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What are the alcohol policies on a cruise ship?

The minimum age for drinking alcoholic beverages on board ships is generally dependent upon the area of the world you are visiting and destinations served. Learn more below...

In general terms the minimum age for cruises sailing from South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand is 18 years and from North America is 21 years.

This is due to the differences in international laws when it comes to the legal age for Alcohol consumption which must be respected in the same way whilst at sea as they do on land.

There are some cruise lines such as Holland America who have a strict policy of 21 years for all ships and destinations, but this is not always the case as others, such as Royal Caribbean, vary their restrictions dependent upon the destination  i.e. Apply an age policy of 21 years for cruises departing from the USA, but reduce this to 18 years for non-US destinations.

There are also some Cruise lines such as Azamara Club Cruises and Celebrity who have a general policy of 21 years, however , where the legal drinking age of the destination is lower than 21, a parent sailing with a child aged between 18 and 20 years old can sign a waiver or consent form allowing them to consume alcohol on board.

Bringing your own alcohol on board is also not generally permitted and if found may be confiscated only to be returned to you at the end of your cruise.  Some cruise lines will, however, permit one or two bottles to be brought on board to be consumed in your cabin. 

You should always refer to your individual cruise line policy before travelling – ask our Cruise Experts for the most up to date Alcohol policies for your chosen cruise. Call us today on 0800 197 8050.

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