By the 1920s, the United States had adopted laws forbidding the sale of alcohol called, prohibition. The result, it created an atmosphere of criminal behavior of bootlegging liquor. The law or amendment was overturned nearly a hundred years ago and the free flow of liquor has never looked back. However, as I said before I like a good deal and to be honest I like my liquor. A great benefit to cruising is being able to buy duty free liquor and buying liquor from the ports you will be visiting. Here are a few tips on how to feel like a bootlegger from the early 20th century.
The shops on a cruise ship are duty free and only open when the ship is in international waters. Purchasing liquor in the ships’ duty-free shop is a great way to save money on your favorite spirits. The prices are very competitive for example a one-liter bottle of Absolute vodka goes for $9.99. If you are lucky enough to have onboard credit you can apply those credits towards your purchases. Keep in mind, that the ship will hold it until the last night of the cruise.
Purchasing liquor in port can save you a lot of money. In fact, when we were in Puerto Vallarta, there was a Sam’s Club near the docks that we went into and bought our favorite tequila (yes, they do have Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart’s in Mexico). In the States we pay $45 a bottle in Mexico we paid $16. The dollar is very strong in Mexico right now, about 12 pesos to 1 dollar. We took advantage of that and loaded up. However, keep in mind that we live in Los Angeles so all we had to do is load it in our car for the drive home. If you were flying, it would be nearly impossible because you would have to pack it in your checked luggage. Tequila soaked clothes, anyone? Just know that the ship will hold the liquor until the last night of the cruise.
Lastly, you may think you can bootleg liquor on the day of embarkation but if you get caught the liquor, beer, or wine will be confiscated and the ship will hold it until the last night of the cruise. If it’s an opened bottle they will dump it without any compensation. Disney Cruise lines are the one exception. You are allowed to bring alcohol for consumption in cabins. Passengers (21 years of age and older) may bring onboard one unopened bottle of wine or Champagne or six bottles or cans of beer per person. The alcohol must be hand-carried in a day bag and/or carry-on luggage.
If you drink, it can be the most expensive part of your cruise. Plan wisely, and remember when you get home you get to enjoy all that bootlegged liquor, legally.