Drink Packages

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.

Royal Caribbean accidentally offered the unlimited alcohol package for $18 per day

In:
Category: 
02Jul2019

UPDATE July 3: Royal Caribbean has decided to honor the drink package glitch price.

For a few hours on Monday, some Royal Caribbean guests thought they were getting the deal of a lifetime on the cruise line's popular unlimited alcohol package.

Royal Caribbean's website listed the Deluxe Beverage Package for $18 per day, per person on select 2020 sailings that got a lot of people's attention.  Usually, the Deluxe Beverage Package runs somewhere between $40 - $52 per person, per day when purchased in advance.

For a short time, the $18 price was listed and the news spread like wildfire around the cruising community. Royal Caribbean subsequently noticed the pricing mistake and reverted the price back to its correct price.

The cruise line has since notified guests who have inquired that the $18 per day, per person rate was a mistake and will not be honored. Royal Caribbean apologized for the mistake, but would not be honoring the package at the incorrect prince. Instead, the package purchase will be canceled and refunds will be issued.

Pricing Mistakes

Pricing mistakes do occur from time to time in businesses these days, and in general, there is no law that requires companies to honor an advertised price if that price is wrong.

Typographical errors, miscommunication and other glitches can result in items being offered at what appear to be deep discounts – discounts that would be ruinous for the company if it were forced to honor them.

Laws against false or deceptive advertising require an intent to deceive on the part of the advertiser. If a company can demonstrate that an advertised price was simply a mistake, then it's not false advertising.

In 2012, the Department of Transportation established clear rules against changing the price of a ticket after purchase. According to provision 399.88(a):

“It is an unfair and deceptive practice within the meaning of 49 U.S.C. 41712 for any seller of scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, or of a tour (i.e., a combination of air transportation and ground or cruise accommodations), or tour component (e.g., a hotel stay) that includes scheduled air transportation within, to or from the United States, to increase the price of that air transportation, tour or tour component to a consumer, including but not limited to an increase in the price of the seat, an increase in the price for the carriage of passenger baggage, or an increase in an applicable fuel surcharge, after the air transportation has been purchased by the consumer, except in the case of an increase in a government-imposed tax or fee. A purchase is deemed to have occurred when the full amount agreed upon has been paid by the consumer.”

This rule wasn’t actually intended to cover mistake fares. Rather, it was put in place to ensure that airlines could not change the price of a ticket or add on fees post-purchase.

In light of a number of highly publicized incidents of mistake airline fares, the DOT posted an released its new policy for enforcing mistake fares, and here is the major change:

“As a matter of prosecutorial discretion, the Enforcement Office will not enforce the requirement of section 399.88 with regard to mistaken fares occurring on or after the date of this notice so long as the airline or seller of air transportation: (1) demonstrates that the fare was a mistaken fare; and (2) reimburses all consumers who purchased a mistaken fare ticket for any reasonable, actual, and verifiable out-of-pocket expenses that were made in reliance upon the ticket purchase, in addition to refunding the purchase price of the ticket. These expenses include, but are not limited to, non-refundable hotel reservations, destination tour packages or activities, cancellation fees for non-refundable connecting air travel and visa or other international travel fees. The airline may ask the consumer requesting out-of-pocket expenses to provide evidence (i.e. receipts or proof of cancellations) of actual costs incurred by the consumer. In essence, the airline or seller of air transportation is required to make the consumer “whole” by restoring the consumer to the position he or she was in prior to the purchase of the mistaken fare.”

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has posted via social media it is reconsidering what to do about this situation.

Spotted: New Coca-Cola souvenir cup featuring lid and handle

In:
Category: 
15Apr2019

Guests on some Royal Caribbean ships are reporting a new souvenir Coca-Cola cup that is included with Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages.

While not all Royal Caribbean ships have these new cups, some guests have begun posting photos of the new cup design on sailings departing this week. The most notcable difference is the addition of a handle and built-in straw to the top of the cup.

Photo by Brad Payne

Photo by Kate Larson

These cups have been reported as being on Adventure of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas. Special thanks to Karen Fraser, Kate Larson and Adam Rothschild for helping with this article.

From time to time, Royal Caribbean and its Coca-Cola partner update the design of their souvenir cups.

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

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

Royal Caribbean posts 2019 drink package pricing

In:
Category: 
15Oct2018

Guests sailing on a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2019 can get an idea of how much they are likely to spend on one of the popular unlimited drink packages with a recent update to Royal Caribbean's web site.

Royal Caribbean posted updated pricing for its three primary drink packages, which will see an increase in price for 2019 sailings when compared to 2018 sailings.

PACKAGE2018 SAILINGS2019 SAILINGS
Deluxe$57 - $63$63 - $70
Refreshment$26 - $29$29
Classic Soda$8.50 - $9.50$12.99

The Deluxe Beverage Package (commonly referred to as the unlimited alcohol package) has seen the largest jump, with a more than 10% increase from the 2018 price range. The Deluxe Beverage Package includes cocktails, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, premium coffee, tea, fountain soda and bottled water. 

The non-alcoholic Royal Refreshment package will see a slight uptick in 2019 to $29 per person, per day.  The Refreshment Package includes premium coffees and teas, bottled water, fresh-squeezed juices, non-alcoholic cocktails and fountain soda. 

Likewise, the Classic Soda Package, which offers just soft drinks, will move up to $12.99 per person, per day.

How to get a discount on a Royal Caribbean 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.

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.

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.

To find the discounted rates, log into the My Cruises section of the Royal Caribbean web site, and navigate to the Cruise Planner section for the sailing you are interested in.

Once logged in, navigate to the Beverage Packages section and look for advertised rates. You will likely see something similar to this: 

If you are comfortable with the price, you can purchase the drink package.  Keep in mind that you will be charged in full for the drink package at the time of purchase.

It is also worth noting beverage package purchases made online can be canceled and full refunded at any time, up until about 3 days before your sail date.

More drink package info

Are you wondering if a Royal Caribbean drink package is worth it? Want to know what to think about before buying a drink package? Learn about how the drink packages work?  Check out our Royal Caribbean Drink Package Information and planning tips post for more helpful information.

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