Royal Caribbean Responds to 'Inside Edition' Report on Cruise Ship Drinking

May 9, 2012
(1:15 p.m. EDT) -- An "Inside Edition" investigative report on cruise ship drinking run amok has prompted a rebuttal from Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean's president and ceo.

On May 4, the popular TV newsmagazine spotlighted the heavy consumption of alcohol and associated R-rated behavior its reporters witnessed during a spring break cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Cozumel, Mexico, on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas.

"We watched many passengers pound back booze day and night. In the ship's nightclub, our cameras spotted people passed out and one passenger face down on the bar. We also observed raunchy dancing and women exposing themselves," reads a recap on the show's Web site. It also calls out embarkation day "drink of the day" specials and passengers doing shots in port.

In response, Goldstein posted on his blog that he was "very disappointed at the sensationalistic portrait the story painted of the behavior of some of our guests."

"I am also very disappointed at any indication that our personnel onboard do not uphold their responsibilities."

He goes on to mention the SafeServe training course on how to serve alchohol responsibly that all shipboard bartenders and servers must complete. Crewmembers are "forbidden" to serve alcohol to inebriated passengers, and doing so can lead to disciplinary action.

Still, Goldstein acknowledges that passengers bent on bending the rules and getting drunk can find ways to do so despite the line's best efforts. "While we consider 'Inside Edition's' portrayal of the spring break cruise to be highly misleading and not indicative of what happens onboard our ships day in and day out, we will carefully review the show for any evidence of breakdowns in our policies and procedures," he concludes.

The show and Goldstein's subsequent blog have gotten Cruise Critic members talking about cruise ship drinking on this message boards. Topics ranged widely from underage drinking to smuggling booze onboard and how cruise ship drinking compares with partying in other vacation destinations and all-inclusive resorts. A few comments:

"I was so upset about the story since this is not what happens on the typical cruise." (tlund).

"They do push the drinks too hard. They do have way more bars than any other type of entertainment. Most of the evening entertainment revolves around booze ... the trivia games, dances, parties, the wine tasting, the speak easy prohibition party… if you want to do any of these things you will be bombarded by the booze servers." (praline3001)

"I cruised with RCCL on the Liberty this past March and found there to be far LESS drunk people on board than with previous cruises [on other lines]." (Russ Lomas)

Join the conversation below or on the message boards.

--by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor