Cruise hacks: Can I bring my own alcohol? Easy ‘hacks’ to get free drinks onboard

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Cruise lines have a captive audience while out at sea, which means they can charge a higher fee for alcoholic beverages than what you may pay in a standard supermarket. In many cases, cruise lines do not permit passengers to bring onboard their own alcoholic drinks, although there are some exceptions depending on the operator you are travelling with.

Before packing a bottle of rum or a few cans of beer in your luggage, it is vital you check the specific rules of the cruise line you are travelling with.

For example, Royal Caribbean stipulates that guests are not allowed to bring beer or hard liquor onboard for consumption or any other use.

However, on boarding day, guests may bring onboard two 750 ml bottles of personal wine or champagne per stateroom in their carry-on luggage.

The same rules apply to Virgin Voyages.

The cruise line states: “Sailors are also welcome to bring two (2) 750mL bottles of wine per cabin in carry-on bags (sorry, no liquor or beer please).”

Any alcohol found in checked luggage will be collected by the staff pre-sailing and returned once the voyage is complete.

Some cruise lines may charge a corkage fee for bringing your own wine onboard, while others may completely ban bringing on your own alcohol.

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How can you get alcohol onboard?

If you are partial to a cocktail by the pool or a couple of glasses of wine at dinner, the best way to enjoy these is by opting for a drinks package.

While some all-inclusive sailings come with alcohol included, others may require an additional payment to have booze as part of your trip.

If you are not a big drinker, you can buy alcoholic beverages as and when you fancy them.

How can I get free alcohol onboard a cruise?

Though there is no certain way of getting free drinks on a cruise, Reddit users shared their own “cruise hacks” in a dedicated forum

One user said: “On your cruise papers say you are celebrating an anniversary or other event in the special comments section, your room steward will often provide you with vouchers for free drinks.”

A second user recommended attending special events onboard the ship.

They explained: “Stop by a lot of the special welcome events, captain’s talks, auctions, etcetera.

“They usually offer free drinks. Grab your drink and head out if you’re not interested.”

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