Bar Tab Confidential: You Spent HOW Much on Booze?

November 15, 2011 | By | 9 Comments

Seems Cruise Critic members sure know how to rack up a bar tab while on the high seas. Last week we asked readers on the Lido Deck and our Facebook page what’s the most they spent on cocktails (including beer and wine) while cruising. While we were surprised by how little some folks dished out ($50 for seven nights!), we were even more amazed by the sky-high tabs reported by others.
Erich Frisch – a self-proclaimed top shelf drinker – spent about $2,000 on a 14-nighter. And $800 of that was spent in just a single day (to give him credit, it was Christmas).
With a similar tally, John and his traveling companion drank their way through $1,200 in a single week.
Even more impressive was Lisa’s total, in just five days, two people racked up a bill of $989, not including two bottles of wine they brought onboard with them. Of course, she did try to smuggle on $200 worth of booze, which was inevitably confiscated, so she had no choice but to splurge in the ship’s bars.
Not a big drinker herself, Linda recalls a friend spending over $1,500 during a single sailing.
And of course, there’s Diana. Lucky Diana. On a birthday cruise a few years back, her husband merrily forked over $3,000 thanks to her love of the swanky Dom Perignon and wine with dinner.
Michelle was a little more creative with her booze expenditure – she may have been left with a $2,400 bill, but included in that were three martini tastings. She was even able to design her own cocktail, a concoction of watermelon liqueur, cranberry juice, vodka and gin. Yum!
Perhaps Steve summed it up best, “Let’s just say there were four digits,” he said.
There’s no doubt these big spenders had a great time, but most cruisers (including Cruise Critic’s editors), can’t fathom the idea of spending thousands on booze. In fact, in a recent Cruise Critic poll, more than 4,000 readers responded when we asked how much they spent on booze on an average cruise: A combined 67.5 percent spent either less than $50 per cruise or between $50 and $200 per cruise. Reasonable, right?
Get the 411 on cruise booze in our Guide to Drinking at Sea, including 7 Ways to Score Free Drinks, the 9 Best Bars at Sea and 5 Cruise Lines That Let You BYOB.
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    9 Responses to “Bar Tab Confidential: You Spent HOW Much on Booze?”

    1. credit repair magic
      November 15th, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

      that is alot of money to spend on booze!! I guess though you are on vacation so why not tear it up. Plus it is easy to lose track of what you are spending when it keeps getting charged to your tab!

    2. Roberta Gerlach
      November 15th, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

      Wow! That is a lot of cash to spend on something you cannot take home. We buy a basic wine package and add a few Bloody Marys each during an 11 day cruise, but I would rather spend on excursions or jewelry. Tracking purchase might become less important after a few nice cocktails.

    3. Jennifer
      November 15th, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

      Last summer I did a 12 day British Isle cruise and I spent about $700.00 on beer and wine. When I go on vacation I don’t worry what things cost and I don’t worry about a diet. Eat, drink and be merry!

    4. Josh
      November 15th, 2011 @ 10:22 pm


    5. Phil Wong
      November 16th, 2011 @ 9:55 am

      Heaven help their livers! Hopefully, bartenders stop serving when guests become intoxicated. For the sake of others…

    6. Brian
      November 18th, 2011 @ 11:56 am

      My wife and I took advantage of all the opportunities for free drinks we could find. Then we each had a “fancy drink allowance,” so that part of the fun was hunting out the “allowance worthy” drink. The result was greater enjoyment of the fancy drinks that we did order. “All things in moderation” helps not only our budget, but also our enjoyment!

    7. Jeff
      November 19th, 2011 @ 2:00 am

      On a 6 Night cruise a few years ago my girlfriend and I had a 1066.00 bar tab. We each got a 25.00 credit to boot! What I remember..we had a great time….By the way, we are mostly beer drinkers!

    8. Ron
      November 20th, 2011 @ 9:24 am

      There are AA meetings on all ships. Sounds like they need to check them out.

    9. Rich Kulaszewski
      February 8th, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

      On Celerity The booze cards are 10% off .These cards include soft drinks, coffee, booze ,beer wine .For a 10 nite cruise it is about $450 which includes the tips (15%).When drinks are running about $8/9 a pop this the way to flight

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    The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

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