An additional bonus to the daily drink specials is that you may even get a souvenir cup which can entail even further discounts when getting a refill. The drink of the day is usually outlined in the daily cruise newsletter. Instead, find a cozy local bar a little further away from the port to throw back a few. Not only will you have a more authentic travel experience with local flavor, but you also may find local prices!
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You may even be offered a cup! But go beyond the beer while ashore. Local wine found ashore throughout a Mediterranean cruise is not only delicious but can be surprisingly cheap. Our favorite is painkillers in the Virgin Islands!
Use a tour agency independent from the cruise line save money on shore excursions. Their ports of call tours include a worry-free guarantee promise to get you back to the ship. Where are you cruising to? Here are just a few booze-filled shore excursions in some of the most popular Carribean cruise ports:.
Search Viator excursions for your ports of call. This tax-free liquor is well-priced and you may even catch an additional sale on alcohol from time to time. Unfortunately, the duty-free shop will not allow you to take those bottles back to your cabin …that is, until the last night.
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Also on the final evening of the cruise, the duty-free store will, in fact, allow you to walk out of the shop with any liquor you purchase. On one cruise, we noticed that an entire liter bottle of vodka at the duty-free shop was actually priced less than two shots of the exact same vodka if you were to purchase it at the bar. When you return to the cruise ship, you can easily check the bottle with security. Also, if you happen to be in port on the final day of a cruise itinerary, most cruise ships will actually permit you to bring any liquor purchases right back on board with you.
No sneaky tactics are required. Just walk right on and put that bottle through the x-ray machine.
But again, this tends to only be allowed when bringing liquor back aboard a cruise that has a port call on the final day of a cruise itinerary. So on your last night of a cruise, have a party in your cabin and enjoy! Just be sure to schedule a late disembarkation time the next day. The previous cruise alcohol tip is great for a cheap bottle on the last cruise night. But what about the rest of the cruise? Best of all, this bottle set-up is a totally legal and acceptable way to have booze in your stateroom without having to sneak it on the ship!
Most cruise lines actually permit you to bring your own wine and champagne aboard the cruise ship. Usually, the wine allowance is one ml bottles per person or two ml bottles per stateroom. This wine that you can legally bring aboard the cruise must be placed in your carry-on luggage only and is only limited to bringing on embarkation day. So we outlined the alcohol policies of the most popular cruise lines below.
For example, one of our favorite wines, Pinot Grigio, tends to have an alcohol content of about You will be charged a corkage fee if pouring the wine you brought in the main dining room. Meanwhile, you can enjoy your own wine from your cabin at no charge whatsoever. But what if you want to have that glass of wine with your dinner without the expensive corkage fee? Usually, the wine glasses delivered to your room are the same glasses being used in the bars and dining room.
As such, no one will know or care that you poured your own glass of wine.
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So fill up your wine glass in your cabin and then take it to dinner, thereby avoiding a corkage fee. Go ahead and make it a big pour. You may even be able to make one big glass last all the way until the dessert course. A few cruise lines actually do permit you to bring your own beer onboard, although it is rare. Disney is one of the only major cruise lines that allow it in their official policy , permitting passengers to carry on six beers per person.
For cruise lines that allow you to bring wine, you can instead consider bringing a ml bottle of craft beer on board. Such bottles often have the appearance of wine or champagne. So that has worked for us to bring a nice beer instead of an allowed wine bottle. See image to the right: the bottle on the left is beer. It has always been allowed for us, even though beer is technically against the official alcohol policy. Another way we get our own beer on a cruise is during port days. To find out, we typically experiment with attempting to bring on a few cans during the first port day.
Rather, we run it through the x-ray machine in plain sight. Sometimes the beer will be flagged by security and stored until the final night of the cruise. But in many instances, security actually allows the beer to be carried on the cruise, no questions asked. So go ahead and give it a try! The worst case outcome is that security will hold onto your beers for you until the final night of the cruise.
And you can still drink those beers on the final night. During our last Caribbean cruise, security was lenient enough to allow us to bring beer back onto the ship from every port we visited. We gladly brought back our hauls to chill in our mini-fridge and hence have inexpensive local beers to enjoy on the cruise ship. Many cruise lines now offer all-you-can-drink packages. Each cruise drink package varies on exactly what alcohol included. But most of these unlimited cruise drink packages tend to be generous in their offerings, even including top shelf liquors. Some of the cruise drink packages further include specialty coffees, soft drinks, and other non-alcoholic drinks to help you recover the next day.
Here is a comparison with prices for some of the most popular cruise lines. The cruise drink package policies and prices do change, so be sure to confirm details before your cruise. The prices listed above reflect the discounted beverage package rate. So buy online in advance of your cruise, or expect to pay a bit more if purchased once on the ship. Simply do the math.
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Take those considerations into account to determine if the cruise beverage package is worth it. This will depend on the price of the drinks and the package. Yet typically those who may drink at least 6 drinks or so each day, cruise beverage packages will likely save you. If drinking more than that, definitely consider buying a beverage package for your cruise. Six drinks in a day may seem excessive. You may be surprised how quickly all those wonderful cruise drinks flow onto your onboard account.
Drink packages can provide greater value on cruises with more sea days compared to cruises that are more port intensive. Yet if cruising is just one big party to you, the investment of a beverage package can pay dividends. Just drink responsibly and stay afloat! Sometimes cruise lines will run special deals and offer these all you can drink packages for free as an incentive for you to book the cruise.
That is how we drank for free when we sailed on the Norwegian Star. It was fantastic! It was open bar the entire cruise and nearly the entire drink menu was included, even most top-shelf brands! Also, there are a few cruise ships that are all-inclusive and even include unlimited alcohol. When we cruised on the Pullmantur Monarch, it included a full open bar during the two-week sailing.
Search around to find cruise deals that include the unlimited beverage package. We tend to see such promos offered by Norwegian and Celebrity the most. Call a good travel agent who can let you know which cruise lines may be currently running such a beverage package promotion.
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