7 Ways to Drink for Free on Your Next Cruise

From the Shipmate Archives. Originally Published April 11, 2011. 

Free Alcohol on Cruise Ships – 7 Strategies

The Captain’s Party: Often held at the beginning of the cruise and occasionally at the end, this party is open to all guests. This is where the captain gets you tipsy on champagne so that you don’t notice that there’s nobody driving the ship.

Double Down: If cruising with Norwegian Cruise Line, make it a double and make it for free. Get your Harrah’s Total Rewards card before you set sail and hit the casinos and the booze at the same time. The card is free and you can find that deal by clicking this Latitudes Rewards Loyalty Program. Make sure your dealer is aware that you have the card.

I’m a Regular: At my parties, I tend to give guests less booze the more that they show up – but cruise lines are the opposite. If you frequent a cruise line, you may be rewarded with fermented gifts. Holland America and Royal Caribbean both have complimentary events for loyal guests so make sure to keep an eye out for these events.

Two-fors: Initially I thought I was seeing double, but then realized I had stumbled into a BOGO event (buy one get one free). Don’t miss these deals.

Alcohol Tastings: These are often hosted at the liquor stores on the ship. Try before you buy… or don’t buy at all. Taste test your way to karaoke confidence.

Totally Suite: Often suite guests are rewarded with free alcohol. Make sure to inquire about special club access and happy hours for suite guests. Don’t forget to hold your pinky in the air when you sip.

Art Auctions: Purchasing a bunch of squiggly lines and silly shapes instead of a Hyundai makes much more sense after a few drinks. Cruise lines realize this and therefore offer free booze at these events. So put on your favorite monocle, leave the checkbook in the room-safe and go get a few cocktails.

If you have any additional ways to get free alcohol on a cruise ship, please leave them in the comments section below!

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