Everyone that’s going on a cruise always asks me this question: “Is the alcohol package (a.k.a the “Deluxe Drink Package” worth it?” There’s lots to consider, and everyone’s biggest debate when planning their cruise. There are two other packages below this one that don’t include alcohol, but this will cover all the drinks you could possible want- including your sodas, waters, juices, wine, and alcohol. Let’s look at both the pros and cons:
- It’s expensive. Let’s not beat around the bush. Between my fiancé and I, we spent at least $700 on the package. This varies based on what cruise ship your on, but I’ve heard in 2019 prices are somewhere between $60-$70 per person per night. You could literally buy a cheap hotel for that price, but instead this is for just your alcohol.
- You also cannot share a drink package (I know, everyone’s first thought). If you’re sharing a room with someone, and they get the drink package, everyone above the age of 21 must get it as well. It’s like a room package deal. In other words, my fiancé wanted to get the drink package. By default, I had to get the drink package as well since I am over the age of 21. So, we couldn’t just buy one, we had to pay for two. It’s their way of ensuring you’re not trying to cheat the system.
- Tipping- Another annoying factor about the package was they give you a receipt with a “tip” line every time we got a drink at the bar. Each time, we had to put “zero”, something we weren’t used to doing and felt uncomfortable with. I remember being very annoyed because we’d already paid hundreds per person to have this alcohol. Not only that, but they openly tell you that 18% gratuity is already included in the drink package.
- You can only use it on this ship. In other words, this doesn’t include any alcohol on the excursions. For a seven day cruise, assuming you have three stops, and you’re gone most of the day, your drink package won’t be used. So really, it’s like maybe 60% of the time you’ll have a chance to use it. Depending on the cruise, you may have more time at sea. In that case, you’ll get more of your money’s worth.
- More than anything, it’s a convenience. Without the package, you’ll have to be carrying around your wallet everywhere. With the drink package, you just use your card they give you on the cruise. It’s the same one to get into your room, so you’ll need it regardless.
- You won’t be told no to any alcoholic drinks. (The only exception is wine bottles. Even still, they give you a 20% discount). You’ll feel like you’re living in royalty just being handed a drink and not having to pay.
- You won’t have to sit and be reminded of all the money you’ve spent and are continuing to spend on your vacation. Like, it’s a vacation. You’ve already spent a ton to be there, so if you have the money, enjoy it a little more by not constantly worrying about how much more you’re going to spend on alcohol. People are always going to continue upselling you- so make it one less thing to worry about. You can just prepay for it and be done with it.
- Tipping- You don’t have to tip. If they give you your receipt, don’t feel bad about putting a big fat zero on the line. It’s weird, but eventually you’ll be thinking of it as a benefit.
At the end of the day, it will be a personal and room choice. If you’re out there to have fun with no kids, you should go for it. If you’re not a big drinker and want to save the money, here’s your chance to save. Go with the non-alcoholic drink package instead. You can always pack a bottle of wine in your suitcase to drink on the boat. If you’re wanting my opinion, I’d do it again. I’m not a huge drinker, but I always enjoy trying those crazy (and delicious) drinks they pass out while by the pool. I otherwise, would have not spent $10-$12 on them, but I instead get to enjoy the experience. Plus any other day at sea, with no plans, grabbing a tasty drink seems like a logical thing to do. Hopefully, this gives you another opinion on whether you should go for it. Either way, I hope you enjoy your cruise! Let me know your feedback and thoughts on this deluxe drink package as well? Did you find it was worth it?