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Drinks package on a cruise: Is it worth buying?

Don’t let your bar tab sink your vacation! Ordering wine, beer, and cocktails by the glass on a cruise can quickly add up. However, a flat-fee drink package can save money for those who enjoy several drinks a day. Most cruise lines offer multiple options in these packages for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

What do these drink packages include, how do they work, and what are their costs? Here’s what you need to know.

Basic tiers often cover just sodas and bottled water. More elaborate (and pricier) packages include alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktails, wine, beer, and specialty coffee drinks. Some lines even offer multiple tiers of these all-inclusive plans.

Additionally, some cruise lines provide coffee cards for a fixed number of fancy coffee drinks at a discounted rate and wine-specific packages for enthusiasts.

On India-based Cordelia Cruises, all cabins receive 2 complimentary water bottles daily. Guests needing more must purchase additional bottles. You can opt for a non-alcoholic beverage package that includes water, coffee, juices, and mocktails at all bars and restaurants. If you typically consume more than 3 alcoholic drinks per day, the alcoholic beverage package is a better choice.

Singapore-based Resorts World Cruises offers similar packages for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Royal Caribbean Cruises, which will begin sailing from Singapore by the end of this year, requires guests to refill water from the buffet restaurant area or water coolers around the ship.

Can you share a drink package on a cruise ship?

In many cases, no. Several major cruise lines require all adults in a cabin to purchase the drink package if one adult does. This rule prevents sharing a single drink package among multiple people in a cabin.

Where can you use a cruise ship drink package?

Drink packages are typically honoured at bars, lounges, and eateries throughout the ship. However, they usually cannot be used for room service orders or drinks from cabin minibars. Always check the fine print of your cruise line’s drink package before ordering.

The cost of drink packages can vary significantly between cruise lines and even between different sailings on the same line.

In conclusion, whether a cruise drink package is a worthwhile investment depends on your personal habits and cruising style. Evaluate your typical daily beverage consumption and preferences to determine if the convenience and potential savings of a drink package align with your needs. Ultimately, only you can decide if it’s the right choice for your cruise experience.