Saturday, May 18, 2024

What Cruise Lines Offer Free Drink Packages

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Pro Tip: Go On Inexpensive Shore Excursions That Include All Your Alcohol

Top Tips on Cruise Drinks Packages | Planet Cruise Weekly

Instead of necking a bottle of beer in the streets, book a tasting tour, a booze cruise, or an all-inclusive beach pass while in port. Use a tour agency independent from the cruise line save money on shore excursions.

We always use and recommend Viator shore excursions since they tend to be nearly half the cost of the cruise lines excursions. Their ports of call tours include a worry-free guarantee promise to get you back to the ship. And if your cruise has to cancel a port for any reason, its nice to know that they automatically provide a full refund.

Where are you cruising to? Here are just a few booze-filled shore excursions in some of the most popular Caribbean cruise ports:

Cozumel, Mexico Drinking Excursions:

  • Mr. Sanchos Beach Club is the hottest drink ticket in Cozumel and is such incredible value! For the price of about five drinks on a cruise ship, this ticket gets you an all-day pass to this white-sand beach resort that includes a full open bar with unlimited drinks! The day pass also includes a complete lunch menu, beach loungers, and even ocean kayaking along Cozumels coastline! But best of all, theres a swim-up bar, so you dont even have to leave the pool to get your next margarita. Drink up! Beware: this one regularly sells out in advance. Check availability now for your travel dates.
  • Catamaran Sail & Snorkel: After snorkeling on Cozumels reef, youll be treated to cervezas, rum punch, and even tequila shots as you sail around the island.

Are Beverage Packages A Good Deal

Whether you find value in a beverage package will depend greatly on the below factors:

  • How much you expect to drink, keeping in mind that while youre visiting ports youll be paying for a package that only works on the ship.
  • What you expect to drink. If you drink $14 single-malts you wont need to have nearly as many drinks to make it worth it compared to someone drinking $5 beers.
  • The cost of the beverage package. Costs vary by line, and even sailing.

Weve heard some who suggest you should figure out how much you need to drink to break even, but this seems like a mistake to us. Figure out if what youd like to drink will hit a break even point or offer a good return on your investment. Most of us could drink enough to break even if we had to. If your itinerary is port-intensive, youll be spending less time on the ship, so for many, the economy of these packages fades quickly.

How much does it cost to drink on a cruise? We compare drink prices across popular cruise lines.

Wed suggest looking at your itinerary, then find a recent bar menu from the same ship on which youll be traveling. Figure out what youd likely be drinking on each day and dont forget about espresso-based coffee drinks and bottled water, if theyre not complimentary on the line youre sailing. Once you total those purchases up using the prices on the menu, figure out if the total cost would be more or less than the cost of the beverage package.

Royal Caribbean Drink Package Information And Planning Tips

A Royal Caribbean drink package is available for guests to purchase for their cruise vacation on most sailings.

With a drink package, guests can take advantage of unlimited beverages included with the package for a flat cost. Not having to worry about racking up a large bar tab, as well as making out-of-pocket costs fit better into a budget makes drink packages quite a popular option.

Royal Caribbean includes plenty of drinks with your cruise fare, but if you are interested in having plenty of beers, lattes, cocktails, wine by the glass, bottled water and more, then a drink package might be what you need.

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Is The Beverage Package Ever Included On A Princess Cruise

In the last few years, Princess has had promotions a couple of times a year in which the Premium Beverage Package has been offered as a perk. See below for an explanation of Princess Plus a great option for many cruisers.

Tip: Keep an eye on Princess sales by signing up for their emails as well as promotions through large online cruise websites to take advantage of the best offers.

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Is A Royal Caribbean Drink Package Worth It

7 Cruise Lines That Are Offering Free Drink Packages

In a nutshell, a Royal Caribbean drink package can be worth it, provided you drink enough every day of your cruise. The beverage packages definitely offer a value-savings proposition, but it is up to you to drink enough to make it worthwhile.

The basis of any drink package is that you will drink enough to “break even” each day to make the packages worth it. If you are not a big drinker, or someone that wants to indulge in many drinks, you may be better off paying for each drink individually.

If you are wondering what the break even point is, it is around 5-6 drinks per day, every day to recoup the cost of the unlimited alcohol drink package. The non-alcohol packages have a lower break-even point, that is closer to 3-4 drinks.

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Can You Share Drink Packages On A Cruise

It’s tempting with unlimited drinks to do what we’ve all thought — one person buys the package and just gives a drink to the person they are traveling with.

Every cruise line has rules against this. If you are caught, you could lose your drink privilege.

That said, unless you are blatantly ordering drinks and then handing off to other people, it’s almost impossible for you to be caught sharing drinks. If you are discreet, the chances of your being caught are minimal.

Royal Caribbean Official Video

Watch this video as it includes some details about how drink packages work during a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation:

In this article, we will go into detail about these packages. Their advantages and disadvantages. Prices and some tips and tricks here and there, so read on to find out what you need to know about Royal Caribbean Drink Packages before your next cruise.

But first, lets look at RCCLs drink policies so that you get to understand why you might need a drink package.

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Do The Math Before Booking & Know The Rules

Even so, if you plan on getting a drink package during your cruise, then this deal can save you some money.

But before you book, we suggest you learn the ins and outs of the CHEERS! package to make sure you will get your moneys worth.

The drink package offers a lot to like. For the set daily charge, you get your choice of nearly any beverage on the ship. Want a margarita by the pool? Or a glass of wine with dinner? Simply head to the bar and its yours. You know exactly what you pay each day and never have to worry about a surprise bill.

That said, there are some rules around the package that youll want to know. For one, if one person in the cabin orders the CHEERS! package, then all adults in the cabin have to order it as well. There is also a limit on alcoholic drinks of 15 beverages per 24-hour period .

You also have to purchase the package for the entire cruise. So even if you are in port all day and cant take advantage, youre still charged.

Youll want to keep these rules in mind to know if youll get your moneys worth, or if youd be better off booking the lower rate without the package.

Reasons Cruise Ship Drink Packages Are A Waste Of Money


While there are many benefits of buying a beverage package, there are also many reasons why cruise ship drink packages are a waste of money.

One of the most frequently asked questions from cruisers is Are cruise ship drink packages worth it?. Whether or not you should purchase one for your next vacation is an individual decision that depends on several factors. While there are many benefits of buying a beverage package on a cruise, there are also many reasons why cruise ship drink packages are a waste of money. In this post, we play the devils advocate and explain why buying a beverage package might not be the right choice for your next cruise.

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When Is It Not Worth Getting A Drinks Package

Yet for some its simply not worth it, for example if you like to take your own tea bags, cordial and top up with free drinks from the buffet restaurant and that works for you thats great. Drinks packages dont suit everybody.

Also bear in mind there is a choice of cruise drinks packages for kids and teens, who in my experience always make full use of a drinks package.

Check out this Celebrity Cruises drinks menu and consider that the classic drinks package currently costs $59 per day per person.

The Best Cruise Drinks Packages 2021

It seems booking Cruise Drinks Packages and speciality dining are the way forwards these days. With many cruise lines offering such exceptional value in the form their beverage packages you very often cant go wrong. Thus this Guide To The Best Cruise Drinks Packages if you are at cruise planning stage.

Drinks Packages often have different price points depending on the package available. Read our ultimate guide to cruise drink packages to help you choose the best value plan for your family cruise.

What You Will Find On This Page

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Must Read Royal Caribbean Drink Package Guide

Here are the Royal Caribbean Drink Package pros and cons along with a guide to choosing the best cruise beverage package with prices and tips for your next vacation with the cruise line.

When planning on going on a Royal Caribbean cruise, you are bound to see an offer to buy an unlimited Royal Caribbean drink package. In fact, the cruise lines beverage packages are quite famous among cruise-goers with at least half of them purchasing the package on any one of the cruise ships.

You might be wondering why RCCLs drink package has so much buzz, and here is why:

Well, you know that cruises as much fun as they are can cost you quite a pretty penny. And for years cruisers have been trying to find ways to reduce their cost on board. With things on board almost costing you an arm and leg at times. It is a good thing that Royal Caribbean came up with a drink package that helps you enjoy your cruise without stressing about costs, well drink costs at least!

This drink package has 4 unlimited drink packages that are meant to help you cut costs on drinks while aboard an RCCL ship. There is a refreshment, deluxe, soda, and water package. For a flat upfront fee per cruise, you are able to purchase an unlimited access to drinks with these packages.

Princess Cruises Drink Packages

Norwegian Cruise Line Offering Tax

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Are you planning a Princess Cruise? Thats great!

Princess Cruises have some of the best options for drink packages, both alcoholic, non-alcoholic and specialty coffee. Princess has also recently introduced an all-inclusive type pricing option called Princess Plus, where the Premium Beverage Package is included as a perk.

In this post, Ill go over the details of each drink package, including Princess new perk option. Ive also included some frequently asked questions by other cruisers and Princess Cruises bar menus.

Plus, at the end, check some Princess drink favorites to tempt you as you await and anticipate your next cruise!

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Buy The Package Before Boarding For A Big Discount

The easiest way to save on a drink package? Buy it early. Just about every cruise line will offer the ability to book the package at a discount before boarding. You can either call the line or purchase through your online account after booking the cruise.

In return for booking early, you can save a decent chunk. For instance, weve seen Royal Caribbean offer 30-50% off a second drink package when one is bought ahead of time. And Carnival charges $57 per person, per day for their CHEERS! Package. But if you buy it before boarding, then the price is just $52.

If you know that youre going to be buying a drink package, then its a no-brainer to save some cash by simply buying beforehand.

Carnival Sale Offers Free Drink Packages With Cruises

Are you a Carnival VIFP member? If so, then you might have received an email announcing a new deal that you could want to take advantage of.

Carnival is offering a sale where past guests receive a free CHEERS! drink package for themselves and a guest when they book. The Free Cheers to You! sale is valid from now through December 13, 2020. According to the email we received, if you book a qualifying deal, then both you and one travel companion get the drink package included with your cruise.

Considering the drink package runs about $55 per person, per day , this is a great freebie. For reference, including the gratuity, a person traveling on a week-long cruise would pay about $470 in total if they bought the drink package on the ship.

There is some fine print you should know, however. Specifically, Carnival lays out all the following stipulations with the offer:

  • Full non-refundable deposit
  • Maximum number of 2 guests in the stateroom
  • Available on Ocean View categories and above
  • Available on select sailings between April 2021 December 2021
  • Eligible VIFP Club Member must sail to qualify for this offer
  • Rate Code RU9 will be automatically applied at checkout

Note that this offer is capacity controlled according to the Terms and Conditions. It also seems only for VIFP members . So if you want to book, check your email. You could also try calling Carnival and mentioning the RU9 rate code.

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Attend Cruise Drink Tasting Events

Wine tastings, cocktail tastings, martini tastings, and even beer tastings can be some of the best drink deals at sea. Personally, its our favorite tip to partake in for cheap drinks on a cruise.

Specialty drinks, like fine martinis, typically cost $10-$15 , plus gratuity. Five fancy cocktails could easily cost a cruiser $75. But when you attend a tasting event, you often get five full-sized drinks for $25 per person. These tasting events can be incredible drinks bargains on a cruise. Plus you get to try a variety of different cocktails you may have never thought to try before.

During some cruise tasting events that weve attended, the drinks are smaller portions coming in at about 4-6 ounces. Yet other tasting events, weve been pleasantly surprised by full-sized drinks!

Weve found that drinks tastings on NCL to be of particularly good value, as theyve poured some large and strong drinks during their tastings. Norwegian usually does a martini tasting, margarita tasting, a beer tasting, and a wine tasting during their regular cruises. If you dont want to drink all five drinks, consider attending with a partner/friend and sharing the experience.

Tip: If you ever happen to cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, be sure to go the show Happy Hour Prohibition The Musical. It costs $25, but that fee includes five prohibition-era cocktails throughout the entire performance. Its great fun and great value!

Do Cruise Line Drink Packages Work In Port


In most cases, the drink package only works on the ship. That’s because most ports of call aren’t affiliated with the cruise line. So when you port in Cozumel, you are headed into Mexico — not an extension of the cruise ship.

That said, drink packages work in some private islands that are run by the cruise line. For instance, CocoCay — Royal Caribbean’s private island — allows you to use the package while in port. MSC’s Ocean Cay also allows you to use your drink package in port.

This isn’t the case everywhere, however. Notably, Harvest Caye — operated by Norwegian — doesn’t offer the use of drink packages. Carnival’s Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays also don’t offer the use of the onboard drink package.

Bottom line: Your drink package won’t work in ports of call, but there is a possibility if you are visiting a private island run by a cruise line.

Keep in mind being able to use the package in port is a BIG deal. It’s essentially an extra day that you can get your money’s worth versus spending out of pocket when you are off the ship.

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Which Cruise Lines Offer Free Drink Packages

A cruise with a free drinks package can seem like a great deal. Always remember though, theres truth in the old saying nothing is for free in this world.

Cruise lines and travel agents regularly have promotions offering cruises with free drinks packages. Whilst its quite possible to book an all-inclusive cruise with drinks included, these drinks are by no means free.

The package price for a cruise with drinks will always be higher than it would be if you booked just the cruise. Its all just clever marketing.

Thats not to say that if you see an offer of cruises with free drinks you should avoid it. Far from it. It could still be a great deal and its likely to be a better price than if you were to pay for the cruise and the drinks package separately.

Cruises offering free drink packages include:

  • Azamara always
  • Princess Cruises- sometimes

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