Are you too cheap to buy a drinks package? Maybe cruising on a shoestring budget? Then you will be pleased to discover it is still possible to get a few free alcoholic drinks on a Princess Cruise.

Captain’s Champagne Waterfall

The first formal night of every Princess Cruise features the Captain’s Champagne Waterfall. Taking place in the piazza area, one of the senior officers will begin festivities by pouring a bottle of ‘champagne’ into the top of the waterfall. Guests are then invited to do the same whilst posing for photographs. Meanwhile, stewards circulate among the crowd dispensing free ‘champagne’, mimosas or alcohol-free punches.

Liquor Tasting Events

The Shops of Princess run at least one liquor promotion per voyage. These events will typically involve complimentary liquor tasting too. If you can resist the hard sell, you can sample a few drinks in the Shops of Princess for free. Check your Princess Patter or the Journey View Timeline in the Medallion Class app for details.

Achieve Elite Status

If you achieve Captain’s Circle platinum status or above, you will be invited to an elite loyalty party. There is a limited selection of free wines, beers and cocktails for attendees. And don’t forget to take your invitation along – you’ll be entered into the raffle to win a bottle of ‘champagne’.

To reach Captain’s Circle Platinum status you will need to complete at least 5 cruises or spend 50 days at sea.

Win A Quiz

Princess ships offer at least two trivia quizzes each day – and the prize is often a bottle of ‘champagne’. Some of the nightly game shows also give a bottle champagne to contestants whether they win or not.

Win Champagne Ring Toss

Throw a hoop over a bottle of fizzy wine to win. Simple. The champagne ring toss event takes place once each cruise in the Piazza.

Attend An Art Auction

Register for, and attend, one of the art auctions. You don’t have to buy anything, but you will get at least one glass of free ‘champagne’ if you can sit through the session. You also get to see people throwing thousands of dollars at some truly questionable artworks.

Go Shopping

Get up early for one of the Mimosa sessions in the onboard shops (usually at Effy jewellers) which take place around 9:30 am. Expect to face a hard sell though!

Check the daily Princess Patter newsletter for other drinks-led shopping promotions. There is typically one each sea day.

Lose A Lot Of Money

This one is really easy – lose a lot of money in the casino. Doing so may earn you an invitation to join the Gaming Circle. Members of the circle are often invited to attend a free cocktail party at the beginning of the cruise.

Make friends with a bartender

Very occasionally the bar teams make an order incorrectly or double-up by accident. If you’re sat at the bar (and very lucky!) they may give you the extra drink free. But if you’re not paying to drink, you’re not likely to be sitting at the bar making friends with the bar staff.

Why you should buy a drinks package anyway

Buying a drinks package does significantly increase the cost of a Princess Cruise, but we still reckon it provides good value for money.

  • You get up to 15 alcoholic drinks and unlimited soft drinks and mocktails each day
  • ALL gratuities are included, so no surprise surcharge at the end of your cruise.
  • Internet access for one device is included (and yes, you can switch devices on Princess)
  • No additional charges for room service or in-app food/drink orders

Whether you choose Princess Plus or Princess Premier is up to you. The wines in the Premier package are undoubtedly better and the two meals at the speciality dining restaurants are nice – but we can’t justify that particular uplift.