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Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

A Guide to Cruise Line Drink Packages

Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package (Photo: Royal Caribbean)
Contributor
Erica Silverstein
Contributor
Lori A. May

Last updated
Oct 24, 2023

Whether you're a first-time cruiser or a seasoned sailor hopping on as many last-minute cruise deals as possible, it's a question sure to arise: Is a cruise line drink package worth it?

It may be a highly personalized answer varying from ship to ship, and from one itinerary to the next. A Royal Caribbean drink package may be worth it to some on a Bahamas cruise, while those on an Alaskan cruise with Holland America may realize they drink fewer frozen cocktails while exploring Glacier Bay.

Found somewhere between the ubiquitous soda packages and the included-in-your-fare booze of most luxury lines, these programs let cruisers pay one base price that covers most -- if not all -- of their nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks onboard. Of course, while high prices and annoying fine print may persuade some travelers to go it a la carte, for others, the freedom to sample the best cruise cocktails and wines of unknown provenance can be too appealing to ignore.

See below for a line-by-line guide to popular cruise line drink packages.

On This Page

Azamara Drinks Packages

Dining on Azamara Quest (Photo: Azamara Club Cruises)
Dining on Azamara Quest (Photo: Azamara Club Cruises)

Azamara Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Azamara Drink Package Details: Although Azamara includes most nonalcoholic beverages along with select standard spirits, beers and a changing daily selection of red and white wines by the glass in its cruise fares, the line also has four for-fee beverage and wine packages.

Primary options include the Premium Package, which features more than 20 types of beer and cider and liquors and liqueurs, and the Ultimate Package, which offers even more upscale offerings for liquors and liqueurs, along with Champagne and a selection of wines by the glass, and premium bottled waters.

There are also two wine packages: the Wine Lover Package and the Wine Connoisseur Package. The Wine Lover Package offers five-, seven-, 10- and 12-bottle packages with more than 80 bottles of wine selections. For higher-end wine aficionados, the Wine Connoisseur Package includes 50 bottled varieties including sparkling and dessert wines.

Fine Print: Packages can be pre-purchased (through Azamara or your travel agent) or bought onboard throughout the length of your cruise. Charges begin on day one or the day you purchase the package. Packages are not refundable once purchased and cannot be downgraded to a lower-tier package. You can only order one drink at a time. Drinks through room service are also permitted, during hours in which shipboard bars are open.

Is the Azamara Drink Package Worth It?

For many travelers, Azamara's complimentary beverage program will be more than sufficient for the duration of a cruise as included beverages range from international beers, a rotating wine selection, and some standard spirits.

Carnival Cruise Line Drink Packages

Carnival Fantasy (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)
Carnival Fantasy (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Ships with Drink Packages: Fleetwide

Carnival Drink Package Details: Carnival guests can save 10% by purchasing Carnival's Cheers! drink package before sailing, though pre-purchases are cut off a day before embarkation. Cheers! may also be purchased the first day onboard at full price either at Guest Services, from a bartender or at one of Carnival's bars.

After finding the best Carnival cruise deals, purchasing the Cheers! package will include spirits (including cocktails), as well as beer and wine by the glass, sodas, zero-proof frozen cocktails, energy drinks, specialty coffee, hot tea, 500ml bottled water and other nonalcoholic bottled beverages.

Carnival's Bottomless Bubbles program is a strictly soda package, with adult and child pricing available, and includes all-you-can-drink soda and juice for the duration of your cruise.

Fine Print: Packages can be purchased in advance online or by phone, until the evening prior to the cruise departure, or at bars once onboard. If one adult in a cabin purchases the Cheers! package, all adults over 21 years old in that cabin must also purchase it.

Participants can order only one drink at a time, there is a five-minute wait time required between drink purchases, and all bottles and cans are served opened; there is a limit of 15 alcoholic drinks per person within any 24-hour period. The package does not apply to drinks in souvenir glasses or via room service.

Due to state laws, the Cheers! package is not available until the second day of all sailings leaving from ports in New York and Texas. Cheers! applies to onboard beverages only; it cannot be used at Princess Cays or Half Moon Cay. The package must be booked for the entire duration of the voyage.

Is the Carnival Cruise Line Drink Package Worth It?

Carnival Cruise Lines remains one of the best budget cruises and offers one of the most affordable drink packages compared to other cruise lines, but its true value is determined by how many beverages you anticipate consuming during a cruise. If you plan on drinking more than three or four cocktails and a few premium coffees, the package pricing is likely your best deal.

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Celebrity Cruises Drinks Packages

Celebrity Cruises Alcohol Policy (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)
Celebrity Cruises Alcohol Policy (Photo: Celebrity Cruises)

Celebrity Ships with Drinks Packages: All ships except for Celebrity Xpedition and Celebrity Flora, for which beverages are all-inclusive in the cruise fare

Celebrity Drink Package Details: Celebrity Cruises moved to an all-inclusive offering in 2020, with its "Always Included" packages, which include classic cocktails, wines by the glass, beer, sodas, specialty coffees and teas, juices and bottled water (as well as Wi-Fi and gratuities) when booking eligible cabin fares or when booking The Retreat or Aquaclass.

For passengers sailing on non-All Included Celebrity cruise deals, there are three add-on drinks programs to choose from.

Celebrity's Classic Package includes an array of liquors, beers, wines by the glass and a discount on wine bottles. This package also includes nonalcoholic beverages such as premium coffees and teas, sodas, juice and non-premium bottled water.

The Premium Package includes all classic package items along with premium bar selections, fresh squeezed juices, premium water bottles and bottled iced teas. The package also includes a discount on wine bottles.

Celebrity's Zero Proof Package includes nonalcoholic drinks such as sodas, fresh juices, premium coffees and teas, premium bottled water, vitamin water and Red Bull editions, along with zero proof cocktails. There are no age restrictions on the Zero Proof Package.

Fine Print: Celebrity Drink Packages are sold on a per cruise basis, and not on a per day or any other basis. No refunds will be issued for unused credits. Packages may not be shared, and do not include beverages sold in gift shops, mini-bar, or room service.

Purchased packages may be modified up to four days prior to sailing by canceling and reordering the package. Cancellations or refunds will not be issued onboard the vessel after embarkation day. Availability of drink packages varies by ship. You must be at least 21 years of age to purchase any alcoholic package and to consume alcohol.

Is the Celebrity Cruises Drink Package Worth It?

Celebrity's "Always Included" offers are ideal when booking eligible cruise fares, as the Classic Package is already included and will serve most travelers best. When booking lower base fares, adding a drink package will appeal most to those guests who wish to sample a variety of alcoholic and zero proof beverages without worrying about additional charges throughout the voyage.

Costa Cruises Drink Packages

Costa Favolosa
Costa Favolosa

Costa Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Costa Drink Package Details: Costa Cruises offers two beverage packages: My Drinks, which is included as part of Costa’s all-inclusive fare, and My Drinks Plus, which is included in Costa's all-inclusive fare for suites or may be added on to other fares.

The My Drinks package includes unlimited wines by the glass with meals, draught beer, specialty coffee, hot chocolate and tea, soft drinks and fruit juices, spirits, cocktails, mocktails and one bottled water per day. If you’re traveling with little ones, unlimited soft drinks and fruit juices are included for them as well.

My Drinks Plus includes all of the above, plus a wider selection of beers, premium cocktails and top-shelf liqueurs, unlimited bottled water and mini bar drinks.

Fine Print: My Drinks and My Drinks Plus selections are not valid in the Archipelago and Casanova Restaurant. Some themed bars and restaurants limit selections. Drink packages must be purchased by all passengers on the same reservation number and/or traveling in the same cabin.

The package for children and teenagers aged 4 to 17 does not include alcoholic beverages. Top-shelf brands and cabin minibar items are excluded from the My Drinks package.

Is the Costa Cruises Drink Package Worth It?

Costa does not allow any drinks to be brought onboard from ashore. In addition, Costa's non-inclusive MYCRUISE fare is bare bones, with limited nonalcoholic beverages available throughout the day.

Cruise Critic members have reported tea, coffee and water is often only available within the buffet during open hours. For guests finding these policies restrictive, the all-inclusive My Drinks package is likely the best solution.

Cunard Line Drink Packages

Wine (Photo: Cunard Line)
Wine (Photo: Cunard Line)

Cunard Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Cunard Drink Package Details: Cunard offers five drinks packages. The Soft Drinks package includes unlimited fountain sodas and select fruit juices. A Specialty Hot Drinks Option includes unlimited illy specialty coffees, teas and hot chocolates.

Combining these two is the Premium Soft Drinks Option offering a range of soft drinks, juices, small bottled waters, nonalcoholic cocktails and specialty hot drinks. This package also includes a discount on any nonalcoholic beverages not already included in Cunard cruise deals.

The Beers, Wines, and Spirits Option includes a selection of beers, wines by the glass, spirits, liqueurs and cocktails in addition to the benefits of the Premium Soft Drinks Option. This package includes a discount on some bottles of wine, the Cunard Wine Academy and their Cocktail Master Class.

Passengers can also choose from the line's two sommelier-selected Wine Collections -- Commodore’s Collection and Captain’s Collection -- to create a tailormade selection of six or 12 bottles.

Fine Print: Packages can be purchased for sailings of five nights or more and they can be used in all restaurants, bars and cafes onboard. Packages should also be purchased in the first two days of sailing. Included in the package terms, passengers are only allowed to order one drink at a time, with a minimum of 10 minutes between orders. Each adult in the same stateroom must purchase the same Drinks Option. Sharing is not permitted.

Is the Cunard Line Drink Package Worth It?

Cunard's Premium Soft Drinks Option is ideal for those who savor specialty coffees and mocktails, with the bonus of an unlimited assortment of fountain sodas and juices. Guests who will enjoy seven or more alcoholic beverages will likely find Cunard's Beers, Wines, and Spirits Option to be a solid value.

Disney Cruise Line Drink Packages

Disney Cruise Line Alcohol Policy (Photo: NaturalBox/Shutterstock)
Disney Cruise Line Alcohol Policy (Photo: NaturalBox/Shutterstock)

Disney Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Disney Drink Package Details: While Disney Cruises offers a variety of drinks onboard their ships, this cruise line does not have a traditional drinks package with an all-inclusive approach.

Instead, Disney cruisers will find a variety of family-friendly beverages included in the cruise fare: soft drinks, coffee and tea served during meals, soft drinks in the teen lounge, as well as other nonalcoholic drinks available at beverage stations.

Disney Cruise Line guests will pay for alcoholic beverages, bottled water, smoothies and specialty coffees. Guests may purchase individual drinks onboard or pay for select drink bundles either once onboard or in advance on Disney's Onboard Gifts page after booking.

Disney drink bundles range from six-packs of beer, six-packs of Truly canned cocktails, and wine options from single bottles up to seven-bottle packages.

At embarkation, per Disney Cruise Line's Alcohol Policy, guests 21 years of age and up may bring two bottles of wine or Champagne, or six beers (12 ounces or less each) in their carryon luggage. Guests may bring additional wine or beer on after each port.

Fine Print: Personal beverages brought onboard may not be consumed in any lounge or public area. A corkage fee is charged for consumption of personal bottles in the dining room. Disney-purchased bundles are non-refundable. If a guest has leftover wine, two bottles may be taken off the ship at disembarkation.

Is the Disney Cruise Line Drink Package Worth It?

Occasional beer and wine drinkers may find the Disney Cruise Line Alcohol Policy generous enough for bringing aboard 6-packs of beer or two bottles of wine at each port during a voyage. For those who plan on drinking more, Disney's bundles may be purchased onboard throughout the voyage.

Holland America Line Drink Packages

Holland America Line Alcohol Policy (Photo: Holland America)
Holland America Line Alcohol Policy (Photo: Holland America)

Holland America Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Holland America Package Details: While Holland America's four- and five-star Mariner Society members have access to complimentary wine tastings and mimosas during brunch, other cruisers may find the cruise line's various beverage packages appealing.

Holland America's Signature Beverage Package allows cruisers to indulge in a variety of wine, beer, spirits, cocktails (including nonalcoholic), sodas and coffee for an entire sailing. The Signature package limits guests to 15 total drinks daily, whether alcoholic or not.

For higher shelf selections, the Elite Beverage Package includes premium spirits, cocktails, wines, beers, coffees, nonalcoholic beverages, bottled water and sodas. Guests are limited to 15 alcoholic beverages per day, though nonalcoholic beverages are unlimited with the Elite package.

There are also two nonalcoholic packages available across Holland America cruise deals. Quench includes sodas, premium coffee, juices, mocktails and bottled water with a 15-per day limit. A Coca-Cola package offers unlimited fountain sodas fleetwide and Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages on Pinnacle-class ships including Rotterdam, Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam.

Per Holland America Line's Alcohol Policy, guests may bring one bottle of wine or Champagne in their carry-on luggage during embarkation, or at ports of call, but there is a corkage fee regardless of where the personal alcohol is consumed. No beer or liquor may be brought onboard.

Fine Print: If one passenger in a cabin opts for a Signature or Elite drinks package, anyone who is 21 years old or older in the same cabin is required to purchase it as well. Packages exclude purchases made in the Mini Bar, Honor Bar, Chocolate Seduction, Room Service Dining, beverages purchased on Half Moon Cay and any self-service draft beer. Passengers can only order one drink at a time, and no sharing is permitted.

Is the Holland America Line Drink Package Worth It?

Holland America Line's drink packages remain modestly priced in comparison to some mainstream cruise lines, so those who plan on drinking more than a handful of beverages daily will likely find good value in the Signature Beverage Package or Quench.

One way Cruise Critic members have saved on beverages is with Holland's new Have it All Package, which bundles a Signature Beverage Package with shore excursion credit, Wi-Fi and a specialty dining option for often less than the standalone price of the Signature package.

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Margaritaville At Sea Drinks Packages

Drink on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise (Photo/Jorge Oliver)
Drink on Margaritaville at Sea Paradise (Photo/Jorge Oliver)

Margaritaville Ships with Drinks Packages: Paradise

Margaritaville Drink Package Details: Margaritaville At Sea's Bahamian sailings on Paradise offers guests a basic selection of nonalcoholic refreshments onboard like coffee, tea and water. For those who desire soft drinks and bar beverages, Margaritaville At Sea offers a few unconventional package options available for purchase.

Unlike mainstream all-inclusive drink packages, Margaritaville At Sea categorizes beverage packages by interest with a set number of beverages. The Boat Drinks package includes 10 alcoholic drinks ranging from beer, cocktails and wine.

No Doubts Premium Drinks offers 10 top-shelf specialty cocktails, liquor, beer and wines by the glass. An Unlimited Soda Package includes refills of soda along with a souvenir cup.

Margaritaville At Sea also offers combination packages to include a sparkling wine breakfast, and a variety of License To Chill packages inclusive of a set number of drinks, spa credit and concierge services.

Fine Print: Margaritaville At Sea prohibits beverages, including nonalcoholic drinks, to be brought onboard either as a carry-on or checked luggage on both embarkation and port days.

Is the Margaritaville At Sea Drink Package Worth It?

Margaritaville At Sea drink packages aren't all-inclusive, so anyone who plans on drinking at least 10 alcoholic drinks will save money on the pre-packaged offerings. For less than 10 beverages throughout the voyage, a la carte pricing may be a better option.

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MSC Cruises Drinks Packages

Divina Bar on MSC Divina
Divina Bar on MSC Divina

MSC Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide, excluding ships sailing in South Africa and China

MSC Drink Package Details: MSC Cruises offers multiple beverage packages for adults and minors. Without a purchased drink package, MSC offers standard complimentary beverages including water, drip coffee, hot and iced teas and juices during breakfast.

The cruise line's Easy Package includes select cocktails and mocktails, house wines by the glass, Heineken or similar draft beer and bottles, soft drinks, juices and classic hot drinks ranging from espresso to tea and hot chocolate. This package is valid in all onboard bars, as well as the buffet and main restaurants, but not in specialty restaurants or signature venues.

The Easy Plus Package includes everything in the Easy Package, plus a variety of frozen and classic cocktails, spirits, liqueurs, a wider selection of beers, as well as a discount on bottles of wine. The Easy Plus Package can also be used in specialty restaurants, though not in signature venues.

The Premium Extra Package includes all drinks by the glass, including more premium brands and champagne. This package is available to use everywhere except signature venues.

An Alcohol-Free Package includes zero proof cocktails, fresh fruit and protein cocktails, energy drinks, sodas, hot drink selections and soft serve ice cream. The package is not applicable in specialty restaurants or signature venues.

The Minors Package includes mocktails and all the same selections as the adult Alcohol-Free Package. This package is usable everywhere except specialty restaurants and signature venues.

Fine Print: If one person in a cabin purchases a package, all others in the cabin must purchase a package; the same goes for family or friends traveling together and wishing to share a dinner table. Minors must have an appropriate drink package if adults traveling with them purchase a drink package, though drink packages are not mandatory for infants under three years of age.

Packages must be purchased for the entire duration of each voyage. Drink packages may be used at private island destinations including Ocean Cay and Sir Bani Yas in Emirates.

Only one drink may be ordered at a time. Packages do not include drinks in souvenir glasses. Gratuities are included in all MSC Cruises drink packages.

Is the MSC Cruises Drink Package Worth It?

Since gratuities are included within each of MSC's drink packages, many guests will find value in their preferred package choice. This is especially true since guests may save 15% by prepaying for a drink package before sailing.

Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Packages

Mojito Flight on Norwegian Cruise Line (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)
Mojito Flight on Norwegian Cruise Line (Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line)

NCL Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide, but note Pride of America has its own package.

NCL Drink Package Details: Norwegian has several beverage packages available across their fleet, with one alcohol package specifically available on Hawaiian sailings with Pride of America.

NCL's Unlimited Open Bar Package, included with Free At Sea promotions or available for purchase with other Norwegian cruise deals, covers select cocktails and spirits, beer and wine by the glass, unlimited soft drinks and juices and a discount on bottles of wine and Champagne. This package may be used onboard and during port visits to Great Stirrup Cay.

Norwegian's Premium Plus Beverage Package covers all drinks by the glass, with no price cap; still and sparkling bottled water; specialty coffees including those at Starbucks; energy drinks; select wines by the bottle at restaurants with 40 percent off other bottles of wine. This package may also be used onboard and during port visits to Great Stirrup Cay.

On Pride of America there is only one program: the Hawaii Beverage Package. This package covers a wide selection of alcoholic beverages including unlimited craft cocktails, wines by the glass and beer, along with soda and juice, still and sparkling bottled water and specialty coffee while dining.

An Unlimited Soda Package offers endless fountain soda for adults and children ages three and up. The soda package is available fleetwide, including Pride of America sailings.

The Unlimited Starbucks Package is ideal for coffee lovers as it includes unlimited classic coffees and espresso beverages, along with all other Starbucks specialty drinks. This package is only valid for beverages and does not include Starbucks snacks or food items. NCL's Unlimited Starbucks Package is available fleetwide, including Pride of America sailings.

Fine Print: Per Norwegian Cruise Line's Alcohol Policy, all packages are subject to a gratuity charge, inclusive of the Unlimited Open Bar Package included with Free At Sea promotions. Two drinks are allowed per passenger, per order. Packages must be purchased for all guests 21+ on the same cabin or reservation (i.e. if one person in a cabin on the same reservation opts for a Premium package, both passengers are required to purchase it).

Packages may not be shared, are non-transferable and non-refundable. Packages do not include room service, mini bar purchases, vending machines, or pre-cruise wine bottle purchases. Packages can be used in onboard restaurants, lounges, bars and Great Stirrup Cay, though not on Harvest Caye, nor sailings that are two days or less.

Is the Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Package Worth It?

No doubt Norwegian's Free At Sea promotion is an attractive offering as it includes the Unlimited Open Bar Package. Coffee lovers can still add on the Unlimited Starbucks Package to have the best of both offerings.

For those without the promotional fare, a drinks package on Norwegian Cruise Line is still a great idea when planning to drink more than a handful of alcoholic beverages each day. Otherwise NCL's craft cocktails can easily add up when purchased individually.

Oceania Cruises Drinks Packages

Oceania Wine Tasting Experience (Photo: Oceania Cruises)
Oceania Wine Tasting Experience (Photo: Oceania Cruises)

Oceania Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Oceania Drink Package Details: Oceania Cruises offers two primary beverage package options. House Select, which includes unlimited Champagne, wine and beer with dinner and lunch.

The second package, Prestige Select, includes unlimited spirits, beer, wine and Champagne in bars and restaurants, anytime and anywhere during the sailing. Both packages entitle the purchaser to 20 percent off wine-pairing dinners at La Reserve, available aboard Marina, Riviera and Vista.

For light drinkers, note that Oceania cruise deals already include items like soft drinks, bottled water and specialty coffees within base cruise fares.

Guests booking Oceania's "simply MORE" package rate inclusive of airfare and airport transfers will have the House Select beverage program automatically included, along with shore excursion credits and unlimited Wi-Fi.

Those booking the Oceania's ongoing "OLife Choice" promotional fares can choose a complimentary House Select beverage package as part of the deal.

Oceania also has a Wine by the Bottle package of seven bottles, with selections available from a specific list varying by ship and voyage. Gratuities are included in the seven-bottle package.

Fine Print: Package prices include gratuities and can be pre-booked online or through a reservations representative. They can also be purchased onboard at any time during the cruise with prices prorated for days remaining. Guests can upgrade from the House Select to Prestige Select during the voyage, but you can't downgrade. Refunds aren't permitted on any package.

Is the Oceania Cruises Drink Package Worth It?

Many Oceania cruisers will find the House Select option suitable as it allows for a selection of beverages during meal service. When an itinerary has several sea days, though, cruisers may prefer the flexibility of enjoying drinks anytime, anywhere with the Prestige Select package.

Princess Cruises Drinks Packages

Coral Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Coral Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

Princess Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Princess Drink Package Details: Princess Cruises offers two alcohol-inclusive drink packages and two nonalcoholic package options. Princess guests may use their drink package on Princess Cays and throughout the ship, including at specialty restaurants like Crown Grill.

The Princess Plus Beverage Package includes cocktails, spirits, beer and glasses of wine. Also included are bottled water, fresh juices and smoothies, fountain soda, energy drinks, specialty coffee and tea and other nonalcoholic beverage options. Each purchaser of the package also receives a 25 percent discount on a selection of bottled wines, including rare vintages.

The Princess Premier Beverage Package includes everything from the Plus Beverage Package while adding top-shelf premium spirits, reserve wines by the glass and a high-end cocktail series crafted by Mixologist Rob Floyd.

In addition, a private Woodford Reserve Bourbon Selection is included, along with a personalized Jack Daniel's Whiskey Single Barrel Select program.

Passengers can save more than 50 percent on drink packages when purchased in advance as a bundle with Wi-Fi and crew appreciation.

Princess Cruises also offers a Zero Alcohol Package, inclusive of specialty coffees, fresh juices and smoothies, mocktails, bottled water, sodas and energy drinks. Meanwhile, the Classic Soda Package includes all sodas, fruit juices, mocktails and smoothies, without the buzz of energy drinks or specialty coffees.

Fine Print: A service charge is added to all packages excluding Australian-based vessels, which includes the service charge within its pricing. All passengers in a single stateroom must purchase the package and a package must be purchased for the entire cruise duration.

Packages may be pre-purchased at least four days prior to boarding the vessel. Otherwise, beverage packages are only available to purchase onboard on embarkation day. Alcoholic drinks are limited to 15 beverages per 24-hour period, but nonalcoholic beverages are unlimited.

Is the Princess Cruises Drink Package Worth It?

When considering the cost of a beverage package on Princess, be sure to account for any nonalcoholic drinks you will likely consume, including sodas and specialty coffees. With the unlimited offering of these beverages, many guests will find the Princess Plus Beverage Package provides excellent value for their voyage.

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Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Drinks Packages

Royal Caribbean International Alcohol Policy (Photo: Cruise Critic)
Royal Caribbean International Alcohol Policy (Photo: Cruise Critic)

Royal Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Royal Drink Package Details: Drink packages on Royal Caribbean range from an unlimited option with the Deluxe Beverage Package to three nonalcoholic packages. Packages are valid for use when visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay or the private beach resort of Labadee.

The most popular package, considering individual Royal Caribbean drink prices, is the all-inclusive Deluxe Beverage Package. This option includes cocktails, spirits, beer and wine by the glass, along with mocktails, premium coffees and teas, still and sparkling water, fresh-squeezed juices and Coca-Cola beverages. This Deluxe Royal Caribbean drink package also includes discounts on bottled wines.

Nonalcoholic Royal Caribbean drink package options include a Refreshment Package, inclusive of mocktails, premium coffees and teas, still and sparkling water, fresh-squeezed juices and Coca-Cola beverages.

Less inclusive is the Classic Soda Package which is restricted to an unlimited offering of Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages and fountain sodas. For those only interested in bottled waters, the Water Package delivers six-, 12- or 24-packs of water to your stateroom.

Fine Print: Drink packages available with Royal Caribbean deals do not include room service, mini bar items or beverages served inside licensed Starbucks stores aboard Royal Caribbean ships.

If one person in a cabin purchases a package, all others in the cabin aged 21 and over must purchase a package. Package users may only order one item at a time for individual consumption. No sharing is permitted.

Is the Royal Caribbean Drink Package Worth It?

When deciding on a package option, first consider how much are drinks on Royal Caribbean when purchased individually and what you expect to consume once onboard.

Most passengers will find the all-inclusive Deluxe Beverage Package a valuable option as it covers alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages alike. Debating visiting Labadee vs. CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private islands? Your drink package is valid at both destinations.

Viking Ocean Cruises Drinks Packages

Viking Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Viking Drink Package Details: A sailing on any Viking Ocean Cruises ship includes soft drinks, beer and a rotating selection of house wines by the glass at lunch and dinner, plus specialty coffees and teas around the clock. Spirits, cocktails and premium wines cost extra.

Across all Viking Ocean cruise deals, passengers can upgrade to the Silver Spirits beverage package to include premium wines by the glass, cocktails, liquors and well drinks, house wines and champagne by the glass, beer and soft drinks throughout the day.

Fine Print: The Silver Spirits package may be purchased prior to sailing or upon boarding. All adults sharing a stateroom must purchase the package for the full duration of the cruise. Per the Viking Ocean Cruises Alcohol Policy, there is no corkage fee when guests bring their own wine or liquor onboard at embarkation time.

Is the Viking Ocean Cruises Drink Package Worth It?

Many guests aboard Viking Ocean Cruises will find the complimentary beverages offered during lunch and dinner provide enough variety during an itinerary. Since Viking guests may also bring their own bottled beverages of choice onboard without a corkage fee, only those seeking greater variety throughout the sailing opt for the Silver Spirits package upgrade.

Virgin Voyages Drinks Packages

Photo of Pink Agave restaurant and bar area on Scarlet Lady
Pink Agave on Scarlet Lady

Virgin Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Virgin Drink Package Details: Virgin Voyages has a different approach to onboard beverages. Essential drinks are always included, which Virgin Voyages considers to be still and sparkling water, fountain sodas, non-pressed juices and a range of coffee and tea selections.

For alcoholic beverages, specialty coffees and other premium nonalcoholic drinks, guests may purchase drinks a la carte or buy a Bar Tab to cover drinks. In all cases, crew gratuities are already included so the price guests see is the price they pay.

The Bar Tab is available to purchase prior to boarding and acts as a prepaid onboard credit specifically redeemable for drinks. The Bar Tab can be used anywhere on the ship and at The Beach Club at Bimini.

Virgin Voyages strives to offer drinks for every budget so a la carte purchases won't have a great deal of sticker shock. Those purchasing a prepaid Bar Tab won't save money on individual beverages, though Virgin often offers a promotional onboard credit as a thank you to those selecting a Bar Tab.

Perhaps you've considered Virgin Voyages' Rockstar suites? When it comes to drink options, these suites include a bottomless in-room bar and a daily Bar Tab for use throughout the ship.

Fine Print: There are no restrictions on pre-purchasing a Virgin Voyages Bar Tab. Guests may cover premium drinks for themselves or fellow cruisers, and the cruise line does not require everyone sharing a room to purchase a Bar Tab just because one guest has opted to do so. The only caveat is that the Bar Tab is non-refundable once the voyage starts.

Is the Virgin Voyages Bar Tab Worth It?

Guests sailing with friends will likely find the prepaid Bar Tab worth it, as it is shareable and valid throughout the ship and at the Bimini Beach Club. Solo sailors will likely find purchasing beverages a la carte to be a better budgetary option.

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Windstar Cruises Drinks Packages

Windstar Cruises Alcohol Policy (Photo: IvanZivkovic/Shutterstock)
Windstar Cruises Alcohol Policy (Photo: IvanZivkovic/Shutterstock)

Windstar Ships with Drinks Packages: Fleetwide

Windstar Drink Package Details: Windstar always offers bottled water, sodas, specialty coffees, mocktails and juices within the base cruise fare. Alcoholic beverages may be purchased a la carte or as part of Windstar's all-inclusive cruise deals, which bundles Wi-Fi and gratuities with an Unlimited Beverage Package for one set price.

The Unlimited Beverage Package includes all domestic and imported beer, more than 30 varieties of wine and sparkling wine, cordials and cocktails, along with mini-bar items.

When not bundled with an all-inclusive fare, Windstar offers two other beverage programs. The Topmast Discoveries Beer & Wine Package includes domestic and imported beer along with more than 30 varieties of wine by the glass.

The Captain's Exclusive Beverage Package includes the same beer and wine offerings with the addition of Champagne by the glass, cordials, cocktails and mini bar selections.

Per Windstar Cruises' Alcohol Policy, during embarkation, passengers may also bring two personal bottles of wine or Champagne per cabin for seven-day cruises or three bottles for sailings of eight days or more. A corkage fee applies to personal bottles consumed in public areas of the ship.

Fine Print: All-inclusive packages must be booked at least five days prior to embarkation. The Topmast, Captain’s Exclusive and All-In Packages are sold per person and must be purchased in advance or during the first two days of your cruise and for the full duration of the cruise.

Prices do not include the standard beverage service charge, though prices are inclusive of applicable taxes. The minimum drinking age aboard Windstar Cruises is 21 years old.

Is the Windstar Cruises Drink Package Worth It?

Passengers sailing Windstar Cruises tend to favor the all-inclusive approach so all drinks, service charges and Wi-Fi is bundled into the pre-cruise fare. Light drinkers may prefer an a la carte approach if their primary beverage choices are mocktails and specialty coffees, which are always included in the base fare.

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