5 Hacks to Cheap Cruise Drinking

This post isn’t to teach you how to sneak booze on a cruise ship. There are too many articles on Google for that. Plus, if you get caught I don’t want to be blamed for ruining your vacation. Instead, I am going to give you five hacks to having the cheapest alcohol-induced experience on your cruise.

These are money saving tips that I’ve actually used and it saved me time and money.

5 Hacks to Cheap Cruise Drinking

1. Avoid Port Taxes

You may have noticed when you embark the ship and head to the bar to order a drink – that you are being charged a tax. This is goes for purchasing the all-you-can-drink package on the ship, wait until you’re at sea to avoid tax on this too.

My buddy just returned from a cruise in Miami and bought a bucket of beers. There was a tax noted as the F&B Port Tax for $2.38.

2. Happy Hour 

Happy hour on ships can be some of the best times to score some two for one drinks or drinks with a special price. You can sometimes save a couple dollars on your drink by opting out of buying the souvenir cup.

Aside from Happy Hours around the ship you will also find free champagne at art auctions and welcome aboard receptions around the ship.

3. Buy Early

Did you know you can pre-order bottle of liquor to your cabin before your cruise begins? While you won’t save a ton of money pre-ordering your booze, it does make for a nice private sail away party from your balcony. As well as the added convenience of having it in your room without having to flag down a bartender.

Holland America offers a great package once you’re on the ship. The have a bottle of whisky and four mixer cans for $35. Hands down the best deal I’ve seen.

4. Bring Wine

Depending on the cruise line, you can bring on limited wine or  alcohol — usually limited to one bottle per person. For most cruise lines it just wine or champagne allowed on board (Disney allows beer and alcohol). Corkage fees may apply.

Carnival’s website states, “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.”

5. Pack Mixers

Bring aboard your sodas, bottled waters and mixers to avoid from buying them on the ship. Each person can bring on a case of water or soda as long as they are seal. The waters are great to take on shore excursions too.

Also, don’t try to be clever and put clear alcohol in the water bottles – it’s not 1999 anymore – embarkation security has seen every trick in the book and they will bust you.

Do you have any tricks when it comes to drinking on your cruise?

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