alcohol question from a 'SHIPnewbie'



hello experienced cruisers!
i'm looking fwd to my first cruise experience this summer on the zuiderdam.
has anyone smuggled bottles of alcohol aboard? any and all stories welcomed regarding this.
can you purchase a bottle of alcohol on board to be brought to your room? if so, what is the purchase price in comparison to bringing your own on board?

***(oh, and thanks for correcting me on my name 'boatnewbie' i now know that one never refers to these ships as 'boats.' but since i'm already registered by this name and 'shipnewbie' is already taken i'm stuck, so please forgive :) )


I do believe that HAL will let you bring wine and champagne on board but not spirits. They have a new policy now and if you bring the spirits in your heavy luggage, I am sure that will get through but not if it is in your hand luggage.

I don't think you can buy actual bottles on board once you are there, but you can order drinks to the cabin or if you order a bottle of wine at dinner and do not finish it, you can also take that to the cabin.

You can order from HAL's internet site before you leave home bottles of drinks and mixers which will be in your cabin when you arrive.

I know this is confusing, but I hope it helps.

Have a wonderful cruise, I am sure you will love every minute of it.


Jennie has it correct.

You can order a bottle of liquor from Room Service once aboard but it is no bargain.

They x-ray all hand luggage as well as checked baggage. They will probably see if there is a bottle in your checked baggage and I would be sooo embarrassed to be "caught" at smuggling. To each his own....If you wish to try smuggling, I am sure you will not be the only one.


If you put it the in your suitcase, chances are that they will let it pass. I have done it in the past. HAL is very easy with that if it only one or two bottles. don't try
that with carnival,. happy cruising ! there is nothing like it.


Last year I sailed on the Carnival Conquest. I had only previously sailed on HAL ships, and on the HAL cruises, spirits were allowed for cabin consumption. I was shocked that this was different on Carnival. However, I stowed a bottle of Southern Comfort in my checked bag for balcony sipping. My bag was delivered, and I kept the bottle in plain sight of the room steward. He said not a word about it, so he got a big tip. I felt like I was back in college, worried about hiding the booze from the floor counselor!

Now, I am going on the Zuiderdam next week. I thought it would be the end of the smuggling, but I guess not.


Unfortunately, too many people took way too much advantage and started lugging cases of beer and all sorts of bottles of everything you can imagine aboard. It seems this is a case of everyone paying a price for the indiscretions of others.

I personally have seen people come into Ocean Bar lugging their own bottle; sit themselves down and go to the bar to ask for just a glass with some ice....oh, and a twist if you don't mind.

They did not simply bring a bottle of brandy aboard to enjoy a sip on their balcony late evening.....these folks (and others like them) wandered all over the ship drinking their own liquor and HAL had little choice but to put a stop to it. We watched a steady parade of one large group send "runners" from Aft pool to their cabin to bring back more beer. This went on all day and frankly was so ignorant and distasteful to watch, that I do not blame HAL at all for changing what was the most liberal alcohol policy of all of the mass market lines.


I agree, sail7seas. Lugging on a case or two of beer, sending runners for people at the pool, etc, ruined things for everybody else. The people at the pool are problably the same ones that get up before dawn, go down to the pool and put a towel and a flip flop on a bunch of deck chairs. On the Carnival Conquest, 80% of the pool chairs would be empty, but saved with a towel, book or flip flop. Very frustrating.


Couldn't agree more with these statements - however, HAL was at fault too. Cases of beer are hard to hide and should have been confiscated......a 6 pack maybe but no more.

Regular HAL cruisers, we've usually, very openly, carried two bottles on board having bought them just prior to boarding. They were never hidden away. When HAL instituted the policy of buying on board for cabin consumption we switched - for us it was just about as cheap and more convenient. Tonic Water is hard to find on board and we've never had a problem bringing a few cans back from a shore visit - wonder if that will change too?

I feel that the very cheap cruise rates introduced over the last couple of years contributed greatly to the riff-raff boozers.......and now we're all paying the penalty.


I am an elementary school teacher and we did indeed purchase a bargain fair to go on our upcoming trip. Will the views expressed by a previous letter in this thread be common? I was warned about some of the frequent passengers on this line "looking down" on those who booked cheap fares but I truly was not concerned until now. I certainly would never bring up an amount paid in a discussion. But should we try to conceal our N stateroom at the dinner table? If someone at our table is offended by dining with "riff-raff," will we be able to change tables during the cruise?


tw1nkles.....that is a very painful post to read. I sincerely hope you are only a tiny bit serious.

The customer does not set the price....the seller does. IF HAL chooses to sell a cruise for a ridicuously low sum and you are lucky enough to come across that offer, then most assuredly you would not pay a dime more than you had to. At least I know that I would NOT. We all pay the lowest price possible.

Money does not give someone good manners.

Money does not buy "class".

You are a professional person entrusted with the teaching of this country's most precious asset----our children. If someone is so rude as to ask what you paid, it is they who have behaved poorly and it is YOU who might wish to find new dining partners.

Go on your cruise and have the best time ever......Ignore any ignorant jerks.



Do you mean "fare" when you say "bargain fair"? If not, what is a bargain fair? I am also a teacher (college and high school) and I got the best deal I could get and worked every angle to save as much as possible...Why not? It only makes sense. Anything I save will most likely be added to my spending budget for the cruise...I think you are negatively forecasting to imagine that the rare snob will give you grief of any consequence. Just think like Glenda, the good witch of the North, who laughed at the wicked witch of the East when she replied "You have no power here!" The person who made the "offending" comment was referring to "riffraff boozers" and not, I think, implying that everyone who obtains a cutrate/discounted fare is one of those. JMHO.


Personally I thought HAL handled the alcohol consumption issues the BEST of ANY of the lines when they charged a resonable surcharge for purchase of alcohol to be taken to your cabin for consumption. When they and other cruiselines did away with this they IMO poured half the necessary gasoline on the already lit fire. That being said I also believe that a certain amount of the blame also goes with the cruising contingent that goes beyond the norm. By carrying a bottle deckside for their consumption they are taking advantage of the grace the cruiselines have extended. Of course the other part of the argument is the inability of ALL cruiselines to supply the desired beverage of choice whether it be a Coke vs a Pepsi or Dr. Pepper or whether its is Balvenie Single Malt Scotch vs Johnie Walker Single Malt Scotch.

Before I get torched let me say that YES and I do mean YES there is a BIG difference to some people and until the cruiselines are willing to supply EVERY imaginable type of beverage there will ALWAYS be a reason for some disagreement as to whom is right and whom is wrong. IMO BOTH sides are wrong and 2 wrongs do NOT make a right. While there will ALWAYS be someone that goes beyond what might be considered reasonable there would be FAR less hassles and FAR less abuse if the old ways were returned to. IMO a $8.00 Kendall Jackson wine should in NO way be carrying a price tag of $29.00 in the diningroom for dinner. I think there is a HAPPY medium somewhere and hopefully someday we will return to it.

Twinkles fear NOT as U will have a Gr8 time if U take one thing with U on your cruise. That one item is an attitude that U have every right to be on that crusie NO matter what fare U paid. The days of 1st Class vs Steerage are few far between anymore and even on those few lines that still present this divided atmosphere the effects are FAR less severe than in the past. So go and have a Ge8 cruise and if someone has a problem with you and the fare you paid then perhaps they deserve to have the graciousness of your presense at their table for the duration of the cruise. :grin Besides it NEVER hurts to let your hair down every so often and perhaps U could teach them a thing or two on how to REALLY enjoy their cruising experience. :thumb Just My =twocents worth on the subject and NOW on to Bigger & Better Things. :dance


Post Edited (04-26-04 22:50)


Twinkles: We have one answer for the morons/jerks who ask 'how much did you pay?' - "It was a while ago, can't remember now!" Actually I think it would be quite 'proper' to raise a 'quizzical eyebrow' and totally ignore the asker! Anyone who asks which cabin we're in gets short shrift - I'm likely to reply "Why do you ask?"

We all take advantage of 'good deals' - it's foolish not to!


Thanks to everybody! I was feeling a little bummed out last night. First I read a comment on another thread about mid-western hicks (you bet we are) and then I read the riff-raff thing. I certainly wasn’t “feeling the love†here last night but all is right now. I am glad to know so many accepting people are participating on this board.

Actually, I was just reading along to find the most economical way for my dear husband to enjoy an occasional nightcap. It seems the answer is smuggling or just waiting for dry land. Oh well, drinking is not important to our enjoyment of the cruise.

Note to wildvoodoo – I’m afraid that sometime my emotions control my typing fingers and the spelling is not filtered by my brain along the way.


I enqired re cabin beverages - here's the reply -


Passengers under 21 years of age may not be served with alcoholic beverages.
Identification may be required. Holland America is pleased to make the
following beverage packages available for stateroom consumption only. ****These packages include appropriate condiments and are refreshed daily.****

If you wish to order any of the packages listed below please call Room
Service Ext. 92


One bottle of Beefeaters Gin and three cans of Tonic

One bottle of Cutty Sark and three cans of Soda water

One bottle of Smirnoff or Stolichnaya and three cans of Tonic

One bottle of Jim Beam and three cans of Coke

One bottle of Bacardi and three cans of Coke


Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Lite, Miller Genuine Draft or Miller Lite.

Heineken, Amstel Light or Corona

SELECT any combination of four items from the below listed 187 ml wines
to enjoy in your stateroom.
Normally $5.25 per bottle, with this package you will pay $15.75
Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, White Zinfandel UN Quote

I'm not clear on just what this means****These packages include
appropriate condiments and are refreshed daily.**** and have requested clarification.

Personal wine, I understand, may be brought on board in reasonable quantity.

We enjoy a cocktail while dressing and before bedtime and see these packages as being reasonably priced considering that we are converting from CAD to USD.


thanks! that's very informative. i wonder when they say bottle how big the bottles are-
the prices are actually not as bad as i expected them to be which is great.


I believe the prices are for a one liter botttle, which is approx. 33 ounces. Which is less than a dollar an ounce. HMMMMMMMMM drinks are 4 bucks plus. I'm not a math wiz but buying a bottle sounds like a good deal. Even if the bottle is 750 ml thats still around 28 ounces, which is still a good deal.

My only hope is that bottles bought this way stay in the ROOM !!!!!!! If not, that will be the end of that idea also..............................,,,,,, unless they dont care about walking around with bottles as long as you bought it from them.


We just got back from our honeymoon cruise! I asked the same question. On the boat you can only purchase wine and champagne and bring it back to your room. NO LIQOUR!!! Atleast if you buy it on the boat. They hold it until you disembark. But, when we left for our honeymoon I packed about over 10 liters of wine in our luggage. Not in bottles, but not hiding it either. Over the whole 7 days I never touched any of it!!! But, I do know on our ship,Zaandam, you could not purchase liqour and bring it to your room. We had a Deluxe Suite, so we had our own private bar!!! Had the BEST TIME!!!!! Have Fun!!!!!!!!