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Norwegian Cruise Line Drink Package Guide and Tips

Drink at Great Stirrup Cay

A drink package is a popular add-on for cruisers who want to save money or are worried about an unexpectedly large bill at the end of their cruise.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) offers its customers several options based on their preferences and habits.

Would be cruisers should consider the cost of the package versus buying drinks a la carte, along with some pro tips to help stretch those vacation dollars.

Here is what you need to know about buying drinks on a Norwegian cruise.

What’s included with the cruise fare?

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To start off, there are some drinks that are included with the standard cruise fare. Water, lemonade, fruit juices, coffee, tea, regular and chocolate milk are all complimentary. For those who want a broader selection, drinks can be purchased individually, or guests can buy drink packages.

Popular drink prices on Norwegian cruises:

  • Beer: $7.00
  • Wine by the glass average of $8.00
  • Cocktails: $10-12.00
  • Basic Spirits $9-$13.00
  • Soft Drinks: $3.00
  • Specialty Coffees: $3-$6.00
  • Water $6.50 (large carton)

Norwegian carries Pepsi products onboard. Guests can choose from Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mountain Dew, Ginger Ale, Tonic Water and Club Pop.

Overview of Drink Packages

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Drinks

Premium Beverage Package - $99 per day/ person

It includes:

  • Beer
  • Wine by the glass
  • Cocktails
  • Spirits
  • Fountain pop
  • Juices
  • A 20% discount will be applied to all bottles of wine purchased on board

Important details:

  • A 20% gratuity will be added to this charge
  • All guests within the same stateroom must purchase the package
  • Maximum of $15 value per drink (guests will be charged the difference)
  • Guests under 21 will need to buy the Pop Program
  • This can be used in all bars, lounges, restaurants, and Great Stirrup Cay
  • This does not apply to room service
  • This does not include mini bar purchases, bottled water, fresh-squeezed juices, specialty coffee beverages, specialty Starbucks locations, energy drinks, vending machines or wine stations
  • Two beverages per person per transaction, cannot be shared
  • Not available on Pride of America or Harvest Caye
  • For guests ages 21 +

Premium Plus Beverage Packages - $128 per day/ person

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Celebrity Cruises premium drink package

It includes:

  • Beer
  • Wine by the glass
  • Spirits
  • Cocktails
  • Fountain pop
  • Juices (including freshly squeezed)
  • Select bottles of wine
  • Still and sparkling water
  • Energy Drinks
  • Wine Dispensers
  • Specialty Coffee
  • 40% off wine bottles (non-select)

Important details:

  • A 20% gratuity will be added to this charge
  • All guests within the same stateroom must purchase the package
  • Guests under 21 will need to buy the Pop Program
  • This can be used in all bars, lounges, restaurants and Great Stirrup Cay.
  • This does not apply to room service, mini bar or vending machine purchases
  • Two beverages per person per transaction, cannot be shared
  • Not applicable to Harvest Caye
  • For guests ages 21 +

Corks and Caps Wine and Beer Package – $65 per person/ day

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Celebrity Cruises beers

It includes:

  • Beer
  • Wine by the glass
  • Soft drinks
  • Juices

 

Important details:

  • A 20% gratuity will be added to this charge
  • Maximum of $15 value per drink (guests will be charged the difference)
  • All guests within the same stateroom must purchase the package
  • Guests under 21 will need to buy the Pop Program
  • This can be used in all bars, lounges, restaurants and Great Stirrup Cay.
  • This does not apply to room service, mini bar or vending machine purchases
  • Two beverages per person per transaction, cannot be shared
  • Not applicable to Harvest Caye
  • For guests ages 21 +

Pop Package - $7.95 per person/ day

  • It includes unlimited fountain pop, a 20% gratuity will be added to this charge.

Water Package

Norwegian offers guests the option pre-order water and have it delivered to their cabin. The cruiseline has partnered with JUST® Goods Water, replacing single-use plastic bottles with a plant-based carton.

Prices

  • 6 litre Just Water Package   $16.95
  • 12-litre Just Water Package $29.95
  • 24 litre Just Water Package $44.95 

Hawaii Beverage Package (all ages, Pride of America only)

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Hawaii

$99 per day/ person

It includes:

  • Alcoholic drinks up to $15
  • Fountain pop
  • Freshly squeezed juice
  • Bottled water (flat and sparkling)
  • Non-alcoholic beer
  • Specialty coffee (limited to dining rooms only).

Important details:

  • A 20% gratuity will be added to this charge
  • Maximum of $15 value per drink (guests will be charged the difference)
  • Hawaii Beverage Package is applicable to Pride of America sailings only
  • Two beverages per person per transaction, cannot be shared
  • This does not include minibar or vending machine purchases

Is a drink package worth it?

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That depends on how much you plan on drinking. Cruisers should consider how much they will consume in a typical day, taking into account how many days they will be in port. As noted, drink packages cannot be used at Harvest Caye, NCL’s private island in Belize but is included Great Stirrup Cay.

The break-even point depends on the package and the types of drinks consumed. Most people think about alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine, but pop and specialty coffees can add up.

Some guests like the peace of mind of purchasing a drink package ahead of time as no one wants a huge bill at the end of this cruise.

Buying a drink package

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Pay online

Beverage plans can be purchased online through Norwegian’s website. Once onboard, guests can only buy  the package the first day of embarkation. Currently they have a major promotion on drink packages.

“Free Open Bar” is a significant promotional campaign that touts a $1,400 savings for consumers, with free spirits and cocktails, wines, draft beer, juice and pop.

Important Details:

  • Premium Beverage Package is applicable to all qualified sailings excluding Pride of America, where the Hawaii Beverage Package applies.
  • Guests must be at least 21 years of age at time of sailing to qualify for the Premium Beverage Package. Guests under 21 will receive the pop package.
  • For drinks over $15,  guests will be charged the difference
  • Eligible guests are entitled to two beverages per person per transaction, cannot be shared
  • This does not include minibar or vending machine purchases
  • Not applicable to Harvest Caye
  • This does not include Wine and Spirit Experiences, tastings or Flights, Starbucks, room service, package sales, bottled water, ship specific promotions or beer buckets, designated super premium brands (subject to change), bottled wine, mini bar purchases, freshly squeezed juices, wine dispenser, energy drinks or vending machines.
  • Guests are responsible for 20% gratuities on the retail value of the packages. 

Other ways to save money on beverages

Casino Benefits

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Casinos at Sea, Norwegian’s casino loyalty program, also has some beverage related benefits. For those guests who reach Ruby and above (35,000 points) tier, they will receive complimentary drinks while playing.

This program applies across all of their brands including Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

To join the program, guests just need to visit the host in the casino, must be 18+ to join. Passengers earn points based on among spent on table games, slots and video poker.

NCL’s Loyalty Program

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Latitudes Rewards, Norwegian’s loyalty program, offers a few benefits to customers as it relates to complimentary drinks while onboard. Here is a list of benefits by tier, noting that each tier also received the lower level tier benefits.

  • Silver Level (20-44 points) guests are invited to an exclusive cocktail party
  • Gold Level (45-74 points) receives one free carton of water per guest
  • Platinum Level (75-149 points)guests are invited to a Wine around the World tasting and receive a complimentary dinner for two at Cagney's or Le Bistro Y (with wine)
  • Sapphire (150-349 points) members receive 2 cartons of water per person
  • Diamond Level (350-699 points) guests are invited to an exclusive Sail & Sustain Mixology Experience

Guests are automatically enrolled in the program after their first cruise. Members receive 1 point for each night they sail, two for suite class, and an additional point when booking a Latitudes Reward Inside Offer.

Other ways to save money on drinks:

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Bringing some wine or champagne onboard can help passengers save some money. Unfortunately, guests are not allowed to bring liquor, beer, water pop or juice, but Norwegian does allow 750 ml of wine or 1500ml magnum of champagne (no boxes of wine though).

Their policy does not specify how many bottles are allowed, so best to inquire if there is a limit for your sailing. The cruise line does apply a corkage fee of $15 for wine and $30 for champagne.

Since the cruise line does not sell bottled water (just cartons), it may be convenient and economical to bring your own reusable water bottle. This can also be a plus in port. Bottles from companies such as LARQ and Lifestraw will also clean the water, getting rid of E.coli and bacteria, which is helpful if you are unsure how safe the drinking water is while in port.

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