In our previous article about the booze cruises of NYC, we explained what a New York City booze cruise is, and we also covered some of the companies that offer them (like the New York Booze Cruise based in Manhattan). One thing we did not touch on, however, was how to book a booze cruise in NYC, which isn’t necessarily complicated, but the process does vary from company to company, and in any case it is a lot different from booking a regular cruise. It should be pretty obvious that booking an NYC booze cruise is different from booking a regular cruise, but only if you know what a booze cruise is. Otherwise, the fact that it’s called a booze cruise could cause confusion. Below we explain booking an NYC booze cruise with the companies we discussed in our previous article; that is, we discuss how to book a booze cruise with the companies that are more or less fully committed to booze cruises and nothing but booze cruises.
To get the obvious out of the way, NYC booze cruises (and booze cruises that take place in any other city) are not like regular cruises in most important ways. They are brief affairs, generally lasting a few hours, and they also stay close to the port of departure, sailing primarily around the New York Harbor and up and down the Hudson River. Clearly, they are not week-long journeys to distant shores, as many regular cruises are. So, there is no need to extensively plan for a booze cruise, as they can be spontaneously taken for the most part, although it’s a good idea – and often obligatory – to get a reservation. You also generally have to book a booze cruise directly with the company offering it, as there aren’t any third-party aggregator sites for booze cruises. In other words, there are no sites like Travelocity or CruiseDeals for NYC booze cruises that allow you to view different cruises and then directly book one.
While there are no third-party sites like this, you can still book a booze cruise directly online, but you have to work directly though the company you want to cruise with. So, you’ll have to check out the sites of the different NYC booze cruises on an individual basis, and then once you’ve decided which one to sail with, you can book it directly on their site. This is the case with New York Booze Cruise, NY Party Cruise, and After Work Cruises. (Freedom Cruises also claims to have an online “reservation system,” but it wasn’t functioning when we tested it. Any date that was selected on their reservation calendar merely directed us to a phone number to call, which hardly counts as an online purchasing system.)
Because of their online systems, it is fairly straightforward to book with these three companies. For each one, you click around their site until you find what you want, and then it is clear how to proceed once you’ve figured out which type of ticket you need. All three sites use a third-party company to process transactions (e.g., PayPal), but this doesn’t add any layer of complexity to the process. New York Booze Cruise has a somewhat bizarre system that involves purchasing a voucher (defined as a personal capacity: “your ability to make a reservation on board one of our cruises”) which in turn “becomes a ticket after you make a reservation,” but everything is explained through the emails you get when buying the ticket.
So, booking an NYC booze cruise is pretty simple and much like buying anything else online. One thing it is not like, however, is booking a regular cruise, which is generally a lot more involved of a process because of the commitment involved. While simple, you have to keep in mind that reservations are needed for most booze cruises, so you can’t just show up and buy a ticket in person (although if spaces are available, this is probably possible), and also that many of the cruises are limited to those who are 21 and older. Apart from these rather intuitive restrictions, though, it is no hassle to book a NYC booze cruise.