Whether or not to purchase a Norwegian Cruise Line drink package is almost 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 you decide, I’ve also included the Premium and new Premium Plus beverage package menus.
Why buy an 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, then even for the convenience, 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 to even the score. 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.
Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Packages Details
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.
What the Premium Beverage Package Does Not Included
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: $99 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.
Take a look at the Premium Beverage Package Menu
New! Premium Plus Beverage 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: $128 per person per day plus 20% gratuity and beverage service charge.
Total cost for a seven-day cruise: $1075.20 per person.
Here’s the Norwegian Premium-Plus-Beverage-Package-Menu
Corks and Caps Wine and Beer Package
Norwegian’s Corks and Caps Package includes a good selection of draft beer and bottled beer. Again, glasses of wine can cost as much as $15 per glass. If the price goes over $15, then you’ll pay the difference plus the 20% gratuity and beverage service fee on that difference. This package also gives you unlimited fountain soda and juices at all bars, lounges, restaurants and Great Stirrup Cay.
A 20% discount will be applied to all bottles of wine purchased on board
COST: $65 per person per day plus 20% gratuity and beverage service charge.
For a seven-night cruise, you’ll pay $546.00 per person total.
Adult and Teen Soda Program (ages 13 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: $7.95 per person per day plus 20% gratuity and beverage service charge.
Children’s Soda Program (ages 12 and under)
This includes all of the same sodas as above. This program is also non-refundable and must be purchased for the entire cruise.
COST: $5.95 USD per person per day plus 20% gratuity and beverage service charge.
How to Buy a Drink Package for Your Norwegian Cruise
It’s pretty easy, really. 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 will take 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.
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.
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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Sherry is editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com. An expert on ocean and river cruises plus trains in the US and Europe, Sherry’s goal is to share her experiences to entertain, inform and inspire readers to travel the world.