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is it worth getting the drink package on a cruise

is it worth getting the drink package on a cruise

is it worth getting the drink package on a cruise插图

Drink packages offer value, but it requires you to drink enough every day of your cruise to make it worth it. There are a lot of ways to get value from a drink package, especially if you mix up the type of drinks you get, but for the alcohol package, you should be ordering around five to six alcoholic drinks per day to make it worthwhile.

Should you buy a cruise line drink package?

Unless you are on a luxury cruise line, the one item that is NOT covered is alcoholic beverages. If you are looking for a more all-inclusive experience, then you should consider purchasing a cruise ship drink package. On most cruise lines, your beverage package can be used at all bars, lounges, and restaurants on the ship.

Are drink plans worth it when on a cruise?

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. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding if it’s worth it for you to buy.

How much do drinks cost on cruise ships?

To give you an idea of what things cost,we have general prices below that we’ve seen:Beers: $6-7 (most $6.50 or above)Cocktails: $6-13Soda: $2.25-$3.25Juice: $2.95-$4.25Energy Drinks: $4.95Bottled Water (Spring Sparkling): $2.75-$5.50Coffees: $2.50-$4.25

What is the best drink on Carnival Cruise?

Top Ten Carnival Cruise DrinksDrink of the DayThe Fun Ship Cocktail. When you’re getting ready to set sail,the bars will likely be serving the Fun Ship Cocktail as the drink of the day!Miami Vice. Half Pina Colada and half Strawberry Daiquiri combines for one amazing drink! …Kiss on the Lips. …Pirate Punch. …Pia Colada. …Mai Tai. …Bloody Mary. …Local Beer Selection. …Spiked Coffee. …

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.

You like knowing your bill ahead of time

Sure, it can be painful when you pay a few hundred dollars for drinks before your cruise even starts. But once you’ve gone ahead and paid, you have the luxury of being able to order drinks at most bars and restaurants without having to worry about your final bill.

You like sodas, specialty coffee drinks and bottled water

People who are new to cruising often don’t understand that almost all drinks besides basic tea, coffee and tap water carry a charge. That means that if your daughter has a Diet Coke habit or you enjoy fresh-squeezed orange juice in the mornings or a latte in the afternoons, you’ll have to pay up.

You like convenience

Sure, some cruise lines allow you to bring on your own soda or bottled water. And almost every cruise line allows you to bring at least a bottle or two of wine onboard. But sometimes, it’s just not logistically easy to do, especially if you’re flying into a foreign country or don’t have a rental car to get to a store.

You prefer a specific brand or type of drink

If you’re someone who must have Patron in your margarita or won’t drink house wines, then you might want to examine drink packages to see if they are a better deal. Many drink packages will cover cocktails or wine up a certain amount; if your drink is more expensive, you either have to pay full price or simply make up the difference.

Your cabin mate has different drinking patterns than you

Most — but not all — cruise lines require both adults in the cabin to purchase the same package. If you like to drink scotch, but your wife is a teetotaler, you’re better off buying drinks separately.

Some alcohol is already included

River cruises usually include beer and wine at meals in the fare, as do premium cruise lines such as Azamara; the latter also includes some types of cocktails. Unless you’re someone who really needs brand-name alcohol, what you already have might suffice.

You just don’t drink much

There’s no way to get around it. The absolute best way to determine if a drink package is best for you is to get out that calculator and tally up how much you would spend without the package. In general, if you think you’re going to order five or so alcoholic drinks a day during your trip, a package is worth considering.

Easy budgeting

Purchasing a drink package means you have a fixed cost for all your drinks during your cruise.


One of the best reasons to get a drink package is how simple it is to order drinks and not worry about running up bills or collecting receipts.

Beverage variety

While Royal Caribbean includes basic beverages to all guests in the cruise fare, some guests prefer to drink a lot of bottled water, sodas, specialty coffees and more.

Your cruise will visit a private island

If your Royal Caribbean cruise will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay or Labadee, getting a drink package makes a lot more sense because of the fact drink packages work in these locations.

You do not drink a lot

The top reason not to get an unlimited drink package is if you do not drink enough during your cruise to "break even" on the investment.

Port intensive itinerary

If your cruise ship is scheduled to visit a lot of ports, you may not find a lot of opportunity to take advantage of a drink package.

Package price

When you look at the total price of an alcohol package for two people on a seven night sailing, you are probably looking at over a thousand dollars in total cost.

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.

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.

They Are Expensive

Cruise ship drink packages are quite an investment. One of these packages could cost you almost as much as your actual cruise fare! The prices for beverage packages do vary by cruise line. And, you can sometimes purchase one pre-cruise for a reduced cost.

Everyone in Your Stateroom Needs to Purchase One

Beverage packages are for individual consumption only. There is no sharing of the package or using your package to order drinks for other cruisers. Further, guests can only order one beverage at a time. This means that every adult in the stateroom will need to purchase the beverage package. Princess Cruises is an exception to this rule.

You Need to Purchase One for the Full Duration of Your Cruise

For all cruise lines, you must purchase drink packages for the entire length of your cruise. This means if you are taking a typical 7-day cruise, your drink package cost will be the per day amount x 7 days for each adult in your stateroom. Plus, the additional drink package gratuity.

There are Other Ways to Save Money on Cruise Drinks

Since beverage packages are quite expensive, you might be better suited to find other ways to save money on cruise drinks. For instance, most cruise lines allow guests to bring two bottles of wine per stateroom onboard the ship. These bottles of wine can be consumed at dinner or in your stateroom (corking fees may apply).

You Can Sometimes Even Get Free Drinks

While getting drinks at a discounted price is good, getting them for FREE is even better! There are also several ways that you can score free drinks on a cruise. Sometimes, it pays to stay loyal to a brand, as there will be Welcome Back parties (with free drinks).

Some Drinks Might Not Be Covered

Cruise ship drink packages do include most alcoholic beverages up to a certain dollar amount. However, this dollar amount does vary by cruise line as do the inclusions. If you enjoy a certain brand of wine or a high end spirit, you should check to see if it is covered in the package before purchasing.

Cruise Drink Packages Only Work on SOME Private Islands

One of the perks of cruise ship drink packages is that they often work on the cruise lines’ private islands. However, that is not always the case. Drinks at Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee are covered in the Deluxe beverage package.

Is the Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Package Worth It?

The Norwegian Cruise Line Premium Drink Package was formerly known as the Ultimate Beverage Package. This is the standard alcohol package offered by Norwegian Cruise Line.

Recap: Is the Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Package Worth It?

As you can see from the different scenarios provided above, the Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Package is likely worth it if you are receiving it as an included Free at Sea perk. Though, it is not likely worth it to purchase out of pocket unless you plan on consuming a considerable number of alcoholic beverages a day.


Do you usually purchase beverage packages when you cruise? Do you think the Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Package is a good value? Drop us an anchor below with your analysis of this beverage program.

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.