Carnival Addresses Yet Another Cruising Duck Controversy

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Even more questions have arisen about the popular cruising ducks phenomenon, and Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald has tried his best to outline Carnival’s position on the trend. This follows other rumors and discussion on cruising ducks and what they mean to passengers onboard Carnival cruise ships.

No Soliciting Permitted With Cruising Ducks

The most recent question brought up about cruise ducks – the small toys hidden as a guest-led scavenger hunt onboard cruise ships – is whether or not it is acceptable to attach business cards to the ducks as a form of advertising for when they are found by other passengers.

A Carnival cruise guest recently questioned John Heald about the practice, wondering why it isn’t permitted.

“Why can’t we put business cards with the ducks we hide on every cruise? Our cards read ‘You are in LUCK! You Found a DUCK – Keep or Hide – You Decide!’ This is on our business card with details for our business,” the guest explained. “Where is the harm in this? Why does every cruise line but yours allow for us to give the gift of laughter with the ducks we hide and get no return for doing this?”

Heald noted that he has received similar questions several times via his popular Facebook page, and outlined Carnival Cruise Line’s response.

“To be honest, I don’t know if we really have time to police this and in fact, let’s be honest, we don’t,” Heald said. “The reason I said no is because we don’t allow any kind of solicitation of any sort. And isn’t attaching your business card to a duck solicitation?”

Cruising Ducks
The Original Cruising Duck! (Photo Credit: Cruising Ducks Original)

Heald has previously addressed different cruise duck rumors, including whether or not the cruise line will ban ducks outright and if crew members are urged to get rid of the ducks by tossing them overboard.

While cruise ducks are not an official Carnival Cruise Line activity organized by the Fun Squad, the ship’s cruise director, or the entertainment staff onboard, they are not prohibited or discouraged as Disney Cruise Line does.

Attaching business cards to the ducks, however, may one day be an issue the cruise line could step up on. While Head acknowledges that enforcing a “no business cards” guideline would be very challenging, it could indeed be considered solicitation.

Passenger Reaction

Heald asks for other guests’ reactions to the idea of attaching a business card to a cruise duck. Many people responded that they’d simply throw the card away, perhaps taking note of the business as one not to frequent for such an obvious attempt to capitalize on a fun activity for personal profit.

Carnival Cruising Ducks
Carnival Cruise Ship and Cruising Duck

Various responding comments include:

“If I found a duck with a business card, I would be more likely to NOT want to call that business for taking advantage of the situation.”

“I’m sure I wouldn’t frequent a business that did that. It’s in very poor taste.”

“A business card on a duck would be a definite turn off from ever going to that business.”

“A cruise is for pleasure and relaxation. No one wants to have someone pushing their business.”

Many other commenters noted that adding a business card or other solicitation to a cruise duck seems tacky or desperate. It may also simply be useless, as cruise travelers often come from many different locations and may not be able to visit a particular business unless it is strictly online.

Read Also: One Major Cruise Line Now Discouraging Cruising Ducks

Some travelers noted that if business cards are permitted on cruise ducks, then other forms of solicitation might soon be requested as well. For example, travelers might want to advertise their business with stateroom door decorations, or bring a suitcase of promotional products to give away or sell onboard, or bring forms for other travelers to use to place orders.

Where should the line be drawn and enforced? Share your thoughts on cruising ducks on the Cruise Hive boards!

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