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Monday, July 24, 2023

Cruising and Sipping: A Thirst-Quenching Guide to Cruise Drink Packages

Ahoy, cruise enthusiasts! If you're planning your next dream cruise, one aspect to consider is whether to opt for a cruise drinks package. These packages can be a fantastic way to enjoy your favorite beverages without worrying about individual costs. In this blog post, we'll dive into the world of cruise drinks packages, explore the benefits, and help you decide if it's the right choice for you. Additionally, we've included things to consider based on your drinking preferences.

Benefits of Cruise Drinks Packages:

  1. Convenience: Cruise drinks packages offer convenience, allowing you to enjoy a wide variety of beverages throughout your voyage without the hassle of carrying cash or signing individual receipts.
  2. Cost Savings: If you plan to indulge in multiple alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks daily, a drinks package can often lead to significant cost savings compared to purchasing drinks individually.
  3. Predictable Budgeting: By prepaying for your drinks, you can budget more effectively for your cruise vacation and avoid any surprises in your final bill.
  4. Access to Premium Options: Some cruise lines offer packages that include premium and top-shelf brands, allowing you to savor high-quality beverages during your trip.
  5. Enjoyment Without Overindulgence: With a drinks package, you can enjoy your favorite drinks responsibly, as most packages have daily limits to prevent overconsumption.

Things to Consider:

  • Drinking Habits: Before opting for a cruise drinks package, consider your drinking habits and preferences. If you're a light drinker, it might be more cost-effective to pay per drink.
  • Port Days vs. Sea Days: On days when the ship is docked in a port, you might spend most of your time exploring ashore, making the drinks package less valuable on those days.
  • Beverage Variety: Evaluate the types of beverages included in the package to ensure it covers your preferred choices – alcoholic, non-alcoholic, specialty coffees, etc.
  • Package Sharing: Most cruise lines don't allow sharing drinks packages between passengers, so keep this in mind if you're considering it with your travel companions.

Planning to go on a cruise in the future? Check out our favorite cruise essentials that will make your cruising life easier! 

Making your own calculations to determine whether a cruise drinks package is worth it involves a few simple steps. Follow these guidelines to assess whether purchasing a drinks package will be cost-effective for your cruise:

1. **Know the Package Cost:** Obtain the current price of the drinks package you are considering. Cruise lines usually offer different tiers of packages, so make sure to choose the one that best suits your preferences (e.g., alcoholic, non-alcoholic, premium, etc.). Be aware that some cruise lines will charge you extra for tips and service fees base on a drink limit per day. For Example, NCL charges service fee up front for several drinks per day even if you don't drink that many. 

2. **Research Individual Drink Prices:** Look up the prices of individual drinks onboard the cruise. You can often find sample drink menus or price lists on the cruise line's website or through online forums related to cruising.

3. **Estimate Your Daily Drink Consumption:** Consider how many drinks you and your companions are likely to consume each day. Be realistic about your drinking habits and remember that on port days, you may be spending more time ashore, reducing your onboard drinking.

4. **Account for Included Drinks:** If your cruise already includes some beverages like water, iced tea, or certain juices, subtract their cost from your daily drink consumption estimate. This way, you can focus on the additional drinks you might purchase.

5. **Factor in Non-Alcoholic Drinks:** If you're not interested in alcoholic beverages, check if the cruise line offers non-alcoholic drink packages. These can include items like sodas, specialty coffees, and smoothies.

6. **Consider Specialty Coffees and Bottled Water:** If you enjoy specialty coffees or prefer bottled water to tap water, factor in their individual costs as they might not be included in standard drink packages.

7. **Account for Port Days:** On days when the ship is docked and you'll be exploring onshore, you may not consume many (if any) drinks onboard. Adjust your daily drink consumption estimate accordingly.

8. **Compare the Total Costs:** Multiply your daily drink consumption estimate by the number of cruise days to find your total estimated drink expenses without a package. Then, compare this total with the cost of the drinks package.

9. **Evaluate Additional Benefits:** Consider any additional benefits the drinks package might offer, such as access to premium beverages or discounts on drinks beyond the package limit.

10. **Personal Preferences:** Take into account the convenience and peace of mind that a drinks package can provide, as well as any intangible value you place on having unlimited drinks available.

By following these steps, you can determine whether a drinks package is likely to save you money or offer added convenience during your cruise. Remember that the value of a drinks package will vary depending on individual preferences and drinking habits, so it's essential to customize the calculations based on your unique situation.


Choosing a cruise drinks package can enhance your cruising experience and offer you great value, especially if you're a fan of indulging in various beverages throughout your voyage. However, it's essential to assess your drinking habits, the itinerary of your cruise, and the package's inclusiveness to make an informed decision.

Bon voyage!

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