This CruiseMapper article provides information and tips on Royal Caribbean International's/RCI's DELUXE BEVERAGE PACKAGE (all-you-can-drink package), ROYAL REFRESHMENT PACKAGE, SODA PACKAGE, WATER PACKAGE, and the COFFEE CARD - how much they cost, what is included, as well as FAQs and tips.
Note: Packages' pricing was last updated in 2023.
RCI has rolled fleetwide unlimited drink packages with alcohol included in these most special RCL all-inclusive cruise deals. For your convenience, next links jump down directly to unlimited drink packages (NEW and OLD / for comparison), drink cards and packages review (are they worth it).
- Unlimited alcohol packages are true without limits - no daily caps (how many drinks you can get). The only "limitation" is the soda fountain cups (that each package receives). Because refills are done at automated (self-serve) machines, the limit is once every 10-15 minutes. (to prevent abuse of the machines).
- In all beverage packages gratuity (18%) is included. The receipt shows base package price plus "service charge" (covering the gratuities). Adding extra gratuity is always optional.
- (NEW) Not everyone in the stateroom must purchase the drink package. Initially, there was a rule requiring every adult in the cabin to purchase the unlimited alcohol package.
- Sharing drink packages is not allowed. If you get caught sharing, the package will most probably be canceled without a refund. Still, if you buy a bottle of wine, you are allowed to share it.
- Buying drink packages on the first (embarkation) day are not mandatory. However, there must be at least 4 days left in the RCI cruise for the option to purchase drink packages later. This means on a 7-night itinerary you can buy a drink package on day 2 or 3 and pay only for the remaining days.
- Currently, RCI's all-inclusive beverage packages are available only on itineraries 4-nights or longer. Their prices are inclusive of gratuities - don't pay more, unless you want to.
- Currently, it is required packages to be purchased on 1st day (embarkation) and also by all adult guests in the same stateroom (21 years of age or older). This rule is presumably enacted to prevent the sharing of drinks.
- The list of free drinks on Royal Caribbean cruises includes tap water, milk, tea (and iced tea), coffee, lemonade, flavored waters, juices (bottled, at breakfast only), hot chocolate.
Since June 2018, RCI ship bars serve cocktails with optional plastic straws (not by default) - a new policy aiming to reduce sea pollution. "Why no straws?" signs at onboard bars fleetwide now indicate that drink orders will not automatically receive a straw, but only upon request.
RCI's "all-you-can-drink" package concept
RCI's unlimited alcohol packages can be pre-purchased online (prior departure) via royalcaribbean.com (login, go to "My Cruises", find the link "Alcoholic Beverage Packages").
The testing of the new Royal Caribbean alcohol packages started with fleet's (world's) biggest ships Allure and Oasis, promoting the idea of paying one price for unlimited Bar drinks per day. Sometimes, RCI offers a complimentary Premium beverage package as a bonus for booking higher category staterooms (balcony and above) on Transatlantic repositioning cruises (repositioncruises.com). Know that these special offers don't apply to group bookings.
In early September 2016, RCI rolled out new drink packages available fleetwide.
Deluxe Beverage Package
Due to varying prices fleetwide, the cost of the "Deluxe Beverage Package" varies between US$55-95 (in 2023 increased from $48-79) per person per day, gratuities are not included. If purchased on the ship, Deluxe Beverage Package costs more.
With the Deluxe package are offered unlimited alcohol (cocktails, liqueurs, beers, wines by the glass), also non-alcoholic drinks, premium coffees, and teas, bottled water (still and sparkling), fresh-squeezed juices, milkshakes at Johnny Rockets (menu, only while dining there), Coca-Cola souvenir cup.
By purchasing the Deluxe Package, passengers are entitled to the following additional discounts: 40% off on wine bottles priced under US$100 per bottle, and 20% off on wine bottles priced above US$100. All package-included beverages can be priced up to US$12 per drink (US$13 on Oasis-class ships). For beverages priced over US$12 (13), a credit is applied towards the beverage for paying the balance.
- Note 1: RCI's unlimited alcohol package covers individual drinks priced up to USD 12-13 (depending on the cruise ship). However, drinks priced above that threshold can also be ordered. The difference will be charged to your SeaPass account.
- Note 2: By the RCI's unlimited alcohol package you can get drinks at any of the onboard specialty restaurants, as well as at any of the ship's bars. You can also order unlimited wine (served by the glass) at dinner in MDRs (main dining rooms) and in all specialty restaurants.
- Note 3: As of 2018, Royal Caribbean UK doesn't offer Deluxe Beverage Package (with unlimited alcohol) on 2-night or 3-night itineraries. Unlimited drink packages are offered only on 4-nights or longer itineraries.
In 2018, the Deluxe Package price was fixed at US$57 pp pd.
Royal Refreshment Package
"Royal Refreshment Package" ("soda card") costs US$29 per person per day (gratuities not included).
RCI's "unlimited soda package" includes fountain sodas (including Coca-Cola drinks), non-alcoholic beverages-cocktails, bottled water (500 ml), sparkling water (375 ml), fresh-squeezed juices, premium coffee-tea, milkshakes at Johnny Rockets (only while dining there), Coca-Cola souvenir cup. The souvenir cup can be used (on select ships) at Coca-Cola Freestyle machines (touch-screen soda fountain).
Royal Caribbean defines as "premium" coffees cappuccino, espresso and latte. Espresso-based beverages are included in "Royal Refreshment" and available at any shipboard venue (restaurant, bar, cafe) serving espresso.
"Royal Refreshment" on non-Oasis class ships includes Illy or Starbucks drinks (available at Cafe Promenade and Cafe Latte-Tudes).
"Royal Refreshment" on Oasis-class ships doesn't include drinks from Starbucks kiosk, so premium coffees-teas are available only at Cafe Promenade and Park Cafe.
Unlike the Deluxe Package, "Royal Refreshment" doesn't require the other passengers in the cabin to buy it too.
In 2018, the Refreshment Package cost US$26.
Classic Soda Package
"Classic Soda Package" costs US$13 per person per day (gratuities not included). It is inclusive of unlimited fountain sodas and free Coca-Cola souvenir cup.
In 2018, the Soda Package was priced US$8,50.
Evian Bottled Water Package
"Evian Bottled Water Package" has 2 available options (prices PP, gratuity not included): US$39 (12x 1L bottles of "Evian Natural Spring Water") and US$69 (24x 1L "Evian Natural Spring Water").
Royal Caribbean unlimited beverage packages tips
Since September 6, 2016, all these new packages are available for booking via "Cruise Planner" (at https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruiseplanner).
Pre-purchased (already booked) older packages were honored as follows: "Select Package" (until depleted), "Premium Package" (upgraded to "Deluxe" for free), "Ultimate Package" (converted to "Deluxe") and "Replenish Package" (converted to "Refreshment").
In September 2016, RCI announced explicitly that Starbucks beverages are not part of the line's drink packages that include specialty coffee. Starbucks drinks are available (for purchasing) at the licensed Starbucks kiosks on board.
Keep in mind, that these packages are priced daily. This means on 7-night itineraries, you get charged 7 times (package's daily rate plus tips). This also means passengers can use the package on both embarkation and disembarkation days.
Drink package discounts are offered if they are purchased before the voyage (via Cruise Planner). Purchasing it online saves money.
Currently, RCI requires all passengers booked in the same stateroom to buy the Deluxe (unlimited alcohol) package. This change was announced in October 2017 and implemented for all cruise bookings for 2018 and beyond. The company's official statement says, quote, "each adult of legal drinking age assigned to the same stateroom must purchase this package". The only exclusions to this rule are pregnant women, recovering alcoholics, and adults who don't consume alcohol due to personal preference, medical or religious reasons. IMPORTANT: This rule is for the "Deluxe Beverage Package" only and doesn't apply to other packages.
Sharing drinks on any unlimited drink package is prohibited.
"Deluxe" (unlimited alcohol) package tips
Buy it online. It will save you time as the onboard purchase (on embarkation day only) means long lines some paperwork. It will save you money as discounts are offered for purchasing the package prior to the voyage. The price will be guaranteed as it is possible to increase. If the price drops before the voyage, you can always cancel the purchase and rebook the package - without penalty.
Remember that the Deluxe package also includes unlimited bottled water. You can stockpile the bottles in your cabin and using the water on shore tours. With any alcoholic drink order, you can ask for bottled water as part of the same order.
Remember, that when you order an alcoholic drink, you are allowed to specify the liquor - among several (higher quality) liquor brands.
Most RCI specialty restaurants have their own wines and cocktails menus created specifically for that restaurant - and often not available elsewhere onboard. Since the Deluxe (unlimited drink) package works at all restaurants, you can order drinks from their cocktail and wine menus too. Among those restaurants are Sabor Mexican, Jamie's Italian, 150 Central Park, Wonderland.
Don't share the package with other passengers. You risk your drink package benefits to be revoked (without refund).
RCI adds 18% gratuity ("service fee") listed in the drink order's breakdown. With the Deluxe package, all these gratuities are already paid, so you have no obligation to provide additional tips.
Remember that you can use the unlimited alcohol packages at both Royal Caribbean private island destinations - Coco Cay Bahamas and Labadee Haiti. To order drinks there, all you need is to show your SeaPass card to the staff.
Souvenir cups are not included with any of the RCI's drink packages.
The Deluxe Package also includes premium teas and coffees (espresso, cappuccino, latte, etc).
You have also the option to buy the Deluxe package onboard at any point in the voyage - as long as there are 4 or more days left in it.
The only place on the cruise ship where the unlimited drink package can't be used is your stateroom. It doesn't include room service or any of the minibar beverages. Still, it is allowed to bring bar-ordered drinks back to your cabin.
(NEW) Bottled alcohol packages
Since March 2017, RCI offers two new bottled alcohol packages as cabin delivery options. Both are available for online prepurchasing (prior to the cruise). The online Royal Gifts shop added the new packages offering 1 bottle of liquor combined with canned Coca-Cola drinks.
The "Absolut Vodka & Sprite Package" costs USD 38 and includes one bottle of Absolut Vodka (375 ml) combined with four Sprite cans.
The "Johnnie Walker & Coca-Cola Package" costs USD 45 and includes one bottle Johnnie Walker Red Label Whiskey (375 ml) combined with four Coca-Cola cans.
The "Bacardi Gold & Coca-Cola Package" costs USD 40 and includes one bottle of Bacardi Gold Rum (375 ml) combined with four Coca-Cola cans.
The "Bombay Sapphire & Tonic Package" costs USD 43 and includes one bottle Bombay Sapphire Gin (375 ml) combined with four Tonic water cans.
Note: Either of these alcohol packages can be purchased online (prior to the cruise) and are delivered to your stateroom upon embarkation.
Note: As of March 2017, the above, bottled alcohol packages are not available on the following RCI ships - Explorer, Mariner, Ovation, Quantum, Radiance, Splendour, Vision, and Voyager.
(NEW) Combined VOOM Internet and drinks packages
At the end of May 2017, RCI added a new Internet and soda combo package available for purchasing online. The combo package's both inclusions are unlimited - soft drinks and the internet.
- The package is named "Classic Soda And VOOM One Device".
- The unlimited soda+Internet package costs USD 19 per person per day.
- The soda+Internet package can be pre-purchased online (prior to the voyage) via RCI's "Cruise Planner".
- The combo is cheaper when compared to the separately priced unlimited drinks (USD 8,50) plus unlimited VOOM (USD 14,39), or combined price USD 22,89 pp per day.
The other RCI combo package is named "Deluxe Beverage Package and VOOM One Device". It combines unlimited alcohol package with unlimited Internet package. This unlimited alcohol+Internet package costs USD 54 per person per day.
Note: These packages are more like promotions than regularly offered cruise package deals. It is advisable to book them once spotted as they may disappear quickly. Don't forget that all RCI online purchases (via Cruise Planner) can be canceled prior to the voyage's start.
(NEW) Combined drinks and dining package
In August 2017, RCI introduced a new package that combines "Deluxe Beverage Package" with "Ultimate Dining Package". The combo offer includes:
- unlimited drinks (coffee, bottled water, sodas, juices, spirits, beer and wine by the glass)
- 40% discount on bottles of wine (priced under USD 100) with specialty restaurants dining
- 20% discount on bottles of wine (priced above USD 100) with specialty restaurants dining
- specialty restaurants dinners (every night)
- specialty restaurants lunches (on sea days)
- USD 50 bonus (added as onboard credit) for a la carte priced restaurants dining
- The "Deluxe Beverage and Ultimate Dining" package cost is USD 71 pp (adult) per day.
- Note: For now, the food+drinks package is offered only on Oasis-class ships.
RCI offers new drink package deals on all cruises. Compared to the old one, by the "beverage package policy," if only one of all roommates wants to purchase an unlimited package, he/she can and without forcing the other adults in the cabin to buy it too.
The four new beverage packages prices range from USD 20 to USD 65 pp per day. These are daily drink plans designed to better budget onboard spending and save money. All these plans provide unlimited drinks that can be ordered at any ship bar or restaurant on any RCI ship, plus at the company's private island resorts. The only exceptions where beverage packages can't be used are cabin's mini-bars and room service.
Packages are available via SeaPass cards or WOWbands, through which any of the serving staff (waiters and bartenders) can verify the package. Drink plans can be purchased either prior departure (via Cruise Planner) or on the ship. Once purchased, passengers pay for the full duration of the cruise. If purchased on board, passengers pay for the remaining days of the cruise.
Royal Replenish Package
The cheapest one is "Royal Replenish Package" (cost USD 22,42 pp, pricing inclusive of gratuity) - all non-alcoholic beverages, coffee is included. As items, this package includes Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup, fountain soda, non-alcoholic drinks, bottled water (volume 500 ml), sparkling water (volume 375 ml), fresh-squeezed juices, Premium coffees/teas.
"Select Package" (cost USD 42 pp, pricing inclusive of gratuity) - included are unlimited beer, wine by the glass, non-alcoholic cocktails, Fountain Soda, Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup, juices, plus 20% discount pricing on bottled wines.
"Premium Package" (cost USD 57 pp, pricing inclusive of gratuity) - included are unlimited wines by the glass, beer, premium cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), Fountain Soda, Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup, juices, bottled water (volume 500 ml), plus 20% discount pricing on bottled wines.
"Ultimate Package" (cost USD 67 pp, pricing inclusive of gratuity) - included are unlimited alcohol and beverages - fine wines by the glass, beer, premium cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), Fountain Soda, Coca-Cola Souvenir Cup, juices, bottled water (volume 500 ml), sparkling water (volume 375 ml), plus 20% discount pricing on (bottled wines under $100) and 40% discount (on bottled wines above $100).
RCI beverage packages tips and tricks
- Souvenir cups (alcoholic beverages, not Coca-Cola cups) are not included in any of the packages. They cost extra ($10) with an alcoholic drink.
- Don't forget - these are prices PP, for each day of your RCI vacation, must be purchased for the whole cruise duration. Know, that occasionally (on select sailings), RCI offers drink package discounted pricing. Almost all such discount deals are offered prior to sailing and via Cruise Planner.
- Occasionally, Royal Caribbean offers pre-cruise discount pricing on some beverage packages purchased online (pre-cruise) via "Cruise Planner". These are promo sales which tend to occur once every few weeks, so be sure to check the website (https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruiseplanner) for updates.
- If you've already pre-purchased beverage packages, you are also entitled to take advantage of price drops (better discount) later. Just cancel the online purchase and then re-purchase the package under the promotion.
Drink cards on RCI ships were introduced in 2015, as an alternative to the company's beverage packages. Beverage cards are available for purchasing only on the ship. The purchase can be made at almost any lounge or bar. Each card (named "10 Drinks Savings Card") must be paid in full and can be immediately used it at any onboard bar, lounge or restaurant. For each ordered drink, to indicate it was used, the waiter (bartender) marks off one of the listed on the card bottom numbers.
- RCI's drink cards cover much of the regular beverage package inclusions - most beers, wine (by the glass), cocktails (including with alcohol), fountain sodas, specialty coffees/teas, fresh-squeezed juices.
- Gratuities are included. Not included are cabin minibar items, also canned and bottled beverages (soda, juices), souvenir glasses, premium beers, and other high-priced beverages.
- Drink card's price varies by ship and itineraries, ranging between USD 70 and 90 per card. Its cost is charged to the passenger's SeaPass account (WOWband). Drink cards are non-refundable.
- Strangely, there is no certain way to know when these cards will be available on the current cruise. They tend to become available on different days, including on the last (debarkation) day only. Each liner has the option to offer different drink package or card deals, so it's not sure if drink cards will be available on a particular voyage, or when and at what cost per card.
- The main difference between Royal Caribbean's drink card and any beverage package is that unlike the packages, cards are shareable.
- Are the RCI's drink cards worth it? If you take the USD 90 (highest priced) drink card, it will cost you USD 9 per drink (tips included). Currently, most cocktails on RCI ships cost between USD 10-12 (prices not inclusive of gratuity).
Coffee cards (coffee package)
The "Cafe Select Coffee Card" (punch card is for 15x specialty coffees (premium brand espresso-based beverages) and is shareable. The barista punches one hole in the card per drink ordered. With the "coffee package" you buy 15x coffees at half price (50% discount). Its value is for the current voyage only.
The Cafe Select Coffee Card doesn't include the Starbucks kiosks. Starbucks coffee cards are available for purchase on select ships, and for use at "Starbucks at Sea" locations only.
The coffee card for 15x Starbucks beverages is also shareable. Both cards cost US$ 31 (US$ 36.58 with gratuity) or US$ 6.20 per drink. For comparison, individually purchased premium coffees cost between US$ 2.50-5 per drink.
On RCI ships without dedicated Starbucks kiosks (all excepting Oasis-class), the unlimited drink packages "Royal Replenish" and "Ultimate" (all-inclusive) can be used for paying Starbucks beverages. These ships serve Starbucks beverages at "Cafe Promenade" (bar lounge/fka Latte-tudes). Quantum-class ships serve Starbucks drinks at the "La Patisserie" bar.
Notes: Since September 2016, Starbucks beverages are not included in drink packages inclusive of specialty coffees but are available only at the licensed onboard Starbucks kiosks. Through RCI's loyalty program, high-status members (Diamond, Diamond Plus, Pinnacle Club) receive complimentary daily drink vouchers that can be also used for premium brand coffees.
RCI Water Package
Royal Caribbean passengers can purchase bottled water sets in 8, 12, 16 and 24 bottles. Evian brand water comes with Sports Cap - each bottle is one liter. Evian Water Package will cost you from $28.45 per day per person. Right after you purchase a water package, water will be delivered on the requested date to your stateroom. Water packages include set bottles' numbers, unlike other drink packages. These are not available for unlimited bottles packages. If you purchase a water package you'll be offered a discount compared to onboard buying water individually. Royal Caribbean promised savings up to 35%, depending on the purchased water bottle quantity.
RCI Soda Package
Royal Caribbean soda packages provide guests with unlimited refills - take advantage of any of the lounges and bars on board as well as the private islands and Main Dining Rooms. Guests also receive a Coca-Cola cup souvenir with the package. The fountain soda package's cost is determined by your cruise length. The average daily cost is $4.50 for kids, $6.50 for adults, plus gratuity. Soda packages allow passengers to use Coca-Cola Freestyle Machines onboard select ships. After you purchase a soda package, you'll have an icon placed on the SeaPass card, indicating to the ship staff that you've purchased the package.
RCI Juice Packages
Royal Caribbean offers Minute Maid brand unlimited juice packages in varieties of quantities and flavors for those who want healthy drinks. You may buy at a time 6, 8 or 12 bottles, 15 ounces each. Royal Caribbean juice package costs from $20.15 per day per person. Available are the following flavors: Ruby red grapefruit juice, Apple juice, orange juice, variety Pack (divided equally among the three above choices). When ordered online, Juice Packages are placed in guest's stateroom on the requested date, and when purchased onboard - delivered within 24 hours. RCCL promised savings up to 25%, depending on the purchased water bottle quantity.
Royal Caribbean alcohol packages reviews
(our top-best RCCL unlimited drinks program reviews choices)
- "I can't drink enough to make such a package financially viable"
- "We bought a package and definitely didn't break even. Plus it is really expensive, I think paying by the drink is better".
- "it's the wine that is very expensive on RC - prices by the glass start from 8 euros plus tips for a Californian chardonnay" (RCI wine list prices)
- "I like the idea of all-inclusiveness, and I'm lucky to be able to afford it"
- "LOL My name is X and I am an alcoholic"
- "on a classic 7-day itinerary, that's an extra $315/$385 PP - yes, it's a decent price for my specially themed Royal Caribbean "booze package cruise" :)".
- "Personally, I think offering all-inclusive alcohol packages encourage lots of drinking (more drunks), which is good for profit and bad for health. Anyone spending this much on booze feels obligated to drink more than what they would normally consume.
- "The package benefits only those who drink a lot, but it's also good to keep a lid on your drinking expenses. You set your drinking budget ahead in time - I mean when you're sober, which is very practical".
- "It's an affordable way to stay pretty inebriated for the cruise".
These packages do save money (compared to buying a la carte priced drinks), but the amount of savings depends on how much you intend to drink daily. However, there is this drink package phenomenon where you start drinking more than you normally would.
- Short cruises present a better option to really enjoy the package's benefits. Also, shorter itineraries (3-4-5- days) tend to offer a more party-like atmosphere compared to longer ones.
- Spending more onboard time by the swimming pool is another reason to consider purchasing a beverage plan.
- RCI's drink package drinks provide the convenience to enjoy unlimited drinks with budgeting (paying) in advance, without worrying about their cost (no receipts, additional tipping), the opportunity to try new cocktails without the fear of "wrong choices".
- On all RCI ships are offered daily drink specials (promotions called "drink of the day") with discounted pricing about 20% off.
- Crown and Anchor Society members (loyalty program) are eligible to discount-priced and complimentary beverages during the voyage. Diamond and above members get free lounge drinks in the evenings (5 - 8:30 pm) during the so-called "Diamond Happy Hour". Drinks include vodka, rum, tequila, gin, whiskey, port wine, vermouth, liqueurs, beers, soda, bottled water (500 ml).
- Also, according to RCI's beverage policy, passengers are allowed to bring on the ship up to 2 wine bottles per cabin.
- Royal Caribbean's discounts on drink packages (while onboard) are for loyalty program members only. Discounted prices (as a percentage) are 20% off (Diamond status), 30% off (Diamond Plus status), 40% off (Pinnacle status). However, these percentages may vary.
- Remember, that you can buy a beverage package even after the cruise starts - with a minimum of 4 days until the end of it.
|Beverages||Per drink price (tips inclusive)||15 drinks cost (regular prices)||15 drinks (savings per day)||Number of drinks to break even (per day)|
Note: All table prices are in USD, and suggestive (rounded to a dollar). The above comparison is based on the RCI's "Premium" beverage package (cost US$55 PP per day).
This article is integrated with our Royal Caribbean drinks prices and Royal Caribbean menus. You can compare Carnival vs Royal Caribbean alcohol package deals at Carnival Cheers (all-you-can-drink package.