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Carnival Cruise Line bans 1 onboard activity, but not another

Cruise ships have different rules than land-based hotels and entertainment venues. Some of those rules are practical. You can’t, for example, light a candle in your cabin.

On land, a candle may help set a romantic mood with only a small chance of burning down your house, but on a cruise ship, the dangers are much more significant. A small fire can become a catastrophe so candles, power strips, curling irons, and clothes irons, among many other things are banned on cruise ships.

Related: MSC Cruises makes bold moves to take on Carnival, Royal Caribbean

Cruise ships also have very specific rules when it comes to smoking. You can never smoke in your cabin or on a cabin’s balcony. That’s partially due to the risk of a fire and partly due to how smoke travels.

Most regular cruisers have experienced someone breaking the smoking rules on their balcony, Smome travels up and smoking in places where it’s not allowed generally leads to other passengers calling security and the penalty for being caught could be anything from a warning to being thrown off the ship. 

Both Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) and Royal Caribbean allow smoking in parts of their casinos. Royal Caribbean does have small non-smoking casinos on its Oasis-class ships while its Celebrity Cruises line only allows smoking in a small section of its pool deck.

The two rival cruise lines, however, both have strict rules when it comes to gambling.

Cruise ship pool decks generally have a small smoking area.

Image source: Daniel Kline/TheStreet

Carnival asked a key question on onboard rules

If you walk around a cruise ship, you will usually see people playing various games. Some play card games, while others have packed dominos, board games, and other types of games. Carnival and Royal Caribbean (RCL) encourage gameplay — they even hard card/game rooms on some ships — but there are certain rules. 

Carnival brand ambassador John Heald recently responded to an onboard controversy involving gameplay.

“Why has LRC been banned? Left Right Center is a game played by hundreds of Carnival cruisers every week on your ships. I ask because according to Cruise *** website, the game has been banned from the ships,” wrote “V” on Heald’s Facebook page. “We’ve played this game with my friends who cruise with us for years. Why this game and not others? Please explain.”

The poster followed their question with threats and anger.

“This is the kind of rule that will turn Carnival cruisers away and to other cruise lines. This is being done to line the pockets of the casino. Just admit it and stop being a fool,” they wrote.

Carnival makes its gambling policy clear

Heald has addressed this issue before, but he made it clear in his response that the game is not the issue.   

“Thank you ‘V’ and the game itself has not been banned. Playing for money on any game outside of the casino is strictly not allowed. No exceptions, even for quarters as I may have misspoken about a few days ago,” Heald wrote.

This post came after an incident where a number of passengers had been playing the dice game for money on one of Carnival’s ships. Heald shared the rules again because he saw some media outlets getting the cruise line’s policies wrong.

“I saw some of the cut-and-pasting news sites who report on my posts and repost them on their page had headlined we had banned the game. We have not. You can play any game you wish but not for money. And to suggest that this is so that money will be spent in our casinos is silly billy nonsense,” he added.

The post was largely supported by Heald’s Facebook followers.

“I love it when they say ‘this will turn people away.’ These are not real problems that are going to stop people from cruising. That statement should only be allowed if John stated that the entire ship was removing all food or they would no longer have stateroom doors,” Stephen Phillip Hawker posted.


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