Carnival Cruise Line Adds Fine, Costs to Guest Code of Conduct

Carnival Cruise Line guests may be charged $500 plus related costs if they violate the cruise line's code of conduct.

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Carnival Cruise Line has further updated its Code of Conduct for travelers by adding a $500 fine and language about reimbursing the cruise line for detainment or disembarkation expenses.

This heightened policy shows the cruise line’s commitment to providing a safe, enjoyable onboard environment for all guests.

Guests May Be Subject to Fines

In recent weeks, Carnival Cruise Line has amended and updated its Code of Conduct policy to clarify what types of behaviors are unacceptable, and why it is important to maintain a safe, respectful atmosphere for all guests to enjoy.

The initial changes and clarification to the policy were in response to several altercations on board different ships, including an incident aboard Carnival Magic sailing from New York in late June, as well as a second altercation aboard Carnival Elation sailing from Jacksonville in early July.

Now, the cruise line has quietly added costs to that policy, with the possibility of a $500 fine and other associated costs guests may bear if they violate the Code of Conduct.

Carnival Cruise Line Ship
Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive

“Any violation of our Code of Conduct may result in a fine of $500 and reimbursement of expenses incurred by Carnival as a result of the detainment or disembarkation,” the policy now reads.

There is no clarification of how much the related expenses for detaining a guest during a cruise or debarking guests before the cruise ends may be, but such costs could be substantial.

Depending on the incident and how a guest may be detained or debarked, costs could include fees from local law enforcement authorities called to the vessel, late docking fees or port taxes, fuel surcharges, and more.

These charges would be in addition to the guest’s travel costs to return home after such mandatory debarkation, which could also be quite substantial depending on the port of call and available airfare or other travel arrangements to return to the original homeport.

It is important to note that the fine is not automatic, but “may” be applied to guests who disregard the cruise line’s code of conduct with rude behavior, physical violence, curfew violations, and other poor actions.

Undoubtedly, Carnival Cruise Line will weigh any incidents individually, noting the severity of guest behavior as well as any mitigating circumstances, how guests respond to crew member requests and security instructions, and whether or not further poor behavior may continue after initial warnings.

Other Recent Updates

This change follows several other updates to Carnival Cruise Line’s Code of Conduct and passenger behavior expectations in recent weeks.

In late August, the cruise line began issuing reminders to booked guests to maintain respectful behavior on board.

We want you to have a memorable vacation but please remember a cruise ship is a shared space. Our Carnival Values underscore that everyone should feel welcome and included, and that everyone on board demonstrate care and respect towards others,” the reminder reads.

The same language is part of the cruise line’s Code of Conduct on its website. The policy goes on to further clarify types of behaviors that are not to be tolerated.

Carnival Cruise Ship Deck
Photo Credit: Ruth Peterkin / Shutterstock

“Our experience has taught us that everyone has a better time when children are supervised, noise in the hallways is kept to a minimum, guests follow queues, and that a spirit of community and neighborliness is shown by all,” the code reads.

Undoubtedly, the list is not comprehensive and any individual circumstances of poor behavior will be gauged as necessary aboard individual ships.

Similarly, the cruise line also recently implemented a fleetwide youth curfew for guests age 17 and younger if not accompanied by an adult in their traveling party. Young passengers must be out of a ship’s public areas by 1 a.m. This change was implemented in early September 2022.

When guests purchase a vacation from any cruise line, whether they book directly or through a travel agent, they agree to the terms and conditions of the cruise ticket contract.

Carnival’s contract includes language such as “Guest agrees during the course of the voyage to follow the directions of the ship’s Master, or his authorized officer,” and “Guest further agrees to abide by all shipboard rules and policies.” (Section 9a)

The cruise line has the authority to change policies as needed, and guests are always obligated to follow all onboard policies at all times.

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