Cruise Tip Tuesday | Alcohol On A Cruise

stay THIRSTY, my friend !

Alcoholic beverages are very expensive on a cruise ship.  Alcohol will be available in the dining rooms, the casino, by the pools, before the shows (often but not always), in the lounges, and of course at all of the bars.  There will be menus on the tables in the lounges and bars.  You simply need your cruise card (also room key) to charge the alcohol to your onboard account.  A tip of approximately 15% for the waiter will be automatically added to your bill.

If you drink, look for specials printed in the daily schedule that is left in your room each night at turndown.  We personally do not drink alcohol, but my parents were able to get 2 for 1 martini’s on our last cruise on the Norwegian Spirit by simply looking at the Daily program and visiting a bar or lounge at the right time.  I have heard, though that not all cruises offer specials.

If you visit the pool and lounges you will probably be asked multiple times if you would like to purchase a drink.  To avoid being asked to order, try not to make eye contact with the bar personnel.  They will often be carrying a tray and wearing a different colored vest or uniform from the regular waitstaff.  Sometimes it just can not be avoided.  A polite “no thank you” will probably keep that person from coming back again as they usually remember us especially when we have our kids with us.

If you do drink, definitely go to the Captain’s cocktail party and the art auctions that offer free champagne.

If the cruise ship drink prices are too expensive for you but you still want a drink, consider getting a drink in port.  You need to be very careful in certain locales as water is not always safe to drink.  Their water could be used to spray the tops of beer bottles and cans.  Ice could be made with local water.  You definitely do not want to ruin your cruise with Montezuma’s Revenge.

Update:  I forgot to mention that you can often bring your own alcohol on board, but the cruise line does x-ray your luggage.  If they find it, they will usually hold your luggage and make you go to a room to retrieve it.  Then they will either hold your alcohol until the end of the cruise or will often charge you a corkage fee of approximately $15 per bottle. 

photo credit: prayitno

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