Cruise passengers warned they can face hefty fines for drinks package mistake

Brits planning booze cruises may want to take note of a key rule when buying drinks packages – or risk facing a hefty fine during their trip.

Cruises can be great value for money as your travel, food and accommodation is included. When it comes to drinks, most cruise lines have packages you can buy to include your beers, wine and cocktails – but don't assume it's one package per cabin.

Usually, when you buy a drinks package it's based per person. While you may want to try and save money by trying to share your package with someone else in your party, it could actually cost you more in the long term, insiders have warned.

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Explaining the etiquette and rules most people may not know, the experts at Panache Cruises have explained that sharing a drinks package is often a violation of your booking policy. If you're caught, you may have your drinks package revoked (with no refund) meaning you'll need to pay for drinks individually and this can quickly add up. In some cases, cruise lines may even issue you with an on-the-spot fine for breaking the rules.

The experts warn: "The add-on drink packages are designed for individual consumption and are priced accordingly. That’s why sharing one package between multiple people is considered a violation of cruise line policies and can result in fines."

It's worth noting that some cruise lines have a rule in which if one adult books a drinks package, all other adults in their cabin must book the same package. (Usually to stop two or more people in a cabin sharing one package).

The Panache Cruises team had plenty more tips on the biggest don'ts when you're on a cruise, such as being polite to the crew, not throwing things overboard, and sticking to the unwritten rules of the buffet.

James Cole, founder and managing director at Panache Cruises said: "If you don’t want to upset your fellow passengers then it’s best to make sure you’re familiar with cruise etiquette before boarding the ship. Different cruise lines may have slightly different rules and regulations so it is important to read up on this before departure.

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"If you’re not an experienced cruiser then some of these rules may be new to you, but in general you just need to remember to be considerate and patient towards the crew and other passengers.

"There are things that are just simply unfair like skipping the queue in the buffet and hogging chairs, but there are also rules that can have serious consequences if they are ignored.

"When you booked your cruise you promised to adhere to a set of rules governing your conduct and behavior when on-board your ship.

"Disruptive passengers can be charged a fine or forcibly removed from the ship if they disobey the captain’s and crew members’ instructions, smoke in prohibited areas or throw things overboard.

"Practicing good cruise etiquette will help you prevent getting labeled ‘that cruiser’ who everyone is whispering about and trying to avoid in the ship’s public areas."

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