to be objecting to people bringing wine onboard, because it's much less likely that it will go beyond use in the cabins or dining room.
With the even further bargain basement prices of cruises since 9-11 I understand that onboard spending has increased significantly.
Maybe we should just be thankful that cruise pricing has dropped enough that we can afford to cruise more, and spend our savings on booze etc.
And I agree with the point that drinks are making their way from the cabin to other parts of the ship. Personally I drink nothing but water during the day, the sun is too darn hot and booze does not help.
I think if you can buy it duty free on board (for later consumption), you should be able to buy that label at slightly increased price (not the markup they have now) for immediate comsumption. The selection avaliable for in stateroom use is very poor.
As is usually the case, the abuse by some leads to the loss of freedom for all.
What's all the fuss?? Pack your favorite booze in your checked luggage - I don't think they are going to search all the luggage - this could amount to over 5,000 bags per ship per cruise. You can buy most booze now in plastic jugs so they will not break. When they start taking it out of your hand or make you walk the plank then it will be time to complain!
Appreciate you trying to find the silver lining but I am still dealing with 10 angry folks. My husband and I, plain ol' working class people, starting taking our vacations aboard Princess ships 11 years ago. We save all year to be treated like royality on our vacation and currently have over 150 days at sea. Yes, I know that's not much to a lot of folks, but try juggling money while working, dealing with 4 kids, 2 grand-kids, and elderly parents. Thank God we have them all. One of my husbands greatest pleasures is to buy a six-pack of 'Local' beer when we stop at a port. He's really a sucker for dirty-sock beer. Half the time he doesn't even drink it. But when I told him last night he won't be able to do that this coming February he was really really angry. Like he commented, 'We booked a mini-suite last year on the Sun and what did they do, they eliminate the butler and now they won't let me buy beer!' 'Maybe next year they won't want to move the twin beds together to make a queen because it cost too much!'. We have never objected to paying for service provided we get our monies worth. If we were looking to travel on the cheap we would never have chosen Princess in the first place. There are too many cheaper lines out there that can easily find sun and blue water as easily as Princess. I've already e-mailed Princess, but I'm sure I'll not get a response. With passenger loads down simply dropping the price isn't going to solve their problems. Cruise lines will have to find ways to entice those of us willing to travel to do so with them, not invent ways to discourage us.
I could not agree with you more. Our group of six is also upset. We always get a suite so we can entertain on the deck. In fact we go the same time each year. We are not trying to smuggle drinks to the pools and the bars. We gladly spend money in their lounges and casino.
We have always sailed with Princess and feel that this just doesn't feel right.
We enjoy trying the local "spirits". When I spoke with a Princess Rep I was told this was not being done for security reasons. This is being done to increase revenue. Which is obvious since they still allow you to bring wine on board.
I know someone mentioned that cruise prrices are being discounted, but we have seen no evidence in that.
I know this seems petty, but it really could change our opinion of Princess. Fortunately, there are several other cruise options out there.
I don't think I would really feel comfortable about trying to "sneak" liquor in my bag. I have been out of high school too many years for that.
I think the only course of actionis to let Princess know how we feel.
I would be very interested in hearing from anyone once they get back from their cruise to find out how this new policy is working.
I have less than 100 days on princess over the course of the last 6 years and 8 cruises. I guess I am also Ol working class people. But as I said buy your favorite booze at home, pack it in your checked luggage and enjoy it on board. I have been doing this for all 8 cruises and have not had a problem. By the way, as an Ol working class people I cannot afford mini-suites, I usually book an inside cabin. After all, how much time do you spend in your room?
. Fortunately, there are several other
> cruise options out there.
> I don't think I would really feel comfortable about trying to
> "sneak" liquor in my bag. I have been out of high school
> too many years for that.
> I think the only course of actionis to let Princess know how
> we feel.
> I would be very interested in hearing from anyone once they
> get back from their cruise to find out how this new policy is
Most of the others cruise lines have beat Princess to the punch on this policy. Carnival and RCI for sure. Not positive about HAL.
On the other hand I do hear enforcement really varies for from ship to ship. I'd actually be very surprised if anyone would be stopped 1 bottle of spirits or a six pack of beer confiscated returning from a port. A couple of cases, or a BUD truck pulling up to the pier might draw more attention <G>
And if they do stop us??? What if we are on one of the ships (the Grand) and at one of the ports they do the pre-boarding jobs they are being paid to do?? Having to turn over 'contraband' would be an embarrassment. No thank you. Wrapping it in bubble wrap and putting it in our checked luggage is no answer either. I'm delighted others have had no problems with that but having arrived on board with smashed plastic shampoo bottles due to my suitcase being at the bottom of a ten foot pile is a lesson I've taken to heart.
Connie is correct, this new policy is petty. The amount of additional gross profit they will see will be insignificant. But I truly believe the loss of return passengers will be noticable. I've read far to many past messages on this board where people lauded Princess for allowing them to bring alcohol and soda on board. Maybe it's in the works to remove the refrigerators from all the cabins too. If they have an issue with people bringing coolers to the pool deck filled with personal booze then they should address THAT problem. Our group has NEVER taken personal alcohol out of our cabins. And I truly resent being punished for the acts of others. People who fork out as much money as we do for cruise passage are adults and should be treated as such, not as if we were a bunch of high school freshman.
Bottom line, if that's their policy we'll abide by it (not without letters) this one time as it is too late to change plans for a group of 10. Guess we are up for suggestions as to who to sail with in 2003.
Sorry for preaching... Just find this issue so disappointing and am sorry I have to retire my Sail Princess pom-poms!
I can't believe it - what are they going to do - Will they search all of our bags as we enter the ship?
Next we will have to purchase our shampoo and soap on board since they sell it.
One of the perks of cruising is to try the local beers, etc.
I received a return email from Princess confirming the policy. PERIOD! No attempt to apologize for any inconvenient this change might create, just ‘yes that is our policy now’. Even the idea of losing long standing Captain Circle members didn't phase them.
How unreal is that. I think they have underestimated their passengers - We can figure out how much a bottle of liquor costs on the Islands vs purchasing it on the ship from them.
I know that the shops on board contract their space and are not owned by Princess. I can't imagine they are happy either.
Perhaps other ships have this same policy. What bothers me, is they have allowed this in the past. Now all of a sudden they have a "secret" policy that you don't find out about until you get on board or happen to see a web site such as this. I think passengers who have already booked with them should be informed when they change a major policy such as this.
Princess sent me an email indicating that they were doing this because of US customs. I questioned how that could be. First, their ships are not registed in the US. Second, visitors that stay on the Islands can purchase liquor for consumption in their hotels. Third, it appears US customs doesn't care if Princess sells us liquor.
I was very confused and asked for clarification. They just sent an email back saying to call their 800 number if I had additional questions.
I think the answers to our questions depend on who is answer the email that day.
When I spoke with Princess on the phone the rep indicated it was being done as a revenue generator.
I assume that answer is probably correct.