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The Official Boozing Policies for the High Seas

It’s time we revisited cruise line alcohol policies so you don’t get caught redhanded — and God forbid, accidentally get the booze DESTROYED.

In wake of the recent Carnival Cruise drank restrictions, I’ve decided to make this all easier for you and lay out the current major cruise line alcohol policies in one place. In general, policies vary depending on where the booze that’s brought onboard comes from, i.e. embarkation or a port stopover. From Regent Cruises’ fully stocked in-cabin bar to MSC’s no food/beverage policy, the full details are here.

While luxury cruise lines are usually the most expensive, they often have fewer restrictions and even have open bar events. Sneaking alcohol onto cruises is a big thing (hence Carnival’s newest rule) but that’s getting riskier and riskier. Princess and Royal Caribbean will discard the alcohol if they find it: They’re not messing around.

It would be very easy to rag on the cruise lines with more conservative alcohol policies, etc., but in the end it’s hard when they’ve got a pretty good reason to back their decision: safety. So before you start hating on Carnival and MSC, weigh the options, because, luckily, there are more ships in the sea.

For the most part, the other ships will usually only allow wine or champagne. Strangely, as the exception, family-friendly Disney** doesn’t have restrictions on the type of alcohol that can be brought onboard. In almost all cases, alcohol purchased onboard the ships’ duty-free shop will be stored and won’t be returned to passengers until the end of the cruise so don’t count on drinking that.

One interesting thing I found: The drinking age varies from 18 to 21 across the cruises on this list and could depend on where the ship is docked. So before confidently approaching the bar and handing them an underage ID, college students best be checkin’.

Cruise Line Policy
Azamara
  • Alcohol can be brought onboard
  • Alcohol consumed at bar or restaurants, corkage fee: $10
  • Alcohol purchased at port or in ships’ duty-free shop will be stored until end of cruise
Carnival
  • No bottled beverages of any kind can be brought on board, if found they will be held until end of cruise
  • 1 bottle of wine or champagne (max 750 mL) is allowed in carry-on, corkage fee: $15
  • Alcohol purchased at port or in ships’ duty-free will be stored until end of cruise
Celebrity
  • Beer or hard liquor cannot be brought onboard, if found they will be held until end of cruise
  • 2 bottles of wine or champagne (max 750 mL per) allowed per stateroom, corkage fee: $25
  • Alcohol purchased at port or in ships’ duty-free will be stored until end of cruise
Costa
  • No alcohol can be brought onboard, if found will be held until end of cruise
  • Alcohol purchased at port or in ships’ duty-free will be stored until end of cruise
Crystal*
  • Alcohol can be brought onboard, but must be consumed in cabins
  • Alcohol purchased at port is allowed and may be consumed in cabin
  • Alcohol purchased at ships’ duty-free will be stored until end of cruise
Cunard
  • Beer of hard liquor cannot be brought onboard, if found they will be held until end of cruise
  • 1 bottle of wine or champagne allowed onboard, $20 corkage fee
  • If alcohol purchased at port, it is allowed onboard
  • Alcohol purchased at ship’s duty-free will be stored until end of cruise
Disney
  • Alcohol can be brought onboard but must be consumed in cabins
  • 1 bottle of wine or champagne, OR 6 bottles/cans of beer per person allowed, corkage fee: $20
  • Alcohol purchased at port can be brought onboard and consumed in cabins
  • Alcohol purchased at ships’ duty free will be stored until end of cruise
Holland America
  • Beer or hard liquor cannot be brought onboard, if found they will be held until end of cruise
  • 1 bottle of wine or champagne (max 750 mL) is allowed, no corkage fee if consumed in cabin. Otherwise corkage fee: $18
  • Bottles of bottle of wine or champagne purchased at port will have corkage fee applied regardless of place of consumption; can be stored until end of cruise for free alternatively
  • Alcohol purchased at port or at ships’ duty-free will be stored until end of cruise
MSC
  • No food or beverages (unless for medical reasons) are allowed onboard at embarkation
  • Alcohol purchased at port or in ships’ duty-free will be stored until end of cruise
Norwegian
  • Beer or hard liquor cannot be brought onboard, if found they will be held until end of cruise
  • Bottles of wine or champagne are allowed, corkage fee: $15 for 750 mL, $20 for 1,000 mL, $30 for 1,500 mL
  • Alcohol purchased at port or in ships’ duty-free shop will be stored until end of cruise
Oceania
  • Beer or hard liquor cannot be brought onboard (but can be ordered through Special Services prior to voyage)
  • 3 bottles of wine or champagne are allowed per cabin (including embarkation and at port), corkage fee: $25
  • Alcohol purchased at port will be stored until end of cruise
Princess
  • Beer or hard liquor cannot be brought onboard, if found will be confiscated and discarded
  • 1 bottle of wine or champagne (max 750mL), no corkage fee if consumed in cabin. Additional bottles are welcome but corkage fee of $15 will be assessed.
  • Alcohol purchased at port or at ships’ duty-free will be stored until end of cruise
Regent
  • Alcohol can be brought onboard.
  • All alcohol is complimentary at restaurants and bars. This includes the in-room bar.
  • Alcohol at port is allowed onboard may be stored until the end of the cruise or consumed in-suite only.
  • Alcohol is not sold at ships’ duty-free shops.
Royal Caribbean
  • Beer or hard liquor cannot be brought onboard, if found will be confiscated and discarded
  • 2 bottles of wine or champagne (750mL each) allowed per cabin, no corkage fee
  • Alcohol purchased at port or at ships’ duty-free will be stored until end of cruise
Silversea*
  • Alcohol can be brought onboard
  • Wine and champage allowed onboard, no corkage fees
  • Alcohol purchased at port is allowed onboard
  • Alcohol not sold at ships’ duty-free shops

*all alcohol is included in cruise fare.

All policies were verified with a cruise representative.





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