Should you buy an alcohol and drink package on a cruise? It all depends on your habits and your profile. First of all, there are several types of beverage packages.

  • Soft drink package
  • Non-alcoholic beverage package
  • Alcoholic beverage package
  • Premium alcoholic beverage package
  • Wine bottle package: Buying a number of bottles for a lower price
  • Mix package including a bottle of spirits and a few cans of soft drink.
  • Coffee cards: punching card with a number of cups of coffee at a lower price

Can I bring alcohol on the cruise ship?

Before choosing a beverage package, it’s important to know that some cruise lines allow you to bring on board a certain number of bottles of alcohol (wine or spirits) and other non-alcoholic beverages.  Check the policy on your cruise company’s website.

Package are sometime restrictive

Also, it’s important to validate the restrictions of each package, which often include a price limit per glass, which will limit your choices.  Take a look at the wine/cocktail list before making your choice to make sure you have access to a variety that’s right for you.

Are cruise drink and alcohol packages worth it?

You really have to do the math according to your consumption habits. Of course, this formula is convenient and allows you to consume without counting, but it can still be very expensive. Here’s an example of a cruise on a Celebrity ship.

Package Cost per day Maximum price for a drink MINIMUM number of drinks per day needed to make the package profitable
Premium (alcool) $67.85 $15 5
Classic (alcool) $56.35 Beer and non-alcoholic beverage = $7 / Wine = $10.50 / Cocktails and spirits = $9.50 6
Premium non-alcoholic $23.00 3 or 4
Classic non-alcoholic $18.40 Does not include carbonated water bottles, specialty coffees or non-alcoholic cocktails 3 or 4
Soft Drink $9.20 $3.50 3
Water $16.10 4

 To make a typical alcohol package profitable, you would have to consume this every day :

  • A fresh squeezed juice in the morning ($4.50) - but the juice in the fountain is free
  • Specialty coffee in the morning ($6) - regular coffee and tea are free
  • A bottle of water to bring on excursion ($3)
  • A glass of wine at dinner ($10.50)
  • An afternoon beer ($6.50)
  • A glass of wine at dinner ($10.50)
  • A specialty coffee at dinner ($6) - regular coffee and tea are free
  • An evening cocktail ($9.50)

Cost of the package per day - $56.35 ($465.45 including the 18% tip for a 7-day cruise) Value consumed above - $56.50 (to really save, you need to consume even more). Here are the links to the beverage packages available after different cruise lines and what sets them apart:

NCL Alcohol packages

Alcohol packages are available and soft drink packages are available at a different price for children and adults/teenagers.

Celebrity Alcohol Packages

Many package choices depending on the type of drink you prefer. For cruises in the Galapagos Islands, alcohol is included in the price of the cruise.

Carnival Alcohol Packages

Carnival’s alcohol package program is called Cheers. A soft drink package is also available. Different alcohol sets (4 beers or a bottle of spirits and soft drinks) are available. Self-service beer stations are also available ($).

Princess Alcohol Packages

Princess offers a alcohol and soft drink package.  It should be noted that Princess stands out with the coffee punch card, which includes a defined number of espresso-based coffees for a reduced price.

Royal Caribbean Alcohol Packages

Several packages are available

Holland America Alcohol Packages

Different packages are available, but only accessible if you have already booked a cruise.  Various sets of alcohol (bottles of spirits and soft drinks) are also available on board.

Cunard Alcohol Packages

Alcohol packages, wine and coffee cards are available

Costa Alcohol Packages

Several packages are available.

MCS Alcohol Packages

Several drinks and alcohol packages are available, as well as a coffee card (15 coffees)

Azamara, Crystal, Regent, Seabourn and Silversea - include alcohol in the cruise fare.

Other ways to save on alcohol on a cruise

  • Enjoy free alcohol at welcome receptions and those for frequent flyers

  • Enjoy free alcohol to lure you into shops or art auctions.

  • Enjoy “Happy Hour” or there are special prices or 2 for 1

  • Read also: 15 tips to save on alcohol on a cruise