Oh ship! It’s a week before the cruise you so desperately need and you realize you forgot to factor the daily “drink package,” price to your budget. No big deal, you think to yourself, you’ll just sneakily fill up some water bottles with your alcohol of choice, pack it in your luggage, and you’re off.
Before you know it, you’ll be a sail-ebrity; your nifty out-of-the-box thinking saved your wallet hundreds, and everyone on that ship will be jealous.
In a TikTok posted on Jan. 9, influencer @mandythecruiseplanner advises you to not do that. With over 175,000 views and 5,739 likes, the self-proclaimed “cruise addict” warns viewers of the hair-raising truths behind cruise-smuggling culture.
“I feel the need to have a PSA and have a heart to heart with all the people who like to cruise,” Mandy began.
Leaning forward into her phone, the cruise guru firmly tells audiences that while it may seem common for people to successfully sneak booze onto a sea voyage, it is just as common to be caught.
“You’re probably not gonna see those videos,” Mandy says. “ No. 1 because of the illegal factor, No. 2 the shame of having gotten caught, No. 3 they are trying a lot of the time to get reimbursed via insurance.”
Claiming that people are less likely to share when they are apprehended, Mandy believes that cruise goers need to understand that there can be serious consequences for their misdemeanors.
“If you get caught you could very much go to jail, “ Mandy says. “You could get banned from the cruise line, you could get kicked off your cruise, it could be very, very costly and very expensive and I promise you it happens every day.”
And this goes for narcotics too.
“I know this app is full of people who have put videos where they’ve smuggled alcohol on or where they talk about how they’ve hid their THC gummies with their vitamin gummies,” Mandy acknowledges.
Prominent cruise lines, such as Carnival Cruises, have addressed this on their “Frequently Asked Questions,” page as well to assure there is no miscommunication or confusion between cruise and cruise-goer.
“Illegal narcotics/drugs including synthetic, designer drugs, marijuana, cannabis and cannabis derivatives such as Cannabidiol (CBD) items which may be labeled as medical marijuana are not allowed on board,” Carnival Cruise states.
Yet, regardless of it being spelled out, voyagers still continue to try their luck. Mandy tells every voyager who reaches out to her the same piece of information: Don’t do it, it’s illegal.
“Unless you are willing to seriously risk being permanently banned, potentially going to jail, if it’s drug related, unless you’re willing to lose all of your cruise money, it’s really not worth it. It’s really not,” Mandy says.
If you’re caught with marijuana, you can expect to be “detained, disembarked, and/or arrested.”
But as Mandy continues on her precautionary tale, commenters are quick to point out that regardless of her advising, they are going to continue bringing prohibited items.
@mandythecruisepla Help me help you. If the cruise line says “No”, please don’t take the risk of sneaking it onboard. #cruisetok #contraband #carnivalcruise #royalcaribbean #rumrunners ♬ original sound – mandythecruiseplanner
“A gambler only tells you when they win. Same concept,” one commentator says. Believing that Mandy is purely bluffing.
Some viewers have even gone as far as suggesting tips and tricks in the comment section on what exactly can be detected during the boarding process prior to embarkment.
“Dogs don’t smell cart oil, put it in your makeup bag and the battery in your carry on” another commenter suggested.
While Mandy understands the impulse to carry on such products, at the end of the day she believes her job is to educate and warn those looking forward to their next cruise.
“I care about you, I want to see you have a really amazing vacation, I want to see you not lose all your money. Anyway, that’s it,” Mandy concludes.
The Daily Dot reached out to @Mandythecruiseplanner for comment via TikTok Direct Message and Carnival Cruise line via email.