Are Cruise Drink Packages Value It?

After a tough couple of years, the cruise trade is on the rebound in 2022. 

Boats are nearly at full capability and cruise passengers are flying to ports throughout the nation to journey to the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, scenic inland rivers and extra. 

However one query stays earlier than you board that long-awaited cruise and unwind with a flowery umbrella drink: Are you paying an excessive amount of for that drink? And when you purchased a drink package deal, will you get your cash’s price? Each veteran cruiser has weighed these questions, and the quick reply is that it is dependent upon how a lot — and what — you drink. 

About 40% of cruise passengers spend no less than $100 on alcohol and 89% spend some cash on drinks, in keeping with a examine by Cruzely. However drink packages additionally cowl quite a lot of non-alcoholic drinks and most embrace gratuities, which can tip the mathematics in your favor.

If you need a number of choices, a drink package deal could also be best for you and will make it easier to lower your expenses on a cruise. You may additionally see some financial savings if you choose a drink package deal earlier than you set sail.

What Is a Cruise Drink Package deal?

With regards to drinks on a cruise, not all the pieces is included in your fare. Most cruise strains supply complimentary faucet water, espresso, tea, sizzling chocolate, milk and a few fundamental juices. 

Outdoors of that, you’re paying (apart from Disney, which presents free tender drinks). Should you’d like just a little extra selection, you should buy fundamental beverage packages that embrace tender drinks for a reasonably low cost worth. Issues begin to get costlier when you’re eyeing cruise line drink packages that embrace alcohol. 

How A lot Is a Cruise Drink Package deal?

Whereas some luxurious cruise strains embrace drinks within the ticket worth, most don't. How a lot you pay to your drink package deal will rely upon which cruise line and package deal you select. Listed here are your choices on 5 of the biggest cruise strains. 

Royal Caribbean

  • Traditional Soda Package deal: Royal Caribbean presents a soda package deal that features fountain drinks and refills at any venue on the ship, drinks from the Coca-Cola freestyle machine and a Coca-Cola memento cup. 

Present pricing is $12.99 – $15 per day for 2021-2022 cruises.

  • Refreshment Package deal: If you wish to up your alcohol-free beverage recreation, the refreshment package deal is likely to be your selection. This selection consists of all the pieces within the soda package deal plus non-alcoholic cocktails, nonetheless and glowing water, premium coffees and teas and fresh-squeezed juices. 

Present pricing is $29 – $38 per day for 2021-2022 cruises. 

  • Deluxe Beverage Package deal: If you need entry to each drink a Royal Caribbean cruise ship presents, think about this package deal. The deluxe beverage package deal consists of all the pieces within the cheaper packages plus cocktails, spirits, liquor, beer and wine by the glass. You’ll additionally obtain a 40% low cost on bottled wines priced as much as $100 and 20% low cost on wines above $100. 

Present pricing is $63 – $89 per day for 2021-2022 cruises. 


  • Bottomless Bubbles: No, that’s not limitless champagne. The Bottomless Bubbles package deal from Carnival consists of limitless tender drinks throughout your cruise. 

Present pricing begins at $6.95 per day for teenagers and $9.50 per day for adults. 

  • Cheers! Carnival’s Cheers! drink package deal consists of all tender drinks plus all spirits, cocktails, beer and wine by the glass with a $20 or decrease menu worth. It additionally consists of zero-proof frozen cocktails, power drinks, specialty espresso, sizzling tea, bottled water and different non-alcoholic bottled drinks. You’ll obtain a 25% low cost on spirits or wines by the glass over $20, wine and champagne by the bottle and beverage seminars and lessons. 

Present pricing is $59.95 per grownup over 21. 


Norwegian Cruise Line presents a wider vary of drink packages than a few of its rivals. All of Norwegian’s drink packages additionally embrace a 20% gratuity. 

  • Soda Package deal: Norwegian’s soda package deal covers an array of Pepsi merchandise, together with Pepsi, Weight loss program Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mountain Dew, ginger ale, tonic water and membership soda. 

Present pricing is $7.95 per day. 

  • Corks and Caps: Should you’re not into liquor, this wine and beer beverage package deal is likely to be a very good possibility. With the Corks and Caps package deal, you may get pleasure from tender drinks and quite a lot of beer and wine by the glass.

Present pricing is $65 per day. 

  • Premium Beverage Package deal: This package deal consists of tender drinks, bottled and draft beer, wine by the glass, spirits and cocktails. This package deal solely covers drinks that value $15 or much less. 

Present pricing is $99 per day. 

  • Premium Plus Beverage Package deal: This package deal presents the widest choice of drinks by the glass — together with “Veuve Clicquot, Patrón Añejo, The Macallan Quest and extra,” in keeping with Norwegian’s web site. The drink package deal additionally covers limitless tender drinks, beers, spirits, cocktails, wine by the glass and choose bottles of wine with dinner, nonetheless and glowing water, power drinks and specialty espresso.

Present pricing is $128 per day. 


Disney Cruises presents complimentary espresso, tea and tender drinks on board and fundamental wine and beer packages. Liquor is on the market on Disney cruises however there isn’t a drink package deal for spirits or combined drinks, which may be bought individually.

Traditional Wine Package deal: Disney presents some commonplace bottles of crimson and white wines in its basic package deal. You should buy:

  • 3 bottles for $95
  • 4 bottles for $124
  • 5 bottles for $149
  • 7 bottles for $199

Premium Wine Package deal: Should you get pleasure from greater finish wines, you would possibly think about this package deal. You should buy:

  • 3 bottles for $145
  • 4 bottles for $192
  • 5 bottles for $234
  • 7 bottles for $309

Beer Package deal: The Disney beer package deal is $30 for a six pack. Imported beer choices embrace Pub Ale, Corona, Heineken or Guinness. Home choices embrace Miller Gentle, Michelob Extremely, Bud Gentle, Bud Gentle Lime, Budweiser and Coors Gentle.

MSC Cruises

There are a number of choices for drink packages on MSC Cruises

  • Minors Package deal: For vacationers beneath the age of 21, MSC presents this alcohol-free drink package deal that features sodas, power drinks, juices, espresso, tea and sizzling chocolate. 

Present pricing is $17 per day. 

  • Alcohol-Free Drink Package deal: This alcohol-free package deal mirrors the Minors Package deal and consists of non-alcoholic cocktails, sodas, power drinks, juices, espresso, tea and sizzling chocolate.

Present pricing is $25 per day. 

  • Straightforward Package deal: This fundamental beverage package deal covers alcoholic drinks that value as much as $6. It consists of draft Heineken, bottled Miller Lite, nicely cocktails, alcohol-free cocktails, tender drinks, power drinks, juice, bottled water, espresso and sizzling chocolate. This package deal can't be utilized in MSC’s specialty eating places. 

Present pricing is $38 per day. 

  • Straightforward Plus Package deal: With this feature, you get all the pieces included within the Straightforward Package deal plus drinks as much as $9. You’ll have 20 beers to select from, a greater diversity of cocktails, wine by the glass, liquors, specialty coffees, power drinks and canned tender drinks. This package deal can be utilized in specialty eating places. 

Present pricing is $49 per day. 

  • Premium Further Package deal: That is MSC’s premium drink package deal, overlaying drinks as much as $15 — nearly each potential drink you may have on the ship. You'll be able to select from any beer on the cruise, nearly all liquor manufacturers, all cocktails, specialty coffees, juices, tender drinks and any beverage supplied within the inexpensive packages. 

Present pricing is $69 per day. 

Are Cruise Drink Packages Definitely worth the Value?

Let’s play with some numbers utilizing Royal Carribean’s Deluxe Drink Package deal for example. This package deal prices $63 to $89 relying on the cruise, so we’ll cut up the distinction and say it’s $76. 

Earlier than we soar in, listed below are the person costs for drinks on the fleetwide drink menu revamped in 2021.

  • Cocktails $13
  • Beers $8
  • Wines by the glass $11
  • Single pour of liquor $10
  • Zero-proof cocktails $7
  • Mushy drinks and juices $3.50

Day 1, you get up for some orange juice ($3.50) along with your breakfast. At lunch, you may have a beer ($8) with fish tacos. You get pleasure from a cocktail ($13) mid-afternoon by the pool and two Weight loss program Cokes ($7) over the course of the day. At dinner, you may have a glass of wine ($11) along with your ribeye and a small pour of bourbon ($10) to complete off the evening. 

You spent $52.50 — $63 with a 20% for gratuity — for drinks. You saved $13 over the $76 drink package deal, which incorporates gratuity. 

What when you change it up on day 2? Let’s preserve all the pieces the identical apart from a bloody Mary ($13) as an alternative of juice at breakfast and a second glass of wine with dinner ($11). Your complete jumps to $73 or $87.60 with gratuity. You'll have saved $11.60 by buying the drink package deal. 

To your personal cruise, take into consideration how a lot and what you prefer to drink on trip and take a look at the person drink costs on cruise strains. Then run the numbers to see how your estimated each day value compares towards the drink package deal worth. 

Cruzely additionally presents a cruise drink calculator that will help you resolve if a beverage package deal might prevent cash. In case your each day complete is available in near the drink package deal, Cruzely recommends going with the drink package deal will most likely be best for you. 

Steadily Requested Questions (FAQs)

What else do you should learn about cruise drink packages? Effectively, it’s within the high quality print. Guidelines and restrictions fluctuate by cruise line. However, for essentially the most half, the key strains adhere to the identical restrictions. As at all times, test along with your particular cruise line earlier than touring 

Can You Share Drink Packages on a Cruise? 

No, you may’t share drink packages. Actually, most cruise strains require all adults in the identical cabin to buy the identical drink package deal to stop sharing. There’s a slim likelihood that you just would possibly be capable to dodge this rule if somebody in your occasion doesn’t drink alcohol and the others do. Strive calling customer support to elucidate and ask if there’s a manner you should buy separate beverage packages. In any other case, think about shopping for alcohol by the drink or add the upper drink package deal value into your calculations

Are Room Service and Mini Bar Drinks Included in Cruise Drink Packages?

There is likely to be some exceptions however room service and in-room mini bars normally are usually not coated by cruise line drink packages.

Does a Cruise Line Drink Package deal Embrace Gratuity?

Usually, sure. Gratuity normally runs 15% to twenty% relying on the cruise line.

Ought to You Purchase a Drink Package deal Earlier than You Board?

You'll be able to normally save by paying to your drink package deal earlier than you board your cruise. It's possible you'll pay additional if you buy a drink package deal after setting sail. For instance, MSC’s drink packages are $3 to $12 cheaper when you purchase forward.

Can You Convey Alcohol on Board?

Some cruise strains allow you to deliver alcohol on board. This varies however you might be allowed to deliver 1-2 bottles (750ml) or a six-pack of beer on board. Examine along with your particular cruise line although. Some cruise strains don’t permit any alcohol to be introduced on board (Costa, Windstar, MSC) and a few permit limitless (Crystal, Regent, Silversea), however most fall someplace in between. Relying on the cruise line, any alcohol bought in port shall be held by employees till the tip of the cruise.

Can You Purchase a Drink Package deal for a Day or Two?

No, you may’t purchase a drink package deal for only a few days of your cruise. It’s sometimes all or nothing at some stage in your cruise.

Robert Bruce is a senior author for The Penny Hoarder.

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