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How Many Drinks You'll Need to Have Per Day to Make a Cruise Drinks Package Worth It, According to a Travel Agent

by Morgane Croissant May 6, 2024

For a lot of people, cruising is synonymous with indulging, whether that’s about shore excursions, spa offerings, food, or drinks. And why shouldn’t it be? You’re on vacation on a shiny floating hotel where the only thing on the agenda is to relax, enjoy yourself, and let loose a little. The only issue with indulging is the price tag associated with it. Because unless you are on an all-inclusive cruise, you’re going to have to pay for everything extra, and cruise lines are pretty pushy when it comes to getting you to sign up for specialty dining, thermal spa access, and especially drinks packages.

All the cruise lines that don’t have drinks included in their base price offer a variety of drinks packages. Some drinks package focus on alcoholic drinks, while others cover specialty coffees, water, or soft drinks. Some packages even include everything so you can have whatever you want at any time, from wine to cocktails, to lattes, Perrier water, and Coca-Cola, for example. Every drinks package comes at a different price point in the form of a daily rate, not a flat rates, so the longer the cruise, the more you’ll spend. And that’s why you need to think long and hard before you purchase, or not purchase, a drinks package.

As explained by travel agent Elisa from The Paradise Travel Group in a TikTok video, you need to make sure the drinks packages on offer on your cruise are right for you. That means counting how many drinks you’ll need to have per day, per person, to make a cruise drinks package’s daily rate worth it. If you don’t feel like getting your calculator out, you’re in luck because Elisa’s done it for you: About six or seven alcoholic drinks a day is when you’re breaking even on your drinks package.


Should you get the cruise drink package? Let me help you decide!

♬ original sound – Travel Agent Elisa 🛳️

Some questions you might want to ask yourself before you purchase a drinks package:

  • Will I be able to drink that much alcohol, coffee, soda, without pushing myself to the limit? You don’t want to spend your vacation either drunk, running for the bathroom, or hyped up on sugar, just because you want to stick one to the cruise line.
  • Will I be spending enough time on the ship every day to make the drinks package worth it? If you’re out for hours on shore excursions, you likely won’t have the opportunity to drink that much.
  • Will the person sharing my cabin be able to drink that much every day? Because, on most cruise lines, if you purchase a drinks package, the person sharing your cabin will have to buy the exact same one. That’s a strategy from most cruise lines to prevent passengers from buying one drinks package for two people.
  • Do I want to keep track on my drinks spending on board? Some people purchase drinks packages so they don’t have to keep track of any a-la-carte spendings, but that can be a very expensive, and wasteful, way to cruise. Checking your on-board statement daily is easy and highly recommended if you don’t want any nasty surprises at the end of your sailing — everything adds up very fast.

Like Elisa explains in the video above, you don’t need a drinks package to have alcohol on board — you can purchase anything a la carte when you feel like having a beer, glass of wine, or cocktail. The same is true for specialty coffees, sodas, and fancy water. Also, regular water, drip coffee, and a huge variety of teas are available to all without any surcharge, with milk, cream, and sweeteners included.

One important thing for prospective cruisers to know that’s not mentioned in Elisa’s video is that, even with a drinks package, gratuity is added on every drink your order. And that’s on top of the daily gratuity you pay as part of the cruise.

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