Many people with an upcoming Royal Caribbean cruise often wonder if there is a way to get a free drink package for their vacation.
Can you really get a Royal Caribbean unlimited drink package for free? And if so, what's the catch?
Free drink packages are rare
Generally speaking, Royal Caribbean does not offer its drink packages for free, but it does regularly offer discounts on them.
If you book a Star Class suite on an Oasis or Quantum Class ship, complimentary Deluxe Beverage Package is included for every guest in the room. Star Class staterooms are the highest category of suites available on any Royal Caribbean ship, and usually come at a high cost.
The cruise line used to include a complimentary soda package if you booked a Boardwalk Balcony stateroom on its Oasis Class ships, but discountinued that program on January 1, 2020.
In select countries (i.e. United Kingdom), occasionally a new promotion will offer an "all-inclusive package", where the drink package cost is included with the cruise fare cost. Whether or not the drink package is free, or simply paid for as part of the cruise fare, is debatable.
Another way to get a free deluxe beverage package is if you reach a high enough tier of the Casino Royale program, which rewards guests who gamble a lot on Royal Caribbean.
As previously stated, a free drink package is nearly non-existent, and when it is "included" for free, you are usually paying for it in the grand scheme of things.
How to get a discount
If you want to know how to get a get a discount on a Royal Caribbean drink package, there are far more options available to you.
Every few weeks or so, Royal Caribbean runs a sale on pre-cruise purchases made on its Cruise Planner site.
These discounts regularly offer money off the cost of an unlimited drink package, primarily the unlimited alcohol package. The exact discount will vary, but the price offered online is always cheaper than the price onboard the ship.
If you know you want to buy a drink package, your best option is to pre-purchase and lock in the lower price.
In addition, Royal Caribbean will offer Crown and Anchor Society members a discount if they purchase the drink package onboard the ship.
Typically, the onboard discount for a Crown and Anchor Society member is 20% off for Diamond, 30% off for Diamond Plus, and 40% off for Pinnacle.
This discount can be a better option if you are cruising solo, as the pre-cruise discounts typically offer the best deal if you are buying two packages.