A big concern for a lot of people when going on a cruise is what, when, and how they will be getting their alcoholic beverages. I’m ready to give you the low down on the Carnival Cruise alcohol policy with some helpful pointers to keep you informed.
Bringing Beverages On Board
Unfortunately, it’s technically against the rules to bring alcohol on a cruise with ONE exception; Each guest (21 years or older) is allowed one 750 ML bottle of wine or champagne in their carry-on bags. Sadly that sweet delicious beer or liquor will have to be purchased on the cruise, because it’s not allowed past security. (Unless you can be really sneaky about it.) Keep in mind that a $15 corkage fee will be applied to your bill should you decide to have them open the bottle you brought on board for you in the main dining room. So it’s best to open it yourself in your own room to avoid essentially paying for another bottle.
Bottles Purchased During the Cruise
You can purchase bottles of liquor from the Fun Shops on the cruise, and often times you can get great deals on these, because you don’t have to pay taxes when you are overseas. The same thing applies when you are at port on your cruise destinations. However, keep in mind that Carnival will store these items away until the end of the Cruise, so you won’t be allowed to just drink from the bottle you bought during your cruise vacation. This will be a purchase you make to enjoy at a later date when you are back on land.
CHEERS Beverage Program
While you can definitely pay as you go at the many bars on board, my favorite thing to do is to just purchase the CHEERS drink package. I don’t have to worry about how much I’m spending, because I’ve already paid for them! The CHEERS program is $51.95 a day per person, (plus 15% gratuity) if you purchase online before your cruise. It’s a few dollars more a day if you buy it while on board ($56.95 plus gratuity.) This program allows for fifteen drinks a day, which has always been MORE than enough for me. Unfortunately, if one adult in your cabin wants to purchase the drink package all adults must do so as well, but if you want to share with an adult in another cabin this can, and has been done, (by my sister and I.) However, it’s more convenient to have your own, because there is a five minute wait period between buying each drink. (Although they’re not usually very strict on this.) I always plan to spend just over $200 dollars on my drink package for a four-day cruise, and it really is a great deal, especially when you consider all that it offers.
-All liquor (shots and mixed drinks) as well as wine, beer, and champagne by the glass worth up to $50 per drink. (This includes top shelf liquors.)
-Discounts on any drink that costs more than $50. (But honestly. What drink costs that much??!!)
*NOTE Non-alcoholic drinks do not count in the fifteen drinks a day rule. It is referring to 15 ALCOHOLIC beverages. The following are unlimited.*
-Zero proof frozen cocktails, smoothies, juices, and sodas.
-Specialty coffees and teas
-RockStar energy drinks, Powerade, Vitamin Water, Coconut Water, and Honest Tea
Excluded from the CHEERS Program:
-Drinks sold in souvenir glasses
-Bottles of liquor
-Beverages offered at the gangway
-Drinks offered through room service or mini-bars
-shareable drinks like pitchers, tubes, and buckets
-Drinks from the self-serve wine and beer machines
-Freshly squeezed Orange juices from the Havana Bar (but you can get regular orange juice!)
Sneaking Booze on Board
If you’re a drinker, and want to veto the CHEERS package, avoid buying individual drinks, and you expect you’ll finish your one allotted bottle of wine or champagne very quickly, there is always the option of sneaking booze on board. This option is a little more risky, because if you’re caught they will confiscate the bottles. However, I have managed to sneak liquor in bottles that were disguised as shampoo and sunscreen. I have also seen fake tampons, and IV bags. If you’re feeling really confident, I have a friend who claims that if you tip the guys that take your luggage on board really well, you can set a couple bottles in your luggage and they don’t say anything. I haven’t tried this route, but she claims that it’s worked for her every time. I’d still suggest disguising it in some way just in case.
Get Your Drank On!
Now that you know all the ways you can get alcohol during your cruise voyage, I hope I’ve helped find you a way to get nice and tipsy, or down right fun-drunk. Enjoy it! You’re on vacation!