(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- Carnival has defended its decision to drop a number of U.S. perks onboard Carnival Spirit when it redeploys Down Under.
In total, Carnival is dropping a total of seven benefits, including banning bringing on a bottle of booze on embarkation day.
Every other Carnival ship, including Carnival Spirit, allows adult passengers to pack a 750ml bottle of wine or Champagne in their carry-on luggage.
Carnival is also dropping My Awesome Bar Program, the line's all-you-can-drink package, which was trialled on Spirit and is now available on four of its ships.
Other cancelled services include Bon Voyage liquor, which allowed people to pre-order bottles of spirits, wine and beer to be delivered to their cabin, and Bon Voyage gifts, which is used for buying presents for other passengers.
Carnival Spirit re-deploys to Sydney in two weeks.
When asked why the line was dropping these benefits, an Australia-based Carnival spokesperson told us: “It's a journey for Spirit to get here and there are certain items available in the U.S. that we are currently unable to offer on Spirit in Australia due to the fact that we are on different systems. For example, pre-purchasing gifts onboard or making bookings for the Nouveau Restaurant.
"When Carnival Spirit arrives in Sydney we'll continue to review our packages on a case-by-case basis to determine their feasibility and roll out those programs that are of the greatest interest to our Australian guests after the ship arrives if and when it's possible. ”
On the flip side, Carnival is also making a concerted effort to “Aussify” Spirit, such as introducing Australian currency, power points, and Aussie food and drinks.
Earlier this year, the ship underwent a $7 million refurbishment to prepare it for its new home in Australia.
The line added a new aqua park and waterslide, Green Thunder, a 180-foot-long twister that begins with a near-vertical drop; the Serenity deck space, Carnival's signature adults-only retreat; and a new top-deck barbecue venue. Aussies should also expect improved coffee, more draught beers and more cabins with interconnecting doors.
--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor