“Free” Wine on Cruise Ships

So. you’ve finally gotten aboard the ship.  You’re in your (balcony) stateroom perusing the various envelopes left by your cabin steward (who has already introduced himself/herself with a great big smile).  Ah, a gift from your travel agent.  A “free” bottle of wine.  All you need to do to get your “free” bottle of wine is present the enclosed card to your waiter at dinner.  Seasoned cruisers know that you must pay a corkage fee for this “free” wine, but new cruisers may be a bit surprised.   For a very interesting article on corkage fees, and liquor aboard cruise ships in general check out the followng article on the Cruise Critic web site.

The Question of the Corkage Fee

Should there — or shouldn’t there — be a corkage fee? Over 50 percent felt it’s fair, when bringing your own wine to dinner, to pay a corkage fee.

And for the 120 voters (1.5 percent) who chose, “What’s a corkage fee?” a corkage fee is an additional surcharge, from $10 to $25, that you must pay if you’d like to drink your own wine onboard during dinner, instead of a selection from the restaurant’s wine list.

And as far as price for corkage, that vast majority of voters, 77.9 percent (5,486 members), felt that $5 was a fair surcharge for drinking your own red or white.

So, what do you think?  Is the (usually) small corkage fee reasonable?  Any personal experiences?

2 thoughts on ““Free” Wine on Cruise Ships”

  1. Previous cruises have always allowed a bottle of wine to take on board following a shore trip. Now that they have curtailed even one bottle of wine (why should I pay corkage) – they have spoiled what was a lovely way to sample local wine. We always bought a bottle of local wine to sip on the balcony – total luxury. Now a money grabbing organization says “NO”. I cn totally understand stopping cases of the stuff being brought on board, but ONE bottle?? Really! I honestly think I will now choose different types of vacations.
    p.s. My next cruise stops the first day in Ensenada with ship’s tours offered to Wineries – thanks a lot, but no thanks.

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