There are many ways to rack up a hefty bill while you’re enjoying your cruise vacation. Your bar bill will be one of them. Ask any seasoned cruiser, alcohol on board the ship is not cheap. The cheapest cocktail on our last cruise was $5.95 plus the 15% auto gratuity. That was for a simple rye and ginger. If your tastes run to more exotic concoctions, prices run quickly to the $10-$15 range.
However, to the well prepared traveller, a variety of free drinks can be found on board. One must simply know where to look.
Offered in the shops, this event is a sales promotion for the various vintages that the ships stores have for sale. Regardless, its a great way to grab a free drink. You’ll probably learn something about wine while your there and find a great gift to take home for family or friends.
This was offered on our last cruise the night we left Bermuda, similar in format to the wine tastings, except with more potent spirits. Several different rums are featured. Enjoy each of them before moving onto the next. Find one you like? Pick up a bottle to take home at duty-free prices.
If champagne is your thing, you’ll be happy to know that it’s one of the easier free drinks to find on board. The art auctions on board always had complimentary champagne available. Take a few moments to view the pieces available but don’t get to attached. The urge to bid may rack up a bill far greater than any bar tab you might have.
Ship’s Officer Meet-and-Greet
Once again, another champagne party. One night each cruise photographers set up, waiters roll out the champagne-laden serving trays and the ship’s officers show up, ready to chat with guests and stand for photos. Guests have a fun time with the officers and posing with the captain. The champagne keeps flowing and flashes keep popping. Just remember, like the art, photos will add a heafty charge to your room tab.
Have an Early Dinner
This one showed up in the fine print on the daily planner. Making a reservation at a speciality restaurant between 5:30pm and 6:00pm got you a free bottle of wine. We had planned on dinner at Moderno’s one night anyway, so we skipped lunch and had an early dinner. That bottle of wine lasted until dinner the next day. It was the house wine, in red or white. I’m not much of a wine person, but it wasn’t bad.
OK…five reasons. This one isn’t exactly free. The cover charge is about $25 per person. That includes a drink at 5-6 bars around the ship. That’s cheaper than the standard fare, but rumour has it that the bartenders are extra generous to the crawlers. Stronger drinks. Extra drinks. This might turn out to be your best bang-for-your-buck drinking event of the cruise.
Regardless of your alcohol preference, each ship usually offers these opportunities to wet your whistle on the cheap. You won’t likely find enought free drinks to remove all of your inhibitions, unless that free bottle of wine is yours alone, but theres still plenty of chances to score a drink on the house.
Do you have any tips for scoring free booze on a cruise? Drop us a line in the comments and let us know your tricks to cruise on a dime!
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