Cruise Vacations are Turning Into Booze Cruises

Most first time cruise passengers are astounded to discover that their ticket price is not all inclusive. For example, the shore excursions, the tips, the special restaurant charges and drinks are not included in the price of your ticket.

Being mindful of this, cruise lines seem to be universally headed in an all-inclusive direction, especially when it comes to drinking.

Recently, Norwegian Cruise Line reported that it is entertaining drink packages on their Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Gem and the Norwegian Jade. The all-inclusive package is priced at $49 per day, plus gratuities. This follows their competitors, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Oceania and Thomson Cruises.

All you can drink packages are profitable for cruise lines, because travelers are prone to drink the most on the first few days and then taper off. This means passengers lose money unless they continue to drink heavily throughout their voyage. As a rule, drink packages can run from $29 per day up to around $50.

Carnival has a program called "My Awesome Bar Program", which costs $42.95 per day, plus a 15% gratuity. If any one person in a shared stateroom purchases the package, all guests over the age of 21 in the same stateroom are required to purchase the plan.
Oceania Cruises offers a House Select package for $29.95 per day for house wine and beer. Their Premium package for $49.95 per day includes premium house wine, most beverages and beer. Both packages include gratuities and can be purchased prior to departure or at any time during the cruise.

Royal Caribbean began offering drink packages in 2011, which start for as little as $29 per night and go up to $49 for their premium package. This includes gratuities.

Passengers on Celebrity Cruises can have a stateroom bar set up for $80 to $100, with their choice of alcohol, mixers and ice from the moment they arrive. For $54 they can purchase a premium package.

Thomson Cruises is a budget cruise line out of the UK, which has announced that their ticket price includes drinks. Bottom line is that you will be charged for alcoholic beverages, whether you drink them or not.

What does this mean to the average traveler? It probably means that they will be exposed to seeing passengers in various states of intoxication, including getting sick, passing out, becoming rowdy and nudity. It can also lead to serious injuries, sexual assault by other passengers or crew members and passengers falling overboard.

If you or a family member has sustained an injury, sexual assault or lost a loved one on a cruise where the crew members have negligently served its passengers to such a state of intoxication that they are a danger to themselves and others, you need to talk to a Seattle lawyer experienced in handling cruise passenger claims.

John Merriam and Gordon Webb have over 50 years of combined maritime law experience, including representing cruise line passengers for all sorts of injuries, including sexual assault and death claims.

Contact us online or call our toll free number at 877.800.1007 for a no obligation consultation. You owe us nothing unless we get a settlement for you.

Other Resources:

Norwegian Cruise Line Tries 'All You Can Drink Plan' on Ships
, ABC News, Article by Genevieve Shaw Brown, Nov. 15 2012

Cruise Trend: All You Can Drink Plans, ABC News, Article by Genevieve Shaw Brown, Sept. 20, 2012

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