Enjoying fine food, and drinking wine and cocktails, are integral parts of a cruising holiday these days, and while many things are included in a cruise fare, there are always extras you’ll have to pay for. And certain foods and drinks are just two. One way to reduce expenses is to buy a beverage package if available, which offers unlimited specialty coffees and teas, soft drinks, juices and alcohol for every day of your cruise. Before you buy, however, do do the maths to ensure you will get the full benefit, and remember all adults sharing a stateroom usually have to buy a package individually – there’s no sharing. If you enjoy drinking wine, some cruise lines allow you to bring one or two bottles of wine per guest on board, but plan on enjoying it in your stateroom only or you’ll have to pay a hefty corkage fee to drink it anywhere else, including the dining room. Always order wine by the bottle at dinner, instead of by the glass, and if you don’t finish it, ask your waiter to save it as they can deliver it back to you anywhere in the ship. Also check the daily ship’s guide for happy hours, or cocktail or drink offers of the day as these can also save you money. When it comes to food, if you’re tempted by an onboard venue which comes with a cover charge, consider buying a dining package if offered as cruise lines will bundle some or all specialty restaurants together to experience at least once with a discount on the overall cost individually. Also watch out for any special offers in the daily ship’s guide, such as two-for-one dining on the last night, a free bottle of wine on embarkation night, or having a special lunch instead of dinner on a sea day when the cover charge is cheaper. And finally, when it comes to food and drink and tipping, most cruise lines automatically add a daily gratuity to your shipboard account, while bar bills, specialty coffees and specialty dining have an automatic 15 or 18 percent gratuity included in the fee. If you receive a check and the gratuity line is blank, don’t add extra as you’ll end up tipping twice!