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Cruise passenger banned for life after taking prohibited item on board

Cruise passenger banned for life after taking prohibited item on board

The cruise passenger was in for shock

When you're on a cruise, all you really want to do is relax and unwind.

For some people, that means lounging by the pool, whilst for others, they'll be planted at the ship's bar enjoying a cocktail.

But for one woman, her idea of fun ended with her being banned for life.

Cruises are usually a time to relax and unwind.

Melinda Erin Van Veldhuizen, 42, was all set to go aboard a Carnival cruise with her family.

The family were due to set sail from Port Miami in August to holiday in Aruba, Curaçao and the Dominican Republic.

However, before the family fun could get underway, she was pulled to the side.

What the issue?

She had CBD gummies in her bag.

Van Veldhuizen was interrogated for over two hours by Carnival security and police.

She tried to insist that the gummies contained no THC, and were to help her sleep.

In the majority of states in the US, CBD is legal as long as there is no greater than 0.3 per cent of THC in the substance.

A cruise passenger was banned for life after a prohibited item was found in her luggage.
WPLG/Local 10

According to Van Veldhuizen, her gummies only contained 0.01 percent.

She recalled: "The captain asked me several times if I had a marijuana card or if I had a diagnosis if I needed it.

"I said, 'It’s CBD; that doesn’t exist. It’s just not a thing.'"

However, Carnival Cruise stood firm on its strict policy against CBD on board their boats.

On their website, they wrote: "While certain CBD products used for medicinal purposes may be legal in the US, they are not legal in all the ports we visit and therefore are also considered prohibited items."

As a result of the incident, she was escorted off the cruise, meaning their £4,397 [$5,586] holiday was over.

"I thought it was one of those situations where you’re like, ‘Oh shoot, I left a bottle of water in my backpack; you gotta throw it away,’ kind of thing like that happens at TSA," Van Veldheuizen said in a subsequent interview.

As if the holiday's termination wasn't enough punishment, she later received a letter from Carnival Cruises - informing her that she would be banned for life.

The letter read: "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."

As a result, she hired a lawyer Daren Stabinski to take legal action against the cruise line.

Mr Stabinski said: "To me, it seems like an extreme measure.

"The conditions of carriage specifically say that marijuana, marijuana derivatives, or controlled substances are illegal and are not allowed on the ship. What she had was none of those things."

Featured Image Credit: WPLG News/David Sacks/Getty Images

Topics: Travel, US News, Crime