How To Save Money On The Royal Caribbean Drink Package

Posted In: Cruises

By Jim Campbell | Updated on February 12, 2024


You could be looking forward to a Royal Caribbean cruise, but the high cost of drinks will likely dampen your excitement. You may be debating whether or not the Royal Caribbean drink packages are worth it. With prices ranging from $60 to $80 per day, it’s understandable to look for ways to save some money.

If you love drinks, a Royal Caribbean drink package will save you a lot of bucks. Still, do you need clarification on purchasing a Royal Caribbean drink package? Then, you are in the right place. This article will help determine if a Royal Caribbean drink package suits you. 

Royal Caribbean Drink Packages

Four Royal Caribbean drink packages are offered for guests:

  • Water Package
  • Classic Soda Package
  • Refreshment Package
  • Deluxe Beverage Package

Features and contents vary across packages. In a nutshell, the Deluxe Beverage Package is centered on alcoholic drinks. It includes practically all drinks except for a few cases. The Refreshment Package includes the same beverages as the Deluxe Package minus alcoholic drinks. The Classic Soda Package, on the other hand, contains soda.

What If I Don’t Purchase a Royal Caribbean Drink Package?

Royal Caribbean charges for beverages a la carte if you don’t purchase a drink package. An 18% gratuity will be added every time you order a drink.

While this increases the cost of drinks, it may be more cost-effective than the deluxe bundle if you drink sparingly.

Reasons Why Some People Want To Cheat The Royal Caribbean Drink Package

  • The drink package is not flexible in terms of usage schedule. So, customers must either pay for the drink package each day of their cruise or go without it. Because you have to buy it every day of the trip, some people feel it’s unfair.
  • If a passenger in a cabin bought a deluxe drink package, all passengers of legal drinking age must do the same. Couples and groups whose members have widely varying alcohol preferences may find this frustrating.
  • Those who want their money’s worth daily are encouraged to drink more than they usually would be under this drinking package system. The result is increased consumption of alcohol.
  • Vacation cruises already cost too much. Several consumers complain they are being charged for services they will never use.

Royal Caribbean Drink Package Hacks

If you wish to purchase a Royal Caribbean Drink Package but are still interested in saving money, the following tips and tricks will help you get the most bang for your buck.

Before going on a cruise, buy your chosen drink package.

Look for deals up to three days before your cruise departs. You may also log onto the Cruise Planner on Royal Caribbean’s website and buy the package in advance. Before the day of your trip, log on to the website and check to see if any discounted options are still available. You may find a great bargain.

After you have decided on the date of your trip, keep an eye on the prices of the various drink packages. If the cost of the drink package reduces after you buy it, you can cancel and rebook it at the lower price until your departure date.

At the bar, you can ask for top-shelf liquor.

If you can, always order and look for top-shelf liquors. You are already required to pay a daily price for drinks, so why not ensure those drinks are of the finest quality offered? Whether you’re ordering a shot of liquor or a drink, mention that you want anything from the top shelf, not something on the cheaper end of the price spectrum.

Share your drink package.

Break the rules and give your friend a shot of your booze. Many passengers have succeeded with this strategy despite violating Royal Caribbean’s policies. You only need to buy 1 Deluxe Beverage Package (which contains booze) and 1 Refreshment Package (non-alcoholic beverages) for each additional person (which is strictly non-alcoholic drinks). Someone with access to the Deluxe Package can discreetly share their alcoholic purchases with their friend.

Even though you’re free to do so, Royal Caribbean forbids the practice and won’t issue a refund if you’re spotted sharing your Deluxe Beverage Package. Remember to proceed with caution if you decide to go on this route.

Throughout the day, order non-alcoholic drinks such as juice, coffee, and soda as part of your beverages package.

Take in the whole Deluxe experience with sodas and juices throughout the day. Your bundle includes more than simply alcoholic drinks. Coffee, tea, fountain sodas, juices, bottled water, and mocktails are all part of the Deluxe Beverage Package. Get your money’s worth by purchasing various drinks throughout the day.

Take some water when going on excursions.

Get yourself some water to drink when on ports. Royal Caribbean usually lets you grab a few water bottles regardless of your drink package, so you can carry them anywhere.

Free and completely safe tap water is always available on Royal Caribbean ships. If you’d like to have six, twelve, or twenty-four bottles of water brought to your cabin, you can purchase the water package. Having some water with you can minimize costs when going on an excursion.

Carry your own bottle of wine on board.

Don’t want to spend money on a drink? Bring a bottle of wine on board. While all other alcoholic beverages are banned, wine is permitted on Royal Caribbean cruises. All adults can bring one sealed 750-milliliter bottle of wine or champagne.

There is a corkage cost of $15 if you wish to consume your wine out in public. However, if you drink the wine in your room, there will be no further fees.

Bring booze onboard the ship covertly.

Bring your booze onto the plane if you can get away with it. If you want to sneak alcohol onboard, fill a shampoo bottle or an empty mouthwash container with your favorite spirit and stow it away in your luggage.

It’s important to remember that Royal Caribbean knows every trick in the book. Security will not return your alcohol if they find it. The worst thing that could happen is that you are not allowed to board the ship.

Can I Purchase a Single-Day Drink Package on Royal Caribbean?

No. You’ll need to buy a drink package for your trip, as that’s how the rules work. Hence, if you are going on a 7-day cruise, you’ll pay for seven days’ worth of drink package.

Is it worth cheating on the Royal Caribbean Drink Package?

Finding ways to cheat the Royal Caribbean beverage package is a difficult task. Royal Caribbean does a fantastic job of monitoring shipboard behavior.

In addition, smuggling alcohol into the ship could result in losing your alcohol package, no refund, and even possible expulsion from the cruise. Avoid the drink package entirely if you drink infrequently, or stick to ordering top-shelf liquors and carrying wine onboard to save money.

Bottom Line: Is It Worth It to Get the Royal Caribbean Drink Package? 

Do the math to ensure you use money wisely before buying a drink package from the cruise line. The truth is that for some customers, the unlimited drinks bundle is money well spent. Others wind up paying more than they would have on buying beverages for themselves. 

It’sThinking ahead about how you’ll manage your drinking while cruising is a good idea. When on vacation, some folks are okay with imbibing every day. Some people like to party a few times a week, whereas others prefer to take rests in between. 

If you get a drink package, you must pay for it every day of the trip, even if you don’t drink. Those who consume less regularly or expect to spend less time ashore may find it challenging to recoup their costs with this package. 

But, if you often partake in alcoholic beverages, you may discover that it works to your advantage. This is the case for shorter cruises, where it is simpler to maintain a lively atmosphere, as opposed to longer journeys of a week or more. 

Set a daily drinking limit for yourself. After doing the math, you’ll know if the drink package is a bargain compared to buying the beverages separately.


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