Cruise FactsCruise Drink Packages: Prices of 7 Cruise Lines Compared

Cruise Drink Packages: Prices of 7 Cruise Lines Compared

We compared the drink package prices from seven different cruise lines to see which one costs more and what is actually included.

Cruise ship and drinks: Which cruise lines charge the most for drink packages

The question of drink packages when on a cruise is one of the most common topics people ask about when preparing for their voyage.

How much will it cost?  Is it really worth it?  What drinks are included in the drink package?  And will I really save money if I buy it?

Every cruise line has their own assortment of packages to choose from so you can order just the right package and not end up paying for something you aren’t going to use.

If you just want soda and juice, there’s usually a drink package for that as well.

In this article we will compare the price of drink packages of 7 different cruise lines.  We will also see what is included in this price.

restaurant on harmony of the seas cruise ship

In the table below we have detailed each cruise line’s most inclusive — and expensive — drink package. 

We’ve also listed the added gratuity or service charge that will get added to your bill.

You will notice that MSC Cruises does not add a gratuity charge to their drink packages but has decided to include the cost into the package itself.

For a list of what is included in each package keep reading below the table.

Price of drink packages compared between 7 cruise lines:


Cruise Line Package Gratuity Charge Cost/Day
Carnival CHEERS 18% $59.95
Royal Caribbean Deluxe Bev. 18% *$63 – $89
Norwegian Premium Plus Bev. 20% $138
MSC Cruises Premium Extra 0 $85
Holland America Elite Beverage 18% $59.99
Princess Cruises Premier Beverage 18% $84.99
Celebrity Cruises Premium 20% $109

* Royal Caribbean utilizes dynamic pricing so there is no fixed amount for every cruise.
*Prices are also subject to change.

Also note that Carnival Corp. owned cruise lines have a daily limit with alcoholic drinks.  Carnival, Holland America, and Princess have a limit of 15 drinks within a 24 hour period.

The other cruise lines on this list do not have this limit.

By the way, you will almost always pay less for your drink package when you buy it BEFORE your cruise rather than waiting until you’re on the cruise ship.

The prices above reflect what they might be if you buy pre-cruise.


What is included in these top tier drink packages?

  • Carnival Cruise Line: CHEERS includes spirits, cocktails, beer, wine by the glass (if $20 or lower on menu), soda, energy drinks, specialty coffee, hot tea, bottled water, other non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Royal Caribbean International: Deluxe Beverage Package includes cocktails, spirits, liquor, beer and wine by the glass, juices, still and sparkling water, fountain soda, non-alcoholic beverages, souvenir cup, 40% discount on bottled wines priced up to $100.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line: The Premium Plus Beverage Package includes top-shelf cocktails and spirits; beer, champagne, and wine by the glass; select premium bottles of champagne and wine with dinner; unlimited soft drinks and juices; unlimited still and sparkling water; all Starbucks coffee and specialty drinks; energy drinks.
  • MSC Cruises: The Premium Extra package includes cocktails (alcoholic and non), spirits, liqueurs, cordials, wine by the glass, champagne by the glass, draft and bottled beer, specialty hot drinks, 25% discount on bottled wine and champagne.
  • Holland America Line: The Elite Beverage Package includes spirits, cocktails, wines $15 or under, and all non-alcoholic beverages like soda, juices, energy drinks, and coffee.
  • Princess Cruises: The Premier Beverage Package includes top shelf spirits, wines by the glass, cocktails, champagne, bourbon, whiskey, 25% discount on wine bottles and large bottles of water or soda cans.
  • Celebrity Cruises: The Premium Package includes spirits, cocktails, beers, champagne, gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, liqueurs, drinks listed up to $17 on menu, 20% off bottles of wine, coffee, and juices.

To truly know which of the drink packages above offers the best value you have to consider how much each cruise line charges for its drinks as well.

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The pricing in the chart above can be misleading if you don’t know what actually comes with that price.

To dig a little deeper into what each cruise line offers with their drink package I have linked to each line’s page below:

Here is an example of some of the drink pricing that can be found on a Carnival cruise ship.

Sample of Carnival prices for drinks when purchases individually (prices subject to change):

  • Beer: starting at $6.50 (mostly 16-ounces)
  • Wine by the glass: starting at $9.50
  • Mixed Drinks: $7.50 – $20.00
  • Specialty Cocktails: starting at $10.50 (excluding souvenir glassware and premium selections)
  • Soft Drinks: $2.75
  • Specialty Coffees: $2.50 – $4.25
  • Energy Drinks: $4.95
  • Water (San Benedetto bottled water and Coconut Water): $1.50 – $5.00

Montage of glasses with beverages on a cruise ship

What about non-alcoholic drink packages on cruise ships?

Do you just want to drink soda and specialty coffee on your cruise?  How about an assortment of freshly-squeezed juices without having to worry about extra cost?

Most cruise most cruise lines have a special package for you as well.

In the table below we listed the price for each cruise line’s alcohol-free drink package.  Remember, most of these will have a gratuity service charge added as well.

Price of non-alcoholic drink packages line-by-line


Cruise Line Package Cost/Day
Carnival Bottomless Bubbles $9.50
Royal Caribbean Refreshment $29 – $38
Royal Caribbean Classic Soda $13 – $15
Norwegian Unlimited Soda $10
Norwegian Unlimited Starbucks $13
MSC Cruises Alcohol-Free $26
Holland America Quench $17.95
Holland America Coca-Cola $8.00
Princess Cruises Zero-Alcohol $39.99
Princess Cruises Classic Soda $12.99
Celebrity Cruises Zero Proof $30

*prices subject to change

Not every non-alcoholic drink package is the same with each cruise line.  Some will offer specialty coffees and mocktails in the package, and for some, like Carnival’s Bottomless Bubbles package, you will just get free soda and juice.

Norwegian Cruise Line has two different drink packages for those avoiding alcohol.  One is for unlimited soda, and the other offers unlimited Starbucks coffees and specialty drinks.

Similarly, Holland America also has two separate non-alcoholic packages.  One is for those who just want unlimited soda and then there’s the Quench pakcage, for those wanting unlimited soda and specialty coffee.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise FactsCruise Drink Packages: Prices of 7 Cruise Lines Compared

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