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Cruise Drink Tips: Prices, Packages, and Secrets




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Boy, oh boy, do I have some insider knowledge to share with you about cruise drink tips! Let me tell you, when it comes to prices, packages, and secrets, I’ve got you covered.

You won’t believe the jaw-dropping prices you’ll find on a cruise ship – we’re talking beers for $7-9 and cocktails for $11-14. But fear not, my savvy traveler, because I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve to help you navigate this boozy battlefield.

From maximizing savings with drink packages to uncovering the hidden secrets of gratuity and loyalty programs, get ready to sip and save like a pro.

Key Takeaways

  • Be prepared to pay higher prices for drinks on a cruise compared to on land.
  • Drink packages can help you budget, but they can also be expensive.
  • Bringing your own wine/champagne can save money compared to onboard prices.
  • Taking advantage of loyalty program perks and drink specials in port can help you save money on drinks.

Understanding Drink Prices on a Cruise

I should expect to spend $7-9 on a beer and $11-14 on a cocktail when considering drink prices on a cruise.

Comparing drink prices on different cruise lines can help you find the best value for your money.

It’s important to note that drink prices on a cruise tend to be higher compared to on land. However, there are ways to save money and find the best drink specials in port cities.

One tip is to explore the local bars in ports, as they often offer drink specials to attract cruise passengers.

Additionally, booking drink packages early can help you take advantage of discounts and budget your expenses.

Maximizing Savings With Drink Packages

By taking advantage of early booking discounts, I can maximize my savings with drink packages on a cruise. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your drink package and explore alternatives:

  • Drink package limitations: Some cruise lines have restrictions on the types of drinks included in the package, such as premium brands or specialty cocktails. Be sure to check the details before purchasing.

  • Alternatives to drink packages: If you don’t want to commit to a drink package, consider bringing your own wine or champagne, taking advantage of loyalty program perks, or exploring drink specials in port.

  • Utilize happy hours: Many bars on the ship offer discounted drinks during designated happy hours. Take advantage of these times to enjoy your favorite beverages at a lower cost.

  • Share with a friend: If you’re traveling with a companion, consider sharing a drink package to split the cost. This can be a cost-effective way to enjoy unlimited drinks.

  • Set a budget: If you prefer to control your spending, set a daily or overall budget for drinks. This allows you to enjoy beverages without overspending.

Navigating Gratuity for Cruise Drinks

Navigating gratuity for drinks on a cruise can be a bit tricky, as the menu price already includes an automatic gratuity of usually 15-20%. It’s important to understand this when calculating your overall costs and deciding whether to leave an additional tip.

Some cruise lines, like NCL, charge a 20% gratuity, while others, like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, charge 18%. Keep in mind that the gratuity is charged per beverage, regardless of the number ordered.

If you’re traveling with a group and want to split the gratuity, it’s best to discuss this with your server beforehand.

As for tips for tipping, if you receive exceptional service or want to show appreciation, it’s always appreciated to leave an extra tip. Just remember to budget accordingly and be aware of the automatic gratuity already included in the menu price.

Unveiling Bar Opening Hours on a Cruise

Discovering the bar opening hours on a cruise can be an exciting part of the onboard experience. Whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy a sunset drink or satisfy your late night cravings, there are options available to suit your preferences.

For the best bars to enjoy a sunset drink, I recommend checking out the ones located on the upper decks, offering stunning views of the ocean as the sun sets.

As for finding a 24-hour bar, most cruise ships have at least one bar that operates around the clock to cater to late night revelers. These bars are usually located in the casino or near the main entertainment venues.

Bringing Your Own Alcohol: What’s Allowed?

I can bring one bottle of wine or champagne per person in the cabin, but beer and liquor are not allowed to be brought on board. It’s a great way to save money on drinks during the cruise.

When packing your own alcohol, make sure to secure the bottle properly to prevent any spillage or breakage. Consider using a wine bottle protector or wrapping it in clothing to keep it safe.

If you’re not a fan of alcohol or want alternatives, there are plenty of options available on the ship. You can try mocktails, which are non-alcoholic versions of popular cocktails, or indulge in a variety of soft drinks and juices. Many cruise lines also offer specialty coffee and tea options.

Sneaking Alcohol on Board: Risks and Rewards

Sneaking alcohol on board can be tempting, but it’s important to weigh the risks and rewards before making a decision. While some people have successfully used collapsible flasks to sneak alcohol onto a cruise ship, it’s important to consider alternative methods that are less risky. One alternative is to purchase duty-free alcohol on the ship. Duty-free shops on the ship offer reasonably priced full bottles of alcohol, which can be enjoyed throughout the cruise without the fear of being caught. Another option is to take advantage of loyalty programs that offer perks such as free or discounted drinks. Additionally, exploring different bars on the ship and ordering off-menu can provide a variety of drink options. By considering these alternatives, you can enjoy your cruise without the worry of getting caught sneaking alcohol on board.

Alternative Methods
Purchase duty-free alcohol on the ship
Take advantage of loyalty program perks
Explore different bars on the ship
Order off-menu drinks
Enjoy the cruise without the risk

Exploring Duty-Free Alcohol on the Ship

After discussing the risks and rewards of sneaking alcohol on board, let’s now explore the world of duty-free alcohol on the ship.

Duty-free alcohol refers to alcoholic beverages that are sold without the inclusion of local taxes or duties. This means that duty-free alcohol prices are often lower than those on land. However, there are some restrictions when it comes to duty-free alcohol on a cruise ship.

Here are the benefits of duty-free shopping on board:

  • Tax Exemptions: Duty-free shops on the ship offer reasonably priced full bottles of alcohol as they are exempt from local taxes and duties. You can save money by purchasing duty-free alcohol compared to onboard prices or drinks in port.

  • Convenience: Duty-free alcohol purchases are held until the end of the cruise and delivered to your cabin the night before departure. You don’t have to worry about carrying the bottles around and can enjoy them on the last night of the cruise.

Leveraging Loyalty Programs for Cheaper Drinks

By taking advantage of loyalty programs, you can enjoy cheaper drinks and other perks while cruising. Cruise line loyalty programs offer a range of benefits, including free or discounted drinks. The higher your loyalty status, the more drink perks you can receive.

For example, Royal Caribbean provides drink vouchers to Diamond level members and above. Even lower-tier members can benefit from 50% coupons off wine and beer. Loyalty status is earned based on the number of nights sailed, so the more you cruise, the more opportunities you have to leverage these loyalty programs.

It’s a great way to save money on drinks and enhance your overall cruise experience. So make sure to sign up and start enjoying the bar loyalty perks on your next cruise.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Bring My Own Non-Alcoholic Drinks on Board?

Yes, you can bring your own non-alcoholic drinks on board. It’s a great way to save money and have alternatives to alcoholic beverages. Just make sure to check the cruise line’s policy on bringing personal drinks.

Are There Any Restrictions on the Amount of Duty-Free Alcohol I Can Purchase on a Cruise?

Are there restrictions on the amount of duty-free alcohol I can buy on a cruise? Yes, there are limits on alcohol quantity. Each cruise line has its own policy, but generally, there are restrictions to ensure responsible consumption.

Can I Use My Loyalty Program Benefits to Get Free Drinks for My Friends and Family?

Yes, I can use my loyalty program benefits to get free drinks for my friends and family. It’s a great perk to share the enjoyment of the cruise and save some money on drinks.

Are There Any Limitations on Drinking Alcohol in Port?

There can be limitations on alcohol consumption in port, such as local laws and regulations. However, all-inclusive drink packages can still offer benefits and savings, even when exploring the ports of call.

What Are Some Tips for Avoiding the Automatic Gratuity on Cruise Drinks?

To avoid gratuity charges on cruise drinks, you can try ordering drinks without menus or take advantage of loyalty program perks. Sneaky ways to save include bringing your own wine and taking advantage of drink specials in port.

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