Tuesday, September 12, 2023


Drink packages is one of the biggest differences we have noticed between Royal Caribbean and Carnival. And when it comes to drink packages, I am team Royal Caribbean all the way.

Let's Talk Drink Packages #cruise #cruiselife #cruiseship #cruiseaddict

First, let's look at soda. Royal Caribbean does something awesome with their soda packages: they give you a cup. When you first get on ship, there will be little stations where you can give them your information, they confirm you have a soda package, then they give you a souvenir cup and lid. This cup has a scan code at the bottom. You simply take your cup to one of the Coca-Cola drink kiosks, place it under the spicket, choose your soda of choice, and viola! With your soda package, you can refill your cup as often as you want throughout the day. The soda package is $13 per person, per day, plus 18% gratuities.

Carnival does not offer you a cup. Instead you go to one of the bars, give them your Sail & Sign card, they confirm your soda package and give you a can of soda. You can get ice from the bar or go to the water stations for a cup of ice. Carnival is Pepsi products (this is a plus as I am a Pepsi lover!). The soda package is $10 per person, per day, plus 18% gratuities.

With your soda package, you can also get a soda with your dinner at the main dining hall. There is unlimited water, unsweetened tea, lemonade, and black coffee throughout the ship on both cruise lines even without a soda package.

Next, let's talk mocktails. I love a good virgin strawberry daiquiri! Mocktails are another big difference between Royal Caribbean and Carnival.

Royal Caribbean has two drink packages, in addition to soda: Refreshment and Deluxe. Both include the soda so if you get one of these packages, you don't need to purchase the soda package too. The Refreshment package offers soda, premium coffees and teas, fresh squeezed juices, bottled and sparkling water, non-alcoholic cocktails, and milkshakes at Johnny Rockets. The Refreshment package is $29 per person, per day, plus 18% gratuities. The Deluxe package offers all of the above plus cocktails, spirits, beer, and wines by the glass. The Deluxe package is $55-$95 per person, per day, plus 18% gratuities.

Carnival has only one package besides their soda package: Cheers. The Cheers package incudes sodas, juices, specialty coffees and teas, milkshakes, energy drinks, bottled water, mocktails, cocktails, cognacs, whiskies, beer, and wine and champagne by the glass. Because it includes alcoholic beverages, it costs double the Refreshment package for Royal Caribbean. Even if you do not drink, but you want the mocktails, you have to pay for it as though you were drinking the alcohol. The Cheers package is $60 per person, per day, plus 18% gratuities.

Another thing is everyone in your stateroom over the age of 21 must pay for this package. This is where we had issue. I love mocktails. My husband absolutely does not. But if I were to get the Cheers package for my virgin strawberry or peach daquiris, he had to get the package too, even with zero intention of using it. Because of this rule and the high cost of the package (it would have been over $1000!), we opted to not get Cheers. Instead, I purchased a couple mocktails "a` le carte." They were just under $10 each.

Royal Caribbean does not have any limits to their drink packages while Carnival has a limit of fifteen drinks a day. **Either way, if you choose to drink, please do so responsibly!**

Both Royal Caribbean and Carnival allow you to bring a case of water or soda on board with you. Royal Caribbean allows one case (no more than 12 bottles/cans) per stateroom. Carnival allows one case (no more than 12 bottles/cans) per person.

We have decided with the allowance of a case of soda per person, if we sail with Carnival, we will not be purchasing any drink packages. However, if we sail with Royal Caribbean, we will get one soda and one Refreshment package.

So there you have it! So many options for your beverages when you set sail!

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