KHOU 11 reports that alcohol and cigarettes purchased by cruise passengers, represented by cruise lines as "duty-free products," are being taxed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) once the ships return to Galveston.

The state of Texas will start collecting similar taxes from cruise passengers at the Port of Houston by in October.

The

Royal Caribbean Cruises, which I believe is one of the leaders in irresponsible alcohol practices in the cruise industry, is adding to its already controversial beverage policies with an offer of free booze when two passengers book balcony rooms or higher levels on trans-Atlantic re-positioning cruises this spring to Europe.

South Florida Business Journal covers

ABC News reports that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has adopted an all-inclusive drink package on three of its cruise ships (Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Gem & Norwegian Jade) at $49 per person per day plus tips.

NCL is following Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean which all offer all-you-can-drink plans on their cruise ships. 

ABC states that

Lyndsey O'Brien - Costa Coffin Cruise ShipsIn March of 2006 I attended the second of seven cruise ship hearings in Washington D.C. regarding cruise ship crimes and missing passengers.

The most compelling cruise story featured at the hearing was the case of Lynsey O’Brien, a fifteen year old Irish girl traveling with her family aboard the Costa Magica cruise ship. During

Its amusing to watch a cruise line caught in a scandal pretend to be outraged over "unfair" media scrutiny.

Royal Caribbean’s response to Inside Edition’s out-of-control cruise booze expose’ reminds me of the the quotation from Shakespeare’s Hamlet "The lady doth protest too much, methinks," spoken by Queen Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother.

Last week, InsideEdition

College students, booze and ships are often a recipe for bedlam.  Being "cruise drunk" can lead to violence.  

Spirit of France - Drunk Passengers The media in the U.K. is reporting that around 200 college students headed to France on a skiing trip stripped naked, smashed glasses and overturned furniture during a drunken night of havoc on the P&O Spirit

ABC Film Crew at Port of Miami - ABC 20/20 - Cruise Ship Drinking and ViolenceLast night ABC News aired a cruise ship special on its 20/20 program about the Costa Concordia disaster.  Narrated by Chris Cuomo from Italy, the one hour program contains an inside look at this latest cruise ship disaster based on interviews with surviving passengers.

You can watch the first segment of the show, which focuses on details of the cruise