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Forget Bringing Your Own Bottles on Carnival

In a move touted as a measure to control contraband alcohol, Carnival Cruise Lines is banning bottled beverages of all kinds at the pier.

Bringing your own alcohol aboard a major cruise ship hasn't been kosher for years, partly to avert binge drinking and bad behavior, and partly to force passengers to buy their cocktails from the cruise line—it's a principal revenue stream.

But Carnival is taking the ban a step further. Starting July 9, passengers may not bring more than 12 unopened cans or cartons (but not bottles) of water or non-alcoholic beverages, and they must be carried on board by hand, taking up space that clothing or other carry-on items usually occupy. (You can also bring one bottle of wine or champagne, but only at the start of the cruise.)

The cruise line claims that even bottled water is a risk because customers can refill bottles with spirits—although as a matter of course, security already checks bottles to ensure the seals aren't broken.

Port security officers are also trained to shake bottles of guest-carried liquid to see how the bubbles look because liquor and water behave differently.

Nevertheless, Carnival is banning nearly all beverages if they're brought aboard by you. Juice and water are already free on most lines, but if you want soft drinks or any other speciality non-alcoholic beverages, you'll just have to buy them or do without.

Carnival's full carry-on alcohol policy can be found here.