Cruise Tip Tuesday | Free Beverages

Iced Tea Marie Catrib's 7-8-09 3

Most cruise lines offer a limited choice of free beverages.  The free beverages available 24 hours a day are of course tap water, iced tea, hot tea (lots of choices), and plain coffee with a variety of sweeteners.  Hot chocolate packets are usually available as well.  For breakfast you can usually get a few juices such as apple, orange, and cranberry as well as milk.  You can fill your children’s sippy cups or water bottles with juice, and it could last until lunch at the very least. 

For lunch and dinner, iced tea is usually available in both the buffet and dining rooms. There will not be a decaffeinated iced tea option, but you could make your own with hot water, tea bags, and then ice.  You could also make your own iced coffee.  First get your coffee, and sweeten it with sugar or sweetener and cream or milk.  Then fill a cup with ice and dump your coffee in and mix.  Children can usually get juice or milk in the dining rooms for lunch and dinner for free, but it is not easily available at the buffet.

If you or your children “need” some flavor in their water, consider bringing some individual packets of products like Crystal Light or MiO. Lemon slices are also often out at the buffet by the iced tea.

I am personally not a big water drinker at home, except after dinner or while exercising.  On past cruises, I actually got used to drinking water more than I do at home.  At dinner the waiters always filled my glass with water, and I was able to save some of my calories for desserts!  The free “tap” water tasted great to me, but maybe the warm weather simply increased my thirst.

If you need your soda fix, consider getting some soda in port.  Please be very careful and clean the top of cans and bottles and use a straw if you can.  It is best to avoid soda from a bar or restaurant that could be mixed with local water.  You definitely do not want to ruin your cruise by getting sick.

Most cruises also offer some sort of unlimited soda card for the entire cruise.  They are technically for one person or child.  Unless you drink a lot of soda, you will not get your money’s worth compared to regular 2 Liter prices or 12 packs.  For example, Norwegian Cruise Line charges $6.25 per adult per day (must purchase for entire cruise) for unlimited soda and includes a free souvenir mug.  Children are $4.00 per day.  Tax and 15% gratuity are additional.  Disney Cruise Line offers free soda at designated beverage centers, but they are not free in bars and lounges. 

We have never bought a soda card or even a beverage on a cruise, so consider some of the tips above and save your money for the excursions.  If you drink alcohol, take a look at “Alcohol On A Cruise”.  I included a few tips in that post on how to get free alcohol.

photo credit: stevendepolo

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