California wine tours

Good day to all of you.

I mentioned the other day to Monique that we should take a cruise soon. Winter here is dragging on and well, you guys know the great feeling one gets when you walk up the gangway and enter to ship proper. Can't be beat--Right?

But I digress....

We are thinking about the Princess Cruises, Pacific Wine country cruise.

Leaving from LA and going to San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle then on to Vancouver. Just a nice 7 day trip.

Questions have come up. Yes, we will be using the Princess excursions for the wine tours in all ports.

How much can we bring back ( wine) from each winery tour?

Will they take it all away when we board?

Anyone out there has taken these tours or this cruise?

Any other suggestion?

Bear in mind both time and money are tight.

Thanks all.

Tags: Royal Princess Pacific Wine Country cruise.

6 Answers

According to their rules, with the exception of one free bottle of wine p.p. at embarkation, you can bring all you want on board initially and at intermediates, as long as you pay $15.00 p.b.

All our cruising with Princess in recent years has involved overseas ports plus we have been on the Pacific Princess during our last three voyages with them. Their smallest vessel. On that ship they have been real lax with respect to checking for liquor in your hand carries. We have yet to be charged the $15.00 p.b., ever. Since your cruise involves a lot of USA travel I'm not certain what you should expect from Princess. It seems to me that when we are on a ship in the Caribbean they operate much more strictly in regards to some of their policies. We too, take many Princess wine shore excursions, I like to say that when they are offering these, they are even more lax than normal when checking you back on board. But I can't prove it. Here is my recent response regarding this subject to someone else, we got off the Pacific Princess on Dec.22 :

"During our last three months’ worth of voyaging on Princess, which has been overseas, in Europe and the Pacific. We have never had a problem with bringing wine on board at any port and quantities weren't restricted. When the ship has a bottle check desk, which is rare, except for our initial embarkation one free bottle p.p., I'm prepared to pay the 15.00 p.b.

However, if contract personnel are operating the security screening shore side it appears to me they are told not to worry about liquor, even spirits. In addition, if contract personnel are doing the security screening, more often than not all the ship personnel are doing is checking you back on board and verifying your ship I.D., no ship board second security screening or bottle check desk, they could care less if you have booze. But, if ship personnel are operating security screening, even without a bottle check desk, then you better be careful with spirits.

Keep in mind the wine restrictions listed above only pertain to taking the wine to your cabin.

Like booze, you can turn it in at the table set up next to the security checkpoint on board and have them hold it for you until the end of the cruise. (They don't always have the table set up or enforce this rule).

In this way, you may bring as much as you please.

There should be no Customs tax, unless it was bought duty-free. I am not sure about state tax, but if tax was charged at time of purchase, then there should be no liability.

Good point, between states usually no problem as they will hold your liquor until the last day of the cruise or at least Princess will.

Princess rules----Bringing alcohol onboard at embarkation: Beer and liquor are not allowed. It will be confiscated and discarded. Each passenger of drinking age can bring one bottle of wine or Champagne (no larger than 750 ml) per voyage, which will not be subject to a corkage fee if consumed in the cabin. When brought to restaurants, a $15 corkage fee applies. Additional wine or champagne bottles are welcome, but will incur a $15 corkage fee each, irrespective of where they are intended to be consumed. Liquor, spirits or beers are not permitted."

Purchasing alcohol in port to bring onboard: It will be retained at the gangway until the end of the cruise.

Purchasing alcohol in ships' duty-free shop(s): It likewise will be held until the last day of the voyage."

US Customs-----"Bringing alcohol (including homemade wine) to the U.S. for personal use. Generally, one liter of alcohol per person may be entered into the U.S. duty-free by travelers who are 21 or older, although for travelers coming from the (U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Guam) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will allow you to enter the U.S. with up to five liters of alcohol duty-free as part of your exemption - as long as at least four liters were purchased in the insular possession, and at least one of them is a product of that insular possession. Additional bottles will be subject to a flat duty rate of 1.5% and subject to Internal Revenue Service taxes.

Please note, only one liter of alcohol purchased in a cruise ship's duty-free shop is eligible for a duty-free exemption, although if at least one bottle purchased on board is the product of an eligible Caribbean Basin country then you will be allowed two liters duty free. If you buy five liters of alcohol in - say - the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), and one of them is the product of the USVI, then you would have reached your duty-free limit. Any additional purchases made on board in a duty-free shop would be subject to CBP duty and IRS tax."

Bringing liquor back home is something I rarely did before but I screwed up on about a year ago.---We got off the ship in Sydney, two nights and one day there. Flew to Honolulu and spent a week there. We bought quite a bit of Princess duty free liquor. I don't know what I was thinking about, maybe something to drink in Sydney as Australia might be difficult to purchase liquor in? Something to drink in Waikiki? Where there is a liquor store every 75 feet of reasonably priced liquor? Certainly not to bring it home, where Costco is cheaper. On top of that, we had to almost smuggle the overpriced and overweight booze into the US as US customs is pretty stingy what they let in without extra taxes. Dumb.

Sometimes, wineries will ship wine to your home if you find one your really like. I wish I could help, but we didn't do the wine tour(s) on our cruise to those locations. Pleas let us know what you discover.

Today I learned that the chip will store the wine for you until departure, just like booze purchases from the duty free shop.

Thanks for the update!

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