Bringing Alcohol on a Cruise - Rules for Beer, Wine, Liquor (and Water)! 1

With the ever-increasing prices of beverages and beverage packages on cruises nowadays, a common question people have before embarking on a cruise is, “Can I bring alcohol or other beverages on a the ship?”

I’m one of those people, to be fair. After a recent cruise where the beverage package was over $120 per person PER DAY, and just a simple can of Coke was about $5.00, I started thinking about smuggling booze on the ship (bad idea), but that’s honestly how insane the pricing has become!

On a side note / rant, when the beverage package costs exceed the cost of the cruise, you know something is wrong with the world (or the cruise world) 🙁

Can you bring alcohol on a cruise (along with other drinks)?

It depends on each cruise line and its policies. Some allow for generous amounts of wine and beer (Viking) and some allow literally NOTHING for whatever reason (I’m looking at you MSC!)

Facebook groups, subreddits, and cruising forums are filled with misinformation. Couple that with every cruise line’s constantly changing rules, getting the right information is challenging.

So here, we are going to provide a clear answer to the alcohol and beverage policies of popular cruise lines before you embark.

Why some people want to carry their own alcohol and other beverages on a cruise

It’s not just alcohol, a lot of people have a preference for a certain soda or water brand that a ship might not have. Primarily, people want to bring their own wine, soda or water on a cruise for:

  • Cost saving: Cruise ships sell alcoholic beverages and soft drinks with a high margin. Thus, bringing your own beverages saves you from spending extra on overpriced drinks. It also lets you enjoy them intimately in your room.
  • Personal preference: For a cruise ship, it’s not possible to stock all types of alcoholic drinks and beverages. Therefore, if you desire a certain brand or a type of beverage, it may not be available onboard.
  • Celebrating special events: Some people book a cruise trip to celebrate special occasions, from wedding anniversaries to retirement parties. Bringing your favorite aged wine or imported champagne is a great idea to make the event more memorable.

Cruise Line Alcohol Policies & Guidelines

This is updated for 2024 – but the times are a changin’, ya’ll!

Be sure to confirm with each cruise line. We’ve conveniently linked to each cruise line policy page for your convenience (below the chart)

Cruise LineQuantity AllowedBeverages AllowedCorkage FeeBeverage Package Cost
Royal Caribbean1 Bottle of wine per personWine/Champagne/Non-alcoholic beverages$15 per bottle$56-$109
Disney Cruise Line2 per cabin- wine/champagne or 6 beers (up to 12oz)Wine/Champagne/Beer/ Non-alcoholic beverages$26 per bottle$36 for six-pack beer, $105 for 3 wine bottles
Norwegian Cruise LineSeveral (up to 1500ml) – No limit for people with drink packageWine/Champagne$15 for 750ml, $30 for 1500ml, including stateroomFrom $109 ($9.95 for soft drinks)
Princess Cruises1+ bottle per personWine/Champagne$20 per bottleClassic – $66 Premium – $85
Celebrity Cruises2 bottles per cabinWine/Champagne$25 per bottleClassic – $89 Premium – $109
Carnival Cruises1 bottle per personWine/Champagne/Beer/ Non-alcoholic$15 per bottleStarts at $59.95
Cunard Line1 bottle per personWine/Champagne$25 per bottle$85+ depending on cruise length
MSC CRUISES0 / NadaNope!Nothing!Changes, See the current MSC drink package costs
Holland America LineSeveral (unspecified)Wine/Champagne$20 per bottleSignature: $54.95 Elite: $59.99
Virgin Voyages2 per stateroomWine/Champagne$25 per bottle $300 Bar Tab (offers +$50 credits)
Regent CruisesSeveralWine/ChampagneNo corkage feesIncluded in fare
Oceania Cruises6 per stateroom (60 for world cruise)Wine/Champagne$25 corkage feeHouse Select – $39.95 Prestige Select – $69.95
Viking CruisesUnlimitedAll typesNo corkage fees$25/day/person
chart of alcohol and beverage policies by cruise line

Detailed guidelines about the alcohol and beverage policies on most cruise lines.

MSC Cruises Alcohol Policy-

Can you bring your own alcohol on an MSC Cruise? Nope!

MSC Cruises stands out with having one of the most restrictive policies stating you cannot bring ANY beverages of ANY type on the ship. You can’t even bring a bottle of water or soda.

Royal Caribbean –

Royal Caribbean allows only 1 bottle of wine or champagne per individual of legal drinking age. It doesn’t allow other types of alcohol.

However, if you purchase alcoholic beverages at port, the cruise ship retains your bottles. It provides you a claim ticket to collect the bottles when your trip ends.

Some users have reported that they’ve purchased alcohol on port and carried it to their rooms without any issues.

Other than in your room, if you plan to enjoy your wine or champagne in the dining hall, restaurants, bars, deck, etc., you must pay a $15 corkage fee.

You can also carry 12 standard cans, bottles, or cartons of water and non-alcoholic beverages per stateroom.

Beverage Package: $56-105/day, depending on your cruise, stay, and destination

Reference: Alcohol Policy, Beverage Policy

Disney Cruise Line

On a Disney Cruise ship, guests over 21 can bring 2 bottles of wine or champagne (up to 750ml each) or 6 beer cans (up to 12 ounces each).

You must pack these alcoholic beverages in the carry-on bag and not in the check-in luggage, which will result in delays.

If you wish to consume your drinks anywhere on the ship besides your stateroom, you’ll have to cough up a $26 corkage fee per bottle.

Unlike other cruise lines, Disney doesn’t offer all-inclusive or unlimited beverage packages. Rather, you’ll have to individually purchase wine and beer packages.

Beer packages start from $36 for a six-pack. On the other hand, the wine package ranges from $105 to $220 for classic wines and $155 to $330 for premium ones.

Reference: Disney Cruises Alcohol policy

Norwegian Cruise Line

While most cruise lines restrict you to a couple of 750ml bottles of wine or champagne, Norwegian Cruise Line allows you to bring several bottles of wine or champagne in 1500ml quantities.

However, NCL charges a corkage fee regardless of where you consume your wine, even in your stateroom! But there is a caveat to this. Anyone with a beverage package will not have to pay a corkage fee ANYWHERE. This is unique to Norwegian Cruise Line.

No beverage package? You’ll have to pay $15 and $30 for 750ml and 1500ml bottles, respectively.

Apart from this, you cannot bring non-alcoholic beverages, including water, soda, energy drinks, and juices onboard. This seems a bit strange, but NCL says it’s to speed up screening of passenger baggage. Having to sort through a bunch of soda and water during check-in would take too long. In reality, I believe it’s because the basic drink package on Norwegian doesn’t include bottled water, so this is a way to push people into buying it onboard. (Cynical thinking, I know)

Beverage packages start at $109/day, while teens can consume unlimited soft drinks from $9.95/day.

Reference: Norwegian Cruise Line Alcohol Policy. See our NCL Beverage Package Guide

Princess Cruises

You can bring several 750ml bottles of wine or champagne onboard a Princess cruise ship. If consumed in your stateroom, only one bottle is free from corkage fees. A corkage fee of $20 is applicable on additional wine or champagne bottles, even in the stateroom.

Hard liquor, spirits, and beer aren’t allowed. Before embarking, your luggage will be scanned for alcohol, and anything outside the company’s ‘Alcohol policy’ will be discarded.

Beverage packages start at $65/day, while for premium alcohol, you’ll have to pay $85/day.

Reference: Princess Cruises Beverage Policy

Celebrity Cruises

During embarkation, guests over legal drinking can carry only one bottle (750ml) of wine or champagne onboard. In addition, guests can also hand-carry non-alcoholic beverages.

If you’re planning to consume your wine in a restaurant, bar, or dining hall, a $25 corkage fee is applicable per bottle. 

Apart from the wine or champagne bottle brought during embarkation day, bringing all types of hard alcohol are prohibited. If you purchase any alcohol while in port or in duty-free shops, you must hand them over to security. You can collect them on your final day.

Celebrity Cruises offers Classic and Premium Drink packages, priced at $89 and $109 per day.

Reference: Celebrity Cruises Alcohol Policy

Carnival Cruise Line

Except for one 750ml bottle of wine and champagne, you aren’t allowed to bring alcoholic beverages on a carnival cruise. A corkage fee of $15 is applicable for drinking anywhere on the cruise other than your stateroom.

For non-alcoholic beverages, the cruise line allows up to 12 bottles (up to 350ml each) of water, soda, juices, energy drinks, milk, etc., onboard. The beverages must be in cans or cartons, as glass or plastic bottles are strictly prohibited.

The CHEERS! beverage package starts at $59.95/day and includes all types of alcohol under $20 or less. Plus, you get a 25% discount on drinks over $20.

For kids and young adults, bottomless drink packages start from $6.95/day.

Reference: Alcohol Policy, Beverage Package

Cunard Line

Similar to Carnival Cruise Line (Cunard’s parent company), Cunard also prohibits all types of alcohol except one bottle of wine or champagne. However, you’ll have to cough up a higher corkage fee of $25 per bottle.

One 750ml wine or champagne bottle is allowed per person. In addition, if you purchase duty-free alcohol onboard, the cruise staff will deliver it to you during final disembarkation.

Here’s a short table of beverage package pricing depending on the cruise stay.

Beverage Packages/DurationLess than 5 nights5-14 nights15-84 nights85 nights or more
Beers, Wines & Other Alcohol$85.5/day$72/day$67.5/day$49.5/day

Reference: Cunard Alcohol Policy, Beverage package

Holland America Line

Holland America Line is extremely generous and allows you to bring several bottles of wine or champagne (up to 750ml each). However, a corkage fee of $20 is applicable per bottle and is subject to change at any time.

Only one wine bottle is exempted from the corkage fee if you buy it from the cruise-sponsored visit to local wineries.

Suppose you’re planning to bring your own stock of water bottles. In that case, Holland America Line permits you to bring up to 6 liters of water. You can bring the water in cans or cartons with 6x 1L or 12x 500ml configuration.

Apart from this, soft drinks, energy drinks, and all types of non-alcoholic beverages are entirely prohibited.

You can choose between Signature ($54.95) and Elite ($59.99) beverage packages. Both packages include soft drinks, juices, water, coffee, spirits, cocktails and wines. Additionally, the Elite package grants you access to premium spirits, wines, and cocktails.

Reference: Holland America Alcohol Policy

Virgin Voyages

Per stateroom, Virgin Voyages allows two 750ml wine bottles. You can also bring 12 sealed cans or cartons of water, protein drinks, soft drinks, and non-alcoholic beer. Each bottle shouldn’t be bigger than 12 ounces. The bottles should be in your carry-on bag. Plastic and glass bottles are prohibited.

Unlike other cruise lines, Virgin Voyages doesn’t offer restrictive per-day beverage packages. Instead, the cruise line offers a ‘Bar Tab,’ where you prepay in $300 .

Not having a real beverage beverage package makes the choice to bring a couple of bottles of your favorite wine onboard easy. There’s no reason not to bring what you really enjoy.

Reference: Virgin Voyages Alcohol Policy

Regent Cruises

On a Regent Cruise ship, you can bring an unlimited amount of wine or champagne bottles and no corkage fees.

In addition, you have unlimited access to water, soda, soft drinks, juices, and a premium list of spirits, beers, and wine.

Only the ultra-premium wines and liquor are available for purchase.

Reference: Alcohol Policy

Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises recently revised its alcohol policy. Hence, you can now bring up to 6 bottles of wine or champagne per stateroom instead of 3.

You can either bring your bottles during embarkation or purchase them on port. Any quantity above 6 bottles will be held till the trip ends.

For world cruises that last around 164-180 days, you can bring up to 60 bottles per stateroom. Although, you must notify the cruise line in advance.

A $25 corkage fee is applicable for consuming your personal wines in a dining hall or public area.

Beverage packages start at $39.95/day for the House Select+ package, whereas the Prestige package costs $69.95/day.

Reference: Alcohol Policy, Beverage Package

Viking Cruises

Viking Cruises has the most relaxed alcohol policy. Therefore, you can bring unlimited amounts of alcohol and beverages onboard during embarkation or purchase them from port or onboard stores. Plus, there’s no corkage fee.

This is mostly because you are entitled to complimentary wines, beers, and soft drinks during lunches and dinners. So the logic is, why bother bringing anything? I love this type of policy! “Bring what you want, if you want, but we have plenty to serve you, so why bother?” 🙂 – I’ll only bother if they don’t carry a certain specific brand of spirit or wine.

For unlimited beverages and alcohol, the cruise line also offers a Silver Spirits beverage package. Thus, for an additional $25/day/person, you can order premium wines (glass), cocktails, beers, and other drinks, each up to $18.

Reference: Viking Cruises Alcohol Policy, Beverage Package

Things to know before taking alcohol, water, and soda on a cruise ship

Even though your favorite cruise line allows you to bring your own bottle of wine, beer, or soft drinks, you must know a few things beforehand.

  1. No hard liquor: Cruise lines have strict policies against hard liquor except for a few luxury lines, including Viking Cruises.
  2. Limited quantities: If a cruise line allows alcoholic beverages, you may only bring one bottle per person or two bottles per stateroom of your favorite wine or champagne. Plus, most cruise lines only allow up to 750ml bottles.
  3. Corkage Fees: If you prefer to drink your bottle of wine on a cruise ship’s public deck, dining hall, or restaurant, you are subject to pay corkage fees. It varies between $18 to $30 per bottle, depending on the cruise line.
  4. Beverage Packages: Cruise ships offer beverage packages for a limited or unlimited amount of drinks. The package ranges between $29-$150 per day (depending on the cruise line) and includes sodas, soft drinks, wine, beers, alcohol, and other drinks.
  5. Passenger Age: All cruise ships departing from the USA have a drinking age limit of over 21. In international waters, passengers between 18 and 20 require a consent form from their parents. Cruise ships departing from Europe and Australia have a drinking age limit of over 18.

Wait! Why bring water? Aren’t Complimentary Drinks Available on a Cruise Ship?

Yes, a few complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are offered throughout your stay on a cruise.

But bottled water is usually never included. So for a real water snob, having a specific brand of water may be important, just be sure to check the cruise line regulations, as many have begun to prohibit all non-alcoholic beverages from being brought onboard.

A few cruise lines also offer free water, soda, juices, and other non-alcoholic beverages. However, for unlimited supply, you’ll have to purchase a soft drinks package, which costs between $6 to $30, depending on the cruise line.

Can you Sneak alcohol on a Cruise Ship? 😈

On a Celebrity Cruise recently, the beverage package was over $120 per person PER DAY, and just a simple can of Coke was about $5.00 after all the fees. It’s embarrassing to admit as a 40-something adult that I started thinking about smuggling booze on the ship (bad idea), but that’s how crazy the pricing has become! Surely there are a lot of passengers put off by these prices and consider, even for a brief moment, sneaking something on the ship. In the end, it’s just not worth it. It doesn’t mean you can’t think about it though! 🙂

So, while you may find numerous videos and articles teaching you how to sneak alcohol on a cruise ship. However, a cruise line’s security team is well aware of these tactics.

As mentioned on Royal Caribbean’s FAQ page, the security team will likely inspect water bottles, soda bottles, mouthwash, luggage, and other items for alcohol. 

So, suck it up, buttercup. If you want to drink on your cruise – get ready to pay!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.