After a few years of uncertainty, cruise ship vacations are becoming popular again. From the cruise ship drinks to fine dining, relaxation, and gorgeous views - it’s all so fabulous and exciting!
The number of people choosing to go on a cruise vacation is on the rise and this means managers have even more work to do now. Great customer experience is not only tied to the cleanliness of the rooms and the food variety. The beverage program is also of great importance, as well as managing well the cruise beverage inventory.
If you are responsible for curating the beverage menu of a cruise ship, you need to have some things in mind. Let’s dive into the world of cruise ship drinks together and see what you should offer to the passengers!
Which Are the Must-Have Cruise Ship Drinks
Because cruise ships are so big, it’s guaranteed that passengers will have various preferences and dietary requirements. From regular cocktails to vegan drinks and gluten-free beverages, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
That’s why the list of drinks is long and it’s worth paying close attention to all recommendations on it. Selecting the right type of drinks will set you apart from the rest, even at sea!
Key Takeaway: By offering a variety of cruise drink you will ensure the satisfaction of customer and cater to a wider group of people.
On a cruise ship, you typically can (and should) find a large variety of non-alcoholic beverages in different locations. Although they are considered great daytime choices, non-alcoholic drinks menus are getting more attention lately even at dinner time.
A lot of people nowadays are more health-conscious, follow certain diets, or don’t like the effects of alcohol so they prefer to drink non-alcoholic at any time of the day. Because of that, by having a wider variety of alcohol-free drinks, you will cater to a bigger audience of people. These options can be:
- Soft drinks - The most popular brands of soft drinks should be available at different locations on the cruise ship. The minibars in the rooms are also great places to stock up on soft drinks people know and love.
- Fresh juices and smoothies - Whether at a dedicated juice bar or in a buffer restaurant, it’s always a great idea to offer freshly squeezed juices and smoothies. Many people love having a smoothing for breakfast or a nice juice with their food, so make sure you offer a variety.
- Plain and infused waters - Water is still the most popular drink in the world so make sure you have enough bottles of it in any bar or restaurant on your cruise ship. Not all cruise drinks have to be super unique to sell. Infused waters are a great way to offer something light, refreshing, and alcohol-free.
- Teas and coffee drinks - Popular herbal and fruit teas are always a must together with classic coffee drinks. However, if you want to level up your cruise ship drinks, consider adding specialty coffee to the menu. You can make all the classic coffee drinks with cow’s milk but also use plant-based milk to make them vegan-friendly. Matcha drinks are a great thing to add to your menu, too.
- Mocktails - Non-alcoholic versions of great cocktails are a huge must for any cruise ship bar or restaurant. People who want to have a fancy no-alcohol drink will appreciate the variety. But don’t be limited by the classics. Add some unique non-alcoholic cruise drinks to the mix that add to the overall experience.
- Non-alcoholic versions of popular drinks - Non-alcoholic wine and non-alcoholic beer may not immediately come to mine when you are planning your inventory but they are great to have on the menu. Although some people may avoid alcohol for different reasons, they may still want to enjoy a nice glass of wine or a cool one. Having a selection of such drinks will improve the customer experience even more.
Vacation and different types of alcohol go hand in hand. Many people like relaxing with a refreshing alcoholic drink and that’s why you need to stock up the cruise ship well. Offering a big variety of drinks that people can have by the pool, with their meal, or just when enjoying the few will be appreciated by them and will increase the revenue.
Here’s a list of all the drinks you should have available for the customers at all cruise bars and restaurants:
- Cocktails - The bartenders should be able to make all the popular cocktail drinks people may ask for. From classic summer cocktails to poolside cocktails and everything in between - have all kinds of spirits and mixers available to create any drink. Don’t shy away from creating custom drinks, too. Name one after the cruise ship or create a special menu of cruise ship drinks. A cocktail expert or mixologist can help you with that.
- Beer - Food and beer pairing options are favorite to a huge number of people. This makes different types of beer a great addition to the menus of the restaurants and bars. Add a few cold ones with snacks that pairs well with beer to the minibars, too. Gluten-free beer, as well as non-alcoholic beers would be well-appreciated by passengers.
- Wine - Any cruise ship needs extensive wine lists where any customer can find something they like. Different varieties of wine like white, red, rosé, and sparkling wines need to be present on the lists. Don’t forget to add some vegan wines and certified gluten-free wines to cater to an even large group of people.
- Spirits - Whiskey, tequila, rum, gin, and vodka from different brands should be available at all the bars and restaurants on the cruise ship. These spirits are not only great base for a range of cruise cocktails but also to have on their own. Stock up on popular brands but don’t forget to get some liquors that will spark the interest of customers.
To simplify the process of ordering and paying for different cruise ship drinks, there are packages customers can pay for. These packages can vary greatly depending on the cruise line and whether they include alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, cruise ship wine, name-brands, etc. There's usually an all-inclusive drinks package, as well.
Guests can purchase the packages that suit their preferences most and enjoy drinks at different locations on the cruise ship through a certain day or time period.
Types of Bars and Restaurants on Cruise Ships
Cruise drinks can be enjoyed at various locations on the ship. There are not all the same but have different style and idea behind them. These could be:
- Main pool deck bars
- Casino bars
- Sports bars
- Piano bars
- Nightclubs and dance lounges
- Restaurants with different cuisine
Frequently Asked Questions about Cruise Drinks
Curios to know more about cruise drinks? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions!
Is There a Limit to How Many Drinks Can Be Ordered Per Day?
Some cruise ship lines have rules set in place to avoid irresponsible consumption of alcohol and they limit the number of drinks. If you are a passanger, ask prior to your vacation what the rules are.
If you are part of the management team for the cruise ship, you can decide what number of drinks would be too much and set the limit before that number.
Are There Any Non-Alcoholic Drinks Packages at Cruise Ships?
Most cruise beverage packages include alcoholic drinks, but on some ships non-alcoholic packages are available too. This information will be provided by the specific cruise line. As a customer, you can ask for additional special offers or packages.
What Is the Legal Drinking Age on a Cruise Ship?
The legal drinking age on a cruise ship depends on the legal drinking age in the country where the ship is registered. Make sure to ask that question before you board the ship!