The Low Down on Cruise Drinks Packages!
Are Cruise Line Drinks Packages really good value for money?
I say this as I have had a few issues with customers being disappointed at what they have received once they board the ship. Most Companies have restrictions on their Drinks packages either quoting specific drinks or Brands that are included or a monetary value that you can order up to for example Drinks on the menu up to $8. They often have more than one level of Package as well and this is where you need to check, as more often than not, if the Drinks Package is Free it is the lower option or even a special option not usually available and not the top package.
In addition to this where drinks packages are offered free this is usually only to the first 2 passengers in the cabin so don’t get caught out if you are booking a cabin for 3 or 4. Always check what you are getting for your money.
If you have a favourite tipple then it is definitely worth while doing a little research to check if firstly, they stock that particular brand and secondly if it is included in the drinks package that they offer. Do not assume it is, even if you believe it is a fairly common drink.
Here are links to details on some of the Top cruise line drinks package details.
If there is a cruise line you don’t see and want to find out more then let me know.
Don’t get caught out either if you think you are going on a cruise where you will be able to purchase a drinks package once on-board and then find out they don’t offer one. P&O for example offer a number of pre-paid Wine packages, a soft drinks card and a coffee card allowing so many drinks for a set price but they do not offer an all-inclusive drinks package. The same applies to Cunard. They did trial a drinks package last year but do not appear to have adopted this permanently.
Another point to mention, when you know they serve your favourite Gin or Vodka etc… is what about in the cabin? Do not assume you can hit the mini bar or order from room service and get it included in your package. Many Cruise lines still charge extra for this so don’t get caught out or all those pre-dinner drinking sessions could add up to a pretty penny on your final bill.
Some of the higher star cruise lines offer drinks as standard so if you have expensive tastes in drinks they may be worth checking out.
Regent Seven Seas
Free Unlimited Beverages Including Fine Wines and Premium Spirits
Free Open Bars and Lounge and Free In-suite Mini-Bar replenished Daily
Silver Seas Cruises
Beverages In-Suite and Throughout the Ship with a Butler thrown in no less!
Select wines, premium spirits, specialty coffees and soft drinks are complimentary in all bars, lounges and dining rooms.
Your suite’s mini-bar is also stocked with your preferences and replenished by your butler upon request.
Complimentary select fine wines, champagne and premium spirits throughout the ship
In your Stateroom: Complimentary soft drinks and bottled water as well as complimentary select beer, wine and spirits upon request or if staying in a penthouse you have a stocked bar replenished by your butler.
Finally, another note of Caution. Check the Drinking Age on-board.
As a general Rule if it is a UK Ship the drinking age is18 years.
If it is a US Ship it is 21 Years however in the Mediterranean this is often reduced to 18 but restrictions may apply as you may be limited to beer and wine and no spirits.
In the USA or Caribbean the drinking age is usually 21 on all US ships as one couple who I booked on their honeymoon discovered and they could not drink for the whole cruise. They were at least aware of this before they went but even so, fancy not being able to celebrate on your honeymoon!
So just check where you are going and what the regulations are with the cruise line to avoid disappointment.
It is also worth noting that most Cruise lines allow you to take one bottle of wine per person on-board with you at embarkation to consume in the cabin. Great if you want to take Champers for a special occasion but again don’t get caught out and take too much or try to take spirits as these will more than likely be confiscated from you and don’t try to bring it on board at the ports of call as this only applies to embarkation. Again cruise lines do differ so check before you travel.
If you have any specific questions about cruise Drinks packages or alcohol policies please feel free to ask or if you have any comments about your own experiences I would love to hear them.