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Unless you're booked on an upscale or luxury cruise, most drinks will not be included in the cruise fare. Basics like tap water and some juices will be, but not soft drinks or alcoholic beverages unless you buy them individually or tack on a package to bundle more in. Below we take a look at such packages onboard Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International.
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line offers the simplest bundle of all, its singular CHEERS! beverage program available for advanced purchase at $49.95 per person per day plus 15 percent gratuity. Once onboard, the amount increases to $54.95 plus the aforementioned gratuity. Either way, it must be purchased for the entire length of the cruise.
For that price, guests will get all spirits (cocktails, cognacs, whiskies, beer and glasses of wine, limited to $50 or lower menu price per serving), zero-proof frozen cocktails, sodas, juices, specialty coffees and teas, milkshakes, RockStar energy drinks, Powerade, Vitamin Water, Coconut Water, Honest Tea and bottled water.
Plus, the package affords a 25 percent discount off any spirit, cocktail or wine by the glass priced over $50 per serving and wine and champagne by the bottle, as well as all beverage classes and seminars.
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Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line offers a range of beverage packages priced according to inclusions. Two soft drink packages are available with the Children's Soda Program (ages 12 and under) costing $5.50 per person per day and the Adult & Teen Soda Program (ages 13 & older) costing $7.50 per person per day, both plus 18 percent gratuity and a required full cruise-length purchase.
Soda programs include a souvenir thermal mug and unlimited Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mt. Dew, ginger ale, tonic water and club soda. There are also available bottled water packages starting at $22.95 for a 1-liter 6-pack and going to $59.95 for a 1-liter 24-pack.
Alternatively, for $59 per person per day for the entire cruise plus the above gratuity, guests can buy the Corks and Caps Wine and Beer Package including a wide selection of soft drinks, beers and wines by the glass. Or for $79 per person per day for the entire cruise plus gratuity, The Ultimate Beverage Package upgrades passengers to a wide selection of soft drinks, beers, spirits, cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer up to and including $15.
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Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International has six total tiers that must be purchased for the duration of the cruise, except for the water one. The water package is first available in set quantities ranging from 8 to 24 bottles at up to 25 percent discounted prices.
From there, the Royal Refreshment Package includes a Coca-Cola Souvenir cup and unlimited fountain soda for $9.44 per person per day (including 18 percent gratuity) according to Royal Caribbean Blog (the cruise line does not display prices until logged in for the sailing). The Royal Replenish Package for $22.42 per person per day (including 18 percent gratuity) adds bottled water, sparkling water, fresh juices and premium coffee and tea to fountain soda.
As for alcohol, the Select Package for $46.02 per person per day includes beer, wines by the glass and a 20 percent bottled wine discount. The Premium Package for $57.82 per person per day adds on cocktails and bottled water. And the Ultimate Package for $69.62 per person per day further tacks on fresh juices and premium coffee and tea and ups the bottled wine discount to 40 percent.
Jason Leppert - Senior Writer, Cruises and Cruise Travel - is a San Diego-based cruising expert with more than 100 sailings...
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