assorted cocktails

Beverage packages allow cruisers to pre-pay a set price for (almost) unlimited soda, bottled water, beer, wine and spirits, rather than paying per drink while onboard. The number of beverage packages available on cruise ships can be bewildering. For those scheduled to sail on Celebrity, we've broken down two of the line's drinks packages to help you decide between them. The main two Celebrity Cruises drink packages are the Classic and the Premium packages.

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Similarities Between Classic vs. Premium Beverage Packages

On Celebrity, both Classic and Premium Beverage Packages include the following: unlimited sodas, fresh squeezed and bottled juices, water, tea, premium coffee, beer, wine, spirits, cocktails and frozen drinks. The packages also include a 20 percent discount on a bottle of wine.

Celebrity Cruises offers a discount for cruisers who pre-purchase a drinks package ahead of sailing, rather than onboard. You also can buy a package a few days into your cruise, and the price will be calculated according to the number of days left on the itinerary.

All packages incur a 15 to 18 percent gratuity and taxes on top of the cost of the package. Pre-ordered packages can be modified or canceled up to four days prior to the sailing date.

drink on the sun deck

Differences Between Premium vs. Classic Beverage Packages

The key difference between the two packages is price. Expect to pay between $40 and $55 per day for a Classic Package, while a Premium one will set you back at least an additional $10 per day.

So what does that extra $10 per day get you?

With a Premium package, you're likely to get branded waters, such as Evian and Pellegrino, rather than the cruise line's own brand of water.

You also won't have a price cap on beers (typically $5 with a Classic package), so you can be more adventurous and try some international brands.

The wine cap also rises, allowing you to try some interesting labels and vintages instead of being stuck with the house brand night after night.

A Premium Package also includes Vitamin Water and Red Bull.

Celebrity Cruises Drink Packages Bottom Line: Classic vs. Premium

If you're not fussy about brand names and like a familiar beer and a quaffable wine, then the Classic Beverage Package sounds like the drink package for you.

If you're a bit more adventurous with your beers, your palate is accustomed to a specific grape or if you have a penchant for a particular brand of spirit, then you are better off opting for the Premium Beverage Package.

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