Cruises That Include Alcohol In Your Fare
running upward of $50 per day per passenger and individual drinks charged at restaurant prices.
Travelers who feel the pinch of every beer or margarita, or simply don’t want to be bothered with the nickel and diming, might want to explore cruises that include alcohol in their vacation cost.
Here are 17 cruise lines that offer free alcohol with your cruise year-round — no additional package purchase required. Caveat: Most are higher-end cruise lines, with several offering river cruises across the globe, so you’ll definitely pay a premium price for your all-inclusive vacation. Cheers!
Final Thoughts: Norwegians Beverage Package Is It Worth It
Even though I love to cruise with drinks included, I normally would not spend this much on drinks on a cruise. As well, I love a fancy coffee on occasion, and to get coffee included, Id need to upgrade to the Premium Plus package at an extra $29 per person, per day.
Verdict For me, unless its the Free at Sea perk, NCLs adult beverage packages are not worth it. As a suggestion, bring along a 3 or 4 bottles of wine and pay a corkage fee of $15 each.
Of course, this is me, and youre you. So I hope Ive given you enough information and tips about Norwegians Drink packages for you to make a decision based on your preferences.
Please let me know in the comments what you think? Have you ever had a Norwegian beverage package and was it worth it for you? Please share any additional tips below.
You Dont Have To Pay Gratuities On These 10 Cruise Lines
On most cruise lines an automatic gratuity will be added to your onboard account to cover tips for the staff.
Increasingly cruise lines are including this in the cruise fare. Ive cruised with a number of lines who include gratuities and I much prefer it.
In this post, we will look at the lines which include gratuities in their cruise fares. The post is based on booking a cruise from the UK.
Note: You cannot remove gratuities on cruises with Costa Cruises.
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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
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.
Just know that if you buy the package, you can’t change your mind later and get your money back. So be sure you want it before you purchase.
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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.
Drink Charges On Cruise Ships: The Big Picture
The cost of both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks varies significantly from ship to ship.
Many higher-end lines that play in the luxury travel space dont charge a single dollar for most drinks on their vessels. Even premium liquors and wines are included in the fare, with just a few ultrapremium spirits and rare wines coming with an extra charge. Among cruise operators that take such an all-inclusive approach are luxury operators Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea, Crystal Cruises and Seabourn.
Other high-end cruise sellers that have an all-inclusive formula when it comes to drinks on ships include tour company Tauck, which markets a number of river ships Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, which operates both river and ocean ships and river cruise-focused Uniworld.
There also are several cruise lines that include complimentary beer and wine with lunch and dinner, but still charge for drinks ordered during the day and evening at bars. Viking is one example. It has such a policy on both its ocean and river ships. River cruise line Avalon Waterways has a similar policy.
Some lines offer a slight variation on the drinks-with-lunch-and-dinner theme. River line AmaWaterways, for instance, has begun including select alcoholic drinks at no extra charge during predinner happy hours on its ships. Thats on top of beer and wine with lunch and dinner.
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Can You Bring Wine On A Norwegian Cruise
Youre allowed to bring bottles of wine and champagne on a Norwegian cruise, however youll be charged a corkage fee upon boarding. The cost is $15 per bottle of wine and $30 per magnum of champagne. This might still be worth it for you, as you can drink this in your cabin as well as in the lounges and restaurants on board.
Make sure to pack them in your carry on bag and as you board on embarkation day. Other alcohol is prohibited from being brought onto the ship and will likely be confiscated.
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Viking Cruises Include Alcohol
Viking Ocean Cruises
Viking ocean cruises include beer, wine, and soft drinks with dinner but dont include drinks at any other time of the day. I took a 4-night cruise with Viking into the arctic circle in pursuit of the midnight sun. It was one of the best experiences of my life, if you can afford to cruise with Viking I cant recommend it enough.
Viking does have a premium drinks package available for purchase.
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How Much Are Drinks On Norwegian Cruise Line
Knowing the cost of individual drinks onboard is a good way to calculate if a beverage package is worth it, and if so, which one is best for you.
On average, frozen cocktails and drinks on Norwegian cost about $9-13 a glass. Mojitos and martinis will be a bit higher at about $13-15 a glass. Drinks with premium liqueurs will be $18 and more.
Wine by the glass is about $9-10, while beer is $6-9. Specialty coffee is $3-4, as are soft drinks. Energy drinks and bottled water are $5-6 each.
Butler Service In Every Suite
All guests are pampered equally aboard our ships. We are the only cruise line in the world to include butler service in every suite, in every category. A staff-to-guest ratio of nearly one to one ensures that your every wish is fulfilled with earnest precision, from the concierge who can customise your voyage to the butler who serves your breakfast in suite.
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Other Adults In Your Room Do Not Want A Drink Package
If there is one thing we hear a lot about from prospective drink package buyers that they struggle with, it is the rule of if one person in a stateroom purchases a Deluxe Beverage package, all others in the stateroom aged 21 and over must purchase a package.
There is a little bit of wiggle room with this rule, if you call Royal Caribbean and mention your the other adult in your stateroom do not drink alcohol, they will often let the other adult purchase the Royal Refreshment package instead .
How To Buy A Drink Package For Your Norwegian Cruise
Its pretty easy, really. Once youve booked your cruise, simply head over to ncl.com. Then up in the right-hand corner, log in to myNCL.com with your username and password. That will take you to Explore & Plan. From there, in the left-hand column, choose Beverage Packages. Simply choose your package and pay for it. It will be automatically added to your account.
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The Pros Of Booking A Drinks Package:
- Drink packages are easy to use: just order your drink, swipe your card and cheers! No signatures, no waiting and no worries.
- Its stress-free, you dont have to debate whether you have money for another drink or not.
- It also makes checking the bill at the end of the trip really simple, since there arent many drink transactions on there for you to check.
- Paying in advance breaks apart your cruise cost. Dont forget: you may also have expenses ashore, buy souvenirs, casino bills, speciality restaurants and nobody wants to end their holiday with a large bill to pay!
- Some cruise lines, like MSC or Costa, wont charge you the mandatory service charge of 15% if you book your drink package prior to boarding. If you decide to buy your drinks package onboard, you have to pay a fee.
- Drinks packages purchased on board must be paid in the ships official currency . If you buy your package in advance, you can pay in your own currency.
Gratuities And Personalised Service Onboard
Setting sail on Silversea promises peace of mind from start to finish. That means no worrying about tipping the butlers or staff. Our crew to guest ratio of almost 1:1 ensures flawless service from pole to pole, but with us, you never have to think about who should get a tip, how much you should give and when. Its all included! We think that not having to deal with tipping helps make you luxury cruise even more special and stress free. And that is worth every penny.
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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.
If you purchase the package, it is charged for every day you are on the ship. It doesn’t matter if you are in port for a day, you are still charged. This is one of the main drawbacks of the beverage package.
Also, keep in mind that the drink package is sold on the first couple of days of the cruise. You can’t decide halfway through the trip that you want it. You’ll need to buy it early.
Are Cruises All Inclusive
We all want lower cruise fares, but getting charged for odds and ends may not be very relaxing either, so some guests prefer cruising where everything they want to do or purchase is included. While all inclusive cruises are nothing new, there are more options than ever, and ways of packaging certain amenities for a flat cost, or even bundling some things in with your cruise fare on lines that aren’t typically thought of as all inclusive. Let’s look at what it means to be an all inclusive cruise, what some cruise lines offer, and how to budget your next cruise including things you’d otherwise pay a la carte.
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The Pros And Cons Of A Drinks Package
Does it make sense to buy a drinks package if you arent offered one as a booking incentive? The quick answer is that it depends.
The first thing you should do when considering a drinks package is carefully think through how many drinks you normally order while on vacation.
Drinks packages on ships often are quite pricey, and they only make sense if youre a big spender on drinks a really big spender. Carnival, for instance, charges as much as $59.95 per person, per day for its Cheers! drinks package. Royal Caribbean drinks packages sometimes cost as much as $89 per day. One Norwegian drinks package is over $120 a day. These packages only make sense if you routinely spend more than those amounts on drinks on a per-day basis.
If youre a beer drinker, the packages generally are not a good deal. Its better just to pay for beer as you go. On Carnival ships, for instance, many beers cost $6.25. Youd have to order more than nine beers a day at that price for Carnivals Cheers! package to start paying off.
The packages make better sense for wine drinkers, as the cost of wine by the glass on cruise ships often is high. Wines by the glass on Carnival ships range from around $8 to $14. At the higher end of that spectrum, youd have to order five glasses a day for the package to start paying off.
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That means the packages make the most sense for passengers who consistently order a large number of drinks from day to day.
How To Sneak Alcohol On A Cruise Ship
Whilst many cruise lines are very generous in allowing guests to bring a certain amount of alcohol on-board with them, many people still want to know how to sneak booze on a cruise.
Smuggling alcohol on a cruise ship is not allowed and cruise lines use scanners to x-ray your luggage to look for prohibited items. Cruisers have been coming up with seemingly ingenious ways to sneak alcohol onto cruise ships, but nothing is fool proof.
What will happen if youre caught? The best-case scenario is that you have your alcohol confiscated and returned to you at the end of the cruise. However, some cruise lines retain the right to refuse boarding to anyone attempting to smuggle drinks on-board. Would you take the risk?
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What The Premium Beverage Package Does Not Include
The Premium Beverage Package does not include room service, package sales, daily cocktail specials or buckets of beer. Also not included are the designated Super Premium brands , bottled wine, mini bar purchases, bottled water and fresh squeezed juices.
Lavazza coffee beverages, energy drinks and drinks from vending machines are also not part of the package.
Guests are allowed to buy two beverages per person per transaction.
The good news is that you can take advantage of this package at all restaurants, lounges, bars and Great Stirrup Cay.
If you buy an item over $15 USD, the overage plus 20% gratuity and service charge will be applied to your onboard account.
COST: $99 per person per day plus 20% gratuity and beverage service charge.
Package cost for a seven-day cruise: $831.60 per person out the door.
Cheers Cruise Program Price
First in February 2016, then again in August 2018, Carnival enhanced its CHEERS! beverage program and now it includes more non-alcoholic beverages, high-quality brand spirits, and wines by the glass. CHEERS program allows passengers to enjoy a wide selection of drinks by paying a flat daily rate. Passengers must be 21 or older to buy the CHEERS package. Everyone in the same stateroom must purchase the program.
Now available within the CHEERS program are the following beverages:
- All spirits, including cognacs, whiskies, cocktails, and other spirits, as well as wine by the glass and beer, which cost less than $50 per serving .
- RockStar energy drinks Zero-proof frozen cocktails
- Specialty teas and coffees served in the coffee bars, main dining rooms, and specialty restaurants
- 500ml bottles of water served in ship bars and lounges
- Vitamin Water, Coconut Water, Powerade, Honest Tea
- juices, milkshakes
- Large format bottles of water in specialty restaurants and main dining rooms
- 25% discount off menu prices for any wine by the glass, spirit or cocktail priced over $50 per serving
- 25% discount off menu prices for champagne and wine by the bottle, and larger water bottles bought outside specialty restaurants and main dining rooms
- 25% discount off menu prices for beverage-served shipboard classes and seminars
Below you can read a unique survey dedicated to the Carnival’s “all you can drink” package as history, policy and price changes, customer reviews, etc.
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Convenience Of Not Worrying About Drink Costs Onboard
Having a drink package means not worrying about the cost of individual drinks on your Royal Caribbean cruise. Since so many cocktails, beers, premium coffees and more are included with the drink package, any concerns of running up a high bar tab are eliminated. For a lot of guests, this is a very liberating experience.
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 . 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.
So if you have 15 alcoholic drinks, you can’t order another until the next day, but you can have all the waters or sodas that you want.
While other cruise lines may not set explicit limits, if you are obviously intoxicated then don’t be surprised if you are cut off from ordering any more drinks.
As well, there are often waiting periods between drink purchases.
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