Planning a cruise this summer? Use these 2 methods to bring your own alcohol onto your next cruise and save a ton of money.
Before jumping into the fun stuff, let me quickly recap for those with no cruising experience, how alcohol restrictions work with all major cruiseliner packages. You pick a destination package and departure port. I am sure you have certainly spoken to friends who have returned from a cruise only to share on how much they ate and drank. Sure cruises are excellent and offer many complimentary perks, like food and water but when it comes to anything outside of water, get ready to pay big time.
For those worried, if you are caught trying to bring your own alcohol on a cruise, they won’t kick you off or call the police on you. They will confiscate it and give it back at the conclusion of your cruise. Millions do it every year, it’s no different than bringing your own candy bars or sodas into your local movie theater.
Understanding Beverage packages.
Royal Carribean is one of the most trusted cruise lines in the world. Although every company has its perks, drink packages are pretty much all the same. Let’s use Royal Carribean, as an example, to go over drink packages so you understand how much alcohol will cost you on a cruise.
Alcohol is not free and travelers are offered a couple of different options. You can pre-pay for hard liquor (375ml) or wine through the cruise line and once you board the ship, your order will in your room. Liquor bottles packages come with 4 sodas. For example, and Absolut Vodka Sprite package comes with a 375ml and 4 cans of Sprite for around $40 USD.
For the casual drinkers, you can also pay per drink with the average drink costing you around $12 USD.
The Typical Liquid Packages
Most travelers want things to be as simple as possible. You’re on vacation and don’t want to worry or think about paying for a drink when you want it most. RB offers 3 packages for travelers to choose from.
Classic Soda Package – $12.99/ per day includes unlimited fountain sodas. Once boarding your cruise, you will be given a souvenir cup, use this cup an fill it up at any fountain soda station located on the ship. No Alcohol included.
Refreshment Package – $29.00/ per day includes unlimited fountain sodas, bottled still and sparkling water, Non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails), fresh-squeezed juices, premium/exotic coffees/teas (excluding Starbucks stores), and unlimited RedBulls. No Alcohol included.
Deluxe Beverage Package – $63-70/ per day is the unlimited booze package. It also includes the Classic Soda and Refreshment packages. You are basically getting everything with the Deluxe. However, if one person in your room, 21 and over, pays for the Deluxe Package, your partner must also purchase it. They do this to avoid the possibility of sharing booze with your significant other.
2 Ways to Save Money
Now that you understand how the alcohol pricing works on a cruise, it’s very simple math to see just how much-added cost is involved if you want to drink while soaking up the rays. If we take an average of 65$/ per day, you are looking at $130 per day/ per couple. A short 4-night stay is going going to cost you $520 for unlimited drinking. We have not even looked at other upsells like upgrades and excursions that are not cheap. What you thought was a cheap deal for a last-minute cruise, ends up getting expensive really fast.
1) The Wine Trick
In 2016 Royal Caribbean changed their policy to allow its passengers to bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom onboard their cruise on embarkation day. Each bottle of wine may be up to 750ml in size and should be brought on in your carry-on luggage. Do not put the wine in your checked luggage.No beer or hard liquor may be brought onboard for consumption. Guests may only bring the wine onboard on embarkation day.
TRICK: Amazon is perfect because they sell PVC Heat Shrink Capsules in different colors. Basically what you want to do is buy any cheap 750ml red wine bottle, with dark glass, Roscato is perfect. Once the bottle is empty, refill it with your favorite hard liquor. Use the PVC heat caps over boiling water to re-cap the bottle (very easy to do). The heat shrink capsules will give the illusion that you have a perfectly, sealed and unopened wine bottle. Each room can bring 2 bottles of wine, so that’s 1500ml/50oz of hard liquor. You can buy PVC heat shrink capsules from Amazon.
Pay for the Refreshment package or Classic package, head into your room and mix your soda or mocktail up with your hard liquor from your wine bottles.
2) Liquid Tan
Although the wine trick is great for onboard drinking, what happens when you are bathing or docked? You can’t be walking around with a bottle of wine so what’s the other alternative to sneak your booze onto the beach?
TRICK: Equip yourself with empty Flasks. Amazon has a wide range, but my preference is the GoPong Hidden Lotion Flask because it looks good and comes with an easy to fill funnel. For $10 you get 2 empty, 8oz plastic lotion bottles. The bottles are very convincing, mimicking sunscreen lotion. Simply fill up the 2 plastic flasks in your room and head to your destination. The bottles will blend in perfectly when docked at a beach or lounging by the pool. You can buy Hidden Lotion Flasks from Amazon.
So there you have it, ff you are a risk-taker, then these are two of the easiest ways to sneak booze into any public summer event without getting caught. A little free drink never hurt anyone!