Bringing Water or Soda on the Ship (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian)

Most people look forward to a cruise’s adult libations — an umbrella drink in one hand can mysteriously put anyone in a better mood.

But that doesn’t mean you only want to drink booze for a week. And while water, juice, and tea are usually free on a cruise, you have to go to the dining rooms or buffet to get them. Plus, you might have a favorite non-alcoholic drink that the cruise doesn’t normally serve (or perhaps you simply want a mixer for that little bit of liquor you snuck onboard).

So can you bring water, soda or other drinks on your cruise? Well, that depends on which line you sail…

Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival is fairly liberal with their beverage policy. According to their website, “On embarkation day, each guest may bring a small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages on board and only in their carry-on luggage. A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 bottles and/or cans, 20 ounces each or less.”

Given that most people sail with two persons to a room, that means you can bring 24 bottles of anything you want. With the prices of beverages on the cruise, that can save you a lot of money.

Update: As of 2015, Carnival allows only 12 cans or cartons of liquid 12 ounces or below. No more bottles are allowed

Royal Caribbean: Royal Caribbean used to be strict and straightforward about bringing beverages on the ship. It was never allowed. However, now Royal Caribbean has a more lenient policy.  Their site says “Guests may also bring non-alcoholic beverages as carry-on items on boarding day. Non-alcoholic beverages may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz.) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Milk and distilled water brought on for infant, medical, or dietary use are permitted.”

Princess Cruises: Princess is liberal about bringing beverages aboard the ship. According to our research, there are no real limits about what or how much you can bring onto the ship. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should bring 55-gallon drums of soda. But if you have a case or two of your favorite drink and a 24-pack of water, then simply slap a luggage tag on it and bring it aboard. There is no restriction about bringing your drinks in your carry-on luggage.

Norwegian Cruise Lines: Norwegian used to have a similar policy to Princess in that you can pretty much bring whatever you like onto the ship with you (non-alcoholic, of course). Now that’s changed and beverages aren’t allowed on the ship.

According to the website: “Effective for sailings July 15, 2016 and beyond, guests are prohibited from bringing any beverages — including liquor, beer and non-alcoholic drinks such as water, soda and juices — on board either as carry-on or checked luggage”

Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to leave your soda at home.

Disney Cruises: Disney is among the most open cruise lines with beverage policies. While soda and water are available on the ship at no charge if you get them from the beverage stations on board (one of the few cruise lines with free soda), many people still want to bring their own.

Soda and water should be unopened and brought in your carry-on luggage, NOT in your checked suitcases. We haven’t found any specific limits on how much you can bring aboard, but we would suggest being reasonable and only bring a case or less.

Celebrity Cruises: It is our understanding that Celebrity used to allow you to bring on non-alcoholic beverages. However, an update to their list of “What Not to Pack” includes a specific mention of both “alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages”. Therefore, we’d suggest leaving those drinks at home.

For more on what sort of alcoholic drinks you can bring on a ship, visit this link.

Bringing Water or Soda on the Ship (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Norwegian)

10 COMMENTS

  1. You are wrong about Norwegian. You can bring as many bottles of wine as you want in your checked luggage as long as you pay the decorking fee of $15 a bottle. I just called them today as we leave this week on the Norwegian Pearle. Since the cheapest bottle of wine I could find on the ship is $54 ( on their website) plus 20% tip on each bottle purchased, bringing some of your own wine allows you to have a drink on your balcony without paying an arm and a leg. Their beverage package is $99 a day each, so if you don’t drink much, this price is high over a 10 day cruise.

    • Linda — This article is the policy for non-alcoholic drinks (soda, water, etc.). Those aren’t allowed on Norwegian at this time. You are right about the wine. And that’s a really smart move to bring your own and save some money.

    • hi Linda, do they charge you $15 + 20% service to open the bottle or just the $15? How was the food? I want a cruise with good food (foodie food). Thanksra

      • rayzer, if you want good food nobody beats Celebrity. They are the best. I’ve done over two dozen cruises, so you can trust me. Also read the reviews from other cruisers.

  2. Thanks for the info! Great help. A query I can’t find an answer for about sofa: as a dedicated Coca Cola vs Pepsi drinker, does majestic princess have one, other or neither? Thanks. Mary

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