12 Things You Must Know Before Purchasing a Royal Caribbean Drink Package!

One of the most popular add ons when you book a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation is Royal Caribbean’s Deluxe Beverage Package. The beverage package can be pricey, but could it could also be a fantastic value. One of the the questions that consistently comes up in our Facebook Group, Royal Cruise Group is “Should we buy the drink package?” Well we’ve prepared 12 tips that will help you decide if the package is right for you.

 

1. Pre-purchase your beverage package online

Pre-purchasing your beverage package online through the Cruise Planner is the best way to get the lowest price on beverage package! Royal will generally offer you 30% off the beverage package and will occasionally go to 40% off on select sailings. You should book the package early and if the price happens to drop you can cancel and re-book at the lower price point. Now it’s important to remember the package is priced per person, per day and they will add an 18% gratuity to the total.

 

2. All guests in the same stateroom must purchase

Royal Caribbean does require all guests over 21 years of age staying in the same stateroom to purchase the deluxe beverage package, even if only one member of your party desires to purchase the package. Now there are exceptions to this rule where they will allow you to substitute a non-alcoholic beverage package, however you will need to call in and speak with a Royal Caribbean representative to discuss your specific needs and options.

 

3. Will you drink enough to make it worthwhile?

This boils down to your individual habits while you are on vacation. It’s important to remember that the package not only covers alcoholic beverages up $13, but it also covers non-alcoholic drinks such as bottled water, freshly squeezed orange juice, specialty coffee & teas and one of our favorites… energy drinks. With all this in mind, you could easily consume north of 8 beverages a day with a mix of the above mentioned choices and still get your money’s worth.

In our past sailings we’ve started the day with specialty coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice before heading to the solarium where we would enjoy a combination of beers and premium cocktails throughout the day. Then a lot of bottled waters and finishing the day with a glass or two of wine, a redbull to keep us going and then cocktails in the casino to end the night. This ads up to an average of 10 plus beverages a day and we definitely get our money’s worth. At this rate we never felt like we were over indulging.

 

4. Call your liquor

Your beverage package includes top shelf premium brands. When ordering, instead of asking for a vodka and cran you should specify your liquor by ordering a Tito’s and cran instead as this would be included in the package. There are many premium brands available and they would be included as the package includes beverages up to $13

 

5. Try some new drinks

You’re on vacation and this is a great time to try out some new drinks and find your new favorite cocktail. Don’t like the taste of what you ordered? Put it down and order something else. We love experimenting with new beverages almost every time we sail.

 

6. Use your package at private stops

When deciding on whether to purchase the package, a stop at one of the private islands should be a consideration as it greatly increases the value of the package. When you purchase the beverage package you’re also able to use it at Royal Caribbean’s private destinations, Labadee and Perfect Day at CocoCay.

 

7. Don’t share

A common misconception of the beverage package is being able to share it with other guests. If you have purchased the package it is for you only and you will only be served 1 drink per SeaPass.

 

8. Don’t over tip

Be careful about over tipping, when you buy the package you are automatically charged an 18% gratuity on the package and that covers all drinks ordered on your voyage. However if you want to tip extra, just remember gratuity has already been included.

 

9. Do you have to purchase a package?

No, The beverage package is a nice way to splurge but is not required. The free beverages included are tap water, milk, tea, coffee (regular and decaf), lemonade, iced tea, flavored waters, juices (at breakfast and not fresh squeezed) and hot chocolate. If you’re deciding to purchase the beverage package you’ll need to decide whether you will drink enough each day over the entire duration of your cruise to cover the cost of the package. Take into consideration the number of days of your sailing, how many days you’ll be off the ship (excluding the private destinations) and the number of drinks you think you’ll have on a daily basis. These are all very important factors when making a determination on the beverage package. The bottom line is no it’s not required but definitely nice to have if you enjoy adult beverages, premium teas and coffee, sodas and such.

 

10. Don’t overlook the non-alcoholic beverages

If you’ve ordered the Deluxe Beverage Package it also includes numerous other non-alcoholic beverages on the ship such as: Bottled water, fresh squeezed orange juice, latte’s, espresso, red bull and more.

 

11. It works at restaurants.

When you sit down for dinner at a specialty restaurant or the main dining room don’t forget your package works there also. You can order anything from a glass of wine to a hand crafted cocktail, even a cappuccino with your dessert. This is something that is easily overlooked when calculating how many beverages you’ll consume daily.

 

12. It’s truly unlimited

Unlike other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean’s beverage packages are truly unlimited. The only time you can expect not to be served is if you have had too much to drink and you’re really showing it. Just remember to keep it classy!

 

Let’s break down the 3  beverage package options Royal Caribbean currently offers for 2020.

 

Classic Soda Package

Coca-Cola souvenir cup and unlimited soda at any venue onboard or at the private islands as well as Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain beverage refills.

Onboard pricing is currently $12.99 – $15.00/per day for 2019-2020 sailings.

 

Refreshment Package

  • A Coca-Cola souvenir cup 
  • Unlimited soda at any venue onboard or at the private islands and Coca-Cola Freestyle beverage refills 
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails)
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Fresh-squeezed juices

Onboard pricing is currently $29.00 – $38.00/per day for 2020 sailings

 

Deluxe Beverage Package

  • A Coca-Cola souvenir cup 
  • Unlimited soda at any venue onboard or at the private islands and Coca-Cola Freestyle beverage refills 
  • Non-alcoholic cocktails (mocktails)
  • Bottled still and sparkling water
  • Premium coffees and teas
  • Fresh-squeezed juices
  • Spirits and Liquor cocktails
  • Beer 
  • Wine by the Glass
  • A 40% discount on bottled wines priced up to $100
  • and 20% discount on wine bottle prices above $100

Onboard pricing is currently  $63.00 – $89.00/per day for 2020 sailings

Average Beverage Costs Without a Beverage Package Before Gratuity

Cappuccino $4.00
Espresso $2.50
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice $4.95
Red Bull $4.50
Wine White/Red/Sparking $10.00-$16.00
Beer $6.50
Cocktails/Frozen Drinks $11.00
Water Bottle $3.25
Sodas $2.95

Beverage Cost Breakdown

We have created a sample beverage cost breakdown of a typical cruise based on what we consume on a 7 day cruise with 3 stops and one of which is a private island.

Onboard pricing is currently  $63.00 – $89.00/per day for 2020 sailings so let’s find a number right in the middle and say they are $76 per person per day for the purposes of this cost breakdown.

beverage breakdown

We hope this has helped you when deciding whether or not to purchase the beverage package. 

If it has, please consider subscribing on YouTube and to our e-mail list so you get notified right away the next time we post.

Watch the video here

Subscribe to Royal Cruise Blog and experience Royal dining, ship offerings and how to get the most our of ports of call. There will be free giveaways and discounts along the way. Don’t forget to add your birthday, because you might get something special! 

Keep in touch by connecting with us on social media and subscribing on YouTube so you get notified right away the next time we post.

Want to discuss this topic further? Come join in the conversation in our Facebook Group: Royal Cruise Group


Like, follow, subscribe, share and comment on our posts and videos. Small things like that really help us!


Shop on Amazon? Do your normal shopping but if you click on this affiliate link first and we get a few pennies commission off of the qualifying items you order.


You can also support by shopping our Etsy Store

RCB Etsy

What we use:

Gimbal – https://amzn.to/2M00kzH
Condenser Microphone – https://amzn.to/2KEPNo1
Night Vision Camera – https://amzn.to/2PpUaWd

Should You Buy The Key on Royal Caribbean?

What is The Key?

The Key is a program that provides Royal Caribbean International guests with premier access to exclusive experiences during their cruise vacation. Now whether you should purchase this entitlement is an important decision you will need to make before you embark as it’s not sold once on-board the ship. So let’s break down the key benefits of why you might (or might not) want to splurge on this package.

HTTFI_RCI_TheKey

What Do I get?

For starters let’s talk about the price, the package starts at $24.99 per person, per day, however the pricing will vary depending on your ship and itinerary. The Key must also be purchased by each person over age 6 in the same stateroom. Your SeaPass will also have an icon indicating you have purchased the package.

As far as amenities go, The Key Guests will enjoy the following exclusive and special amenities during their cruise vacation:

  • Priority check-in and boarding on Day 1.
  • Carry-on bag drop off in the Main Dining Room with stateroom delivery
  • Exclusive welcome lunch in the Main Dining Room with a delicious menu featuring Chops Grille on embarkation day (You won’t be fighting the crowds for a seat in the Windjammer)
  • Private hours at onboard activities including Rock Climbing, FlowRider and more
  • Priority departure at ports of call from ship-to-shore
  • Seats in the exclusive VIP seating section at shows in the Main theater, Aqua Theater, Studio B, and Two70
  • VOOM® Surf & Stream 1 Device high speed internet – 1 package per paying guest
  • On debarkation day, an exclusive a la carte breakfast and choice departure

Should I buy It?

If you were already thinking about purchasing the VOOM high speed internet package it might be a good idea to take a look at The Key. A large amount of the cost of this entitlement is built around internet access that is included.

Let’s assume you were already purchasing the VOOM unlimited Surf & Stream package for one device, that normally cost around $14.99 per day. So at $24.99 per person, per day that difference is around $10 day. However if you buy a multi-device internet plan all that math just went right out the window.

Priority embarkation & disembarkation is a great benefit and we love being able to get on or off our ship faster than other guests. There’s nothing worse than waiting around especially if you are at a port where tendering is required and the lines are notoriously long for a tender boat to get you ashore.

On embarkation day, guests with The Key entitlement generally board with other Diamond Plus guests. This comes in real handy if you are new to cruising with Royal Caribbean and don’t have the priority status afforded by a higher tier in the Crown and Anchor loyalty program.

Priority access to premium activities is also included with The Key. During your cruise there will be blocks of time for the FlowRider and rock climbing wall reserved exclusively for those with The Key entitlement. There will also be reserved seating at the different show venues held for those with The Key.

So, Is it worth buying?

Just like purchasing a beverage package, it all comes down to whether you will take advantage of the amenities offered. The meat and potatoes of the package is the priority access afforded which can help lessen your wait times onboard.

If you’re Diamond status or higher in the Crown and Anchor program or you’ve chosen a suite it’s probably not worth it to purchase The Key as some of the benefits offered are similar to what’s offered by CAS or suite benefits.

Like we said in the beginning, if you were going purchase a VOOM internet package it makes sense to splurge on The Key if you would take advantage of the priority access entitlements.

In the end, The Key is a way to enjoy some VIP service that normally wouldn’t be available without a higher Crown and Anchor Society loyalty level or purchasing a suite. Do you think The Key is worth it? Sound off in the comments and let us know!

 

BOOK TODAY

Subscribe to Royal Cruise Blog and experience Royal dining, ship offerings and how to get the most our of ports of call. There will be free giveaways and discounts along the way. Don’t forget to add your birthday, because you might get something special! 

Keep in touch by connecting with us on social media and subscribing on YouTube so you get notified right away the next time we post.

Want to discuss this topic further? Come join in the conversation in our Facebook Group: Royal Cruise Group


Like, follow, subscribe, share and comment on our posts and videos. Small things like that really help us!


Shop on Amazon? Do your normal shopping but if you click on this affiliate link first and we get a few pennies commission off of the qualifying items you order.


You can also support by shopping our Etsy Store

RCB Etsy

What we use:

Gimbal – https://amzn.to/2M00kzH
Condenser Microphone – https://amzn.to/2KEPNo1
Night Vision Camera – https://amzn.to/2PpUaWd