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Royal Caribbean President & CEO Discusses Onboard Alcohol Policies


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Normally I am writing about something positive because that is mostly what goes on at our cruise line. Unfortunately that is not the case this time. Yesterday, the television show “Inside Edition” aired a segment that included video that was filmed onboard one of our ships during spring break. I am 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.

 

Royal Caribbean International takes the issue of alcohol service and consumption very seriously, and we closely monitor it on all of our vessels. I apologize that an explanation of what goes into our preparations and oversight comes off as formal sounding compared to what you usually read in this blog, but this subject is a serious one and I think some formality is inevitable. So please bear with me as you read this.

 

 

In January 2006, we introduced a comprehensive SafeServe training program for all of our shipboard bartenders and servers. The program, which was developed by the Educational Foundation of the National Restaurant Association, teaches our staff how to serve alcohol responsibly. Our bartenders and servers are required to participate in this training and successfully pass a test.

 

As part of this program, our bartenders and servers are trained to recognize over consumption, and once recognized, to deny additional alcoholic beverages, serve additional water or non-alcoholic drinks, and/or provide food. And while the bartenders and servers on our ships work for tips, just like those in shoreside bars and restaurants, we have strict policies designed to prevent over serving. It is unacceptable and forbidden for any crew member to knowingly serve any intoxicated guest. If we become aware of any employee violating our policies, we take disciplinary action.

 

Unfortunately, when a person wants to over consume, they sometimes find ways to circumvent even our best efforts to stop them. This may include having another guest purchase alcohol and bring it to them. Or they go ashore and purchase drinks at a port of call. We want our guests to have fun and enjoy themselves while onboard our ships. However, consuming alcohol to excess impairs one’s judgment and reduces one’s ability to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations. Our alcohol policies and procedures are in place for the safety of our guests and we expect them to drink responsibly so that they may have an amazing and memorable cruise vacation.

 

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. Regardless of which of our ships you cruise on, or what time during the year you cruise with us, our goal and commitment is to deliver the vacation of a lifetime to you…every time. Thank you for reading this entry.

 

http://www.answeritroyally.com/blog/?p=4835

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Everyone is responsible for themselves. The fact that tv "news" shows feel the need to sensationalize and blame an industry for people's choices drives me crazy. I do think shows like Inside Edition are bent on blowing things out of proportion to sell a show. If someone chooses to get themselves completely blotto, there's not much anyone else can do about it. Personal responsibility is the key, but there are always those blaming the bar instead of holding the individual responsible.

 

We cruised during college spring break this year and I can tell you the place I saw the most drinking was at Senor Frog's in Nassau, not on the ship. There were an awful lot of 18-20 year olds getting absolutely hammered because they could.

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I see a big crack down on alcohol smugglers!!! :cool:

 

How much more can they crack down?? They already have a pretty thorough procedure. I think the bartenders are going to be instructed to err on the side of underserving. And I hope that they aren't punished if somebody who is cut off complains on a comment card...

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I see a big crack down on alcohol smugglers!!! :cool:

 

Probably, but they already are by throwing it out when they find it. Not likely they'll do anything more than that for alcohol.

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i know for a fact that if your under 21 leaving from a US port you are not allowed to drink. i was 22 when i went on my cruise and i had to carry my lisence around cause the wait staff and bartenders did not beleave me that i was 22 lol:)

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Next step: deny boarding for anyone that tries to smuggle booze onboard. It's against the cruise contract you have signed. They should honor their end by sending your tail packing. It's very likely some of those sneaking booze on board that end up being the problem children on the cruises.

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Next step: deny boarding for anyone that tries to smuggle booze onboard. It's against the cruise contract you have signed. They should honor their end by sending your tail packing. It's very likely some of those sneaking booze on board that end up being the problem children on the cruises.

 

I don't think that will ever end up happening...and for one reason...delayed departures. They would have to clear the naughty room before the ship ever left...and from the amount of people that I hear getting sent there it would take hours just to round them all up and get them processed ......and then have they cleared off the ship with all there belongings....the ship wouldn't be leaving till hours after scheduled departure.

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I don't think that will ever end up happening...and for one reason...delayed departures. They would have to clear the naughty room before the ship ever left...and from the amount of people that I hear getting sent there it would take hours just to round them all up and get them processed ......and then have they cleared off the ship with all there belongings....the ship wouldn't be leaving till hours after scheduled departure.

 

 

 

 

 

...but it will only take one "experience" and word will travel fast...especially if the one(s) getting the boot are CC members....;)

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Sound like a serious case of damage control is being put into action by RCL. I personally don't smuggle booze on board and see no reason to since i don't drink enought to worry.

I will be interested in seeing how it goes on my next two cruises. I want to observe how the shipboard staff handles passengers that get really loaded.

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...but it will only take one "experience" and word will travel fast...especially if the one(s) getting the boot are CC members....;)

 

Yep.

 

Break the rules...walk the plank.

 

Once the first cruise leaves 5 hours late and sans 160 pax the word will be out.

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I didn't see the Inside Edition episode...so correct if I am wrong.....I don't think it pertained much if anything in reference to smuggling boos aboard....wasn't it mostly referring to staff pushing drinks and continuing to serve alcohol to those that already over-consumed....at least portrayed it that way.

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Sounds tough...but there are policies, rules, and laws...no matter how strict they are, what makes any of those meaningful is the PENALTY. Just wondering what "we take disciplinary action" actually means, as it could be a slap on the hand to a much more severe penalty. :)

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I didn't see the Inside Edition episode...so correct if I am wrong.....I don't think it pertained much if anything in reference to smuggling boos aboard....wasn't it mostly referring to staff pushing drinks and continuing to serve alcohol to those that already over-consumed....at least portrayed it that way.

Yes, for the most part. It showed one guy pushing DOD's and pouring rum and being asked how he made his money. They showed a guy passed out on a bar and a guy sleeping in a corner. They also showed people doing shots but most of the shots and drinking games were port shots, not onboard shots. They ended with the video of the 21 yr old who climbed the rail and jumped. They cut before you could see him go over, they showed more of him staggering on deck. Family is now suing RCL.

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Yes, for the most part. It showed one guy pushing DOD's and pouring rum and being asked how he made his money. They showed a guy passed out on a bar and a guy sleeping in a corner. They also showed people doing shots but most of the shots and drinking games were port shots, not onboard shots. They ended with the video of the 21 yr old who climbed the rail and jumped. They cut before you could see him go over, they showed more of him staggering on deck. Family is now suing RCL.

 

OK....now I am understanding more;)

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Sounds tough...but there are policies, rules, and laws...no matter how strict they are, what makes any of those meaningful is the PENALTY. Just wondering what "we take disciplinary action" actually means, as it could be a slap on the hand to a much more severe penalty. :)

I have knowledge of barmen being fired and sent home at their own expense for violating RCL's serving/drinking policies.

I have also observed two barmen at a Boleros bar cut a passenger off, take flack from him and then saw two plain clothes security guys escort the drunk away from the bar. He did not get any more drinks for the duration of the cruise.

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Yes, for the most part. It showed one guy pushing DOD's and pouring rum and being asked how he made his money. They showed a guy passed out on a bar and a guy sleeping in a corner. They also showed people doing shots but most of the shots and drinking games were port shots, not onboard shots. They ended with the video of the 21 yr old who climbed the rail and jumped. They cut before you could see him go over, they showed more of him staggering on deck. Family is now suing RCL.

 

When was the video of the young man climbing the rail and jumping occur and was it on the Liberty?

 

Because I remember a case of a young man sleeping on deck and then going overboard over the rail, maybe not jumping but slipping over in wet weather. I think it was about 5 years ago. It came on the heels of the Smith case.

 

End result, no more having onboard bought liquor bottles in the cabin. REAL result? People smuggling bottles on board.

 

Maybe this is a newer event of a young man jumping? I believe Liberty went into service in 2007, so not sure. Anyone care to clarify?

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Really? This is happening daily on solid ground. At 18 we send kids to foreign ground to die for their country, but God forbid we let them have a cocktail!!!

Just my opinion!!

 

So true! I am of the generation that received the vote and the drinking age in many (most?) states was changed to 18 because of the draft (Viet Nam War). I drank legally at 18 but my own kids can't drink legally until age 21. That is the entire College years.

 

My same generation that holds the voting power (50-70 years old) is the generation treating young adults aged 18 -20 like criminals if they drink. It actually sickens me. Such a selfish generation we have become. We want all the benefits, tax cuts, but still collecting Medicare and social security. Yet the young people have the highest unemployment. It amazes me that the

generation who will become so dependent on young people for their government benefits, treats those same young people so carelessly.

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Everyone is responsible for themselves. The fact that tv "news" shows feel the need to sensationalize and blame an industry for people's choices drives me crazy. I do think shows like Inside Edition are bent on blowing things out of proportion to sell a show. If someone chooses to get themselves completely blotto, there's not much anyone else can do about it. Personal responsibility is the key, but there are always those blaming the bar instead of holding the individual responsible.

 

We cruised during college spring break this year and I can tell you the place I saw the most drinking was at Senor Frog's in Nassau, not on the ship. There were an awful lot of 18-20 year olds getting absolutely hammered because they could.

 

So it's been awhile but I agree, we've seen many people get back on board just trashed. Not RC fault is people don't take any responsibility for themselves

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I really think RC tries its best to keep underage drinking off the ship.

 

This story is extremely one-sided. That said, any review of drinking policies at any vacation spot is a good thing. They are not wanting to curb the fun for us ... but those drinking policies are put in place to ensure we have a better time!

 

Who wants to be thrown up on by some drunk? I had that happened to me in Vegas several years ago .. talk about GROSS! :eek:

 

 

Hopefully this can turn into a positive thing and curb those who can't drink responsibly. A few extra training hours and extra limits on how much alcohol is served to a drunk guest who can't take responsibility for himself is not a bad thing :D

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