Drink Packages

Spotted: Deluxe Beverage and Ultimate Dining Package combo

In:
16Aug2017

Royal Caribbean has a new pre-cruise purchase option on select sailings that combines the deluxe beverage package and the ultimate dining package in one.

The Deluxe Beverage and Ultimate Dining Package offers a bundle of the Deluxe Beverage Package and Ultimate Dining Package for one price.  With this package, you will enjoy

  • Unlimited beverages
    • coffee
    • juices
    • sodas
    • bottled water
    • beer, wine
    • spirits
  • Discount of 40% off bottles of wine under $100 and 20% off bottles above $100 while dining in specialty restaurants
  • Dine at specialty restaurants every night and
  • Dine at specialty restaurants at lunchtime on sea days

For restaurants with a la carte pricing, you will receive a $50 food credit.

Thus far, we have spotted this option on Oasis class ships.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Andrew Punch for alerting us to this new offering.

9 important things to know about Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages

In:
27Jul2017

Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages have been a home run with guests, who find the option convenient and present a great value.

Regardless if you are purchasing an unlimited alcohol package for the first time or it has become a regular part of your cruising tradition, here are some important tips to remember for when you get onboard and start enjoying all those drinks.

9. You cannot (and should not) share drink package benefits

Royal Caribbean strictly prohibits the sharing of drink package benefits with another guest.  It is against the rules that you agree to when purchasing a drink package.

If you purchase a drink package, the benefits are solely for you and only you. 

Royal Caribbean warns that guests who share a drink with someone who does not have a drink package can risk having their drink package benefits revoked with no refund.  

The package is intended for only the guest who buys the package.  If you want to buy a drink for someone else, you can do so and pay for it individually along side your drink package transaction.

8. Gratuity is included

Your unlimited alcohol package purchase includes gratuity for all the beverages you order while on your cruise.  Royal Caribbean refers to it as a "service fee", which you should see listed in the breakdown of your drink package order.

This means when you order any drink onboard, keep in mind that 18% gratuity has already been paid and you are under no obligation to provide any additional tip. Your receipt will come out to $0.00, assuming your drink is covered by the drink package.

You can, however, opt to provide additional gratuity at your discretion.

7. Everyone in the same stateroom does not need to buy a package

At this time, Royal Caribbean does not require all guests in the same stateroom to purchase a drink package.

Keep in mind that Royal Caribbean will be testing a change to this policy on a few Harmony of the Seas sailings this fall.  Until otherwise noted, there is no rule in place outside of this test that requires all adults in the same stateroom to purchase an unlimited alcohol package if one adult opts to do so.

6. You can use the packages at the private destinations

All of Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages can be used at the private destinations of CocoCay and Labadee.

Your drink package at these two spots can be used just like onboard the ship.  Present your SeaPass card to any crew member working on the island and they will fulfill your order.

The only caveat to keep in mind is many of the roving bar servers offering a Labadoozie or Coco Loco have souvenir cups with them, so you may have to walk to the bar to get your drinks with the package.

5. Drink packages do not include souvenir cups

You may see onboard your Royal Caribbean ship pineapple drinks, light up cups and other neat looking beverages.  There are a lot of drinks to choose from with the unlimited alcohol packages, but souvenir cups are not included with your packages.

You can always ask for the drink without the souvenir cup, or purchase the souvenir cup at a reduced rate. 

4. Deluxe alcohol package can be used for premium coffees

If you purchase the deluxe alcohol package, on Royal Caribbean ships without a freestanding Starbucks kiosk, you can use the package to get espresso-based beverages too. This includes, cappuccinos, lattes, espresso and more.

Royal Caribbean ships with a freestanding Starbucks kiosk are the Oasis class cruise ships (Oasis of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Allure of the Seas).  On those ships, you can still get your lattes or espresso drinks at Cafe Promenade or a specialty restaurant.

For all other Royal Caribbean ships, head to Cafe Promenade or Cafe Latte-tudes and show your card when ordering a Starbucks drink just like if you were ordering a beer or cocktail at the bar.

3. You can purchase the unlimited alcohol packages after the first day

Royal Caribbean heavily advertises purchasing its unlimited alcohol packages prior to your cruise and on embarkation day, but guests may still purchase any of the unlimited alcohol packages onboard their cruise after the first day.

The rule is, guests may purchase unlimited alcohol packages at any point in their cruise as long as there are at least 4 days left in the cruise.

In addition, if you purchase an unlimited alcohol package after your first day, the total amount of the package will be prorated for the remaining days of your cruise.

2. The unlimited alcohol packages include soda too

Of course everyone thinks about all the beers, wine and cocktails one can purchase with the unlimited alcohol packages but soda is included too!

Each package includes fountain soda and a souvenir Coca-Cola cup too. 

The souvenir cup can be used at a Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine onboard for when you want a special kind of soft drink (lime Coca-Cola Zero anyone?).

1. The one place onboard you cannot use the unlimited alcohol package

There is one place onboard your Royal Caribbean cruise where the unlimited alcohol packages do not work and that is your stateroom.

You cannot use the unlimited alcohol packages to pay for room service or for mini-bar drinks.

You can, however, always bring drinks back to your room that you get at a bar and enjoy it there.

Your thoughts

Now that you have heard what we think is important to know, let's hear from other people that have used the unlimited alcohol packages too.  What do you think is the most important aspects of the drink packages to be aware of before investing in one? Are you considering a drink package but have questions? Feel free to post in the comments!

Royal Caribbean testing new unlimited alcohol package rule that requires all adults to purchase a package

In:
Category: 
07Jul2017

Royal Caribbean is testing a new policy change for its unlimited alcohol package,where all adults in a stateroom will be required to purchase an unlimited alcohol package if one adult in the room purchases it.

Cruise Critic is reporting Harmony of the Seas will test out the new rule over the course of a few sailings, where all passengers 21 years old and older will be required to purchase a beverage package, if at least one other person in their cabin has one.

This pilot program will be for eight Harmony of the Seas sailings starting September 30, 2017 through November 18, 2017.

Evidently the program is being tested as a counter-reaction to too many guests sharing drink package benefits with other guests who have not purchased the drink package.

When Royal Caribbean first introduced their drink packages, they included a stipulation that all adults in the same stateroom must purchase a drink package if one did, but they dropped that requirement shortly thereafter. 

What do you think of this policy change test? Tell us in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean drink package rules overview

In:
Category: 
08Jun2017

Thinking about purchasing a Royal Caribbean unlimited drink package for your upcoming cruise?  They have the potential to save money compared to buying the same amount of drinks without a package, but it is important to be aware and understand the rules of how these beverage packages work.

The rules are not complicated, but there are a few important guidelines that anyone that purchases an unlimited drink package should be aware of first.

Sharing the package

Let us be perfectly clear: it is absolutely forbidden to share the Royal Caribbean drink package benefits with anyone else. Period.

Royal Caribbean warns that guests who share a drink with someone who does not have a drink package can risk having their drink package benefits revoked with no refund.  

The package is intended for only the guest who buys the package.  If you want to buy a drink for someone else, you can do so and pay for it individually along side your drink package transaction.

Drink limits

There is no limit to how many drinks a guest may consume on any day, or during the cruise. 

However, you can only order one drink per transaction.  Which means if you want to get a beer and another drink, you need to order each individually. 

If your group all have the drink package, you can take their SeaPass cards and place a group order.  You just need to provide proof that the amount of drinks ordered match the number of drink packages.

When you can buy the drink package

Royal Caribbean provides the ability to pre-purchase the drink package on its Cruise Planner website.  There is often a discount associated with pre-purchase, which can save money compared to waiting to purchase it onboard.

If your cruise is too far in advance, the drink package option may not be available yet.  There is no set rule when drink packages become available for sale, so keep checking back later.

If you decide to wait to buy a drink package on the ship, you can do so from any bar or lounge. On embarkation day, there are often tables set up around the ship to take just unlimited beverage package purchases.  

You do not have to purchase a drink package on the first day of your cruise.  Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages are available on all two-night or longer sailings, but as long as there are at least 4 days left in the cruise, you can purchase the package at a pro-rated amount.

Where the drink package works

Royal Caribbean's drink package covers beverages purchased at onboard restaurants, bars, and lounges.

It also works on the cruise line’s private destinations of CocoCay and Labadee.

Friends and family do not have to buy the package too

Unlike other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean does not require all guests in the same stateroom to purchase a drink package.

Gratuity

When you purchase a Royal Caribbean drink package, gratuity (18%) will be assessed on your purchase at that time, which covers all of your subsequent drink orders.

When you order a drink later on, you will not owe any gratuity.  There will be, however, an optional gratuity on your receipt where you can recognize outstanding service.

Refunds and exchanges

Once onboard the ship, beverage packages are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Before a cruise, beverage package purchases can be cancelled and/or re-purchased via the Cruise Planner

Spotted: Royal Caribbean adds soda package and internet combo

In:
25May2017

Royal Caribbean has added a new combo offer for guests to purchase, that combines the ulimited soft drink package with the unlimited internet package.

Dubbed, "Classic Soda And Voom One Device," this new offering costs $19.00 per guest, per day and can be purchased via online prior to a cruise, via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner.

If a guest were to purchase the Classic Soda Package and Voom one device internet package separately, it would cost them $8.50 + 14.39 ($22.89) per person, per day.

The Classic Soda And Voom One Device plan is similar to the Deluxe Beverage Package and Voom One Device plan, which has been a popular choice for guests that want to get the unlimited alcohol package and Voom internet plan together.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog message board reader FManke for spotting this new option.

Spotted: Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol and internet combo package

In:
19Apr2017

Royal Caribbean guests in the market for an unlimited alcohol package and internet access will want to take notice of a new option Royal Caribbean has added.

The Deluxe Drink Package and Voom One Device offers guests the deluxe beverage unlimited alcohol package and a one-device Voom plan in one combo.

The cost of this package is listed at $54 per guest, per day. Compared to buying the two options separately, there are potential savings to the guest.

Here is an example for what each would individually cost for a 7-night cruise on Harmony of the Seas.

This "Sip and Stream" combo package has appeared in the past but has also disappeared quite quickly.  If you are interested in it, our advice is to book it immediately.  Keep in mind that Cruise Planner purchases are able to be canceled prior to the start of the cruise.

Answers to 10 commonly asked Royal Caribbean drink package questions

In:
Category: 
13Apr2017

Our readers ask a lot of questions about the Royal Caribbean cruise experience, especially when it comes to Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages. These all-you-can-drink options have never been more popular with guests, but there is often a concern or two prior to purchasing one.

We dug through our inbox's, comment threads and message boards to find the sort of questions we get asked a lot and are sharing the answers to help everyone figure out if a Royal Caribbean drink package is right for them.

1. What drinks are included without a drink package?

Before you can decide if a drink package is worth the cost, you need to understand which beverages Royal Caribbean includes in your cruise fare.

You can expect these drinks to be included and available during your cruise for no additional cost

  • regular coffee
  • decaffeinated coffee
  • tea
  • iced tea
  • tap water
  • milk
  • chocolate milk
  • lemonade
  • flavored waters
  • juices (at breakfast, not fresh squeezed)
  • hot chocolate (via instant packets)

These drinks are available throughout your cruise at a number of locations, so there will always be somewhere to get something to drink for free.

2. Can I get the drink package only for certain days of the cruise?


 

Not exactly.  You cannot "cherry pick" days to have the drink package benefits.  Basically, when you purchase a drink package, you are buying it for the duration of the cruise.

There is one way to buy a drink package for only certain days, and that is if you skip a few days at the beginning of your cruise.  Royal Caribbean will sell you the drink package even after the first day.  If you purchase it on day two, three or six, the cruise line will only charge you for the days remaining on the cruise. This can be a good strategy for someone that is unsure how much they will really want to drink onboard.

3. Is the drink package worth it?

Trying to determine if Royal Caribbean's drink packages are worth it is ultimately a personal decision. Everyone cruise's differently, and everyone has different needs and wants.

You must weigh the benefits of having virtually all of your drinks paid for, the ability to try new drinks without much risk and not having to worry about your bar tab at the end of the cruise, versus considering if the drink package will actually save you money compared to buying drinks a la carte, and if you will want to drink enough drinks every day of your cruise to make your package investment worthwhile.

If you want a completely unscientific means of figuring out if a drink package is for you, ask yourself this question:

Can I drink 5-7 drinks per day, every day of my cruise?

If after thinking that you initially thought, "Whoa, that is a lot to drink" or "Whoa, that's it?", then you probably have your answer.

4. Is Starbucks included with the unlimited alcohol package?

On non-Oasis Class ships, the drink package includes premium coffee and tea from places like Cafe Promenade, where Starbucks drinks are brewed. It is Starbucks beans, but not a licensed Starbucks location.

On Oasis-Class ships (Oasis, Allure and Harmony of the Seas), the drink package does not work at the Starbucks location onboard, but there will be Premium Coffee offered at Cafe Promenade or Park Cafe.

5. If a drink costs more than my drink packages covers, can I just pay the difference?

Yes, your unlimited alcohol package covers the cost of your drinks up to $12 or $13 per drink (the exact amount depends on which ship you are on). Above that price threshold, anything you order will be charged you the difference.

So if you purchase a $25 shot of whiskey on Oasis of the Seas, you will be charged $12 to your SeaPass account.

6. How many drinks can I order at one time?

You may order one drink per drink package at a time. 

You are allowed to bring your spouse/friend/parent/guy you met 10 minutes ago/neighbor SeaPass card up to the bar with you and make a group order, provided each SeaPass card has purchased an unlimited drink package.

Royal Caribbean does not have a minimum amount of time to wait between alcoholic drink orders, so you can keep the good times flowing as you see fit.  This is probably the part of the blog post where we recommend drinking responsibly.

7. Does the unlimited alcohol package work in all specialty restaurants? Can I get a glass of wine at dinner?

Yes it does. You can use any drink package benefits (alcohol or not) at any of the specialty restaurants.  In terms of what is included or not, the same rules apply to specialty restaurants, as they do at the bars around the ship.

You can order glasses of wine at dinner, whether in a specialty restaurant or the main dining room.

8. If I get a drink package, why am I charged for the last day of my cruise?

Despite the fact a lot of verbiage you see refers to the drink packages being charged per day, the reality is you are charged for each night.

So on a seven night cruise, you will be charged seven times the daily rate (plus gratuity). This means you get to use the drink package benefits on embarkation day and disembarkation day.

9. How can I get a discount on a drink package?

The most reliable way to get a drink package discount is to purchase it before your cruise on Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner. Here are directions on how to take advantage of the online discount.

To be clear, if you are going to purchase a drink package, you will save money if you purchase it online rather than waiting to buy it onboard. 

10. Someone in my stateroom wants a drink package, but I do not.  Does Royal Caribbean require all adults in a room to get a drink package?

Royal Caribbean has no rule requiring all guests in a stateroom to purchase a drink package.  So if your spouse wants to get a drink package and you do not, there is no problem at all.

Royal Caribbean adds two new bottled alcohol packages

In:
Category: 
14Mar2017

Royal Caribbean has added two new bottled alcohol stateroom delivery options for guests to prepurchase prior to their cruise. 

The Royal Gifts shop added two new packages that offer a bottle of liquor with cans of Coca-Cola products.

Absolut Vodka and Sprite Package

Cost: $38

This package includes: (1) 375 ml. bottle of Absolut Vodka and 4 Sprite cans.

This product is not available on the following ships:

  • Explorer Of The Seas
  • Legend Of The Seas
  • Mariner Of The Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum Of The Seas
  • Radiance Of The Seas
  • Splendour Of The Seas
  • Vision Of The Seas
  • Voyager Of The Seas

Johnnie Walker Red and Coca-Cola Package

Cost: $45

This package includes: (1) 375 ml. bottle of Johnnie Walker Red and 4 Coca-Cola cans.

This product is not available on the following ships:

  • Explorer Of The Seas
  • Legend Of The Seas
  • Mariner Of The Seas
  • Ovation of the Seas
  • Quantum Of The Seas
  • Radiance Of The Seas
  • Splendour Of The Seas
  • Vision Of The Seas
  • Voyager Of The Seas

These two new packages are in addition to the rum and gin bottled alcohol packages that were first offered back in December 2016.

Any of these drink packages can be purchased prior to a cruise, and be delivered to a guest's stateroom.

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