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Royal Caribbean drink package - your top questions answered

07 Jan 2020
Matt Hochberg

If there is an area of Royal Caribbean that garners a lot of questions, it is about the cruise line's drink packages.

There is a tremendous amount of value potentially with a beverage package, and quite often people are curious how to maximize a drink package purchase and make it work for them.

Many cruisers ask questions such as...

"Is a drink package on Royal Caribbean worth it?"
"How much is drink package on Royal Caribbean?"
"How does drink package work on Royal Caribbean?"
"Can Royal Caribbean drink packages be shared?"

These are real questions we are asked, so here are the answers to some other beverage package questions we often get asked.

What is a Royal Caribbean drink package?

A drink package offers a prepaid, fixed price for unlimited drinks during a Royal Caribbean cruise.

There are three types of beverage packages offered by the cruise line: Deluxe Beverage Package (unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages), Refreshment Package (non-alcoholic beverages) and the Classic Soda Package (soft drinks only).

Prices for a beverage package are as follows (prices before gratuity or VAT):

  • Deluxe: $63-70 per person, per day
  • Refreshment: $29 per person, per day
  • Classic Soda: $12.99 per person, per day

The  Deluxe Beverage Package includes any single beverage item with a value of up to $12:

  • Fountain soda and refills at any venue
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola souvenir cup
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails)
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Fresh-squeezed juices
  • Cocktails
  • Spirits
  • Liquor
  • Beer
  • Wine by the glass
  • Milkshakes at Johnny Rockets (only available while dining at Johnny Rockets)

The Refreshment Package includes:

  • Fountain soda and refills at any venue
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola souvenir cup
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails)
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Fresh-squeezed juices
  • Milkshakes at Johnny Rockets (only available while dining at Johnny Rockets)

The Classic Soda package includes

  • Fountain soda and refills at any venue
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola souvenir cup

How do I purchase a Royal Caribbean beverage package?

Guests can purchase a drink package before the cruise via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner website, or by calling 1-800-398-9819 up to two days prior to the cruise.

Alternatively, the drink package can be purchased onboard the ship.

You will save money by purchasing the drink package prior to your cruise, because Royal Caribbean often discounts the drink packages compared to the onboard price.

Can I order multiple drinks at a time with Royal Caribbean's drink packages?

No, drinks ordered with a Royal Caribbean all-inclusive beverage packages must be ordered one at a time. 

If multiple guests each have a beverage package, then drinks can be ordered in tandem, but the cruise line requires one drink per order to prevent abuse of the beverage packages.

Are gratuities included in the Royal Caribbean beverage package cost?

At the time of purchase, a service charge is added to the drink package cost.  This 18% gratuity covers all drink package purchases made onboard the ship, so no additional cost is required by the guest when ordering a beverage.

Guests may optionally pay an additional gratuity when ordering a drink at their discretion.

How do I cancel my Royal Caribbean beverage package?

You can cancel the drink package up to 2 days prior to your cruise easily via the Cruise Planner site.

Once logged into your sailing, click Order History at the top right of the page and then find the drink package you purchased and click cancel.

If you decide to cancel the drink package onboard the ship, usually Royal Caribbean will allow it, but not always.  You will need to go to Guest Services onboard and ask to cancel and refund the drink package.  Keep in mind that if they do cancel your drink package purchase, any drinks you purchased will be charged to your SeaPass account individually.  

How am I identified as having purchased a beverage package?

The bottom right corner of your SeaPass card will either be stamped with text, or have a sticker affixed to it that indicates you have a drink package.

Regardless of the sticker or text, each order will need to be scanned by the bartender/waiter to verify drink package status.

If you have a WOWBand, the bartender/waiter can scan that and verify drink package status as well.

Are beverage packages available on all sailings?

A drink package is available on most sailings that are two or more days, with the exception of 2- or 3-day sailings from Southampton, England.

Does everyone in my stateroom need to buy the Deluxe Beverage Package?

Yes,  if one person in a cabin purchases the Deluxe Beverage Package, all others in the cabin aged 21 and over must purchase a package. If the other adult(s) in the room do not consume alcohol for any reason, you can call Royal Caribbean at 1-800-398-9819 and ask for an exemption.

There is no such rule required for the Refreshment Package or the Soda Package.

What happens if the drink I want is more than $12?

If you exceed a drink order threshold, you will pay the difference.  This applies to the menu price of the drink, as gratuity is included with your drink package.

Keep in mind that most drinks are within the drink package threshold, and only a few top shelf liquors are excluded. In short, you need to go out of your way to try to exceed the limit.

Can guests purchase the all-inclusive beverage packages for selected days?

No, guests cannot "cherry pick" days to have the drink package. Once purchased, it is good for the duration of the cruise.

Onboard, the all-inclusive packages are available for purchase throughout the voyage with at least 4 days remaining. Must be purchased for the duration of the cruise; prorated price based on date of purchase. 

Is there a daily limit for drinks with the Deluxe Beverage Package?

No, there is not any daily limit with Royal Caribbean drink packages.

Where can I use my Deluxe Beverage Package?

Royal Caribbean's drink packages are honored at all bars, lounges and restaurants on your cruise.  This includes the main dining room and Windjammer Café.

The drink packages also work at the cruise line's private islands of Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee.

Room service and minibar are not included. 

Can I use my beverage packages when I get onboard my cruise?

Absolutely! If purchased before the cruise or even in the cruise terminal, the drink package benefits are available immediately.

Can I use my beverage package at Labadee? Or Perfect Day at CocoCay?

Yes, drink packages purchased for onboard your Royal Caribbean cruise are honored at either destination.

There is no additional charge to use your beverage packages on the island, so it is added value for anyone visiting.

Can I use my drink package at Starbucks kiosks onboard?

No, drink packages are not honored at any Starbucks kiosk onboard.

It is important to note that the Deluxe Beverage Package and Refreshment Package do include premium coffees at Cafe Promenade or Cafe Latte-Tudes.

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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