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Carnival's All You Can Drink Package

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By Andrew Lu on August 24, 2012 6:47 AM

Carnival Cruise Lines, the world's largest cruise ship company is adding an all you can drink package to some of its ships.

Several of Carnival's competitors have already offered a similar drink package, and Carnival will try out the package on select ships before deciding whether to adopt it on all, reports USA TODAY.

For almost $50 a day, the all you can drink package will allow vacationers access to unlimited wine, beer and spirits as well as sodas and non-alcoholic frozen cocktails. The package is aptly called the "My Awesome Bar Program."

While the all you can drink package may sound "awesome" to many cruise ship visitors, the reality is that it must have been an extremely hard business decision for Carnival to make.

Running a hotel on a ship with a variety of entertainment options is difficult enough. Countless people are injured each year on such ships for reasons ranging from food poisoning to ships running aground. By adding an all you can drink package to a moving ship, Carnival must have counted on the added risk for liability.

When Carnival or any business considers adding such a promotion, they must weigh the benefits (e.g., increased profits) against the potential harm (e.g., lawsuits and injuries). Decision makers at Carnival must have felt that the benefits outweighed the potential harm.

In the meantime, you can probably count on Carnival to take additional steps to mitigate the possibility of someone getting injured. The company would be smart to train bartenders on when to stop serving alcohol and the ship may also consider adding physical restraints like metal bars and walls to keep drunk patrons from falling off the ship.

After all, an all you can drink package on a cruise ship is all fun and games until someone falls off the ship and drowns.

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