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PunkiC

New Wine Policy: No wine to be boarded at ports of call

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As most of us have learned, Princess is planning to start charging a corkage fee on all bottles of wine brought on board, in excess of 1 bottle per passenger as embarkation. I think it is a Mickey Mouse policy that drops Princess down a little closer the level of NCL or Carnival. :(

 

If, however, that is what they must do, so be it. Fortunately for me, my favorite wine is really cheap so I will save money. I would rather bring my own cheap wine and pay the $15.00 corkage fee than spend the $36+ that I had been spending every night in the dining room.

 

What really frosts me, however, is the fact that, at least according to one Princess supervisor, they will no longer allow passengers to board wine at ports of call. That is just ridiculous.

 

Buying wine at various ports is one of the most fun parts of cruising.

 

If you agree that this policy regarding board wine at ports is ridiculous, please speak up and send an e-mail to expressing your concerns to:

 

customerrelations@princesscruises.com

Edited by PunkiC

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Do not mind the policy, think it is fair. At least can still bring on board, other lines do not allow at all. I personally think it is rude to take a bottle to the dining room that was opened in the cabin. If you are taking a bottle to the dining room pay the corkage fee!

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I don't think you understood my post. In the past we never considered taking our own wine into the dining room at all. Under the new policy, the corkage fees will already have been paid, so it won't bother me at all to take my own wine into the dining room.

 

It is apparent that you do not enjoy trying wines from different countries as we, and most of our friends do. That is what makes the new policy against boarding wines at ports of call so untenable for us.

 

Yes, I am aware that some of the lesser cruise lines do not allow wine to be boarded, which is one of the reasons we don't sail. them. :p

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seadeck2,

 

I humbly disagree that this is OK. Princess routinely sells cruises to wine regions in CA and other locales. Basically they are telling the wineries in the places they drop passengers off "sorry, we do not want our passengers to patronize you at all and stimulate the local economies since we cannot make money off of you".

 

Ridiculous. As Punki said, part of cruising is enjoying and exploring new regions' food and drink.

 

We don't begrudge Princess making money as we routinely order wine at dinner in the MDR and specialty restaurants at the already inflated retail pricing, but to not allow us to bring a bottle on per person at each port for private consumption is ridiculous and short sighted IMHO. Punki also reiterated that if I am paying corkage per bottle that I bring on, that may dissuade me from paying the inflated retail pricing from Princess' cellar. Princess can't have it both ways.

Edited by Dudleydog73

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Good luck changing a cruise line policy. I can see your disappointment with this new rule but there are wines on the ship from all over the world as well so why not enjoy those instead.

 

You can still buy all the different wines you want in the ports, just ship them home.

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There's an important clarification here. Princess' official policy has been for a long time that wine and other spirits purchased during ports of call will be collected and returned on last night of cruise. Enforcement may have been lax, but that policy is mandated based on how duty free is handled.

 

I haven't seen anything in all the recent discussion that indicates alcohol cannot be purchased ashore and brought on board, just that it cannot be CONSUMED on board, which is line with prior policy and international law regarding customs and duty.

 

The only cruise exempt from this rule should be a coastal that stays completely in the US, or any single country cruise but that can't be done for other reasons (you can't have a US only and I can't think of any other single country cruises)

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Good luck changing a cruise line policy. I can see your disappointment with this new rule but there are wines on the ship from all over the world as well so why not enjoy those instead.

 

You can still buy all the different wines you want in the ports, just ship them home.

 

Yes, but you can't sit on your deck as you pull out of the harbor, enjoying a glass of wine recommended by a merchant in that shop that you can see as you sail away. Those are the kinds of things that make special memories for us. :)

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I haven't seen anything in all the recent discussion that indicates alcohol cannot be purchased ashore and brought on board, just that it cannot be CONSUMED on board, which is line with prior policy and international law regarding customs and duty.

 

This information was related to me by a Princess Supervisor.

 

The only cruise exempt from this rule should be a coastal that stays completely in the US, or any single country cruise but that can't be done for other reasons (you can't have a US only and I can't think of any other single country cruises)

 

Please explain your logic? There is no prohibition against taking wine from one EU country to another. Actually, most customs allow some alcohol, wine, beer and hard liquor at points of entry.

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I'm sorry but further clarification is still needed here. The repeated phrase "wine cannot be boarded at ports of call" is maddeningly vague. You clarified in post #7 that the focus of your discontent is not being able to consume wine purchased in port in your cabin. (There has always been the policy of "holding for your safekeeping" alcohol puchases in port; you have just been blessed with non-enforcement up to this point). Yet in post #8 you go back to "what the supervisor said". So PLEASE tell us EXACTLY what he said. Did he tell you outright that those attempting to bring wine onboard will have it discarded or destroyed? It seems to me that is what you want us to think, but you offer no specific language to support that position.

Edited by fishywood

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As a Canadian, and having done the wine cruise along the coast, we were not able to ship wines home from the wineries. It was lovely bringing back wines that are unavailable to us and to treat ourselves to a glass of wine on our balcony. One of the reasons we get a balcony in the first place. I will be very sorry to see this perk go. It is what holds Princess above the other cruise lines imho. Their casualness about bringing liquor/wines on board held them above the other lines that I have sailed that make you go to the 'naughty' room to dispose of your personal 'stash' or confiscate it at security until you disembark.

 

I still purchase wines nightly at dinner, and btw, some of those wines brought into the dining room were purchased on board, perhaps in another bar or lounge, or, as in my case, were gifted to me (from family through Princess) and were there upon arrival to our room, opened for a predinner drink on our balcony and then brought along to dinner.

 

I understand that they need to make their money, and I agree that some people take too much advantage of this, one bottle can be overlooked, a case or bagful, is another matter, but I think that Princess may lose some of their valued and faithful cruisers if this were to happen.

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During a follow-up call from a Princess customer service agent about the availability of wine packages she said that the new one bottle per person per cruise limit without a corkage fee is for bringing wine onboard at embarkation only. Wine brought onboard from ports of call will be taken away and returned before disembarkation.

 

She said this is a very new policy and we all know that different reps may provide different info based on their knowledge of any subject. I asked her to pass on the concerns of many of us about not being able to bring wine on from ports particularly from those known for their great wines which are not available on the ship.

 

Only time will tell if this additional restriction on wine from ports is enforced or even how much the new policy will be enforced. Hopefully for those of us who enjoy bringing wine from ports Princess will focus most of their enforcement on their complete ban of booze & not on their new restrictions for wine.

 

While the contract's wording is very specific it may take some time for us to learn how it will be enforced which may evolve with time.

Edited by Astro Flyer

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As I understand it, the issue is Duty Free rules. The short version is that the ship has no way to know for sure what is purchased duty free and what is not and therefore assumes it all is and must be treated as such.

 

BTW, technically any consumable purchased Duty free should be treated the same way, candy and tobacco included. Always wondered how they got around that.

 

It's possible an intra-EU cruise might fall under the same single country type of exemption, I'd have to do research.

 

[quote

 

Please explain your logic? There is no prohibition against taking wine from one EU country to another. Actually, most customs allow some alcohol, wine, beer and hard liquor at points of entry.

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During a follow-up call from a Princess customer service agent about the availability of wine packages she said that the new one bottle per person per cruise limit without a corkage fee is for bringing wine onboard at embarkation only. Wine brought onboard from ports of call will be taken away and returned before disembarkation..
That really doesn't work if you are flying directly home from your disembarkation port. I wouldn't want wine in my checked luggage. I did it once with a 500 ml bottle of Tannat port style wine from a winery in Uruguay but it came with it's own outer protective box. We did have good thoughts of our wonderful South American cruise when we enjoyed the wine at home.

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As I understand it, the issue is Duty Free rules. The short version is that the ship has no way to know for sure what is purchased duty free and what is not and therefore assumes it all is and must be treated as such.
Keep in mind that Princess standardizes policies so if different countries have different policies, Princess will use the strictest as the standard.

 

With more and more people bringing literally cases of wine onboard, I'm not surprised that they are now choosing to be stricter and enforce the policy that's been in place for quite a while. Next is soda and water. Just saying. :)

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As I understand it, the issue is Duty Free rules. The short version is that the ship has no way to know for sure what is purchased duty free and what is not and therefore assumes it all is and must be treated as such.

 

BTW, technically any consumable purchased Duty free should be treated the same way, candy and tobacco included. Always wondered how they got around that.

Wines purchased at local wineries are not duty free and should not present issues if you showed the receipt on boarding. If we bring wine off the ship at disembarkation we are subject to the customs laws of that country. Just because it was duty free where we bought the goods it does not mean that the disembarkation country will not assess a duty.

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Keep in mind that Princess standardizes policies so if different countries have different policies, Princess will use the strictest as the standard.

 

With more and more people bringing literally cases of wine onboard, I'm not surprised that they are now choosing to be stricter and enforce the policy that's been in place for quite a while. Next is soda and water. Just saying. :)

 

Exactly. I remember re boarding the ship in port and seeing an officer with a log book to record wine/liquor that was brought on board for storage. I presume because of the policy at the time that he was there for those who wanted their purchases stored for them as I did not see any forced confiscation.

 

They have the mechanism in place-all they have to do is exercise it.....

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This reminds me of the old song (is it really an "old song"?)..."And she'll have fun fun fun till her daddy takes the T-bird away........

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That really doesn't work if you are flying directly home from your disembarkation port. I wouldn't want wine in my checked luggage. I did it once with a 500 ml bottle of Tannat port style wine from a winery in Uruguay but it came with it's own outer protective box. We did have good thoughts of our wonderful South American cruise when we enjoyed the wine at home.

It can work in checked luggage & I had good luck using a friend's reusable wine bottle protectors to pack some Tuscan wine not available in the LA area. It was very sturdy made from bubble wrap material with a heavy duty outer layer of flexible material with a double ziplock-type of seal which he got from Magellan.

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Sorry to read about the change or is it enforcement of an existing policy regarding bringing wine on board. I agree with Pam the lax days of Princess wine, beer, soda and water coming aboard are ending.

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OK, so I called back for further clarification. I was told that the "policy" is that passengers cannot board wine as ports of call. When I asked why, the agent checked with a supervisor and came back and said that this is done for the protection of Princess as they have no way of controlling what might be in the wine. There could be a finger in the wine. :D :D

 

When I asked why they did not then prohibit any drinks like for instance Pepsi or Coke which could also conceal fingers, the agent said that she had no idea.

 

I honestly don't think they have thought this through very well.

 

Debathome writes:

 

As a Canadian, and having done the wine cruise along the coast, we were not able to ship wines home from the wineries. It was lovely bringing back wines that are unavailable to us and to treat ourselves to a glass of wine on our balcony. One of the reasons we get a balcony in the first place. I will be very sorry to see this perk go. It is what holds Princess above the other cruise lines imho. Their casualness about bringing liquor/wines on board held them above the other lines that I have sailed that make you go to the 'naughty' room to dispose of your personal 'stash' or confiscate it at security until you disembark.

 

Precisely. When Princess starts to feel like NCL or Carnival, we will reconsider our loyalty to them.

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This reminds me of the old song (is it really an "old song"?)..."And she'll have fun fun fun till her daddy takes the T-bird away........

 

Hahahahahahahaha!! That was clever!! I'm going to giggle over this one for a while!

 

And, it's not old. I'm not even 50 yet, and I know the song, and get the pun. :p

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OK, so I called back for further clarification. I was told that the "policy" is that passengers cannot board wine as ports of call. When I asked why, the agent checked with a supervisor and came back and said that this is done for the protection of Princess as they have no way of controlling what might be in the wine. There could be a finger in the wine. :D :D

 

When I asked why they did not then prohibit any drinks like for instance Pepsi or Coke which could also conceal fingers, the agent said that she had no idea.

 

I honestly don't think they have thought this through very well.

 

Debathome writes:

 

As a Canadian, and having done the wine cruise along the coast, we were not able to ship wines home from the wineries. It was lovely bringing back wines that are unavailable to us and to treat ourselves to a glass of wine on our balcony. One of the reasons we get a balcony in the first place. I will be very sorry to see this perk go. It is what holds Princess above the other cruise lines imho. Their casualness about bringing liquor/wines on board held them above the other lines that I have sailed that make you go to the 'naughty' room to dispose of your personal 'stash' or confiscate it at security until you disembark.

 

Precisely. When Princess starts to feel like NCL or Carnival, we will reconsider our loyalty to them.

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I don't think they want security staff having to decipher whether a receipt is valid, for the right product, etc. While technically correct, from a practical standard, trying to establish which wines are purchased are eligible for consumption is not feasible.

 

Wines purchased at local wineries are not duty free and should not present issues if you showed the receipt on boarding. If we bring wine off the ship at disembarkation we are subject to the customs laws of that country. Just because it was duty free where we bought the goods it does not mean that the disembarkation country will not assess a duty.

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Thanks PunkiC for your inquiries!

 

I have no problem with the corkage fee for the additional bottles. And as stated in the other thread by Loonbeam, they are going to tag the one freebie, and the corkage fee ones so no corkage fee will be charged at any other time. That means you can take your freebie to dinner as well, I assume.

 

I DO have a problem with not being able to bring wine on from a port for consumption. I would want to drink it for dinner that day, or on the balcony. Flying home with bottles is doable, but a real pain.

 

If they are charging the corkage fee for additionals at the embark port, how is that port any different then the port of origin??? It may be a USFDA thing...maybe because it's not a US quality controlled product?? (the finger thing). But. That makes no sense either, because not all cruises are US based, and Princess' registry isn't US. And waters are international...K, so we bring on a bottle from port, and we don't open it until international waters. Just like the tax thing.

Princess needs to quit overthinking this, and allow passengers to bring on their wine and pay their corkage fees, which are fair in my humble opinion. This is going to eliminate sooo much attempts at smuggling. Well, except for the liquor smugglers who don't just purchase the reasonably priced bottles of liquor from Princess.

 

I'm usually on another line which allows unlimited amounts of wine to be brought on with NO corkage fees at the pier. . . . just sayin'

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As a non wine drinkers, we think it is equitable for only one bottle to be brought on board w/o a corkage fee. That's one bottle more than we could bring of alcohol.

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