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Booze Cruise and Prohibition

Mention a booze cruise today and we all know what’s going down. We know that means get ready because you’re about to climb aboard some sort of water vessel to enjoy a super fun afternoon full of wind in your hair, sun on your face, and a consistently full cocktail in your hand. Sounds like a good time to me. Let’s do this!

But wait, where did this wonderful term come from? We know what it means, but how did this ingenious plan come to be? Well believe it or not, higher taxes was a driving force in the manifestation of the booze cruise. Back in the day, it was cheaper to buy alcohol in France as opposed to Britain due to a lower amount of taxes. So the British visited their neighbors every so often and brought back goods for consumption and sale, which was frowned upon but not illegal. These were not smugglers looking to bring illegal substances across borders, these tradesmen were simply looking to buy in bulk for the best price. These types of frequent voyages became commonly referred to as a booze cruise.

During prohibition, it was also quite common for groups of people to take ‘cruises to nowhere’, so they could freely enjoy their spirits in international waters. Nowadays, thanks to getting over that whole prohibition thing, we have a bit of a different association with the ‘booze cruise’. Booze cruise, party boat, pub crawl, bar hop, party bus, no matter how you cut it, we like to get together and enjoy unlimited alcoholic beverages. It’s a rite of passage into adulthood, especially for us in the US who have to wait until we’re 21 to legally consume or purchase, even though we can go to war when we’re 18, but that’s a different story. The best part about the booze cruise, isn’t even the booze, it’s the cruise! Something about being in a boat really makes you feel alive, and like a total baller, even if it’s on a budget.

Thanks to our worldly love of booze and boats, you can pretty much find them everywhere, and with different themes. Boats range from riverboats to an Alaskan cruise, to my ultimate favorite, a catamaran on a Caribbean Island like Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Plus, the competition breeds higher quality; booze cruises specializing in wine and cheese tasting, craft beers, spirits only or just champagne. Afternoon trips in the sun and sunset tours under the stars; there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget cruise ships as well, the ultimate, multiple day booze cruise. If you can float it, we will come. Furthermore, it’s fun for the whole family! Aside from the drinks, typically other activities like games, snorkeling or even a guided tour are a part of the journey. The booze cruise is an all- around good time for its participants, and is usually quite affordable and a nice option to do something different. So grab your friends and get out on the water; get up, get out and see something new!


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Mike Ross

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