And another thing … when it comes to bringing liquor onboard, most cruise line alcohol policies are cut and dry. With the exception of wine, you cannot bring your own bottle. Caught by security with a liter of Grey Goose? You’ll be embarrassed in front of your peers — and lose the booze until the end of the cruise. But there are a few exceptions: lines that know they have a captive drinking audience, but still let us tipple on the cheap. Omitting true luxury operators like Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas, which include drinks in the fare, check out five lines that let you BYOB.
Disney Cruise Line. The Mouse lets passengers 21 years of age and older bring their own beer and liquor onboard for in-cabin consumption. Makes no difference whether you schlep it on at embarkation or from a port of call. Liquor purchased at the duty-free shop onboard is, however, held until the last night of the cruise. It’s rare to see a big-ship line with such a liberal policy, but, then again, passengers are paying a premium to cruise with Disney. Be wary about packing liquor in checked luggage though — carry it on instead. The line reserves the right to remove fragile items (including beverages) from guests’ luggage, and those items will be stored until the end of the voyage.
Cunard Line. While Cunard does not allow you to bring liquor and spirits onboard at embarkation, currently the line does not collect liquor purchased ashore. This policy is, however, under review. We hope Cunard continues its sober-minded approach.
P&O Cruises. According to British line P&O, passengers are welcome to bring a small amount of alcohol with them. There is no restriction to the amount. P&O does, however, reserve the right to remove alcohol at the gangway should the need arise. If, quoting the policy, it’s “likely that the health, comfort, safety and enjoyment of passengers may otherwise be compromised.”
Azamara Club Cruises. The two-ship luxe-lite line makes passengers pay for most alcoholic drinks onboard — wine is included with lunch and dinner — but liquor can be brought aboard and consumed in-cabin for no fee.
Oceania Cruises. Here’s another “premium” line that makes you pony up for booze onboard. Bringing your own, however, is allowed. Passengers may consume their own beer or liquor, brought on during embarkation or from a port of call. But keep the party in the cabin, says Oceania.
Just for fun. When it comes to its alcohol policies, Norwegian is no different from any other big-ship line. You cannot bring liquor. Period. End of story. But, as with most other lines, you can bring wine. You just have to pay a corkage fee if you consume it in an onboard restaurant (or even to take it onboard). That fee is where Norwegian stands out. Those bring bottles onboard must pay a corkage fee of $15 for 750ml bottles, $20 for 1,000ml and $30 for 1,500ml. Ah, the novelty-sized 1,500ml wine bottle.
Get all you need to know on cruise booze in our Guide to Drinking at Sea, including 7 Ways to Score Free Drinks at Sea.
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