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The Beer Circle » Bars » Beer Drinkers Guide to Cruise Ships

Beer Drinkers Guide to Cruise Ships

I recently went on a cruise to Bermuda on Celebrity Cruise Lines, and have a wealth of experience to share. While I cannot say that all cruise lines have the same policies and options, I would expect that the offerrings are similar.

Cruise ships do not allow outside beer and liquor to be consumed on board; some allow you to bring up to two bottles of wine on board to be consumed in your stateroom. After overcoming the feeling of discrimination towards beer drinkers I soldiered on.

Celebrity offers various beverage packages ranging from only bottled water to an all-inclusive Premium Package ($54/day). The Classic Package costs $44/day and only included water, soft drinks, middle-shelf liquor (including the likes of Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Absolut),  and all beers $5 and under (including Amstel Light, Becks, Coors, Corona, Dos Equis, Heineken, Leffe, and Red Stripe). The premium package included water, soft drinks, specialty coffees, top-shelf liquor, wine under $12/glass, beers under $6 each, and $6 off all other beers on the ship, including the $49 Deus Brut).  Beers between $5-$6 included Guiness, Hoegaarden, Newcastle, and Peroni.

The beers in the packages are also available per bottle for those without the package. I decided on the single bottle approach since the beers, while good, weren’t that interesting to me.

There was a great beer bar on board called Michael’s. Here was where I wanted to spend most of my time. The only drawback was that Michael’s only opened at 5PM daily. Even if I got the Premium Package most beers available here would not have been included free-of-charge. Beers available only at this bar ran the gamut of styles and countries. The prices were generally a bit higher than if you bought a bottle at a local bar, but they didn’t screw you. For example, a 12oz bottle of Dogfish Head 90min IPA ran $9.

Lagers included
Abita SOS, Anchor Steam, Eggenburg, Rogue Dead Guy*, Sam Adams Boston Lager
* I know Rogue is an ale but this is how Celebrity classified it.

Ales included
Dogfish Head 90min, Ommegang Abbey, Fuller’s ESB & Vintage 2009, Sam Adams Wee Heavy, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Porters & Stouts included
Fuller’s London Pride, Highland Black Mocha Stout & Oatmeal Porter

Belgian Ales included
Deus Brut, Orval, Chimay series, Delirium Nocturnum & Tremens

Wheat Beers included
Hoegaarden and Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Lambics included
Lindeman’s Framboise

I can only claim the Heineken in this picture. My friends drank the Bud Light.

An interesting side note is that the beers are sourced from all over the world. I had Red Stripes from both the US and Belize markets. The labels were slightly different and the health warning on the US bottle was totally missing from the Belize bottle. Additionally, the one Sam Adams Boston Lager I had was from the Israeli market. It was still good but it tasted pretty bland compared to the US market version. It makes me wonder if it is also brewed outside the US and, if so, are different ingredients used to brew the beer.

 

I was fairly impressed with the beer offerings, and found that during the day I only wanted to drink the lighter beers since it was blazing hot on the deck. Therefore, I stuck mostly with Leffe and Red Stripe.

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Written by Bob Pack

Simply put, Bob is a beer lover. He goes out of his way to try new beers whenever he can find them. The love of trying new beers had resulted in a beer label collection of over 1400. When it comes down to it, Bob is a hop head. He loves IPAs (including double and black). Stouts are a close second. His tweet reviews on @nova_beer are simple and approachable. Let him know what you think. Find Bob Pack on Google Plus

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