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Drink Packages

Royal Caribbean offering half off drink packages on Navigator or Symphony of the Seas

In:
26Aug2020

Royal Caribbean is offering half off its popular unlimited alcohol packages on select sailings of Navigator of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas.

The new offer runs between August 26-27, 2020 and is applicable to just Navigator of the Seas & Symphony of the Seas sailings  from January 1, 2021 - August 30, 2021.

The cruise line says it will offer up to 50% off onboard prices of the Deluxe Beverage Package, and it "has limited inventory and is available on a first come first serve basis."

This is a new type of offer, as usually drink package discounts (and Cruise Planner sales in general) are usually offered for the entire fleet, but rarely with this deep of a discount.

It's our best selling Deluxe Beverage Package - but at half off onboard prices - making this our best deal ever. There's a limited quantity available for your clients' sailing at this special price, so book theirs today!

As of this posting, one RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader reported seeing a $44 per person, per day cost to the Deluxe Beverage Package for a January 2021 Symphony of the Seas sailing.

  

To check if your sailing has this new offer available, log into the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean's web site look for any available offers. Keep in mind that not all sailings may see the sale applicable, nor are all offers significantly cheaper than previously posted.

If you spot a better discount on something you already pre-purchased, you should be able to cancel the purchase and then re-purchase the same item under this promotion.

Top signs a Royal Caribbean drink package will probably save you money

In:
Category: 
25Aug2020

Are you debating if an unlimited drink package on your Royal Caribbean cruise makes sense to buy? 

Drink packages have a high up-front cost, but promise savings compared to paying for drinks individually, so how do you know if a beverage package is worth buying?

The decision will be different for everyone, but here are some tell-tale signs that may signify it is a smart purchase for you.

You prefer name brand liquors

When you order drinks at home, do you specify the liquor brand to be used? If so, a drink package purchase might make sense.

Royal Caribbean's drink packages include many brand name liquors, such as Patron, Grey Goose, Bacardi and more. Not only are name brand liquors smoother, they cost more than the house brands.

If you know you will want a name brand liquor with your martini, margarita, or rum and coke, the Deluxe Beverage package includes that.

You will be cruising with a group

The more friends or family you are cruising with, the more likely a drink package will save you money in the long run.

Large groups on a cruise tend to congregate and spend time enjoying each other's company, and inevitably having a drink or two happens.

Whether you all enjoy cocktails with dinner, or beers by the pool, keeping up with the family is a lot more affordable with a drink package.

Spreading out your vacation cost is important

One of my favorite reasons to buy a drink package is to spread out the total cost of the cruise vacation.

When you buy a drink package before the cruise, you pay for it at the time of purchase. This means I can pay off the drink package on a different billing cycle than I did for my cruise deposit, final payment for the cruise, and onboard charges after the cruise.

The ability to budget better is a very compelling reason to buy a beverage package for the flexibility it provides.

You are a social drinker

My mom used to remind me in college that I do not have to drink to have a good time, and while sage advice, having a drink or two is not a bad thing either.

Going on a cruise is about spending time relaxing, being entertained at shows and performances, as well as spending time with friends and family.

If having a drink in your hand while you chit chat or see a show is something that you tend to do, a drink package makes this a heck of a lot more affordable habit.

Your cruise is visiting a private island

There is a good argument to make for buying a drink package if your Royal Caribbean cruise visits a private island because the drink package benefits work there too.

Royal Caribbean private destinations of Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee are amazing places to spend the day, and the fact Royal Caribbean extends drink package benefits to these locations adds a significant amount of value to the drink package equation.

Considering you will probably spend at least 8 hours at one of these ports, it is like having a bonus sea day worth of time to take advantage of what the drink package has to offer. Moreover, Royal Caribbean's beverages are the "only game in town", so that means you will have to pay Royal Caribbean for a coke, cocktail or beer.

You drink espresso-based coffee

While black coffee works well-enough for some people, there are many others who love a good espresso.

Lattes, macchiatos, or even just espresso shots are very popular, and included with the Deluxe and Refreshment packages.

If you might have one, two or more of these premium coffees every day of the cruise, investing in a drink package might make a lot of financial sense.

How much is the drink package on Royal Caribbean?

In:
Category: 
28Jul2020

Royal Caribbean offers guests the option to enjoy unlimited beverages on their cruise, but you might be wondering exactly how much is a drink package on Royal Caribbean.

Beverage packages are a very popular choice among guests, because they offer a fixed cost for drinks, and this means an easy to budget approach to a cost that could otherwise rack up a big bill later.

Depending on which package you choose, there are a few price ranges to consider.

Drink Package Costs

The cost of a Royal Caribbean drink package will vary from sailing to sailing, and ship to ship. This means there is no fleet-wide cost or standard to expect.  There are a variety of factors that play into the cost of a drink package.

The Deluxe Beverage Package (unlimited alcohol package) will cost somewhere between $63.00 - $89.00 per person, per day for a drink package when purchased onboard.

The Refreshment Package (non-alcoholic package) will cost between $29.00 - $38.00 per person, per day for a drink package when purchased onboard.

The Classic Soda package will cost between $12.99 - $15.00 per person, per day for a drink package when purchased onboard.

These prices are the range you can expect when purchased onboard the ship.

Royal Caribbean does offer significant drink package discounts when purchased online before the cruise. 

There is almost always a discount of some kind available to for drink packages when guests pre-purchase them. In fact, the exact discount can change depending on the various promotions available, so be sure to keep an eye on prices.

It is common to see a 20-30% discount off the daily rate. Royal Caribbean has been known to run even more lucrative discounts from time to time. 

Gratuity with the drink package

When you buy any drink package, you will pay a 18% gratuity on top of the daily drink package price.

This gratuity will cover all of your drink package usage during your cruise, and it means no additional gratuity is expected when ordering beverages from a waiter or bartender.

Crew members receive a pool of the gratuity, based on how many drinks they serve. The more orders they take, the greater their share of the drink package gratuity pool of money.

Is the drink package worth it?

A drink package is not cheap, especially on longer sailings, but they do offer a value when properly used.

Many guests enjoy the fact a drink package offers fixed costs and convenience of being able to order drinks anytime they see fit, without concern of running up a big bill or being stuck with a drink they do not like.

On average, it will take 6-7 cocktails per day to break even on the Deluxe Beverage Package, whereas the Refreshment Package breaks even around 4-5 mocktails.  The soda package takes about 3-4 soft drinks per day to break even.

There is no denying that you can save money with a drink package and make it worthwhile, but it requires you to want/enjoy having a number of drinks, everyday of your cruise.

How to avoid the most common cruise drink package mistakes

In:
Category: 
06Jul2020

Getting a drink package on a Royal Caribbean cruise is a very popular choice, and if you are among the many that choose to purchase one, be sure to avoid these costly mistakes.

Buying a drink package for your cruise means a fixed daily cost that can add up to a substantial bill.  Even with that high package cost, you can easily break-even on your investment, but there are also some strategies for maximizing your drink package so that you get much more out of it.

Here are the top cruise drink package mistakes, and how to avoid them!

Not specifying a liquor

When you order a drink, it is very easy to simply order the name of the drink without telling the waiter or bartender which liquor to use.

More often than not, the drink will be served with a lower quality liquor, but you could get a higher quality alcohol that is included in your drink package.

Instead of ordering "a pina colada", order "a pina colada with Kraken rum" or "a martini with Grey Goose".

By specifying the liquor, not only do you get your preferred brand of alcohol served, but you can take advantage of higher quality booze included at no extra cost.

Paying for the drink package on the ship

The most costly mistake you can make with a drink package is waiting to buy it on your cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean charges the highest price for its drink packages on its ships, whereas it offers discounts regularly to guests who purchase their drink package before the cruise.

In the months leading up to your cruise, just log onto Royal Caribbean's website and purchase the drink package there.  

If timed during a sale, you could save 30-45% off the onboard price of that drink package.  Those savings can add up quickly!

Sharing the drink package benefits

Royal Caribbean is quite clear that sharing the drink package benefits with someone else is against the rules.  

This means you cannot (and should not) order a drink for a friend or family member who does not have the drink package.

Not only is sharing a drink package frowned upon, if you are caught, you could lose your drink package benefits entirely without a refund.

Forgetting all the beverages that come with a drink package

When you hear "cruise drink package", the first thing most people think about are soda or alcoholic beverages, but Royal Caribbean includes plenty of other drinks with their drink packages.

The Deluxe Beverage Package or the Refreshment Package both include soft drinks, espresso specialty coffees, premium teas, bottled water, sparkling water and juice with their drink package.

This means you can break even on your drink package cost without just drinking booze.

It also means you can enjoy a latte in the morning, shake at the gym, milkshake at Johnny Rockets, and afternoon tea without spending anything extra.

Not stocking up on bottled water

Bottled water is included with a drink package, and you should always order a water bottle to bring back to your room periodically to stock up on.

Not only will having bottled water in your room make for a convenient option when you need a drink in the morning, but you can also take these bottles off the ship with you when you go on an excursion.

While you certainly could just stop at a bar and get a bottle of water before heading off the ship, having a little stockpile makes getting ready for a fun day on shore easier. Plus, the crew are usually happy to give you an extra bottle or two if you ask.

Not using a drink package at restaurants

Did you know your drink package benefits work at Royal Caribbean's restaurants, including the specialty restaurants?

Some Royal Caribbean specialty restaurants have a special cocktail menu with drinks not available elsewhere on the ship.

If the restaurant has a special cocktail, usually it is on the drink menu that also includes the wines and other beverages available.

Specialty restaurants with particularly good drinks of their own include SaborJamie's Italian150 Central Park and Wonderland.

Assume you need a drink package

While this article is about how to maximize a drink package, it is worth noting everyone does not absolutely need one.

Getting a drink package means you have a fixed cost to your drinking onboard, as well a great deal of convenience.  But if you will not drink enough during the cruise, then a drink package is not necessary.

Your cruise fare includes some basic beverages, including water, coffee, milk and tea. For a lot people, this is more than enough.

In addition, a drink package has a high upfront cost that is difficult for some to pay, even if it means a lower bill later.

Drink packages are a nice to have splurge, but far from a necessity, so have an honest conversation with yourself to determine if it makes sense to get one.

How do you get free drink packages on Royal Caribbean?

In:
Category: 
08Jun2020

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.

Is a cruise drink package worth it?

In:
Category: 
28May2020

If you are trying to decide if buying an unlimited alcohol package right for you, then you are not alone in debating this quandary.

Many cruisers are curious if the up-front cost charged by Royal Caribbean is worth it, and if they are better off simply paying for drinks as they go.

If you are on the fence about whether it is a good idea to buy a Royal Caribbean drink package on a cruise, here are the important considerations to factor into your decision.

Why you should get a cruise drink package

Easy budgeting

Purchasing a drink package means you have a fixed cost for all your drinks during your cruise.

Instead of worrying about if you really should order one more mojito, the cost is already set, so it is all about what you want, when you want it.

Purchasing an unlimited drink package makes containing costs super simple and gives a great deal of relief that you can order a drink at any bar or restaurant and not end up with a crazy bill at the end of the sailing.

Convenience

One of the best reasons to get a drink package is how simple it is to order drinks and not worry about running up bills or collecting receipts.

In addition, gratuity is included with the unlimited alcohol packages (in North America), so you do not need to be concerned about how much to tip the bartender or waiter. 

Having a drink package makes things incredibly simple for enjoying drinks on your cruise, without having to think about bills, budget or extra cost.

Beverage variety

While Royal Caribbean includes basic beverages to all guests in the cruise fare, some guests prefer to drink a lot of bottled water, sodas, specialty coffees and more.

When purchasing an unlimited alcohol package, most of the focus is on the beer, wine and cocktails included, but these packages also offer unlimited sodas, coffees, bottled water and sports drinks.

The assortment of drinks means added value to your package investment, and convenience of being able to vary what you want to drink.

Your cruise will visit a private island

If your Royal Caribbean cruise will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay or Labadee, getting a drink package makes a lot more sense because of the fact drink packages work in these locations.

Just like onboard the ship, drink package benefits extend to CocoCay and Labadee and that means an entire day onboard and onshore of getting value from the package.

The only exception is souvenir cups are not included with the drink packages, so you need to request your drinks in a plastic cup if offered the souvenir option.

Why you should not get a cruise drink package

You do not drink a lot

The top reason not to get an unlimited drink package is if you do not drink enough during your cruise to "break even" on the investment.

Drink packages offer value, but it requires you to drink enough every day of your cruise to make it worth it. 

There are a lot of ways to get value from a drink package, especially if you mix up the type of drinks you get, but for the alcohol package, you should be ordering around five to six alcoholic drinks per day to make it worthwhile.

Port intensive itinerary

If your cruise ship is scheduled to visit a lot of ports, you may not find a lot of opportunity to take advantage of a drink package.

Longer sailings, especially ones with very few sea days, can make breaking even on a drink package purchase difficult. Since you will be busy exploring ports, and likely tired at night from a full day of exploring, that leaves little time to indulge in drinks onboard.

In general, the less sea days and more days docked in a port, the more difficult it is to break even on the cost of a drink package. 

Package price

When you look at the total price of an alcohol package for two people on a seven night sailing, you are probably looking at over a thousand dollars in total cost. 

This sticker shock is a lot to swallow, and while it may end up being a money-saving option in the long run, it is still a lot of money to pay up-front.

Your adult cabin mate does not want an alcohol package

Royal Caribbean requires if one adult in a stateroom wants to purchase the Deluxe Beverage Package (unlimited alcohol package), then all other adults in that stateroom must buy a package. This drink package rule often creates an issue when one adult prefers or cannot drink alcohol.

If you call Royal Caribbean and mention your the other adult(s) in your stateroom do not drink (as much) alcohol, they will often let the other adult purchase the Royal Refreshment package instead (which costs significantly less per day).

Spotted: New Coca-Cola souvenir cup design

In:
Category: 
02Mar2020

Royal Caribbean has unveiled a new design for its unlimited drink package soda cups on a few different ships across the fleet.

The new cup design comes in at least two colors (blue or green) and features a large Royal Caribbean Crown and Anchor logo with plenty of bubbles around it.

Photo by Chris Bowers on Liberty of the Seas

Pink design. Photo by Chris Spears

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Michael Pastore shared photos of the new cup design while on Adventure of the Seas this week.

These souvenir cups are compatible with the self-serve soda machines on the pool deck as well as the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. The Coca-Cola souvenir cup has a special chip in it which activates the machine.

Do you like the design of these souvenir Coca-Cola cups? Tell us in the comments below!

How to know if you need a drink package

In:
Category: 
24Feb2020

The decision to buy a Royal Caribbean beverage package is something a lot of cruisers wrestle with, because the benefits of having a fixed cost for unlimited drinks has to be weighed against the question of "need" and overall cost.

There are three different drink packages you can buy either before the cruise or once onboard.

Many cruisers are curious if a drink package makes sense to buy, so here are the top reasons to know that you need to buy a drink package on your next cruise.

You like having a fixed cost for all your drinks

The most compelling reason to get any drink package is for the flat fee to enjoy unlimited drinks on your cruise.

Budgeting for a vacation involves a lot of costs, and the last thing anyone wants is a surprise bill at the end of the cruise that is much higher than expected.  Investing in a cruise drink package assures that soda, booze or coffees will not run up your bill.

If you pre-purchase a drink package prior to the start of the cruise, not only will you save money, you will spread out the total cost of the cruise vacation.

Of course, you could always wait until the first day of the cruise to see how your drink consumption is going and elect to buy a drink package once onboard.

You are cruising with a lot of friends or family

I believe people cruise differently when they are sailing with just their family, versus a larger group. To that point, having a drink package might make a lot of financial sense if you are going to be socializing a lot on your cruise.

Going on a cruise with extended family and friends is a fantastic way to catch up and make new memories that you will be laughing about for years to come.  In my experience, hanging out with people for extended periods of time leads to wanting to have a drink.  Whether you all decided to do a few rounds of beers at the pool or want to enjoy a few glasses of wine with dinner, a drink package will make the decision to join in a heck of a lot easier.

When you do not have a drink package, you begin to question if you want to get another drink to be a part of the crowd, or be fiscally responsible and skip this round.  No good stories include, "...and then I decided to save some money and not order a drink."

Convenience is important to you

There is no doubt that having a drink package means not worrying about your bar bill.  With beers, cocktails, coffees and more included, the notion of racking up a giant bill is eliminated.

In fact, having a drink package makes it super simple when you are at any bar, restaurant, lounge or theater to simply take your SeaPass card out and grab a drink.  Gratuity is included with the drink package, so there is no math to calculate and no bill at the conclusion of the sailing to rectify.

For many people, a drink package is a very liberating experience.

Bottled water, soda or premium coffee is something you drink a lot

Royal Caribbean includes some drinks with the cruise fare, but if you are used to having a soft drink with meals, wine with dinner or a latte every morning, buying a beverage package might be right up your alley.

While buying a Diet Coke here, or bottled water there is not going to cost you a fortune, these drink package purchases do add up, especially if it is a habit.  Bottled water is one area that a lot of guests tend to buy because they need them for tours in the ports of call the ship visits.

If you have a drink package, the convenience of being able to grab a bottle of water or have a second shot of espresso is far less worrisome.

You want to try drinks

One of the best advantages of having a beverage package is being able to sample drinks without worrying you are wasting money if you do not like it.

You may have heard about all the amazing cocktails you can have on a cruise, like a Lavaflow, Miami Vice or Strawberry Daiquiri. Ordinarily, you might shy away from buying one because you do not want to spend money on a drink you may not finish.  With a drink package, there is no risk involved.

In fact, Royal Caribbean offers a wide variety of beers, cocktails and liquors with its drink packages and you may find trying a few drinks during the cruise to be a fun pursuit.

You are going to Perfect Day at CocoCay or Labdee

My mom used to always remind me that you do not need to drink to have a good time, and while accurate, having a few drinks at the beach or pool is still fun!

If your ship visits either of Royal Caribbean's private destinations, you can only buy beers or cocktails from the cruise line and that makes a drink package purchase far more compelling.

These private islands are all about enjoying the natural beauty surrounding you, and having a few drinks along the way seems to be a common pastime. Just like a sea day on the ship, drink package benefits work on these private islands and extend the value they provide.

What do you think?

If you have cruised before, is a drink package worth it?  If you are new to cruising, what concerns do you have? Share your comments and questions in the comments!

Video: 10 Things People Don't Realize About Royal Caribbean's Alcohol Package

In:
11Feb2020

Are you a fan of Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package? Are you considering getting a drink package on your next cruise?

With all the different cocktails, wine, beer and more that are offered on a Royal Caribbean cruise, getting a drink package is a very tempting choice. I have a brand new video to help you decide if the Deluxe Beverage Package is a good fit for your vacation!

And if you love this video, there’s plenty more for you to enjoy over on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single video!

So check out the video and then let us know: Will you buy the Deluxe Beverage Package on your next cruise?

Is the drink package worth it on Royal Caribbean?

In:
Category: 
03Feb2020

If you have a Royal Caribbean cruise booked, you might be wondering if it is worth it to get a drink package.

Drink packages have become a very popular option among guests for the convenience of having a set price for unlimited beverages.  The question is, do these drink packages save you money and are they worth the money?

Royal Caribbean Drink Package Options

There are three drink package options you choose between:

Deluxe Beverage Package

The Deluxe Beverage Package is Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol package offers guests the greatest variety of beverage choices, such as cocktails, beers, wine, coffees, teas, juices, bottled water, and sodas. You also receive a souvenir Coca-Cola cup.

In addition, you will receive a 40% discount on bottled wines priced up to $100, and 20% discount on wine prices above $100. 

Royal Refreshment Package

This is the non-alcoholic beverage package that includes premium coffees, teas, sodas, juices, bottled still and sparkling water. You also receive a souvenir Coca-Cola cup.

Classic Soda Package

The Classic Soda Package includes unlimited fountain soda and refills in any venue, Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages, and a Coca-Cola souvenir cup.

Drink Package Costs

The cost of the drink package will vary from sailing to sailing and ship to ship. In addition, Royal Caribbean offers a discount if you pre-purchase it via its website.

  • Deluxe Beverage Package: Onboard pricing is currently  $63.00 - $89.00/per day for 2020 sailings.
  • Refreshment Package: Onboard pricing is currently $29.00 - $38.00/per day for 2020 sailings.
  • Classic Soda Package: Onboard pricing is currently $12.99 - $15.00/per day for 2020 sailings.

Often, Royal Caribbean will provide discounts for drink packages in the weeks and months leading up to the cruise. These discounts can be found in Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.

Regardless of the price offered, you will always find a better price online than onboard. In addition to the savings, pre-purchasing before the cruise helps with budgeting the overall cruise vacation.

When you purchase any beverage package, a service charge is added that covers gratuity for all drinks ordered.

How does the drink package work?

Once you purchase a drink package, you are entitled to unlimited beverages that are included with the drink package you purchased.

You can order one drink at a time. There is no limit to how many drinks a guest may consume on any day, or during the cruise. 

Royal Caribbean's drink package covers beverages purchased at onboard restaurants, bars, and lounges. They also work at Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee.

The only exceptions to where you cannot use your drink package are:

  • Room service
  • Mini-bar items
  • Beverages from Starbucks kiosks

If one adult elects to purchase the Deluxe Beverage Package, all other guests at least 21 years old in the same stateroom must purchase one as well. There is no such rule for the Refreshment or Soda packages.

Is Royal Caribbean’s Drink Package Worth It?

 

There is no question a beverage package has the potential to save money, but the real question is if you will drink enough every day of your cruise to make the purchase worthwhile.

Consider the drinks you want: It is important to think if you are interested in alcoholic, non-alcoholic drinks.  Soda only? Can you see yourself ordering sodas, coffee, juice and alcoholic beverages often?  

How much can you drink everyday: Anyone can make a drink package worthwhile on one day, but over the duration of your cruise, can you (and will you want to) drink enough.

The appeal of the drink package is it will save you money compared to the cost of the same amount of drinks purchased a la carte. If you knew that you would not drink enough to make the package worth it financially, then you probably would not consider the drink.

In general, the Deluxe Beverage Package take about 6-7 drinks per day to reach the daily cost of the drink package. The non-alcohol packages have a lower break-even point, that is closer to 4-5 drinks.  Of course, the deluxe beverage package includes drinks besides alcohol, which does help with that math.

How much time will you be onboard the ship: Consider the itinerary you are sailing on, and how many ports you will visit.  The more time you are in port on a shore excursion or touring, the less time you have on the ship to accrue drinks and "break even".

Lastly, how important is the convenience of the drink package to you: Drink packages offer the ability to pre-purchase the package prior to the cruise and break up the total cost of the cruise.  Plus, having a drink package means not having to worry about running up a large bar bill or deciding if you should spend the money on another drink.  

The convenience factor is sometimes enough for folks to decide to get the package.  After all, you are on vacation and no memorable cruise starts with worrying about drink prices.

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