It's true... Norwegian Cruise Lines will offer free alcoholic and soft drinks on Norwegian Sky starting in 2016. Cruise Radio shares the news:  http://cruiseradio.net/free-drinks-on-norwegian-sky-in-2016/

But is "free" really free? Let's compare:

For cruises in May 2015, prices begin at $269 for 3 nights and $219 for 4 nights.  

http://cruiseline.com/cruise/best/month/2015-05-01T00:00:00Z?fq%5Blocation_name%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Bport_departure_name%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Blength%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Bcruiseline_name%5D%5B%5D=Norwegian+Cruise+Line&fq%5Bship_name%5D%5B%5D=Norwegian+Sky

 

For Cruises in May 2016, prices begin at $349 for 3 nights and $389 for 4 nights.

http://cruiseline.com/cruise/best/month/2016-05-01T00:00:00Z?fq%5Blocation_name%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Bport_departure_name%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Blength%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Bcruiseline_name%5D%5B%5D=Norwegian+Cruise+Line&fq%5Bship_name%5D%5B%5D=Norwegian+Sky

 

In December 2015, 3 & 4 night cruises start at $209

http://cruiseline.com/cruise/best/month/2015-12-01T00:00:00Z?fq%5Blocation_name%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Bport_departure_name%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Blength%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Bcruiseline_name%5D%5B%5D=Norwegian+Cruise+Line&fq%5Bship_name%5D%5B%5D=Norwegian+Sky

 

In January 2016, 3 night cruises start at $289 and 4 night cruises at $339

http://cruiseline.com/cruise/best/month/2016-01-01T00:00:00Z?fq%5Blocation_name%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Bport_departure_name%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Blength%5D%5B%5D=all&fq%5Bcruiseline_name%5D%5B%5D=Norwegian+Cruise+Line&fq%5Bship_name%5D%5B%5D=Norwegian+Sky

 

That's a per person per night increase ranging from $20 to $42, depending on the cruise length and sail date.

 

Not quite free, but a trip to the bar can easily come with a $6-$12 charge per drink, so if you're planning on consuming 2-3 drinks per day, chances are you'll at least break even.

 

The weekend sailings from Miami are considered by many to be "party cruises," so if you're coming aboard to let loose, you'll likely come out ahead.

But if you don't drink, you'll be paying for alcohol you won't be drinking and with an open bar, the party may be a bit more raucous than it would be otherwise.

 

What do you think? Will this make you more or less likely to sail on Norwegian Sky for a short cruise out of Miami? Do you think this will expand to other cruise lines or other ships?