Carnival Cruise Lines Defends Itself Against Beverage Program Complaint

February 1, 2013

(3:00 p.m. – EST) -- Carnival Cruise Lines defended itself against charges by the International Cruise Victims Association, Inc. that the 15-drink limit on its Cheers! beverage program is "a joke."

Kendall Carver, chairman of the ICV, had said "When cruise lines not only offer but actively promote unlimited drinks for one price, the issue of many inebriated people in a confined space adds exponentially to the likelihood of a crime occurring. Limiting passengers to 15 drinks a day is a joke."

But Jim Berra, Carnival's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said the association is looking at it from the wrong angle.

"We promote safe and responsible drinking," he told Cruise Critic at a recent industry event. "There is a lot of training rolled out with the program." Bartenders, he said, are taught how to have a dialogue and interact with Cheers! customers in order to determine how drunk they are.

"If you can't form complete sentences, if you can't stand up straight, you will be cut off," he said.

If a bartender determines someone is too drunk to continue drinking before the 15 drinks are reached, they will be cut off from the program for the rest of the cruise and will be refunded the balance of the package.

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor