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When people go on vacation they like to let loose and have a good time. Sometimes, that includes having an alcoholic beverage or 6. As you already know, cruising is one of my favorite ways to vacation. You get the shows, bars, clubs, and hotel all in the same place. I always have people ask me if they should get the cruise beverage package when they cruise or if it is something they should pass on. I’m going to try and help you decide today!
Cruiseline Beverage Packages
- Royal Carribean Drinking Packages:
- Deluxe Drinking Package – This is the holy grail of drinking packages. This will include all of the alcohol, premium coffee, soda, and juices. The cost of this package will vary by ship but starting in 2019 the prices will be between $63.00 – $70.00 per day.
- Premium Refreshment Package – If you know you’ll want soda, bottled water, and premium coffee but minimal alcohol, then this is the package for you. In 2019 this package will be $29.00 per day.
- Soda Package – This is going to be the basic fountain soda package. You will get a refillable cup and you can use it anywhere on the ship. In 2019 the cost of this package will be $12.99 per day.
- Carnival Drinking Packages:
- Cheers Beverage Package – This is Carnival’s alcoholic beverage package. This package is cheaper if you buy it before the sailing but you can also purchase it on the ship. Pre-sailing cost is $51.95 and the sailing cost is $56.95 per day.
- Bottomless Bubbles – This is the basic soda package. This package is nice because it has a child’s price and an adult price. The child’s price is $4.95 per day and the adult’s price is $7.50 per day.
- Norwegian Beverage Packages:
- Ultimate Beverage Package – Once again, this is the holy grail of beverage packages. It is $99.00 per day. I know that is a much higher price than all of the others but Norwegian almost always has a promotion going on and you can get the beverage package for free when you book your sailing.
- Corks and Caps Wine and Beer Package – If you know you won’t be drinking hard liquor or the souvenir mixed drinks, then this might be your package. This package is just what it says, wine and beer and it also includes soda. This package is $65.00 per day.
- Soda Package – Norwegian also offers an adult soda package price at $7.95 and a child’s soda package price at $5.95.
Should I get the Beverage Package?
Do the math:
If you are having a hard time deciding if the beverage package is worth the money, do the math. If you think you will only have a handful of drinks during your cruise or only one drink a day. Then the beverage package is probably not for you. If you know you will want soda all day every day during your cruise and a few alcoholic drinks a day. Then the beverage package would probably save you some money.
Read the fine print:
So many people get the beverage package and don’t read the fine print. The alcoholic beverage packages are not always unlimited and you could be limited to 15 drinks within a 24 hour period. Also, if one person in your stateroom purchases the alcoholic beverage package, then everyone over the age of 21 has to purchase it. You cannot purchase a beverage package for part of your cruise, you must purchase it for every day of your cruise. Please read all of the fine print!
Keep in mind your days at port:
Think about how many days you will be at a port and not using your beverage package. Some cruise lines that have private islands will allow you to continue your beverage packages on those islands but not on other excursions. If you are taking a 7-day cruise and you have 4 ports that you know you will be off of the ship, keep that in mind when purchasing the beverage package.
Is it in your budget?:
If you got a great deal on your cruise and you have money to spare, then go ahead and splurge on a beverage package. But, if you know you have met your vacation budget and really don’t have any wiggle room, don’t do it.
Think about your bar tab:
You know when you go to a bar for the night and the next day you have no idea how your tab got so high. Well, think about a 7-day bar tab. If you aren’t going to do the beverage package, keep track of how many drinks you’re purchasing. Your sign and sail card is your credit card and some people get swipe happy with it. It’s great until you get your bill on the last day of the cruise. Be mindful of your willpower to not overspend and if you know you will overspend, get the beverage package. If you purchase the beverage package, you’ll at least know exactly what you’re spending going into your vacation.
Overall, I can’t recommend or not recommend the beverage package. I would encourage you to keep all of these factors in mind when deciding. I personally, do not do the beverage package because I do not drink enough to make it worth it and I only drink water, not soda. My next cruise will be my first cruise with a beverage package and I will update you on how I liked it!
To find out what to pack in your embarkation day bag, check out my post here!