Can I Drink at 18 on a Cruise Ship?

By Michael Ferguson

At 18 years old, many young adults will be able to purchase and consume alcohol in their home countries. However, when travelling on a cruise ship, the laws can be a bit more complicated. It is important to know the legal drinking age when travelling abroad and on a cruise ship, as it can result in serious penalties if violated.

The legal drinking age on board a cruise ship is 18 years old for most major cruise lines. Some ships will allow passengers to purchase and consume alcohol at even younger ages, but this is only in select cases and must be approved by the supervising adult. The exact rules and regulations vary from cruise line to cruise line, so it’s important to check with your specific cruise line prior to departure.

In addition to the legal drinking age rules on board, most ships will also have policies regarding the consumption of alcohol by minors. Depending on the specific policy of the individual ship, minors may not be allowed in bars or other areas where alcohol is being served. Even if they are allowed into these areas, they may be required to abstain from consuming any alcoholic beverages.

It is also important to note that drinking laws vary from country to country and can differ depending on where your ship is located at any given time. So it’s important to look up the local laws of each destination point before leaving port. In some countries it may still be illegal for someone under 21 years of age to purchase or consume alcohol—even if they are over 18 years old—so it’s best to err on the side of caution before consuming any beverages ashore.


At 18 years old, many people are legally allowed to purchase and consume alcoholic beverages while onboard a major cruise line. However, there may still be restrictions regarding minors consuming beverages in certain areas of the ship or ashore at a port-of-call. As such, it is important for passengers under 21 years old travelling by sea to check with their specific cruise line prior to departure for an accurate understanding of all applicable laws and regulations.