Whether you are cruising to Alaska or Hawaii, the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, one of the highlights of any trip is the ability to take a few days off and let loose. Of course, relaxing usually means having a few drinks.
The cruise lines know that people love to drink on a cruise, so they are happy to help you… for a price. With a captive audience, cruise lines can charge a premium for alcohol. Meanwhile, many ships ban you from bringing your own booze on board.
With seven different cruise lines sailing from Seattle, however, the alcohol policies of each can get confusing. That’s why we’ve rounded up each policy and put them in one place. This information could help you save some serious cash on your next cruise.
Passengers can bring one 750 ml bottle of sealed wine or champagne per adult. No beer or other alcohol is allowed. Carnival charges a $15 corkage fee if you drink your wine/champagne in the main dining room, bar, or other onboard restaurant.
Passengers can bring two 750 ml bottles of wine or champagne per stateroom aboard the ship, but beer, liquor, or other alcohol is prohibited. Celebrity charges a $25 corkage fee if your wine is drank in a shipboard restaurant or other dining venue.
Passengers can bring one 750 ml bottle of sealed wine or champagne per adult. No beer or other alcohol is allowed. Holland America charges an $18 corkage fee if consumed outside the stateroom. You can actually bring on more wine/champagne than one per adult, but it will be hit with an $18 corkage fee, no matter where you decide to drink it.
Norwegian allows you to bring wine and champagne aboard, without any specific language to respect to its size or quantity:
Guests may bring bottles of wine and champagne on board. When bottles are brought on board and served or consumed in any restaurant, public room area or in their stateroom, a corkage fee will be charged according to bottle sizes noted below. 750 ml Bottle: $15.00 1,500 ml Magnum: $30.00 Wine or champagne sent directly to the ship by travel agents, friends, family, etc. or from another retail source, are subject to the same fees.
No beer, liquor or other spirits are allowed to be brought aboard.
Oceania Cruises has the most interesting posted policy of any cruise line. They don’t specifically prohibit beer or liquor. Instead, their terms and conditions simply say “Oceania Cruises reserves the right to prohibit and retain all alcohol bought ashore for consumption on board the vessel.”
Guests are allowed to carry aboard wine, but it is limited to three bottles per stateroom. Any wine consumed in a public area is subject to a $25 corkage fee.
Princess prohibits bringing beer or liquor aboard the ship. Guests are allowed to bring one 750 ml bottle of wine or champagne per adult. If drank outside your stateroom, it will incur a $15 corkage fee. Additional bottles are welcome aboard, but are hit with a $15 corkage fee automatically, no matter where they are consumed.
Royal Caribbean allows its passengers to bring two 750 ml bottles of wine or champagne per stateroom. Unlike other lines, Royal Caribbean does not charge a corkage fee. No beer or liquor is allowed to be brought on board.
What Happens If You Try to Sneak Alcohol Aboard?
If you decide to bring alcohol aboard a cruise that’s not allowed, there are a few things that can happen. If you try to sneak booze aboard during embarkation, it will definitely be removed if it is found. Sometimes the cruise lines will simply keep the alcohol in the ship’s hold, and return it to you on the last day of the trip. Other times, they will simply destroy the alcohol, no questions asked. Many also reserve the right to not let you board, although that seems like a rare occurrence.
If you bring alcohol that you purchase in a port of call, then the crew will take the it when you board the ship and keep it until the last day of the cruise. It will be returned to your stateroom at that point.