Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Packages Guide

Whether or not to purchase a Norwegian Cruise Line drink package when you don’t have the Free at Sea promo, is really a math project. How much can you actually drink in one week? 

Is Norwegian’s beverage package really worth the cost? Let’s break it all down to basics.

To help your decision, I’ve also included the Unlimited Open Bar Package and the upgraded Premium Plus beverage package menus.

Maltings Beer and Whiskey Bar with collection of liquor bottles.

Why Buy a Norwegian All-Inclusive Drink Package?

Mostly, because you’re on vacation! With any one of Norwegian’s beverage packages, you won’t have to reach for your wallet or mentally tally how much you’ve spent on booze. There’s not a much worse way to end a cruise than to get the final bill and go into shock for what you’ve spent on drinks.

But, if you don’t think you can drink enough to break even, it’s not worth it. Basically, with the least expensive Premium Beverage Package, you’d have to put away close to six to ten drinks a day.

While this doesn’t include certain Lavazza specialty coffees, bottled water or fresh juices, you can get your drinks at any bar or restaurant onboard plus it’s good at Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay.

Norwegian offers five drink packages. They range from just about every ultra-premium brand an adult could request down to two kids’ unlimited soda programs.

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Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Packages Details

Unlimited Open Bar Premium Beverage Package

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Premium Beverage Package (formerly known as the Ultimate Beverage Package) includes a variety of spirits, cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer. The drink value can be up to and including $15 USD. Plus you can order unlimited fountain soda and juices at all bars, lounges, restaurants and Great Stirrup Cay.

If you want to purchase a bottle of wine, a 20% discount will be applied.

The Unlimited Open Bar Package is included with your reservation if you booked through Free at Sea.

What the Premium Beverage Package Does Not Include

The Premium Beverage Package does not include room service, package sales, daily cocktail specials  or buckets of beer. Also not included are the designated Super Premium brands (subject to change), bottled wine, mini bar purchases, bottled water and fresh squeezed juices.

Lavazza coffee beverages, energy drinks and drinks from vending machines are also not part of the package.

Guests are allowed to buy two (2) beverages per person per transaction.

The good news is that you can take advantage of this package at all restaurants, lounges, bars and Great Stirrup Cay.

If you buy an item over $15 USD, the overage plus 20% gratuity and service charge will be applied to your onboard account.

COST:  $109.00 per person per day plus 20% gratuity and beverage service charge.

Package cost for a seven-day cruise: $831.60 per person out the door.

View the Premium Beverage Package Menu

Norwegian Sugarcane Mojito Bar Premium Plus Beverage Package – Add-on to Premium Package

If you only buy top shelf alcohol, this is the package for you. The Premium Plus Beverage Package includes beverages by the glass for Veuve Clicquot, Patrón Añejo, Hendrick’s Gin and more.

Also included in your by-the-glass package are unlimited soft drinks, beers, spirits, cocktails, wines and select bottles of wine with dinner. In addition, still and sparkling water, energy drinks, and specialty coffees are included.

An interesting option about the Premium Plus package is that if you purchase the Premium Beverage Package, you can ask to upgrade to the Premium Plus when you are onboard.

COST:  $138 per person per day plus 20% gratuity service charge.

Total cost for a seven-day cruise:  $1159.20 per person. 

Norwegian Premium-Plus-Beverage-Package-Menu

Soda Packages (ages 3 and up)

If you just gotta have that soda, here’s the drink package for you. Fill up as much as you like on Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mt. Dew, Ginger Ale, Tonic water, Club Soda.

You must purchase this for the entire cruise and it’s non-refundable.

COST:  $9.00 per person per day plus 20% gratuity and beverage service charge.

Read Next: How to pack for a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise

Tequila Sunrise was included in the Norwegian Cruise Line drink package.
Tequila Sunrise at Wasabi Sushi aboard Norwegian Getaway.

Remember, if your cruise promotion includes the basic Unlimited Open Bar package, you can upgrade to the Premium Plus.

It’s pretty easy to add a beverage package to your cruise. Once you’ve booked your cruise, simply head over to ncl.com. Then up in the right-hand corner, log in to myNCL.com with your username and password. That takes you to Explore & Plan.

From there, in the left-hand column, choose Beverage Packages. Simply choose your package and pay for it. It will be automatically added to your account.

Unlimited Starbucks Package

Coffee lovers can rejoice with this Unlimited Starbucks package. The package includes all the classic coffees and teas plus Starbucks trademarked Frappuccino choice and other specialty beverages. 

How much does it cost? $12.95 per person per day. plus the 20% gratuity. You must be 18 years or older at time of sailing to purchase this package.

Do the Hawai’i Cruises Have Beverage Packages?

If you’re lucky enough to take Norwegian’s Pride of America Hawai’i cruise, you should know that there are special beverage packages just for these cruises.

Called the Hawai’i Beverage Package, it’s priced at $109 per person per day, with a wide variety of beverages that cost up to $15.00. If your drink costs more than $15, the overage will be applied to your onboard account. As always, there’s a 20% gratuity charge.

The package is available to guests 1 and 2 on the reservation and you can request up to two beverages per person per order. 

The Hawai’i Beverage package also includes sodas, freshly squeezed juice, bottled water (flat and sparkling), non-alcoholic beer, and specialty coffee (only in the dining rooms).

This does not include specialty coffee outside of restaurants, room service, any mini-bar purchases, or vending machines. 

Hawai’i Coffee Packages

Starbuck’s coffee packages, including Frappuccinos and Teas are $12.95 per per per day plus 20% gratuity.

Hawai’i Soda Packages

Serving Coca-Cola products, you can add a soda package with unlimited refills for anyone ages 3 and older for $9.95 per person per day. And yes, there’s the 20% gratuity added. 

Water Packages Aboard Pride of America Hawai’i Cruises

Norwegian has three water packages. You can purchase six one-liter bottles for $19.95, 12 one-liter bottle for $34.95 and 24 one-lite bottles for $49.95. As always, there’s the 20% gratuity fee to add.

What are Norwegian Drink Package Rules?

As you can imagine, the cruise line has its list of rules about their drink packages. Before you decide to purchase one of these, read over the rules so there are no surprises once you’re onboard.

  • You must be at least 21 years of age at time of sailing to purchase any alcoholic package and to consume alcohol.
  • Packages must be purchased by all qualifying individuals residing in the stateroom or additional staterooms under the same method of payment for the entire length of the cruise.
  • Packages may not be shared and are non-transferable and non-refundable.
  • Eligible guests are entitled to two beverages per person per transaction.
  • Includes all beverages by the glass. Beverage selection is subject to change onboard.
  • Only Premium Plus includes fountain soda, freshly squeezed juice, bottled water (flat and sparkling), energy drinks, non-alcoholic beer, wine dispensers, and specialty coffee.
  • For non-select bottles of wine (champagne and sparkling included), “Wine and Spirit Experiences”, tastings, and flights, guest will receive a 40% discount when purchased on board.
  • Does not include: Room service, mini bar purchases, vending machines
  • Guest’s check may reflect applicable VAT and/or taxes for certain ports or itineraries.
  • Package can be used in onboard restaurants, lounges, bars and Great Stirrup Cay.
  • Offer is not applicable on Harvest Caye, nor sailings that are two (2) days or less.
  • A 20% gratuity and beverage service charge will be added to all package purchases.
  • No substitute for package if guest cannot consume all beverages included.
  • Package price is subject to change.
  • Other terms and conditions may apply.
In the drink package, an ice-cold Margarita at Norwegian Getaway Margaritaville
Having an ice-cold Margarita at Norwegian Getaway Margaritaville.

Conclusion: To Buy or Not to Buy

Personally, I’ve never purchased a beverage package…other than a water package. But with individual drink prices on the rise, with Norwegian as well as other cruise lines, buying a beverage package might make more sense. Especially if you do the math.

Yes, even with the almost-yearly increases in the cost of drink packages, if you like more expensive wine, or simply drink a whole lot of beer, you’re probably better off with an all-inclusive drink package.

And besides, it must be really nice to say, “I’ll take another” to the waiter instead of doing the mental math and thinking about end-of-cruise sticker shock.

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17 Comments

  1. Hi and thank you for your questions. These questions are best answered by your travel agent, on NCL.com or directly through the cruise line reservations. Please contact either of the three for the latest information. Thank you again and have a terrific cruise!

  2. What does the free at sea program include and is it available on all Norwegian ships or is it certain ones

  3. Hi Brian, Thank you for your question. The Teen Package only includes sodas. If a teen is in the same room as an adult(s) that purchases a Premium Beverage package, the teen must purchase the soda package. The explanation given by Norwegian on their site is, in my opinion, really confusing. Since an adult with the Premium Beverage Package is allowed to order two drinks at the same time, the fine print does not say whether or not those two drinks have to be the same. Meaning, can the adult ask for an alcoholic cocktail and also a non-alcoholic cocktail with the intention of giving the non-alcoholic drink to the teen? Nevertheless, the teen package does not include mocktails…only soda. Sorry. Thank you for reading my article and taking the time to comment. Happy Cruising!

  4. Cheryl wondering if in the teens package do they include. MocCocktails or is only in the higher priced packages

  5. In my experience, NCL is getting CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! Cheaper by the day… I take one cruise a year under normal circumstances, and I get the soda package on all of my cruises. …on my last NCL they were pouring the soda from a can into a plastic airline sized cup at drink stations. That is the “fountain”. So, if I ordered a Sierra Mist, they would pour half the can into my cup with ice and then wait for the next person who orders a Sierra Mist to use what’s left of that same sitting opened can. Oh, theres only enough left in the can to make half the person’s drink? Then they will open a fresh can, and mix the flat soda with the new one for this person. It’s total cheapness and the quality of beverage is diminished. In addition, you used to get a commemorative complimentary tumbler (which looked Dollar Tree anyway on NCL) when you ordered the soft drink package. Now you don’t on NCL. …Of course, if you’re at a bar and order, they’ll give you the soda from the tap gun.
    RCCL still gives a commemorative cup, and its coded on the bottom so you can use their freestyle machines.

    NCL has me concerned with all of their cuts the last few years. They just switched their water that is sold on the ship to “just water” which comes in cardboard. Pay $30 for 6 LITERS of water? You can get 3-4 times as much Evian or Fiji for that price on land. NCL is claiming “better for the environment” with all their wokeness but really it’s clearly to save money from offering bottles. All these trends are concerning. Let’s not offer straws anymore, but still use plastic lids that use just as much plastic!
    NCL was also first to start charging fees for room service meals too.

  6. Hi James,
    I’m sorry you couldn’t find an answer to your question in my article. Please call Norwegian and they can help. In the meantime, this is the link on their site, though you probably already found it: https://www.ncl.com/onboard-packages/beverage-packages and for rules, there’s this: https://www.ncl.com/terms/premium-beverage-package – Generally, I think that the phrase “Adult Beverage Package” refers to the Premium Beverage Package, Premium Plus Beverage Package and Corks and Caps. Thank you for taking the time to read the article.

  7. Your article Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Packages Guide posted January 2, 2020 does not address the Norwegian promotion drink package called “Adult Beverage Package” which was a promo provided to cruisers. I can not find detail information on what the rules are associated with this package.

  8. Hi Dana,
    Thank you for reading the article. Usually, your waiter will keep the bottle corked until your next dinner. I’ve seen people carry their half-used bottles back to their stateroom, so I would think it’s still possible. As far as what brands of sparkling water NCL uses, I have no clue except for the usual Perrier. When cruising resumes, policies and products could change. Your best bet would be to call the cruise line when it’s closer to your sailing date.
    Sherry

  9. If you have the premium plus package and get one of the included bottles of wine/champagne at dinner, can you take the (partially consumed) bottle back to your stateroom after dinner or will they let you?
    What kind of sparkling water do they have available?

  10. Hi Mimi,
    Thank you for your question. Whether or not Norwegian will serve Miller Lite when they resume cruising remains to be seen. If it was there on your past cruises, most likely it will still be there.
    Sherry

  11. I have been on a couple Norwegian Cruises. And I always drank Miller Lite. Do you still serve Miller Lite on your cruises?

  12. Hi Toni,
    Thank you for your question. If I were you, I would simply ask the bartender. The least they could do is to put a maraschino cherry into a Sprite! As far as blended mocktails, no, I’m fairly positive that isn’t included in the teen soda package. But you could probably order a virgin Pina Colada or something like that on your beverage package and when no one is looking, your teen could enjoy it. Just a suggestion. Have a wonderful cruise!
    Sherry

  13. Hello,
    We purchased 2 adult drink packages on NCL and 2 Teen drink packages for our 15/16yr olds.
    I’ve seen on other ships like carnival they include mocktails in the soda packages. I’ve read all the fine print on NCL, looks like just soda or tonic water. Do you know if they do allow mocktails for the teen packages and maybe just don’t advertise it, ? Or even something like Sprite with a little cherry in it?
    Thanks.

  14. Hi David,
    Thank you for taking the time to write. I checked the list of beverages for the Premium Drink Package but all I can deduce is that maybe sparkling like a prosecco might be available. Otherwise, like you mentioned, you would need to upgrade to the Premium Plus in order to have real Champagne. I tried to get through to Norwegian but the hold times are long right now. My thoughts are that since Champagne is not listed on the Premium Package, it’s not offered.
    Have a wonderful cruise and thank you again for reading the article and taking the time to write.
    Sherry

  15. Hi Sherry! We just booked an NCL cruise to Northern Europe and got the Premium Drink Package as part of their current promotion. My question is are there any sparkling wines included with that package or do I need to upgrade to the Premium Plus Package? We like champagne. In 2017 we went with NCL through the Panama Canal and got the (then) Ultimate Package with did include champagne. Any help would be appreciated.

  16. Hi Cheryl,
    Thank you for your question. I understand what you mean…but unfortunately, not everyone operates on the honor system. Here’s direct from NCL website: “Packages must be purchased by all qualifying individuals residing in the stateroom or additional staterooms under the same method of payment for the entire length of the cruise. Packages may not be shared and are non-transferable and non-refundable.” Maybe if the two people sharing the stateroom used different methods of payment for the cruise (two credit cards), then maybe that would be a work-around for the drinker to avoid paying what amounts to double. You might want to contact your travel agent who booked your cruise or reach out to Norwegian and see what happens. Thank you again for taking the time to write. Have a terrific cruise!
    Sherry

  17. What if no one else in your cabin drinks alcohol but you. Why would they have to purchase an alcohol drink package if they don’t drink?

Comments are closed.