alcohol question from a 'SHIPnewbie'



This subject is always an interesting one. You might not realize it but...there is more profit in booze sales than anywhere else onboard ship. Unfortunately the companies are now being run by bean counting airline executives with no experience or appreciation for the traditions of liners at sea.

Years ago you could buy any drink onboard ship for so little $$ that you wouldn't bother to take anything in your luggage. Now the drinks are so expensive that pax are taking some along for in-cabin consumption. Have any of you ever heard of a hotel that would confiscate your personal belongings when you entered the hotel??? You have every right to consume whatever you want in your own's your cabin for the duration of the cruise and you have a right to privacy as long as you do not bother anyone else or disturb the peace.

The companies are buying liquor in huge quantities and shipping it to bonded warehouses in the USA...and they do not pay any duty or taxes to the USA becasue the liquor is transfered to the ship. this means that an $8.00 bottle of Kendal Jackson costs the company about $4.00. they sell it onboard for $29.00...which is just fine...they have every right to do so but...the pax come onboard with liquor in their suitcases that has had the duty and taxes paid to the USA etc. My question is and has always been...Who is really doing the smuggling here??? Look ip the definition of smuggling!!! (Smuggling: To import or export without paying the required customs or duties (taxes).)

I was on another line 2 years ago and was fortunate enough to have landed a Penthouse Suite. In the suite was a full kitchen set up with a wine cooler and full sized refrigerator. The steward told me to go ahead and fill it up with whatever I wanted to buy onshore. Does anyone detect a double standard here?? The "Booze Rules" are meant to keep the pax paying the highest possible prices. As long as the companies are getting the most $$ they are happy.

Years ago, shipping companies understood that they have a resposibility to the pax to provide a congenial atmosphere while the pax are in their care. Somewhere along the way the companies have forgotten their traditions and have adopted an attitude of "FULL GREED AHEAD".

I feel that you should be able to take a reasonable amount of spirits or wines, in your personal luggage, for your personal enjoyment within the confines of your cabin. You should not be subject to ridicule or confiscation. Conversely; it is a breech of good etiquette to take liquor outside of your cabin unless it is going to the dining room where it will be handled by the Sommelier. The company has every right to stop such behavior.

The debate continues...Are we really passengers onboard a ship or guests vacationing in a controlled hotel that floats???


Post Edited (05-14-04 15:53)


When I run into someone who just has to tell me what they paid for their room I just reply, "Oh that much, I must remember to thank my TA when I return home", and then I walk away.


Ross makes an excellent point. If the prices of drinks were not so high, perhaps people would drink more and not want to smuggle bottles on board .

At one time drinks were very reasonable on a cruise. This is no longer true. The cruise lines have jacked up the price so bad people are now having a cocktail or two in their cabins before dinner. I have seen a real decline in the number of people in the lounges prior to dinner.

Maybe some should wake up and take a look at why they are not selling drinks instead of this continuous raising of prices.


We were on the April 21st Panama Canal cruise on the Zaandam and you could order bottles of liquor through room service at cheaper rates than pre ordering. I had pre ordered a bottle of scotch for $27 and through room service it was $17.95. My husband bought a bottle of Bacardi through RS and paid $14.95 incl. 3 cokes.....jean