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Princess Cruises Begins Disposing Contraband Alcohol

March 28, 2013
Golden Princess (3:46 p.m. EST) -- Princess Cruises began its anticipated crackdown of contraband alcohol March 27 as passengers boarded Golden Princess for a 10-night Hawaii sailing. Smuggled alcohol was disposed of as it was found.

Cruise Critic was first alerted to the extent of the crackdown by community member Antsp, who posted immediately after boarding Golden Princess.

"Just boarded the Golden. Any alcohol in your luggage is now being removed and destroyed. It just happened to me. Major arguments going on down on deck 4. The new alcohol policy is now in full force. Be warned."

In later posts, he detailed finding a yellow tag on his cabin door telling him where to go to get his bags. Once he showed up he was told to open his bags in front of crew and asked to remove a bottle of vodka and a bottle of Champagne. Crew then placed the bottles in a large grey bin. The empty vodka bottle was returned to him later that day.

Princess Cruises' vice president of public relations Julie Benson confirmed the line began implementing the new alcohol policy on Golden Princess but said passengers took it in stride. The line's manager of beverage operations was in attendance during embarkation to oversee the implementation.

"He said it went very smoothly and while there may have been a few small grumblings, passengers were very cooperative and there certainly weren't major arguments that this post implies."

Benson also contested antsp's allegation that Champagne was being confiscated.

"Passengers are allowed one bottle of wine or champagne (champagne is NOT [Princess' emphasis] being confiscated as alleged) for free, and then they can bring on as many bottles of wine or champagne as they would like for a $15 per bottle corkage fee."

Other alcohol is not allowed to be brought onboard and will be confiscated. It won't be returned because the logistics of storing the contraband, then returning it to passengers is too challenging, she added.

Antsp insisted the Champagne was indeed taken and some posters pondered whether the fact that the Champagne was in checked luggage made a difference.

Benson said no, the same rule applies to checked and hand-carried baggage.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor





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