I'm so glad to have found this site. My husband & I will be going on our first cruise in june (millie). I was just wondering exactly which drinks are included ( if any).....here goes:
1. Is a house wine or any other kind of drink included in the dining room during regular meals?
2. Is regular coffee/tea always or never free?
3. My husband & I don't drink much soda, does the "drinking program card" include other options other than soda (iced tea, juice etc...)
4. What's the best way to save money regarding alcoholic beverages ... I hear there are daily specials offered, ... is this true for the millie?
5. Other than in the dining room, are drinks always an extra charge? What about by the pool?
Sorry about all these picky questions. We're just trying to figure out how much the extras will likely cost us. We're also wondering if we should carry cash or use plastic (I presume a credit card is an acceptable form of payment.)
Is there a website where can get a full list of of what the "extras" cost, & the different programs available, on the millie.
Alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, hard stuff) are never free on the Millie class ships and are subject to a 15% gratuity.
Coffe/tea are always included.
The "drinking program" card is for soft drinks (Coke/Pepsi/7-up)
Bloody Marys are ALWAYS a daily special as are some really weird drinks which change on a daily basis. You can bring your own wine aboard, no problem, but be prepared to pay $6 corkage fee for each bottle you bring to the table. If you are discreet, you can bring hard liquor aboard for consumption in your cabin.
Drinks (other than juices, coffee, tea, etc.) are always an extra charge.
Credit cards are perfectly acceptable (and easier to deal with). I recommend a "clean" card with no other charges on it so you have the "float" of your money for a couple of weeks. This may be the time to take advantage of one of those ubiquitous offers that show up in your mail at least three times a week.
Other than drinkage and shore excursions, the only charges you might incur are gambling (!!!), salon services, etc.
Let us know if we can help more and enjoy your first cruise. You will be hooked like all the rest of us !!!
When you check in, you will be asked for your credit card. The check in agent will take an imprint & issue you an on board credit card (may also be your room key) because there is a cashless system on board. You will use this card to purchase items on board (drinks, gifts, etc.). The only cash you need is to tip the room service waiter on delivery if you order room service & to tip your cabin steward, waiter, & bus boy at the end of the cruise. You do not need to carry your own personal credit card or cash until you leave the ship to go into a port. At the end of the cruise you will be given a statement listing the charges you made on board that will automatically be charged to your credit card. You could go down to the pursers desk & pay this bill in cash instead of having it go to your credit card, but is it worth it to stand on line when you could be having fun.
Millie has a coffee bar called the Cova Cafe. Desserts are free but coffee is not. If you want a cup of coffee in the casino or a lounge, you will likely be charged. The only places coffee, iced tea, & juice are free is in the dining room or the Ocean Grille/Cafe during regular dining hours. I am an iced tea drinker & this is the 1st ship I will be on that limits these "free" beverages.
If you go to the Celebrity Web Site, I believe under reservations, common questions there is a price list for beverages, i.e. wine by the glass, drinks, etc.
re: pampda comment on bringing your own wine on board. I thought this too but apparently Celebrity has changed their policy & are not allowing people to carry wine on board. However, all the boards I have read say they are not enforcing this. I plan to bring 2 bottles of wine, but I am prepared that they may take them from me upon boarding & return them to me when I disembark. It's a chance I'll take.
My DH & I will also be on the Millie in June. We sail the 21st. When do you sail?
After many (many) cruises under the "X" we have never had a problem bringing wine aboard or, for that matter, hard liquor.
We bought wine, Scotch and rum in Hilo two weeks ago and carried it on openly with no complaint or problem from staff. We also took wine and liquor on board at sailing from Oahua, no problem. Again, it was in bags from the local vendors, not hidden in suitcases.
A couple we know well carried on nine bottles of wine and quite a nice stock of gin. Again, no problem.
Celebrity's policy is quite clear regarding "duty free" alcohol, but, in our experience, it is not enforced.
I challenged the staff in Cozumel last November by buying a bottle of rum in the duty-free shop ashore. I stated, LOUDLY, that they ought not drop the bag because it was my husband's favorite rum. The only comment was, "ENJOY!"
Just be discreet. The staff has lots more to do than worry about the happy bottle.
Glad you were so lucky. I was hoping to buy some Jack Daniels etc at the duty free shop at Port Everglades last week to take on the Century with me as I did last year on the Millennium. The lady at the liquor shop told us that we would not be able to take it on board with us. It would be held until the end of the cruise. We didn't bother buying anything until our last stop, Nassau. We bought a few small bottles of rum and whiskey. Our bags went right through the re-boarding screen, but I thought they just weren't enforcing the rules since it was our last day (purchases held would have been delivered that night) I'm going to try harder next time - Jan 2003 - to take some bourbon or something in my bag.
I guess they have the right to enforce existing rules, but I like your thought: "the staff has lots more to do than worry about the happy bottle"
Celeb has changed their "rules" recently. At least according to our last documents compared to those from six months ago.
Before, personal alcohol (the hard stuff) from duty-free shops and ports was supposedly prohibited but not enforced that I ever came across. Now Celebrity "reserves the right" to confiscate duty-free liquor.
Cute story. My husband was cooling his heels outside Hilo Hattie's in Hilo. He had a roll-aboard suitcase next to him. Another fellow, also heel-cooling while his wife shopped, inquired as to why Queeg had a suitcase. Why, for wine and rum and Scotch and such as that, the captain (my husband) replied. (We were supplying for more than just ourselves, I hasten to add.)
"You won't be allowed to take it on board !!!" said the other fellow.
The ever-patient Queeg pointed out that we were in America, that the local Safeway supermarket was NOT a duty-free shop, and we had every expectation that there would be no problem.
The fellow processed this information and asked, "Where IS that Safeway?"
"Celebrity Cruises reserves the right to limit or refuse to allow alcoholic beverages to be brought aboard the ship for consumption during the cruise vacation." That's what the docs say. Wine is considered an alcoholic beverage. Whether you paid duty or not has nothing to do with this policy.
I first noticed the change on Celebrity's web site at the beginning of May. When I booked my cruise, I had seen under "common questions" that there was a $6.00 corkage fee for wine brought into the dining room. Several weeks ago I noticed that corkage was no longer listed on the web site, so I called Celebrity (several times to see if I got different answers). I was told they were no longer offering corkage because they were not allowing any alcoholic beverages to be brought aboard. I was also informed that if I tried to bring any on board (& it was found) it would be confiscated & held by the cruise line, but it would be returned to me at the end of our trip.
The bottom line is that bringing your own alcohol on board cuts into their bottom line.
All I can say is that my other two twins, as well as other friends, certainly self-supplied, as did we , last week and the week before with no problem aboard Summit 11-day.
Corkage was charged (want to see my sail and spend bill?) for wines brought to table. So your information isn't quite correct. At least not from my very recent experience. Maybe the crew didn't get the directive?
The important language is that Celebrity "reserves the right." After a dozen or so cruises under the "X", I have NEVER seen that exercised and I have certainly tempted them. Just as part of the journalistic research thing, you know? We almost always purchase from the DFS before and international flight and have never once been stopped.
On Cozumel, last November, I watched people getting on a Carnival ship with off-shore duty-free hooch. Not ONE was stopped. I have pictures and observed for about a half an hour.
Same thing with our Celebrity ship.
I quote directly from the Celebrity Daily .. 'May 16th, 2002.
"Duty-free liquor purchased ashore will be collected at the gangway and stored in a safe place until the last night of the cruise.' Liquor purchased from the Safeway in Hilo certainly isn't duty-free. It's plain old American.
"It is against the regulations for duty-free liquor purchased during the cruise to be conumed on board."
What they SAY and what they DO seem to be two very different things.
The bottom line for passengers is that your sweet juice MIGHT get confiscated, but it will be returned to you at the end of the cruise. No harm, no foul.
No wine is provided with meals, you must always purchase it our bring it yourself which will entail a corckage fee.
Regualr coffe and tea are always free.
As I said, tea and juices are free and the soda card applies to sodas only.
There are daily 'specials' for alcoholic drinks and if you forgo the optional souvinier glass they are very reasonable.
Drinks are always extra including in the dining room. The only thing provided free is coffee, tea, iced tea, juice, regular water, and lemonaide and punch.
You will be asked to either provide a visa or mastercard or a cash amount when you first board to set up an onboard account. Cash is not necessary while onboard ship except for tips for room service and gambling. Everything else you can pretty much place on your shipboard charge card. You may opt to place your tips for the staff on your onboard credit card account or provide cash to the individual. (My choice). There really is no 'hidden' costs. You will pay for the extras like alcohol, items purchased in the shops, spa treatments, and the normal things that you would logically not expect to be included.
Last week while onboard the Summit there were many, many personal bottles of wine that were brought aboard for personal consumption in the dining room. We are not wine drinkers, (not really drinkers for that matter), but a number of tablemates had wine every night at not only our table but those surrounding ours. It is permissable to bring wine and champange onboard.