All-You-Can-Drink Packages: Cheers or Jeers?

November 8, 2011 | By | 71 Comments

A few years ago, when Celebrity Cruises came out with a rather revolutionary “all you can drink” package for cocktails, wine and beer, I was a bit skeptical. Is it smart (or responsible) to give cruise passengers, many of whom already indulge excessively, a limitless scenario? Would such packages result in unnecessary binging?

Celebrity’s plan offers two versions. For $44 per day per person, you can drink all the beer (up to $5), vodka, wine and pina coladas (spirits, vino up to $8) that you want. If you’re picky, add $10 a day for a top-shelf option, which includes the entire selection of beers as well as spirits, cocktails and wines by the glass up to $12 per serving. (For its part, sister line Royal Caribbean began offering a similar deal earlier this year, but it’s limited to three internationally based ships.)
Here’s the rub: If you’re paying $308 (or more, plus gratuity) over a week for all-you-can-drink cruise libations, wouldn’t you want to make sure you got your money’s worth — or better? And might that lead to binging or waste?
Onboard Celebrity Eclipse on a Caribbean cruise, my husband and I tested the concept. I booked the package. He bought his drinks a’ la carte. Here’s what we found:
Biggest benefit: The package was liberating. I didn’t have to think about the cost of anything – very much like being on most luxury cruises, where specialty drinks and cocktails are fare-inclusive.
Most surprising discovery: Since the up-front fee included non-alcoholic beverages as well, I never worried about hauling my own six packs of Diet Coke onboard, drank more sparkling water than usual, tested out coffee drinks, and discovered the most delicious fresh-squeezed orange juice (in the buffet’s bar). None of these cost an extra cent.
Most bizarre moment: Celebrity does not permit you to “buy” drinks for others or order more than one at a time, which I get. But there was an odd moment one afternoon at lunch in the main dining room. I’d ordered a glass of Chardonnay to accompany my starter, and it took a long time to arrive. So, in preparation for the entrée, and with the first glass about a quarter full, I asked for another. The wine steward, who could perhaps use a lesson in exercising good judgment, refused to take the order until I’d drained the glass.
The real test: Did I get my money’s worth? Yes. My husband’s onboard bill, for pretty much the same stuff from coffees to cocktails, was $50 more than the package.
Don’t want to take my word for it? Check out this boards posting by Cruise Critic member boyerd, who broke down what he typically spent on cruise booze in a single day (from a latte with Bailey’s at 8:30 a.m. to his midnight nightcap) and how it compared with the drink package. It’s illuminating, to say the least.
Get all you need to know on cruise booze in our Guide to Drinking at Sea, including Seven Ways to Score Free Drinks at Sea.
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    71 Responses to “All-You-Can-Drink Packages: Cheers or Jeers?”

    1. Harriet
      November 8th, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

      I think that encouraging people to drink more by buying these packages is irresponsible and you just know that people will drink more to make sure they get their money’s worth. Shame on Celebrity to have thought up this “brilliant” idea. Drinking is fine but don’t encourage excess !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Kelly
      November 8th, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

      I definately think it is worth it. I don’t drink but on occasion so i would not get one for me as I may have 5 alcoholic drinks on a weeks cruise but the hubby does love his beer when it is hot and sunny out so this wouls save us some cash I could spend elsewhere!

    3. val
      November 8th, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

      Unfortunately people will take advantage of this scenario. Give an inch take a mile. Greed trumps common decency in many cases.

    4. Jim
      November 8th, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

      I don’t mind the package being offered, but I would never buy it. Why? My one drink per day at most NEVER comes to $50 or even $44 per day. I buy the Coke package and drink maybe 1 drink per day. I don’t drink coffee, so the drink package would have to get a LOT cheaper for me to buy it.

    5. Carolyn
      November 8th, 2011 @ 3:13 pm

      Oh please! Encouraging excess? What are we, a bunch of babies that can’t be responsible for our own alcohol intake? Anyone who is going to drink to excess will do so if it’s a package deal or not.

    6. Geno
      November 8th, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

      I agree with Jim, in that while I like a drink now and then, I’m not one of those who everytime you see them on ship, they have a drink in their hand. Like him, they would have to offer a smaller option one that is much cheaper for me to want to purchase it.

    7. Scott
      November 8th, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

      back in 2005, I won a cruise from a radio station in chicago – they gave out a cruise for two to 150 listeners. We were able to purchase a liquor package (on NCL) for $30 per day per person. Yes, people drank a lot, but they would have anyway, and it actually saved money because I really do enjoy my margaritas and mojitos. But the funny thing was that the ship ran out of a majority of its liquors about 8 hours before it reached the first port!

      We did run into the captain and cruise director one day and asked them what they thought – they told us it was the most fun cruise they have done in a long time!

    8. Jeffrey
      November 9th, 2011 @ 5:16 am

      I believe in personal choice and the responsibility that goes with it. That means the package may be used by many, declined by many, and abused by a few.

      The real trouble is the abuse of it can lead to very serious problems, not only in cutting off an intoxicated passenger but also letting get to the point where they are dangerously intoxicated. It may unfairly put it on the bartender to say that even unlimited booze has limits.

    9. Kim
      November 9th, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

      We bought the celebrity liquor package. Great way to go. Never thought about counting pennies. Also the gratuities are build in, so it really penciled out for us. As far as responsibility, really….we are on vacation, not driving, have a short walk home and want to enjoy what we never do at home..start in the morning with a Bloody Mary.

    10. Russ
      November 9th, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

      When on the Equinox this past March a group of 4 of us each bought a package (1 regular and 3 premium). Did we drink any more than we normally would? No. But when you add everything up (bottled waters, Vitamin waters (after a workout), latte in the late morning, wine/beer with lunch, etc…the savings are significant. As Carolyn points out you also avoid the hassle of all those little receipts.

      Drinking responsibly is also key, but a drink package doesn’t \encourage\ drinking, bad choices do. I will say that on our cruise the only people I saw drunk (and actually getting sick in public areas) was a bunch of unsupervised teenagers whose \uncle\ kept buying drinks for all of them.

      Now that kind of abuse should not have been either allowed or tolerated.

    11. John
      November 9th, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

      I cruise Celebrity and My wife and I take advantage of the Premium and Classic Beverage packages. For an 11 Nt. cruise, it costs just under $1,100.00 for the two of us. The savings are significant and just like a pre purchased excursion or, upgrade of a stateroom, it comes down to choice. Like Russ, the DW and I do not drink anymore than we would if we had to pay daily, but the option to purchase the packages is not encouraged or discouraged. Its just a matter of choice. Alcohol can get very costly on a cruise and I’m very familiar with what many passengers have paid when the infamous bill is placed under your door the last night of the cruise. We are avid cruisers (3 times per year) since 1998 and the option to purchase these type of beverage packages was not available then. Its a nice luxury to have the option now. I strongly urge more cruise lines to follow suit.

    12. Alan Nichols
      November 9th, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

      Dear Harriet

      I can understand your concern. Food is free and available 24-7 so some people spend the entire cruise eating.

      Many do not.

      I think it would be healthier if they gave away the booze for free and charged for the food. The cruisers would get slimmer at least.

      enjoy (but not too much)

    13. Pete
      November 9th, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

      The Classic Package comes out to about $400 pp and the Premium Package is about $500. We’re sailing on the Summit this Saturday and I WAS going to buy the Classic package at the above quoted $308 plus tax and gratuity (about $350) but decided against it as our combined bar tab is usually about $400 for the two of us…

    14. Diane
      November 9th, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

      The only way I convinced my husband to take another cruise, vs another all inclusive vacation, was the celebrity drink package. He liked our last cruise on NCL but hated the feeling of being nickled and dimed for water, juice, wine, beer…etc. will we over indulge, probably not, just the fact of not signing for everything is worth the package. Its Pay now or Pay later, but with Paying now I’m not constantly reminded of the extras.

    15. Karen
      November 9th, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

      Keep in mind it is not just about the booze. I like that you can have specialty coffees, or teas and bottled water and juice and pop should you so desire.

      I too like the feeling of not being nickled and dimed.

      People who drink a lot are going to drink to a lot – with a package or not.

    16. KenSanDiego
      November 9th, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

      I get a soda card at the start of every cruise (actually I wait until day two to get the discount). Do I then force-feed myself soda until i can’t hold another drop? Obviously no. It is a matter of convenience. I’m sure they make more on the card than they would have a la carte…at least with me. I’m sure the kids give them a run for their money.

      As someone else stated above, drunks are going to get drunk. They do not require an incentive. I’ve done several ‘booze cruises’ with the specific intent of getting tanked. I’ve done even more cruises with the intent of gambling, and even more with the intent of relaxing and sightseeing. I would have bought the package on all of them if it was available to me, simply as a convenience. Let the bible thumpers drink tea…a la carte.

    17. Norma
      November 9th, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

      I’m sorry. I don’t get it. Does this mean that you pay for all beverages on a cruise?
      If so, we won’t be crusing any time soon.
      I like an occasional glass of wine w/a meal. Or maybe a mixed drink near the pool. My husband doesn’t drink. Cold is mostly ginger ale and an occasional coke. So now it is $300+/pp in addition to the price of the cruise?

    18. Debbie
      November 10th, 2011 @ 12:08 am

      No the drink package is entirely optional..and if you only have a glass of wine a day than you pay for it like at a restaurant…

    19. Candy
      November 10th, 2011 @ 10:18 am

      At least if you were able to buy the drink package, you would know what your bill would be at the end of the day! That’s a great benefit.

    20. Margaret
      November 10th, 2011 @ 10:38 am

      Does anyone know if the bar servers actually get the automatic gratuity added to the drinks they serve?

    21. John
      November 10th, 2011 @ 10:46 am

      I purchased the Celebrity package on our last cruise and it was well worth it!! I had the premium and my with the Non Alchol pkg.. We had to pay for her few cocktails but we did drink more bottle water and specialty coffe drinks than we normally do on a cruise and enjoyed not having to sign for everything. I wish more lines would do the same.

    22. BD
      November 12th, 2011 @ 8:07 am

      My wife and I just purchased the premium packages for the upcoming Eclipse cruise on Dec 10. I think if you figure in all the beverages, it will be worth it.

    23. Karen
      November 13th, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

      It’s just nice not to have to worry about the bill at the end. I did not drink more but I felt free to try things I would not have without the package. We are adults after all.

    24. Rob
      November 23rd, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

      Most people I talk to look at a cruise as the ultimate escape from everyday life. They are looking for all inclusive packages and are willing to pay an up-charge for the benefit of not thinking about the cost of goods and services while on board. Very few people are doing so to drink themselves into a stupor.

    25. Deborah Wisdom
      November 24th, 2011 @ 3:38 am

      I’ve sailed now on 12 differing cruises with Thomsons (TUI) I’ve always purchased the drinks package & always fill that I’ve broken even. Its something I don’t have to worry about taking up the Holiday spends. Thomsons also cover Fancy Coffees in the package & Tips are at your choice.I’ve also sailed with a few Bigger American Lines, but much prefer the small Thomsons Ships, Crew & can say I’ve had value for my money. Keep on sailing THOMSONS!!!

    26. jodi schoon
      February 1st, 2012 @ 11:40 am

      I think it is a deal breaker – I think that would make it that much relaxing not wondering what your bar bill would be – to pay upfront and have it out of site out of mind – is a no brainer!

    27. alicia stetzer
      February 1st, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

      i never hear anyone complaining about all-inclusive resorts…so why is it such a touchy subject that some cruise lines offer an alcohol-included option? at least with this option you are not required to pay a hefty fee up front for alcohol like non-drinkers would do on an all-inclusive land vacation.

    28. Sandy Harrold
      March 6th, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

      I am interested in the cost of the non alcholic drink package

    29. Jenn
      March 25th, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

      I say they all should have it. Think about what you are paying for just one of those fruity little drinks with an umbrella. I would rather not have to worry about my bill at the end of the week. Do we know if any other cruise ships offer it?

    30. ketevan
      June 20th, 2012 @ 2:45 am


      I was from 23 May to 28 May in Royal Caribbean Cruise ship name: liberty of the seas with group 32 People and I had beverage package which include: Juices, Coca, Sprite, Beer, Vodka and lots of cocktails and now I am going on July 28 in the same ship and I want to buy this package and our travel agency told me that I don’t have this kind of package because it was for a group and now I am interesting is it possible to take package which include the same thing and how much per day per person can you advice me?


    31. John Z
      June 27th, 2012 @ 9:48 am

      Celebrity first started the premium package at 49.99; now it is 54.99? The nice part is that it includes sparkling waters, juice, specialty coffee’s etc. Also the cheaper package does not include some of the latter and also the wines at $8.00 are not that good! If you get the premium be sure your preferred bar carries the better wines, or else they will pour you the less expensive stuff. I do find myself being sure I have a few more drinks on Celebrity, rather than an all inclusive like Regent. I think allot of it it the atmosphere rather than than thought of making sure you get your monies worth. All in all, I do prefer the packages to the smuggling on board, etc. I also enjoyed the 2 bottles in your room for night caps rather than having to go back and forth to the closest bar. We love Regent,Sea Dream, want to try Seaborn, but sometimes you just can’t beat the prices on the other ships to get away!

    32. Cherie G
      June 27th, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

      My husband and I have done the beverage package on Celebrity and we were a little worried about drinking too much but we didn’t. What we did do was drink more bottled/sparkling water and speciality coffees. Not having to worry about how much a drink costs as long as it was in our package was, as the author of the story above says, liberating and not having to sign a receipt after every round of drinks was a releif.

    33. Bobby Dee
      June 28th, 2012 @ 7:41 am

      I agree with the article completely and the fact that Celebrity has the package available has definitely become a major point in my cruise selection. RCCL, Princess, and X are my favorite lines and I lean toward X strongly because this is available.

    34. Charlie Dean
      July 30th, 2012 @ 1:32 am

      Once in a while everyone likes to “beat the system”. Having done several cruises with a variety in age Typically 8-62, we definitely more than take advantage of these drink packages. For the kids we purchase ONE soda package. The designated soda sticker holder orders sodas throughout the cruise for ALL of the kids. The only drawback is only that single child is allowed to order a drink during dinner. Smart kid gets up during the meal walks to nearest bar and orders a coke for younger sibling. Works like a charm. Never had any questions or problems with it. As adults we do the same thing with these alcohol packages. Why not. Said $400 package is shared between 2 people, now becomes only $200 each. Not a bad deal if you ask me. We are not heavy drinkers so why pay a hefty tab for our vacation? (each alcoholic beverage ranges in price $5-$12 surely adds up quickly) Sometimes we drink our moneys worth and other times we do not. On our last cruise 4 cruisers were 21-29 the 4 of them split two drink packages and definitely drank their moneys worth. Other +21 years old (not with our party) with these drink packages were buying drinks for “friends” and other passengers. So we were clearly not the only ones playing this game. Having been doing this with drink packages from the get go we have become very accustomed to the ways of the package and we have every intention to continue using the drink packages to our benefits.

    35. Jane
      August 13th, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

      I am considering the Classic Package for a Celebrity Cruise in Alaska next May. Does anyone know if this package includes martinis? A couple of those even every other day would add up! I noticed that the premium package includes wines up to $12/glass. Is that the only difference in the classic and premium packages?

    36. john taylor
      October 11th, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

      No paper receipts to carry
      Wine only by the glass but you get to try different types – but note the selection is limited.
      Ever wanted to try a specialty drink but do not due to the cost and the worry about – what do I do if the drink is awful- this lets you try new things – Which is part of the cruise experience. And as pointed out is not just for alcohol – try other new things too. We had bartender mix blended icy drinks with limited alcohol and found some very good variations of chocolate and strawberry drinks. The comment about ease of use and just enjoying the moment are all true.
      The cost is not even the issue. The secret is finding a good bartender and having him help you find new things to try.

    37. my input
      October 11th, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

      To Charlie Dean and those who think like him,

      What you are doing is stealing. And you are teaching your children/grandchildren to steal. Your bad behavior is what raises the cost of these packages. If you can’t abide by the rules, then buy your drinks separately. Shame on you.

    38. Ward McCain
      October 12th, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

      I travel with Silverseas and they have complimentary drinks. I find that the guest drink less than on other cruise lines where they pay for their drinks.

    39. Karen
      November 21st, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

      Can anyone recommend which is the best drinks package on celebrity cruises we were thinking of the classic alcohol package but not sure if we will get cocktails of decent quality and decent wines or would we be better with the premium package which is about £200 more per couple? This our first cruise going soon can’t wait.

    40. Jim
      December 23rd, 2012 @ 2:10 am

      My wife and I are going on the Celebrity Solstice next April. This is our first cruise. We are looking at The classic drinks package,$44per day + graturity and was wondering is there a variety of beers, wines to choose from ? also does it include specialty coffees, teas as well.

    41. Melody
      December 23rd, 2012 @ 7:28 am

      We are going on the Celebrity Summitt in Jan/ We are going to order a beverage package as we like to have wine with meals/ I was told we have to order 2 (one for each person in our party) I don’t know…

    42. Mary
      January 6th, 2013 @ 12:42 am

      We cruised on Carnival a few weeks ago, and our dinner tablemates purchased the all-inclusive drink package. Carnival makes all cruisers in the same cabin buy the package, so that one won’t pay for the package and give their partner free drinks, as some are doing above on Celebrity.
      Also, I know that our tablemate drank much more than he would have otherwise, and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

    43. Marina
      January 13th, 2013 @ 11:15 am

      Carnival forces cabinmates to purchase the same package? I don’t drink alcohol but my cousin does. I was planning on purchasing the pop/juice package. I don’t want to pay for alcohol when I don’t drink it. That’s a downer!!!

    44. Carlene
      January 15th, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

      To have purchased the premium package on Celebrity on our last back to back would have been nearly 660.00 per person. We’ve never had a bar bill that high so no matter what they offer it’s not worth ot to us. There are about 32 shots to a 5th of liquor,so they’re making big bucks already on thr bars aboard ship.

    45. Kim R
      May 29th, 2013 @ 3:50 pm

      It might be a savings if the whole cabin didn’t have to purchase it. I might consider it if you could buy it for days you want to use it, like sea days. There’s no way my husband and I are drinking $88 worth of anything, everyday.

    46. Jim Sullivan
      June 19th, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

      We have cruised at least twice a year for the last several years and never took advantage of any of the drink packages. That is until we booked a Celebrity “Reflection” cruise next January. They had what I thought was one of the best incentive offers we have seen. We had a choice of 3 options, 1. Pre-Paid Gratuities, 2. $200.00 onboard spending credit, or 3. a free Classic Beverage Package for both of us.
      Which would you choose? I think it’s a no brainer considering all it includes. My only question is it worth the upgrade of $10 per day for the Premium Package, seems like a of the cocktails I like are usually over the maximum of $8 per drink??

    47. Mark
      August 27th, 2013 @ 2:47 am

      I created an excell document to verify for myself if the packages are worth it. I enter the length of cruise and then select drinks i thought id like. The output tells how much is spent in both non-alcoholic and alcoholic categories and totals for AT sea days and Port days (I dont include lunch or lounging at pool/ship dirnks). What I found out is staggering ! Here is what I selected for my casual drinking: bfst (free bottled water, coffee(non-premium) , lunch: no drinks (free- same as bfst), 2 bottles water for excursions, AT SEA DAYs: 2 frozen non-alcoholic drinks + 2 beers, Dinner: 2 glasses wine & 1 capp/expresso after dinner, 1 martini (at the molucluar bar to take into theatre for show, then 1 mixed drink while listening to music at club. My totals for the entire 11 night cruise: $50/day ($554.00) non-alcoholic drinks: $155. alcoholic drinks: $399. Trust me when I say I can drink much more than this and ALSO when i set up the program my drink prices account for the low mid range of drink prices. IN MY OPINION PKGS ARE WORTH IT , those saying they encourage excessive drinking (i think that depends on the individual but i sure would love to have at least a couple more fresh squeezed juices, smoothies, etc by the pool not to mention premium coffee and water. pkgs seem like a lot but really I found they make economic sense unless you dont plan on drinking anything but ships water, coffee, juice and maybe 1-2 drinks/day.

    48. Mark
      August 27th, 2013 @ 3:03 am

      Sorry about the spelling mistakes in my above post. ONE MORE comment: I didn’t add in any tips for drinks but when i do tip at bars I usually do $1/drink. The prepaid gratuities in the packages is only i believe 15% so that in itself is saving me (85 cents/drink) quite a bit. Lol I feel like a cheapo though.

      BTW does it make sense that they call it Non-alcoholic and alcoholic ? I mean after all if im an alcoholic and in AA that would mean I want the alcoholic pkg. If someone is NOT an alcoholic and wants to drink then… the NON-alcoholic is right , right ? haha

      happy cruising everyone and email me if you would like my excel document I made for the drink breakdown. im willing to share it.

    49. Karen
      August 28th, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

      If we delay buying a beverage package until after the ship leaves port, is the package cheaper? Is there a discount that you don’t receive buying earlier?

    50. cengelbe
      September 8th, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

      Anyone know if the premium drink package on Royal Caribbean covers the specialty dining restaurants? It doesn’t specifically list them in the brochure so I called and was told yes, but I’d hate to get on board and find out there are places the package doesn’t cover. Anyone have any experience with this?

    51. Norm
      February 5th, 2014 @ 5:39 am

      After reading all the above I am still not convinced of breaking even after laying out $2700 AUD for wife an self on the 23 nights Century transpacific coming up. I looked back at what we drank on Princess 18day round Australia cruise 2012 and it equated to around $1600-1700 AUD max total for the 2 of us (allowing for Century pricing). I had a couple of beers then usually 3 wines in the dining room then maybe a beer after dinner or whatever. Total 6 drinks a day My body’s limit! At 64 I am pretty much in tune with my body and what it can take. The wife would probably drink similar wine ; but no beer maybe a cocktail or 2 max. I think the wine prices on Celebrity are exorbitant a bottle of wine ay $45 AUD as opposed to Princess $25 AUD for a good Californian Chardonnay. The only benefit I can see for us is convenience and not worrying about tab at end of 23 days across the Pacific. Having said that the $1000 left in my pocket on paying my way as opposed to beverage package is very appealing as well any comments appreciated Norm Adelaide South Australia

    52. Lil doody
      February 17th, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

      Celebrity constellation 4 day cruise with promotional (free) classic beverage package included. Convenient, no worries about cost, tried out special drinks. Cost effective if we had paid? No. With each of us drinking 1-2 soft drinks, 3 cocktails and 3 wines a day, it would not pay for us to have bought it. We figure we would have spent $60 day max, the package sold at $45 or so per person. We would have lost money, not saved.

    53. Tom Vardon
      February 20th, 2014 @ 11:50 am

      Many days at sea on a Panama cruise on celebrity has me thinking serious of 1000 US for a drink package with the Canadian Dollar at .91 and 15% gratuity and a tax, that’s gonna be about $1350 times 2 is $2,700. Seems a bit pricy. We drink orange juice, lemonade, and water. The ship water is probably better than the bottled water. We always enjoy a bottle of wine at dinner. Now we would need a glass or 4. In the past our bill would be less than a 1000 for 2 weeks, We go to the wine tastings, and all the free parties so most days we are OK. We normally are able to have something in the cabin, but i know it is getting more difficult. I saw justifications, but a lot of non alcoholic included. Maybe fresh squeezed juice every day will do it… and I could have a couple of whiskeys in the evening.
      It is cheaper to buy before you cruise, but i know when you are at sea, there are no taxes. I’ll keep watching this thread, maybe justify it yet…

    54. Michelle Cooper
      February 24th, 2014 @ 3:29 am

      We are being offered a choice from 3 options – beverage, $300 on bard credit, or gratuities. My husband drinks a lot (especially with our cruising buddies), me not so much (no coffee, maybe 3-4 mixed drinks/cocktails/wine per day. Experienced cruisers, what might be the best option do you think?

    55. Eric
      March 14th, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

      We just finished a 10 day Caribbean cruise and drank $50/pp a day in premium drinks plus 5 bottles of wine totalling $250 and came in considerably under the premium drink package.
      If you are young and can drink from the time you wake up, maybe it is worth it. If you are off the ship until 5pm for half the cruise do you think you can drink $70 per person between then and bedtime? Perhaps it would be worth it to monitor your charges for a few days and consider buying a package for the last few days. Maybe. Mostly I think Celebrity makes money on the package – why else would they offer it?

    56. Kelli
      April 26th, 2014 @ 11:37 am

      My wife and I are in our 30’s and have had the drink package 2x on the Celebrity Summit both trips to Bermuda from New Jersey. We didn’t need the flight credit and we take the tips off our bill and tip in cash based on service. Some times we tip more then required sometimes less. We usually tip the room steward heavy and the maître d’ a little less so the drink package is our best option (We also booze pretty hard) We upgraded $10.00 a day for the premium package and used our bill at the end to calculate the cost. We were $100 over the cost of the package so it was very close. We liked the freedom of never having to worry about cost and were able to try some drinks out that other wise we would have skipped. The coffee drinks are awesome and included. Basically if its offered with the choose 3 option I say its a no brainer. If you are paying out of pocket it may not be the best choice unless you are hard core!

    57. Kat Chalater
      May 25th, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

      It does help with sticker shock with tallying up especially if you travel with your 20 something children and are footing the bill which we sometimes do on family vacations.

    58. Karen Kelly
      December 31st, 2014 @ 4:04 pm

      Did the premium on a 5 day, definitely got my moneys worth and enjoyed mimosas with my breakfast on the balcony, however, I do not think I could keep up the pace on a longer voyage. After 5 days I was done, so anything longer and I would probably pay the tab at the end because my desire for drink would peter out after day 5 for sure.

    59. Victoria Schneider
      December 31st, 2014 @ 4:29 pm

      my anxiety level is high after reading all these posts! Do I or don’t I? Going on a 15-day cruise to Hawaii on the Grand Princess. Lots of sea days. On one hand, I drink lots of water, wine with lunch and dinner, love fresh juice, maybe a couple of mixed drinks in a day, and can end dinner with a decaf Irish coffee. But with all that I’ve read I’m expecting lots of rough seas and lots of ginger ale. I haven’t cruised for ten years. With the prices I assume they are, I imagine the above would be worth $55 a day. But what a waste if we have rough seas and I don’t feel like drinking! What to do? What to do?

    60. Kory
      December 31st, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

      My wife and I chose to purchase the Premium drink package on RC’s Oasis of the Sea, and did not think it was worth the money. Perhaps my wife my drink enough wine at supper and cocktails over the course of the day to be worth the price, but RCI insists both people in the cabin purchase the package. I suppose this is to make sure you are not getting free drinks for your partner, which makes sense, but I don’t drink as much, and it basically doubled the cost of her drinks. In addition, the most bizarre thing I found, was that bartenders would not give you a double. We enjoyed drinking the raspberry daiquiries, but they were very large and sweet for only one oz of alcohol. Even when I ordered it as a single, drank it down an inch, then tried to order a shot of vodka to dump in it, they refused.

    61. ladams52
      December 31st, 2014 @ 11:40 pm

      Any recommendations for Princess CruiseS? We are on the Princess Grand for the Alaska 10 day cruise/land tour in June 2015. I like to drink wine (1 to 2 glasses a night and my husnad likes a beer or two or mixed drink and foo foo coffees ( I dring tea)). The All-Inclusive Bar Package is $56.35 per person/per day (includes every thing from water, soda , mixed drinks, beer and wine by the glass not to exceed $10 per drink. For a 7 day cruise that is $394.45 per person for 7 days. Any thoughts would be appriciated as I don’t know what a coffee, tea, soda, bottle of water, mixed drink, beer or glass of wine cost on a cruise these days. Thanks.

    62. Rob
      January 1st, 2015 @ 2:39 am

      The package itself doesn’t work for me, as I only have 3-4 drinks a day. All the great foods leaves very little room in my tummy for liquid. However upgrading to a premium from a 123Go promotion works. On an 11 day cruise in Aqua class I only spent $260 on drinks with no package. With the promotion the next 14 day cruise will only cost $151 to upgrade from 123Go. That works for me.

    63. ShepW
      January 1st, 2015 @ 3:10 am

      I remember the old days (80s and early 90s) of cruising when if you wanted to get a beer, wine, soda, or cocktail, you had to whip out your wallet to buy the drink. Then Carnival created the Sail and Sign card to put your drinks on your room account–a nice idea until you got the final bill on the final morning of the cruise: sticker shock! I’m glad that Celebrity and Royal Caribbean have the beverage packages so that I can drink what, when, and where I want. Having said that, buyers of these packages really need to know what’s included in them, and sometimes, the bartenders will give you conflicting answers. That’s why I always ask whether the beverage I choose at a bar or in the MDR is included in the package. if it is, great. If not, I’ll buy it separately from the package. At least on the final cruise morning, my sticker shock won’t be from drinks, the final bill will have other things on it that contributed to the shock. Bon Voyage!

    64. Sharon Campbell
      January 1st, 2015 @ 8:59 am

      Heavy drinkers save money with this package and light drinkers don’t. The packages are about the only way the cruise lines can get heavy drinkers to take cruises. Some might try to smuggle liquor onto the ship. If they are caught, that’s likely to be the last time that person takes a cruise.

      Can you imagine if coffee was expensive on a cruise ship. What coffee drinker would want to spend a week having to pay high prices for a cup of coffee or put up with a headache during vacation.

    65. Sharon Campbell
      January 1st, 2015 @ 9:00 am

      Those who are light drinkers probably would not find a beverage package worth the cost.

    66. stevieh
      January 14th, 2015 @ 6:41 am

      We nearly bought one of these packages for an 11-day cruise over Christmas, especially when others on board suggested you could get away with ‘buying’ a drink for your partner too. But we decided against and were glad we did. Even if one of use could have bought both of us drinks, we would have lost out. Typically, we have a couple of drinks a day, plus a bottle of wine with a meal – but that was only available at 40% discount. Maybe by-the-glass would have been possible, but I still think we’d have lost out by a wide margin.

    67. Kelly
      January 14th, 2015 @ 3:02 pm

      We have cruised several times, and would never go on another cruise unless we could include a drink package. As states by others, this includes water (which I tend to drink a lot of) as well as specialty coffees (which I enjoy every day) and freshly squeezed OJ. I am not a heavy drinker, per say, but definitely saved by having the package. Love the fact that one price and is all inclusive!

    68. Mike
      January 19th, 2015 @ 7:03 pm

      The booze packages do not makes sense to me. On my last cruise on Sapphire Princess there was always a happy hour half price in one of the bars in the afternoon and later in the evening in Skywalkers. As well there was $5 cocktails 5-7pm for platinum/elite in Skywalkers. In addition there were 5 beers for price of four around various bars on the ship. Doubling up orders on the happy hour sessions meant plenty of beer to take to cabin for later consumption. I would have to drink a lot on the booze packages to get better value and would end up sozzled every day. No thanks.

    69. Rodney De Filippis
      April 8th, 2015 @ 5:45 am

      What I hate is the “Cruise Passenger Houseos” 4 to a cabin, 1 drink package and spend the whole day rorting the card to get as many drinks as they can on 1 package. I say scrap the packages and go back to al la carte as a cheaper price just to stiff these thieves up.

    70. Marie Burns
      June 20th, 2015 @ 2:59 am

      What I don’t understand is how people can buy one card and share it around,your whole holiday must consist of keeping an eye on if staff are watching and generally discussing who’s going to go to the bar,how can you relax and all drink together ,I am going on a cruise in 6 weeks and am happy to purchase the drinks package each for my husband and I and use it as to how it’s intended to work .

    71. Lychordia
      November 13th, 2015 @ 6:06 pm

      Carnival makes it so that if 1 person gets it, everyone in the cabin has to get it. My issue is that my drink packages for me and my sisters cost more than the cruise itself. LOL. Oh well, cruise on my friends.

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