A Royal Caribbean drink package offers many benefits, but it might not be worth the cost to most passengers.
This ultimate guide will help you determine whether Royal Caribbean’s beverage package is right for you. We’ll cover the cruise lines Deluxe Beverage Package, Refreshment Package,
Classic Soda Package, and Coffee Card.
Keep reading for frequently asked questions, money-saving tips, and more.
Table of Contents
Royal Caribbean Drink Prices
Before discussing the price of Royal Caribbean’s drink packages, it’s essential to understand the cost of drinks onboard the ship.
When deciding whether the drink package is worth it for you, you’ll need to do a bit of math to determine if you’d save money purchasing the package or buying individual drinks.
Royal Caribbean’s drink prices are higher relative to other mainstream cruise lines.
Here are the average prices for drinks on a Royal Caribbean cruise:
|Beer||$6 – $8|
|Wine – By the Glass||$9 – $20|
|Cocktails and Mocktails||$8 – $13|
|Specialty Coffee or Tea||$4|
|Bottles of Water||$3|
|Regular Coffee, Tea, and Hot Chocolate||Free|
* Please note these are average prices. Actual prices may vary.
Royal Caribbean Drinks Packages
Royal Caribbean offers three all-inclusive drink packages, a premium coffee package and a water package. The drink package works at all onboard bars, restaurants, and even Royal Caribbean’s private island CocoCay.
Royal Caribbean’s drink packages include:
- Deluxe Beverage Package
- Refreshment Package (No alcohol)
- Classic Soda Package
- Premium Coffee Package
- Water Package
Deluxe Beverage Package
Royal Caribbean’s primary drink package is the Deluxe Beverage Package.
The Deluxe package is the only drink package that includes alcoholic drinks. Because of the wide selection of drinks included in the drink plan, it’s often referred to as the “unlimited drinks package.”
Prices for this drink package and the others offered by Royal Caribbean vary by ship, sail dates, and itinerary. You can typically purchase the Deluxe package for between $63 and $89 per person daily.
The prices tend to be higher on newer vessels and itineraries during the busier times of the year (ex., summer, march break, and Christmas.)
The Deluxe Beverage Package includes nearly every drink onboard. The list consists of; cocktails, beers, wine (by the glass), specialty coffees, teas, juices, bottled water, and fountain soda.
You’ll even get a Coca-Cola souvenir cup when you purchase the package.
You can use the drink package at the ship’s bars, restaurants, and lounges. But it doesn’t cover beverages ordered through room service or mini-bar items.
Additionally, the Deluxe Beverage Package only includes drinks up to $13 per drink before gratuity. If you want to splurge for a more expensive beverage, you’ll need to pay the difference between the cost of the drink and the $13 per glass allowance.
The $13 per drink allotment is a shock for many cruisers. But it covers most of the 16oz beers, cocktails, and a wide selection of wines by the glass.
The drink package also includes most liquor and premium spirits. Higher-end brands such as Grey Goose, Patron, Johnny Walker Black Label, Tito’s Vodka, and Dewar’s 12 scotch are all included.
As a bonus, the Deluxe Beverage Package provides a 40% discount on bottled wines priced up to $100 and a 20% discount on bottles of wine priced above $100.
Depending on your choice of beverage, you will need to drink between 6 and 10 beverages per day to break even. The exact number depends on your preferences for soft drinks, specialty coffees, and alcoholic beverages.
If you want only non-alcoholic drinks or don’t mind paying extra for alcoholic beverages, the Refreshment Package might be for you.
Royal Caribbean’s Refreshment Package offers everything in the Deluxe Beverage Package minus the alcoholic drinks. So you can get bottled water, soda, juices, specialty coffee and teas, and even mocktails.
The onboard package prices for the Refreshment Package range between $29 to $38 per person per day.
This package allows you to enjoy nearly every non-alcoholic beverage for up to $13 per drink. The package has a few exclusions, including Starbucks, room service, and mini bar purchases.
This package provides great value for guests. You only need to drink six to eight beverages per day to break even on your purchase.
Classic Soda Package
The Classic Soda Package is the least expensive of the three traditional drink packages. As you might have guessed, this package offers unlimited soda during your cruise.
However, drinks such as bottled water, juices, premium coffees, and alcoholic beverages cost extra.
The onboard pricing for the Classic Soda Package is $12 to $15 per person per day.
However, it does not include cans of soda or drinks ordered through room service or minibar items.
With the package, you’ll also receive a complimentary Coca-Cola souvenir cup. You can use the cup with the onboard Coke Freestyle machines that dispense over 100 flavor combinations.
So, feel free to mix it up and create your crazy soda concoctions.
It’s important to note that only guests purchasing a drink package can use the Coke Freestyle machines.
With soda prices around $3.25, guests only need to purchase 4-5 drinks daily to break even.
Royal Caribbean Coffee Package
Passengers interested in the specialty coffee offered onboard will fall in love with the Cafe Select Coffee Card. The card lets you redeem up to 15 specialty coffees throughout your cruise.
We rarely purchase the “all-inclusive” drink packages, but the Coffee Package is an exception. Marcello and I are big coffee drinkers, and the onboard cappuccinos and lattes are exceptional.
We always use up our 15 drinks by the end of a seven-night cruise. And unlike other packages on the list, you don’t need to purchase them for everyone in the cabin. And you can share the Coffee card with friends.
The card costs around $31 to $40, and you only need to enjoy eight to ten premium coffees to break even on your purchase. The card can be used for espresso, cappuccino, lattes, and more.
It’s important to note that regular brew coffee is complimentary on the ship. So if you’re not into specialty coffee, you can enjoy drip coffee for free.
Before purchasing the card, there are a few things to consider:
- You can’t use the Cafe Select Coffee Card at Starbucks Cafes
- Both the Deluxe Beverage Package and the Refreshment Package include specialty coffee. So, if you plan on enjoying specialty coffee, you only need to purchase one beverage package, not both.
Royal Caribbean Water Package
The tap water on Royal Caribbean cruise ships is always free and perfectly safe. Passengers who prefer to drink bottled water can order 6, 12, or 24 packs of water delivered to your stateroom.
This package is excellent for long days in port to bring the water with you off the boat. It’s always important to stay hydrated while exploring the ports of call.
What Isn’t Included With a Royal Caribbean Beverage Package?
Royal Caribbeans drink packages have different features, inclusions, and exclusions. The specifics of the drink package should be checked before purchasing, as they can change at any time.
Generally, each of the beverage packages offered by Royal Caribbean excludes the following:
- Drinks from Starbucks cafes
- Room service beverages
- Mini-bar items
- Beverages more than $13 per glass
- Duty-free shop bottles of liquor
- Drinks in souvenir glasses
- Specialty beers
Is a Royal Caribbean Drink Package Worth It?
Before purchasing a drink package from a cruise line, we suggest doing the math to make sure you’re not wasting money.
The truth is that for some people, the drink package is well worth the cost. Others end up paying way more than if they paid for the individual drinks.
Using the drink prices above, decide how many drinks you’ll consume daily. Once you add up the prices, you’ll know if the drink package will save you money or cost you more than purchasing individual drinks.
Be sure to consider that you might spend some days in port. During the time you’re on land, you won’t be able to use the drink package.
The packages also have a fine print that states, “Any guest wishing to purchase an alcoholic beverage package must do so for all guests of legal drinking age in the same stateroom.“
When calculating the package cost, make sure you factor in the drinking habits of everyone sharing your cabin.
We’ve put together an entire article to help you determine if buying a drink package is right for you.
Does Royal Caribbean Ever Offer Free Drink Packages?
Royal Caribbean doesn’t offer free drink packages. But you might be able to find an all-inclusive deal that includes the drink package bundled with your cruise fare.
Cruise lines are constantly running special promotions to entice future cruise passengers. And Royal Caribbean is no different. Special offers might include a “kids sail free” promotion, “free gratuities,” “low minimum deposit,” or “buy one cruise fare and get one half off.”
Some cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, have run promotions with a “free drinks” offer. If you are lucky enough to find one of these deals, you’ll get a drink package bundled with your cruise fare.
Before getting too excited, it’s important to remember a few things. Cruise lines run “specials” all year round. Usually, the bigger the freebie, the bigger the base fare. A cruise that generally costs $599 might cost $899 with the “free drinks” promotion.
Cruise lines often use “included” rather than “free.” Instead of a “free drinks” promotion, you are more likely to see a “drinks included” special. They use this wording because the drink packages aren’t actually free. Your cruise fare is adjusted to include the cost of the drink package.
So you might not get as good of a deal as you expected.
Can I Find Free Drinks Onboard?
On a Royal Caribbean cruise, there are several places where you might find free drinks.
Keep an eye out for:
- An art auction, where they serve complimentary Champagne
- Attend a liquor tasting at the duty-free shop
- On Royal Caribbean’s first formal night, you can attend the Captain’s Toast and receive a complimentary glass of Champagne
- Platinum and higher Crown & Anchor Society Members get free drinks between 5 pm and 8:30 pm during Happy Hour
- Guests booked in a Grand Suite, or higher can enjoy complimentary evening drinks in the Concierge Lounge
- A buy one get one free drink voucher might be pre-loaded onto your Seapass card.
Do Crown & Anchor Members Get Free Drinks
Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society awards cruisers with points for every night they spend onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
Diamond and above members can get complimentary drinks every evening between 5 pm and 8 pm at the Exclusive Nightly Diamond Event. Passengers who attend the event can receive three free drinks from a list that includes beers, wines, spirits, and sodas.
To reach Diamond Status, you will need to accumulate 80 points.
Check out our Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society guide to learn more about the loyalty program.
How Do I Buy the Drink Package?
Royal Caribbean makes it easy to purchase the drink package. There are three ways to order the drink package:
- Call Royal Caribbean to buy the drink package before you sail
- Purchase a Royal Caribbean drink package through your online account
- Wait until you board the ship and purchase the drink package from one of the signup tables.
We suggest purchasing the drink package ahead of time, which is often cheaper than buying on the ship. Additionally, you’ll be able to use the drink package as soon as you get on board.
If you wait until you embark, you’ll find tables around the ship selling the beverage package for the first couple of days. It’s important to note that the drink package will only be available on the first one or two days of your cruise.
Can Just One Person Buy the Drink Package?
Royal Caribbean requires that if one adult purchases the beverage package, all the adults in the room must buy it.
The rule is likely to prevent people from sharing drinks with family and friends. The rule raises a good question you should consider before purchasing the drink package.
What if one person doesn’t drink or doesn’t drink enough to make the drink package worthwhile?
In most cases, you must choose between buying a drink package for everyone or forgoing the purchase. You’ll want to factor this into your budget.
You could always call the cruise line if you don’t want to buy two drink packages or a circumstance where one person can’t drink. If you have a strong reason why one guest won’t be using the package, such as a health condition or pregnancy, there is a chance Royal Caribbean will be lenient.
Several passengers have told us that when they called and explained that the second passenger doesn’t drink alcohol, they were offered the Refreshment Package instead of the Deluxe Drinks Package for the second passenger.
It might not get you off the hook, but it can help you save money.
How to Get a Discount on Royal Caribbeans Drink Package
Royal Caribbean offers discounts on sailings and beverage packages throughout the year. If you want the best price, purchasing your drink package well before your cruise date is always best.
Once on board the ship, the cost of the beverage packages is almost always higher than the pre-cruise price. You might find the beverage package on the ship at a buy-one-get-one special offer.
However, this is highly inflated and is never worth waiting for.
You’ll usually find the best deal during the Black Friday sale period. But, just like how we recommend buying your cruise early as possible, you might be able to take advantage of price protection when you buy the drinks package early.
When prices fall, you can call the cruise line and ask them to match the new price. We’ve saved thousands of dollars by buying early and taking advantage of price protection.
Can You Share a Drink Package?
You are NOT allowed to share the Royal Caribbean drink package. Passengers caught using their drink package to purchase beverages on behalf of other passengers risk having their drink package canceled without a refund.
Do I Need to Buy the Drink Package for Children?
Royal Caribbean does not require guests under the legal drinking age to buy any drink package. So, you can buy the drink package for adults without the requirement to purchase any package for your children.
Should You Cheat the Royal Caribbean Drink Package?
If you’re caught sharing the Royal Caribbean drink package by giving drinks to other passengers, you risk having your whole package canceled without a refund. Don’t try and cheat the Royal Caribbean beverage package. It’s not worth the risk!
Are Royal Caribbean Drink Packages Really Unlimited?
While some cruise lines limit the amount of alcohol you can order during a 24-hour time period, Royal Caribbean has no daily limit. However, if you appear too intoxicated, the staff won’t serve you more drinks.
How Many Drinks Can I Order at Once?
You can only order one drink at a time with your Royal Caribbean drink package. After you finish your drink, you can always go back for more.
Are Tips Included in Royal Caribbean Drink Packages?
When you purchase any of the Royal Caribbean Drink Packages, an 18% gratuity is added at checkout. You are always welcome to add extra gratuities on the ship to recognize the outstanding service of the crew, but there is no requirement as it’s included with your purchase.
Does the Drink Package Work at CocoCay?
Royal Caribbean’s CocoCay private island is one of the most popular destinations for the cruise line.
One of the many great perks is that you can use the drink package on the island. You can use the drink package at CocoCay just as you would on the cruise ship.
This perk really helps you get your money’s worth, as you won’t be able to use your drink package at most ports. The package also works at Labadee, Haiti, another private Royal Caribbean port.
Can I Buy the Royal Caribbean Drink Package for Individual Days?
You cannot buy the Royal Caribbean beverage package for individual days. You can only purchase the drink package for the duration of your cruise.
So, if you want to purchase the drink package on a 7-day cruise, you will have to buy the package for all seven days.
How Can I Save Money on my Royal Caribbean Prink Package?
The best way to save money on your Royal Caribbean drink package is to buy it well before your sailing date. After you book your cruise, you can log into your Royal Caribbean account to purchase the beverage package of your choice.
From your account page, Cruise Planner, you can check the current price of the beverage package. If the price drops below your purchase price, you can cancel and re-buy it at the lower price. Or call Royal Caribbean and ask for them to honor the lower price.
Do Royal Caribbean Ships Offer Drinking Straws?
In 2019, Royal Caribbean began an initiative to cut down on single-use plastics on its cruise ships. The bars and restaurants will provide paper straws. However, they do not hold up well.
I would definitely recommend bringing a collapsible metal straw that easily clips to your bag or belt.
Does Royal Caribbean Offer a Wine Package?
Royal Caribbean no longer offers a wine package. In the past, the cruise line offered discounts on bulk wine purchases. However, they no longer offer these discounts. Wine, by the glass, is included in the Deluxe Drinks Package. But, if you want a bottle, it must be purchased separately.
With the Deluxe Beverage Package, you’ll receive a 40% discount on bottled wines priced up to $100 and a discount of 20% on wines priced over $100.
What is the Drinking Age on a Royal Caribbean Cruise?
For cruises that depart in North America, the minimum drinking age is 21. For all other cruises, the drinking age is 18. If you celebrate a birthday on a Royal Caribbean cruise and turn the drinking age, you can ask Guest Services to modify your record so that you can drink on your birthday.
There’s no better way to celebrate a birthday milestone than at sea!
Can I Purchase a Royal Caribbean Drink Package at Sea?
You can buy a Royal Caribbean drink package when you embark on your cruise. The drink package will only be available for purchase during the first one or two days of cruising.
We recommend buying drink packages in advance as the price is generally higher once you are on the ship. Additionally, when you purchase the drink package in advance, you can use it right when you get on the ship.
How Do I Cancel My Royal Caribbean Drink Package?
You can cancel your beverage package from the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner or call their support team two days before your cruise to receive a full refund. You can also cancel the drink package when you first step foot on the ship, but no later.