Louisiana and Texas lovers of cruises generally sail out of two ports in the Gulf South. Those ports are New Orleans, Louisiana, and Galveston, Texas. Both ports have a great line-up of ships with a wide variety of itineraries to choose from. Most of the ports of call that are served by sailing vessels out of New Orleans and Galveston are in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

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Nico Smit via Unsplash.com
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Although there are a couple of cruises that are coming up later this year where you can sail from California through the Panama Canal and wind up in New Orleans. And, there is another repositioning cruise planned for later this year that guests can board in New Orleans and disembark in Spain. But those kinds of cruise journeys are the exception and not the rule.

One of the big "concerns" of cruise guests, once they board the ship, is whether or not to take advantage of the ship's "beverage packages". I am not a fan of the alcohol or the soft drink/coffee packages that are offered. If you do the math, you'll have to be a full-blown raging alcoholic to drink your money's worth. That's even with the over-inflated cruise ship prices.

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Elyne Anthonissen via Unsplash.com
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A beverage package might cost you $59.95 a day on a typical sailing of six days or more. And you're going to be charged an extra 18% per drink as a "gratuity". If your typical drink is ten bucks, y'all are going to have half a dozen highballs? Okay, you might be on an "at-sea day". But most days you aren't on the ship, you're on a tour or excursion, so I encourage you to really put pen to paper before you decide on the "drink package".

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Also, some cruise lines require that every person in the cabin be on the drink package. And if you wait to purchase the drink package while you're on board, some cruise lines charge an additional $5 per day. I don't drink alcohol but I do like the specialty coffees on board. However, for the cost of the "coffee package at the lowest level" I would have to have drank seven large specialty coffee drinks every day just to "break even".

Thomas Shea, Getty Images
Thomas Shea, Getty Images
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Your Drink Package is Not Unlimited if You Sail from Galveston - Here's Why

Carnival Cruise lines won't even honor your "unlimited drink package" on the first day of sailing out of Galveston. Royal Caribbean will honor the package but you won't be "unlimited in what you can order". The Great State of Texas has a provision that cruise ships can only sell alcohol made in Texas while in Texas territorial waters.

So basically, you are limited as to what you can order by Texas law even though you are sailing in the Gulf of Mexico. But once the ship has entered international waters the Texas rules no longer apply and you can once again order from whatever they have available on board. But remember, your drinks of choice will be limited once the ship sails back into Texas waters on the return joint.

Group of friends around pub table, toasting drinks, smiling, side view
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The State of Louisiana Does Not Limit Alcohol Sales on Cruise Ships

If you choose to sail from New Orleans you won't have the issue with the limitation on your drink packages. You will, however, have the frustration of dealing with the nonsense that is the drink package. I suggest you choose wisely, save your money and your liver, and just pay a regular price for one or two drinks, that's all you need.

10 Times Serving Size Equaled Serving Lies

Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells

 

 

 

 

 

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