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2023 Royal Caribbean Drink Package Info, Tips, Pros & Cons

19 Mar 2023

A Royal Caribbean beverage package offers the choice to enjoy an unlimited amount of drinks for a fixed daily price. This post offers tips for saving money with these drink packages and our reviews of the various plans.  

We will get to what each version of Royal Caribbean's Beverage Packages include and whether the Royal Caribbean Drink Package is worth the money below.  Our tips and opinions are based on our first-hand experiences with the drink packages, and the current versions for this year.  

Before we get to the dollars and cents, let us cover some basics. 

What is a Royal Caribbean drink package?

For those who are unfamiliar with it, Royal Caribbean's drink packages are a fixed daily cost plan offered on all Royal Caribbean ships so guests can budget their beverage costs in advance and (potentially) save money.  The various plans provide guests with unlimited drinks that can be used at any bar or restaurant on Royal Caribbean ships (and private destinations).  

Bamboo Bar with people drinking

The drink package benefits are available on the guest's SeaPass card, which any waiter or bartender can verify they have the package.

Royal Caribbean guests wishing to purchase a drink package can do so either prior to their cruise via the Cruise Planner web site or once onboard their ship. Once purchased, you must pay for the package for the duration of your cruise.  If purchased during your cruise, guests will pay for the remaining nights of their cruise.

Let’s get more into the nitty-gritty of the 2023 Royal Caribbean drink package…

Coco Loco drinks

The drink packages can be redeemed at pretty much any restaurant or bar on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship or private destination.  There are only two places a drink package cannot be used: room service and stateroom mini-bars.

Frequent users of Royal Caribbean's drink packages become pretty adept at getting more bang for their buck on the packages, but with some advance planning, first-time Royal Caribbean cruisers can also make the most of the packages.

From time to time, Royal Caribbean may offer a drink package discount. These discounts are offered selectively and can vary in terms of how much the discount is and for which sailings they are eligible.  Nearly all discounts we have seen are offered prior to the cruise on the Cruise Planner web site.

Bamboo Lounge drink

Will these sales save you money? These discounts have the potential to add to the potential value a guest can get from a drink package, but remember any discount does not necessarily make the value proposition a drink package offers a "slam dunk" deal.

That is probably enough background on Royal Caribbean's drink packages.  You likely still have some more questions, and we will dig into them below and get them answered.  For a simple system, it can be surprisingly complex, do not feel bad if it takes some reading before you fully understand how the drink package works and whether it is a good for for your party.

Will a drink package save me money?

Drink package table

Before even booking a drink package, you should determine roughly how many drinks per day you think you can and will drink over the course of your cruise.  For some folks, 5-6 drinks per day is easy, while others may think that is a lot every day of a cruise.

There's no question that a Royal Caribbean drink package can save you money if you can drink enough to make it worthwhile. Some people don't care so much about "breaking even" on their purchase, because they just like the fact they pay one price and all their beers, cocktails and other beverages are included.

It really boils down to your habits on a cruise and how much you think you might drink. 

2023 Royal Caribbean Beverage Package Overview

Royal Caribbean offers a few drink packages to consider.  Each package provides guests with an unlimited allotment of servings of the specific beverages their package includes.

None of the packages include mini bar items, Evian water, canned sodas, bottled juice and souvenir glassware, specialty beers as listed on bar menus, or super premium category beverages.

Refreshment Package

Royal Caribbean Refreshment Package

This drink package pretty much includes all beverages onboard that do not contain any booze.  It is popular with older children and those that like having juices, coffee and teas.

For each guests that purchases this package, it includes

  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Bottled still and sparking water
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Mocktails
  • Fountain sodas / Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup included

The price per night of the Refreshment Package is $29.00 per guest (excluding gratuity).

Classic Soda Package

Coke cup

The Classic Soda package is what was once called by many guests, "the soda card".  It is unlimited soda and quite popular with kids.  

For each guests that purchases this package, it incudes

  • Fountain Soda and refills in any venue
  • Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup included

The price per night of the Classic Soda Package is $12.99 per guest (excluding gratuity).


Deluxe Beverage Package

Royal Caribbean Drink Package Information and Planning Tips | Royal Caribbean Blog

Royal Caribbean offers just one unlimited alcohol package, the Deluxe Beverage package.

It offers "the best of both worlds," with access to nearly the entire stock of beverages with or without liquor. Enjoy virtually unlimited combinations on everything from cocktails with top-shelf spirits to premium teas and every beverage in between.

For each guests that purchases this package, it includes

  • Cocktails, spirits, liqueurs
  • Beer
  • Wine (by the glass)
  • Mocktails
  • Premium coffees & teas
  • Fountain sodas / Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages
  • Coca-Cola souvenir cup included
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Fresh squeezed juices
  • 40% discount on wines under $100. Wines above $100 will receive a 20% discount.

The Deluxe Beverage Package includes drinks with liquor up to $14 in value.  Drinks that are served in a souvenir cup/glass/mug and/or drinks served inside fruit (i.e. pineapples) are not included with the drink package, however a portion of the drink price is subsidized by the beverage package.

The best reasons to get a Royal Caribbean drink package on your cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog

The price per night of the Deluxe Beverage package varies from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing. Royal Caribbean seems to employ a variable pricing model that considers time of year, ship class and other factors in offering the price of the drink package.

Due to the varying prices across the fleet, we hesitate to publish any kind of pricing here. If purchased prior to your cruise on the Cruise Planner site, the Deluxe Beverage package often costs between $48 - $79 per guest, per night (excluding gratuity). The price will be higher if purchased onboard, usually between $63 - $89.00  per guest, per night.

One significant recent change to the Deluxe Beverage package is all Royal Caribbean passengers 21 years of age and older (18 years in Australia and the U.K) are  required to purchase the Deluxe Beverage Package if at least one other person in their cabin has one.

If the other adult(s) in the same stateroom do not wish to purchase a Deluxe Beverage Package, you can call Royal Caribbean and ask for an exemption.  Usually, Royal Caribbean will allow the other adult(s) to purchase a less-expensive drink package, such as the Refreshment Package.

Coffee Card

If all you want are lattes, espresso, or something stronger than regular coffee, then perhaps Royal Caribbean's Café Select Coffee Card is the right choice for you.

Unlike the other drink packages, the coffee card is not unlimited.  Instead, you get a physical card that will be punched every time you use the card.  Each card is good for 15 punches.

For every brewed coffee you order, the barista will punch a hole in the card to note how many of the drinks you've ordered.

Where to eat breakfast on Harmony of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

You can use the coffee card at Royal Caribbean coffee locations, such as Cafe Promenade or Cafe Latte-tudes. It does not work at freestanding Starbucks kiosks.

Royal Caribbean usually prices the coffee card at $31 per card.

Another difference from the other drink packages is you are allowed to share the coffee card benefits with another guest.

Is there a limit on Royal Caribbean drink packages?

There is no limit on a Royal Caribbean drink package in terms of how many drinks a guest may consume in a day or throughout the cruise.

The only limit on a drink package is that you may only order one drink per order, per drink package.

If multiple people are ordering a drink with a drink package, the bartender or waiter may take each guests' SeaPass card to place the order.

There are a few other drink package rules that you should be aware of as well.

Is it worth getting the drink package on Royal Caribbean? - Pros and Cons

We have used Royal Caribbean's drink packages on a number of occasions and we have also paid out of pocket for our drinks on even more cruises.  The drink package has an equal number of fans and critics.  We tend to fall somewhere in the middle, disagreeing with both extremes. We think the drink package has its pros and its cons, so let us take a look at some of them!

Savings - You can save money with a drink package (versus paying for each drink a la carte), but you have to be a certain kind of drinker and not waste the daily package benefits.  If you are someone that enjoys having many drinks every day, it can definitely save you money with a Royal Caribbean drink package.  This requires anyone that buys the package to be willing and able to enjoy a good half-dozen drinks every day of their cruise.  

There is no question a drink package has an excellent value proposition associated with it, but you need to be able to drink enough to "break even" on the package versus buying the drinks on your own.  If you knew you would not be drinking enough every day of your cruise to break even, why would you over pay for a package?

With that said, prices for Royal Caribbean drinks have been on the rise over the last few years. Cocktails are regularly priced at around $10-13 per drink, which means bar tabs can quickly get expensive. And with so many tantalizing choices on each bar menu, the temptation to grab a drink is always present.

The drink package benefits will save the most money for folks that drink a lot during the day and spread their drinking out throughout the course of their day and night.  

Is the drink package worth it on Royal Caribbean? | Royal Caribbean Blog

Amount of Drinks - One common regret we hear about drink packages is a phenomenon known as "drink fatigue," where guests drink more than they really would ordinarily order and they end up ordering drinks for the sake of ordering drinks.  When using a drink package, I always struggle with the question of, "Am I ordering a drink because I want one or because I have a drink package?"  There have been plenty of times with a drink package, I know I am ordering a drink because I have the package and the show, activity or event I am attending offers drinks, so why not get a drink.

If you are on a short cruise and are looking to have a good time, the drink package can make a lot more sense, since there are less days to use the package benefits.  Likewise, shorter cruises have a tendency to have more of a party atmosphere than longer cruises.  

It is important to keep in mind what your goal is when ordering a drink package.  Are you going to be spending much of your time by the pool or are you someone that will be doing other activities where drinking may not always be an option.  

Convenience - Many guests swear by the convenience of Royal Caribbean's drink packages.  It makes enjoying drinks simple, with no-fuss involved.  There is no worrying about how much the drink costs and if you should get it or something cheaper.  Heck, there is not even the concern about if you can afford to get a drink or not.  

It is a fair point and among the most commonly cited reasons people love the drink packages.  We love the convenience of the drink package too, especially to have the freedom of trying new drinks without fear of ordering something we do not like and being "stuck" with it.  Or relegating ourselves to drink the same old drinks because we know we like them.

The thing is, the number one reason to buy a drink package is to save money, otherwise why would it exist.  Royal Caribbean would not roll out something that offers no savings and expect people to pay for it, right?  With that in mind, while convenience is important, we believe the cost savings still supersedes whatever convenience the drink package offers.

How much is the drink package on Royal Caribbean? | Royal Caribbean Blog

Budgeting - This is probably the most contentious point.  In addition to being convenient, a lot of its fans advocate the unlimited drink packages help them stay on a budget and avoid thinking about money on a vacation.

On the surface, this makes sense because you can buy a drink package before your cruise and break up the cost of the cruise, or opt to purchase it onboard and cap your drinking spending.  In either scenario, it goes to making your total cost more predictable.  It reminds us of cell phone plans and why so many people prefer unlimited data plans rather than fixed-data plans.  Simpler to have one cost that covers everything, than worry about "going over."

There is a point to be made about pre-purchasing a drink package months before your cruise, paying it off then and then later going on your cruise and not dealing with a bill at the end of your cruise that makes you cringe (or worse).  It does not mean you will actually save any money, as you still need to drink enough each day of your cruise to make a drink package worthwhile.  Otherwise, you overpaid earlier than usual.

The whole notion of not having to worry about receipts, gratuity or how much a drink costs holds less water for us.  Sure, it is nice to have, but far from essential.  If someone told me I could save more money by doing some simple math every day, you bet I would bring my calculator onboard.  There are a lot of fun things to do on a Royal Caribbean cruise, and the more money I can save, the more fun stuff I can afford.

Royal Caribbean revamps its unlimited drink package offerings | Royal Caribbean Blog

Sticker Shock - Even if you are not on a tight budget, drink prices on a Royal Caribbean cruise can be somewhat shocking. There might be the most amazing drink on the menu, but you cannot bring yourself to spend $14 (or more) on it because that sounds too expensive for just one drink.

It is debatable how much any drink should cost.  Go to a concert or theme park, and you will find prices for drinks that make Royal Caribbean's pricing strategy look pedestrian.  

On the other hand, your local restaurants may serve up drinks for a fraction of the cost of what you will find at Boleros. Having the drink package does help ease your mind about paying $14 for that cucumber martini.

Everything you need to know about the Bionic Bar on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas | Royal Caribbean Blog

It is important to note that you are not always forced into paying full prices for drinks.  Every day there will be a "drink of the day," where one drink is discounted about 20%. 

You can usually find other drink specials throughout your cruise.  In addition, guests that are members of Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society are eligible to receive discounted and complimentary drinks during the cruise.  Diamond and above members get complimentary drinks every evening, which can be a big money saver.  

Moreover, guests are allowed to bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom on their Royal Caribbean cruise.  All of this contributes to bringing down the cost of drinks on a cruise, especially if you forgo a drink package and pay a la carte for your drinks.

How do I get the best deal on a Royal Caribbean drink package?


The best way to get a deal on a Royal Caribbean drink package is to buy one as early as you can and then re-price when there are price drops.

The price of a drink package can change many times before the cruise begins and this is because of various sales offered.  Typically, there's a pre-cruise sale every few weeks, although the total cost of the drink package may not actually change

Regardless, it's possible for there to be a price drop and in that case, you can cancel and rebook the drink package with no penalty via the Cruise Planner website.

By booking a drink package early you lock in the price and guard against a price increase, but can still take advantage of a price decrease.

Trying to "time" a lower price is a mistake because sometimes the price goes up and never goes back down.

Drink Package Frequently Asked Questions

Are Royal Caribbean drink packages per person or per room?

Percentages off during a cruise planner sale

Each drink package purchased is per guest, and may only be used by the person buying it.

This means a drink package cannot be shared by more than one person.

How to buy a Royal Caribbean drink package?

What to think about before buying a Royal Caribbean drink package | Royal Caribbean Blog

The easiest way is to purchase it via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner site.  

You can buy the drink package at any time up to 48 hours before your ship sails.  Buying a drink package in advance is the best strategy to save money, because it will cost more onboard the ship.

Alternatively, guests from the U.S. or Canada can buy the drink package by calling (800) 398-9819.

Read moreHow to purchase Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages

Does a Royal Caribbean drink package include gratuity?


When you buy any drink package, you will see a line item charge for a "service charge."  This includes the gratuities for any beverages you order.

How to cancel a Royal Caribbean drink package?

Log into Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner for your sailing, and then click on your initials at the top right corner.

Then click Order History. Find your drink package and click View Details, followed by Cancel.

Where can I use my drink package?

Any bar, restaurant, or lounge will accept your drink package benefits. This includes the Windjammer, main dining room, and specialty restaurants.

The drink packages also work at Perfect Day at CocoCay or Labadee.

The only places you cannot use your drink package are with room service, minibar or Starbucks.

What happens if you don't buy a drink package on Royal Caribbean?

If you elect not to buy a drink package, then any beverages that cost extra will be charged to your SeaPass account on an a la carte basis.

Keep in mind you'll not only be charged for the drink, but also the 18% gratuity automatically added. This gratuity is compulsory and cannot be taken off.


Overall, whether a Royal Caribbean beverage package is right for you is a highly personal decision, based on a lot of variables.  There is no flat "yes" or "no" answer to determining if a drink package makes sense for everyone, but hopefully the considerations in this post can help with your decision.  

Before purchasing any drink package, be sure to do your homework and do the math of how much you have to drink, every day of your cruise for it to make sense.

First-time cruisers will hopefully find this post as a good jumping off point for further reading on the drink packages.  The drink packages can make sense for some people and others no sense at all.  It is foolish to assume any drink package is a good or bad value without first considering how you cruise.

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

Keep in mind that you can always purchase a drink package even after your cruise begins, if you find yourself drinking more than you thought.  Royal Caribbean advertises that its drink packages can be purchased at any point in a cruise, provided there are at least four days left in the cruise.

The key is to know how you like to cruise and which pros and cons of the drink package are more important to you.  At worst, you are going to overpay for a drink package or for drinks on your own.  In either case, you will still likely have a great vacation experience.

Your thoughts

What is your experience with Royal Caribbean's beverage package? Thinking about using it? I would love to hear your thoughts about a Royal Caribbean beverage package, and how it works (or does not work) for you, in the comments! If you have questions, ask them there, too.

I spent $600 on Royal Caribbean’s drink package. I had a total of 36 cocktails in one week, and I think it was worth the cost

24 Feb 2023

For many cruisers, enjoying cocktails and beer while on their trip is as important as the ports their ship will visit.


Whatever the reasoning, the most important question to consider is whether or not a Royal Caribbean drink package is worth the cost. The Deluxe Beverage Package is usually around $70-$85 per day when pre purchased through the Cruise Planner. It is possible to snag it for even lower, though-- it just depends on the ongoing sale!

For this fixed price, cruisers are able to enjoy unlimited drinks each day of their cruise, including at Royal Caribbean's Perfect Day at CocoCay and Labadee! For those who plan on drinking a lot during their vacation, a drink package makes a lot of sense, especially when you consider that most cocktails are around $14. 

If you have multiple guests 21 and older staying in the same stateroom, everyone will be required to purchase their own package. This is done to help reduce the sharing of benefits. 

On my recent Symphony of the Seas cruise, I decided to purchase a drink package to see if it was worth the cost for me. 

How much was the drink package for my cruise?


I bought my drink package about 2.5 weeks before my sailing and paid $600 for a 7-night cruise. This breaks down to $72.99 per day, plus the 18% daily gratuity. It's important to note, though, that I was sailing solo and did not have anyone else booked in my room. If I did, the total price would have doubled!

Package prices vary greatly, which is why it is important that you go ahead and purchase it when you see a price that you like; there's no guarantee that it will stay the same. If it decreases, you can cancel your current package and repurchase it at the lower price. 

You can sometimes even bundle a drink package with wi-fi for additional savings. 

What does the Deluxe Beverage Package include?


The real question is what doesn't the package include! You can order anything from a fruity cocktail to craft beer, wine, premium coffees, sodas, smoothies, bottled water and sports drinks, milkshakes, and fresh squeezed juices. You can even choose from top shelf liquor, like Grey Goose, Captain Morgan, and Patron!

I found myself starting my day each morning at Cafe Promenade ordering a cold brew coffee. To me, this is a huge benefit. 


While there is nothing wrong with the complimentary coffee, the premium drinks at Cafe Promenade are much better, especially since I prefer iced coffee over hot! You can order anything from an americano to flavored lattes, cappuccinos, espresso shots, and frappuccinos. 

Even though Cafe Promenade now serves Starbucks coffee, they do not offer a full Starbucks menu. I wasn't able to use my package for specialty drinks (like my favorite Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso) or refreshers.

The package also does not include full bottles of wine or drinks served in souvenir cups. However, bottles of wine can be purchased at a discount of 40% off bottles of wine under $100 and 20% off bottles above $100. 

Was the drink package worth it?

Vue Bar at night

To break even, I knew I needed to drink at least five cocktails per day. With four days in port, albeit one at their private island, I honestly wasn't sure I would be able to accomplish this. That being said, I think the drink package was worth it. I had a total of 36 cocktails over the course of the week, and that doesn't even include the premium coffee, Powerade, or bottled water! I do not drink much at home, so I see any kind of vacation as my time to splurge! 

When I was onboard Symphony of the Seas last month, I found myself returning to the same bartender since I liked how he made my beverages, so I felt like I was getting my money's worth. This time, however, I was more adventurous and even tried making my own drinks at the Bionic Bar. It's safe the say that bartending is not my calling, but it was a neat experience! 


When I boarded the ship, the first thing I did was go straight to the On Air and order a Strawberry Blonde, aka my favorite drink. Over the course of the week, I had five of these. Without the drink package, this would have been my go-to since I know I enjoy it! 


For my embarkation lunch, I ate at Jaime's Italian and ordered grappa stagionata, a kind of Italian liqueur.  Without the package, I know I would not have tried this. It was what you'd expect for straight liqueur and, unsurprisingly, one of my least favorite drinks of the cruise. 

grappa stagionata-drink-package-jamies-italian

If I was paying for my drinks a la carte, I probably would not have had my first drink of the day until sail away! I definitely felt the freedom to indulge on a drink whenever I wanted, which is something I usually do not do--I don't even keep alcohol at home! 


During sail away, I enjoyed a vodka soda that I got at the Wipe Out Bar while watching Miami disappear into the horizon. 

By the end of the first day, I had (to my disbelief) ten drinks, including Schooner Bar's infamous Lavender Daiquiri, a Sexy Ocean while watching HiRO, and a custom Bionic Bar drink. 

I realized, though, this was a trend I couldn't keep up throughout the week. Would I have had ten drinks if I was paying for each individually? Absolutely not! I also noticed that many of the fruity drinks were more sugar than anything, including my own Bionic Bar concoction. Regardless, it's easy to get carried away when you have a drink package. 

Day 2 was one of two sea days, and I I started it with, of course, a cold brew coffee. Later on, I enjoyed an ice cold Diet Coke during lunch. 


Having the luxury to choose exactly what you want to drink and when is one of the biggest advantages of a drink package. It turns cruising into a more all-inclusive experience. There's nothing wrong with sticking to the complimentary drinks -- like water, juice, and tea -- during the day and paying for a few drinks when you want them, but I like having the choice of being able to get whatever I want!

I had eight alcoholic drinks on the second day, but I knew that the next three days were going to be spent in port. I enjoy drinking most on sea days, so I figured those would be the days that made the package worth the money.


I hate feeling groggy while exploring ports, so I prefer to drink during the day and wind down in the evenings. 

I was right, too. My drinking slowed down after the first two days. I only had three alcoholic drinks after I got back onboard after spending the day in Roatán: an Espresso Martini from Dazzles and two drinks at Wonderland. 


I spent day 4 at the beach in Costa Maya where I had two cocktails. By the time I returned, I was tired and sunburnt. I made it a point to try something new, so I got a Kentucky Summer at Trellis Bar in Central Park for a pre-dinner drink. I also had a Truly and Strawberry Blonde before retiring for the night. 

One way I like to justify drink packages is by trying new drinks! If I have the package and order something I don't like, I'm not obligated to finish it. I can simply go elsewhere and get something else. When I don't have a package, I definitely stick to my tried-and-true favorites. 


I did not have my first drink on day 5 until I went up the rising tide bar and got a Tropical Sangria around 3:30pm. Since I had a more relaxed morning onboard and only got off the ship to grab a quick bite to eat, I felt ready for the night ahead!


I ordered got a Lavender Daiquiri to drink while watching the ship depart from Cozumel, two Aperol Spritzs in Jazz on 4, a Tom Collins in the Schooner Bar, and a Rum Old Fashioned to take with me to the Love and Marriage show in the Royal Theatre, bringing my total for the day to six alcoholic beverages. 


Day 6 was our second and final sea day. I had a light breakfast to prepare for my lunch at Izumi and opted not to order an alcoholic drink. Instead, I brought along my Coca Cola Freestyle cup and got a zero sugar Powerade from the machine in the Sorrento's before going. 


At this point, I was trying fewer new drinks. I visited Dazzles again that evening for another Espresso Martini (or two...), Schooner Bar for a Rum Old Fashioned, and even a simple vodka soda during the Crazy Quest. After that, it was time for some pizza and bed! 


If you go to CocoCay and don't get a Coco Loco, you're doing it wrong! It's the perfect frozen drink to sip on while enjoying your perfect day. By this point of my cruise, however, I was exhausted. I didn't want exacerbate this by drinking in the heat. I opted to order one right before I headed back to the ship around 3:45pm. Plus, the heat wasn't as bad then. There's no way that I could have spent all day drinking on the island. 


When I got back onboard, my plan was to have one more drink at Schooner Bar and call it a night, then I realized that I had some free play at the casino. Well, one thing led to another, and I was down $130 and three vodka sodas in. Not my smartest move considering I had to wake up early for disembarkation, but I had a lot of fun. I was still packed and in bed by 10:30pm, so there wasn't any major damage done. 

I had five drinks on the last day of my cruise, bringing my total for the week to 36! 

Do I need a drink package to have a great cruise?


Prior to this week's trip, I thought that I needed a drink package. Growing up, I always had the Refreshment Package, and once I turned 21, I began to get the Deluxe Beverage Package. In fact, I've only ever been on two cruises without a drink package. 

By the end of the cruise, I was honestly tired of drinking, both mentally and physically. I know that I'll always get my money's worth when I purchase a package, but sometimes, I do not actually need one.

I found myself ordering drinks just because I had the package, not because I necessarily wanted them. I could have easily gotten away with purchasing the drinks I wanted when I wanted them and saving a lot of money. 

That being said, alcohol is not the only thing that's included with the package. I love the premium coffee options, as well as the sports drinks. They're great when getting back onboard after a long day spent in port! I know that without a package, I would save my money for alcoholic drinks instead. 

Plus, I do enjoy the "I can do whatever I want" mentality when vacation, rather than worrying about how much is being charged to my SeaPass card. 


Deciding whether or not a drink package is worth it sometimes is more complex than the monetary aspect. For me, I know I'll get my money's worth, but is it something that I truly need to enhance my vacation? Would I rather spend the money on other experiences like shore excursions or a better stateroom? Or do I truly value the convenience of a package and that all-inclusive feel?

On my upcoming Europe cruise, for instance, I am saving the money for once-in-a-lifetime shore excursions that I wouldn't be able to get if I splurged on the drink package. With only two sea days and long days in port, the alcoholic drink package would feel more like a chore than anything. 

Everyone's preferences are different. Some may always want a drink package, even during port-intensive cruises. Others may never get one, either because of loyalty status or because of personal drinking habits. 

This time, I'd say the money was well spent, though. 

I bought Royal Caribbean's drink package for the first time and it wasn't worth it for me

10 Jan 2023

There’s no arguing that pre-purchasing a Royal Caribbean drink package can be a great way to save money on your cruise vacation, especially for those who prefer to spend their cruise days with a drink in hand.

Allie enjoying a drink

Royal Caribbean’s drink package allows cruisers to enjoy unlimited drinks at a fixed daily rate. Those who know they plan to drink consistently on their Royal Caribbean cruise will definitely benefit the most from having a drink package. 

Rather than purchasing individual drinks for upwards of $14 each, splurging on Royal Caribbean’s unlimited drink package can save you big money on your cruise - but only for those who can drink enough to make it worthwhile.   

At the end of the day, the drink package isn’t for everyone - and I learned this the hard way. 

On my recent Royal Caribbean cruise, I purchased the Deluxe Beverage Package for the first time on a 4-night sailing on Mariner of the Seas.

The Deluxe Beverage Package is the only alcoholic package available on Royal Caribbean cruises. The package includes pretty much every drink available onboard that you’d want, such as cocktails, beer, wine, premium coffees, soda, and fresh squeezed juices. 

Royal Caribbean requires all passengers of drinking age within a stateroom to purchase the drinking package. 

Most of the time, drink packages are meant to make your cruise more convenient because you have already prepaid for your drinks. You don’t have to worry about racking up a huge bill onboard!

Although I’ve cruised 30 times with Royal Caribbean, I’ve never purchased a drink package. This is almost entirely due to my Diamond Plus loyalty status with the Crown and Anchor program.

For top tier members (Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle), Royal Caribbean provides complimentary, daily drink vouchers that can be used throughout the cruise.

As a Diamond Plus member, I receive 5 free daily drinks (up to $14 each) on Royal Caribbean cruises. 

Between my husband and I, we have 10 free drinks each day to share among the two of us. This means we’ve barely spent any money on alcoholic drinks for most of our cruises, only occasionally going over the complimentary drink allocation. 

Here’s why I opted to try out Royal Caribbean’s drink package for the first time and why I’m never planning to do it again. 

Making the splurge

As I mentioned, we were sailing on a quick 4-night cruise on Mariner of the Seas to Cozumel, Mexico for a post-holiday getaway. Although my husband and I cruise together often with each other and our families, this was our first cruise with friends! 

Those who cruise often will know that Royal Caribbean’s onboard vibe can vary greatly depending on where you’re sailing, who you’re sailing with, and how long you’re sailing. 

Port-intensive itineraries would make it difficult for us to drink enough onboard to even consider the drink package. Likewise, sailing with our relatively low-key parents (the type who just enjoy an occasional cocktail) would certainly not make the drink package worthwhile. Longer sailings can make it difficult to drink consistently as well. 

While our 10 free daily drinks have usually been sufficient for the two of us, we’ve always wondered whether we would benefit from a drink package; however, the daily vouchers make the breakeven threshold of the drink package higher than most. 

If there was ever a time to try the drink package though, this cruise was the perfect opportunity to do so. Our sailing had two sea days and just a single stop in Cozumel, giving us plenty of drinking opportunities onboard. We planned to spend most of our time onboard with our friends anyway, enjoying poolside cocktails and unwinding together. 

With everyone else opting to purchase the package, we decided to make the splurge too. The total for the drink package was $736 for both of us, or $92 each day per person, including gratuities.

This cost is on the more expensive side for Royal Caribbean’s drink package; however, a short sailing during the holidays will lead to a higher cost for the cruise line’s seemingly dynamic pricing model. 

The drink package was a hefty purchase; for us, it more than doubled the cost of our cruise. Luckily, a nicely timed Amex Offer became available on our credit card to earn reward extra points for Royal Caribbean purchases, which slightly helped soften the blow.

Calculating our breakeven logic

With an estimated $14 each for drinks, our drink package’s breakeven was about 6-7 drinks each day for both of us.  

Of course, you can also enjoy bottled water, premium coffees, smoothies and other drinks with the drink package. While $15 is the most expensive cocktail onboard in the Bamboo Room, you can also enjoy beer and wine for slightly less than this price. 

However, we can’t forget the fact that we would have each received 5 complementary daily drinks on this cruise when calculating our breakeven point. If you consider this fact, we actually had to drink closer to 13 daily drinks each to make the drink package worthwhile. 

I figured that purchasing drinks after we burned through the vouchers would be a more cost-efficient approach; but, my husband was pretty keen on trying the drink package, even if it meant we each needed to have upwards of 13 drinks each day for the entire cruise. 

My husband was confident in his ability to reach that threshold, but I was hesitant that we’d be able to get close to breaking even. 

A strong drinking start

Once we boarded our cruise ship, we immediately started chipping away at our drink package. There was no time to waste! My cocktail choice is always a mojito, while my husband loves an amaretto or whisky sour. 

We started strong with sailaway party cocktails, followed by happy hour in the tiki-themed Bamboo Room. We opted for caffeine-heavy espresso martinis at dinner, along with all of our friends at the table. Later, we indulged in after-dinner drinks and shots as we danced our first night away in the nightclub.

Keeping track of how much we drank on the first day, we did indeed breakeven between the two of us. However, as we dozed off to sleep, my husband stated, “I don’t want to do the drink package again. It’s too much pressure to get our money’s worth."


The following morning, we continued our drinking marathon with lattes and mimosas at breakfast, despite not feeling our best. A tinge of a headache couldn’t be ignored, along with feeling unreasonably bloated from the copious amount of alcohol consumed.  

Poolside piña coladas seemed to consistently hit the spot though; most of the afternoon was spent on the top deck during our sea day with waiters insisting on getting us more drinks.

Our dinner choice cocktail was an espresso martini again, as we all needed a caffeine pick-me-up from day drinking. 

I couldn’t imagine doing this for two more days given how I was already slowing down and losing my ambition to try making the drink package worthwhile. 

Throwing in the towel

On the evening of the second day, I told our friends that I was throwing in the towel on my drinking marathon. I didn’t want to feel hungover for another morning, nor did I want to keep feeling so bloated. 

It’s difficult to consistently keep up with excessive drinking. As much as I hate to admit my own aging, it’s getting harder for me to recover from alcohol like I used to. A little bit of heartburn and some persistent tummy rumbles signaled that my body wasn’t wanting to make the drink package worthwhile anymore either. 

I will spare you the details of how many drinks we had because my mother might have a heart attack when she reads this; but, between cocktails, bottled water and coffee, we only reached our breakeven threshold on the first two days. 

My husband slowly started to fade by this point too; in agreement, we opted to start ordering drinks without feeling the pressure of making the drink package worthwhile anymore. Like most wives, I took great pride in the fact that I was right about us not needing the drink package. 

Going to bed for our second evening, we also came to the conclusion that we would never be purchasing the drink package again for our future cruises. 

Losing money on the drink package

At the end of the cruise, I calculated everything we drank onboard to confirm my suspicions that the drink package was not worth it for us. I kept a log of everything we drank throughout the cruise to ensure my calculations were accurate. 

We paid $736 for the drink package and our complementary vouchers are worth up to $560. This implies we would need to drink more than $1,300 worth of drinks to breakeven. 

The final total for our 4-night cruise was right around $1,100. For those who do not have complementary drink vouchers, the $736 price for the drink package more than paid for itself. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that we were inherently drinking more than we would have simply because we had the drink package. Had we purchased each drink on our own without the pressure of wanting to get our money’s worth, we probably would have drank a more reasonable amount. 

At the end of the day, the Royal Caribbean drink package was not worth it for us since we lost money and couldn't totally recoup the package's cost. 

Final thoughts

Although Royal Caribbean’s drink package is not worthwhile for us, I am glad that we tried it out so we can feel more confident in our cruising planning decisions in the future. 

We had always wondered what it would be like to cruise with Royal Caribbean’s drink package. We knew if there was any cruise that we could make the drink package worthwhile, it would be this party-style cruise with our friends.

For us, if we couldn’t get our money’s worth on this getaway friends cruise, then we will never be able to make it worthwhile. 

The drink package is supposed to help your cruise feel more all-inclusive because you do not need to be skimpy with your drinking. Since you’ve already purchased the drink package before boarding, there shouldn’t be any surprise charges onboard.

We did find that our cruise felt more all-inclusive since we could drink without limits. Since our friends also had the drink package, it was nice that we didn’t have to stress about blowing a budget or spending way more than anticipated. 

However, most think there’s an added convenience of not worrying about how much you’re drinking onboard because you’ve already pre-purchased the package; yet, my husband and I felt the opposite. 

In fact, we felt like we were constantly trying to calculate how many drinks we had to have to ensure our hefty purchase was worthwhile. My husband also noted how he felt internal obligation to order the most expensive drinks rather than what he would have preferred drinking. 

Perhaps the two of us are too analytical to enjoy the drink package advantages on our Royal Caribbean, but we won’t be splurging on this purchase again. I may have lost money on the drink package, but I did prove my husband wrong, which is definitely worth something. 

Receiving 5 complimentary daily drinks because of our Diamond Plus status is a great perk from Royal Caribbean - and we will stick to cashing in on these on future cruises. Until then, you can find me embracing the rest of the month as Sober January.

Is Black Friday the best time to buy a Royal Caribbean drink package?

04 Oct 2022

If you're waiting on the sidelines to book a Royal Caribbean drink package, you're doing it wrong.

Frozen cocktail

Royal Caribbean runs sales every few weeks on pre-cruise purchases as a means to encourage its customers to pick up a drink package, internet package, or shore excursion.

Whether each sale saves any money depends on the sailing, but generally speaking, the cost of these items tends to be less when booked prior to the cruise than waiting to buy onboard.

Couple at Bar on Wonder of the Seas

Read moreWill a Royal Caribbean sale actually save me any money?

One mantra I see cruise fans repeat is the advice for people to wait for Black Friday to buy their cruise add-ons because they feel the best discounts are offered that week.

The problem with waiting for any one sale is you're putting a lot at risk for a potential discount that may or may not materialize.

Don't wait for Black Friday

If you're unfamiliar with Black Friday, it is the day after Thanksgiving in the United States and every retailer rolls out new sales and promotions to compel people to start their holiday shopping. The name "Black Friday" means when retails would usually "get back into the black" financially in terms of profit.

As the calendar gets closer to Black Friday, a lot of cruisers begin talking about a Royal Caribbean Black Friday sale and advocate waiting for that sale as the deal to pick up pre-cruise purchases.

There's two issues with waiting for Black Friday, or any sale for that matter.

Drink package prices

First, there is absolutely no guarantee the price will be any cheaper on Black Friday than it is today. Royal Caribbean regularly runs sales for guests to pre-purchase certain add-ons, such as drink packages, wifi, or shore excursions. As is the case with all sales, there is not a blanket discount applied to all items.

The sale price will vary from ship to ship and sailing to sailing, meaning there may or may not actually be any discounts applied to the cruise you have booked.

The other issue with waiting for Black Friday is the price could actually go up. Royal Caribbean's prices are very fluid, and the company uses dynamic pricing for its add-ons (and cruise fare too). This means prices go up, down, and back up again. There's no rhyme or reason as to if that drink package cost will go down or up.

So if you wait for Black Friday, you may not see any discount at all and/or an even higher price.

Royal Caribbean always advertises up to a certain percentage off pre-cruise purchases, but you can ignore that figure. The base price can change a lot, making the discount percentage irrelevant. 

Instead, you want to focus on what is the total price after taxes and gratuity.

When to book a Royal Caribbean drink package

Instead of waiting for Black Friday, you should book a drink package today.

If you know you want to get a drink package, the best time to book a Royal Caribbean drink package is today because the price can change at any time.

Cruise Planner on an iPad

If the price goes down on Black Friday, or at any point before your cruise, you can easily go into the Cruise Planner site and cancel your purchase and re-purchase it at the lower price. There's no penalty for cancelling a pre-cruise purchase and if you used onboard credit, it will be refunded instantly so you can apply it when re-purchasing.

By booking now, you lock in the price.  If the price goes up, you're guarded against it, and if there is a better sale on Black Friday, you can cancel and rebook.

How to cancel and rebook a Royal Caribbean drink package

Cruise Planner cancel

The process is pretty simple to cancel and rebook if you do it online.

You could call Royal Caribbean and do this over the phone, but I find it much faster to do it online.

  1. Log into the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner at
  2. Find your sailing and click Plan my cruise
  3. Look for your initials in the top right of the page and click that icon
  4. Click Order history
  5. Find the purchase you made for the drink package (it will show each order you made)
  6. Underneath the drink package listed, click Cancel

That's it! Now you can go back to the Beverage section of the cruise planner and buy it back again.

When will Royal Caribbean announce their 2022 Black Friday deal?

Drink vendor

We don't know exactly when the promotion details will be announced, but Royal Caribbean typically waits until a few days before the sale begins to reveal information.

Unlike Best Buy, Walmart or Amazon, cruise lines aren't quite that aggressive with their Black Friday promotions. So they typically wait to provide details.

Black Friday

In 2021, Royal Caribbean announced its Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on November 21, which was just a few days before Black Friday on November 25th. The sale prices did not begin until November 23rd.

Read moreRoyal Caribbean's past Black Friday deals

More helpful information

Guide to Royal Caribbean's coffee card package

24 Jun 2022

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.

Cafe Select Card

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?

Cafe select card

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.

Cafe select card sign

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?

Cafe Promenade menu on Wonder of the Seas

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?

Cafe Promenade coffee menu

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?

Coffee card

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.

Espresso shot

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.

Coffee included

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.

Coffee card sign

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.

Funny coffee sign

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.

Royal Caribbean drink package rules overview

08 Jun 2022

Thinking about purchasing a Royal Caribbean drink package for your upcoming cruise?  Drink packages have the potential to save money compared to buying the same amount of drinks without a package, but it is important to be aware and understand the rules of how these beverage packages work.

Drinks in suite area

The rules are not complicated, but there are a few important guidelines that anyone that purchases an unlimited drink package should be aware of first.

Sharing the package

Drink at the Lime and Coconut

Let us be perfectly clear: it is absolutely forbidden to share the Royal Caribbean drink package benefits with anyone else. Period.

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.

Drink limits

There is no limit to how many drinks a guest may consume on any day, or during the cruise. 

However, you can only order one drink per transaction.  Which means if you want to get a beer and another drink, you need to order each individually. 

If your group all have the drink package, you can take their SeaPass cards and place a group order.  You just need to provide proof that the amount of drinks ordered match the number of drink packages.

When you can buy the drink package

Getting a drink at the casita

Royal Caribbean provides the ability to pre-purchase the drink package on its Cruise Planner website.  There is often a discount associated with pre-purchase, which can save money compared to waiting to purchase it onboard.

If your cruise is too far in advance, the drink package option may not be available yet.  There is no set rule when drink packages become available for sale, so keep checking back later.

Couple with drinks on Suite Deck

If you decide to wait to buy a drink package on the ship, you can do so from any bar or lounge. On embarkation day, there are often tables set up around the ship to take just unlimited beverage package purchases.  

You do not have to purchase a drink package on the first day of your cruise.  Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages are available on all two-night or longer sailings, but as long as there are at least 4 days left in the cruise, you can purchase the package at a pro-rated amount.

Where the drink package works

Royal Caribbean's drink package covers beverages purchased at onboard restaurants, bars, and lounges.

It also works on the cruise line’s private destinations of CocoCay and Labadee.

Friends and family have to buy the package too

As of October 2017, Royal Caribbean has changed its policy and is requiring all adults in a stateroom to purchase an unlimited alcohol package if an adult purchases the package.


When you purchase a Royal Caribbean drink package, gratuity (18%) will be assessed on your purchase at that time, which covers all of your subsequent drink orders.

When you order a drink later on, you will not owe any gratuity.  There will be, however, an optional gratuity on your receipt where you can recognize outstanding service.

Refunds and exchanges

Once onboard the ship, beverage packages are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Before a cruise, beverage package purchases can be cancelled and/or re-purchased via the Cruise Planner

Review: Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package vs. Crown and Anchor daily vouchers

06 Oct 2021

This summer, Royal Caribbean's Crown and Anchor Society updated their happy hour drink benefit policy, which prompted many to wonder if the new offering is now a good alternative to a drink package. 

The best reasons to get a Royal Caribbean drink package on your cruise | Royal Caribbean Blog

In the past, guests who were Diamond, Diamond Plus, or Pinnacle Club in the cruise line's customer loyalty program were allowed unlimited drinks from a specific menu in the Diamond Lounge for a three and half hour window nightly. 

The new benefit has drinks added to your SeaPass card daily that can be used for any drink (up to $13) at any bar (with the exception of Starbucks, The Bionic Bar and the Rising Tide Bar) at any time. You can also use your vouchers for bottled water and sodas. 

The vouchers (which is what I will refer to them as for the purpose of this article) must be used each day, they do not carry over.

  • Diamond members receive four drinks per day.
  • Diamond Plus members receive five drinks per day.
  • Pinnacle Club members receive six drinks per day.

Read moreHow Royal Caribbean's free drink vouchers for Diamond and higher members works

Trying it out for the first time

We were on Allure of the Seas three weeks ago and decided to forego buying the deluxe drink package and just use our daily vouchers. We did, however, buy a coffee card for our morning vanilla lattes from the Café Promenade so we could use the vouchers strictly on alcoholic beverages.

As soon as we boarded, we got appletinis in the Champagne bar.  We get ours made with vanilla vodka, which was a suggestion from a bar staff friend of ours from many years ago.  It makes the vodka sting less potent. 

We still went to the Diamond Lounge for cosmos during their happy hour time.  They still have staff serving drinks and appetizers, however any drink you order does come off of your daily allowance. 

That night we had dinner at Sabor.  We ordered the Simply Perfect and Jalapeno Cucumber Margaritas that were on the drink menu  We ended up using five of our six vouchers that day.

The second day, we started with BBC’s (Bailey’s, banana colada) at the Solarium pool bar.  Before dinner we went to the Champagne bar for two martinis. 

My husband likes the red velvet cake martini. It used to be a standard at the Champagne Bar but has since been removed from the menu. Our bartender said they had the ingredients and she knew how to make it. I ordered my standard favorite, the pomegranate martini.

After dinner we ordered chocolate martinis in the main theater before the headliner show.  We only ended up using four vouchers that day.

It was day three and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made it to the Schooner Bar yet for one of my favorite cocktails, the lavender daiquiri, only found at that location. 

I didn’t want to leave the Champagne Bar because of the excellent bar staff there. Not only did they remember the special way I like my appletinis, they also knew my father would ONLY drink Jack and coke.  So much so that one night halfway through the sailing, they had written his name on a piece of paper and taped it to the bottle of Jack Daniels so everyone knew it was his.  

Once again our bartender told us she could make the lavender daiquiri there. She also made us a martini version of it with vodka instead of rum. 

Other places to use your free drinks

On the second formal night we dined at Izumi. 

We used our vouchers on their signature sake infused cocktails, “She’s a Geisha” and “Japanese Strawberry.” Along with our nightly martinis in the Diamond Lounge and the Champagne bar, we ended our night with the drink of the day the “Portside Punch” at the Trellis Bar.  It was a beautiful evening to enjoy a drink in Central Park with the guitarist playing soft music.

For lunch on day six, we enjoyed pizza from Sorrento’s on the promenade with a Michelob Ultra.  At the Champagne Bar that evening, I discovered a new favorite, the watermelon martini.  Can you tell I like fruity vodka martinis?

Coco Cay is included!

40 Perfect Day at CocoCay tips, tricks and secrets | Royal Caribbean Blog

You can even use your vouchers at Royal Caribbean’s private island of Perfect Day at CocoCay. There is nothing like a mai tai in paradise. 

It’s even better when it’s included in your daily free drinks.   We also cooled off with strawberry daiquiris and a frozen mudslide.


We never got to the point where we used all of our allotted vouchers for the day.  The most we used was five on any given day. 

I know everyone is different, but for us, the free drinks benefit is perfect and we wouldn’t consider buying the deluxe drink package on future sailings.  I feel that this was a welcomed change to the daily happy hour.

It is so nice to be able to have the flexibility of time and the venue of your choice to enjoy your favorite drink or discover a new one. 

While the drinks are free as part of your Crown and Anchor benefits, it is still a good idea to tip your bar staff.  They took such excellent care of us, we were happy to return the favor.

The best reasons to get a Royal Caribbean drink package on your cruise

21 Oct 2020

A Royal Caribbean drink package offers unlimited drinks for a fixed price, which makes it a very attractive offer for many guests.

Should you spend the money to get a drink package, or is it better to pay for drinks as you go? This is a debate many cruise fans have time and time again.

While the decision to get a drink package or not is going to vary from person to person, here are the top reasons you might want to get a drink package on your cruise.


The best part of having an unlimited drink package on your cruise is you can order a drink whenever and where you feel like onboard.

This means not having to compromise on when you feel like getting a drink, and it is great when traveling with friends or family.  There is no worrying about how much a drink costs, or if you will like a new cocktail.

With a drink package, there is no risk in trying new drinks and then being "stuck" with something you do not like.

Fixed cost

By pre-paying the cost of drinks on a cruise, having a drink package means an easier means of staying within your vacation budget.

For a lot of guests, not having to think about money on a vacation is a major relief.

Moreover, if you pre-purchase your drink package before the cruise begins on Royal Caribbean's website, there are often significant discounts that bring the daily cost down compared to waiting to buy it onboard.

There is no need to be concerned with receipts, gratuity, or how much one drink costs over another.

Not just alcohol

While the unlimited alcohol package gets a lot of attention for all the various beers, cocktails and wine included, there is way more included than just booze.

The Deluxe Beverage Package also includes a lot of non-alcoholic beverages that can greatly sway the value proposition for any guest.

It also includes bottled water, sparkling water, sodas, juices, and premium coffee or tea. 

Considering how so many of us rely on a morning espresso, as well as having bottled water available to bring on shore excursions or while in the gym, the fact these are included with the Deluxe Beverage package is a major benefit.

It can (potentially) save you a lot of money

If you can drink enough every day of your cruise, the drink packages will absolutely save you money compared to ordering the same amount of drinks individually.

When you calculate how many drinks per day you would need to drink to "break even" on a drink package, it often sounds a bit much to new cruisers. However, those that have bought the drink package in the past will tell you it is not as bad as it looks.

When you consider a beer will set you back around $8, a cocktail between $10-12, soda around $3 and a latte around $5, breaking even on a drink package investment is not that difficult to achieve.

When you spread your drink consumption out throughout the day and evening, the result tends to be a good value. Especially if your cruise visits a Royal Caribbean private destination where your drink package benefits also work.

Read more

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

26 Aug 2020

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

25 Aug 2020

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.

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