Royal Caribbean drinks package increase

Three cruise lines hike drinks packages by up to 10%

Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line have upped prices for their drink packages.

Some packages have risen by up to 10%, adding almost $14 to the cost of drinks per day.

Once service charges of up to 20 per cent are added, passengers can find themselves paying  AU$166 a day – though many find the line will use drinks packages as an incentive, bundling it free with the price of their cruise.

Selecting the right drinks package is an important part of a cruise for those who enjoy good wines or beer with their meals, or cocktails by the pool.

But, like mobile phone plans, there is such an array it can be confusing.

So how do the packages stack up?

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line increased the price of its Ultimate Beverage Package earlier this month from US$89 per person, per day to US$99,

Including an automatic 20 per cent gratuity, the full cost of the Ultimate Beverage package per person, per day, is about AU$166. The Ultimate Beverage Package includes a selection of soft drinks, beers, spirits, cocktails and wines by the glass.

They have also hiked the price for its less-inclusive Corks & Caps Wine and Beer package from US$59 to US$65. The Corks & Caps Wine and Beer package includes soft drinks, beers and wines by the glass only. Drinks that are over $15 per glass are not included in the packages.

Royal Caribbean

Starting next year, Royal Caribbean will also be increasing the price of three of their drink packages onboard all sailings.

The Deluxe package will cost from US$63 to US$70 (up from US$57 to US$63) per person, per day, depending on the sailing. The package includes cocktails, beer, wine, coffee, tea, bottled water, and a 40 per cent discount on bottles of wine under US$100, along with a 20 per cent discount of bottles over US$100.

Including an automatic 18 per cent gratuity, the full cost of the Deluxe package goes up to about AU$116 per person, per day.

The Refreshment package which includes teas, coffee, bottled water, sodas, juices, will cost US$29 (up from a range of US$26 to US$29), and their Classic Soda package providing unlimited sodas will cost US$12.99 (up from between US$8.50 and US$9.50).

Carnival Cruise Line

If you’re sailing on a Carnival Cruise Line ship outside of Australia, they have also raised the prices of their most popular drink package late last year. The Cheers! package increased to US$51.95 per person, per day when purchased pre-cruise; and US$56.95 per person, per day purchased onboard.

Including an automatic 15 per cent gratuity, the full cost of the Cheers! Package goes up to about AU$92 per person, per day.

Previously the package ran US$49.95 per person per day pre-cruise and US$54.95 per person per day onboard.

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