Unlimited alcohol packages

Should you buy Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol package


Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages have been very popular with passengers and many guests looking to take a Royal Caribbean cruise wrestle with the idea of if these drink packages are a good value.

There are many factors that go into deciding if a Royal Caribbean drink packages is "worth it" and so this article will help give you the facts you need to know to make an informed decision.

Understanding how Royal Caribbean's drink packages work

Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol package is a simple concept: instead of purchasing each drink throughout your cruise and then having a bar tab at the end of your cruise to deal with, Royal Caribbean offers one unlimited alcohol package that will give passengers the option of paying for their drinks in advance and then having the convenience of not dealing with the costs of each drink.

In September 2016, Royal Caribbean simplified its unlimited drink package offerings and narrowed the options down to one unlimited drink package.

We wanted to do the math and figure out how many drinks one would need to order per day in order to theoretically "break even".  By breaking even, we mean having enough drinks that would cover the cost of the package if they had ordered the same amount of drinks but opted to pay for them a la carte.

Royal Caribbean has one unlimited alcohol package to choose from, the Deluxe Beverage package, which costs $55 per passenger, per day and features unlimited beers, wine by the glass, cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages, premium coffee, tea, fountain soda, fresh squeezed juices, sparking and bottled still water. This package includes drinks with a value of up to $12.

Room service and minibar items are not included in either package. Prices are inclusive of service charges.

Time for the math!

Deluxe Beverage Package

$55 per person, per day.  On a 7-night cruise, this comes out to $454.30 per person (with gratuity).

Mixed drinks/cocktails, martinis, frozens: $12.00

Beers: $6.25 - $6.95

House wines (by the glass): $8.00 - $12.00

Soda: $1.95

Juices: $3.95

Fresh squeezed juice: $4.95

Premium coffee: $3.95 - $4.95

This drink package offers guests virtually all the premium drinks available onboard for a fixed price.  It assumes the guest is interested in consuming the variety of drinks included, which includes to premium coffees, teas and juices.

To break even on the ultimate beverage package with mixed drinks and coffee alone, it would take about 5 mixed drinks and 2 premium coffees per day.  

If you are a beer drinker and do not care for much else, it will take about 7-8 beers per day to break even.


Based on the breakdowns of drink prices and the beverage package changes of 2016, the unlimited drink package can be a reasonable value, provided you can drink that much every day of your cruise.

It is important to note that while the drink packages do work on Royal Caribbean's private islands of Labadee and CocoCay, they do not work while you are in other ports of call.  The more ports of call you visit, the less time you have onboard to take advantage of the drink packages.  However, if your itinerary has mostly sea days, it becomes easier to get the value from the package.

It is also important to know that many guests will see a discount available for their drink package online prior to the cruise, often in the amount of 20% off the package price.  This savings does make the cost-savings ratio lower, since the amount one needs to drink per day is lower by about 1-2 drinks per day. Check your Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean's web site for availability of such a discount.

The deluxe beverage package benefits guests who want a great variety of premium drinks on their cruises.  Those that mainly drink beers will find it more difficult to make the deluxe beverage package worthwhile over the course of the cruise.

What we often hear from other cruisers is over the course of longer cruises (7-nights or longer), it becomes more and more difficult to maintain the level of drinking required to get the value from the package.  

From a financial standpoint, if you can drink enough every day of your cruise to make it worth it, then go for it.  But if it sounds like too much, then stick to paying cash. Or better yet, take the money that the unlimited alcohol packages would cost, save it and then deposit it in your onboard account to offset the cost of your drinks.  Any leftover money can pay for other onboard purchases or you can take the extra money and keep it!

Are Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages worth it?


Going on a Royal Caribbean cruise these days and you are bound to see plenty of offers to purchase an unlimited drink package, which begs the question, "is a drink package worth it?".

Many years ago, the marketing geniuses at Royal Caribbean realized that guests really love convenience, and they hate having to take their wallets out on vacation.

And so, Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink package option was born. Each drink package has several price points and levels. With a drink package, you get access to certain beverages for the duration of your cruise.  It may be convenient, but it is not always a good deal.

Drink package basics

Before you can even begin figuring out if a package make sense to get, you need to have a good understanding of what they are and how they work.

Deluxe Beverage Package


  • Beer
  • Wine (by the glass)
  • Fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup
  • Cocktails
  • Bottled water (500 millimeters)
  • Fresh Juices
  • Premium Coffee and Tea
  • 40% discount on wines under $100. Wines above $100 will receive a 20% discount.

Within each package, the benefits are unlimited, so you can enjoy as many drinks as your package allows.  There are no daily or cruise-length limits.

Each guest must purchase one drink package for themselves, and there is absolutely no sharing of the package benefits.

Looking at the numbers

At the heart of figuring out if any of the drink packages are good value to you is, well, math.

There used to be many unlimited alcohol packages, but Royal Caribbean simplified that in 2016 with just one:

Deluxe beverage package: $55.00 per guest, per day (excluding gratuity)

The cost of a package is for the duration of your cruise, so if you pre-purchase before your cruise or buy it on embarkation day, you will be paying for use of it for the duration of your cruise.  If you buy it on day three, it will be good for that day onward. 

Figuring a seven night cruise is what many guests go for (and it provides some simple math), here is the weekly cost of an unlimited alcohol package:

  • Deluxe package: $454.30 per guest (including gratuity)

The idea to grasp is how many drinks you have to have per day, to "break even" on the package cost so the package is actually worth your money.  If you do not drink enough to break even, you would have been better off financially not buying a drink package.

If you are wondering how many drinks per day that is to "break even", it is somewhere in the ballpark these estimates. Keep in mind the deluxe package allows for different kind of drinks, so the drink prices you will find can vary greatly.

  • Deluxe package: 5-8 drinks per day

The best way to figure out if you want a drink package is consult our list of Royal Caribbean drink prices, and start to figure out what you would be interested in ordering and see what kind of bills you can accumulate.

What the packages do not include

Figuring out if a drink package is worth it involves some subjective reasoning beyond just objective math.

There are going to be drink specials throughout your cruise, which bring the price down of drinks and that makes it more difficult to "break even" on the drink packages.  As an example, the drink of the day will carry with it a 25% discount.

Any drink that comes in a souvenir glass or container is not included with the drink packages, so those sports bottles the Labadoozies come in or the hallowed-out pineapple drinks are going to cost you extra.

When you are in port and off the Royal Caribbean ship (not including Labadee or CocoCay), your drink package does not work.  Being on shore limits the time in the day you have to drink as well as requires you to still pay extra for alcoholic beverages.

The final decision

With all of the data presented, now it is time to figure out if a drink package makes sense for you.  

Despite the fact quite a bit of arithmetic was used in this blog post, one of the best ways to figure out if a drink package is worth it, is to ask yourself this question:

Can I drink 5-7 drinks per day, every day of my cruise?

If after thinking that you initially thought, "Woah, that is a lot to drink" or "Woah, that's it?", then you probably have your answer.

There are a few "x-factors" worth considering was well when it comes to any Royal Caribbean drink package.

Drink fatigue: This phenomenon occurs as the cruise progresses, each day you find yourself drinking for the sake of drinking as a means of "breaking even" on your drink package investment. Anyone can drink 5-7 drinks in one day, but 5-7 drinks every day of the cruise could possibly get old.

Trying new drinks: One of the best reasons to get a drink package is that you can enjoy all the drinks available, including some new ones.  You can order something and not be worried that you might not like it and have to "suffer" through it, simply because you paid for it.

Drink package discounts: Discounts on Royal Caribbean's drink packages used to be nonexistent, but these days, we are seeing more discounts being offered on the drink packages, which bring down the total cost. A 20% package saving might be enough to push some folks "over the fence" to make it a worthwhile investment.

The reality is there is no global answer for everyone.  You have to figure out the math for yourself.

There is no question Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink package presents a definite value proposition and you can make it work. Plenty of past cruisers swear by it.

On the other hand, everyone's tolerance for actually wanting to have a drink is different.  And since the reason to buy an unlimited drink package is the convenience and fixed drinking bill, one should consider just how much value the package offers.

Do you think Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages are worth it? Tell us why in the comments!

Spotted: New Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol package waiver


Royal Caribbean is starting to have guests sign waivers prior to purchasing one of its unlimited alcohol packages on at least one Royal Caribbean ship.

Royal Caribbean Blog reader Rich Triplett spotted this new waiver specifically for guests who wish to purchase an unlimited drink package on Independence of the Seas.

The waiver reinforces the rules of the drink package, and focuses on a few key aspects of the package rules

  • Your package is for your own personal use only
  • One drink at a time
  • Safety (as it pertains to being over-served)
  • Drinks excluded from the drink package
  • Room service and mini bar not included

Guests must sign at the bottom of the form during the purchasing process.

It is not clear if this waiver is being made available to guests on other Royal Caribbean ships yet, but it may be a sign of things to come.

Royal Caribbean raising prices of unlimited drink packages


Royal Caribbean is beginning to raise the prices of its popular unlimited alcohol packages on select sailings.

We ran spot checks across a variety of Royal Caribbean sailings in 2016 and 2017 and found in more than half the cases, the drink package pricing has changed as follows:

  • Select drink package: $46.02 per day (old price $42)
  • Premium drink package: $57.82 per day  (old price $57)
  • Ultimate drink package: $69.62 per day  (old price $67)

The increase has also affected the non-alcolohic drink packages.  Most notably, there is now no longer a change in price between children and adults for the Royal Refreshment package.

  • Royal Replenish package: $22.42 per day (old price $22)
  • Royal Refreshment package 
    • Adults: $9.44 per day (old price $8)
    • Children: $9.44 per day (old price $5.50)

Interestingly enough, the Evian bottled water package went down in price

  • Evian bottled water package: $46.02 (old price $47)

The new pricing does still include the service charge.

The change in pricing is not reflective of all Royal Caribbean sailings we have seen.  Some sailings still reflect the old pricing, and it is unclear as of yet if or when this new pricing will spread fleetwide.

Royal Caribbean has not increased the base price of its drink packages since they debuted in 2012, although they have played with service charge pricing, as well as increasing the service charge to 18%

What do you think about the drink package pricing change? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Royal Caribbean adjusts unlimited drink packages pricing


Royal Caribbean has changed up how it advertises the cost of its unlimited alcohol packages and unlimited beverage packages.

Royal Caribbean is now including the 18% service charge into the daily cost of the package.  

Previously, Royal Caribbean would advertise a lower rate for the packages and then add the service charge upon purchase.

The new pricing for the unlimited alcohol packages is as follows

  • Select package: $42 per person, per day
  • Premium package: $57 per person, per day
  • Ultimate package: $67 per person, per day


In addition, the new pricing is reflected in the Royal Replenish and Royal Refreshment packages as well.

  • Royal Refreshment (soda package)
    • $8 per adult, per day
    • $5.50 per child, per day
  • Royal Replenish package: $22 per person, per day

The new pricing allows the total cost of the package to be more transparent to guests and without the surprise of a service charge added on just prior to purchase.

Do you like that the service charge is now part of the daily price? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Royal Caribbean raises gratuity amount on unlimited alcohol packages


Royal Caribbean's popular unlimited alcohol packages have had a small change in the total price, with the gratuity amount going up on each package from 15% to 18%.

Pricing any of the unlimited alcohol packages in Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner software reveals the base price of the packages are the same but when added to your cart, the total price now reflects an 18% gratuity service charge included.

In addition, the Royal Replenish package and the Royal Refreshment package have had its gratuity amount increased to 18% as well.

Until now, Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages had included a 15% gratuity since the packages' inception.  The base price of the packages remains the same.

The new gratuity amount appears to be in effect for all new purchases on all sailings we could test.

Royal Caribbean changes unlimited alcohol package pricing


Royal Caribbean has found a gold mine in offering its passengers unlimited alcohol packages but has recently changed the package pricing.  To be exact, the packages are now priced without gratuity.

At first glance, it look like Royal Caribbean lowered the prices across all of its unlimited alcohol and non-alcoholic drink packages by about $10 per day.

New unlimited package pricing

Old unlimited package pricing

The truth is, the packages are still about the same price.  The difference is Royal Caribbean has separated out the package price from the automatic gratuity included when you buy the package.  

We priced out the Premium Drink package in Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner to confirm the changes and you can see the package price along with an additional service charge.

With the new pricing, the real package prices have changed by a few dollars.  We calculated the prices via the Cruise Planner for an upcoming cruise we had booked and here's what we found.

  • Royal Replenish package: $21.85 per person, per day ($1.85 increase)
  • Select drink package: $40.25 per person, per day ($0.25 increase)
  • Premium drink package: $56.35 per person, per day ($1.35 increase)
  • Ultimate drink package: $63.25 per person, per day ($1.75 decrease)

Royal Caribbean Drink Package: What you need to know


Royal Caribbean's unlimited drink packages are the popular options available to cruise passengers as a way to enjoy as much alcoholic beverages as they want. For many, these drink packages have become a necessity but if you're wondering which package is right for you, then this is your guide.

Royal Caribbean's drink packages come in two basic varieties: those that include alcoholic drinks and those that do not.  The packages that include alcohol start at $45 per person, per day and go up from there.  The unalcoholic drink packages can cost just a mere few dollars per day, per person.  With all the packages, there is no limit to how many drinks you can have per day or throughout your cruise vacation.

The drink packages are fairly simple in terms of how to use them.  You sign up either online before your cruise or onboard your cruise.  You will get a sticker to put on your SeaPass card indicating which drink package you purchased.  Then all you have to do is show your sticker to any bartender or waiter and you can order any drink included in your package without any further cost.

The drink package rules have gotten easier since the packages first debuted.  Every adult in a stateroom can opt to order any drink package they want, or none at all.  However, you may not share the benefits of a drink package with anyone else.  Royal Caribbean stipulates the drink packages are soley for the person purchasing it.

From time to time, Royal Caribbean will offer the drink packages for free as a promotion to booking select cruises.  When Royal Caribbean offers a free drink package deal, it's for sailings that need to have rooms filled.  Typically these are ocean voyage cruises that cross the Atlantic or other very long cruises.  In addition, the free drink package promotion is usually in lieu of any other discount on the cruise.  

All drink package prices include a 15 percent gratuity. Packages must be purchased a minimum of four days before the cruise ends. 

Royal Caribbean drink package overview

Classic Beverage Package

This is the lowest tier of the Royal Caribbean drink packages that include alcohol. It only includes beer and wine, and does not include mixed drinks.

Cost: $45 per person, per day


  • beer
  • wines by the glass (up to $12 per glass)
  • non-alcoholic cocktails
  • fountain soda with Coca-Cola cup
  • juices
  • 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

Premium Beverage Package

This is the most popular tier of the Royal Caribbean drink packages that include alcohol because it includes mixed drinks in addition to beer and wine.

Cost: $55 per person, per day


  • frozen drinks
  • all cocktails including premium brands
  • beer
  • wines by the glass (up to $12 per glass)
  • non-alcoholic cocktails
  • fountain soda with Coca-Cola cup
  • juices
  • 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

Ultimate Package

This is the upper echelon of Royal Caribbean drink packages.  It essentially a combination of the Premium drink package and the Royal Replenish Package (see below) and includes every drink you could possibly order on the cruise ship that is included in any beverage package.

Cost: $65 per person, per day


  • frozen drinks
  • call  and premium cocktails
  • beer
  • wines by the glass (up to $12 per glass)
  • non-alcoholic cocktails
  • premium coffee
  • premium tea
  • bottled water
  • sparkling water (375ml)
  • still water (500ml)
  • fresh squeezed orange juice
  • fountain soda with Coca-Cola cup
  • juices
  • 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

Royal Replenish Package

This package offers unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and is great for someone who does wants to enjoy a greater variety of juices and other beverages without paying a lot for it.

Cost: $20 per person, per day


  • premium coffee
  • premium tea
  • bottled water
  • sparking water (375ml)
  • Still water (500 ml)
  • fresh squeezed orange juice
  • non-alcoholic cocktails
  • fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup

Are the drink packages worth it?

The most common question about the drink packages is if they are worth it.  This is a very subjective question and depends largely on the person asking it but there are some basic guidelines we advise.

The drink package benefits those that enjoy at least a few alcoholic drinks per day and want to indulge in their cruise more often than not.  For those looking into the alcohlic packages, the premium drink package makes the most sense since it includes mixed drinks as well as beer and wine.  The unlimited package is a better value since it includes, well, everything and the greater variety with these packages, the easier it is to "break even".

The Royal Replenish Package is a great value for most people because of its affordable price and the variety of non-alcoholic drinks included.


Overall, Royal Caribbean's drink packages are a good deal depending on who is purchasing it.  There are a lot of varibales involved and it's not fair to say it's right for everyone but hopefully the consideratiosn above can help with your decision.

It's chief benefit is it allows for a convenient way to enjoy a lot of drinks without worrying about what the final bill will be. It also allows guests to try new drinks without the fear of "wasting money" on a drink they did not enjoy.  

The other consideration is the price for these packages requires you to drink quite a bit every day.  In most cases, the alcohol packages require about 6-8 drinks per day to get your moneys worth.  This may be easy enough on a sea days, but on port days getting your moneys worth may be more difficult. 

The drink packages are definitely a better fit for cruises that have a lot of sea days or for itineraries in which you do not anticipate spending much time off the ship.  In order to get the package's benefits, you must be onboard the ship (excluding CocoCay and Labadee, where the packages are included).

Your Thoughts…

What is your experience with Royal Caribbean's drink packages? Thinking about using it? I would love to hear what your thoughts are about the drink packages , and how it works–or doesn’t work–for you, in the comments! If you have any questions, ask them there, too.

Top 5 Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol package drink values


On my last cruise on Navigator of the Seas I noticed Royal Caribbean offers a lot of alcoholic drinks to choose from and the prices of each vary considerably.  It got me thinking, "Is there a strategy to maximizing the unlimited alcohol packages faster?"

Obviously no one wants to spend money on something they know in advance is a waste of money and there is a physical limit to the amount of drinks anyone can drink.  So I took a look at the most recent Royal Caribbean drink menu to figure out which drinks would give passengers the best value if they are using the unlimited alcohol packages.

What are Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages?

Royal Caribbean's unlimited alcohol packages are optional add-ons you can purchase to allow you as many beverages as you like for a flat fee per day.

If you do decide to indulge in one of the packages, consider these five drinks as the best ways to get your moneys worth from the investment!

Any margarita from Sabor Modern Mexican - $12

The brand new Sabor Modern Mexican restaurant on Navigator of the Seas specializes in Mexico's most famous liquor, tequila.  Their selection of margairtas is both tasty and a great value for those on the unlimited alcohol packages.

Click here for my review of Sabor Modern Mexican restaurant.

Their margaritas all cost $12, which is by far the most expensive drink we ran across included in the unlimited alcohol packages. 

Besides being a good value for those on the package, it's also a really, really good drink!  The Sweet and Spice Margarita and Sabor Grand Margarita are made at your table for ultimate taste.  The other margaritas offered are also the same price and worth your time as well.

Elderphire - $10.25

If you're a fan of gin, try this drink that was a Bacardi Cruise Competition winner. Bombay Sapphire gin, elderflower, sugarcane and fresh lemon make this a great drink and a great value on the drink package.

Photo by Bacardi Cruise Competition

Ultimate cosmopolitan - $9.50

For something a little smoother, the ultimate cosmopolitan is a great choice and also available fleet-wide.  It's sweet and does the trick for someone who enjoys a good cosmo in the evening.

Photo by Calvin Timothy Leong

Sparkling Peach Martini - $10.50

Vodka and wine, together again.  That's what makes up this drink and when you start combining multiple kinds of alcohol, you drive the price up.  At just over $10, a couple of these will help get you to the "break even" point on your daily alcohol package quest that much easier.

Patron Perfect Margarita - $9.25

While we love the margaritas from Sabor, if you're not on Navigator of the Seas, try the Patron Perfect Margarita that is available on all Royal Caribbean ships.  As the name implies, it uses a better brand of tequila to give you a strong drink.

Photo by Quick_Fox

Honorable mentions

These drinks didn't make our list of the best values but they are still good choices for maximizing your unlimited alcohol package value

  • Red Bull & Vodka - $9.00
  • Long Island Iced Tea/Long Beach Iced Tea - $9.50
  • Hendrick's Gimlet - $9.50
  • Luxury martini - $9.50
  • Appletini - $9.50
  • The Grand Margarita - $9.25
  • Grolsch beer - $6.50

New Royal Caribbean unlimited alcohol packages available for purchase online


As we reported last month, Royal Caribbean launched an expanded selection of unlimited alcohol packages, and starting today guests can pre-purchase their unlimited alcohol packages online.

To help expedite the process of getting the new package, as well to help break up the cost of your cruise, guests can now purchase these unlimited alcohol packages as well as the other unlimited alcohol packages before their cruise.

The package can be purchased via the Royal Caribbean website by logging in and going to "My Cruises" and then finding the "Alcoholic Beverage Packages" link.  Alternatively, guests can book by phone by calling the pre-cruise planning specialists at 1-800-398-9819. Guests should be able to purchase these packages approximately 2 months before sail date.

All three of the unlimited alcohol packages are available for purchase.  

  • The select package costs $45 per person, per day and includes all beers, house wines by the glass (up to $12 value), non-alcoholic cocktails & fountain soda and juices, fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup and 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine.  
  • The premium beverage package costs $55 per person, per day and includes all well, call, and premium brand cocktails (up to $10 value), all beers, frozen cocktails, house wines by the glass (up to $12 value), non-alcoholic cocktails & fountain soda and juices, fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup and 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine.  
  • The ultimate package costs $65 per person, per day and includes all beers, cocktails (up to $10 value), house wines by the glass (up to $12 value), premium coffee & tea, bottled water, sparking water, still water, fresh squeezed orange juice, fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup and 20% discount on purchases of bottles of wine

The other signifigant change to the unlimited alcohol packages is that you do not have to purchase the package for all adults in the same stateroom.

In addition, the unlimited beverage packages (non-alcoholic) are available for pre-purchase online.

  • The Royal Replenish Package costs $20 per person, per day and includes premium coffee, premium tea, bottled water, sparkling water (375ml), still water (500ml), fresh squeezed orange juice, non-alcoholic cocktails & fountain soda with souvenir Coca-Cola cup.


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