I am a first time cruiser, 1) Can you bring booze onto the ship for consumption while crusing? 2) Can you by a bottle on the ship for consumption on the ship (ie in your room?)
You can read the carnival policy on their web site..
But basically they allow you to bring one bottle of wine or a 12-pack of soda (or other non-alcoholic drink) per person.
You have to drink it in your stateroom, if you open it outside in a public room you will be charged a corkage fee ($15 or $20).
You cannot bring bottles of booze onboard or buy them onboard for consumption onboard. If you buy liquor in a port of call they will take and hold it for you, returning it to you when you leave the ship. That way you can do your duty-free shopping, you just can't consume it onboard.
However, I have often bought "souvenir" bottles of liquor and brought them onboard - Rum in Jamaica, etc. and not had them confiscated. Generally the security guards at the doors in ports of call don't care to get involved with taking your booze away, just be discrete about it.
You can call Carnival's Bon Voyage Department and purchase bottles of booze. They will be in your stateroom when you board (except in Texas)
The prices are a little high but cheaper than buying single drinks.
What is the Liquor and Beverage Policy?
A liquor and beverage consumption policy was created in order for Carnival to be able to control the liquor consumption of minors and the quantities consumed that lead to the disruptive behavior of others on board.
Liquor and Beverage Policy
Bringing Alcohol On Board - Embarkation Day:
Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages on board. However, 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. A $10 corkage fee per bottle will be charged should you wish to consume this wine in the main dining room; $14 corkage fee per bottle in the steakhouse. (A corkage fee is a charge exacted at a restaurant for every bottle of liquor served that was not bought on the premises)
On embarkation day, each guest may bring a small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages on board and only in their carry-on luggage. A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 bottles and/or cans, 20 ounces each or less.
All alcohol/hard liquor/beer (sealed, unopened bottles/cans), wine/champagne over the allowable 1-bottle per guest (sealed, unopened bottles) or excessive quantities of non-alcoholic beverages (over 12 per person, sealed, unopened bottles/cans) will be confiscated and stored for safekeeping until the end of the voyage. The retained item(s) will be available for collection onboard in a designated location on the morning of debarkation. Unsealed liquids that are prohibited will be discarded, as well as any unclaimed items left after the voyage, and no compensation will be given in either case.
Go through Bon Voyage prior to cruising or if while on board go through room service I believe (x8000) and you can buy a bittle of liquor like through Bon Voyage. This link has prices for BV Carnival Cruise Line Bon Voyage Liquor Menu
I can attest to how great Bon Voyage's liquor option is. Last month I sailed on the Imagination and decided to do this. Called them up and ordered a bottle of Absolut Citron for $40 +tax. I think I was on the phone for maybe 5 minutes. They just ask for your booking number and verify the information and then you say what you want. There were 4 of us sailing together on this cruise so we were able to bring on 4 12pks of soda to mix with. When we got on the ship there was a note in my cabin from Bon Voyage instructing me to contact room service. Quick phone call to say I was in the cabin and about 5 minutes later there was a knock on the door. Bottle came with a nice ribbon and bow which I felt was a nice touch. While I had ordered it for myself, if I had done it as a gift for someone, the bow would have been great. We also went ahead and got the soda sticker, just because if I'm thirsty, it's not always worth it to hike back to the cabin. Carnival (at least on Imagination) uses the clear 16oz glasses when you order a soda, so all we did was make sure that every so often some of these glasses made it back to the cabin. Rinsed out and placed on the desk. The cabin steward never bothered them, and always made sure our ice bucket was full. Might help that after we rinsed them, they were placed upside down on a wash cloth so as to not leave any rings on the desk.
All in all I found the experience to be great. Yes I still bought the occasional drink at the bars when I was with the group and didn't want to go back to the cabin, but all in all compared to taking the same cruise last year, my bar expenses were between 150-200 less this time around.
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