Surviving a Cruise: Drink Options on the High Seas

December 29, 2016
Surviving a Cruise Drink Options on the High Seas

There are plenty of drink options on the high seas. Cruise lines always offer drink packages of different types including packages including alcohol and non-alcohol packages.

Drink Packages:

Two Types

  • Alcohol Package – normally gives you unlimited alcohol (Mixed drinks, wine, beer) and non-alcohol drinks (bottled water, coffee, and sodas).

Alcohol Package on Cruises

Alcohol Package on Cruises

Usually, the alcohol packages are about $45-$65 per person per day.   I don’t know about you but I consider it pretty steep.    Maybe, I think like that because I don’t really drink alcohol so at any price it would not be value for me.

Normally, the cruise line adds another 15% tip to all drinks too.  If you are buying alcohol drinks without a package the drinks are about $8-$12.  So you would need to drink on average 5 to 8 drinks if you drink the inexpensive beverages to get your value from the alcohol drink package.  I’ve heard people indicating they are continuing to drink so they can get value out of their package.

Another thing to think about is the days you will be on board the ship.  If you book a 7-day cruise, your costs are from $315-$455 just for the alcohol drink package per person.

  • Non-Alcohol Package – normally includes unlimited coffees and teas, bottled water, non-alcoholic cocktails, and sodas.

Non-Alcohol Package on Cruises

Non-Alcohol Package on Cruises


At restaurants, hot tea, cold tea, and tap water are usually free.  Bottled water varies widely in cost per bottle depending on the brand.  An average price for the package would be between $18 and $22.

Some of the cruise lines also offered different packages including soda, wine, beer, and bottled water.  One of the cruise lines is offering a straight 12 sodas for a designated price.  These types of bulk buying will save you money and allow you to have cold sodas etcetera in your cabin.  I have provided links to the main cruise lines for you to take a look at the packages available.

I, personally forgo the drink packages and buy the drinks on my cruise card as I want them.  The cruise card is normally attached to a credit card you have provided prior to the cruise.  Your cruise card serves as your stateroom key, identification card, and your charge card.  Most cruise lines do not accept cash so be forewarned.

If you need more information please follow the links to some of the main cruise lines below:

Princess Cruises Drink Packages

Royal Caribbean Drink Packages

Celebrity Cruises Drink Packages


Important Information:

Remember all cruise lines require minimum gratuities set by the cruise line.  The cruises companies,  that I am familiar with have a gratuity charge between $13-$20 per person per day.  I add the gratuities charged with the charge per person per day of the upfront cost of a cruise prior to booking so I have the real cost of the cruise per day.  I like to know if I can afford the cruise before I book it.

Please tell me about your experience with cruise drink packages.  Do you consider them to be good value?


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