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Cruise Drink Guide: Costs, Rules, & More




An image showcasing a vibrant poolside bar on a luxurious cruise ship, with bartenders expertly preparing a variety of refreshing drinks, surrounded by happy passengers enjoying their cocktails, against a backdrop of serene blue ocean

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Hey there, fellow cruisers! Are you ready to dive into the world of cruise ship drinks? Well, you’re in luck because I’ve got the ultimate Cruise Drink Guide for you.

From the costs to the rules and everything in between, this guide has got you covered. We’ll explore the prices of different drinks, the ins and outs of drink packages, and even the nitty-gritty details of gratuity.

So grab a refreshing beverage and let’s embark on this thirst-quenching adventure together!

Key Takeaways

  • Cruise ships offer a variety of drinks including beer and cocktails, with prices ranging from $7-14 before gratuity.
  • Drink packages are available for a fixed daily price and can help save money on drinks. They must be purchased for every day of the cruise and gratuity is included in the cost.
  • Drinking age on cruise ships sailing from the United States is 21 years old, while ships sailing from Europe, Asia, and Australia have a drinking age of 18. Local laws in ports of call may have different drinking ages.
  • Most alcohol cannot be brought onboard for drinking during the cruise, but a bottle of wine or champagne is usually allowed. Duty-free alcohol purchases are stored until the last day of the cruise and then delivered to the cabin for passengers to take with them when disembarking.

Drink Prices and Menu Options

The prices of drinks on a cruise ship range from $7-9 for beer and $10-14 for cocktails before gratuity. It’s important to note that these prices can vary depending on the cruise line and the specific bar on the ship.

Some bars may offer drink specials or happy hour deals where you can get discounted prices on certain drinks during specific times of the day.

When it comes to beer options, cruise ships typically offer a variety of choices, including both local and national brands. This allows passengers to explore and try different beers from around the world. So, if you’re a beer lover, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from while on a cruise.

Understanding Drink Packages

I really enjoy the convenience and cost savings of purchasing a drink package on a cruise. There are several benefits to getting a drink package, such as saving money on individual drink purchases and having a wide variety of beverages to choose from.

To maximize the value of a drink package, here are a few tips. First, be sure to check what types of drinks are included in the package. Some packages may only cover certain types of alcohol, while others may include non-alcoholic options as well.

Secondly, take advantage of the package by trying different drinks and exploring new flavors. Since you’ve already paid for the package, why not enjoy a variety of cocktails and beers?

Lastly, make sure to use your drink package throughout the entire cruise. Since the package is usually priced per day, using it every day will help you get the most out of your purchase.

Cheers to a great cruise experience with a drink package!

Navigating Gratuity for Drinks

Navigating gratuity for drinks can be a bit confusing, but it’s important to remember that additional gratuity is added to individual drink purchases. When calculating drink gratuity, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Menu prices: Beer prices range from $7-9 before gratuity, while cocktails typically cost $10-14 before gratuity. It’s important to consider these prices when calculating the total cost of your drink.

  2. Drink packages: Drink packages can help save money on drinks, but it’s essential to understand that gratuity is included in the cost of these packages. However, additional gratuity is still added to individual drink purchases, so be sure to factor that into your calculations.

  3. Hidden costs: The total cost of a drink includes both the menu price and gratuity. It’s also worth noting that some cruise lines may charge a higher gratuity rate than others, so be sure to check the specific policies of your cruise line.

  4. Optional tipping: Adding an extra tip when signing the receipt is optional. If you receive exceptional service, it’s always a nice gesture to show your appreciation with an additional tip.

Understanding the calculation of drink gratuity and the hidden costs of drink packages can help you budget and make informed decisions about your beverage choices onboard.

Drinking Age and Alcohol Availability

When considering the drinking age on a cruise ship, it’s important to note that the minimum age is 21 years old for ships sailing from the United States. However, the drinking age may vary for ships sailing from other countries and for ports of call. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local laws regarding drinking age restrictions before your cruise.

On a cruise ship, you’ll find an endless variety of alcohol brands available. Well-known national brands like Titos, Jack Daniels, Crown Royal, and Makers Mark are widely available. However, the availability of local or lesser-known regional brands may vary. The cruise ship bars offer a range of options, including beers, cocktails, and exclusive cruise line cocktails. Additionally, non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails are also offered for those who prefer not to drink alcohol.

In order to make the most of your cruise experience, it’s important to be aware of the drinking age restrictions and the availability of different alcohol brands on the ship. Whether you choose to indulge in a cocktail by the pool or enjoy a beer at the bar, there are plenty of options to suit your preferences. So sit back, relax, and raise a glass to a fantastic cruise vacation!

Bar Hours and Freedom to Carry Drinks

Bars on cruise ships are open nearly around the clock, and I can freely carry my drink from one area to another without any restrictions. This is a unique aspect of bar etiquette on a cruise ship.

The convenience of being able to enjoy a drink and explore the ship at the same time is a major advantage. When it comes to popular drink choices, there is something for everyone. Rum Runners, Margaritas, and Mai Tais are among the top cocktail options. Beer lovers can choose from a variety of local and national brands. The cruise line may also offer unique cocktails exclusive to their brand. Non-alcoholic beverages and mocktails are available for those who prefer a non-alcoholic option.

Overall, the bar hours and freedom to carry drinks make for an enjoyable and convenient experience on a cruise ship.

Mini-Bar Essentials and Exclusions

Now that we’ve discussed the freedom to carry drinks and bar hours on a cruise ship, let’s dive into the world of mini-bars. As a passenger, it’s important to be aware of what the mini-bar offers and the pricing associated with it.

Here are some essential points to keep in mind about mini-bars:

  • Mini-bar inventory: The mini-bar typically offers a variety of beverages such as beers, liquors, sodas, and bottled water. It’s a convenient option for those who want to enjoy a drink in the comfort of their own cabin.

  • Mini-bar pricing: The prices for mini-bar items are usually posted on or near the fridge. It’s important to check the prices before indulging as they are separate from the drink packages available on the ship.

  • Exclusions from drink packages: It’s worth noting that mini-bar items are not included in the drink packages offered by the cruise line. So, if you have purchased a drink package, you will still need to pay separately for any items consumed from the mini-bar.

  • Availability of mini-bars: While most cabins have a small refrigerator that doubles as a mini-bar, it’s important to check if your specific cruise offers this amenity. Some cruises may have empty refrigerators in the cabins or may not offer mini-bars at all.

  • Convenient option: Having a mini-bar in your cabin provides a convenient option for enjoying a drink without having to leave your room. It can be a nice way to relax and unwind after a day of exploring the ship or ports of call.

Knowing what the mini-bar offers and its pricing can help you make informed decisions about your onboard beverage choices.

Bringing Alcohol Onboard: What’s Allowed

As a passenger, I am curious about what types of alcohol I am allowed to bring onboard the cruise ship.

When it comes to bringing alcohol onshore, there are restrictions on the quantities you can bring. Most cruise lines do not allow passengers to bring their own alcohol for drinking during the cruise. However, a bottle of wine or champagne is usually allowed.

If you happen to find a bottle of alcohol in port, you can bring it onboard, but it will be stored until the end of the cruise. Duty-free shopping is available on cruise ships and in ports, but buying duty-free alcohol to mix drinks on the ship is not allowed.

Duty-free alcohol purchases are stored by the staff until the last day of the cruise, and then delivered to your cabin for you to take with you when disembarking.

Exploring Duty-Free Alcohol Options

I’m excited to explore the variety of duty-free alcohol options available on the cruise ship and in ports.

Duty-free shopping is a great way to stock up on your favorite spirits and wines at a lower cost.

When it comes to duty-free alcohol, there are a few restrictions to keep in mind.

Firstly, duty-free alcohol purchases are stored by the staff until the last day of the cruise, when they are delivered to your cabin for you to take with you when disembarking.

Secondly, it’s important to note that buying duty-free alcohol to mix drinks on the ship is not allowed.

Lastly, some of the best duty-free alcohol brands you can find include popular names like Tito’s, Jack Daniels, Crown Royal, and Maker’s Mark.

Tips for Mixing Your Own Drinks

Sure thing!

When mixing my own drinks, I like to experiment with different combinations of spirits and mixers to create unique and delicious cocktails. Mixing techniques play a crucial role in achieving the perfect balance of flavors.

One important technique is the art of layering, where you carefully pour different ingredients on top of each other to create visually appealing layers.

Another technique is muddling, which involves crushing fruits or herbs to release their flavors. This is especially great for creating refreshing mojitos or fruity sangrias.

As for cocktail recipes, some of my favorites include the classic Margarita, made with tequila, lime juice, and triple sec, and the refreshing Moscow Mule, made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice.

Remember to experiment and have fun with your creations, and don’t forget to garnish your cocktails with fresh fruits or herbs to add that extra touch of elegance.


Saving Money on Drinks: Insider Tips

When trying to save money on drinks, one strategy I find effective is taking advantage of drink specials and happy hour promotions. Here are some tips for budget-friendly drinking and maximizing drink packages:

  1. Check for daily drink specials: Many cruise ships offer discounted drinks during certain times of the day. Look for happy hour promotions or daily specials at the bars on board.

  2. Purchase a drink package: If you plan on having several drinks throughout your cruise, consider buying a drink package. These packages often include unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for a fixed daily price, allowing you to save money in the long run.

  3. Explore all the drink options: Take the time to explore the different bars on the ship and their drink menus. Some bars may offer unique cocktails or specialty drinks that are not available elsewhere. Trying different options can help you find the best value for your money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Bring My Own Alcohol Onboard a Cruise Ship?

Yes, you can bring your own alcohol onboard a cruise ship. However, most cruise lines expect passengers to purchase their bar offerings. Alternatives to alcohol, such as non-alcoholic beverages, are also available.

Are There Any Restrictions on the Types of Drinks I Can Carry Around the Ship?

Yes, there are restrictions on the types of drinks I can carry around the ship. Certain drinks, like homemade cocktails, are prohibited. However, there may be exceptions for special occasions or events.

Are Drink Packages Available for Purchase on a Daily Basis or for the Entire Duration of the Cruise?

Yes, drink packages are available for purchase on a daily basis or for the entire duration of the cruise. It’s a convenient option for saving money and allows for a cost comparison based on your drinking preferences.

Are Mocktails and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Included in the Drink Packages?

Sure, mocktails and non-alcoholic beverages are included in the drink packages. It’s ironic that even though they don’t contain alcohol, they’re still part of the package. So you can enjoy a variety of options.

Can I Purchase Duty-Free Alcohol to Consume Onboard the Ship?

Yes, duty-free alcohol can be purchased onboard the ship. There may be purchase limits, but duty-free shopping offers benefits such as lower prices and a wider selection of alcohol brands.

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