Carnival Cruise Passengers Attempt to Bring Portable Washing Machine Aboard Ship

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A passenger aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Valor submitted a letter detailing an upsetting experience at the ship’s security check for packing a portable washing machine. The incident sparked a conversation about the ship’s prohibited items list and onboard safety measures.

Wash and Worry

During a recent Caribbean voyage on Carnival Valor in March, a passenger, referred to only as “L,” and her mother were summoned to what she referred to as “the naughty room” to address a peculiar item found in their luggage. The duo attempted to bring a Kuppet portable washing machine on their cruise but were summoned to the ship’s security check area on Deck 0.

The portable machine, which connects to a standard kitchen faucet for water and plugs into an electrical outlet, is often lightweight and sold online on Amazon and at stores like Walmart. It typically requires 110 volts to operate, which is standard on North American cruise ships.

“L” detailed her experience in a message to John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador, expressing feelings of humiliation and criminal treatment during the inspection process.

“We were treated like criminals and degraded,” she wrote. “I hope Carnival will be more sympathetic to people and do away with this humiliating experience.”

Portable Washing Machine
Portable Washing Machine (Photo Credit: Geoff Sperring)

In his response, Heald expressed regret over the distressed caused, clarifying the intentions behind the security protocols. “Thank you and I am so sorry ‘L’ that this happened to you, but the team were doing their jobs and I promise the intention was not to ‘humiliate you,’” Heald replied.

Understanding Onboard Safety Measures

Carnival Cruise Line, like many others in the industry, maintains a specific list of prohibited items on board their ships to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers. This list, available on Carnival’s official website, includes a variety of objects ranging from irons and steamers to certain types of sporting equipment and electrical appliances, such as portable washing machines.

The reasoning behind such prohibitions concerns safety. For example, items that generate heat or use high wattage can pose significant fire hazards in a cruise ship’s confined and highly controlled environment. 

Similarly, items that could be used as weapons are banned to prevent any harm to passengers. Security checks are designed to intercept these items.

Bringing prohibited items aboard can lead to delays during the boarding process, and can even impact the overall cruise experience, as seen in ‘L’s’ case. 

Carnival Valor Cruise Ship
Carnival Valor Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: The Hungarian Sailor)

Carnival, ironically, is one of the few cruise lines offering self-service launderettes on stateroom decks. The 2,980-passenger Carnival Valor, for example, features a laundry room on the Riviera deck. Other cruise lines without self-service laundry may offer laundry service for a fee.

Read Also: Things You Can’t Take on a Cruise

Carnival’s response to “L’s” experience highlights the delicate balance cruise lines must maintain between enforcing necessary safety measures and ensuring a positive and respectful environment for their guests. As Heald acknowledged the letter on his Facebook page, he asked other passengers to acknowledge what items they may have taken on a cruise. 

Many cruisers admitted to having power cords, hair dryer/brush combinations, and weapons they forgot they had on them. Carnival and other cruise lines encourage passengers to review the prohibited items list thoroughly before packing for a voyage.

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