You’ve heard about how much fun a cruise can be, or perhaps you’ve been on a cruise a few years ago and are itching to go again.
If you find yourself in this position but are worried about the drinking culture on cruise ships, then you are certainly not alone.
In this article, we will discuss what sober cruises are and where these expeditions may take you. We will also talk about how you may manage a trip on a cruise ship that is not specifically catered for people who are sober. Let’s get into it!
Is There Such A Thing As A Sober Cruise?
Yes. In fact, there are sober cruises that are perfect for people in an alcohol-free or sober environment during their cruise vacation.
These cruises cater to individuals in recovery from alcohol or substance abuse, as well as those who choose to abstain from alcohol for any particular reason.
Sober cruises typically offer a range of activities and entertainment options that do not involve alcohol, just like any other cruise.
A List of Sober Cruises
1. Sober Celebrations
Sober celebrations specialize in sober cruises. They often run a variety of activities and programs that do not involve alcohol, including workshops, recreational activities, and fitness programs.
One of their 2024 10-day cruises promises a packed itinerary with stops in Budapest, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania.
Other upcoming cruises include the Grand Trans-Atlantic Voyage, Annual Halloween Cruise, Bahamas, and Dubai – so no matter your dream destination, Sober Celebrations has a cruise for you.
2. One Day at a Time Cruises
Founded by Bo and Nicole Corsillo who have been in recovery for over 20 years, One Day at A Time Cruises specializes in organizing cruises for people in recovery from addiction or those seeking a sober lifestyle.
Their cruises aim to create a supportive and sober environment for participants, allowing them to enjoy a vacation experience without the presence of alcohol or other intoxicants.
3. Travel Sober
Travel Sober cruises are designed for individuals who are seeking a vacation experience in an alcohol-free and supportive environment, they partner with other cruise ship lines to run these sober cruises.
Travel Sober Cruises, travel the world. Their upcoming cruises include:
- Western Caribbean with Tennie McCarty on Princess Cruises Regal Princess
- Antarctica with Fr. Tom W. on Celebrity Cruises Eclipse
- South America with Herb K. & Dr. Susie Mc J. on Princess Cruises Sapphire Princess
- Norwegian Fjords Cruise on Princess Cruises Sky Princess
- Iceland Greenland & Canada on the Norwegian Star
- Greek Isles & Turkey with Tennie McCarty, Elizabeth Edwards & Fr. Tim Meier on the Norwegian Getaway
4. Sober Vacations International
Founded by Steve Abrams in 1987, Sober Vacation Cruises have long been renowned for their beautiful holiday destinations – all without the onboard alcohol. Their cruises travel the world, from Egypt to Costa Rica.
“It isn’t the availability of alcohol that matters… It’s the availability of people who understand.” Says founder Steve, and that’s what he aims to create with these cruises.
Upcoming cruise destinations include:
- Riviera Maya, Mexico
- Cairo to Cairo Cruise & Tour
- Tropical Costa Rica
- Turks and Caicos.
Cruise Lines With Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Mocktail Features
1. Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Uniworld is known for its luxury river cruises and provides a variety of non-alcoholic options including mocktails, sodas, and juices (and of course coffee).
2. Explora Journeys
Although Explora Journeys does not cater to people who are sober, they do have an unlimited non-alcoholic drink selection of specialty coffees, teas, and soft drinks available anytime.
It is important to note that their websites mention the inclusivity of “A bottle of wine and a bottle of spirit of the guests’ choice upon arrival”. It may pay to call ahead and cancel this or replace it with your favorite non-alcoholic drink.
3. Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International cruises have a great selection of non-alcoholic drinks. Including Mocktails, soda, coffee, energy drinks, and fruit juice. These can be purchased either beverage packages or individual purchases.
4. Holland America Line
Passengers on Holland America cruises can expect a selection of non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails, especially in the various bars and lounges throughout the ship.
Their bartenders are always happy to serve juice, sodas, or specialty mocktails to your liking.
Tips For A Sober Vacation While On A Cruise
If you opt for a cruise that’s not specifically sober-centric, it is important to be prepared that many people on cruises will be ordering drinks and that it can be a testing time for people in recovery.
However, there are some things you can do to make sure you both enjoy your cruise and are not worrying about your sobriety.
1. Stay active with onboard fitness facilities
Staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be an excellent strategy to support your sobriety during a cruise.
Most cruise ships also offer state-of-the-art fitness facilities and activities that cater to a wide range of fitness levels and interests.
2. Attend onboard support meetings if available
Some cruise ships have onboard supported meetings, which can be a valuable tool for maintaining sobriety during a cruise.
These onboard meetings also provide a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people who share similar goals of maintaining sobriety.
3. Plan alternative evening entertainment
Cruise ships are packed with evening entertainment options that often do not center around the bar.
- Theater shows
- Live music
- Trivia/Game nights
- Magicians and iIllusionist shows
- Spa evenings
- Educational lectures.
4. Focus on the cruise’s scenic destinations
Focusing on the cruise’s scenic destinations can be a powerful strategy for maintaining sobriety. To do this, research and plan excursions at each port your ship docks at.
Choose activities that allow you to explore the natural beauty, historical sites, or cultural attractions of the destination to get a good break from the ship.
5. Travel with a supportive companion if possible
Having someone who understands and supports your goals can provide support and companionship throughout the cruise.
This will help you not only stay on track and manage any triggering elements of non-sober cruises but will also help show you just how much fun you can have with someone else on a cruise – without the use of alcohol.
Sober cruises are a great way to experience the liveliness, and not to mention convenience, of an all-encompassing holiday without the pressures of alcohol use.
They are often designed by people who have had turbulent relationships with alcohol and understand the challenges of holidaying while sober. So, what are you waiting for?