Royal Caribbean Drink Package: Is It Worth It?

Is your idea of a vacation hopping aboard a ship and leisurely cruising the seas? Then a Royal Caribbean cruise is for you. Cruises are a fantastic way to relax and unwind — and what better way to jazz up that experience than enjoying a glass of wine or sipping premium coffees or teas? If you want to know if their Royal Caribbean Drink package is worth your money, here’s your ultimate guide.

What’s A Royal Caribbean Drink Package?

Royal Caribbean, which has been around since 1969, is one of the most well-known names in the cruise industry. And they certainly know that drinking is essential to any great cruising experience.

However, drink prices on cruises can be relatively pricey — about twice as expensive as their regular prices, in particular. For instance, beer can cost up to $8, while soft drinks and bottles of water come with a $3 price tag. All this comes on top of a gratuity charge worth 18%. 

To save money on drinks, they’re offering a Royal Caribbean Drink package 2024 (Deluxe, Refreshment, and Classic Soda). Each package grants you economical access to certain drinks throughout your cruise.

Will It Save You Money To Book A Royal Caribbean Package? 

By availing of a drink package, you can enjoy various beverages more cost-effectively. However, it all boils down to your drinking habits. 

A good measure is to estimate how much you would pay if your ordered drinks individually (be sure to include gratuities) and compare it to the Royal Caribbean Drink package price 2024. To give you an idea, here are the average costs of drinks aboard their cruise ship.

Bottle of water: $3

Soft drink: $3

Specialty coffee or tea: $4

Beer: $6 to $8

Cocktails and mocktails: $8 to $14

Wine (by the glass): $9 to $20

Note that cruise fares already include milk, juice, lemonade, regular coffee, regular hot chocolate, and regular tea, so you don’t need to buy those.

Meanwhile, drink packages range from $13.50 to $94 per person per day, plus a gratuity fee of 18%. Remember that if your cruise lasts seven days, you will need to pay for all the days even if you’re not availing of any drinks onboard (e.g., you will be exploring in-land attractions and restaurants during your stop at a certain area).

Also, consider that they require all passengers of legal age staying in a stateroom to buy the same package even if only one of them really wants to get it. This is to prevent the sharing of beverages.

If one adult is a non-alcoholic drinker (e.g., they have medical conditions, are pregnant, have an alcohol addiction, or have religion-related reasons), they may explain their situation to the staff. Then, they can request to have a refreshment beverage package instead. 

Royal Caribbean Drink Package 2024: What’s Included?

The inclusions will depend on which Royal Caribbean Drink package you choose. Here’s a breakdown of the four packages.

Deluxe Beverage Package

If all of you in your stateroom are big drinkers, this is the package for you. It includes almost all drinks offered on a Royal Caribbean cruise:

Fountain soda and refills (any venue)

Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages and a Coca-Cola souvenir cup

Mocktails or non-alcoholic cocktails


Wine by the glass

Cocktails, spirits, and liquor

Still and sparkling water

Premium coffees and teas

Freshly-squeezed juices

For bottled wines up to $100, you can get a 40% discount; 20% if it’s worth above $100

Cost: $94 per person, per day, plus 18% gratuity. If you book in advance, the price decreases to $70 plus gratuity. 

Refreshment Package

This package will appeal to you if you only want to save money on non-alcoholic drinks (You can always pay separately for alcoholic ones). The inclusions are:

Fountain soda and refills (any venue)

Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages and a Coca-Cola souvenir cup

Mocktails or non-alcoholic cocktails

Still and sparkling water

Premium coffees and teas

Freshly-squeezed juices

Cost: $36 per person, per day, plus 18% gratuity. If you book in advance, the price decreases to  $28 plus gratuity.

Classic Soda Package

This package caters to soda lovers. It includes only the following:

Fountain soda and refills (any venue)

Coca-Cola Freestyle beverages and a Coca-Cola souvenir cup

Cost: $13.50 per person, per day, plus 18% gratuity. If you book in advance, the price decreases to $9 plus gratuity.

Water Package

Royal Caribbean cruise ships have potable tap water. However, if you prefer bottled water, you can get a water package where 6, 12, or 24 packs of water will be delivered to your stateroom. Twenty-four 16-oz cans of water cost about $29.

Coffee Package

Want to stay caffeinated throughout your cruise? Royal Caribbean offers a Cafe Select Card that lets you consume 15 specialty coffees for $31. However, it doesn’t cover coffee from Starbucks facilities. And if you’re already planning to get the Deluxe or Refreshment package, specialty coffee is already included.

What’s Not Included

To help you decide if a drink package is indeed worth it, here are some more available drinks that you may want to buy but are not included in any of the packages mentioned above:

  • Room service beverages
  • Mini-bar items
  • Drinks in souvenir glasses
  • Specialty beers
  • Beverages worth over $13 per glass
  • Starbucks beverages

Is There A Limit On Royal Caribbean Beverage and Drink Package?

The good thing about these packages is that there’s no limit to the number of drinks you can order. There’s also no set time between ordering drinks. But, Royal Caribbean staff members reserve the right not to offer more drinks if you appear too intoxicated.

The critical Royal Caribbean Drink package limit you must know is that you must only order one drink at a time — except for bottled water. This means you can’t have freshly squeezed juice and a cocktail in one order.

As mentioned, drink package sharing is also not allowed. 

5 Tips To Make Most Of The Royal Caribbean Package

If you’re convinced to get a drink package, here are the best tips to make the most of it.

1. Book your drink package in advance

You can get drink packages at their best price when you book them before your cruise. Royal Caribbean offers a special discount for those who will pre-book their chosen package. However, you only have at least 72 hours to make an advance booking.

Now, if you want to save on money further — and you have the luxury of time to monitor prices — you can log in to your Royal Caribbean account, check prices if they’ve gone down, cancel your earlier booking, and book anew. 

You can also time your booking to coincide with promotional periods such as Black Friday. During this time, your Royal Caribbean Drink package discount can increase by up to 30%. 

2. Check your specific cruise

The abovementioned prices are just estimates and averages. The price of packages will ultimately depend on the specific cruise you’ve availed. To properly weigh if a drink package is worth its cost, inquire about their specific prices.

Moreover, each cruise tour may offer varying discounts and specials. For example: buy one and get 50% off on the second package. 

3. Take advantage of new and specialty drinks

Just like when you’re dining in a buffet restaurant, you can take advantage of your drink package by trying out items you wouldn’t typically have access to. These include premium drinks or new liquors and wines that you can only consume on a cruise ship.

4. Consider sea days vs. port days

Some cruise passengers want to simply unwind and soak up the sun while on board. Others prefer to spend a significant amount of their time exploring ports. 

As stated above, if you plan to buy a drink package, you will pay for all the days of your trip, regardless if there are port days and you can’t order drinks on the sea. Take that factor into account: This kind of package will give a better bang for your buck if you’ll have more sea days than port days. 

Don’t forget: You can still get free drinks on a cruise

To make the most of your cruising experience, you can still take advantage of the drinks served free on top of the drinks you’re ordering via your package.

At Royal Caribbean, the places where you can get those for free are:

  • The Captain’s Toast on the first formal night (you can get a free glass of champagne)
  • Liquor tasting at the duty-free shop
  • At an art auction
  • At the Concierge Lounge (available for guests staying in a Grand Suite or a higher-tier room)

If you’re a member of their loyalty program Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society, you can put your loyalty points to good use. If you’ve spent over 30 nights at sea, you’re eligible to attend the Crown & Anchor Welcome Back Party, where you can get a champagne or rum punch for free.

If you’ve spent over 80 nights, you can get free drinks during an Exclusive Nightly Diamond Event. From 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., you can get three free drinks from a list of wines, spirits, beers, and sodas.

Royal Caribbean Package FAQs

Here are quick answers to FAQs you have in mind.

Can you share your drink package?

No, Royal Caribbean prohibits sharing drink packages. If you share your drinks, you’re risking having your package canceled. If that happens, you won’t be able to get a refund.

Should I buy my drink package in advance or can I still buy it at sea?

The best time to buy Royal Caribbean Drink packages is when you book them in advance via the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner Onboard. You can purchase it in advance at least 72 hours before your cruise. 

If you couldn’t do that early, you can still avail them when you’re already on the cruise ship.

Are tips included when you buy the drink package?

When you check out any Royal Caribbean Drink package, an 18% gratuity is already included. However, you’re always free to add extra gratuities if you feel like giving more.

About The Author
Randell was born in an island nation and is a creature of the water and sun. Aside from amazing Caribbean destinations, he is also fascinated with the region's food, history, culture, and adventures it offers.

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