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are drink packages worth it

are drink packages worth it

are drink packages worth it插图


Do beverage packages really save you money?

There is no question a beverage package has the potential to save money, but the real question is if you will drink enough every day of your cruise to make the purchase worthwhile. Consider the drinks you want: It is important to think if you are interested in drinks with liquor or no liquor.

Is an all you can drink package worth it?

Whether or not a drink package is worth it depends on how much — and how often — you drink. We would guess that for most people, the cost don’t justify purchasing an all you can drink package. You can use our drink package calculator to see if it’s worth it for you.

Is the drink package on a cruise worth it?

For the vast majority of cruisers, the drink package is simply not worth the price. Most individual drink prices covered by the beverage package vary between $5 to $15 per day. Depending on the cost of the pacakge, you and your cabinmates will need to drink between 5-10 beverages per day each.

How many drinks are included in a drink package?

Once you purchase a drink package, you are entitled to unlimited beverages that are included with the drink package you purchased. You can order one drink at a time. There is no limit to how many drinks a guest may consume on any day, or during the cruise.

Coffee, Tea or Wheeeee!

A lot of cruisers enjoy a poolside drink (or more — ahem) or a cocktail with dinner. Others like to sip fancy coffees or chug soda all day.

How Do You Wet Your Whistle?

While some cruise lines offer them as part of the ticket price or as a promotional deal to entice customers, drink packages are typically something you’ll need to purchase at extra cost.

Pros and Cons of Cruise Drink Packages

If you’re still on the fence about whether to get a beverage package, consider your ship’s itinerary.

Skip the Tricks, Not the Tips

If you’re tempted to be tricksy and smuggle prohibited beverages on board or secretly share a drink package with someone else, take my advice. Don’t do it. Passengers try all kinds of weird stuff to get around paying for drinks on their vacation, but cruise lines have seen everything. Assume they’re on to you too.

How Much Do Beverage Packages Cost?

Although convenient, cruise line beverage packages are a significant investment for your vacation. Although packages vary from cruise line to cruise line, one of these packages can cost more than your actual cruise fare!

How Much Do Drinks Cost on a Cruise Ship?

We always suggest doing the math on the beverage packages before you make the purchase. Figure out how much you’ll drink and then see how much that would cost without the package. As a rough estimate, cocktails and wine cost about $10-12 each, and beer costs $6-8 each.

When Should You Get The Drink Package On a Cruise?

Although cruise line drink packages are expensive, there are some reasons you should consider purchasing one before your next cruise. Here are some reasons why a beverage package might be a good idea:

When Should You Skip The Drink Package On a Cruise?

Your beverage package will cover a glass of wine, as long as it is below the maximum price per drink. While it is excellent for most people, wine connoisseurs won’t be satisfied by the limited selection and beverages by the glass.

Is the Drink Package Worth it on a Cruise?

Whether or not a cruise beverage package is worth it depends on how much you, and your cabinmates, plan to drink. For most people, the drink package is simply not worth the cost.

Do I Have to Buy a Drink Package?

Absolutely not! Drink packages are entirely optional and usually not needed for most cruisers. If you forgo the beverage package, you can simply pay for each drink.

What is Not Included in the Drink Package?

Even when you have a drink package, it doesn’t mean every drink on the ship is available to you. Just like what is included with your drink package, the exclusions list will vary among cruise lines.

What Drink Packages Does Royal Caribbean Offer?

Thirsty? On a cruise ship we all are, and Royal Caribbean has a drink package to help.

How Do I Buy the Drink Package?

Royal Caribbean makes it easy to buy the drink packages. You can purchase it one of three ways:

What About Gratuity on Drink Packages?

If you go and order a drink from the bar normally, you’ll get a receipt for the drink and see an additional 18% gratuity tacked on. So a $10 cocktail actually costs you $11.80. This gratuity is automatic and can’t be avoided.

Can I Get the Drink Package for Cheaper?

Often you can get deals on the packages. The key is to book them online, ahead of your cruise. We’ve seen heavy discounts, such as buy one, get the second drink package 50% off. The deal isn’t always this big, but it’s usually a considerable savings.

Do All Adults Have to Buy the Drink Package If One Does?

So what if one person traveling wants the drink package but the other doesn’t?

Can I Buy the Royal Caribbean Drink Package for Individual Days?

No. Part of the rules of the drink packages is that you must purchase them for the entire trip. So if you are sailing on a 7-day cruise, then the package is sold only on the basis of seven days.

Can I Share Drinks?

No. One of the big rules of the drink package is that you aren’t allowed to share your drinks with someone else. We’re not saying you can’t give someone a sip, but it’s against the rules to order a drink and then pass it off to someone else.

How Much Do Beverage Packages Cost?

You would think that the cost of the beverage packages would be straightforward. Unfortunately, the cruise lines like to give people a lot of different options, which make things a little more complicated. Below, we’ve listed the recent prices of specific packages to give you an idea of what you’d pay.

Do I Have to Buy a Drink Package?

Absolutely not. Drink packages are completely optional. In fact, most people simply pay for each individual drink. When you do that, you’ll be charged each time you get a beverage and don’t forget the extra gratuity — usually around 18% — that’s tacked on.

What Is Included in the Drink Package?

To start, you should know that each drink package on each cruise line is a little different. There will be slight variations on what all they include.

What Is Not Included?

Even if you have the drink package, that doesn’t mean everything on the ship is available to you. While rules will vary among cruise lines, usually all the following are excluded from drink packages:

Are There Limits in How Many Drinks I Can Get?

The only cruise lines we know to have any limits on the number of drinks you can order is Carnival and Princess (which is owned by Carnival). They have a 15-drink limit on alcoholic beverages during the 24-hour period that runs from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m. Non-alcoholic drinks aren’t included in the 15-drink total.

Do I Have to Buy Beverage Packages For Every Day of the Cruise?

Yes. You can’t simply decide you are going to go wild one day and buy the package for that single day. Nor can you pick and choose the days you want to buy it.

Does Everyone in the Cabin Have to Purchase the Beverage Package?

Often yes, if one person in a cabin buys the package, all adults will need to as well. That said, the rules do vary depending on the cruise line you are sailing.

What Drink Packages Are Offered on MSC?

Following a revamp in late 2021, MSC has a total of five drink packages. Of these, three are alcoholic packages and two are non-alcoholic.

How Much do MSC Drink Packages Cost?

Each of the packages has a different cost, ranging from as little as $17 per day to $69 per day. Note that prices can change at any time.

Is Gratuity Included? Do I Need to Tip More?

Yes, gratuity is included in the cost of the package, according to MSC.

Do I Have to Buy the Package For Each Day of the Cruise?

Yes. MSC requires guests who want the package to buy it for every day. You can’t purchase for single days.

Does Every Person in a Cabin Have to Buy It If One Person Does?

Yes. MSC says that all guests sailing in a cabin must purchase the drink package if one person does. According to the terms posted on MSC’s website:

Does the Drink Package Work on Ocean Cay?

Ocean Cay is MSC’s private island ( see our complete guide to the island here ), and yes, the MSC drink package works on Ocean Cay just as it does on the ship.

Is There a Daily Limit on How Many Drinks I Can Get?

There is no mention of a daily limit on drinks mentioned with the packages. That said, if you appeared overserved, then don’t be surprised if the cruise line decides to refuse service.

Is a Royal Caribbean Drink Package Worth It?

In recent years, Royal Caribbean revamped their beverage packages. Now, the cruise line offers only one alcoholic package, known as the Deluxe Drink Package. Many cruisers refer to this as the “unlimited” drink package, as it includes essentially all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Recap: Is the Royal Caribbean Drink Package Worth It?

The above detailed breakdown of the Royal Caribbean drink package did find us a moderate cost savings during our trip. However, there are several factors you should keep in mind when determining if you should buy a beverage package on a cruise.


Do you usually purchase beverage packages when you cruise? Is a Royal Caribbean Drink Package worth it for you? Drop us an anchor below with your analysis of this beverage program.

2021 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Overview

Royal Caribbean offers a few drink packages to consider. Each package provides guests with an unlimited allotment of servings of the specific beverages their package includes.

Is a Royal Caribbean Drink Package Worth It? – Pros and Cons

We have used Royal Caribbean’s drink packages on a number of occasions and we have also paid out of pocket for our drinks on even more cruises. The drink package has an equal number of fans and critics. We tend to fall somewhere in the middle, disagreeing with both extremes.


Overall, whether a Royal Caribbean beverage package is right for you is a highly personal decision, based on a lot of variables. There is no flat "yes" or "no" answer to determining if a drink package makes sense for everyone, but hopefully the considerations in this post can help with your decision.

Your thoughts

What is your experience with Royal Caribbean’s beverage package? Thinking about using it? I would love to hear your thoughts about a Royal Caribbean beverage package, and how it works (or does not work) for you, in the comments! If you have questions, ask them there, too.