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Is a Cruise Drink Package Worth It?

Buying a cruise drink package can be economical, but is it worth it?

You’ve done the research on cruise lines, itineraries, and cabin types and found a great deal on a fabulous and much-needed vacation at sea. Get the sunscreen and flip-flops ready! But, before you set sail, there’s one decision you have left to make. If you like a few drinks with dinner, a fruity adult beverage while sunning by the pool, or might fancy a fancy cocktail while chilling out in the swanky jazz club on board, you might be wondering if a cruise drinks package is worth buying.

It’s important to understand that in addition to being an economic decision, choosing whether to purchase a cruise drinks package is also an emotional one. This is because having a drinks package on your cruise can significantly reduce the stress of tracking finances during your relaxing dream vacation.

When you buy a cruise drinks package ahead of time—be that package for sodas, juices, sparkling water, coffee, and mocktails, or a deluxe all-inclusive package—you can budget for it and maybe even have it already paid for in full before embarkation day. This means you will have no surprises on your bill, allowing you to order that extra glass of wine at dinner, a margarita at the adults-only poolside bar, and try new-to-you mocktails and cocktails without any financial risk. Here are the reasons you may find that a cruise drinks package is worth it.

You Are on a Fixed Budget

While the upfront cost may be significant (upwards of $60 per day per person for a deluxe beverage package), the benefit of a cruise drinks package is knowing the total cost of your cruise before embarkation and having the ability to stick to a fixed vacation budget.

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You Like Wine, Beer, and Cocktails

For many people, a cruise vacation is a time to unwind completely, disconnect from the worries back on land, and indulge in the finer things in life. This may mean a few extra glasses of German riesling at dinnertime or leaning into a burgeoning Tennessee whiskey appreciation in the upscale lounges on board. A deluxe drinks package will allow you to experience all of this tasty enjoyment (usually up to a maximum price per drink).

You Like Soda, Too

On most cruise ships, soda is not included in the cost. Every time you or your family want a ginger ale, another couple of dollars will be added to your bill. Over a week, the cost of your sodas will add up. A cruise drinks package can also eliminate these one-at-a-time charges.

No Breakfast Would Be Complete Without Fresh Squeezed Juice

Typically, regular juices (orange, apple, cranberry, etc.) will be available for free, but if you prefer a fresh squeezed orange juice with your egg white and asparagus omelet, you will have to pay handsomely for this luxury. Of course, a cruise drinks package includes these morning delicacies, too–along with mimosas, bloody Marys, and other adult breakfast beverages.

You Have an Expensive Taste for Coffee and/or Tea

Of course, basic coffees and teas are complimentary during any cruise vacation. But if you want a Tea Forte English breakfast or a French press coffee, for example, a cruise drinks package will cover the extra cost of these finer warm beverages.

You Want to Indulge in Mocktails and Zero-Proof Cocktails

More than ever, people are experimenting with a zero-proof life. As a result, cruise ship bars and lounges are getting creative with their mocktail menus, blending herbs, fruits, seltzers, and more into delicious non-alcoholic beverages. While the liquor is missing, the higher costs remain, with some zero-proof cocktails like a “nojito” costing nearly as much as an actual mojito. A cruise drinks package may be worth it to enjoy as many of these fruity mocktails as you’d like without worrying about the prices.

You Like Bubbles in Your Water

Not only will a cruise drinks package get you all the still water you and your family wish to drink on the ship and as you head off for excursions in port, but your sparkling water will also be covered too. If you like bubbles in your water, a drinks package can make sure your bill doesn’t bubble up!

Non-drinkers, solely water drinkers, and those who may only indulge in a single beverage with each meal may not see the financial benefit of a cruise drinks package. Spend a moment to do the math, budgeting $10-$13 per alcoholic drink, to see if a beverage package on your next cruise is worth it.