The trouble is that some people cruising on RCI have been on cruise lines that do allow a small amount of alcohol to bring onboard & may not be aware of the strict no alcohol policy.
I feel this strict policy is slightly unfair when you consider that some people celebrating a special occaision may want to bring a bottle of wine aboard which is a brand/type that RCI don't sell.I feel it would be good for customer relations if they made a small exception for this type of event.
I'm confused as well. I've heard of RCI confiscating non-alcoholic beverages, then I've heard others say they were allowed to bring them on board. It should be one way or the other. Maybe Dave knows for sure or Sonny, they cruise RCI often.
I think it depends on the embarkation port and quantity when it comes to soft drinks. I also saw people boarding in Cozumel carrying sodas and bottled water they'd bought ashore. Again it wasn't cases but just one or two bottles.
On the Allure last month we had a some small bottles of Coke in our carry-ons. We really didn't think of the policy and brought the soda we had in our hotel room. Nobody said a word about it and we had it on the ship. In fact, it really didn't occur to me until I read this thread that we had unintentionally violated the policy.
While I can understand the alcohol policy I do find their official stance on soda and water to be needlessly cheap and driven solely by a desire to increase sales of their bottled water, juice, and soda packages.
As I said on post #12, RCI policy seems confusing.
Having just returned from a cruise with Royal Caribbean, I can tell you that they had a large board by the gangway and in large black letters they stated Alcohol, Beers and Wines were forbidden to be brought on board etc etc.
However I did not see any mention on that big notice about soft drinks / non-alcoholic beverages.
I saw some people bringing non-alcoholic beverages on board and they went through the security scanner without having their bottles confiscated.
I believe that security are only interested in stopping alcohol and will let soft drinks and water to be brought on board. The fact that their large notice does not mention non-alcoholic drinks seems to confirm that view.
A thought and a question. It is really a very good price to cruise these days. In 1998 $750 per person for a 7 night inside cabin was a great deal. In 2007 I sailed on the same ship, Grandeur of the Seas, in a Junior Suite for $799 per person! Not even counting the years that passed and value of money, it was a spectacular deal. So, here is the thought, I had a drink in a bar the other night and paid $8.50. The same drink on RCL is around the same. But it helps the cruise line be profitable. They need us to buy drinks on board in order to keep prices down.
Now a question, my wife and I drink a lot of water. We have always carried a case on board and it was never questioned as we keep it sealed until on board. It seems that the new policy is NO beverages, including water, brought from shore. Anyone have the real scoop on that?
I haven't yet cruised on RCI so I can't speak to the issue of bringing water onboard. But I appreciate your observation about the price of cruises; I wish more people felt the same. I get a little annoyed sometimes at all the "extras" that are marketed onboard, but then I look at my old brochures--I have some going back as far as 1974--and cruise fares are pretty much unchanged; and it's the "extras" that are keeping the fares down. So I don't mind spending a little on a spa service or a special dinner, or an $8.50 drink.
The water issue is officially not allowed but the reality appears to be that enforcement is uneven. Bear in mind RCI now offers a water package in addition to the soda package (soda card), where guests can order X bottles of water delivered to their cabin. Hence the addition of 'all personal beverages' to their policy.
And most of those new charged for extras are things you didn't find on a cruise ship when they were more all inclusive. The extra pay dinning venues, the fancier spas, etc... so they have been able to introduce more options without increasing the base cruise fare. Seems very reasonable to me. Why charge more for something to everyone if not everyone is going to use it?
Of course the same can be said in reverse. They have started charging extra for things that used to be included- soda is the prime example. I don't remember going on a cruise where alcohol was included but I DO remember when soda was not extra.
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Good point Jim C. I work for a major airline and we "nickle and dime" everyone to death. However with the rapid rise of fuel cost something has to give. If you don't check luggage then why should you have to pay for it? Same with cruising. If you don't drink then why pay a much higher cost to have free drinks? Additionally, and I don't know how much this has to do with anything, but free drinks would encourage a lot of drunkenness. Getting drunk at an all inclusive resort is one thing, but on a ship at sea it is quite another.
However bottom line is the cruise lines need to make money or no one cruises. The drink prices are generally lower than resorts, and about the same as a not to expensive restaurant. So my feeling is "support your local cruise line" and drink away.