Carnival Cruise Line Gets Serious With Detection Dogs

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Carnival Cruise Line is taking a serious stand against banned substances. Carnival has employed a K-9 unit with a keen nose to curb consumption onboard its ships, reinforcing a zero-tolerance policy onboard its vessels.

New Four-Legged Crew Members at Carnival

Carnival’s drug-detection dogs have become integral to the cruise line’s security detail. The K-9 unit, featuring an Italian drug-sniffing dog named Cucciolo, is being deployed across Carnival’s fleet and home ports to inspect passengers and their luggage.

“We are employing narcotic dogs in various locations,” according to Carnival Captain Andrea Catalani. “So, if you see Cucciolo or one of his colleagues at the terminal, at the destination port, or onboard, please do not interfere.” You can watch a video that the cruise line released about its new stance:

The sniffing dogs are part of several initiatives Carnival has implemented over the past year to curb unruly behavior onboard its cruise ships.

While users are much less likely to create a scene onboard, the penalties for drug use are much more severe than most people would expect. No wonder then that Carnival is taking a tough stance. 

According to Carnival Cruise Line spokesperson Matt Lupoli: “The K-9s are part of our security team and are deployed to various locations, so guests may very well see them at terminals, destination ports, or onboard, and their deployment could change at any time.”

Stiff Penalties

While the use of marijuana is legal in some states, federal laws override state jurisdiction on Carnival Cruise ships. 

It’s worth noting that even when passengers use drugs for medicinal purposes, cruise lines do not make exceptions. Carnival’s President, Christine Duffy, reiterated this in a public statement, advising users to seek alternative therapies during their cruise.

“In case there’s any confusion, let me remind guests that while marijuana and cannabis products may be legal in some states, we are required to follow federal law irrespective of the law in the state where you may be boarding your ship,” she stated.

Carnival Conquest Cruise Ship in Miami
Photo Credit: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

Those found in possession could face severe consequences, ranging from confinement to their cabins to removal from the ship and a ban from future cruises. 

Furthermore, individuals found with banned substances could face arrest or prosecution by law enforcement authorities, especially when the ship is docked in a port where possession is criminalized. For instance, in some Caribbean countries, drug offenses can lead to harsh penalties, including imprisonment.

Cruise Line’s Hardline Stance

While some guests appreciate Carnival Cruise Line’s policies, others have voiced dissatisfaction with the cruise line’s anti-drugs policy. Social media channels and online forums are awash with discussions and debates, with some disgruntled guests expressing their discontent openly.

Carnival Cruise Line Getting Strict

The use of drugs is illegal onboard cruise ships, and Carnival Cruise Line could be in serious trouble if it looks the other way while guests smoke weed onboard. Let alone the fact that once the ships dock in international ports, guests have been participating in international drug trafficking. 

Carnival’s stance on banned substances is not the only measure the cruise line takes to curb unruly behavior onboard its ships, which could even result in a fine of up to $500.

The cruise line now has a curfew for minors, a fining system for guests who cannot follow the rules onboard, and more. It follows, amongst other things, a series of alterations between guests during the initial start-up period post-pandemic.

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