Drink Packages

How to make the drink packages on Royal Caribbean work for you

In:
Category: 
13Jan2020

Royal Caribbean's drink packages are big hit with guests, because it provides unlimited beverages to enjoy during the cruise for a fixed price.

There are three drink packages available to purchase: Deluxe Beverage Package, Refreshment Package, and the Classic Soda Package.

If you elect to buy a drink package, here are a few ways to take full advantage of your investment.

Specify the liquor brand when ordering

When you order any alcoholic drink, be sure to specify the liquor.

Instead of ordering "a bloody mary", say "a bloody mary with Grey Goose". Your unlimited alcohol package includes quite a variety of liquor, so do not settle for the first bottle available to the bartender.

By specifying the higher quality brand of liquor, you can get more value out of your package, as well as enjoy the finer spirits included with your drink package.

Pre-purchase to save money

Royal Caribbean rewards guests who buy their drink package before the cruise with a discounted price, compared to purchasing it on the ship.The exact discount will vary from sailing to sailing, but in general, the savings of booking a drink package online before a cruise can be as much as over $10 per person, per day compared to booking it onboard. Over the course of a 7-night cruise, those savings add up quickly!

What you want to do is log onto the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean's website and purchase the drink package of your choice online.  If you are concerned about the drink package price dropping, take solace in the fact you can always cancel and rebook with no penalty!

Not only will buying your drink packages online save you money, it will also save you time because typically there can be lines to purchase the drink packages onboard the ship. Your vacation time is limited, so do not waste it waiting to buy a drink package.

How to save money if your spouse does not drink (a lot of) alcohol

You may or may not be aware that all Royal Caribbean passengers 21 years of age and older (18 years in Australia and the U.K) are now required to purchase the Deluxe Beverage Package if at least one other person in their cabin has one.

That is fine if each adult in the room wants the alcohol package, but what if someone does not want it or cannot consume alcohol? 

Before the cruise, call Royal Caribbean and explain that you would like to purchase the deluxe beverage package, but someone else in your room does not want it. While not an official policy, in every instance we have tried, the cruise line will allow you to purchase the Royal Refreshment (non-alcoholic) drink package instead for that person. This helps save money on what would have otherwise been a drink package that the other person would not have been able to fully utilize.

Don't overlook coffee, bottled water and juice

When talking about the Deluxe Beverage Package, inevitably we all focus on the cocktails, beer or wine included, however, it includes so much more than just alcohol.

Lattes, premium bottled water, sparkling water, fresh squeezed juices and more come with your drink package purchase.  These sort of beverages are a major component to the drink package, and are a way to enhance the value of your package investment because the savings can rack up quickly.

Use your drink packages outside the bar

While it may be obvious you can use your drink packages at any bar or lounge, your benefits extend to any restaurant on the ship.

Royal Caribbean's specialty restaurants have their share of signature cocktails, as well as a full array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Just like at a bar, your drink package works at these locations too.

In addition, Royal Caribbean's drink package benefits work at Perfect Day at CocoCay or Labadee.  Your drink package value will dramatically increase if your cruise visits one of these spots.

You don't need the soda cup to get a drink

One of the benefits of any drink package is you will get a souvenir Coca-Cola cup to use during the sailing. While it is a handy means of getting soda (and the only way to get soda out of the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines), you do not need to always use the cup to get a soft drink.

In addition to the cup, any bar, restaurant or lounge can provide you a cup or can of soda whenever you like. This is helpful when you are Labadee or Perfect Day at CocoCay and do not feel like bringing the cup with you, or anytime when the cup is not with you.

Royal Caribbean drink package - your top questions answered

In:
Category: 
07Jan2020

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.

Video: Why you NEVER want to buy a drink package on a Royal Caribbean ship

In:
08Oct2019

Are you interested in buying an unlimited alcohol package on your Royal Caribbean cruise? Here is why you should not buy it onboard your ship!

Drink packages are quite popular and I usually buy one when I go on a cruise, but it is a mistake to buy it onboard.  In this new video, you can learn why it is not a great idea to buy onboard, and what you should do instead!

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch 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 episode!

So check out the video and then let us know: What is the best price you have gotten for the deluxe beverage package?

The Do’s And Dont’s Of Royal Caribbean's Drink Packages

In:
Category: 
19Sep2019

Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages offer a tremendous value and budget-friendly option for guests to enjoy all the beverages they care for while on their cruise vacation.

If you are on the fence about whether or not to get a drink package, here are some helpful do’s and don’ts.

5 Drink Package Do's

  • Pre-purchase: The best way to get the lowest price on an unlimited drink package is to buy it before the cruise. Royal Caribbean regularly offers pre-cruise discounts via its Cruise Planer site. Plus, you can cancel and rebook if the price drops before your cruise!
  • Do your research: Before you decide to buy a drink package, have an honest conversation with yourself if you will be able to drink enough, everyday of your cruise to make the investment worthwhile. Drink packages offer a great value, but it requires you to drink enough every day of your cruise to make it a good buy.
  • Specify the liquor brand: When you order any drink, be sure to specify the liquor. In lieu of ordering "a bloody mary", say "a bloody mary with Grey Goose". Your unlimited alcohol package includes quite a variety of liquor, so do not settle for the first bottle available to the bartender.
  • Try new drinks: One of the best reasons to get a drink package is to be able to try out a new drink. It is completely acceptable to try drinks and not finish them, so feel free to experiment!
  • Use it at Perfect Day at CocoCay & Labadee: Royal Caribbean's drink package benefits work at both of its private destinations.  Your drink package value will dramatically increase if your cruise visits one of these spots.

5 Drink Package Don'ts

  • Share the package: The cardinal faux pas of any drink package is to share its benefits with other guests. Drink package benefits are only for the person that buys it, so do not share it with anyone else. Period.
  • Overtip: Your drink package purchase covers gratuity for any and all drinks you order with it.  While you can tip extra if you so choose, you should be aware that your drink package orders already account for gratuity.
  • Assume you need one: Drink packages get a lot of attention online among cruisers, and as a result, many new cruisers seem to feel they need to get one because of all the talk they get.  The reality is you do not need a drink package.  There are lots of complimentary beverages included with your cruise, and drink packages are a nice to have splurge, but far from a necessity.
  • Overlook non-alcoholic beverages: If you have the Deluxe Beverage Package (also known as the unlimited alcohol package), be sure to take advantage of all the non-alcoholic beverages included. Lattes, bottled water, soda, espresso, juice and more are included with the Deluxe Beverage Package and just as important as the booze that comes with it.
  • Forget your drink package works at specialty restaurants: Royal Caribbean's specialty restaurants have their share of signature cocktails, as well as a full array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and your drink package works in these restaurants too.

Want to learn more about drink packages?

Here are a few more helpful resources on everything you need to know about Royal Caribbean's drink packages.

Avoid these Royal Caribbean drink package mistakes

In:
Category: 
26Aug2019

Lots of cruisers love the value and conveience that a Royal Caribbean drink package provides, but you certainly do not want to make a critical mistake with these packages and take full advantage of what they offer.

While the unlimited beverage package seems like an easy enough service to enjoy, there are at least four ways we often see guests missing out on maximizing the package value and unlocking some great benefits.

Sharing the drink package benefits with another guest

An absolute faux pas of any Royal Caribbean drink package is sharing your drink package benefits with another guest. It is strictly against the rules and arguably the single most important rule that comes with the drink package.

Royal Caribbean warns that guests who share a drink with someone who does not have a drink package can risk having their drink package benefits revoked with no refund.  

The package is intended for only the guest who buys the package.  If you want to buy a drink for someone else, you can do so and pay for it individually along side your drink package transaction.

Not buying a drink package as soon as possible

If you decide a Royal Caribbean unlimited drink package is worth it, do not wait to buy it onboard the ship. Heck, do not wait at all to buy it.

First, if you purchase it onboard you will have to spend time buying it.  Often there are lines on embarkation day to buy the drink package, and then there is a bit of paperwork associated with its purchase.

Second, if you buy the drink package online before your cruise, it will absolutely save you money on the total cost! There are discounts offered for the drink package if purchased prior to the cruise, which means money saved for something else on your vacation.

Third, the price of a drink package could drop... or it could rise.  Buying a drink package as soon as you know you want it means you can protect against a price increase.  If the price of the drink package drops before your cruise, you can always cancel and rebook the drink package with no penalty.

Not getting a bottle of water with any order

It is easy to get a bit of tunnel vision when it comes to using Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol package.  In addition to alcohol, the package provides unlimited soft drinks, fresh squeezed juices, coffees and bottled water.

The bottled water, in particular, is very useful.  Not only is it a good idea to drink a lot of water while enjoying alcohol (many of us learned that lesson in college), but stockpiling bottles of water in your stateroom means you have a supply for use on shore excursions.

When you order an alcoholic beverage, in our experience the waiters never have an issue with also providing you with a bottle of water as part of the same order.  This means you can take a few bottles back to your room for use onboard or onshore.  

While you can always just order a bottle of water to bring offshore, having a small reserve of bottled water means you can easily grab as much as you need.  This is very helpful with families or large groups.

Not specifying brand of liquor when ordering a drink

When you belly up to the bar and order a drink, often you simply ask for the drink you would like to order, often we just ask for the name of the drink.

"Can I please have a pina colada?"

What you ought to do, is instead order the drink and specify the liquor.  The deluxe beverage package includes many types of liquor, including some more desirable brands.  Choices in liquor can be subjective, but higher quality brands of liquor are typically smoother, stronger, or just plain taste better.

So when ordering a drink, be sure to specify what you want in it.

"Can I please have a pina colada with Kraken rum?"

Not trying signature cocktails at specialty restaurants

Many Royal Caribbean specialty restaurants have their own menu of cocktails that were created specifically for that restaurant and may not be available elsewhere on the ship.

Part of the appeal of the unlimited alcohol package is the opportunity to try new drinks without fear of wasting money on something you do not enjoy.  Since the unlimited alcohol package works at all specialty restaurants, you can feel free to try one of the restaurant's drinks.  You might just discover something you really love.

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 Sabor, Jamie's Italian, 150 Central Park and Wonderland.

We want to hear from you! What is your best tip for avoiding a beverage package mistake? Leave a comment and share with us below!

Royal Caribbean drink package prices

In:
Category: 
12Aug2019

Royal Caribbean's drink packages are a very popular option that many guests purchase for their cruise vacations. Beverage packages offer an unlimited assortment of cocktails, beers, sodas and more for a fixed cost.  That means a predictable cost to indulging onboard, as well as a convenient means of enjoying beverages without worrying about extra costs.  

If you are wondering what the Royal Caribbean drink package prices are, then check out this easy to understand guide for pricing basics.

Drink Package

It is worth noting that these price changes are reflective of the onboard pricing, and many guests are able to take advantage of discounts provided by the cruise line via the Cruise Planner site.

Deluxe Beverage Package

Onboard costs $63 - $70 per guest, per day (before gratuity). The exact price will vary from sailing to sailing.

Commonly referred to as the unlimited alcohol package, it includes beer, wine by the glass (up to $12 value or $13 on Oasis/Quantum Class ships), frozen cocktails, house and premium cocktails (up to $12 value or $13 on Oasis/Quantum Class ships), non-alcoholic cocktails, premium coffee and tea, bottled still and sparkling water, fresh-squeezed juice, fountain sodas with a souvenir Coca-Cola cup and a 40% percent discount on wine bottle purchases under $100 (wines above $100 will receive a 20% discount).

Royal Refreshment Package

Onboard cost is $29 per guest, per day (before gratuity). 

The non-alcoholic drink package includes premium coffees and teas, bottled water, fresh-squeezed juices, non-alcoholic cocktails and fountain soda. 

Classic Soda Package

Onboard cost is $12.99 per guest, per day (before gratuity). 

Drink package discounts

From time to time, Royal Caribbean will discount its drink packages if purchased prior to the cruise via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.

The exact discount will vary, although it is common to see up to a 20% discount off the daily rate. Royal Caribbean has been known to run even more lucrative discounts from time to time. The intriguing aspect to that discount is the daily price for a drink package seems to vary from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing. If you have more than one cruise booked on different ships, you may find different sale prices.

There is no guarantee your sailing will have a discount on drink packages via the Cruise Planner, but the pre-cruise discounts seem to be widely available.

Not all sailings have discounts available, but if they are available, guests can log into their My Cruises section of the Royal Caribbean web site, navigate to the Cruise Planner section for their sailing and check if there are any discounts available on the Royal Caribbean drink package prices.

Is a drink package worth it?

Royal Caribbean's drink packages can absolutely save you money when compared to ordering a similar amount of drinks without a drink package, but it is up to you to consume enough throughout your sailing to "break even" on the package investment.

The basis of these unlimited alcohol packages is the premise that you will drink enough to "break even" each day to make the packages worth it.  

Generally speaking, the Deluxe Beverage Package takes about 5-6 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 3-4 drinks.  Of course, the deluxe beverage package includes drinks besides alcohol, which does help with that math.

Keep in mind that you must consume enough drinks every day of your cruise to recoup the cost of the package, and the longer the cruise, the more difficult it could be to maintain that amount of drinking.

Video: Royal Caribbean Drink Package Review

In:
06Aug2019

We have a new RoyalCaribbeanBlog video to share today, which reviews Royal Caribbean's super popular unlimited alcohol package.

These days, perhaps no cruise purchase is more popular than an unlimited alcohol package, and we have a full review of what the drink package offers and what you should think about before purchasing one for yourself.

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch 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: What are your thoughts on buying an unlimited drink package for your cruise?

Spotted: Royal Caribbean 50th Birthday souvenir drink cup

In:
Category: 
29Jul2019

Guests sailing on Royal Caribbean ships this week spotted a new souvenir Coca-Cola cup that celebrates Royal Caribbean's 50th birthday.

Photos by twangster

RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers Lovetocruise2002 and Twangster shared photos from Symphony of the Seas and Empress of the Seas of this new cup design available for guests.

Photo by Lovetocruise2002

These souvenir cups are compatible with the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. The Coca-Cola souvenir cup has a special chip in it which activates the machine. In addition, guests can hand the cup to a bartender to be refilled.

Royal Caribbean will honor drink package price glitch

In:
Category: 
03Jul2019

Days after a website glitch offered Royal Caribbean's popular drink package price for $18 per person, per day, Royal Caribbean has decided to honor the incorrect price.

In an email sent to guests, the cruise line accepted the mistake occurred, and decided to own the error and honor the price.

"This was a BIG mistake! It might have been bad code, a random computer glitch — or maybe we just need to reinstate our intern typing test.

Any which way, it was our error, and we’ll own it. Enjoy your deep, deep discount — while we go drown our sorrows.

Happy 4th of July!"

With this announcement, Royal Caribbean will not cancel the purchase and anyone that purchased the drink package during the time it was offered on July 1st will retain their purchase.

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