We’ve reached the time of year when most of the nation is sinking into winter climates, preparing to freeze our proverbial tuchuses off for the next several months as we combat the doom and gloom of overcast skies, snow, ice and every other vile element that comes with this frigid season. Basically, this is the point in the year when many people become so fed up with the teeth-chattering chill that they choose to migrate south for a while to thaw out.
A cruise to a tropical locale like Jamaica is always a popular option, especially for the cannabis enthusiasts among us, given that the weather is balmy and the Jamaican government allows folks opportunity to smoke marijuana without the threat of legal repercussions. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
But there’s just one catch that you need to be aware of before hopping online to make travel plans. If you plan to booking your winter expedition through Carnival Cruise Lines, you could run into some serious snags when it comes to sailing the seas high. The company recently announced that it intends to slap patrons with a hefty fine if they are caught smoking weed during their voyage.
Carnival established [KW1] [KW2] an amended set of rules for its Tobacco and Marijuana Smoking Policy in late November, and they’re a huge bummer for cannabis consumers. According to the updated policy, passengers who enjoy hanging out and getting stoned on the balcony of cruise ships will now risk a fine of $500 for each passenger if they are caught. And anyone who has ever been on a cruise knows that even if there isn’t a staff member nearby, there’s often some ultra-conservative couple in the vicinity, prepared to snitch over any little violation.
If getting high on a boat wasn’t such a pleasurable experience, Deep Purple may have never written the song “Smoke on the Water.” Okay, maybe that’s a stretch — the tune doesn’t explicitly reference the joys of twisting up a fatty on the lake and taking in the surrounding nature. But d*mnit, maybe it should!
Unfortunately, even the craftiest canna-tourists probably won’t be able to circumvent this new policy. Between the smoke and the smell, traditional smoking methods (joints, bowls, one-hitters) would prove difficult to manage on a Carnival cruise. Even vaporizers, which are basically odor-free, could cause a passenger trouble if challenged.
“All staterooms and suite accommodations, including outside balconies, are NON-SMOKING,” a spokesperson for the cruise line told Travel Agent Central. “This policy applies to all forms of smoking, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes and marijuana.”
Although the cruise line has established designated smoking areas — on the exterior decks and in its casino and nightclub — for those people who use tobacco products, cannabis users do not get the same treatment. There is a total ban on cannabis products. “Carnival recognizes that some state and local governments in the U.S., and in the destinations we visit, might allow marijuana use. However, Carnival Cruise Line follows U.S. federal law, which strictly prohibits possession and use of recreational/medicinal marijuana and other illegal controlled substances,” the spokesperson added.
Most cruise lines will not allow smoking of any kind in cabins and restaurants, but there is no such thing a non-smoking cruise anymore, reports Cruise Critic. But because the U.S government still considers the herb a Schedule I dangerous drug, all cruise ships prohibit marijuana.
It might be possible in some cases to sneak edibles on board, bypassing the whole smoking scenario, but these products are still prohibited and could bring on some unwanted heat if discovered. Passengers can, however, purchase marijuana in ports where it is legal. They just have to find a way to consume it before re-boarding the ship. In the case of Carnival Cruise Lines, it appears the ban is nothing to mess with. Anyone caught with marijuana “will be responsible for all financial charges and expenses to return home, and no refund of unused cruise fare will be provided,” the spokesperson said.
Perhaps the cold weather isn’t so bad after all.
TELL US, have you ever bypassed a (seemingly) impervious cannabis ban?