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Chardonnay Anyone?

Carol Sottili

I called Carnival recently about booking a Caribbean cruise, and the reservationist told me I could bring my own wine aboard. Wow. Those really are Fun Ships.

I'd always thought carting any of your own spirits onboard ship was verboten, but she assured me that a "reasonable" amount of wine or champagne is now permissable. What's reasonable? She said a bottle or two per cabin per night is fine. You've got to drink the stuff in your cabin, or you could bring it to dinner and they'll charge a corkage fee (I forgot to ask how much). She also warned that hard booze is still off limits.

I rooted around a bit and found that Carnival isn't unique -- but it sure came as a (pleasant) surprise to everyone on the Travel staff. You can check out some lines' policies on the Cruise Critic Web site. I know better now, but does anyone out there have firsthand experience with carrying their own vino onboard?

By Carol Sottili |  January 29, 2007; 9:40 AM ET  | Category:  Carol Sottili , Cruise Industry
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yup, it's true. Did on HAL last year--brought a whole box of wine with us.

Posted by: carol | January 29, 2007 10:38 AM

A slight topic departure, but does anyone have suggestions for taking wine on board a plane given current TSA restrictions?

Posted by: air travel? | January 29, 2007 11:08 AM

You have to check it b/c it is a liquid that is (I assume) more than 3oz. Quite annoying.

Posted by: Betty | January 29, 2007 11:19 AM

You can't do this on Royal Carribean anymore. Just went on a cruise earlier this month. They were strictly enforcing this policy. They have had bad publicity lately because of underage kids drinking, the guy who "fell" off the ship, etc. We used to bring wine on board, but can't any longer.

Posted by: Cruiser | January 29, 2007 11:21 AM

Princess allows you to bring wine on board for personal consumption. In the days before the onboard liquids ban, we purchased a carry-on that securely holds 12 bottles of wine and brought some bottles from our cellar with us.

Posted by: RM | January 29, 2007 11:47 AM

You definitely can't bring wine onboard (remember, it's a liquid more than 3oz.) We were actually flying back from a trip to Napa Valley out of San Francisco to Dulles on the FIRST DAY of the liquids ban in August...we found out about the ban on the way to the airport on the car radio and we wound up having to put about $600 worth of wine in our checked luggage (with clothes as "packing material") because we couldn't carry it on board and there was no time to find a place to ship it. Fortunately, there was no breakage!

Posted by: PLS | January 29, 2007 11:53 AM

I went on a Celebrity cruise this past summer and while their rules stated you couldn't bring wine (or any alcohol) on board, I had no problem getting some on. It was just 3 bottles and I'm not sure if we were the exception or not though. Very possible. Seems silly to me...if your of age, why can't I bring my own wine?

Posted by: Celebrity | January 29, 2007 1:13 PM

> Seems silly to me...if your of age, why can't I bring my own wine?

Ummm - for the same reason you can't bring food or drink to FedEx Field, they want you buying their drinks, at bar prices.

Posted by: Herndon | January 29, 2007 1:42 PM

I went on a cruise with cunard last november, we brought on about 4 bottles of wine, no one batted an eye. It really depends on how anal/greedy the cruise line is.

Posted by: cruiser | January 30, 2007 11:54 AM

The cruise lines are hardly being anal or greedy, its called commerce, without which the cruise lines would not exist, and you would have nothing to complain about (except maybe not being able to go to sea).

Moreover, Cunard's fares are about 3X that of the of the average cruise line,
such as discussed here.

Finally, the less excess booze (and cigarettes) on a cruise the better. Remember the guy who got so drunk he fell (supposedly pushed) overboard? There would be a substantial increase of just such events if the average American cruise passenger was allowed to bring unlimited alcohol on board.

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