If you love having an espresso, latte, or any other brewed coffee every day on your Royal Caribbean cruise, then perhaps a coffee card package is right for you.
Royal Caribbean offers a number of drink packages that include premium coffees, but it also has a coffee card that includes a select amount of coffee drinks.
Will the coffee package save you money and is it worth it to buy?
Here's a breakdown of Royal Caribbean's Cafe Select Coffee Card and what you should know.
What does the coffee card include?
The Cafe Select Coffee Card is the name of what many people call the "coffee package" and it is essentially a punch card of drinks.
Royal Caribbean says the card includes 15 specialty espresso-based coffees that you can use during your cruise. The coffee card issued to you will have 15 punches to use.
This means for every premium coffee you order, the barista will punch a hole in the card to note how many of the drinks you've ordered.
According to Royal Caribbean, the coffee card can save up to 50% on individually purchased coffees.
The coffee card does not include coffees from Starbucks kiosks. Instead, you can use the card at Royal Caribbean coffee locations, such as Cafe Promenade or Cafe Latte-tudes.
You can also use the card at any location onboard that serves espresso-based drinks.
You cannot use the card for any coffee drinks that include alcohol.
Punch per card or per shot?
One inconsistency with Royal Caribbean has been how the coffee cards are punched.
Some passengers report getting one hole punch per drink ordered, while others have reported getting a hole punch per espresso shot in the drink.
On the Royal Caribbean website, there's no mention of getting a hole punch per espresso shot, but you should be aware on some ships they make that distinction.
Can you share the coffee card?
Yes, unlike Royal Caribbean's other drink packages, the coffee card is not restricted to one person.
You are allowed to purchase a coffee card and allow your friends and family to utilize the card benefits. Because the card is not unlimited, Royal Caribbean doesn't care who utilizes the benefits.
How much does the coffee package cost?
The coffee card price is usually at $31 per card.
A gratuity charge is added onto the cost of the card, which covers the gratuity for all the drinks you order while onboard. This means no additional tip is required.
With gratuity, the total cost comes out to $36.58.
Keep in mind Royal Caribbean may change the price of the coffee package at any time, so prices are subject to change.
If you're wondering, a premium coffee purchased individually will run about $2.50 to $5 per drink.
Can you use the same card on different sailings if you don’t use it all at once?
No, the card is good for only the sailing you purchase it on.
Is the coffee card worth it?
Without a doubt, the coffee card will save you money on the equivalent amount of coffee purchased onboard, assuming you order all 15 coffees.
You should be aware that your Royal Caribbean cruise fare includes regular brewed coffee and tea. This card is for espresso-based beverages.
The first reason you might not want the coffee card is if you wont order enough coffees to use up all your hole punches. Since you can share the coffee card with others, it's easier to get your money's worth than with a regular drink package.
Speaking of drink packages, the question of if a coffee card is worth it may lead into the question of should you get a coffee card or another drink package.
Both the Deluxe Beverage Package and the Royal Refreshment Package include premium coffees and have no limit to how many premium coffees you can order. Moreover, they include other beverages such as alcohol, juices, sodas, and more.
Of course, one of the other drink packages will cost you significantly more than a coffee card. The deluxe beverage package can run between $50 - $90 per person, per day. You won't be able to break even on that investment on coffees alone.
If you aren't much of an alcohol drinker, then the Royal Refreshment package might be a good alternative. It includes unlimited non-alcoholic drinks, such as bottled water, coffees, teas, soda, and mocktails.
The average cost of a Royal Refreshment package is between $29 - $38 per person, per day.
Just like the alcohol package, it still requires you to drink a fair amount of non-alcoholic drinks per day to make it worthwhile.
Ultimately, if you consider the coffee package, you should also look at the other drink packages to ensure your money is well-spent.
If you don't drink a lot of alcohol and sodas or bottled water doesn't do it for you either, then the coffee card is a good choice for those that purely want premium coffees.
Another consideration is your Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor Society status. Diamond, Diamond Plus, and Pinnacle Club members get complimentary drink vouchers every day of their cruise, which can be used for premium coffees.
If your cruise ship has a Starbucks kiosk onboard, you might prefer those coffees. Since Starbucks beverages from a Starbucks kiosk is not included with the coffee card, you could alternatively order your drinks there and pay as you go.
As you can see, the determination of if a coffee card is worth it really comes down to the individual person. Here's a summary of the key considerations:
- How many coffees will you drink each day of your cruise?
- How many alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks will you likely have every day of your cruise?
- Does your ship have a Starbucks kiosk?
- Would sharing coffee card benefits with another person make the investment easier?
The good news is the Royal Caribbean Cafe Select Coffee Card has the potential to save money compared to buying the same amount of drinks without the card. The question is really if you should spend the money on the coffee card or get a different drink package to better take advantage of your drinking habits.