Alcohol On Cruise Ships

Below is some quick advice about alcohol on cruise ships.

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The cruise lines enforce their policies on the sale of liquor. Some cruise lines establish a minimum age of 21 for the purchase of liquor, at port or at sea.

Other cruise lines (while in port) may have a lower minimum age if local legal age limits permit it. While at sea, a minimum age of 18 is the usual policy.

You cannot take alcoholic beverages aboard ship.

You cannot take liquor aboard cruise ships for consumption or any other use. Exceptions for special occasions (as specified by the cruise line) are subject to a "corkage fee", usually ten or fifteen dollars.

In other words, the cruise lines will allow you (with prior approval) to go aboard with your own liquor for special occasions. But, they will charge you for each bottle you open.

The above policies (when you think about it) are reasonable, because the cruise lines would otherwise lose a substantial portion of their alcohol revenues.

Cruise lines are always changing their policies; and, different cruise lines have different policies. For example, some cruise lines may allow you (21 years of age and older) to take on board one 750 ml bottle of wine or champagne; but only in your carry-on luggage.

You are able to purchase duty-free liquor to take back home. Purchases you make at a port-of-call or from on board gift shops are stored by the cruise line until the last day of your cruise.

Years ago it was common to take (sneak) liquor aboard ship, either at departure or a port of call. Of course, with heighten security the world over; it is not advisable to take any action that is not according to policy.

You know the adage, if in doubt, ask.

Cruise lines do offer some type of beverage program. You pay one flat price for the entire cruise. Of course, gratuities (usually 15%) are added to the package program; and, there are restrictions and exclusions such as for the higher priced wines.

Carefully read the details of any liquor package program before making a purchase. Liquor packages can have significant restrictions as well as a number of exclusions.

Stay safe.

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