One of the most frequently asked questions in our message boards is "can I bring my own liquor aboard the cruise ship?" Well, it depends on the cruise line. To make life a little easier for those of you who may be having hard time finding the policy, we have compiled all the official liquor policy guidelines for all the major cruise lines below.
Now, no matter what we do, the question of whether or not you can sneak alcohol on board will always come up. CruiseMates does not recommend doing this, nor do we want to know if you decide to do it. It is your personal choice.
We note that some of the cruise lines, notably Royal Caribbean, have taken a pretty hard line on people trying to sneak alcohol aboard, or otherwise violating their onboard alcohol policies, such as adults buying it for consumption by underage passengers. The company says that disembarkation without compensation is a possibility, at the discretion of the cruise line, for passengers who blatantly disregard the company rules.
Carnival recently changed their beverage policy to ban any beverage containers from being brought onboard, and then within a few days revised the policy to say soda cans and bottled water are allowed, as long as they are sealed of course. They further revised to now allow one bottle of wine per person, more details below.
The alcohol policies of the various major cruise lines:
Carnival Cruise Line
Bringing Alcohol On Board - Embarkation Day:
Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages on board. However, at the beginning of the cruise during embarkation day, guests (21 years of age and older) may bring on board one bottle (750ml) of wine or champagne, per person, only in their carry-on luggage. A $10 corkage fee per bottle will be charged should you wish to consume this wine in the main dining room; $14 corkage fee per bottle in the steakhouse. (A corkage fee is a charge exacted at a restaurant for every bottle of liquor served that was not bought on the premises)
On embarkation day, each guest may bring a small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages on board and only in their carry-on luggage. A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 bottles and/or cans, 20 ounces each or less.
All alcohol/hard liquor/beer (sealed, unopened bottles/cans), wine/champagne over the allowable 1-bottle per guest (sealed, unopened bottles) or excessive quantities of non-alcoholic beverages (over 12 per person, sealed, unopened bottles/cans) will be confiscated and stored for safekeeping until the end of the voyage. The retained item(s) will be available for collection onboard in a designated location on the morning of debarkation. Unsealed liquids that are prohibited will be discarded, as well as any unclaimed items left after the voyage, and no compensation will be given in either case.
Large cooler restrictions:
Carnival Cruise Lines does not allow guests to bring large coolers on board its ships. However small, personal-sized coolers, no larger than 12"H x 12"L x 12"W 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.
Alcoholic beverages of any kind purchased in any Port-of-Call will be retained at the gangway, stored on board and held by Carnival until the end of the voyage.
Gift Shops On Board:
Alcoholic beverages of any kind purchased in the ship's gift shop will be stored on board and be retained by Carnival until the end of the voyage.
Drinking Alcohol On Board:
The minimum age for the purchase and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in the bars, lounges and gift shops is 21 years of age. In the event that Bar/Restaurant/Gift Shop staff are in question that a guest is less than 21 years old, they shall request picture identification, prior to serving the drink or selling the bottle of liquor. Carnival reserves the right to refuse the sale of alcoholic beverages to anyone.
No beer or hard liquor may be brought onboard for consumption. If you wish to bring personal wine onboard with you at the beginning of the cruise, you may do so, limited to two (2) bottles per stateroom. When enjoyed in any shipboard restaurant, bar or dining venue, each bottle shall be subject to a corkage fee of $25. The only exception to this policy is on our "Wine Cruises" where those who book a company-sponsored winery tour are permitted to bring two bottles of wine from the winery onboard per stateroom on the day of the tour. When enjoyed in any shipboard restaurant, bar or dining venue, each bottle will be subject to a $25 corkage fee.
If you receive a bottle of wine that was purchased from our Bon Voyage Gift selection, no corkage fee will apply if the bottle is enjoyed in the dining room or any public area. If you receive a bottle from an outside vendor and/or travel agent, and the bottle was not purchased through our Bon Voyage selection, then a $25 corkage fee per bottle will apply if you wish to enjoy the wine in the dining room or any other public area. The fee will be applied to your onboard account.
Alcoholic beverages purchased in ports of call or from onboard shops will be stored onboard and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of the sailing.
A clear-cut policy, you may NOT bring any alcohol onboard at any time or consume it onboard if you buy it in the giftshop. Here is the policy:
Alcohol purchased in the gift shop or onshore will be held for you until disembarkation. No alcohol may be brought onboard at embarkation. Guests who are responsible for the supervision of underage guests shall ensure that they do not purchase, possess or consume alcoholic beverages or violate any other shipboard regulations. The minimum drinking age onboard is 21 years old for cruises departing from U.S. ports and 18 years old for cruises departing from non-U.S. ports.
Crystal became an "all-inclusive" cruise line in 2012, including alcoholic beverages at all times.
Always included at no additional cost are: all non-alcoholic beverages such as bottled water, specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks and fresh juices; all meals.
Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will include complimentary fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges, and pre-paid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff. The complimentary gratuity amenity also includes Penthouse butler service as well as service in all of Crystal's fine specialty restaurants and sushi bar.
Honesty is the best policy with Disney, and moderation is the key. Here is the line's policy as told to us by the media relations department.
Guests can purchase alcohol in a port and bring it to their stateroom.
Disney Cruise Line does not prohibit Guests from bringing alcohol onboard. However, please be aware that any fragile items (including alcohol) must be hand-carried onboard in carry-on luggage, NOT a cooloer pack and not packed in checked luggage. The carry-on container cannot exceed 22" wide, 14" high and 9" deep.
Please note that beverage coolers are not permitted onboard (cannot be checked or hand carried). Guests who request a Wine Steward to open and serve a bottle of champagne, wine, or liquor that has been brought onboard will be charged a corking fee of $15.00 per bottle.
What is the policy on bar service on Disney ships?
The drinking age aboard ship is 21. Valid photo I.D. is required. Disney Cruise Line® reserves the right to refuse sale and/or service to anyone.
Can coolers and/or food items be brought onboard?
Coolers are not permitted except for those needed for medications, baby food or items related to dietary constraints. Items must be pre-packaged, unopened and cannot require any food prep from the kitchen. Coolers filled with personal items (e.g. soda, chips, candy, etc.) may not be brought onboard. Homemade items or pre-cooked items purchased on the way to the ship will not be allowed to be brought aboard. Also, open bags or containers of snack items should not be brought aboard. All items will need to be stored in the stateroom; the ship's storage and/or refrigeration are not available to use.
Each Guest returning from the Eastern Caribbean to the U.S. can bring back up to a total of U.S. $1,200 worth of duty-free merchandise (retail price). However, no more than $800 in combined purchases can be made on board the ship, St. Maarten and Castaway Cay. Or, the entire U.S. $1,200 exemption may be used on purchases from St. Thomas alone. Each Guest 21 and older is limited to 5 liters of alcohol (only 1 liter can be acquired in St. Maarten or on the ship, with an additional 4 liters being exempt if purchased on St. Thomas, provided at least 1 liter is produced in the U.S. Virgin Islands).Holland America
Except for wine and champagne, guests cannot bring hard alcohol on board for private consumption. Hard alcohol purchased on board in the duty free shops or in port will be collected, stored for safekeeping and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of the voyage.
Guests can bring wine and/or champagne on board at embarkation or purchased in port. A corkage fee of US$18.00 applies to wine and champagne brought to the shipboard restaurants or bars for consumption. Wine and/or champagne brought on board cannot be consumed in any public venue. If a guest is drinking a beverage carried on board and in a public venue they will be asked to return it to their stateroom.
Room Service offers reduced-price stateroom beverage packages for in-stateroom consumption of alcoholic beverages. A 15% Service Charge on all beverage items and packages with beverages will be added.
Norwegian Cruise Lines NCL:
Alcohol CONSUMPTION POLICY Passengers must be 21 years of age or older to purchase or consume alcohol.
Authorization will be given only when the accompanying parent completes the Young Adult alcoholic Beverage Waiver form
However, passengers 18 years of age or older are permitted to consume alcoholic beverages when sailing on round-trip European voyages without having to complete the Young Adult alcoholic Beverage Waiver form.
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. Norwegian encourages the responsible use of alcohol and accordingly reserves the right to permanently or temporarily revoke the drinking privileges of any guest who violates Norwegian's Guest Code of Conduct or who is deemed a danger to himself, herself or others by vessel management.
Continued abuse of alcohol while sailing and/or violation of Norwegian's alcohol policy may result in immediate disembarkation.Oceania Cruises
Clear-cut policy, no booze can be carried aboard for any reason.
The sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages will be limited to guests aged 21 years or older. Oceania Cruises will refuse and prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages to guests under the age of 21 years. Guests are kindly reminded to consume alcohol in moderation. Oceania Cruises reserves the right to prohibit and retain all alcohol bought ashore for consumption onboard the vessel.Princess Cruises This is what we like to see, a comprehensive, no-nonsense policy that tells you exactly where you stand:
Question: What is the alcohol policy onboard Princess Cruises?As provided in the Passage Contract, passengers agree not to bring alcoholic beverages of any kind onboard for consumption, except one bottle of wine or champagne per adult of drinking age (no larger than 750 ml) per voyage, which will not be subject to a corkage fee if consumed in the stateroom. Additional wine or champagne bottles are welcome, but will incur a $15 corkage fee each, irrespective of where they are intended to be consumed. Liquor, spirits or beers are not permitted. Please remember that luggage will be scanned and alcohol outside of our policy will be removed and discarded.
Alcoholic beverages that are purchased duty free from the ship's gift shop, or at ports of call, will be collected for safekeeping and delivered to the passenger's stateroom on the last day of the cruise. A member of the ship's staff will be at the gangway to assist passengers with the storage of their shoreside alcoholic purchases while our Boutiques staff will assist passengers with shipboard alcoholic purchases.Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas cruise fares include all onboard gratuities; complimentary beverages including select wines and spirits served throughout the ship; complimentary 24-hour room service menu; complimentary in-suite dining including selections from the main dining room during dinner hours; in-suite refrigerator replenished daily with soft drinks, beer and bottled water; Butler service in Category B suites and above; and in-suite bar setup in Butler suites.Royal Caribbean Cruises
Effective immediatly on all sailings, the minimum drinking age for all alcoholic beverages on all Royal Caribbean International is as follows: (1) The minimum age to consume alcohol on Royal Caribbean International ships on sailings originating in North America is twenty-one (21). (2) The minimum age to consume alcohol on Royal Caribbean International ships on sailings from South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand is eighteen (18). (3) The minimum age to consume alcohol at all private destinations remains twenty-one (21) without regard to where the sailing originated. The Company retains the right, on rare occasions, to raise the minimum age of alcohol consumption on any sailing when local laws require or permit such a modification.
Guests may bring personal wine and champagne onboard only on boarding day, limited to two (2) 750 ml bottles per stateroom. When consumed in any public area, each bottle shall be subject to a corkage fee of $25.00. Alcoholic beverages that are purchased in ports of call or from onboard shops will be stored by the ship and delivered to guest staterooms on the last day of the sailing. Security may inspect containers (water bottles, soda bottles, mouthwash, luggage etc.) and will dispose of containers holding alcohol. Royal Caribbean's Guest Conduct Policy may be enforced, up to and including disembarkation, if a guest violates any alcohol policy. Guests under the age of 21 will not have alcohol returned to them.
Guests who violate any alcohol policies, (over consume, provide alcohol to people under age 21, demonstrate irresponsible behavior, or attempt to conceal alcoholic items at security and or luggage check points or any other time), may be disembarked or not allowed to board, at their own expense, in accordance with our Guest Conduct Policy.
All guests must comply with TSA guidelines for transporting liquids.
Royal Caribbean reserves the right to revoke or otherwise restrict drinking privileges of any guest, regardless of age.Seabourn
Open bar: Complimentary wines, spirits, fine French champagne, soft drinks and mineral water provided.Silversea Cruises COMPLIMENTARY BEVERAGES SERVED THROUGHOUT THE SHIP
Aboard the ships of Silversea, a premium assortment of complimentary wines, champagne and spirits are stocked in one of the finest cellars at sea. Wine at dinner, a champagne toast in your suite or cocktails as you dance the night away -- all are courtesy of Silversea.
IN-SUITE BEVERAGE CABINET STOCKED WITH OUR COMPLIMENTS
Besides the chilled bottle of champagne that awaits you at embarkation, every suite includes a beverage cabinet stocked with your preferred assortment of complimentary beverages.Windstar Cruises
Bottles or other containers of beer and other alcoholic beverages brought on board cannot be consumed on board, with the exception of wine and champagne.
If the beverages are purchased at ports of call, they will be collected for safekeeping and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of the voyage. Our staff will make arrangements to store the items for you during the cruise.
Guests can bring wine and champagne purchased from outside the yacht on board for consumption in their stateroom. For consumption in the restaurants or bars, a corkage fee will be applied to the guests' on board account.