Some fans of the cruise line want the Royal Caribbean and Disney rival to bring back a past non-family-friendly policy.
Carnival Cruise Line and its key rival Royal Caribbean cater to a family audience. The company's "Fun Ships," offer waterslides, clubs for kids up through age 18, and lots of whole family activities including trivia, pool-side movies, contests on the pool deck, and a variety of all-ages theater shows.
Neither cruise line quite reaches Walt Disney's (DIS) - Get Free Report family-friendly heights (Disney cruise ships don't even have casinos onboard) but it's fair to say that Royal Caribbean (RCL) - Get Free Report and Carnival's (CCL) - Get Free Report namesake cruise lines specifically target families (while their Royal's Celebrity Cruise Line and Carnival's Holland America aim their core offering more at adults).
But being family-friendly does not mean opting to not cater some parts of its ships to adults. Children aren't allowed in the casinos on either Carnival or Royal Caribbean ships and both cruise lines offer adults-only pools and sundecks. Carnival's adults-only area, the Serenity Deck, offers a mix of lounge chairs, hot tubs, and on many ships a pool.
Some Carnival customers want the cruise line to go back to an old policy in those areas that would make them a lot more adult.
Carnival Cruisers Ask for Topless Sunbathing
Carnival Loyalty Ambassador John Heald answers dozens of questions on his Facebook page each day. He generally keeps a sort of rolling dialogue with his followers sometimes asking them questions and at other times giving answers in his unique voice.
On March 15, Heald addressed some comments on his feed asking for the return of a past policy.
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"We spoke a lot about the Serenity Deck yesterday and among the comments I read a surprising amount requesting that as it is an ADULTS Area that it should allow for topless sunbathing and why we don’t. Well, the answer is that we do not allow topless sunbathing on the Serenity Deck or anywhere else. It is interesting thinking back to when we had topless decks which if I am honest were used mostly by the dancers and men armed with camcorders," he shared.
Carnival used to reserve the pool deck space under its iconic "tail" for topless sunbathing, but that policy changed many years ago. Royal Caribbean, Disney, and all major cruise lines ban topless sunbathing for women in common areas and on balconies on ships sailing from North America.
Why Does Carnival No Longer Offer Topless Pool Decks?
Upstart cruise company Virgin Voyages allows women to be topless on a deck 17 area known as "The Perch," and Carnival's Costa cruise line allows it (but only on its ships that sail from Europe. Heald said that Carnival won't be making a change back to its old policies in U.S. for obvious reasons.
"But, just like some of the activities we used to do 20 years ago that are now deemed unsafe or not 'PC'...so is topless sunbathing. Back then all our ships had topless sunbathing decks and for the most part the guests seemed to enjoy it and certainly didn’t feel a sense of shock and horror because we had one. Not anymore," he typed.
Heald, who is Brittish, could not name a specific time where attitudes on topless women changed in the U.S.
"When did that change? Why did that change? None of the major cruise lines have it anymore as far as I know. Except on our brilliant and visually stunning AIDA ships which cater to the German guests. They allow it in certain areas of the ship and it is Wonderbra...I mean Wunderbra..bugger...wonderful and normal for the Germans," he added. "Strange isn't it, what was normal, or at least what became normal in the 80s and 90s on land and at sea, has now become abnormal even on the famous beaches in Saint Tropez, Hawaii, and Cleveland, Ohio."
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