Woman talking(l+r), Royal Caribbean cruise(c)

Wayleebird/Shutterstock @professormelissa/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘He’s facing a minimum of 12 years’: Expert reveals the one thing to never take on a cruise after Royal Caribbean incident at Grand Turk

“It’s not ‘one little mistake.'”


Nina Hernandez


A travel expert reveals the one thing to never take on a cruise after a Royal Caribbean incident at Grand Turk.

TikTok user Professor Melissa (@professormelissa) is an educator and cruise enthusiast based in Cincinnati. In a video posted earlier in the week, Melissa warns her audience about what to “NEVER” bring on a cruise—if you don’t want to face the risk of arrest. The video has amassed more than 371,000 views as of Wednesday morning.

“Here’s the one thing to make sure you never bring on a cruise, because it can literally land you in jail,” Melissa says to start the video. She says a Virginia man on a Royal Caribbean cruise was recently detained while on a stop in Turks and Caicos after local authorities found ammunition rounds in his luggage.

“It was a bachelor party trip with a stop at Grand Turk in the Turk and Caicos, but Turks and Caicos has really strict rules,” she says. “Unfortunately, this cruiser had a couple of rounds in his backpack. Made it through airport security, no problem. Made it through cruise terminal security, no problem. Had a nice day in Grand Turk, no problem.”

There was a problem when the man, 31-year-old Tyler Wenrich, tried to get back on the ship at the end of the day. “Goes to get back on the ship, whereupon local authorities at that security checkpoint found the things in his bag and immediately detained him,” Melissa says. “He’s now facing a minimum 12-year sentence for one little mistake.”

She continues, “And he’s not alone. There’s been a disturbing trend of Americans getting arrested in Turks and Caicos for similar offenses. And yes they are offenses, but the penalties are significant and they are harsh.”

@professormelissa Taking a cruise soon to Grand Turk. Be careful with this! Do you think this is too harsh? #Cruise #cruiseship #cruisetok #cruiselife #cruiser #travel #traveltiktok #cruisewithme #cruisetips #cruisetipsandtricks #cruisehacks #vacation #cruiseships #cruisecontent #cruisingcontent #cruisevacation #cruiselover #cruiseblogger #firsttimecruiser #cruisequestions #cruisefacts #goingonacruise #crusingtok #cruiseessentials #traveler #royalcaribbean #carnivalcruiseline #choosefun #virginvoyages #norwegiancruise #hollandcruise #hollandamericaline #disneycruiseline #msccruise #princesscruises #carnivalcruise ♬ Die A Little Bit – Remix – Tinashe & ZHU

Turks and Caicos has strict gun control laws in place

According to CNN, Weinrich is just one of five Americans arrested while visiting the island as a result of new gun control laws that prohibit firearms, ammunition, and other weapons. All of the travelers said the luggage was not intentionally packed and instead brought into the country by mistake. Weinrich was reportedly sentenced Tuesday to time served after pleading guilty and agreeing to pay a fine. He is the second of the group to be on his way home.

According to ABC News, one can face at least 12 years in prison for traveling to to Turks and Caicos with ammunition.

Melissa says there are precautions you can take to ensure you stay on the right side of local laws when you’re traveling by cruise ship. “Important lesson here: When you’re traveling to other countries, make sure you’re following their laws. Especially if you port at Grand Turk, which is a very popular cruise destination. Check your bags. Don’t use bags you take to the range. And just be extra careful here,” she says.

Viewers weigh in

In the comments section, users weighed in with their opinions on the situation. Not everyone agreed with Melissa’s assertion that it was “one little mistake.”

One user said, “It’s not ‘one little mistake’. there’s no reason to travel on vacation to other countries with ammo.”

A second user said, “what an american-centric problem. Turks and Caicos are a sovereign Nation and have their own laws, you as a visitor have to follow their laws.”

A third user said, “Maybe check luggage before packing it. Seems like common sense.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Professor Melissa and Royal Caribbean via email for comment.

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