View Full Version : Bourbon on a cruise ship

08-05-2004, 14:43
This Sunday the wife and I are taking a 7 day Caribbean cruise, leaving from Galveston. According to the rulebook, bringing your own stash on board is against the rules, and anything I find in the duty free shops on shore will be "Held for my convenience" until the end of the cruise. There is a duty free liquor shop on board, and if you buy something there, they charge a $9 corkage fee. The question I have is have any of you seen what variety and prices they have on an on board duty free shop? I wouldn't really mind paying a $9 fee on top of a $34 bottle of Blantons, but a $9 fee on a $8 bottle of Old Taylor is something else. I guess I am really asking if I should "smuggle" a bottle or two of EC 18 or something I really like along with my underwear. We leave in 24 hours.

08-05-2004, 15:58
I've been on several cruise ships. I never seen anything special in the ships liquor store; just the typical popular scotches, vodkas, Jack Daniels, etc. You might discover something a little better in one of the ports. Even though they say they search your luggage, I've taken bottles of wine and liquor and it has never been stopped or questioned. This is on NCL, Princess, and Royal Caribbean lines.

If you really want a lower risk method to take bourbon on board, pour it into a Snapple or Arizona Ice Tea bottle and carry it with you in open. I've did this with rum in water bottles while in a port.

08-05-2004, 16:58
My wife and I were on a cruise in May and we were confronted with the same dilemna. I decided to "smuggle" some bourbon and other beverages onboard but I didn't want to suffer the embarassment of being caught. I solved that problem by purchasing some plastic flasks (they are available in various sizes). After filling, the flasks can easily be placed inside your shoes and packed inconspicuously in your luggage.

I believe the corkage fee is applicable only to wine that you opt to bring on board. Any purchases of liquor you make in the ship's duty-free shop or in the islands can not be consumed on the ship. All purchased items will be taken from you and held until final deportation!

08-05-2004, 17:28
From Royal Caribbean's website;

"Alcoholic beverages that are purchased duty-free from the Shops On Board or at ports of call will be stored by us and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of your voyage. A member of our staff will be at the gangway to assist with the storage of your purchases. Should you choose to consume alcoholic beverages purchased from the Shops On Board, a consumption fee will apply at the time of purchase."

According to others who have cruised RCCL this fee is $9.

08-05-2004, 17:39
I can only assume that each cruise line has its own set of rules as I wasn't offered that option on Carnival. Most importantly, I hope you have a great time on your trip.

08-05-2004, 17:59
Most importantly, I hope you have a great time on your trip.

Thank you very much. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

08-05-2004, 18:02
I cruise the Caribbean once a year on "The Jazz Cruise", which for the last few years has chartered the Holland America Zaandam.

Holland America lets you bring your own, or acquire your own in port, for consumption in your cabin. The goods you acquire in port are, indeed, delivered to the ship but do not appear at your cabin until the night before disembarkation, but there is nothing to stop you from buying a bottle or three in port to hand carry back to the ship.

If you are thinking of bringing booze on board to save money, that shouldn't be a concern. The booze prices on cruise ships are remarkably reasonable. Think of the drinks as an extension of the casino -- they are priced such that you will want to hang around. Unless you have a real need for a special bottling to accompany you, buy a bottle for use on board in the first port of call and kick back. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

08-15-2004, 17:26
Well, we are back, and for those of you who are curious about Bourbon on a Cruise Ship, here is what I found out on Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the seas. You saw what I had posted about the rules, and let's just say that I accidentally brought on board a bottle of Weller 12YO, just in case. After getting on the ship, I first checked out the duty free shops, JB White and JD Black were all they had in American Whiskeys, surrounded by a bunch of Scotch, Rum and Vodka's, so that was option was out. Then I checked out a bar and found the same stuff plus McCormack (yikes) and that was it, but after talking with the barman it turns out that that was all they could serve in port in Texas. Once they were out 12 miles, they brought out the Makers Mark and the Blantons. $5 for a very healthy pour of Blantons or MM, but you know which one I chose, and I knew this was going to be a good cruise.

It turns out that as much as I like good Bourbon, it isn't all that great a Cruise drink, IMHO. The hot temperatures, the heavy humidity, and the salt air, scream for something sweet, cold and tropical. I drank more Pina Coladas than Bourbon, bringing home more than half the bottle of Weller. At night before bed out on deck with a nice cigar, a shot of Blantons or Weller went great, but the rest of the time it seemed out of place. Now that I am home I need to give my liver a rest, with Mexican Beer on the beach, fine wine with dinner, Pina Coladas pool side, and Bourbon for a night cap, it has been quite a week.

08-15-2004, 20:43
Welcome back. I agree, there are certain situations where bourbon isn't the best refreshment. But it's my favorite.

08-16-2004, 05:16
Now that I am home I need to give my liver a rest...

No, my friend. One must always remember that--in the words of one sage from another whisky-related discussion board-- "the liver is evil and must be punished."


08-16-2004, 14:40
Bourbon not a drink for hot weather!
In the words of Bubba Bourbon (of the now defunct Bubba Gump Bourbon Co): Bourbon and Water, Bourbon and Lemonade, Bourbonrita, Bourbon and Soda, Frozen Bourbon Sour, Bourbon Tall and Cool, Bourbon Punch, Bahama Grand Mama, Bourbon and.........
On the ship, I'd mix a tall cool drink in my 96 oz thermos cup and head out.
(I hear ya on the liver detox thing after a cruise)

08-16-2004, 15:52
$5 for a very healthy pour of Blanton's is excellent.


08-16-2004, 17:40
$5 for a very healthy pour of Blanton's is excellent.


Yeah, I thought so too, considering that the last time I ordered it in a bar it was $12 (in Japan). The beertender did say that they had only just recently added it too their selection, and my guess is that the beencounters haven't figured out that it isn't all that profitable to sell $40 bottles for about $50 (8 glasses at 2 1/2oz's each). Especially when you consider that they sell Budweisers at $36 a 12pack ($3each).

08-16-2004, 19:36
Carnival also offered Blanton's. I had several Manhattans at $7 a cocktail. Still not a bad price, but the Old Forester was flowing freely back in the cabin.

08-16-2004, 20:04
There are times when a gin/tonic is as good as it gets for me. And a pina colada can hit the spot. Although I admit I haven't tried all the combinations you put up.

08-16-2004, 20:52
When I'm not travelling, whiskey (esp bourbon) is always the drink of choice. When we take our annual vacations to somewhere tropical, it's always pina coladas for me.

Something about the blue water, the sand, and the frosty glass make it just seem perfect in that environment. It's an affectation I picked up in rum-drenched Barbados. Now, I drink it on every tropical island, whether they produce rum or not.

At home, though, I won't touch them. It's just not the same thing.