Royal Caribbean Increases Drink Package Prices By Up to 35%
Royal Caribbean has announced that is increasing the cost of drink packages for its 2019 cruises. The increases range from 10% for the deluxe beverage package to a nearly 40% increase for the classic soda package. The changes are effective on January 1, 2019. If you have any cruises planned in 2019, you may want to see if the price has changed yet. I have three cruises booked for 2019 and I’ve noticed that the price for the Deluxe Package is the same for one of my sailings, but on another one of my sailings it has increased $3 per day from where it was.
Here is a chart comparison of the daily drink package pricing:
|PACKAGE||2018 SAILINGS||2019 SAILINGS|
|Deluxe||$57 – $63||$63 – $70|
|Refreshment||$26 – $29||$29|
|Classic Soda||$8.50 – $9.50||$12.99|
The Deluxe Package on Royal Caribbean is usually what people consider the unlimited alcohol package and includes cocktails, beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, premium coffee, tea, fountain soda and bottled water. The Refreshment Package includes premium coffees and teas, bottled water, fresh-squeezed juices, non-alcoholic cocktails and fountain soda. The Classic Soda Package offers unlimited refills of soft drinks. It should be noted that the Classic Soda package will see the greatest increase in price of up to 35%.
Taxes and gratuities
Keep in mind that this chart does not include the 18% gratuity that will be added at the time of purchase. It also does not include a 10% VAT in cruises that are required to charge the VAT. So the Deluxe package with gratuities will cost you between $74.34 and $82.60 per day. The cost for the Refreshment Package with gratuities will cost $34.22 a day. And the cost for the Classic Soda Package will cost you $15.33 a day.
Discounts on Drink Packages
It’s important to point out here that Royal Caribbean regularly offers discounts on its drink packages. I’ve seen emails on prior cruises offering 20-30% off the listed price. A couple of weeks ago, I paid $50 a day for the Deluxe Package, which is $7 less a day than the posted price had been. I also know they have offered Black Friday sales of up to 50% in prior years. So if you have a cruise coming up, you may want to keep your eyes open for a sale like that.
Other Cruise Line Pricing
Carnival has not yet announced a change to its current pricing for its Cheers! package, which is its version of Royal Caribbean’s Deluxe Package. If you purchase Carnival’s Cheer! package in advance, you pay $51.95 per day (not including gratuity. It costs $56.95 if you purchase the package onboard the cruise. That is significantly cheaper than Royal Caribbean’s alcohol beverage package. Carnival also has a Bottomless Bubbles Package, which is for unlimited soda. That costs $4.95 a day for children and $7.50 a day for adults (not including 15% gratuity).
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line recently announced its own increase for beverage packages. Their unlimited alcohol package, the Ultimate Beverage Package, which also included soda and other beverages, currently costs $89 per day. They have increased that to $99 per day. Also keep in mind that Norwegian charges a 20% gratuity for their drink package, rather than the 18% charged by Royal Caribbean. The Corks and Caps Wine and Beer Package, which does not include soda and other refreshments, increased to $65 a day from $59 a day. Norwegian also offers a soda-only package starting at $5.95 a day.
It is important to note, however, that many of the cruises on Norwegian offer an unlimited alcohol package “included” with the price.