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Explained: Duty-Free Shopping on a Cruise (Is It Worth It?)

When it comes cruising and duty-free shopping, don’t feel alone if you’re left confused. The labyrinth of regulations and rules regarding what is taxed and what isn’t can give you a headache.

At the same time, however, you can use these rules to your advantage and potentially save money on things like alcohol, cigarettes, and other pricey goods that are for sale in the duty-free shops aboard nearly every cruise (and in many ports of call).

So what exactly is duty-free shopping on a cruise? And does it really save you money? 

What Is Duty-Free Shopping?

Discounted alcohol in a duty-free cruise shop

If you’ve traveled on a cruise before or been to an international airport, you’ve likely seen the bright signs for duty-free shopping. Heading inside these stores is like a trip to a sinner’s paradise. You’ll find fancy jewelry, alcohol, cigarettes, perfumes, chocolates, and more.

Since a set of special rules apply for places like airports and cruise ships, they are able to sell goods in these stores without consumers having to pay the same taxes on them that you’d see in a typical store.

For example, if you were to buy a bottle of alcohol in Miami, it would cost you not just the price of the bottle, but also the sales tax (7.0%) that’s tacked on. 

In addition, many jurisdictions have heavy import taxes on things like alcohol or cigarettes, that are produced in another country. Most consumers never see these taxes or even know they exist as they are added into the price. So depending on where you live, there can be taxes at the federal, state, and city level. Of course, all that tax is then passed on to the final consumer in the form of a higher price.

Since duty-free shops get a pass on these rules, they can offer savings compared to back home. (We offer a price comparison of several example items below.)

How Duty-Free Shopping Works on a Cruise Ship or in Port

There’s no missing duty-free shopping on a cruise. There will be a shop on any large cruise ship you sail, attractively outfitted with a wide selection of alcohol, cigarettes, and other goodies. For those who like to have a drink or a smoke, you will be like a proverbial kid in a candy store.

As well, often when you head into port, duty-free shopping will be prominently featured. Some spots even have passengers walk through the shops as they walk off the ship into port.

Don’t go thinking, however, that you can buy discounted items to enjoy on the ship. If you buy a bottle of alcohol either on the ship or in port, you don’t get to enjoy it right away. Instead, it’s put in a sealed box. Your purchase will be held by the cruise staff and delivered to your room the last night of the trip.

If bought while in port, it will be taken by the cruise staff when you get back on board and returned at the end of the trip.

Duty-Free Doesn’t Always Mean Completely Tax-Free (Despite the Signs)

cruise ship liquor store

On the ship and in port, you’ll see signs advertising tax and duty-free. In that case, you can buy them on the ship without extra taxes. What you see is what you pay.

What this doesn’t mean, however, is that you are done with the taxman… or that you can simply buy barrels of booze and cigarettes to last you for years and bring them home.

That’s because once you get back home from your cruise, then you have to go through customs in the port terminal. At customs, you must declare everything of value that you are bringing back to the United States — including things you bought in duty-free shops.

To be honest, with most cruises, the official customs declaration is a thing of the past. These days you simply take a photo and walk out the terminal. But if you’re carrying a large amount of goods, don’t be surprised if an officer stops to ask what you have.

In most cases (there are all sorts of caveats), you are allowed up to $800 per person in goods before being charged duties on the amount. Duty amounts vary based on what item(s) you are bringing and the amount of goods you are bringing in. However, for many items, they run 3% for the first $1,000 over the $800 allowance.

There are exceptions for alcohol and cigarettes.

If you are bringing in alcohol, you are allowed only one liter of alcohol  per person under the personal exemption rules. You can bring in 200 cigarettes (or 100 cigars) per person under the personal exemption. Beyond that, you will be charged duty taxes on those items — even if the value is still less than $800.

So how much in alcohol or cigarettes can you bring back in? For alcohol there are no federal limits on how much you can bring, within reason. The rules call for the allowance for enough goods for “personal use.” So if you’re trying to lug home cases of booze, then you likely won’t get past customs (they’ll think you’re trying to import it for sale).

For tobacco, the limit (except in a few special cases) is 200 cigarettes or 100 cigars.

You can see the full details of duty rules at the Customs and Border Patrol website . 

How Much You Will Be Taxed 

How much will you be charged? It only comes out to be a few dollars per bottle. According to the Customs and Border Patrol website:

“The flat duty rate will apply to articles that are dutiable but that cannot be included in your personal exemption, even if you have not exceeded the exemption. For example, alcoholic beverages. If you return from Europe with $200 worth of purchases, including two liters of liquor, one liter will be duty-free under your returning resident personal allowance/exemption. The other will be dutiable at 3 percent, plus any Internal Revenue Tax (IRT) that is due. “

For that reason, it’s a good idea to save receipts.

Special Rules for Galveston Cruise Passengers

If you are sailing from Texas, things are a little different. There, you will be subject to state laws surrounding importing alcohol. Specifically, “the law limits personal importation by an adult to once every 30 days with limits of: 1 gallon of distilled spirits, 3 gallons of wine, and 288 ounces of malt beverages (24 12-ounce containers). “ Keep in mind that this is per adult. So a couple can bring in twice as much.

Furthermore, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has enacted a tariff where “cruise travelers disembarking out of the Port of Galveston will need to pay the tax for alcoholic beverages and cigarettes imported into the state that were purchased either on the ship’s duty free store or at a foreign port of call.”

That means every bottle or cigarette you bring back home will see a small tax. The tax runs about $3.75 for a liter or alcohol and $1.50 per pack of cigarettes. And to our knowledge, there is no personal exemption. Every bottle is hit with this tax.

To recap, here’s what you can expect when you bring goods through customs in Galveston:

  • Personal duty exemption of $800 of goods, including 1 liter of alcohol, and 200 cigarettes per adult. Amounts above your personal exemption are taxed at a rate of 3%.(Federal)
  • Texas laws allow you to bring back a total of only 1 gallon of alcohol or 3 gallons of wine per adult. Every bottle of alcohol or pack of cigarettes brought into Galveston will be taxed ($3.75 per liter/$1.50 per pack). (State)

So if you bring back a single liter of alcohol per person from the duty-free shop on the ship or in a port, you can expect a tax of $3.75 from the state. Expect each additional bottle to be taxed at $3.75 (state) plus 3% of the purchase price (federal), unless traveling with more than one adult. Keep this in mind when you’re comparing prices to what you would pay back home. Even with the tax, items bought in the duty-free shop can still be cheaper.

Is Duty-Free Shopping on a Cruise a Good Deal?

So how much can you save from shopping duty-free? Much of that depends on what you’re buying and where you live. Those living in states that have high taxes on things like cigarettes and alcohol will obviously benefit more from shopping duty-free.

As well, there are often discounts for buying multiple bottles, although keep in mind they will see a tax when bringing in more than one liter into the United States. For example, bottles of Grand Marnier seen on a recent cruise ran $36 each for a one-liter bottle, but two bottles for $60.

Also, bottles are most often one-liter when for sale on a cruise duty-free shop, compared to 750 mL you often find on land. So bottles are typically 33% larger than usual .

Below is a round-up of prices seen on a cruise to give you an idea of what you’ll pay compared to back home. Remember, this doesn’t include any tax that you might have to pay on land. 

When we price compared these items to similar products at a local discount liquor store, we found prices in the duty-free shop were in-line or sometimes a few dollars cheaper in most cases. Deals from the duty-free shop were especially good when buying multiple bottles.

At the same time, the liquor store at home typically sells smaller bottles for around the same price as larger one-liter bottles on the ship. Finally, there isn't tax charged at a duty-free point of purchase, which saves you even more when compared to land.

In other words, the prices compared to back home aren't mind-blowingly lower, but can save you a decent amount, especially since there isn't any sales tax.

Further Reading:

  • Customs Duty Information (U.S. Customs and Border Protections Website)

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I bought a bottle of Bailey’s last year because it was quite a bit cheaper than my local NYC store. Last month I bought a couple of bottles of rum & tequila because NCL mistakenly gave me some onboard credit! Most of the time the prices don’t seem like much of a bargain.

To clarify it’s not, “Customs and Border Patrol”. It is “U.S. Customs and Border Protection”.

I purchased a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label Scotch Whiskey on Mardi Gras in Sept. 2020 as a special gift to my son. He has kept it and has just moved into the home he had built, and we took it out of the nice box it was in and noticed that somewhere near the top, there is apparently a leak which has compromised the contents and also damaged the box it which it sat. This is a rather expensive bottle of whiskey. I notified the Grans Ambassador of Carnival (John Heald) and he stated the Duty-Free ships are not owned by Carnival and that I would have to contact the store Manager of that ship too see if anything could be done. I don’t know how to even go about calling store on a ship. I may just have to chalk it up as a loss but has anyone had this issue and if so, how did you fix it or is it something that just can’t be fixed? Any suggestions would be grateful.

Duty Free bubble has burst at Nassau airport. I flew NAS to MIA on Monday and my stop into the Duty Free was a major sticker shock. $84 for a carton of cigarettes. They cost around $65 in Miami. The alcohol was no deal either. I was told they no longer do the duty free tobacco thing.

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How To Get Liquor On A Cruise Ship

Published: December 11, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Kissie Verdugo

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how-to-get-liquor-on-a-cruise-ship

Introduction

Going on a cruise is a fantastic way to relax, explore new destinations, and indulge in some well-deserved pampering. And for many passengers, enjoying a drink or two is an essential part of the cruising experience. Whether you’re looking to unwind with a cocktail by the pool, savor a fine glass of wine with a gourmet meal, or toast to breathtaking sunsets on the open sea, having access to liquor on a cruise ship is a must.

However, it’s important to understand that cruise ship policies regarding alcohol can vary. Some cruise lines have strict regulations in place, while others are more lenient. In this article, we’ll explore the different ways you can get liquor on a cruise ship, from duty-free shopping to bringing your own alcohol onboard.

By understanding the options available to you, you’ll be able to make the most of your cruising experience and enjoy your favorite drinks while sailing the high seas.

So, whether you’re a wine connoisseur, a cocktail enthusiast, or simply enjoy a cold beer by the beach, let’s dive in and discover how to get liquor on a cruise ship.

Understanding the Cruise Ship Policies

Before you embark on your cruise adventure, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the alcohol policies of the cruise line you’ll be traveling with. Each cruise line has its own set of rules and regulations regarding the purchase, consumption, and transportation of alcohol onboard.

Some cruise lines have strict policies that prohibit passengers from bringing any alcohol onboard, while others allow a limited amount of alcohol to be brought on board but charge corkage fees for consuming it in public areas. Additionally, certain cruise lines implement minimum drinking ages and reserve the right to confiscate any alcohol they find during the embarkation process.

It’s important to thoroughly review the cruise line’s alcohol policies prior to your trip to ensure you comply with their rules and avoid any unnecessary hassles or disappointments. You can typically find this information on the cruise line’s website or by contacting their customer service.

By understanding and respecting the cruise ship policies, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable cruising experience without any alcohol-related setbacks.

Shopping for Liquor Before the Trip

One of the easiest ways to ensure you have liquor on your cruise ship is to purchase it before you even embark on your journey. Many cruise lines allow passengers to bring a limited amount of alcohol in their checked luggage, and this is the perfect opportunity to stock up on your favorite beverages.

Before you start shopping, be sure to check the cruise line’s alcohol policy to know the exact limits and restrictions on bringing alcohol on board. Some cruise lines may specify the maximum number of bottles or the type of alcohol that is allowed.

Once you have a clear understanding of the restrictions, you can start browsing for your preferred spirits, wine, or beer. Local liquor stores and online retailers often offer a wide selection of alcoholic beverages at competitive prices, so you can choose your favorites and even take advantage of special deals or discounts.

When shopping for liquor before your trip, keep in mind the weight and size restrictions of your checked luggage. It’s crucial to pack the alcohol securely to prevent any breakage during transport. You may consider using bubble wrap or packing the bottles in plastic bags to minimize the risk of any damage.

Remember to keep your purchase receipts handy as you may need to provide them during the check-in process. It’s also important to note that you will not have access to your checked bags until they are delivered to your cabin, so it’s a good idea to pack a small amount of alcohol in your carry-on luggage for immediate enjoyment once you board the ship.

By shopping for liquor before your trip, you can ensure that you have your favorite beverages with you and save on the potential markup of onboard prices.

Duty-Free Shopping on the Cruise Ship

One of the most popular ways to get liquor on a cruise ship is through duty-free shopping. Most cruise ships have onboard shops that offer a wide variety of duty-free items, including alcohol. Duty-free shopping allows you to purchase alcohol at a lower price compared to land-based retail stores.

The cruise ship’s duty-free shops typically have an extensive selection of spirits, wines, and beers from all over the world. You can find popular brands as well as specialty liquors that may not be available in your local area. Whether you’re looking for a bottle of single malt Scotch whisky, a fine French wine, or a craft beer, the duty-free shops onboard are sure to have something to satisfy your palate.

It’s important to note that duty-free shopping on the cruise ship is usually available only during specific hours and while the ship is sailing in international waters. This means that you may not be able to purchase alcohol on the first and last day of your cruise or when the ship is in port.

When shopping for alcohol onboard, it’s a good idea to compare prices and deals offered by different duty-free shops. You may find that certain spirits or wines are available at discounted prices or as part of special promotions.

Keep in mind that any alcohol purchased during duty-free shopping will be held by the cruise ship’s staff until the end of your voyage or until your departure from the ship. They will then deliver the purchased items to your cabin or arrange for their collection at a designated area.

By taking advantage of duty-free shopping on the cruise ship, you can explore a wide selection of alcoholic beverages and enjoy them at a lower cost than you might find elsewhere.

Bringing Your Own Alcohol on Board

If you want to enjoy your preferred alcoholic beverages without the hassle of shopping on board or in advance, some cruise lines allow passengers to bring their own alcohol on board. However, there are usually restrictions and guidelines in place that you should be aware of.

Typically, cruise lines have limits on the amount of alcohol allowed to be brought on board. It can range from a certain number of bottles of wine or champagne to a limited quantity of spirits or beer. It’s important to check your cruise line’s specific policy to ensure you comply with their regulations.

When packing your own alcohol, it’s crucial to pack it securely in your checked luggage. Bottles should be well-padded and protected from any damage. It’s also recommended to double-check the cruise line’s guidelines on packing alcohol, as some may require it to be in its original, sealed packaging.

It’s important to note that if you bring your own alcohol on board, you may be charged a corkage fee if you consume it in public areas such as bars or restaurants. However, you can usually enjoy your own alcohol in the privacy of your cabin without any additional charges.

Another consideration when bringing your own alcohol on board is the weight and size of your luggage. Keep in mind that you may have to transport the bottles yourself from your car or transportation to your cabin, so it’s important not to exceed any weight restrictions or make your luggage too cumbersome to handle.

Bringing your own alcohol on board can be a convenient option if you have specific preferences or want to enjoy a particular brand or vintage. It allows you to have your favorite drinks readily available in your cabin, without the need to rely on onboard shopping or pay higher prices for alcoholic beverages.

Sneaking Alcohol on Board

While it may be tempting to save money or bypass alcohol restrictions by attempting to sneak alcohol on board a cruise ship, it is important to note that this is generally not recommended. Cruise lines have strict policies in place to prevent passengers from smuggling alcohol, and if you are caught, it can result in significant penalties and even expulsion from the ship.

Cruise ship security is highly trained in detecting prohibited items, including alcohol, during the boarding process. They use advanced scanning technology and conduct thorough inspections of luggage to ensure the safety and compliance of all passengers. Attempts to conceal alcohol, such as using hidden compartments or disguising bottles, are likely to be discovered.

In addition to the penalties imposed by the cruise line, attempting to sneak alcohol on board can also spoil your vacation experience. If you are caught, you may face consequences such as fines, the confiscation of your alcohol, or even being denied boarding.

If you want to enjoy alcohol on your cruise, it is recommended to follow the cruise line’s policies and guidelines. Many cruise lines offer a variety of options for passengers to purchase and enjoy alcoholic beverages onboard, including duty-free shopping, pre-purchasing beverage packages, or taking advantage of happy hour specials.

By adhering to the rules and regulations set by the cruise line, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable vacation without the risk of facing penalties or compromising the overall experience.

Buying Alcohol on Excursions

When you embark on a cruise, you’ll likely have the opportunity to explore various destinations through shore excursions. These excursions can take you to local attractions, cultural sites, or even to nearby wineries and distilleries. If you’re a fan of local spirits or wines, purchasing alcohol on excursions can be an enticing option.

Depending on the destination and the specific excursion, you may have the chance to visit local vineyards, breweries, or distilleries, where you can learn about their unique production methods and sample their products. These excursions often present an excellent opportunity to purchase bottles of locally crafted wines, spirits, or beers.

It’s important to be mindful of any restrictions or regulations regarding the transport of alcohol back to the cruise ship. Some countries may have limits on the amount of alcohol that can be brought in or additional customs fees that need to be paid. Make sure to do your research and understand the local laws before making any purchases.

Once you’ve safely returned to the cruise ship with your purchased alcohol, it will be collected by the ship’s security, and you can typically retrieve it at the end of your cruise or when you disembark. Be sure to follow the ship’s guidelines and instructions on how to collect your alcohol to avoid any confusion or inconvenience.

Buying alcohol on excursions provides an opportunity to sample and bring home unique beverages that showcase the local flavors and craftsmanship of the destinations you visit. It allows you to expand your collection with bottles that hold sentimental value and create lasting memories of your cruise experience.

Tips for Enjoying Alcohol on a Cruise Ship

Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or embarking on your first voyage, here are some helpful tips for enjoying alcohol on a cruise ship:

  • Know the Alcohol Policy: Familiarize yourself with the alcohol policy of the cruise line you’re sailing with. Understand the limitations, restrictions, and any associated fees for bringing your own alcohol or purchasing it on board.
  • Consider Beverage Packages: Many cruise lines offer beverage packages that allow you to enjoy unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for a fixed price. Assess your drinking preferences and calculate if a package will be cost-effective for you.
  • Taste Local Specialties: Take the opportunity to try regional wines, spirits, and beers while in port. Explore local bars and breweries to savor the authentic flavors of your destinations.
  • Attend Tastings and Mixology Classes: Look out for onboard tastings and mixology classes where you can learn about different drinks and techniques. It’s a fun way to expand your knowledge and discover new favorites.
  • Stay Hydrated: Alcohol can dehydrate you, and the combination of sun, sea, and alcohol can make it even more pronounced. Remember to drink plenty of water in between alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated throughout your cruise.
  • Drink Responsibly: While it’s tempting to indulge in the onboard festivities, it’s essential to drink responsibly. Pace yourself, be aware of your limits, and know when to take a break. Always prioritize your safety and well-being.
  • Try the Specialty Drinks: Cruise ships often have specialty bars or lounges that offer unique and inventive cocktails. Don’t hesitate to explore these options and treat yourself to a memorable drinking experience.
  • Savor the Sunset: Take advantage of the beautiful sunsets at sea by enjoying a refreshing drink on the deck. Sipping a cocktail or a glass of wine while watching the sun go down is a truly magical experience.
  • Be Mindful of Sea Sickness: If you’re prone to seasickness, be cautious with alcohol consumption as it can exacerbate the symptoms. Opt for lighter drinks and consider remedies like ginger or seasickness bands to help alleviate any discomfort.
  • Enjoy the Entertainment: Cruise ships offer a wide array of entertainment options, from live music performances to themed parties. Take part in the festivities and enjoy your favorite drinks while immersing yourself in the onboard entertainment.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your alcohol experience on a cruise ship, ensuring a delightful and memorable vacation.

Getting liquor on a cruise ship can be an enjoyable and satisfying part of your vacation experience. Whether you choose to shop for alcohol before your trip, take advantage of duty-free shopping on board, bring your own alcohol, or explore local beverages on excursions, there are various options to cater to your preferences.

However, it is essential to respect and abide by the alcohol policies set by the cruise line you’re traveling with. Understanding the rules and guidelines will help you avoid any issues or penalties while ensuring a smooth and enjoyable cruising experience.

From savoring a glass of fine wine with a sunset view to discovering unique spirits, there are many opportunities to indulge in your favorite drinks on a cruise ship. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, a cocktail connoisseur, or simply enjoy a refreshing beer, there are plenty of options available to satisfy your cravings.

Remember to drink responsibly, stay hydrated, and pace yourself throughout your cruise. Prioritize your safety and well-being while taking advantage of the onboard offerings and entertainment. And most importantly, enjoy every moment and create lasting memories as you cruise the seas with your favorite drinks in hand.

So, whether you’re toasting to a special occasion, sampling local flavors, or simply looking to unwind and relax, make the most of your alcohol experience on a cruise ship. Cheers to a memorable journey!

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Cruise drink packages: A line-by-line guide

Gene Sloan

It's easy to run up a monster bill ordering wine, beer and mixed drinks by the glass on a cruise ship. The cost of alcoholic drinks on cruise vessels — particularly cocktails — can be pricey. But for those who regularly order several alcoholic drinks a day when cruising, there's a way to save: a flat-fee drink package.

Nearly all the major mass-market cruise lines offer flat-fee drink packages that, in some cases, can save you money when cruising. The exceptions are Disney Cruise Line and Virgin Voyages , though both offer alternative ways to save on beverage purchases.

What's included in a cruise ship drink package, and how do they work? And, perhaps more to the point, how much do cruise drink packages cost? Read on for the answers in this ultimate guide to cruise drink packages.

For more cruise guides, news and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

For a line-by-line guide to drink package costs, inclusions, limitations and fine print, scroll to the second half of the guide.

What is a drink package on a cruise ship?

Cruise ship drink packages let you order as many drinks as you want while on a cruise for one flat fee. This takes the place of paying for drinks one at a time.

At some lines, there are several tiers of drink packages. Basic tiers often include just sodas and bottled water. More elaborate (and expensive) tiers will add alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktails, wine, beer and specialty coffee drinks. In some cases, there will be more than one tier of such all-encompassing plans.

Some lines also offer coffee cards that let you get a fixed number of fancy coffee drinks at a shipboard coffee bar for a discounted price. Some also offer wine-specific packages.

How much do alcoholic drink packages cost on cruise ships?

The cost of cruise ship drink packages varies widely by line. At several of the biggest cruise brands, including Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America , the main drink packages that include all types of drinks cost about $60 per person per day. Other brands, such as Norwegian Cruise Line , charge as much as $138 per person per day for a top-tier package.

Drink packages that don't include alcoholic drinks, such as soda packages, typically cost far less. Soda packages often are under $10 per person per day. Note that some cruise lines discount drink packages if you buy them online in advance of sailing, and others offer periodic sales on their drink packages online.

Related: How to get free or cheap drinks on a cruise

Can you buy drinks on a cruise without a drink package?

cruise ship liquor store

Yes. All major cruise lines will let you buy drinks on an a la carte basis when cruising. You don't need a drink package to be able to drink alcoholic beverages or any other type of beverage on a ship.

Can you share a drink package on a cruise ship?

In many cases, no. Several of the biggest cruise lines, including Carnival, Holland America and MSC Cruises, have a rule that if one adult in a cabin orders a drink package, all adults in the cabin must order the package. This is to prevent two or more people in a cabin from sharing a single drink package.

Two lines that notably don't have such a rule are Princess Cruises and Windstar Cruises . Technically, you are not supposed to use your package to buy drinks for other people.

Are drink packages on cruise ships really unlimited?

It depends. Some cruise lines, such as Carnival, limit the number of alcoholic drinks that any one person can order using a drink package to 15 in a day. That is, of course, an enormous number — more than most people will ever want to order.

Related: The 8 best drinks to order with a cruise ship beverage package

Where can you use a cruise ship drink package?

Cruise ship drink packages generally are honored anywhere you can order a drink on a ship — think bars, lounges and eateries. However, you usually can't use them when ordering room service. They also generally don't apply to drinks taken out of cabin minibars. Be sure to check the fine print in your particular line's drink package before placing an order for a drink to your room.

Some cruise lines also let you use your packages when visiting their private islands .

A line-by-line guide to cruise drink packages

cruise ship liquor store

Below is a line-by-line look at available drink packages at the major lines that offer them. Note that the pricing listed is per person per day. In cases where a line offers more than one drink package, we've highlighted the most inclusive package in detail while also noting other packages cruisers can consider.

Carnival Cruise Line drink package

Package name: Cheers! Beverage Program

Cost per day: $64.95 when purchased on board, not including an 18% automatic gratuity charge; $59.95 plus the gratuity charge when purchased in advance of sailing

Available on: All ships except those sailing in Europe or Australia

What it includes: Beer, wine by the glass, mixed drinks, specialty cocktails, soda, juices, nonalcoholic cocktails, energy drinks, specialty coffees, teas and most bottled water. The package also features a 25% discount on wine bottle purchases.

Limitations related to drink cost: Cannot be used for drinks priced over $20

Fine print: More expensive drinks are available at a 25% discount. If one adult in a cabin purchases the package, all adults in the same cabin also must purchase it. There's a limit of 15 alcoholic drinks per person in a 24-hour period.

Celebrity Cruises drink package

Package name: Premium Drink Package

Cost per day: $109, not including a 20% automatic gratuity charge, for passengers who have purchased a cruise-only rate. Passengers staying in the premium Retreat areas on Celebrity ships receive the Premium Drink Package for free.

Available on: All ships except those in the Galapagos (where drinks are included in the fare)

What it includes: A large selection of beers including craft beers, wine by the glass, mixed drinks, specialty cocktails, Coca-Cola products, juices, nonalcoholic cocktails, energy drinks, specialty coffees, teas and premium bottled water. The package also offers a 20% discount on wine bottle purchases.

Limitations related to drink cost: Cannot be used for drinks priced over $17

Other packages: Celebrity also offers a less inclusive "classic" drink package that is included in the fare for its sailings if you choose the All Included fare (rather than the cruise-only fare). When purchased separately, it costs $89 per person per day, not including a 20% automatic gratuity charge.

Fine print: Packages do not include drinks from in-room minibars. Drinks ordered through room service also aren't included.

Related: These cruise ship bars are not to be missed when cruising

Holland America drink package

Package name: Elite Beverage Package

Cost per day: $59.99, not including an 18% gratuity charge

Available on: All ships

What it includes: Beer, wine by the glass, mixed drinks, specialty cocktails, soda, juices, nonalcoholic cocktails, energy drinks, specialty coffees, teas and bottled water

Limitations related to drink cost: Cannot be used for drinks priced over $15

Other packages: The slightly less expensive Signature Beverage Package only includes drinks costing up to $11. It costs $54.95 per day. In addition, the line offers a nonalcoholic drink package called Quench that brings unlimited bottled water, juices, specialty coffees, Coke products and mocktails. It costs $17.95 per day. There's also a Coca-Cola Products package available that covers purchases of Coke products on ships for $8 per day.

Fine print: If one adult in a cabin purchases a package, all adults in the same cabin also must purchase it. Packages do not include drinks from in-room minibars or ordered through room service. The package is not valid on Holland America's private island, Half Moon Cay, or for minibar charges.

Related: How to book a cruise with points and miles

MSC Cruises drink package

Package name: Premium Extra Package

Cost per day: $85 for sailings of seven nights or more if booked in advance; $100 if booked on board. Pricing is $88 and $104, respectively, for sailings of six or fewer nights.

What it includes: Drinks by the glass including draft, craft and bottled beer; a selection of wine and Champagne by the glass; premium-brand spirits, liqueurs and cordials; a variety of frozen and classic cocktails; soda; juices; nonalcoholic cocktails; energy drinks; hot chocolate drinks; specialty coffees; teas; and bottled water. The package also offers a 25% discount on wine and Champagne bottle purchases.

Limitations related to drink cost: Cannot be used for drinks priced over $16

Other packages: A less expensive Easy Plus package is available that only includes drinks priced up to $10. It costs $61 per day for sailings of seven nights or longer when booked in advance ($72 when booked on board). Easy Plus package pricing for shorter sailings is $64 per day ($76 when booked on board).

An even cheaper Easy package is available. It only includes a limited number of drinks and is not valid in extra-charge specialty restaurants. It costs $46 to $60 per day, depending on when it's booked and the length of the sailing.

MSC Cruises does not add service charges to drink package purchases, in contrast to the policy at most lines.

Fine print: If one person in a cabin purchases a package, all people in the same cabin or traveling group also must purchase a package (children in cabins will be charged for a less expensive, nonalcoholic package). Packages are not available on sailings shorter than three nights, with the exception of South America sailings. Note that the package is valid on Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve , MSC Cruises' private island in the Bahamas.

Related: Can I bring my own alcohol onto a cruise ship?

Norwegian Cruise Line drink package

cruise ship liquor store

Package name: Premium Plus Beverage Package

Cost per day: $138, not including a 20% gratuity charge

Available on: All ships except Pride of America

What it includes: All beverages by the glass (top-shelf spirits, cocktails, beer and wine) and select premium bottles of Champagne and wine. Also includes unlimited Starbucks coffee and specialty drinks, bottled water, soda, juices and energy drinks. There's a 40% discount on other bottles of wine as well.

Limitations related to drink cost: None

Other packages: Norwegian has one less inclusive, less expensive alcoholic beverage package. The Unlimited Open Bar Beverage Package, priced at $109 per day, adds spirits and cocktails priced up to $15. This is the drink package that many travelers get comped as part of Norwegian's Free at Sea promotion (though you still have to pay 20% of the package price for gratuities). In addition, the Hawaii -based Pride of America has a single drink package that costs $109 per day.

Fine print: If one passenger in a cabin purchases a package, everyone in the same cabin as well as other cabins tied to the same method of payment must purchase the package, too. Children are charged for a less expensive, nonalcoholic package. Packages do not include drinks from in-room minibars or ordered through room service. Beverage packages can be used on Norwegian's private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay.

Related: My strange night out at Norwegian's new 'zero waste' cruise ship bar

Oceania Cruises drink package

Package name: Prestige Select Beverage Package

Cost per day: $30, including gratuities

What it includes: Under Oceania's relatively new "simply MORE" value promise, all passengers receive a House Select beverage package for free with their booking that lets passengers order Champagne, wine and beer with lunch and dinner at onboard restaurants. For $30 more, passengers can then upgrade to the Prestige Select package that allows for ordering beer, wine by the glass, mixed drinks and cocktails at any time. Soda, bottled water and specialty coffees already are included in the fare on Oceania sailings. The Prestige Select package also comes with a 20% discount to wine-pairing dinners on Oceania's Marina and Riviera.

Other packages: As noted above, a House Select package — which covers Champagne, wine and beer with lunch and dinner at onboard restaurants — is included in the fare when booking an Oceania cruise as part of the line's relatively new "simply MORE" program.

Fine print: None

Princess Cruises drink package

cruise ship liquor store

Package name: Premier Beverage Package

Cost per day: $84.99, not including an 18% gratuity charge (Princess calls these "crew appreciation" charges). On Australia cruises, the package costs 140 Australian dollars (about $89) per day. There is no gratuity charge on the Australian package.

What it includes: Beer, wine by the glass, mixed drinks, specialty cocktails, soda including canned soda, juices including juice bar offerings, nonalcoholic cocktails, energy drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, specialty coffees, teas and bottled water. The package also brings a 25% discount on wine bottle purchases.

Limitations related to drink cost: Drinks that cost $20 or under are included. Passengers who order drinks that cost more than $20 must pay the difference between the purchase price and $20. For packages on Australia sailings, the cost cutoff is 30 Australian dollars.

Other packages: Princess also offers a less pricey Plus Beverage package that can be used for drinks priced up to $15 (20 Australian dollars on Australian sailings). It's priced at $64.99 (110 Australian dollars on Australian sailings).

Fine print: There's a limit of 15 alcoholic drinks per day.

Royal Caribbean drink package

Package name: Deluxe Beverage Package

Cost per day: $56 to $105, not including an 18% gratuity charge (pricing varies by ship and itinerary)

Available on: All Royal Caribbean ships

What it includes: Beer, wine by the glass, spirits, mixed drinks, cocktails, soda, juices, nonalcoholic cocktails, energy drinks, specialty coffees, teas and premium bottled water. The package also offers a 40% discount on wine bottle purchases for bottles priced up to $100. More expensive bottles come with a 20% discount.

Limitations related to drink cost: Cannot be used for drinks priced over $14

Fine print: If one adult of legal drinking age in a cabin or traveling under the same booking number purchases a package, all adults of legal drinking age in the same cabin also must purchase it. Packages do not include drinks from in-room minibars or those ordered through room service. Drinks served in souvenir glassware, specialty beers and beverages served inside licensed Starbucks stores on ships are not covered by the package. Beverage packages can be used on Royal Caribbean's private islands, Perfect Day at Coco Cay and Labadee .

Viking drink package

Package name: Silver Spirits Beverage Package

Cost per day: $25, including gratuities

Available on: All ships, including river and expedition ships

What it includes: Beer, wine by the glass, mixed drinks and cocktails priced at up to $18. Soda, beer and house wines by the glass ordered at lunch and dinner are already included in the fare at Viking; so are specialty coffees and teas at all hours. The package also brings a 15% discount on wine bottles and premium beverages costing more than $15 that aren't included in the package.

Limitations related to drink cost: Cannot be used for drinks priced over $18

Windstar Cruises drink package

Package name: Captain's Exclusive Beverage Package

Cost per day: $65, not including an 18% gratuity charge. Windstar also has begun offering optional All-Inclusive Pricing rates for cruises that include unlimited drinks at no extra charge.

What it includes: Beer, wine by the glass, spirits and cocktails. Soda, specialty coffees and other nonalcoholic beverages are already included in the fare on Windstar sailings. The package also brings a 30% discount on wine bottle purchases for bottles costing up to $100.

Other packages: The less costly Topmast Discoveries Beer and Wine Package, at $55 per day, includes a choice of beers and premium wines but not spirits and cocktails. Windstar also offers an All-Inclusive Fares add-on package that gives passengers included drinks, Wi-Fi and gratuities for an upcharge of $89 per day.

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Carnival Alcohol Prices & Selections - Carnival Cruise Lines - Cruising Earth

Carnival Cruise Lines - Cruising Earth

Carnival Cruise Lines - Alcohol Prices & Selections

Carnival - The Fun Shops / Bon Voyage

Most Recent Change(s) May 2022 - On May 1, 2022 Carnival introduced price increases on their beverage programs: "Cheers" Beverage Program and "Bottomless Bubbles" Unlimited Soda Program . Pricing and options listed below are updated frequently.

The Carnival Fun Shops

You can pre-order bottles of liquor, wine and beer to be delivered to your cabin through The Carnival Fun Shops either online or you can call.

To Pre-Order: Call Carnival: 800-522-7648 Monday-Sunday 9:AM-9:PM ET Or Online 24/7 @ The Carnival Fun Shops

Alcohol Pricing Overview

  • Prices may vary & do not include tax.
  • Order before boarding, this service is not guaranteed to be available once onboard - plan ahead!!
  • The liquor, wine, and beer choices do occasionally change. The lists below are continually updated, but if you do not see something be sure to call and ask or check the website at the link above.
  • Due to TX & AL state liquor laws ships departing from these ports can't deliver alcoholic beverages to your cabin until they are in international waters. It may even be delayed until the following day.
  • The pre-ordered liquor bottle prices are not cheap. They are about 2-3 times what you'd pay onshore for a bottle.
  • The savings you get by pre-ordering liquor bottles are realized when you compare it to the individual drink prices onboard. Pre-ordered liquor bottles are 2-3 times cheaper compared to the price of the same quantity of alcohol purchased through individual drinks onboard.

Alcohol Prices

  • Most pre-ordered liquor bottles are 1 liter in size. A 1 liter bottle will yield just over 22 drinks using a standard 1.5oz alcohol pour per drink. The first price listed below is the price you would pay for a single drink ordered onboard (minus gratuity), the second price is for a bottle pre-ordered and delivered to your cabin. Options can and do change on a regular basis. Please call the cruise line directly to verify any recent changes to availability and pricing.

*Most specialty cocktails onboard range in the $9.95 to $12.00 price range.* *You can typically make a drink a "double" with an extra shot for $3.00 more.*

See our Carnival Downloadable Menus for additional drink/pricing options.

Wine / Champagne

  • This is not a complete list of all the wines available, it is just a sampling. Wine can be either be pre-ordered through The Fun Shops or purchased once onboard. The prices below will be nearly identical to the prices you see onboard at the bars/venues and in the main dining room . The bottle prices listed below are inclusive of gratuities.
  • Carnival also offers wine packages. Wine packages can save you up to 25% off the prices of buying the individual bottles. Wine packages can also either be ordered through The Fun Shops (you must call, not currently available online) or purchased once onboard.

Carnival Exclusive Beers

  • Pre-ordered beer through the Funshops is sold in 4 packs. Prices are typically slightly lower than you would pay at a bar onboard. First price listed below is the bar price you would pay for a single beer (minus gratuity), the second price is for a 4 pack pre-ordered and delivered to your cabin. At some venues onboard you will also be able to buy a 4 pack bucket of beer at a slightly reduced price, saving you about .50 cents a beer.

Carnival Thirsty Frog Hard Seltzer

Soda / Mixer Prices

Soda / Mixers / Other

  • Pre-ordered soda is sold in 6 packs and juices are sold in 4 packs. Fresh lemon and lime can also be ordered from Room Service.

Carnival Pepsi Products

Non-alcoholic Beverages Offered Onboard Carnival Ships

  • Pepsi - Caffeine Free *
  • Diet Pepsi *
  • Diet Pepsi - Caffeine Free *
  • Pepsi Zero Sugar *
  • Sierra Mist *
  • Sierra Mist Zero Sugar *
  • Mug Root Beer *
  • Mountain Dew *
  • Diet Mountain Dew *
  • Bubly Lime Sparkling Water *
  • Bubly Grapefruit Sparkling Water *
  • Bubly Orange Sparkling Water *
  • Naked Green Machine
  • Naked Mighty Mango
  • Naked Strawberry Banana
  • Pure Leaf Unsweetened Black Tea +
  • Pure Leaf Sweet Tea +
  • Gatorade Lemon Lime +
  • Gatorade Fruit Punch +
  • Propel Berry Water +
  • Propel Grape Water +
  • Propel Kiwi Strawberry Water +
  • Starbucks Frappuccino +
  • Starbucks Double Shot Espresso +
  • Muscle Milk Protein Shake Intense Vanilla
  • Muscle Milk Protein Shake Knockout Chocolate
  • Dr. Pepper **
  • Diet Dr. Pepper **

* Included in "Bottomless Bubbles" Unlimited Soda Program and the "Cheers" Beverage Program .

+ Included in the "Cheers" Beverage Program .

** Dr. Pepper products are only served on ships departing from the Galveston and New Orleans cruise ports.

"Cheers" Beverage Program

Carnival Cheers Beverage Program

Carnival is now offering the "Cheers" Beverage Program.

The "Cheers" Beverage Program is flat-rate daily pricing for alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic frozen drinks, wine by the glass, soda, juices, specialty cofees, energy drinks, bottled water and more.

For full Cheers Program details go here:

Complete menus of the drinks and prices available at the onboard bars:

Carnival Bar Menu - Indoor

Carnival Bar Menu - Outdoor

(Prices on the menus above do NOT include the additional 18% gratuity that is charged to your Sail & Sign Card.)

Carnival Cruise Sports Bar

The "Official" Carnival Alcohol Policy

Bringing Alcohol On Board On Embarkation Day

  • Guests are prohibited from bringing water, sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages that are packaged in glass or plastic bottles.
  • On embarkation day, a small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages (i.e., sparkling water, sodas, energy drinks, juice, and milk), packaged in cans or cartons, may be brought on board and must be in the guest's carry-on luggage. A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 sealed, unopened cans/cartons of 12 ounces each or less, per person.
  • Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages on board with the following exception - at the beginning of the cruise during embarkation day only, guests (21 years of age and older) may bring one 750 ml bottle of sealed/unopened wine or champagne, per person, in their carry-on luggage. Outside this exception, all liquor, beer, other forms of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in both carry-on and checked luggage and such items will be confiscated and discarded and no compensation will be provided.
  • Guests sailing with us on back-to-back cruises are entitled to bring the same quantity as stated in this policy, per cruise. The additional quantities will be stored for safekeeping at the start of the first cruise and will be given to the guest as each following cruise begins.

Corkage Fee

  • Should guests wish to consume their wine or champagne in the main dining room, specialty restaurant or bar, a $15.00 USD corkage fee, per 750 ml bottle, will be charged. A corkage fee is a charge that is assessed, at time of service, for every bottle that is served and not bought on the premises.

Additional Notes :

  • You may bring on more than one bottle of wine or champagne per person as long as the total quantity per person does not exceed 750ml. The typical 4 pack of small wine bottles are 187ml each, for a total of 748ml.
  • If you buy alcohol in any port during your cruise you will be instructed to turn it in when you are screened during reboarding. You will then be allowed to pick it up on the last night of the cruise.
  • Alcohol purchased from the Duty Free Shop onboard the ship is held and delivered to your cabin on the last night of the cruise.
  • You will be allowed to keep any non-alcoholic beverages purchased in ports as long as they are sealed and they fit in the same size and quantity limits as when you first boarded. They do not track how many non-alcoholic beverages you initially brought onboard on embarkation day. Even if you brought your limit, you are still allowed to bring on additional non-alcoholic items from the ports.
  • If you want to bring a cooler onboard the max size is 12"H x 12"W x 12"L.
  • Be aware: Carnival is very strict on this size limit of these carry-on coolers. Cruisers have been known to have to leave behind coolers just one inch larger in any one direction.
  • Carry-on coolers also work well as another ice bucket in the room. The ice bucket typically provided in the cabin is quite small.
  • Carnival's Cooler Restriction Policy: "Carnival Cruise Lines does not allow guests to bring large coolers on board its vessels. However small, personal-sized coolers, no larger than 12”H x 12”W x 12”L for the purpose of housing small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and/or medications are permitted as carry-on luggage. Screening and movement of large coolers through embarkation is an impediment to the boarding and security screening process; therefore, large coolers are not permitted as carry-on or checked luggage."

Smuggling Alcohol On Board

Smuggle at your own risk!

  • There are currently no retributions other than the alcohol being confiscated if you get caught. The confiscated alcohol will even be returned to you at the end of the cruise if it is confiscated in the original manufacturer sealed container. All other containers will not be returned.
  • Carnival confiscates dozens of water/soda/wine bottles that have been refilled with liquor prior to almost every cruise. It’s been this way for a long time. You have a VERY LOW chance of getting smuggled liquor on this way. In 2015 Carnival began banning all bottles from being brought onboard, exception being one bottle of wine or champagne 750ml in size or less per person (21 years of age and older) in their carry-on luggage.
  • People tend to smuggle because purchasing liquor through the Fun Shops / Bon Voyage is 2-3 times more expensive than buying it at their local liquor store. You should also need to weigh in the convenience of having it waiting for you in your cabin versus having to go to the store to purchase it, repackageing it to smuggle, transporting it to the ship and then hope it doesn't get caught. When you weigh in all the factors purchasing through the Fun Shops / Bon Voyage is a pretty good option. Don't forget to also check out the "Cheers" Beverage Program .

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Our ships feature up to 22 bars and lounges, each with its own unique vibe. Dance to the ultraviolet energy at Bliss Ultra Lounge. Sip champagne, sake or scotch. Lounge poolside with an umbrella drink. Play English pool at the pub. Or chill at the Ice Bar, exclusively aboard Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.

Liquor & Beverage

Frequently asked questions.

LIQUOR & BEVERAGES

[FAQ:41019]

FAQ Temp Hardcode Hack START

All guests are prohibited from bringing alcohol on board our ships.

Please note that with the exception of Wine and Champagne, all guests are prohibited from bringing alcohol on board our ships. If you purchase any alcohol at one of our ports-of-call or in our onboard shops, we will safely store your purchase(s) and either on the final night of the cruise or the morning of debarkation it will be available for pick up in a designated area.

Wine & Champagne Policy Guests may bring bottles of wine and champagne on board. When bottles are brought on board and served or consumed in any restaurant, public room area or in their stateroom, a corkage fee will be charged according to bottle sizes noted below.

750 ml Bottle: $15.00 USD 1,500 ml Magnum: $30.00 USD

Wine or champagne sent directly to the ship by travel agents, friends, family, etc. or from another retail source, are subject to the same fees. Box wines are not allowed on board.

Corkage Fee is not applicable to guest with beverage package.

FAQ Temp Hardcode Hack END

[FAQ:41018]

Passengers must be 21 years of age or older to purchase or consume alcohol.

With the exception of US Sailings, Norwegian permits young adults to purchase and personally consume wine and beer only while onboard and with the consent of an accompanying parent. Authorisation will be given only when the accompanying parent completes the Young Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver form. This form can be obtained and completed at the Guest Services Desk upon embarkation of the vessel. However, passengers 18 years of age or older are permitted to consume beer and wine when sailing on round-trip European and Australian voyages without having to complete the Young Adult Alcoholic Beverage Waiver form.

Effective for sailings July 15, 2016 and beyond, guests are prohibited from bringing any beverages -- including liquor, beer and non-alcoholic drinks such as water, soda and juices -- on board either as carry-on or checked luggage, with the exception of purified or distilled water in factory-sealed containers for use in conjunction with medical devices or for the reconstitution of infant formula; and fully sealed and/or corked wine bottles for personal consumption onboard that is subject to screening and a corkage fee (for guests 21 years of age or older). Open beverages of any kind must be consumed or discarded at the security check-point, on embarkation day and at any port of call. This revised policy brings the company in line with other best practise travel security protocols and reduces the need for individual time consuming screening and package inspection of large volumes of beverages.

BEVERAGE PACKAGES

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Premium Beverage Package

Enjoy a wide selection of spirits, cocktails, draft beer, soft drinks, and wines by the glass during your entire cruise.

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Unlimited Starbucks ® Package

Start your morning with a cup of coffee, then perk up your afternoon with your favorite Frappuccino.

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Unlimited Fountain Soda

Enjoy a wide selection of endless fountain soda throughout their cruise. Soda packages available for adults and children.

BON VOYAGE GIFTS

Purchase wine & beverage packages.

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Let them toast like a master. Consider surprising your friends, family members or spouse with a bottle of wine or one of our beverage packages to make a truly memorable cruise experience.

SHAKE IT UP

Follow your mood.

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Fountain Drinks

We proudly serve branded soda products onboard.

Ice Bar

Skyy® Vodka Ice Bar

A unique arctic-like frozen chamber, guaranteed to give guests the ultimate chill.

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Fresh Squeezed Juices

Enjoy a selction of freshly squeezed juices such as orange, melon, apple, carrot, and more.

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Extensive Wine List

is known for its impeccable cuisine as well as its wonderful and extensive wine list.

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Lavazza Coffee

We proudly serve Lavazza Coffee, Italy's favourite coffee.

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NEW BARS & LOUNGES

Just as you would expect from Norwegian, we're shaking things up – this time across our fleet with our bars and lounges.

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SUGARCANE MOJITO BAR

Sugarcane Mojito Bar, a guest favorite introduced on Norwegian Getaway, will soon be one of your favorites across our ships.

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Is There a Liquor Store on a Cruise Ship?

By Alice Nichols

cruise ship liquor store

The answer is yes. While cruise ships are not known for their abundance of liquor stores, there are some that do have them. Most of the larger ships have a liquor store, or at least a bar, on board.

The size and availability of the liquor store depends on the ship. Some ships may only have a small selection of basic liquors, while others may have a full-fledged bar stocked with top-shelf liquors and wines. On larger ships, you can even find specialty drinks like martinis and mojitos available for purchase.

In addition to having a liquor store or bar onboard, some cruise lines also offer special packages for passengers who want to purchase an entire bottle or two of their favorite spirits. These packages usually include complimentary mixers and garnishes as well as access to special events and discounts when purchasing additional bottles during the cruise.

Advantages The advantage of having a liquor store on board is that it allows passengers to enjoy their favorite drinks without having to leave the ship. This is especially helpful if you are travelling in an area where alcohol is restricted or not readily available. Additionally, it can be more cost effective than buying drinks at the bar each night.

Disadvantages One disadvantage of having a liquor store on board is that it can be expensive. Prices in the store tend to be higher than what you would pay in a land-based shop due to taxes and other fees associated with operating an alcohol establishment at sea.

Conclusion In conclusion, while there are some advantages and disadvantages to having a liquor store on board a cruise ship, most people find it convenient and enjoyable to have access to their favorite spirits while they are away from home. The availability of such stores varies by ship but they are becoming increasingly common among large vessels.

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  • Celebrity Cruises

Ships Liquor Store

By W283386 , December 5, 2018 in Celebrity Cruises

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Cool Cruiser

When is the best time to buy liquor from the ships store?  Would like to get it out of the way on day one but are there sales later in the week.  Have not sailed in three years, but I somewhat remember that if purchased on day one you had a chance to get your money refunded  as a result of a raffle.

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10,000+ Club

Personally, I have never found enough of a bargain to buy liquor on board that makes it worth lugging it home.

Haha

last cruise mid week JOHNNY WALKER BLUE 99.00 its 300.00 canadian so i thought was good deal

Bo1953

On our last sailing, the last night was found to be the best for deals, we got a two for one (2/1) deal for a specialty rum which was cheaper on the ship than in port to begin with.

I recommend that you check-in daily at the store to see if there are any specials on brands you would like to purchase.

3,000+ Club

I would do it on day one and get it out of the way. If the price drops during the cruise you can get a refund for the difference. It is unusual though for there to be sales in my experience

m8zenblue

Forget it !!!

I bought liquor from the ship shop and thought it was a good deal.

Also purchased from several of the port shops.

After returning home I discovered that there was really no difference in price than my local spirits shop.

Also, there are a few brands that you can find locally that are available on the cruise, especially regional rums.

Do your research before cruise.

If I am buying alcohol onboard, I do it on the last night. For two reasons: 

1. I can take the bottle with me back to my room and pack it away. All other days, they keep it from you and they deliver it back to the room. Usually they're good at delivering it fairly early on the last day, while other times it was after dinner (which means you almost have to repack everything if you've already packed).

2. The shops onboard price match. So, if you find a brand onshore for cheaper that they also sell onboard, take a picture of the price (including volume of the bottle), and they will match it onboard. Although I've never had a hassle getting the lower price onboard, I have been tersely told by some shops not to take pictures (because they know what I'm doing and they don't want to lose the business)... just make sure you take the picture discreetly. The benefit of buying on the last day is that you can take pictures of your favourite alcohol at each port, and then get Celebrity to price match the lowest price you saw.

Great info !!!

grandgeezer

We were on the Silhouette a couple of years ago and went to the duty free shop to price some Jack Daniels, they wanted $25 for a 750ml bottle. I asked the sales clerk if that price was accurate as I can buy it at home for about $19, tax included. He snidely told me the price was accurate and I should buy it at home, and walked away.

I don't price match, I buy from the business that gives me the price upfront even if I have to go to them.

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1 minute ago, grandgeezer said: We were on the Silhouette a couple of years ago and went to the duty free shop to price some Jack Daniels, they wanted $25 for a 750ml bottle. I asked the sales clerk if that price was accurate as I can buy it at home for about $19, tax included. He snidely told me the price was accurate and I should buy it at home, and walked away. I don't price match, I buy from the business that gives me the price upfront even if I have to go to them.

Although I agree that I would prefer to buy from the shop with the lowest price upfront; the problem with a cruise is what if tomorrow's port will be cheaper? Or more expensive? To be honest, I kind of agree with the comments above that the duty free prices in the Caribbean are not significantly better than at home; so being able to buy the cheapest alcohol after I know what the cheapest prices are at least makes me feel like I got a good deal (regardless if that's actually the case or not...)

Thanks a lot.  The main reason we are buying on the ship is because of the OBC.  We do not really do souvenirs or want pay for overpriced specialty dinners.  Got to spend it on something.

"Live from...."

I have found most of the liquor reasonable and some of it a decent deal. We bought $350.00 worth of liquor before, but that was only because we had that amount in OBC. There was absolutely nothing that I wanted from the shops. Since we live in Ft. Lauderdale where the ship was docking it wasn't a problem getting it home. If it wasn't for the OBC I wouldn't bother unless it was a really good deal.

Bellfree Bat

There are also Travel/Retail varieties of some that you will not be able to find at your local liquor shop. Very common when shopping for Single Malt Scotch expressions.

42 minutes ago, Bellfree Bat said: There are also Travel/Retail varieties of some that you will not be able to find at your local liquor shop. Very common when shopping for Single Malt Scotch expressions.

What one may wish to consider, is to only purchase brands/flavours which you cannot get at your local home liquor outlet.

Very little reason to purchase what you can get locally, when home, unless you divine it to be at a good price/value, unless like the OP have lots of OBC to burn...

Duanerice1

My wife (the drinker in the family - lol) usually waits until the last couple of days.  Couple of reasons.  First she gets to compare to the port prices.  Secondly she can see how much OBC she has left and third, she can keep an eye on the sales.

And yea, some stuff are not great prices but some is, like the JW Blue that was mentioned above,  My wife always gets a bottle.  

Remember, no tax......

wendychloecruiser

On 12/5/2018 at 12:18 AM, 1025cruise said: Personally, I have never found enough of a bargain to buy liquor on board that makes it worth lugging it home.

Alcohol in Canada is significantly more expensive than in the U.S so it is very often worth lugging home. 

kkmiausa

if you have a premium bev package can you have a bottle of wine for your room?  That is when I enjoy most as it puts me right to sleep? or will I  have to bring a few glasses to the room?  We are in a Celebrity suite. Could we ask our butler to provide 2 glasses each night?  

On 12/4/2018 at 7:18 PM, 1025cruise said: Personally, I have never found enough of a bargain to buy liquor on board that makes it worth lugging it home.

👍 I'm a notorious cheapskate and even I won't deal with lugging it back. 

Floater4life

Like all purchasing know if it is a deal or not.  I have notes I keep in my phone of everyday and sale pricing of liquor that I can get locally. Just for the things I buy or might wish to buy.  It is a great reference no matter where you go.  I have found some fair deals on board but mostly they are more like sale prices at home.  If I didn't have to fly it home I might consider buying more often.  I agree with the person who said look for local liquor at ports you can't buy at home or if it is uber cheap.

Lovincruisin1321

Lovincruisin1321

On 12/5/2018 at 12:12 PM, gg88 said: If I am buying alcohol onboard, I do it on the last night. For two reasons:  1. I can take the bottle with me back to my room and pack it away. All other days, they keep it from you and they deliver it back to the room. Usually they're good at delivering it fairly early on the last day, while other times it was after dinner (which means you almost have to repack everything if you've already packed). 2. The shops onboard price match. So, if you find a brand onshore for cheaper that they also sell onboard, take a picture of the price (including volume of the bottle), and they will match it onboard. Although I've never had a hassle getting the lower price onboard, I have been tersely told by some shops not to take pictures (because they know what I'm doing and they don't want to lose the business)... just make sure you take the picture discreetly. The benefit of buying on the last day is that you can take pictures of your favourite alcohol at each port, and then get Celebrity to price match the lowest price you saw.

Do all cruise lines price match?  Holland specifically?

bigbenboys

On 12/4/2018 at 4:11 PM, W283386 said: When is the best time to buy liquor from the ships store?  Would like to get it out of the way on day one but are there sales later in the week.  Have not sailed in three years, but I somewhat remember that if purchased on day one you had a chance to get your money refunded  as a result of a raffle.

If I'm planning on buying any liquor on a cruise I buy it the 1st evening after the stores open. As any smart shoppers knows know your prices. Liquor prices are high here in Washington state. Yes the Johnnie Walker Blue can be a great bargain.

cruisestitch

cruisestitch

To kkmiausa

The liquor store doesn’t carry wines, and you can’t get anything via room service on your beverage package.  

cruising cockroach

12 minutes ago, bigbenboys said: If I'm planning on buying any liquor on a cruise I buy it the 1st evening after the stores open. As any smart shoppers knows know your prices. Liquor prices are high here in Washington state. Yes the Johnnie Walker Blue can be a great bargain.

One place in the U.S. where liquor/spirits prices are high.  Are liquor purchases still subject to the 20% sales tax + alcohol equivalent tax?

On 12/4/2018 at 6:47 PM, AIROHS said: last cruise mid week JOHNNY WALKER BLUE 99.00 its 300.00 canadian so i thought was good deal

Never saw blue that cheap, you did get a great price , key buying is you need to know your prices some things are not bargains. But tax and bottles are litters not fifths 

Jim_Iain

On ‎12‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 12:42 AM, kkmiausa said: if you have a premium bev package can you have a bottle of wine for your room?  That is when I enjoy most as it puts me right to sleep? or will I  have to bring a few glasses to the room?  We are in a Celebrity suite. Could we ask our butler to provide 2 glasses each night?          

Unfortunately you can only buy wine by the glass with the drink packages.   You do however get a discount on bottles.   If you ask your butler for 2 glasses each night you will be charged the full cost as you package does not include room service.   

You can however exchange your bubbly for a wine of similar value.   You can also each bring one bottle each on initial boarding. 

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