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The Best Cruise Line Drink Packages for Every Budget

Food + Drink Cruises
by Kristine Hansen Sep 28, 2023

It can be a total buzzkill to constantly pull out your wallet on vacation. If you’re planning a cruise one way around that is to take advantage of cruise line drink packages. Going all-inclusive means you pay a flat daily fee upfront for all the wine, beer, soda, coffee, tea, and cocktails you can possibly drink.

Cruise line drink packages are a way to take financial worries out of the equation and simply kick back and relax. And there’s no denying that drinking is a big part of vacationing on a cruise line, especially since you don’t have to worry about finding a designated driver. Cruise lines put as much attention on their bars and lounges as they do restaurants, with many organized by theme — such as a nightclub, piano bar, wine bar, or romantic lounge. Bar-hopping on board is as much an activity as a shore excursion off the ship. So if you enjoy letting loose on a cruise ship, you might want to seriously consider looking into the cruise line drink packages on the ship of your choice.

These drink packages are not just about alcohol and sodas: some provide unlimited specialty coffee and espresso drinks, a big plus if you’re a java addict, as well as non-pressed juices. Some include gratuities while others do not. It’s worth checking when pricing these out.

In planning a cruise vacation, so much is decided weeks before you hop on board, including the cabin category and shore excursions. Why not remove one more decision and start focusing on what to pack instead? Here is your complete guide to the major cruise line drink packages, and all the information you need to decide which one is right for you.

Carnival Cruises

There are two options for drinks packages available on Carnival Cruises: Bottomless Bubbles (soft drinks and juices only, $6.95 child and $9.50 adult, per day) and Cheers! (as the name implies, this one offers wine, beer, and cocktails—in addition to soft drinks, juices, teas, and coffee, starting at $59.95 per day).

Pros: While wine-by-the-glass and cocktails (under $20 on the menu) are included in the Cheers! package, you also get 25 percent off a bottle of wine or Champagne, and glasses on the menu over $20, in case you want to splurge a night or two.

Cons: Carnival Cruises’ cocktail and beer lists are more in-depth than its wine selections. If you’re more of a wine drinker, looking for higher-end labels, this might not be too enticing.

Celebrity Cruises

There are two alcohol packages on Celebrity Cruises: Classic (covers drinks up to $10, for $89 per day) and Premium (covers drinks up to $17 for $109 per day), and three non-alcoholic options, too.

Pros: The Premium Non-Alcoholic Package expands beyond soda, coffee, and teas. Coconut water, normally a costly choice, is also unlimited. There’s also a Wines by the Bottle option, sold in three, five, or seven bottles in each package — perfect if you’re traveling in a group.

Cons: In some of the spirits categories, there are twice as many options with the Premium Package, which is more expensive.


Cunard has four main drinks packages available. For those looking for a non-alcoholic option, there’s the Premium Soft Drinks bundle. For $30 you can enjoy soft drinks, small bottled waters, juices, hot drinks, and non-alcoholic cocktails. For coffee and tea lovers, a hot drinks package includes illy specialty coffees, Tea Forté infusions, and hot chocolates for $12.50. If you want unlimited soft drinks, that’s $10.

Cunard’s Beers, Wines, and Spirits option allows you to order an array of beers, wines, spirits, liqueurs, and cocktails costing up to $13.50 per serving. This includes soft drinks too and you’ll also receive a 20 percent discount on drinks priced above $13.50. The package costs $70 for voyages over five nights and $85 for trips under five nights. For those passionate about wine, you can choose between two signature collections, or create your own. Bottles can be enjoyed in restaurants, bars, or the comfort of your stateroom. This varies in price and offers up to 20 percent off regular wine list prices.

Pros: The Beers, Wines, and Spirits Package also gives you 20 percent discount to Cunard Wine Academy and Cocktail Master Class activities. Double measures for spirits and premium mixers are available on request. Packages include a 15 percent service charge, so that’s another thing not to worry about.

Cons: It seems a little unfair to charge more to those taking a voyage under five days.

Disney Cruise Line

Disney is one of the few cruise lines that do things a little differently. Rather than having an unlimited package, you can purchase a set number of drinks at a discounted price. Overall this saves you money compared to purchasing beverages individually on-board. And while this might not be great for those looking to sink trays of pina coladas by the pool, Disney is family-centric, so this is no serious booze cruise.

That said, there are some packages you can choose from. There are two wine options available, the Classic Wine and the Premium packages. Each offers a superb selection of bottles. Prices vary. For seven bottles the Classic will set you back $199, and the Premium $309. You can drink all seven in one night if you’d like, and you can take any open bottles back to your stateroom. The beer option ultimately offers you six beers for the price of five. And there’s a pretty long list to choose from.

Pros: If you don’t manage to drink all of your bottles of wine, you can take up to two with you when you disembark. Both the wine and beer lists are extensive. Drinks overall are not expensive either. A glass of wine ranges from $8 to $17, and a beer will set you back around $6.50 to $9. Prices include gratuity.

Cons: For those looking for unlimited drinks, this is not the best option. However, it could also be a good thing as Disney is quite magical enough.

Holland America Line

This cruise line’s Signature Beverage Package ($54.95 per day) includes drinks priced at $15 or lower, such as alcohol (wine, beer, spirits, and cocktails) and non-alcoholic beverages (sodas and specialty coffees).

Pros: Fold the Signature Beverage Package into Holland America Line’s Have It All Cruise Package (which also includes — for a week or less sail — one shore excursion, one specialty-dining experience, and Wi-Fi throughout, $60 — $100 per day) and it’s even more of a tempting deal.

Cons: There’s only one drinks package so if you really want the premium tiers of drinks you may have to pay a la carte for those.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Five drinks packages are offered by Norwegian Cruise Line, two of which are non-alcoholic (Unlimited Soda Package, at $9.95 per day; and Unlimited Starbucks Package, at $12.95 per day). Then, for alcoholic options, there’s the Premium Beverage Package (covers up to $15 drinks for coffee, wine, beer, spirits, fountain sodas, coffee, and teas for $109 per day) and the Premium Plus Beverage Package ($138 per day). The differences between the two come down to lower-end and higher-end wine and spirits.

Pros: Although the lower-priced of the two, there’s nothing left to be desired with the Premium Beverage Package, including 20 wines by the glass and hundreds of spirits and cocktails options.

Cons: For some, sipping a flute of Veuve Clicquot makes or breaks the sailing. If that’s you, then get the Premium Plus Beverage Package.

MSC Cruises

Two of MSC Cruisesfive drink packages (Alcohol-Free Package and Minors Package) cater to dry sailors, too with mocktails, sodas, energy drinks, mineral and flavored waters, fruit juices, coffee drinks, hot chocolate, and tea. For the Easy Package (starts at $42 per day), Easy Plus Package (covers drinks up to $10 from $58 per day), and Premium Extra Package (covers drinks up to $16 from $79 per day), you get all that plus the alcohol.

Pros: Just like kids sail free on many MSC Cruises sailings, two drinks packages (Minors and Alcohol-Free) cater to little ones, too.

Cons: Only two beer brands are covered in the Easy Package — Heineken and Miller Lite — and no frozen classic cocktails.

P&O Cruises

Like most cruise lines, you get a discount if you book before you leave. With P&O this is a generous 10 percent. The packages are available on any route of five nights or more. Each person is limited to 15 drinks within a 24-hour period (which begins at 6:00 AM). If you exceed this, you’ll have to purchase drinks with a 20 percent discount. There are four tiers beginning at an average price of $13 up to around $67 for the Delux. The cheapest package includes Pepsi, juice, and lemonade, and the most expensive allows you to choose from an extended range of cocktails and wines, craft beers, and dessert and fortified wines.

Pros: The new Deluxe Package was launched in 2023 and offers a much wider range of spirits, wines, and cocktails.

Cons: Every adult in the same cabin must have the same drinks package, which means no sharing.

Princess Cruises

Among the simplest of the cruise lines’ drink packages (in terms of deciphering all the options), Princess Cruises offers only four options: Zero Alcohol Package (covers non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks up to $20 on the menu, for $84.99 per day), Premier Coffee and Soda Package (coffee and teas, hot chocolate, sodas, mocktails, energy drinks, smoothies and milkshakes, for $29.99 per day) and Classic Soda Package (sodas, fruit juices, mocktails and smoothies, for $14.99 per day).

Pros: Got a sweet tooth? Milkshakes and coffee frappes are covered in the Premier Beverage Package. You also get 25 percent off bottles of wine with that package. Another add-on value is with the Premier Coffee & Soda Package: a 25 percent discount on bottles of water and cans of soda or juice (otherwise they are fountain drinks).

Cons: Even with the drinks package, wine-by-the-glass selections are limited if you’re not in a specialty-dining restaurant, so plan your meals accordingly.

Royal Caribbean

From the Classic Soda Package (from $12.99 to $15 per day) to the Deluxe Beverage Package (includes alcohol and non-alcohol drinks, from $56 to $105 per day), everyone’s palate is covered in the cruise line’s four different drinks packages, including one where Evian water can be bought by the case and brought to the room.

Pros: Wine drinkers love the 40 percent discount on bottles with the Deluxe Beverage Package.

Cons: A lot of cruise lines include coffee and soda in the same drinks package, but not here. For specialty coffee in your package, you’ll need to upgrade from the Classic Soda Package to the Refreshment Package (from $29 to $38 per day).

Seabourn Cruise Line

Seabourn offers complimentary beer, wine, Champagne, and spirits at all times during the cruise. They also have Wine Collector Packages, which are available for an additional cost. This added extra allows you to order from the Reserve Wine Menu. The menu includes a hand-selected collection from the world’s most exceptional wine-producing regions. There are three tiers starting at $350 each offering a bonus amount towards an extra bottle of your choice.

Pros: The included cost means you don’t have to worry about the differing tiers of drink packages. The onboard sommeliers purchase local wines along the route so expect a nice variety onboard.

Cons: This is luxury cruising, so expect a hefty price point for your standard ticket.

Virgin Voyages

Richard Branson’s cruise line offers Essential Drinks on Us for free on every sailing. This includes filtered still and sparkling waters, non-pressed juices, sodas, teas, and coffee. There isn’t a drink package per se like other cruise lines with daily fees but you can drop $300 on a pre-paid tab which gets you an extra $50.

Pros: Virgin Voyages hired top-notch mixologists (like James Beard Award winner Charles Joly, the Academy Awards’ official bartender) to develop a drinks menu. Also, you can use this pre-paid bar tab for others in your party.

Cons: With drink prices fairly low — $5 to $6 for beer, $9 for cocktails, and 42 percent of wines under $10 a glass, plus tips included — you may not need that extra $50 bonus if you pre-pay $300.

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