Lately we have seen a good many posts inquiring about bringing your own "Whatever" on board.
We have been fortunate to be able to cruise a great many times on almost all of the major lines mentioned on these boards.
We feel compelled to say that you should leave your "Whatever" at home. In comparison to what you have spent on the cruise in general, even in the most economical of accommodations, the additional cost of purchasing either wine or liquor onboard is not significant enough to warrant the additonal weight in your luggage or the risk of having "Whatever" open up and leak while in transit.
While on board, all sorts of wonderful things are available to enjoy. Bringing your own may limit you to only what you may have brought. If you have your own cocktail bar set up in your stateroom, you miss the opportunity to socialize with other folks on your cruise, and you may miss seeing that whale off of the starboard side of the Schooner Bar!
If you have the luxury of having booked well in advance, do indeed take advantage of purchasing a "Welcome Aboard" arrangement--some wine to welcome you into your stateroom. There is nothing like having a bottle of bubbly waiting for you when you first walk into your stateroom--even the most modest of California Bubbly has a cache unparalleled on land! It is there chilling in a bucket of ice while you board.
If you were not able to arrange such a thing before sailing and you wish to have a bottle of champagne available to you for your 5PM sailaway, do make the effort, as soon as you are on board, to stop by the Maitre 'd in the Dining Room (where you might also check out your table assignment), and have him engineer that sail-away treat. (We have found this helpfull because most lines do not have the wine component of their Room Service able to do so on the afternoon of sailaway.)
Once you are under way on your first night, Room Service should be able to present you with whatever libation you desire, whenever you wish---wine, champagne, or any cocktail you can imagine!
For the rest of your trip, you can pre-arrange to have wine and/or cocktails waiting for you each evening at your dining room table for dinner. Certainly, you can order drinks or wine at the table when you are seated. Any bottle of wine that is not finished during that night's seating can be either held for the next evening or it can be wisked away to your stateroom for later in the evening. Your stateroom steward will lovingly keep it on ice, with chilled glasses, if necessary, for days!
New cruisers may not be aware that you can walk anywhere on board with a drink in hand. You are not obligated to order and finish a cocktail or glass of wine in the location that you have ordered and paid for it. You can carry that Pina Colada from one place to another or back to your stateroom. It is yours!
We hope that this helps some of you lucky sailors enjoy, with less worry, your wonderful vacations!
Lana and Brian