March 7, 2002
Princess Cruises has quietly revamped its alcohol policy. On this most touchy of topics, Princess tried a test program on board Grand Princess and Dawn Princess last fall that limited the alcohol passengers could bring onboard -- for in-cabin consumption. Like other cruise lines, most notably Royal Caribbean, travelers who bring liquor from ashore will have it confiscated and put away until the last day of the voyage. That includes purchases made in ship gift shops. Says spokeswoman Denise Seomin, “Considering that we are a licensed bar operator and directly responsible for all onboard consumption of alcohol, we were - and still are - concerned about abuse and under-age drinking. This is why we changed our policy.” However, Princess excludes one notable type of alcohol from its new policy: passengers are permitted to bring wine and champagne. “We realize that passengers commonly take a cruise to celebrate a special occasion and prefer their own wine or champagne, which we might not carry,” Seomin says. “Therefore, we still offer them the opportunity to bring their own selection on board.” While there are no rules against consuming wine and champagne in passenger cabins (aside from the obvious, like serving minors), Princess does charge a corkage fee for bottles brought into the dining room -- standard policy for most restaurants, cruise ship or land-based. The test program went so smoothly that Princess has, earlier this year, rolled out the rules to the rest of its fleet.