Booze on Board – Norwegian’s policy on bringing alcohol onboard


If you’re like most of us, no holiday or vacation can seem quite complete without letting loose, relaxing and blowing off some steam with a drink, or maybe three or four. This is especially true for any trip to a tropical locale, as there’s something about the combination of sun, sand and surf that’s just begging for a few drinks. If this sounds like it describes you, the one thing you’ll be happy to note is that all of the ships in Norwegian’s fleet offer a number of different bars, restaurants, and other places where passengers can whet their whistle.

At the end of the day, you’ll have no shortage of places to grab a beer, wine or cocktail, both onboard and whilst in port. Nonetheless, one of the most common complaints from cruise goers is that drinks on board the ships are notoriously pricey—no matter which cruise line you happen to be travelling with—and it’s for this reason that so many people are curious about the policies for bringing their own bottles of booze on board.

NCL’s Alcohol Policy

One of the beauties of cruising with Norwegian is the laid-back, freestyle attitude, and this applies to their drinking policy as well. Passengers are of course expected to maintain a semblance of order and composure, but this doesn’t mean that you still can’t party hard all night long; that is, if you can afford the high price of drinks offered in the bars, restaurants and through room service.

Bring Your Own Wine On Board for a Nominal Fee

Like most other major cruise lines, Norwegian has  a strict NCL alcohol policy of not allowing customers to bring alcoholic drinks on board. This, of course, has led to many passengers constantly trying to smuggle booze on to the boat; however luggage is strictly controlled and the staff has seen all the tricks, making it incredibly likely anything you try to bring will quickly be confiscated. In other words, don’t try it – you’ll probably get caught!

Nonetheless, Norwegian has made one exception to their alcohol policy when it comes to wine/champagne. Passengers are allowed to bring their own bottles of wine to consume on board, both in the restaurants and public areas or in the comfort of their own cabins, but are required to pay a cork fee for each bottle upon boarding. Still, this is nothing new, as the majority of major cruise operators also allow this same service.

Mmmm, wine!

Mmmm, wine!

However, there are two things about NCL’s policy has sets them apart from the rest. Firstly, there is typically a limit of one or two bottles per person or per cabin on most cruises, whereas Norwegian allows all passengers of legal drinking age to bring an unlimited number as long as the cork fees are paid. Speaking of the fees, this is the other area where Norwegian is at the head of crowd. While some companies charge as much as $25 per 700ml bottle or higher, you’ll pay a flat price of $15 per 700ml bottle, $20 per 1 liter, and only $25 for those whopping 1.5 liter magnum bottles.

Overall, drinks on board a cruise are never going to be cheap, but when sailing with Norwegian, you can definitely save yourself a bit of money by bringing on your own wine—especially for those occasions when you want something special and any normal bottle just won’t do.

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