AROUND THE WORLD BY SHIP
All You Can Drink packages are gaining favor among ocean cruise travelers and are being rolled out on to more ships by more cruise lines than ever. Some heavy-drinking travelers have done the math and know they will come out ahead. Others just like the idea of not having a bunch of individual charges on their shipboard account. Each cruise line is a little different in the details and execution of their all-you-can-drink plan and knowing the details can often determine if buying one is a good idea.
While All You Can Drink programs vary in price and benefits among lines that offer them, expect to pay about $50 per person, per day to drink well-brand cocktails, house wines and domestic beer. Universally, all plans require that if one passenger on a booking opts for the program, all guests over 21 years of age in that same stateroom must also participate. Users will be served one drink at a time, need to show their cruise card to prove they bought the plan and will still not be overserved.
Carnival Cruise Lines calls it the Cheers! program (formerly the My Awesome Bar program). The price is $42.95 per person per day plus an automatic 15% gratuity of $6.44 and can be used to order all wines by the glass, beer and individual cocktails priced at $10 and lower.
Offered on Carnival Legend, Carnival Conquest, Carnival Breeze, Carnival Dream, Carnival Splendor and Carnival Victory, Cheers! program members can also order full bottles of wine and champagne, as well as wines by the glass, beers and individual cocktails priced above $10,at a 25% discount.
Royal Caribbean International has two plans.
The Classic Beverage Package includes beer and house wines by the glass along with all non-alcoholic cocktails, fountain soda and juices for $45 per person, per day, including gratuities.
The Premium Beverage Package includes beer, house wines by the glass, all non-alcoholic cocktails, fountain soda and juices plus frozen alcoholic drinks, as well as all alcoholic cocktails including premium brands for $55 per person, per day, including gratuities.
The packages are available on all Royal Caribbean ships sailing itineraries of seven nights.
Celebrity Cruises has been in the all-you-can-drink business since 2010 and has a program that starts with a basic, Non-Alcoholic Package ($14 per person, per day) that includes Coca Cola products, fresh squeezed and bottled juices, premium coffees and teas and non-premium bottled water.
One step up, the Premium Non-Alcoholic Package ($18 per person, per day) gets premium bottled water from Evian, Perrier and San Pellegrino, specialty coffees and teas, non-alcoholic frozen drinks and smoothies, Red Bull and specialty waters from Vitamin Water.
Moving into alcoholic beverages, Celebrity has their Classic Package ($44 per person, per day) that includes everything in the Classic Non-Alcoholic package as well as all Beers up to $5 per serving, and spirits, cocktails, frozen drinks, and wines by the glass up to $8 per serving.
The Premium Package ($44 per person, per day) includes all the benefits of our Premium Non-Alcoholic Package. In addition, you can enjoy our entire selection of Beers as well as Spirits, Cocktails and Wines by the Glass up to $12 per serving.
The Princess Cruises version includes all cocktails, spirits, beer and wine priced under $10, plus nonalcoholic items like soda, mocktails, shakes, coffee, tea, espresso and specialty drinks. Bonus: a substantial 40 percent discount on bottled wines priced under $100 plus food items included with their popular coffee card like crepes and gelato.
Available on cruises longer than seven days, the price $49 per day, per person, plus a 15 percent gratuity. Adults traveling in the same stateroom must purchase the package and minors traveling with adults who add the package also must buy the Unlimited Soda & More package.
Norwegian Cruise Line, relatively new in the all you can drink business, is testing an all-inclusive drink package on three of its ships, Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Jade, priced at $49 per person per day plus gratuity.
Want to know more about these and other All Inclusive Beverage Plans? CruiseCritic has all the information and keeps it updated as these plans evolve.