Bottles of water are some of the most popular items from cruise ship bars and restaurants. You’re often cruising in warm weather, and you need to stay hydrated – but do you really want to pay the premium to buy the bottles on the ship?
Some people prefer to bring their own bottles of water onto a ship – if they’re allowed. It varies by cruise line though.
So let’s take a look at the major cruise lines and their policies on bringing your own water onto a ship.
Can you bring your own water onto a cruise?
Many cruise lines let you bring water onto a cruise with you, but not all do. Some block it completely except for if you need distilled water for medicinal purposes, while some others won’t let you bring single-use plastic bottles onboard, but permit cans and cartons which can be recycled.
Each cruise line has a different policy, so I’ve done the research to check what each one allows you to bring.
Which cruise lines let you bring water onto your cruise?
Here’s a quick summary by cruise line of whether or not you’re allowed to bring water onto the ship.
|Cruise line||Can you bring water onto the ship?|
|Carnival Cruises||Yes – cans or cartons only|
|Celebrity Cruises||Yes – unlimited|
|Costa Cruises||No, except for medical purposes|
|Cunard Line||Yes – unlimited|
|Disney Cruise Line||Yes – unlimited|
|Holland America Line||Yes – cans or cartons only|
|MSC Cruises||No, except for medical purposes|
|NCL||No, except for medical purposes|
|P&O Cruises||Yes – unlimited|
|Princess Cruises||Yes – unlimited|
|Royal Caribbean||Yes – unlimited|
|Virgin Voyages||Yes – cans or cartons only|
While some cruise lines ban you from bringing your own water onboard, others let you bring all sorts of drinks including soft drinks, beer, wine and even spirits. To find out more, read this article next: Can You Bring Your Own Drinks on a Cruise?
Can you take water on a Carnival cruise?
Guests are allowed to bring a small number of non-alcoholic beverages onto their cruise, including water, but it can’t be packaged in plastic or glass.
Instead, you’re asked to only bring cans or cartons – a maximum of 12 sealed, unopened cans or cartons no bigger than 12 ounces/354 ml each. It must be included in your carry-on luggage.
Read more: Carnival Cruise Luggage Restrictions
Carnival’s bottles of water on the ship range from $1.50 to $3.95 for larger bottles for your room.
They are not included in the Bottomless Bubbles drinks package, but you can get 500ml bottles if you buy the more expensive Cheers package, which includes alcohol. You can also pre-order bottled water for your room at a discounted price.
12 500ml bottles cost $9.95 plus an 18% delivery fee. Or, for $20 + 18% you can get 8 large 1.5 litre bottles instead.
The Lido buffet on every Carnival ship has a water dispenser. It’s not designed for water bottles though – for contamination reasons, fill a cup with water from the fountain and then pour it into your water bottle.
Can you take water on a Celebrity cruise?
While it is not mentioned in the Celebrity Cruises terms on their website, many guests have reported that yes you can take water onto your Celebrity cruise with you.
You should expect to have it checked by security though, to make sure it is sealed – many people try to sneak alcohol onboard using water bottles.
You can enjoy free tap water on a Celebrity cruises ship at any of the bars or restaurants. Bottled water costs $3.50 but you can get it included with a drinks package. It’s available on the Zero Proof Drinks Package, costing from $30 per person, per day, so you don’t need a really expensive alcohol-inclusive package to enjoy it.
There aren’t any ways you can pre-buy bottled water on the ship to save money. But there are plenty of water fountains available if you want to refill a bottle.
Can you take water on a Costa cruise?
Costa is one of the few cruise lines that doesn’t allow guests to bring any water onboard. The only exceptions are when you need water for medical purposes, but you’ll need to get in touch with the cruise line in advance to clear this with them. Otherwise, it will still be confiscated at the port by security. They’re really strict!
Bottles of water cost €1.70 for 500ml, or €2.90 for a litre. With Costa you need to buy water, it’s not freely available as tap or fountain water as it is on other cruise lines. It may be a good idea to buy a drinks package – they include unlimited bottles of water for you to enjoy.
Can you take water on a Cunard cruise?
Despite the lack of mention in the Cunard terms and conditions, you are allowed to take unlimited soft drinks on your Cunard cruise with you. It’s a good idea to carry as many as you’re comfortable with since it can save you money compared to buying them onboard.
Bottles of water on a Cunard ship cost between $2 and $3.50 but you can get them with a drinks package. You need the Premium Soft Drinks Option, which costs $30 per person, per day. If you choose the Beers, Wines and Spirits Option then you get the Premium Soft Drinks inclusions as well.
There are water fountains available in the buffet restaurant. With these you’ll want to refill your bottle using a cup, to avoid putting your bottle directly under the fountain.
Can you take water on a Disney cruise?
Disney Cruise Lines lets you take as many bottles of water onto your cruise as you wish, as long as they are factory sealed – that’s the only caveat.
They are also the only cruise line to remind you that since you need to carry it on, be wary of how much you can carry since your room may not be available for a few hours. It’s good of them to think of that!
You can buy bottles of water on the ship for $2 to $3, or you can pre-order a Dasani pack to be waiting for you in your cabin’s mini fridge. The prices aren’t amazing though – a 6-pack costs $15 plus an 18% service charge. Drinks packages aren’t available though.
There are water fountains located throughout the ship and you’re welcome to refill your own bottle here. Fountain sodas are also free too with Disney, if you prefer something with a bit more flavour and fizz.
Can you take water on a Holland America Line cruise?
Holland America Line has a similar policy to Carnival when it comes to bringing water onboard the ship. You’re welcome to bring up to six litres of water onto the ship, provided it’s in cans or cartons, and not bottles. You can bring 12 x 500 ml cans/cartons, or 6 x 1 litre cans/cartons, but nothing bigger.
Bottles of water on a Holland America Line ship are a little more expensive, starting at $3.25 and ranging up to larger bottles for $5.50. You can get bottled water (both still and sparkling) included on a drinks package – not the most basic one, but anything from the Quench package upwards.
Water fountains are available in the buffet restaurant, but this is another cruise line where you’ll be expected to fill a cup and then decant that into your water bottle, instead of using the fountain directly.
Can you take water on an MSC cruise?
MSC Cruises is another of the cruise lines that doesn’t allow guests to bring water onboard the ship in any form, unless it is distilled water that’s needed for medical purposes.
Again, you’ll need to speak to the cruise line in advance to arrange this – don’t assume you can just walk up to port security and declare it, and they’ll let you on with it.
MSC isn’t as strict as Costa though, because you can at least enjoy water on the ship for free when you’re onboard. The buffet has a water fountain you can use, while tap water is available from the bars and restaurants.
If you want to buy it, bottled water costs $3.50 for 500 ml and it’s free if you buy any of the drinks packages for your cruise.
Can you take water on an NCL cruise?
NCL is another cruise line that doesn’t let you take any water onto the ship. Again, there are exceptions if you need distilled water for medical purposes, but you’ll have to speak to the cruise line before you travel to get permission. Otherwise, it may be confiscated at the port of embarkation.
You can get bottles of water for $3 for 500 ml, while larger bottles cost $6. You can get the 500 ml bottles with a drinks package, but only if you buy at least the Premium Drinks Package for $109 per day – or you choose the Open Bar perk with the Free at Sea promotion. You don’t get water with the cheaper Soda package.
Another option is to pre-order your drinks and have them delivered to your stateroom before you sail.
A 6-litre package costs $19.95, 12 litres costs $34.95 and 24 litres costs $49.95.
Considering how 24 litres costs $144 if you bought 1-litre bottles individually from the bars, that’s not a bad saving. Tap water is also available for free from bars and the buffet.
Can you take water on a P&O cruise?
P&O’s terms and conditions don’t mention bringing water or soft drinks onto the ship – the website only covers alcoholic drinks. But you are allowed to bring as many soft drinks and water onto the ship as you like – I know, because whenever I cruise P&O we’ll take a couple of bottles with us.
Bottles of water (330 ml) cost £1.95 each, although you can get a drinks package if you want unlimited bottles. You’ll need the Alcohol Free package, as the cheapest Refresh package doesn’t cover water.
You can get tap water from the bars on the ship, and if you ask nicely the waiters will even refill your own water bottles for you. There are water fountains in the buffet, but these are the sort that you’re not allowed to put your bottle under for hygiene reasons.
The new ships Arvia and Iona also have water dispensers by the pool and by the atrium.
Can you take water on a Princess cruise?
Princess Cruises has one of the more relaxed policies when it comes to bottled water. You’re allowed to bring as many bottles of water onto the cruise as you like, provided they’re manufacturer sealed.
Bottles are fine though – unlike sister cruise lines Holland America and Carnival, they don’t have to be cans or cartons.
Expect to pay around $2 for a bottle of water on the ship. You can get them included with a drinks package too, but only if you buy the Plus package or above. The Zero-Alcohol package doesn’t include bottled water.
It may be cheaper to book a Princess Plus or Princess Premier fare, which includes the drinks package and other benefits.
You can get water by the glass with ice for free from any of the bars, and there are water fountains in the buffet area too if you want to top up a bottle, provided you do it using the cups at the station.
Can you take water on a Royal Caribbean cruise?
On a Royal Caribbean cruise, you’re allowed to bring water (and other non-alcoholic drinks) onboard at the start of your cruise, as long as it doesn’t exceed 12 bottles, cans or cartons no bigger than 17 oz, which is around 480 ml.
Typically a bottle of water on a Royal Caribbean cruise costs $3. You can get water included in drinks packages – with the Classic Soda Package you get Dasani flavoured or sparkling water, but if you want bottled water you need the more expensive Refreshment Package
Flavoured water is available for free in the Windjammer Buffet, and there are free water stations around the ship too. Use a cup or glass to fill your own bottle, don’t refill directly from the station.
Can you take water on a Virgin Voyages cruise?
Virgin Voyages lets you bring as much water and other soft drinks onto your cruise as you like, but the ships do have a policy of no single-use plastics – so again, you’re looking at cans or cartons.
Don’t bring your own flask filled with water, as they’ll assume you’re sneaking alcohol onboard. Sealed products only!
Once you’re on the ship, water is free from the bars and restaurants. This isn’t just tap water, but filtered still and sparkling water, which you can get by the glass or from a water fountain if you want to refill a reusable bottle on the ship. You don’t need a drinks package – not that the cruise line offers them anyway.
Most cruise lines are perfectly happy to let you bring water onto a cruise ship, although some prefer it if you bring cans or cartons instead of bottles. And on most cruise ships, you can enjoy tap and fountain water for free.
Bottled water is often, but not always, included in drinks packages too so you can carry a bottle ashore on a port day without paying expensive charges at local stores.
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