I cannot tell you how many times over the years that I’ve been asked if getting a drink package is a good decision. There are a lot variables when it comes to Royal Caribbean because their package is priced dynamic and what it includes. They have a variety of packages but we are going to primarily focus on the alcohol package. Now we are going to discuss if the Royal Caribbean drink package is worth it for you.
What is included in a Royal Caribbean alcoholic drink package?
According to their website: Fountain soda and refills at any venue, Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages (on applicable ships), Coca-Cola® souvenir cup, non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails), bottled still and sparkling water, premium coffees and teas, fresh-squeezed juices, cocktails, spirits, liquor, beer and wine by the glass. For a least of brands included for liquor, beer and wine click here. Drinks on Royal Caribbean’s Coco Cay and Labadee port days are included as well.
What is the average cost of the alcohol package?
The current onboard pricing is currently $63.00 – $89.00/per day for 2019-2020 sailings. The price in the online cruise planner will vary in this range as well. They do run BOGO 50% or 10-13% off on these packages prior to sailing.
What is not included?
Although the package is unlimited it does not apply to bottles of wine, buckets of beer and free standing store (Oasis Class) Starbucks beverages. However you do receive a 40% discount on bottled wines priced up to $100, and 20% discount on wine prices above $100.
Additional Stipulations to the Drink Package:
- Everyone in the room over 21 must purchase the package. There are exceptions for medical, religious etc. That person however will have to purchase the non alcoholic refreshment package.
- The package cannot be transferred or shared.
- Package is not applicable to room service beverages.
- Mini bar/fridge beverages are not included in the package.
- Package covers specialty drinks up to $12/13 (depends on ship). You will have to pay the difference.
- The package does include gratuities but you are welcome to tip above and beyond.
Is the Royal Caribbean drink package worth it?
In my opinion, this comes down to price, type of sailing and a true self reflection on how much you do drink on vacation. For example, if you are able to get the drink package at $63/per day for a 7 night cruise is roughly $520 with gratuities. The average drink price (averaging beer/wine and mixed drinks) is roughly $10. Your break even is around 7 beverages per day. This could seem like a lot but if you are the type of person who likes to have a couple mimosas or bloody marys with breakfast, a drink or two poolside and a couple drinks before or with dinner, it isn’t that bad.
One of the biggest things I like about the drink package is that this includes bottled water and powerade. It is nice to bring back a few bottles of water to have in my stateroom fridge or to take a few powerades/waters off with me going into a port. The powerades also come in handy the morning after a late night of dancing and drinking.
You should consider the type of sailing and who you are sailing with when determining if the drink package is worth it. If you are on an itinerary that is in a port almost every day, it may not be worth it if you plan on being off the ship for the majority of the day. When I did a Caribbean sailing with only one sea day, it was hard to justify my drink package since we spent so much time on the islands. If you are sailing with a group of friends who likes to party and stay out late, the drink package is definitely worth the investment.
What are my options if the drink package is not right for me?
- Stick to the included beverages: Water, Iced Tea, Coffee, Lemonade, Milks and Juices in the Windjammer Buffet.
- Loyalty has its perks. There are promotions for BOGO 50% beverage coupons attached to certain loyalty tiers as well as three complimentary beverages for Diamond and above members from 4:30pm-8pm every night.
- Bring on the bubbly! You are allowed to bring on 2 bottles of wine or champagne (750 ml or less) per stateroom.
- Royal Caribbean currently allows a limited amount of beverages onboard such as non-alcoholic beverages may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz.) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom as carry-on item only. They will get tossed if in your checked luggage.
There is a lot to consider when you are debating whether or not this package is right for you. I recommend keeping an eye on your cruise planner consistently before your sailing for promotions on the package. Keep in mind if the price drops prior to sailing, you can cancel and purchase at the new price. I hope this helps and wish you bon voyage on your next sailing!
Considering a dining package? Check out this review on Royal Caribbean’s Playmakers Sports Bar!