Cruise Ship Law

Themed Carnival Cruise Experiences Mishaps Before Sailing


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Themed Cruises can be a lot of fun for like-minded travelers who share common interests. However, they can leave room for mishaps to occur, which can lead to cruise ship accidents. One vessel that is set to depart on Dec. 2, 2012 is not experiencing a smooth sail just yet.

Carnival Cruise Line’s newly-refurbished Carnival Glory has just finished upgrading to the line’s innovative Funship 2.0 features and is scheduled to set sail in a few days. The themed cruise, Drag Stars At Sea: Caribbean Adventure – Revenge of the Wench, should offer fun for those booked on the “Fun Ship” but some passengers are not too happy. Travelers who had been planning on bringing and wearing their own costumes have been warned by the cruise line in an email that “engaging in inappropriate conduct in public areas” or that dressing “in drag for the performances or in public areas at any time during the cruise” might result in guests being “disembarked at their own expense and no refund will be given.”

Performers and passengers are not too thrilled about the stipulations. One participant, Phi Phi O’Hara, turned to Facebook to voice his disappointment.

“I saw this today and it really saddens me….I am going on the RuPaul’s Drag Race Cruise next week….yet we are being told how to act, what to wear, and who to be….I do drag as an art and a gateway to express myself, to be a part of something that is telling my guests and I that we aren’t able to be ourselves is absolutely ridiculous,” said O’Hara.

When a theme cruise is scheduled, there is a choice of opting for a full-ship charter, in which the entire ship is booked for the theme cruise group and unavailable to the public, or a partial charter, where less than 50 percent of the ship is booked by the group members. For partial sailings, many of the regular travelers might not even realize a theme group is onboard.

The problem with the Carnival Glory is that the theme cruise was booked as a partial charter and the cruise line was trying to accommodate to all travelers and appeal to each guest. Cruise lines don’t typically advise passengers of groups that are aboard, but this time, Carnival decided to address travelers beforehand because of the possible controversy the theme might cause and due to the miscommunication, has allowed everyone onboard to dress in drag if they choose.

Carnival Cruise Lines President and CEO Gerry Cahill addressed all passengers booked on the sailing with the following message:

“The group, ‘Drag Stars at Sea,’ includes several performances by stars from Logo TV as part of a series of private events onboard. When the group was presented to us we were advised that only the performers would be dressed in drag during the private events. However, we are now aware that this was not clearly communicated to members of the group and therefore anyone who wishes to dress in drag may do so. Please keep in mind that our safety and security procedures require guests to present government-issued ID, and to be recognizably that person.”

Given the misunderstanding, Carnival has allowed passengers to cancel their cruise and receive a full refund.


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