This is always a popular question. If you are cruising on Celebrity (policy varies from line to line) you can bring wine and liquor onboard. I always stop in Ft. Lauderdale before the cruise so i can stop at my favorite booze boutique on 117th. St.
Pack the liquor/wine in your luggage and use plastic sealable bags (in case of breakage). The store will provide you with cardboard/bubble wrap.
You will be able to place 1-2 bottles in each carry on bag (I wouldn't try more than that in your carry on). Set your bar up and have a blast. Having friends in for a pre-dinner drink or imbibing on the veranda are great ways to enjoy your cruise. Some people disagree with this philosophy but bar tabs are now reaching the $1000 mark with some of our friends. Inviting friends in before dinner or for a sail away is a good way of repaying the prior kindness of someone who bought you a drink.
Wine is no problem at all on Celebrity. If you are going to have it at dinner there is a corkage fee. I woud not go to the trouble of packing it away, just take the case. Liquor however is as Ross says. Company policy is none allowed. In fact Ships vary Captain to Captain and you should put it in your checked luggage to make sure you don't have it taken away till the end of the cruise.
Agree with Paulfredo. We usually drive to our ports and stay at a local hotel the night before.. The morning of the cruise I put my wine in a small piece of luggage and check it in at the pier. I have never had a problem
So what is the policy on booze?
I get the wine policy.
I'm not sure about the booze.
The booze is different from cruise line to cruise line and then different from ship to ship?
We're thinking about a 14 night southern Caribbean in January on the Zenith, bar tab could be high!
Do they let you buy booze in port and bring it to your cabin or do they make you check it with them?
I'm just curious to see what the policy is.
And do they enforce it?
Does one have to sneak it on or can they be upfront.
You leave the ship and come back with some bottles in a bag. You then pass the bag through the Xray machine. You then take the bag and go to your cabin. I have never had the slightest problem with Celebrity. Most other lines do not allow this.
Somebody declared in a recent post that they thought people who brought their own wine etc. were cheap.
The cruise lines purchase all their liquor and wines directly and then transport it to a bonded warehouse. This means the cost for the line is BELOW WHOLESALE WITH NO TAXES. Their costs for a bottle of top shelf liquor shouldn't be more than $5-$6.
and often less.
Time was when you could go to sea and drink from a fantastic selection of "duty free" liquor and wine at prices that were far less than on shore. Those days might be gone but I congratuate anyone who brings their own onboard and defies these ridiculously high prices.
It seems to me that the lines are saying "FULL GREED AHEAD".
If liquor can be brought on board, more power to you. However, I don't
believe the savings on wine are sufficient to compensate for the "hassle."
This assumes of course that each bottle will be subject to a $12 corkage fee.
I have compared Wine Spectator's estimated prices against a sampling ofthe Celebrity wine list, then added the corkage fee. Savings vary from $3-$12. Now if you can buy wine cheaper than Wine Spectator prices, or if you are considering an expensive (plus $50) bottle from Celebrity, then the "hassle" may be worth it.
I had champagne confiscated at the pier when boarding Celebrity Infinity last year so I was quite surprised to read the posts of those who carry it aboard in carry on bags. So if I have a special bottle I want to bring aboard I bubblewrap and Ziploc like so many others.
Most of the time I don't feel its worth the hassle. Fiskus makes a good point. I have seen corkage fees rise steadily over the past few years.
I would disagree about the savings, even though that's not a primary reason why I take my own wine.
I rarely pay full retail for wine.
Even if I look at the Wine Spectator prices ( and I don't buy all top-end wines) I definately save money, even with corkage fees, and more than 3 bucks. When I consume some of my wines in my cabin, I'm saving way over the price of a glass purchased at the bar or room service. I do buy some bottles of wine onboard and some aren't that overpriced if you consider what you would pay in a restaurant. However, what restaurants and Celebrity charges for wine by the glass is a poor value.
But the main reason I bring my own wine is that I prefer my selections to the Celeb wine list. A good example: We were on a cruise last year and although they had many "fine" California wines listed, many of the "good" labels were of the 1998 vintage (not California's best effort). I know my wine purveyor was speculating on where the wholesalers where going to get rid of all the 1998 vintage that wasn't selling well... I can tell you where some of it went!
So I'm fine with anyone who wants to purchase their California 1998 at a premium price, and they really don't mind the difference. I'll drink my own, which I know is a good wine, even if it is a hassle. It's worth it to me. If it's not to others... that's up to them.
I really don't care about the corkage fee or whatever. I want the wine that I prefer when I cruise and dine. I always bring a great vintage wine for the night that we eat in the speciality restaurant and it does make the meal more memorable for us.
I would rather the fee and drink a good bottle of wine then over pay for a bad bottle of wine and not enjoy it. Each to his own.
Why do you think that the Penthouse Suites have wine coolers that hold 3+ cases of wine?? Do you really believe that those lucky pax who take those suites are going to fill those coolers by odering off the Celeb. list??? You can and will save a lot of $$ by paying the corkage fee especially when you have an expensive bottle of wine. I have seen wines that I could buy in the $50 range that were priced in the $120+++ range onboard.
The lines charge these high rates because it is easier to place a 15% charge on $5.75 than it is to to charge $2.50 with a % fee for the server. I truly believe if they went back to the old rule of tipping based on service that they could charge $2.50 and sell 5 times as much as they do now and the servers would be better rewarded than they are now. It does not take long to find out who is tipping and who is not. The servers would do much better on volume and the line could do better on their profits. They are getting $3.75 for a drink from the "list of the day" and the servers are not happy because this cuts their tip by more than 1/3 on a $5.75 drink. The majority of the pax are elders who would easily buy 2-3 drinks per evening where they are now buying none. It would also make for a much more lively atmosphere at night. I am not advocating drunkeness but I have seen ships with the old style service and the new ships with the hotel prices and I can assure you that we would all prefer the former to the latter.
The day they start confiscating wine and liquor is the day that I get off and do not return!!!
BP - were you allowed to bring your own wine to the specialty restaurant? On my Summit cruise in 5/02, we were under the assumption that we could not bring our own wine. We had no problems bringing our own wines to regular dining room though and simply gave the selected bottle every two days or so to our cabin steward. He took those up to the dining room. After several days, the wine steward knew that I always had my wine delivered to him earlier.
This will be our first venture on Celebrity but reading the CC boards it sounds like they are very relaxed when it comes to bringing liquor on board. We are planning on boarding the ship in San Juan, getting settled and then going off ship to buy a couple of bottles. We do like a drink in our room before dinner (sometimes a couple) and a night cap. We order wine from the ship with dinner, as said I don't know that it is worth it to bring the wine on and pay a $12 cockage fee. we normally will have a drink at the evening show and out by the pool. Obviously the cruise line does make money on us thus I don't feel at all bad about bringing a couple of bottles on board.
If you drink wine with your dinner, believe me it is well worth it to bring your own and pay the corkage fee. You have the wine that you like and will not be over paying for the ships wine list. Even the cheapest wines will save you money every night. The most inportant thing is drinking the wine that you prefer.