Is the drink package on a cruise worth the money?

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As a travel agent who sells a lot of cruises, I know there are so many components to a cruise that you have to make decisions about.  Do you want a balcony, what activities do you want available onboard, what activities do you want available on land,  how long should your cruise be, which cruise line do you want to take, and the list of questions goes on and on.  Once everything is booked then comes the tougher question, do I get a drink package. 

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Each cruise line offers different drink packages.  I am not going to detail each one of them to save some time.  However, it usually comes down to a beverage package for non-alcoholic beverages and a beverage package with both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.    When you purchase one of these packages, you will then get access to drinks.  However, not all alcoholic beverage packages are the same.  Some will include premium alcohol, and some will not.  Make sure to read the fine print. 

With beverage packages being so expensive, sometimes up to $80/person/day, how do you drink the most for your money.  Here are five tips to making the most out of your beverage package:

  1. If you purchase the premium beverage package or your package includes top shelf liquor, make sure to ask your bartender for it. It may seem obvious, but you need to ask them specifically which brand you want.
  2. When on the cruise line’s private island, make sure to take in a nice mixed drink, if that is part of your package. Some people only think their beverage package is good on the ship, but many times it extends to the private island.  If it does, drink up! 

    Photo: Pixabay
    Photo: Pixabay
  3. Craving something sweet while on the cruise? Take advantage of the soda part of the package.  This includes making an Ice Cream Float with soda/pop.  Want a bit of a stronger float?  Maybe add some Baileys or amaretto. 
  4. Are you a beer drinker like me? If the bartender gives you a can of beer unopened, feel free to take it back to your cabin.  Put it in the fridge for later to enjoy for later on the balcony.  You can also build a nice little beer collection for later in the cruise.
  5. Do you like your specialty coffee drinks? This is where your love for them will help pay off this beverage package.  Make sure to hit up the barista several times throughout the day, and try all those different types of lattes, cappuccinos, chai teas, etc.  Tell them EXTRA flavor shots and whipped cream!!

One thing that the drink packages typically do not include are gratuities, so make sure to have some extra dollar bills on you.  Crew members DO remember those who tip well!  If you have any other questions about drink packages, make sure to ask your travel agent or give me a call.  After all, Life is Better Traveling!

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Mary Yohannan lives in the Baldwin-Whitehall area of Pittsburgh. She moved to Pittsburgh over 2 years ago with her husband and 2 beautiful children. Mary owns her own travel agency Life is Better Traveling™, LLC which has helped hundreds of families take amazing vacations to Disney®, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Alaska, and all over Europe. She is also the founder of the Travel Agent School Supporting Learning and Education™ or T.A.S.S.L.E, which has the How to Become a SUCCESSFUL Travel Agent program™, a one-stop, all-inclusive program for someone who wants to become a Successful Travel Agent. Mary earned the distinguished honor of the Certified Travel Associate (CTA) through the Travel Institute in 2016, and has several other travel and tourism certifications. Mary has traveled to over 20 countries on 3 continents, but it wasn’t until she had children did she learn that traveling with little ones is a completely different, and sometimes challenging, traveling experience. Mary’s authentic passion for travel and traveling with her children has given her extensive knowledge on the best tips, tricks, and hacks to keep kids calm, entertained, and well-behaved while traveling. She posts a variety of travel tips and tricks on her highly coveted, High Content Life is Better Traveling website, but she has a lot of great advice on traveling with kids that she can’t wait to share with all those amazing Pittsburgh Moms.