Drink Packages

Spotted: Coca-Cola souvenir cups designed for Harmony of the Seas

In:
Category: 
17Nov2016

Guests sailing on Harmony of the Seas can expect to find one of two new designs for the souvenir Coca-Cola cups that come with Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages.

To celebrate Harmony of the Seas' inaugural year, there are two new cup designs guests can possibly receive while on Harmony of the Seas.

The first design has a Boardwalk motif, with the carousel being the primary aspect of the design.

The other cup design is based around the Ultimate Abyss slide.

Both cups make mention of the 2016 inaugural season for Harmony of the Seas.

These souvenir cups are compatible with the self-serve Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, which are located around the ship. The Coca-Cola souvenir cup has a special chip in it which activates the pour function in the machine.

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

In-depth look at Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Drink Package

In:
20Oct2016

Royal Caribbean's Deluxe Beverage Package is the cruise line's unlimited alcohol offering for guests to enjoy a wide variety of drinks for one fixed price.

Since Royal Caribbean revamped its unlimited alcohol packages in September 2016, there is now one unlimited alcohol package for guests who wish to "have it all" and lock in their price.  Beer, wine, cocktails, coffee, water and more are all included in this package and purchasing the deluxe drink package means you will know your cost for drinks in advance and be able to lock it in now.

You can read more about what the different unlimited beverage packages are and how they work.

What does the deluxe drink package include?

Guests can choose between unlimited cocktails, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, premium coffee, tea, and bottled water. This package includes drinks with a value of up to $12. For guests that would like to enjoy a beverage over that threshold, a $12 credit will be applied towards the beverage of choice and guests will be required to pay the balance.

Guests with Deluxe drink package can also get 40% discount on wines under $100. Wines above $100 will receive a 20% discount.

All Beverage Packages exclude any beverages served inside licensed Starbucks stores, such as those on Oasis-class ships.

How much is the deluxe drink package?

The base price in 2018 is $57-$63 per person, per night excluding the service charge, which will be added to the package price upon purchase.  In 2019, the price will range between $63 and $70 per person, per night of the cruise.

This means the daily price you pay covers all the drinks in the package as well as gratuity.

Often, there are pre-cruise discounts available for guests that purchase the drink package online, via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner.

Who is the deluxe drink package best for?

Guests who want to be able to pick from the widest variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks will want the deluxe package.  

Royal Caribbean advertises the deluxe package as having "virtually unlimited options" and that is pretty close to the truth.  Guests who can consume a lot of cocktails, beers, coffees, juices and more are well-suited for this package.  

A common scenario we hear about is a guest who likes to drink a lot of coffee and/or juice in the morning, and then enjoy alcoholic beverages during the day and evening.

Can I get souvenir glasses/mugs while using the deluxe drink package?

You can get drinks like Labadoozies, Coco locos, after dinner shots or the drink of the day with the deluxe drink package but does not include the souvenir mugs/glasses they are often served in.

You should tell your waiter or bartender to get the drink without the souvenir cup to avoid being charged extra for the souvenir cup.

Can I purchase the deluxe drink package and share drinks with someone I know onboard?

No, sharing beverages on any of Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages is strictly prohibited.

How to purchase Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages

In:
Category: 
13Oct2016

Are you ready to purchase a Royal Caribbean unlimited drink package?

Many guests like the idea of locking in the price of their drinks onboard by getting an unlimited drink package so they have one less thing to worry about.  Here is how you can purchase a drink package for your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Online

To pre-order any drink package online, go to Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner and choose which drink packages you want to order.

In our experience, the drink packages are available for ordering online many months in advance of a cruise sailing date.  In fact, it is one of the first items available for purchase via the Cruise Planner.

Buying a Royal Caribbean drink package before your cruise begins offers two significant advantages: you can split up the total cost of the cruise vacation because the drink package cost will be charged at the time of purchase and it will be ready to be used once you board the ship.

For a seven night cruise, prices for an the Deluxe unlimited alcohol package will cost $454.30 (including gratuities) for the entire cruise. By opting to purchase an unlimited alcohol package in advance, guests can pay off the drink packages before the cruise even begins, which means less of a bill that will be incurred following the conclusion of a cruise.

Moreover, most sailings offer some sort of pre-purchase discount on the drink package, which can bring that cost down.  Pre-purchasing a drink package online is the most reliable way of saving money on a drink package purchase (compared to booking it onboard).

Phone

There is one more method of pre-purchasing an unlimited drink package and that is by phone.

Guests may call (800) 398-9819 in the U.S. or Canada to reserve drink packages for their cruise.

Onboard

Another option is to wait and purchase the drink package onboard your Royal Caribbean cruise.

Drink packages can be purchased at various kiosks set up around the ship, as well as any bar or lounge.

There are a few advantages of buying a drink package onboard your ship. First, you can use onboard credit towards the purchase of a drink package.  Second, if you choose to purchase a drink package on a day other than embarkation day, Royal Caribbean will prorate the cost of the package for the remainder of the cruise.

Spotted: Royal Caribbean offering up to 30% off drink packages for this weekend

In:
Category: 
07Oct2016

Many guests with cruises booked are reporting seeing up to 30% off certain unlimited beverage packages for their upcoming Royal Caribbean cruises.

Royal Caribbean has been offering 20% the alcohol packages for a while now, but for the next 60 hours, there are now discounts of up to 30% off certain packages.

The exact discount will vary from sailing to sailing, but the Deluxe unlimited alcohol package has been spotted with 20-25% off deals and the Refreshment package has been seen with a 30% discount.

Based on the countdown clock, it appears this promotion ends at midnight on Sunday night, October 9, 2016. This promotion has been extended through midnight on October 10, 2016.

To check if your sailing has this new offer available, log into the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean's web site and navigate to the Dining & Beverage section to see any available offers.

If you have a drink package already prepurchased, you should be able to cancel the purchase and then re-purchase the same drink package under this promtion.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Michael C for assisting with this information!

Do you see a similar discount for your sailing? Share the details in the comments and if you will buy one!

Clarification on Royal Caribbean's drink package premium coffee benefit

In:
28Sep2016

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean changed the drink package rules to exclude Starbucks beverages, but there is now further clarification on what the drink packages do and do not include.

On Royal Caribbean's Facebook page, an update provides information on what the change means across the fleet.

Furthermore, Royal Caribbean amended its drink package document again to be more specific about the use of drink packages with Starbucks beverages.

Essentially, this sounds like the premium coffee rule is similar to how Starbucks beverages were handled with the former drink packages, that have been replaced with the new drink packages.

Thanks to reader Glen R., who shared this update with us!

Royal Caribbean removes Starbucks inclusion on its unlimited drink packages

In:
21Sep2016

Royal Caribbean has seemingly reversed course with one aspect of its newly revamped unlimited beverage packages by now stating Starbucks beverages are not included in any of the packages.

An updated Royal Caribbean document clearly states that Starbucks beverages are not included in any drink package.

Here is a copy of that same document as it appeared earlier this month, with an indication that Starbucks beverages were included.

Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean completely overhauled its drink package offerings in an effort to simplify their offerings to guests and make it easier on crew members to understand as well.

Royal Caribbean revamps its unlimited drink package offerings

In:
Category: 
06Sep2016

Royal Caribbean rolled out new drink package options, aimed at simplifying what options are available for guests.

The new drink package options are:

Deluxe Beverage Package ($55 a day excluding gratuity): Unlimited cocktails, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, premium coffee, tea, and bottled water – plus a 40% discount on bottles of wine under $100 and 20% off bottles above $100. This package includes drinks with a value of up to $12. For guests that would like to enjoy a beverage over that threshold, a $12 credit will be applied towards the beverage of choice and guests will be required to pay the balance.

Refreshment Package ($26 a day excluding gratuity): Enjoy our entire selection of premium coffees and teas, bottled water, fresh-squeezed juices, nonalcoholic cocktails, plus fountain soda and free Coca-Cola® souvenir cup.

Classic Soda Package ($8.50 a day excluding gratuity): Quench your thirst for just a few dollars a day with unlimited fountain soda refills and receive a free Coca-Cola® souvenir cup.

Evian Bottled Water Package: Two options available for guests

  • $39 excluding gratuity: Entitles passengers to 12 one liter bottles of evian® Natural Spring Water
  • $69 excluding gratuity: Entitles passengers to 24 one liter bottles of evian® Natural Spring Water

Royal Caribbean has consolidated and redesigned its beverage package offerings in an effort to make things easier for guests to understand.  These new drink package offerings are available to book via the Cruise Planner tool for all future cruises on September 6, 2016.

Guests that purchased one of the older drink packages will still have their purchases honored, with the following adjustments:

  • Select package will be honored as is until depleted.
  • Premium packages will be upgraded to a Deluxe package at no additional charge. 
  • Ultimate Packages will convert to the deluxe package.
  • Replenish packages will convert to the new refreshment package. 

5 beverages not included in any Royal Caribbean drink package

In:
Category: 
24Aug2016

Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages include a lot of different drinks and in a great majority of drinks, but there are a handful of exceptions. These are few and far between, but it is important to be aware of what is not included prior to making the decision to purchase an unlimited beverage package.

These five drinks are not the only drinks not included in a drink package, but these are the ones most likely to be encountered.

1. Johnny Rockets milkshake

UPDATE: As of July 2018, the milkshakes at Johnny Rockets are included with the drink packages.

If you happen to dine at Johnny Rockets on a Royal Caribbean cruise, you will enjoy some really tasty burgers, fries and onion rings, but if you want to wash it down with a milkshake, you will have to pay extra for it.

The thick and frothy milk shakes that Johnny Rockets are well-known for how good they are, and guests on a drink package will have to pay extra for them.

If you are a Crown and Anchor Society member, all levels usually enjoy a buy one, get one free milkshake coupon that is preloaded on SeaPass cards.

2. Starbucks on Oasis-class ships

On Oasis-class cruise ships, the standalone Starbucks locations serve the same caffeinated beverages many folks enjoy on land, but Starbucks is not included in any drink package.

This can be confusing, since on other classes of Royal Caribbean ships, Starbucks beverages are brewed and included under certain drink packages, but the Starbucks locations on Oasis-class ships are considered standalone Starbucks locations and the drink packages are not covered.

Perhaps one of the new pre-paid coffee drink cards will be available on your cruise to get you plenty of Starbucks drinks to enjoy.

3. Room service

Room service is included in your cruise fare and it is hard to deny the great pleasure of enjoying food brought to your room or private balcony, but do not expect extra-cost beverages to be included with your drink package.

Sodas, beers or any other alcoholic or premium non-alcoholic beverage delivered to your room will come with an extra cost.

4. Minibar

Just like room service, the drinks that are waiting for you in your stateroom's minibar are not included in any drink package.

It can be tempting to grab something out of the minibar, but keep in mind anything taken from the minibar will be charged to your SeaPass card.

5. Very few beers

Royal Caribbean's all-you-can-drink alcohol packages include plenty of beers.  In fact, nearly all the beers available on your Royal Caribbean cruise are included in the drink packages but there are a few exceptions.

In general, the excluded beers come with a slightly higher cost because they are often in rather large size.  Chimay Blue 750ml is the one beer that is not included in the drink packages.

Spotted: Coca-Cola Olympics design souvenir cups on Royal Caribbean cruise ships

In:
06Aug2016

Just in time for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, guests on Royal Caribbean can enjoy new souvenir Coca-Cola cups on their cruise.

The new souvenir cups are available on Royal Caribbean ships when a guest purchases one of the unlimited drink packages.

It is not clear how long these will be available, but it seems to be a recent addition.

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.

Spotlight: Drink cards on Royal Caribbean cruises

In:
Category: 
23Jun2016

Have you heard about the drink cards Royal Caribbean has offered on select sailings that offer a reduced cost for a select amount of drinks?  

Drink cards started popping up in the last year or so, building on the popularity of Royal Caribbean's beverage packages. Guests like having a predictable and convenient way to enjoy all the drinks they like, and Royal Caribbean likes getting guests spending more money for their cruise.  The thing is, many guests opt not to get a drink package because they do not feel they can drink enough to make the package worthwhile financially.

Drink cards are the alternative to drink packages, where guests pay a fixed-cost for a card that can be used to purchase pretty much any drink that the drink package would cover. 

If you have heard about the drink cards before, or are wondering how to get one and how they work exactly, this will help answer all of your questions.

How does the drink card work?

Drink cards can only be purchased on a Royal Caribbean ship from almost any bar or lounge. Each card is good for ordering ten drinks.

At the time of purchase, guests pre-pay the card's full amount and then can use it at any bar, restaurant or lounge onboard to get a drink.  For each drink they order, the waiter or bartender will mark off one of the numbers on the bottom to card to indicate it was used.

The drink cards cover pretty much any drink that a regular drink package covers. This includes most beers, glasses of wine, and cocktails, as well as fountain sodas, specialty coffee and fresh juices.  The drink card also covers the gratuity for the purchase.

One key difference between the drink card and a drink package is the benefits of a drink card are shareable with other guests.  So you can purchase a card and let your spouse, friends or family use the card benefits as well.

What does the drink card not include?

The Royal Caribbean drink card does not include mini bar items, canned sodas, bottled juice and souvenir glassware, specialty beers as listed on bar menus, or super premium category beverages.

How much does a drink card cost?

The price seems to differ from ship to ship and sailing to sailing.  We have heard of the drink card costing somewhere between $70-$90 per card. 

The card cost will be charged to your SeaPass account and is non-refundable.

Can I get a drink card on my upcoming cruise?

Here is the catch about the drink card: you can never be sure it will be available on your cruise or when on the cruise it will be available.

Even if it is offered, it tends to become available on various days of the sailing.  Some cruises have seen it on day 3 of a seventh night cruise, others on day 5 of a seven night cruise. Other times it was offered on the last day of a 4 night cruise.

Each Royal Caribbean ship has been given the option to test different beverage package offerings onboard. The decision of which program to offer, if any, is made by the ship. That means, there is no guarantee it will be available on your sailing, or when it will be available and for how much.

Essentially, you will not be able to determine if a drink card will be available until you are onboard your Royal Caribbean cruise and well into the sailing.

Are the drink cards a good value?

In all the variations of the drink package we have seen, the drink card makes a lot of financial sense, assuming you can drink the ten drinks allocated and drink cocktails.  If you neglect to consume even one beverage offered by the card by the end of your cruise, it is a poor decision.

Taking the $90 card cost as a "worst case scenario," that means each drink costs you $9, including gratuity. Depending on which drink you buy, most mixed drinks cost between $10-12 (before gratuity).

In addition, the drink card can be shared, which makes it a far more powerful value.  It is great for family and friends who cruise together, and can pool together their drinking onto these cards and save everyone money.

The drink card does cover other kinds of beverages other than cocktails, but they are poor choices to use the drink card for.  Assuming each drink is $9 with the drink card, most beers, juices, premium coffees and sodas are well below that $9 value.

If you like mixed drinks and/or wine by the glass, a drink card works quite well financially, given the per-price break down.  The key is to take advantage of drinks that are more expensive than the per-drink card value.  

Would you purchase a drink card if it were offered on your Royal Caribbean cruise? Tell us in the comments!

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