Finding a completely alcohol free family cruise is a challenge. However, there are a few sober sailings that cater to passengers who want to steer clear of alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol Free Family Cruise Options
Booze and cruises go hand in hand. Cruise companies rely on alcoholic beverages to increase profits and provide a source of entertainment for adult passengers. Consequently, it is nearly impossible to find sailings that are 100 percent alcohol free.
Families looking to shield young children from exposure to alcohol on a cruise must be creative in booking their sailing. Alcohol free voyages are extremely limited, but they do exist. A couple of good options include:
Most booze-free voyages are chartered. Christian cruises, which book wholesale via local or regional church groups are often alcohol free. However, this is something that must be worked out with specific cruise companies prior to setting sail. Traditional cruises sell alcoholic beverages to guests 21 years of age or older. In order for a cruise ship to ban booze during a voyage, a charter contract would need to be drawn and payment for the voyage would take into consideration the absence of alcoholic beverages.
Families looking to set sail with a loved one, who may have struggled with alcohol in the past, will be happy to know sober cruises are available. Sober Celebrations is a cruise option for people who are in recovery. The voyages are designed to show passengers that life can be celebrated without the inclusion of alcohol.
Sober Celebrations is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous. The trips are not a treatment center nor are they a recovery convention. Rather, the cruises are packaged as sober vacation options and are offered exclusively to recovering addicts and their loved ones.
Alcohol is banned from the ships; however, that doesn't mean the fun has been eliminated. Sober cruises sail to popular vacation destinations, such as Mexico, the Caribbean and Alaska. In addition, voyages feature traditional onboard amenities, including swimming, spa treatments, keynote speakers and shopping.
Tips for a Dry Cruise
If you cannot find an alcohol free family cruise itinerary that fits your clan's tastes, then consider taking a traditional cruise with modifications. For example, you could choose a cruise line that is more reserved with its drink offerings. Select a cruise company that doesn't feature servers that come by with alcoholic drinks every five minutes in an effort to entice you to purchase more than you can handle. Celebrity, Holland America and Princess Cruises are a bit more reserved when it comes to pushing alcoholic beverages on passengers as compared to Carnival Cruise Lines, which is known for its party atmosphere.
Talk to Your Teen
Some parents look for alcohol free family cruises because they don't want their teenage children to succumb to the temptation of readily available tropical libations. Cruise companies are not allowed to serve drinks to minors onboard ships. Still, parents should also remain vigilant when giving teens freedom while the ship is at sea. Some ways you can avoid having your teen get in trouble with alcohol during a family cruise are:
- Talk with your teens about the dangers of underage drinking
- Remind your teen that family rules on drinking still apply while on vacation
- Consider bringing walkie-talkies onboard the ship, so you can give teens freedom to roam, but still stay in touch
- Choose a ship that has a plethora of teen-friendly activities to keep them busy, such as waterslides, basketball courts and video arcades
Very few cruise ships are completely alcohol free. While cruise staff members card passengers, they cannot control everything that goes on during a voyage where alcohol is present. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to imbibe during your vacation.