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The Official Boozing Policies for the High Seas

It's time we revisited cruise line alcohol policies so you don't get caught redhanded -- and God forbid, accidentally get the booze DESTROYED.
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It's time we revisited cruise line alcohol policies so you don't get caught redhanded -- and God forbid, accidentally get the booze DESTROYED.

This post originally appeared on Map Happy.

In wake of the recent Carnival Cruise drink restrictions, I've decided to make this all easier for you and lay out the current major cruise line alcohol policies in one place. In general, policies vary depending on where the booze that's brought onboard comes from, i.e. embarkation or a port stopover. From Regent Cruises' fully stocked in-cabin bar to MSC's no food/beverage policy, the full details are here.

While luxury cruise lines are usually the most expensive, they often have fewer restrictions and even have open bar events. Sneaking alcohol onto cruises is a big thing (hence Carnival's newest rule) but that's getting riskier and riskier. Princess and Royal Caribbean will discard the alcohol if they find it: They're not messing around.

It would be very easy to rag on the cruise lines with more conservative alcohol policies, etc., but in the end it's hard when they've got a pretty good reason to back their decision: safety. So before you start hating on Carnival and MSC, weigh the options, because, luckily, there are more ships in the sea.

For the most part, the other ships will usually only allow wine or champagne. Strangely, as the exception, family-friendly Disney** doesn't have restrictions on the type of alcohol that can be brought onboard. In almost all cases, alcohol purchased onboard the ships' duty-free shop will be stored and won't be returned to passengers until the end of the cruise so don't count on drinking that.

One interesting thing I found: The drinking age varies from 18 to 21 across the cruises on this list and could depend on where the ship is docked. So before confidently approaching the bar and handing them an underage ID, college students best be checkin'.

*all alcohol is included in cruise fare.

All policies were verified with a cruise representative.

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Miranda Ashton is an editorial intern at Map Happy. She is a student at New York University.