Unlimited alcohol packages

How to purchase Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages

In:
22Sep2014

Are you ready to pull the trigger on ordering one of Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages? There are a couple ways to order the packages so you can have it ready for your cruise vacation!

Pre-order online or by phone

In terms of convenience, pre-ordering Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages is the way to go.  It allows you to have the drink packages ready to go the minute you step onboard.

To pre-order the drink package online, go to Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner and choose which drink packages you want to order.

 Alternatively, you can book the unlimited pacakges by phone by calling the pre-cruise planning specialists at 1-800-398-9819.

In either case, guests should be able to purchase these packages approximately 2 months before sail date.

By ordering the unlimited alcohol packages online in advance, you get to not only save time but also break up the cost.  

For a seven night cruise, prices for the unlimited alcohol packages start at $280 per person for the entire cruise, but if you pay in advance you can pay off the drink packages before you have to pay the rest of the cruise bill when you get home from your vacation.

Ordering onboard

Of course, you can always purchase the drink package onboard your Royal Caribbean cruise.  There will be dedicated stations selling the drink packages as well as any bar or lounge location can sell you the package.

Purchasing onboard the ship will let you use any onboard credit you may have gotten towards the package.  By waiting for the cruise, you can check out the drink menus and bars and evaluate if you think the package will make sense for you.

In addition, while not publicly advertised, if you were to wait a day or two before ordering the unlimited drinking package, Royal Caribbean will often sell you the package at a prorated price.  We need to mention we've heard from plenty of cruisers who have said that worked for them but you should not count on that happening.

Royal Caribbean Drink Package: What you need to know

In:
14Jul2014

Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages are the popular options available to cruise passengers as a way to enjoy as much alcoholic beverages as they want. For many, these drink packages have become a necessity but if you're wondering which package is right for you, then this is your guide.

Royal Caribbean's drink packages come in two basic varieties: those that include alcoholic drinks and those that do not.  The packages that include alcohol start at $45 per person, per day and go up from there.  The unalcoholic drink packages can cost just a mere few dollars per day, per person.  With all the packages, there is no limit to how many drinks you can have per day or throughout your cruise vacation.

The drink packages are fairly simple in terms of how to use them.  You sign up either online before your cruise or onboard your cruise.  You will get a sticker to put on your SeaPass card indicating which drink package you purchased.  Then all you have to do is show your sticker to any bartender or waiter and you can order any drink included in your package without any further cost.

The drink package rules have gotten easier since the packages first debuted.  Every adult in a stateroom can opt to order any drink package they want, or none at all.  However, you may not share the benefits of a drink package with anyone else.  Royal Caribbean stipulates the drink packages are soley for the person purchasing it.

From time to time, Royal Caribbean will offer the drink packages for free as a promotion to booking select cruises.  When Royal Caribbean offers a free drink package deal, it's for sailings that need to have rooms filled.  Typically these are ocean voyage cruises that cross the Atlantic or other very long cruises.  In addition, the free drink package promotion is usually in lieu of any other discount on the cruise.  

All drink package prices include a 15 percent gratuity. Packages must be purchased a minimum of four days before the cruise ends. 

Royal Caribbean drink package overview

Classic Beverage Package

This is the lowest tier of the Royal Caribbean drink packages that include alcohol. It only includes beer and wine, and does not include mixed drinks.

Cost: $45 per person, per day

Includes:

  • beer
  • wines by the glass (up to $12 per glass)
  • non-alcoholic cocktails
  • fountain soda with Coca-Cola cup
  • juices
  • 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

Premium Beverage Package

This is the most popular tier of the Royal Caribbean drink packages that include alcohol because it includes mixed drinks in addition to beer and wine.

Cost: $55 per person, per day

Includes:

  • frozen drinks
  • all cocktails including premium brands
  • beer
  • wines by the glass (up to $12 per glass)
  • non-alcoholic cocktails
  • fountain soda with Coca-Cola cup
  • juices
  • 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

Ultimate Package

This is the upper echelon of Royal Caribbean drink packages.  It essentially a combination of the Premium drink package and the Royal Replenish Package (see below) and includes every drink you could possibly order on the cruise ship that is included in any beverage package.

Cost: $65 per person, per day

Includes:

  • frozen drinks
  • call  and premium cocktails
  • beer
  • wines by the glass (up to $12 per glass)
  • non-alcoholic cocktails
  • premium coffee
  • premium tea
  • bottled water
  • sparkling water (375ml)
  • still water (500ml)
  • fresh squeezed orange juice
  • fountain soda with Coca-Cola cup
  • juices
  • 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

Royal Replenish Package

This package offers unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and is great for someone who does wants to enjoy a greater variety of juices and other beverages without paying a lot for it.

Cost: $20 per person, per day

Includes: 

  • premium coffee
  • premium tea
  • bottled water
  • sparking water (375ml)
  • Still water (500 ml)
  • fresh squeezed orange juice
  • non-alcoholic cocktails
  • fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup

Are the drink packages worth it?

The most common question about the drink packages is if they are worth it.  This is a very subjective question and depends largely on the person asking it but there are some basic guidelines we advise.

The drink package benefits those that enjoy at least a few alcoholic drinks per day and want to indulge in their cruise more often than not.  For those looking into the alcohlic packages, the premium drink package makes the most sense since it includes mixed drinks as well as beer and wine.  The unlimited package is a better value since it includes, well, everything and the greater variety with these packages, the easier it is to "break even".

The Royal Replenish Package is a great value for most people because of its affordable price and the variety of non-alcoholic drinks included.

Conclusion

Overall, Royal Caribbean's drink packages are a good deal depending on who is purchasing it.  There are a lot of varibales involved and it's not fair to say it's right for everyone but hopefully the consideratiosn above can help with your decision.

It's chief benefit is it allows for a convenient way to enjoy a lot of drinks without worrying about what the final bill will be. It also allows guests to try new drinks without the fear of "wasting money" on a drink they did not enjoy.  

The other consideration is the price for these packages requires you to drink quite a bit every day.  In most cases, the alcohol packages require about 6-8 drinks per day to get your moneys worth.  This may be easy enough on a sea days, but on port days getting your moneys worth may be more difficult. 

The drink packages are definitely a better fit for cruises that have a lot of sea days or for itineraries in which you do not anticipate spending much time off the ship.  In order to get the package's benefits, you must be onboard the ship (excluding CocoCay and Labadee, where the packages are included).

Your Thoughts…

What is your experience with Royal Caribbean's drink packages? Thinking about using it? I would love to hear what your thoughts are about the drink packages , and how it works–or doesn’t work–for you, in the comments! If you have any questions, ask them there, too.

Top 5 Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol package drink values

In:
06Mar2014

On my last cruise on Navigator of the Seas I noticed Royal Caribbean offers a lot of alcoholic drinks to choose from and the prices of each vary considerably.  It got me thinking, "Is there a strategy to maximizing the unlimited alcohol packages faster?"

Obviously no one wants to spend money on something they know in advance is a waste of money and there is a physical limit to the amount of drinks anyone can drink.  So I took a look at the most recent Royal Caribbean drink menu to figure out which drinks would give passengers the best value if they are using the unlimited alcohol packages.

What are Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages?

Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages are optional add-ons you can purchase to allow you as many beverages as you like for a flat fee per day.

If you do decide to indulge in one of the packages, consider these five drinks as the best ways to get your moneys worth from the investment!

Any margarita from Sabor Modern Mexican - $12

The brand new Sabor Modern Mexican restaurant on Navigator of the Seas specializes in Mexico's most famous liquor, tequila.  Their selection of margairtas is both tasty and a great value for those on the unlimited alcohol packages.

Click here for my review of Sabor Modern Mexican restaurant.

Their margaritas all cost $12, which is by far the most expensive drink we ran across included in the unlimited alcohol packages. 

Besides being a good value for those on the package, it's also a really, really good drink!  The Sweet and Spice Margarita and Sabor Grand Margarita are made at your table for ultimate taste.  The other margaritas offered are also the same price and worth your time as well.

Elderphire - $10.25

If you're a fan of gin, try this drink that was a Bacardi Cruise Competition winner. Bombay Sapphire gin, elderflower, sugarcane and fresh lemon make this a great drink and a great value on the drink package.

Photo by Bacardi Cruise Competition

Ultimate cosmopolitan - $9.50

For something a little smoother, the ultimate cosmopolitan is a great choice and also available fleet-wide.  It's sweet and does the trick for someone who enjoys a good cosmo in the evening.

Photo by Calvin Timothy Leong

Sparkling Peach Martini - $10.50

Vodka and wine, together again.  That's what makes up this drink and when you start combining multiple kinds of alcohol, you drive the price up.  At just over $10, a couple of these will help get you to the "break even" point on your daily alcohol package quest that much easier.

Patron Perfect Margarita - $9.25

While we love the margaritas from Sabor, if you're not on Navigator of the Seas, try the Patron Perfect Margarita that is available on all Royal Caribbean ships.  As the name implies, it uses a better brand of tequila to give you a strong drink.

Photo by Quick_Fox

Honorable mentions

These drinks didn't make our list of the best values but they are still good choices for maximizing your unlimited alcohol package value

  • Red Bull & Vodka - $9.00
  • Long Island Iced Tea/Long Beach Iced Tea - $9.50
  • Hendrick's Gimlet - $9.50
  • Luxury martini - $9.50
  • Appletini - $9.50
  • The Grand Margarita - $9.25
  • Grolsch beer - $6.50

New Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol packages available for purchase online

In:
15Dec2013

As we reported last month, Royal Caribbean launched an expanded selection of unlimited alcohol packages, and starting today guests can pre-purchase their unlimited alcohol packages online.

To help expedite the process of getting the new package, as well to help break up the cost of your cruise, guests can now purchase these unlimited alcohol packages as well as the other unlimited alcohol packages before their cruise.

The package can be purchased via the Royal Caribbean website by logging in and going to "My Cruises" and then finding the "Alcoholic Beverage Packages" link.  Alternatively, guests can book by phone by calling the pre-cruise planning specialists at 1-800-398-9819. Guests should be able to purchase these packages approximately 2 months before sail date.

All three of the unlimited alcohol packages are available for purchase.  

  • The select package costs $45 per person, per day and includes all beers, house wines by the glass (up to $12 value), non-alcoholic cocktails & fountain soda and juices, fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup and 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine.  
  • The premium beverage package costs $55 per person, per day and includes all well, call, and premium brand cocktails (up to $10 value), all beers, frozen cocktails, house wines by the glass (up to $12 value), non-alcoholic cocktails & fountain soda and juices, fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup and 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine.  
  • The ultimate package costs $65 per person, per day and includes all beers, cocktails (up to $10 value), house wines by the glass (up to $12 value), premium coffee & tea, bottled water, sparking water, still water, fresh squeezed orange juice, fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup and 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

The other signifigant change to the unlimited alcohol packages is that you do not have to purchase the package for all adults in the same stateroom.

In addition, the unlimited beverage packages (non-alcoholic) are available for pre-purchase online.

  • The Royal Replenish Package costs $20 per person, per day and includes premium coffee, premium tea, bottled water, sparkling water (375ml), still water (500ml), fresh squeezed orange juice, non-alcoholic cocktails & fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup.

Royal Caribbean officially launches new unlimited alcohol packages

In:
15Nov2013

After being reported earlier this week, Royal Caribbean officially launched made changes to its unlimited alcohol packages as well as added two new packages to the mix.  

The packages are available across Royal Caribbean's fleet on sailings 4-nights or longer. For North American departures it is available on board only from November 15, 2013. All other international departures it will be available from mid December 2013.

There are now four unlimited drink packages to choose from with changes to the Select and Premium packages (changes have been italicized)

The Royal Replenish Package

$20 per guest each day, includes:

  • Premium coffee 
  • Premium tea 
  • Bottled water 
  • Sparkling water (375ml) 
  • Still water (500ml) 
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice 
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails
  • Fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup

The Select Package

$40 per guest each day, includes:

  • Beer 
  • Wine by the glass (up to $8 value) 
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails 
  • Fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup
  • 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

The Premium Package

$55 per guest each day, includes:

  • Call and premium cocktails (up to $10 value) 
  • Frozen cocktails 
  • Beers 
  • Premium wine by the glass (up to $12 value) 
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails 
  • Still bottled water (500ml) 
  • Fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup 
  • 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

The Ultimate Package

$65 per guest each day, includes:

  • Premium coffee 
  • Premium tea 
  • Bottled water 
  • Sparkling water (375ml) 
  • Still water (500ml) 
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice 
  • Call and premium cocktails (up to $10 value) 
  • Frozen cocktails 
  • Beers 
  • Premium wine by the glass (up to $12 value) 
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails 
  • Fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup 
  • 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

The other major change to the unlimited alcohol packages is now any eligible guest in a stateroom may purchase a package. This is a change from the previous policy where all eligible guests in a stateroom had to purchase a package. 

The new unnlimited beverage packages will be available for guests purchase starting today, November 15th on all ships, and pre-purchase online the first week of December at http://www.royalcaribbean.com/beforeyouboard/cruiseEnhancements.do or by calling our pre-cruise planning specialists at 1-800-398-9819. Once available online, you can purchase them approximately 2 months before sail date.

All package prices include the 15% gratuity.  Also the the basic soda package and water package stay intact.

Guests who have already bought a ‘Classic’ package prior to the changes in November/December 2013, will receive the new Select package once on board and a refund to their onboard account for the $5 per day difference in pricing.

Guests who have already bought a ‘Premium’ package prior to the changes in November/December 2013, will receive the new Premium package once on board.  If they wish to upgrade to the new Ultimate package, this can be done at a cost added to their onboard account of the $10 per day difference in pricing. 

RUMOR: Royal Caribbean to offer new unlimited alcohol packages on November 15

In:
13Nov2013

Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages have been wildly popular since they debuted last year and there's a number of reports that the cruise line is revamping its unlimited alcohol packages by adding some more options.

According to readers on Cruise Critic, Royal Caribbean has told certain callers that they will change their unlimited drink package options starting on November 15.

The rumored changes and additions to the options are as follows:

  • New $20 per day, per person non-alcoholic drink package that includes fountain soda (with the Freestyle cup), specialty coffee & tea, fresh juice.

  • Classic unlimited alcohol beer and wine package will remain the same bit with the addition of the Freestyle cup for soda

  • Premium unlimited alcohol package will add the Coca-Cola Freestyle cup as well as bottled water and wine up to $12 a glass. 

  • A new Ultimate unlimited alcohol package will cost $65 per person, per day and be the same as the Premium package, but adds fresh juice, Red Bull and specialty coffees & teas

These additions and changes to the unlimited alcohol packages are not confirmed by Royal Caribbean directly yet but enough people have had it independently verified by calling the cruise line to warrant reporting the potential change.

Since this is still a rumor, guests cannot purchase the new packages yet. Once we receive confirmation by Royal Caribbean, we will post any and all details to clarify details.  

11/14 9:38am UPDATE: More information is coming in pointing to this rumor being accurate.  Some more details on the new plans include the fact gratuity is included in all the packages. The biggest change for the unlimited alcohol packages is not everyone in the stateroom has to get it.

Select package ($40 per person, per day) includes beer, wine by the glass value up to $8, non-alcoholic cocktails, and the Fountain soda package with cup. 

The Premium unlimited alcohol package ($55 per person, per day) includes cocktails up to $10 value, frozen cocktails, beer, premium wines up to $12 value, non-alcoholic cocktails, 500 ml bottled still water and Fountain soda package with cup. 

Ultimate package ($65 per person, per day) is virtually unlimited including all that is included with the premium package but with no price limit and is $65 per person per day.

A 20% discount off of select premium wines are offered with the Select, Premium and Ultimate packages.

The basic soda package and water package stay intact 

Should you buy the unlimited alcohol packages?

In:
08Aug2013

Ever since Royal Caribbean launched the unlimited alcohol packages for their passengers to purchase last year, they've been a popular consideration and topic of discussion.  Convenience, cost, what it includes and other questions are commonly what manny guests contemplate.

The basic concept is rather than have to pay for each drink throughout your cruise and then worry what your bar tab will look like when you get the final bill, Royal Caribbean is offering two unlimited alcohol packages that will give passengers of paying for their drinks up front and then having the convenience of not dealing with the costs of each drink.

We wanted to do the math and figure out how many drinks one would need to order per day in order to theoretically "break even".  By breaking even, we mean having enough drinks that would cover the cost of the package if they had ordered the same amount of drinks but opted to pay for them a la carte.

Royal Caribbean has two unlimited alcohol packages to choose from.  The Classic Beverage Package costs $45 per passenger, per day, and features beer (priced $6.25 or less), house wines by the glass, all nonalcoholic cocktails, soda and juices. The Premium Beverage Package, at $55 per person, per day, includes all of the above plus all beers (no price limit), frozen drinks and cocktails made with premium brand alcohol. Bottled water and minibar items are not included in either package. Prices are inclusive of service charges. 

Time for the math!

Classic Beverage Package

$45 per person, per day.  On a 7-night cruise, this comes out to $315 per person.

Beers: $4.50 - $6.25

House wines (by the glass): $6.00 - $9.00

Soda: $1.95

Juices: $3.95

To break even on beer alone, you would need to drink about 7 to 9 beers per day.  Or you could drink about 4 beers, 2 glasses of wine, 2 sodas and 1 juice per day.

Premium Beverage Package

$55 per person, per day.  On a 7-night cruise, this comes out to $385 per person.

Mixed drinks/cocktails, martinis, frozens: $6.50 - $12.00

Beers: $4.50 - $6.25

House wines (by the glass): $6.00 - $9.00

Soda: $1.95

Juices: $3.95

To break even on mixed drinks alone, you would need to drink about 5 to 8 mixed drinks per day.  Or you could drink 4 mixed drinks, 2 beers, 2 sodas and 1 juice per day.

Since the prices range so wildly with mixed drinks, having just mixed drinks and drinking the cheapest mixed drinks possible would require about 9 drinks to break even. Or 5 mixed drinks if you went for the most expensive ones.

Conclusion

Based on the breakdowns, it seems reasonable to consume that much, provided you enjoy that much alcohol.  

On sea days or cruises that aren't port intensive, it can certainly make sense.  However, if you're spending most of the day at a port, that leaves you with very little time to have the necessary drinks per day.

What tends to be a deal breaker for many is everyone over the age of 21 in your stateroom must purchase the package and there can be someone who is not interested in that much alcohol.

From a financial standpoint, if you can drink enough every day of your cruise to make it worth it, then go for it.  But if it sounds like too much, then stick to paying cash. Or better yet, take the money that the unlimited alcohol packages would cost and place it on a gift card and use that to settle up your bar tab at the end of the cruise and keep any leftover money if you didn't spend it all!

Answers to all of your unlimited alcohol package questions

In:
08Jul2013

Since Royal Caribbean rolled out its unlimited alcohol packages last year, there has been a lot of questions out there about package specifics.  So without further adieu, we present answers to the most common questions we've seen about the alcohol packages.

Someone I am cruising with does not/cannot drink alcohol but I would like to.  Can I buy the package just for me?

The rules of the Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol package stipulate everyone over the age of 21 in a stateroom must buy the package, however, if someone in your cabin has a medical reason why they cannot drink, then you can speak with guest services onboard your ship about getting the package removed for that person.

This is something you must do onboard the ship on the first day of your cruise.  A letter from your health professional should suffice.

As of November 15, 2013 Royal Caribbean no longer requires every eligible adult in the same stateroom to purchase an unlimited alcohol package. 

How much are drinks a la carte? I want to decide if the unlimited package is worth it.

Prices for alcohol varies but generally speaking, you can get most beer onboard for about $5-6 per beer.  Mixed drinks will run you closer to $7-10, depending on the drink and how good alcohol you want.  

How much do I have to drink per day to "break even" with the drink package?

To break even on the standard drink package, you would need to drink about 8-10 beers/glasses of wine.

To break even for the premium drink package, you would need to drink 6-7 mixed drinks per day.  Of course, if you mix in beer or wine, then you will need to increase the amount of drinks per day since beer and wine are cheaper.

These are approximations and it depends on how expensive/cheap your drink happens to be. 

For the premium alcohol package, is ____ included?

  • Martinis are INCLUDED
  • Shots are INCLUDED, although certain uber-premium brands, like Patron, were not included.
  • All beer is INCLUDED
  • Mixers are INCLUDED (including Red Bull)
  • The only spirits not avail are any Scotch over 12 years old Cognac VSOP and above
  • Ultimate Vodka, Belvedere. chopin and Grey Goose are INCLUDED
  • Patron is NOT INCLUDED
  • House wine are INCLUDED (although we've heard the included house wines are not very good)
  • Drinks on Private islands are INCLUDED
  • Virgin (non-alcoholic) mixed drinks are INCLUDED

What does the unlimited alcohol packages not cover?

Package does not include room service or in-stateroom purchases, specialty coffee, mini bar items, canned sodas, bottled water / juice and souvenir glassware, specialty beers as listed on bar menus, or super premium category beverages. 

What beers are NOT included with either drink package?

Officially, all beers $6.25 and under are included.  Here are the beers we've found not to be covered.  There may be others...

  • Sam Adams Imperial White
  • Sam Adams Double Bock
  • Foster's Oil Can
  • Grolsch Premium Lager
  • Chimay Blue 750ml

Are you charged the price of the unlimited drink package each night? All at once? At the end of the cruise?

Royal Caribbean will charge you immediately on the first day for the duration of your cruise for the price of the package.  So for a 7-night cruise for the premium package, you will be charged $385 (7 nights x $55) per person.

Did we miss your question? Post it in the comments below and we will try our best to answer it!

Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol package now available for pre-purchase online

In:
29Jan2013

The new unlimited alcohol packages are now available for pre-purchase online prior to getting aboard your Royal Caribbean cruise.  

Royal Caribbean announced the all-you-can drink beverage packages last month and initially the package was available to purchase on the first day of your cruise.  Now, guests may pre-purchase the package online to expedite the process.

The package can be purchased via the Royal Caribbean website by logging in and going to "My Cruises" and then finding the "Alcoholic Beverage Packages" link.

Both the classic beverage package and premium beverage packages are available for purchase. The classic package costs $45 per person, per day and includes all beers, $6.25 or less, house wines by the glass, non-alcoholic cocktails & fountain soda and juices.  The premium beverage package costs $55 per person, per day and includes all well, call, and premium brand cocktails, all beers, frozen cocktails, house wines by the glass, non-alcoholic cocktails & fountain soda and juices.

The drink packages are available on all sailings 4 nights or longer and must be purchased by all guests in your stateroom, 21 years of age or older.  Package prices already include gratuity,

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