Tag-Archive for » Drinking on ships «

Drinking On Disney No Downer

Okay, so maybe it’s not as dramatic as Snow White dating Dracula, or Mickey Mouse getting a DUI…but who ever thought Disney would be the first cruise line to relax the rules on alcohol?

There’s a new wine and beer policy for passengers who want to bring bottles onto Disney ships, and it’s the most realistic (i.e. forgiving) one we’ve seen.

Each adult cruising with Disney can bring two bottles of wine or champagne, or six bottles of beer, in carryon luggage — not in checked bags.

Here’s the kicker…

Each adult can do the same thing at each port!

That makes Disney the first cruise line we know of to allow beer or wine to be purchased in ports and consumed on ships. Most lines confiscate any on-shore purchases and keep them until your cruise ends.

The new policy has regulations, of course. Exceed your limit and you won’t see the bottles until your cruise ends. Take a bottle to a restaurant and you’ll pay corkage. Bring liquors or spirits…boom, gone until end of your cruise. Forget to pick up your confiscated bottles…bye-bye.

And finally, your wine or beer can only be consumed in restaurants or state rooms — not in public areas.

After all, who wants to be Goofy?

In the news…

• Carnival Conquest passengers spot debris that may be from sunken ship
• Gratuities going up by at least 13 per cent on Princess ships in January
• Disney bookings for 2017 Caribbean cruises open to the public tomorrow

Today at portsandbows.com: Carnival Victory christens Amber Cove


Star Princess
4 nights
November 8, 2015
Vancouver, Victoria, Los Angeles
Inside: $139
Cost per day: $34
www.princess.com

Carnival Stops Carry-on Drinks

Drinks

It was in the port of Manta, Ecuador that we saw a fellow passenger buy a family-sized bottle of coke, then empty most of it so he could re-fill it with rum or some other spirit before getting back on the cruise ship.

How tacky, we thought.

Today, Carnival is being accused of being tacky, for preventing passengers from doing just that. No more bottles of liquid of any kind can be brought onto ships from ports and, with few exceptions, from embarkation points. The exceptions are that passengers are each allowed to bring a bottle of wine, up to 12 cans (unopened) of water or soda and — to ease the pain of the people who are pains — the price of pre-ordering a 12-pack of water is being cut from $4.99 to $2.99.

The cruise line’s philosophy is that the step is being taken to (a) make its passengers safer and (b) to speed up the embarkation process that is being slowed by checking every bottle with fluid that shows up in luggage.

Hmmm…

We are left to presume that “safety” has to do with the smuggling of explosives, the same reason airlines don’t allow liquids from outside security areas. And the embarkation process is only going to be faster if people stop bringing as many bottles as they hope will slip past security people and cameras.

Naturally, the people are upset and are accusing Carnival of driving up profits by forcing people to buy more (liquids) on the ship. They’re also saying the cruise line will back down on this, because eight years ago non-alcoholic drinks were banned and it was later retracted.

A more logical explanation is that Carnival is instituting the policy because too many people are breaking the rules…just like the guy with the bottle of “coke” in Manta.

In the news…

• New Zealand latest market to report cruise boom (Yahoo)
• Disney Magic sails into Norwegian fjord that inspired 'Frozen'
• Newest Princess sale 'Great Getaways' good through July 7

Today at portsandbows.com: Un-Cruises expanding south

Carnival Splendor
7 nights
September 6, 2015
New York (return):  Boston, Portland, Saint John, Halifax
Inside: $389
Cost per day: $55
www.carnival.com

Drinks For Free On Norwegian Sky

 

Oh, for the days when going on a cruise meant once you paid for your ticket, that was it…everything was included but shopping for souvenirs, and taxes and tips.

Are those happy days starting to make a comeback?

They are in Norwegian’s world. Well, in one corner of Norwegian’s world. Okay, one neighborhood…bar.

Starting in 2016, cruises on the Norwegian Sky, an 11-year-old ship that goes from Miami to the Bahamas and back will be so inclusive that you won’t pay for drinks. From margaritas to wine (even premium) to beer to soft drinks…nada. 

“We’re taking freestyle cruising to the next level,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s President and COO.

“Freestyle cruising” is the umbrella under which Norwegian introduced the non-traditional seating in dining rooms, allowing passengers to pick their times and tables. Following an era in which passengers felt they were being nickled and dimed at every turn, Norwegian announced that the Sky’s passengers will  “enjoy an even more all-inclusive cruise experience with dining, entertainment and now free unlimited beer, wine and premium spirits included.”

However, if you think “dining” includes the Sky’s three specialty restaurants (Il Adagio, Cagney’s Steak House and The Bistro)…guess again. What it includes in dining is what is already included: the dining room.

For anybody too young to drink…free soda. Now that’s a first for an ocean cruise ship.

It’s likely another test. If “free drinks for everybody” fills up its ships, expect that it will be extended beyond the Sky’s horizon.

After that, who knows?

Today at portsandbows.com: Entertained on Anthem of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas
14 nights
June 11, 2015
Sydney, Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns, Darwin, Benoa, Singapore
Inside: $974
Cost per day: $69
www.royalcaribbean.com

Cruise Question: To Surf Or To Drink?

An online travel agency called Cruise Holidays conducted a quickie survey on its Facebook page recently, asking readers to choose between two options for “something free” if going on a cruise:

• Free Internet

• Free drinks

The creators could’ve called it De-vices vs Vices but they didn’t. They also resisted the Burrowing Owl wineiPhoneurge to call it a “straw poll” although that’s what it was. What they did call it was “shocking” because when the results were compiled, nearly one-third of the respondents said “free Internet.”

Think about that. Drinks on cruise ships are expensive — all drinks, including soda pop. One estimate is that a couple could save more than $1,000 on a 10-day cruise with a free drinks package. Plus people go on cruise ships to get away from the office, so to speak, right? Plus holidaying and partying and socializing usually comes with a generous number of drinks (alcoholic or not), and that’s a big part of being on a cruise.

Yet 32 per cent of the people who responded to the question chose free Internet. Maybe it shouldn’t be such a shock. After all, people are infatuated with — dare we say addicted to? — “devices.”

What would you choose?

Today at portsandbows.com: More flights to ports from Canada

Norwegian Star
7 nights
November 30, 2014
Los Angeles (return): Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta
Inside: $299
Cost per day: $42
www.ncl.com

Who's Responsible For Anything Any More?

Somewhere, a student in 7th grade gets bad marks, and the parents blame the teacher. On some 18th green, a golfer misses a three-foot putt and rants about needing a new putter. A teenager drives drunk, four people are killed and his defense is that he suffers from "affluenza" — a new word that is destined to make its way into dictionaries in place of "poor little rich kids.".

It is truly an age of non-responsibility. 

Here's one from a cruise ship…

A woman becomes intoxicated, falls overboard and sues the cruise line, which happens to be Carnival.

Her lawyers claim the woman was coaxed into excessive drinking with casino coupons from the bartender. Later she fell seven stories, hit a lifeboat and was severely injured. She is seeking punitive damages for "negligence and the intentional infliction of emotional distress."

You be the judge.

Grand Princess
7 nights
September 14, 2014 
Seattle (return): KetchikanTracy ArmJuneauSkagwayVictoria
Inside: $598
Cost per day: $85
www.princess.com

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