Are Cruise Drink Packages Worth the Money?

Are Cruise Drink Packages Worth the Money?

When it comes to cruising, indulgence and relaxation are key elements of the experience. Often, this involves enjoying a variety of beverages, from morning coffees and smoothies to evening cocktails and fine wines. Here lies the question: Are cruise drink packages worth the investment? Let’s navigate through the costs, benefits, and considerations to help you decide whether a drink package is a worthy addition to your cruise vacation.

Understanding Cruise Drink Packages

Cruise lines offer various drink packages as an all-inclusive option for passengers. These packages typically include an unlimited quantity of certain types of beverages for a fixed price per day. Depending on the cruise line and the package purchased, you may have access to:

  • Soft drinks and sodas
  • Specialty coffees and teas
  • Juices and non-alcoholic cocktails
  • Alcoholic beverages like beer, wine, and spirits
  • Discounted prices on bottles of wine or premium spirits

The Price Tag

The cost of a drink package can vary widely based on the cruise line, the duration of the cruise, and the specifics of what’s included. Prices generally range from $50 to $100 per person, per day. It’s important to note that most cruise lines require all adults in a cabin to purchase the same drink package to prevent sharing, which can significantly increase the total cost.

Pros of Purchasing a Cruise Drink Package

Buying a package means not having to worry about signing checks or keeping tab of expenses. It’s a hassle-free way to enjoy drinks at your leisure throughout the ship.

With a fixed cost, it’s easier to budget your total vacation expense in advance. You won’t have any surprise charges from beverages at the end of your trip.

Variety and Exploration
A drinks package allows you to explore a wide array of beverages, including some you might not usually try if paying for each individually.

Potential Savings
If you plan on having multiple drinks throughout the day, a package could offer significant savings compared to buying each drink a la carte.

Cons of Purchasing a Cruise Drink Package

Initial Cost
The upfront cost of a drink package can be steep, particularly if you’re traveling with a partner who also needs to purchase one.

Limited Options
Some high-end or premium beverages may not be covered by the package, requiring an additional fee.

Port Days
When the ship is docked, you may spend more time exploring on land, where your package doesn’t apply, potentially reducing the value of the package.

Personal Consumption
If you’re not a heavy drinker, the break-even point might be hard to reach, making it less economically sensible to opt for a package.

Evaluating the Value for You

It ultimately comes down to personal preference and drinking habits. To determine if a cruise drink package is worth it for you, consider the following:

  1. Estimate your daily consumption. Think about how many beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) you’re likely to have each day.
  2. Do the math. Calculate the average cost of drinks you would purchase versus the daily rate of the package.
  3. Consider your itinerary. For cruises with more days at sea, you’re more likely to benefit from a drink package.
  4. Understand the terms. Read the fine print to know what’s included and what’s not.


Cruise drink packages can offer convenience and potential savings for those who enjoy imbibing regularly. However, they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. Evaluating your own habits and preferences is crucial before committing to this additional expense. Whether you choose to raise a glass under a package deal or pay as you go, the goal is to ensure your cruising experience is both enjoyable and aligned with your vacation budget.

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