Unlimited alcohol packages

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,

Royal Caribbean announces All-Inclusive Beverage Packages

In:
13Dec2012

After a few weeks of rumors, Royal Caribbean officially announced two new all-inclusive beverage packages to all the ships in its fleet.  The new packages are available on seven-night or longer sailings now and will be available on every sailing by early 2013.

The two new beverage packages, Classic and Premium, allow guests to pay one price at the beginning of their cruise and enjoy unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for the duration of the cruise.

Classic Beverage Package

Cost: $45 per guest, per day (includes service charge)

Package includes: 

  • beer
  • house wines by the glass
  • all non-alcoholic cocktails
  • fountain soda
  • juices

Premium Beverage Package

Cost: $55 per guest, per day (includes service charge)

Package includes: 

  • beer
  • frozen drinks
  • all cocktails including premium brands
  • house wines by the glass
  • all non-alcoholic cocktails
  • fountain soda
  • juices

Both beverage packages must be purchased on the first day of the cruise.   Guests choosing either package also must purchase the package for guests 21 years old or older sailing in the same stateroom.

The two new packages are currently available on 13 ships and will be available on the remaining ships with seven-night or longer itineraries by early 2013.

Royal Caribbean executive vice president of operations, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, commented on the addition, "Royal Caribbean is in the midst of an extensive revitalization program that will leave no ship untouched and includes enhancing the variety of new dining and beverage options for our guests.The addition of these new beverage and culinary packages creates a seamless vacation experience for our guests, providing them with a greater selection of choices and delivering it to them at an incredible value and convenience.”

Royal Caribbean testing unlimited alcohol and internet packages

In:
28Nov2012

Royal Caribbean has confirmed that it is testing an an all-inclusive alcohol and unlimited internet packages.

Royal Caribbean confirmed packages are being tested but added, "We do not have final details on which ships would receive the packages at this time or what those packages would look like."

According to passengers aboard Allure of the Seas, the unlimited alcohol package is being offered currently for $55 per person plus 15% gratuity and both of the people in her cabin had to sign up for it.  

Reports are the package includes all house wine, beers under $6.25, fountain sodas, well/call or premium brands of liquor and frozen drinks. It does not include room service, specialty coffee, minibar items, canned sodas, bottled water or bottled juices.  

Another passenger reports that the unlimited internet usage package is available onboard Allure of the Seas for $149 a week.

Royal Caribbean confirmed Allure is testing such a package but wouldn't offer additional details on which ships are part of the trial, which ships might eventually get the package or what the package will ultimately cost. 

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