Can You Bring Your Own Drinks on a Cruise?

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Wondering if you can bring your own alcohol or soft drinks on a cruise? It’s a common question and the answer is very much, ‘it depends’.

Two glasses of champagne on cruise vacation

While bar prices on board many ships are similar to your local pub back home, some cruise ships do charge quite a lot more – particularly if exchange rates aren’t in your favour and you’re charged a service charge on top!

So, bringing a bottle of wine or liquor to drink in your stateroom could be an easy way to save some of your hard-earned cruise spending money.

But, before you go ahead and stash the Stella in your suitcase, you’ll need to be aware of the drinks policy of the cruise line you are sailing with.

Can You Take Drinks on a Cruise Ship?

The policies for bringing your own drinks on a cruise vary depending on the cruise line. Some cruise lines let you bring your own alcohol, soft drinks and water on board, but others strictly forbid it. Out of the cruise lines that allow you to bring alcohol, most limit this to one bottle.

pint of beer on a cruise

Read on for the lowdown on which drinks you’re allowed to bring with each cruise line…

Can You Bring Alcohol on a Cruise?

Most cruise ships allow you to bring one 750ml bottle of wine per person on board the ship. You are allowed to drink the wine in your stateroom. If you prefer to drink it in one of the bars or restaurants, a corkage fee will be charged.

There are exceptions to this rule. Costa and MSC Cruises does not allow guests to bring any alcohol on board whatsoever. Norwegian Cruise Line doesn’t limit how much wine you can bring, but guests will be charged a $15 fee per bottle, no matter whether they drink it in their stateroom or in a public area.

Princess Cruises allow you to bring one bottle free of charge and their alcohol policy states that guests will be charged a corkage fee of $15 for each additional bottle. However, the fee may not always be enforced.

Sanna Burns from VeganCruiser.co.uk states that she always brings her own vegan wine when she sails with Princess Cruises and has never yet been charged the corkage fee.

Disney Cruise line is a little more generous, allowing two bottles of wine per person, as well as allowing you to swap this allowance to six beers should you prefer. P&O Cruises also allows more than average, with up to one litre of wine or Champagne – but since May 2024 you can no longer bring spirits onboard.

Read on for the alcohol allowance for each cruise line…

How Many Drinks Can You Take on a Cruise?

Cruise LineAlcohol allowance per passengerNon-alcoholic drinks allowance per passenger
CarnivalOne bottle of wine12 x 330ml cans or cartons
CelebrityOne bottle of wineNo limit
CostaNot allowedWater only permitted for medical needs
Cunard
One bottle of wine

No limit
DisneyTwo bottles of wine or six beersNo limit
MSC CruisesNot allowed
Water only permitted for medical needs
NCLUnlimited wine – $15 fee per bottleWater only permitted for medical needs
P&O CruisesOne litre of wine or ChampagneNo limit
Princess CruisesOne bottle of wine for free.
$15 per additional bottle
No limit
Royal CaribbeanOne bottle of wine12 x 500ml bottles, cans or cartons (per stateroom)

The table above shows how many drinks each passenger can bring on their cruise.

If you plan to drink more than this, then it might be a good idea to get a drinks package. Pop your details in the form below, and I’ll send you my handy drinks package calculator so you know whether to get one or not.

Whilst many cruise lines don’t have set limits on the amount of soft drinks or water each passenger can bring with them, many do require that they are carried on as hand luggage and not checked in with your suitcases.

bottle of wine
Most cruise lines will let you take a bottle of wine onboard

How To Stop Wine Bottles From Breaking in Your Luggage

Imagine opening your suitcase to find a bottle of red wine has smashed all over your clothes. You’d have to go for the tie-dye look all holiday! This has happened to me once before with shower gel, which was bad enough, but I imagine that alcohol and broken glass would be 100 times worse!

Don’t take the risk; instead, buy a wine bottle protector to make sure your glass bottles can’t smash in transit.

Cruise Line Policies on Bringing Your Own Drinks On-Board a Ship:

Should you wish to check the exact policy on bringing your own alcohol, you’ll find links to each of the cruise line’s alcohol policies below:

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Can You Take Soft Drinks on a Cruise?

Most cruise lines do not restrict guests from bringing their own soft drinks or water on board to drink in their stateroom. However, the policy on this varies depending on the cruise line with some cruise lines restricting all drinks, only allowing water when it is needed for medical reasons.

Can You Bring Soda On Carnival Cruise Ships?

Carnival Cruise Line allows guests to bring soft drinks in cans or cartons but not bottles. This is because people have been known to sneak alcohol using plastic bottles. The limit is twelve 330ml (12-oz) sealed cans or cartons per passenger.

Can I Bring Soda On Celebrity Cruise Ships?

Celebrity Cruises allow guests to bring on unlimited water or soda when they embark or in port. If you wish to bring a case of soft drinks you could attach a luggage tag, check it in with your luggage and it will be delivered to your stateroom.

Can I Bring Soda On Costa Cruise Ships?

Costa Cruises do not allow guests to bring any soft drinks whatsoever on to their cruise ships. Water is only permitted if it is for medical needs and guests should let the cruise line know if they need to bring on water or distilled water for this reason.

Can You Take Your Own Soft Drinks On Cunard?

Cunard allows guests to bring unlimited soft drinks and water on board at the start of the cruise and in ports of call.

What Is The Disney Cruise Line Soft Drinks Policy?

Disney Cruise Line allows guests to bring unlimited soft drinks on board in their carry-on luggage when they embark but not in checked suitcases. Disney Cruise Line offers soft drinks for free with meals, but there is a charge at other times and bottled water is always chargeable on board.

Can You Bring Soda On MSC Cruises?

MSC Cruises do not allow guests to bring any soft drinks or water onto their cruise ships. If you need to bring water for medical reasons, you should let MSC Cruises know before you cruise as they may require you to fill in a form.

Can You Bring Soda On NCL Cruises?

Since 2016, Norwegian Cruise Line has prohibited guests from bringing any soda, juices or water on board. The exception is purified or distilled water for medical needs which must be in factory-sealed containers.

Can You Take Soft Drink On P&O Cruises UK?

P&O Cruises allows guests to bring unlimited soft drinks and water on board their cruiser ships. You can also bring more soft drinks on board at each port of call too if you wish.

Can You Take Soft Drinks On Princess Cruises?

Princess Cruises allow guests to bring unlimited soft drinks on board its ships including soda, juices and water. These can be in cans, bottles or cartons. You can also bring small coolers full of non-alcoholic beverages if you wish.

Can You Bring Soft Drinks On Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean allows guests to bring non-alcoholic drinks as carry-on items on embarkation day. The limit is twelve 500ml (17-oz) cans, cartons or bottles per person.

Read more: Can You Bring Bottled Water On A Cruise?

Why Do Some Cruise Ships Not Allow You To Bring Soda?

The reason why some cruise lines have started to limit the drinks brought on board is to speed up the security process. All luggage is checked for prohibited items, including alcohol.

In the past, guests have attempted to sneak alcohol on board in a variety of ways, a common one being in soft drink bottles. Prohibiting soft drinks, or limiting them to cans or cartons instead of bottles makes it much harder for people to sneak alcohol onboard.

If you’re thinking of sneaking extra alcohol onboard a cruise ship you should remember that as more passengers are caught doing this, it will increase the likelihood of more cruise lines following suit in limiting or banning bringing your own drinks on board.

But, in case you’re curious, here’s how most people do it: How to Sneak Alcohol on a Cruise Ship.

Cruisers often ask “Can you take soda on a cruise ship?” Or, “Can you take energy drinks on a cruise?”

As far as I’m aware, cruise lines don’t tend to distinguish between different kinds of soft drinks and so this should be fine. If you have experienced otherwise, please let us know in the comments below.

cruise cocktail

Saving Money by Bringing Your Own Drinks on a Cruise

If your cruise line allows it, then bringing your own alcohol on board can be an easy way to save money on your cruise holiday. Just be sure to buy a wine bottle protector to make sure your bottles don’t smash in your suitcase!

On our recent cruise onboard P&O Britannia, I brought a litre of gin and my husband brought a litre of rum on board. We also brought several large bottles of lemonade. Doing this saved us over £400, compared to how much it would have cost us to buy the same drinks in the bars.

Plus, we found it much more convenient to have these in the fridge in our room and enjoy a drink whilst getting ready to go out in the evening.

Do you like to bring your own alcohol or soft drinks on a cruise? Let us know about your experiences in the comments below.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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26 thoughts on “Can You Bring Your Own Drinks on a Cruise?”

  1. Hello Jenni
    We’re doing a fly cruise with p &o this December 2023, can you take unlimited Diet Coke cans / tonic water in your hand luggage?
    I’m aware our hand luggage mustn’t exceed 10 kilos

    • When flying liquids are limited to 100ml to go through security. If you buy them after that point it will be fine, yes.

      • If you get access to your luggage between flight and cruise, uou can pack cans in your checked luggage for the flight then transfer them to your hand luggage to board the ship.

  2. Interesting about drinks, especially for soda. You state that Princess Cruises allows one bottle of wine, which elsewhere you specify as 750ml. You mention a corkage fee for exceeding that. You mention that YOU bring hard liquor with you. What are limitations or costs for doing that?

    • You can bring hard liquor with P&O Cruises, but not on Princess. The policies are different with each cruise line.

      • P&O Australia do not allow you to take any alcohol onboard and don’t allow other liquids except 12 cans.

  3. going on a Princess cruise from Barcelona. We are planning on saveing some money by not getting princess plus and bring a bottle of wine each and some bottles of lemonade on embarkation. Could we also buy more bottles of wine and soft drinks at ports of call and bring on board to consume during the voyage?

    • You can bring on soft drinks at ports but not alcohol.

  4. Can I take cordial on board? Princess cruises around Australia

    • Yes, you can bring as many soft drinks as you like with Princess Cruises.

  5. Hi I’m going on a p&o Ventura cruise next week and was wondering can I take a 70cl bottle of vodka and few cans of red bull as well as a few cans of larger to drink in our room while getting ready. Also should this be put in suit or hand luggage thanks

    • Hi Cheryl. Yes, you can bring up to one litre per person. You can put it in either your hand luggage or checked bag, it’s up tp you. Jenni

  6. Sailing from Southampton on Royal Caribbean later this month. Can we buy a bottle (or 2) of vodka at duty-free at the cruise terminal (if there is one?) before boarding to drink on-board ship? I did this a few years ago on NCL from Barcelona.

    • Royal Caribbean does not allow you to bring vodka on board, sorry.

  7. Hi reading through all the dos n donts, it sais u can bring 10 cans of soft drink ie coke, on board as I’m going to be taking 1ltr of spiced rum. But can any1 tell me if u buy any alcohol from the ships duty free can u still consume it on the rest of us cruise or will it have to be converscated until the end of ur trip?

    • Hi Donna, if you buy from the ship’s duty free then it will be put into a sealed box for you, and given to you at the end of the cruise. You can’t drink it on the ship unfortunately. Jenni

  8. I think your advice on how many soft drinks you can take aboard p and o ships has changed. They now prohibit any size glass or plastic bottles of soft drink including water. You are allowed to take 10 cans of soft drink per person. (This is from the P and O website)

  9. Hi,
    I was wondering can you take a litre of spirit from duty free on your way to the cruise ship or does it have to be in your luggage?

    • So P&O is the only cruise line that lets you bring spirits on-board, just to be clear on that point. But you’ll be fine buying it on your way to the ship and carrying it as part of your hand luggage.

      If you buy any more during your cruise while at port, you have to declare it when you come back onto the ship, and they’ll temporarily confiscate it, giving it back to you on your last day. But that first litre you bring on-board on embarkation day is yours to enjoy in your cabin.

      Hope that helps!

  10. Hi is tea and coffee included with meals on a P&O cruise? Thank you jon

    • Yes it is.

  11. I disagree that some cruise lines sell drinks a little dearer than shoreside, in fact it is a lot dearer on all cruise ships who all charge city prices, for instance Below is a range of some of the beers available on P&O and the prices. Peroni, pint £4.95 Stella Artois, pint £4.95 Budweiser, 330ml bottle £4.50 Old Speckled Hen, 500ml £4.75 Guinness draught can 440 ml can £4.75, John Smith’s Extra Smooth – Pint £4.75 (£2.60p in my local) and real ale at Wetherspoons £2.10p a pint.
    The last time I cruised with P&O spirits were served in a measly 25ml measure not glug glug like some continental ships, but you could order a bottle for your cabin through the interactive TV or see your steward and prices are not much more than the supermarket price, I supose the best time to take drinks on board is when you are embarking as during the cruise you have to go through the scanner on reboarding and alcohol brought on board is taken from you and returned the night before disembarking

  12. Thanks Jenni- very helpful

  13. Many thanks for that, great article. We have just dine a p&o cruise and didn’t have a drink package for a change actually saved money and hangovers.

    • Hi
      Just wondering if you know if we can take cans of pepsi (rather than bottles) when we embark. We’re going to take some brandy & gin on board a P&O cruise out of Southampton on 9th July. Sorry if it seems a silly question 🙂 (I didn’t get any freebie add ons so trying to be frugal 😉

      • Hi Bee. Yes, you can take unlimited soft drinks on P&O Cruises ships. Enjoy! Jenni

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