Is it worth it to buy a cruise line drink package?

cruise line drink package cost alcohol
Do you need a drink package? The answer depends on how many martinis (or sodas, or beers) you drink in a day. - Photo by ThinkStock

You may have noticed that cruise lines offer drink packages and wondered whether they’re a good deal. The answer is simple but requires some math on your part: It depends on how many drinks you typically consume in a day. Here is a breakdown of what each cruise line offers, from water to soda, beer, wine, and liquor. Check it out, and then divide the package price by the cost of individual drinks to see how many you have to order a day before the savings kick in:

 

Azamara Club Cruises

Non-Alcoholic: Premium bottled water package: $8.95 per person/day

Alcoholic: 

  • Wine valued at $50 per bottle or less: 5 bottles for $180, 7 bottles for $235, 10 bottles for $315, and 12 bottles for $350.  
  • Wine valued at $51 to $75 per bottle: 5 bottles for $315, 7 bottles for $415, 10 bottles for $560, and 12 bottles for $630.
  • Beer: Select list of beers included in the cruise fare.
  • Liquor: Select standard spirits, international beers and wines, bottled water, soft drinks, specialty coffees and teas are included. Premium package unlimited select cocktails and beer for $15.95/person/day. Ultimate package is unlimited cocktails and beer plus top-shelf brands for $21.95/person/day.

 

Carnival Cruise Line

Non-Alcoholic: Bottomless Bubbles Package: Unlimited soda and juice for $7.50/person/day; age 17 and under for $4.95/person/day

Alcoholic: Cheers! Package: All wine, beer, champagne, spirits, soda, juices, specialty coffee, tea, energy drinks, bottled water, and milkshakes for $51.95/person/day if purchased before the cruise, or $56.95 if purchased once onboard. Bottles of wine and champagne receive 25% off.

 

Celebrity Cruises

Non-Alcoholic: 

  • Water: Unlimited premium bottles for $6/person/day
  • Soda: Unlimited fountain and canned for $9/person/day
  • Classic: Soda, juice, premium coffees and teas, and non-premium bottled water for $18/person/day
  • Premium: everything in Classic plus smoothies, frozen and energy drinks, Perrier, San Pellegrino, Vitamin Water, organic tea, coconut water, as well as premium bottled water for $22/person/day

Alcoholic: 

  • Standard: Select beers, popular wines, bottled water, fountain soda, well brand spirits, cocktails, and frozen drinks up to $6 per serving plus 10% off bottles of wine for $45/person/day
  • Classic: Premium coffee, bottled water, soda, juices, non-premium wine, beer, cocktails, spirits, and liquor up to $9 per serving plus 15% off bottles of wine for $55/person/day
  • Premium: Everything in Classic plus premium spirits, cocktails, wines, craft beers, and energy drinks plus 20% off bottles of wine for $69/person/day

 

Costa Cruises

Non-Alcoholic: Prices vary by ship and itinerary.

  • Giovani Package: Unlimited for ages 4-20 and includes soda, specialty coffees, smoothies, juice, and hot chocolate.
  • Pranzo & Cena Giovani Package: Unlimited for ages 4-20 and includes soda and mineral water. Both packages must be purchased with the packages for parents; they’re not sold individually.

Alcoholic: Prices vary by ship and itinerary.

  • Pranzo & Cena: unlimited wine, beer, and soda during lunch and dinner
  • Brindiamo: unlimited specialty coffees, soda, beers, wines, liquors, and popular cocktails
  • Piu Gusto: everything in Brindiamo plus frozen drinks, mixed drinks, and a wider selection of cocktails
  • Intenditore: everything in Piu Gusto, plus drinks from the stateroom mini bar and room service, champagne, and premium liquor

 

Crystal Cruises

Most beverages are already included in the price of the cruise.

 

Cunard Line

Non-Alcoholic: 

  • Soda: Unlimited soda and select juice for $6.50/person/day. This package can be purchased once onboard.
  • Coffee: A coffee card costs $40 and will include 10 regular coffees (no specialty)

Alcoholic: 

  • Captain’s Collection: 4 bottles of wine for $175, 6 bottles for $260, 9 bottles for $380, and 12 bottles for $495
  • Commodore’s Collection: 4 bottles of wine for $250, 6 bottles for $360, 9 bottles for $525, and 12 bottles for $660

 

Disney Cruise Line

Non-Alcoholic: Water: 6 bottles for $9.75 or 24 for $39

Alcoholic: 

  • Classic Wine: 3 bottles for $95, 4 for $124, 5 for $149, and 7 for $199. Premium: 3 bottles for $145, 4 for $192, 5 for $234, and 7 for $309
  • Beer: 6-pack of domestic for $30 or imported for $43.25. Beer mug package costs $14.95 with discounted refills.

 

Holland America Line

Non-Alcoholic: 

  • Coca-Cola Package: fountaion soda products for $8/person/day
  • Quench Package: Drinks such as specialty coffees, nonalcoholic cocktails, nonalcoholic beer, and juices for $17.95/person/day

Alcoholic: 

  • Signature Package: A variety of wines, beers, cocktails, spirits, coffee, soda, and other beverages worth up to $8 per glass for $44.95/person/day when bought in advance ($49.95/person/day if bought onboard)
  • Elite Beverage Package: Any premium spirits, cocktails, beers, wines, coffees, nonalcoholic beverages, bottled water, and sodas up to a value of $15 each.  Aboard Koningsdam, it also includes the Coca-Cola Freestyle soda machine for $54.95/person/day
  • Cellar Masters Package: 5 bottles of wine, a standard wine-tasting, a premium wine-tasting, one dinner at Pinnacle Grill, a wine accessory set, and a Holland America commemorative bottle of wine, prices begin at $252 per person

 

MSC Cruises

Some packages can vary in price depending on ship and itinerary. In addition to these packages are vouchers for various amounts of drinks that can be purchased one time, instead of paying a per-day amount. Visit MSC's website for more details on those. Note that with children's packages, they must be purchased in conjunction with the corresponding adult package.

Non-Alcoholic: 

  • Water: 14 bottles of mineral water for $33-$37
  • Coffee Package on Mediterranean cruises: 15 coffee-based drinks for $26-$31
  • Classic Child Package: Caribbean cruises are $23/person/day and Mediterranean cruises are $14.50/person/day for unlimited nonalcoholic drinks as well as take-away ice cream, except mini-bar items and water in the cabin
  • Mealtime Restaurant Child Package: Unlimited mineral water and soft drinks during lunch and dinner for $10/person/day on 8-night cruises or less, $8/person/day on 9+ night cruises
  • Restaurant and Bar Child Package: Unlimited soft drinks, fruit juices, mineral water, hot drinks, non-alcoholic cocktails, smoothies, milkshakes and ice cream from onboard restaurants, bars, and the buffet. $13.50/person/day on 8-night cruises or less, $10.50/person/day on 9+ night cruises
  • All-Inclusive Deluxe Child Drink Package: Unlimited non-alcoholic cocktails, smoothies, milkshakes, soft drinks, juices, mineral water, energy drinks, coffee and chocolate-based drinks, drinks from the theme bar menus, minibar, and drinks and food from room service menu. The drinks included in the package can be from all bars, restaurants, and the buffet. $23/person/day on 8-night cruises or less, $18.50/person/day on 9+ night cruises

Alcoholic: 

  • Caribbean - Classic Adult Package: $47/person/day for cruises up to 8 nights, $38/person/day for 9+ night voyages, features unlimited drinks including select wines by the glass, beer, energy drinks and coolers, canned sodas, fruit juices, mineral water, coffee-based drinks, teas, hot chocolate, select spirits, liquors, cordials, wide range of cocktails, and take-away ice cream
  • Caribbean - Deluxe Adult Package: $55/person/day for cruises up to 8 nights, $44/person/day for 9+ night voyages which features unlimited spirits including premium brands, liqueurs, aperitifs, classic and premium cocktails, wide selection of wines by the glass, draught and bottled beer, non-alcoholic cocktails, soft drinks, juices, mineral water, energy drinks, espresso and cappuccino, drinks from the themed bar menus, minibar, and drinks and food from room service menu. This package also includes 30 percent off bottles of wine and champagne.
  • Europe - Adult Mealtime Drinks: $18.50/person/day for cruises up to 8 nights, $14.50/person/day for 9+ night voyages, features unlimited wine by the glass (our selection of white, red and rosé wine), mineral water, draught beer, and soft drinks during lunch and dinner in the main onboard restaurants and buffet. Does not include specialty restaurants.
  • Europe - Classic Adult Package: $29/person/day for cruises up to 8 nights, $23/person/day for 9+ night voyages, features the same benefits as the classic Caribbean package.
  • Europe - Deluxe Adult Package: $55/person/day for cruises up to 8 nights, $44/person/day for 9+ night voyages, features the same benefits as the deluxe Caribbean package. This package also includes 30 percent off bottles of wine and champagne.

 

Norwegian Cruise Line

Non-Alcoholic: Soda: Unlimited for $6/person/day for guests 12 and under, and $8/person/day for guests 13+.  This package also includes a souvenir thermal mug.

Alcoholic: 

  • Wine & Beer Package: A variety of sodas, wines, and beers by the glass for $65/person/day
  • The Ultimate Beverage Package: A variety of sodas, wines, beers, spirits, and cocktails worth up to $15 a glass for $99/person/day.

 

Oceania Cruises

Non-Alcoholic: Soda, water, juice, coffee, and tea are included in the cruise fare.

Alcoholic: 

  • House Select: Unlimited champagne, wine, and beer with lunch and dinner for $40/person/day
  • Prestige Select: Unlimited premium spirits, champagne, wine, and beer at any time for $60/person/day. Guests who purchase either package will also receive a 20 percent discount on any of the wine pairing dinners aboard Marina and Riviera.

 

Princess Cruises

Non-Alcoholic: 

  • Bottled Water: 12 bottles for $6.90, delivered to the stateroom
  • New Grounds Coffee: 15 espresso-based specialty coffees and tea for $35.65
  • Soda & Juice: Unlimited fountain soft drinks, mocktails, juices, and hot chocolate for $8.05/person/day

Alcoholic: Unlimited wine, beer, cocktails, sodas, lattes, cappuccinos, bottled water, and more worth up to $10 each for $69/person/day including the service charge. The price for this package on Australia and New Zealand voyages is $87 AUD/person/day including the service charge.

 

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Unlimited beverages are included in the price of the cruise.

 

Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean generally offers a discount on the beverage packages if you buy ahead of time online via the Cruise Planner, so keep that in mind when viewing the prices below; you may end up being able to pay less. Also, prices vary for each ship; these are the base cost.

Non-Alcoholic:  

  • Coffee Card: $31 for 15 espresso-based coffee drinks
  • Classic Soda Package: Unlimited fountain soda in any venue plus a Coca-Cola souvenir cup for $13/person/day
  • Refreshment Package: Unlimited soda, mocktails, orange juice, bottled water, coffee, and tea, plus a Coca-Cola souvenir cup for $29/person/day

Alcoholic: The deluxe beverage package includes cocktails, beers, wines, liquors, bottled water, mocktails, fresh juices, fountain soda, coffee, and tea in a value up to $12 per glass starting at $63/person/day. Plus, receive a 40 percent discount on bottles of wine up to $100 in value, or 20 percent off bottles worth over $100.

 

Seabourn

Unlimited beverages are included in the price of the cruise.

 

Silversea

Unlimited beverages are included in the price of the cruise.

 

Windstar Cruises

Non-Alcoholic: All non-alcoholic beverages are included in the cost of the cruise.

Alcoholic: 

  • Voyager's Adventure Beer & Wine Package: All domestic and imported beers, plus a selection of 20 wines by the glass worth up to $8.50/glass for $32/person/day
  • Topmast Discoveries Beer & Wine Package: All domestic and imported beers, plus a selection of 33 premium wines by the glass worth up to $11.50/glass for $42/person/day
  • Captain's Exclusive Beverage Package: Wines, beers, cordials, liqueurs, apertifs, cocktails, and mini bar items for $52/person/day

The packages also include a 30 percent savings on bottles of wine.

 

Updated on October 18, 2018.

Join The Discussion

Do you buy all-inclusive drink packages?

8 Comments

Posted by glomarrone

No, I do not. For me it doesn't pay but everyone has to do the math for them. For some passengers, it is a good deal.

Posted by SimonCommunity

Hi LIZSULLIVAN10, the cruise lines require that the drink packages be purchased for each and every day of the cruise.

Posted by LIZSULLIVAN10

Can you purchase the drinks package daily or do you have to purchase it for the whole stay

Posted by chrismor

It seems to be hard to do the math when it gives you no idea what the drinks cost without the package. $7? $10? $20? I don't think it will be worth to me, but having a clue how much I might want to budget for drinks would be nice.

Posted by Engee

I agree with chrismor. This only tells you how much you would be paying per drink if you purchased the package. What is really important is how much you would pay without the card as opposed to without it.

Posted by PetraJo2

I wanted to get the Cheer package on my Carnival cruise but it's required that a members in your suite buy it, we have 2 non drinkers with us. We were even willing to down grade our room so we have 2 separate rooms. They wont let us do that either. I'm on a very set budget when I called and asked the price of drinks was told that alcoholic beverages cost anywhere from $10 or above each drink and when asking about the nonalcoholic drink package it doesn't included water (I don't drink soda) So I'm completely screwed both ways . I don't thinks that is right at all not sure what I'm gonna be able to drink.

Posted by Gmajo

Are you able to use your drink packages the day you board ship and the days in port? On a 7 day cruise how many days will you be able to use this?

Posted by cruisellama

Tough for me to make the quota for the break even.

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