After discovering CBD gummies in a passenger’s luggage, Carnival Cruise Line permanently banned her.
According to her attorney Daren Stabinski, Melinda Van Veldhuizen, 42, was stopped by security before boarding the Carnival Horizon ship in Miami for a cruise in August. Security eventually discovered a sealed container of the candies, but not before an X-ray revealed metal nail clippers in her luggage, according to the Dallas-based nurse practitioner and chiropractor.
She told The Washington Post, “I was freaking out because I don’t even have a parking ticket, like, I follow the rules.” Van Veldhuizen did not reply to USA TODAY’s interview request right away.
The passenger, who had previously on a Carnival cruise, claimed she was refused boarding and held for hours. Later, Van Veldhuizen received a letter informing her that the line had prohibited her from any further voyages.
The letter, written by Capt. Rocco Lubrano, which Stabinski shared with USA TODAY, stated, “This decision was based on your actions on the current cruise, which were a violation of the ship rules, interfered with the safety and/or enjoyment of other guests on the ship, or caused harm to Carnival.”
In addition, she was informed that her husband and two boys, who were scheduled to travel with her, still needed to pay for their approximately $1,700 cruise fee (although the line subsequently offered to reimburse her half and the cost of booked excursions).
According to Stabinsky, her goals are to fight the ban and obtain a complete reimbursement and compensation. By putting the cruise company on notice, they are allowing them to react before taking any more action. Carnival did not respond to a response request from USA TODAY.
Woman banned from Carnival cruise ships for life over CBD gummies
CBD is not permitted aboard Carnival ships. The line’s website states, “Although some CBD products used for medicinal purposes might be legal in the US, they are not legal in all the ports we visit and are therefore also considered prohibited items.”
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention state that CBD does not generate a psychoactive effect in and of itself and can be derived from both hemp and non-hemp plants. The CDC website defines hemp as any portion of the cannabis sativa plant containing no more than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Food, lotions, and other goods contain CBD. According to the CDC, “hemp was removed from the federal Controlled Substances Act by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, effectively legalising CBD if it comes from hemp.” Nevertheless, each state has a different legal position on CBD products.
Why do passengers not get on cruise lines?
According to Stewart Chiron, a cruise industry analyst known as The Cruise Guy, passengers are usually banned for life “in response to extreme violations of a cruise line’s rules,” USA TODAY was emailed. Those occurrences, he noted, are “extraordinarily rare.”
A video that went viral earlier this year purportedly showed at least two passengers being caught fishing from a cabin balcony, leading to a suspension from Carnival. A guest and her partner were also prohibited by Royal Caribbean International in 2019 when the latter stood on the railing of her stateroom balcony to take a picture.
Chiron pointed out that on their websites, cruise lines list the specific products that are prohibited. “The cruise may not be (the) best option for people if they can’t conform to the posted rules,” he stated.